In Memoriam: 2016 Celebrity Deaths

2016 collage of celebrity deaths2IN MEMORIAM 2016 – A very sad year indeed – The list of celebrities and public figures who died this past year is incredibly astounding. We lost so many wonderful entertainers, musicians and athletes it’s mind numbing. I can’t recall another year in recent memory that so many A-list celebrities passed in the same year. 2016 seemed to have an unbelievable string of celebrity deaths throughout year. It felt so absolutely ruthless in claiming the lives of so many beloved public figures and entertainers. The death of a celebrity affects us strangely enough in a unique way. Although most of us have never met these famous people, the loss still stings because it feels like a particular puzzle or time piece of our lives has disappeared. For us older folks, it feels like the who’s who of our lifetime. The names we grew up from the 50’s through the 90’s. It seems like a bad dream. Some were getting up there in age, a few were way too young, but there were oh so many others that were sudden and unexpected. Here is the year in review of those who passed on in 2016.

2016 collage of celebrity deaths

In Memoriam

2016 Celebrity Deaths

Gone But Will Never be Forgotten

JANUARY

4 – Robert Stigwood (age 81)

Entertainment Manager – managed the Bee Gees and Cream

6 – Pat Harrington Jr. (age 86)

Pat Herrington

Actor – Schneider on “One Day at a Time”

7 – Troy Shondell (age 76)

Singer – big hit was “This Time (We’re Really Breaking Up)”

7 – Kitty Kallen (age 94)

Singer – Big Band Era, biggest hit was ‘”Little Things Mean a Lot”

9 – Angus Scrimm (age 89)

Actor – the Tall Man in “Phantasm” (1979) and four sequels

10 – David Bowie (age 69) 

David Bowie

Musician – 2-time Grammy winner influenced music and culture for four generations

11 – David Margulies (age 78)

Actor – the Mayor in Ghost Busters I and II (1984 & 1989)

14 – Alan Rickman (age 69)

Alan Rickman

Actor – Hans Gruber in ‘Die Hard’ and Severus Snape in ‘Harry Potter’

14 – René Angélil (age 73)

Singer / Manager – husband and manager of Celine Dion

15 – Dan Haggerty (age 74)

The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams - Season 2

Actor – The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams

15 – Noreen Corcoran (age 72)

Actress – Kelly Gregg in Bachelor Father (1957-59)

18 – Glen Frey (age 67)

Glenn Frey

Singer / Songwriter – founded The Eagles “Take It Easy”, “Peaceful Easy Feeling”

23 – Jimmy Bain (age 68)

Musician – heavy metal bassist with bands Rainbow and Dio

26 – Abe Vigoda (age 94)

Actor – Detective Fish on Barney Miller (1975-’77)

28 – Paul Kantner (age 74)

Paul Kantner

Singer / Songwriter – co-founder of The Jefferson Airplane

28 – Mike Minor (age 75)

Actor – Steve Eliot on “Petticoat Junction”

FEBRUARY

2 – Bob Elliot (age 92)

Comedian – one-half of the comedy duo of Bob and Ray

3 – Maurice White (age 74)

Maurice White

Musician / songwriter – founding member of Earth, Wind & Fire

3 – Joe Alaskey (age 63)

Voice Actor – Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, Tweety

4 – Joe Dowell (age 76)

Pop Singer – #1 hit song “Wooden Heart” (1961)

04 – Edgar Mitchell (age 85)

NASA Astronaut – sixth person to walk on the Moon in Apollo 14 (1971)

15 – George Gaynes (age 98)

George Gaynes.png

Actor – Commandant Eric Lassard on the Police Academy series & Henry Warnimont on Punky Brewster

15 – Vanity (age 57)

Actress/Singer – lead for girl group Vanity 6; girlfriend and muse of Prince

19 – Harper Lee (age 89)

Novelist – Pulitzer Prize for fiction (1961) for novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”

22 – Yolande Fox (age 87)

Singer – Miss America 1951 and sang opera

22 – Sonny James (age 87)

