Necrology of 2016
In 2016, we said farewell to a number of our favorite entertainers and personalities from the worlds of radio, television, movies, and music.
They’re gone, but not forgotten.
MOSE ALLISON, 88, singer and pianist whose wittily sardonic songs earned him the nickname “the William Faulkner of Jazz.” His songs included “Young Man Blues,” “Everybody’s Crying Mercy” and “Parchman Farm.” November 15.
ARTHUR ANDERSON, 93, actors who appeared on hundreds of radio shows during a career that spanned over eighty years. He was a long-time cast member on Let’s Pretend and also appeared on The Mercury Theatre on the Air, The Columbia Workshop and X Minus One. For nearly 30 years, he was the voice of Lucky the Leprechaun on behalf of Lucky Charms cereal. April 9.
ERIK BAUERSFELD, 93, actor and director who was the voice of Admiral Ackbar in the 1983 film Return of the Jedi, where he said the famous line “It’s a trap!” He founded the Bay Area Radio Drama company, which produced new radio drama for National Public Radio and others. April 3.
DAVID BOWIE, 69, actor and musician who enjoyed chart success with the records “Space Oddity,” “Fame” and “Let’s Dance.” He starred as the dissolute alien Thomas Jerome Newton in the 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth and also appeared in the movies Labyrinth, Absolute Beginners, Zoolander and The Last Temptation of Christ. January 10.
BOBBY BREEN, 87, singer who became one of the most popular child performers of the 1930s by appearing on radio with Eddie Cantor and starring in such films as Let’s Sing Again, Way Down South and Make a Wish. September 19.
PETER BROWN, 80, actor who played Deputy Johnny McKay for four seasons on the television series Lawman and later played Chad Cooper on the series Laredo. March 21.
BILLY CHAPIN, 72, actor who played John Harper, the child who fled Robert Mitchum’s murderous minister in the 1955 film Night of The Hunter. His other movies include The Kid From Left Field, Affair With a Stranger and There’s No Business Like Show Business. December 2.
WILLIAM CHRISTOPHER, 84, actor best-known for playing Father Francis Mulcahy for eleven years on the television series M*A*S*H and its sequel, AfterM*A*S*H. He was also Lester Hummel on the Gomer Pyle series and appeared on Hogan’s Heroes, The Andy Griffith Show and Days of Our Lives. December 31.
JIM CONWAY, 94, versatile broadcaster who was a fixture in Chicago broadcasting for more then thirty years. During the 1940s and ‘50s, he was heard on WBBM, hosting Shopping with the Missus and Supper Club. He hosted the television show In Town Tonight and later hosted Jim Conway’s Morning Show on WBKB-TV. He was also heard on WMAQ radio and seen hosting news and talk shows on WGN and WSNS. January 22.
RONNIE CORBETT, 85, British comedian and actor who performed on television with Ronnie Barker as The Two Ronnies and on David Frost’s Frost Report. He also appeared in the films Casino Royale and Fierce Creatures. March 31.
GLORIA DeHAVEN, 91, actress and singer who made her screen debut in Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times and later appeared in the movies Broadway Rhythm, Step Lively, Summer Stock and The Thin Man Goes Home. She also appeared on dozens of television shows, most notably as CB radio enthusiast Annie Wylie on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. July 30.
ALICE DRUMMOND, 88, character actress who appeared in more than forty films over a five-decade career, most notably as the terrified librarian in 1984’s Ghostbusters and Clara, the quiet local in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. November 30.
PATTY DUKE, 69, actress perhaps best-remembered for playing identical cousins Patty and Cathy for four seasons on television’s Patty Duke Show. Her performance as Helen Keller in the 1962 film The Miracle Worker earned her an Academy Award. March 29.
BOB ELLIOTT, 92, who was hosting a record show at Boston station WHDH when he began working with newsreader Ray Goulding and formed the legendary comedy team of Bob and Ray. During their 40-year partnership, Bob and Ray’s groundbreaking, low-key satire led to radio shows for NBC, CBS, Mutual, and National Public Radio. The duo also starred on their own NBC television show in 1951 and later appeared on Broadway in Bob and Ray: The Two and Only. February 2.
DICK ELLIOTT, 96, announcer for the Harlem Globetrotters and Chicago radio veteran who was heard as a newscaster and announcer on WLS, WJJD and WIND. March 6.
FYVUSH FINKEL, 93, Emmy-winning actor who was a star of the Yiddish theatre and appeared in dozens of television shows, most notably as cantankerous lawyer Douglas Wambaugh on Picket Fences and history professor Harvey Lipschutz on Boston Public. August 14.
