Necrology for 2018
In 2018, we said farewell to some of our favorite entertainers and personalities from the worlds of radio, television, movies, and music.
They’re gone, but not forgotten.
MARTY ALLEN, 95, wild-haired, baby-faced comedian who rose to fame in nightclubs and on television through his partnership with singer Steve Rossi and his signature line “Hello dere.” February 12.
HARRY ANDERSON, 65, actor and magician who starred for eight seasons as Judge Harry T. Stone on the television series Night Court and later starred for three seasons on the series Dave’s World. April 16.
CHARLES AZNAVOUR, 94, French singer who sold more than 100 million records worldwide. He also appeared as an actor in the films Shoot the Piano Player, Ten Little Indians and Destination Rome. October 1.
MARTY BALIN, 76, musician who rose to fame as founder of the band Jefferson Airplane (later Jefferson Starship), for whom he wrote and sang the songs “Today,” “Volunteers,” “Miracles” and others. September 27.
PATRICIA BENOIT, 91, actress who played Nancy Remington, sweetheart to Wally Cox’s character on the early television show Mr. Peepers. August 6.
TOM BERNARD, 86, who appeared on network radio as a child, playing David Nelson on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and neighbor Craig Bullard on The Great Gildersleeve. His other radio credits include The Cavalcade of America, Suspense and The Burns and Allen Show. May 22.
KEN BERRY, 85, dancer and actor who played Capt. Wilton Parmenter on the television series F Troop. He played lawyer Sam Jones for three seasons on Mayberry RFD and the accident-prone Vinton Harper on the 1980s series Mama’s Family. December 1.
PHILIP BOSCO, 88, actor who appeared on nearly a hundred movies and television shows over a five-decade career. He provided the voice of Horace Greeley in Ken Burns miniseries The Civil War and the voice of Benjamin Franklin in Liberty! The American Revolution. December 3.
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, 61, renowned chef and author who became a television documentarian, hosting A Cook’s Tour, the Emmy-winning Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, and the CNN show Parts Unknown. June 8.
FRANK BRESEE, 88, who played Little Beaver on the Red Ryder radio program and became one of the nation’s first old-time radio historians. In 1949, he began The Golden Age of Radio, the first show dedicated to playing programs from radio’s past. June 5.
DORIS BRIAN, 91, last surviving member of the three Brian Sisters, who starred on their own radio show in the 1930s and early ‘40s and appeared in a dozen movies, including New Faces of 1937 and Sally, Irene and Mary. July 9.
JOSEPH CAMPANELLA, 93, actor who appeared in over 150 television shows over a six-decade career, playing Lew Wickersham on the series Mannix and Jonathan Young on the long-running soap opera The Bold and The Beautiful. His other credits include Gunsmoke, Suspense, Naked City and The Fugitive. May 16.
MARY CARLISLE, 104, actress who appeared in more than sixty films between 1923 and 1943, starring in Girl O’ My Dreams, Champagne for Breakfast and Baby Face Morgan, among others. August 1.
REG E. CATHEY, 59, actor who appeared in over eighty movies and television shows over a four-decade career. He played political operative Norman Wilson on the celebrated series The Wire and later played barbecue owner Freddy Jones on House of Cards. February 9.
DON CHERRY, 94, singer and golfer who enjoyed success in the 1950s with such records “Band of Gold,” “Thinking of You,” “Vanity” and “Mona Lisa.” September 4.
ROY CLARK, 85, guitar virtuoso and singer who hosted the syndicated television show Hee Haw throughout its 24-year run. His biggest records included “The Tips of My Fingers,” “Yesterday When I Was Young,” “Come Live With Me” and instrumental versions of “Malaguena” and “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” November 15.
JOHN COLEMAN, 83, meteorologist whose colorful style led to an 11-year run at WLS/Chicago and made him the first meteorologist on ABC’s Good Morning, America. January 20.
JACK COSTANZO, 98, percussionist known as “Mr. Bongo,” who performed with the orchestras of Stan Kenton, Nat “King” Cole, Billy May, Harry James and Xavier Cugat, among others. August 18.
BILL DAILY, 91, actor who spent five seasons playing playboy astronaut Roger Healey on the television series I Dream of Jeannie and later spent six seasons as pilot and next-door neighbor Howard Borden on The Bob Newhart Show. September 4.
VIC DAMONE, 89, singer who enjoyed success on records, radio, television and nightclubs during a career that lasted for more than fifty years. He appeared on radio’s Pet Milk Show and starred on his own television show in 1956. Among his hit records were “Again,” “You’re Breaking My Heart,” “My Heart Cries for You,” “On the Street Where You Live” and “An Affair to Remember.” February 11.
