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Grant Imahara, an electrical engineer who went on to host MythBusters and White Rabbit Project, has died. He was 49.

The Hollywood Reporter on Monday said it confirmed Imahara died following a brain aneurysm.

He joined MythBusters in its third season, and was known for designing and building robots. He reunited with co-hosts Kari Byron and Torry Belleci in 2016 for Netflix's White Rabbit Project. On Monday night, Byron tweeted a photo with Imahara and the caption, "Sometimes I wish I had a time machine."

A Los Angeles native, Imahara attended the University of Southern California, and after graduating spent nine years working for Lucasfilm's THX and Industrial Light and Magic divisions. He specialized in animatronics, and worked on several major films, including the Star Wars prequels, The Matrix Reloaded, Van Helsing, and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Catherine Garcia

July 13, 2020

Actress Kelly Preston died on Sunday morning after battling breast cancer for two years. She was 57.

A family representative told People that she chose to "keep her fight private," and had been "undergoing medical treatment for some time, supported by her closest family and friends." Preston was a "bright, beautiful, and loving soul who cared deeply about others and who brought life to everything she touched."

Born in Honolulu, Preston studied acting at the University of Southern California. Her first major movie role was in 1985's Mischief, and she went on to star in Twins, Jerry Maguire, and For Love of the Game. She married John Travolta in 1991, and in 2018, she appeared alongside him in what would become her final film, Gotti.

In addition to Travolta, Preston is survived by their children, Ella and Benjamin. Their son, Jett, died at age 16 in 2009. Catherine Garcia

July 12, 2020

Benjamin Keough, Lisa Marie Presley's son and the grandson of Elvis Presley, has died. He was 27.

A representative for Lisa Marie Presley told NBC News on Sunday the family does not know how or where Keough died, adding that his mother is "completely heartbroken, inconsolable, and beyond devastated, but trying to stay strong for her 11-year-old twins and her oldest daughter, Riley. She adored that boy. He was the love of her life." Keough's father is Lisa Marie Presley's former husband, singer-songwriter Danny Keough.

Benjamin Keough was a musician, and his mother — the only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley — noted in 2012 that he strongly resembled her dad. While appearing at the Opry, "everybody turned around and looked when he was over there," she told CMT. "Everybody was grabbing him for a photo because it is just uncanny. Sometimes I am overwhelmed when I look at him." Catherine Garcia

July 6, 2020

Ennio Morricone, the prolific Italian film composer probably best known for his iconic scores of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and other Sergio Leone Westerns, died early Monday at a hospital in Rome. He was 91, and died of complications from a fall last week in which he broke his femur, his longtime lawyer tells The Associated Press.

Morricone scored more than 500 films. He won an Oscar for his score of Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight (2015), an honorary Oscar in 2007 for his "magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music," a Grammy for his soundtrack to Brian de Palma's The Untouchables (1987), plus 11 David de Donatello Awards, Italy's top cinematic honor. His other famous scores include Cinema Paradiso (1988), The Mission (1986), and The Battle of Algiers (1966). He also got an international hit with "Chi Mai," the theme for the 1981 BBC drama The Life and Times of David Lloyd George.

But it was The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly and his other six films for Leone that put Morricone on the cinematic map — and set the musical template for "spaghetti Westerns" and cowboy movies in general.

Morricone was born in Rome in 1928, the son of a trumpet player. He began writing music at age 6 and met Leone for the first time when he was about 8, The Hollywood Reporter reports. He studied composition at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory and got his start in film after World War II, in the Italian film Renaissance at Rome's Cinecittà. "Most of these scores were very ugly, and I believed I could do better," Morricone explained in 2001. "I needed money, and I thought it would be a good thing to write film scores."

Morricone used harmonicas, church bells, whistles, whips, animal noises, clocks, and other non-traditional instruments in his scores. "All kinds of sounds can be useful to convey emotion," he said. "It’s music made up of the sound of reality." But his scores were also often lush and melodic, like his Cinema Paradiso soundtrack and The Mission.

Morricone's "music is indispensable," said Leone, who died in 1989, "because my films could practically be silent movies, the dialogue counts for relatively little, and so the music underlines actions and feelings more than the dialogue." Peter Weber

July 5, 2020

Nick Cordero, the Tony-nominated actor who starred in Bullets Over Broadway, Waitress, Rock of Ages, and A Bronx Tale: The Musical, died Sunday in Los Angeles after battling the coronavirus for several months. He was 41.

Cordero's wife, Amanda Kloots, shared on Instagram that her husband died "surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this Earth."

