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Maya Angelou Dies At 86

In: Celeb Gossip & News, Donovan
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Award-winning writer, poet, actress and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has died at the age of 86. The celebrated figure was found dead Wednesday morning inside her North Carolina home. Although no official cause of death has been disclosed, the increasingly frail Angelou was battling heart problems.

Angelou lived in an 18-room home on the campus of Wake Forest University, where she taught American Studies. Her body was discovered by her caretaker according to an announcement by the university.

Her best known work is arguably I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings- a memoir of her childhood in a segregated South where she survived a childhood rape by her mother’s boyfriend. The trauma resulted in Maya not speaking for nearly a decade.

She wrote six additional autobiographies, as well as plays, screenplays, numerous speeches, and countless poems, including “On the Pulse of Morning.” The latter Angelou recited at President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration in 1993. Maya received more than 50 honorary degrees over her prolific career. President Barack Obama honored her in 2011 with a Medal of Freedom.

Angelou’s last words were a tweet posted a few days ago, “Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.” Check out some of her famous quotes below.

some of her most famous quotes after the jump

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Respected fashion designer L’Wren Scott has dressed red carpet regulars such as Sandra Bullock, Penelope Cruz, Amy Adams, Christina Hendricks, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Jessica Parker. The 49-year-old designer was found dead at her West Chelsea apartment of an apparent suicide. New York City police confirm that Scott’s assistant found her hanging by a scarf tied to the doorknob. No suicide note was found.

Scott is the longtime girlfriend of Mick Jagger. The two met during a photo shoot in 2001. The Rolling Stones singer is currently on tour in Australia. The BBC reports, in a statement from Jagger’s spokesperson, that the Rolling Stone front man was “completely shocked and devastated” by her death. Jagger’s ex-wife has also expressed her shock via Twitter.

“Heartbroken to learn of the loss of the lovely and talented L’Wren Scott. My thoughts and prayers are with her family. May she rest in peace” – Bianca Jagger

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Ghostbusters’ Harold Ramis Passes Away

In: Celeb Gossip & News, Donovan
harold-ramis-ghostbusters-dies

Harold Ramis of Ghostbusters fame passed away at the age of 69 due to complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis. He battled the condition since being diagnosed four years ago in 2010. At the time of his death, Ramis was surrounded by family and friends in his Chicago home. He is survived by his wife, Erica, sons Julian and Daniel, daughter Violet, and two grandchildren.

“Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my brilliant, gifted, funny friend, co-writer/performer and teacher Harold Ramis. May he now get the answers he was always seeking.” – Dan Aykroyd

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Philip Seymour Hoffman Dead At 46

In: Celeb Gossip & News, Donovan
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When I woke up this morning and read the news, I thought it was one of those hoaxes. Sadly, it is not.

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment earlier this morning. The Academy Award-winning actor was 46-years-old at the time of his death. The police are investigating the cause of death, but a drug overdose is suspected. Last year, Hoffman completed a 10-day detox program in rehab after admitting he relapsed after staying clean for 23 years.

We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone,” Hoffman’s family said in a statement. “This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving. Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers.”

Hoffman won an Oscar for Capote in 2005 and received three other Academy nominations. He is survived by his three children- one son and two daughters- and his longtime partner Mimi O’Donnell. Our condolences go out to his family.

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Gilligan’s Island is one of the most beloved comedies of all-time. The classic series lost one of its original cast members earlier today. Russell Johnson who played Roy Hinkley, better known as the Professor, died at the age of 89 from kidney failure at his home in Bainbridge Island, Washington. With his death, only Tina Louise (Ginger) and Dawn Wells (Mary Ann) are the only surviving members of the original seven castaways. Wells wrote her Facebook following confirmation.

“My 2 favorite people are now gone. The Professor past away this morning. My heart is broken,” Wells wrote on Facebook. She’s referring to Johnson and star Bob Denver, who died in 2005. “Russell was a true gentleman, a good father, a great friend, and ‘the rest.’ I love him and shall miss him. My heart goes out to [his wife] Connie and his daughter Kim. I love you,” she added.

After Gilligan’s Island, Russell continued acting, appearing in Lassie, Ironside, The Invaders and NBC soap opera Santa Barbara. Johnson was also a full-time volunteer for AIDS research fundraising. His son David ran the AIDS program for Los Angeles, California, until David’s own death from complications of AIDS in 1994. Russell is survived by his wife and daughter Kim.

