Broadway Legend And Gay Icon Carol Channing Passed Away

Another legend has passed away.

Broadway star and Gay icon Carol Channing died peacefully in her sleep, according to her publicist B. Harland Boll.

As Boll announced in a statement:

“It is with extreme heartache, that I have to announce the passing of an original industry pioneer, legend and icon: Miss Carol Channing. I admired her before I met her, and have loved her since the day she stepped … or fell rather … into my life. It is so very hard to see the final curtain lower on a woman who has been a daily part of my life for more than a third of it. We supported each other, cried with each other, argued with each other, but always ended up laughing with each other.”

Carol Channing is a Broadway legend who starred in several hit shows such as “Hello, Dolly,” “The Vamp,” “Show Girl,” and more. She also had a successful film career. She appeared in several movies such as “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “The First Traveling Saleslady,” “Skidoo,” and more.

Her career was honored when her name was added to the American Theatre Hall of Fame. In addition, she received a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 1995.

Channing then continued performing well into her 90s by singing songs and sharing stories with fans in a cabaret style.

She will be missed.

h/t: USA Today

Trailblazing Director/Actress Penny Marshall (A League of Their Own, Big) Passes Away At 75

TMZ is reporting that iconic actress and director Penny Marshall, of Laverne & Shirley fame, has passed away at the age of 75.

The reported cause of death was complications from diabetes.

Marshall’s first big splash came as a recurring role on the popular TV series, The Odd Couple, where she played “Myrna Turner” in 27 episodes. 

But an appearance on the red-hot Happy Days in 1975 as “Laverne DeFazio” (with soon-to-be longtime sidekick Cindy Williams as “Shirley Feeney”) was so popular, the duo were spun-off in their own series, Laverne & Shirley

The series would run for 8 seasons with Marshall earning 3 Golden Globe nominations along the way. The ABC series was originally set in Milwaukee, but moved to Burbank in season six.

Throughout the series, Marshall would wear her trademark “L” for Laverne on her sweaters becoming one of the most famous logos in television history.



But acting was just the beginning of Marshall’s career. Following her brother, Garry, she was soon directing hit movies, beginning with 1986’s Jumpin’ Jack Flash starring Whoopi Goldberg.

But it was her second film, Big, starring Tom Hanks in 1988 that made her an A-list director in Hollywood as she became the first female director to have a film gross over $100 million at the U.S. box office.

She would go on to helm such hits as A League of Their Own (1992) starring Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell, which also grossed over $100 million; Awakenings (1990) starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, which received three Oscar nominations including one for ‘Best Picture;’ and The Preacher’s Wife with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston in 1996.

Marshall was married to actor/director Rob Reiner from 1971 to 1981.

According to TMZ, Marshall’s family issued a statement which read, "Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall. Penny was a tomboy who loved sports, doing puzzles of any kind, drinking milk and Pepsi together and being with her family."

She had previously been treated for brain and lung cancer back in 2009. 

RIP Penny Marshall.

In addition to acting in A League of Their Own, Madonna contributed a new song, “This Used to Be My Playground,” for the closing credits. The single hit the top of the 

Billboard Hot 100 becoming Madge’s 10th number one single.





(h/t TMZ)

Former President George H. W. Bush Passes Away At 94

George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States of the America and father of the 43rd, has passed away.

News of Bush Sr.’s passing came in the early morning today in a tweet by his spokesman Jim McGrath.

The announcement goes as follows:

“George Herbert Walker Bush, World War II naval aviator, Texas oil pioneer, and 41st President of the United States of America, died on November 30, 2018. He was 94 and is survived by his five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and two siblings. He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Barbara; his second child Pauline Robinson “Robin” Bush; and his brothers Prescott and William or “Bucky” Bush.

Funeral arrangements will be announced as soon as practical.”

Many politicians have reached out to give their condolences to the Bush family and reminisce on their time with Bush Sr.

42nd President Bill Clinton released the following statement through the Clinton Foundation:

“Hillary and I mourn the passing of President George H.W. Bush, and give thanks for his great long life of service, love, and friendship.

I will be forever grateful for the friendship we formed. From the moment I met him as a young governor invited to his home in Kennebunkport, I was struck by the kindness he showed to Chelsea, by his innate and genuine decency, and by his devotion to Barbara, his children, and their growing brood.

Few Americans have been—or will ever be—able to match President Bush’s record of service to the United States and the joy he took every day from it; from his military service in World War II, to his work in Congress, the United Nations, China, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Vice Presidency and the Presidency, where he worked to move the post Cold War world toward greater unity, peace, and freedom.

