Kazuki Takahashi'Yu-Gi-Oh' Creator... Dead At 60

UPDATE

9:36 AM PT -- The official Yu-Gi-Oh Twitter account sent out a statement on Takahashi's passing, saying, "We are shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Mr. Kazuki Takahashi."

UPDATE

"We are deeply grateful for the wonderful 'Yu-Gi-Oh!' universe that he has created, and our thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time."

UPDATE

"Together with his countless fans, we pledge to carry on the 'Yu-Gi-Oh!' legacy with all the love and care it deserves."

Kazuki Takahashi, creator of the hit TV series "Yu-Gi-Oh," and eventual inspiration for the trading card game, has passed away in Japan, according to the country's Coast Guard.

He was 60.

A spokesman told the New York Times that Takahashi -- who had been traveling alone while vacationing -- died from unknown causes while snorkeling.

His body was found Wednesday floating off the coast of Nago -- a city on Okinawa Island in Southern Japan -- the spokesman said.

The Coast Guard is investigating his death.

Takahashi's success with anime began in his early 20s, but it wasn't until 1996 -- when he created "Yu-Gi-Oh" -- he would realize just how popular the series would become.

Takahashi said in 2019 that when he created the manga, the original concept was to show different ways to battle each week. However, after two weeks of drawing out the characters he created, he decided to make the series about a trading card game.

Of course, the Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game -- which debuted in the United States in March 2002 -- went on to become one of the most popular card games in the country rivaling the likes of Pokemon.

The franchise is estimated to have made over $17.1 billion, including over $960 million in sales of Takahashi's manga series, according to Newsweek.

Fans of Yu-Gi-Oh were shocked once they learned Takahashi died ... including former NFL player Cassius Marsh, who posted a picture of Yugi -- the show's main protagonist -- on his Instagram story with a sad emoji.

R.I.P.

Originally Published -- 8:10 AM PT

'One Tree Hill' Bevin PrinceHusband Dies After Being Struck by Lightning

"One Tree Hill" star Bevin Prince is suffering through the devastating loss of her husband, who was struck by lightning.

According to a local report, William Friend was near Masonboro Island in North Carolina over the weekend when he was hit by a lightning strike. Friend, the CEO of Bisnow, a digital media company, was only 33 years old.

NBC affiliate WECT says deputies performed CPR on Friend at the scene for 20 minutes, but the life-saving efforts weren't enough ... he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Bevin and William married in 2016, the pair owned a fitness business in North Carolina.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

A release from Bisnow read, in part, "Friends and former colleagues marveled at Friend's ability and willingness to take on new challenges β€” whether or not he was ready. He demonstrated that tenacity at an early age."

Bevin was a regular on "One Tree Hill" ... appearing in episodes from 2003 to 2012.

Bryan MarchmentEx-NHL Defenseman ...Dead At 53

Bryan Marchment -- a former NHL defenseman and the father of current Florida Panthers forward Mason Marchment --has passed away, the league announced on Wednesday.

He was 53 years old.

No cause of death has been revealed at this time.

"The National Hockey League mourns the passing of San Jose Sharks scout and former NHL player Bryan Marchment," the league said in a statement.

"Our deepest condolences go out to his family, the Sharks organization, and Bryan's many friends, former teammates, and fans."

Selected 16th overall in the 1987 draft, Bryan made his NHL debut at 19 for the Winnipeg Jets.

The defenseman played 17 total seasons in the NHL ... including stops with the Oilers, Sharks, Whalers, Blackhawks, Lightning, Avalanche, Maple Leafs and Flames.

After retiring from the Flames in 2006, Bryan became a scout for the Sharks in 2007 and was attending the NHL's draft when he unexpectedly passed away, according to the league.

Nipsey HussleEric Holder Found Guilty of Murder

Eric Holder has been found guilty in the murder of Nipsey Hussle ... gunning the rapper and activist down in broad daylight back in 2019.

