Casey Kasem. For millions of kids who grew up in the ’70s, ’80s, and early ’90s, tuning in to hear the famous DJ count down the top 40 hits from coast to coast was a weekly ritual. Millions of others loved Kasem as the voice of Shaggy in Scooby Doo, or as the voice of Robin in Batman and Superfriends cartoons in the ’60s and ’70s. Casey’s resume also includes voicing Groove from The Catanooga Cats, Alexander Cabot III from Josie and the Pussycats, Mark from Battle of the Planets, and the hobbit Merry Brandybuck from a 1980 adaptation of The Return of the King from The Lord of the Rings.
Casey Kasem has been in the middle of a bizarre family feud that has pitted his second (and current) wife Jean Kasem against his children. Casey’s children first sued to be allowed to see their father, who suffers from dementia. At one point, Casey Kasem was missing, and Judge Daniel S. Murray expressed concern for his safety. Casey was eventually found in Washington state, and his daughter Kerri was eventually given authority over her father’s medical treatment.
Today, according to an AP report, the judge ruled that Kerri Kasem could withhold food and fluids from Casey Kasem, who is not expected to live much longer. This decision was reached despite the objections of Jean Kasem.
According to an ABC Good Morning America report, Kerri Kasem’s lawyer Troy Martin made this statement:
“This is the most difficult decision that a judge or an attorney can make. Mr. Kasem is dying and Mr. Kasem has expressed his desire to die peacefully and in comfort. The judge found today that (Jean, Casey Kasem’s wife) actions have not been in the interest of Mr. Kasem. He found that Kerri Kasem’s actions have been in Mr. Kasem’s interest, who clearly expressed his desire to die very peacefully and comfortably in this matter.”
To our knowledge, Casey Kasem is still with us, but he isn’t expected to be for long. For those of us who grew up listening to Casey Kasem’s American Top 40, or enjoying Casey’s voice work in the many animated parts he played, all we can say is we will miss you, Casey. As we count down however many hours you have left with us, we say to you what you said so many times to us:
“Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”
[Image via Shutterstock]