2016 Celebrity Deaths

2016 Celebrity Deaths

2016 Celebrity Deaths – Looking Back at Famous Figures Lost in 2016

The world lost world-renowned musicians, sports figures, acclaimed actors, comedians, business leaders, military heroes, religious leaders, political activists, and more in 2016. Here’s a look back at 2016 celebrity deaths.

2016 Celebrity Deaths

January 2016 Celebrity Deaths

Jan 01 – Lennie Bluett, 96
Famous For:  Actor; Known for roles in films Gone with the Wind, Mighty Joe Young, and A Star is Born

Jan 01 – Tony Lane, 71
Famous For:  Art director for Rolling Stone magazine
Cause of Death:  Brain cancer

Jan 02 – Brad fuller, 62
Famous For:  Video game composer for games such as Blasteroids, Marble Madness, and Tetris; Director of Engineering for Atari from 1993-1996
Cause of Death:  Pancreatic cancer

Jan 06 – Pat Harrington, Jr., 86
Famous For:  Actor; Known for roles on One Day at a Time, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, and The Inspector
Cause of Death:  Complications from a brain hemorrhage

Jan 09 – Barbara Allyne Bennet, 76
Famous For:  Actress; Known for roles in Mac and Me and The Office

Jan 09 – Angus Scrimm, 89
Famous For:  Actor; Known for roles in Alias, John Dies at the End and for playing the Tall Man in 1979’s Phantasm movie and four sequels

Jan 10 – David Bowie (Birth name David Robert Jones), 69
Famous For:  English singer and musician; Two-time Grammy award winner
Cause of Death:  Liver cancer

David Bowie performing with Cher on the Cher Variety Show - 1975

David Bowie performing with Cher on the Cher Variety Show – 1975. (CBS Television / Public Domain)

Jan 11 – David Margulies, 78
Famous For:  Actor; Most notably known for playing the Mayor in Ghost Busters I and II (1984, 1989) and roles on The Sopranos and Conversations with My Father

Jan 13 – Lawrence Phillips, 40
Famous For:  American football player; Two-time national champion with the University of Nebraska; Played professionally for the St. Louis Rams
Cause of Death:  Suicide

Jan 13 – Tera Wray (Birth name Tera Elizabeth Lents), 33
Famous For:  Pornographic actress
Cause of Death:  Suicide

Porn star Tera Wray at the 2007 Adult Entertainment Expo

Porn star Tera Wray at the 2007 Adult Entertainment Expo. (Luke Ford)

Jan 14 – Alan Rickman, 69
Famous For:  Actor; Known for his roles as Hans Gruber in Die Hard and Severus Snape in Harry Potter movies
Cause of Death:  Pancreatic cancer

Jan 14 – René Angélil, 73
Famous For:  Singer, manager; Husband and manager of Celine Dion

Jan 15 – Marie L. Garibaldi, 81
Famous For:  American judge; Garibaldi was the first woman to serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court

Jan 15 – Dan Haggerty, 74
Famous For:  Actor;  Known for playing the lead role in television show The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams
Cause of Death:  Spinal cancer

2016 Celebrity Deaths - Grizzly Adams - Dan Haggerty - 1977

Dan Haggerty with a Grizzly Bear – 1977. (Wikimedia)

 

Jan 15 – Pete Huttlinger, 54
Famous For:  Guitarist; Known for his work with John Denver and LeAnn Rimes
Cause of Death:  Stroke

Jan 18 – Glenn Frey, 67
Famous For:  Singer,  songwriter;  Founding member of rock band The Eagles; Known for writing hit songs like “Take It Easy” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling”; Actor, known for role in Jerry Maguire film
Cause of Death:  Complications from intestinal surgery

Glenn Frey - The Eagles in concert - December 18, 2010 Melbourne Australia

Glenn Frey – The Eagles in concert – December 18, 2010 Melbourne Australia. (Flickr jeaneeem)

Jan 19 – Micole Mercurio, 87
Famous For:  Actress;  Known for roles in Flashdance, What Lies Beneath, and The Client

Jan 19 – William Y. Smith, 90
Famous For:  American Air Force general
Cause of Death:  Heart failure

Jan 23 – Jimmy Bain, 68
Famous For:  Musician; Heavy metal bassist with bands Rainbow and Dio

Jan 26 – Abe Vigoda, 94
Famous For:  Actor; Most notably known for his role as Detective Fish on TV’s Barney Miller (1975-1977)

Abe Vigoda - 1975

Actor Abe Vigoda in 1975. (Public Domain)

Jan 28 – Paul Kantner, 74
Famous For:  Singer, songwriter; Co-founder of rock band Jefferson Airplane


February 2016 Celebrity Deaths

Feb  03 – Maurice White, 74
Famous For:  Musician, songwriter; Founding member of Earth, Wind & Fire

Feb  03 – Joe Alaskey, 63
Famous For:  Voice actor; Known as the voices of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, and Tweety Bird

Feb  03 – John P. Riley, Jr., 95
Famous For:  American ice hockey player and coach of the 1960 Olympic Champions US National Team

