Category Archives: Celebrity Deaths

Professional Wrestling Icon Bruno Sammartino is Dead at 82

World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE, has announced via Twitter that wrestler Bruno Sammartino has passed on at age 82.

Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, Bruno Sammartino was a fixture in the sport. For eight years running, Sammartino was a a world champion for the former World Wide Wrestling Federation (now WWE). His title began after a match on May 17, 1963 where he defeated Buddy Rogers. After a brief interlude where he lost to Ivan Koloff at a match on January 18, 1971, Sammartino eventually reclaimed the title in December 1973. He would hold onto the world champion status for an additional three years. Sammartino is one of only five wrestlers with the Federation with such long-standing records.

His status as a wrestling icon was cemented with an induction to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013, which recognized Sammartino’s accomplishments during his 30-year career. Arnold Schwarzenegger performed the honors.

Much like the (fictional) wrestling star Rocky Balboa, Sammartino was from Pennsylvania. He had immigrated to the Pittsburgh area from Italy. Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto mourned Sammartino’s passing and stated that he had been an excellent ambassador for the city.

Paul “Triple H” Levesque, an executive for WWE, also commented on Sammartino’s death. He took to Twitter, where he wrote that he was “devastated” to hear the news. Levesque called Sammartino “one of the toughest people I’ve ever met.”

Famous Fans Reflect on Adam West’s Death

Adam West died Friday night in Los Angeles at the age of 88. The actor, who famously played Batman in the 1960s series Batman, lost his brief battle with leukemia.


“Our dad always saw himself as The Bright Knight and aspired to make a positive impact on his fan’s lives. He was and always will be our hero,” his family stated.


In recent years, West had become active in voice work. His dulcet tones graced Family Guy as the corrupt Major of Quahog since 2000. A man who was able to laugh at himself, he made guest appearances on The Big Bang Theory as well as The Simpsons. He returned to voicing the Caped Crusader in The New Adventures of Batman and Legends of the Superheroes.


The actor’s film appearances included 1959’s Young Philadelphians and 1964’s Robinson Crusoe on Mars.


When word of his death got out on Saturday, numerous stars, including Ben Affleck, Mark Hamill, Conan O’Brian, Seth McFarlane, Neil Gaiman, and Batman co-stars Burt Ward and Julie Newmar vocally celebrated West’s life.


Newmar referred to him as, “Exemplar… A knight to the end.”


Batman‘s Robin, Brian Ward expressed sorrow over losing his friend of over 50 years. “We shared some of the most fun times of our lives together,” he stated to The Hollywood Reporter.


In a tweet, McMarlane wrote: “Family Guy has lost its mayor, and I have lost a friend.”


And Affleck, the most recent thespian to helm the role of Batman, tweeted, “Adam West exemplified heroism… Thank you for showing us how it’s done.”


West, whose role as Batman limited his career in some ways, was clearly a hero to all who knew him. His legacy will continue on through the influence he had on others.


Adam West, “Batman” Actor, Dies at 88

Adam West, the actor most famous for playing Batman in the 1960s show, has died at the age of 88. According to a representative, he died from leukemia.


He made his professional debut in Hollywood by appearing in 1959s “The Young Philadelphians,” which had starred Paul Newman. He played supporting roles in a variety of tv shows and movies including 1965s “The Outlaws is Coming,” the last movie to star the Three Stooges.


In 1966, he starred in “Batman,” which featured a campy and comic take on the character. The show was known for its outrageous villains and quickly became a hit. While West had enjoyed playing the character, he chafed against the affects playing Batman had on his later career. Since he had been pigeonholed as a goofy superhero, he had trouble getting other parts. He also disliked the increasingly dark take on the character that developed during the 70s and 80s.


West provided the voice for Batman in various cartoons like 1977s “The New Adventures of Batman” and “The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians.” He later provided the voice for Mayor Grange in “The Batman” (2004-2008).


West had wanted to play Batman in Tim Burton’s 1989 movie, but he was considered too old at 60 for the part. Burton had considered casting him as Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s father instead.


In 1994, West wrote his autobiography, which was called “Back to the Batcave.” By now, West was considered a pop culture icon and appeared in several tv shows and movies. He played an aging action hero in some of these. In the 1990s show “Goosebumps,” he portrayed the Galloping Gazelle, a superhero on the brink of retirement.


