Natural causes

James Gandolfini dead and his Rolex is gone

James Gandolfini, a graduate of Park Ridge High School, died June 19, 2013.

James Gandolfini, a graduate of Park Ridge High School, died June 19, 2013.

ROME (AP) — An autopsy on James Gandolfini has found that the “Sopranos” star died of a heart attack, with no evidence of substance abuse or foul play, a family spokesman said Friday, June 21, 2013.

“It is with immense sorrow that we report our client, James Gandolfini, passed away today while on holiday in Rome, Italy,” managers Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders said in a joint statement. “Our hearts are shattered and we will miss him deeply. He and his family were part of our family for many years and we are all grieving.”



PLUS: Gandolfini’s Rolex was stolen in the confusion that ensued as he lay dying.

Hurricane Sandy destroys Bay Head, New Jersey

BAY HEAD — Cleaning up the damage caused by Sandy will cost New Jersey about $29.4 billion.

Gov. Chris Christie cited the estimate in a statement released Friday night, but warned that the total could go higher as the state further assesses damage.

The preliminary estimate includes damage to personal property, businesses, transportation, utilities and infrastructure. It also includes aid the state has already received and money it expects to get.

The Jersey Shore, the lifeblood of New Jersey’s $38 billion tourism industry, was hardest-hit during the storm. Christie said officials will assess the storm’s impact on coming tourism seasons, and also will start to study population shifts and changes in the real estate market.

Christie says he remains committed to working with President Obama to secure federal help for New Jersey. – AP.

Houdini assistant dies at 103

Dorothy Young of Tinton Falls became famous for her stage career with illusionist Harry Houdini. Photo via Wikipedia.

When Dorothy Young of Tinton Falls was on a trip to New York with her parents in 1925, she read in Variety about an open casting call for illusionist Harry Houdini’s act.”Girl Dancer wanted for Broadway show to tour the United States,” read the advertisement. Young, the daughter of a Methodist minister, auditioned and was hired at age 17. “Houdini had been famous for 30 years, but he had always longed to star in his own Broadway show and tour the United States,” young told an interviewer. “And that’s where I came in.” Houdini’s assistant died in March 2012 at 103.

Luther Vandross

Luther Vandross was born in New York City, the fourth child of Mary Ida Van Dross and Luther Van Dross Sr. He grew up in a musical family, learning to play the piano at age 3. When Vandross was 8,…

Davy Jones dies

Davy Jones poses with fans during an autograph signing at the Chiller Theatre convention in the Hilton Parsippany in October 2009. Jones died of a heart attack at age 66 on Feb. 29, 2012. He was standoffish during this event (Note the sour puss).


Dead Poets Society

So much depends upon a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens  — William Carlos Williams, “The Red Wheelbarrow” Throughout his life, William Carlos Williams divided his time two ways — the first was his day…

Death of zombie with ties to New Jersey (+ video)

In Bill Hinzman’s first movie role, he played a zombie who attacked a young couple in a cemetery. The year was 1968, and the movie, “Night of the Living Dead” became a cult classic that would make Hinzman famous among…

Dead inside

For more than a year, bundles of mail piled up outside 99 Black Oak Ridge Road in Wayne. Over the months — from about December 2010 to January 2012 — the house and property had fallen into serious disrepair.

Robert Hegyes: Death of a sweathog

Robert Hegyes, who was a member of one of the most popular television ensemble casts of the 1970s, “Welcome Back, Kotter,” was living in Metuchen. And he put a photo of his home and his home address on the Internet…

Patrice Oneal: JC funny man dies

In his comedy, Jersey City resident Patrice Oneal had a reputation for stark honesty that led many in the industry to call him a comedian’s comedian. He took on topics like AIDS, race and most of all his poor health.