Entries in Death (28)


Radio and TV Personality Kidd Kraddick Dead at 53

iStockphoto(NEW ORLEANS) -- Nationally syndicated radio and TV personality Kidd Kraddick died suddenly Saturday while attending a charity golfing outing in New Orleans. He was 53.

Robert Wilonsky with the Dallas Morning News, said Kraddick's passing leaves a major void in the airwaves.

"What made him great was his sincerity and that -- in a medium full of people who shout at you, who bark at you, who make fun of you and who think it's nothing but a blood sport -- was so astonishingly rare," Wilonsky told ABC News radio.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Grammy-Award Winning Musician JJ Cale Dies of a Heart Attack at 74

Keith Bernstein/Redferns(LA JOLLA, Calif.) -- JJ Cale, the renowned songwriter behind classic rock hits like Eric Clapton's "After Midnight" and Lynyrd Synyrd's "Call Me the Breeze," has died of a heart attack.

Cale passed away Friday evening at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., according to his website. He was 74.

The Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter and Oklahoma native made his indelible mark on the 1970s music scene writing with his unique sound. Throughout his career, he continued to write songs for an array of artists such as Santana, The Allman Brothers, Johnny Cash and The Band.

While no funeral plans have been set, a request on his website asked for those who wanted to remember him to make a donation to their local animal shelter.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Bruno Mars' Mother Dies at 55

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty ImagesBernadette Hernandez, the mother of singer Bruno Mars, died Saturday of a brain aneurysm, a source at his record label tells ABC News Radio.

Hernandez, who was 55, was a former hula dancer and singer who encouraged young Bruno's musical talents. She died in Honolulu, Hawaii at Queens Medical Center.

Bruno was very close to his mother; he even recently vowed to give up smoking for her.

The singer's Moonshine Jungle tour is set to kick off May 22 in Washington, D.C.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


"All in the Family" Star Jean Stapleton Dies at 90

Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Jean Stapleton, best known for portraying the wife of Archie Bunker on the iconic television show All in the Family, passed away at her New York City home at the age of 90.

Stapleton won three Emmys for her role in All in the Family. The actress, who went on to play a feature role in Damn Yankees and a slew of other stage and film productions, died of natural causes, her son, director John Putch, said. She was surrounded by her family.

Off-screen, Stapleton was married to producer and director William Putch from 1968 until he died of a heart attack in 1993.

Stapleton is survived by her son, her daughter, producer Pamela Putch, and her cousin, musical theater actress Betty Jane Watson.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Second Amy Winehouse Death Inquest Confirms the First

Samir Hussein/Getty Images(LONDON) -- A second inquest into the death of Amy Winehouse is complete, and the finding is the same as before: the singer drank herself to death.

A second investigation was ordered after the deputy coroner who supervised the first inquest in October of 2011, and who ruled Winehouse's death was alcohol-related, was found to lack the necessary experience. 

The BBC reports the new inquest determined Winehouse's blood-alcohol level was more than five times Britain's legal limit for driving, and that she died from "alcohol toxicity."

Winehouse died in July of 2011 at age 27.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Character Actor Charles Durning Dies at Age 89

Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Broadway, television and Oscar-nominated film actor Charles Durning, who's best known for the characters he portrayed in movies such as The Sting, Dog Day Afternoon, Tootsie, To Be or Not to Be and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, died on Monday of natural causes in his home in Manhattan, New York.  He was 89.

Over the course of Durning's career, he appeared in over 200 film and television roles alongside many notable actors and directors.  It was an amazing feat, considering as a young man he was expelled from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts for what they described as a lack of talent.

His breakthrough role on Broadway was in the 1972 Pulitzer Prize-winning That Championship Season opposite Paul Sorvino and Walter McGinn.  From there, Durning landed a role in 1973's The Sting, which won seven Oscars and launched his film career.

Durning was nominated for two Oscars in the best supporting actor category -- the first for his role as a blundering Nazi officer in the Mel Brooks comedy To Be or Not to Be, and the second for his performance as the governor opposite Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton in the 1982 musical comedy The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

Durning also earned nine Emmy Award nominations and four Golden Globe award nominations, winning a Globe in 1990 for his work in the television miniseries The Kennedys of Massachusetts.  He also won a Tony Award for outstanding featured actor for his role as Big Daddy in the Tennessee Williams play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

In addition to his acting resume, Durning was a decorated World War II soldier who survived both the Normandy invasion on D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge.  He received three Purple Hearts and a Silver Star for his wartime service.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sage Stallone, Son of Sylvester Stallone, Found Dead

Albert L. Ortega/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Sage Stallone, son of Sylvester Stallone, has died.