West was married three times. His first two marriages soon ended in divorce, but his third marriage to Marcelle Lear lasted from 1970 to his death. He had two children by his second wife, two children by his third wife and two step-children by his third wife.

Adam West, TV’s ‘Batman,’ Dies at 88



Sir Roger Moore, 89, Dies in Switzerland

On May 23, Sir Roger Moore’s family announced that the actor had died from cancer in Switzerland. His children also announced that there would be a private funeral in Monaco as per his wishes.


Moore had been the second actor to play the super-spy James Bond, and he approached the role in a more humorous fashion than his predecessor Sean Connery had. Moore’s Bond was a suave and calm operator who made extricating himself from dangerous situations, often with a beautiful woman in tow, look easy. Moore played James Bond in seven movies: “Live and Let Die” (1973), “The Man with the Golden Gun” (1974), “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977), “Moonraker” (1979), “For Your Eyes Only” (1981), “Octopussy” (1983) and “A View to a Kill” (1985).


Before becoming James Bond, Moore appeared on television in a variety of roles including Simon Templar in the TV series “The Saint” (1962-1969) and Brett Sinclair in “The Persuaders!” (1971).


His first starring role was that of the title character in “Ivanhoe” (1958), a TV series loosely based on Sir Walter Scott’s novel set during the reign of King Richard the Lionheart. Moore’s character was a heroic knight.


Sir Roger was also known for his humanitarian work. Audrey Hepburn had introduced him to UNICEF in 1958, and he became a Goodwill Ambassador for the organization in 1991. He also helped PETA make a video that protested the making and sale of fois gras.


Moore was married three times, and he had three children by his third wife, Luisa Mattioli. Two of the children, Deborah and Geoffrey, followed in their parents’ footsteps and became actors, while the youngest, Christian, became a film producer.



Jonathan Demme, a Multi-Talented Director, Dies at 73.

On April 26, the world lost a multi-talented director. Jonathan Demme boasted an unusually eclectic resume, including everything from the horror classic The Silence of the Lambs to Stop Making Sense, a well-regarded concert film featuring the Talking Heads.  Demme was 73.


Demme began his directing career in the early 1970s with low budget movies for B-movie king Roger Corman. By the mid-1980s, he had branched out into a more varied bill of fare. Romantic dramas such as Swing Shift and Something Wild were popular and critical successes.


In the 1990s, Demme directed two films back-to-back by which he may be best remembered. Silence of the Lambs eventually became a worldwide hit and garnered five Oscars, the only horror film to date so to accomplish this feat. Next came Philadelphia, one of the first films to intelligently and sensitively address HIV/AIDS and homosexuality to be released by a major studio.


Demme was also known as a director of high-quality theatrical documentaries of musical acts. He directed concert films of the Talking Heads, Neil Young, Robyn Hitchcock, and other artists. In these films, he favored a somewhat naturalistic style that focused less on the audience and more on the artists. In the hands of less inspired directors, concert films remain a fairly disposable genre. Demme brought respectability to the concert movie while exposing the artists to a larger audience.


Demme is survived by his wife, Joanne Howard, and his three children.

Mary Tyler Moore Passes Away at Age 80

Classic TV icon Mary Tyler Moore has passed away on January 25 after being hospitalized in Connecticut.


It is unclear at this point what the exact cause of death is, but her rep stated she died in the company of her friends and husband of 33 years. Mary Tyler Moore had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 33 and became an outspoken advocate for those suffering with the illness. She has engaged in initiatives to research cures and even served as the chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She also appeared in several TV spots for the foundation over the years, effectively becoming the face of juvenile diabetes research.


Her disease seemed to get the better of her in recent years however. She had been suffering from near blindness up to the point of her death.


Moore got her start in the 1960s, rising to international stardom with her role in “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Her own sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” followed shortly after in the 1970s. The show received a lot of attention for being one of the first shows to feature an unmarried working girl as the title character. The show tackled a lot of women’s rights issues like equal pay for equal work and choosing to take birth control, issues that were even more controversial at that time.


Mary Tyler Moore is survived by her husband Robert Levine. Her son Richard passed away in 1980. She will be sorely missed.


Mary Tyler Moore Dies at 80

At the age of 80, Mary Tyler Moore passed away on January 25, 2017. The influential actress had been admitted to a hospital in Connecticut with pneumonia, which resulted in cardiopulmonary arrest. She is survived by her husband, Robert Levine.


