We remember these celebrities who died in 2018 for their business acumen and larger-than-life personalities (Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade), the characters they portrayed (Margot Kidder’s Lois Lane), their books (Tom Wolfe, Steve Ditko), their brains (Stephen Hawking), their music (Avicii).
Here are the actors, musicians, athletes, politicians and other well-known names we’ve recently said goodbye to.
Actor Tab Hunter, who rose to fame in the ’50s and later became a symbol of the gay rights movement, died July 8, 2018, according to a post on his Facebook page. The New York-born celebrity was 86. The post, on the “Tab Hunter Confidential” Facebook page, did not provide further details on his cause of death. He was known best for his roles in “Damn Yankees!” and “The Burning Hills.” In 2005, his “Confidential” autobiography exposed he’d been living out his fame in Hollywood as a closeted gay man. A movie of the same title was released in 2015.
The comic book artist and co-creator of such legendary comic book characters as Spider-Man and Doctor Strange was found dead in his Manhattan home on June 29, 2018, the NYPD confirmed to Variety on July 6. He was 90 years old. Ditko was responsible for conceiving Spider-Man’s signature attributes, such as his costume and web shooters. The superhero is one of the most popular ever invented, generating over 360 million book sales and several movie franchises since his debut. Among Ditko’s fans was author Neil Gaiman, who tweeted, “I know I’m a different person because he was in the world.”
The late Michael Jackson’s father, Joe Jackson, died Wednesday, June 27, 2018, his family said. He was 89. The music manager behind the careers of the Jackson 5 had reportedly been battling pancreatic cancer. On June 24, Jackson tweeted that he had “seen more sunsets than I have left to see.”
Richard ‘Old Man’ Harrison
Reality star Richard Harrison, left, who appeared in “Pawn Stars,” died at age 77, his son Rick Harrison revealed on Twitter June 25, 2018. Known best as “Old Man,” Harrison and his son and grandson ran the Las Vegas pawn shop depicted in the series. Harrison, who TMZ reports suffered from Parkinson’s disease, opened Gold & Silver Pawn in 1988. “He lived a very full life and through the History television show ‘Pawn Stars’ touched the lives of people all over, teaching them the value of loving your family, hard work and humor,” his son wrote on Instagram in tribute to his late father. “Pawn Stars” has aired 15 seasons on History and A&E since premiering in 2009.
Pulitzer Prize winner and conservative political commentator Charles Krauthammer died on Thursday, June 21, 2018, at the age of 68, according to The Washington Post and Fox News. Krauthammer, who died of cancer of the small intestine, was a fixture on the Fox News Channel as well as on editorial pages of The Washington Post and other national newspapers.
Rapper XXXTentacion was shot dead in South Florida on Monday, June 18, 2018, TMZ first reported. The rapper, 20, released his first album in August 2017 and reached the Billboard 200 album chart for his second, titled “?” XXXTentacion, whose birth name is Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was fatally injured in a drive-by shooting, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s office. The Florida native was involved in legal problems over his alleged beating of a girlfriend while pregnant.
Songwriter and actor Jackson Odell, who appeared in popular shows such as “iCarly” and “The Goldbergs,” was found dead on Friday at his home in Tarzana. The cause of death has not been released, pending an autopsy. No foul play is suspected. He was 20.
Odell played Gumbo in “iCarly,” Kyle in “The Fosters,” and appeared several times as Ari Caldwell in “The Goldbergs,” among other roles. He recently finished writing songs for the soundtrack of the film “Forever My Girl,” a drama about a country musician who tries to get his ex-fiancée back, according to his website.
“He will always be a shining light and a brilliant, loving and talented soul,” the family said in an emailed statement to amNewYork. “He had so much more to share. Our family will always carry that truth forward. Our wish is that the rest of the world does as well. We are now going to try to make sense of our immeasurable loss privately.”
Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain has died at the age of 61, CNN said Friday. The host of the food and travel series “Parts Unknown” was found dead in a hotel room in France where he had been working on an upcoming episode. The cause of death was suicide, CNN said.
Katherine Noel Brosnahan, known as designer Kate Spade, was found dead in her apartment in Manhattan on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, the NYPD confirmed. She was 55. She was the designer behind her brand, Kate Spade New York. On Thursday, June 7, 2018, her death was ruled a suicide by hanging by the medical examiner’s office.
American astronaut Alan Bean, who walked on the moon in 1969 during the Apollo 12 mission and commanded a crew on the Skylab space station in 1973 before giving up his career to become a full-time painter, died in Houston on May 26, 2018, officials said. He was 86. Bean had fallen ill two weeks earlier while traveling in Indiana, his family said. He was only one of 12 people to ever set foot on the moon, and when he gave up his career at NASA, he created paintings that focused on the Apollo missions and sold for tens of thousands of dollars each.
Author Philip Roth died on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, his agent said. He was 85. Roth, who died in New York City of congestive heart failure, wrote more than 30 books. “Patrimony,” a memoir published in 1991, nabbed him the National Book Critics Circle Award. Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for 1997’s “American Pastoral.”