The 36-year-old actor and director was found dead in his Los Angeles-area apartment on Friday, according to KABC-TV.  The cause of death is unknown.

Silvester Stallone's publicist Michelle Bega said in a statement that the actor and director is "devastated and grief-stricken over the sudden loss of his son."

Sage Stallone is the child of Sylvester Stallone and his first wife, actress Sasha Czack, to whom he was married from 1974 to 1985.  He made his acting debut in 1990's Rocky V, playing Rocky Balboa's son.  He acted occasionally after that, and also wrote and directed short films.

Braunstein said funeral arrangements are being made.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Folk & Bluegrass Music Legend Doc Watson Dies  

John Cohen/Getty Images(WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.) -- WFMY-TV in North Carolina reports folk music legend Doc Watson died Tuesday at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, where he was listed in critical condition last week after a fall in his home. He was 89 years old.

Watson rose to prominence with the '60s folk movement with his often-emulated flat-picking technique on the acoustic guitar. His recordings kept vintage country songs alive for new generations of folk and bluegrass fans too.

Watson was born March 2, 1923 in Deep Gap, N.C.  Blinded by illness before he turned one year old, he nevertheless began playing guitar, banjo and harmonica as a child.

After leaving the School of the Blind in Raleigh, NC, Watson joined a local dance band. In 1960, he met Smithsonian Institute folklorist Ralph Rinzler while playing guitar with old-time recording artist Clarence "Tom" Ashley. Rinzler booked Ashley's band in New York City and Los Angeles, and Watson took over for an ill Ashley. Watson then booked solo gigs and started occasional collaborations with bluegrass forefather Bill Monroe.

After recording a 1967 album with bluegrass legends Flatt & Scruggs, Watson appeared on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's seminal 1972 album Will the Circle Be Unbroken, along with the likes of Roy Acuff and Maybelle Carter of The Carter Family.  The appearance exposed Watson to a broader audience.

Multiple Grammy wins led to Watson receiving the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. He was inducted into the IBMA Hall of Fame in 2000 and received the National Medal of Arts in 1997.

Watson's son Merle played with him until his death in 1985 in a tractor accident on his North Carolina farm. Watson honored his son by founding the long-running Merlefest music festival in North Carolina.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dionne Warwick Thinks Whitney Houston Died of a Heart Attack

Mark Sullivan/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Dionne Warwick revealed how she thinks her cousin Whitney Houston died.

“You know, in all honesty, I think she had a heart attack, that’s what I think happened to her,” Dionne said when asked what she thought authorities would say was the cause of death. The 71-year-old singer, who is working on an untitled “50th Anniversary” studio album, said she didn’t think drugs played a role.

“I don’t know if it’s that or not. I think her heart just gave out,” she added.

Dionne also shed light on the mood on board the private jet, loaned by movie mogul Tyler Perry, that transported Whitney’s body back to her native New Jersey. “It was a combination of things: stories, laughter, tears. All the emotions that you feel when somebody very near to you passes,” she said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


John Belushi Remembered on 30th Anniversary of His Death

Ron Galella/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Monday marks the 30th anniversary of legendary comedic actor John Belushi's death.  He was found dead on March 5, 1982, from an accidental drug overdose.  Belushi, the brother of Jim Belushi, was 33 years old.

Belushi's fame skyrocketed as an original cast member of NBC's Saturday Night Live, which launched in 1975.  It was on that show that he originated some of his most memorable characters, including the Samurai warrior who held down odd jobs like working at a delicatessen, and the short-order cook who yelled "cheeseburger cheeseburger."

In 1978, Belushi and Dan Aykroyd formed their famous blues act, Jake and Elwood Blues, a.k.a. The Blues Brothers.  The group made their debut as a musical guest on an episode of SNL that aired that April.  By the end of the year, they released a live album that featured the hit "Soul Man" and topped the Billboard 200 album chart.

Belushi also achieved great success on the big screen in 1978, when he starred as Bluto in the comedy Animal House.  It's remembered for famous Belushi lines like, "Nothing is over until we decide it is!  Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?  Hell no!"

Belushi left SNL in 1979, one year before The Blues Brothers movie hit theaters.  The film featured appearances by John Candy and Carrie Fisher as well as music by James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles.

In commemoration of the anniversary of Belushi's death, Aykroyd and Belushi's widow, Judy Belushi, will present a special performance of The Official Blues Brothers Revue in Joliet, Ill., on Monday.  The concert, featuring Wayne Catania and Kieron Lafferty as Jake and Elwood Blues, will welcome original Blues Brothers Band members including Paul Shaffer.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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