Stars we’ve lost in 2016
We remember some of the great actors, singers and celebs that we have lost.
Debbie Reynolds, who lit up the screen in ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ and other Hollywood classics despite a tumultuous life, died a day after losing her daughter, Carrie Fisher. Reynolds was 84.
Carrie Fisher, best known as the iconic double-bun hairdo-wearing Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, died following a heart attack. She was 60. Fisher – who also starred in a host of popular 1980s movies, was married or engaged to famous singers and actors, suffered from bipolar disorder and drug addiction and eventually became a mental health advocate. She had a medical emergency while on a flight from London to Los Angeles on Dec. 23, during which she stopped breathing. She was later taken to an intensive care unit.
Singer George Michael, who sold more than 100 million albums over a pop music career spanning almost four decades, died at the age of 53. His manager said the singer died of heart failure.
Rick Parfitt, a hard-rocking British guitarist and songwriter who had multiple hits over the decades with the rock band Status Quo, died at 68.
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Zsa Zsa Gabor, the curvy blonde actress known for her intriguing personal life, including nine marriages, her breathy accent and her habit of calling everyone “darling,” died of a heart attack. She was 99. The great aunt of Paris Hilton and a spiritual matriarch to the Kardashians and other tabloid favorites, Gabor was the original hall-of-mirrors celebrity, famous for being famous for being famous.
Actor Alan Thicke, who was best known for the 1980s sitcom “Growing Pains,” died at the age of 69. Thicke’s 1980s TV dad credentials were neatly in order on “Growing Pains.” His Dr. Jason Seaver was an open-hearted parent and an enlightened husband, working from home to help tend the kids while his wife revived her career.
Joseph Mascolo, who played crime lord and patriarch Stefano DiMera on “Days of Our Lives” starting in 1982, died. He was 87 and had been battling Alzheimer’s disease.
Margaret Whitton, who starred as a former showgirl who became owner of the Cleveland Indians in the 1989 comedy “Major League” died after a battle with cancer at age 67.
Veteran British actor Peter Vaughan died at 93. The actor played Maester Aemon in the HBO hit series “Game of Thrones” from 2011-2015. Vaughan’s career spanned over 75 years. His notable works include the 1967 Frank Sinatra film “The Naked Runner.” He is also known for his work in the British sitcoms “Porridge,” “Citizen Smith,” “Chancer” and “Our Friends in the North.”
Comic actor Andrew Sachs, known primarily for his role as Manuel in the 1970s situation comedy Fawlty Towers, died at 86. He had been suffering from vascular dementia.
Grant Tinker, who brought “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and other hits to the screen as a producer and a network boss died at 90. Though he spent years at NBC, Tinker is best known for his work at MTM Enterprises. He founded the company in 1970 with then-wife Mary Tyler Moore. In addition to Moore’s own groundbreaking situation comedy, MTM scored with series’ including “Rhoda,” ”The Bob Newhart Show” and “Hill Street Blues.”
The wholesome actress who went from Broadway star to television icon when she became Carol Brady, the ever-cheerful matriarch of “The Brady Bunch,” died on Nov. 24, 2016, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, after being hospitalized the day before.
Sharon Jones, the stout powerhouse who shepherded a soul revival despite not finding stardom until middle age, died at 60.
Country singer Holly Dunn, who was best known for her 1986 hit “Daddy’s Hands” about her minister father, died at 59.
PBS news anchor Gwen Ifill, known for her longtime reporting on politics and foreign affairs, died of cancer at 61.
Actor Robert Vaughn, best known for playing Napoleon Solo on the NBC spy drama “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” died surrounded by his family after battling acute leukemia. He was 83.
Influential singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen best known for his song “hallelujah” died at the age of 82. Cohen, also renowned as a poet, novelist and aspiring Zen monk, blended folk music with a darker, sexual edge that won him fans around the world and among fellow musicians like Bob Dylan and R.E.M.
Claude ‘Curly’ Putman
Country songwriter Claude “Curly” Putman, who wrote iconic country songs like “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” ”D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” and “The Green, Green Grass of Home” died at 85.
Award-winning British theater director Howard Davies died of cancer at 71.
1960s pop star Bobby Vee, whose hits included “Take Good Care of My Baby,” died at the age of 73 of advanced Alzheimer’s disease.
Patricia Barry, a mainstay of daytime television who appeared on “Days of Our Lives,” ”Guiding Light” and “All My Children,” died at 93.
Thomas Ford, the actor who played Martin Lawrence’s best friend Tommy Strawn on the hit ’90s sitcom “Martin,” died. He was 52.