CARRIE FISHER, 60, actress and writer who cemented her place in movie history as the headstrong Princess Leia in the Star Wars series. Her other movie credits include The Blues Brothers, Hannah and Her Sisters, Soapdish and When Harry Met Sally… She also wrote and starred in the autobiographical stage show Wishful Drinking. December 27.
BILL FLORIAN, 84, who founded and co-owned Chicago classical music station WNIB from its inception in 1955 until the station was sold in 2001. During his tenure as co-owner, WNIB was the broadcast home of Those Were the Days for more than 25 years. December 7.
PETE FOUNTAIN, 86, clarinetist who helped popularize the traditional jazz of his native New Orleans through his appearances on television’s Lawrence Welk Show and Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. August 6.
BERNARD FOX, 89, actor who appeared in dozens of films and television shows over a five-decade career, most notably as Dr. Bombay, the womanizing witch doctor on the series Bewitched and as Col. Crittendom on Hogan’s Heroes. December 14.
GREG FREERKSEN, 65, Chicago blues musician who hosted WDCB’s Blues Edition for over two decades. December 25.
ZSA ZSA GABOR, 99, glamorous Hungarian-born actress who became as famous for her nine husbands as for her numerous screen roles. She played singer Jane Avril in the 1952 film Moulin Rouge and later appeared in the films Lili, Touch Of Evil and Boys’ Night Out. December 18.
JOE GARAGIOLA, 90, former Major League catcher who became famous as a broadcaster, joining NBC in 1961 for their televised Game of the Week and later served as co-host of the Today show. He also broadcast baseball games for the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks. March 23.
GEORGE GAYNES, 98, versatile character actor perhaps best-remembered for playing foster father Henry Warnimont on the television series Punky Brewster, befuddled police commander Lassart in the Police Academy films, and lecherous soap opera actor John Van Horn in the 1982 movie Tootsie. February 15.
RON GLASS, 71, actor who appeared on more than fifty television shows during a forty-year career. For seven seasons, he was bookish detective Ron Harris on the television series Barney Miller. November 25.
GOGI GRANT, 91, singer who recorded the 1956 number one hit “The Wayward Wind” and provided the singing voice for Ann Blyth in the film The Helen Morgan Story. March 10.
TAMMY GRIMES, 82, Tony Award-winning actress who played the title role in the original Broadway production of The Unsinkable Molly Brown and later starred on the short-lived television comedy The Tammy Grimes Show. In 1982, she replaced E.G. Marshall as host of the CBS Radio Mystery Theatre. October 30.
ANN MORGAN GUILBERT, 87, actress who played next-door neighbor Mille Helper for five seasons on television’s Dick van Dyke Show and later appeared as Yetta Rosenberg on The Nanny. Her other television credits include The Andy Griffith Show, Dragnet, Seinfeld and Picket Fences. June 14.
MERLE HAGGARD, 79, award-winning singer who became one of country music’s most legendary stars in a career that lasted for five decades and produced thirty-eight number country singles. Among his hits were “Mama Tried,” “Okie From Muskogee,” “Sing Me Back Home” and “The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde.” April 6.
DAN HAGGERTY, 74, actor who became famous for playing the title character in the 1974 movie The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams and subsequent television series. January 15.
EARL HAMNER, 92, writer who began his career in radio, with credits that include created NBC University Theatre, Best Plays, NBC Star Playhouse and others. He created the long-running television series The Waltons and Falcon’s Crest. March 24.
PAT HARRINGTON JR., 86, actor and comedian who appeared on Jack Paar’s Tonight Show as Italian submarine commander Guido Panzeri and later served as a “Man on the Street” on The Steve Allen Show. He later won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of cocky superintendent Dwayne Schneider on the long-running series One Day at a Time. January 6.
FLORENCE HENDERSON, 82, singer and actress who appeared on Broadway in productions of Fanny and Oklahoma!, but is perhaps best-remembered for playing Carol Brady, the quintessential cheerful television mother, on The Brady Bunch. November 24.
STEVEN HILL, 94, actor perhaps best-known for playing pragmatic District Attorney Adam Schiff on the long-running television series Law and Order. His credits also includes a season on Mission: Impossible as the original head of the mission force, in addition to appearances on Playhouse 90, The Untouchables, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and others. August 23.
ROBERT HORTON, 91, actor and singer who starred for five season as Flint McCullough on the television series Wagon Train and for one season on The Man Called Shenandoah, for which he sang the title song. March 16.
KEN HOWARD, 71, actor who starred for three seasons as basketball coach Ken Reeves on The White Shadow and later appeared as Cabletown owner Hank Hooper on the series 30 Rock. His film credits include Michael Clayton, J. Edgar and 1776, in which he played Thomas Jefferson. March 23.
DAVID HUDDLESTON, 85, actor who specialized in playing big, blustery characters in such films as The Big Lebowski, The Producers and Blazing Saddles. He also appeared on dozens of television shows, including Gunsmoke, The Waltons and The Wonder Years. August 2.