READING THE VERDICT

The jury returned the guilty verdict in an L.A. courtroom Wednesday, about 3 weeks after the trial began. He was found guilty of 1st-degree murder for killing Nipsey. Holder shot two other people during the murder -- he was found guilty of 2 counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter, guilty of 2 counts of assault with a firearm and guilty of possession of a firearm by a felon. He was found not guilty of premeditated attempted murder.

The details of the brutal murder were outlined early in the trial -- Deputy District Attorney John McKinney told the jury Holder kicked Nipsey in the head after filling his body with lead, calling it proof the attack was personal.

4/1/19
COLD-BLOODED

He then told the rapper "You're through," to which Nipsey replied, "You got me."

Among the people on the stand was Bryannita Nicholson, who was with Holder on the day of the murder. She stated Holder asked her to drive him around the block, she saw he had a gun and heard gunshots when Holder got out of her vehicle.

Kerry Lathan, one of the people that got shot in the back during the incident, took the stand during the trial, but he stayed pretty tight-lipped.

Holder got banged up during the trial when he was jumped by inmates at the jail waiting for transport to court. The trial was delayed for one day because of Holder's injuries -- which included a big gash to the back of the head that required staples.

'9-1-1: LONE STAR' ACTORTyler Sanders Died From Apparent Overdose

Tyler Sanders' death is being treated as a suspected overdose ... sources connected to the death investigation tell TMZ.

We're told Tyler, who had roles in big shows like "9-1-1: Lone Star" and "Fear the Walking Dead," had a history of drug use and cops found a plastic straw and white powder in the room where he died.

TMZ broke the story ... 18-year-old Tyler was found dead June 16 in his Los Angeles home.

Our sources say Tyler's friends called police to conduct a welfare check because they had not heard from him following a night out ... and that's what led to his body being discovered.

Tyler was laid to rest in Houston ... and someone who attended the funeral tells us Tyler's dad, David Sanders, delivered the eulogy and told the crowd Tyler died of an apparent drug overdose.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

We're told Tyler started battling depression when he began filming '9-1-1' and his father repeated some of Tyler's own words at his funeral, talking about how Tyler's brain was wired to where he could not feel happiness.

An official cause of death for Tyler will be determined by the coroner once toxicology reports come back in 4 to 6 months.

Bruno 'Pop N Taco' Falcon'Breakin' Star Dead at 58 ...Taught MJ to Pop/Lock

Hip-hop trailblazer and legendary dancer Bruno "Pop N Taco" Falcon has died ... this according to his loved ones.

His sister, Diana Wolgamott, tells TMZ ... the longtime Los Angeles-based breaker and choreographer passed away Saturday at his Long Beach home. She says she believes he may have died from a possible heart attack. We're told his death is considered natural, and no autopsy will be conducted.

Bruno was a staple in the dance scene throughout the '80s and '90s -- specifically, through a style he sorta carved out as his own in locking ... which he popularized in the cult classic film "Breakin'" where he played one of the main characters, Electro Rock 1 opposite Ice-T.

Speaking of, the rapper confirmed his death on Twitter ... replying to a fan who asked if he'd heard of Bruno's death and saying, "Yep, just got a text. He was to young. Smh."

The guy went on to act in other films such as "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey," "Thumbelina" and even Michael Jackson's "Moonwalker." He actually had a pretty tight relationship with MJ ... having danced on and off with the superstar for years, even appearing in some music videos.

He might best be remembered as one of the dancers on "Smooth Criminal" who did the iconic lean dance sequence. Bruno is also said to have taught Michael a thing or two about popping and locking ... a style MJ employed often in his career. Bruno was with Michael during his HIStory tour in the '90s -- he appears to have served in a choreographer capacity.

Bruno has also danced with other Jackson family members including La Toya and Janet. He's also appeared in music videos for Lionel Richie and Chaka Khan, among other storied artists.

He was 58.

RIP

NFL's Jaylon FergusonDied Due To Fentanyl, Cocaine Mix... Ruled Accident

Baltimore Ravens pass rusher Jaylon Ferguson died last month due to "the combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine," officials announced on Friday.

In a statement to TMZ Sports, a spokesperson for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, Maryland added the death was ruled an accident.

No further details were made available.

