Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at the stars we lost in 2019, starting with this outspoken radio talent… After Don Imus was hospitalized in Texas on Christmas Eve, a family spokesperson announced his passing at the age of 79 on Dec. 27 — though his cause of death has yet to be made public. Don pushed the boundaries on air for over 50 years as the controversial cowboy-hat-wearing host of “Imus in the Morning.” Keep reading for more stars we lost this year…
Actress Sue Lyon passed away at the age of 73 on Dec. 26. According to a family friend, her health had been on the decline from quite some time prior to her death. Sue landed her breakout role in Stanley Kubrick’s provocative 1962 film, “Lolita,” in which a professor becomes infatuated by her character, 12-year-old Dolores Haze. She earned a Golden Globe for her work in the picture at just 15 years old. Sue leaves behind a daughter, Nona, from one (out of five) of her brief marriages to Roland Harrison.
At the age of 86, “Peanuts” producer Lee Mendelson lost his battle to cancer and passed away at his home in Hillsborough, California, on Dec. 25. Throughout his career, he won 12 Emmys for his work on more than 50 “Charlie Brown” TV specials and made an indelible mark on holiday television with classics like 1965’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Lee’s son spoke to TMZ about the timing of his death, saying, “It wasn’t great for us, but to have him pass on Christmas really ties into his history and legacy.”
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French fashion designer Emanuel Ungaro died in Paris on Dec. 21, French media reported. He was 86. His former label, which he sold in 2005, confirmed the news on Instagram, writing (translated to English), “The house he founded in 1965 and which still bears his name today mourns this couturier with immense talent. He will remain in our memories as the master of sensuality, color and flamboyance.”
French actress Claudine Auger — who’s best known to American audiences for her performance as Dominique “Domino” Derval in 1965’s “Thunderball,” the fourth James Bond film — died in Paris on Dec. 19, her agency confirmed. She was 78.
Mama Cax, a model and activist who worked to make the fashion industry more inclusive, died on Dec. 16 after spending a week in a London hospital, her team announced on Instagram. She was 30. Days earlier, Cax (real name: Cacsmy Brutus) — who lost her leg to bone and lung cancer when she was 14 — shared on Instagram that while in Britain for a photo shoot, doctors discovered blood clots throughout her body after she went to the hospital with severe abdominal pain.
Composer and conductor Gershon Kingsley — an electronic music and Moog synthesizer pioneer — died on Dec. 10 at 97. The artist — who’s probably best known for his 1969 song “Popcorn” — was a part of the electronic music duo Perrey and Kingsley and a founder of the First Moog Quartet.
Actor Chuy Bravo, who’s best known as comedian Chelsea Handler’s sidekick and hype man from “Chelsea Lately,” died in a Mexico City hospital on Dec. 14 at 63, his family confirmed in a statement to Us Weekly. Chuy (real name: Jesus Melgoza), who had dwarfism, was rushed to the emergency room with a gastrointestinal hemorrhage and soon after suffered a heart attack, they explained. Chelsea took to social media to pay tribute to her friend and co-star. “I loved this nugget in a big way, and I took great pleasure in how many people loved him as much as I did and do,” she began. “@chuybravo gave us so much laughter and I’ll never forget the sound of his laughter coming from his office into mine. Or his ‘business calls’ with his ‘business manager,’ or his shoe rack with all his children-sized shoes. I’ll never forget him coming to Christmas with my family one year in the Florida keys, and when my niece who was 5 or 6 at the time — saw him, she ran in the other direction saying she was scared. My sister and I were mortified and were apologizing to Chuy, who told us, ‘it’s ok, lots of little kids get scared when they see big kids coming their way.’ I love you, Chuy!”
Danny Aiello — the singer, Broadway star and movie actor who earned an Oscar nomination for his work in “Do the Right Thing” — is dead at 86. TMZ reported that the “Moonstruck” and “The Godfather: Part II” star passed away on Dec. 12 at a New Jersey medical facility where he was being treated for a sudden illness.
Comedian Chris Cotton, a stand-up performer from Philadelphia who’s also known for his work on Comedy Central and his “Every Damn Day” online talk show, died on Dec. 12 of unknown causes. He was 32. The news sparked more sadness as friends confirmed his wife is pregnant with their first child, who’s due in early 2020.
Philip McKeon, who found fame as a child star — he memorably played the titular character’s son, Tommy, on television’s “Alice” in the ’70s and ’80s — died in Texas on Dec. 10 after battling a long illness, his rep told People magazine. Philip, the elder brother of “Facts of Life” star Nancy McKeon, was 55. Charlie Sheen, who co-starred with Philip on an episode of “Amazing Stories” — they played soldiers — tweeted in tribute, “shared some wonderful moments in the ‘trenches’ with Phil McKeon many moons ago. over the past few decades, he was always a perfect gentleman and an ebullient spirit. and his goofy af smile, was pure gold. r.i.p. young man. much much too soon, you cut out.”
Swedish singer Marie Fredriksson — best known in America for hits including “The Look” and “It Must Have Been Love” from the “Pretty Woman” soundtrack with music duo Roxette — died on Dec. 9 following a 17-year cancer battle. Marie, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2002, was 61. Former Roxette bandmate Per Gessle — whom CNN reports was friends with Marie for more than 40 years — said in a mournful statement, “I’m proud, honoured and happy to have been able to share so much of your time, talent, warmth, generosity and sense of humour. All my love goes out to you and your family. Things will never be the same.”
Caroll Spinney — the famed puppeteer who brought “Sesame Street” characters Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch to life for nearly five decades until 2018 — died at home in Connecticut on Dec. 8, “Sesame Street” announced. He was 85 and had been living with dystonia, an incurable neurological movement disorder, for some time, according to the show.
Rapper Juice WRLD — the 21-year-old rising music star known for hits including “Lucid Dreams” and “All Girls Are the Same” — died on Dec. 8 shortly after suffering a medical emergency at Chicago’s Midway airport following a flight back to his hometown, TMZ reported the same day, noting that a cause of death had yet to be determined. The rapper (real name: Jarad Anthony Higgins) is also known for his feature on Travis Scott’s “AstroWorld” album.
Actor René Auberjonois passed away at 79 on Dec. 8 at his Los Angeles home following a battle with metastatic lung cancer, his son told The Associated Press. He earned an Emmy nomination for his work as snobby chief of staff Clayton Endicott III on the sitcom “Benson” and is also well-known for playing Father Mulcahy in the movie version of “MASH,” starring as Odo on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” from 1993 to 1999 and voicing Chef Louis in the animated Disney film “The Little Mermaid.”
Actor Ron Leibman — perhaps best known to younger generations for playing Rachel’s dad on “Friends” — died from pneumonia in New York City on Dec. 6 at 82, family reps told The Hollywood Reporter. Ron — who was married to “Arrested Development” and “Archer” star Jessica Walter at the time of his death and was previously wed to “Alice” star Linda Lavin — won an Emmy in 1979 for his work on the CBS series “Kaz.” He won a Tony Award in 1993 for his performance on Broadway’s “Angels in America: Millennium Approaches.” He also delivered memorable performances in “Norma Rae” and “Slaughterhouse-Five.”
Actor Robert Walker Jr. — who played the titular character on “Charlie X” (seen here), the second episode of TV’s “Star Trek” series that focused on the sole survivor of a transport-ship crash who has special powers — died in Malibu on Dec. 5, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed. Robert, 79, was the son of Hollywood stars Robert Walker and Jennifer Jones. He also memorably appeared in “Ensign Pulver,” “Young Billy Young” and “Easy Rider,” among other projects.
Shelley Morrison — the actress best known as Rosario Salazar, Karen Walker’s maid and confidante on “Will & Grace” — died on Dec. 1 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from heart failure following a brief illness, publicist Lori De Waal told People magazine. She was 83. “Shelley’s greatest pride as an actress was in playing the indomitable Rosario, in a comedy series that furthered the cause of social equity and fairness for LGBTQ people. She also took pride in portraying a strong, loving yet feisty Latina character,” her husband of 46 years, Walter Dominguez, said in a statement. “She believed that the best way to change hearts and minds was through comedy.” All the “Will & Grace” stars took to social media to pay tribute to Shelly — who also memorably appeared on the 1960s TV show “The Flying Nun” and voiced Mrs. Portillo on “Handy Manny” — including on-screen boss Megan Mullally, who tweeted in part, “thank you for your friendship & partnership, shell. you accomplished wonderful things in this world. you will be missed.”