BRADFORD DILLMAN, 87, actor who appeared in more than a hundred movies and television shows over a thirty-year career. His television credits include Naked City, Wagon Train, Barnaby Jones and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. January 16.
ROBERT DIX, 83, actor and writer best known for playing Commander Grey in the 1956 film Forbidden Planet. His television credits include Gunsmoke, Death Valley Days and Highway Patrol. August 6.
PETER DONAT, 90, actor who appeared in over a hundred television shows, most notably as the father of FBI agent Fox Mulder on The X-Files. His other credits include Robert Montgomery Presents, Mission: Impossible, Mannix and Murder, She Wrote. September 10.
BOB DOROUGH, 94, jazz musician who achieved television immortality through the songs he wrote for ABC’s Schoolhouse Rock, including “Three is a Magic Number,” “Conjunction Junction” and “My Hero, Zero.” April 23.
DENNIS EDWARDS, 74, singer who performed as a member of the Contours before joining the Temptations, performing on such hits as “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” “Cloud Nine,” “Ball of Confusion” and “Can’t Get Next To You.” February 1.
JACK EDWARDS, 97, actor who appeared on hundreds of shows during the Golden Age of Radio, playing sidekick Skip Turner on the syndicated series Adventures By Morse. His other credits include Escape, I Love a Mystery, One Man’s Family and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar. July 16.
NANETTE FABRAY, 97, Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress who became a fixture on television during a six-decade career, co-starring on Caesar’s Hour in the 1950s and later playing Mary Richards’ mother on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Katherine Romano on One Day at a Time. Her movie credits include The Band Wagon and Harper Valley PTA. February 22.
EUGENE FRANCIS, 100, actor and writer whose radio credits included Suspense, X Minus One, Radio City Playhouse and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar. April 10.
JOE FRANK, 79, Peabody Award-winning radio artist whose off-beat storytelling style and thoughtful monologues were heard on National Public Radio for a quarter-century, on such shows as Work in Progress, In the Dark and Somewhere Out There. January 15.
ARETHA FRANKLIN, 76, Grammy Award-winning singer known as “The Queen of Soul” for her fusing of gospel, jazz and rhythm-and-blues in a career that lasted over 60 years and produced forty-two Top 40 records, including the legendary “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,” “Spanish Harlem,” “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman” and others. August 16.
JOHN GAVIN, 86, actor who played Janet Leigh’s boyfriend Sam Loomis in the classic 1960 film Psycho and Julius Caesar in Spartacus. His other films include Imitation of Life, Romanoff and Juliet and Thoroughly Modern Millie. February 9.
ANNE GILLIS, 90, actress who originated the role of teenager Judy Foster on the long-running radio series A Date With Judy. She also appeared in the films Little Men, Stage Door Canteen and 2001: A Space Odyssey. January 31.
KRISTIN HARMON, 72, actress whose marriage to Ricky Nelson led to her spending three seasons on television’s Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. April 27.
BARBARA HARRIS, 83, Tony Award-winning actress who was in the very first company at Chicago’s Second City and later starred in the movies A Thousand Clowns, Nashville, The Seduction of Joe Tynan, Peggy Sue Got Married and Gross Pointe Blank. August 21.
FREDDIE HART, 91, singer who released more than thirty Top 40 country hits, most notably 1971’s “Easy Loving.” His other hits include “The Wall,” “Trip to Heaven” and “My Hang-Up Is You.” October 27.
ART HELLYER, 95, pioneering broadcaster whose off-the-wall humor and freewheeling style made him a staple of Chicago radio for more than fifty years. He was a top-rated morning personality on WCFL in the 1950s and also appeared on WMAQ, WGN, WLS, WAIT, WJJD and WBBM, where he hosted the Supper Club. On television, he worked as an announcer and reporter on Chicago’s WBKB and WLS and was heard on dozens of commercials. September 5.
TAB HUNTER, 86, actor who became famous in the 1950s as a leading man in such films as Battle Cry, They Came to Cordura, That Kind of Woman and the movie version of Damn Yankees, in which he played Washington Senators fan Joe Hardy. As a singer, he enjoyed hits with his recordings of “Young Love” and “Ninety-Nine Ways.” July 3.
KEITH JACKSON, 89, sportscaster best remembered for his catchphrase “Whoa Nelly!” during a four-decade career at ABC Sports, where he became famous as the voice of college football, referring to the Rose Bowl as “the granddaddy of them all.” His voice was also heard covering baseball’s World Series and ten Olympic games. January 12.
RICKY JAY, 72, master magician who demonstrated his skill on numerous television specials and also appeared as an actor in such films as Boogie Nights, Tomorrow Never Dies, House of Games and Magnolia. November 24.
