Recalling Influential People We Lost in 2021

I know this might sound like a broken record but below is a list of people we said good-bye to this past crazy year.



Kerry Vincent

Kerry Vincent, Food Network judge and host, died on Jan. 3. She was 75 years old. A Food Network staple, Vincent appeared as a judge on Food Network Challenge and hosted the network’s Save My Bakery. She also judged on The Great Australian Bake Off. In addition to her work on TV, Vincent co-founded the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show.

Barbara Shelley

Barbara Shelley died Jan. 4 after contracting COVID-19. She was 88 years old. The actress appeared in multiple Hammer Films horror productions, including Blood of the VampireDracula: Prince of Darkness, and Quatermass and the Pit. She also starred in 1960s horror classic Village of the Damned. Her TV credits include Blake’s 7Doctor Who, and EastEnders. Director Joe Dante said of the actress on Twitter, “Goodbye to one of the classiest, most beautiful and underrated of all the genre actresses.” The Haunting of Bly Manor director Axelle Carolyn also praised Shelley as “one of the greatest icons of British horror.”

Tanya Roberts

Actress Tanya Roberts died on Jan. 4 at age 65. Her partner, Lance O’Brien, confirmed her death on Jan. 5 after multiple conflicting reports regarding her health. Roberts’ claim to fame arrived in 1980, when she replaced Shelley Hack on the fifth season of Charlie’s Angels. One of her most memorable roles of all time came in 1985, when she starred as Bond girl Stacey Sutton opposite Roger Moore in A View to Kill. She later became known to a new generation when she starred as Midge Pinciotti, Donna’s (Laura Prepon) kooky mother, on That ’70s Show. Her last appearance on screen was in an episode of Showtime’s 2005 comedy Barbershop.

Dave Creek

Dave Creek, lead character designer for Bob’s Burgers, died Jan. 7 following a skydiving accident. He was 42. Creek had worked on Bob’s Burgers since its debut in 2011. His other credits included the Apple TV+ series Central ParkBrickleberry, and the TV special Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown. 

Marion Ramsey

Actress and singer Marion Ramsey, best known for her role in the Police Academy franchise, died Jan. 7 at age 73. Ramsey played soft-spoken officer, and later sergeant, Laverne Hooks in the Police Academy films throughout the 1980s. She was also a Broadway veteran who got her start on the stage, performing in productions like Hello, Dolly!Miss Moffat (opposite Bette Davis), and the hit show Eubie! On TV, she was a regular on the 1976 sketch show Cos, appeared in shows like The Jeffersons, and voiced a role in the animated series The Addams Family.

Tommy Lasorda

Tommy Lasorda, Hall of Fame manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, died Jan. 7. He was 93. Known for his fiery personality, Lasorda managed the Dodgers from 1976 to 1996, winning two World Series titles, four National League pennants, and eight division crowns in that time. He was named National League Manager of the Year twice. In his playing career, Lasorda played Major League Baseball for the Dodgers in 1954 and 1955 and for the Kansas City Athletics in 1956. He went on to coach for the Dodgers before becoming their manager. He famously said, “I bleed Dodger blue, and when I die, I’m going to the big Dodger in the sky.”

Michael Apted

Beloved director Michael Apted died in early January 2021 at the age of 73. The British filmmaker is responsible for films like The Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorillas in the Mist, and the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough. Apted achieved international acclaim for his work on the 7 Up documentaries, which followed 14 British children and checked in with them every seven years from age 7 to 63. Apted took over the second installment of the documentary series and helmed every installment thereafter. He won three BAFTAs and multiple DGA Awards, including two of the guild’s career achievement awards.

John Reilly

Soap star John Reilly died on Jan. 9 at 84 years old. Reilly was best known for his role on General Hospital as Sean Donely, a character he played for 11 years. He also acted on other daytime dramas, including As the World TurnsPassions, and Sunset Beach, as well as on shows like the animated Iron Man series, Beverly Hills, 90210, and Dallas.

Siegfried Fischbacher

Siegfried Fischbacher, one half of the magic duo Siegfried & Roy, died on Jan. 13. He was 81 years old. Siegfried & Roy, who first started performing together in 1957, were a Las Vegas staple for years before retiring in 2010. They were known for incorporating animals into their act, including white tigers, lions, and elephants. Together, the duo appeared in films like Ocean’s Eleven and Showboy, and their act was the inspiration behind the 2004 animated series Father of the Pride. Roy Horn, Fischbacher’s show business partner, died in 2020 of COVID-19.