Singer-actress Diahann Carroll died at her Los Angeles home on Oct. 4 following a long battle with cancer, her daughter, producer-journalist Suzanne Kay, told The Hollywood Reporter. She was 84. When Diahann was cast in the NBC comedy “Julia” in 1968, she became the first African American actress to star on a primetime TV series. She won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy for her performance as a widowed nurse raising her son. She also had memorable roles in the film “Claudine” and on TV’s “Dynasty.” Diahann made history on the Broadway stage, too: In 1962, she became the first black woman to win the best actress in a musical Tony Award, for her performance in “No Strings.”
On Aug. 16, Peter Fonda’s family confirmed to People magazine that the actor and famed member of the ’60s counterculture had passed away at 79. Peter — the son of actor Henry Fonda, brother of actress Jane Fonda and father of actress Bridget Fonda and cameraman-actor Justin Fonda — was a double Oscar nominee who earned Academy Award nods first for co-writing the screenplay to 1969’s “Easy Rider” and then for his acting in the 1997 movie “Ulee’s Gold,” a performance that won him a Golden Globe Award. “[Peter] passed away peacefully on Friday morning, August 16 at 11:05 a.m. at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by family,” his loved ones told People in a statement. “The official cause of death was respiratory failure due to lung cancer. In one of the saddest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy. And, while we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life. In honor of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom.”
Valerie Harper died on Aug. 30. She was 80. The four-time Emmy winner, who starred as Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Rhoda,” battled a number of illnesses in recent years. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009 and in 2013, doctors discovered she’d developed a rare brain cancer. On July 8, her husband, Tony Cacciotti, launched a GoFundMe campaign, The Valerie Harper Cancer Support Fund, to raise money for her cancer treatments. In a July 23 Facebook post, he revealed that Valerie’s doctors had recommended that she enter hospice care but that they’d decided against following those recommendations.
Fans and Hollywood mourned when beloved “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Riverdale” star Luke Perry passed away on March 4 five days after suffering a massive stroke. He was 52.
Peggy Lipton, star of ’60s-era “The Mod Squad” as well as the original “Twin Peaks,” died on May 11 after a battle with cancer. She was 72. Her daughters, Rashida Jones and Kidada Jones, honored their mother in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “We feel so lucky for every moment we spent with her,” they said. “We can’t put all of our feelings into words right now, but we will say: Peggy was and will always be our beacon of light, both in this world and beyond. She will always be a part of us.”
Robert Forster, the handsome acting veteran whose career was revived after Quentin Tarantino cast him as bail bondsman Max Cherry in 1997’s “Jackie Brown” — a performance that earned him an Oscar nomination — has died. He passed away at his home in Los Angeles from brain cancer on Oct. 11. Robert, 78, also appeared in notable projects including the big screen’s “Medium Cool” and “Mulholland Drive” and TV’s “Banyon,” the “Twin Peaks” revival and “Breaking Bad.”
Director, screenwriter and producer John Singleton, the filmmaker best known for movies including “Boyz N the Hood,” “Poetic Justice” and “Higher Learning,” died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on April 29 after his family made the heartbreaking decision to take him off life support. He’d suffered a stroke on April 17. The two-time Oscar nominee was 51.
Broadway icon Carol Channing passed away on Jan. 15 at 97.
“Descendants” franchise star Cameron Boyce passed away in his sleep on June 6 at the age of 20. His family released a statement explaining that while he was sleeping, the actor suffered a seizure due to a medical condition for which he was being treated. Paramedics were unable to revive him. The former child star was also known for his work in “Grown Ups” and on the Disney Channel’s “Jessie.”
On June 26, “Dog The Bounty Hunter” star Beth Chapman died in a Honolulu hospital following a battle with throat and lung cancer. She was 51. Beth’s husband, Duane “Dog” Chapman, shared the heartbreaking news on Twitter. “It’s 5:32 in Hawaii, this is the time she would wake up to go hike Koko Head mountain. Only today, she hiked the stairway to heaven,” he wrote. “We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side.”
A year after his band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Cars frontman Ric Ocasek passed away at 75. The singer-songwriter behind hits including “Just What I Needed,” “Drive” and “My Best Friend’s Girl” was found dead in his New York City townhouse on Sept. 15 by his estranged wife, Paulina Porizkova, she confirmed. According to the NYC medical examiner, the father of six, who’d undergone an unspecified surgery a few weeks before his death, died from complications of heart disease caused by high blood pressure with pulmonary emphysema as a contributing factor.
Peter Tork, bassist and keyboardist for 1960s band the Monkees, died on Feb. 21 at 77. No cause of death has been revealed. The musician, songwriter and TV comedy star was diagnosed with the rare tongue cancer adenoid cystic carcinoma a decade ago, though he recovered and returned to life on the road with the Monkees in 2012, Rolling Stone reported.
Iconic American author Toni Morrison — the first black woman to win a Nobel Prize in literature, who also won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel “Beloved” in 1988 — died on Aug. 5 at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York, her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, confirmed. She was 88. “It is with profound sadness we share that, following a short illness, our adored mother and grandmother, Toni Morrison, passed away peacefully last night surrounded by family and friends,” the Princeton University professor’s family said in a statement the next morning. “She was an extremely devoted mother, grandmother, and aunt who reveled in being with her family and friends. The consummate writer who treasured the written word, whether her own, her students or others, she read voraciously and was most at home when writing. Although her passing represents a tremendous loss, we are grateful she had a long, well-lived life.”
Peter Mayhew, the 7-foot-plus English-American star who brought Chewbacca the Wookiee to life in the “Star Wars” films, has died at 74. “He left us the evening of April 30, 2019, with his family by his side in his North Texas home,” his family said in a statement released on May 2. Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the franchise, called Peter “the gentlest of giants” and “a big man with an even bigger heart.” Harrison Ford, whose Han Solo piloted the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca, also praised the actor. “We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him…,” he said. “He invested his soul in the character… I and millions of others will never forget Peter and what he gave us all.”
Russi Taylor — the voice of Minnie Mouse for more than three decades — died on July 26 from colon cancer. She was 75. Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger honored Russi — who was married to the voice of Mickey Mouse, Wayne Allwine, until his 2009 death — in a statement, writing, “For more than 30 years, Minnie and Russi worked together to entertain millions around the world — a partnership that made Minnie a global icon and Russi a Disney Legend beloved by fans everywhere.” Russi also voiced Donald Duck’s nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, and Webbigail Vanderquack on the original “DuckTales,” as well as minor characters on “The Simpsons,” “Sofia the First,” “Teen Titans” and many other animated projects.
Ginger Baker, widely regarded as one of the greatest drummers of all time, died on Oct. 6 in his native Britain. The percussionist for bands including Cream was 80. “We are very sad to say that Ginger has passed away peacefully in hospital this morning. Thank you to everyone for your kind words over the past weeks,” his family said in a statement. A cause of death has not been revealed.
Music star Eddie Money — the man behind popular songs like “Two Tickets to Paradise” and “Take Me Home Tonight” — died on Sept. 13. He was 70. The news came less than a month after he revealed he’d been seeking treatment for stage 4 esophageal cancer. “The Money Family regrets to announce that Eddie passed away peacefully early this morning. It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our loving husband and father. We cannot imagine our world without him. We are grateful that he will live on forever through his music,” his family said in a statement.
“Blade Runner” and “Ladyhawke” star Rutger Hauer, who won a Golden Globe in 1988 for his work on the British made-for-TV movie “Escape from Sobibor,” died at his home in the Netherlands on July 19 following a short illness. The Dutch actor was 75. His agent, who did not reveal a cause of death, told Variety that his funeral was held on July 24.
“Men in Black” star Rip Torn — who earned an Academy Award nomination in 1984 for his performance in “Cross Creek” and won an Emmy in 1996 for his work on “The Larry Sanders Show” — died at his home in Lakeville, Connecticut, on July 9. He was 88. His representatives, who confirmed his death to multiple media outlets, did not reveal a cause of death.
Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor Tim Conway died on May 14 in the Los Angeles area. The comedy star, who shot to fame on “McHale’s Navy” and “The Carol Burnett Show,” was 85. His rep told People magazine that he passed away after suffering complications from Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH), a disorder in which excess fluid accumulates in parts of the brain.
