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Remembering The Stars We've Lost In 2017


As we say goodbye to 2017, it's a time to reflect on the actors and actresses, musicians, and other stars we're leaving behind this year.

Note: This list is in alphabetical order by first name.

Adam West

Bleeding Cool

Died: June 9

This actor made Batman a household name by playing the caped crusader in the original 1960s TV series. West is also remembered for his body of film work, and for his voice acting on series like Family Guy.

West died aged 88, after a brief battle with leukemia.

Bill Paxton


Died: February 25

The actor was best-known for his roles in sci-fi classics like The Terminator and Aliens. He also starred in HBO's Big Love. Paxton died at age 61 from complications following heart surgery.

Charlie Murphy

New York Daily News

Died: April 12

The younger brother of actor Eddie Murphy, Charlie was a stand-up comic best-known as a writer and performer on Chappelle's Show. Murphy died from leukemia at age 57.

Chester Bennington


Died: July 20

Bennington was the lead singer and songwriter for rock band Linkin Park, but also the vocalist for Dead by Sunrise and the Stone Temple Pilots. The musician was found dead in his home after committing suicide by hanging. He was 41.

Chris Cornell

Alternative Nation

Died: May 18

Cornell was the singer and songwriter for the rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, and also released four solo albums. The 52-year-old musician was found dead in a Detroit hotel room hours after a concert, and his death was ruled a suicide.

Chuck Barris

NBC News

Died: March 21

Barris hosted The Gong Show, The Dating Game, and The Newlywed Game. He also wrote  the memoir Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, in which he claimed to have worked as a CIA assassin. Barris died of natural causes at age 87.

Chuck Berry


Died: March 18

The 1950s rock and roll pioneer wrote classic songs including "Johnny B. Goode" and "Maybellene." He was included in a number of lists of all time greats, including Rolling Stone magazine's Greatest Artists of All Time.

Berry died at age 90, and his cause of death was reported to be cardiac arrest.

Darlene Cates


Died: March 26

This actress famously played Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio's mother in What's Eating Gilbert Grape. Cates died in her sleep at age 69.

David Cassidy

CBS News

Died: November 21

This star of The Partridge Family became a teen idol in the 1970s, performing hits like "I Think I Love You." Cassidy continued to tour until shortly before his death from liver and kidney failure. Cassidy was 67.

Della Reese


Died: November 19

Along with her successful career as a jazz and gospel singer stretching back to the 1950s, Reese was famous for her acting roles in films like A Thin Line Between Love and Hate and the series Touched by an Angel.

Reese died at age 86. While she suffered from Type 2 diabetes, no cause of death was given.

Dick Gregory

USA Today

Died: August 19

Gregory was a comedian and civil rights activist who was most famous for his brash and confrontational comedy albums from the 1960s. Gregory died from heart failure at age 87.

Don Rickles

LA Times

Died: April 6

Known as "Mr. Warmth," Rickles was an "insult comic" who made a name for himself at Las Vegas clubs, where he rubbed shoulders with the Rat Pack. He also appeared in Hollywood films like Kelly's Heroes and Casino.

Rickles was 90, from complications of Type 2 diabetes.

Erin Moran


Died: April 22

Moran played Joanie Cunningham on the TV series Happy Days as well as the spin-off Joanie Loves Chachi. Moran died suddenly at age 56, due to complications from throat cancer.

Earle Hyman


Died: November 17

While Hyman had a long career on both the stage and screen, he was best known for two roles: as Cliff Huxtable's father Russell on The Cosby Show, and as the voice of Panthro on ThunderCats.

Hyman died at age 91.

Anthony "Fats" Domino

WIC News

Died: October 24

This gifted piano player wrote and sang many hit songs of the 1950s including "Blueberry Hill" and "Ain't That a Shame." Domino sold more than 65 million records in his multi-decade career.

Domino died of natural causes at age 89.

Gary DeCarlo

Connecticut Post

Died: June 28

Decarlo was the vocalist for the classic 1960s rock record "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye." Decarlo, a studio musician, spent most of his life without getting credit for the number one hit record, because it was attributed to a fake band called "Steam."

DeCarlo died of metastatic cancer at age 75.

George Romero

Den of Geek

Died: July 16

"The man who invented zombies" changed horror movies forever with his films including Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead.

Romero was 77, and died from lung cancer.

Glen Campbell


Died: August 8

The country music legend was the host of the long-running variety show called The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour. During his 50 years in the music business, Campbell released classics including "Wichita Lineman" and "Rhinestone Cowboy."

Campbell died at age 81, after a prolonged battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Gregg Allman

Rolling Stone

Died: May 27

Allman was a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, and wrote many of their most popular songs including "Whipping Post" and "Midnight Rider." Allman died at age 69, from complications of liver cancer.

The Allman Brothers Band's longtime drummer, Butch Trucks,  also died by suicide in January.

Frank Vincent


Died: September 13

Vincent's personal friendship with Robert DeNiro earned him roles in movies like Raging Bull, Goodfellas and Casino, but he was also famous for his recurring role on The Sopranos.

Vincent died from a heart attack at age 80.

Harry Dean Stanton

Road Movies

Died: September 15

With a movie career stretching back more than 60 years, Stanton left his mark on Hollywood blockbusters like Cool Hand Luke, Alien, and The Avengers. Stanton died of natural causes at age 91.

Hugh Hefner

KISS Radio

Died: September 27

The founder of Playboy magazine was also well-known for his philanthropy and political activism. He died at his home after suffering a heat attack at age 91, and was famously buried next to Marilyn Monroe, according to his wishes.