Rod Temperton, a British-born musician and songwriter with a singular knack for pop-funk who wrote the Michael Jackson classics “Thriller,” ”Rock With You” and many other hits, died of cancer at 66.
“NCIS” executive producer and creator of “NCIS: New Orleans” died in his sleep. He was 50.
Agnes Nixon, the creative force behind the enduring TV soap operas “One Life to Live” and “All My Children,” died at 93.
The grand lady of the Grand Ole Opry” died at 82. Jean Shepard had a long recording career as an influential female in country music.
Musician Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural Jr., who rose from a cotton-picking family in southwest Louisiana to introduce zydeco music to the world through his namesake band Buckwheat Zydeco, died. He was 68.
Bill Nunn, a veteran character actor whose credits ranged from the “Spider-Man” movie franchise to such Spike Lee films as “Do the Right Thing” and “He Got Game,” died after battling cancer at age 63.
Curtis Hanson, who won a screenwriting Oscar for “L.A. Confidential” and directed the psychological thriller “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” and Eminem’s tale of Detroit hip-hop “8 Mile,” died at 71.
Gabe Rygaard, known for being the owner of the company Rygaard Logging featured the reality series “Ax Men,” was killed in an automobile collision. He was 45.
Charmian Carr, the actress best known for sweetly portraying the eldest von Trapp daughter in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music,” died at 73.
(AP/courtesy of the Carr family)
Alexis Arquette, the transgender character actress and sibling of actors David, Rosanna, Richmond and Patricia Arquette, died at 47.
The Lady Chablis, the transgender performer who became an unlikely celebrity for her role in the 1994 best-seller “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” died at 59.
Hall of Fame boxer Bobby Chacon died under hospice care for dementia. He was 64.
Hugh O’Brian, who shot to fame as Sheriff Wyatt Earp in what was hailed as television’s first adult Western, died at 91.
Jon Polito, who had memorable roles in “The Big Lebowski” and other Coen brothers films died at 65.
“Ice Road Truckers” star Darrell Ward died in a plance crash. He was 52. Ward became a fan favorite over the past four seasons of the History Channel’s docu-series. His motto was “any road, any load” and he was a self-proclaimed “adrenaline junkie.”
Juan Gabriel, a superstar Mexican songwriter and singer who was an icon in the Latin music world, died at age 66. He was Mexico’s leading singer-songwriter and top-selling artist. His ballads about love and heartbreak and bouncy mariachi tunes became hymns throughout Latin America and Spain and with Spanish speakers in the United States.
Veteran actor Marvin Kaplan, best known for his recurring role on the long-running sitcom “Alice,” Kaplan died at 89.
French designer Sonia Rykiel, whose relaxed striped sweaters helped liberate women from their stuffy suits and who went on to run a global fashion empire, died at 86. When President Francois Hollande’s office announced her death, he praised her as “a pioneer” who “offered women freedom of movement.”
Actor Fyvush Finkel, the plastic-faced character actor whose career in stage and screen started in Yiddish theater and led to memorable roles in “Fiddler on the Roof” on Broadway and on TV in “Boston Public” and “Picket Fences” died at 93.
Kenny Baker played the lovable droid R2-D2 in the “Star Wars” films, achieving cult status and fans’ adulation without showing his face or speaking any lines. The 3-foot 8-inch performer — a word he preferred to actor — died at 81.
ESPN sportscaster John Saunders, who hosted “The Sports Reporters” for the last 15 years, died at 61.
David Huddleston, a character actor best known for portraying titular roles in “The Big Lebowski” and “Santa Claus: The Movie,” died at 85 of advanced heart and kidney disease.
Gloria DeHaven, who made her onscreen debut in the Charlie Chaplain “Modern Times,” died at 91.
Longtime Weather Channel meteorologist Dave Schwartz died after a long fight with cancer. He was 63.
Actor and syndicated radio host Gerard “Jerry” Doyle died in Las Vegas at age 60. As an actor, Doyle was best-known as Michael Garibaldi in the 1990s science-fiction television show “Babylon 5.” In recent years, his self-titled radio show aired on Talk Radio Network and, in Las Vegas, weekday afternoons on AM radio station KDWN.
Miss Cleo, the TV psychic who became famous in the late ‘90s for her catchy commercials after a “valiant battle with cancer in Palm Beach, Florida, surrounded by family and close friends.” She was 53.
Writer-director Garry Marshall, whose deft touch with comedy and romance led to a string of TV hits that included “Happy Days” and “Laverne & Shirley” and the box-office successes “Pretty Woman” and “Runaway Bride,” died of complications from pneumonia after having a stroke. He was 81.
