Larry King dies after getting COVID-19; influential talk show host was 87

January 23, 2021

by John Larson

Larry King, who was best known for hosting the talk show “Larry King Live” on CNN, died at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, on January 23, 2021. He was 87. King was being treated for COVID-19 for the past several weeks. His death was announced on Twitter by his company Ora Media. Before coming down with COVID-19 King had had several other health issues over the years, including heart attacks, diabetes and lung cancer.

King was a longtime host in radio and television. He reached his greatest fame as the host of CNN’s “Larry King Live” from 1985 to 2010. The show featured a wide variety of guests, including famous entertainers, politicians, business leaders and non-famous people. There are very few celebrities in King’s era whom he didn’t interview. After leaving CNN, King founded Ora Media and hosted a self-titled talk show on the Internet. Jimmy Kimmel, Oprah Winfrey, Piers Morgan (who briefly replaced King on CNN) and Craig Ferguson are among the entertainers who have cited King as a major influence in being a talk show host.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 19, 1933, King was one of two children of restaurant owner/defense-plant worker Aaron Zeiger and garment worker Jennie (Gitlitz) Zeiger, who emigrated to the United States from Belarus. King started his broadcasting career in radio and eventually had a nationally syndicated radio talk show called “The Larry King Show,” which could be heard on Mutual Broadcasting from 1978 to 1985. He left the show to host “Larry King Live” on CNN.

King had a chaotic personal life, with seven wives. His first marriage was annulled, and his next five marriages ended in divorce. His estranged seventh wife, Shawn King (formerly known as singer/actress Shawn Southwick), whom Larry married in 1997, had an on-again/off-again relationship with him. The estranged couple first filed for divorce in 2010, but cancelled those legal proceedings. Larry filed for divorce from her in 2019, but the divorce was never finalized at the time of his death.

Larry is survived by his sons Chance and Cannon (from his marriage to Shawn) and his son Larry Jr., whose mother was King’s second ex-wife Annette Kaye.

The King family has had several tragic deaths within a short period of time. In July 2020, Larry’s son Andy passed away of a heart attack age 65. In August 2020, his 51-year-old daughter Chaia died of lung cancer.

Pierre Cardin dead at 98; French designer was a pioneer in 20th century fashion

December 29, 2020

by Daphne Sorenson

Pierre Cardin (Photo courtesy of Utopia)

Pierre Cardin, a pioneering French fashion designer of the 20th century, died on December 29, 2020, at the age of 98. According to Associated Press: “The French Academy of Fine Arts announced Cardin’s death in a tweet. He had been among its illustrious members since 1992. The academy did not give a cause of death or say where the designer died.”

Born on July 7, 1922 as Pietro Costante Cardin in San Biagio di Callalta, Italy (near Venice), he moved to France with his family when he was a child. While living in France, he began going by the first name Pierre.

At the age of 14, he began is fashion career as a clothier apprentice. He moved to Paris in 1945 and worked for fashion house of Paquin, as well as for designer Elsa Schiaparelli. In 1947, he became head of Christian Dior’s tailleure atelier. And by 1950, Cardin began his own fashion house.

Cardin was best known pioneering “mod” fashion of the late 1960s and the 1970s. One of his best known creations was to combine the concepts of miniskirts and maxiskirts by having short dresses or skirts with cascading designs. He was also one of the first fashion designers to license his brands worldwide for not just clothes and accessories but also fragrances, luggage and other household items. At the time of his death, Cardin’s company (which remained privately owned) still held hundreds of licenses, although he had sold off many licenses over the years.

In his personal life, Cardin never married or had children. He reportedly had affairs mostly with men and sometimes with women. His most high-profile relationship was a four-year romance in the 1960s with French actress Jeanne Moreau.

Cardin was the subject of the documentary “House of Cardin” (directed by P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes), which made the rounds at several film festivals in 2019 and was released in several countries (including the U.S.) in 2020. It is unknown at this point who will inherit Cardin’s vast fortune and how this inheritance will affect the leadership of his company.