Tom Wolfe, author and journalist behind the New Journalism movement, died on May 15, 2018, his agent said. He was 87. Wolfe was the bestselling author of “The Right Stuff” and “Bonfire of the Vanities.” A Virginia native, Wolfe moved to New York City in 1962 when he began working for the New York Herald Tribune, according to the New York Times. He died at a Manhattan hospital.
Margot Kidder, “Superman’s” Lois Lane, died on May 13, 2018, according to a representative at Montana Funeral Home. Kidder was 69. The actress starred in the 1978 “Superman” film alongside Christopher Reeve. In total, she portrayed the superhero’s reporter love interest in four “Superman” flicks — in 1987, 1983, 1980 and 1978.
Verne Troyer, best known for playing the evil sidekick Mini-Me in the “Austin Powers” movie series, died on Saturday, April 21, 2018, according to a statement posted to his verified social media accounts. He was 49. Standing at 2 foot 8 inches, Troyer was one of the shortest men in the world. “Even though his stature was small and his parents often wondered if he’d be able to reach up and open doors on his own in his life, he went on to open more doors for himself and others than anyone could have imagined,” reads the statement announcing his death. In addition to his role in the “Austin Powers” films, Troyer had more than 25 other film credits to his name.
EDM star Avicii, known for his radio hits like “Wake Me Up” and “Hey Brother,” died Friday, April 20, 2018, his representative Diana Baron said in a statement. He was 28. A cause of death was not immediately released, though his family later said he “struggled” with the meaning of life and “could not go on any longer.” Avicii received two Grammy nominations for best dance recording, in 2013 for “Levels” and in 2012 for “Sunshine.” He retired from touring in 2016 citing health reasons.
Former first lady Barbara Bush died at the age of 92 on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, the Bush family confirmed in a statement. She was the only woman to witness her husband and son sworn in as president.
R. Lee Ermey
Former marine and Hollywood actor R. Lee Ermey died April 15, 2018, due to complications from pneumonia, his manager Bill Rogin tweeted. He was 74. Ermey is remembered for his role as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 “Full Metal Jacket.” The Golden Globe-nominated actor also appeared in “Apocalypse Now,” “Mississippi Burning” and did voice work for “Toy Story.”
The Czech-born movie director, best known for his Oscar-winning classics “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Amadeus,” died at age 86 on Friday, April 13, 2018. His other notable work included the 1979 rock musical “Hair,” the 1981 drama “Ragtime,” and 1996 biopic “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” which earned a nomination for an Academy Award.
Chuck McCann — the voice behind the “I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs” commercial — died at age 83, his publicist said on April 9, 2018. The Brooklyn-born voice actor and comedian died of congestive heart failure at a Los Angeles hospital. He was known for roles including “Little House on the Prairie,” “Bonanza” and “Columbo,” including that of the Cocoa Puffs breakfast cereal advertisement. “His work was legendary,” his publicist Edward Lozzi said. “What baby boomer doesn’t know cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs?”
Prolific television producer Steven Bochco died April 1, 2018, at 74. Bochco, who battled a rare form of leukemia, is credited with breaking ground with his genre-bending TV dramas, including “Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law” and “NYPD Blue.” Bochco, who won 10 Emmy Awards, also developed “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” and in a rare miss, the oft-maligned “Cop Rock.”
The founder of Balducci’s, the specialty foods market that got its start as a fruits stand in Greenwich Village, died of leukemia on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York. He was 92. Born in Greenpoint, he spent most of his childhood in Italy before returning to the U.S. and opening his brick-and-mortar store selling gourmet goods like prosciutto and fresh mozzarella in Manhattan. Today, there are five Balducci’s stores in New York and Connecticut.
Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking died on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at his home in Cambridge. He was 76. Hawking, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, when he was 21 years old, sought to understand some of the most complicated topics, including the origins of the universe and the mysteries of black holes.
Rapper Craig Mack died Monday, March 12, 2018. He was 46. The “Flava in Ya Ear” rapper was among the first to sign with Bad Boy Records in the early ’90s. The Long Island-born rapper died at his home in South Carolina.
Hubert de Givenchy
Designer Hubert de Givenchy, center, died Saturday, March 10, 2018, a representative for his fashion label confirmed to The New York Times. He was 91. The French fashion icon was known for dressing Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy, among other famous faces. Givenchy was behind the little black dress that has become iconic to “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
David Ogden Stiers
David Ogden Stiers, known for playing surgeon Maj. Charles Winchester III on “M.A.S.H.,” died March 3 after battling bladder cancer, according to his talent agency. The Oregonian had more than 150 film and TV credits with voice acting roles in a number of Disney films, including in “Beauty and the Beast” as Cogsworth and characters in “Lilo & Stitch” and “Pocahontas.” He also appeared on the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” and in “Perry Mason” movies. He was 75.
Chairman of Kaufman Astoria Studios George Kaufman died Feb. 20, 2018, his publicist said. He was 89 years old. Kaufman is credited with rejuvenating the neighborhood with the success of the historic production venue, the filming location for several NYC-set shows like “Orange is the New Black” and “Blue Bloods.” “George was so much more than a real estate developer. He understood deep in his bones the importance of investing in New York’s communities because they are the very foundation of the City’s greatness,” Hal Rosenbluth, the president and CEO of Kaufman Astoria Studios, said in a statement.
