(AP) — Many people who made their mark on the world passed in 2022. Here is a look back at dozens who left us this year.
Dan Reeves, Jan. 1, 2022: Dan Reeves, who won a Super Bowl as a player with the Dallas Cowboys but was best known for a long coaching career that included four more appearances in the title game with the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons, died Jan. 1, 2022. He was 77.
Peter Bogdanovich, Jan. 6: Peter Bogdanovich, the ascot-wearing cinephile and director of 1970s black-and-white classics like “The Last Picture Show” and “Paper Moon,” died at his home in Los Angeles of natural causes. He was 82.
Sidney Poitier, Jan. 6: Sidney Poitier, the groundbreaking actor and enduring inspiration who transformed how Black people were portrayed on screen, and became the first Black actor to win an Academy Award for best lead performance and the first to be a top box-office draw, died Jan. 6 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 94.
Bob Saget, Jan. 9: Bob Saget, the actor-comedian known for his role as beloved single dad Danny Tanner on the sitcom “Full House” and as the wisecracking host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” died while on a stand-up tour. He was 65.
Ralph Emery, Jan. 15: Ralph Emery, who became known as the dean of country music broadcasters over more than a half-century in both radio and television, died Jan. 15 of natural causes, his family said. He was 88. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007.
Charles McGee, Jan. 16: Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman who flew 409 fighter combat missions over three wars and later helped to bring attention to the Black pilots who had battled racism at home to fight for freedom abroad, died Jan. 16. He was 102.
André Leon Talley, Jan. 16: André Leon Talley, a towering and highly visible figure of the fashion world who made history as a rare Black editor in an overwhelmingly white industry, died of a heart attack. He was 73.
Louie Anderson, Jan. 21: Louie Anderson, whose more than four-decade career as a comedian and actor included his unlikely, Emmy-winning performance as mom to twin adult sons in the TV series “Baskets,” died at a hospital in Las Vegas of complications from cancer. He was 68.
Don Wilson, Jan. 22: Don Wilson, the co-founder and rhythm guitarist of the instrumental guitar band The Ventures, died at 88 in Tacoma of natural causes, surrounded by his four children, The News Tribune reported.
The band’s hits included “Walk, Don’t Run,” and the theme song for “Hawaii Five-O.” With over 100 million records sold, the Ventures are the best-selling instrumental band of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.
Mugler, Jan. 23: French fashion designer Manfred Thierry Mugler, whose dramatic designs were worn by celebrities like Madonna, Lady Gaga and Cardi B, died. He was 73. No cause of death was given.
Mugler, who launched his brand in 1973, became known for his architectural style, defined by broad shoulders and a tiny waist. The use of plastic-like futuristic fabric in his sculpted clothing became a trademark.
Howard Hesseman, Jan. 29: Howard Hesseman, who played the radio disc jockey Dr. Johnny Fever on the sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati” and the actor-turned-history teacher Charlie Moore on “Head of the Class,” died from complications following colon surgery. He was 81.
As Dr. Johnny Fever on CBS’ “WKRP in Cincinnati,” Hesseman became a counterculture icon at a time when few hippie characters made it onto network television.
Cheslie Kryst, Jan. 30: Cheslie Kryst, the 2019 winner of the Miss USA pageant and a correspondent for the entertainment news program “Extra,” died after jumping from a Manhattan apartment building. She was 30.
Monica Vitti, Feb. 2: Monica Vitti, the versatile movie star of Michelangelo Antonioni’s “L’Avventura” and other Italian alienation films of the 1960s, and later a leading comic actress, died. She was 90. “Goodbye to the queen of Italian cinema,” the current culture minister, Dario Franceschini, wrote in a statement.
Betty Davis, Feb. 9: Betty Davis, a bold and pioneering funk singer, model and songwriter of the 1960s and ‘70s who was credited with inspiring then-husband Miles Davis’ landmark fusion of jazz and more contemporary sounds, died. She was 77. Sometimes referred to as “Madonna before Madonna,” Davis was the rare woman to make funk albums in the 1970s, and her three albums from that time were showcases for her fearless personality and sexuality and insistence on control of her material and her image.
Ivan Reitman, Feb. 13: Ivan Reitman, the influential filmmaker and producer behind beloved comedies from “Animal House” to “Ghostbusters,” died peacefully in his sleep at home in Montecito, Calif., his family told The Associated Press. He was 75.
Known for big, bawdy comedies that caught the spirit of their time, Reitman’s big break came with the raucous, college fraternity sendup “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” which he produced. He directed Bill Murray in his first starring role in “Meatballs” and then again in “Stripes,” but his most significant success came with 1984’s “Ghostbusters.”
Brad Johnson, Feb. 18: Brad Johnson, who jumped from rodeo cowboy to portraying the Marlboro Man in cigarette spots and film and TV roles including Steven Spielberg’s “Always” and “Melrose Place,” died at the age of 62. Johnson died Feb. 18 of complications from COVID-19, but his death was not revealed until June 4.
Gary Brooker, Feb. 19: Gary Brooker, the Procol Harum frontman who sang one of the 1960s’ most enduring hits, “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” died at his home. He was 76. He had been receiving treatment for cancer.
A statement posted on the band’s official website said: “With the deepest regret we must announce the death on February 19 2022 of Gary Brooker MBE, singer, pianist and composer of Procol Harum, and a brightly-shining, irreplaceable light in the music industry.”
Lindsey Pearlman, Feb. 19: Actor Lindsey Erin Pearlman, who had roles in “General Hospital,” “American Housewife” and other shows, was found dead days after she was reported missing in Los Angeles, authorities said. Her body was found when officers responded to a call for a death investigation in a residential neighborhood of Hollywood, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
Jamal Edwards, Feb. 20: Jamal Edwards, a British music entrepreneur who championed U.K. rap and grime and helped launch the careers of artists including Ed Sheeran, Jessie J and Stormzy, died. He was 31.
His mother, broadcaster Brenda Edwards, said her son died after a sudden illness. She said the family was “completely devastated. He was the center of our world.”
Edwards founded the online music channel SBTV as a teenager in 2006.
Mark Lanegan, Feb. 22: Mark Lanegan, the singer whose raspy baritone and darkly poetic songwriting made Screaming Trees an essential part of the early Seattle grunge scene and brought him an acclaimed solo career, died at age 57. No cause was given. In a memoir released last year, Lanegan said a severe case of COVID-19 left him hospitalized in a coma.
Sally Kellerman, Feb. 24: Sally Kellerman, the Oscar and Emmy nominated actor who played Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in director Robert Altman’s 1970 film “MASH,” died of heart failure at her home in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles. She was 84.
Kellerman had a career of more than 60 years in film and television. She played a college professor who was returning student Rodney Dangerfield’s love interest in the 1986 comedy “Back to School.” And she was a regular in Altman’s films, appearing in 1970’s “Brewster McCloud,” 1992’s “The Player” and 1994’s “Ready to Wear.”
Katie Meyer, March 3: Stanford goalkeeper Katie Meyer, who memorably led the Cardinal to victory in the 2019 NCAA College Cup championship game, has died. She was 22. Her death was ruled a suicide.
“There is no indication of foul play, and Meyer’s death was determined to be self-inflicted,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Mitchell Ryan, March 4: Mitchell Ryan, who played a villainous general in the first “Lethal Weapon” movie, a ruthless businessman on TV’s “Santa Barbara” and had character roles on the soap opera “Dark Shadows” and the 1990s sitcom “Dharma & Greg,” died of congestive heart failure at his LA home. He was 88. His career spanned more than a half-century, beginning with an uncredited role in the 1958 Robert Mitchum film “Thunder Road.”
