Hollywood cannot seem to catch a break this year. We have already lost many who have been in the Hollywood spotlight and we are heartbroken to add another adored actor to this unfortunate list, especially since they passed at such a young age. Some are calling it a child star curse, but we’ll let you decide if the cause of death indicates that.
A young man who has entertained millions of Americans, made people laugh, and brought genuine joy to people has passed at the age of just 36. Although his acting career did not last as long any fan of 90’s pop culture will remember him and his role and the brief time we got to know him as “Salami Sam.”
According to TMZ, “Heavyweights” actor Joseph Wayne Miller, who played Salami Sam in the ’90s hit has died … TMZ has learned.
Miller’s mother, Patricia, tells us her son died in his sleep Tuesday in Chicago. We’re told his girlfriend found his body. So far the cause of death is unknown … but Patricia says he suffered from sleep apnea.
Joe’s character, Salami Sam, was one of the campers at Camp Hope … a weight loss camp for kids.
Miller’s only notable acting credit was “Heavyweights,” a classic that also starred Ben Stiller, Judd Apatow, and Kenan Thompson.
It’s truly tragic when anyone passes away so early. Perhaps for Miller, it was before he could see his dream of acting once again, this time as an adult. Seeing fame and fortune at such a young age can either motiviate that person to do more, or become entitled to do less and expect more. It’s hard to know where Miller was at in this stage of his life since his family is not saying much. It’s for the silence, that people are left to question what really happened or what problems he was hiding that resulted in his untimely death. We will not jump to conclusions as it’s a tragic loss no matter the circumstances.
Only time will tell what his sudden cause of Miller’s death was and if he had any unknown struggles that were the cause of it. It is truly tragic when anyone passes away so prematurely like this, regardless of the situation. It was just over this past weekend we reported of another Hollywood death, the previous was a sitcom idol from Miller’s era, but had enjoyed a long, successful career in Tinseltown.
The “ultimate equalizer” doesn’t discriminate as death can’t be spared by living in Hollywood or any level of celebrity, success, or money.
Jerry Van Dyke — the famed younger brother of Dick Van Dyke — has died … TMZ has learned.
Jerry’s wife, Shirley, tells us … he died Friday afternoon at their Arkansas ranch with her by his side. She says they were involved in a car accident over 2 years ago … and Jerry’s health had deteriorated since.
We’re told Dick visited them at the ranch over the Christmas holiday.
A beloved comedian just like his brother, Jerry pursued stand-up as a young man and performed at military bases around the world. He made his acting debut on “The Dick Van Dyke” show and followed that up with appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show” before becoming a regular on “The Judy Garland Show.”
Jerry’s best known for his role on “Coach” … where he earned 4 Emmy nominations playing Asst. Coach Luther Van Dam alongside Craig T. Nelson. He also had major roles on “Yes, Dear” and most recently, “The Middle.”
He’s survived by his wife and 2 children. Jerry was 86.