The first actress to play Superman’s girlfriend Lois Lane onscreen died at 95.
Scotty Moore, the pioneering rock guitarist whose sharp, graceful style helped Elvis Presley shape his revolutionary sound and inspired a generation of musicians that included Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Bruce Springsteen, died. He was 84.
Bill Cunningham, a longtime fashion photographer for The New York Times known for taking pictures of everyday people on the streets of New York, died at 87.
Bernie Worrell, the ingenious “Wizard of Woo” whose amazing array of keyboard sounds and textures helped define the Parliament-Funkadelic musical empire and influenced performers of funk, rock, hip-hop and other genres, died. Worrell, who announced in early 2016 that he had stage-four lung cancer, died at age 72.
Ralph Stanley, a patriarch of Appalachian music who with his brother Carter helped expand and popularize the genre that became known as bluegrass, died at 89.
Actor Anton Yelchin, best known for playing Chekov in the recent “Star Trek” movies, died after apparently being pinned between his car and a brick mailbox on his property. He was 27.
Alejandro “Jano” Fuentes, a Chicago singer who appeared on the Mexican version of “The Voice” in 2011, died after he was shot in an ambush while celebrating his birthday with friends.
Ron Lester, the “Varsity Blues” actor, died in Dallas at the age of 45. Lester was hopitalized for four months due to liver and kidney problems. Lester played the role of Billy Bob in the 1999 football movie “Varsity Blues.” The Georiga-born actor also appeared in “Not Another Teen Movie” and “Good Burger.”
Ronnie Claire Edwards
Ann Morgan Guilbert
Grimmie, a 22-year-old pop singer, was killed as she was signing autographs after a performance in Orlando at The Plaza Live. Grimmie was a YouTube star who was widely known from her appearances on NBC’s “The Voice” two years ago. She lived in Evesham, a small community about 20 miles from Philadelphia, before moving to Los Angeles in 2012.
Actress Theresa Saldana, who is best known for her role on “The Commish” as well as being the center of a highly-publicized stalker attack died at the age of 61. The actress founded the Victims for Victims organization after surviving a stabbing attack by a stalker in 1982. She advocated for anti-stalking laws, then starred as herself in the 1984 TV movie “Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story.”
Playwright Peter Shaffer, whose durable, award-winning hits included “Equus” and “Amadeus,” died at the age of 90. For much of his long career Shaffer achieved the often-elusive goal of combining commercial and critical success, writing literate, cleverly crafted plays that became box-office hits in London and New York.
Muhammad Ali, the three-time heavyweight champion boxer whose electrifying prowess in the ring and controversial outspokenness outside of it made him one of the world’s most recognizable personalities of the 20th Century, died Friday after a battle with a respiratory illness at a Phoenix hospital. He was 74. After defeating Sonny Liston , Ali earned both the condemnation and support of millions in the U.S. and around the world after publicly announcing that he had joined the Nation of Islam. He rose to fame not only for his boxing career, but also for his civil rights activism.
Televangelist Jan Crouch, who co-founded the Trinity Broadcasting Network with her husband more than four decades ago, died at the age of 78 just days after she suffered a stroke, her family said on the network’s website.
Angela Paton, an actress best known for appearing with Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day,” died at age 86. Paton played Mrs. Lancaster, the kindly, elderly, small-town innkeeper who played host to Murray on his never-ending day in 1993’s “Groundhog Day.”
Beth Howland, the actress best known for her role as a ditzy waitress on the 1970s and ’80s CBS sitcom “Alice,” died at 74.
“60 Minutes” correspondent Morley Safer died one week after he retired from 52 years at CBS. He was 84.
Grammy-winning country singer-songwriter Guy Clark, who wrote hits like “L.A. Freeway” and “Desperados Waiting for a Train,” died. He was 74.
Billy Paul, a jazz and soul singer best known for the No. 1 hit ballad and “Philadelphia Soul” classic “Me and Mrs. Jones,” died at 80.
Seven-time Grammy winner Prince, who was known for megahits like “When Doves Cry” and “Purple Rain,” died at the age of 57. Prince broke through in the late 1970s with the hits “Wanna Be Your Lover” and soared over the following decade with the albums as “1999” and “Purple Rain.” The title song from “1999” includes one of the most widely quoted refrains of popular culture: “Tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999.” The singer, songwriter, arranger and instrumentalist was widely acclaimed as one of the most inventive musicians of his era, drawing upon influences ranging from James Brown to the Beatles to Jimi Hendrix.