Emilio Delgado, March 10: Emilio Delgado, the actor and singer who for 45 years was a warm and familiar presence in children’s lives and a rare Latino face on American television as fix-it shop owner Luis on “Sesame Street,” died from the blood cancer multiple myeloma. He was 81. As Luis, Delgado, a Mexican American, got to play an ordinary, non-stereotypical Latino character at a time when such depictions were few and far between on TV, for adults or children.
Traci Braxton, March 12: Singer and reality TV star Traci Braxton died at the age of 50. TMZ reported Traci’s husband Kevin Surratt said she had been battling cancer.
“We have come to a time where we must inform the public that after a year of privately undergoing a series of treatment for esophageal cancer our beloved Traci Braxton has gone on to glory,” Surratt told TMZ.
Traci got her career start in “The Braxtons,” a musical group featuring herself and her sisters Toni, Towanda, Trina and Tamar, during the ’90s.
Brent Renaud, March 13: Brent Renaud, an acclaimed filmmaker who traveled to some of the darkest and most dangerous corners of the world for documentaries that transported audiences to little-known places of suffering, died after Russian forces opened fire on his vehicle in Ukraine. The 50-year-old Little Rock, Arkansas, native was gathering material for a report about refugees when his vehicle was hit at a checkpoint in Irpin, just outside the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
William Hurt, March 13: William Hurt, whose laconic charisma and self-assured subtlety as an actor made him one of the 1980s foremost leading men in movies such as “Broadcast News,” “Body Heat” and “The Big Chill,” died of natural causes peacefully, among family, his son said. The Hollywood Reporter said he died at his home in Portland, Oregon. He was 71. Hurt was four times nominated for an Academy Award, winning for 1985’s “Kiss of the Spider Woman.”
John Clayton, March 18: Longtime NFL journalist John Clayton died following a short illness. He was 67. Nicknamed “The Professor,” Clayton spent more than two decades covering the Pittsburgh Steelers for the The Pittsburgh Press and the Seattle Seahawks for The News Tribune in Tacoma. Clayton moved to ESPN in 1995, becoming one of the lead NFL writers for the company. Clayton appeared on TV and radio for ESPN and worked at the company for more than 20 years.
Don Young, March 19: Alaska GOP congressman Don Young, the longest-serving member of Congress — known as the Dean of the House — died “while traveling home to Alaska to be with the state and people that he loved.” He was 88.
Young, representing a state known for its natural beauty, wildlife, ecology and environment, also pushed back against federal control of Alaskan lands; established a 200-mile fishing limit to support the state’s fishing industry; and helped pass the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act in 1997, which set guidelines for wildlife refuges.
Madeleine Albright, March 23: Madeleine Albright, a child refugee from Nazi- and then Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe who rose to become the first female secretary of state and a mentor to many current and former American statesmen and women, died of cancer, her family said. She was 84.
A lifelong Democrat who nonetheless worked to bring Republicans into her orbit, Albright was chosen in 1996 by President Bill Clinton to be America’s top diplomat, elevating her from U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, where she had been only the second woman to hold that job.
Taylor Hawkins, March 25: Taylor Hawkins, for 25 years the drummer for Foo Fighters and best friend of frontman Dave Grohl, died during a South American tour with the rock band. He was 50.
The band said in a statement his death was a “tragic and untimely loss.” Foo Fighters had been scheduled to play at a festival in Bogota, Colombia, on the night he died. Hawkins’ final concert was four days before at another festival in San Isidro, Argentina.
Jeff Carson, March 26: Country music singer and songwriter Jeff Carson, who scored hits with “Not On Your Love,” and “The Car” before becoming a police officer, died of a heart attack in a Franklin, Tennessee hospital. Carson was 58.
His singles “Not On Your Love” and “The Car,” won Carson his first Academy of Country Music award for video of the year. Carson’s career had 14 singles on the Billboard chart in his career.
Paul Herman, March 29: Paul Herman, a prolific actor who appeared in “The Sopranos” and “The Irishman,” died on his 76th birthday. TV fans might best remember Herman for his recurring role on HBO’s “The Sopranos” as Peter “Beansie” Gaeta, a pizzeria owner and former mobster who maintained a friendship with Tony Soprano amid tensions with incarcerated mob boss Richie Aprile.
Tom Parker, March 30: Tom Parker, a member of British-Irish boy band The Wanted, died after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. He was 33. Parker announced his diagnosis in October 2020, and underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Estelle Harris, April 2: Estelle Harris, who hollered her way into TV history as George Costanza’s short-fused mother on “Seinfeld” and voiced Mrs. Potato Head in the “Toy Story” franchise, died. She was 93.
As middle-class matron Estelle Costanza, Harris put a memorable stamp on her recurring role in the smash 1990s sitcom. With her high-pitched voice and humorously overbearing attitude, she was an archetype of maternal indignation.
Bobby Rydell, April 5: Bobby Rydell, a pop singer and star of the 1963 film “Bye Bye Birdie,” died of pneumonia. He was 79.
The Philadelphia native saw 34 of his singles land on the Billboard Hot 100, with the most well-known being “Wild One.” Others include “Volare,” “The Cha-Cha-Cha,” and “We Got Love,” according to Variety. Rydell was still touring with a performance scheduled for June in Atlantic City.
Gilbert Gottfried, April 12: Gilbert Gottfried, the actor and legendary standup comic known for his raw, scorched voice and crude jokes, died from a rare genetic muscle disease that can trigger a dangerously abnormal heartbeat. He was 67.
“The first comedian I saw who would go on and all the other comics would go in the room to watch,” standup comic Colin Quinn said on Twitter.
Gottfried also did frequent voice work for children’s television and movies, most famously playing the parrot Iago in Disney’s “Aladdin.”
Liz Sheridan, April 15: Liz Sheridan, an accomplished actress of stage and screen who had her breakout role in the 1990s playing Jerry’s mom on “Seinfeld,” died peacefully in her sleep, TMZ and Deadline reported.
Her death came just five days after her 93rd birthday and nearly two weeks after her fellow “Seinfeld” star Estelle Harris, who played George Constanza’s mother on the sitcom, also died at age 93.
Art Rupe, April 16: Music executive Art Rupe, whose Specialty Records was a premier label during the formative years of rock ‘n roll and helped launch the careers of Little Richard, Sam Cooke and many others, died at the age of 104.
Rupe’s most lucrative and momentous signing was Little Richard, a rhythm ’n blues and gospel performer since his teens who had struggled to break through commercially.
DJ Kay Slay, April 17: Pioneering hip hop artist Keith Grayson, who performed as DJ Kay Slay and worked with top stars, died of complications from COVID-19 at age 55. His family released a statement through New York radio station HOT 97, where he hosted “The Drama Hour” for more than two decades.
Robert Morse, April 20: Actor Robert Morse, who won a Tony Award as a hilariously brash corporate climber in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and a second one a generation later as the brilliant, troubled Truman Capote in “Tru,” died after a brief illness. He was 90.
More recently, he played the autocratic and eccentric leader of an advertising agency in “Mad Men,” the hit AMC drama that debuted in 2007. The role earned him an Emmy nomination in 2008 as best guest actor in a drama series.
Orrin Hatch, April 23: Former U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, who served in the U.S. Senate for 42 years, died at 88 in Salt Lake City. His cause of death was not specified. Hatch was the longest-serving senator in Utah history, spanning the terms of seven U.S. presidents from 1977 to 2019.
Naomi Judd, April 30: Naomi Judd, the Kentucky-born singer of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, died at age 76.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” the statement said. “We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.”
The statement did not elaborate further. The Judds were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame the next day.
Mickey Gilley, May 7: Country star Mickey Gilley, whose namesake Texas honky-tonk inspired the 1980 film “Urban Cowboy” and a nationwide wave of Western-themed nightspots, died at the age of 86.