The classic CBS theme song is arguably one of the most memorable in television history. It’s a shame the majority of shows these days don’t come up with memorable intros. Check out the iconic opening below.

check out the theme song after the jump

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Quelle surprise! On the heels of the staggering success of the ambitious The Sound of Music Live!, NBC hired Smash producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan to executive produce another beloved musical for 2014. As expected, last week’s event heralded in a new holiday tradition. With 18.6 million viewers, the peacock network would’ve been stupid to not stage another production. No word on what musical just yet, but here’s what NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt told The New York Times.

“All weekend, people have been calling us and emailing us,” Greenblatt told the Times. “Rights holders of musicals have said, ‘Please do one of our shows.’ We’re excited to try it again.”

Reportedly, the only requirement is that it must be a family-friendly Broadway classic with a slew of familiar songs. I guess that rules out Priscilla! Queen of the Desert, Rent or The Book of Mormon ;) With recent movie renditions of Hairspray, Mamma Mia and Les Miserables, that also rules them out. I’m betting they do another Julie Andrews classic. Mary Poppins anyone? Or something from the hey day of musicals.

Although the Sound of Music Live! production took over 18 months to orchestrate, all parties involved confidently believe it won’t take nearly as long, having gone through the experience already. The Carrie Underwood starrer cost reportedly $9 million to produce. With a 22-song soundtrack available on iTunes and a DVD/Blu-Ray release next week, I’m sure the network will be raking in the profits for years to come. I also foresee jacked up commercial prices for the next musical.

In other Sound of Music-related news, a cast member from the beloved movie passed away Monday. For those who didn’t believe Underwood killed it with her performance, clearly they were wrong ;) Obviously, I’m joking, albeit in bad taste.

find out which original cast member passed away after the jump

Paul Walker: Dead in Car Crash

In: Adam, Celeb Gossip & News
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UPDATE 7:30PM November 30: Paul Walker’s official Facebook page reports that he was the passenger while riding in a friend’s car during the accident that took their lives this afternoon.

It’s been reported by TMZ and substantiated by other reputable news sources that this afternoon, November 30th, 2013, Paul Walker died in a car crash at the age of 40.

The accident occurred in Santa Clarita, a city North of Los Angeles in California when Walker’s Porsche lost control it’s reported and crashed into a tree. The car burst into flames and then exploded taking the life of the famed actor. At the time Paul was driving a passenger who also died as a result of the accident. It’s been said that no other cars or people were involved. The investigation is still ongoing to understand who was driving and what caused the accident itself. Sources close to Paul explain that he was often taking friends out for rides in his new Porsche GT and that he was in Santa Clarita as a part of a car show that was looking to donate to the victims of the typhoon incident in the Philippines.

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I first heard of Cory Monteith’s death while at the club last night. At first, I thought someone was just pulling my leg but discovered it was true. I was in shock. Even after waking up today, I still can’t believe it’s true. It’s always so sad when someone so young passes away.

The 31-year-old actor was found dead on Saturday at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in downtown Vancouver. Monteith checked in to the hotel on July 6, but missed his noon checkout time on Saturday. Staff discovered his body in his room on the 21st floor later in the day. No foul play is suspected, and no cause of death has been given. An autopsy on Monteith’s body is scheduled for Monday. It’s well documented that Cory had struggled with drug use. At the age of 19 he did a stint in rehab and just this past spring was back at a treatment facility.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic news. Cory was an exceptional talent and an even more exceptional person. He was a true joy to work with and we will all miss him tremendously. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.” – Glee producers, FOX & 20th Century Fox

As you would expect, his co-stars are completely devastated and shocked by the news. A rep for his on-screen and real life girlfriend Lea Michele issued the following statement to the press. “We ask that everyone kindly respect Lea’s privacy during this devastating time.” I can only imagine what she’s going through. Our condolences go out to Monteith’s family and loved ones.

It’s too soon to tell how this will affect the upcoming season of Glee, but I fully expect a very moving tribute on the show. I’m already preparing myself for the waterworks. In the meantime, I’ve compiled a few of my favorite performances from him below. Thanks for the memories Cory.

my favorite performances after the jump

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