Casey Kasem, the radio personality who lent his voice to countless cartoons and rose to fame with the music countdown shows “American Top 40” and “Casey’s Top 40” died early Sunday morning, a family spokesman confirmed to CBS News. He was 82.
On July 4, 1970, Kasem launched the syndicated “American Top 40” show, counting down the most popular singles in the country – all the way to the No. 1 song and concluding with his signature sign-off: “Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.” The show became such a hit that in the early ’80s, it even had a television spinoff.
“American Top 40” stayed on the airwaves with Kasem at the helm until 1988; a salary dispute found him replaced by host Shadoe Stevens. But Kasem wasn’t out of work for long. Less than a year later, he signed with Westwood One Radio Network to launch the rival “Casey’s Top 40.” And in 1998, he ended up resurrecting his “American Top 40” show.
Throughout his career, Kasem also worked in television, lending his voice to countless cartoons. He did the character of Robin in “The Batman/Superman Hour” from 1968-1969 and served as the voice of Scooby-Doo’s sidekick, Shaggy, on and off since 1969. He played characters in animated TV series “The Transformers,” “Josie and Pussycats,” and others — and voiced countless TV commercials, too. He served as the promo announcer for NBC-TV from 1977 to 1981.
Kasem got a taste of the big screen, too, appearing in the 1972 Bruce Dern film, “The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant” and playing himself in the hit movie “Ghostbusters.”
The Hollywood Walk of Fame gave Kasem a star in 1981, and in 1992, he became the youngest inductee into the Radio Hall of Fame. Billboard magazine gave Kasem its first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.
Kasem began to succumb to health problems in recent years. In October 2013, Kasem announced that he had advanced Parkinson’s disease.
Kasem was married twice – first to singer/actress Linda Myers from 1969 – 1980. They had three children together. Since 1980, he’s been married to Jean Myers, who played Loretta on ”Cheers.” The couple share one child. Source: CBS News