Angie Jakusz

Survivor: Palau contestant Angie Jakusz died Jan. 8 of cancer, People reports. She was 40. Jakusz, whose tattoos and piercings made her stand out from the show’s usual contestants at the time, was a bartender and artist in New Orleans when she competed on Survivor‘s 10th season, which aired in 2005. After narrowly escaping elimination in the first episode, she went on to prove herself and endear herself to both teammates and fans. Jakusz was eventually voted off in 13th place.

Phil Spector

Phil Spector, the convicted murderer who came to fame as a music producer, died Jan. 16. He was 81. Spector shaped pop music through his influential “wall of sound” recording technique, working with acts like the Beatles, Leonard Cohen, the Ronettes, Ike & Tina Turner, the Righteous Brothers, and the Ramones. He was convicted in 2009 for the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson at his home in Alhambra, California, and sentenced to 19 years to life in prison. He would have been eligible for parole in 2024.

Hank Aaron

Baseball legend Hank Aaron, who held the MLB record for career home runs for 33 years, died on Jan. 22. He was 86. Aaron’s career in the major leagues spanned from 1954 to 1976, including 21 seasons with the Braves, who moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta during his time as a player. He still holds a number of major league records but is best known for his 755 home runs, a record that wouldn’t be broken until 2007. Aaron was named a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.

Mira Furlan

Mira Furlan, the Croatian actress known for her work on Babylon 5 and Lost, died Jan. 20. She was 65. Furlan played Babylon 5‘s Delenn, the space station’s Minbari ambassador, for all five seasons of the ’90s space opera before going on to play a major recurring role on Lost as shipwrecked scientist Danielle Rousseau. On the big screen, her credits included movies like When Father Was Away on Business and The Abandoned.

Gregory Sierra

Gregory Sierra, best known for his roles on Sanford and Son and Barney Miler, died from cancer in early January, according to Deadline. The actor was 83 years old. Sierra’s other notable film credits include Honey, I Blew Up the Kid and Hot Shots! Part Deux.

Larry King

Larry King, the iconic television host and interviewer, died on Jan. 23. He was 87 years old. King rose to prominence hosting his nightly talk radio show, The Larry King Show, from 1978 to 1994, and eventually went on to host his CNN show Larry King Live for 25 years, where he interviewed presidential candidates, celebrities, athletes, authors, and more prominent public figures. In 2010, he retired and stepped away from the show after taping over 6,000 episodes. Not long after, he came out of retirement to host Larry King Now on Ora TV. The recipient of many broadcasting awards, including two Peabodys and an Emmy, King became an entertainment world staple over the course of his decades-spanning career, making cameos on a host of television shows including 30 Rock, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and Gravity Falls, and appearing in films such as Ghostbusters, Bee Movie, and the Shrek film series.

Bruce Kirby

L.A. Law actor Bruce Kirby passed away in late January. He was 95. Kirby’s Hollywood career spanned more than five decades. His most notable roles included Sgt. Kramer on Columbo and District Attorney Bruce Rogoff on NBC’s L.A. Law. He also appeared in the 2006 Oscar-winning film Crash as Pop Ryan, the father to Matt Dillon’s John Ryan. Kirby was survived by his son John and his wife Roz.

Cloris Leachman

Hollywood comedy legend Cloris Leachman died on Jan. 26. She was 94. Leachman won an Oscar in the 1971 for Best Supporting Actress in The Last Picture Show, but the actress may be best be known for her iconic work as Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which led to the spin-off Phyllis. She won eight Emmy Awards over the course of her career, which spanned more than 70 years. Her most recent Emmy came from her guest star arc as Ida on Malcolm in the Middle in 2006. Leachman’s extensive filmography also included credits like The Love Boat, The Ellen Show, Touched by an Angel, Phineas and Ferb, and American Gods.