As we reported, Ferguson was found unresponsive at a Baltimore residence on June 21 and, according to cops, never regained consciousness. He was pronounced dead by medics on the scene.

At the time, cops did not suspect foul play ... and added they were investigating the possibility that Ferguson had suffered an overdose.

He was just 26 years old.

Jaylon was selected by the Ravens in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft ... and played in 38 total games for the team the last three seasons, tallying 4.5 sacks and 67 tackles.

He had previously starred at Louisiana Tech, where he set the NCAA record for most career sacks.

RIP.

Jeremy GiambiStruck In Head By Baseball 6 Months Before Death... ME Report Reveals

A serious head injury caused by a freak baseball accident changed Jeremy Giambi's demeanor in the six months leading up to his death, a new medical examiner's report reveals.

According to the documents, obtained by TMZ Sports on Thursday, the ex-MLB player was struck in the head by a baseball while working as a pitching coach in August 2021.

The accident caused a serious injury -- investigators say he suffered a fractured zygomatic bone, and required surgery to fix the issue.

But, according to the report, witnesses told them that in his recovery from the injury, Giambi became "very emotional, very negative and would let the smallest things ruin his day."

Another witness, according to the docs, had described Giambi as "very emotional, depressed, and paranoid" in the months following the surgery. It was noted Giambi "had scans done and saw a neurologist but was not diagnosed with anything."

Giambi -- the brother of ex-MLB star Jason Giambi-- killed himself roughly six months after the injury on Feb. 9 at his parents' home in Claremont, Calif. Officials said he left a suicide note at the scene.

Investigators wrote in the docs that Jeremy had a past history of drug use, but he was not believed to be abusing any drugs in the months prior to his death. Lab results show he had no alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of his passing.

Jeremy -- who played six years in the MLB and gained national fame for his time as an Oakland A -- was just 47 years old.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Sonny BargerHells Angels Founder Dead At 83

Sonny Barger, the founder of Hells Angels, has died.

The news broke on his own Facebook page Wednesday night, with a post that read, β€œIf you are reading this message, you’ll know that I’m gone. I’ve asked that this note be posted immediately after my passing."

He says what he enjoyed most from his life was the time spent with his club brothers, family, and friends ... he signs off, saying, "Keep your head up high, stay loyal, remain free, and always value honor."

Born in Modesto in 1938, Sonny had a tough life growing up ... raised by his alcoholic father after his mother left the family when he was only 4 months old. He got suspended from school multiple times for fighting, and ultimately dropped out in 10th grade.

He enlisted in the Army at 16, but was honorably discharged a year later -- the military found out he forged his birth certificate in order to join.

Sonny joined a few biker gangs before starting up the Oakland Hells Angels in 1957 -- the group just hit their 65th year back in April. The next year he became the National President of the org, after his predecessor went to jail. Sonny moved the headquarters to Oakland.

There were stories of racism within the Hells Angels over the year. Sonny said in a 2000 BBC interview, "The club, as a whole, is not racist but we probably have enough racist members that no black guy is going to get in."

He had been arrested and locked up a couple times -- once in 1973 for possession of narcotics and a weapon, and in 1989 for conspiracy ... they found several firearms and explosives in his possession, believing he was set to hurt a rival gang.

In 1979, he and 33 others were indicted on charges that violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ... the legislation, signed by President Nixon, aimed to get rid of organized crime in the country -- he was acquitted the next year after a split verdict.

Sonny was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1983 due to excessive smoking, forcing him to get his vocal cords removed. He also had surgery in 2012 to have his prostate removed as a result of prostate cancer.

He is survived by his wife Zorana, and several close family members.

He was 83.

RIP

Nipsey HussleAlleged Killer Gets Jumped ...Needs Staples in Head For Injuries

UPDATE

11:25 AM PT -- Holder's attorney tells us he was attacked by two people while in his holding cell Tuesday, he was cut in the head by what is believed to have been a razor. Needed 3 staples in the back of his head ... Holder allegedly lost consciousness during the attack.