Alex Trebek dead at 80; longtime ‘Jeopardy!’ host battled pancreatic cancer

November 8, 2020

by John Larson

Alex Trebek, who was best known for hosting the trivia game show “Jeopardy!,” died at his Los Angeles home on November 8, 2020. In 2019, he announced that he had advanced pancreatic cancer, but that he would continue to host the show. The Associated Press reported that Sony Pictures Television, the production company behind the syndicated “Jeopardy” announced that Trebek was with family members when he died.

Born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, on July 22, 1940, Trebek graduated from the University of Ottowa in 1961. He began his career that year as an employee for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He became a news reader for CBC national radio news and then became a correspondent for CBC Radio and CBC Television.

Trebek moved into the entertainment television as the host of the Canadian music program called “Music Hop” in 1963. In 1966, he began hosted his first TV game show: quiz show called “Reach for the Top.” He continued to work for CBC for the remainder of the 1960s and through the early 1970s. During this time period, he hosted the game show “Strategy” and the morning radio show “I’m Here Til 9.”

In 1973, Trebek moved to the United States, where he hosted several game shows over several decades, including “To Tell the Truth,” “The Wizard of Odds,” “Double Dare,” “High Rollers,” “Battlestars” and “Classic Concentration.”

The original incarnation of “Jeopardy!” was on NBC from 1964 to 1975, with Art Fleming as the host. Trebek began hosting a revival of “Jeopardy” in 1984. Trebek’s last episode as host of “Jeopardy!” is set to premiere in December 2020.

Trebek, who became a U.S. citizen in 1998, was married twice. His marriage to first wife Elaine Trebek Kares ​ lasted from 1974 to 1981, and ended in divorce. During their marriage, Trebek adopted Kares’ son Nicky. Trebek married his second wife Jean Currivan-Trebek in 1990. They had two children together: Matthew and Emily.

Trebek is survived by his three children and widow Jean Currivan-Trebek.

Sean Connery dead at 90; Oscar-winning actor was the original James Bond

October 31, 2020

by Carla Hay

Sean Connery, the Oscar-winning Scottish actor who was best known for being the first James Bond in the movies, died of natural causes at his home in the Bahamas. He was 90. According to the Associated Press: “Connery’s wife and two sons said he ‘died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by family’ in the Bahamas, where he lived. Son Jason Connery said his father had been ‘unwell for some time.'”

Born on August 25, 1930, in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, Scotland, Connery had working-class roots. His father Joseph was a factory worker and truck driver, while his mother Euphemia (also known as Effie) was a house cleaner. After a stint in the Royal Navy as teenager, Connery had various jobs, including being a truck driver, a lifeguard and a model. In the early 1950s, Connery became a bodybuilder who competed in the Mr. Universe contest, before he decided to try acting on a whim.

With no formal training, he landed a role as a chorus boy in a British stage production of “South Pacific.” He first film role was a small part as a gangster in the 1957 movie “No Road Back.”

Connery’s most iconic role was as James Bond, a British playboy spy, based on the character of Ian Fleming’s novels. Connery was the first actor to portray James Bond in movies, beginning with 1962’s “Dr. No” and continuing with 1963’s “From Russia With Love,” 1964’s “Goldfinger,” 1965’s “Thunderball,” 1967’s “You Only Live Twice,” 1971’s “Diamonds Are Forever” and 1983’s “Never Say Never Again.”

Other notable films featuring Connery in a starring or co-starring role include 1964’s “Marnie,” 1974’s “Murder on the Orient Express” and 1989’s “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” He won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in 1987’s “The Untouchables.” It was first and only Oscar nomination. He was also the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for career achievement at the 1995 Golden Globe Awards. Connery’s last role in a live-action film was in 2003’s “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” His last role as an actor was in the 2012 animated movie “Sir Billi.”

Connery was married twice. His first marriage to Australian actress Diane Cilento lasted from 1962 to 1973 and ended in divorce. Their son Jason, who was born in 1963, became an actor and a director. Connery married his second wife Micheline Roquebrune in 1975, and they remained married until his death. Connery is survived by his wife Micheline. brother Neil and son Jason.