Cicely Tyson

Hollywood legend Cicely Tyson died on Jan. 28 at the age of 96. Tyson was nominated for 13 Primetime Emmy Awards over the course of her 70-year career, winning twice. Five of those nominations were for her guest-starring arc as Viola Davis’ mother on How to Get Away with Murder. Davis had requested Tyson to play the role after the iconic actress inspired Davis to pursue her own career in Hollywood when Davis saw Tyson in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Tyson also received an honorary Oscar in 2019 and was a Kennedy Center Honorary as well as a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. Tyson’s memoir, Just As I Am, was released on Jan. 26, just days before her death.

Allan Burns

Allan Burns, co-creator of classic sitcoms like The Mary Tyler Moore ShowThe Munsters, and Rhoda, died on Jan. 30. He was 85 years old. Burns, who got his start working on animated series like The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show and George of the Jungle, had a long career in television, with credits including The Duck FactoryGet Smart, and He & She, which earned him an Emmy Award for comedy writing. His career as a screenwriter extended to the world of film as well, and he went on to win the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for A Little Romance. He also wrote the screenplays for Butch and Sundance: The Early Days and Just the Way You Are, and wrote and directed Just Between Friends.

Dustin Diamond

Dustin Diamond, best known for his role as Samuel “Screech” Powers on the original Saved by the Bell series, died on Feb. 1 at 44 years old. He had recently been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Diamond played Screech for the entire four-season run of Saved by the Bell. After his work on the sitcom, he became a reality TV fixture, appearing on Celebrity Fit Club, Celebrity Big Brother, and Celebrity Boxing 2. He also returned as Screech for the spin-off series Saved by the Bell: The New Class and Saved by the Bell: The College Years, and wrote the 2009 memoir Behind the Bell about his time on the show, though he did not reprise his role in the recent Peacock revival. He was later plagued with legal troubles, serving four months in jail in 2015 due to a stabbing incident, and returned to jail the following year for violating parole.

Hal Holbrook

Actor Hal Holbrook died on Jan. 23 at 95 years old. Holbrook, a Tony- and Emmy-winning performer, was best known for playing Mark Twain on stage and on screen. For his one-man show Mark Twain Tonight!, which he also directed, Holbrook was awarded the 1966 Tony for Best Actor in a Play. He brought the show back two more times afterwards, in 1977 and 2005, and officially announced his retirement from playing the writer in 2017. He won five Emmys for his performances in TV productions like The Bold Ones: The SenatorPueblo, and Sandburg’s Lincoln. Holbrook’s screen career spanned decades. He appeared in episodes of series like The SopranosThe West Wing, and Grey’s Anatomy, as well as films like Water for ElephantsLincoln, and Into the Wild, for which he received an Oscar nomination.


Millie Hughes-Fulford

Millie Hughes-Fulford, a trailblazing astronaut and scientist who became the first female payload specialist to fly in space for NASA, died following a years-long battle with cancer, her family said. She died on Feb. 2, 2021, at 75.

Christopher Plummer

The Sound of Music star Christopher Plummer died Feb. 5. He was 91. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the screen and stage actor passed away with his wife Elaine Taylor by his side. Plummer won top awards across multiple entertainment industries, including two Tony Awards and two Emmy Awards. In 2012, he became the oldest actor to win an Oscar when he took home a Best Supporting Actor trophy at the age of 82 for his role in the comedy Beginners. Six years later, he also became the oldest actor to be nominated for an Oscar when he was recognized for his performance in All the Money in the World, in which he replaced Kevin Spacey at the last minute. Plummer is of course best known for his role as Captain Von Trapp, Julie Andrews’ love interest and the patriarch of the Von Trapp family, in the beloved 1965 film The Sound of Music. 

Leon Spinks

Hall of fame boxer died on Feb. 5, 2021. The 67-year-old, who once beat Muhammad Ali to become the heavyweight champion, had been diagnosed with several forms of cancer.

Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson, co-founding member of the Supremes, died on Feb. 8. She was 76 years old. At 15, Wilson started the singing group alongside Florence Ballard, and they were soon joined by Diana Ross, going on to top the ’60s music charts and release a string of instantly iconic No. 1 hits like “Baby Love,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” and “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.” Throughout the years, there were many changes to the group, with Ballard and Ross both eventually departing, but Wilson remained a constant until their farewell album in 1977. She went on to release her first solo LP in 1979, wrote the bestselling memoir Dreamgirl: My Life As a Supreme in 1986, and competed on Dancing with the Stars in 2019.

