Celebrity deaths, illness, and divorce

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Olivia Newton-John, singer and actress, dies 73

Dame Olivia Newton-John AC DBE (26 September 1948 – 8 August 2022) was a British-Australian singer, actress and activist. She was a four-time Grammy Award winner whose music career included five number one hits and another ten Top Ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100, and two Billboard 200 number one albums, If You Love Me, Let Me Know (1974) and Have You Never Been Mellow (1975). Eleven of her singles (including two Platinum) and 14 of her albums (including two Platinum and four 2× Platinum) have been certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). With global sales of more than 100 million records, Newton-John is one of the best-selling music artists from the second half of the 20th century to the present.

In 1978, Newton-John starred in the musical film Grease, whose soundtrack remains one of the world’s best-selling albums of recorded music. It features two major hit duets with co-star John Travolta: “You’re the One That I Want” – which ranks as one of the best-selling singles of all time – and “Summer Nights”. Her signature solo recordings include the Record of the Year Grammy winner “I Honestly Love You” (1974) and “Physical” (1981) – Billboard’s Top Hot 100 Single of the 1980s. Her other major hit singles include “If Not for You” (1971), “Let Me Be There” (1973), “If You Love Me (Let Me Know)” (1974), “Have You Never Been Mellow” (1975), “Sam” (1977), “Hopelessly Devoted to You” (also from Grease), “A Little More Love” (1978) and, from the 1980 film Xanadu, “Magic” and “Xanadu” (with Electric Light Orchestra).

Newton-John was an activist for environmental and animal rights causes, and advocated for breast cancer research.

Illness and death

In May 2017, it was announced that Newton-John’s breast cancer had returned and metastasised to her lower back. Her back pains had initially been misdiagnosed as sciatica.

Newton-John subsequently revealed this was actually her third bout with breast cancer, as she had privately battled a recurrence of the disease in 2013 in addition to her initial 1992 fight. With the 2017 recurrence, the cancer had spread to her bones and progressed to stage IV.

Newton-John experienced a great deal of pain from the metastatic bone lesions and had openly spoken of using cannabis oil to ease her pain. She was an advocate for the use of medical cannabis; her daughter Chloe owns a cannabis farm in Oregon.

On 8 August 2022, Newton-John died of her disease at her home in California, aged 73.

Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura on ‘Star Trek,’ dies 89

Nichelle Nichols (December 28, 1932 – July 30, 2022) was an American actress, singer, and dancer best known for her portrayal of Nyota Uhura in Star Trek and its film sequels. Nichols’ portrayal of Uhura was groundbreaking for African American actresses on American television. From 1977 until 2015, Nichols volunteered her time to promote NASA’s programs and to recruit diverse astronauts, including women and ethnic minorities.

In June 2015, Nichols suffered a mild stroke at her Los Angeles home and was admitted to a Los Angeles–area hospital. A magnetic resonance imaging scan confirmed a small stroke had occurred, and she began inpatient therapy. In early 2018, Nichols was diagnosed with dementia, and subsequently announced her retirement from convention appearances.

Following a legal dispute over the actions of her manager-turned-caretaker Gilbert Bell, her son Kyle Johnson filed for conservatorship in 2018. Before a court granted his petition in January 2019, Nichols’ friend Angelique Fawcette, who had already expressed concern in 2017 over Bell’s control of access to her, pressed for visitation rights, including by opposing Johnson’s petition. That dispute and a 2019 court case by Bell over being evicted from the guesthouse on Nichols’ property were both ongoing as of August 2021.

Nichols died of heart failure in Silver City, New Mexico, on July 30, 2022, at the age of 89.

Peter Robbins, ‘Charlie Brown’ voice actor, dies from suicide, 65

Peter Robbins (born Louis Nanasi; August 10, 1956 – January 2022) was an American child actor. Robbins gained national fame in the 1960s as being the first actor to voice Charlie Brown in the Peanuts animated specials.