Overall, he had 39 Top 10 country hits and 17 No. 1 songs. He received six Academy of Country Music Awards, and also worked on occasion as an actor, with appearances on “Murder She Wrote,” “The Fall Guy,” “Fantasy Island” and “The Dukes of Hazzard.”
Fred Ward, May 8: Fred Ward, a veteran actor who brought a gruff tenderness to tough-guy roles in such films as “The Right Stuff,” “The Player” and “Tremors,” died. He was 79.
A former boxer, lumberjack in Alaska and short-order cook who served in the U.S. Air Force, Ward was a San Diego native who was part Cherokee. One early big role was alongside Clint Eastwood in 1979’s “Escape From Alcatraz.”
Adrieane Payne, May 9: Former Michigan State basketball standout and NBA player Adreian Payne died in a shooting. He was 31. A 29-year-old was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
Robert McFarlane, May 13: Former White House national security adviser Robert C. McFarlane, a top aide to President Ronald Reagan who pleaded guilty to charges for his role in an illegal arms-for-hostages deal known as the Iran-Contra affair, died from complications of a previous illness at a hospital in Michigan. He was 84.
″I did indeed withhold information from the Congress,” he told reporters at the time. “I believe strongly that, throughout, my actions were motivated by what I believed to be in the foreign policy interest of the United States.″
He was pardoned by President George H.W. Bush, along with five other figures from the scandal.
Richard Wald, May 13: Richard Wald, a longtime journalist who helped build ABC News into a powerhouse following a career in newspapers, died days after he suffered a stroke. He was 92.
Explaining why he joined NBC News in the late 1960s, Wald often said, “I didn’t leave newspapers. Newspapers left me.”
He was NBC News president from 1973 to 1977, where he installed Tom Brokaw and Jane Pauley as “Today” show hosts. He also let screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky trail him for two days, and became the model for the network news president in the satiric film “Network.”
Vangelis, May 17: Vangelis, the Greek electronic composer who wrote the unforgettable Academy Award-winning score for the film “Chariots of Fire” and music for dozens of other movies, documentaries and TV series, died at 79.
“Vangelis Papathanassiou is no longer among us,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted, calling him an “electronic sound trailblazer” whose death is “sad news for the entire world.”
Marnie Schulenburg, May 17: Marnie Schulenburg, a soap actress who played the character Alison Stewart on CBS’ “As the World Turns,” died from complications of metastatic breast cancer. She was 37.
“Please don’t say Marnie lost her battle to cancer. It’s simply not true. I watched her kick cancer’s a– every day since diagnosis,” her husband, actor Zack Robidas wrote in a post on Facebook.
Roger Angell, May 20: Roger Angell, the celebrated baseball writer and reigning man of letters who during an unfaltering 70-plus years helped define The New Yorker’s urbane wit and style through his essays, humor pieces and editing, died of heart failure. He was 101.
He was voted into baseball’s Hall of Fame for writing. At age 93, he completed one of his most highly praised essays, the deeply personal “This Old Man,” winner of a National Magazine Award.
Andy Fletcher, May 26: Andy “Fletch” Fletcher, the unassuming, bespectacled, red-headed keyboardist who for more than 40 years added his synth sounds to Depeche Mode hits like “Just Can’t Get Enough” and “Personal Jesus,” died at 60 from natural causes at his home in the U.K.
“Fletch had a true heart of gold and was always there when you needed support, a lively conversation, a good laugh, or a cold pint,” the band said in a social media post.
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Ray Liotta, May 26: Ray Liotta, the blue-eyed actor best known for playing mobster Henry Hill in “Goodfellas” and baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson in “Field of Dreams,” died. He was 67.
Liotta was in the Dominican Republic shooting a new movie and did not wake up. His fiancée found him.
Robert De Niro, who co-starred with Liotta in “Goodfellas,” said in an emailed statement that he was saddened by Liotta’s passing. “He is way too way young to have left us,” De Niro said.
Alan White, May 26: Alan White, the longtime drummer for progressive rock pioneers Yes who also played on projects with John Lennon and George Harrison, died at his Seattle-area home after a brief illness. He was 72.
White joined Yes in 1972, replacing original drummer Bill Bruford. In a band noted for frequent lineup changes, White was a constant and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Yes in 2017.
Bo Hopkins, May 27: American actor Bo Hopkins, best known for his roles in “Wild Bunch” and “American Graffiti,” died of a heart attack. He was 80.
During his career, he appeared in more than 100 films and television roles. He appeared in his final film, “Hillbilly Elegy,” in 2020. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Ronnie Hawkins, May 29: Ronnie Hawkins, a brash rockabilly star from Arkansas who became a patron of the Canadian music scene after moving north and recruiting a handful of local musicians later known as the Band, died after an illness. He was 87.
“Hawkins is the only man I ever heard who can make a nice sexy song like ‘My Gal is Red Hot’ sound sordid,” Greil Marcus wrote in his acclaimed book about music and American culture, “Mystery Train,” adding that “The Hawk” was alleged to “know more back roads, back rooms and backsides than any man from Newark to Mexicali.”
Marion Barber, June 1: Former NFL running back Marion Barber III died at 38. He was found dead in his Forth Worth apartment after police were called to do a welfare check.
Throughout his career in the NFL, Barber rushed 4,780 yards, on 1,156 attempts, an average of 4.1 yards per attempt, and scored 53 touchdowns on the ground. As a receiver, he caught 179 passes for 1,330 yards with six TDs.
Alec John Such, June 5: Alec John Such, the bassist and a founding member of Bon Jovi, died at the age of 70. No details on when or how John Such died were immediately available.
Bon Jovi credited John Such for bringing the band together, noting that he was a childhood friend of drummer Tico Torres and brought guitarist and songwriter Richie Sambora to see the band perform. John Such had played in a band called the Message with Sambora.
Jim Seals, June 7: Jim Seals, who teamed with fellow musician “Dash” Crofts on such 1970s soft-rock hits as “Summer Breeze,” “Diamond Girl” and “We May Never Pass This Way Again,” died at the age of 80. Their other popular songs included “Hummingbird,” and “You’re the Love.” Seals and Crofts also released the controversial “Unborn Child,” an anti-abortion song that came out the year after the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision and was banned by some radio stations.
Philip Baker Hall, June 12: Philip Baker Hall, the prolific character actor of film and theater who starred in Paul Thomas Anderson’s first movies and who memorably hunted down a long-overdue library book in “Seinfeld,” died at the age of 90.
Among Hall’s many other credits were Michael Mann’s “The Insider,” as “60 Minutes” producer Don Hewitt, and Lars von Trier’s “Dogville.” Hall appeared in “Say Anything,” “The Truman Show,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Zodiac,” “Argo” and “Rush Hour.” Hall played the neighbor Walt Kleezak on “Modern Family.” His last performance was in the 2020 series “Messiah.”
Raymundo Garduño Cruz and Juan Francisco González Aguilar, June 16: Two actors on the Netflix series “The Chosen One” were killed and six other cast or crew members were injured after the van they were riding in crashed near Mulege on the Baja California Sur peninsula.
Tyler Sanders, June 16: Tyler Sanders, known for appearances on “9-1-1: Lone Star,” “The Rookie,” and “Just Add Magic: Mystery City,” was found unresponsive in his Los Angeles home at age 18, TMZ reported. He was declared dead at that time, and authorities did not suspect foul play.
Mark Shields, June 18: Political commentator and columnist Mark Shields, who shared his insight into American politics and wit on “PBS NewsHour” for decades, died at 85.
“Mark Shields had a magical combination of talents: an unsurpassed knowledge of politics and a passion, joy, and irrepressible humor that shone through in all his work,” PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff said in a statement. “He loved most politicians, but could spot a phony and was always bold to call out injustice. Along with Jim Lehrer and Robin MacNeil, he personified all that’s special in the PBS NewsHour.“
Tony Siragusa, June 22: Tony Siragusa, the charismatic defensive tackle who was part of one of the most celebrated defenses in NFL history with the Baltimore Ravens, died at 55.