Chick Corea

The music world lost a giant talent with the passing of Chick Corea, who died on Feb. 9 of a rare form of cancer. He was 79. Born Armando Anthony Corea, he was a 23-time Grammy Award winner and a master of jazz piano who helped define the fusion era. His compositions “Spain,” “500 Miles High,” “Armando’s Rhumba,” “La Fiesta,” and “Windows” are considered jazz standards. Corea was a member of Miles Davis’ band in the late 1960s, playing on several of Davis’ records. He was noted for his artistic flexibility and talent across multiple musical styles.

Brayden Smith

Jeopardy! contestant Brayden Smith died unexpectedly on Feb. 5, according to an obituary from the Dignity Memorial funeral home. The news was confirmed on Twitter by Smith’s mother. He was 24-years old. His death comes only months after his five-game championship run aired. He was one of the final contestants to compete in episodes hosted by late Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek. As a five-time winner, Smith had qualified to return to the show for the Tournament of Champions. Competing on the show had been a life long dream of the National Merit Scholar and recent college graduate. Smith is survived by his parents and three brothers.

Larry Flynt

Larry Flynt, the controversial publisher who founded “Hustler” magazine, died on Feb. 10, 2021, at the age of 78. Flynt launched “Hustler” in the 1970s, a print extension of his adult club of the same name that featured nude hostesses.

Rush Limbaugh

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh died on Feb. 17. He was 70 years old. Limbaugh announced in 2020 that he had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, and continued hosting his show while undergoing treatment. Since 1988, he hosted his massively popular talk radio show The Rush Limbaugh Show, which turned him into a highly influential voice of conservative political media. Throughout the years, Limbaugh used his platform to advance many conspiracy theories and spread hateful commentary. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2020 by former President Trump.

Martha Stewart

Actress Martha Stewart, who appeared in a host of films throughout the 1940s and ’50s, died on Feb. 17 at 98 years old. She got her start with the 1945 film Doll Face, and later appeared on Broadway in Guys and Dolls, but her best known roles were in 1947’s Daisy Kenyon, where she acted opposite Joan Crawford, and In a Lonely Place with Humphrey Bogart. She also acted in movies like Are You With It? and Convicted, and her final film role came in 1964’s Surf Party.

Douglas Turner Ward

Playwright and actor Douglas Turner Ward, who co-founded the Negro Ensemble Company, died on Feb. 20 at 90 years old. Ward was a major figure in theater, creating the NEC in 1967 as a place that helped bring the work of Black playwrights, actors, and crew members to the stage. He directed and starred in many of the plays the company produced, including The River Niger in 1974, which won the Tony Award for Best Play and earned Ward his own nomination for Best Actor. Ward was also a screen actor, appearing in shows like The Cosby Show, East Side/West Side, and The Women of Brewster Place.


Jahmil French

Actor Jahmil French, best known for appearing on Degrassi: The Next Generation, died on March 1. He was 29 years old. French played Dave Turner on the Canadian series from 2009 to 2013, and his performance earned him a Canadian Screen Award nomination. He went on to act in shows including The DivideIncorporated, and most recently, the Netflix series Soundtrack.

Cliff Simon

Cliff Simon, best known for his performance in Stargate SG-1, died March 9 following a kiteboarding accident. He was 58. The South African actor recurred as Ba’al, a fan-favorite villain, across six seasons of Stargate SG-1 and reprised the role in the movie Stargate: Continuum. He was also an athlete who qualified for the 1984 Olympics as a swimmer with the British International team, though he chose not to compete. Simon’s other roles included Nash BridgesThe Americans24NCIS, and Castle.

Marvin Hagler

American professional boxer “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler died on March 13, 2021, at 66. Quiet with a brooding public persona, Hagler fought 67 times over 14 years as a pro out of Brockton, Massachusetts, finishing 62-3-2 with 52 knockouts.