Sonny James

Country Music Singer/Songwriter – first teenage country crossover #1 single “Young Love”

23 – Donald E. Williams (age 74)

NASA Astronaut – space shuttle pilot, Discovery and Atlantis

24 – Lennie Baker (age 69)

Musician – 1950s music tribute group and TV show Sha-Na-Na (1969-2000)

25 – Tony Burton (age 78)

Actor – boxing trainer to Apollo Creed and later Rocky in six “Rocky” movies

28 – George Kennedy (age 91)

George Kennedy

Actor – Academy Award for “Cool Hand Luke” also in all the “Airport” movies

29 – Gil Hill (age 84)

Police Commander/Actor – Inspector Todd in three “Beverly Hills Cop” movies

MARCH

4 – Joey Martin Feek (age 40)

Country Muscian – husband and wife country duo “Joey + Rory”

6 – Nancy Reagan (age 94)

Nancy Reagan

First Lady of the U.S.(1981-1989) Husband, 40th President Ronald Reagan

8 – Sir George Martin (age 90)

Record producer George Martin  . REXSCANPIX.

Legendary Producer for the “Beatles” albums, known as “The Fifth Beatle”

9 – Robert Horton (age 91)

Actor – Flint McCullough in “Wagon Train” (1957-1962)

10 – Keith Emerson (age 71)

Keith Emmerson

Musician / keyboardist – founder of the progressive rock band, Emerson, Lake & Palmer

13 – Adrienne Corri (age 85)

Actress – Mrs. Alexander in A Clockwork Orange (1971)

16 – Frank Sinatra Jr. (age 72)

Singer – son of Frank Sinatra and a talented singer

17 – Larry Drake (age 66)

Actor – Benny Stulwicz on L.A. Law (1987-1994)

18 – Joe Santos (age 84)

Actor – Lieutenant Dennis Becker on The Rockford Files (1974-1980)

21 – Peter Brown (age 80)

Actor – Deputy Johnny McKay in “Lawman” (1958-62) & Chad Cooper in “Laredo” (1965-67)

22 – Rob Ford (age 46)

Politician – crack smoking Mayor of Toronto, Canada

22 – Richard Bradford (age 81)

Actor – “Man in a Suitcase” on British ITC (1967)

22 – Phife Dawg (age 45)

Singer – Rapper with the group A Tribe Called Quest, also known as “Five Foot Assassin”

23 – Joe Garagiola (age 90)

Baseball Player – MLB catcher and announcer and television host

23 – Ken Howard (age 71)

Actor – Coach Reeves on TV show “White Shadow” & President of SAG-AFTRA

24 – Earl Hamner, Jr. (age 92)

Writer/Producer – created “The Waltons” TV show

24 – Garry Shandling (age 66)

Gary Shandling

Comedian – “Garry Shandling Show” and “The Larry Sanders” Show

27 – Mother Angelica (age 92)

Franciscan Nun – founder of Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN)

28 – James Noble (age 94)

Actor – Governor Gatling on “Benson” (1979-1986)

29 – Patty Duke (age 69)

Patty Duke-young

 

Child Star/Actress – played identical cousins in “The Patty Duke Show” (1963-1966)

APRIL

6 – Merle Haggard (age 79)

Merle Haggard

Legendary country singer/songwriter – “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive”, “Okie From Muskogee”

12 – Anne Jackson (age 90)

Actress – married to Eli Wallach who died in 2014

17 – Doris Roberts (age 90)

Doris Roberts

Actress – Marie Barone on “Everybody Loves Raymond” (1996–2005)

20 – Victoria Wood (age 62)

English Comedienne/Actress – Britain’s most popular stand-up comic

21 – Prince (age 57)

Prince

Musician – flamboyant on stage, seven Grammy Awards, “Purple Rain”

21 – Lonnie (Mack) McIntosh (age 74)

Guitarist – pioneered the ‘lead guitar solo’, “Wham!” & “Memphis”

23 – Madeleine Sherwood (age 94)

Actress – Reverend Mother Placido in “The Flying Nun” (1967-70)