GLORIA JEAN, 92, singer who became a movie star at age 13 with 1939’s The Under-Pup and went on to star in twenty-six films, including If I Had My Way, A Little Bit of Heaven and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break. August 31.
DIANE JERGENS, 83, actress who began her career performing with songwriter Jimmy McHugh and later appeared as girlfriend Francine Williams on The Bob Cummings Show. Her other television credits include The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color and The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. October 9.
GEORGEANN JOHNSON, 91, actress who appeared in more than a hundred films and television shows over a six-decade career. Her television credits include Captain Video, Mr. Peepers, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Fugitive, Wiseguy and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, where she played the mother of the title character. June 4.
WILL JORDAN, 91, comedian and impressionist whose memorable impression of Ed Sullivan made him a fixture on The Ed Sullivan Show. September 6.
JAMES KAREN, 94, actor who appeared in more than 200 movies and television shows during a career that lasted for seven decades. His movie credits include All the President’s Men, The China Syndrome, Mulholland Drive and Poltergeist, where he played Mr. Teague, the real estate developer. October 23.
CARL KASELL, 84, broadcaster whose six-decade career included thirty years as the newscaster on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. From 1998-2014, he served as the “official judge” and scorekeeper for NPR’s news quiz program, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me. April 17.
MARGOT KIDDER, 69, actress best remembered for her portrayal of reporter Lois Lane in the 1978 movie Superman and its three sequels. May 13.
LOUISE LATHAM, 95, actress who appeared in more than a hundred movies and television shows over a forty-year career. She played mother Bernice Edgar in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1964 film Marnie and appeared on episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Perry Mason, Family Affair, The X-Files and others. February 12.
ROBIN LEACH, 76, English-born broadcast best known for his 11-year run as the host of the television series Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. August 24.
STAN LEE, 95, writer who became famous as one of the architects of the Marvel Comics universe, credited with co-creating The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Dr. Strange, The Avengers, The X-Men. He also made cameo appearances in the movies that starred these characters. November 12.
LES LIEBER, 106, musician who played on stage and radio with the bands of Paul Whiteman, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton and others. July 10.
SONDRA LOCKE, 74, actress who made her movie debut as the teenager Mick in 1968’s The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and later co-starred with Clint Eastwood in the films The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Gauntlet, Every Which Way But Loose, Bronco Billy and others. November 3.
KATHERINE MacGREGOR, 93, actress best known for playing the greedy, gossipy Harriet Oleson on the television series Little House on the Prairie. November 13.
JOHN MAHONEY, 77, actor who began his career in Chicago with the Steppenwolf Theatre company and later spent eleven seasons playing the irascible Martin Crane on television’s Frasier. His film credits include Say Anything, Barton Fink and Moonstruck. February 4.
DOROTHY MALONE, 93, actress who won an Academy Award for her performance as Marylee Hadley in the 1956 film Written on the Wind and later starred as Constance Mackenzie on the television version of Peyton Place. Her other films included Man of a Thousand Faces, The Last Sunset, The Big Sleep and Too Much, Too Soon. January 18.
ROBERT MANDAN, 86, actor who played family patriarch Chester Tate on the groundbreaking ABC comedy Soap and appeared in more than a hundred television shows, including The Doctors, Maude, Barnaby Jones and Who’s The Boss? April 29.
JERRY MAREN, 98, the last surviving member of the Munchkins, who appeared in the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz as a member of the Lollipop Guild. May 24.
PENNY MARSHALL, 75, actress who played Oscar Madison’s secretary Myrna on the television series The Odd Couple but became famous as brewery worker Laverne DeFazio on the television series Laverne and Shirley. As a director, her films included Big, Awakenings and A League of Their Own. December 17.
CHUCK McCANN, 83, actor and comedian who became famous in a series of commercials for Right Guard deodorant, as the enthusiastic neighbor who shouted “Hi, guy!” from the other side of a bathroom mirror. He also appeared on dozens of television shows, including One Day at a Time, Far-Out Space Nuts, Police Woman and Boston Legal. April 8.
PEGGY McKAY, 90, who spent 35 years in the role of Caroline Brady on the long-running soap opera Days of Our Lives. She also played Marian, the wife of managing editor Charlie Hume, on the series Lou Grant, and appeared on such shows as Matinee Theatre, Maverick, 77 Sunset Strip and dozens of others. October 7.
SUSAN MILLER, 96, singer who performed on radio with Rudy Vallee and Abbott and Costello. Her film credits include Never Give a Sucker an Even Break. August 26.
LAURIE MITCHELL, 90, actress who appeared in more than 75 movies and television shows over a three-decade career. Her television credits include M Squad, Death Valley Days, Wagon Train and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. September 20.