Eddie Van Halen, influential guitarist of rock band Van Halen, dead of cancer at age 65

October 6, 2020

by Carla Hay

On October 6, 2020, Eddie Van Halen, who is widely considered one of the most influential rock guitarists of all time, died at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California, after a long battle with lung cancer and throat cancer. He was 65. His son and only child, Wolfgang Van Halen, made the announcement on his official Twitter account. Wolfgang’s statement read: “I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodwijk Van Halen, has lost his long arduous battle with cancer this morning. He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift. My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss.”

Born on January 26, 1955, Eddie and his older brother Alex Van Halen were Dutch immigrants whose parent settled in Pasadena, California, in 1962. Their father Jan was a musician, and their mother Eugenia was a homemaker. The Van Halen brothers (who eventually became U.S. citizens) formed their namesake band in Pasadena in 1972. By 1974, the band’s classic lineup consisted of lead guitarist Eddie Van Halen, lead singer David Lee Roth, drummer Alex Van Halen and bassist Michael Anthony. Eddie was a self-taught guitarist whose “fretboard tapping” style of playing was considered hugely influential to countless guitar players.

Van Halen’s self-titled 1978 album was an instant smash, yielding the hit singles “Runnin’ With the Devil” and a cover version of The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me.” The band went on to have numerous multiplatinum albums and hit singles for the rest of its career, most notably the “1984” album (which had the No. 1 single “Jump”) and 1991’s Grammy-winning “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” album, which was best known for the chart-topping song “Right Now.”

Roth parted ways with the band in 1985, when he launched a solo career, and he was replaced by Sammy Hagar, who was fired in 1996. Van Halen announced a reunion with Roth in 1996, but that reunion did not turn into an album or tour, as Roth acrimoniously split with the band again. Gary Cherone was Van Halen’s lead singer from 1996 to 1999. Cherone recorded only one album with the band: 1998’s “Van Halen III,” which was a commercial disappointment, compared to other Van Halen albums.

Eddie underwent hip-replacement surgery in 1999, which led to the band Van Halen going on hiatus until 2003, when Hagar reunited with the band. Hagar was fired again in 2005. Bass player Anthony was fired in 2006, and he was replaced by Eddie’s son Wolfgang.

Eddie married actress Valerie Bertinelli in 1981. Their son Wolfgang was born in 1991. The couple officially divorced in 2007, after being separated since 2001. Eddie married publicist Janie Liszewski in 2009. In several media interviews, Eddie (who was a recovering alcoholic and cocaine addict) credited Liszewski with helping him stay clean and sober since 2008. However, he still admitted to indulging in his addiction to nicotine.

In 2007, Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and reunited with Roth for a successful tour that launched later that year. Roth stayed in Van Halen’s final lineup, which toured off and on until 2015. Van Halen’s last studio album of new songs was 2012’s “A Different Kind of Truth.” In 2012, Eddie was diagnosed with diverticulitis. His battle with cancer had been going on for several years before it was officially made public in 2019.

Chadwick Boseman dead at 43; acclaimed star of ‘Black Panther’ battled colon cancer

August 28, 2020

by Carla Hay

Chadwick Boseman (Photo courtesy of ABC/Image Group LA) 

Chadwick Boseman, the charismatic and critically acclaimed actor who starred in the 2018 blockbuster “Black Panther,” died of colon cancer at his Los Angeles home on August 28, 2020. He was 43. In a public statement issued by his family, Boseman had been diagnosed with cancer in 2016, but he never revealed this diagnosis to the public, according to the Associated Press.

In addition to starring in “Black Panther,” Boseman had roles in other Marvel superhero movies such as 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War,” 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War” and 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame.” He also starred as several African American icons in biopics, such as baseball player Jackie Robinson in the 2013 movie “42,” singer James Brown in 2014’s “Get on Up” and Thurgood Marshall in 2017’s “Marshall.” He also starred in the cop drama “21 Bridges,” which was his first movie in which he was a producer. Boseman’s last two film roles were for Netflix: He portrayed a Vietnam War soldier in the 2020 drama “Da 5 Bloods” (directed and co-written by Spike Lee) and co-starred with Viola Davis in the drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which does not have a release date yet.