On Feb. 23, Katherine Helmond — the Emmy-nominated actress best known for her work as Angela’s man-eater mother, Mona, on “Who’s the Boss” and socialite Jessica Tate on “Soap” — died at her Los Angeles home of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, her agency confirmed. She was 89.
Zany comedian Rip Taylor — the blonde and mustached entertainer also known as the “King of Confetti” — died on Oct. 6 at 84. His publicist, Harlan Boll, told The New York Times that Rip, a Korean War veteran born Charles Elmer Taylor, had been hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after suffering a seizure days earlier, though no cause of death was immediately revealed. “He lived up to his reputation,” his rep told CNN. “He was called the ‘Prince of Pandemonium.'”
Doris Day died on May 13 at her Carmel Valley, California, home surrounded by close friends, her Doris Day Animal Foundation confirmed the same day. She was 97. “Day had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia, resulting in her death,” the foundation told ABC News in a statement. The singer-actress with a goody-two-shoes reputation — one she lamented — became one of the most well-known stars in Hollywood as she dominated the screen in the 1950s and 1960s with films like “Pillow Talk” and songs like “Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera).”
Designer Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director for Chanel who also designed for LVMH’s Fendi as well as his own eponymous label, died in Paris on Feb. 19. He was 85. Reports reveal the design legend had quietly been battling pancreatic cancer.
Seymour Cassel — a favorite actor of filmmakers John Cassavetes and Wes Anderson, who often cast him in their movies — died in Los Angeles on April 7 from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease, his son told The Hollywood Reporter. Seymour was 84.
Emmy-nominated “Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Everybody Loves Raymond” actress Georgia Engel died on April 12 in Princeton, New Jersey. She was 70. Her friend and executor, John Quilty, told The New York Times that the star’s cause of death is unknown because she was a Christian Scientist and did not consult doctors when her health declined.
Comedic actor John Witherspoon, who was best known for playing Ice Cube’s father in the “Friday” film series, died at his home in Sherman Oaks, California, on Oct. 29, his family confirmed. He was 77. “Life won’t be as funny without him,” Ice Cube tweeted. Marlon Wayans also took to social media to honor the man who played his TV dad on “The Wayans Bros.” “I’m sad. Broken. Hurt… yet extremely grateful to God that I got to spend 5 years of my life working with one of the funniest sweetest wisest humblest loving men,” Marlon wrote. “Thank you God for the many many many laughs that we shared on and off the set.”
Actor Max Wright, who was perhaps best known for playing the dad on ’80s sitcom “ALF,” died at home in Hermosa Beach, California, at age 75 on June 26 following a cancer battle, Deadline reported.
Heiress, fashion designer, author and actress Gloria Vanderbilt died at home, surrounded by family and friends, on June 17, her son, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, announced the same day. She was 95. “Gloria Vanderbilt was an extraordinary woman who loved life and lived it on her own terms,” Anderson said on the air, explaining that his mother had just learned earlier the same month that she had advanced stomach cancer, and that it had spread. “What an extraordinary life. What an extraordinary mom. What an incredible woman.”
Five-time Oscar nominee and three-time Golden Globe winner Albert Finney died on Feb. 7 in London’s Royal Marsden Hospital from a chest infection, though the star known for his work in “Tom Jones,” “Murder on the Orient Express” and “Erin Brockovich” was also battling cancer, Variety reported. He was 82.
Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle (real name: Ermias Davidson Asghedom) was shot and killed outside his store, Marathon Clothing, in Los Angeles on March 31, police confirmed. Stars including Kevin Hart, Drake, Rihanna and more took to social media to mourn the 33-year-old music star, who leaves behind two children including one with actress-model girlfriend Lauren London. “He was so gifted, so proud of his home, so invested in his community. Utterly stunned that he’s gone so soon,” John Legend — who filmed a music video with Nipsey three days before his tragic death — wrote on Twitter.
Actor Rob Garrison, who was best known for playing Tommy in “The Karate Kid” and its sequel, died on Sept. 27 at a Pennsylvania medical center following a lengthy hospitalization for kidney and liver issues, his family told TMZ. He was 59. He left acting for years but returned to Hollywood to reprise his role as Tommy on the 2019 YouTube TV series “Cobra Kai.”
Veteran journalist, author and political commentator Cokie Roberts died on Sept. 17 at 75 due to complications from breast cancer, her family announced the same day. The well-respected NPR and ABC news star initially beat the disease following a 2002 diagnosis. Cokie was “a true pioneer for women in journalism,” ABC News President James Goldston said after her passing, adding that she was incredibly “well-regarded for her insightful analysis of politics and policy in Washington, D.C., countless newsmaking interviews, and, notably, her unwavering support for generations of young women — and men — who would follow in her footsteps.”
Rudy Boesch, the retired Navy Seal who quickly became a fan favorite when he appeared on the very first season of “Survivor” in 2000, died on Nov. 1 following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. “Survivor” host Jeff Probst took to Twitter to honor the veteran, who came in third on his season, writing, “The Survivor family has lost a legend. Rudy Boesch passed at the age of 91. He played in the first season of Survivor at the age of 72. He is one is the most iconic and adored players of all time. And he served our country as a 45-year Navy SEAL. Rudy is a true American hero.”
On May 14, the internet-famous feline known as Grumpy Cat died in the arms of her human mother, Tabatha Bundesen, after suffering complications from a urinary tract infection. The cat, whose real name was Tardar Sauce, was 7.
“The Young and the Restless” actor Kristoff St. John was found dead in his Woodland Hills, California, home on Feb. 3. He was 52. People magazine reported that an alcohol overdose is suspected, though the coroner is awaiting toxicology results. According to TMZ, Kristoff is being buried next to his son, Julian, who died by suicide in 2014.
Actor Brian Tarantina, who’s appeared on “Gilmore Girls” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and in “Summer of Sam” and “Uncle Buck,” among other projects, was pronounced dead in his New York City apartment on Nov. 2, his manager confirmed. He was 60. In mid-December, a spokesperson for NYC’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner confirmed to media outlets that the entertainer died from an accidental drug overdose from the combined effects of fentanyl, heroin, diazepam and cocaine.
On Sept. 23, poet, writer, musician and Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter died at 78, Rolling Stone reported. His cause of death was not released.
Duggar family matriarch Mary Duggar, 78 — a loving mother to son Jim Bob Duggar and a devoted grandmother to Jim Bob and wife Michelle’s 19 kids — died on June 9 hours after attending church with her family. Washington County, Arkansas, Coroner Roger W. Morris confirmed to People magazine that the death of the occasional “Counting On” guest star was a freak accident. “Duggar slipped and fell into the pool and drowned,” he said.
Famed socialite Lee Radziwill, who was born Caroline Lee Bouvier, died at her home in New York City on Feb. 15, The New York Times reported. Lee — who was the younger sister of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, a onetime princess (following her marriage to Prince Stanislas Radziwill of Poland, which ended in the ’70s), and the mother-in-law of “The Real Housewives of New York City” alum Carole Radziwill — was 85. Her daughter, Anna Christina Radziwill, told the NYT that Lee died of natural causes.
Little Feat guitarist Paul Barrere died on Oct. 26. He was 71. Paul had been receiving treatment for liver issues following a 1994 hepatitis C diagnosis and a 2015 liver cancer diagnosis.
Broadway actress Laurel Griggs died in New York City on Nov. 5 from what her grandfather called a “massive asthma attack.” She was just 13. “The world lost a real princess who only wanted to make the future happy for all,” granddad David. B. Rivlin wrote on Facebook. “Acting was just a childhood dream come true and she had big plans for the future.” Laurel — who’s best known for her work as Ivanka in the Tony-winning musical “Once” — made her Broadway debut at 6 in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” opposite Scarlett Johansson. She’s also appeared in “Café Society” with Steve Carell, Blake Lively and Kristen Stewart and on “Saturday Night Live.”
Former child star Denise Nickerson — who was best known for Violet Beauregarde in 1971’s “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” — died on July 10 at 62 following what her family called “a major medical emergency” at home days earlier. She also famously played Amy Jennings and Nora Collins on the “Dark Shadows” TV show before leaving acting behind to pursue a career in nursing.
Legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans, whose personal life made headlines as often as his movies, which include “Chinatown” and “Urban Cowboy,” died at his Beverly Hills home on Oct. 26. He was 89. The perpetually tanned actor-turned-studio exec was famously married seven times including to movie star Ali MacGraw, former Miss America Phyllis George, and actresses Catherine Oxenberg and Leslie Ann Woodward and was also romantically linked to stars including Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly and Lana Turner. His 1994 autobiography, “The Kid Stays in the Picture,” was later made into a movie.
K-Pop star Sulli (real name: Choi Jin-ri) was found dead of an apparent suicide on Oct. 14 in her home near Seoul, South Korea. She was 25.
The original Marlboro man — ruggedly handsome cowboy Robert “Bob” Norris — died at 90 on Nov. 3 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, under the care of Pikes Peak Hospice surrounded by his family, an obituary on the Tee Cross Ranches website confirmed. His obituary also revealed that despite the gig that made him famous, Bob was never a smoker.
Astrologer and actor Walter Mercado died at a hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Nov. 2, Telemundo Puerto Rico confirmed. He was 87. Reports further revealed that the telenovela star and astrology prediction host, who also used the stage name Shanti Ananda, passed away from renal failure.
“Superstore” actress Linda Porter, who portrayed Myrtle on the ABC sitcom, has died, her representative confirmed on Sept. 27. She was 86. “Linda wasn’t just hilarious, she was incredibly sweet, energetic and enthusiastic. Working with her brightened everyone’s day,” executive producers Jonathan Green and Gabe Miller said in a statement. “We’re lucky to have been a small part of her long career. The ‘Superstore’ family won’t be the same without her.”
Race car driver Jessi Combs died attempting to beat her own land-speed record on Aug. 27. She was 36. The “Mythbusters,” “Overhauling'” and “Xtreme 4×4” star died in a jet-powered car accident in the Alvord Desert in southeast Oregon. “She was a brilliant & top-notch builder, engineer, driver, fabricator, and science communicator, & strove everyday to encourage others by her prodigious example,” former “Mythbusters” co-host Adam Savage tweeted.
Billy Drago — the character actor known for playing a gangster in “The Untouchables” (seen here) and appearing in Chuck Norris movies, Clint Eastwood’s “Pale Rider” and on TV shows including “Charmed” — died on June 24 in Los Angeles of complications from a stroke, Variety reported. The star, who was born William Eugene Burrows Jr., was 73.
New Orleans music legend Art Neville — a founding member of the Meters and the Neville Brothers — died on July 23 at 81. He’d reportedly been in declining health for the last few years.
Author Judith Krantz, the romance novel writer behind best-selling novels including “Scruples” and “Princess Daisy,” died of natural causes at her Bel Air home in Los Angeles on June 22, her son told The Associated Press. She was 91.
John Clarke, the actor who played Mickey Horton on “Days of Our Lives” from 1965 to 2004, died of complications from pneumonia in Laguna Beach, California, on Oct. 16 at 88. Deadline reported that his health had been in decline since he suffered a stroke in 2007.
Jerry Fogel, who starred on the late-’60s NBC sitcom “The Mothers-in-Law,” died in hospice care in Kansas City, Missouri, on Oct. 21 at 83. Deadline reported that the actor was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2008.
Mexican singer José José, who was known as “The Prince of Song,” died at 71 in Miami on Sept. 28. Although no cause of death has been revealed, the Latin superstar shared in March 2017 that he’d been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Comedy star Arte Johnson, who won an Emmy for his work on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” in the ’60s, died in Los Angeles on July 3 of heart failure, a family rep told CNN. He was 90.
On April 24, Mexican actor Demian Bichir revealed that his wife, Canadian model-actress Stefanie Sherk, had passed away on April 20. The L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed her death was a suicide by drowning. Stefanie was 43. “It has been the saddest and toughest time of our lives and we don’t know how much time it will take for us to overcome this pain,” the actor wrote on Instagram. “Stefanie’s beautiful, angelical and talented presence will be immensely missed. We will hold Stefanie in our hearts forever. We thank everybody beforehand for their prayers and we respectfully ask for your understanding so we may grieve in peace and privacy in these incredibly difficult times. It is our sincerest hope that our beautiful Stefanie, my angel and love of my life, will rest in eternal peace.”
Actor Charles Levin — the recognizable actor from TV shows including “Seinfeld,” “Alice” (seen here), “Law & Order” and “Golden Girls” as well as the film “Annie Hall” — died in July after he went missing. He was 70. The mystery of his death unfolded over the next few months as authorities determined that he perished in an accidental fall in a remote area of Oregon after leaving his car on foot after getting lost near Cave Junction.
Grammy-winning jazz drummer Lawrence Leathers, 37, was found dead in the stairwell of his Bronx apartment building on June 2. Police arrested a woman identified in media reports as the musician’s live-in girlfriend, Lisa Harris, as well as Sterling Aguilar, who’s been characterized as a romantic rival, and later charged them with first- and second-degree manslaughter and criminal negligent homicide, People magazine reported. The Medical Examiner’s Office later confirmed that Lawrence’s cause of death was homicidal asphyxia with compression of neck.
“Dallas” star Ken Kercheval died on Easter Sunday, April 21, Deadline confirmed. He was 83. On the hit drama, Ken played oil tycoon Cliff Barnes, the longtime rival of Larry Hagman’s J.R. Ewing. A cause of death was not revealed.
Clark James Gable III — the host of the reality TV show “Cheaters” and the grandson of silver screen legend Clark Gable — died on Feb. 22 at a Dallas hospital after his fiancée found him unresponsive in bed. The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office later revealed that Clark died of an accidental drug overdose: He had a mix of fentanyl, oxycodone and alprazolam in his system.
Gravelly voiced New Orleans singer and pianist Dr. John (real name: Malcolm John Rebennack Jr.) died on June 6 of a heart attack, his family confirmed in a statement. The Grammy winner and 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee was 77.
Taiwanese-Canadian model and actor Godfrey Gao died on Nov. 27 after a long day of filming a sports reality show in China. He was 35. Godfrey, who’s perhaps best known as luxury brand Louis Vuitton’s first Asian male model and for his work in the film “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” suffered sudden cardiac arrest on the set of the Chinese variety series “Chase Me” and died in a hospital hour later, Variety reported.
Popular YouTube star Grant Thompson, who’s known for the videos he shared on his “King of Random” channel on the social media platform, died in a paragliding accident in Utah on July 29. He was 38.
Actress Stephanie Niznik, who was perhaps best known for her work on “Everwood” and in “Star Trek: Insurrection,” died unexpectedly in Encino, California, on June 23. She was 52.
Mandolinist Jeff Austin, the 45-year-old American bluegrass musician and co-founder of the Yonder Mountain String Band, died in a Seattle hospital on June 24 after canceling tour stops because of an unspecified medical emergency. While his cause of death was not released, his booking manager told CNN that the father of three passed away after being put into a medically induced coma.
Jim Pike (left), lead singer of the 1960s pop group The Lettermen, died on June 9 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 82.
British pro wrestler Adrian “Lionheart” McCallum, who won the ICW World Heavyweight Championship title in December 2018, was found dead in his home in Ayr, Scotland, on June 18. He was 36. Police said the wrestling star’s death is not being treated as suspicious.
British child actress Mya-Lecia Naylor — who starred on U.K. comedies “Millie Inbetween” and “Almost Never” and got her start on “Absolutely Fabulous” — died on April 7, the BBC confirmed days later. She was 16. Her cause of death was not revealed.
“The King of the Surf Guitar,” Dick Dale, died on March 16 at 81. The news was confirmed to multiple media outlets by Dick’s live bassist, Sam Bolle. “He was an original, he always did things the way he wanted to do them… his own way. Long before punk rock, he was doing that,” Sam told TMZ. According to Pitchfork, Dick had battled a slew of health problems over the years including rectal cancer, kidney failure, diabetes and damaged vertebrae yet he continued to tour into his later years and even had concert dates booked in 2019.
“Top Chef” contestant Fatima Ali succumbed to her battle with a Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, on Jan. 25. The chef was just 29 years old.
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British reality star Mike Thalassitis of “Love Island” fame committed suicide on March 16, London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed. Mike, who’d recently lost his beloved grandmother (he was her caretaker), hanged himself in a North London park. He was 26. Toxicology results made public at a coroner’s inquest in June revealed that he had cocaine, alcohol and acetaminophen in his system at the time of his death.
