Entertainment

People we've lost in 2017

Updated 9:09 PM ET, Fri December 29, 2017
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Sue Grafton, the mystery writer who penned best-selling novels with alphabet-based titles, starting with "A Is for Alibi" and ending with "Y Is for Yesterday," died December 28 after a bout with cancer, her daughter, Jamie Clark, said in a social media post. Grafton was 77. Chris So/Toronto Star/Getty Images
Broadway and television actress Rose Marie, best known for her role as Sally Rogers on "The Dick Van Dyke Show," died December 28, her publicist said, citing her family. She was 94. Everett Collection
More than 50 years after her star turn in "The Sound of Music," actress Heather Menzies Urich died of brain cancer on December 24. She was 68 years old. Menzies Urich played Louisa von Trapp in the classic 1965 movie. Silver Screen Collection/Moviepix/Getty Images
Former astronaut Bruce McCandless II, famously captured in a 1984 photo documenting the first untethered flight in space, died December 21, NASA said. He was 80. NASA/AP
Legendary sports broadcaster Dick Enberg died on December 21. He was 82. Most recently, Enberg was the play-by-play voice of the San Diego Padres. Denis Poroy/Getty Images
Beloved Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor died December 4 at a hospital in Mumbai, India, a hospital spokesman said. The 79-year-old actor had been battling chronic kidney disease, local media reported. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Jim Nabors, a singer and actor best known for his role as Gomer Pyle on "The Andy Griffith Show," died November 30, according to family friend and CNN affiliate KHNL-KGMB producer Phil Arnone.
Nabors was 87. His popular character was the center of a spinoff series, "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," which ran for five seasons.
CBS Photo Archive/CBS/Getty Images
Rance Howard, a stage, film and TV actor, died November 25 at the age of 89, according to the Twitter account of his son, movie director Ron Howard. Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
David Cassidy, who came to fame as a '70s teen heartthrob and lead singer on "The Partridge Family," died on November 21, according to his publicist Jo-Ann Geffen. He was 67. ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images
Della Reese, who rose to fame as a jazz singer and later found television stardom on the drama "Touched by an Angel," died on November 19. She was 86. Harry Langdon/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Country music legend Mel Tillis died early on November 19, according to a statement from his publicist. He was 85. Tillis was a prolific singer-songwriter who penned more than 1,000 songs and recorded more than 60 albums in a career that spanned six decades. Harry Langdon/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Earle Hyman, a longtime stage and TV actor who was best known for playing Bill Cosby's father on "The Cosby Show," died Friday, November 17. Hyman was 91. NBC/everett digital
Longtime gossip columnist Liz Smith, who started her column at the New York Daily News in 1976, died on November 12, according to the newspaper. She was 94. Known affectionately as the "the Grand Dame of Dish," Smith's legendary work included a chronicle of Donald and Ivana Trump's divorce, which made front-page news. Stephen Chernin/AP/FILE
Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay, a two-time winner of the Cy Young Award, died in a plane crash on November 7, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office in Florida. Halladay was 40. Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
Former NASA astronaut Dick Gordon, the command module pilot on the second lunar landing mission, died on November 6. He was 88. Gordon spent more than 316 hours in space over two missions. NASA
Antoine "Fats" Domino, a titan of early rock 'n' roll whose piano-based hits -- such as "Ain't That a Shame," "Blueberry Hill" and "Blue Monday" -- influenced artists including Paul McCartney and Randy Newman, died on October 24. He was 89. Clive Limpkin/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Robert Guillaume, best known for his lead role in the TV series "Benson" and as the voice of Rafiki in "The Lion King," died October 24 after a battle with prostate cancer, according to his wife, Donna. He was 89. ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images
Fashion designer and popular "Project Runway" contestant Mychael Knight died October 17 outside Atlanta, family spokesman Jerris Madison told CNN. Knight was 39. No cause of death was released. Moses Robinson/Getty Images
Hall of Fame football quarterback Y.A. Tittle died October 8 at the age of 90. Tittle made the Pro Bowl seven times over his 17-year career, and he was the NFL's MVP in 1963. In this photo, Tittle squats on the field after being hit hard during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1964. This became an iconic photograph that helped cement Tittle's name in football history. Dozier Mobley/AP
Rock legend Tom Petty died October 2 after suffering cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu, California, according to Tony Dimitriades, longtime manager of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Petty was 66. Samir Hussein/Getty Images
Monty Hall, best known as the cheerful and friendly host of the game show "Let's Make a Deal," died September 30 in Los Angeles, his daughter Sharon Hall said. He was 96. NBCUniversal/Getty Images
Hugh Hefner -- the silk-robed Casanova whose Playboy magazine popularized the term "centerfold," glamorized an urbane bachelor lifestyle and helped spur the sexual revolution of the 1960s -- died September 27 at the age of 91, the magazine said. Dan Tuffs/Getty Images
Singer Charles Bradley, who was known as the "Screaming Eagle of Soul" because of his raspy voice and stirring performances, died September 23 at the age of 68. Ron Harris/AP
Former boxing champion Jake LaMotta, right, died September 19 at the age of 95. LaMotta was played by Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning movie "Raging Bull." AP
