A celebrity’s career often takes them to New York City. Whether they’re artists, actors or fashion designers, countless notable names in the entertainment industry were either born here, moved here or built their careers here. As New Yorkers, both native and honorary, they leave their marks on our city.
Below, we remember the celebrities, and other notable New Yorkers, who died in 2019 and look back at the legacies they left behind.
Ric Ocasek, lead singer of the new wave band The Cars, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment Sept. 15, the NYPD said. No foul play was suspected. Ocasek, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, was 75, according to police. NPR and other publications, citing public records, reported the singer was 70.
Brooklyn native Eddie Money, the singer behind hit songs “Two Tickets to Paradise” and “Baby Hold On,” died on Sept. 13, Variety reported, citing a statement from his family. He was 70. “The Money family regrets to announce that Eddie passed away peacefully early this morning,” the statement read.
Actress and Broadway star Valerie Harper, who had a career spanning six decades, died on Aug. 30. She was 80. Harper was best known as Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” a role which led to a spinoff series “Rhoda.” She was born in Suffern, New York, and starred in several Broadway productions (“Li’l Abner,” “Wildcat”) before finding fame in the TV scene.
Longtime Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau died July 21, his family told The New York Times. He was 99, and died days before his 100th birthday. Morgenthau became Manhattan’s chief prosecutor in 1975 and ended his 35-year run at age 90.
Former New York Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton, who published the baseball tell-all book “Ball Four,” died July 10, his family confirmed to multiple media outlets. He was 80. His book recounted the 1969 season and was considered a “scandalous betrayal of the baseball clubhouse,” according to The New York Times.
Fashion icon and designer Gloria Vanderbilt died June 17, her son, CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper, said. She was 95. Vanderbilt was hospitalized weeks before her death and was diagnosed with stomach cancer.
Oscar-nominated actress Sylvia Miles died June 12 in Manhattan, her publicist confirmed to The New York Times. She was 94. Publicist Mauricio Padilha told the publication she died in an ambulance on the way to a New York City hospital. The actress earned Academy Award nominations for her roles in “Midnight Cowboy” and “Farewell, My Lovely.”
Rising NYC jazz drummer Lawrence Leathers died June 2 after an apparent assault, The New York Times reported. He was 37. The drummer, who played on two Grammy-winning albums, was found dead in his Bronx apartment building on East 141st Street. Two suspects — Sterling Aguilar, 28, and Lisa Harris, 41 — were arrested in connection with his death, the Times reported, citing police.
Carmine Caridi, a native New Yorker who portrayed Carmine Rosato in “The Godfather: Part II,” died May 28, his reps confirmed. He was 85.
Renowned architect I.M. Pei — known best for designing the glass pyramid entrance at the Louvre in Paris, among several other developments — died May 16 at his home in Manhattan. He was 102. Pei worked for a New York real estate developer in 1948 and opened his own firm in 1955.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Herman Wouk died May 17. He was 103. Born in New York City in 1915, the author was known best for his novels “The Winds of War,” “War and Remembrance” and “The Caine Mutiny.”
Ashley Massaro, a former WWE star and “Survivor” contestant, died at 39, her daughter Alexa confirmed on Instagram on May 17. Massaro, a New Yorker, wrestled for WWE until 2008 and won the WWE Raw diva search competition in 2005.
Actress Peggy Lipton, born in New York, died of cancer on May 11, at 72. Her daughters, Rashida and Kidada Jones, confirmed her death to the Los Angeles Times.
Terry Allen Kramer
Broadway producer Terry Allen Kramer died May 2, at 85. The Tony Award-winning producer behind “Hello, Dolly” (2017) and “Kinky Boots” (2013), died at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan after battling pneumonia for nearly a month.
Jo Sullivan Loesser
Tony-nominated actress Jo Sullivan Loesser died April 28, of heart failure, her publicist David Gersten said. The Broadway star was best known for her role in the 1956 production “The Most Happy Fella.” According to her publicist, she died at her home in New York City, at 91.
Award-winning composer André Previn died Feb. 28, in his Manhattan home. He was 89. Previn served as the musical director for nearly half a dozen orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, pictured, in 1979. He was awarded a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys ceremony in 2010.
Kristoff St. John
New York-born actor Kristoff St. John was found dead in his Los Angeles home on Feb. 4, at the age of 52. St. John was best known as a longtime cast member of the CBS soap, “The Young and the Restless.”
Former Yankees player and coach Mel Stottlemyre died Jan. 13, the MLB team confirmed. He was 77 and died after a battle with cancer. “Beyond his tremendous accomplishments as a player and coach, Mel Stottlemyre was beloved for his class, dignity and fighting spirit,” a statement released by the team read. ” … His plaque in Monument Park will forever serve to celebrate the significance of his legacy.”