“There was no one like Goose — a warrior on the field and a team unifier with a giving, generous heart who helped teammates and the community more than most people know,” said Brian Billick, the coach of that 2000 team. “We would not have won the Super Bowl without him. This is such stunning, sad news.”
Mary Mara, June 26: Mary Mara, who appeared on television shows including “Ray Donovan,” “Dexter” and “ER” in an acting career that spanned more than 30 years, died in a drowning incident. She was 61. She acted in movies including “”Mr. Saturday Night” with Billy Crystal and “Prom Night.” Her last credit was in 2020, in a movie called “Break Even.”
James Caan, July 6: James Caan, perhaps best known for his role in “The Godfather,” in which he played the violent and reckless Santino “Sonny” Corleone, died at the age of 82.
Caan was already a star on television, breaking through in the 1971 TV movie “Brian’s Song,” an emotional drama about Chicago Bears running back Brian Piccolo, who had died of cancer the year before at age 26. Younger audiences may know him from his part as Walter in the Christmas comedy “Elf.”
Shinzo Abe, July 7: Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated on a street in western Japan by a gunman who opened fire on him from behind as he delivered a campaign speech — an attack that stunned the nation with some of the strictest gun control laws anywhere. The 67-year-old Abe, who was Japan’s longest-serving leader when he resigned in 2020, collapsed bleeding and was airlifted to a nearby hospital in Nara, although he was not breathing and his heart had stopped. He was later pronounced dead after receiving massive blood transfusions, officials said.
Tony Sirico, July 8: “Sopranos” star Tony Sirico, known by fans of the beloved HBO mobster series as Peter Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Gaultieri, died July 8 at the age of 79.
“It pains me to say that my dear friend, colleague and partner in crime, the great TONY SIRICO has passed away today,” actor Michael Imperioli wrote. “Tony was like no one else: he was as tough, as loyal and as big hearted as anyone i’ve ever known.”
Sirico was also known for his roles in “Goodfellas,” “Mighty Aphrodite,” “Cafe Society” and others.
Larry Storch, July 8: Larry Storch, the rubber-faced comic whose long career in theater, movies and television was capped by his “F Troop” role as zany Cpl. Agarn in the 1960s spoof of Western frontier TV shows, died of natural causes at 99.
Storch’s credits included “Funny Valentine,” “Sweet 16,” “Sex and the Single Girl,” “S.O.B.,” “Airport,” “Treasure Island” and “Oliver Twist.” On TV, he guest-starred on such shows as “Married… With Children,” “Archie Bunker’s Place,” “Trapper John, M.D.,” “Fantasy Island,” CHiPS,” “The Love Boat,” “Get Smart,” “Love American Style,” “Gilligan’s Island” and “Car 54 Where Are You?”
Ivana Trump, July 14: Ivana Trump, former President Donald Trump’s first wife, died in an accident from blunt impact injuries to her torso. She was 73.
NBC reported that a New York City official said Ivana was found on her apartment’s spiral staircase when authorities arrived at her home. Ivana and the former president married in 1977 and had three children — Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump.
William Hart, July 14: William “Poogie” Hart, a founder of the Grammy-winning trio the Delfonics who helped write and sang a soft lead tenor on such classic “Sound of Philadelphia” ballads as “La-La (Means I Love You)” and “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time),” died from complications during surgery. He was 77.
Nolan Neal, July 18: Nolan Neal, a former contestant on “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent,” died at age 41. The singer was found dead in his Nashville apartment, his cousin Dylan Seals told both TMZ and People. Neal made it to the quarterfinals on the 15th season of “America’s Got Talent,” where he performed his original song “Send Me a Butterfly.”
Taurean Blacque, July 21: Taurean Blacque, an Emmy-nominated actor who was known for his role as a detective on the 1980s NBC drama series “Hill Street Blues,” died at age 82.
Blacque had two biological sons and adopted 11 children and was the spokesman for the county of Los Angeles Adoption Service. In 1989, Blacque was asked by President George H.W. Bush to become the national spokesperson for adoption. He was survived by 12 children, 18 grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
Shonka Dukureh, July 21: Shonka Dukureh, who played Big Mama Thornton in this year’s movie about Elvis Presley, was found dead in a bedroom at her home in Nashville, police said. She was 44. Nashville police said there were no signs of foul play.
The actor, who also shared the stage at Coachella this year with Doja Cat, had a theater degree from Fisk and graduated from Trevecca Nazarene with an education degree.
Bob Rafelson, July 23: Bob Rafelson, a co-creator of “The Monkees” who became an influential figure in the New Hollywood era of the 1970s, has died. He was 89. Rafelson directed and co-wrote “Five Easy Pieces” and produced seminal New Hollywood classics including Peter Bogdanovich’s “The Last Picture Show” and Dennis Hopper’s “Easy Rider.”
Paul Sorvino, July 25: Paul Sorvino, an imposing actor who specialized in playing crooks and cops like Paulie Cicero in “Goodfellas” and NYPD sergeant Phil Cerretta on “Law & Order,” died of natural causes. He was 83.
Sorvino was a mainstay in films and television, playing an Italian American communist in Warren Beatty’s “Reds,” Henry Kissinger in Oliver Stone’s “Nixon” and mob boss Eddie Valentine in “The Rocketeer.” He would often say that while he might be best known for playing gangsters, his real passions were poetry, painting and opera.
Tony Dow, July 27: Tony Dow, who as Wally Cleaver on the sitcom “Leave It to Beaver” helped create the popular and lasting image of the American teenager of the 1950s and 60s, died July 27. He was 77.
“Tony was not only my brother on TV, but in many ways in life as well. He leaves an empty place in my heart that won’t be filled,” Jerry Mathers, who played Beaver, said in a Facebook post. “Tony was always the kindest, most generous, gentle, loving, sincere, and humble man, and it was my honor and privilege to be able to share memories together with him for 65 years.”
Nichelle Nichols, July 30: Nichelle Nichols, who broke barriers for Black women in Hollywood when she played communications officer Lt. Uhura on the original “Star Trek” television series, died at the age of 89.
Her role in the 1966-69 series as Lt. Uhura earned Nichols a lifelong position of honor with the series’ rabid fans, known as Trekkers and Trekkies. It also earned her accolades for breaking stereotypes that had limited Black women to acting roles as servants and included an interracial onscreen kiss with co-star William Shatner that was unheard of at the time.
Bill Russell, July 31: Bill Russell, who redefined how basketball is played, and then he changed the way sports are viewed in a racially divided country, died at 88.
The most prolific winner in NBA history, Russell marched with Martin Luther King Jr., supported Muhammad Ali and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. The centerpiece of the Boston Celtics dynasty that won 11 championships in 13 years, Russell earned his last two NBA titles as a player-coach — the first Black coach in any major U.S. sport.
Pat Carroll, July 31: Pat Carroll, a comedic television mainstay for decades, Emmy-winner for “Caesar’s Hour” and the voice Ursula in “The Little Mermaid,” died at age 95.
She won an Emmy for her work on the sketch comedy series “Caesar’s Hour” in 1956, was a regular on “Make Room for Daddy” with Danny Thomas, a guest star on “The DuPont Show with June Allyson” and a variety show regular stopping by “The Danny Kaye Show,” “The Red Skelton Show” and “The Carol Burnett Show.”
Vin Scully, Aug. 2: Vin Scully, who for more than 60 years was the voice of Los Angeles Dodgers baseball, died at the age of 94.
The Dodgers announced Scully’s death on social media, calling the incomparable legend of the broadcast booth, “the heartbeat of the Dodgers.”
