Deaths - Soap Opera Network
Friday, November 28, 2014 | 7:15 AM

Deaths

Deborah Blackwell, the former general manager of Disney/ABC Cable Network Group's SOAPnet from 2001-2007, has died at the age of 63, reports Deadline Hollywood. She died yesterday, January 31, after a seven-year battle with Pick’s disease, a rare neurodegenerative disorder. Blackwell was surrounded by family in Virginia at the time of her passing.

During the in memoriam segment of the "20th SAG Awards," which aired live on TNT and TBS on Saturday, January 18, the Screen Actors Guild remembered those we lost in the past year. In addition to such greats as James Gandolfini and Peter O'Toole, the actor's union remembered "The Young and the Restless'" Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor) and Paul Walker (ex-Brandon Collins). Cooper died on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 after battling a long illness, while Walker died on Saturday, November 30, 2013 following an explosive car accident.

Best known for his portrayal as Philip Banks (aka: Uncle Phil) in NBC's widely popular sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," actor James Avery has died. According to his manager and publicist, Avery died on Tuesday, December 31 as a result of complications from open heart surgery. The actor appeared in October 2012 episodes of CBS' "The Young and the Restless" as Judge Daley, who ultimately dismissed a case against Phyllis Summers (Michelle Stafford).

Listed as a second unit director of photography during the third season of "The Bay: The Series," David Pregerson, 23, a recent graduate of UCLA, has died after succumbing to injuries sustained by a hit-and-run that occurred on the morning of Friday, December 27 in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA. According to police, he was walking home when he was hit by a vehicle and thrown into the bushes. The driver of the vehicle has yet to be identified. Pregerson died on Monday night after being taken off of life support.

With autopsies now completed, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office has announced the cause of death of actor Paul Walker and Roger Rodas, CEO of Always Evolving, who both died on Saturday, November 30 after their vehicle, a red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, crashed into a tree and exploded. Walker was a passenger in the vehicle while Rodas was behind the wheel. According to the Coroner's office, Walker died from "the combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries," while Rodas died as a result of "multiple traumatic injuries."

Following the tragic news of Paul Walker's sudden passing yesterday, cast members from "The Fast and the Furious" film franchise shared messages on social media websites in loving memory of the actor who was the only cast member to have appeared in five of the last six films and will also appear in the upcoming seventh installment, "Fast 7," which is scheduled for release on July 11, 2014. Universal Pictures, which produces and distributes the films worldwide, released the following statement: "All of us at Universal are heartbroken. Paul was truly one of the most beloved and respected members of our studio family for 14 years, and this loss is devastating to us, to everyone involved with the Fast and Furious films, and to countless fans. We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Paul’s family."

Paul Walker, best known for his portrayal of Brian O'Connor in “The Fast and the Furious” film franchise, has died. News of the Walker’s death was first reported by TMZ. Representatives for the actor confirmed that Walker died on Saturday afternoon as a result of a deadly car accident in which the vehicle he was in hit a tree in Santa Clarita, California. Per a posting on his official Facebook Page, Walker was a passenger in an unidentified friend’s vehicle while both were attending a charity event for Reach Out Worldwide. “We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences,” read the statement on the page.

Cory Monteith, who portrayed Finn Hudson on FOX's "Glee", has died. The actor was found dead in his hotel room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia on Saturday afternoon. It's understood that when Monteith missed his checkout at noon, hotel staff went to his room and found his body. "An autopsy is scheduled for Monday," said Vancouver Acting Police Chief Doug LePard in a press conference. "The Coroner will be determining the next steps with respect to establishing cause of death, but all indications are that there was no foul play."

It is with great sadness to report that Paul Skipper, a long-time photographer at JPI Studios, died on Tuesday, June 4 (previously incorrectly reported by us as Monday, June 3). While it is unknown at this time what caused Skipper's death, tweets have gone out from several past and present "Days of our Lives" cast/crew members, which is the show Skipper primarily shot for, including one from Eric Martsolf (Brady Black) that read: "Paul Skipper- RIP. No one shot more terrific pictures for our genre." His tweet was responded to by Crystal Chappell (ex-Carly Manning), who said "so very true. Loved his dear heart."

Fran Bascom, who had been nominated nine times for her work as a casting director at NBC's "Days of our Lives" by the Casting Society of America, has died. After reportedly feeling under the weather late Sunday, June 2, Bascom was taken to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, CA, where she died. A cause of death is not known at this time.