DONALD MOFFAT, 87, veteran character actor who appeared on dozens of television shows over a five-decade career, including Naked City, The Defenders, Logan’s Run and Dallas. His movie credits include Popeye, The Thing and The Right Stuff, where he played President Lyndon Johnson. December 20.
PATRICIA MORISON, 103, actress who starred on Broadway in Kiss Me, Kate and The King and I. Her movies include Dressed to Kill, Kiss of Death, Prince of Thieves and Calling Dr. Death. May 20.
TIM O’CONNOR, 90, character actor who appeared on more than a hundred television series in a career that lasted over sixty years, including four years as Elliot Carson on Peyton Place. His other credits include The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Defenders, The Streets of San Francisco and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, where he played Dr. Huer. April 4.
SOON TEK OH, 85, Korean-born actor who appeared on over eighty television series over a forty-year career, including Hawaii Five-O, M*A*S*H, Charlie’s Angels and Magnum P.I. He was also the voice of the aging warrior Fa Zhou in the animated film Mulan. April 4.
FRANK PARKER, 79, actor who played Grandpa Shawn Brady for twenty-three years on the soap opera Days of Our Lives. His other television credits include Cannon, Battlestar Galactica, Quincy and The Six Million Dollar Man. September 16.
MIKE PARKER, 75, who worked for 35 years as an anchorman and reporter at WBBM/Chicago. November 4.
ROGER PERRY, 85, actor who appeared on more than eighty television shows during a five-decade career, including The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Ironside, Barnaby Jones and Falcon Crest. He appeared as Major Christopher in the famous Star Trek episode, “Tomorrow is Yesterday.” July 12.
WILLIAM PHIPPS, 96, actor who appeared in more than 200 films and television shows in a career that lasted more than 50 years. His other movie credits include Invaders From Mars, The War of the Worlds, Riot in Cell Block 11, Executive Suite and Lust For Life. June 1.
CHARLOTTE RAE, 92, actress who starred on Broadway but became most famous on television, first as Sylvia Schnauzer on Car 54, Where Are You? and later as the housekeeper Edna Garrett on the series Diff’rent Strokes and its spin-off, The Facts of Life. August 5.
DOUGLAS RAIN, 90, stage and screen actor who was the voice of the HAL 9000 computer in the classic 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. November 11.
BURT REYNOLDS, 82, Emmy Award-winning actor who become one of the biggest movie stars in the world, starring in over 100 films, including Deliverance, The Longest Yard, Smokey and the Bandit and Boogie Nights. On television, he played Quint on the series Gunsmoke and later spent four seasons as ex-football player Wood Newton on Evening Shade. September 6.
ROGER ROBINSON, 78, actor who was the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth in the television mini-series King and played Gil Weaver on the series Kojak. September 26.
MILT ROSENBERG, 92, who became famous for his intelligent conversational style during his four decades as the host of Extension 720 on WGN/Chicago. January 9.
OTIS RUSH, 84, guitarist whose “West Side Chicago blues” sound influenced a generation of musicians. He enjoyed a hit with 1956’s “I Can’t Quit You Baby” and later wrote and recorded the songs “All Your Love” and “Double Trouble.” September 29.
DON SANDBERG, 87, actor, writer and producer who spent a decade playing the silent Sandy the Tramp on Bozo’s Circus. October 7.
WARNER SAUNDERS, 83, former Chicago schoolteacher and community activist who became a renowned Chicago television journalist in a career that lasted over forty years, working at WBBM and later as a news anchor on WMAQ. October 9.
CAROLE SHELLEY, 79, English-born actress best remembered for her performance as Gwendolyn Pigeon in the movie and television versions of The Odd Couple. August 31.
NEIL SIMON, 91, writer who wrote for Sid Caesar and Jerry Lewis on television but became one of most famous playwrights in American history. His plays include The Odd Couple, The Sunshine Boys, Biloxi Blues, Laughter on the 23rd Floor and many others. August 26.
DAVID OGDEN STIERS, 75, actor best remembered for playing Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester for six seasons on the television series M*A*S*H. He also appeared as Rev. Purdy on The Dead Zone and was the voice of Dr. Jumba Jookiba on the animated series Lilo & Stitch. March 3.
KEN SWOFFORD, 85, actor who appeared on more than 100 television shows, playing Lt. Perry Catalano on Murder, She Wrote and newspaper columnist Frank Flanagan on Ellery Queen. His other television credits include The Rockford Files, The Big Valley, The Six Million Dollar Man and Gunsmoke. November 1.
VERNE TROYER, 49, actor best remembered for his role as Mini Me, sidekcik to Mike Myers’ Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies. April 21.
