Casey Kasem poses with his Radio Icon Award at the 2003 Radio Music Awards, at the Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada, in this Oct 27, 2003 file photo. - REUTERS
Well-known voice of radio and cartoon character had been ill for some time.
Casey Kasem, an American disc jockey and radio personality who hosted “top 40” countdown shows broadcast across the country for nearly 40 years, died on Sunday (June 15).
He was 82.
Kasem – also the distinctive voice of “Shaggy” in the television hit cartoon Scooby-Doo – began his popular American Top 40 radio broadcast in 1970, counting down Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 chart of top hits.
Stations across the country quickly picked up the up-beat show, in which top hits were played alongside song dedications, anecdotes and biographical information about artists.
Kasem died in Gig Harbor, Washington state, publicist Danny Deraney said. He suffered from Lewy body dementia, which causes a decline in mental capabilities.
“Early this Father’s Day morning, our dad Casey Kasem passed away surrounded by family and friends,” his children Kerri, Mike and Julie said in a statement.
“Even though we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering, we are heartbroken.”
In the weeks leading up to his death, Kasem’s family became embroiled in a legal battle in which the three adult children – from a previous marriage – disagreed with his wife, the actress Jean Kasem, over his end-of-life treatment, US media reported.