Cliff Branch, Oakland Raiders Wide Receiver, Dies at 71: Police

August 4, 2019 Updated: August 4, 2019

A wide receiver who won multiple Super Bowls with the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders was found dead in an Arizona hotel room.

Cliff Branch was found dead just two days after his birthday on Aug. 3 in Bullhead City, Arizona, at around 3:30 p.m, police said on Facebook.

Officials said his cause of death appeared to be due to natural causes.

He was 71 years old.

Branch was a significant key to the Raiders’ success in the 1970s and early 1980s.

“The initial investigation revealed no suspected foul play and that Mr. Branch died of natural causes. Mr. Branch’s body has been turned over to the Mohave County Medical Examiner. No further information will be released at this time,” Bullhead City police wrote.

It added that Branch was in the city to sign autographs.

“Cliff Branch touched the lives of generations of Raiders fans,” the Raiders wrote in a statement, according to ESPN. “His loss leaves an eternal void for the Raiders Family, but his kindness and loving nature will be fondly remembered forever.”

Raiders owner Mark Davis described Branch as “my best friend” in a statement. “I will miss him dearly,” he added.

In his career, Branch caught 501 passes for more than 8,600 yards and 67 touchdowns. He also played Arena Football for the Los Angeles Cobras.

Celebrities Lost in 2019

Peggy Lipton

Actress Peggy Lipton, who starred in David Lynch’s iconic show “Twin Peaks,” and the 1960s show “The Mod Squad,” died on May 11 at the age of 72.

The cause of death was cancer.

peggy lipton and family
Actress Rashida Jones (C) poses with her father Quincy Jones and her mother Peggy Lipton, at the premiere of “Celeste and Jesse Forever” at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Jan. 20, 2012. Lipton died of cancer at age 72. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok/AP Photo, File)

Nipsey Hussle

Rapper Nipsey Hussle was shot dead at the age of 33 in South Los Angeles on March 31.

Nipsey Hussle and Lauren London in Los Angeles, on Feb. 7, 2019. The rapper was shot dead in late March. (Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)

Luke Perry

Actor Luke Perry died from a stroke on March 4.

Undated file photo of Luke Perry. (Newsmakers)

John Singleton

Iconic “Boyz N The Hood” director and the youngest ever Oscar nominee for best picture died after spending days in a coma following a stroke.

director John Singleton portrait
John Singleton at the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, Calif., on March 4, 2018. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Peter Tork

Peter Tork, a member of the 1960s TV rock quartet the Monkees, died in February at the age of 77.

His death was announced on his official Facebook page. “Peter succumbed to a 10-year bout with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer of the salivary glands,” the statement read.

Peter Tork of the Monkees died at 77 in February 2019. (Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Albert Finney

Five-time Oscar nominee Albert Finney died aged 82 after a short illness.

The BBC cited a statement from a family spokesman announcing the British actor’s death: “Albert Finney, aged 82, passed away peacefully after a short illness with those closest to him by his side.”

British actor Albert Finney died in February 2019 at the age of 82. (Lucy Nicholson/AFP/Getty Images)

James Ingram

Longtime R&B singer James Ingram died in late January. Quincy Jones, a collaborator of his, wrote, “With that soulful, whisky sounding voice, James Ingram was simply magical … every beautiful note that James sang pierced your essence and comfortably made itself at home.”

Singer James Ingram died at the age of 66 after a battle with brain cancer, according to reports on Jan. 29. (Getty Images)

Freddie Starr

Celebrity comedian Freddie Starr died aged 76 at his home in Spain, according to reports.

The body of the British-born funnyman was reportedly discovered by a carer at his apartment in Mijas on the Costa del Sol on May 9, the Mirror reported.

Starr had been ill.

A neighbor, who asked not to be named, told the Mirror: “His carer found him dead in his chair at around 3:30 p.m. Police arrived first and then later an ambulance arrived and he was taken away.

“His next door neighbor, who is a nurse, said he was definitely dead. She said she thinks he may have suffered a heart attack.”

Freddie Starr at an awards ceremony
Legendary comedian Freddie Starr at the British Comedy Awards at Fountain Studios in London, on Dec. 16, 2011. (Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)

Kelly Jobanputra

BBC Radio 6 music presenter Kelly Jobanputra, of Swindon in southwest England, died on April 26, according to the Swindon Advertiser. She was tragically struck and killed by a train, according to reports.

The celebrity radio host had just turned 40 in April, The Sun reported, and last year had given birth to her second child.

Kelly Jobanputra
Kelly Jobanputra poses for a photograph she posted on Twitter on March 31, 2019. (@KelJobanputra/Twitter)

Fatima Ali

“Top Chef” alum Fatima Ali died on Jan. 25, after a battle with terminal cancer. She was 29.

Former “Top Chef” contestant Bruce Kalman paid tribute to her: “It’s with a heavy heart we say goodbye to Fatima Ali today, as she has lost her battle with cancer,” he wrote.

“Top Chef” star Fatima Ali died at the age of 29 after battling a form of bone cancer, said her family. (Instagram)

Carol Channing

Broadway star Carol Channing, known for portraying Lorelei Lee in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and Dolly Gallagher Levi in “Hello, Dolly!,” died aged 97.

Channing died of natural causes at her home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Variety reported.

Her publicist B. Harlan Boll confirmed her death, writing: “It is with extreme heartache, that I have to announce the passing of an original Industry Pioneer, Legend and Icon — Miss Carol Channing. Saying good-bye is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but I know that when I feel those uncontrollable urges to laugh at everything and/or nothing at all, it will be because she is with me, tickling my funny bone.”

broadway 3
Carol Channing, whose career spanned decades on Broadway and on television, died at age 97. Publicist B. Harlan Boll said Channing died of natural causes early in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Jan. 15, 2019. (Jim Cole/AP Photo, File)

Bob Einstein

Actor, writer, and producer Bob Einstein, perhaps best known for portraying the bumbling stuntman Super Dave Osborne, died on Jan. 2 at the age of 76. The cause of death was cancer.

Premiere Of HBO's "Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind" - Arrivals
Bob Einstein in Hollywood, Calif., on June 27, 2018. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Daryl Dragon

Daryl Dragon, or “Captain,” of pop group Captain and Tennille, died on Jan. 2 of renal failure.

Daryl ‘The Captain’ Dragon beside his ex-wife, Toni Tennille, wearing his signature captain’s hat. (Hillel Italie/AP)

Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

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