Evangelist Billy Graham, who counseled presidents and preached to millions across the world from his native North Carolina to communist North Korea during his 70 years on the pulpit, died on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. He was 99, a spokesman said. According to his ministry, he preached to more people than anyone else in history, reaching hundreds of millions of people either in person or via TV and satellite links.
Singer Vic Damone, known for “On the Street Where You Live,” among other singles, died Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, his daughter told The Associated Press. He was 89. The legendary performer also had several TV and film credits, including “The Vic Damone Show,” “Rich, Young and Pretty” and “Kismet.”
Tony-winning actress Jan Maxwell died Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, after battling cancer, her son confirmed to Deadline. She was 61. Her theater roles included “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and “The Sound of Music.” On TV, she had notable stints on “Law & Order,” “The Good Wife” and “The Divide.”
Reg E. Cathey
Actor Reg E. Cathey, who played Freddy on “House of Cards” and appeared in “The Wire,” died at age 59 after reportedly battling cancer. “The Wire” creator David Simon first reported his death on Feb. 9, 2018. Cathey guest starred on numerous TV shows, but won an Emmy in 2015 for outstanding guest actor in a drama series for his work on Netflix’s “House of Cards.”
The actor who peaked with roles in Douglas Sirk’s “Imitation of Life,” Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” and the epic “Spartacus” died on the morning of Feb. 9, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 86. In addition to his acting career, he also served as president of the Screen Actors Guild in the early ’70s and as U.S. ambassador to Mexico under Ronald Reagan.
Lovebug Starski, right, died after suffering a heart attack in Las Vegas on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, his manager confirmed. A native of the Bronx, along with Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash, Starski was a key member of the late 1970s scene that spawned hip-hop.
Mickey Jones, whose resume as an actor stretched back to the early 1970s, died on Feb. 7, 2018, at age 76, his rep confirmed to Deadline. You loved him as the pot dealer with a heart, Hot Rod Dunham, in “Justified,” while your parents might remember him from the short-lived “Alice” spinoff “Flo.” The character actor popped up in roles across film (“Sling Blade”) and television (“Home Improvement”), as well as TV movies (“V”). Deadline reported that his death followed a long illness.
John Mahoney died on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, while in hospice care, his manager Paul Martino said. He was 77. The SAG Award-winning actor played “Frasier” dad Martin Crane on all 11 seasons of the NBC show from 1993 to 2004.
Tony Award-nominated actor Louis Zorich, who played the father of Paul Reiser’s character on NBC’s “Mad About You,” died on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, at his Manhattan home. He was 93. While the majority of his roles on TV and film were of the character-actor kind, he also tackled big parts like King Lear and Agamemnon on stage. He is survived by his wife, fellow actor Olympia Dukakis, and other family members.
“Glee” actor Mark Salling died on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. He was 35. He appeared as Noah “Puck” Puckerman on all six seasons of the Fox series which aired its final episode in 2015. While the medical examiner had not officially released cause of death, TMZ reported Salling died of an apparent suicide. In December 2017, Salling had plead guilty to child pornography charges and was facing up to 7 years in prison. His sentencing was scheduled for March 7.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Author Ursula K. Le Guin, whose most recent book was “No Time to Spare,” died on Jan. 23, 2018. She was 88. Le Guin was known best for her sci-fi and gender-bending tales, including her breakout 1969 novel “The Left Hand of Darkness.”
Rev. Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker
The Rev. Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker, an influential figure in the civil rights movement and chief of staff to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., died Jan. 23, 2018. He was 88.
Legendary broadcaster Keith Jackson, the signature voice of college football for ABC, died on Jan. 12, 2018 at age 89. “For generations of fans, Keith was college football,” said Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, which owns ABC, in a statement. “When you heard his voice, you knew it was a big game.” Listeners could identify Jackson by his signature “Whoa, Nellie” call. Jackson is credited with nicknaming the Rose Bowl “The Granddaddy of Them All” and Michigan’s stadium “The Big House.”
New York City-born actress Rose Marie, known best for her role as Sally Rogers on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” died Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017. She was 94. The Emmy-nominated actress played Sally for five seasons, beginning in 1960. Her resume included a slew of other TV appearances, from “The Monkees” and “My Three Sons” to “Adam-12,” “The Love Boat” and “Caroline in the City.” Rose Marie, whose full name is Rose Marie Mazetta, is survived by her daughter, Georgiana Marie. Above, Rose Marie and comedian Carl Reiner attend a tribute to Reiner on April 5, 2008 in Culver City, Calif.
Best known for her portrayal of Louisa von Trapp, the second oldest daughter in the 1965 classic “The Sound of Music,” Heather Menzies-Urich died on Dec. 24, 2017. The actress, and Robert Urich’s widow, was 68. Ryan Urich told Variety that his mother had brain cancer. “She was not in any pain but, nearly four weeks after her diagnosis of terminal brain cancer, she had enough and took her last breath on this earth at 7:22 p.m.”
Reggie Ossé, the host of the “Combat Jack Show” podcast, died on Dec. 20, 2017. The hip-hop lawyer, with high-profile clients including Jay-Z and Sean Combs, highlighted his love of the artistic side of music with his podcast, also a magnet for luminaries in rap. Ossé, 48, of Brooklyn, had battled colon cancer.