Feb  04 – Leslie Bassett, 93
Famous For:  American music composer; 1966 Pulitzer Prize for Music recipient

Feb  04 – Dave Mirra, 41
Famous For:  BMX rider; X Games winner (1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005)
Cause of Death:  Suicide by gunshot

Dave Mirra - 2010

Dave Mirra in 2010. (Public Domain)

Feb  04 – Edgar Mitchell, 85
Famous For:  NASA astronaut; Edgar was the sixth person to walk on the Moon while on Apollo 14 (1971) mission

Feb  13 – Antonin Scalia, 79
Famous For:  Supreme Court Justice; Appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1986

Antonin Scalia testifying before the House Judiciary Committee's Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee - May 20, 2010

Antonin Scalia testifying before the House Judiciary Committee’s Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee – May 20, 2010. (Creative Commons)

Feb  15 – George Gaynes, 98
Famous For:  Actor; Most notably known for his role as Commandant Eric Lassard in the Police Academy films

Feb  15 – Vanity, 57
Famous For:  Canadian actress, singer; Vanity was the lead singer for all-girl group Vanity 6; She was also the long-time girlfriend and muse of music icon, Prince
Cause of Death:  Renal failure

Feb  19 – Harper Lee, 89
Famous For:  Novelist; Lee won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961 for novel To Kill a Mockingbird

Feb  22 – Yolande Fox, 87
Famous For:  Opera singer; 1951 Miss America winner

Miss America pageant contestant Yolande Betbeze

Miss America pageant contestant Yolande Betbeze. (Library of Congress)

Feb  22 – Sonny James, 87
Famous For:  Country music singer, songwriter; James was the first teenage country crossover artist with a #1 single, “Young Love”

Feb  23 – Donald E. Williams, 74
Famous For:  NASA astronaut; Space shuttle pilot for Discovery and Atlantis

Feb  24 – Lennie Baker, 69
Famous For:  Musician; Known for 1950s music tribute group and TV show Sha-Na-Na

Feb  25 – Tony Burton, 78
Famous For:  Actor; Known for roles as boxing trainer to Apollo Creed and later Rocky in six Rocky films

Feb 28 – George Kennedy, 91
Famous For:  Actor; Won 1968 Academy Award for his role in Cool Hand Luke; Kennedy also had roles in the Airport films

2016 Celebrity Deaths - Actor George Kennedy in 1975

2016 Celebrity Deaths – Actor George Kennedy in 1975. (CBS Television / Public Domain)

Feb 29 – Gil Hill, 84
Famous For:  Police Commander, actor; Hill is known for his role as Inspector Todd in three Beverly Hills Cop films


March 2016 Celebrity Deaths

Mar 01 – Jim Kimsey, 76
Famous For:  American tech executive; Co-founder and CEO of AOL
Cause of Death:  Melanoma

Mar 04 – Joey Martin Feek, 40
Famous For:  Country Western musician; Member of the husband and wife country duo “Joey + Rory”
Cause of Death:  Cervical cancer

Mar 05 – Ray Tomlinson, 74
Famous For:  Computer programmer; Tomlinson invented system to send first email and is credited for the first use of the @ sign
Cause of Death:  Heart attack

Mar 06 – Nancy Reagan, 94
Famous For:  First Lady of the United States of America (1981-1989); Wife to 40th President Ronald Reagan; Actress, known for roles in films Hellcats of the Navy, Donovan’s Brain, and The Next Voice You Hear…
Cause of Death:  Heart failure

2016 Celebrity Deaths - Official White House photograph of Nancy Reagan

Official White House photograph of Nancy Reagan. (Public Domain)

Mar 06 – Elizabeth Strohfus, 96
Famous For:  Strohfus was an American military pilot with the Women Air Force Pilot (WASP); Two-time recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal
Cause of Death:  Complications from a fall

Mar 08 – Sir George Martin, 90
Famous For: British Hall of Hame record producer, responsible for the Beatles albums; Six-time Grammy Award winner

Mar 09 – Robert Horton, 91
Famous For:  Actor, known for his role as Flint McCullough in Wagon Train (1957-1962)

Mar 09 – Clyde Lovellette, 86
Famous For:  Basketball player with the NBA’s Minneapolis Lakers, St. Louis Hawks, and Boston Celtics; NBA champion in 1954, 1963, and 1964; 1952 Olympic champion
Cause of Death:  Cancer

NBA basketball player Clyde Lovellette with his mother - 1956

NBA basketball player Clyde Lovellette with his mother – 1956. (Public Domain)

Mar 13 – Adrienne Corri, 85
Famous For:  Actress, known for her role as Mrs. Alexander in 1971’s A Clockwork Orange

Mar 16 – Frank Sinatra Jr., 72
Famous For:  Singer; Son of Frank Sinatra

Mar 17 – Larry Drake, 66
Famous For:  Actor, most notably known for his role as Benny Stulwicz on L.A. Law (1987-1994)