24 – Billy Paul (age 81)

Singer – Grammy Award for “Me and Mrs. Jones” (1972)

MAY

8 – William Schallert (age 93)

Actor – Martin Lane (Patty’s Father) on The Patty Duke Show

12 – Julius La Rosa (age 86)

Singer – “Anywhere I Wander” fired by Arthur Godfrey on the air

19 – Morley Safer (age 84)

Journalist – CBS News for 52 years (1964-2016), 60 Minutes for 46 years (1970-2016) won 12 Emmy Awards

19 – Alan Young (age 96)

Alan Young

Actor – Wilbur Post on “Mr. Ed” (1961-66)

24 – Burt Kwouk (age 85)

Actor – Cato in the “Pink Panther” films

27 – Mike Barnett (age 89)

Singer – co-founder of the singing group “The Lettermen”

JUNE

3 – Muhammad Ali (age 74)

Muhammad Ali

Boxing legend – (formerly Cassius Clay) three time heavyweight champion (1964, 1974, and 1978), proclaimed “The Greatest”

4 – Bill Richmond (age 94)

Writer – 3 time Emmy Award winner for “The Carol Burnett Show” (1974,’75,’78)

6 – Kevin Ferguson (age 42)

MMA Fighter/Actor – a/k/a Kimbo Slice known for his underground internet fights

10 – Gordie Howe (age 88)

Gordie Howe

Hockey legend – Detroit Red Wings for 25 seasons, 23-time NHL All-Star

13 – Michu Meszaros (age 76)

Actor / Circus Performer – was the man in the ALF costume (ALF TV Show 1986-1990)

14 – Ann Guilbert (age 87)

Actress – Millie Helper in The Dick Van Dyke Show and Yetta Rosenberg in The Nanny

14 – Ronnie Claire Edwards (age 83)

Actress – Corabeth Walton Godsey on The Waltons (1972-81)

16 – Jo Cox (age 41)

British Labour Party Member of Parliament – murdered (shot and stabbed multiple times) in an act of terror

17 – Ron Lester (age 45)

Actor – Billy Bob in movie “Varsity Blues”

19 – Anton Yelchin (age 27)

Actor – Pavel Chekov in three Star Trek movies (2009-16)

27 – Bud Spencer (age 86)

Italian Actor – God Forgives… I Don’t! (1967)

27 – Mack Rice (age 82)

Song writer – “Mustang Sally” & “Respect Yourself”

28 – Scotty Moore (age 84)

Guitarist – backed Elvis in early recordings and pioneered new styles

28 – Buddy Ryan (age 85)

NFL Football Coach – while defensive coordinator for Chicago Bears invented the 46 defense

28 – Pat Summitt (age 64)

NCAA Basketball Coach – University of Tennessee Woman’s team (1974 – 2012) the winningest NCAA coach ever

JULY

2 – Michael Cimino (age 77)

Writer/Director – “Deer Hunter”, “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot”

2 – Elie Wiesel (age 87)

Jewish Writer/political activist – Holocaust survivor, and Nobel Laureate

2 – Teddy Rooney (age 66)

Actor/Musician – son of Mickey Rooney and Martha Vickers

2 – Caroline Aherne (age 52)

Comedienne/Actress – lead role and co-producer of “The Royle Family”

3 – Noel Neill (age 95)

Actress – Lois Lane in “Adventures of Superman” (1952-58)

6 – Danny Smythe (age 67)

Musician – founding member of the Box Tops (Devilles) “The Letter” (1967)

16 – Bonnie Brown (age 77)

Country Muscian – family musical group The Browns “The Three Bells”

19 – Garry Marshall (age 81)

Gary Marshall

Writer/Producer/Actor – created “Happy Days”, “Mork & Mindy”, “Laverne & Shirley”

27 – Jerry Doyle (age 60)

Actor – Michael Garibaldi in “Babylon 5” (1994–98)

30 – Gloria DeHaven (age 91)

Actress/Singer – “So This Is Paris”, “The Girl Rush”