He was a MLB Hall of Fame inductee in the 1980s, becoming one of only a handful of announcers to receive the honor. In 2016 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. Earlier this year, he was awarded the Baseball Digest lifetime achievement award.
David McCullough, Aug. 7: David McCullough, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose lovingly crafted narratives on subjects ranging from the Brooklyn Bridge to Presidents John Adams and Harry Truman made him among the most popular and influential historians of his time, died at 89, less than two months after his wife, Rosalee.
Beyond his books, the handsome, white-haired McCullough may have had the most recognizable presence of any historian, his fatherly baritone known to fans of PBS’s “The American Experience” and Ken Burns’ epic “Civil War” documentary. “Hamilton” author Ron Chernow once called McCullough “both the name and the voice of American history,” while on Burns tweeted that McCullough was a friend and “gifted teacher” to him.
Olivia Newton-John, Aug. 8: Olivia Newton-John, the Grammy-winning superstar who reigned on pop, country, adult contemporary and dance charts with such hits as “Physical” and “You’re the One That I Want” and won countless hearts as everyone’s favorite Sandy in the blockbuster film version of “Grease,” died. She was 73.
She had 14 top 10 singles just in the U.S., won four Grammys, starred with John Travolta in “Grease” and with Gene Kelly in “Xanadu.” The fast-stepping Travolta-Newton-John duet, “You’re the One That I Want,” was one of the era’s biggest songs and has sold more than 15 million copies.
Lamont Dozier, Aug. 8: Lamont Dozier, the middle name of the celebrated Holland-Dozier-Holland team that wrote and produced “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Heat Wave” and dozens of other hits and helped make Motown an essential record company of the 1960s and beyond, died at age 81.
Over a four-year period, 1963-67, Dozier and brothers Brian and Eddie Holland crafted more than 25 top 10 songs and mastered the blend of pop and rhythm and blues that allowed the Detroit label, and founder Berry Gordy, to defy boundaries between Black and white music and rival the Beatles on the airwaves.
Anne Heche, Aug. 12: Anne Heche, who suffered a “severe anoxic brain injury,” caused by a lack of oxygen, when her car crashed into a Los Angeles area home Aug. 5 and fire erupted, was declared legally dead a week later. She remained on life support for organ donation.
In the late 1990s she became one of the hottest actors in Hollywood, a constant on magazine covers and in big-budget films. In 1997 alone, she played opposite Johnny Depp as his wife in “Donnie Brasco” and Tommy Lee Jones in “Volcano” and was part of the ensemble cast in the original “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”
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Wolfgang Petersen, Aug. 12: Wolfgang Petersen, the German filmmaker whose World War II submarine epic “Das Boot” propelled him into a blockbuster Hollywood career that included the films “In the Line of Fire,” “Air Force One” and “The Perfect Storm,” died from pancreatic cancer at 81.
Heralded as an antiwar masterpiece, “Das Boot” was nominated for six Oscars, including for Petersen’s direction and his adaptation of Lothar-Günther Buchheim’s best-selling 1973 novel.
Dorli Rainey, Aug. 12: Dorli Rainey, a self-described “old lady in combat boots” who became a symbol of the Occupy protest movement when she was photographed after being pepper-sprayed by Seattle police, died at 95.
In November 2011, in the early days of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Rainey, then 84, joined protesters in blocking downtown intersections. She was hit when Seattle police used pepper spray to clear the crowd. The photo become a worldwide symbol for the protest movement.
“It’s a gruesome picture,” she told the AP. “I’m really not that bad looking.”
Virginia Patton, Aug. 18: Virginia Patton Moss, who played Ruth Dakin Bailey in the Frank Capra Christmas classic died Aug. 18 of natural causes at the age of 97. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, moved to Hollywood as a teenager to pursue acting. During her seven-year career, she appeared in plays and movies before retiring at the age of 24 to marry Cruse Moss and move to Michigan.
Leon Vitali, Aug. 19: Leon Vitali, the “Barry Lyndon” actor who became one of Stanley Kubrick’s closest associates, died at 74. Vitali was so fascinated by Kubrick and his processes that he made an unusual decision: He gave up on acting and devoted himself entirely to the famously demanding director for over two decades.
Tom Weiskopf, Aug. 20: Tom Weiskopf’s golf skill went far beyond his 16 victories on the PGA Tour and his lone major at Troon in the British Open. He was always candid, often outspoken and unfailingly accurate in the television booth. He found even greater success designing golf courses.
Weiskopf died at his home in Big Sky, Montana, at the age of 79, his wife said. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2020.
Tim Page, Aug. 24: Legendary Vietnam War photographer, writer and counter-culture documenter Tim Page died of liver cancer at his Australian home. He was 78 years old.
He stood out for his flamboyance and extravagant personality, as well as his talent and commitment as a photographer. He inspired the drug-addled photojournalist played by Dennis Hopper in the Francis Coppola-directed, Oscar-winning 1979 Vietnam War movie “Apocalypse Now.”
Len Dawson, Aug. 24: Whether it was in the huddle during the early days of the AFL or behind the microphone as the NFL grew into the behemoth it is today, Len Dawson carried himself with an unmistakable swagger and self-assurance that earned him the well-worn nickname “Lenny the Cool.”
He was a Hall of Fame quarterback who led the Kansas City Chiefs to their first Super Bowl championship, then a Hall of Fame broadcaster who brought football into the homes of millions on the iconic HBO show “Inside the NFL.”
He died at the age of 87, according to his family.
Joe E. Tata, Aug. 24: The proprietor of the fictional Peach Pit diner from “Beverly Hills, 90210,” Joe E. Tata, died at the age of 85. From 1990 to 2000, Tata starred as Nat Bussichio in the ’90s teen drama. While he’s known for that role by many, he had quite a resume. He played various roles on hit television series like “Batman,” “Hogan’s Heroes,” “Magnum P.I.,” “Hillstreet Blues,” and more.
Charlbi Dean, Aug. 29: Charlbi Dean, the South African actor and model who had a breakout role in “Triangle of Sadness,” which won this year’s top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, died at age 32 from a sudden, unexpected illness. Dean also had a recurring role as the assassin Syonide on the DC Comics television series “Black Lightning,” which aired on the CW from 2018 to 2021.
Mikhail Gorbachev, Aug. 29: Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet president and the man known for ending the Cold War, died at 91.
Though in power less than seven years, Gorbachev unleashed a breathtaking series of changes. But they quickly overtook him and resulted in the collapse of the authoritarian Soviet state, the freeing of Eastern European nations from Russian domination and the end of decades of East-West nuclear confrontation. His decline was humiliating. His power was hopelessly sapped by an attempted coup against him in August 1991, he spent his last months in office watching republic after republic declare independence until he resigned on Dec. 25, 1991. The Soviet Union wrote itself into oblivion a day later.
Earnie Shavers, Aug. 31: Earnie Shavers, whose thunderous punches stopped 68 fighters and earned him heavyweight title fights with Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes, died. He was 78. Shavers’ death came a day after his birthday.
He didn’t take up boxing until he was 22. Shavers fought from 1969 to 1995, which included two abbreviated returns from retirement. He finished 74-14-1 with 68 knockouts.
“He was one of the hardest punchers in boxing,” Larry Holmes said.
Marsha Hunt, Sept. 7: Marsha Hunt, one of the last surviving actors from Hollywood’s so-called Golden Age of the 1930s and 1940s who worked with performers ranging from Laurence Olivier to Andy Griffith in a career disrupted for a time by the McCarthy-era blacklist, died. She was 104.
She was well under 40 when MGM named her “Hollywood’s Youngest Character Actress.” And by the early 1950s, she was enough of a star to appear on the cover of Life magazine and seem set to thrive in the new medium of television when suddenly “the work dried up,” she recalled in 1996. The reason, she learned from her agent, was that the communist-hunting Red Channels publication had revealed that she attended a peace conference in Stockholm and other supposedly suspicious gatherings.