Yaphet Kotto

Actor Yaphet Kotto died on March 15. He was 81 years old. Kotto began his acting career at 19, and some of his earliest screen appearances included films like The Thomas Crown Affair and a guest spot on Hawaii Five-O. His big break eventually came when he played a James Bond villain in 1973’s Live and Let Die. He followed it up with a memorable role in 1979’s Alien, and appeared alongside Robert De Niro in the 1988 comedy thriller film Midnight Run. Kotto was also a television fixture, playing Al Giardello on the NBC procedural Homicide: Life on the Street from 1993 to 1999. He also made appearances in episodes of series like The A-TeamMurder She Wrote, and Law & Order.

Sabine Schmitz

Top Gear presenter Sabine Schmitz died of cancer on March 16. She was 51 years old. In addition to her time on the British motor series Top Gear, which she appeared on intermittently as both a guest and a presenter from 2004 to 2016, Schmitz was also a highly experienced racing driver. She co-founded the motorsport team Frikadelli Racing, and she remains the only woman to win Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife, a famously difficult racing circuit, with her accomplishments earning her the nickname “Queen of the Nürburgring.”

Elgin Baylor

NBA great and Lakers legend Elgin Baylor died Mar. 22, 2021, at age 86. Considered the star of his era, Baylor was inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977.

George Segal

Beloved comedy actor George Segal passed away on March 23 due to complications after bypass surgery. He was 87. Segal’s career spanned more than 50 years, with his most recent credit being Albert “Pops” Solomon on ABC’s The Goldbergs. He also starred on NBC’s Just Shoot Me in the late ’90s and early 2000s. While Segal was mostly known for his comedy work, he earned an Oscar nomination in 1967 for Best Supporting Actor in Mike Nichols’ film Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Richard Gilliland

Actor Richard Gilliland died on March 18 after a brief unspecified illness, according to Deadline. He was 71. Gilliland’s most notable credits include iconic sitcoms thirtysomething and Designing Women, but his career lasted over 50 years and included dozens of TV shows. It was on Designing Women that Gilliland met his future wife, Jean Smart, and the two wed in 1987. His most recent credits were 2020’s Case 347 and Bravo’s thriller series Imposters. 

Jessica Walter

Emmy-winning actress Jessica Walter passed away on March 24 at 80 years old. At the beginning of her decades-spanning career, Walter gained recognition for acting in films like Grand Prix (for which she received a Golden Globe nomination), The Group, and Play Misty for Me, and in 1971 won an Emmy Award for playing the titular role in the miniseries Amy Prentiss. Over the past few decades, she became best known for portraying acerbic matriarch Lucille Bluth on the sitcom Arrested Development, and for voicing Malory Archer on the long-running animated series Archer. Walter was also a prolific theater actress, appearing on Broadway in shows like Rumors and the 2011 revival of Anything Goes.

Larry McMurtry

Larry McMurtry, the writer who won an Oscar for co-adapting the screenplay to Brokeback Mountain, died March 25. He was 84 years old. In addition to his Oscar win, McMurtry also earned a Pulitzer for his 1985 novel Lonesome Dove, which he later co-adapted into an Emmy-winning miniseries. His novels Terms of Endearment and The Last Picture Show also became successful films, and he earned an Oscar nomination for co-adapting the latter with director Peter Bogdanovich.

Beverly Cleary

Beloved children’s author Beverly Cleary died on March 25 at 104 years old. Throughout her prolific career, she created a host of iconic characters, including Henry Huggins, Ribsy, and Ralph S. Mouse, but her best known character was Ramona Quimby, Henry’s mischievous neighbor. Cleary was known for her emotionally straightforward writing style, and her protagonists were ones kids and their parents could relate to. Ramona’s World, Cleary’s last book, which also doubled as the last book in the Ramona series, was published in 1999.


Robert Fletcher

Costume designer Robert Fletcher died on April 5. He was 98 years old. Fletcher, a three-time Tony nominee, notably created the costumes for four Star Trek films — Star Trek: The Motion Picture, The Wrath of Khan, The Search for Spock, and The Voyage Home. His Broadway credits included designing the costumes for the original Broadway production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and he earned his Tony nominations for his work on Little Me, High Spirits, and Hadrian VII.