Actor Jim Nabors died on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at the age of 87, his husband Stan Cadwallader said. The actor was known best for his recurring role on “The Andy Griffith Show” in the 1960s and later for “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” Nabors died “peacefully at his home” in Hawaii.
Actor Rance Howard (pictured, left) died Nov. 25, 2017, at the age of 89, his son, director Ron Howard, announced on Twitter. He was 89. “He stood especially tall 4 his ability to balance ambition w/great personal integrity. A depression-era farm boy, his passion for acting changed the course of our family history. We love & miss U Dad,” Howard wrote. Rance was known best for his roles in “Apollo 13” and “A Beautiful Mind.”
David Cassidy, the singer and actor who became a teen heartthrob after starring in “The Partridge Family” in the 1970s, died Nov. 21, 2017. He was 67. Cassidy had entered a Florida hospital for treatment of liver failure.
Singer Della Reese, who starred as Tess on “Touched By an Angel,” died on Nov. 19, 2017, her family confirmed. Reese was 86. She “passed away peacefully at her California home surrounded by love,” her husband Franklin Lett and her family said in a statement.
After spending nearly a half-century in prison, Charles Manson died of natural causes on Nov. 19, 2017, according to the California Department of Corrections. He was 83. Manson was known as the cult leader behind several killings in Southern California carried out by his followers in the ’60s. Actress Sharon Tate, who was pregnant, was among his earliest victims.
Rock star Malcolm Young, above, right, who founded the Australian band AC/DC with his brother Angus, left, has died at age 64, the group announced in a Facebook post on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. The band, which was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, said, “With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band.” The songwriter, backing vocalist and rhythm guitarist had dementia for several years.
Retired Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay, who twice won the league’s Cy Young Award and threw one of only two no-hitters in postseason history, died on Nov. 7, 2017, when his small plane crashed off the west coast of Florida. He was 40. Halladay pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies over a 15-year career.
“Veronica Mars” actor Brad Bufanda committed suicide on Nov. 1, 2017, in California, his manager Kirsten Solem said. He was 34. “We are completely devastated for he was an extremely talented young actor and wonderful, caring human being,” Solem said in a statement. “He was reviving his career, having just completed two movies, and we are shocked and saddened by his passing. The family would appreciate privacy at this difficult time.”
New Orleans pianist Fats Domino died at age 89, his family told WWL-TV on Oct. 25, 2017. The artist, whose full name was Antoine Dominique Domino Jr., was best-known for his hits “I’m Walkin'” (1957) and “Ain’t That a Shame” (1955), among others.
Emmy-winning actor Robert Guillaume died on Oct. 24, 2017, after battling prostate cancer, his wife said. He was 89. Guillaume was known best for his role in the ’80s series “Benson.”
Hall of Fame quarterback Y.A. Tittle died on Oct. 8 at the age of 90. In the 1960s, he led the Giants to three division titles.
Actor Chuck Low, a New York City native, died Sept. 18, 2017, Deadline reports, citing the New York Times. He was 89. Low, known best for his role of Morris “Morrie” Kessler in the 1990 film “Goodfellas,” was a longtime pal of actor Robert De Niro. He also starred in the 1982 movie “The King of Comedy” and 1996’s “Sleepers.”
Singer Tom Petty died on Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, at age 66, his long-time manager, Tony Dimitriades, said in a statement. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s office attributed his death to a “multisystem organ failure” brought on by an accidental overdose of seven medications, the agency said Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. Petty was found unconscious at his home in Malibu in October and taken to UCLA Medical Center, but could not be revived, Dimitriades said.
Monty Hall, the popular “Let’s Make a Deal” game show host, died on Sept. 30, 2017, at age 96 at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., his son said. Richard Hall said his father likely died of heart failure.
Hugh Hefner, who built what became known as the popular Playboy empire after debuting the men’s magazine in the 1950s, died Sept. 27, 2017, Playboy Enterprises said. He was 91. In this undated photo, Hefner and his girlfriend Barbi Benton are welcomed by “Bunny Girls” from the London Playboy Club, on their arrival at Heathrow Airport aboard his private DC 9 jetliner, which bears the Playboy logo. One Bunny Girl is wearing a Union Jack costume.
Bronx-born boxer Jake LaMotta died Sept. 19, 2017, one of his daughters, Christi LaMotta, announced. He was 95. LaMotta, “The Bronx Bull,” was portrayed by Robert De Niro in the 1980 Martin Scorsese-directed city-set film “Raging Bull” focused on his time in the ring. According to TMZ, he died in a nursing home after suffering from pneumonia.
Harry Dean Stanton
Actor Harry Dean Stanton, whose screen credits include nearly 70 movies and TV shows, died Sept. 15, 2017, his agent said. He was 91. Stanton most recently appeared on TV in the David Lynch reboot of “Twin Peaks” and he’ll appear in “Lucky,” set for release Sept. 29. His early roles include 1979’s “Alien” and 1984’s “Paris, Texas” and “Repo Man.”
“Sopranos” and “Goodfellas” actor Frank Vincent died on Sept. 13, 2017. He was 78. Vincent Pastore, who starred alongside him in the “Sopranos,” announced his death on Facebook. According to a TMZ report, Vincent was undergoing heart surgery after suffering a heart attack and died due to complications. Vincent’s other film credits include “Do the Right Thing,” “Jungle Fever,” “The Pope of Greenwich Village,” “Wise Guys,” “Night Falls on Manhattan” and “Shark Tale.”
