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I was shocked to learn that comedian and actor Charlie Murphy died at age 57.

Murphy's publicist, Domenick Nati, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the Chappelle's Show alum died after a battle with leukemia.

TMZ reported Murphy, the elder brother of actor Eddie Murphy, died in a New York hospital. Sources said the star's family was "absolutely shocked" by his death because they thought he was improving.

Murphy came to fame as a writer and recurring performer on Chappelle's Show, which had a three-season run on Comedy Central. He memorably appeared with star Dave Chappelle in skits about Rick James and Prince.

Murphy also co-wrote Eddie Murphy's movies Vampire in Brooklyn and Norbit, and had roles on the Adult Swim series The Boondocks and Black Jesus. He will appear posthumously in Season 4 of the Starz series Power.

"We just lost one of the funniest most real brothers of all time. Charlie Murphy RIP," fellow comedian Chris Rock tweeted Wednesday.

"Sad to hear about the passing of Charlie Murphy. He was one funny, kind man. Sending love and light to his family and friends," music mogul Russell Simmons added.

Murphy's wife, Tisha Taylor Murphy, died in 2009 of cervical cancer. The comedian is survived by Eddie Murphy, half-brother Vernon Lynch, Jr., and three children.

If you are not familiar with Charlie Murphy, I urge you to seek out Chappelle's Show. One of the funniest shows ever! RIP Charlie Murphy.

Be Well,

Comments? Questions? Nooz? Email Steve


Jude Law to play Albus Dumbledore in 'Fantastic Beasts' sequel
British actor Jude Law is to play young wizard Albus Dumbledore in the next Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie.

The role was originated by Richard Harris in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Harris also played the part in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Michael Gambon took over the character after Harris died in 2002. Gambon went on to play Dumbledore in the franchise's remaining six movies.

2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a prequel to the Potter franchise. Dumbledore is mentioned, but not seen in the fantasy flick.

The upcoming Beasts sequel will show Dumbledore "decades before he became headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry," the Pottermore website said Wednesday in announcing Law's casting.

"At this point in the story he is the wizarding school's Transfiguration professor and a contemporary of Gellert Grindelwald -- the Dark wizard we met in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, played by Johnny Depp."

"Jude Law is a phenomenally talented actor whose work I've long admired and I'm looking forward to finally having the opportunity to work with him," director David Yates said in a statement. "I know he will brilliantly capture all the unexpected facets of Albus Dumbledore as [Potter creator] J.K. Rowling reveals this very different time in his life."

Asked at a press conference in New York last November if Dumbledore will be portrayed as openly gay and if the new movies will explore a romantic relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, Rowling replied: "Well, I'm very comfortable with the question.

"I can't tell you everything I would like to say because this is, obviously, it's a five-part story, so there's lots to unpack in that relationship. I will say that you will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man because he wasn't always the sage. He was always very clever... but we'll see him at what I think was the formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned, watch this space."

Dumbledore's sexuality is not directly addressed in the Potter books or movies, but Rowling previously confirmed in interviews that he is gay.

Law, Depp and Fantastic Beasts actor Colin Farrell all appeared in the 2009 movie The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

Guitarist and J. Geils Band leader John Geils dead at 71
John Warren Geils, who in the 1960s formed the popular J. Geils Band that produced the hits "Centerfold" and "Love Stinks" in the 1980s, was found dead at his Groton, Mass., home Tuesday. He was 71.

Groton Police Chief Donald Palma confirmed Geils' death to the Boston Globe in an e-mail: "He has passed."

The band is best known for its album Freeze Frame and the song "Centerfold," which hit No. 1 for six weeks.

Geils formed the band during his time at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he studied mechanical engineering, with Danny Klein, Magic Dick Salwitz, Stephen Jo Bladd and Peter Wolf, with Seth Justman becoming the last member before the band released its debut album in 1970.

The band has been nominated four times for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

According to their Facebook page, the band started as an acoustic blues trio in the mid-1960s as Snoopy and the Sopwith Camels.

The band officially split in 1985, but began to play the occasional reunion show in 1999. Geils officially quit the group in 2012 and sued his bandmates for conspiring to go on tour without him and unlawfully using the band's trademarked name.

In the mid-'90s, Geils released two albums with his band Bluestime and during the 2000s, he returned to his jazz roots with three solo records.