JERRY VAN DYKE, 86, comedian who starred in the 1960s series My Mother The Car and later played Assistant Coach Luther Van Dam for nine seasons on the series Coach. He also performed on television with Judy Garland and with his brother, Dick Van Dyke. January 5.
CLINT WALKER, 90, actor best known for his seven seasons as the star of the television series Cheyenne. His movie credits include The Dirty Dozen, None But the Brave and Send Me No Flowers. May 21.
FREDD WAYNE, 93, character actor who appeared in more than a hundred television shows over a six-decade career, including Studio One, Omnibus, Perry Mason, Hawaiian Eye and Bewitched, where he played Benjamin Franklin, a role he assumed again in the 1970s for a successful one-man stage show. August 27.
TONY JOE WHITE, 74, singer-songwriter who enjoyed chart success with the 1969 hit “Pork Salad Annie.” His other songs include the hits “Willie and Laura Mae Jones” and “Rainy Night in Georgia.” October 24.
DICK WILLIAMS, 91, singer who rose to fame as one-quarter of the Williams Brothers, who were heard on radio, records and nightclubs, where they performed in support of singer Kay Thompson. May 5.
NANCY WILSON, 81, Grammy Award-winning singer who enjoyed success singing jazz and pop, scoring a Top 20 hit with 1964’s “(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am” and recording with Ramsey Lewis, George Shearing, Cannonball Adderly and others. She starred on her own television show in 1967 and later appeared on The Cosby Show as Denise Huxtable’s mother-in-law. December 13.
SCOTT WILSON, 76, character actor who played murder suspect Harvey Oberst in the 1967 film In the Heat of the Night and later portrayed murderer Richard Hickok in the movie In Cold Blood. His other films include The Great Gatsby, The Right Stuff and The Last Samurai. October 6.
CELESTE YARNALL, 74, actress who appeared in over fifty movies and television shows, including Star Trek, The Wild Wild West, The Man From U.N.C.L.E and My Three Sons. October 7.
DOUG YOUNG, 98, radio and voice actor best known for his work in animation, including the voice of Augie Doggie’s Daddy and Yippee on The Peter Potamus Show. January 7.
Necrology for 2017
LOLA ALBRIGHT, 92, actress perhaps best-known for playing singer Edie Hart on the television series Peter Gunn. She later played Constance Mackenzie Carson on Peyton Place and appeared in more than twenty films, including Champion, The Tender Trap, Kid Galahad and Lord Love a Duck. March 23.
RICHARD ANDERSON, 91, actor best remembered for playing Oscar Goldman, leader of a secret government agency on the series The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. He also appeared in the films Forbidden Planet, Compulsion and Seven Days in May. August 31.
JACK BANNON, 77, actor who spent five years playing reporter Art Donovan on the television series Lou Grant. His other credits include St. Elsewhere, Knots Landing, Santa Barbara and Murder She Wrote. October 25.
SHELLEY BERMAN, 92, comedian whose anxiety-ridden observations helped make him one of the most groundbreaking comedians and recording artists of the 1950s and ‘60s. He also appeared on dozens of television shows, including Car 54, Where Are You?, The Twilight Zone, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, L.A. Law and Curb Your Enthusiasm, where he played Larry David’s irascible father. September 1.
CHUCK BERRY, 90, guitarist and songwriter who became one of the most popular and influential writer and performers in rock & roll history. Among his biggest hits were “Maybellene,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Johnny B. Goode.” March 18.
JOSEPH BOLOGNA, 82, actor who played temperamental television star King Kaiser in the 1982 film My Favorite Year. His other films include Made For Each Other, Blame It On Rio and The Woman in Red. August 13.
GLEN CAMPBELL, 81, musician who began his career as part of Los Angeles’ legendary “Wrecking Crew” before he became a recording, movie and television star in his own right. He starred for four seasons on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour and played the role of a Texas Ranger in the 1969 film True Grit. Among his many hit records were “Wichita Lineman,” “Southern Nights,” “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Galveston” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.” August 8.
BERNIE CASEY, 78, football player who became an actor in such films as The Man Who Fell To Earth, Never Say Never Again, Revenge of the Nerds and I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. September 19.
DAVID CASSIDY, 67, actor and musician who rose to fame on television and records as Keith Partridge, guitar-playing member of The Partridge Family. November 21.
MIKE CONNORS, 91, actor best-known for playing private eye Joe Mannix for eight seasons on the television show Mannix. He appeared on over sixty television shows in a 55-year career, including Tightrope, The Untouchables, Perry Mason and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. January 26.
DICK CONTINO, 87, singer and musician billed as “The World’s Greatest Accordionist” who became a sensation after his discovery on Horace Heidt’s Youth Opportunity Program, most notably for his emotional rendition of “Lady of Spain.” April 19.