Mar 18 – Joe Santos, 84
Famous For:  Actor, known for his role as Lieutenant Dennis Becker on The Rockford Files (1974-1980)

Mar 21 – Peter Brown, 80
Famous For:  Actor, known for roles as Deputy Johnny McKay in Lawman (1958-62) and Chad Cooper in Laredo (1965-67)

Mar 22 – Rob Ford, 46
Famous For:  Canadian politician who served as the 64th Mayor of Toronto, Canada from 2010-2014; Subject of substance abuse scandal while in office, where Ford was caught on video smoking crack cocaine
Cause of Death:  Pleomorphic liposarcoma

Mar 22 – Phife Dawg (Birth name Malik Izaak Taylor), 45
Famous For:  Rap musician with group A Tribe Called Quest
Cause of Death:  Complications from diabetes

Rapper Phife Dawg in Cologne, Germany - 1999

Rapper Phife Dawg in Cologne, Germany – 1999.
November 20, 1970 – March 22, 2016
(Public Domain)

Mar 23 – Joe Garagiola, Sr., 90
Famous For:  MLB baseball player with the Cardinals, Cubs and Pirates; 1946 World Series champion; Hall of Fame sportscaster (announcer and television host)

Mar 23 – Ken Howard, 71
Famous For:  Actor, known for roles in films such as 1776, The White Shadow, and J. Edgar; 1981 and 2009 Emmy Award winner; President of SAG/SAG-AFTRA (2009-2016)

Mar 24 – Garry Shandling, 66
Famous For:  Comedian, actor, and writer; Most well-known for his work on the Garry Shandling Show and The Larry Sanders Show
Cause of Death:  Pulmonary thrombosis

Garry Shandling on the red carpet at the 39th Annual Emmy Awards 9/20/87

Garry Shandling on the red carpet at the 39th Annual Emmy Awards 9/20/87. (Photo by Alan Light)

Mar 29 – Patty Duke, 69
Famous For:  Actress; Known for playing identical cousins in The Patty Duke Show (1963-1966) and her roles in The Miracle Worker and Valley of the Dolls; President of SAG (1985-1988); 1962 Academy Award winner
Cause of Death:  Sepsis

Patty Duke from the television program The Patty Duke Show - 1965

Patty Duke from the television program The Patty Duke Show – 1965. (Public Domain)


April 2016 Celebrity Deaths

Apr 02 – Amber Rayne (Birth name Meghan Elizabeth Wren), 31
Famous For:  Pornographic actress
Cause of Death:  Accidental drug overdose

Amber Rayne at the 2010 AVN Awards Show - Palm Casino Resort, Las Vegas

Amber Rayne at the 2010 AVN Awards Show – Palm Casino Resort, Las Vegas. (Photo by Glenn Francis of www.PacificProDigital.com)

Apr 03 – Joe Medicine Crow, 102
Famous For:  American Crow Indian author and historian; Crow War Chief

Joe Medicine Crow (right) with U.S. President, Barack Obama in 2009

Joe Medicine Crow (right) with U.S. President, Barack Obama in 2009. (Public Domain)

Apr 06 – Dennis Davis, 64
Famous For:  Drummer, most notably known for his work with David Bowie and Stevie Wonder
Cause of Death:  Cancer

Apr 06 – Merle Haggard, 79
Famous For:  Country Western singer/songwriter; Know for songs like “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive,” “Okie From Muskogee”, “The Fightin’ Side of Me”, and “Carolyn”; 1984, 1998, and 1999 Grammy Award winner
Cause of Death:  Complications from pneumonia

Merle Haggard - Country Music Association's performer of the year - 1971

Merle Haggard – Country Music Association’s performer of the year – 1971. (Public Domain)

Apr 09 – Arthur Anderson, 93
Famous For:  Actor / voice actor; Known for his work on Courage the Cowardly Dog, Midnight Cowboy and as the voice of the Lucky Charms leprechaun

Apr 09 – Duane Clarridge, 83
Famous For:  Clarridge was a senior operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and supervisor for over 30 years; Chief of the Latin American CIA division for 1981-87; Prominent figure in the infamous Iran-Contra Affair

Apr 11 – Richard Branson, 96
Famous For:  American businessman; Founder of Hickory Farms

Apr 12 – Hector A. Cafferata Jr., 96
Famous For:  American soldier with United States Marine Corp; Medal of Honor recipient for his actions in the Korean War

Apr 17 – Doris Roberts, 90
Famous For:  Actress; Most notably known for her role as Marie Barone on TV’s Everybody Loves Raymond from 1996-2005

Apr 19 – Walter Kohn, 93
Famous For:  Austrian-born American theoretical physicist; 1998 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry
Cause of Death:  Jaw cancer

Apr 20 – Chyna (Birth name Joan Marie Laurer), 46
Famous For:  Professional wrestler with the WWF; Pornographic actress
Cause of Death:  Mixed drug intoxication

Chyna - Slim-Fast Fashion Show - January 8, 2008

Chyna – Slim-Fast Fashion Show – January 8, 2008. (Photo from www.lukeford.net.)