He never stopped serving. I saw it up close, working with him on tsunami relief in Asia and here at home after Hurricane Katrina. His remarkable leadership and great heart were always on full display.

I am profoundly grateful for every minute I spent with President Bush and will always hold our friendship as one of my life’s greatest gifts. Our hearts and prayers are with George, Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, their families, and the entire Bush clan.”

44th President Barack Obama also released a statement, which you can read in its entirety down below.

“America has lost a patriot and humble servant in George Herbert Walker Bush. While our hearts are heavy today, they are also filled with gratitude. Not merely for the years he spent as our forty-first President, but for the more than 70 years he spent in devoted service to the country he loved – from a decorated Naval aviator who nearly gave his life in World War II, to Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces, with plenty of posts along the way. Ambassador to the United Nations. Director of Central Intelligence. U.S. Envoy to China. Vice President of the United States.

George H.W. Bush’s life is a testament to the notion that public service is a noble, joyous calling. And he did tremendous good along the journey. Expanding America’s promise to new immigrants and people with disabilities. Reducing the scourge of nuclear weapons and building a broad international coalition to expel a dictator from Kuwait. And when democratic revolutions bloomed across Eastern Europe, it was his steady, diplomatic hand that made possible an achievement once thought anything but – ending the Cold War without firing a shot.

It’s a legacy of service that may never be matched, even though he’d want all of us to try.

After seventy-three years of marriage, George and Barbara Bush are together again now, two points of light that never dimmed, two points of light that ignited countless others with their example – the example of a man who, even after commanding the world’s mightiest military, once said “I got more of a kick out of being one of the founders of the YMCA in Midland, Texas back in 1952 than almost anything I’ve done.”

What a testament to the qualities that make this country great. Service to others. Commitment to leaving behind something better. Sacrifice in the name of lifting this country closer to its founding ideals. Our thoughts are with the entire Bush family tonight – and all who were inspired by George and Barbara’s example.”

Adult Entertainment Performer Kyle Dean Passes Away At 21

Adult performer Kyle Dean (real name Brandon Jason Chrisan) has passed away at the age of 21.

No cause of death has been released. Toale Brothers Funeral Home lists the date of his passing as September 28.

An obituary there shares that Dean “loved to play football and physically train his body.”

“He won fourth place in an Adult Physique Competition at the age of seventeen,” the entry adds.

Dean had worked for gay adult studios Corbin Fisher and GayHoopla in recent years.

According to South Florida Gay News, Dean had several arrests over the past few years involving “multiple drug and burglary convictions.”

In March of 2017, he was ordered to take part in a drug intervention program.

SFGN also notes that Dean was described by some online commenters as “gay-for-pay,” often requesting  people pay for his Uber rides or presents from his Amazon wishlist.

Instinct has reported on the deaths of several porn performers this year including Falcon Studios’ Dave Slick and BrokeStraightBoys’ Tyler White.

Often, in posting these stories, there are inevitable comments blaming the porn industry for the passing of adult performers.

But it’s worth noting that people from every walk of life succumb to drug use or suicide.

And while the porn industry connection is titillating, correlation isn’t necessarily causation.

Earlier this year, Rosie Hodson – PhD candidate with an emphasis in studying pornography – told Dazed that making generalisations about the deaths of porn performers does them “a ‘disservice’ to define them simply by their careers in porn and is a gross oversimplification to connect all of their deaths directly to their work in pornography.”

She emphasized, "They are individuals."

And behavioral scientist Gad Saad, a chair at the John Molson School of Business in Montreal, who studies the porn industry, told the New York Post in January that people who enter porn are no more prone to mental issues than anyone else.

Certainly there are many who can testify to the emotional toll working in the adult entertainment industry can have on people.

But I freely admit I’m not a trained professional in assessing the issue. I’m just a writer thinking out loud.

There is an interest in the passing of adult performers as evidenced by the traffic these posts receive.

What do you think, readers? Is the porn industry to blame for young deaths? Or is this something we see in every walk of life?

Rest in peace, Brandon Jason Chrisan.

This post represents the thoughts and opinion of the writer and not those of Instinct Magazine or its contributors.

(h/t Gay Star News)

Gay UK Business Owners Pass; One Of An Illness And One Of A Broken Heart

A UK man literally died of a broken heart after his husband died.

The community in Devon, UK are grieving after the death of a gay couple had a sad but romantic end.

