March 25, 2020

Stuart Gordon, the director known for cult horror films like Re-Animator, has died at 72.

Gordon's death was confirmed by his representative Dominic Mancini on Wednesday, per The Hollywood Reporter. A cause of death was not released.

"He was a lovely man, a dear friend, a client for nearly a decade, and will be greatly missed," Mancini told the Reporter. "He was an icon in the horror genre, a loved mentor and bright light that inspired and encouraged aspiring genre filmmakers to excel at their craft. He left his finger prints on the film industry for generations to come to enjoy."

After making his feature directorial debut with Re-Animator, the wild 1985 horror-comedy still considered to be a genre classic, Gordon went on to helm cult films that also continue to be celebrated among horror enthusiasts like From Beyond and Castle Freak. Outside of horror, he also co-created the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids series, and Variety notes he was active in L.A. theater in recent years.

Barbara Crampton, who starred in several Gordon films including Re-Animator, on Wednesday remembered him as an "enormous talent" who "created countless moments on film which were at once, funny, scary, daring and smart." Director Joe Lynch noted Gordon was "a massive influence on so many of us, myself included," while You're Next writer Simon Barrett praised him as "not only a brilliant filmmaker but an incredibly gracious human."

The horror streaming service Shudder on Wednesday announced a marathon of three Gordon films for later in the evening, writing that he was "one of the greatest to ever work in the genre, and the world is better for it." Brendan Morrow

January 7, 2020

Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of the controversial 1994 memoir, Prozac Nation, has died at age 52. Her husband Jim Freed confirmed to CNN that she lost her battle with breast cancer at a hospital in Manhattan Tuesday morning.

Wurtzel startled the world with her memoir chronicling her experience with mental illness and pharmaceutical medication within the context of her generation. While it received mixed reviews, her book ignited conversation about "The United States of Depression," as Wurtzel put it.

In her same confessional style, Wurtzel wrote about her battle with cancer in The New York Times. In her essay, she advocated for BRCA testing — she learned she possessed the genetic mutation after her breast cancer diagnosis.

Many are mourning the writer's death — journalist Ronan Farrow tweeted of Wurtzel, "We were both misfits and she was kind and generous and filled spaces that might have otherwise been lonely with her warmth and humor and idiosyncratic voice."

Wurtzel wrote that she wasn't sorry she had cancer in The Guardian in 2018. "I feel that if something is happening to me, it must be a good thing," she wrote, "so cancer must be a blessing... I am a con artist and cancer is my final con." Brielle Diskin

August 18, 2019

Cedric Benson, a former standout running back at the University of Texas and 8-year NFL veteran, died in a motorcycle crash on Saturday night in Austin. He was 36.

Benson played in the NFL from 2005 to 2012, mainly for the Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals, though he also played briefly for the Green Bay Packers in his final season. He rushed for over 1,000 yards for three consecutive years for Cincinnati.

While he was a solid contributor at the professional level, Benson was a true star in college. He was a prolific rusher for the Longhorns and remains the school's second all-time leading rusher after Ricky Williams. He rushed for over 1,000 yards all four years and picked up 2,013 total yards his senior year. That season he was an All-American and won the Doak Walker Award, which is given out annually to the top collegiate running back in the nation. The Longhorns earned a Rose Bowl victory over the University of Michigan before Benson was drafted by Chicago with the fourth overall pick. Tim O'Donnell

August 17, 2019

Peter Fonda, who starred in the Hollywood film Easy Rider, died on Friday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 79. His family said in a statement that the cause was respiratory failure resulting from lung cancer.

Fonda hailed from an iconic Hollywood family. His father, Henry Fonda, and his older sister, Jane Fonda, were both Academy Award winners. Fonda was known for his rebellious nature on and off the screen. His most famous role was the character Wyatt in 1969's Easy Rider, a counterculture film which film critic Roger Ebert once called "one of the rallying-points of the late '60s." He also contributed to the screenplay, for which he and his fellow writers — including his co-star Dennis Hopper — were nominated for an Academy Award.

Many directors, actors, and writers took time to share their appreciation for Fonda, including Edgar Writer, Ava DuVernay, and Rob Reiner.

Jane Fonda, who said she was with her brother over his final days, said "he went out laughing." Tim O'Donnell

May 30, 2019

Former Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran has died at 81, his successor Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) said in Thursday press release. The release said Cochran's family "extends its gratitude for the support shown to the Senator by Mississippians over the years," and that he "passed away peacefully early Thursday morning."

Cochran spent 40 years in the Senate, resigning in April 2018 because his health had "become an ongoing challenge." He served as a House member for two terms before being elected to the Senate, making him a congressional mainstay who preceded even the emergence of TV cameras on the Senate floor.

Current GOP senators who'd worked with Cochran soon sent their condolences, with Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) both citing Cochran's time in the U.S. Navy. Before his military and political careers, Cochran also spent time as a cheerleader for the University of Mississippi, which you can watch him describe below. Kathryn Krawczyk

February 4, 2019

The Young and the Restless star Kristoff St. John has died at 52, NBC News reports.

St. John, who played Neil Winters on the long-running soap opera for nearly three decades, was found dead at his home in Woodland Hills, California. His death was confirmed by his lawyer, and while no cause has been officially released, NBC News and People reported that police have investigated it as a possible alcohol overdose.

Originally born in New York City, St. John began acting on television at the age of 7, making his first appearance on That's My Mama, reports CNN. He made one-off appearances on shows like Happy Days, Wonder Woman, The Cosby Show, and A Different World before landing the role of Adam Marshall on the soap opera Generations, and then as Neil Winters on The Young and the Restless, a role that would win him two Daytime Emmy Awards.

St. John's fiancée Kseniya Mikhaleva mourned him on Monday in an Instagram post and called him "a loving father, a loving man." Brendan Morrow

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