Apr 20 – Victoria Wood, 62
Famous For:  English comedienne and actress; Considered by many to be Britain’s most popular stand-up comic
Cause of Death:  Cancer

Apr 21 – Prince (Full name Prince Rogers Nelson), 57
Famous For:  Musician / songwriter, known for songs like “When Doves Cry”, “Purple Rain”, and “Little Red Corvette”; Prince was known for his flamboyant songs and stage presence; Seven-time Grammy Award winner; Actor, known for his 1984 Academy Award winning role in Purple Rain
Cause of Death:  Accidental overdose on fentanyl

Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson) in 2009

Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson) in 2009
June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016
(Flickr Nicolas Genin)

Apr 24 – Tommy Kono, 85
Famous For:  American weightlifter; 1952 and 1956 Olympic champion; World champion (1953-1959)
Cause of Death:  Complications from liver disease

Apr 24 – Billy Paul, 81
Famous For:  Singer; 1972 Grammy Award winner for “Me and Mrs. Jones”
Cause of Death:  Pancreatic cancer


May 2016 Celebrity Deaths

May 03 – Marianne Gaba, 76
Famous For:  Actress, model, Playmate; Most notably known for roles in Missile to the Moon, The Choppers, and The Beverly Hillbillies; 1957 Miss Illinois USA; September 1959 Playboy Playmate of the Month
Cause of Death:  Brain cancer

Marianne Gaba with Edd Byrnes from TV show 77 Sunset Strip. Gaba was a guest star on the show and requested a lock of Kookie's hair - to which Byrnes obliged - January 1960

Marianne Gaba with Edd Byrnes from TV show 77 Sunset Strip. Gaba was a guest star on the show and requested a lock of Kookie’s hair – to which Byrnes obliged – January 1960. (Public Domain)

May 08 – William Schallert, 93
Famous For:  Actor; Most notably known for playing Martin Lane (Patty’s Father) on The Patty Duke Show; President of SAG from 1979-1981

19 – Morley Safer, 84
Famous For:  Canadian-born American journalist; Safe was with CBS News for 52 years (1964-2016) and 60 Minutes for 46 years (1970-2016); 12-time Emmy Award winner
Cause of Death:  Pneumonia

19 – Alan Young, 96
Famous For:  English-born Canadian-American actor; Known for his role as Wilbur Post on Mr. Ed (1961-1966)

24 – Buck Kartalian, 93
Famous For:  Actor; Character actor that appeared in more than 70 films between 1953 and his retirement in 2006;  Most notably known for his role as the brutish gorilla Julius in 1968’s Planet of the Apes

24 – Burt Kwouk, 85
Famous For:  Actor; Most notably known for his role as Cato in the Pink Panther films
Cause of Death:  Cancer


June 2016 Celebrity Deaths

Jun 03 – Muhammad Ali (Birth name Cassius Clay), 74
Famous For:  American boxer; Olympic gold medalist (1960); Three-time heavyweight champion (1964, 1974, and 1978); Self-proclaimed “The Greatest”

Muhammad Ali in 1967 - World Journal Tribune photo by Ira Rosenberg

Muhammad Ali in 1967 – World Journal Tribune photo by Ira Rosenberg. (Library of Congress)

Jun 04 – Bill Richmond, 94
Famous For:  Screenwriter and producer; Most well-known for his work on The Carol Burnett show, The Nutty Professor, and Three’s Company; Three-time Emmy Award winner (1974,1975, 1978)

Jun 06 – Teresa Saldana, 61
Famous For:  Actress, most known for her role as Rachel Scali on “The Commish” from 1991-1996
Cause of Death:  Renal failure

Jun 06 – Sir Peter Shaffer, 90
Famous For:  British playwright and screenwriter; Most notably known for his plays Amadeus, Equus, and Black Comedy;  Two-time Tony Award winner (1975, 1981); 1985 Academy Award winner
Cause of Death:  Renal failure

Jun 06 – Kimbo Slice (Birth name Kevin Ferguson), 42
Famous For:  Bahamian-born American Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter with Bellator and UFC;  Actor, known for roles in Merry Christmas and Drake & Josh
Cause of Death:  Heart failure

Kimbo Slice (Kevin Ferguson)

Kimbo Slice (Wikipedia)

Jun 10 – Christina Grimmie, 22
Famous For:  Singer-songwriter and YouTube personality; Grimmie placed 3rd on talent show, The Voice in 2014
Cause of Death:  Shot (Christina Grimmie was shot and killed by a fan)

Jun 10 – Gordie Howe, 88
Famous For:  Hall of Fame Canadian ice hockey player with the Detroit Red Wings and Hartford Whalers; 23-time NHL All-Star

Gordie Howe - Chex cereal trading card as a member of the Detroit Red Wings - ca1963-1965

Gordie Howe – Chex cereal trading card as a member of the Detroit Red Wings – ca1963-1965. (Public Domain)