Edith Windsor, gay marriage pioneer and activist, died on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, her wife said. She was 88. Windsor’s successful challenge to a federal law that had defined marriage in the eyes of the U.S. government as between one man and one woman helped pave the way for gay marriage nationwide.
Guitarist Walter Becker, who co-founded the influential jazz-rock band Steely Dan with keyboardist Donald Fagen, died on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. He was 67. Born in New York City, Becker helped write such ’70s hits as “Reelin’ in the Years,” “Do It Again,” “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” and “Deacon Blues.”
Actor Jay Thomas, who had been fighting cancer, died on Aug. 24, 2017, his agent confirmed to Variety. He was 69. Thomas was known best for his comedic roles in “Murphy Brown” and “Cheers,” in which he played Rhea Perlman’s husband, Eddie LeBec.
Comedic actor-filmmaker Jerry Lewis died Sunday at age 91. He died of natural causes in Las Vegas with his family by his side, his publicist said. Lewis was a polarizing figure in entertainment, embraced by the French as a visionary filmmaker, and lambasted by critics for his slip-and-fall comedy and tear-jerking telethon speeches.
A comedian who decried racism after becoming one of the first black comics to perform for white audiences, Gregory died on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Washington D.C., his son said. The 84-year-old died of heart failure at Sibley Memorial Hospital, according to his publicist.
Country singer Glen Campbell died in Nashville on Aug. 8, 2017, at the age of 81, his publicist said. Campbell, who was known for hits including “Rhinestone Cowboy,” had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
Actor and Pulitzer-winning playwright Sam Shepard died of complications related to ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, on Thursday, July 27, 2017. He was 73.
Actor John Heard, whose lengthy career spanned film and television, has died, aged 72, in Palo Alto, California. TMZ reports that Heard underwent back surgery on July 19. His turn as the father in “Home Alone” is among his most notable, though it has competition from Heard’s roles in “Beaches,” “Big,” “The Trip to Bountiful” and many more.
Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington died Thursday, July 20, 2017, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office confirmed. He was 41. According to The New York Times, his death is being investigated as a suicide. Bennington had been the band’s vocalist since 1999. Linkin Park rose to fame in the early 2000s with hits like “Numb” and “In the End.” The band was set to perform at Citi Field on July 28. The CEO of WB Records, Cameron Strang, said in a statement: “Chester Bennington was an artist of extraordinary talent and charisma, and a human being with a huge heart and a caring soul. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful family, his band-mates and his many friends.”
Brooklyn native Martin Landau died July 15, 2017, at the age of 89, his publicist said. The Oscar-winning actor starred in the 1994 film “Ed Wood” and in the 1960s television series “Mission: Impossible.” Landau started his career as a 17-year-old cartoonist at the New York Daily News. He graduated from Brooklyn’s James Madison High School with the Class of 1946.
George A. Romero
George A. Romero, director of the 1968 horror film “Night of the Living Dead,” died July 16, 2017, according to his manager, Chris Roe. He was 77. According to Roe, Romero died after battling lung cancer. “Legendary filmmaker George A. Romero passed away on Sunday, July 16, listening to the score of ‘The Quiet Man,’ one of his all-time favorite films, with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero at his side,” Roe’s statement to Deadline read.
“True Blood” actor Nelsan Ellis died July 8, 2017, HBO confirmed. The 39-year-old died due to complications from heart failure. “We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis,” HBO said in a statement. “Nelsan was a long-time member of the HBO family whose groundbreaking portrayal of Lafayette will be remembered fondly within the overall legacy of ‘True Blood.’ Nelsan will be dearly missed by his fans and all of us at HBO.” Known to fans as Lafayette Reynolds on the vampire series, Ellis also appeared in “The Help,” “Elementary,” “Get on Up,” “Little Boxes” and “The Butler.”
Joan Lee, wife of Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee, died on July 6, 2017, in Los Angeles after reportedly suffering a stroke earlier in the week. She was 93. The former British hat model was married to Lee for 69 years. The couple lived in New York City when Lee started working for Marvel Comics and moved to California in 1981.
British children’s book author Michael Bond died on June 27, 2017, his publisher HarperCollins UK said in a statement. He was 91. The creator of Paddington Bear children’s book series died at home “following a short illness,” the statement read. The official Paddington Twitter account released a video in tribute to Bond, writing, “Today is a very sad day. Michael Bond CBE will be missed by many.”
Gabe Pressman, a senior political correspondent with WNBC, died June 23, 2017, according to the network. He was 93. The Bronx native was known as the “dean” of New York TV journalists with a career that spanned more than six decades. Pressman is seen here, moderating a 2002 gubernatorial debate between Carl McCall, left, and Tom Golisano, right.
Prodigy, of New York hip-hop group Mobb Deep, died at age 42, his publicist confirmed on June 20, 2017. Prodigy was hospitalized “a few days ago in Vegas” after a performance due to “complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis,” according to the statement. His cause of death is not yet known. Nas was among the first to react to the news on Instagram, writing “QB RIP King P. Prodigy 4 Ever.”