GEORGE S. IRVING, 94, Tony Award-winning actor perhaps bst-known as the narrator on the animated series Underdog and as the voice of Heat Miser on the 1974 special The Year Without a Santa Claus. December 26.
ANNE JACKSON, 90, award-winning actress who frequently performed on stage and screen with her husband Eli Wallach and appeared in dozens of television shows, including Gunsmoke, Marcus Welby M.D. and Robert Montgomery Presents. Her film credits include The Shining and How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life. April 14.
SONNY JAMES, 87, singer known as “the Country Gentleman,” who enjoyed sixteen consecutive number one country hits during the 1960s and ‘70s. His hits include “It’s the Little Things,” “Empty Arms,” and his biggest record, 1957’s “Young Love.” February 22.
KITTY KALLEN, 94, singer who performed on radio and on records with the orchestras of Artie Shaw, Jimmy Dorsey, Jack Teagarden and Harry James, with whom she sang the 1945 hit “It’s Been a Long, Long Time.” January 7.
MARVIN KAPLAN, 89, veteran character actor who appeared in dozens of movies and television shows over a seven-decade career. In the 1950s, he was neighbor Alfred Prinzmetal on the radio and television versions of the series Meet Millie, and later was the voie of Choo-Choo on the animated series Top Cat and phone company employee Henry Beesmeyer on Alice. His film credits include The Great Race, A New Kind of Love and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. August 25.
GEORGE KENNEDY, 91, actor who appeared in hundreds of movies and television shows over a six-decade career. He won an Academy Award for his performance as the sadistic Dragline in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke and played Captain Ed Hocken in The Naked Gun series. He also appeared in the movies Charade, Hush… Hush Sweet Charlotte, The Dirty Dozen and Airport. On television, he played Carter McKay on the series Dallas and also appeared on The Phil Silvers Show, Gunsmoke, Ironside and others. February 28.
HERB KENT, 88, known as “The Cool Gent” and “King of the Dusties,” who was a fixture on Chicago radio for more 70 years. He was a teenager when he hosted a classical music show on WBEZ and was one of the original disc jockeys at groundbreaking station WVON. He also appeared on stations WMAQ, WGES, WHFC, and WVAZ, where he worked for the last three decades of his career. October 22.
JULIUS LaROSA, 86, singer who enjoyed success in the 1950s with such hits as “Eh Cumpari,” “Anywhere I Wander” and “My Lady Loves to Dance” but became famous as the man Arthur Godfrey fired from his television show in 1953. May 14.
MADELINE LEBEAU, 92, last surviving cast member of the classic 1942 film Casablanca, where she played Yvonne, the jilted girlfriend of Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine. Her other films include Gentleman Jim, Hold Back the Night and Federico Fellini’s 8-1/2. May 1.
GARRY MARSHALL, 81, writer who worked on television for Jack Paar, Dick Van Dyke, Joey Bishop and Lucille Ball before developing the television version of The Odd Couple and creating the long-running comedies Happy Days and Mork and Mindy. He also directed the hit films Pretty Woman, Nothing in Common, The Princess Diaries and Beaches. July 19.
JOHN McMARTIN, 86, veteran stage actor who appeared frequently on television, playing Morgan Fairchild’s father on Falcon Crest and Linda Hamilton’s father on Beauty and the Beast. July 6.
MICHELE MORGAN, 96, French-born actress who was a teenager when she began her career in French cinema. In the 1940s, she came to America and starred in Passage to Marseille, Joan of Paris and Higher and Higher, Frank Sinatra’s movie debut. December 20.
JACK MULQUEEN, 83, performer, puppeteer and producer of Chicago children’s television, appearing with his wife Elaine on WGN’s The Mulqueens and later producing the juvenile dance show Kiddie a Go Go. February 21.
PATRICE MUNSEL, 91, soprano who was still in her teens when she became one of the youngest stars in the history of New York’s Metropolitan Opera. From 1944-1946, she was heard regularly on radio’s Prudential Family Hour and appeared frequently on The Railroad Hour. On television, she starred for one season in her own variety show. August 4.
NOEL NEILL, 95, actress who became famous for playing intrepid reporter Lois Lane on the television series The Adventures of Superman. She played Lois Lane’s mother in the original Superman movie and also appeared in the films Here Come the Waves, An American in Paris and Superman Returns. July 3.
PRINCE ROGERS NELSON, 57, Grammy-winning musician who drew from multiple genres and sold more than 100 million records. He won an Oscar for the score of his 1984 film Purple Rain. April 21.
MARNI NIXON, 86, singer who became famous for dubbing the singing voices of actresses in movie musicals, including The King and I, West Side Story, My Fair Lady and others. July 24.