James Hampton

Actor James Hampton died April 7. He was 84. Hampton was best known on TV as the bumbling Hannibal Dobbs in 1960s sitcom F Troop, as well as handyman Leroy B. Simpson on The Doris Day Show. On the big screen, he appeared as the father to Michael J. Fox’s character in Teen Wolf and played Caretaker in the original The Longest Yard, a performance that landed him a Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Male Newcomer in 1975. Hampton’s other work included the films Hawmps! and Sling Blade, as well TV shows like MannixFull HouseDays of Our Lives, and the animated Teen Wolf series. He also directed episodes of a number of series, including Evening ShadeBoston CommonGrace Under Fire, Smart Guy, and Sister, Sister.

Anne Beatts

Pioneering comedy writer Anne Beatts died April 7. She was 74. Beatts was one of the founding writers for Saturday Night Live when it debuted in 1975. She was also the first female contributing editor to humor magazine National Lampoon. In the early 1980s, Beatts created the sitcom Square Pegs, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, which ran for one season on CBS but became a cult classic. She was nominated for five Emmy awards at SNL, winning twice.

Prince Philip

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, died April 9 at 99 years old. In a statement, Buckingham Palace said, “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband.” Born on the Greek island of Corfu in 1921, Philip was educated in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom in his early life after his family was exiled from Greece when he was an infant. He later joined the British Royal Navy at 18. In 1947, he married Queen Elizabeth II, then Princess Elizabeth, prior to her becoming queen in 1952. Together, Philip and Elizabeth have four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward. In 2017, he retired from his royal duties after completing over 22,000 solo engagements and delivering more than 5,000 speeches. He was the longest-serving spouse of a reigning British monarch. Philip has been portrayed by several actors, including Christopher Lee in 1982’s Charles & Diana: A Royal Love Story, James Cromwell in 2006’s The Queen, and Matt Smith and Tobias Menzies in the Netflix series The Crown.


Rapper DMX died April 9, a week after suffering a heart attack. He was 50. DMX, born Earl Simmons, entered the national rap scene with his 1998 debut album It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, followed a year later by his best-selling album, …And Then There Was X. Both albums went to No. 1. He was nominated for three Grammy Awards: once for Best Rap Album for …And Then There Was X, and twice for Best Rap Solo Performance for the singles “Party Up (Up in Here)” and “Who We Be.” He also appeared in films like Belly and Romeo Must Die, and starred in the 2006 BET reality series DMX: Soul of a Man.+

Joseph Siravo

Actor Joseph Siravo died of cancer on April 11. He was 64. Siravo was best known on TV for his memorable turn as Johnny Soprano, Tony Soprano’s father, on The Sopranos, appearing in flashbacks throughout the HBO drama. He also played Fred Goldman in FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and appeared in shows like For LifeThe Blacklist, and Dirty Sexy Money. His movie work included The ReportThe Wannabe, and Carlito’s Way. Siravo was also a mainstay in the theater world, appearing in the Tony Award-winning Broadway productions Oslo and The Light in the Piazza. From 2006 to 2012, he played Angelo “Gyp” DeCarlo in the first national tour of Jersey Boys.

Helen McCrory

Actress Helen McCrory, best known for her roles in Peaky Blinders and the Harry Potter films, died on April 16. She was 52 years old. Her husband Damian Lewis confirmed that she had died of cancer. McCrory began her career on stage, performing in productions of Uncle Vanya and As You Like It, before transitioning to film and television roles. She played Cherie Blair in the 2006 film The Queen, a role she later reprised in Peter Morgan’s 2010 film The Special Relationship. She appeared as Narcissa Malfoy in the final three Harry Potter films, and had roles in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and the James Bond film Skyfall. Her TV credits include Peaky Blinders, which she starred in as Polly Gray, and Penny Dreadful.

Felix Silla

Felix Silla, best known to TV fans as Cousin It on the 1960s ABC comedy The Addams Family, has died after battling pancreatic cancer. Silla worked inside a body-length hairpiece, behind a pair of sunglasses and underneath a bowler hat for the character. Some of his other iconic credits include sidekick Twiki on Buck Rogers and a hang-gliding Ewok in Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi. He also appeared in Point BlankThe Kentucky Fried MovieThe Brood, and Spaceballs. He was 84 years old.

