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Steven Bochco Dies; Legendary TV Writer/Producer Was 74

Steven Bochco, the beloved television show creator and producer who won 10 Emmy Awards over the course of an illustrious career, has passed away.

He was 74 years old.

Although the exact cause of death has not been confirmed, Bochco suffered from leukemia, having received a stem cell transplant from an anonymous 23-year-old in late 2014.

A family spokesperson confirmed this sad piece of news on Sunday night.

“Steven fought cancer with strength, courage, grace and his unsurpassed sense of humor,” Phillip Arnold said, adding:

“He died peacefully in his sleep [at home] with his family close by.”

It’s possible that you had never heard of Steven Bochco before this, but, if you’re a fan of the small screen, it’s inconceivable that you have not heard of his work.

The producer was behind such all-time hits as Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, NYPD Blue and Doogie Howser M.D.

Bochco was known for taking creative risks and pushing the proverbial envelope of what was accepted on television.

Take the show Cop Rock, for example, which was an actual musical set inside a police station.

Or Murder One, which followed a single murder case over an entire season.

Or the aforementioned NYPD Blue, which created quite the controversy for ABC back in the 1990s due to its mixture of violence, crude language and nudity.

(The drama went on to win 20 Emmys.)

Once asked how he could be so bold about taking chances with the shows he developed, Bochco referenced a then-unprecedented 10-series contract he had signed with ABC and replied:

“With my deal, how could I not?”

In 1999, the Producers Guild of America honored Bochco with its David Susskind lifetime achievement award, describing his record of quality programs as “the standard all television producers strive for.”

Today, many showrunners credit Bochco as an influence, believing that the ongoing era of “Peak TV” would have been impossible to achieve without him.

“Steven Bochco sat with Jake Kasdan and myself before we started Freaks and Geeks and let us grill him for advice,” Tweeted Judd Apatow in response to this news.

“We used all of it.  He was a great man and will forever be an inspiration.”

Many other giants in the TV industry also passed along their thoughts on Twitter:

twitter reaction

Added former USA Today TV critic Robert Bianco:

 “If this is the Golden Age of television, Steven Bochco launched it and helped sustain it. Every great modern drama owes Hill Street a debt.

Bochco’s survivors include sister Joanna Frank, who portrayed Sheila Brackman, the wife of Douglas Brackman Jr. (her real-life husband Alan Rachins), on L.A. Law… his wife of 17 years, Dayna… kids Jesse, Sean and Melissa… and grandchildren Wes and Stevie Rae.

Our thoughts go out to his family members, friends and loved ones.

May Steven Bochco rest in peace.

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Legendary Pennsylvania Jockey Dies After Headfirst Fall in Horse Racing Accident

Jose Flores, a Pennsylvanian jockey who earned $ 64 MIL in his storied career, is dead at 56 after a headfirst fall during a race Monday in Philly. Flores suffered major head and spine injuries as a result of the accident … and was pulled off life…

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Fast Eddie Clarke Dies; Legendary Motörhead Guitarist Was 67

Sad news out of the music world today, as multiple sources have confirmed the death of Fast Eddie Clarke, beloved guitarist of the iconic rock group Motörhead.

Clarke was the last surviving member of what’s regarded by fans as the band’s “classic lineup.”

Fast Eddie Clarke

News of Clarke’s passing was revealed on the official Motörhead Facebook page this morning:

“We are devastated to pass on the news we only just heard ourselves earlier tonight,” the post read.

“Edward Allan Clarke – or as we all know and love him Fast Eddie Clarke – passed away peacefully yesterday.

“Ted Carroll (who formed Chiswick Records) made the sad announcement via his FB page, having heard from Doug Smith that Fast Eddie passed peacefully in hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia.”

The message concluded:

Motorhead

“Fast Eddie…keep roaring, rockin’ and rollin’ up there as goddammit, man, your Motorfamily would expect nothing less!!!”

Clarke was with the band from 1976 until 1982, during which time, he helped record such classic albums as Ace of Spades and No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith.

Clarke left the band abruptly in the middle of an American tour following a creative dispute.

While he was only with Motörhead for six years, his contribution to the group’s signature sound remained evident in the dozens of albums that followed his departure.

Clarke went on to form the band Fastway with UFO bassist Phil Way.

The group released seven studio albums over the course of thirty years.

Eddie Clarke Pic

Clarke’s passing represents the end of an era for Motörhead’s cultishly devoted fan base.

In 2015, the band’s legendary frontman Lemmy Kilmister passed away at the age of 70.

Just weeks earlier, Phil Taylor, the best-known of the band’s many drummers, died unexpectedly at age 61.

As the last remaining member of the group’s most creatively fruitful years, Clarke was viewed as the final link to a bygone era in rock.

Tens of thousands of tributes to Clarke from family friends and a legion fans began flooding social media just minutes after the news of his passing went public.

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Hugh Hefner Dies; Legendary Playboy Founder Was 91

Hugh Hefner, the magazine mogul who brought sex to the newsstands in the 1950s and went on to embody a certain type of male fantasy like no other, has passed away at the age of 91.  

According to a statement issued by his publicist, Hefner passed peacefully at his famous Holmby Hills mansion Wednesday evening.

“Hugh M. Hefner, the American icon who in 1953 introduced the world to Playboy magazine and built the company into one of the most recognizable American global brands in history, peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones,” Playboy confirmed in a statement to E! News.

“He was 91 years old.” 

Known to friends and aspirants alike as simply “Hef,” Hefner revolutionized magazine publishing by boldly pushing the envelope in terms of permissible content more than 60 years ago.

In 1953, Hefner quit his job as a copywriter at Esquire to launch Playboy with a modest $ 8,000.

Thanks in part to its highly publicized nude photos of Marilyn Monroe, the first issue sold over 50,000 and helped create one of the world’s most-universally recognized brands.

While Playboy may always conjure thoughts of nude centerfolds and the glorification of high-class debauchery, Hefner never wavered in his commitment to publishing high-minded content alongside the more tawdry material.

An interview with Martin Luther King Jr., a beloved piece by gonzo legend Hunter S. Thompson, and the article that became the inspiration for the Academy-Award winning film The Hurt Locker are just a handful of the magazine’s many journalistic high points.

Literary luminaries such as Vladimir Nabokov, Saul Bellow and Margaret Atwood have all contributed to Playboy, often in response to a personal request from Hefner.

But of course, it was the Playmates of the Month and famous centerfolds that enabled Hefner to break sales and circulation records around the world.

Madonna, Kate Moss, Sharon Stone, Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian, Drew Barrymore, and Pamela Anderson have all graced the magazine’s pages in various states of undress.

Though many wondered how much of Hefner’s public image was a facade and how much of his legendary lifestyle was authentic, those who knew Hef best claimed that he balanced the life of a jet-setting lothario with that of a conscientious businessman and loving father, in much the same way that his magazine juxtaposed intellect with sex.

“Could I be in a better place and happier than I am today?” Hefner said in a 2011 interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

“I don’t think so. In my wildest dreams, I could not have imagined a sweeter life.”

Hefner is survived by wife Crystal Harris and his four children from previous marriages.

Our thoughts go out to the Hefner family during this difficult time.

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