Jun 15, 2014 08:10 AM
Legendary radio personality Casey Kasem has passed away at the age of 82. His daughter Kerri announced his pasing on Facebook this morning, saying, "Even though we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering, we are heartbroken."
Kasem is best known for being a radio host of American Top 40, American Top 20 and American Top 10 from 1970 until his retirement in 2009. The 82-year-old also voiced Norville "Shaggy" Rogers in the beloved cartoon, Scooby-Doo.
Kasem retired from AT20 and AT10 on July 4, 2009; both shows ended on that day. In 2009, Kasem also retired from voicing Shaggy in 2009 after 40 years.
Kasem, whose birth name is Kemal Amin Kasem, was born on April 27, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan. Kasem was born to Lebanese immigrant parents, who worked as grocers. Kasem graduated Northwestern High School in Detroit and went on to Wayne State University.
Kasem began his TV career hosting Shebang, a weekly dance show that aired afternoons on Los Angeles station, KTLA, in the mid to late 1960s.
Kasem then went on to become a prominent voice actor. Other than Shaggy, he voiced the role of Robin in the Batman cartoons, three episodes of Sesame Street, voiced the drummer Groove from The Cattanooga Cats (1969), Alexander Cabot III from Josie and the Pussycats (1970) and Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space (1972), Merry from The Return of the King (1980) and many more roles.
Kasem was married to Linda Myers from 1972 to 1979. The couple had three children together -- Mike, Julie, and Kerri Kasem. Since 1980, Kasem has been married to actress Jean Kasem; they have one child, Liberty Jean Kasem.
Prior to his death, Casey Kasem was in critical condition in a Washington hospital and had not received food or fluids since Friday.
His daughter, Kerri Kasem wrote on her Facebook on Wednesday, "For people who do not understand the natural dying process: Giving food and water to a dying body creates pain and further suffering. The body does not want or require food or water anymore in the dying process. My father can no longer digest foods and fluids fill his lungs up and will suffocate him. My Dad IS on pain meds."
A judge ruled on Wednesday that Kasem's daughter had the authority to stop feeding and giving water to the ailing octogenarian. On Wednesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel S. Murphy reversed a ruling from two days earlier that allowed Kasem to receive food, fluids and certain medications until the time when a court-appointed attorney could meet with the former radio host and his doctors and report back to the court.
The judge reviewed documents on Wednesday and concluded that the star would be forced to endure prolonged pain if he was additionally given food and fluids. Attorney Troy Martin, who represents Kasem's daughter Kerri, gave the information to Murphy during an emergency hearing.
However, Kasey's wife has had some issues with the ruling. "It's just flat-out wrong," said Steve Haney, an attorney for Kasem's wife of 34 years, Jean. Jean pleaded for the judge to restore food and fluids to her husband, who has a form of dementia. Following the ruling, Mrs. Kasem fled the courtroom after Murphy issued his ruling.
Kerri Kasem and stepmother Jean have been battling in court since May, when Kasem went missing in Oregon, over the icon's care. The judge ruled that Jean should no longer have authority over deacons and Kerri Kasem should have temporary authority to make medical decisions for her father.