Richard Belzer, 78
(August 4, 1944 – February 19, 2023)
American actor, stand-up comedian, and author.
Cause of death: unknown.
It is with deep regret and a heavy heart that we announce the passing of the immensely talented Richard Belzer, a renowned American actor, stand-up comedian, and author. Belzer, a remarkable figure in the entertainment industry, passed away at the age of 78.
The news was initially shared by his longtime friend and fellow comedian, Laraine Newman, who had known him since their time together on Saturday Night Live in 1975, where he started as the audience warm-up comedian.
Belzer will be remembered by countless fans for his iconic role as police detective John Munch in two long-running NBC police procedural shows, Homicide Life on the Street and Law & Order Special Victims Unit. Belzer played the character as a regular cast member for a remarkable 23 years, from 1993 to 2016, and also made numerous guest appearances as Munch on other shows.
Despite his success on the small screen, Belzer never lost his passion for stand-up comedy. In addition to his work on Saturday Night Live, he also opened for the legendary musician Warren Zevon during his Excitable Boy album tour. Belzer's razor-sharp wit and unique humor helped him establish himself as a prominent figure in the world of comedy.
Throughout the 1990s, Belzer was a fixture on television screens, appearing in a variety of popular shows. He portrayed a news anchor and reporter on The Flash and Inspector William Henderson on Lois & Clark The New Adventures of Superman. Belzer's work on Homicide and Law & Order garnered him critical acclaim and a huge fan following.
In more recent years, Belzer continued to make notable appearances on several popular television shows. He appeared on Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Fox's Arrested Development, and NBC's 30 Rock, among others. Belzer's talent, humor, and unique perspective will be missed by his countless fans and colleagues alike. The entertainment industry has lost a true legend, and his legacy will live on forever.
Stella Stevens, 84
(October 1, 1938 – February 17, 2023)
American actress (Girls! Girls! Girls!, The Nutty Professor, The Poseidon Adventure).
Cause of death: complications from Alzheimer's disease.
The entertainment industry is reeling from the loss of Stella Stevens, a true Hollywood legend who passed away at the age of 84. The actress had been receiving hospice care in the days preceding her death, and her family has confirmed the heartbreaking news. Her son, Andrew Stevens, and three grandchildren are left to mourn her loss.
Stella Stevens' career in acting began in 1959, when she landed minor roles in various films. However, it wasn't long before she began to take on larger, more prominent roles and became a leading lady. Her mesmerizing performances and iconic beauty helped her rise to prominence and solidify her place in Hollywood history. Stevens starred alongside some of the biggest names in the business, including Bobby Darin, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lewis, and Dean Martin.
Throughout her illustrious career, Stella Stevens appeared in a variety of notable films that showcased her incredible range as an actress. She gave unforgettable performances in movies such as "Too Late Blues" (1961), "Girls Girls Girls" (1962), "The Nutty Professor" (1963), and "The Silencers" (1964). Additionally, she made memorable appearances in "Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold" (1975) and "The Poseidon Adventure" (1972).
Stevens was not only a movie star but also made an impact in the world of television, with appearances in several popular shows such as "Bonanza," "The Love Boat," "Hart to Hart," "Fantasy Island," and "Night Court." Her versatility and captivating performances earned her accolades and recognition throughout her career.
In addition to her impressive acting career, Stella Stevens was also a renowned model. Her undeniable beauty and charisma earned her the title of Playmate of the Month in January 1960 when she posed for Playboy magazine. She later featured in two more issues of the magazine that year.
Her beauty and charm also earned her a spot on Variety's list of the 100 Sexiest Stars of the 20th Century, where she was ranked at number 27. Stella Stevens' legacy will live on through her numerous iconic roles, and she will be missed by fans worldwide.
Her captivating performances, undeniable beauty, and impact on Hollywood history will never be forgotten. The entertainment industry and her loved ones are mourning the loss of a true Hollywood icon.
Raquel Welch, 82
(Sept. 5, 1940 – February 15, 2023)
American actress (One Million Years B.C., The Three Musketeers, Fantastic Voyage).
Cause of death: unknown ( brief and serious illness).