Alongside Hollywood stars Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart and Danny Kaye, Hunt also went to Washington in 1947 to protest the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was conducting a witch hunt for communists in the film industry.
Queen Elizabeth II, Sept. 8: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended to the throne in 1952 and reigned for 70 years, died at the age of 96.
Britain’s longest-serving monarch is the only sovereign most Britons have ever known. The queen had been a constant presence as Britain navigated the end of empire, the swinging ’60s, the labor strife of the 1980s, international terrorism, Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The BBC played the national anthem, “God Save the Queen,” over a portrait of her in full regalia as her death was announced, and the flag over Buckingham Palace was lowered to half-staff as the second Elizabethan age came to a close.
Bernard Shaw, Sept. 8: Bernard Shaw, former CNN anchor and a pioneering Black journalist remembered for his blunt question at a presidential debate and calmly reporting the beginning of the Gulf War in 1991 from Baghdad as it was under attack, died at 82.
“In all of the years of preparing to being anchor, one of the things I strove for was to be able to control my emotions in the midst of hell breaking out,” Shaw said in a 2014 interview with NPR. “And I personally feel that I passed my stringent test for that in Baghdad.”
Ramsey Lewis, Sept. 12: Renowned jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis, whose music entertained fans over a more than 60-year career that began with the Ramsey Lewis Trio and made him one of the country’s most successful jazz musicians, died. He was 87.
Lewis is revered in jazz circles for 1960s hits like “The ‘In’ Crowd,” “Hang on Sloopy” and “Wade in the Water.” He earned three Grammy awards and seven gold records. The trio’s first record in 1956 was “Ramsey Lewis and the Gentlemen of Swing.”
Ken Starr, Sept. 13: Ken Starr, a former federal appellate judge and a prominent attorney whose criminal investigation of Bill Clinton led to the president’s impeachment, died at 76.
In a bitter finish to his investigation of the Lewinsky affair that engendered still more criticism, Starr filed a report, as the law required, with the U.S. House of Representatives. He concluded that Clinton lied under oath, engaged in obstruction of justice and followed a pattern of conduct that was inconsistent with the president’s constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws. House Republicans used Starr’s report as a roadmap in the impeachment of the president, who was acquitted in a Senate trial.
Jean-Luc Godard, Sept. 13: Jean-Luc Godard, the iconic “enfant terrible” of the French New Wave who revolutionized popular cinema in 1960 with his first feature, “Breathless,” and stood for years among the film world’s most influential directors, died at 91. Godard died peacefully and surrounded by loved ones at his home in the Swiss town of Rolle, on Lake Geneva, his family said in a statement. The statement gave assisted suicide, which is legal in Switzerland, as the cause of death.
Irene Papas, Sept. 14: Irene Papas, the Greek actress and recording artist renowned for her dramatic performances and austere beauty that earned her prominent roles in Hollywood movies as well as in French and Italian cinema over six decades died. She was 93.
Papas became known internationally following performances in “The Guns of Navarone” in 1961 and “Zorba the Greek” in 1964, acting alongside Hollywood stars Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn. In all, she starred in more than 50 movies.
Henry Silva, Sept. 14: Henry Silva, a prolific character actor best known for playing villains and tough guys in “The Manchurian Candidate,” “Ocean’s Eleven” and other films, died at age 95.
He had a breakthrough role on stage and screen in the 1950s as a drug dealer in “A Hatful of Rain” and supporting parts in two of Frank Sinatra’s best known movies, both from the early 1960s: “Ocean’s Eleven,” the Las Vegas heist film that was a showcase for Sinatra, Dean Martin and other “Rat Pack” members; and “The Manchurian Candidate,” the Cold War thriller about brainwashing and the assassination of the president that starred Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Janet Leigh. (In his last film appearance, Silva was cast in the “Ocean’s Eleven” remake from 2000 that starred George Clooney and Brad Pitt).
Maury Wills, Sept. 19: Maury Wills, who intimidated pitchers with his base-stealing prowess as a shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers on three World Series championship teams, died. He was 89.
During his 14-year career, Wills batted .281 with 2,134 hits and 586 stolen bases in 1,942 games. Wills broke Ty Cobb’s single-season record for stolen bases with his 97th swipe on Sept. 23, 1962. That season he became the first player to steal more than 100 bases.
Louise Fletcher, Sept. 23: Louise Fletcher, best known for her role as Nurse Ratched in the 1975 Milos Forman film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” died of natural causes. She was 88.
Her portrayal of the sadistic Ratched, opposite Jack Nicholson, continued to be her most acclaimed until her death. The film, based on Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel, won all five major Academy Awards after its release — including an Oscar for Nicholson and the Best Picture trophy.
Pharoah Sanders, Sept. 24: Pharoah Sanders, the influential tenor saxophonist revered in the jazz world for the spirituality of his work, died at the age of 81. The saxophonist’s best-known work was his two-part “The Creator Has a Master Plan,” from the “Karma” album released in 1969. The combined track is nearly 33 minutes long.
Coolio, Sept. 28: Coolio, the rapper who was among hip-hop’s biggest names of the 1990s with hits including “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage,” died at age 59.
Coolio won a Grammy for best solo rap performance for “Gangsta’s Paradise,” the 1995 hit from the soundtrack of the Michelle Pfeiffer film “Dangerous Minds” that sampled Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song “Pastime Paradise” and was played constantly on MTV.
The Grammy, and the height of his popularity, came in 1996, amid a fierce feud between the hip-hop communities of the two coasts, which would take the lives of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. soon after.
Bill Plante, Sept. 28: Bill Plante, one of the longest-serving White House broadcast journalists in history, died of respiratory failure. The award-winning CBS correspondent was 84 years old and lived in Washington, D.C.
Plante retired from CBS News as senior White House correspondent in 2016 after 52 years with the news division. He served four tours in Vietnam – with award-winning reporting on the fall of Saigon and Cambodia – covered the civil rights movement, all the presidential elections from 1968 to 2016, and was the anchor of the “CBS Sunday Night News” from 1988 to 1995.
Sacheen Littlefeather, Oct. 2: Sacheen Littlefeather, the Native American activist who declined Marlon Brando’s Oscar for “The Godfather” in 1973, died after a fight with breast cancer. She was 75.
Over the summer, the Academy apologized to Littlefeather for her treatment when she took the stage to speak on Brando’s behalf during the broadcast, and she attended an in-person presentation of that apology on Sept. 17.
Loretta Lynn, Oct. 4: Loretta Lynn, the Kentucky coal miner’s daughter whose frank songs about life and love as a woman in Appalachia pulled her out of poverty and made her a pillar of country music, died at her ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. She was 90.
Her honesty and unique place in country music was rewarded. She was the first woman ever named entertainer of the year at the genre’s two major awards shows, first by the Country Music Association in 1972 and then by the Academy of Country Music three years later.
Judy Tenuta, Oct. 6: Judy Tenuta, a brash standup who cheekily styled herself as the “Goddess of Love” and toured with George Carlin as she built her career in the 1980s golden age of comedy, died of ovarian cancer. She was 72.
Her heart-shaped face, topped by bouffant hair with a flower accent, conveyed an impression of sweet innocence that was quickly shattered by her loud, gravelly delivery and acidic humor, expletives included. The accordion she made part of her act was “an instrument of love and submission,” as she fondly called it.
Robbie Coltrane, Oct. 7: Robbie Coltrane, the baby-faced comedian and character actor whose hundreds of roles included a crime-solving psychologist on the TV series “Cracker” and the gentle half-giant Hagrid in the “Harry Potter” movies, died at a hospital in his native Scotland. He was 72.