Cordero was hospitalized in late March after doctors thought he had pneumonia, and Kloots kept fans updated on his condition via Instagram. While in the intensive care unit, his right leg was amputated and he was put in a medically induced coma. He also lost 65 pounds and suffered two mini-strokes. Earlier this month, Kloots told CBS This Morning that Cordero would "most likely" need a double lung transplant in order to "live the kind of life that I know my husband would want to live."

The Canadian-born Cordero made his Broadway debut in 2012 in Rock of Ages, and was nominated for a Tony in 2014 for his role as Cheech in Bullets Over Broadway. He also appeared on several television shows, including a stint on Blue Bloods as Victor Lugo. In addition to Kloots, Cordero is survived by his young son, Elvis. Catherine Garcia

June 18, 2020

Dame Vera Lynn, the singer whose songs helped boost British morale in World War II, died early Thursday. She was 103. Lynn, most famous for the song "We'll Meet Again," earned the nickname "the Forces' Sweetheart" after being voted the favorite artist of British troops in a 1939 Daily Express poll. She serenade British forces during the war and hosted a wildly popular BBC radio show, "Sincerely Yours," where she would sing requests and send messages to British forces overseas. "Winston Churchill was my opening act," she once quipped.

Lynn's other hits included "The White Cliffs of Dover," "I'll Be Seeing You," and "There'll Always Be An England," and her career did not end with Nazi Germany's defeat. Her song "Auf Wiedersehen Sweetheart" was the first British hit to top the U.S. Billboard charts in 1952, and she hit No. 1 in 1954 with "My Son, My Son," The Associated Press reports.

But "We'll Meet Again" is the song that fans wanted to hear and sing along to up until her death. She was featured in a virtual duet of the song with mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Queen Elizabeth II invoked the lyrics in her rare address to Britain during the darkest early days of the coronavirus lockdown. In May, Lynn's greatest hits collection 100 hit No. 30 on the U.K. charts, making her the oldest artist ever to crack the Top 40, beating her own record.

Lynn was born Vera Margaret Welch on March 20, 1917, in London's working class East Ham neighborhood. She started performing at age 7, dropped out of school at 11 to tour with a variety show, was singing with a band at age 17, and was already somewhat famous when World War II broke out. Lynn, made a Dame of the British Empire in 1975, spent her golden years in Ditchling, a village about 40 miles south of London. Fans, including various stars and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, paid tribute to her Thursday. Peter Weber

June 8, 2020

Bonnie Pointer, a founding member of the Pointer Sisters, died on Monday. She was 69.

In a statement, her sister Anita Pointer said the family is "devastated," adding, "Bonnie was my best friend and we talked every day. We never had a fight in our life. I already miss her and I will see her again one day."

Bonnie got her start singing at the West Oakland Church of God in Oakland, California. The Pointer Sisters formed in 1969, with Bonnie, Anita, and their younger sister June; their oldest sister Ruth joined the group in 1972. Bonnie and Anita won a Grammy in 1974 for writing the song "Fairytale," which was also recorded by Elvis Presley. Bonnie left the Pointer Sisters in the mid-1970s to embark on a solo career.

Bonnie recorded her final song, "Feels Like June," earlier this year with Anita, Variety reports. The song was in honor of June Pointer, who died in 2006. Catherine Garcia

June 5, 2020

The last person to receive a pension from the Civil War has died.

Irene Triplett, whose father Mose Triplett served in the Confederate Army before defecting and joining the Union, died Sunday at age 90, following complications from a broken hip. The North Carolina resident was able to receive her dad's Civil War pension — $73.13 every month — because she had cognitive impairments and qualified as a helpless adult child of a veteran.

Military records show that after two years as a Confederate soldier, Mose Triplett "deserted" in 1863, just one week before his old regiment was nearly wiped out during the Battle of Gettysburg. He applied for his pension in 1885, and Irene Triplett was born in 1930, when her father was 83 years old. Her mother, 27 at the time, was his second wife. Mose Triplett died in 1938 at age 92.

One of Irene Triplett's relatives told The Wall Street Journal she had a rough childhood, with kids saying her father was a "traitor." Later in life, she found friendship with other residents at Accordius Health, a nursing home in Wilkesboro. Jamie Phillips, the activities director, told The Washington Post Triplett like playing Bingo, listening to gospel music, and telling her friends about what she heard on the news. "I never saw her angry," she said. "Everything was funny." Catherine Garcia

Editor's note: The dates in this story have been amended to reflect the correct order of events leading up to Mose Triplett's defection to the Union. We regret the error.

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