Longtime “Wild Kingdom” host and naturalist Jim Fowler died at his home in Norwalk, Connecticut, on May 8, his family confirmed. He was 89.
Roger Charlery, better known as Ranking Roger — the singer from the English Beat, General Public and Special Beat — died on March 26 at 56 following a cancer battle, the Beat’s rep confirmed to Variety. “RIP @RankingRoger who sadly pas[sed] away peacefully at home with family by his side early today. Roger was a fighter,” the band tweeted. Days before his death, the Beat announced that the music star had just finished a memoir about his life.
On Jan. 1, Pegi Young — who co-founded The Bridge School with ex-husband Neil Young, to whom she was married for 36 years — died in her native California following a yearlong cancer battle. She was 66.
Italian director Franco Zeffirelli — famed for helming Shakespearean movies and religious epics as well as “Tea with Mussolini,” “The Champ” and Tom Cruise’s cinematic debut, “Endless Love” — died at home in Rome on June 15 “without suffering,” son Pippo told The Hollywood Reporter. He was 96. The filmmaker was nominated for a best director Oscar for his 1968 version of “Romeo and Juliet.”
Famed Tunisia-born fashion designer Max Azria, 70 — who founded the BCBGMAXAZRIA brand — died of lung cancer in a Houston hospital on May 6, WWD reported.
Stand-up comedian Sammy Shore, who made a career opening for A-list talents including Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Tony Orlando, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Tom Jones, Ann-Margret, Connie Stevens, Bobby Darin, Glen Campbell and more, died from natural causes in Las Vegas on May 18 at 92. Sammy was also famous for co-founding stand-up venue The Comedy Store in Hollywood. “Dad, you lived an amazing life and I’m so proud to say that you are my father,” his son, comedian-actor Pauly Shore, wrote on Twitter. “When you’re in heaven I’ll be killing the crowds night after night and carrying on your legacy.”
The Prodigy vocalist Keith Flint was found dead on March 4 at 49 following an apparent suicide. “It is with deepest shock and sadness that we can confirm the death of our brother and best friend Keith Flint,” the successful electronic music group — whose hit songs “Firestarter” and “Breathe” first made them stars in the ’90s — confirmed in a statement. “A true pioneer, innovator and legend. He will be forever missed.” Founding member Liam Howlett revealed his sadness in a post on The Prodigy’s Instagram page: “I can’t believe I’m saying this but our brother Keith took his own life over the weekend. I’m shell shocked, f—– angry, confused and heart broken…RIP brother.”
Just weeks after turning 76, the wrestling world mourned legendary interviewer-turned-wrestler “Mean” Gene Okerlund after the WWE Hall of Famer died in a Florida hospital on Jan. 2. His son, Todd Okerlund, told TMZ Sports that Gene, who’d been in declining health, took a downturn after he was injured in a bad fall at home in December 2018 and broke some ribs. Gene was admitted to a nursing home just days before his death, which occurred after he was rushed to a hospital when he had trouble breathing.
“Halt and Catch Fire” actress Lisa Sheridan died on Feb. 25 in her New Orleans apartment. She was 44. In May, a coroner’s report revealed that her cause of death was “complications of chronic alcoholism,” though the manner was “natural.”
Heartthrob actor Jan-Michael Vincent, who played Stringfellow Hawke on “Airwolf” in the mid-’80s, died of cardiac arrest at a North Carolina hospital on Feb. 10, TMZ reported. He was 74. He also won fans starring in films including “Hooper,” “Hard Country” and “Bite the Bullet” and classic TV shows like “Gunsmoke,” “Bonanza” and “Lassie.”
On May 18, South African model, actress and singer Geneviève Waïte — the mother of actress Bijou Phillips and former wife of Mamas & the Papas musician John Phillips — died at 71. “Our beautiful Mother Geneviève Waïte Phillips passed away in her sleep,” Bijou told People magazine in a statement. “She was a beautiful soul, and born from another planet. Her ideas, her songs, her voice, and her heartbeat to a beautiful African rhythm no one else had and I am so thankful she was able to share it. She was a light, a fairy and a gift of a creature. The lyrics she wrote on her album were timeless and smart. Her mind was poetry and wit, her sense of humor was quick and dry. She was like a child in a way, who was too smart for her own good.”
“Nashville Flipped” star Troy Dean Shafer unexpectedly passed away at 38 on April 28 in Pennsylvania. Several weeks later, the Erie County Coroner’s Office revealed that the DIY Network personality died “due to combined drug toxicity,” though did not reveal what those drugs were.
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” actor Bob Einstein, a two-time Emmy winner who created the character Super Dave Osborne and was also well-known for his work on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” died in Indian Wells, California, at 76 after a cancer battle. Writer-actor-director Albert Brooks took to Twitter to praise his sibling as “a great brother” and “a brilliantly funny man.”
Musician Andy Anderson (second from right) — who played drums on The Cure’s “Love Cats” and notably also performed with Iggy Pop — died on Feb. 26 following a cancer battle. He was 68.
Famed ’70s singer-guitarist Leon Redbone, known for his ragtime and vaudeville-style musical performances, died on May 30. “He departed our world with his guitar, his trusty companion Rover and a simple tip of his hat,” his family said in a statement. He was 69.
Singer Janice Freeman, who competed on “The Voice” during Season 13 in 2017, unexpectedly died on March 2 at 33. The cause of death, her management team confirmed, was “an extreme case of pneumonia and a blood clot that traveled to her heart. While at home her husband Dion performed CPR until the ambulance arrived. She passed away at a local hospital shortly after.” Miley Cyrus, who coached Janice on the NBC show, took to social media to post a photo of a rainbow in tribute, captioning it, “Thank you @janicefreeman…for everything. This represents you perfectly.”
Up-and-coming country music singer Justin Carter died on March 21 in Houston while filming a music video after a gun in his pocket accidentally “went off and caught my son in the corner of his eye,” his mother told Fox News. He was 35. “He was a wonderful artist,” his mom added. “He was the voice, he was the total package and we’re trying to keep his legend [alive].”
Mark Hollis, the frontman for new wave British group Talk Talk, died on Feb. 26 at 64 “after a short illness from which he never recovered,” his manager told media outlets.
“T2 Trainspotting” actor Bradley Welsh, a former British ABA Lightweight boxing champion, died after being shot in the head outside his home in Edinburgh, Scotland, on April 17 as he was returning home from his Holyrood boxing gym. Police told the BBC that the murder was being investigated as a “targeted attack.” Two men were arrested in the early days of the investigation though they were later released.
Serbian actress Nadja Regin, a two-time Bond girl during Sean Connery’s reign as Agent 007, died on April 6 at 87. Her cause of death was not reported. She appeared in 1963’s “From Russia With Love” (pictured) as the mistress of MI6’s Istanbul station head and as femme fatale Bonita in the opening sequence of 1964’s “Goldfinger.”
On March 31, the official 007 Twitter account announced that former Bond girl Tania Mallet, who is also a first cousin of actress Helen Mirren, had died at 77. “We are very sorry to hear that Tania Mallet who played Tilly Masterson in GOLDFINGER has passed away. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time,” the official James Bond account wrote.
Singer James Ingram passed away at 66 on Jan. 29. He reportedly was suffering from brain cancer, according to TMZ.
Filmmaker Jo Andres died at age 64 on Jan. 6. Her cause of death has not been released, but she was last photographed out and about in New York City in July 2018. She’s survived by Steve Buscemi, her husband of more than 30 years, and their son, Lucian.
Famed composer André Previn, 89, died in his New York City home on Feb. 28 following a short illness, his manager told CNN. During his lengthy career, he won four Oscars and 10 Grammys. In the 1970s, he was famously wed to actress Mia Farrow, with whom he had six children.
In April, 37-year-old Brazilian model Caroline Bittencourt drowned off the coast of Brazil when she was swept off the catamaran she was sailing on with husband Jorge Sestini. (Her family has said that early reports claiming Caroline jumped into the water to save her dogs are not true.) Multiple outlets later revealed that authorities planned to charge Jorge, who jumped in to try to save her, with manslaughter because he ignored warnings about inclement weather.
New Zealand actor Pua Magasiva (center) — who was most famous for his work as Shane Clarke, the Red Wind Ranger on “Power Rangers Ninja Storm,” and the New Zealand soap opera “Shortland Street” — was found dead in his Wellington home on May 11. He was 38.
