James Gandolfini probably died of a heart attack, according to the head of a Rome hospital's emergency department where the actor was taken.
The body of the actor was transferred to a hospital morgue in Rome early Thursday, where it awaited an autopsy.
By law, medical examiners in Italy are required to carry out the postmortem 24 hours after the body's arrival in the morgue, a hospital spokesman said.
Before Italian authorities can release his remains for transport back to the United States, the U.S. Embassy in Rome must issue a death certificate.
Jonathan Winters, the wildly inventive actor and comedian who appeared in such films as "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" and "The Loved One" and played Robin Williams' son on the TV show "Mork & Mindy," has died.
He was 87.
Winters died Thursday evening of natural causes at his home in Montecito, California, according to business associate Joe Petro III.FULL STORY
On Wednesday, Jay Leno confirmed the rampant reports that he's once again departing "The Tonight Show," presumably for good this time.
He'll wrap up his 22-year run as host in spring 2014, with Jimmy Fallon officially signing on as his replacement.
The expectation that he would leave NBC's legendary late-night program has been building recently. NBC execs told The Hollywood Reporter and The New York Times in early March that Leno was going to be out and someone else, most likely "Late Night" host Fallon, was going to be in.FULL STORY
Jane Nebel Henson - who was married to the late Muppets creator Jim Henson and was instrumental in the development of the world-famous puppets - died Tuesday morning, a representative for the Jim Henson Company said. She was 79.
Henson died at her home in Connecticut after a "long battle with cancer," a written statement from the company said.FULL STORY
Shain Gandee, one of the stars of the MTV reality show "Buckwild," and two other people died of carbon monoxide poisoning, the sheriff's office in Kanawha County, West Virginia, said Tuesday.
The deaths, discovered Monday, were labeled as accidental, according to preliminary findings from an autopsy report.
Gandee, 21, was found dead in a vehicle along with his uncle, David Dwight Gandee, 48, and Donald Robert Myers, 27, authorities said. The vehicle was stuck in mud that covered its tailpipe, investigators said.FULL STORY
Shain Gandee, one of the stars of the MTV reality show "Buckwild," has been found dead inside a vehicle along with two other people in Kanawha County, West Virginia, authorities said Monday.
The show follows a group of young adults trying to have fun in Sissonville, West Virginia, pulling stunts like turning a dump truck into a swimming pool or just riding around the woods on their all-terrain vehicles. Gandee was billed as a former high school prom king who had done "every job from coal mining to being a garbage man."FULL STORY
Oprah Winfrey will deliver the commencement address at Harvard University's 362nd graduation ceremony on May 30, the university said Monday.
"Oprah's journey from her grandmother's Mississippi farm to becoming one of the world's most admired women is one of the great American success stories," Harvard President Drew Faust said in a statement posted to the Harvard Gazette website Monday.
"She has used her extraordinary influence and reach as a force for good in the world, with a constant focus on the importance of educational opportunity and the virtues of serving others."
Winfrey will speak at the school's "Afternoon Exercises," which also serves as the Harvard Alumni Association's annual meeting, the school said.
A star of the long-running TV show "One Day at a Time" has died.
Actress Bonnie Franklin died Friday due to complications from pancreatic cancer. She was 69.
Her "One Day at a Time" character, Ann Romano, was "ground-breaking," CBS said in a statement, because it "helped define and illuminate the role of single working mothers within the cultural landscape."FULL STORY
Dale Robertson learned that he had Stage 4 cancer just last week, while he was being treated for pneumonia.
Robertson, whose horse expertise, Oklahoma roots and handsome looks helped him win cowboy roles in 1950s and '60s, died this week at age 89, his wife said Thursday.FULL STORY
The television broadcaster Globovision, long critical of the Venezuelan government, has been excluded from government plans to switch broadcast formats from analog to digital, Reporters Without Borders said Friday.
Globovision, which is Venezuela's sole national television broadcaster that routinely criticizes the government, "has been excluded from a new system of Open Digital Television (TDA), which the government launched on February 20 in a televised announcement that all the broadcast media had to carry," the advocacy group reported.
"Under the TDA system, all TV stations currently broadcasting by means of an analogue signal will eventually have to switch to a digitally processed signal in order to continue operating," it said.FULL STORY
A news anchor for WCBS in New York City has resigned following allegations that he choked his wife in their Connecticut home, a WCBS spokeswoman said Wednesday.
The anchor, Rob Morrison, said in a statement released Wednesday that his "family is my first and only priority right now."FULL STORY
As an heir to the King of Pop, Prince Michael Jackson should not have to work, but at age 16, he has taken a gig as a reporter for "Entertainment Tonight."
After receiving an on-camera coaching session on journalism techniques from ET's Brooke Anderson, Jackson recorded his first interview. The topic: an upcoming remake of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."FULL STORY
Actor Burt Reynolds is in intensive care in a Florida hospital, where he went for treatment of flu symptoms, one of his representatives said Friday.
Reynolds was dehydrated when he went to the hospital, and was eventually transferred to its intensive care unit, his representative Erik Kritzer told CNN.
"He is doing better at this time," Kritzer said late Friday afternoon of the 76-year-old actor. "We expect, as soon as he gets more fluids, he will be back in a regular room."FULL STORY
The talk in Washington is all about the "fiscal cliff" and what the president and Congress need to do about it. Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the fiscal cliff debate.
