Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell dead at 52, celebs react

Chris Cornell
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The music world is mourning the loss of Audioslave and Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell who was found dead in Detroit on Wednesday, May 17. He was 52.

The singer’s rep, Brian Bumbery, confirmed the news of Cornell’s death to the Associated Press but did not say how he died just that it was “sudden and unexpected.” However, Detroit police are investigating it as a possible suicide.

Authorities said that musician’s wife called a friend to check on him at the MGM Grand Detroit hotel after a show. That person had to force open the door and found Cornell lying on the bathroom floor with a band around his neck.

“He was found on the bathroom floor, our medical unit were called and he was pronounced dead on scene,” a police spokesperson said. “The body was transferred to the medical examiner’s office and the cause of death will be determined.”

Cornell was one of the biggest voices to come out of the grunge movement in the ’90s with Soundgraden. The band dismantled in 1997, but got back together in 2012. Cornell also sang vocals for Audioslave, until the group disbanded in 2007.

Reactions from fellow musicians have been pouring in since the news of his death broke.

Kathy Berman, wife of sportscaster Chris Berman, killed in car crash

Kathy Berman, Chris Berman, Berman family
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Kathy Berman, the wife of broadcaster and longtime ESPN personality Chris Berman, has died following a car crash on Tuesday, May 9. She was 67.

ESPN’s president, John Skipper, confirmed the news in a statement.

“This is a devastating tragedy and difficult to comprehend,” Skipper said. “Chris is beloved by all his ESPN colleagues and for good reason: He has a huge heart and has given so much to so many over the years. We know how much his family means to him and all we can do at a moment like this is give him the love and support he will surely need at this hour. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chris, Meredith, Doug and the entire family.”

Many of Berman’s colleagues in the sports world also offered their condolences.

According to the Hartford Courant, Kathy Berman was behind the wheel of a Lexus when it collided with a Ford Escape driven by 87-year-old  Edward Bertulis. Connecticut State Police announced on Wednesday morning that he had been killed as well.

Chris Berman, who joined ESPN in 1979, was married to Kathy for 33 years. She is survived by him and their two children.

MTV’s ‘Rob & Big’ star Christopher ‘Big Black’ Boykin dead at 45

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Christopher 'Big Black' Boykin, Rob Dyrdek
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Christopher “Big Black” Boykin, co-star of Rob Dyrdek in the MTV reality show Rob & Big, passed away on May 9. He was 45.

TMZ was the first to report Boykin’s death and while no official cause has been released, it is believed to be due to a heart attack.

Rob & Big starred “Big Black” as Dyrdek’s best friend and bodyguard, following the duo’s crazy shenanigans and daily life. The show ran for three seasons from 2006 until 2008. “Big” also played a main role on Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory for four seasons and has appeared on Dyrdek’s current show, Ridiculousness.

Upon hearing the news, MTV released a statement saying that Boykin was a “long time and beloved member of the MTV family and will be greatly missed.”

Boykin is survived by his 9-year-old daughter.

Owen and Luke Wilson’s father, Robert Wilson, has died

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Owen Wilson, Robert Wilson
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Robert Wilson, television pioneer and father of Owen, Luke and Andrew Wilson, passed away on Friday, May 5. He was 75.

The news broke via KERA, which is a radio station Wilson “built from the ground up.” The Dallas PBS station noted that he died after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

RELATED: Owen Wilson opens up about his father’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease for first time

Owen Wilson first opened up about his father’s illness in August of 2015. The Wilson brothers were very close to their father and looked up to him for inspiration.
“For me and my brothers, there just wasn’t a bigger influence on us. Maybe it sounds trite or something, but I really believe that his spirit gets carried on through me, the way I like to joke around,” Owen told the Dallas Morning News.

KERA recognized Wilson’s many accomplishments as it’s station manager from 1968 until 1975. He helped the station move from black and white to color and launched news anchor Jim Lehrer’s career by co-creating Newsroom. Wilson is also credited for bringing Monty Python’s Flying Circus to American television in 1974.

Wilson is survived by his wife, Laura and his three sons as well as his grandchildren.

Luke Wilson stated that his father’s memory can be honored through donations to PBS.

‘Miracle’ star Michael Mantenuto found dead at 35

Miracle movie
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Actor Michael Mantenuto best known for his role as Jack O’Callahan in Disney’s Miracle was found dead in his car on Monday, April 24, due to an apparent suicide. He was 35.

The King County medical examiner’s office told People that he was found Monday afternoon. His death was ruled a suicide after he was found having sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Mantenuto starred in the iconic 2004 sports film Miracle alongside Kurt Russell. The film chronicles the true story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that won gold, defeating the Soviet Union in the medal match. Mantenuto played star defensemen, Jack O’Callahan.

Following Miracle, Mantenuto nabbed roles in the 2006 TV movie Dirtbags and 2008 comedy Surfer, Dude. However, he eventually left the field of acting and enlisted in the army.

Prior to his role in Miracle, Mantenuto was a hockey player in his hometown of Holliston, Massachusetts and played Division I hockey at the University of Maine.

In an interview about the film with The Boston Globe Mantenuto explained, “With this movie, I was able to combine the different parts of my life that were important to me. To be able to combine the acting, all the expression, the hockey and be able to segue from one career that I loved so much to another where I wanted my life to go … It was pretty special.”

