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.

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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.

SoFi StadiumBody Found In Lake... Cops Investigating

An investigation is underway at SoFi Stadium after dive teams found a body in the lake in front of the Rams and Chargers' home venue in L.A. on Wednesday.

The Los Angeles County Fire Dept. says firefighters were dispatched to the stadium at around 6 AM after they received reports that someone had jumped into the man-made body of water in Inglewood and never resurfaced.

THE SEARCH IS ON
FOX 11 LA

Dive teams searched the lake for hours, using sonar operations, and eventually recovered the body of what officials said was a 45-year-old male.

Inglewood Mayor James Butts said Wednesday afternoon a motive for the man jumping into the lake was unknown. Butts added surveillance video showed it "kind of" looked like the man "didn't know how to swim."

"This is someone that made a conscious decision to trespass onto the property, get into the lake and he ended up having some distress and difficulty," Butts said. "So I don't think there's anything SoFi could've done to prevent this."

The lake -- located just south of the stadium -- is 5.5 acres big, around 15 feet deep and holds up to 11 million gallons of water.

It was reportedly designed to capture rainwater to water the plants around the stadium.

Story developing ...

'Outer Banks'Stand-In for Chase Stokes Killed ...Hit-and-Run Accident

A stand-in for Chase Stokes on the hit show 'Outer Banks' was killed this week in a horrific car accident -- this as the new season continues to film in South Carolina.

22-year-old Alexander 'AJ' Jennings was struck by two vehicles early Tuesday morning in Charleston, both of which fled the scene. He passed away as a result of injuries sustained from the double hit-and-run -- the coroner's office has his time of death listed at 3:13 AM.

According to preliminary reports, Jennings was walking along a main thoroughfare between James Island and Folly Beach when he was hit around 2 AM. The first vehicle left him for dead, and not too long after that ... Jennings was apparently hit by a second vehicle that also split -- although that driver was reportedly later pulled over in a traffic stop.

Life-saving measures were unsuccessful ... Jennings succumbed to his injuries. His employer, Kimmie Stewart Casting, confirmed Jennings had been working on 'OB' as a photo double/stand-in for John B -- the main character of the Netflix series, portrayed by Chase.

KSC writes, "I cannot fathom the shock and tragedy of AJ's sudden loss and our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time. I understand this message may be difficult to process for those of you that met & became fast friends with AJ."

The agency adds that Netflix has grief counseling available to those who need it -- as AJ appears to have had a lot of friends on the production. One of those friends, it seems, was Chase himself ... who also honored AJ by taking to social media.

He writes, "Still trying to process why certain things happen, and why the world works in the ways that it does. My heart is shattered. Your life was just starting. We JUST talked about how pumped you were about your tunes, how far you'd come with that ole 6 string and your want to keep creating art. Always always making others hearts warm and being so damn selfless." CS went on to say AJ had touched all of their lives, adding ... "Fly high angel."

'Outer Banks' reportedly started filming season 3 earlier this year, and they shoot on location in Charleston. No charges have been filed yet, and the case is pending.

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.

Jayland WalkerSister Won't Watch Body Cam Footage... Isn't Buying Cops' Evidence

"DOESN'T MATCH THE PERSON I KNOW"
ABC

Jayland Walker's older sister says she's not ready to watch her brother getting gunned down by cops ... and believes the story officers are giving of the moments that led up to his killing has been planted to put him in a bad light.

Jada Walker was understandably emotional as she recalled her brother's life during an interview with ABC News Wednesday, saying the Jayland she knew isn't the one depicted by officers of the Akron, OH police department ... she also says she never knew him to own a gun.

Jada says she can't bring herself to watch the body cam footage, choosing not to remember her brother in such a horrific manner. She also thinks the photo that was circulated showing a gun in Walker's vehicle was staged.

FATAL SHOOTING

As you know, body cam footage was released Sunday that showed Jayland Walker being hit by gunshots at least 60 times, killing him. The shooting happened shortly after a traffic stop turned into a car chase throughout the city, ending in a foot pursuit.

Akron Police say a gunshot rang out from Walker's vehicle as they tailed him ... claiming surveillance video from the area shows a muzzle flash coming from inside his car, leading officers to believe he was armed.

Highland Park Mass ShootingBOTH PARENTS OF 2-YEAR-OLD CHILD KILLED DURING ATTACK

A 2-year-old child was left to fend for himself after both of his parents were killed during Monday's mass shooting at the July 4th parade in Illinois.

37-year-old Kevin McCarthy, and 35-year-old Irina McCarthy, both died after a 21-year-old armed with an assault rifle opened fire on the unsuspecting crowd.

The McCarthy’s son, Aiden, was reportedly separated from his parents and got lost in the chaos.

Apparently, a couple found the young boy in the midst of Monday's mayhem and brought him to the local fire department.

Reports say the 2-year-old was eventually reunited with his grandparents at a hospital.

As we've reported, 7 people have died and at least 30 were injured during Monday’s massacre. The shooter fired off close to 70 rounds.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help support Aiden, who is now without both parents. The creators of the page wrote, "We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family."

While the page states the boy will now be in the care of his grandparents ... it notes that he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life without both parents

'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.

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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

Lamar OdomKobe 'Comes To Me In Dreams Often'... Tells Me 'Keep Fighting'

MESSAGES FROM MAMBA
TMZSports.com

Lamar Odom says he still feels the presence of his late friend and former teammate, Kobe Bryant...telling TMZ Sports, "He comes to me in dreams."

Odom, wearing the incredible Kobe and Gigi tribute pendant he got as a gift earlier this year on the anniversary of the duo's tragic death, told us out at LAX this week that it actually happens "often."

"[He's] just talking to me all the time," Odom said of the dreams. "'Hang in there. Keep fighting.' A lot of s***."

LO -- who played with Kobe from 2004-2011 and stayed good friends with him in retirement -- tells us the dreams he has with the Mamba usually involve them shooting around, sometimes even in actual games.

"His spirit, it's so strong," said Odom, who also has a tattoo of Kobe on his neck. "To me, he's like not too far away. Especially when you're dreaming of someone, and they talk to you in that dream, you're definitely going to remember it."

Lamar tells us Kobe continues to inspire him to this day ... and added that the NBA legend is a big reason why he loves flying into the City of Angels.

"It's crazy," Odom said. "That's why I love coming back to L.A., too. I feel him."

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.

Ukraine WarFlames, Shockwave as Russian Missiles Hit Mall... Horrifying New Video

RUNNING FOR THEIR LIVES

The terror of Vladimir Putinfiring missiles on innocent civilians is on vivid display in these new videos showing the shopping mall Russia just destroyed.

Monday's missile strike in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk destroyed the mall, sending fireballs into the sky and unleashing a shockwave on a nearby park. In the video, you can see citizens strolling peacefully when suddenly they have to run for their lives.

Some people took cover behind trees, while others jumped into a pond seeking cover from shrapnel and rocks that were sent flying. A massive piece of concrete from a building landed in the park, but luckily it didn't hit anyone.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said there were more than 1,000 people in the mall at the time of the strike -- and the latest death toll stands at 18, with nearly 60 injured and another 36 people still missing.

MAJOR ATTACK

As rescuers continue digging through the rubble, President Zelensky is labeling the missile strike "one of the most defiant terrorist attacks in European history."

He's also calling out the barbarism of Putin obliterating non-military targets -- "Only totally insane terrorists, who should have no place on Earth, can strike missiles at such an object. And, this is not an off-target missile strike, this is a calculated Russian strike -- exactly at this shopping mall."

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