James Brown, a towering musical figure who as the "Godfather of Soul" shaped the American rhythm-and-blues, funk and disco genres for a half-century, died in an Atlanta, Georgia hospital at the age of 73.
The singer, whose shouting, gospel-style singing and frenetic dancing made his stage shows legendary, died of complications from pneumonia, his agency Intrigue Music said.
Intrigue Music said the singer died at Emory Crawford Long Hospital at 1:45 am (0645 GMT) "from congestive heart failure as a result of pneumonia."
"The self-proclaimed "Godfather of Soul" also was known as "Soul Brother Number One," and "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business." He continued to perform at least 100 shows a year and was to headline a New Year's Eve bash Sunday at the B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in New York.
I feel so lucky to have seen James Brown a month or so ago in Glasgow, he looked as fit as fiddle then...good times. He'll be missed. I remember Charlie Drake from the very distant past HH, I thought he'd shuffled off this mortal coil years ago.
Denny! God, I'm sorry to hear that......my parents used to play their albums when I was growing up. I read both John and Michelle's books and both of them sung Denny's praises. He seemed like a neat guy. My daughter knows him from his role on the kiddie tv show "Theodore Tug Boat" on PBS. He played the Captain. Sorry to hear of his passing.
DENVER - Actor Woody Harrelson's father, Charles Harrelson, died in the Supermax federal prison where he was serving two life sentences for the murder of a federal judge, officials said Wednesday.
Charles Harrelson, 69, was found unresponsive in his cell on March 15 and apparently died of natural causes, said Felicia Ponce, a Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman in Washington.
Ponce did not know the cause of death. Fremont County Coroner Dorothy Twellman did not immediately return a call.
Charles Harrelson was convicted of murder in the May 29, 1979, slaying of U.S. District Judge John Wood Jr. outside his San Antonio, Texas, home. Prosecutors said a drug dealer hired him to kill Wood because he did not want the judge to preside at his upcoming trial.
Charles Harrelson denied the killing, saying he was in Dallas, 270 miles away, when Wood was killed.
He was transferred to Supermax, the highest-security federal prison, after attempting to break out of an Atlanta federal prison in 1995.
Other inmates at Supermax, about 90 miles south of Denver, include Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski, Oklahoma City bombing coconspirator Terry Nichols and Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph.
By LARRY McSHANE, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 7 minutes ago
NEW YORK - Calvert DeForest, the white-haired, bespectacled nebbish who gained cult status as the oddball Larry "Bud" Melman on David Letterman's late night television shows, has died after a long illness. The Brooklyn-born DeForest, who was 85, died Monday at a hospital on Long Island, Letterman's "Late Show" announced Wednesday.
He made dozens of appearances on Letterman's shows from 1982 through 2002, handling a variety of twisted duties: dueting with Sonny Bono on "I Got You, Babe," doing a Mary Tyler Moore impression during a visit to Minneapolis, handing out hot towels to arrivals at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
"Everyone always wondered if Calvert was an actor playing a character, but in reality he was just himself — a genuine, modest and nice man," Letterman said in a statement. "To our staff and to our viewers, he was a beloved and valued part of our show, and we will miss him."
The gnomish DeForest was working as a file clerk at a drug rehabilitation center when show producers, who had seen him in a New York University student's film, came calling.
He was the first face to greet viewers when Letterman's NBC show debuted on Feb. 1, 1982, offering a parody of the prologue to the Boris Karloff film "Frankenstein."
"It was the greatest thing that had happened in my life," he once said of his first Letterman appearance.
DeForest, given the nom de tube of Melman, became a program regular. The collaboration continued when the talk show host launched "Late Show with David Letterman" on CBS in 1993, though DeForest had to use his real name because of a dispute with NBC over "intellectual property."
Cue cards were often DeForest's television kryptonite, and his character inevitably appeared in an ill-fitting black suit behind thick black-rimmed glasses.
DeForest often drew laughs by his bizarre juxtaposition as a "Late Show" correspondent at events such as the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway or the anniversary Woodstock concert that year.
His last appearance on "Late Show," celebrating his 81st birthday, came in 2002.
DeForest also appeared in an assortment of other television shows and films, including "Nothing Lasts Forever" with Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd.
At his request, there will be no funeral service for DeForest, who left no survivors.
This photo of character actor Calvert DeForest was taken in New York in August of 1993. DeForrest, who appeared as Larry 'Bud' Melman on NBC's 'Late Night with David Letterman' and under his own name when Letterman brought the show to CBS, died Monday, March 19, 2007. He was 85. (AP Photo)