Legal problems

On January 20, 2013, Robbins was arrested by San Diego County Sheriff’s Department deputies at Homeland Security’s Port of Entry in San Ysidro, California, while re-entering the United States, and charged with “four felony counts of making a threat to cause death or great bodily injury and one felony count of stalking.” The four counts involve four victims, including a San Diego Police sergeant, whom Robbins reportedly threatened with bodily harm on January 13, 2013. He was held on $550,000 bond. On May 8, 2013, he was sentenced to a year in jail for threatening his former girlfriend and stalking her plastic surgeon, but he was allowed to log time in treatment instead. After release, he was sent to a residential drug treatment center.

In 2015, Robbins was arrested for multiple probation violations, including drinking alcohol and failing to complete mandatory domestic violence classes. On June 5, 2015, he was ordered to undergo a mental health exam after an outburst during a court proceeding in San Diego.

On December 7, 2015, Robbins was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison as part of a plea agreement for sending threatening letters to a manager and his wife of the mobile home park in which he lived in Oceanside, California. Robbins has stated at previous hearings that he suffered from bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia. Robbins was incarcerated at the California Institution for Men in Chino, California, and was transferred to a psychiatric hospital because of his mental state. He was released on parole in 2019 after serving 80 percent of his sentence, on the conditions that he did not drink alcohol or take any illegal drugs.

Personal life

Robbins had a lifelong battle with mental illness. Despite his personal struggles, he remained attached to Charlie Brown and even had a tattoo of Charlie Brown and Snoopy on his arm.

Death

On January 25, 2022, it was announced by Robbins’ family that he died by suicide during the previous week.

Betty Marion White dies 99

Betty Marion White Ludden (January 17, 1922 – December 31, 2021) was an American actress and comedian. A pioneer of early television, with a career spanning eight decades, White was noted for her vast work in the entertainment industry and being one of the first women to work both in front of and behind the camera. She was the first woman to produce a sitcom (Life with Elizabeth) in the United States, which contributed to her being named honorary Mayor of Hollywood in 1955. White is often referred to as the “First Lady of Television”, a title used for a 2018 documentary detailing her life and career.

Best Moments of Rose | Golden Girls

White earned a Guinness World Record for “Longest TV career by an entertainer (female)” in 2014 and in 2018 for her lengthy work in television. White received eight Emmy Awards in various categories, three American Comedy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Grammy Award. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was a 1995 Television Hall of Fame inductee.

Death

On the morning of December 31, 2021, White died in her sleep at her home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles from a stroke she had on Christmas Day. She was 99. Her remains were cremated and given to Glenn Kaplan, who was entrusted with carrying out her advanced health care directive.

Ron Popeil, TV infomercial personality, dies 86

Ronald Martin Popeil (May 3, 1935 – July 28, 2021), was an American inventor and marketing personality, and founder of the direct response marketing company Ronco. He made appearances in infomercials for the Showtime Rotisserie and coined the phrase “Set it, and forget it!” as well as popularizing the phrase, “But wait, there’s more!” on television as early as the mid-1950s.

Inventions

Among the better known and more successful are the Chop-O-Matic hand food processor (“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to show you the greatest kitchen appliance ever made … All your onions chopped to perfection without shedding a single tear.”), the Dial-O-Matic successor to the Veg-O-Matic (“Slice a tomato so thin it only has one side.”), and the Ronco Pocket Fisherman. Popeil is also well known for his housewares inventions like his Giant Dehydrator and Beef Jerky Machine, his Electric Pasta Maker and his Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ. His Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ sold over eight million units in the US alone, helping Ronco’s housewares sales exceed $1 billion in profits.

Ron Popeil cause of death

Popeil died on July 28, 2021, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at age 86. He had been sent there a day earlier for a medical emergency. No cause of death was given.

The Popeil and Ronco Story

Ronco Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ (Compact Model) FULL Informercial

Biz Markie, Rapper, Dies 57

Marcel Theo Hall (April 8, 1964 – July 16, 2021), known professionally as Biz Markie, was an American rapper, singer-songwriter, DJ, and record producer. Markie was best known for his 1989 single “Just a Friend”, which became a top 40 hit in several countries. In 2008, “Just a Friend” made No. 100 on VH1’s list of the 100 greatest hip hop songs of all time. Markie has been called the “Clown Prince of Hip Hop”.