Raquel Welch, an American actress, and international sex symbol passed away at the age of 82. According to family members, the star died after a brief and serious illness.
Jo Raquel Tejada was born in Chicago in 1940 to a family of Bolivian-Irish descent. She began with minor episodic roles before landing her first significant role in 1965 in the film A Swingin' Summer, which landed her a contract with 20th Century Fox. In 1966 She rose to prominence as Loana in the historical fantasy film One Million Years BC.
She only said a few lines in the film, but the deerskin bikini she wore cemented her status as a sex symbol. Following that, she rose to prominence and became one of the most sought-after actresses of the 1960s and 1970s. She quickly started winning awards, including the Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role in the film 'The Three Musketeers'. In 1995, Empire magazine named Welch one of the 100 sexiest stars in film history, and Playboy magazine followed suit. In 1975, she also appeared on 'The Cher Show,' singing the hit "I'm a Woman" with the legendary singer.
After brief forays into music, where she released the single "This Girl's Back In Town," she mostly starred in television series from the 1990s onward. The actress first appeared on television in the 1970s, for example, in the comedy Mork and Mindy, alongside the late Robin Williams as his greatest foe, but more recently, we could see her in highly watched and praised series such as Lois & Clark, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Seinfeld, Spin City, and CSI: Miami, which we could also watch on local TV stations.
Welch sailed four times to the port of marriage. She was married to James Wesley Welch from 1950 to 1964, and they had two children, Tahnee and Damon Welch.
She married Patrick Curtis in 1967, but their love did not last, and they divorced in 1972. She said 'yes' to Andre Weinfeld in 1980, but the marriage did not work out, and her third marriage ended 10 years later. In 1999, she married Richard Palmer. Unfortunately, even that marriage lasted only five years.
Tonya Knight, 56
(March 24, 1966 – February 7, 2023)
American professional bodybuilder and game show contestant (American Gladiators).
Cause of death: cancer.
Tonya Knight, a former bodybuilder and a well-known figure in the bodybuilding community has passed away at the age of 56 after a battle with cancer, according to Fitness Volt. Born in Peculiar, Missouri, Knight had a successful career in bodybuilding, competing against renowned bodybuilders such as Anja Schreiner and Cory Everson.
Cory Everson, who won six Ms. Olympia titles, and Anja Schreiner, who was the most successful German bodybuilder of all time, were some of the notable names Knight went head to head with in her career. In 1991, Knight claimed two titles - the IFBB Grand Prix Italy and the Ms. International.
The latter was considered to be the second most prestigious title in bodybuilding. Her impressive physique, great conditioning, and captivating posing routines made her a fan favorite. Fitness Volt praised her for her balanced proportions.
Aside from bodybuilding, Knight also made appearances on the TV show "American Gladiators" as the character "Gold" from 1989 to 1992. Unfortunately, she had to leave the show due to an injury. Tonya Knight leaves behind a son named Malachi and will be remembered as a talented and determined bodybuilder.
Demetrius Calip, 53
(November 18, 1969 – February 5, 2023)
American basketball player (Los Angeles Lakers).
Cause of death: unknown.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Demetrius Calip, a former professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA and a member of the 1989 NCAA championship-winning University of Michigan Wolverines basketball team.
Calip died at the age of 53, and the cause of death is still unknown. Born in Flint, Michigan, Calip had a remarkable basketball career. He was a key player on the University of Michigan Wolverines basketball team that won the 1989 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship.
This championship win was a major turning point in Calip's basketball career, and it opened up doors for him to pursue a professional career. During the 1990-1991 season, Calip led the Wolverines in scoring, assists, and minutes, showing his skill and athleticism on the court.
He was a teammate of some of the most talented basketball players of that era, including Glen Rice, Terry Mills, Rob Pelinka, Eric Riley, and Gary Grant. The team was coached by Joe Czupek, who played a crucial role in molding these young players into champions.
Calip also made a name for himself off the court, appearing in two basketball-themed films, "Blue Chips" (1994) and "Eddie" (1996). These films gave fans a glimpse into the world of professional basketball and the dedication and hard work that goes into achieving success on the court.