Gay couple Steven Collyer and Jason Roe were pillars in multiple communities because of their entrepreneurial spirit. Steven opened the first WOW gay venue in the 1990s in Cardiff, ran the Koolers Nightclub, and manned Club Cardiff.

After that, the couple moved to Devon where they opened Torquay’s Shiphay Chippy fish and chop bar, but now the two have unfortunately passed away, according to DevonLive.

It was Jason Roe who passed first from an illness just six weeks ago. Then, Steven Collyer sadly joined him on September 4. His death was caused by what’s being reported as a “broken heart.”

Now, the community of Devon and specifically Paignton, where the couple had moved to after Jason first became sick, are mourning and honoring the couple.

Collyer's Facebook page has received several condolences and messages of love. In addition, flowers have shown up outside the Shiphay Chippy.

Steven’s sister Vicky Roffi spoke to DevonLive to say:

"Steven was an amazing man, amazing friend but most of all he was loved by so many people. I for one will greatly miss him.”

"Wherever they went Steven and Jason made a massive impact. They were very outgoing - especially Steven. He loves a party."

Former Devon councilor Darren Cowell also spoke on the recently departed Collyer, "I know so many people have had many a meal from him. Very sad news and my thoughts are with his family and friends."

Funeral arrangements are being made and is planned to be held in Wales. That said, there will be a similar event in Devon for the friends and customers who wish to pay their respects.

As for the Shiphay Chippy, it’s been announced that the establishment will now go up for sale.

h/t: DevonLive

Remembering The 'Post-Modern Macho' Burt Reynolds

With the passing of Burt Reynolds yesterday, Hollywood lost one of the great box offices stars of the silver screen.

Reynolds irresistible charm came from a combination of undeniable sex appeal coupled with an open, self-effacing sense of humor. As Variety puts it, his “post-modern macho posture.”

From 1978 through 1982, Reynolds was the top-grossing box office star in the United States.

Films like Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit, The Longest Yard (Golden Globe nomination), Starting Over (Golden Globe nomination), Boogie Nights (Oscar nomination) were all critically acclaimed.

But there were mistakes along the way, too.

Reynolds famously turned down the role of “Han Solo” in Star Wars, as well as the Richard Gere role in Pretty Woman.

During the early 90s, when great film role offers weren’t coming in, he returned to TV (where he began in the 1960s) with the sitcom Evening Shade, for which he won an Emmy Award.

What many don’t know, however, was his personal pet project - a theater in Jupiter, Florida, appropriately called, The Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater.

For over a decade, Reynolds created jobs for scores and scores of actors. Reynolds said he wanted to build a theater “for people who haven’t seen live theater, at prices they can pay.”

He also wanted to create a space where actors could come work and have fun.

“They can do the show they want to here,” he said. “I can’t pay much, but they’ll get a condo, a car and the royal treatment.”

I can attest, as a former actor, many of my friends on social media who worked there offering their own tributes to Reynolds, who gave them exactly that.

A short list of stars who played at his theater in 116 productions included Carol Burnett, Charles Nelson Reilly, Farrah Fawcett, Eartha Kitt, Ned Beatty, Kirstie Alley, Robert Hays, Marilu Henner, Robert Urich, Alice Ghostley and Ossie Davis.

And then there’s the fact that for many gay men (including this writer) Reynolds’ furry, masculine sex appeal was a first inkling that the same-sex held an undeniable attraction.

Social media when on a spree with their tributes to the silver screen superstar heralding his “post-modern macho” appeal.

Here’s just a few. RIP Burt Reynolds.



#ripburtreynolds #burtreynolds #ripburt #hairychest #hairymen #wearyourownfur #hairybody #hairyarmpit

A post shared by Homar Argelles (@omar010580) on






A helluva ride, Bandit #RIP #BurtReynolds #82 #thanksforthememories #classichollywood #silverscreenromance

A post shared by Silver Screen Romance (@silverscreenromance) on


(h/t Variety)

(lead image via Flickr/Alan Light - CC license)

John McCain - War Hero, Senator & Presidential Candidate - Dead At 81

Sen. John McCain, who after years in the U.S. military went on to serve 35 years in Congress, has died at the age of 81 due to glioblastoma, a particularly aggressive type of brain tumor.

The son and grandson of four-star Navy admirals, he volunteered for combat duty in the Vietnam war upon graduating from the Naval Academy.

He was famously shot down over Hanoi suffering two broken arms and a shattered leg, and was a prisoner of war for five and a half years. During that time he rejected early release ahead of his fellow prisoners.