He appeared in all eight “Harry Potter” movies as the young wizard’s mentor and had a wide variety of other parts, including a Russian crime boss in the James Bond thrillers “GoldenEye” and “The World is Not Enough” and Pip’s guardian Mr. Jaggers in a 2012 adaptation of Dickens’ “Great Expectations.”
Angela Lansbury, Oct. 11: Angela Lansbury, the scene-stealing British actor who kicked up her heels in the Broadway musicals “Mame” and “Gypsy” and solved endless murders as crime novelist Jessica Fletcher in the long-running TV series “Murder, She Wrote,” died just five days shy of her 97th birthday.
Lansbury won five Tony Awards for her Broadway performances and a lifetime achievement award. She earned Academy Award nominations as supporting actress for two of her first three films, “Gaslight” (1945) and “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (1946), and was nominated again in 1962 for “The Manchurian Candidate” and her deadly portrayal of a Communist agent and the title character’s mother.
Bruce Sutter, Oct. 13: Bruce Sutter, the full-bearded closer who paid for his own elbow surgery as a low minor leaguer and later pioneered the sharp-dropping pitch that came to dominate big league hitters for decades, died at 69.
Sutter played in a era when closers routinely got more than three outs. He threw more than one inning for 188 of his saves and five times pitched more than 100 innings in a season.
James McDivitt, Oct. 13: James McDivitt, who commanded the Apollo 9 mission testing the first complete set of equipment to go to the moon, died at the age of 93.
McDivitt was also the commander of 1965’s Gemini 4 mission, where his best friend and colleague Ed White made the first U.S. spacewalk. His photographs of White during the spacewalk became iconic images. He passed on a chance to land on the moon and instead became the space agency’s program manager for five Apollo missions after the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Leslie Jordan, Oct. 24: Leslie Jordan, the actor whose wry Southern drawl and versatility made him a comedy and drama standout on TV series including “Will & Grace” and “American Horror Story,” died in a single car crash in Hollywood. He was 67.
Jordan earned an unexpected new following in 2021 when the longtime Los Angeles resident — and Chattanooga, Tennessee, native — spent time during the pandemic lockdown near family in his hometown. He broke the sameness by posting daily videos of himself on Instagram.
Ash Carter, Oct. 24: Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who opened combat jobs to women and ended a ban on transgender people serving in the military, died of a heart attack. He was 68.
“I made the decision to admit women to all military specialties without exception,” Carter said in a later interview on the decision. “They are 50% of the population. We can’t afford to leave off the table half of the population who can, if they’re the ones who have the best qualifications, do the job.”
Julie Powell, Oct. 26: Food writer Julie Powell, who became an internet darling after blogging for a year about making every recipe in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” leading to a book deal and a film adaptation, died of cardiac arrest. She was 49.
Powell’s 2005 book “Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen” became the hit, Nora Ephron-directed film “Julie & Julia,” with the author portrayed in the movie by Amy Adams and Meryl Streep as Child.
Her sophomore and last effort — titled “Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession” — was a bit jarring in its honesty. Powell revealed she had an affair, the pain of loving two men at once, of her fondness for sadomasochism and even a bout of self-punishing sex with a stranger.
Jerry Lee Lewis, Oct. 28: Jerry Lee Lewis, the untamable rock ‘n’ roll pioneer whose outrageous talent, energy and ego collided on such definitive records as “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and sustained a career otherwise upended by personal scandal, died at 87.
In 1986, along with Elvis, Chuck Berry and others, he made the inaugural class of inductees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and joined the Country Hall of Fame this year. The Killer not only outlasted his contemporaries but saw his life and music periodically reintroduced to younger fans, including the 1989 biopic “Great Balls of Fire,” starring Dennis Quaid, and Ethan Coen’s 2022 documentary “Trouble in Mind.” A 2010 Broadway music, “Million Dollar Quartet,” was inspired by a recording session that featured Lewis, Elvis, Perkins and Cash.
Takeoff, Nov. 1: At just 28, rapper Takeoff had cultivated a rich hip-hop legacy with Migos — along with a reputation as the trio’s most lowkey member — before he was killed in a shooting outside a Houston bowling alley.
He had hoped to gain more respect for his lyrical ability through “Only Built for Infinity Links,” an album he released with Quavo in October.
“It’s time to give me my flowers,” Takeoff said on a recent episode of the podcast “Drink Champs,” acknowledging his reputation as “chill.” “I don’t want them later on when I’m not here.”
Dow Finsterwald, Nov. 4: Dow Finsterwald became a footnote in history as the first player to win the PGA Championship in stroke play and the last U.S. captain of a Ryder Cup before continental Europe was invited to join.
Finsterwald, a 12-time winner on the PGA Tour, died at his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was 93.
Aaron Carter, Nov. 5: Aaron Carter, the singer-rapper who began performing as a child and had hit albums starting in his teen years, was found dead at his home in Southern California. He was 34.
Carter opened for the Backstreet Boys tour in 1997 — the same year his gold-selling debut self-titled album released. In 2017, Carter opened up about his substance abuse on an episode of “The Doctors.”
Kevin Conroy, Nov. 10: Kevin Conroy, the prolific voice actor whose gravely delivery on “Batman: The Animated Series” was for many Batman fans the definitive sound of the Caped Crusader, died from cancer. He was 66.
Conroy was the voice of Batman on the acclaimed animated series that ran from 1992 to 1996, often acting opposite Mark Hamill’s Joker. Conroy continued on as the almost exclusive animated voice of Batman, including some 15 films, 400 episodes of television and two dozen video games, including the “Batman: Arkham” and “Injustice” franchises.
Gallagher, Nov. 11: Gallagher, the long-haired, smash-’em-up comedian who left a trail of laughter, anger and shattered watermelons over a decades-long career, died at age 76 at his home in Palm Springs.
His act included observational humor (“What about Easter? Whose idea was it to give eggs to an animal that hops”), political commentary (“They don’t call a tax a tax. They call it a revenue enhancer”), invented sports (synchronized Ping-Pong) and his trademark Sledge-O-Matic destruction.
John Aniston, Nov. 11: Actor John Aniston died at the age of 89, his daughter Jennifer Aniston confirmed.
The veteran actor was best known for his role as Victor Kiriakis in “Days of Our Lives.” He won a Daytime Emmys Lifetime Achievement award earlier this year for his 37-year role on the soap opera.
“Soap operas have just the right amount of recognition,” he said in an interview with the Television Academy Foundation. “You get just enough to satisfy your ego but not enough to disrupt your life. Whereas some people, my daughter being one of them, can’t go anywhere.”
Robert Clary, Nov. 16: Robert Clary, a French-born survivor of Nazi concentration camps during World War II who played a feisty prisoner of war in the improbable 1960s sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes,” died. He was 96.
He remained publicly silent about his wartime experience until 1980 when, Clary said, he was provoked to speak out by those who denied or diminished the orchestrated effort by Nazi Germany to exterminate Jews. A documentary about Clary’s childhood and years of horror at Nazi hands, “Robert Clary, A5714: A Memoir of Liberation,” was released in 1985. The forearms of concentration camp prisoners were tattooed with identification numbers, with A5714 to be Clary’s lifelong mark.
Nicki Aycox, Nov. 17: Actress Nicki Aycox, known for her roles in “Supernatural” and “Jeepers Creepers 2,” died at the age of 47 after a battle with leukemia. Aycox played the original Meg Masters in the show “Supernatural,” a character who was possessed by a demon.
Jason David Frank, Nov. 20: Jason David Frank, who played the Green Power Ranger Tommy Oliver on the 1990s children’s series “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” died at the age of 49. Neither the cause of death nor when exactly he died was released.