“Beverly Hills, 90210” actor Jed Allan, who played Steve Sanders’ dad, Rush, on the hit series, died on March 9. He was 84. Jed was also known for his work on soap operas including “Days of Our Lives” (pictured) and “Santa Barbara.”
Nathaniel Taylor, who played Rollo Larson on the 1970s sitcom “Sanford and Son,” died at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 27 following a heart attack, son Kaedi Taylor told The Associated Press. He was 80.
Comedian Kevin Barnett, who co-created the FOX sitcom “Rel,” passed away in Tijuana, Mexico, on Jan. 22. He was 32 years old. An autopsy revealed he died from non-traumatic hemorrhage cause by pancreatitis.
R&B singer Melvin Edmonds (center), a member of After 7, died on May 18 at 65. His death was “unexpected,” After 7 wrote in a Facebook post confirming the sad news. Melvin was the older brother of famed musician-producer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds.
Comedian Brody Stevens, who appeared in “The Hangover,” died from suicide by hanging at his Valley Village, California, home on Feb. 22. TMZ reported that his death certificate revealed that the funnyman’s history of mental illness — he’d long been open about his struggles with depression and bipolar disorder — was a contributing factor. He was 48.
On Jan. 16, Lorna Doom — the bassist for the groundbreaking Los Angeles punk band the Germs — died after a year-long battle with breast cancer. The rocker (real name: Teresa Ryan) was 60.
Captain and Tennille’s Daryl Dragon died on Jan. 2 from renal failure. He was 76.
World-famous architect I.M. Pei, who designed buildings across the globe — including the controversial glass pyramid outside the Louvre in Paris — died on May 23. He was 102 years old.
Louisa Moritz — best known for her work in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and TV shows like “M*A*S*H” and “Love, American Style” — died at age 72 on Jan. 4 of natural causes. She was also one of the first seven women who came forward to accuse famed comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault.
“Shameless” and “Ray Donovan” actor-comedian Steve “Bean” Levy died at 58 at his Los Angeles home on Jan. 21 following a battle with cancer. In mid-2018, Steve revealed in an essay for Mel Magazine that in late 2016, he was diagnosed with sino-squamous cell carcinoma (nose cancer). He later underwent a rhinectomy as part of his treatment.
On March 16, “Community” actor Richard Erdman — who portrayed Greendale student Leonard on the sitcom from 2009 to 2015 and made his final TV appearance on a 2017 episode of “Dr. Ken” — died at 93.
Kaye Ballard — the comedian, actress, nightclub performer and Broadway performer best known for her roles on programs like “The Doris Day Show,” “What a Dummy” and “The Mothers-In-Law” — passed away on Jan. 21 at her home in Rancho Mirage, California. She was 93.
Figure skater John Coughlin committed suicide on Jan. 19. He was 33.
On May 16, the WWE announced that former star wrestler Ashley Massaro had died at 39. The death of the onetime Playboy model, who also competed on “Survivor” in 2007 and had lately been working at a Long Island, New York, radio station, was being investigated as an apparent suicide, according to reports from The Blast and TMZ.
“Star Trek” and “Doctor Who” actor William Morgan Sheppard died in Los Angeles on Jan. 6 at 86. His son, actor Mark Sheppard, confirmed on Instagram. “We went to spend some time with my father today. Though he couldn’t speak, we held hands, he laughed and was so happy to see us. We left and came home. A good day,” the “Supernatural” star wrote alongside a photo of his dad in a hospital bed, surrounded by family. “He was rushed to hospital and passed at 6:30pm, my mother by his side. I am so grateful that he didn’t have to suffer any longer. Thank you for all your kind thoughts, love and prayers.”
Grammy-winning music producer Philippe Zdar, who was also half of the house music duo Cassius, died in a freak accident on June 19 when he fell out of a window in Paris. He was 52.
British rapper Cadet was killed in a car accident on Feb. 9. He was 28. The performer, whose real name is Blaine Cameron Johnson, was on his way to Keele University for a show when he died.
Julie Adams, who’s best known for her horror-movie roles in films like “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” passed away on Feb. 3. She was 92.
Country music singer Earl Thomas Conley died on April 10. He was 77. Earl’s brother confirmed that the musician, who was known for hits including “Holding Her and Loving You,” “What’d You Say” and “Right From the Start,” had a condition similar to dementia and was in hospice care before his death. Fellow singer Blake Shelton mourned the star on Facebook, writing, “My heart is absolutely destroyed today. I’m sad to report that Earl Thomas Conley passed away very early this morning. Earl was my all time favorite singer, hero and my friend.”
Actor Dick Miller, who had a career spanning more than 60 years but was perhaps best known for playing Murray Futterman in “Gremlins,” died at age 90 on Jan. 30.
George Klein, a radio host and DJ who was good friends with Elvis Presley, died on Feb. 5. he was 83. The King’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, told the Associated Press that George died in Memphis, Tennessee, while in hospice care.
Famed paranormal and supernatural investigator Lorraine Warren died on April 18 at 92, her grandson confirmed. The work she and her late husband, Ed, did inspired Hollywood projects including “The Amityville Horror” as well as the “The Conjuring,” “Annabelle” and “The Nun” film franchises.
Geto Boys rapper Bushwick Bill died in Houston on June 9 from pancreatic cancer. The Jamaica-born music star (real name: born Richard Shaw), who was famously born with dwarfism and was shot in the eye decades ago, was diagnosed in February. Son Javon told TMZ that his father’s final words were “I will love you forever.”
Eric Haydock, the bassist for British band The Hollies, passed away at 75 on Jan. 6. His band confirmed the news on Facebook with a tribute to the great musician. “In the earlier 1960s Eric was one of the finest bass players on the planet,” wrote Hollies drummer Bobby Elliott. “Along with Tony [Hicks], Eric and I were the rhythm section that created the springboard for [Allan] Clarke, Hicks and [Graham] Nash to launch that famous three-ways Hollies harmony.”
Songwriter-producer Scott Walker, 76, died on March 22 from cancer. “For half a century, the genius of the man born Noel Scott Engel has enriched the lives of thousands, first as one third of The Walker Brothers, and later as a solo artist, producer and composer of uncompromising originality,” his record label, 4AD, said in a statement. “Scott Walker has been a unique and challenging titan at the forefront of British music: audacious and questioning, he has produced works that dare to explore human vulnerability and the godless darkness encircling it.” Scott was an idol for many music stars, most notably David Bowie and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke.
“Animal House” actress Verna Bloom passed away at 80 at her home in Bar Harbor, Maine, on Jan. 9. Her family confirmed that she died due to complications from dementia. Verna appeared in many other TV shows and movies including three Martin Scorsese flicks. She is survived by husband Jay Cocks and son Sam.
Former soap star Candice Earley (pictured here on the set of “All My Children” in 1988) passed away on Jan. 31. She was 68. Her family was with her when she died following an eight-year battle with Multiple Systems Atrophy. She was an actress on “All My Children” from 1976 until 1992, when she married Robert C. Nolan and retired to Arkansas.
Brazilian pop star Gabriel Diniz perished in a May 27 plane crash in Porto Do Mato, Brazil. The singer, who was just 28, was reportedly flying to his girlfriend’s birthday party after performing a concert.
Australian model Annalise Braakensiek was found dead in her Sydney home on Jan. 6. She was 46. Police discovered the model was deceased when they performed a welfare check after friends became concerned that they had not heard from her in a few days. A cause of death is still unknown.
Actor Isaac Kappy, 42, who appeared in projects including “Thor” and “Terminator: Salvation,” died on May 13 after jumping to his death from an Arizona bridge that spans Interstate 40, a spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Public Safety confirmed. Isaac made headlines in 2018 for allegedly choking model-singer Paris Jackson during a game-night party.
Actress Mitzi Hoag, who appeared in projects including “The Facts of Life,” “Here Come the Brides,” “Bonanza” and “Little House on the Prairie,” died on Feb. 26 at her home in Sherman Oaks, California. She was 86.
On April 25, actor Larry “Flash” Jenkins — who memorably played a valet on a joyride in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and a husband in “Edtv” — died from a heart attack. He was 63.