After retirement from the Navy, he ran for and won two terms in the House of Representatives beginning in 1983 and then six terms in the U.S. Senate.

His was a career of extreme highs and lows. He ran for president twice - losing the Republican nomination to George W. Bush in 2000, and then losing the general election in 2008 to Barack Obama.

But his 2008 run for the White House was marred by a series of bad decisions, most prominently selecting the half-term governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, as his running mate. Many in politics today point to that moment as the beginning of a surge of unqualified, untempered candidates that ultimately led to the election of Donald Trump.

And in the waning days of the election, as the country became mired in financial crisis, he declared the ‘fundamentals of the economy’ were strong.

While there’s no doubt that McCain was a conservative through and through, one of the hallmark’s of his long career in service was his distinct ability to change with the times.

Although he spent years opposing LGBTQ rights, like his longtime opposition to openly gay and lesbian military personnel, he would go on to become a defender of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.

And six years after it’s repeal, he opposed an amendment to a defense spending bill that could have undercut an executive order by President Obama that banned LGBT discrimination by federal contractors. The amendment would eventually be stripped out of the bill.

In 2013, the self-described ‘maverick’ was one of only ten Senate Republicans to vote in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In his home state of Arizona, he was highly critical of a proposed “license to discriminate” bill.

In 2015, he gave his full-throated support to President Barack Obama’s nomination of Eric Fanning, who became the first openly gay Secretary of the Army.

And when Donald Trump proposed a complete ban on transgender military service members last year, McCain stepped up early vigorously opposing the policy, saying in a statement, “There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military — regardless of their gender identity.”

His last ‘maverick moment’ of his career came when he dramatically gave a thumbs-down on a repeal of the Affordable Care Act last year.

In September of last year, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked him how he wanted to be remembered.

“He served his country and not always right," McCain responded. "Made a lot of mistakes. Made a lot of errors, but served his country. And I hope we could add honorably.”

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin issued the following statement:

“Senator McCain was a patriot and a hero, whose life was defined by his service and sacrifice on behalf of our country.

“While we disagreed on many issues, later in his career, he became an increasingly vocal advocate for LGBTQ servicemembers.

"In the last few years, Senator McCain blocked anti-LGBTQ language in the National Defense Authorization Act, opposed a ‘license to discriminate’ bill in Arizona, denounced the Trump-Pence Administration's effort to ban transgender troops and spoke out against the nomination of the anti-LGBTQ Mark Green to lead the Army.

"We join with millions of Americans in mourning his loss, and extend our deepest condolences to Senator McCain’s wife, Cindy, and his entire family.”


(h/t The New York Times)

(image via PBS Newshour/Flickr - CC license)

Gus Kenworthy Heartbroken As Rescue Pup Beemo Unexpectedly Passes Away

Very sad news from out Olympian Gus Kenworthy, who has a history of rescuing dogs on his travels and famously saved his new pup, Beemo, from being killed in a dog meat farm in South Korea during the recent Winter Olympic Games.

Beemo apparently became less and less interested in her food this past week. When Gus and boyfriend Matt Wilkas took her to the veterinarian, it was discovered that "her lungs were deteriorated and that her heart was too big for her body - a birth defect we had no way of knowing about."

According to the silver medalist, vets said there was no way to know about the condition and she had been living on "borrowed time."

Both Gus and Matt shared the sad news via social media.


Two days ago my beautiful baby Beemo passed away. It was completely unexpected and Matt and I are beside ourselves trying to cope with her loss. For a week or so we'd been worrying because she was showing less and less interest in her food. There were several trips to the vet and on our final visit this past Thursday I asked them do a full body scan in case there was an underlying issue they had missed. Beemo went into a panic attack during the x-rays and her breathing became rapid and shallow. The scan revealed that her lungs were deteriorated and that her heart was too big for her body - a birth defect we had no way of knowing about. Unable to treat her there, I rushed her to the emergency vet where a breathing tube was put down her throat. They hoped that with a respirator breathing for her they could get her vitals back to a normal level so she could be treated but they were never able to do so. The past two days have been a blur. It all happened so fast that it's still hard to believe it. The ER doc told us that even if we'd somehow spotted the issue earlier it wouldn't have made a difference in the end. He said that she'd been living on "borrowed time" from the get go. Beemo was truly the best thing that ever happened to me and I feel so fortunate for our borrowed time together. I've never loved anything or anyone in the way that I loved that dog and she is and will always be deeply missed. She was so smart and playful. She brought so much happiness to so many people every single day. I'll always remember being out on a walk with her and every other second she would get stopped by someone wanting to pet her, kneel down and kiss her, hold her in their arms or take a photo and on many occasions a crowd of people would have formed around her. That was her power: she made people smile. She was the kindest, most gentle soul I've ever known. She loved people. She loved birds and the snow. She loved me and Matt. But most of all she loved meeting other dogs. If any of you have pets up in doggy heaven please tell them to go find Bee because she could really use a good play date right now. RIP sweet creature - your daddy loves you more than you could ever even know!