John G. Avildsen
Oscar-winning director John G. Avildsen, who led a sweep of the 1977 Academy Awards (including nabbing a best director statue) with “Rocky,” died on June 16, 2017. Also known for “The Karate Kid,” Avildsen, Reuters reported, had been hospitalized at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with pancreatic cancer. He was 81.
Playwright and Pulizter Prize finalist A.R. Gurney died June 14, 2017 at his home in Manhattan. He was 86.
Gurney was known for his captivating — and mostly Off-Broadway — plays such as “Love Letters,” “The Dining Room” and “The Cocktail Hour.”
Adam West, star of the 1960s “Batman” television series, has died. He was 88. A representative for the actor told Variety he died after battling leukemia.
His family issued the following statement on Twitter: “Our beloved AW passed away last night. He was the greatest. We’ll miss him like crazy. We know you’ll miss him too – West Family”
Actress Glenne Headly died on June 9, 2017, at age 63.
“77 Sunset Strip” actor Roger Smith, right, died on June 4, 2017. He was 84. According to the agent of his widow, actress Anne-Margret, Smith died after a long battle with a terminal illness.
Southern rock pioneer and founding member of the Allman Brothers Band died at his home in Savannah, Georgia, on May 27, 2017, according to The New York Times. He was 69. Gregg played as the band’s lead singer and keyboardist and has been credited for creating the Southern rock of the 1970s, combining genres like jazz, blues, country and rock, the Times writes.
Actor Roger Moore, best known for his role of Bond, James Bond, died on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, his family said on his Twitter account. “With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated,” the tweet read. The 89-year-old died after suffering from cancer. Moore played the leading role in the Bond movies for 12 years.
Former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes died on May 18, 2017, Fox confirmed. He was 77. “I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning,” his widow, Elizabeth Ailes, said in a statement to Fox. “Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many. He was also a patriot, profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise–and to give back.”
After 20 years with Fox News, Ailes resigned from his post amid sexual harassment allegations in July 2016.
Chris Cornell, the frontman for hard rock bands Soundgarden and later Audioslave, died in Detroit on May 17, 2017, his rep said. He was 52. The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled his death a suicide. The rocker was known as the face of one of the leading bands in ’80s and ’90s grunge music.
Brad Grey, the former CEO of Paramount Pictures, died of cancer on May 14, 2017. He was 59. Grey ran Paramount for 12 years until he stepped down in February, after the studio reported nearly $450 million in losses. Grey was also the co-founder of Plan B Entertainment, a film company he established with Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston in 2001.
“Nashville” actor Powers Boothe, right, died on May 14, 2017, his rep confirmed. He was 68. You may also know Boothe for his role of Gideon Malick in “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” His resume also includes stints in “Hatfields & McCoys,” “Deadwood” and “24.” According to his rep, Boothe died in his sleep from natural causes.
Christopher ‘Big Black’ Boykin
Christopher “Big Black” Boykin, the best friend and bodyguard of professional street skater Rob Dyrdek, left, and the co-star of MTV’s “Rob & Big,” died on May 9, 2017, his rep confirmed. He was 45. Boykin was Dyrdek’s partner in crime during the show, which ran three seasons and ended in 2008. “We truly were brothers that lived an unexpected unforgettable adventure. I just can’t fathom that it would end so suddenly. You will forever be in my heart,” Dyrdek said in a statement.
Oscar-winner Jonathan Demme died on April 26, 2017, according to his publicist, Annalee Paulo. He was 73. “The Silence of the Lambs” director, a native New Yorker, died in his apartment in Manhattan. Demme suffered from esophageal cancer, Paulo said in a statement.
“Happy Days” actress Erin Moran died in Indiana on Saturday, April 22, 2017. Moran, 56, most notably played Joanie Cunningham, the younger sister of Richie Cunningham (played by Ron Howard), on “Happy Days.” She later went on to star in the spinoff “Joanie Loves Chachi.” According to TMZ, the star likely died from cancer. Autopsy results reportedly revealed that Moran suffered from stage-four cancer, though the report did not specify what type.
Cuba Gooding Sr.
Soul singer Cuba Gooding Sr., the father of Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr., was found dead April 20, 2017, in a car on a busy street in Los Angeles, authorities said. The coroner said the cause of death is under investigation, but drug paraphernalia and alcohol were found in the car. Gooding Sr., 72, was known best for the 1970s hit record, “Everybody Plays the Fool.”
Guitarist Allan Holdsworth died on April 16, 2017, according to a Facebook post by his daughter, Louise Holdsworth. He was 70. The British rock and jazz musician was best known for his work with the bands Soft Machine and Gong.
Comedian and actor Charlie Murphy, a Brooklyn native, died in his sleep at a New York City hospital on April 12, 2017, suffering from leukemia. He was 57. Murphy, whose younger brother is actor-comedian Eddie Murphy, was a cast member and sketch writer on Comedy Central’s “Chappelle’s Show.”
John Warren Geils Jr.
John Warren Geils Jr., founder of The J. Geils Band, died in his Massachusetts home on April 11, 2017. He was 71. Geils Jr. was known for the ’80s hits “Love Stinks” and “Centerfold.”