AUGUST

2 – David Huddleston (age 85)

Actor – Character actor “Santa Claus: The Movie”

3 – Ricci Martin (age 62)

Entertainer – son of Dean Martin

6 – Pete Fountain (age 86)

Jazz Musician – played with both Al Hirt and Lawrence Welk

11 – Glenn Yarbrough (age 86)

Glenn Yarborough

Singer – The Limeliters (1959-63) “Baby the Rain Must Fall”

13 – Michel Richard (age 68)

Chef/Restaurateur – restaurant Citrus in L.A. and 5 other cities

13 – Kenny Baker (age 81)

Actor – played R2-D2 in the Star Wars franchise also played Paploo, the Ewok

14 – Fyvush Finkel (age 93)

Actor – lawyer Douglas Wambaugh on “Picket Fences”

19 –Jack Riley (age 80)

Actor – Elliot Carlin on “The Bob Newhart Show”

23 – Steven Hill (age 94)

Actor – District Attorney Adam Schiff on “Law & Order” (1990-2000)

25 – Jeanne Martin (age 89)

Model – Orange Bowl Queen (1947) & Dean Martin’s wife

25 – Marvin Kaplan (age 89)

Actor – telephone worker Henry on the TV show “Alice”

29 – Gene Wilder (age 83)

Gene Wilder

Legendary Comic Actor – Blazing Saddles (1974), Young Frankenstein, Willy Wonka

SEPTEMBER

1 – Jon Polito (age 65)

Actor – Steve Crosetti on “Homicide: Life on the Street”

6 – Hugh O’Brian (age 91)

Actor Hugh O'brian.

Legendary Actor – starred in TV series “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” (1955–1961)

9 – James Stacy (age 79)

Actor – Johnny Madrid Lancer on “Lancer” (1968-’70)

16 Edward Albee (age 88)

Playwright – The Sandbox (1959), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962)

17 – Charmian Carr (age 73)

Charmaine Carr

Actress – Liesl Von Trapp (eldest daughter) in the movie classic, “The Sound of Music”

24 – Bill Nunn (age 63)

Actor – Robbie Robertson in Spider-Man film trilogy

25 – Jean Shepard (age 82)

Jean Shepard

Legendary Country Singer/Songwriter – Pioneered C&W for women, “A Dear John Letter”

25 – José Fernández (age 24)

Baseball player – starting pitcher for the Miami Marlins and Cuban refugee

25 – Arnold Palmer (age 87)

Arnold Palmer

Legendary Golfer – One of the greatest golfers ever, did more to popularize the sport than any other golfer

28 – Shimon Peres (age 93)

Statesman – President of Israel (2007-’14), Prime Minister twice, held various offices from 1959-2007

OCTOBER

12 – Tommy Ford (age 52)

Actor – Tommy Strawn in the sitcom Martin

21 – Kevin Meaney (age 60)

Comedian – “Uncle Buck” in the TV series by the same name

23 – Pete Burns (age 57)

Singer/Songwriter – founder of the band Dead or Alive, “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”

24 – Bobby Vee (age 73)

Bobby Vee

Singer – “Take Good Care of My Baby”, “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes”

30 – Tammy Grimes (age 82)

Stage Actress – Molly in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”

NOVEMBER

3 – Kay Starr (age 94)

Kay Starr

Legendary Singer – “Wheel of Fortune” and “The Rock And Roll Waltz”

7 – Janet Reno (age 78)

Attorney General of the United States 1993-2001 nominated by President Bill Clinton

7 – Leonard Cohen (age 82)

Leonard Cohen

Poet / Songwriter – “Suzanne”, “Hallelujah” and “Bird on the Wire”

11 – Robert Vaughn (age 83)

Robert Vaughan

Actor – Napoleon Solo in “The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-’68)

13 – Leon Russell (age 74)

Leon Russell

Musician / Songwriter – “A Song for You”, “Tight Rope” and “This Masquerade”

15 – Holly Dunn (age 59)

