The National ENQUIRER was there as many showbiz legends died over the past year — from tragically young figures like Bobbi Kristina Brown to old favorites like Frank Gifford and Maureen O'Hara. Our top reporters provided worldwide exclusive scoops on the passing celebrities. Other stars, however, have managed to endure! Here are the fan favorites still dodging Death in 2016...
JERRY LEWIS: Life goes on until it doesn’t — but don’t tell that to the indomitable Jerry Lewis, who’s still “knocking ‘em dead” at 89! The ailing comedy legend is nearing “the end,” and friends say he’s ready to meet his son Joseph in heaven. Shocking photos obtained by The ENQUIRER show “The Nutty Professor” wheelchair-bound earlier in 2015. He looked extremely pale while in Washington, D.C., before a scheduled comedy show. Said a source: “Jerry is insisting on performing to the very end. That’s how much of a trouper he is! He doesn’t need the money. He’s worth a reported $50 million, but he needs to hear the applause a few final times before he meets his Maker!"
DORIS DAY: Animal lover Doris Day is spending her final days “telepathically” communicating with her pets! Doris, 91, only sees humans on special occasions, her friends said. She prefers to spend her time with her dogs in her Carmel, Calif., home. “She used to sing to the pets night and day,” a pal revealed. “She would sing all of her songs that were hits from the old days – but she doesn’t do that too much anymore.” That’s because the “Que Sera, Sera” singer thinks she is truly “in tune” with her furry friends – and that they now communicate with her through brain waves! She’s working on answering them without sound, and is “strengthening that muscle” by not speaking at all one day a week, divulged the insider. The pal said: “With this mind communication, now even the dogs don’t get to hear her beautiful voice!”
BILLY GRAHAM: The veteran preacher keeps surprising his followers by enduring over the years — but even the family of 97-year-old Billy Graham is preparing for the end. The ENQUIRER has learned the world-famous preacher has made emotional private visits with his family that inspired his eldest son and heir apparent to ask for prayers for his father. “Our family would ap-preciate your prayers for him that the Lord would strengthen him,” said the Rev. Franklin Graham, who now heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Asso-ciation. In the past, Franklin has described his father as “extremely weak,” and close sources said family members have accepted the fact that the much-admired preacher is facing his last days. “Billy has valiantly lived to a ripe old age, but he knows that God is ready to call him home,” revealed a close source.
REGIS PHILBIN: There were fresh health fears in 2015 for Regis Philbin, as he became terrified a nagging health issue could ruin his “Today” show comeback with former co-host Kathie Lee Gifford. The beloved 84-year-old star “has a case of the shakes, and he’s worried that it’s more than just nerves,” a friend told The National ENQUIRER this year. “When he holds a piece of paper, you see the tremors, and it’s not from the breeze.” On a recent “Tonight Show,” Regis couldn’t even hold a pen and a piece of paper steady while joining host Jimmy Fallon in writing his regular “Thank You” notes — and couldn’t read the words on the cards he was holding! Friends are also concerned about Regis' morale after he buried his son Danny earlier this year. “Being in front of a camera is second nature for Regis,” said the friend. “He doesn’t get nervous. But the sad truth is, it takes him more time to prepare for the camera these days."
CHER: Friends were fearing that Cher was seeing her last Christmas in 2015! Ravaged by a debilitating viral infection, the 69-year-old superstar continued to desperately struggle with life-threatening kidney and heart problems, insiders said. “Cher really believes the end is near,” confided a family pal. “She’s been giving away many of her possessions, scaring the hell out of everyone.” The crisis escalated as the holidays approached. “Christmas is her favorite time, when she gathers all her family and friends around her. But this year, she’s very subdued,” said another source. “She’s going through the motions, decorating her house and planning for about 35 guests, but there’s a feeling of gloom hanging over the festivities.”
KIRK DOUGLAS: He turned 99 years old in December — but Kirk Douglas had his family in an uproar as he planned to travel across the country to see his jailbird grandson! Cameron, 36, the only child of actor Michael Douglas and ex-wife Diandra Luker, has been in prison for drug trafficking since 2010 – and won’t be released until March 2017. “Kirk’s heart has ached for his grandson every day he’s been behind bars,” a family friend told The National ENQUIRER. But Michael begged his dad not to fly from Los Angeles to see Cameron at the Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md. “Even Kirk’s own doctors are advising against making such a trip,” the friend added at the time.