Don Rickles died as a result of kidney failure, his publicist said on Thursday, April 6, 2017. The Queens-born comedian was 90.
Chuck Barris, a game show creator known for “The Dating Game,” ”The Newlywed Game” and “The Gong Show,” died on March 21, 2017. He was 87. According to his publicist, he died of natural causes at his home in Palisades in Rockland County. Barris was perhaps known best as the creator and face of “The Gong Show,” which aired from 1976 to 1980.
Billionaire David Rockefeller, the onetime head of Chase Mahattan Corp. and the head of the famous Rockefeller family, did of congestive heart failure at his home in Pocantico Hills, New York, a spokesman said in a statement. He was 101.
Jimmy Breslin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist, died on Sunday, March 19, 2017. He was 88. Breslin, of Queens, chronicled New York City for more than 60 years.
Rock ‘n’ roll songwriter and guitarist Chuck Berry died at age 90 on March 18, 2017, in his home in Missouri, St. Charles County police said. Berry was considered one of the founding fathers of rock ‘n’ roll.
Robert Osborne, known best as the host of Turner Classic Movies, died on March 6, 2017. He was 84. TCM’s general manager Jennifer Dorian released a statement saying, “Robert’s contributions were fundamental in shaping TCM into what it is today and we owe him a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.”
Singer and music executive Tommy Page died on Friday, March 3, 2017, at the age of 46. Page’s top hit featuring New Kids on the Block, “I’ll Be Your Everything,” topped music charts in the early ’90s. While the cause of death is unclear, friends believe it was an apparent suicide, according to Billboard.
Emmy-winning actor Bill Paxton died at the age of 61 due to surgery complications, a family representative announced on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017.
Fox News host Alan Colmes died on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, after a brief illness. He was 66. Colmes co-hosted the long-running “Hannity and Colmes” with Sean Hannity. The program helped launch Fox News Channel in October 1996.
Norma McCorvey, the anonymous plaintiff known as Jane Roe in the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling, died at age 69 on Feb. 18, 2017, Reuters reports.
Jazz and R&B singer Al Jarreau, whose hits included “We’re in This Love Together” and “Moonlighting,” died on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. He was 76.
Actor Richard Hatch died on Feb. 7, 2017, after a battle with pancreatic cancer, his manager confirmed. He was 71. Hatch was best known for his role of Captain Apollo in the original “Battlestar Galactica” series. He also starred in “All My Children” in 1971.
Actor Frank Pellegrino, with notable roles in “The Sopranos” and “Goodfellas,” lost a battle with lung cancer on Feb. 1, 2017 at the age of 72. Pellegrino also co-owned the infamous Italian restaurant, Rao’s, located in East Harlem.
Oscar-nominated actor John Hurt, who starred in “The Elephant Man” and “Midnight Express,” died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, a representative said on Jan. 28, 2017. Hurt, 77, was also known for his role of Mr. Ollivander in “Harry Potter.”
Mary Tyler Moore
Emmy-winning actress Mary Tyler Moore died on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. Moore, a Brooklyn native, was known best for her roles in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Ordinary People” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” She was 80.
William Peter Blatty
New York City-native William Peter Blatty died on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. He was 89. Blatty, author of the 1970 novel “The Exorcist,” was also the director of “The Ninth Configuration” and “The Exorcist III.”
William Christopher, far right, died on Dec. 31, 2016, at his home in Pasadena, Calif., according to his agent. He was 84. Christopher, who was best known for his role as Father Mulcahy in “M*A*S*H,” was diagnosed with cancer about 18 months ago, his agent said.
Actress Debbie Reynolds died on Dec. 28, 2016, just one day after the death of her daughter, “Star Wars” actress Carrie Fisher. Reynolds, best known for her starring roles in “Singin’ in the Rain” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” was 84. Family sources initially reported that Reynolds suffered a stroke.
“Star Wars” actress Carrie Fisher died at the age of 60 on Dec. 27, 2016, five days after she had a heart attack while in-flight. “It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning,” family spokesman Simon Halls said in a statement.
Ricky Harris, the actor who starred in “Everyone Hates Chris” and “Heat,” died on Dec. 26, 2016. He was 54.
George Michael, the British pop singer who shot to fame in the 1980s with Wham!, died at his home in Oxfordshire, England, on Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016, his publicist said. He was 53.
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Actress and socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor died at the age of 99 on Dec. 18, 2016. Gabor was perhaps best known for her nine marriages throughout her life.
The patriarch of “Growing Pains” — and the real-life dad of singer Robin Thicke — Alan Thicke died at age 69 on Dec. 13, 2016.
Florence Henderson, who played beloved mom Carol Brady on 1970s sitcom “The Brady Bunch,” died on Nov. 24, 2016. She was 82. Her manager said she died with friends and family by her side but did not reveal a cause of death.
Journalist Gwen Ifill died of cancer on Nov. 14, 2016, at age 61, according to PBS. Ifill was the co-anchor of “PBS NewsHour” for more than a decade. “I am very sad to tell you that our dear friend and beloved colleague Gwen Ifill passed away today in hospice care in Washington,” WETA chief Sharon Percy Rockefeller said in a memo.
