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Good-bye, Shaggy: Casey Kasem is dead at 82

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Casey Kasem, the familiar voice of Shaggy on "Scooby-Doo," died in the early morning hours on Father's Day. According to a Sunday report on USA Today, the 82-year-old Detroit native was the son of Lebanese immigrants. He had been suffering from sepsis, dementia and Parkinson's. His current wife, Jean Kasem, and his adult children had been in a legal battle over the star's medical treatment.

At one point in the family's dispute, headlines announced, "Casey Kasem is missing." His children were uninformed of his whereabouts for a long while until his location was divulged. A judge eventually ruled in the case allowing his daughter Kerry Kasem to withhold medication, food and fluids that were prolonging his life, and he died in a hospital.

Kasem, born Kemal Amin Kasem, was the voice of Sunday afternoon radio in the United States (heard also around the world) for decades with his "America's Top 40" show, counting down the hits through the years. His unique, yet familiar, friendly voice engaged his radio audience with warm background stories and anecdotes about the songs, artists and fans. A favorite part of the program were the touching long-distance dedications.

Kasem hosted other countdown shows and did a wide range of voice-over work on commercials. According to CNN, Kasem got his start in radio in high school but developed his talent during his time in the military during the Korean War. He worked as a disc jockey on armed services radio. Although he did a few less-than-memorable movies, Kasem found his real niche in radio.

Casey Kasem is survived by his second wife, Jean, and his four children from a previous marriage. There will be a memorial service held at the home of his daughter Julie Kasem in Northridge, Caif., on Saturday, June 21. Despite the disputes over his medical care, there will be no fighting for control of his remains. At one point, the wife allegedly threw a piece of meat at one of the daughters, CNN reports.


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