JAMES NOBLE, 94, actor perhaps best-known for playing befuddled governor Eugene Gatling on the television series Benson. He appeared on dozens on television series and in the films 10, 1776, and Being There. March 28.
BERYL NORDINE, 96, actress who performed in movies, on stage and in Chicago radio under her maiden name Beryl Vaughn. On radio, she played Penny on the long-adventure radio serial Sky King and daughter Peggy on Meet the Meeks. Her other credits include Grand Marquee and Ma Perkins. April 26.
HUGH O’BRIAN, 91, actor who played the title role in the television series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp from 1955-1961. He made guest appearances on dozens of television shows and appeared in nearly fifty films, including The Shootist, Twins and There’s No Business Like Show Business. September 5.
DEBBIE REYNOLDS, 84, singer and actress who starred on stage and screen in a career that lasted over sixty years. Her movie credits include Singin’ in the Rain, The Tender Trap, Tammy and The Bachelor, How the West Was Won, In and Out and the title role in The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Her television credits include The Debbie Reynolds Show and her recurring role as actress Bobbi Adler on Will and Grace. December 28.
ALAN RICKMAN, 69, actor perhaps best-known for playing the dour Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies and criminal mastermind Hans Gruber in Die Hard. His other films included Sweeney Todd, Love Actually, Vision Quest and Lee Daniels’ The Butler. January 14.
JACK RILEY, 80, who started his career as a Cleveland radio personality before moving to Hollywood, where he appeared on dozens of television shows, most notably as Elliot Carlin, Dr. Bob Hartley’s sardonic patient on The Bob Newhart Show. For 14 years, he was the voice of Dr. Stu Pickles on the animated series Rugrats. August 19.
DORIS ROBERTS, 90, character actress who appeared on over a hundred television shows, playing mother Marie Barone for nine seasons on the series Everybody Loves Raymond and receptionist Mildred Krebs for three seasons on Remington Steele. April 17.
ANDREW SACHS, 82, English actor best-remembered as Manuel, the dimwitted Spanish waiter on the BBC series Fawlty Towers. November 23.
JOE SANTOS, 84, actor who played long-suffering policeman Dennis Becker for five years on television’s Rockford Files. He also appeared on the series Magnum P.I., Police Story, Hill Street Blues and The Sopranos. March 18.
WILLIAM SCHALLERT, 93, actor who appeared in hundreds of movies and television shows over a seven-decade career. He was father Martin Lane on The Patty Duke Show, English teacher Leander Pomfritt on The Life and Loves of Dobie Gillis and an officious undersecretary on the famous Star Trek episode, “The Trouble With Tribbles.” May 8.
GARRY SHANDLING, 66, comedian who starred four seasons on the groundbreaking series It’s Garry Shandling’s Show and later played the insecure title character on HBO’s celebrated talk-show spoof The Larry Sanders Show. March 24.
JEAN SHEPARD, 82, country singer who was heard frequently on radio’s Grand Ole Opry and the television series Ozark Jubilee. Her hits included her 1953 duet with singer Ferlin Husky, “A Dear John Letter,” “A Satisfied Mind,” and “Your Forevers Don’t Last Very Long.” September 25.
HAZEL SHERMET, 95, actress who appeared on stage, screen, radio, television and commercials in a career that lasted more than forty years. On radio, she was the last actress to play Miss Duffy on Duffy’s Tavern and worked with Fred Allen and Henry Morgan. She played Cousin Melancholia on television’s Addams Family and also appeared on Mister Ed, The Beverly Hillbillies, My Favorite Martian and others. October 27.
DAN SORKIN, 89, disc jockey who spent eight years as the morning host at WCFL/Chicago and later served as the announcer for Bob Newhart’s first television show. June 6.
RALPH STANLEY, 89, pioneering singer and banjoist who performed traditional country music for over sixty years, for two decades with his brother Carter as The Stanley Brothers and later won a Grammy for his performance of “O Death” on the soundtrack for the 2000 movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? June 23.
KAY STARR, 94, singer who performed with the orchestras of Joe Venuti, Glenn Miller, Bob Crosby, Wingy Manoe and Charlie Barnet before enjoying a series of hit records on her own, including “Wheel of Fortune,” “Rock and Roll Waltz,” “Bonaparte’s Retreat,” and “You Were Only Foolin’ (While I Was Falling in Love).” October 27.
ALAN THICKE, 69, actor and comedian who starred as Dr. Jason Seaver on the television series Growing Pains, for which he also composed the theme. He also appeared on the series Hope and Gloria, How I Met Your Mother, Married…With Children and others. December 13.