Lanny Poffo, 68
(Dec. 28, 1954 – February 2, 2023)
Canadian-American professional wrestler (NWA, WWF).
Cause of death: unknown.
The world of professional wrestling has lost one of its biggest ambassadors and most recognizable personalities with the passing of Lanny Poffo, known to fans as "Leaping" Lanny Poffo and "The Genius." Lanny was a Canadian-American wrestler, motivational speaker, poet, and actor who left an indelible mark on the industry and will be remembered as a true icon.
Lanny's career in professional wrestling spanned several decades and took him to some of the biggest stages in the sport. He worked for the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), World Wrestling Federation (WWF), and World Championship Wrestling (WCW), where he won two Intercontinental Championships and was a World Tag Team Champion. He was known for his unique personality and creative approach to wrestling, often incorporating poetry and motivational speaking into his performances.
Lanny was not just known for his in-ring achievements, but also his dedication to charity and his role as an ambassador for the sport. He was widely regarded as one of the most positive and charitable personalities in professional wrestling, always using his platform to give back to the community. He will be remembered as a true gentleman and a true champion both inside and outside the ring.
Jean-Pierre Jabouille, 80
(1 Oct. 1942 – 2 February 2023)
French racing driver (Formula One).
Cause of death: unknown.
The racing community is mourning the loss of Jean-Pierre Jabouille, a former French Formula 1 driver who passed away at the age of 80. A native of Paris, Jean-Pierre was a talented and accomplished racer who made a name for himself both in Europe and on the international stage.
Throughout his career, Jean-Pierre demonstrated his skill and determination on the track. He won the European Formula 2 championship in 1976 and went on to have 49 stars in Formula 1 between 1975 and 1981. His Formula 1 debut came at the 1975 French Grand Prix, where he raced for the Tyrrell team.
However, it was with Renault where Jean-Pierre made his biggest impact, becoming synonymous with the team and making history by securing Renault's first-ever Formula 1 victory at the 1979 French Grand Prix at Dijon-Prenois. This win was particularly noteworthy as it was also the first time a turbocharged engine had won a Formula 1 race.
Upon retiring from Formula 1, Jean-Pierre turned his focus to sportscar racing in France and continued to compete at a high level. He was known for his fearless driving style and his ability to push the limits of his vehicles. Throughout his career, Jean-Pierre inspired a new generation of racers and made a lasting impact on the sport.
The passing of Jean-Pierre Jabouille is a loss not only to his family and friends but to the entire racing community. He was a true legend of the sport and his contributions to the world of motorsports will not be forgotten. Jean-Pierre's legacy will continue to inspire future generations of racers, who will look to him as a shining example of what can be achieved through hard work, determination, and a passion for racing.
George P. Wilbur, 81
(March 6, 1941 – February 1, 2023)
American actor and professional stuntman.
Cause of death: unknown.
George P. Wilbur, a talented actor, and stuntman has recently passed away at the age of 81. The cause of his death has yet to be determined, leaving his fans and colleagues in mourning. Throughout his career, George made a name for himself in the horror film industry and will forever be remembered for his iconic roles as Michael Myers in "Halloween 4" and "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers."
George's career in the film industry began as a stand-in for John Wayne, but he quickly rose through the ranks to become a highly sought-after stuntman.
He performed stunts in a variety of popular films, including action-packed hits like "Die Hard" and "Spider-Man" as well as horror classics like "Poltergeist," "Ghostbusters," and "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5." With over 100 film credits to his name, George's contribution to the film industry was significant and he was eventually inducted into the Hollywood Stuntmen's Hall of Fame.
Throughout his career, George demonstrated his versatility and dedication to his craft. He was known for his commitment to performing stunts in the most dangerous and challenging scenes, always putting his safety on the line to bring the audience an unforgettable performance.
With his talent and hard work, George helped to elevate the horror genre and created iconic characters that will live on in the hearts of fans for years to come.
The passing of George P. Wilbur is a great loss to the film industry and to the fans who loved and appreciated his work. His contributions to the world of cinema will not be forgotten and his legacy will continue to inspire future generations of actors and stunt performers.