Jerry Lewis

USA Today

Died: August 20

Lewis found fame as part of the comedy duo Martin and Lewis with singer Dean Martin, before becoming a popular nightclub comedian and movie star for films like The Nutty Professor. The funnyman was also well-known for hosting his annual labor day telethon, supporting children with muscular dystrophy.

Lewis died of cardiac disease at age 91.

Jim Nabors


Died: November 30

Famous for his roles on both The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Nabors was also a popular singer known for his baritone voice. He performed "Back Home Again in Indiana" before the Indianapolis 500 nearly every year from 1972 until 2014.

Nabors died at age 87. His cause of death has not yet been released.

Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka


Died: January 15

A professional wrestler since the 1970s, Snuka was best known for his career in the WWF (now WWE) and the ECW, where he developed his own high-flying wrestling style.

Snuka died from complications relating to dementia at age 73.

John Heard


Died: July 21

While younger audiences will know him best as the dad from Home Alone and Home Alone 2, Heard also had roles in Deceived, Cat People, and Beaches.

Heard died from a heart attack at age 71.

Sir John Hurt


Died: January 25

After his role in A Man for All Season made him famous, Hurt continued to find success acting on stage and in films like Alien, The Elephant Man, and 1984.

Hurt died from cancer at age 77.

Jonathan Demme


Died: April 26

The Oscar-winning director of films like Married to the Mob, The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia died at age 73, due to complications of esophageal cancer and heart disease.

Joseph Wapner


Died: February 26

Judge Wapner became America's first reality TV judge, hosting The People's Court from 1981 to 1993. Wapner presided during more than 2,300 episodes during his time on the show.

Wapner died of respiratory failure at age 97.

June Foray

ABC Archive

Died: July 26

Foray was one of America's most prolific voice actresses. She lent her voice to Rocky the Flying Squirrel from Rocky and Bullwinkle, Cindy Lou Who from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Granny from the Looney Tunes, and many more.

Foray died just months before her 100th birthday. While the cause was not listed, her health was declining since a car accident in 2015.

Malcolm Young


Died: November 18

The Australian singer and guitarist was a founding member of the popular rock group AC/DC, and performed with the band between 1973 and 2014.

Young died aged 64, from complications of dementia.

Martin Landau

TV Guide

Died: July 15

Landau came to fame with a small role in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, before becoming a regular on hit TV series including Mission: Impossible and Space 1999. He continued to act and teach acting courses until he died from a hemorrhage and vascular disease at age 89.

Mary Tyler Moore

Rolling Stone

Died: January 25

After appearing on The Dick Van Dyke Show, Moore starred in the her own TV show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which broke boundaries with its bold portrayal of a successful and independent career woman. Moore was also an outspoken activist for animal rights.

She died from complications following a bout of pneumonia, at age 80.

Mike Connors

CBS Archive

Died: January 26

While he jumped from series to series in the 1960, and kept acting long into the 2000s, Connors was most famous for playing private detective Joe Mannix from 1967 to 1975.

He died from leukemia at age 91.

Monty Hall


Died: September 30

Hall hosted the hit game show Let's Make a Deal in almost all of its incarnations between 1963 and 1991. He was also the host of Split Second, Three For the Money, Masquerade Party, and The Joke's on Us.

Hall died from heart failure at age 96.

Michael Parks


Died: May 9

A regular on 1960s TV, Parks's career went through a renaissance in the '90s. He appeared in Twin Peaks, and films including From Dusk till Dawn, Kill Bill, Death Proof, and the horror film Red State.

Parks died at age 77 from undisclosed causes, and was buried at sea, according to his wishes.

Miguel Ferrer


Died: January 19

The son of singer Rosemary Clooney, Ferrer had a breakout role in RoboCop, before he went on to star on popular TV series like Twin Peaks, Crossing Jordan and NCIS: LA.

Ferrer died from throat cancer at age 61.

Robert Osborne


Died: March 6

After working as an actor for Lucille Ball's Desilu studio, Osborne changed careers to become an entertainment reporter. After decades covering the movie business, Osborne became the on-air host for The Movie Channel, and later for Turner Classic Movies.

Osborne died of natural causes at age 84.

Sir Roger Moore


Died: May 23

Best-known for playing James Bond between 1973 and 1985, Moore was also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

Moore died at age 89, at home and surrounded by family, after a brief battle with liver and lung cancer.

Sam Shepard

The New York Times

Died: July 27

While you might recognize him as an actor who appeared in movies like The Right Stuff, Shepard was also an award-winning playwright, as well as an author, screenwriter and director.

Shepard died at age 73 from complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Powers Boothe


Died: May 14

Boothe racked up a series of very impressive roles in his long career, including cult leader Jim Jones in the TV movie Guyana Tragedy, detective Phillip Marlowe in a series of HBO films, Cy Tolliver on Deadwood, and president Noah Daniels on 24.

Boothe was battling pancreatic cancer when he suffered cardiopulmonary arrest and died. He was 68.

Tobe Hooper

Les Inrocks

Died: August 26

The influential horror director changed the genre forever with films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist.

Hooper died of natural causes at age 84.

Tom Petty


Died: October 2

Petty was the lead singer of his band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, as well as the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys. Along with his solo career, Petty's projects sold a combined 80 million records.

Petty died of cardiac arrest. He was 66.

Troy Gentry


Died: September 8

One half of the country music duo Montgomery Gentry, Gentry's hit songs including "If You Ever Stop Loving Me" and "Lucky Man" topped the charts. Gentry died in a helicopter crash in Medford, New Jersey, shortly before a scheduled concert.

Gentry was 50.

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