ROBERT VAUGHN, 83, actor who played debonair secret agent Napoleon Solo for four seasons on the television series The Man From U.N.C.L.E and later won an Emmy for his role in the 1977 miniseries Washington: Behind Closed Doors. His film credits include The Young Philadelphians, The Magnifcent Seven, Bullitt and Superman III. November 11.
ABE VIGODA, 94, veteran character actor best-known for playing the earnest mobster Tessio in the 1972 film The Godfather and seasoned Detective Phil Fish on the television series Barney Miller. January 26.
JANET WALDO, 96, actress who appeared on hundreds of radio shows and cartoons in a career that lasted over sixty years. On radio, she played the title role on Meet Corliss Archer and the excitable Emmy Lou on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and appeared frequently on The Lux Radio Theatre and Favorite Story. Her animation credits include the title character on Josie and The Pussycats and Penelope Pitstop on The Wacky Races. June 12.
FRITZ WEAVER, 90, Tony Award-winning actor who appeared on hundreds of movies and television shows over a six-decade career, playing Jewish patriarch Josef Weiss in the 1978 miniseries Holocaust and appearing on such shows as The Twilight Zone, Playhouse 90, Murder She Wrote and The X-Files. November 26.
LYN WILDE, 93, singer who performed alongside her twin sister Lee with the orchestras of Ray Noble and Bob Crosby and in the films Andy Hardy’s Double Trouble, Twice Blessed and ‘Til the Clouds Roll By. September 11.
GENE WILDER, 83, actor who became famous for his comical roles in movies over a five-decade career, playing accountant Leo Bloom in Mel Brooks’ 1967 farce The Producers and the title roles in 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and 1974’s Young Frankenstein. His other films include Bonnie and Clyde, Start the Revolution Without Me, Blazing Saddles, Silver Streak and Stir Crazy. August 29.
VAN WILLIAMS, 82, actor who played crime fighters on television, most notably the title character on 1967’s The Green Hornet and detective Kenny Madison for two seasons on the series Surfside Six. November 28.
ALAN YOUNG, 96, actor and comedian who starred on his own radio show from 1944-1949. He later starred on his own television show but became famous in the 1960s as Wilbur Post, the human who conversed with a talking horse on the series Mister Ed. In the 1980s, he was the voice of Father Smurf on The Smurfs and Scrooge McDuck on Duck Tales. His film credits include The Time Machine, Androcles and the Lion and Gentlemen Marry Brunettes. May 19.
Necrology of 2015
VAN ALEXANDER, 100, bandleader and composer who co-wrote Ella Fitzgerald’s breakthrough “A Tisket, A Tasket” and went on to score dozens of films and television series. From 1965-1974, he served as head arranger for The Dean Martin Show. July 19.
BERNIE ALLEN, 86, Chicago radio personality who appeared in the Our Gang comedies of the 1930s before becoming a disc jockey at Chicago stations WIND. WJJD, WLS, WAIT and others. November 16.
LYNN ANDERSON, 67, Grammy Award-winning country singer whose biggest hit was 1970’s “(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden.” From 1967-1969, she was a regular performer on The Lawrence Welk Show. July 30.
RICHARD BAKALYAN, 84, character actor famous for playing tough guys in movies and television in a career that lasted for over 50 years. His movie credits include Chinatown, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Von Ryan’s Express and Robin and the Seven Hoods. February 27.
JAMES BEST, 88, character actor who appeared in over eighty movies, including Shenendoah and The Caine Mutiny. For six seasons, he played bumbling sherriff Roscoe P. Coltrane on the television series The Dukes of Hazzard. April 6.
THEODORE BIKEL, 91, versatile singer and actor who created the role of Baron von Trapp in the original Broadway production of The Sound of Music and received an Oscar nomination for his role as a Southern sheriff in the 1958 film The Defiant Ones. His other films include The African Queen, My Fair Lady and The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming. July 20.
DAVID CANARY, 77, actor who played twin brothers Adam and Stuart Chandler for three decades on the soap opera All My Children. He also appeared as Dr. Russ Gehring on Peyton Place and as Candy Canaday, foreman of the Ponderosa ranch, on Bonanza. November 16.
JUDY CARNE, 76, English-born actress who became famous as the “Sock-It-To-Me Girl” on the television series Laugh-In. September 3.
WALLY CASSELL, 103, actor who appeared in dozens of films and television shows, most notably as the conscience-stricken gangster Cotton Valletti in the 1949 movie White Heat. April 2.
GEORGE COE, 80, character actor who was in the original cast of Saturday Night Live and appeared in dozens of movies and television shows. His movie credits include Kramer vs. Kramer, The Stepford Wives and The Mighty Ducks. July 18.