On April 8, Charles Van Doren — the onetime star of the NBC game show “Twenty-One” known as a central player in the ’50s quiz-show scandal — died at 93 at a retirement community in Geer Village, Connecticut, his son confirmed to The New York Times. Actor Ralph Fiennes played the former Columbia University English instructor, who testified before Congress that “Twenty-One” was rigged and admitted he’d been given the answers in advance, in 1994’s Robert Redford-directed biopic “Quiz Show.”
On April 11, British comic Ian Cognito (real name: Paul John Barbieri) died in the middle of a stand-up comedy performance while on stage at the Atic in Bicester, England. Though paramedics arrived quickly, they were unable to save the star, whom the BBC reports was 60 at the time of his death.
On March 1, the family of Canadian model and body-positive activist Elly Mayday (real name: Ashley Luther) revealed she had passed away five years after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She was 30.
Guitarist Harold Bradley, a talented and well-regarded Nashville session musician, died in his sleep on Jan. 31, his daughter confirmed on Facebook. He was 93.
French Oscar-winning composer Michael Legrand died in his sleep at age 86 on Jan. 26. During his career, he took home three Oscars and five Grammys.
Moviemaking pioneer and artist Agnès Varda, a leader in the French New Wave movement who crafted films starting in the 1950s, died from breast cancer at her home on March 29 surrounded by her family and friends, her loved ones shared in a statement. Some of her famous works include “Cléo From 5 to 7,” “Vagabond” and “Faces Places.”
R&B singer Andre Williams, who was best known for writing or performing hit songs like “Bacon Fat,” “Shake a Tail Feather,” “Jail Bait” and “The Greasy Chicken,” died in Chicago on March 17 at 82. His manager told Billboard that the singer passed away in hospice care surrounded by family just two weeks after being diagnosed with colon cancer that spread to his lungs and brain.
Mike “Beard Guy” Taylor — keyboardist and vocalist for Canada’s Walk Off the Earth — died on Dec. 30, 2018, of natural causes. The band took to social media to confirm the sad news, writing: “It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved brother and band member, Mike ‘Beard Guy’ Taylor. Mike had a love for life that was unmatched and a willingness to give that went beyond ordinary means. He passed peacefully from natural causes last night in his sleep. Our deepest sympathies are with his two children, whom he adored more than anything else in the world. We ask for privacy for his family in this trying time.”
Beverley Owen — who played Marilyn Munster (right) on the first season of TV’s “The Munsters” then retired from acting after marrying in 1964 — died at 81 in Vermont on Feb. 21 following a two-year battle with ovarian cancer.
Joe Terranova, aka Joe Terry — a lead singer in the ’50s band Danny & The Juniors — died of natural causes on April 15 at his home in Williamstown, Pennsylvania. He was 78.
Guitarist Bernie Torme, who played with Ozzy Osbourne and Ian Gillan’s band Gillan, died on March 17 at 66 after fighting virulent double pneumonia.
John Gary Williams, the lead singer for Stax music’s R&B group The Mad Lads, died at his home in Memphis, Tennessee, at 73. Filmmaker John Hubbell, who’s working on a documentary about the music star, revealed the news on May 28.
Actor Carmine Caridi, best known for his work in two films in the “Godfather” franchise as well as parts on “Starsky and Hutch,” “Fame,” “Taxi,” “Simon & Simon” and “NYPD Blue” — died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on May 28. He was 85. Pal Chazz Palminteri revealed that the Army veteran died of complications from a fall. Carmine was also famous for being the first person ever expelled from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences: He made headlines in 2004 when he was ousted for making and sharing copies of Oscar movie screeners.
Dancer-actress Barbara Perry died from natural causes in Hollywood on May 5. She was 97. The former Broadway star was perhaps best known for her work on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and also appeared on “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Bewitched.”
On April 30, Rockabilly Hall of Famer Billy Adams — famous for writing and recording songs including “Rock, Pretty Mama” and “You Gotta Have a Ducktail” — died in Westmoreland, Tennessee. He was 79.
Soul singer Jackie Shane, a pioneer transgender performer in the Toronto music scene in the ’60s, died in her sleep at home in Nashville on Feb. 22 at 78.
Singapore-based Australian DJ Adam Sky (real name: Adam Neat) was found dead at a Bali resort on May 4. Police believe his death was an accident, the result of massive blood loss after the dance music star cut an artery in his arm while trying to get help for a woman who’d fallen from a terrace and broken her leg after a night of drinking. “After his friend fell from their villa, we assume Adam went searching to the vacant villa beneath as he suspected she fell down there. When entering he broke the glass, which is where he injured himself,” Indonesian police told the Sydney Morning Herald. “He continued to search inside and then he lay in the bedroom, probably tired [from blood loss].”
On Feb. 16, Bruno Ganz’s agent confirmed that the Swiss actor, who earned acclaim for his portrayal of Adolf Hitler in the 2004 film “Downfall,” had died in Zurich at 77. He’d been diagnosed with colon cancer in 2018.
Bluegrass legend Mac Wiseman died on Feb. 24. The singer-guitarist was 93.
Lisa Seagram, who acted on popular ’60s TV shows including “Batman,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Bewitched” and “Burke’s Law,” died on Feb. 1 at an assisted care facility in Burbank, California, after a nine-year battle with dementia, her daughter told The Hollywood Reporter. Lisa was 82.
Vinny Vella, best known for his acting in gangster movies like 1995’s “Casino” as well HBO’s “The Sopranos,” died on Feb. 20 from liver cancer. He was 72.
Pioneering psychedelic musician Roky Erickson, frontman of the 1960s band 13th Floor Elevators, died in Austin, Texas, on May 31. He was 71. A cause of death was not revealed.
Hal Blaine, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer and member of the Wrecking Crew, died on March 11. The musician was 90.
Mexican actress and telenovela star Edith Gonzalez, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2016, died at the Ángeles Interlomas hospital in Mexico City on June 13. She was 54.
Jenny Pagliaro, the lead singer in Los Angeles Americana duo Roses and Cigarettes, died from complications of stage 4 breast cancer in March. She was 35. “With heavy hearts and great sorrow we announce the passing of our beloved Jenny on March 26, 2019,” her family said in a statement. “Jenny passed away peacefully at her home in Santa Monica, California, comforted by her devoted family and friends.”
Actress Denise DuBarry — best known for her work on popular TV shows including “Charlie’s Angels,” “CHiPs,” “The Love Boat” and “Days of Our Lives” — died at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles on March 23 from an infection caused by a rare fungus. She was 63.
Sylvia Miles, a two-time best supporting actress Oscar nominee (for her work in “Midnight Cowboy” and “Farewell, My Lovely”), died on June 12 in an ambulance on the way to a Manhattan hospital. She was 94.
“Blake’s 7” and “Doctor Who” actor Paul Darrow died on June 3 following a short illness. He was 78. Five years earlier, the English actor had his legs amputated after suffering an aortic aneurysm.
Actor Jim McMullan, who appeared in a slew of movie and TV projects including “Shenandoah,” Robert Redford’s “Downhill Racer” and the original “Dallas,” died at his home in Wofford Heights, California, on May 31 of complications from ALS, his wife told The Hollywood Reporter. He was 82.
On April 14, Bibi Andersson, the Swedish actress and muse who starred in 13 movies by famed filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, died in Stockholm at 83.
Nearly two years after he was diagnosed with leukemia, Season 7 “Biggest Loser” contestant Daniel Wright — who found love with and married fellow contestant Rebecca Meyer — lost his cancer battle. He was 30 when he passed away on May 26.
Sean Milliken, who appeared on TLC’s “My 600-lb Life,” died on Feb. 17. According to a Facebook post from his father, Sean died in a hospital from complications from an infection. He was 29.
“The Real Housewives of Miami” personality Elsa Patton, who appeared alongside daughter Marysol Patton on the onetime hit Bravo show, died in May at 84. “Our beloved Elsa Patton (AKA Mama Elsa) passed away over Mother’s Day weekend after a long illness. She was surrounded by her family and close friends,” her loved ones told Page Six in a statement. “Elsa was predeceased by her husband of 50 years, Donald Patton, who passed away last February of 2018.”
WWE Hall of Famer Pedro Morales died in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, on Feb. 11 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 76. The wrestler was the first person to win the WWF’s Triple Crown. The native Puerto Rican, who launched his career during the early ’70s and wrestled professionally for nearly three decades, also served as a Spanish-language commentator for the WWE and the WCW.