Longtime character actor Harry Dean Stanton died September 15 at the age of 91, according to his agent, John S. Kelly. Stanton, whose gaunt, worn looks were more recognizable to many than his name, appeared in more than 100 movies and 50 TV shows, including "Alien," "Repo Man," "Paris, Texas" and "Pretty in Pink." Mark Mainz/Getty Images for AFI
Troy Gentry, of the country duo Montgomery Gentry, died following a helicopter crash in New Jersey on September 8, according to a statement posted on the group's official site. He was 50. Mindy Small/FilmMagic
Jay Thomas, a comic and character actor whose credits include roles on "Cheers" and "Murphy Brown," died of cancer, his publicist said on August 24. Thomas was 69. NBC/Getty Images
Jerry Lewis, the slapstick-loving comedian, innovative filmmaker and generous fundraiser, died August 20 after a brief illness. He was 91. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, who broke barriers in the 1960s and became one of the first African-Americans to perform at white clubs, died on August 19. He was 84. Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Glen Campbell, the upbeat guitarist from Delight, Arkansas, whose smooth vocals and down-home manner made him a mainstay of music and television for decades, died August 8 after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease, his family announced on Facebook. The six-time Grammy Award winner was 81. NBC/Getty Images
Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated actor, died at his home in Kentucky on July 27. He was 73. Shepard authored more than 40 plays, winning the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1979 for his play "Buried Child," which explored the breakdown of the traditional American family. Shepard also received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in the 1983 astronaut drama "The Right Stuff." Charles Sykes/AP
June Foray, the iconic voice of Rocky and Natasha in the popular and memorable "Rocky and Bullwinkle Show," died July 26. She was 99. Foray also was the voice of Nell in "Dudley Do-Right," Granny in the "Tweety and Sylvester" cartoons and Cindy Lou Who in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Brian Vander Brug/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
John Heard, a character actor best known as the father in the "Home Alone" movies, died July 21, according to the medical examiner's office in Santa Clara County, California. It said the actor was 71, but other reports listed his age as 72. Mark Mainz/Getty Images
Chester Bennington, the lead singer of the rock band Linkin Park, was found dead on July 20, according to a spokesman for the LA County Coroner. Bennington was 41. Authorities said they were treating the case as a possible suicide. Michael Tran/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Actor Martin Landau, who starred in the 1960s television show "Mission Impossible" and won an Oscar for playing Bela Lugosi in the movie "Ed Wood," died July 15 following "unexpected complications during a short hospitalization," his publicist Dick Guttman said. Landau was 89. Bettmann Archive/Getty Images
Stephen Furst, the actor who played Flounder in the 1978 movie "Animal House," died at age 63, his son Nathan Furst told CNN on June 17. Ron Tom/NBC/Getty Images
Adam West, star of the popular and campy 1960s "Batman" TV show, died June 9 after "a short but brave battle with leukemia," his family said in a statement. He was 88. ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images
Frank Deford, a renowned sportswriter and commentator, died May 28 at the age of 78. Here, Deford holds the final front page of The National Sports Daily when it folded in 1991. Deford was well known for his NPR commentaries as well as his decades-long career at Sports Illustrated. SUSAN RAGAN/AP
Gregg Allman, the founding member of the Allman Brothers Band who overcame family tragedy, drug addiction and health problems to become a grizzled elder statesman for the blues music he loved, died May 27. He was 69. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Former US Sen. Jim Bunning, the only National Baseball Hall of Fame member ever to serve in Congress, died May 26 at the age of 85. Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Zbigniew Brzezinski, the national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, died May 26 at age 89. Brzezinski is seen here at right talking with Israeli Prime Minister Menahem Begin in 1978. White House/AFP/Getty Images
Roger Moore, the actor famous for portraying James Bond in seven films between 1973 and 1985, died May 23 after a battle with cancer, according to his family. He was 89. Terry O'Neill/Iconic Images/Getty Images
Roger Ailes, who transformed cable news and then American politics by building the Fox News Channel into a ratings powerhouse, died May 18. He was 77. Wesley Mann/FOX News via Getty Images
Chris Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave, died May 17. Cornell, 52, was in Detroit performing with Soundgarden, which had embarked on a US tour in April. Cornell hanged himself, according to a statement from the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office. Christie Goodwin/Redferns/Getty Images
Powers Boothe, known for his roles in "Sin City," "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D," and "Deadwood," died May 14. The Emmy-winning actor was 68. Todd Williamson/Invision/AP
American bobsledder Steven Holcomb, who piloted a four-man team to Olympic gold in 2010, died on May 6. The 37-year-old was found in his room at the US training center in Lake Placid, New York. No cause of death was given. Harry How/Getty Images
Veteran Indian actor Vinod Khanna died May 4 at the age of 70. Khanna, who had been dubbed Bollywood's "original heartthrob," reportedly battled cancer for several years. NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images
Filmmaker Jonathan Demme, whose Oscar-winning thriller "The Silence of the Lambs" terrified audiences, died April 26 at the age of 73. Here, Demme works on the "Silence of the Lambs" set with actor Anthony Hopkins in 1991. Demme's other films include "Philadelphia," "Married to the Mob" and a remake of "The Manchurian Candidate." Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection
Actress Erin Moran, best known as kid sister Joanie Cunningham on the TV show "Happy Days," was found dead on April 22. She was 56. Moran likely died from complications of Stage 4 cancer, officials said. ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images
Comedian Charlie Murphy died April 12 after a battle with leukemia, according to his publicist Domenick Nati. He was 57. Murphy rose to fame for his work on the popular "Chapelle's Show," where he was a co-star and writer. Matthew Simmons/Getty Images
John Warren Geils Jr., the guitarist and founder of the eponymous J. Geils Band, was found dead in his Groton, Massachusetts, home on April 11, police said. He was 71. Paul Natkin/Getty Images
Comedian and actor Don Rickles died at his home in Los Angeles on April 6, according to his publicist Paul Shefrin. Rickles was 90. Mark Mainz/Getty Images North America/Getty Images for AFI
Martin McGuinness, the former Irish Republican Army commander who was also a deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, died March 21 after a short illness, according to a statement released by the Sinn Fein party. He was 66. McGuinness became Sinn Fein's chief negotiator during the Northern Ireland peace process, working with US President Bill Clinton on the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. AFP/Getty Images
Jimmy Breslin, the prolific Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and champion of New York City's working class, died March 19 at the age of 88. Breslin's death was reported by his longtime employer, the New York Daily News. Mario Cabrera/AP
Chuck Berry, a music pioneer often called "the Father of Rock 'n' Roll," died March 18 at his home outside St. Louis, his verified Facebook page said. He was 90. Berry wrote and recorded the rock standards "Johnny B. Goode" and "Sweet Little Sixteen." Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Derek Walcott, the Caribbean poet and playwright who won the 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature, died March 17, according to the Nobel Prize website. He was 87. Brooks Kraft/Sygma/Getty Images
Joni Sledge, a founding member of the R&B vocal group Sister Sledge, was found dead in her home in Phoenix on March 10, publicist Biff Warren told CNN. She was 60 years old. The cause of death was unknown. Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
Robert Osborne, the film aficionado who was the longtime host of Turner Classic Movies, died on March 6. He was 84. Turner Classic Movies
Judge Joseph Wapner, from the popular reality television program "The People's Court," died February 26, according to his son Judge Fred Wapner. He was 97. Galbraith/AP
Actor Bill Paxton, whose extensive career included films such as "Twister," "Aliens" and "Titanic," died February 26, according to a representative for his family. He was 61. Paxton died "due to complications from surgery," a statement said. Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Clyde Stubblefield, seen here on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," died February 18 at age 73. He was the drummer for James Brown in the 1960s and '70s. He laid down the groove on such Brown hits as "Cold Sweat," "Sex Machine" and "Say it Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud." The drum break in the song "Funky Drummer" has been sampled and used in over 1,000 songs. Lloyd Bishop/NBC/Getty Images
Norma McCorvey, the anonymous plaintiff "Jane Roe" in the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, died February 18, a priest close to her family said in a statement. Multiple media sources said she was 69. In this photo from 1989, McCorvey is on the left holding hands with attorney Gloria Allred. Roe v. Wade was the 1973 case that established a constitutional right to abortion. McCorvey once supported the pro-choice movement but switched sides in 1995. J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Al Jarreau, the jazz-pop musician best known for the hits "Breakin' Away," "We're in This Love Together" and the theme song to the popular 1980's TV show, "Moonlighting," died February 12, according to posts on his verified social-media accounts. He was 76. Malzkorn/ullstein bild/Getty Images)
Actor Richard Hatch, who was known for his role as Captain Apollo in the original "Battlestar Galactica" series that ran from 1978-1979, died Tuesday, February 7, according to his manager Michael Kaliski. The 71-year-old actor had been battling pancreatic cancer, according to a statement from his family. Hatch played Tom Zarek in the show remake that started in 2003. ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images
John Hurt, the British actor who garnered Oscar nominations for his roles in "Midnight Express" and "The Elephant Man," died January 27, his publicist said. He was 77. Cambridge Jones/Getty Images
Actress Mary Tyler Moore, whose eponymous 1970s series helped usher in a new era for women on television, died January 25, according to her longtime representative Mara Buxbaum. She was 80. Silver Screen Collection/Moviepix/Getty Images
Eugene A. Cernan, the last astronaut to leave his footprints on the surface of the moon, died January 16, NASA said. He was 82. NASA
Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, a pro wrestler known for his high-flying leap off the ring's top rope, died on January 15. He was 73. John Palmer/MediaPunch/IPX/AP
Author and filmmaker William Peter Blatty, who scared millions with the best-selling novel and Oscar-winning movie "The Exorcist," died January 12 from a form of blood cancer called multiple myeloma, his widow said. He was 89. Chris Weeks/Liaison/Getty Images
Veteran war correspondent Clare Hollingworth, who broke the news that World War II had started, died on January 10. She was 105. MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images
Alfonso Wong, the creator of Asia's iconic "Old Master Q" comic strip, died January 1, according to the publisher of the comic. He was 93. iCable