BARBARA COOK, 89, singer who won a Tony Award for her performance as Miriam Paroo in the original Broadway production of The Music Man and later established herself as one of New York’s most beloved cabaret singers. August 6.
IRWIN COREY, 102, actor and comedian who became famous as “The World’s Foremost Authority”. February 6.
BILL DANA, 92, writer and comedian whose portrayal of the Mexican Jose Jiminez made him famous on records and on television, where he played the character on The Spike Jones Show, Make Room for Daddy, The Hollywood Palace and the short-lived Bill Dana Show. June 15.
FATS DOMINO, 89, New Orleans pianist who became one of the early stars of rock & roll, with such hits as “Ain’t That a Shame,” “I’m Walkin’,” “Whole Lotta Loving” and his million-selling version of “Blueberry Hill.” October 24.
LARRY ELGART, 95, saxophonist who played with the bands of Woody Herman, Tommy Dorsey and Red Norvo and also enjoyed success as a bandleader with his brother Les, with whom he recorded “Bandstand Boogie,” the longtime theme for the television show American Bandstand. August 29.
DICK ENBERG, 82, celebrated and versatile sportscaster who worked for NBC, CBS and ESPN during a six-decade career, covering baseball, boxing, college basketball, Wimbledon tennis, three Olympic games and ten Super Bowls. December 21.
MIGUEL FERRER, 60, actor who brought his low-key intensity to dozens of movies and television shows, playing Owen Granger for five seasons on the series NCIS: Los Angeles and FBI Agent Albert Rosenfeld on Twin Peaks. January 19.
JUNE FORAY, 99, actress whose voice was heard on radio, television, records and hundreds of animated films, in a career that lasted more than seventy years. She was the voices of Witch Hazel and Granny in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes, Rocket J. Squirrel and villainess Natasha Fatale on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Cindy Lou Who in How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Talky Tina in the famous Twilight Zone episode, “Living Doll.” On radio, she appeared regularly on The Buster Brown Gang, Steve Allen’s Smile Time and The Stan Freberg Show. July 26.
JIM GANNON, 86, veteran broadcaster known as “the dean of morning news anchormen.” For 16 years, he read the news on WIND/Chicago’s Howard Miller Show and later covered sports nationally on the Mutual Radio Network. April 1.
DICK GAUTIER, 85, comic actor who played Conrad Birdie in the original Broadway production of Bye Bye Birdie and appeared in dozens of television shows, most notably as Hymie, the robot programmed for goodness and niceness on the television series Get Smart. January 13.
TONI GILMAN, 96, actress who began her career in Chicago radio, appearing on such shows as Painted Dreams, Myrt and Marge and The First Nighter Program. March 23.
DON GORDON, 90, actor who appeared in over a hundred movies and television shows over a seven-decade career, playing police detective Delgetti in the 1972 movie Bullitt and also appearing in Papillon, The Towering Inferno and WUSA. His television credits include Space Patrol, The Millionaire, 77 Sunset Strip and The Wild Wild West, where he played the treacherous Gen. Titus Trask. April 24.
BUDDY GRECO, 90, singer and pianist who played with Benny Goodman and his own group, enjoying success with his renditions of “Ohh! Look-a-There, Ain’t She Pretty,” “I Ran All the Way Home,” “The Lady is a Tramp” and others. January 10.
DICK GREGORY, 84, groundbreaking African-American stand-up comedian who broke racial barriers in the 1960s and used his humor to spread messages of social justice and nutritional health. August 19.
ROBERT GUILLAUME, 89, who played butler Benson DuBois for three seasons on the television comedy Soap and later spent seven seasons as the star of the spin-off series Benson. He was also the voice of Rafiki in the 1994 animated movie The Lion King. October 24.
BARBARA HALE, 94, actress who became famous as assistant Della Street on the Perry Mason television series and movies. She also appeared in more than forty films, including Higher and Higher, Jolson Sings Again and Airport. January 26.
MONTY HALL, 96, television personality best remembered as the creator and the cheerful host of the long-running game show Let’s Make a Deal. September 30.
TY HARDIN, 87, actor best-known for playing the title character Bronco Layne for four seasons on the television western Bronco, a character he also played on the series Cheyenne and Maverick. August 3.
RICHARD HATCH, 71, actor who played Captain Apollo on the original version of the television series Battlestar Galactica. February 7.
GLENNE HEADLY, 62, actress who began her career as part of Chicago’s legendary Steppenwolf Theatre and went on to appear in dozens of films and television shows. She also played Tess Trueheart in the 1990 movie version of Dick Tracy. June 8.