Born on November 29, 1976, in Anderson, South Carolina, Boseman graduated from Howard University in 2000, with a bachelor of fine arts degree in directing. Two important mentors he had during his college years were Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington (who reportedly paid for Boseman’s college tuition) and actress Phylicia Rashad, who was one of his teachers at Howard. Boseman was also a graduate of Digital Film Academy and aspired to be a director.

Boseman made his film debut in 2008’s “The Express.” Before getting starring roles movies, he had roles in TV shows and in theater, most notably in the 2010 short-lived NBC series “Persons Unknown” and in a recurring role in 2008 and 2009 in the ABC Family series “Lincoln Heights,” which was on the air from 2007 to 2010. But he was best known for playing African king superhero T’Challa in “Black Panther,” which was the second highest-grossing film of 2018 in the world (with $1.3 billion in ticket sales), second to “Avengers: Infinity War,” which had worldwide ticket sales of $2 billion. Of the $1.3 billion that “Black Panther” had in worldwide ticket sales, $700 million were ticket sales in the U.S., making “Black Panther” the highest-grossing film in the U.S. in 2018.

“Black Panther” won numerous awards, including three Oscars: for costume design, production design and original score. Boseman and the rest of “Black Panther” stars won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding by a Cast in a Motion Picture, and the movie won several NAACP Image Awards. A sequel to “Black Panther” had been announced to be released in 2022, but had not begun filming at the time that Boseman passed away. As of now, it’s unclear what will happen to the movie because of Boseman’s death. Also in limbo is the movie “Yasuke,” in which Boseman had the title role, but the movie hadn’t begun filming at the time of his death.

The Boseman family statement says: “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From ‘Marshall’ to ‘Da 5 Bloods,’ August Wilson’s ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ and several more—all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in ‘Black Panther.’”

Boseman is survived by his wife Taylor Simone Ledward and his parents Leroy and Karen Boseman.

Olivia de Havilland dead at 104; legendary actress won two Oscars and fought for artist work rights

July 26, 2020

by Rachel Grant

Oscar-winning actress Olivia de Havilland died of natural causes at her home in Paris on July 26, 2020. She was 104. According to Variety, de Havilland’s former lawyer Suzelle M. Smith commented, “She died peacefully in Paris.”

Some of the best-known films that de Havilland starred in were 1939’s “Gone With the Wind,” 1941’s “Hold Back the Dawn,” 1946’s “To Each His Own,” 1948’s “The Snake Pit” and 1949’s “The Heiress.” She won Academy Awards for Best Actress for “To Each His Own” and “The Heiress.” She also received Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress for “Gone With the Wind” and Best Actress for “Hold Back the Dawn” and “The Snake Pit.”

Born on July 1, 1916, in Tokyo, de Havilland was raised in the United Kingdom. Her father, Walter de Havilland, was an English professor who later became a patent attorney, while her mother was actress Lilian Fontaine. Because both of  her parents were British, she had dual citizenship.

Oscar-winning actress Joan Fontaine was Olivia de Havilland’s younger sister by one year. The two sisters had a notorious rivalry/feud, off and on, for years. They remained estranged when Fontaine died in 2013, at the age of 96. They are the only sisters to have won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Fontaine won her Oscar for 1941’s “Suspicion,” in the same year that de Havilland was Oscar-nominated in the Best Actress category for “Hold Back the Dawn.”

In 1943, de Havilland filed a groundbreaking lawsuit against Warner Bros. Pictures, with her lawsuit claiming that she was no longer bound to work for Warner Bros. after seven years, based on California Labor Code that forbids an employer-employee contract to last for more than seven years after the employee first began working for the employer. In 1945, de Havilland won the lawsuit, which set a precedent for what’s known as the De Havilland Law, which limits an employer-employee contract to no more than seven years from the time that an employee begins working for the employer.

In addition to her movie career, de Havilland also made her mark as an actress in theater and on television. She starred in Broadway productions such as such as 1951’s “Romeo and Juliet,” 1952’s “Candida” and 1962’s “A Gift of Time.” Her notable TV appearances included the 1979 miniseries “Roots: The Next Generations” and the 1986 miniseries “Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna,” a project for which she received a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy nomination.