Jun 13 – Michu Meszaros, 76
Famous For:  Hungarian-born American actor and circus performer; Meszaros is most notably known as the man in the ALF costume (ALF TV Show 1986-1990); Michu was 2′ 9″ tall
Cause of Death:  Respiratory failure

Jun 14 – Ann Guilbert, 87
Famous For:  Actress; Known for her roles as Millie Helper in The Dick Van Dyke Show and Yetta Rosenberg in The Nanny
Cause of Death:  Cancer

Jun 16 – Jerome Teasley, 67
Famous For:  Drummer; Known for his work with Al Green, Jimi Hendrix, Bill Carr, Tina Turner, and other top musicians; Motown Hall of Fame member
Cause of Death:  Complications from liver and lung cancer

Jun 17 – Prince Be (Birth name Attrell Cordes), 46
Famous For:  R&B singer, rapper; Founding member of hip-hop group, P.M. Dawn
Cause of Death:  Renal disease

Jun 17 – Ron Lester, 45
Famous For:  Actor; Known for roles in Popular, Good Burger and as Billy Bob in the film, Varsity Blues
Cause of Death:  Liver and kidney failure

Jun 19 – Anton Yelchin, 27
Famous For:  Soviet-born American actor;  Yelchin was most notably known for his role as Pavel Chekov in three Star Trek movies (2009-2016)
Cause of Death:  Blunt traumatic asphyxia

Anton Yelchin at the Festival Du Cinema Americain De Deauville - 2011

Anton Yelchin at the Festival Du Cinema Americain De Deauville – 2011. (Flickr Philippe Berdalle)

Jun 19 – Ralph Stanley, 89
Famous For:  Bluegrass musician; Co-founder of The Stanley Brothers;  2002 Grammy Award winner
Cause of Death:  Skin cancer

Jun 27 – Mack Rice, 82
Famous For:  Songwriter; Most well-known for the songs “Mustang Sally” & “Respect Yourself”
Cause of Death:  Complications from Alzheimer’s disease

Jun 28 – Scotty Moore, 84
Famous For:  Guitarist; Known for working with Elvis Presley in early recordings and pioneering new guitar styles

Jun 28 – Buddy Ryan, 85
Famous For:  NFL head football coach and defensive coordinator; Inventor of the 46 defense

Jun 28 – Pat Summitt, 64
Famous For:  NCAA Women’s Basketball coach; Summitt coached the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers to 1,098 wins from 1974 to 2012, the most wins in NCAA basketball history; Eight-time NCAA Champion
Cause of Death: Dementia

Coaching Legend - Pat Summitt

Coaching Legend – Pat Summitt
June 14, 1952 – June 28, 2016
(Public Domain)


July 2016 Celebrity Deaths

Jul 02 – Elie Wiesel, 87
Famous For:  Romanian-born American writer writer and political activist;  Holocaust survivor, and 1986 Nobel Laureate

Jul 02 – Teddy Rooney, 66
Famous For:  Actor, musician; Son of Mickey Rooney and Martha Vickers

Jul 03 – Noel Neill, 95
Famous For:  Actress; Most notably known for her role as Lois Lane in Adventures of Superman  (1952-1958)

Jul 16 – Nate Thurmond, 74
Famous For:  Thurmond was an Hall of Fame basketball player with the Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls, and Cleveland Cavaliers; Seven-time NBA All-Star; First NBA player to record a quadruple-double
Cause of Death:  Leukemia

Professional Basketball Player, Nate Thurmond in 1969

Professional Basketball Player, Nate Thurmond in 1969. (Public Domain)

Jul 19 – Garry Marshall, 81
Famous For:  Writer, producer, actor;  Marshall was the creator of popular television shows Happy DaysMork & Mindy, and Laverne & Shirley, and director of the film Pretty Woman

Jul 20 – William Gaines, 82
Famous For:  Journalist with the Chicago Tribune; Academic at University of Illinois; 1976 and 1988 Pulitzer Prize recipient
Cause of Death:  Parkinson’s disease

Jul 22 – Julius Freeman, 89
Famous For:  American fighter pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen; Congressional Gold Medal recipient
Cause of Death:  Heart attack

Jul 26 – Miss Cleo (Birth name Youree Dell Harris), 53
Famous For:  American television psychic
Cause of Death:  Metastatic colon cancer

Jul 27 – Jerry Doyle, 60
Famous For:  Actor; Most notably known for his role as Michael Garibaldi in Babylon 5 (1994-1998)

Jul 27 – James Alan McPherson, 72
Famous For:  Writer; Known for his collection of short stories called Elbow Room; 1978 Pulitzer Prize winner
Cause of Death:  Pneumonia


August 2016 Celebrity Deaths

Aug 02 – Ahmed Zewail, 70
Famous For:  Egyptian-American scientist; 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry recipient for his work on femtochemistry; First Egyptian to be awarded a Nobel Prize in a scientific field

Aug 03 – Ricci Martin, 62
Famous For:  Entertainer; Son of Dean Martin

Aug 11 – Glenn Yarbrough, 86
Famous For:  Singer; Known for his work with the band The Limeliters (1959-1963) and songs like “Baby the Rain Must Fall”, “It’s Gonna Be Fine”, and “San Francisco Bay Blues”.