In April 2020, Markie was hospitalized due to severe complications from Type 2 diabetes. In December 2020, it was reported that Markie was staying in a rehabilitation facility as a result of a stroke he had suffered after going into a diabetic coma.

On July 1, 2021, rumors of his death circulated on Twitter. His representative told Rolling Stone, “The news of Biz Markie’s passing is not true, Biz is still under medical care, surrounded by professionals who are working hard to provide the best healthcare possible.” Markie died at a Baltimore hospital fifteen days later, on July 16, at age 57.

BIZ MARKIE – VAPORS
Vapors is the song that was big in the rap scene

Biz Markie – Just A Friend (Official Video)
Just a Friend was the song that was popular when he became mainstream.

Donald Rumsfeld, former secretary of defense, dies 88

Donald Henry Rumsfeld (July 9, 1932 – June 29, 2021) was an American politician, government official and businessman who served as Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under Gerald Ford, and again from 2001 to 2006 under George W. Bush. He was both the youngest and the second-oldest person to have served as Secretary of Defense. Additionally, Rumsfeld was a three-term U.S. Congressman from Illinois (1963–1969), director of the Office of Economic Opportunity (1969–1970), counsellor to the president (1969–1973), the United States Permanent Representative to NATO (1973–1974), and White House Chief of Staff (1974–1975). Between his terms as Secretary of Defense, he served as the CEO and chairman of several companies.

Donald Rumsfeld Cause of Death

On June 29, 2021, Rumsfeld died from multiple myeloma (cancer of plasma cells) at his home in Taos, New Mexico, at the age of 88.

Johnny Solinger, former Skid Row lead singer, dies 55

John Preston Solinger (August 7, 1965 – June 26, 2021) was an American singer-songwriter best known as the lead vocalist of Skid Row from 1999 to 2015. At the time of his split, Solinger was the band’s longest-serving vocalist, surpassing Sebastian Bach, who was in the band for nine years. During his time in the band, he performed on the albums Thickskin (2003) and Revolutions Per Minute (2006), along with Chapters 1 and 2 of the three-part United World Rebellion EP series, with Chapter 3 due to be completed with Solinger’s replacement ZP Theart on vocals.

Johnny Solinger cause of death

Solinger died on June 26, 2021, one month after he revealed he was suffering from liver failure. He was 55 years old.

Shock G, rapper,’Humpty Hump’, dies 57

Gregory Edward Jacobs (August 25, 1963 – April 22, 2021), known professionally as Shock G (and his alter ego Humpty Hump), was an American musician, rapper, and lead vocalist for the hip hop group Digital Underground. He was responsible for Digital Underground’s “The Humpty Dance”, 2Pac’s breakthrough single “I Get Around”, and co-producer of 2Pac’s debut album 2Pacalypse Now.

On April 22, 2021, Shock G was found dead in a Tampa, Florida hotel room. Cause of death is unknown.

Larry Flynt, Hustler founder, dies 78

Larry Claxton Flynt Jr. (November 1, 1942 – February 10, 2021) was an American publisher and the president of Larry Flynt Publications (LFP). LFP mainly produces pornographic magazines, such as Hustler, pornographic videos, and three pornographic television channels named Hustler TV. Flynt fought several high-profile legal battles involving the First Amendment, and unsuccessfully ran for public office. He was paralyzed from the waist down due to injuries sustained in a 1978 assassination attempt by serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin. In 2003, Arena magazine listed him at No. 1 on the “50 Powerful People in Porn” list.

Flynt said that he had bipolar disorder.

His daughter Lisa Flynt-Fugate died in a car crash in Ohio in October 2014 at the age of 47.

Larry Flynt cause of death

Flynt died from heart failure in Los Angeles on February 10, 2021, at the age of 78.