JOHN HEARD, 71, actor perhaps best known for playing Peter MacAllister, the father in the Home Alone movies. His other films include Big, Beaches, In the Line of Fire and The Pelican Brief. On television, he played Det. Vin Makazian on The Sopranos. July 21.
JON HENDRICKS, 96, Grammy Award-winning jazz singer credited with inventing the style known as “vocalese,” which he employed as a member of the legendary trio Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. November 22.
JOHN HILLERMAN, 84, actor who became famous for playing supercilious characters, most notably the caretaker Higgins on the long-running television series Magnum P.I. and radio detective Simon Brimmer on Ellery Queen. His movie credits include The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, Chinatown and Blazing Saddles. November 9.
SKIP HOMEIER, 86, actor who began his career in radio as a child, appearing on such shows as Portia Faces Life, Coast-to-Coast on a Bus and The Cavalcade of America. He appeared on more than a hundred television shows and in such films as The Gunfighter, The Halls of Montezuma and Has Anybody Seen My Gal? June 25.
RANCE HOWARD, 89, actor who appeared in hundreds of movies and television shows during a career that lasted over sixty years. On television, he was Dr. McIvers on The Waltons and Henry Boomhauer on Gentle Ben. His other television credits include The Andy Griffith Show, Death Valley Days, Gunsmoke and Happy Days. November 25.
JOHN HURT, 70, actor who appeared in more than 150 films over a six-decade career, including the role of John Merrick in The Elephant Man, Mr. Ollivander in three Harry Potter films and Kane, the first victim in the 1979 film Alien. January 25.
ANNE JEFFREYS, 94, actress who enjoyed success on television playing the ghost of Marion Kerby on Topper and later as wealthy socialite Amanda Barrington for two decades on the soap opera General Hospital and its spin-off, Port Charles. September 27.
CHARLOTTE KEANE, 97, actress who performed on radio in The Cavalcade of America, The Ford Theatre and The Adventures of Ellery Queen, where she played Queen’s secretary Nikki Porter. May 13.
MARTIN LANDAU, 89, actor who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi in the 1994 film Ed Wood and also appeared in the movies North By Northwest, Pork Chop Hill, Crimes and Misdemeanors and others. On television, he starred as master of disguise Rollin Hand on Mission: Impossible and later played Commander John Koenig on Space: 1999. July 16.
JERRY LEWIS, 91, legendary comedian, singer, writer and director who became a sensation on stage, screen and television, first with singer Dean Martin and later during a solo career that lasted for more than sixty years. His films include The Ladies Man, The Errand Boy, The Nutty Professor, Cinderfella and The King of Comedy. For more than forty years, he hosted the annual live Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon to raise funds for muscular dystrophy research. August 20.
DINA MERRILL, 93, actress who appeared on dozens of television shows, including The Phil Silvers Show, Playhouse 90, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and Batman, where she played Calamity Jan, girlfriend of the villainous cowboy Shame. Her movie credits include BUtterfield 8, Operation Petticoat, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father and others. May 22.
MARY TYLER MOORE, 80, dancer and actress who starred on two landmark television shows, playing Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show and news producer Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Her movie credits include Ordinary People, Thoroughly Modern Millie, A Change of Habit and Flirting With Disaster. January 25.
ROGER MOORE, 89, English actor who played Simon Templar on the television series The Saint and spent two decades portraying special agent James Bond in seven films, including Live and Let Die, The Man With the Golden Gun, Moonraker and For Your Eyes Only. May 23.
ERIN MORAN, 56, actress who played Joanie Cunningham on the long-running series Happy Days and repeated the role for the spinoff Joanie Loves Chachi. April 22.
JIM NABORS, 87, singer and actor who became famous as the sweet, naïve auto mechanic Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show, which led to a five-year run as the star of his own television show, Gomer Pyle: USMC. November 30.
DICK NOEL, 90, singer whose work in commercials earned him the nickname “King of the Jingles.” He sang with the Ray Anthony orchestra and later spent three years as a singer/announcer on radio’s Breakfast Club. October 27.
DICK ORKIN, 84, radio writer and performer who joined WCFL/Chicago became famous in the 1960s as the producer and star of Chickenman, the winged warrior whose adventures were syndicated to over 1,500 radio stations. He also produced and starred in The Secret Adventures of the Tooth Fairy and produced hundreds of radio commercials for First American Bank, The Gap, Edwardo’s Pizza and others. December 24.
ROBERT OSBORNE, 84, actor who became famous as a film historian, most notably his 23-year run as the effervescent host on Turner Classic Movies. March 6.
BILL PAXTON, 61, actor who appeared in more than seventy films over a four-decade career, including Twister, Streets of Fire, Apollo 13 and Titanic, where he played treasure hunter Brock Lovett. February 25.