Aug 13 – Michel Richard, 68
Famous For:  French-born American chef and restaurateur;  Founded restaurant Citrus in Los Angeles, California and five other cities
Cause of Death:  Complications from stroke

Aug 13 – Kenny Baker, 81
Famous For:  English actor; Most notably known for his roles as R2-D2 in the Star Wars franchise and as Paploo, the Ewok

Kenneth George 'Kenny' Baker at a science fiction convention in 2005. Kenny was best known as the man inside the R2-D2 costume in the original Star Wars films

Kenneth George ‘Kenny’ Baker at a science fiction convention in 2005. Kenny was best known as the man inside the R2-D2 costume in the original Star Wars films. (Mean Mr Mustard Flickr)

Aug 14 – Ron Vander Kelen, 76
Famous For:  Football player with the Wisconsin Badgers and the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings; 1963 Rose Bowl MVP

Aug 14 – James Woolley, 49
Famous For:  Musician, keyboardist with 2wo and Nine Inch Nails; 1993 Grammy Award winner

Aug 19 – Jack Riley, 80
Famous For:  Actor; Most well-known for his role as Elliot Carlin on The Bob Newhart Show
Cause of Death:  Pneumonia

Aug 23 – Steven Hill, 94
Famous For:  Actor; Most notably known for his role as District Attorney Adam Schiff on Law & Order from 1990-2000

Aug 25 – James Cronin, 84
Famous For:  Physicist; Awarded 1980 Nobel Prize in Physics

Aug 25 – Jeanne Martin, 89
Famous For:  Model; 1947 Orange Bowl Queen; Wife to actor, Dean Martin

Aug 28 – Mr. Fuji (Birth name Harry Masayoshi Fujiwara), 83
Famous For:  Japanese-American professional wrestler and manager with the WWF

Aug 29 – Gene Wilder, 83
Famous For:  Actor, screenwriter, and author; Most well-known for roles in Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, and Willy Wonka
Cause of Death:  Complications from Alzheimer’s disease

Gene Wilder - Publicity photo for 1970 film Start the Revolution Without Me (AKA Two Times Two)

Gene Wilder – Publicity photo for 1970 film Start the Revolution Without Me (AKA Two Times Two). (Public Domain)


September 2016 Celebrity Deaths

Sep 01 – Jon Polito, 65
Famous For:  Actor; Credited with over 220 roles in television and film; Most known for his role as Steve Crosetti on Homicide: Life on the Street
Cause of Death:  Multiple myeloma

Sep 05 – Hugh O’Brian, 91
Famous For:  Actor; Most well-known for his starring roles on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp from 1955-1961 and Search from 1972-1973

Sep 07 – Bobby Chacon, 64
Famous For:  Professional boxer; Two-time world champion (Featherweight 1974, Super Featherweight 1982); Career record of 52 wins, 7 losses, 1 no contest – with 47 wins by knockout
Cause of Death:  Fall

Sep 07 – Norbert Schemansky, 92
Famous For:  American weightlifter, Olympic champion; First weightlifter to win four Olympic medals

Norbert Schemansky - 1964 Olympics

Norbert Schemansky – 1964 Olympics . (Asahi Shinbun / Public Domain)

Sep 08 – Greta Zimmer Friedman, 92
Famous For:  Greta an Austrian-born American that was the subject of the famous 1945 V-J Day in Times Square photo, where she was kissed by an unknown Navy Sailor celebrating the end of WW II

Greta Zimmer Friedman 1939 Passport - 1945 V-J Day in Times Square photo

LEFT: 1939 passport of Greta Zimmer Friedman.
RIGHT: 1945 V-J Day in Times Square photo featuring Greta being kissed by an unknown U.S. Sailor.
(Creative Commons / Public Domain)

Sep 09 – James Stacy (Birth name Maurice William Elias), 79
Famous For:  Actor; Known for his role as Johnny Madrid Lancer on TV’s Lancer from 1968-1970

Sep 16 – Edward Albee, 88
Famous For:  Playwright; Known for his work on The Sandbox (1959) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962); 1963 and 2002 Tony Award winner; 1967, 1975, 1994 Pulitzer Prize winner

Sep 17 – Charmian Carr, 73
Famous For:  Actress; Known for her role as Liesl Von Trapp (the eldest daughter) in The Sound of Music
Cause of Death:  Complications from dementia

Sep 20 – Curtis Hanson, 71
Famous For:  Film director, screenwriter; Known for his work on 8 Mile, L.A. Confidential, and Wonder Boys; 1998 Academy Award winner

Sep 24 – Bill Nunn, 63
Famous For:  Actor; Most well-known for his role as Robbie Robertson in Spider-Man film trilogy
Cause of Death:  Leukemia

Sep 25 – Arnold Palmer, 87
Famous For:  Hall of Fame professional golfer; Widely considered to be among all-time greatest golfers; Palmer won 62 PGA Tour titles from 1955 to 1973; Seven-time Major Championship winner (1958, 1960, 1962, 1964 Masters Tournament; 1960 U.S. Open; 1961, 1962 The Open Championship)

Arnold Palmer (right) is pictured with sculptor Zenos Frudakis at Laurel Valley Golf Course, Ligonier, PA, on September 10, 2009 at unveiling of his statue in honor of Palmer's 80th birthday.