Nipsey Hussle's alleged killer, Eric Holder, got jumped by other inmates on his way to court ... and the beatdown was so bad he apparently needed stitches to close his wounds.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Holder was waiting Tuesday to catch the bus to court for his murder trial when he got jumped, causing the trial to be delayed.

We're in the courtroom today, and Holder showed up with stitches running up the back of his head. Holder also appears to have a slightly swollen left eye, plus more stitches cutting their way through his hair.

It's interesting ... Holder and his defense attorneys are all wearing face coverings, which they generally have not done in the past.

4/1/19
COLD-BLOODED

The jury is in the courtroom too, but no one has so far addressed Holder's injuries ... the judge, prosecution and defense are just moving forward as if nothing happened.

As we reported ... the murder trial began with chilling details about Nipsey's shooting death, with Holder allegedly telling Nipsey, "You're through" before killing the rapper.

Actress Mary MaraDrowning Death May Have Involved Blunt Head Trauma

UPDATE

11:12 AM PT -- According to the Jefferson Co. Medical Examiner's Office, Mara's cause of death has been ruled an accident -- due to asphyxiation and water drowning.

Actress Mary Mara's drowning may have resulted from a serious head injury ... this according to her rep.

Mary's rep Craig Dorfman tells TMZ ... investigators informed her family about new evidence ... that she may have died after slipping and hitting her head following her swim in the town of Cape Vincent.

They say she took a dip in the St. Lawrence River Sunday morning -- one of her favorite places to swim ... and after getting out of the water, investigators think she slipped and hit her head, causing her to fall in the water and drown.

Their reasoning ... when they recovered her body she had face abrasions.

So far there's no working theory on what object injured her head ... but they believe the only logical explanation is she came in contact with some object that either rendered her unconscious or debilitated.

As we reported, her rep says investigators have ruled out foul play -- it's unclear why they are certain the trauma to the head was accidental. Dorfman says he and Mary's family believe drugs or alcohol did not play a role in her death.

Mary's family has deeply appreciated the outpouring of support they've received in the past two days.

Actress Mary MaraDead at 61 ...Drowns in St. Lawrence River

Actress Mary Mara drowned in the St. Lawrence River during a swim ... Β according to New York State Police.

The "Ray Donovan" actress was discovered Sunday morning in the town of Cape Vincent.

Troopers responded to a call for a possible drowning in the river at around 8 AM ... when they arrived they found her body in the water. Officials say she had been visiting her sister and jumped in the River for exercise.

Mara, a Syracuse native, went on to act in a number of TV shows and films. She appeared in 20 movies and 40 TV shows. Among her TV credits ... β€œER,” β€œNYPD Blue,” β€œLaw and Order” and β€œLost."

She also starred in "Mr. Saturday Night", β€œThe Hard Way”, and β€œLove Potion #9β€³.

The preliminary investigation showed no signs of foul play. Her body was taken to the Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

Mara was 61.

RIP

Kanye West at BET AwardsYeah, I'm Declaring Myself Dead ...But I'm Here to Honor Diddy

DIDDY LEAD THE WAY
BET

Kanye West popped up for a rare appearance ... this time at the 2022 BET Awards ... to pay tribute to his favorite artist -- Diddy.

Kanye made a surprise appearance Sunday night, at L.A.'s Microsoft Theater ... dressed head to toe in black.

HONORING KIM
BET

Ye took the stage to honor Sean "Diddy" Combs, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Kanye gave a lengthy speech ... calling Diddy his favorite artist and talking about the impact he's had on his own life.

Kanye said, "I go to him for advice to this day. He inspires so many of my choices, so many of my life choices. My wife choices". He also let folks know he's taking a hiatus and wanted to "declare myself dead" .... but says, he wanted to make sure he was there for Diddy.

Of course, Kanye has mainly been off the grid, since April ... after pulling out of Coachella.

I'll Be Missing You
BET

Moments after the intro from Kanye and Babyface, Diddy took the stage. He dedicated the moment to his ex, Kim Porter, who died back in 2018. He said, "I just want to say thank you to Kim."

Even though Diddy and Kim split in 2007, they stayed close friends, co-parenting their 3 children. He honored her with the song, β€œI’ll Be Missing You” with Faith Evans, saying, "Baby girl, this is for you... I miss you so much, baby."