Grammy-nominated songwriter-producer Busbee (real name: Michael James Ryan), who’d worked with country music artists including Maren Morris, Garth Brooks, Lady Antebellum and Keith Urban, died on Sept. 29 at 43. Though a cause of death was not announced, a friend told Variety that Busbee had been diagnosed over the summer with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Daniel Johnston, a prominent singer-songwriter based in Austin who was the subject of the 2005 documentary “The Devil & Daniel Johnston,” died on Sept. 11 after suffering a heart attack at 58.
Actor John Wesley — who memorably portrayed Dr. Hoover on an episode of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and had stints on “Martin” and the “Dirty Dancing” TV series — died on Sept. 8 after suffering complications from a long battle with multiple myeloma. He was 72.
Character actor Robert Axelrod — who voiced Lord Zedd and Finster on “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” in the ’90s — died in Los Angeles on Sept. 7. No cause of death was released. He was 70.
“Bonanza” actor Barry Coe, who starred in the “Peyton Place” movie, died in Palm Desert, California, on July 16 following a battle with myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone marrow disease. He was 84.
South African singer Johnny Clegg, who broke racial barriers with his performances during apartheid, died on July 16 of complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 66.
Joao Gilberto, one of the originators of bossa nova music, died from natural causes at his home in Rio de Janeiro on July 6. He was 88.
TV host and YouTube personality Emily Hartridge died at 35 in an electric scooter crash in London.
Silver Jews singer-songwriter David Berman passed away at 52 on Aug. 7 from suicide. His band’s music label confirmed the news on Twitter, writing, “We couldn’t be more sorry to tell you this. David Berman passed away earlier today. A great friend and one of the most inspiring individuals we’ve ever known is gone. Rest easy, David.”
Australian actor Ben Unwin — who starred on the Aussie soap “Home and Away” on and off from 1996 to 2005 — passed away at 41, the New South Wales Police Force announced on Aug. 14. Authorities found his body at the bottom of Minyon Falls near Byron Bay but did not treat his death as suspicious.
Cassandra Waldon — the very first person to walk into the “Big Brother” house on the first season of the American version of the hit reality show — died on Sept. 25 from head injuries sustained in a car accident in Rome.
Original “The Mickey Mouse Club” Mouseketeer Karen Pendleton died after suffering a heart attack at her home in Fresno, California, on Oct. 6 at 73.
Larry Junstrom (left) — one of the founding members of Lynyrd Skynyrd — died at 70 on Oct. 5 in Palatka, Florida. His band .38 Special confirmed the news with the following statement: “The Big Man on the Big Bass has left us. He was truly one of a kind, a congenial traveling companion and a great friend to all with a humorous slant on life that always kept our spirits high — a kind man with a big heart for everyone who crossed his path.” No cause of death was announced.
Kim Shattuck, lead singer of The Muffs, passed away on Oct. 2 after a two-year battle with ALS. She was 56.
“House Hunters” star Suzanne Whang died on Sept. 19 after a 13-year battle with breast cancer. She was 56.
Jeff Fenholt — best known for playing the titular role in the original “Jesus Christ Superstar” — died on Sept. 11, a few days before his 69th birthday. A cause of death was not released, but the actor was said to be battling various health problems before he was found deceased at his home.
Two-time Tony Award winner Phyllis Newman died on Sept. 14 from complications from a longtime lung disorder. She was 86.
“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” star Aron Eisenberg died on Sept. 21 at 50. No cause of death was revealed, though Deadline reported that Aron had received two kidney transplants, most recently in 2015.
“House of 1000 Corpses” star and longtime Rob Zombie collaborator Sid Haig died on Sept. 21 at 80. His wife confirmed the news on social media, writing, “My light, my heart, my true love, my King, the other half of my soul, Sidney, passed from this realm on to the next. He has returned to the Universe, a shining star in her heavens. He was my angel, my husband, my best friend and always will be. He adored his family, his friends and his fans. This came as a shock to all of us.” His cause of death was not publicly revealed.
“Project Runway” alum Chris March passed away on Sept. 5 after suffering a heart attack. He’d faced a variety of health issues since 2017 when he fell, hit his head and was left unconscious in his home for days. The fashion designer was 56.
Spanish balladeer and pop star Camilo Sesto died in Madrid on Sept. 8 after suffering two heart attacks. In recent years, the music pioneer had suffered from kidney problems. He was 72.
“The Poseidon Adventure” actress Carol Lynley died in her sleep at her home in Los Angeles’s Pacific Palisades area on Sept. 3. She was 77.
World-famous opera singer Jessye Norman passed away on Sept. 30 from septic shock and multi-organ failure secondary to complications of a spinal cord injury. She was 74.
Grammy winner Louie Rankin, a Jamaican dancehall reggae artist and actor (real name: Leonard Ford), died in a car accident involving a transport truck in Ontario, Canada, on Sept. 30. It’s believed he was in his mid-60s at the time of his death.
Songwriter LeShawn Daniel — who co-wrote hits like Destiny’s Child “Say My Name” and Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” — died in a car crash in South Carolina on Sept. 3. He was 41.
Influential guitarist Neal Casal — who worked with Willie Nelson, Chris Robinson and many more musicians — was found dead by suicide in Ventura, California, on Aug. 27. He was 50.
“Once Upon a Time” actor Gabe Khouth (front) passed away after suffering cardiac arrest while riding his motorcycle in Canada on July 23. He was 46.
World-famous German fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh — who made a name for himself taking candid photos of supermodels — died on Sept. 3 at 74. No cause of death was disclosed.
Jimmy Johnson — the guitarist for the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (a.k.a. “the Swampers”), who recorded with Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon and Lynyrd Skynyrd — died on Sept. 5 from complications due to kidney failure. He was 76.
British chef and TV host Gary Rhodes — known for hosting “MasterChef USA” as well as presenting Britain’s “MasterChef” and serving as the head chef on Britain’s “Hell’s Kitchen” — died on Nov. 26 from a subdural hematoma, his family confirmed, after he slipped and fell while in Dubai, where he had a restaurant and was filming for ITV, MailOnline reported. He was 59. “We lost a fantastic chef today in Gary Rhodes,” celebrity chef and colleague Gordon Ramsay tweeted. “He was a chef who put British Cuisine on the map. Sending all the love and prayers to your wife and kids. You’ll be missed.”
K-Pop star and actress Goo Hara, a former member of the group Kara, was found dead at her home in Seoul on Nov. 26. She was 28. Police said foul play was not suspected.
“Do The Right Thing” and “The Station Agent” actor Paul Benjamin passed away on June 28, director Spike Lee revealed on social media. Paul, who was 81, might also look familiar from his work in “Across 110th Street,” “Midnight Cowboy” and 1979’s “Escape From Alcatraz” (pictured with co-star Clint Eastwood).
Actor William Wintersole, who’s perhaps best known for playing Mitchell Sherman on “The Young and the Restless” from 1986 to 2011, died at his Los Angeles home on Nov. 5 at 88, daughter Tiffany Harmon confirmed on Facebook. The actor also worked steadily in the ’60s and ’70s on popular shows including “Peyton Place,” “Mission: Impossible,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Bonanza,” “Kojak,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “Star Trek: The Original Series,” “The Fugitive” and appeared in movies such as “Valley of the Dolls” (that’s him as the doctor, second from right) with Sharon Tate.
George “Pops” Chambers (left), a singer and bassist for ’60s soul group the Chambers Brothers — who are perhaps best known for their 11-minute 1967 hit song “Time Has Come Today” — died on Oct. 12. He was 88.
Food Network star and celebrity chef Carl Ruiz died in his sleep on Sept. 21 from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, a Maryland medical examiner’s office spokesperson confirmed. He was 44. “I’m heartbroken that my friend chef Carl Ruiz is gone. I have no words to describe what a great friend he was to me and my family. His ability to make me laugh and smile under any circumstances was only outshined by his talent as a chef,” celebrity chef and close friend Guy Fieri wrote on Twitter. “Over the years, I’ve met a lot of great people but a friend like Carl is one in a hundred million. Carl ‘The Cuban’ Ruiz will forever live on in my heart and in those of all who loved him.”
Broadway producer and director Hal Prince, who earned 21 Tony Awards during his lengthy career — more than any other individual — died in Reykjavik, Iceland, on July 31 following a brief illness. Hal, who worked on shows including “Cabaret,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Show Boat,” “The Phantom of the Opera” and dozens more, was 91.