Arnold Palmer (right) is pictured with sculptor Zenos Frudakis at Laurel Valley Golf Course, Ligonier, PA, on September 10, 2009 at unveiling of his statue in honor of Palmer’s 80th birthday. (Photo by Zenos Frudakis)

Sep 26 – Milt Moss, 93
Famous For:  Actor; Most notably known for his role in 1972 Alka-Seltzer commercials, which coined the phrase “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing”


October 2016 Celebrity Deaths

Oct 12 – Tommy Ford, 52
Famous for:  Actor; Most well-known for his role as Tommy Strawn in TV’s Martin
Cause of Death:  Stomach aneurysm

Oct 09 – Aaron Pryor, 60
Famous For:  Professional boxer; Light-welterweight world champion WBA/IBF from 1980-1985
Cause of Death:  Heart failure

Oct 20 – Michael Massee, 64
Famous For:  Actor; Most notably known for his roles in TV’s 24 and films The Crow and The Amazing Spider-Man
Cause of Death:  Stomach cancer

Oct 23 – Pete Burns, 57
Famous For:  English singer-songwriter; Burns founded the band Dead or Alive; Known for his song “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”


November 2016 Celebrity Deaths

Nov 03– Kay Starr, 94
Famous For:  Singer;  Starr was a successful musician in the 1940s and 1950s; Most notably known for two No. 1 hits in the 1950s, “Wheel of Fortune” and “The Rock and Roll Waltz”
Cause of Death:  Complications from Alzheimer’s disease

Nov 07 – Janet Reno, 78
Famous For:  Lawyer and politician;  First female Attorney General of the United States (1993-2001)
Cause of Death:  Parkinson’s disease

Janet Reno - 78th Attorney General of the United States, from 1993–2001

Janet Reno – 78th Attorney General of the United States, from 1993–2001. (Public Domain)

Nov 11 – Robert Vaughn, 83
Famous For:  Actor; Known for his role as Napoleon Solo in the 1960’s TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., detective Harry Rule in the 1970s TV series The Protectors, and for the role of Walter Chalmers in the film Bullitt
Cause of Death:  Leukemia

Nov 13 – Leon Russell, 74
Famous For:  Hall of Fame musician with The Wrecking Crew; Songwriter, known for the song “Tight Rope”

Nov 14 – Gardnar Mulloy, 102
Famous For:  Professional tennis player; U.S. Open winner in 1942, 1945, 1946, and 1948; Wimbledon Champion in 1957
Cause of Death:  Complications from a stroke

Nov 19 – Paul Sylbert, 88
Famous For:  Production designer;  Known for his work on Heaven Can Wait, The Prince of Tides, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; 1979 Academy Award winner

Nov 24 – Florence Henderson, 82
Famous For:  Actress, singer;  Henderson was active in her career for more than six decades;  Most known for playing the role of Carol Brady on popular TV show, The Brady Bunch from 1969 to 1974
Cause of Death:  Heart failure

Actress Florence Henderson at the 1989 Emmy Awards

Actress Florence Henderson at the 1989 Emmy Awards. (Alan Light / Creative Commons)

Nov 25 – Fidel Castro, 90
Famous For:  Cuban politician / dictator;  Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959-1976, then President from 1976-2008

Cuban Dictator, Fidel Castro, arriving at MATS Terminal - Washington D.C. - 1959

Cuban Dictator, Fidel Castro, arriving at MATS Terminal – Washington D.C. – 1959. (Library of Congress)

Nov 25 – Ron Glass, 71
Famous For:  Actor; Known for playing Det. Ron Harris on TV’s Barney Miller from 1975-1982 and as Derrial Book in the fan favorite science-fiction television series Firefly and its film sequel Serenity
Cause of Death:  Respiratory failure

Nov 26 – Fritz Weaver, 90
Famous For:  Actor; Known for roles in Fail Safe, Holocaust, and Creepshow; 1970 Tony Award winner

Nov 28 – Jim Delligatti, 98
Famous For:  Entrepreneur;  Owned 48 McDonald’s franchises; Credited as the creator of the “Big Mac” sandwich

Nov 28 – Van Williams, 82
Famous For:  Actor;  Williams was known for his leading role as Kenny Madison in TV detective series Bourbon Street Beat from 1959-1960 and its sequel called Surfside 6 from 1960-1962; Van was also the leading role in TV’s Green Hornet, where he teamed up with Bruce Lee (who played Kato) in 1966
Cause of Death:  Renal failure

Van Williams (left) as the Green Hornet and Bruce Lee as Kato from the TV show The Green Hornet - September 1959