Today's programming highlights...
8:00 am ET - Golden Globe nominations - Actors Jessica Alba, Megan Fox and Ed Helms announce the nominations for 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California. The Golden Globes honor the best in TV and film.
[Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET] A man who alleged he was 16 when he started a relationship with the puppeteer who provides the voice of Elmo on “Sesame Street” now says it was an “adult consensual relationship,” according to his lawyers.
The man, now 23, had told Sesame Workshop in June that he started a relationship with Kevin Clash as a teenager, according to the workshop. The workshop announced on Monday that a thorough investigation found “the allegation of underage conduct to be unsubstantiated.”
On Tuesday, a law firm saying it represented the man released a statement saying he “wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship.”
[Update 1:55 p.m.] Kevin Clash has issued a statement saying,"I am a gay man. I have never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it, but felt it was a personal and private matter. I had a relationship with the accuser. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterize it as something other than what it was. I am taking a break from Sesame Workshop to deal with this false and defamatory allegation."
[Posted 12:23 p.m.] The puppeteer who voices Elmo - one of the most adored children's characters in the world - is taking time off from Sesame Street after denying he had an inappropriate relationship with a teenage boy.
Sesame Street Workshop says it found the allegation against Kevin Clash "unsubstantiated," and granted him leave as he takes "actions to protect his reputation."
Mitt Romney said that he loves Big Bird but that the "Sesame Street" resident is not important enough for America to go into debt with China to subsidize him and his PBS friends. Does this mean our feathered friend could lose his job under a Romney administration? Would he then become a drain on our society? Are there retraining opportunities to become a St. Louis Cardinal or Baltimore Oriole? What family does Big Bird have? Who the heck is this yellow thing?
How likely is it that Big Bird gets the pink slip?
Our yellow feathered friend may be hoping he'll be able to mind his Ps and Qs on "Sesame Street" but might be feeling a little worried about his bills while the cloud of losing his job hangs over his head. How likely is it?
Sesame Workshop, which produces "Sesame Street," says on its website that 93% of production costs for the show are covered by licensing activities or corporate sponsorships, CNNMoney.com reports.
But Children's Television Workshop, which helps produce "Sesame Street," gets a decent number of grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Here are the numbers for those ready to count with the Count: In 2009, it received $2.5 million in total. In 2010, a federal Ready to Learn grant, which helps put on educational TV shows, provided about $1.5 million, and the overall digital presence for "Sesame Street" and friends got $8 million to help spread educational messages and games online in 2011.
So maybe Big Bird should be taking this seriously. Even if most of the funding goes to his friends, a change in funding might put them out of work too if Romney were to go through with his idea to cut subsides to PBS. And that doesn't sound like it'd help all the people in his neighborhood.
It isn't the first time Big Bird has found himself in the middle of a national budget debate.
Last year, he survived a brush with budget-cut-hungry Republicans in the House, who voted to slash funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, only to see it added back into the final government funding deal.
What happens to Big Bird's health insurance if he gets axed?
If our "Sesame Street" friend did join the 12.5 million Americans who are unemployed, his joyful tone may switch to a sad rendition of "Can you tell me how to get to the unemployment line?"
The Weather Channel wants viewers to be on a first-name basis with the foulest of winter weather. The cable channel announced Tuesday that it will give names to the worst winter storms much like the National Hurricane Center does for tropical storms.
“Naming winter storms will raise awareness, which will lead to more pro-active efforts to plan ahead, resulting in less impact on the public overall,” Tom Niziol, the Weather Channel's winter weather expert, said on the channel's website.
Niziol wrote that winter storms are commonly given names in Europe, but he said that the lack of a single authority over winter storms in the United States, like the hurricane center is the central authority on tropical storms, is one reason why the winter blasts are not named.
That's where the Weather Channel thought it could step in, Niziol wrote.
Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. What follows is a look at some of the most talked-about stories of the day.
1. Remembering 'Horshack'
2. Hypersonic test flight
3. Lost my kid in public
4. Jennifer Aniston
5. 'F-bomb' and other words
Horshack was a beloved persona from "Welcome Back Kotter." Readers are mourning Ron Palillo, who played the 1970s TV character. For some, it's a generation thing.
Irv Kaage: "A sad day for all Sweathogs and a day that makes us all feel a little older."
Horshack paved the way for others who would dare to act like high school students, says this person.
SuthunYankee: "Hello. How are you? MY NAME is ARNOLD HORSHACK! He had many imitators: Urkel, Screech, etc. ... But Horshack was the best. R.I.P."
Or, more specifically ...
Maverick2591: "He was one of the first television nerds who made being a nerd cool. Everything else is superfluous ... Ron was decent and passionate, and he will be missed."
We heard from a couple of people who had gotten to meet Palillo, including one person who says they work at the G-Star School for the Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida. Palillo taught acting at the charter high school. FULL POST
Editor's note: Leslie Tripp is an assignment editor for the CNN National Desk.
Many people in their mid-30s and younger heard about the death of actor Ernest Borgnine and it didn't mean much. But I felt a particular sadness because I have interviewed Borgnine, and I actually made him cry.