Born in Brooklyn, her family made the move to California when she was only eight years old. By the time she was in her teens she had begun to find some work in commercials, but it was The Dick Van Dyke Show that initially shot her to fame.


It was her role as Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, though, that would have a lasting impact on the wider culture. First aired in 1970, the show featured Moore as a single working woman, a rather novel idea for a television show at the time. The show dealt with issues that women face in the workplace, including equal pay, tension between the genders, and work—life balance. Moore won four Emmy Awards for her performance on the show.


Even though her heyday of the 1970s and early 1980s has long passed, her influence has not. Many of those who grew up watching her—household names like Oprah among them—cite her as an inspiration in their personal and professional lives. Throughout her life, Moore promoted research on diabetes, which she suffered from herself, and championed animal rights.

Real-life Fault In Our Stars Katie Prager Dies

Katie Prager laid in her bed at home to die recently. She got her wish, her mother said, to be away from the hospital, tubes and IV’s. She was surrounded by her parents, family, loved and dogs while she passed away peacefully due to complications of cystic fibrosis and a lung transplant. She was just 26 years old.

Just five days earlier, her husband, Dalton Prager also died. He suffered from the same disease and laid down to die in his Kentucky home alongside his ailing wife. He was just 25.

The young couple married and fought the same disease together. According to people who knew them well, they were courageous and the words “give up” were never uttered from their lips. Their courage in the face of life threatening illness together was so inspiring, Hollywood based a movie on their circumstances.

In the movie, Fault in Our Stars, young cancer patients fall in love at a group meeting designed to help them with their suffering. Shailene Woodley, the lead actress in the romance movie, is seen rolling breathing aids for her terminal lung condition. But the real life story behind the movie seems so much more inspiring.

The young couple exchanged messages, telling each other to fight on through their illnesses that put them in and out of the hospital. Soon, they realized that they were falling in love. They spent a couple of fantastic years together before their lung infections were too much. They received lung transplants together. Dalton’s worked for a short period of time while Katie’s never worked at all. In the end, their love will never be forgotten.

Remembering Gene Wilder

Gene Wilder, a beloved star of the stage and screen, passed away at the age of 83 early on Monday morning, August 29th. He developed legions of fans around the world, many attracted by his performances in comedies. Many of the actors and actresses who appeared with him in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory remembered him warmly as news spread of his passing earlier this week. One of the actor’s nephews reported to the news media that he had died from Alzheimer’s Disease complications.

In addition to acting, Gene Wilder also worked as an author, a screenwriter and a director. He directed four movies during the course of his career. He gained notoriety for portraying comedic characters with a flair for eccentricities.

He began his career acting on the stage, and had the good fortune of meeting director Mel Brooks. In 1968, he obtained a big career boost when Mel Brooks selected him to star in the film production of The Producers, a role that earned him an Oscar nomination. Soon afterwards, he starred in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. His successful films included slapstick comedies such as Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles.

At the height of his career in 1989, Gene Wilder suffered a personal loss when his wife, comedic actress Gilda Radner, lost her battle with ovarian cancer. He remarried in 1991, but remained dedicated to contributing to the fight against cancer.

Gene Wilder, 83, Dies

On August 29, the actor Gene Wilder, 83, died. His nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman, reported that he had died from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease. Wilder was best known for his roles in “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” (1971), “Blazing Saddles” (1974), and “Young Frankenstein” (1974).

He was born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee; his father was a Russian immigrant. He adopted the stage name “Gene Wilder” when he was 26. He made his professional debut as an actor in 1961 when he had a major role in the Off-Broadway production “Roots.” He concentrated on stage and television roles at first and made his movie debut in 1967’s “Bonnie and Clyde.”

During the 60s, he also met Mel Brooks, who cast him in “The Producers” (1968). His performance as Leo Bloom netted him an Academy Award nomination. Brooks and he made several films together, which inspired Wilder to try his luck as a director. His first foray behind the camera was 1975’s “The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother.”

Wilder also made several movies with Richard Pryor. The first two, “Silver Streak” (1976) and “Stir Crazy” (1980), proved to be major hits.

Wilder was married four times to Mary Mercier, Mary Schuiltz, Gilda Radner, and finally to Karen Webb. After Radner, another comic known for her appearances on SNL, died from ovarian cancer in 1989, Wilder became involved in cancer awareness. He helped found the non-profit Gilda’s Club in her honor, and the organization continues working with cancer patients and their families.