HARRY PRIME, 97, singer who performed with the orchestras of Randy Brooks, Tommy Dorsey, Jack Fina, and Ralph Flanagan. His rendition of "Until" with the Dorsey band sold more than a million copies. June 15.
DELLA REESE, 86, pop and jazz singer who enjoyed success in 1959 with the hit “Don’t You Know” and later hosted her own television talk show before enjoying success as an actress, most notable as the heavenly Tess on the television series Touched By an Angel. November 19.
DON RICKLES, 90, comedian who became famous for his insult humor in a career that spanned eight decades. He appeared on countless television shows and in such movies as Run Silent Run Deep, Kelly’s Heroes, Casino and the Toy Story films, where he was the voice of Mr. Potato Head. April 6.
ROSE MARIE, 94, who performed on stage, radio, movies, television and nightclubs in a career that lasted nine decades. In the 1920s, she rose to fame on radio and vaudeville as Baby Rose Marie. On television, she played comedy writer Sally Rogers for five seasons on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Prior to her death, her career was reviewed in a 2017 documentary, Wait For Your Laugh. December 28.
JEAN ROUVEROL, 100, actress who played W.C. Fields’ daughter in the 1934 film It’s a Gift and later played Betty Barbour on the radio series One Man’s Family. March 24.
BOB SCHILLER, 98, television writer who spent a decade writing for Lucille Ball, first on I Love Lucy and later on The Lucy Show. His other credits include All in the Family and shows starring Red Skelton, Carol Burnett, Flip Wilson and others. October 10.
SAM SHEPARD, 73, playwright and actor who appeared in more than forty films, playing astronaut Chuck Yeager in 1983’s The Right Stuff. His other films include Crimes of the Heart, Country, Days of Heaven and Fool For Love, based on his 1983 play. July 27.
KEELY SMITH, 89, singer known for her solo recordings of jazz standards and her partnership with first husband Louis Prima. Her hits with Prima included “Jump, Jive an’ Wail,” “Hey, Boy! Hey, Girl!” and their Grammy Award-winning recording of “That Old Black Magic.” December 16.
ROGER SMITH, 84, actor who played Private Detective Jeff Spencer for five seasons on the television series 77 Sunset Strip and later played the title role on the series based on the play Mister Roberts. June 4.
HARRY DEAN STANTON, 91, gaunt character actor who appeared in more than a hundred films over a six-decade career, including Paris, Texas; Repo Man; Alien; Escape From New York; Pretty in Pink; Young at Heart and The Last Temptation of Christ. On television, he played self-proclaimed prophet Roman Grant on the series Big Love. September 15.
JAY THOMAS, 69, Emmy Award-winning actor whose credits include tabloid talk-show host Jerry Gold on the television series Murphy Brown, ex-hockey player Eddie LaBec on Cheers and sports writer Jack Stein on Love & War. August 24.
MEL TILLIS, 85, legendary figure in country music who wrote hits for Webb Pierce, Kenny Rogers, Bobby Bare and others before establishing a successful singing career. His songs included “I Ain’t Never,” “Detroit City,” “Life Turned Her That Way” and “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town.” November 19.
ELENA VERDUGO, 92, actress who played the title role on the 1950s television series Meet Millie and later played nurse Consuelo Lopez on Marcus Welby, MD. May 30.
FRANK VINCENT, 80, actor and comedian best-known for playing tough guys in such films as Goodfellas, Casino and Cop Land. For three seasons, he played mob boss Phil Leotardo on The Sopranos. September 13.
BEA WAIN, 100, singer who rose to fame with the Larry Clinton orchestra, recording the hits “My Reverie,” “Heart and Soul,” “Deep Purple” and others. In the 1940s, she performed on Your Hit Parade and co-hosted the first of several radio shows in tandem with her husband, Andre Baruch. August 19.
JOSEPH WAPNER, 97, former Los Angeles Superior Court judge who became a television star during his 12-year stint as the presiding judge on television’s People’s Court. February 26.
ANN WEDGEWORTH, 83, actress who played the eccentric Merleen Elldridge on the television series Evening Shade. Her film credits include Sweet Dreams, Steel Magnolias and Miss Firecracker. November 16.
ADAM WEST, 88, actor best-remembered for his remarkable performance as the Caped Crusader on the 1960s Batman television series. In later years, he was the voice of Mayor Adam West on the long-running animated series Family Guy. June 9.
WILLIAM WOODSON, 99, actor who served as narrator on the long-running radio series This Is Your FBI and later on the television series The Invaders and numerous animated series. His other television credits includes Perry Mason, The Lucy Show and WKRP in Cincinnati. February 22.