As for her personal life, de Havilland was married and divorced twice. Her first marriage to screenwriter/novelist Marcus Goodrich lasted from 1946 to 1953. Her second marriage to journalist Pierre Galante was from 1955 to 1979. Her son Benjamin (from her marriage to Goodrich) died of lymphoma in 1991, at the age of 42. She is survived by her attorney daughter Gisele Galante Chulak, who was born from de Havilland’s marriage to Galante.

Regis Philbin dead at 88; TV icon was best known for hosting ‘Live’ and ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’

July 25, 2020

by Frances Dalton

Regis Philbin (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon)

Longtime TV personality Regis Philbin died of natural causes in his New York home on July 24, 2020. He was 88.

Philbin’s family issued this statement to Variety: “His family and friends are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with him—for his warmth, his legendary sense of humor, and his singular ability to make every day into something worth talking about. We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss.”

Born in New York City on August 25, 1931, Philbin was known for his affable manner with touches of sarcasm. He was most famous for co-hosting the syndicated talk show “Live” and for hosting ABC’s original U.S. incarnation of the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

After graduating from Notre Dame University and serving a brief stint in the U.S. Navy, Philbin started his TV career in the 1950s as a page forNBC’s “The Tonight Show.” He worked in local TV news for several years, and then hosted local TV talk shows in various cities, such as Los Angeles and St. Louis. In 1964 to 1965, he starred in the short-lived nationally syndicated “The Regis Philbin Show,” and he became a sidekick/announcer on “The Joey Bishop Show” in 1967.

“Live” began in 1983 as the 90-minute “The Morning Show” on the WABC-TV, the ABC affiliate in New York City, with Philbin co-hosting with Cyndy Garvey. In 1984, the show was renamed “Live” and pared down to a 60-minute format with co-host Ann Abernathy. In 1988, “Live” became a nationally syndicated show, with Katie Lee Gifford as co-host, and renamed “Live With Regis and Kathie Lee.”

Philbin co-hosted the show with Gifford co-hosted the show, until Gifford left in 2000. From 2000 to 2001, Philbin was the show’s only permanent host with a revolving set of guest co-hosts until Kelly Ripa became the permanent co-host in 2001, and the show was renamed “Live With Regis and Kelly.” Philbin left the show in 2011 to go into semi-retirement, and he was replaced by Michael Strahan. Strahan left “Live” in 2016 to join ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and was replaced by Ryan Seacrest in 2017.

From 1999 to 2003, he hosted ABC’s primetime game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” He hosted ABC game show “The Neighbors,” which lasted from 1975 to 1976. Philbin also made numerous guest TV appearances on other shows over the years, usually portraying himself (or a version of himself) in scripted shows.

Philbin holds the Guinness World Record for the most hours on camera (more than 16,700 hours) for any individual on U.S. television.

He is survived by his second wife, Joy Senese Philbin (who was often a guest host on “Live”), who was married to Regis since 1970; their two daughters Joanna and Jennifer; and his son Daniel and daughter Amy, from his first marriage to Catherine “Kay” Faylen, whom he was married to from 1955 to 1968.

Carl Reiner dead at 98; comedic icon was father to actor/filmmaker Rob Reiner

June 30, 2020

by Jeffrey Peterson

On June 29, 2020, Carl Reiner, the comedic actor, writer,  producer and director who created and co-starred in the CBS comedy series “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” died of natural causes in his home in Beverly Hills, California. He was 98. His assistant Judy Nagy confirmed the death, which was first reported by TMZ, according to the Associated Press.

“The Dick Van Dyke Show,” which was on the air from 1961 to 1966, starred Dick Van Dyke as a TV writer and Mary Tyler Moore as his wife. The comedy series was inspired by Reiner’s real-life experiences working on Sid Caesar’s comedy series “Caesar’s Hour” from 1954 to 1957. Later in his career, Reiner was a frequent collaborator with Mel Brooks and Steve Martin.