"Sometimes, when I see the posters of the actor who gloriously plays Dumbledore, I think sometimes it is me."
--Ian McKellen, on turning down the Harry Potter role, on HARDtalk

??? Guess Who ???

Which former first lady is modeling heels from Katy Perry's shoe line?

Dorothy Mengering, David Letterman's mother, dies at 95
Dorothy Mengering, the mother of David Letterman who made appearances on her son's late-night shows look easy as pie, died Tuesday. She was 95.

A spokesperson for Letterman confirmed her passing, according to CBS and Variety.

Stephen Colbert, who took over for Letterman on The Late Show in 2015, tweeted out his condolences on Tuesday: "I'm so sorry to hear of Dorothy Mengering's death, and so grateful that Dave shared her with us."

Mengering was one of the recurring characters who appeared on Letterman's NBC show Late Night and his CBS Late Show. A master piemaker, one of her most popular recurring bits with her son was "Guess Mom's Pies."

She was a Late Show correspondent at three Winter Olympics, including the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. She offered to bring ice skater Nancy Kerrigan hot chocolate and asked Hillary Clinton if the first lady could get the speed limit adjusted in Connecticut.

Mengering published a 1996 cookbook, Home Cookin' With Dave's Mom, which included recipes for Dave's Fried Baloney Sandwich, Jan's Sauerkraut Balls and Gretchen's Salad Dressing --tributes to her son and two daughters.

In an interview with the New York Times in 1996 to promote the cookbook, Mengering spoke about her son's sense of humor - and her own.

"Well, his dad had a good sense of humor, but I think he may get it from my dad," she said. "He drove Mother crazy sometimes, cracking jokes. I guess I'm more like she was. I kind of take things more seriously, although I'm much more laid-back than I used to be. Finally, I've learned it doesn't matter if the chores don't get done. The important things get done eventually."

Michael Buble's wife says son is 'well' after cancer battle
Michael Bublé's wife says their elder son is "well" following a battle with cancer.

Argentine actress Luisana Lopilato gave an update on Noah, her 3-year-old son with Bublé, at a press conference for her movie Those Who Love, Hate Monday in Buenos Aires.

"Thank God, my son is well," Lopilato said in Spanish, according to The Daily Express. "When things like those that happened to us occur, your take on life changes. Now I value life much more, the now and the today."

"My son's recovery is a long process as you all know and he has to continue with checkups. But we are very happy. We are looking forward to thinking about the future, to seeing our children grow. Seeing Noah grow and being happy gave me the strength to return and finish this film," she added, according to E! News.

Bublé and Lopilato, who also share 14-month-old son Elias, announced in November that Noah was diagnosed with cancer. Bublé said in February that doctors were "optimistic" about Noah's chances to beat the disease.

"We are so grateful to report that our son Noah has been progressing well during his treatment and the doctors are very optimistic about the future for our little boy," the 41-year-old singer shared in a statement Feb. 3.

"He has been brave throughout and we continue to be inspired by his courage. We thank God for the strength he has given all of us," he added.

Bublé last released the album Nobody but Me in October, which includes his single of the same name. In addition to Those Who Love, Hate, Lopilato will star in the movies Fair Market Value and Predeterminados.

??? Guess Who ???

Which former first lady is modeling heels from Katy Perry's shoe line?

Hillary Clinton turned model this week for Katy Perry's shoe line.

The 69-year-old former first lady was all smiles Monday while wearing the pink "Hillary" pumps from Perry's recently-launched Katy Perry Collections.

"POWER PUMP," Perry captioned a photo on Instagram of Clinton. "@HillaryClinton is wearing #TheHillary (OMG I LOVE HER SO MUCH)."

The baby pink Hillary heels feature a pointed toe and a lucite heel embedded with gold stars and moons. Perry told People in February the celestial details were meant to give Clinton "a pep in her step."

"I chose some of my favorite girlfriends and my female family members and named all the shoes after them. So they're all getting their own shoe, I guess, so that's fun," the 32-year-old singer said.

"I tried to pair the shoes that best represented their personality. I didn't necessarily shape the shoe after them, but I decided to make the shoes more name-specific in the end," she added.

Perry was a staunch supporter of Clinton during the 2016 presidential race. The former first lady presented Perry with the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award at the UNICEF Ball in November after losing the election to Donald Trump.

"I've gotten to spend time with her and I know how deeply she cares about making our world a better place," Clinton said at the gala. "We need champions like Katy now more than ever."

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