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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Actor John Ritter Has Died

Aired September 12, 2003 - 06:52   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Just to remind you, we've had shocking news this morning. Actor John Ritter has died. He was just 54 years old. His birthday would have been September 17. We did get this press release from his public relations department. It says the cause of his death was a dissection of the aorta, which results from an unrecognized flaw in the aorta. Now, this says the condition is undetectable so this came as a total surprise. Apparently he was rehearsing for his show on ABC called "Eight Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter." He collapsed on the set. He was rushed to the Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California.
Surgeons tried to fix the aorta, his aorta, rather, but they were unsuccessful and he died a couple of hours later.

He leaves behind a wife and four children.

Also this morning, we had news that Johnny Cash had died. He was 71 years old. A hospital spokesperson from Nashville, Tennessee told us live that he died from complications from diabetes. Of course, Johnny Cash suffered from a myriad of health problems and he was much saddened by the death of his wife just a short time ago, June Carter Cash. They'd been married for 35 years and after her death, his friends and family say he was just never the same. And I guess the good thing was his family was with him when he died at a Nashville hospital earlier this morning.

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