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Pink Taco Founder, WeHo Reserve Deputy Harry Morton Dead at 38

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Pink Taco Founder Harry Morton Dead at 38

BEVERLY HILLS (TMZ) — Harry Morton — the business tycoon and son of Peter Morton — has died … TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us that Harry was found unresponsive Saturday afternoon at his Beverly Hills home by a family member. Paramedics were called, but we’re told Harry was pronounced dead at the scene and was then transported to the coroner’s office — where an autopsy is pending. Our sources say no foul play is suspected at this point.

UPDATE: Harry died after a heart attack brought on by several blockages in his arteries … according to the Morton family. The family’s spokesperson says the L.A. County Coroner found the 38-year-old restaurateur was suffering from coronary artery disease and also had a “mildly enlarged heart.” The family says another doctor confirmed for them that Harry had calcification in 3 of his main arteries … which caused a sudden cardiac arrest.

Harry is perhaps best known as the founder of the Pink Taco restaurant chain, which blossomed on the Sunset Strip in L.A. but has since expanded to other cities across the U.S. He is also part of a very famous family of restaurateurs. His grandfather, Arnie, cofounded the incredibly popular Morton’s The Steakhouse chain in 1978, and his dad, Peter, cofounded the Hard Rock Cafe empire in 1971. Harry worked at HRC for years, and later headed up the business’s development wing.

Pink Taco Founder, WeHo Reserve Deputy Harry Morton Dead at 38

Harry was also a volunteer sheriff’s deputy in and around L.A. — specifically, with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, where he was recently honored as a Reserve Detective of the Year. The station says he had dedicated hundreds of hours a year in support of the station’s Detective Bureau. In other words, he was big on giving back.

He founded Pink Taco in 1999 when he was just 18. He’s also the owner of the Hollywood nightclub the Viper Room — where Joaquin Phoenix‘s brother, River Phoenix, died of a drug overdose in 1993. Harry bought it in 2008 — it appears he still owns it to this day.

A spokesman for Pink Taco tells TMZ … “We are saddened by the passing of Harry Morton, the founder and former owner of Pink Taco. Harry was a visionary and restaurateur ahead of his time, and his contributions, both professionally to our brand and personally to those he worked with, were numerous. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”

Harry recently made headlines for buying Elvis Presley‘s former Bev Hills estate the singer bought the year he married Priscilla Presley. We’re told that Harry did not die there though — he was found at a separate Beverly Hills residence of his.

Harry dated Lindsay Lohan back in the 2000s. He’s also been linked to Demi Moore after her breakup from Ashton Kutcher, as well as Britney SpearsParis HiltonJennifer Anistonand Hayden Panettiere. It doesn’t appear he’s been married or has any kids of his own.

His half-sister, model/bounty hunter Domino Harvey, died of a drug overdose in 2005. Both of his parents — Peter Morton and Paulene Stone — are still alive today.

Harry was 38.

RIP

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

TMZ refers to to a studio-established “thirty mile zone” to monitor rules for filming in Hollywood. The center of the zone was the offices of The Association of Motion Pictures and Television Producers, formerly at Beverly and La Cienega Boulevard. Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check https://www.tmz.com/shows/ for syndicated/local listings at the bottom of the page)

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Celebrity News

Joe Exotic Prison Has 2nd Highest ‘Rona Rate

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Joe Exotic Prison Has 2nd Highest 'Rona Rate

FORT WORTH (TMZ) — The prison Joe Exotic is currently being held at is the second leading hotbed for coronavirus in the entire federal prison system — but not to worry … Uncle Sam’s got a plan.

The ‘Tiger King’ star has been locked up at FMC Forth Worth in Texas, and as of Tuesday … there was a total of 298 confirmed COVID-19 cases among inmates, making it number 2 behind a federal CA facility at 570 inmate cases.

If that sounds troubling, it should … we’ve seen jails and prisons across the U.S. getting besieged with the virus — and some of the inmates are suffering. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has assured us they’re going above and beyond for their prisoners, staff and visitors alike at Joe’s facility to keep them safe and healthy.

As for Joe … his people have repeatedly told us … he’s virus-free.

The agency tells TMZ there’s a comprehensive action plan in place at all of their institutions — which includes reducing inmate transfers, increasing screening and testing, minimizing unnecessary movement on the inside and temporarily canceling social and legal visits, not to mention training for BOP employees. They will also do regular temperature checks.

The trick is … as little congregating as possible. BOP says it’s trying to keep guards at one post for as long as possible to avoid unnecessary interaction.

BOP also tells us they’ve made sure everyone — prisoners and staffers — have received surgical masks. BOP says it has things under control — so far fewer than 5 deaths at the Fort Worth facility … but with nearly 300 cases, it’s gotta be viewed as a full-fledged outbreak.

So … guess that means Joe’s in good hands??? Here’s hoping so.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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Anderson Cooper Reveals He’s a Dad, Welcomes New Baby Boy

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Anderson Cooper Reveals He's a Dad, Welcomes New Baby Boy

NEW YORK CITY (TMZ) — Anderson Cooper is the proud new father of a baby boy … revealing Wyatt Morgan Cooper to the world.

The CNN anchor took to Instagram Thursday night to reveal earlier this week Wyatt was born via surrogate. Cooper said, “As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I’m grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son’s birth.”

As for Wyatt’s name, 52-year-old says it’s in honor of his dad, who passed away when he was just 10, saying, “I hope I can be as good a dad as he was.”

Anderson also shared a sweet message about his surrogate, saying, “Most of all, I am grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt, and watched over him lovingly, and tenderly, and gave birth to him. It is an extraordinary blessing – what she, and all surrogates give to families who cant have children.”

Finally, Anderson says, “I do wish my mom and dad and my brother, Carter, were alive to meet Wyatt, but I like to believe they can see him. I imagine them all together, arms around each other, smiling and laughing, happy to know that their love is alive in me and in Wyatt, and that our family continues.” His mother, Gloria Vanderbilt died last year.

Wyatt is Anderson’s first child … Congrats!!

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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Madonna: I Have Antibodies … Gonna Breathe in COVID-19 Air

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Madonna: I Have Antibodies ... Gonna Breathe in COVID-19 Air

Madonna has revealed — via her “Quarantine Diary” — that she’s tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, and already has a bizarre plan for using them.

The Material Girl’s known for posting some eccentric material on her Instagram, but she’s kicked things up a notch during lockdown … the latest being heading outside to “breathe in the COVID-19 air.”

Yep, Madge says now that she knows she has the antibodies, she’s going out for a drive and rolling down the windows. She included the hashtags #staysafe #staysane with her video post.

It’s unclear exactly what M hopes to accomplish by sucking in virus air on her drive, but if she truly has antibodies it means she likely already had the coronavirus. Most scientists agree she should have some COVID-19 immunity, but it’s unclear for how long.

Madonna’s been doing her part in coronavirus relief efforts — both by donating a million dollars and joining the REFORM Alliance in sending 100,000 surgical masks to jails and prisons.

She’s throwing caution to the wind, though, with her own health.

Hey, she’s got a pocket full o’ antibodies and she’s gonna spend ’em!!!

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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