TERI GARR: Beloved actress Teri Garr had plenty of fans concerned after The National ENQUIRER revealed how she had become ravaged by multiple sclerosis! “Her nurse will take her out to stretch her legs for a few minutes each day," said an insider, "and sometimes Teri will be taken for lunch to get out of the house.” Teri, 68, had publicly confirming her diagnosis in 2002, shortly after the "Young Frankenstein" star won a new generation of fans with her work as Phoebe’s mother on "Friends."
BURT REYNOLDS: Hollywood ’70s heartthrob Burt Reynolds tumbled in a terrifying coronary collapse in front of a London studio audience, who gasped in horror! While entering the studio to appear on “The Jonathan Ross Show” in December, Burt “was stricken and his feet literally went out from under him and he ended up flat on his back!” an eyewitness told The National ENQUIRER. A friend of the Oscar-nominated actor wasn’t surprised by the incident and said: “Burt is a heart attack waiting to happen!” While the “Smokey and the Bandit” star, 79, quickly recovered, the friend told The ENQUIRER: “No doubt this was a coronary drama. The guy shouldn’t have been there, he should have been home in bed. His days are numbered. He’s a breath away from a massive heart attack that’s going to send him to the grave.”
Art Directors Guild 20th Annual Excellence In Production Awards
EVA MARIE SAINT: Old Hollywood is also kept alive by this veteran actress, who's turning 91 and still staying active. The eternal beauty co-starred with Colin Farrell in the 2014 movie "A Winter's Tale" — the same year that her classic film "On The Waterfront" turned 60 years old!
ATAS Presents An Evening Honoring Carl Reiner
ROSE MARIE: This 92-year-old comedienne also seems ready to work until she drops — as she started 2016 by signing up for a guest role in a new television series. Rose still remains beloved, of course, as Sally Rogers from "The Dick Van Dyke Show" — and, sadly, she still might outlive former costar Mary Tyler Moore.
USA – Bettie Page Heaven Bound opening night in Hollywood
MAMIE VAN DOREN: At the age of 85, Mamie Van Doren still insists on dressing like the sex symbol that she was in the 1950s — when she was giving Marilyn Monroe some competition as a blonde bombshell. Concerned fans, however, note that Mamie hasn't made a movie since a sex scene in 2002's "Slackers."
The premiere of “Shooter”
NED BEATTY: This popular character actor has fans concerned as he takes a break from making movies. The 78-year-old actor used to work constantly, but hasn't been seen on television or in the movies since 2013!
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
THE LADIES OF 'THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW' They were the most beloved sitcom stars of the '70s — but Mary Tyler Moore, Valerie Harper and Cloris Leachman are a long way from the glory days of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."
The ENQUIRER has revealed how Mary, 79, is spending her tragic last days
in the grip of dementia! 76-year-old Valerie keeps bravely battling terminal brain cancer
, and The ENQUIRER found 89-year-old Cloris confined to a wheelchair!
Photo credit: Getty Images
EXCLUSIVE: Don Rickles seen behind helped to walk as he arrived for dinner at ‘Craigs’ Restaurant in West Hollywood, CA
DON RICKLES: It was a shocking sight for longtime fans as The National ENQUIRER caught Don Rickles out at one of his favorite Hollywood haunts — with the 89-year-old comic barely making it into Craig's Restaurant! It was a tragic reminder that the legendary comic is part of a dying breed, as the star has outlived good pals like Frank Sinatra
, Dean Martin and Johnny Carson
Photo credit: Splash News
Liza Minnelli looks great as she catches a flight at LAX
LIZA MINNELLI: The Oscar-winning daughter of Judy Garland turned 70 years old on March 12 — and has suffered a shocking relapse and is back to her old habits, gabbed a spy. The ENQUIRER reported last March that a killer combo of alcohol and prescription pills
landed the “Cabaret” star in a Malibu rehab center. Liza has now frightened some friends after she left a rambling recorded message
that seemed to bid farewell to her close pals. “I wouldn’t be who I am without you, all of you," said Liza in the recording. "And, on top of that, I just remember all of the goodness and all of the kind wishes and the support and the friendship."
SIDNEY POITIER: The National ENQUIRER was there when legendary screen star Sidney Poitier hobbled to his 89th birthday bash at a West Hollywood restaurant this year — and the screen legend could barely remain upright!
Tragically, The ENQUIRER also revealed how Sidney is shamed in his final days
over the behavior of his old pal Bill Cosby
. Sidney is tormented at the thought of how Cosby's sexual assault charges might one day smear his own reputation!