Burt Reynolds, ‘Smokey and the Bandit’, ‘Deliverance’, dies 82

walk of fame

Burton Leon Reynolds Jr. (February 11, 1936 – September 6, 2018) was an American actor, director and producer. He first rose to prominence starring in television series such as Gunsmoke (1962–1965), Hawk (1966), and Dan August (1970–1971).

His breakout film role was as Lewis Medlock in Deliverance (1972). Reynolds played the leading role in a number of subsequent box office hits, such as The Longest Yard (1974), Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Semi-Tough (1977), Hooper (1978), Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982).

After a few box office failures, Reynolds returned to television, starring in the sitcom Evening Shade (1990–1994). He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Boogie Nights (1997).

Bankruptcy

Despite his lucrative career, in 1996 he filed for bankruptcy, due in part to an extravagant lifestyle, a divorce from Loni Anderson and failed investments in some Florida restaurant chains. The filing was under Chapter 11, from which Reynolds emerged two years later.

Death

Reynolds died at a Florida hospital on September 6, 2018. He had been suffering from heart problems for a number of years. He was 82.

Burt Reynolds on the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson

Bill Daily, Major Healey in ‘I Dream of Jeannie,’ Dies 91

William Edward Daily Jr. (August 30, 1927 – September 4, 2018) was an American actor, comedian and best known for his performances in various sitcoms, most notably astronaut Roger Healey on I Dream of Jeannie and commercial airline navigator Howard Borden on The Bob Newhart Show.

Daily died on September 4, 2018 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His death was announced by his family three days later.  Daily died of natural causes.

Neil Simon, legendary Broadway playwright, dies 91

golden globe globe

Marvin Neil Simon (July 4, 1927 – August 26, 2018) was an American playwright, screenwriter and author. He wrote more than 30 plays and nearly the same number of movie screenplays, mostly adaptations of his plays. He received more combined Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer.

During 1966, Simon had four shows playing at Broadway theatres simultaneously: Sweet Charity, The Star-Spangled Girl, The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park.

In 1991, Simon was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Lost in Yonkers
In 2006, Simon received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

Neil Simon Cause of Death

In 2004, Simon received a kidney transplant from his long-time friend and publicist Bill Evans.

Neil Simon died on August 26, 2018, after being on life support while hospitalized for renal failure. He also had Alzheimer’s disease. He was 91. The cause of death was complications of pneumonia, according to his publicist, Bill Evans. Simon died around 1 a.m. Sunday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

Aretha Franklin, ‘Queen of Soul,’ dies 76

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Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer and songwriter. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister. In 1960, at the age of 18, she embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but only achieving modest success. Following her signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Spanish Harlem” and “Think”. By the end of the 1960s she had gained the title “The Queen of Soul”.

Franklin has won a total of 18 Grammy Awards and is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide.

On August 13, 2018, Franklin was reported to be gravely ill at her home near Detroit. She was reported to be under hospice care and surrounded by friends and family. Stevie Wonder and Jesse Jackson, among others, had visited her.
Death

On August 16, 2018, it was reported that Franklin had died at home in Detroit, aged 76. The cause was reported to be advanced pancreatic cancer.

Nikolai Volkoff, WWE Hall of Famer, Dies 70

Josip Hrvoje Peruzović (October 14, 1947 – July 29, 2018), better known by his ring name of Nikolai Volkoff, was a Yugoslav-born American professional wrestler who was best known for his performances in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Although the Volkoff character was often portrayed as a villainous Russian, Peruzović originated from Croatia.

He wrestled into the age of 70, still wrestling just before he died a few months later.

Formal cause of death was not announced. Volkoff had been in the hospital in Maryland for several days for “dehydration,: along with other issues that were not specified.

Hall of Fame: Nikolai Volkoff

Brian Christopher, WWE, Grand Master Sexay, dies 46

Brian Christopher Lawler (January 10, 1972 – July 29, 2018) was an American professional wrestler. He was the son of professional wrestler Jerry Lawler and brother of wrestling referee Kevin Christian. He was best known for his career in the World Wrestling Federation (now known as WWE), where he performed as Brian Christopher and Grand Master Sexay. Lawler was a one-time WWF Tag Team Champion as part of Too Cool with Scotty 2 Hotty, and won 44 titles within the United States Wrestling Association.

In early July 2018, Lawler was again arrested and jailed for driving under the influence and for evading police. On the early morning of July 29, 2018, Lawler was found hanging in a cell at the Hardeman County Jail and was observed to be brain dead. His life support was disabled after his father Jerry Lawler had arrived to the hospital to bid his farewell. Lawler was pronounced dead at around 4:40 p.m. EST at the age of 46.

Brian Christopher in white tank top

Joe Jackson, Father of Michael and Janet, Dies 89

Joseph Walter Jackson (July 26, 1928 – June 27, 2018) was an American talent manager and patriarch of the Jackson family of entertainers that includes his children Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson. He was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2014.

Joe Jackson cause of death

Joe Jackson died of pancreatic cancer in June 26, 2018. He was 89 years old at the time of his death. He died at a hospice in Las Vegas.

Michael Jackson’s Father, Joe Jackson – Piers Morgan Interview January 30, 2013

Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef, dies in apparent suicide at 61

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Anthony Michael Bourdain (June 25, 1956 – June 8, 2018) was an American celebrity chef, author, and television personality. He was noted by popular sources as one of the most influential chefs in the world.

Anthony Bourdain Cause of Death

Bourdain was found dead of an apparent suicide by his friend Eric Ripert on June 8, 2018, in his hotel room in Strasbourg, France, where he was shooting an episode of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.

Anthony Bourdain feat. Serj Tankian in Armenia – Parts Unknown

Jerry Maren, Last Surviving Munchkin, Dies 98

Gerard Marenghi (January 24, 1920 – May 2018), known as Jerry Maren, was an American actor who was the last surviving Munchkin of the 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz, in which he portrayed a member of the Lollipop Guild. He became the last known survivor of the Munchkin cast, following the death of fellow Munchkin Ruth Duccini on January 16, 2014.

Jerry Maren cause of death

Maren died in San Diego, California at a nursing facility center in May 2018 at the age of 98 after suffering from dementia.

Jerry Maren in the middle

Designer Kate Spade, 55, Found Dead In Apparent Suicide

Kate Valentine (born Katherine Noel Brosnahan, December 24, 1962 – June 5, 2018), known professionally as Kate Spade, was an American fashion designer and businesswoman. She was the namesake and former co-owner of the designer brand Kate Spade New York.

Kate and Andy Spade founded Kate Spade New York in 1993. She sold 56% of the company to Neiman Marcus Group in 1999, and the rest of the company in 2006. In 2016, she and her partners launched a new fashion brand called Frances Valentine.

Personal life

Spade married Andy Spade, the brother of actor/comedian David Spade, in 1994. The couple had one child, Frances Beatrix Spade, born in February 2005. Her niece is actress Rachel Brosnahan.

Kate Spade Cause of Death

On June 5, 2018, Spade was found dead after an apparent suicide by hanging in her Manhattan apartment.