Early in the first season, Frank’s Tommy Oliver was first seen as a villain, brainwashed by the evil Rita Repulsa. But soon after, he was inducted in the group as the Green Ranger and became one of the most popular characters on the show.
Wilko Johnson, Nov. 21: Wilko Johnson, the guitarist with British blues-rock band Dr. Feelgood who had an unexpected career renaissance after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, died at 75.
Johnson helped give Dr. Feelgood a dangerous edge with his choppy, relentless guitar style and thousand-yard glare — a look terrifying enough to earn him a role later in life as silent executioner Ser Ilyn Payne on “Game of Thrones.”
Irene Cara, Nov. 26: Oscar, Golden Globe and two-time Grammy winning singer-actress Irene Cara, who starred and sang the title cut from the 1980 hit movie “Fame” and then belted out the era-defining hit “Flashdance … What a Feeling” from 1983’s “Flashdance,” died at the age of 63. The exact date of her death was not immediately revealed.
Cara sang on the soaring title song with the chorus — “Remember my name/I’m gonna live forever/I’m gonna learn how to fly/I feel it coming together/People will see me and cry” — which would go on to be nominated for an Academy Award for best original song.
Freddie Roman, Nov. 26: Comedian Freddie Roman, the former dean of The Friars Club and a staple of the Catskills comedy scene, died of a heart attack. He was 85.
He performed at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and Bally’s Grand in Atlantic City, and he roasted the likes of Rob Reiner, Chevy Chase, Jerry Stiller and Hugh Hefner. He also conceived of “Catskills on Broadway.”
Donald McEachin, Nov. 28: U.S. Rep. Donald McEachin, a Democrat representing Virginia’s fourth Congressional District since 2017, died after a battle with colorectal cancer. He was 61.
McEachin’s chief of staff, Tara Rountree, said in a statement, “We are all devastated at the passing of our boss and friend, Congressman Donald McEachin.”
Brad William Henke, Nov. 29: Former NFL player and actor Brad William Henke died at 56. Henke was best known for his role in “Orange Is the New Black.”
Henke’s career took him to the NFL before he found success acting, graduating from the University of Arizona, where he played defensive line, and joining the New York Giants in 1989, according to his IMDB page. He would go on to play in Super Bowl XXIV with the Denver Broncos before he retired in 1994 after suffering a number of injuries.
Christine McVie, Nov. 30: Christine McVie, the British-born Fleetwood Mac vocalist, songwriter and keyboard player whose cool, soulful contralto helped define such classics as “You Make Loving Fun,” “Everywhere” and “Don’t Stop,” died at 79 after a short illness.
McVie was a steady presence and personality in a band known for its frequent lineup changes and volatile personalities — notably fellow singer-songwriters Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.
Gaylord Perry, Dec. 1: Baseball Hall of Famer and two-time Cy Young Award winner Gaylord Perry, a master of the spitball who wrote a book about using the pitch, died at the age of 84.
Perry’s 1974 autobiography was titled “Me and the Spitter,” and he wrote it in that when he started in 1962 he was the “11th man on an 11-man pitching staff” for the Giants. He needed an edge and learned the spitball from San Francisco teammate Bob Shaw.
Bob McGrath, Dec. 4: Bob McGrath, one of the original cast members of Sesame Street, died peacefully at his home at the age of 90. McGrath joined Sesame Street as a founding cast member in 1969, playing the character of Bob Johnson. He would remain part of the cast for several decades before his retirement in 2016.
Kirstie Alley, Dec. 5: Kirstie Alley, a two-time Emmy winner whose roles on the TV megahit “Cheers” and in the “Look Who’s Talking” films made her one of the biggest stars in American comedy in the late 1980s and early 1990s, died after a brief battle with cancer. She was 71.
In recent years she appeared on several other reality shows, including a second-place finish on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2011. She appeared on the competition series “The Masked Singer” wearing a baby mammoth costume earlier this year.
Mills Lane, Dec. 6: Mills Lane, the Hall of Fame boxing referee who was the third man in the ring when Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear, died at his home in Reno. He was 85. Lane suffered a stroke in 2002.
Lane officiated more than 100 title fights, sharing the ring with greats such as Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes and Lennox Lewis, and was respected for his fairness and toughness. Mills Lane was also a judge and district attorney, respected for his fairness and toughness — just as he was in the ring.
Grant Wahl, Dec. 9: American sports journalist Grant Wahl died while covering the World Cup in Lusail, Qatar. He was 48.
American media said Wahl, known for his longtime writing for Sports Illustrated, was unable to be revived after falling ill while covering a match between Argentina and Netherlands.
While Wahl said he tested negative for COVID-19, he was told he likely had bronchitis and was prescribed antibiotics and cough syrup. Wahl ended the statement explaining he felt “a bit better… but still: No bueno.”
Gary Friedkin, Dec. 9: Actor Gary Friedkin, known for his roles in such shows as “Happy Days” and “Young Doctors in Love,” died from COVID-19 complications in an Ohio hospice. He was 70. Friedkin was born in Ohio, but eventually moved to Los Angeles and started his acting career, which also featured a role as an Ewok in the “Star Wars” trilogy.
Paul Silas, Dec. 11: Paul Silas — who touched the game of basketball as a player, coach and president of the National Basketball Players Association — died. He was 79.
Silas began his career as a head coach with a three-year stint leading the then-San Diego Clippers starting in 1980. After spending more than a decade as an assistant, he returned to being a head coach and spent time with the Charlotte Hornets, the New Orleans Hornets, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Charlotte Bobcats.
Kawānanakoa, Dec. 11: Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawānanakoa, the so-called last Hawaiian princess whose lineage included the royal family that once ruled the islands and an Irish businessman who became one of Hawaii’s largest landowners, died. She was 96.
“Abigail will be remembered for her love of Hawai‘i and its people,” her 69-year-old wife said in a statement, “and I will miss her with all of my heart.”
Kawānanakoa held no formal title but was a living reminder of Hawaii’s monarchy and a symbol of Hawaiian national identity that endured after the kingdom was overthrown by American businessmen in 1893.
Angelo Badalamenti, Dec. 11: Angelo Badalamenti, the composer best known for creating otherworldly scores for many David Lynch productions, from “Blue Velvet” and “Twin Peaks” to “Mulholland Drive,” died of natural causes. He was 85.
Badalamenti worked with other directors too, including Jane Campion (“Holy Smoke!), Danny Boyle (“The Beach”) Paul Schrader (“The Comfort of Strangers”) and Walter Salles (“Dark Water”). He also wrote “The Flaming Arrow” Torch Theme for the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics and the theme for “Inside the Actors Studio.”
Mike Leach, Dec. 12: Mike Leach, who helped revolutionize football from high school to the NFL with the Air Raid offense, died following complications from a heart condition. He was 61. In 21 seasons as a head coach at Texas Tech, Washington State and Mississippi State, Leach went 158-107 after taking an unusual path to the profession.
Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme, Dec. 13: Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme, the once powerful New England Mafia boss who was serving a life sentence behind bars for the 1993 killing of a Boston nightclub owner, died at the age of 89.
His reign as Mafia boss ended when he, notorious Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger and others were charged in a sweeping racketeering case in 1995. Salemme and Bulger fled after they were tipped off to the impending indictment by Bulger’s FBI handler, John Connolly Jr.
Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss, Dec. 14: Stephen “tWitch” Boss, the longtime and beloved dancing DJ on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and a former contestant on “So You Think You Can Dance,” died at the age of 40. The Los Angeles coroner said Boss’ cause of death was suicide.
“I’m heartbroken. tWitch was pure love and light. He was my family, and I loved him with all my heart. I will miss him. Please send your love and support to Allison and his beautiful children – Weslie, Maddox, and Zaia,” Ellen DeGeneres stated on Twitter, alongside a photo of the two embracing in a hug backstage.