Country Singer / Songwriter – “Are You Ever Gonna Love Me” and “You Really Had Me Going”

24 – Florence Henderson (age 82)

Florence Henderson

Actress / Singer – Carol Brady on “The Brady Bunch” (1969 to 1974)

25 – Fidel Castro (age 90)

Dictator – Prime Minister then President of Cuba (1959-2008)

25 – Ron Glass (age 71)

Actor – Det. Ron Harris on “Barney Miller” (1975-1982)

26 – Fritz Weaver (age 90)

Actor – Dr. Josef Weiss in the mini series “Holocaust”

28 – Van Williams (age 82)

THE GREEN HORNET

Actor – starred as Britt Reid (a.k.a. the Green Hornet) on the 1966-1967 TV series, Kenny Madison in “Bourbon Street Beat” (1959) & “Surfside 6” (1960)

28 – Jim Delligatti, McDonald’s franchisee – created The Big Mac – age 98

30 – Keo Woolford, Actor – Det. Chang on Hawaii Five-0 (2010 version) – age 49

30 – Grant Tinker (age 90)

Television executive – Chairman and CEO of NBC (1981-’86) married to Mary Tyler Moore (1962-’81)

DECEMBER

3 – Don Calfa (age 76)

Actor – Paulie the hitman in “Weekend at Bernie’s” (1989)

3 – Billy Chapin (age 72)

Actor – Little John Harper in “The Night of the Hunter” (1955)

7 – Greg Lake (age 69)

Greg Lake

Musician – founding member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer “Lucky Man”

8 – Joseph Mascolo (age 87)

Actor – Stefano DiMera on “The Days of Our Lives” (1982-’85) & (1993-2001)

8 – John Glenn (age 95)

John Glenn

WWII & Korean War Fighter Pilot. Marine Colonel. NASA Astronaut. Senator from Ohio (1974-99). Married for 73 yrs – first American to orbit the Earth (1962)

12 – Jim Lowe (age 93)

Singer – biggest hit “The Green Door” (1956)

13 – Alan Thicke (age 69)

Alan Thicke

Actor – Jason Seaver, the father on “Growing Pains” (1985-’92)

14 – Bernard Fox (age 89) 

 

Bernard Fox

Actor – Dr. Bombay in “Bewitched” and Colonel Crittendon in “Hogan’s Heroes”

 

18 – Zsa Zsa Gabor (age 99)

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Hungarian Actress & Socialite – Moulin Rouge (1952), married 9 times to mostly wealthy men

18 – Gordie Tapp (age 94)

Entertainer – wrote and acted on “Hee Haw”

20 – Michèle Morgan (age 96)

French Actress – Joan of Paris (1942), Higher and Higher (1943)

23 – Piers Sellers (age 61)

NASA Astronaut – flew in three space shuttle missions (2002,2006,2010)

24 – Richard Adams (age 96)

Author – Watership Down, The Plague Dogs

24 – Rick Parfitt (age 68)

Musician/Songwriter – rock band Status Quo; “Pictures of Matchstick Men”

24 – Liz Smith (age 96)

Actress – Nana in “The Royle Family”, Annie Brandon in I Didn’t Know You Cared

25 – George Michael (age 53)

George Michael

Singer/Songwriter – #1 hits; “Faith”, “I Want Your Sex”, “Careless Whisper”

26 – Ricky Harris (age 54)

Actor/Comedian – Ray in “Hard Rain”

26 – George S. Irving (age 94)

Stage Actor – Oklahoma! (1943), Me and Juliet (1953)

27 – Carrie Fisher (age 60)

Carrie Fisher

Actress/Author – Princess Leia in “Star Wars” (1977) and four sequels

28 – Debbie Reynolds (age 84)

DRUG FREE PARTY IN HOLLYWOOD, AMERICA - 1991

Legendary Actress – Kathy Selden in “Singin’ in the Rain”, Mother of Carrie Fisher

31 – William Christopher (age 84)

Actor – Father Mulcahy on TV show M*A*S*H

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2016 collage of celebrity deaths