In addition to acting in “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and numerous other TV shows, Reiner co-starred several movies, including 1963’s “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” 1966’s “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming” and 1978’s “The Jerk.” His last film role was as the voice of Carl Reineroceros in 2019’s Oscar-winning animated film “Toy Story 4.”

He was directed several movies, including 1979’s “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid,” 1978’s “The Jerk” and 1977’s “Oh, God!” The last movie that Carl Reiner directed was 1997’s “That Old Feeling,” starring Bette Midler and Dennis Farina.

Carl Reiner was the father of Rob Reiner, who started out as an actor (best known for his co-starring role in “All in the Family”), but Rob eventually became a director too. Rob Reiner’s directorial film credits include 1984’s “This Is Spinal Tap,” 1987’s “The Princess Bride,” 1989’s “When Harry Met Sally,” 1990’s Misery” and 1992’s “A Few Good Men.”

Carl Reiner and is wife Estelle were married from 1943 until she died in 2008.. Car Reiner is survived by his children Rob, Lucas (who is a film director) and Sylvia, who is a psychoanalyst and author.

Little Richard dead at 87; flamboyant singer-musician was a pioneer in rock and roll

May 9, 2020

by Carla Hay

Little Richard, who is considered one of the leading pioneers of rock and roll from the 1950s, died of bone cancer at a family home in Tullahoma, Tennessee, on May 9, 2020. He was 87.

Little Richard’s longtime attorney Bill Sobel told the Associated Press: “He was not only an iconic and legendary musician, but he was also a kind, empathetic and insightful human being.”

Little Richard was born Richard Penniman in Macon, Georgia, on December 5, 1932. He was the third of 12 children in a Baptist family led by his parents Charles “Bud” Penniman (who was a brick mason and church deacon) and Leva Mae Penniman. His father’s charismatic style of preaching later influenced Richard’s performance style.

In the early 1950s, a new genre of music called rock and roll was causing controversy in the United States because of its sexually suggestive lyrics. In its earliest years, rock was a music genre mostly performed by African American artists, so it was frequently called “race music.” Little Richard (who became famous for his pompadour hairdo, heavy makeup and foot-stomping piano playing) was one of the first stars of rock and roll. His best-known hits included “Tutti Frutti,” “Lucille,” “Good Golly Miss Molly” and “Long Tall Sally.”

Fats Domino and Chuck Berry were also among the first rock stars, but as the music became more popular, white artists such as Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis started to perform rock music and took over the segregated pop charts, whereas black artists performing the same music were usually relegated to charts and radio stations for black artists. White artists eventually began to dominate rock music and got preferential treatment for radio airplay and other media attention, while the African American pioneers of rock could no longer get big hits and had to rely on their early breakthrough hits to keep their careers going as nostalgia acts.

For decades afterward, Little Richard complained about how rock music was “stolen” from the African Americans who invented the genre. In 1988, Little Richard (who also called himself the Architect of Rock and Roll) was among the first group of artists inducted in the inaugural Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. He received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1993, which is a non-competitive Grammy Award.

He also branched out into acting, by doing commercials, TV shows and movies, usually by portraying himself or characters that were versions of himself. His most notable movies included 1986’s “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” and 1993’s “The Last Action Hero.”

Little Richard was married to Ernestine Harvin from 1957 to 1964, with the marriage ending in divorce. When they were married, the couple adopted their son Danny Jones, who is Little Richard’s only child.

Little Richard also led a life of extreme contrasts. At various times in his life, Little Richard publicly identified his sexuality as either bisexual or gay. He was open about his penchant for sexual voyeurism and exhibitionism, and he was arrested a few times in his life for lewd public conduct. Sometimes he publicly condemned homosexuality, while at other times, he publicly embraced it. In 1957, he became a born-again Christian and left show business, but then he returned to being a being an entertainer in the 1960s.

According to his 1985 official biography (“The Life and Times of Little Richard”) and interviews that he gave over the years, Little Richard also went from someone who abstained from drugs and alcohol early in his career to becoming a drug addict hooked on heroin, cocaine and PCP in the 1960s and 1970s. He became a preacher in the 1970s and later went back to being a full-time entertainer. His last concert was on August 25, 2014, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.