Is Tony Soprano Dead?
Actor James Gandolfini, famous for playing Tony Soprano in the HBO drama The Sopranos, has reportedly died while in Italy.
Deadline.com is reporting that Gandolfinir was in the country for a film festival. Variety reports that he suffered a fatal stroke.
Jason Leffler Killed In Dirt Car Crash
Jason Leffler, a 37-year old NASCAR driver who had his first Sprint Cup series start this season last week in Pocono, died Wednesday night after he crashed while competing in a dirt car event at Bridgeport Speedway.
“NASCAR extends its thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to the family of Jason Leffler who passed away earlier this evening,” NASCAR said in a statement. “For more than a decade, Jason was a fierce competitor in our sport and he will be missed.”
“Really sad for Jason Leffler and his family,” NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski said on Twitter. “Thinking about his little boy.”
Jason is survived by his d 5-year old son, Charlie Dean.
Iain Banks Dead At 59
Iain Banks, the celebrated Scottish author, has died from late-stage bladder cancer. The 59-year-old was widely seen as one of the best British writers of his generation and tributes have poured in from around the literary world.
In his writing, Banks “brought a wonderful combination of the dark and the light side of life, and he explored them both without flinching,” says fellow author Ken MacLeod.
Banks died days before the release of his final novel, The Quarry. It details the last weeks of a man dying of cancer, though Banks had almost finished the book before he received his own diagnosis. “So it wasn’t as though this is a response to the disease or anything, the book had been kind of ready to go,” he told the BBC. “And then 10,000 words from the end, as it turned out, I suddenly discovered that I had cancer.”
Arturo Vega, Creator Of The Ramones’ Iconic Logo, Dead At 65
Arturo Vega, the man behind the Ramones’ famous logo, died Saturday (June 8), announced friend and Please Kill Me author Legs McNeil on his Facebook page.
McNeil wrote: “Sleep gently my dear friend, you were the must optimistic, jubilant and fun pal anyone could wish for. I don’t know what the world will be like without, nor do I want to even imagine it… But I know you will find eternal happiness wherever you end up….I love you Arturo.”
Vega, an actor/painter from Chihuahua, Mexico, who was the band’s artistic director for 22 years and sometimes referred to as the fifth Ramone, talked about he came up with the logo: “I saw them as the ultimate American band. To me, they reflected the American character, in general — an almost childish, innocent aggression. Then the first time I went to Washington, D.C., I was impressed by the official atmosphere…I thought, ‘The Great Seal of the President of the United States would be perfect for the Ramones, with the eagle holding arrows — to symbolize strength and the aggression that would be used against whomever dares to attack us — and an olive branch, offered to those who want to be friendly. But…instead of the olive branch, we had an apple tree branch, since the Ramones were American as apple pie. And since Johnny was such a baseball fanatic, we had the eagle hold a baseball bat instead of the [Great Seal's] arrows.”
Former NASCAR Driver Richard “Dick” Trickle Dead At 71
Retired NASCAR driver Richard “Dick” Trickle died today in North Carolina of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 71.
A Lincoln County dispatcher received a call — believed to have been placed by Trickle — that “there would be a dead body and it would be his,” that county’s sheriff’s office said in a news release. There was no answer when authorities tried to call the number back.
Emergency units went to Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City and found a body lying near Trickle’s pickup truck.
The Wisconsin-born Trickle raced during the 1970s and 1980s, then broke through as a full-time and widely recognized NASCAR driver in 1989. By that time, according to a Sports Illustrated article, the 48-year-old grandfather of two had won some 1,200 stock car competitions in 31 years of racing.
In a statement Thursday, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France described Trickle as “a legend in the short-track racing community, particularly in his home state of Wisconsin, and he was a true fan favorite.”
“Personalities like Dick Trickle helped shape our sport,” France said. “He will be missed.”
Real Life Marge Simpson Dead At 94
Margaret Ruth Groening, died last month at age 94: She was married to Homer and had two daughters named Lisa and Maggie. Yes, Margaret Groening was the inspiration for Marge Simpson, and here’s a sweet line from her obituary about why she chose Homer Groening for her husband: “He made her laugh the most.” Groening also had a third daughter, Patty, and a second son, Mark.
Here’s the complete obituary… note how his mom’s maiden name is Wiggum… sound familiar?
Could Spider Bite Be Responsible For Jeff Hanneman’s Death?
Jeff Hanneman, guitarist and founding member of metal band Slayer, died at age 49 yesterday morning of liver failure at a Los Angeles hospital .
The cause of death is still a mystery… although the consensus points to excessive drinking, Hannerman had been slowly recovering from what was believed to be a spider bite that nearly cost him his arm. Slayer spokeswoman Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald said it’s believed the spider bite contributed to the failure of Hanneman’s liver.
Hanneman co-founded the thrash metal pioneers in Huntington Beach, Calif., in 1982. “The music industry has lost a true trailblazer, and our deepest sympathies go out to his family, his bandmates, and fans around the world who mourn his untimely passing,” said Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy, in a statement. “Jeff Hanneman will always be a metal god,” rocker Andrew WK tweeted.
Kris Kross’ Chris Kelly Dead At 34
It’s a sad day in music today as news that Chris Kelly died Wednesday surfaced online.
Kelly, better known as half of the 90′s rap duo Kris Kross, was pronounced dead “at an Atlanta hospital on Wednesday [after] an apparent drug overdose at his home, authorities said. … ‘It appears it may have been a possible drug overdose,’ said Cpl. Kay Lester, a spokeswoman for the Fulton County police.”
Kris Kross, who’s ‘thing’ was wearing clothes backwards, scored a big hit with “Jump” in 1992. After that, as the AP says, “they toured with Michael Jackson, appeared on TV shows, and even had their own video game. [But] the group was never able to match the tremendous success of their first song, though they had other hits like ‘Warm It Up,’ and ‘Tonite’s tha Night.’ ”