In a statement, Army First Special Forces unit commander Col. Guillaume Beaurpere said, “Those of you that knew Mike will remember him for his passionate love for his family and his commitment to the health of the force.”

Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme dies at 73

Jonathan Demme
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Award-winning director, Jonathan Demme, behind such mega hits including The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia, has died. He was 73.

Variety reported the news of his death which came from his publicist, who said Demme died on Wednesday morning in New York City.

IndieWire noted that the filmmaker passed away from esophageal cancer and complications of heart disease.

In addition to his classics of The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia, Demme directed several B-movies such as  Caged Heat, Crazy Mama and Fighting Mad. He enjoyed much success in the following years with the films Melvin and Howard, Swing Shift and Something Wild. His more recent works include Rachel Getting Married with Anne Hathoway in 2008, Ricki and the Flash starring Meryl Streep in 2015 and a concert documentary titled “Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids” just last year.

Demme is survived by his wife, Joanne and children Ramona, Brooklyn and Jos.

‘Happy Days’ actress Erin Moran has died at age 56

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Erin Moran
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Erin Moran, the actress who was best known for her portrayal of Joanie Cunningham in the ‘70s series Happy Days, has passed away at age 56.

TMZ reported authorities were alerted on Saturday, April 22 of an “unresponsive female.” When EMT’s arrived on the scene, they discovered Moran’s body.

Moran played the younger sister of Richie Cunngham, played by director Ron Howard. Afterwards, she starred in the spinoff Joanie Loves Chachi alongside co-star Scott Baio.

Besides her role on Happy Days, Moran has also appeared in Desperation Boulevard, Murder, She Wrote and Celebrity Fit Club.

RELATED: Al Molinaro, owner of diner in ‘Happy Days,’ dies at 96

Her celebrity co-stars, including Henry Winkler and Howard, paid their respects to the actress. Winklerwrote on Twitter, “OH Erin…now you will finally have the peace you wanted so badly here on earth…Rest In It serenely now…too soon.”

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, fellow Happy Days co-star Don Most said, “I am so incredibly sad to hear about Erin. She was a wonderful, sweet, caring, talented woman. As I write this I can’t reallycomprehend this right now. A very painful lost.”

Anson Williams, who played Potsie on the show alongside Moran, described her as “a person who made everyone around her feel better.”

Her cause of death has yet to be announced.

Cuba Gooding Jr.’s father found dead in his car

Cuba Gooding Sr., Cuba Gooding Jr.
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The father of actor Cuba Gooding Jr. was found dead in his car on Thursday, April 20. He was 72.

KABC reported that Cuba Gooding Sr., who was the lead singer of The Main Ingredient and known for the ’70s hit “Everybody Plays the Fool,” was found slumped over and unresponsive in his 2012 silver Jaguar just before 1 p.m. Paramedics rushed to the scene but were able to revive him.

RELATED: Cuba Gooding Jr. spoke out about playing O.J. Simpson

According to reports, the last time anyone saw Gooding Sr. alive was around 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

While his matter of death is currently under investigation the Los Angeles County coroner’s office confirmed that drugs and multiple bottles of alcohol were found in the vehicle with him.

Upon hearing the news of his death, Gooding Jr. took to Instagram with a picture of his father and his band with the simple caption “Eternal.”

Eternal…

A post shared by Cuba Gooding Jr (@cubagoodingjr) on

Gooding Sr. is survived by his famous son as well as three other children.

Aaron Hernandez, former NFL star found dead in jail

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aaron hernandez
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Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez killed himself this morning in jail.

Hernandez was famous for two things – his career as New England Patriots tight end and serving a life sentence for the 2013 shooting of Odin Lloyd.

RELATED: Aaron Hernandez double murder trial delayed as he sports what could be a gang tattoo

According to the Associated Press, prison guards found Hernandez hanging in his jail cell in the at 3 a.m. this morning at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts. He was brought to the hospital and pronounced dead within the hour.

Department of Correction spokesman Christopher Fallon stated Hernandez tied a bed sheet to his window and jammed his door to keep guards out.

Hernandez was just acquitted of the 2012 fatal shootings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.

Police are still on scene completing their investigation.

Eddie Murphy’s brother Charlie dead at 57, Hollywood reacts

Charlie Murphy, Eddie Murphy
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Eddie Murphy’s brother, Charlie Murphy, who was also a comedian, has passed away after battling leukemia. He was 57.

TMZ noted that his manager said Charlie had been going through chemotherapy and died in a New York City hospital on Wednesday. The media outlet also reported that sources have said the Murphy family is so saddened and surprised by his death because they all thought he was getting better.

The older brother of the famous actor enjoyed his own success in the industry. Not only did he co-write movies Eddie was in including Norbit and Vampire in Brooklyn, but he also co-starred in Are We There Yet?, The Boondocks and Black Jesus. Perhaps though fans will most remember him for being featured on some of Dave Chappelle’s hilarious Chappelle’s Show skits.

Many other comedic geniuses and those who knew him expressed their condolences via Twitter upon hearing the news.

 

Darkness. Goodbye Charlie. Damn.

A post shared by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on

 

This one hurts. RIP Charlie Murphy. Always 💯

A post shared by Gary Owen (@garyowencomedy) on

Charlie leaves behind two children he shared with his wife, Tisha Taylor Murphy, who died from cervical cancer in 2009 and another child from a previous relationship.