A post shared by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on

This is an incredibly sad post, I’m sorry... On Thursday @beemopup passed away. She had gotten sick about a week prior, stopped eating... the vets thought it was worms or possibly fussiness. When she wasn’t getting better we brought her to the vet again and they took x-rays that revealed her heart was too big. She was born with a heart defect we weren’t aware of. It was effecting all of her functions. We rushed her to the emergency room in an attempt to save her but there was nothing that could be done. The ER vets brought us down to be with her as she died. I can’t say I’ve ever experienced anything so heartbreaking. We pet her, we kissed her, we said our goodbyes and watched her take her last breaths. Many people who have never owned a dog might think to themselves “it’s just a dog”. But she wasn’t just a dog. She was our friend, she was our family, she was there in the morning when we woke up, she was so happy to see us every time we came home, and she loved us unconditionally. From the moment we met her on a dog meat farm in South Korea we knew how special she was. She made a hundred people smile every day. Every walk we took her on was interrupted again and again by people wanting to meet her, pet her, kiss her. (If you are reading this and you met her, then you know what i mean). She loved people. She loved playing with other dogs. She loved birds. Even on her last walks, when she was at her most tired and weakest, she really just wanted to be a puppy and play. She changed peoples lives. She changed my life. She changed Gus’s life. And she brought attention to an important cause (PLEASE RESCUE A DOG! PLEASE DONATE TO @hsiglobal THEY ARE, IN ADDITION TO DOING SO MANY OTHER THINGS, SHUTTING DOWN THE MEAT FARM INDUSTRY IN SOUTH KOREA!) I feel so grateful and lucky to have known her even for a brief moment. And I don’t regret giving her a happy love-filled life only to be so heartbroken now. It was worth it. Goodbye Bee.

A post shared by Matthew Wilkas (@mwilkas) on

Beemo had become something of a social media phenom herself as Gus opened an Instagram account "for her" and she quickly gained over 134K followers. Gus posted the pic below with the quote, "The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. RIP Beemo - you were and always will be very loved!"

Margot Kidder, Star Of "Superman: The Movie," Passes Away At 69

Best known for her portrayal of strong-willed reporter "Lois Lane" in the 1978 hit film Superman: The Movie, actress Margot Kidder has died at the age of 69.

PEOPLE Magazine reports Kidder passed away on Sunday at her home in Livingston, Montana, of unknown causes.

Although she began her career in the 1960s, Kidder saw her star skyrocket after her turn as "Lois Lane" in Superman: The Movie opposite Christopher Reeve.

Who among us wouldn't have wanted to take a ride in the sky with hunky Christopher Reeve's "Superman?" She would go on to reprise the part of the intrepid reporter in three film sequels.

Other credits include 1974's Black Christmas, 1979's The Amityville Horror and Heartaches in 1981, as well as On the Other Hand, Death (2008) and Never Met Picasso (1995) in which she played openly-lesbian characters.

She served as producer and starred as "Eliza Doolittle" in a 1983 adaptation of Pygmalion opposite Peter O’Toole for Showtime. 

She also appeared onstage, most notably in the 2002 Broadway production of The Vagina Monologues.

However, amid all that success, Kidder quietly waged war with mental health demons that eventually left her homeless.

In 1996, police checked her into Olive View-UCLA Medical Center after she had been reported missing for days.

“The woman we saw was in obvious mental distress,” Officer Rick Young of the Glendale police told PEOPLE at the time. “She didn’t think one person was following her. She thought a whole group of people were after her.”

Kidder eventually shared in 1996 that she had been diagnosed with manic depression eight years earlier but refused to take the recommended prescription of lithium for the disorder.

“It’s very hard to convince a manic person that there is anything wrong with them,” said Kidder at the time. “You have no desire to sleep. You are full of ideas.”

Watch and remember the famous "Can You Read My Mind" flying sequence from Superman: The Movie below. 

RIP Margot Kidder.