NATALIE COLE, 65, singer who sold over 30 million albums during a four-decade career. Her hits included “This Will Be,” “Our Love,” and her 1991 recording of “Unforgettable,” in which she sang a technically augmented duet with her late father, Nat “King” Cole. December 31.
YVONNE CRAIG, 78, dancer-turned-actress who is best remembered for creating the role of Batgirl on the 1960s Batman television series. She also appeared in the Elvis Presley movies Kissin’ Cousins and It Happened at the World’s Fair, and on dozens of television shows, including The Wild Wild West, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, 77 Sunset Strip and Star Trek, where she gave a memorable performance as a slave girl in “Whom Gods Destroy.” August 17.
JEAN DARLING, 93, singer and actress who was an original cast member of the “Our Gang” comedies. On Broadway, she originated the role of Carrie Pipperidge in the musical Carousel and later starred on the television show A Date With Jean Darling. September 4.
JIMMY DICKENS, 94, diminutive country singer who began his career singing in radio at WJLS in West Virginia and WLW/Cincinnati before moving to Nashville and joining The Grand Ole Opry in 1948. His records included “Country Boy,” “The Violet and The Rose,” and his biggest hit, “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose.” January 2.
DONNA DOUGLAS, 82, actress who spent ten seasons playing good-natured country girl Elly May Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies. She also appeared as a plastic surgery patient on the famous Twilight Zone episode, “Eye of the Beholder.” January 1.
BETSY DRAKE, 92, actress who appeared alongside her husband Cary Grant in the movies Every Girl Should Be Married and Room For One More and on the NBC radio series Mr. and Mrs. Blandings. October 27.
RICHARD DYSART, 86, actor who appeared in dozens of television shows over a 50-year career, most notably as attorney Leland McKenzie on the series L.A. Law. April 5.
ANITA EKBERG, 83, Swedish-born actress perhaps best-known for playing Princess Aline in the 1956 film War and Peace and an American actress in the 1960 film La Dolce Vita. Her other films included Blood Alley, Hollywood or Bust and Call Me Bwana. January 11.
RUTH DUSKIN FELDMAN, 80, who became one of the Quiz Kids at the age of seven and was heard on the weekly radio show for nearly ten years. May 18.
JOE FRANKLIN, 88, radio and television personality who became known as “the King of Nostalgia.” He worked on radio shows starring Kate Smith and Martin Block before becoming the host of his own television talk show. At one point, it was estimated that he had interviewed over 100,000 guests. January 24.
STAN FREBERG, 88, writer, performer and satirist who got his start as a voice actor for Warner Bros. cartoons before going on to success in records and radio. His hit records include “John and Marsha,” “St. George and the Dragonet,” “Green Chri$tma$” and the landmark 1961 album, Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America. On radio, he worked with Jack Benny, Henry Morgan, Phil Harris and others before becoming the star of the 1953 comedy That’s Rich, and later starring on 1957’s Stan Freberg Show. He revolutionized the world of advertising with his humorous commercials for such clients as Contadina Tomato Paste, Chun King Chow Mein, Kaiser Aluminum Foil, and countless others. April 7.
LESLEY GORE, 68, singer who was 16 years old when she scored her first hit, the million-selling “It’s My Party.” Her other hits included “That’s the Way Boys Are,” “She’s a Fool,” “Maybe I Know,” “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows” and “You Don’t Own Me.” February 16.
COLEEN GRAY, 92, actress who appeared in forty films during a four-decade career, playing the love interest iof a parolee in Kiss of Death and the innocent carnival dancer Molly in Nightmare Alley. He other films include Red River, Riding High and The Killing. August 3.
MILO HAMILTON, 88, announcer who worked as a radio and television sports broadcaster for 65 years, including two stints with the Chicago Cubs, a decade with the Atlanta Braves and 35 years with the Houston Astros. He was the announcer when Hank Aaron hit his record-breaking 715th home run. September 17.
DON HARRON, 90, Canadian actor who entertained TV audiences with his comic alter ego Charlie Farquharson on the long-running TV variety show Hee Haw. January 17.
MARY HEALY, 96, actress who appeared with her husband Peter Lind Hayes on the television series Peter Loves Mary and in the film The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. February 3.
BETH HOWLAND, 74, actress best-known for playing short-order waitress Vera Gorman for nine seasons on the television series Alice. December 31.
MARTY INGELS, 79, actor and comedian who appeared on numerous television shows, most notably as bachelor carpenter Arch Fenster on the series I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster. October 21.
DEAN JONES, 84, actor who had the title role in the television series Ensign O’Toole and starred in the Disney films That Darn Cat, The Love Bug and The Shaggy D.A. His other film credits include Jailhouse Rock, Any Wednesday and Under the Yum Yum Tree. September 2.