Hugh McElhennyNFL Hall Of FamerDead At 93

Former NFL running back Hugh McElhenny -- whose #39 is retired by the San Francisco 49ers -- has passed away, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Thursday.

He was 93 years old.

The Hall of Fame said McElhenny died of natural causes at his home in Nevada.

"We pass along our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and to the many whose lives he touched," The Hall wrote in a tweet when announcing the news.

McElhenny -- whose nickname was "The King" -- was taken by the 49ers with the 9th overall pick in the 1952 NFL Draft ... and he went on to star for the team for 9 seasons.

A 6x-Pro Bowler and 2-time All-Pro, Hugh was a unique offensive weapon who posed a threat to opposing defenses rushing, receiving and in special teams.

In his first NFL season (1952), McElhenny was unanimously elected Rookie of the Year and earned All-Pro status as well as a spot on the Pro Bowl team.

McElhenny's final year came in 1964 with the Detroit Lions, but he also played for the Vikings and Giants.

McElhenny -- who finished his career with 38 rushing touchdowns and 5,281 rushing yards -- was inducted into the Pro Football of Fame in 1970, and he's also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

R.I.P.

Tony SiragusaReceived CPR Before Dying In NJ Home... Cops Say

Police tell TMZ Sports ... NFL legend Tony Siragusa received CPR at a home in New Jersey before he tragically passed away on Wednesday.

The Toms River Police Department tells us officers were dispatched to a home on the barrier island in the beach section of town at around 11:45 AM ... after receiving a call about a "CPR in progress."

Cops say Siragusa was pronounced dead on the scene shortly after officers and EMS arrived. He was 55 years old.

A cause of death has not yet been revealed -- police tell us an autopsy is pending.

The scene is horrifyingly similar to the one Siragusa's father faced when he passed away while Siragusa was just 21 years old.

In discussing that tragic aspect of his life with Howard Stern back in 2012, Siragusa said he and his brother had tried to administer CPR on their father after the 48-year-old had suffered a "massive heart attack."

"In the middle of the night, I hear my mother screaming," the former star football player recalled. "Me and my brother ran in there. And he was like gasping for air ... I'm like trying to push his chest in and stuff."

"We were just holding onto him," Siragusa added.

Tony told Stern that despite the unexpected death as well as the history of heart disease in his family, he was not concerned about his own mortality.

"If I die tomorrow, I told my wife, just put a smile on my face," Siragusa said. "Put a little Sinatra on. You know, let's go."

#RIP

Model Niece WaidhoferDead by Suicide at 31'Long Battle with Mental Health Issues'

Model and influencer Niece Waidhofer -- who often worked to help her followers through their mental health struggles -- has died by suicide ... TMZ has learned.

Niece's family tells us, "Sadly, Niece took her own life after a long battle with mental health issues." The 31-year-old died in Houston, TX.

Her family says, "She was very open with her followers about her struggles, even wanting to help followers who also suffered." We're told a non-profit called "Peace from Niece" will be established in her honor, and the org will benefit mental health awareness and provide grants for mental illness research.

Niece's family says she took pride in the fact she wrote all of her Instagram posts herself, and shot the majority of her photos without a professional photog.

As for the circumstances surrounding her death, law enforcement sources tell us they got a call from a concerned family member last month to check on Niece at her Houston-area residence ... and that's when she was discovered.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Fans of Waidhofer -- who had amassed 4.2 million followers on Instagram -- became concerned when she wiped her account of almost all of her photos ... she left only 3 posts. Turns out she did that in the weeks leading up to her death.

Her family adds, "Niece was more than her struggles. She was beautiful and kind, sensitive and funny, creative and talented, generous and compassionate, thoughtful and challenging. While it is so very painful to say goodbye, we take comfort knowing she is reunited with her father, her three grandparents, her Uncle Rusty, and her beloved Puff; and that she is now free to be herself and, finally, at peace."

RIP

If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK.

Old news is old news!
Be First!

Get TMZ breaking news sent right to your browser!