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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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Tobe Hooper Dies: Legendary Horror Film Director Was 74

Sad news for horror fans today …

Tobe Hooper has passed away. He was 74 years old.

The coroner for Los Angeles County has reported that he died yesterday in Sherman Oaks.

As of now, the cause of death has not been revealed.

If you are a horror fan, you definitely know of all of his many, many contributions to the genre.

But for those unaware, Hooper was responsible for bringing us two of the best, most influential scary movies of them all: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist.

In addition to directing 1974’s Texas Chain Saw Massacre, he also wrote the screenplay and created the soundtrack.

Which means that he is, in fact, solely responsible for delivering that entire terrifying tale — and the franchise that followed.

Interestingly enough, Hooper taught at a college before making the film, and he made documentaries on the side.

He was out doing some holiday shopping in the early 70s, and he came across a rack of chainsaws for sale. He thought about how much he wanted to leave the store, and how starting up a chainsaw would definitely part the crowd.

But instead of firing up a chainsaw in a busy department store, he later pulled together a group of his students and other teachers at the college.

And that’s how the movie was created. Seriously.

Though there wasn’t much blood at all in the film, Hooper had to fight repeatedly to get it down to a R rating, and it was still banned in several countries.

Because, as he so impressively proved, you don’t need gore to completely and thoroughly horrify viewers.

Twelve years after introducing the world to those wild Texan cannibals, Hooper directed the sequel, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

This movie was very, very different from the first, but still just an absolute gem, proving Hooper’s incredible skill.

Which honestly, at that point, didn’t really need proving: eight years after the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre and four years before the sequel, he directed Poltergeist.

Which is, of course, also one of the greatest horror movies of all time.

He’s directed many other things as well, including a miniseries based on Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot and even a Billy Idol music video.

(“Dancing with Myself,” if you were curious.)

Hooper is widely regarded to be one of the most influential people when it comes to horror films, and for good reason.

And several members of the community are taking the time to pay tribute to him.

James Wan, director of Saw and The Conjuring, tweeted “Sad to hear the passing of Tobe Hooper. One of the nicest people. A sweet, gentle soul of a man. Your legacy lives on.”

Fellow legend John Carpenter wrote “Tobe Hooper directed THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, a seminal work in horror cinema. He was a kind, decent man and my friend. A sad day.”

William Friedkin, director of The Exorcist, said “Tobe Hooper, a kind, warm-hearted man who made the most terrifying film ever. A good friend I will never forget.”

RIP, Tobe.

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Martin Landau Dies; Legendary Actor Was 89

Martin Landau, a veteran actor whose work has spanned the big screen and small screen, died Saturday afternoon at UCLA Medical Center.

He was 89 years old.

According to TMZ, which broke this sad piece of news, Landau passed away at approximately 1:30 p.m. local time.

He had just recently been hospitalized for unknown reasons and had suffered a few health-related complications before passing away.

Among the many impressive credits to his name, Landau starred in such films as Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, Tim Burton’s Ed Wood (for which he won an Academy Award) and Cleopatra.

Within the realm of television, Landau is likely best known for his role on the series Mission: Impossible.

He left that show after three seasons due to a contract dispute.

Landau, who started work as a cartoon, got his major acting breaking playing a gay henchman in the aforementioned Hitchcock classic, which came out in 1959.

At that time, of course, portraying a homosexual man in a movie was not a common occurrence.

landau

Landau received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance in Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) and again a year later in the same category for Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors.

He finally won his lone Oscar in 1994.

Perhaps most famously, however, the beloved actor actually turned down the role of Mr. Spock on the NBC series Star Trek; it ended up going to Leonard Nimoy, of course.

“I turned down Star Trek. It would’ve been torturous,” the star said during a 2011 edition of the PBS documentary series Pioneers of Television, adding at that time:

“I would’ve probably died playing that role. I mean, even the thought of it now upsets me.

“It was the antithesis of why I became an actor. I mean, to play a character that Lenny (Nimoy) was better suited for, frankly, a guy who speaks in a monotone who never gets excited, never has any guilt, never has any fear or was affected on a visceral level.

“Who wants to do that?”

Throughout his amazing career, Landau befriended such legends as James Dean and Jack Nicholson, while he briefly dated Marilyn Monroe.

ml pic

Toward the end of his career Landau earned Emmy Award nominations for playing the father of Anthony LaPaglia’s character on Without a Trace and for guest-starring as an out-of-touch movie producer on Entourage.

He portrayed billionaire J. Howard Marshall, the 90-year-old husband of Anna Nicole Smith, in a 2013 Lifetime biopic about the late model; and starred opposite Christopher Plummer in Remember in 2015.

Expect many tributes from Hollywood greats to come pouring in as news of his death spreads.

Altogether, he appeared in close to 200 movies and television shows.

May Martin Landau rest in peace.

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19 Most Legendary GIFs in Internet History

As of June 15, 2017, the GIF is 30 years old.

On that same date in 1987, the most often-used image file extension was created by a team of CompuServe developers looking for a way to compress photos with minimal data loss.

Three decades later, the resulting flexible file format for lower-resolution pictures has given us babies that dance… reality stars that cry… and pretty much everything in between.