LOUIS JOURDAN, 93, French-born actor who appeared in over fifty movies, playing Gaston LaChaille in 1958’s Gigi. His other films include Letter From an Unknown Woman, Madame Bovary, Three Coins in the Fountain and Can-Can. February 14.
ELAINE KENT, 96, radio actress who appeared in dozens of shows, including Cavalcade of America, Crime Club, Grand Central Station, John’s Other Wife and Our Gal Sunday. She appeared as Jo on the radio version of Little Women and as Iris Houston on the soap opera Lora Lawton. July 27.
B.B. KING, 89, guitarist who helped popularize electric blues music over a six-decade career, producing such legendary records as “You Upset Me Baby,” “Sweet Sixten,” “Paying the Cost to Be the Boss,” and “The Thrill Is Gone.” May 14.
BEN E. KING, 76, singer who established himself as a member of The Drifters on such songs as “There Goes My Baby” and “Save the Last Dance For Me” before enjoying solo success with “Spanish Harlem” and the classic “Stand By Me.” April 30.
JACK LARSON, 87, actor and playwright who became famous for playing cub reporter Jimmy Olsen on the 1950s television series The Adventures of Superman. September 20.
CHRISTOPHER LEE, 93, English actor perhaps best-known for playing villains and monsters, including the hedonistic Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man, an assassin in The Man With the Golden Gun and the wizard Saruman in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Between 1958 and 1976, he played the role of Count Dracula in ten different films and Fu Manchu in five different films. June 7.
JOAN LESLIE, 90, actress who was still a teenager when she appeared opposite Humphrey Bogart in 1941’s High Sierra and as George M. Cohan’s wife in Yankee Doodle Dandy. Her other films include The Male Animal, The Sky’s The Limit, This Is the Army and Hollywood Canteen, in which she appeared as herself. October 12.
MONICA LEWIS, 93, singer who performed with Benny Goodman’s orchestra and later preformed on stage, on record, on television and in movies. For fourteen years, she was the voice of Chiquita Banana in the long-running animated commercial. June 12.
ROBERT LOGGIA, 85, Academy Award-nominated actor who appeared in more than 200 films and television shows in a career that lasted over 55 years, playing Joseph in The Greatest Story Ever Told, crime boss Frank Lopez in Scarface and Tom Hanks’ boss in Big. In 2004, he played ex-con Feech LaManna on The Sopranos. December 4.
MARJORIE LORD, 97, actress who spent eight seasons as Kathy, the second wife of comedian Danny Williams on the television series The Danny Thomas Show. November 28.
PEG LYNCH, 98, writer and actress who created, wrote and co-starred in the radio and television versions of the situation comedy The Private Lives of Ethel and Albert and later in CBS Radio’s The Couple Next Door. July 24.
PATRICK MACNEE, 93, English-born actor whose most famous role was John Steed, the urbane, umbrella-carrying secret agent on the British television series The Avengers. He appeared on dozens of English and American television shows, including The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and the original Battlestar Galactica. June 25.
ROD McKUEN, 81, poet and lyricist whose songs were recorded by Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Glen Campbell and others. He received an Oscar nomination for his 1969 song “Jean.” January 29.
ANNE MEARA, 85, actress and comedienne who performed on television and in nightclubs with her husband Jerry Stiller as Stiller and Meara. She played bar cook Veronica Rooney for three seasons on Archie Bunker’s Place and also appeared regularly on Sex and the City and The King of Queens. May 23.
JAYNE MEADOWS, 95, actress who appeared frequently on television with her husband Steve Allen, most notably on the PBS series Meeting of Minds. She was also a panelist on the game show I’ve Got a Secret and appeared in the films Undercurrent, Lady in the Lake and David and Bathsheba. April 26.
MARTIN MILNER, 83, actor who worked in radio, movies and television, where he starred as Tod Stiles on the series Route 66 and later spent seven seasons playing officer Pete Malloy on the series Adam-12. September 6.
AL MOLINARO, 96, character actor perhaps best-known for playing restaurant owner Al Delvecchio on the television series Happy Days and Murray the Cop on the television version of The Odd Couple. October 29.
RON MOODY, 91, actor who received an Academy Award nomination for his performance as Fagin in the 1968 film Oliver! His television credits include Gunsmoke, Hart to Hart, Murder She Wrote and others. June 11.
DICKIE MOORE, 89, child actor who appeared in the Our Gang films of the 1930s and later appeared in the feature films Blonde Venus, So Big, Oliver Twist, The Story of Louis Pasteur and others. September 7.
BUDDY MORENO, 103, musician, bandleader and vocalist who performed with the orchestras of Griff Williams, Harry James and Dick Jurgens, with whom he sang the 1942 hit “One Dozen Roses.” November 29.
