82-year-old radio personality Casey Kasem has died. According to a report by CNN, Kasem died at 3:25 a.m. on Sunday, June 15, 2014 at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington. He suffered from Lewy body disease, which is a type of progressive dementia. He left behind his wife Jean, his four children, namely Mike, Julie, Kerri (from first wife Linda Myers) and Liberty Jean Kasem (from second and last wife Jean Kasem), as well as four grandchildren.
According to an old ABC News Person of the Week feature, Casey Kasem’s real name is Kemal Amin Kasem. He was born on April 27, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan. If his name sounds foreign, it’s because his parents were Lebanese Druze immigrants.
Kasem reportedly graduated from Northwestern High School in Detroit and Wayne State University. In 1950, he embarked on a career in radio and became very successful at it. From July 4, 1970 through 1988, he hosted the weekly “American Top 40” radio program. He was mostly known because of this. He hosted the said show again from March 1998 until January 10, 2004. After which, “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest replaced him.
Kasem was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame radio division in 1985, along with journalist Fred Palmer. He also received several recognitions including a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame (1981), the National Radio Hall of Fame (1992) and the 2003 Radio Music Awards Radio Icon award.
He was also part of various TV and film productions, usually providing one of the voices of the characters including
Shaggy Rogers in “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” (1969–1971), Cliffjumper, Bluestreak and Teletraan I in “The Transformers” (1984-1986) and the radio in 2003’s “Blue’s Clues.”
Kasem appeared as himself in 1984’s “Ghostbusters.” Plus, he appeared as Spacy Kasem in 1996’s “Homeboys in Outer Space” Episode: “Loquatia Unplugged or, Come Back, Little Cyber” and as Tom Rogers in 1978’s “Charlie’s Angels” Episode: “Winning Is for Losers.”
It’s sad that Casey Kasem is dead at 82 years old. It’s even sadder that he died on Father’s Day. But, his memory will live on in the hearts and minds of not just radio and music fans, but also of TV and film fans as well. Rest in Peace Casey Kasem. For more updates about the latest entertainment news including TV, movies and celebrities, stay tuned here at Movie News Guide (MNG).