Cedric Benson, a former standout running back at the University of Texas and 8-year NFL veteran, died in a motorcycle crash on Saturday night in Austin. He was 36.
Benson played in the NFL from 2005 to 2012, mainly for the Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals, though he also played briefly for the Green Bay Packers in his final season. He rushed for over 1,000 yards for three consecutive years for Cincinnati.
While he was a solid contributor at the professional level, Benson was a true star in college. He was a prolific rusher for the Longhorns and remains the school's second all-time leading rusher after Ricky Williams. He rushed for over 1,000 yards all four years and picked up 2,013 total yards his senior year. That season he was an All-American and won the Doak Walker Award, which is given out annually to the top collegiate running back in the nation. The Longhorns earned a Rose Bowl victory over the University of Michigan before Benson was drafted by Chicago with the fourth overall pick. Tim O'Donnell
Peter Fonda, who starred in the Hollywood film Easy Rider, died on Friday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 79. His family said in a statement that the cause was respiratory failure resulting from lung cancer.
Fonda hailed from an iconic Hollywood family. His father, Henry Fonda, and his older sister, Jane Fonda, were both Academy Award winners. Fonda was known for his rebellious nature on and off the screen. His most famous role was the character Wyatt in 1969's Easy Rider, a counterculture film which film critic Roger Ebert once called "one of the rallying-points of the late '60s." He also contributed to the screenplay, for which he and his fellow writers — including his co-star Dennis Hopper — were nominated for an Academy Award.
Many directors, actors, and writers took time to share their appreciation for Fonda, including Edgar Writer, Ava DuVernay, and Rob Reiner.
My heart goes out to Jane over the loss of her brother. Peter Fonda was a revolutionary filmmaker during a revolutionary time. Born in the house I now live in, his spirit will be missed.
Former Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran has died at 81, his successor Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) said in Thursday press release. The release said Cochran's family "extends its gratitude for the support shown to the Senator by Mississippians over the years," and that he "passed away peacefully early Thursday morning."
Cochran spent 40 years in the Senate, resigning in April 2018 because his health had "become an ongoing challenge." He served as a House member for two terms before being elected to the Senate, making him a congressional mainstay who preceded even the emergence of TV cameras on the Senate floor.
Current GOP senators who'd worked with Cochran soon sent their condolences, with Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) both citing Cochran's time in the U.S. Navy. Before his military and political careers, Cochran also spent time as a cheerleader for the University of Mississippi, which you can watch him describe below. Kathryn Krawczyk
The Young and the Restless star Kristoff St. John has died at 52, NBC News reports.
St. John, who played Neil Winters on the long-running soap opera for nearly three decades, was found dead at his home in Woodland Hills, California. His death was confirmed by his lawyer, and while no cause has been officially released, NBC News and People reported that police have investigated it as a possible alcohol overdose.
Originally born in New York City, St. John began acting on television at the age of 7, making his first appearance on That's My Mama, reports CNN. He made one-off appearances on shows like Happy Days, Wonder Woman, The Cosby Show, and A Different World before landing the role of Adam Marshall on the soap opera Generations, and then as Neil Winters on The Young and the Restless, a role that would win him two Daytime Emmy Awards.