LEONARD NIMOY, 83, actor and director best-known for playing the half-man, half-Vulcan Mr. Spock on the Star Trek television series and movies. He also appeared as a magician-turned-spy on Mission: Impossible and as a guest on dozens of television shows, including Sea Hunt, Wagon Train, Night Gallery, Columbo and others. February 27.
MAUREEN O’HARA, 95, Irish-born actress who appeared in over fifty films, playing the gypsy girl Esmerelda in the 1939 movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame and cynical Macy’s employee Doris Walker in 1947’s Miracle on 34th Street. Her other films included How Green Was My Valley, This Land Is Mine, The Quiet Man, Our Man in Havana, The Parent Trap, Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation and Only the Lonely. October 24.
GARY OWENS, 80, actor and announcer who spent more than fifty years in radio. He worked in television as the announcer on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In and in cartoons as the voices of Space Ghost, Roger Ramjet and as Powdered Toast Man on Ren and Stimpy. February 12.
BETSY PALMER, 88, actress who was a regular panelist on the long-running game show I’ve Got a Secret. She also appeared in the films Mister Roberts, Queen Bee, The Tin Star and Friday the 13th. May 29.
REX REASON, 86, actor who played Dr. Cal Meacham in the 1955 film This Island Earth and starred as Adam MacLean in the television series Man Without a Gun. November 19.
ROGER REES, 71, Welsh-born actor who won a Tony Award for his performance in the epic production The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. On television, he was the condescending Robin Colcord on Cheers and the glib British ambassador Lord John Marbury on The West Wing. July 10.
ALEX ROCCO, 79, veteran character actor perhaps best known for playing mobster Moe Greene in the 1973 film The Godfather. His other film credits include The Friends of Eddie Coyle, The Stunt Man, Get Shorty and A Bug’s Life. July 18.
WAYNE ROGERS, 82, actor who played Trapper John McIntyre for three seasons on the long-running television series M*A*S*H and later starred as Dr. Charley Michaels in the series House Calls. December 31.
LIZABETH SCOTT, 92, actress who became famous for her roles in film noir. Her movies include The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Dead Reckoning, The Racket and Scared Stiff. January 31.
OMAR SHARIF, 83, Egyptian-born actor who became famous playing the bandit Sherif Ali in the classic 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia and earned an Oscar nomination for his performance in the title role of Doctor Zhivago. Other films included Funny Girl, Mackenna’s Gold, and Behold a Pale Horse. July 10.
PERCY SLEDGE, 74, rhythm-and-blues singer whose hits included the original version of “When a Man Loves a Woman,” “Take Time to Know Her” and “I’ll Be Your Everything.” April 14.
JOHN STEPHENSON, 91, actor who worked on radio, television and animation during a six-decade career. He appeared on the radio series The Count of Monte Cristo and It’s Always Sunday. On television, he was neighbor Roger Crutcher on The People’s Choice and narrated the 1960s version of Dragnet. His animation credits include Fred Flintstone’s boss Mr. Slate on The Flintstones and Fancy-Fancy on Top Cat. April 15.
ROD TAYLOR, 84, Australian-born actor who appeared in nearly 100 films, including The Time Machine, The Birds, The VIPs, Giant and 2009’s Inglorious Basterds, in which he played Winston Churchill. January 7.
FRED THOMPSON, 73, actor perhaps best-known for playing District Attorney Arthur Branch on the television series Law and Order. His film credits include Die Hard 2, Secretariat and Sinister. November 1.
ALLEN TOUSSAINT, 77, musician and composer whose records were a formative part of the “New Orleans sound” of the 1950s and ‘60s. His compositions include “Southern Nights,” “Working in a Coal Mine,” “A Certain Girl” and many others. November 9.
JIM UNRATH, 78, who spent 40 years as a host and producer at WFMT/Chicago. He was WFMT’s first overnight host when the station began broadcasting 24 hours a day. May 24.
DICK VAN PATTEN, 86, actor who began his career as a child in New York radio, appearing on such shows as Coast to Coast on a Bus and Reg’lar Fellers. On television, he played Nels Hansen on Mama and father Tom Bradford for five seasons on the series Eight Is Enough. June 23.
HARRY VOLKMAN, 89, groundbreaking meteorologist who worked at numerous Chicago stations over a 55-year career, including WMAQ, WGN, WBBM and WFLD. August 20.
GRACE LEE WHITNEY, 85, singer and actress who began her performing career as a singer at radio station WJZ/Detroit and went on to appear in movies and on television, most notably as Yeoman Janice Rand on the original Star Trek series. May 1.
ELIZABETH WILSON, 94, Tony Award-winning actress perhaps best remembered for playing Dustin Hoffman’s mother in the 1967 film The Graduate. Her other films include Patterns, 9 to 5, The Addams Family and Quiz Show. May 9.