In honor of this anniversary, we present below the most memorable GIFs in World Wide Web history. Click around and enjoy!

1. Dancing Baby

Dancing baby
The dancing baby GIF may have been the first GIF to truly go viral. We have Ally McBeal to thank for that.

2. Dawson Cryig

Dawson cryig
Dawson’s Creek will remain a beloved drama throughout eternity. Largely because of this memorable GIF.

3. Aerobic Hunks

Aerobic hunks
This was a very early, very popular GIF. You can understand why, right?

4. Shaq/Hillary Shimmy

Shaq slash hillary shimmy
This is the one thing Hillary Clinton and Shaquille O’Neal have in common.

5. Cheers to Leo

Cheers to leo
The Great Gatsby wasn’t a great movie. But this is an iconic GIF.

6. Haters. They’re Gonna Hate

Haters theyre gonna hate
Before Taylor Swift passing along this same message, there… THIS GUY!

View Slideshow
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Frank Deford Dies; Legendary Sports Writer Was 78

Frank Deford, one of the most prolific and beloved sports writers of all-time died on Sunday in Key West, Florida.

He was 78 years old.

According to The Washington Post, Deford’s wife has confirmed this sad piece of news, although other details related to the death are unknown at this time.

Deford got his start as a Sports Illustrated staff member in 1962 and was serving as a senior editor emeritus for the national publication at the time of his passing.

The beloved literary figure also worked with NPR’s Morning Edition for 32 years, having retired earlier this month following his 1,656th NPR commentary.

Over the course of a truly memorable career, Deford…

… wrote 17 books.

… Worked as a contributor on HBO’s “Real Sports” franchise.

… And was the editor of the National Sports Daily.

He was elected to the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters and has been voted by his peers as the U.S. Sportswriter of the Year six times.

In 2013, as pictured below, President Barack Obama presented the writer with the National Humanities Medal.

Said the Commander-in-Chief of Deford at the time:

“A dedicated writer and storyteller, Mr. Deford has offered a consistent, compelling voice in print and on radio, reaching beyond scores and statistics to reveal the humanity woven into the games we love.”

Aside from the work that made him famous across every sports landscape, Deford served as the national chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation after his first daughter, Alex, died of the disease at the age of eight.

Not long after Deford’s death was announced, numerous reporters took to Twitter in order to express their condolences.

Here is a sampling of what they wrote:

Deford wishes

Upon leaving NPR this year, Deford said the following:

“The wonderful thing about delivering sports commentary on NPR was that because it has such a broad audience, I was able to reach people who otherwise had little or no interest in sport – especially as an important part of our human culture.

“Nothing made me happier than to hear from literally hundreds of listeners who would tell me how much the commentaries revealed about a subject they otherwise had never cared much for.

“I’ll forever be grateful to NPR that they gave me such extraordinary freedom. … It was 37 years of a fond relationship.”

In 2012, Deford became the first person from the world of sports to receive the W.M. Kiplinger Distinguished Contributions to Journalism Award, the National Press Foundation’s highest honor.

That same year, he became the first magazine writer to win the Associated Press Sports Editors’ Red Smith Award.

Then, in 2013, the University of Kansas presented him with the William Allen White Foundation National Citation for “excellence in journalism.”

Dedord is survived by his wife and two grown children.

May he rest in peace.

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Don Rickles Dies; Legendary Comic Was 90

Don Rickles, the legendary comic who turned the insult into an art form, has passed away at the age of 90.

His publicist confirmed the news in a statement issued to the media moments ago.

While longevity eludes most comics due to changing tastes in humor, Rickles remained a stalwart in the standup scene for an astonishing six decades.

Often cited as a top influence by today’s biggest comedians, Rickles made a career out of skewering public figures, fellow entertainers, his own audience, and even himself.

His impact can be seen everywhere from sharp-tongued sitcom characters to the popular Comedy Central Roast series.

Rickles didn’t invent insult comedy, but he may have done more to popularize it than anyone else.

Rickles kicked off his career in New York nightclubs during the 1950s, eventually gaining such a name for himself as the master put-down that he became a sought-after act to perform for and alongside the biggest names in show business.

In the ’60s, Rickles became a fixture in Las Vegas, and was frequently spotted partying with Frank Sinatra and his famous Rat Pack.

In addition to standup, Rickles became a familiar face to generations of film and television fans.

Though his own attempts at launching a series never panned out, he racked up scores of TV credits over the years.

Rickles was a fixture on the late night talk show circuit from the time of its inception and played guest roles on sitcoms such as Get Smart, Newhart and, in 2011, Hot in Cleveland, and Murphy Brown.

He also showed off his dramatic chops in films such as Martin Scorsese’s Casino, and earned a new generation of fans with his voice work as Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story films.

Social media tributes to Rickles from fans, friends and fellow comics began pouring in within minutes of the announcement of his death:

“Hey Helen Keller, show’s up here. Gandhi, stop hogging the breadsticks or we’ll let Bob Hope tell jokes again,” Patton Oswalt tweeted, paying tribute to Rickles’ scathing style.

“A national treasure is gone. Don Rickles’ talent was limitless. To know him was a gift,” wrote Larry King.

Rickles is survived by his wife of 52 years, his two children, and two grandchildren.

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