Leon Russell, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, died on Nov. 13, 2016, at age 74, a post on his website read. The artist wrote and performed the 1971 hit “A Song for You,” and collaborated with numerous artists including the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan and Elton John.
The New York City-born actor Robert Vaughn died on Nov. 11 from leukemia, according to his manager. Though best known for playing Napoleon Solo in the ’60s spy series “The Man from U.N.C.L.E,” his television resume is a long read, including “The A Team,” “Murder, She Wrote” and “One Life to Live.” His filmic credits include the original “Magnificent Seven,” “Bullitt” and, fondly for many Gen Xers, “Pootie Tang.”
Songwriter Leonard Cohen began his storied career as a poet and novelist, transitioning to music in 1966 after moving to New York. “Hallelujah” may be his most well-known song, but even casual fans of his folk-infused rock know his “Suzanne,” “Bird on a Wire” and “So Long, Marianne,” among many others. Cohen died at age 82, per a statement posted on his Facebook page late on Nov. 10, 2016.
Pete Burns, the frontman for ’80s British pop band Dead or Alive, died of cardiac arrest on Oct. 24, 2016. He was 57. Burns, who was known for his androgynous look, performed hits including “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record).”
Arnold Palmer was a golf great, a legend who dominated the sport and had fans who called themselves “Arnie’s Army.” He died on Sept. 25, 2016, at age 87. Pictured, Palmer swings during the British Open n St. Andrews, Scotland, in July 1978.
Gene Wilder, star of “Blazing Saddles” and “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” died on Aug. 29, 2016, his family said in a statement. He was 83. Wilder died at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, according to the statement.
Bill Cunningham, a well-known New York Times fashion photographer, died at age 87, the newspaper said on Saturday, June 25, 2016. Cunningham, known for his shots of emerging trends on the streets of New York City, died after being hospitalized for a stroke, the newspaper said. He worked for the Times for nearly 40 years, operating “as a dedicated chronicler of fashion and as an unlikely cultural anthropologist,” according to the newspaper.
Former “Voice” contestant Christina Grimmie was shot and killed while signing autographs at a concert in Orlando, Florida, on June 10, 2016, cops said. The gunman then killed himself, according to police.
Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali died on Friday, June 3, 2016, at an undisclosed hospital in the Phoenix area. The self-proclaimed “Greatest of All Time” was 74 years old.
Actor Alan Young, who played Wilbur Post opposite a talking horse on the 1960s sitcom “Mr. Ed,” died on May 19, 2016. He was 96 years old. Young was among the stars of the 1961 film “The Time Machine,” as well as the voice of animated character Scrooge McDuck.
Morley Safer, former “60 Minutes” correspondent/co-host, died at age 84, CBS announced on Thursday, May 19, 2016. After joining “60 Minutes” in December 1970 in the show’s third season, he retired just a week before his death. He was known for both celebrity interviews and investigative pieces on injustice and worldwide issues.
Prince, the singer and musician, died April 21, 2016, at age 57. His body was found at his Paisley Park studios, located in Chanhassen, Minn., the Carver County Sheriff’s Office tweeted.
Actress Doris Roberts, best known for her role as Marie Barone on the hit sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond,” died on April 17, 2016 at 90. She won five Emmys during her career, four of which were for her work on “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
Patty Duke, who won an Oscar as a teenager for “The Miracle Worker,” died at the age of 69 on Tuesday, March 29, 2016, of sepsis. The actress’ long career included her own television show, “The Patty Duke Show,” and the Neely O’Hara role in “The Valley of the Dolls.”
Rapper Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest died early Wednesday morning, according to Rolling Stone. He was 45.
Frank Sinatra Jr.
Frank Sinatra Jr., son of Frank Sinatra and a singer himself, passed away on Wednesday, March 16, 2016. His sister Nancy Sinatra announced he had died of cardiac arrest on her official Facebook page. He was 72.
Sir George Martin
“Fifth Beatle” Sir George Martin died on March 8, 2016 at the age of 90. The wildly successful producer had more than 50 No. 1 hit records in the U.S. and Britain. Pictured: Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, Sir George Martin and producer Giles Martin accept the Best Compilation Soundtrack Album award for ‘Love’ onstage during the 50th annual Grammy awards on Feb.10, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.
Former first lady Nancy Reagan died on March 6, 2016, at age 94.
Actor George Kennedy, who starred in “Cool Hand Luke” and “Airport,” died at 91, media outlets reported on Feb. 29, 2016.
Harper Lee, author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” died Feb. 19, 2016. She was 89.
Angela ‘Big Ang’ Raiola
“Mob Wives” star and Brooklyn native Angela Raiola, better known as “Big Ang,” died on Feb. 18, 2016, after battling cancer. She was 55 years old.
Antonin Scalia, the conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice, died at age 79 on Feb. 13, 2016. According to the San Antonio News-Express, Scalia died of natural causes. Appointed by President Ronald Reagan, Scalia began serving the nation’s top court in 1986.
Founding Eagles member Glenn Frey died Jan. 18, 2016, due to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia, the band said. He was 67.
British actor Alan Rickman’s death was announced on Jan. 14, 2016. He died after a battle with cancer at the age of 69.
David Bowie, aka Ziggy Stardust, left Earth on Jan. 10, 2016, at age 69.