Van Williams (left) as the Green Hornet and Bruce Lee as Kato from the TV show The Green Hornet – September 1959. (Public Domain)

Nov 30 – Keo Woolford, 49
Famous For:  Filmmaker, actor; Woolford is known for his work on Godzilla, Act of Valor, and as Det. Chang on Hawaii Five-0

Nov 30 – Grant Tinker, 90
Famous For:  Television executive;  Chairman and CEO of NBC from 1981-1986; Husband to Mary Tyler Moore from 1962-1981


December 2016 Celebrity Deaths

Dec 01 – Don Calfa, 76
Famous For:  Actor; Most well-known for his role as Paulie the hitman in 1989’s Weekend at Bernie’s

Dec 08 – Joseph Mascolo, 87
Famous For:  Actor; Known for roles in television soap operas Days of Our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful, and the film Jaws 2
Cause of Death:  Alzheimer’s disease

Dec 08 – Colonel John Glenn, 95
Famous For:  United States Marine Corps aviator, NASA astronaut, engineer, businessman, and politician;  Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth (1962); Senator from Ohio (1974-99)

NASA Astronaut - John Glenn - October 1964

NASA Astronaut – John Glenn – October 1964. (Public Domain)

Dec 13 – Alan Thicke, 69
Famous For:  Canadian actor, singer;  Most well-known as Jason Seaver, the father on TV’s Growing Pains from 1985-1992
Cause of Death:  Ruptured aorta

Alan Thicke at the Night of 100 Stars for 82nd Academy Awards viewing party at the Beverly Hills Hotel - March 7, 2010

Alan Thicke at the “Night of 100 Stars” for 82nd Academy Awards viewing party at the Beverly Hills Hotel – March 7, 2010. (Glenn Francis of www.pacificprodigital.com)

Dec 14 – Bernard Fox (Birth name Bernard Lawson), 89
Famous For: Welsh actor; Known for his roles as Dr. Bombay in Bewitched and Colonel Crittendon in Hogan’s Heroes
Cause of Death:  Heart failure

Dec 15 – Craig Sager, 65
Famous For:  Sport reporter; Most known for his work with NBA on TNT; Sager was also known for wearing flamboyant sports coats during his on-camera interviews with NBA players and coaches
Cause of Death:  Leukemia

Craig Sager -- June 29, 1951 – December 15, 2016

Craig Sager
June 29, 1951 – December 15, 2016
(Public Domain)

Dec 18 – Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99
Famous For:  Hungarian-born American actress and socialite; Most notably known for her work in 1952’s Moulin Rouge, Gabor was married nine times
Cause of Death:  Heart attack

Zsa Zsa Gabor - 1959 Publicity Photo

Zsa Zsa Gabor – 1959 Publicity Photo. (Public Domain)

Dec 18 – Gordie Tapp, 94
Famous For:  Canadian country music singer and entertainer;  Wrote and acted on TV show Hee Haw

Dec 23 – Piers Sellers, 61
Famous For:  British-American NASA astronaut; Veteran of three space shuttle missions (2002, 2006, 2010); Director of the Earth Science Division at NASA/GSFC
Cause of Death:  Pancreatic cancer

Dec 25 – George Michael, 53
Famous For:  British singer-songwriter; George Michael had several #1 hits, including “Faith”, “I Want Your Sex”, and “Careless Whisper”; 1987 and 1989 Grammy Award winner
Cause of Death:  Cardiomyopathy

George Michael performing during the Faith World Tour - 1988

George Michael performing during the Faith World Tour – 1988. (Public Domain)

Dec 25 – Vera Rubin, 88
Famous For:  Astronomer;  Innovator of dark matter theory by providing the first evidence of its existence in the universe
Cause of Death:  Dementia

Dec 26 – Ricky Harris, 54
Famous For:  Comedian and actor; Known for roles in Heat, Dope Rain, and Everybody Hates Chris
Cause of Death:  Heart attack

Dec 27 – Carrie Fisher, 60
Famous For:  Actress, novelist, and screenwriter; Fisher’s most famous role was Princess Leia in 1977’s Star Wars and four sequels
Cause of Death:  Cardiac arrest

Carrie Fisher - Star Wars - Episode VI - Return of the Jedi promotional photo - 1983

Carrie FisherStar Wars – Episode VI – Return of the Jedi promotional photo – 1983. (Public Domain)

Dec 28 – Debbie Reynolds, 84
Famous For:  Actress, singer; Most notably known for her role as Kathy Selden in the film Singin’ in the Rain, and for roles in The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Irene; Mother of actress Carrie Fisher
Cause of Death:  Stroke

Dec 30 – Tyrus Wong, 106
Famous For:  Chinese-born American artist and film production illustrator;  Most known for working with Disney Studios and as the illustrator for 1942’s Bambi

Dec 31 – William Christopher, 84
Famous For:  Actor;  Most notable role was that of Father Mulcahy on TV’s M*A*S*H
Cause of Death:  Small-cell carcinoma


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September 29, 2018 / by / in

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