Movie director Guy Hamilton, who directed four hugely popular James Bond films and raised the profile of the Bond movie brand through his work with actors Sean Connery and Roger Moore died. He was 93.
Doris Roberts, who played the tart-tongued, endlessly meddling Marie Barone on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” died in her sleep. She was 90.
David Gest, a music producer, reality TV star and former husband of Liza Minnelli, was died at 62.
Daisy Lewellyn, the star of Bravo’s “Blood, Sweat & Heels,” died at the age of 36 of cancer.
Country music legend Merle Haggard who was known for hits like “Okie From Muskogee” and “Mama Tried” died on his 79th birthday.
Patty Duke, who won an Oscar as a teen for “The Miracle Worker” and maintained a long and successful career throughout her life, died. She was 69. Duke’s agent confirmed her death to the Associated Press saying she died of sepsis from a ruptured intestine.
Comedian Garry Shandling, known for “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and “The Larry Sanders Show,” died. He was 66.
Phife Dawg, a masterful lyricist whose witty wordplay was a linchpin of the groundbreaking hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, died from complications resulting from diabetes. He was 45. Born Malik Isaac Taylor, he was known as the “Five Foot Assassin” because he was 5 feet 3 inches tall.
Actor Ken Howard, who starred in the 1970s series “The White Shadow” and served as president of SAG-AFTRA, died at age 71. Howard’s career spanned four decades in TV, theater and film. In the CBS series “The White Shadow,” which aired from 1978 to 1981, he starred as a white coach to an urban high school basketball team — a part, one of Howard’s best known, that drew on the personal history of the 6 feet 6 inch tall actor, who played basketball growing up on Long Island in New York and at Amherst College.
Rita Gam, who had a lengthy acting career on film, television and stage, died of respiratory failure. She was 88.
John Schnabel, of the Discovery Channel reality series “Gold Rush” who owned the Big Nugget mine in Porcupine Creek, Alaska, died at 96.
Joe Santos, who played Lieutenant Dennis Becker on “The Rockford Files,” died at 84. Santos’ career spanned more than four decades, from a guest shot on “Naked City” in the early 1960s through a recurring role on “The Sopranos.” But he was best known as Lieutenant Becker, the pal and grudging helpmate of L.A. private eye Jim Rockford (James Garner) on NBC’s “The Rockford Files,” which aired from 1974 to 1980 and scored him an Emmy nomination.
Larry Drake, who earned back-to-back Emmy Awards for his sensitive portrayal of mentally challenged character Benny Stulwicz in “L.A. Law,” died. He was 66.
Paul Daniels, best known for The Paul Daniels Magic Show that regularly attracted 15 million TV viewers in Britain and was sold to 43 countries, died after suffering from an inoperable brain tumor. He was 77.
Frank Sinatra Jr.
Frank Sinatra Jr., who carried on his famous father’s legacy with his own music career and whose kidnapping as a young man added a bizarre chapter to his father’s legendary life, died at 72. The younger Sinatra died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest while on tour in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Sir George Martin
Music producer Sir George Martin, best known for his work with the Beatles, died at the age of 90. He had been dubbed “The Fifth Beatle” for his work with the legendary rock band. He signed the Beatles to EMI’s Parlophone record label in 1962 and went on to produce some of the most popular and influential albums of modern times — “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Revolver,” “Rubber Soul,” “Abbey Road”. Along the way, Martin and the Beatles elevated rock LPs from ways to cash in on hit singles to art forms, “concepts.”
George Kennedy, the hulking, tough-guy character actor who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a savage chain-gang convict in the 1960s classic “Cool Hand Luke,” died of old age at 91.
Actor Tony Burton died at 78. Burton, originally from Flint, Michigan, was best known for his roles in the “Rocky” movies. He was one of four actors who appeared in the first six films.
Country singer Sonny James, who recorded romantic ballads like “Young Love” and turned pop songs into country hits died at 87. The singer born in Hackleburg, Alabama, was known as the “Southern Gentleman” because of his gentle, respectable demeanor. He was also a songwriter as well as a guitarist and fiddler. James was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
A former Miss America contestant died at 24, a week after her car spun off a New Jersey highway and crashed into trees.
Alabama-born author Harper Lee, whose book “To Kill a Mockingbird” became one of the most beloved, widely-read and best-selling novels of the 20th century, died at the age of 89.
Angela Raiola, known to fans of the VH1 reality show “Mob Wives” as “Big Ang” died of cancer. She was 55.
George Gaynes, who starred in all seven “Police Academy” movies and had a lead role in the 1980s sitcom “Punky Brewster,” died. He was 98.
Vanity, a Prince protege who renounced her sexy stage persona to become a Christian minister, died at 57.
Tommy Kelly, who played the titular boy hero in the 1938 movie “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” has died. He was 90.
Daniel Gerson, who co-wrote several Walt Disney animated films including “Monsters, Inc.” and “Big Hero 6,” died at 49. Gerson’s family said in a statement that he died at his Los Angeles home after battling brain cancer. Gerson was a frequent contributor for Pixar Animation, co-writing both 2001’s “Monsters, Inc.” and its 2013 sequel, “Monsters University.”
Dan Hicks, a musician whose work in the 1960s helped define San Francisco’s psychedelic sound, died at 74. The singer, songwriter and bandleader who led the musically eclectic band Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks died after a two-year battle with throat and liver cancer, his wife, CT Hicks, said.
Veteran X Games biker Dave Mirra died at age 41. Mirra’s body was found with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White, whose horn-driven band sold more than 90 million albums and made hits like “September,” ”Shining Star” and “Boogie Wonderland,” died at 74.
Joe Alaskey, best known for providing the iconic voices of “Looney Tunes” legends Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety, Sylvester and Marvin the Martian, died after a battle with cancer. He was 63.
British actor Frank Finlay, who was Academy Award-nominated for his work alongside Laurence Olivier in “Othello,” died at 89.
Signe Toly Anderson, a vocalist and original member of the Jefferson Airplane who left the band after its first record and was replaced by Grace Slick, died at 74.
Paul Kantner, a founding member of the Jefferson Airplane who stayed with the seminal San Francisco band through its transformation from 1960s hippies to 1970s hit makers as the eventual leader of successor group Jefferson Starship, died at age 74.
Character actor Abe Vigoda, whose leathery, sunken-eyed face made him ideal for playing the over-the-hill detective Phil Fish in the 1970s TV series “Barney Miller” and the doomed Mafia soldier in “The Godfather,” died at age 94.
Glenn Frey, a founding member of the rock band the Eagles, died at 67. Frey succumbed to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia.
Dan Haggerty, best known for his role in “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” died at 74. The ’70s star died of cancer. Haggerty starred as the loveable mountain man first in the 1974 movie and later in the TV series by the same name. Haggerty’s character, James Capen “Grizzly” Adams, was best friends with a grizzly bear in the 1977 show.
British actor Alan Rickman, a classically-trained stage star and sensual screen villain in the “Harry Potter” saga and other films, died at 69 after a battle with cancer. Trained at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Rickman was often cast as the bad guy; with his rich, languid voice he could invest evil with wicked, irresistible relish. Rickman is survived by his partner of 50 years, Rima Horton, whom he married recently.
David Margulies, a veteran actor of the stage and screen, whose career spanned decades on Broadway and numerous film roles including the mayor in “Ghostbusters,” died at 78.
Michael Galeota, star of Disney Channel’s “The Jersey” and “Clubhouse Detectives,” died at 31. “It is with tremendous heartfelt sadness to announce the passing of Michael James Galeota on January 10th. He died peacefully at home,” the family wrote on a GoFundMe page.
David Bowie, a rock and roll icon who sustained a chart-topping career for five decades with hits including “Fame”, “Heroes” and “Let’s Dance”, died at the age of 69 after an 18-month battle against cancer. Bowie died two days after the release of “Blackstar”, his 29th album, which had been timed to coincide with his birthday. The singer had kept a low profile in recent years after reportedly suffering a heart attack in the 2000s, and it had not been widely known that he was struggling with cancer.
Pat Harrington Jr.
Pat Harrington Jr., who memorably played the superintendent Dwayne Schneider on “One Day at a Time,” died at 86. Harrington was raised in New York City, where his father was a Broadway actor. Following in his dad’s footsteps, he became an actor after college, beginning his career at NBC. In 1975, he landed his role on “One Day at a Time,” a CBS sitcom starring the late Bonnie Franklin as a single mother raising her two children.
Country singer Craig Strickland of the group Backroad Anthem died at 29 of hypothermia. Strickland and a friend had been reported missing in late 2015 after going on a hunting trip. His body was recovered several days later.
(Brian Armas/Lightfly Creative via AP)
Wayne Rogers, whose Trapper John McIntyre alongside Alan Alda’s Hawkeye Pierce brought mischief, martinis and meatball surgery to the masses in the 1970s every week on “M.A.S.H.,” died at 82 of complications from pneumonia. Rogers’ army surgeon Trapper John was one of the most beloved characters — and half of one of the most beloved duos — in TV history, despite the actor’s appearing in only the first three of the show’s 11 seasons on CBS.
(CBS via AP)