Anthony Powell

Oscar-winning costume designer Anthony Powell died on April 18. He was 85 years old. Powell’s work has been seen on screen and on stage. He designed the costumes for films like 101 and 102 DalmatiansHook, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. He was the recipient of three Academy Awards, his first coming in 1972 for his costumes in Travels with My Aunt, and later for Death on the Nile in 1978 and Tess in 1979. Powell won a Tony Award for his costume designs for the 1963 Broadway production of The School for Scandal, and was also known for designing the costumes for several stage productions of Sunset Boulevard.

Walter Mondale

Walter Mondale, a liberal icon and former Vice President to Jimmy Carter, died Apr. 19, 2021. Mondale was a major figure in national politics for two decades, running for president in 1984 but losing to Ronald Reagan. He was 93.

Michael Collins

Astronaut Michael Collins died of cancer on April 28 at 90 years old. Collins, a test pilot and major general in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, was aboard the Apollo 11 mission alongside Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, flying the command module around the moon. After retiring from NASA in 1970, Collins went on to join the State Department, and he later served as director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. In 1974, he wrote Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journeys, an autobiography of his time in NASA.


Olympia Dukakis

Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis died on May 1. She was 89 years old. Dukakis began her career on stage, starring in productions of Man Equals ManSocial Security, and more. She eventually co-founded the Whole Theater Company alongside her husband Louis Zorich. In 1987, she starred as Rose Castorini in Moonstruck, and went on to win an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for her performance. Dukakis later had roles in films like Steel Magnolias and Mr. Holland’s Opus, as well as the Netflix series Tales of the City. In 2020, a documentary, Olympia, was made about her life.

Norman Lloyd

Veteran actor Norman Lloyd died in his sleep on May 10, according to Deadline. He was 106. Lloyd’s impressive resume includes iconic films like Alfred Hitchcock’s Saboteur and Dead Poet’s Society. Lloyd is also known for his six-season tenure on NBC’s St. Elsewhere. Lloyd was also the last surviving member of Orsen Welles’ Mercury Theater. The actor’s career lasted almost 80 years.

Charles Grodin

Actor Charles Grodin died on May 18 at 86 years old. Grodin began his career in the 1960s, doing mostly television roles in shows like The Virginian, but he was best known for his scene-stealing performances in films like The Heartbreak Kid (for which he received a Golden Globe nomination), Midnight RunHeaven Can WaitIshtar, the Beethoven films, Dave, and While We’re Young, among others. In 1978, he won an Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special Emmy for his work on The Paul Simon Special, and was also known for his frequent appearances on both The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and Late Night with David Letterman.

Paul Mooney

Comedian Paul Mooney died on May 19. He was 79 years old. Mooney established himself as a writer for Richard Pryor, co-writing much of his material for his comedy albums and later becoming head writer on The Richard Pryor Show. He went on to find success as a stand-up comic and an actor, appearing in the 1978 film The Buddy Holly Story and in Spike Lee’s 2000 movie Bamboozled, and on television shows like Chappelle’s Show and In Living Color. In 2007, he released a memoir, Black Is the New White.

Samuel E. Wright

The world lost a Disney legend on Monday, May 24 when Samuel E. Wright died. The actor was the voice of Sebastian the crab in The Little Mermaid animated film in 1989 and had an illustrious Broadway career with roles in Jesus Christ SuperstarPippin, and The Lion King, in which he played Mufasa. Wright died after a three-year battle with prostate cancer, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 74-years old.

Eric Carle

Eric Carle, author and illustrator of the beloved children’s picture book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, died on May 23 at 91 years old. According to his son, Rolf, the cause was kidney failure. Carle wrote more than 70 books throughout his career, including Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse; and The Very Busy Spider.

Gavin MacLeod

Actor Gavin MacLeod died on May 29 at 90 years old. MacLeod’s breakthrough role came when he starred Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and he later went on to play Captain Merrill Stubing on The Love Boat. MacLeod also acted in films like Kelly’s Heroes and The Sword of Ali Baba, and made appearances on shows including OzThe King of Queens, and That ’70s Show.

B.J Thomas

Just Can’t Help Believing,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” and “Hooked on a Feeling,” singer B.J. Thomas arrives at the SeriousFun Children’s Network event at the Dolby Theatre on Thursday, May 14, 2015, in Los Angeles. He died on May 29, 2021, at age 78 after announcing he was diagnosed with lung cancer in March.

Arlene Golonka

Arlene Golonka, an actress best known for her TV role on Mayberry R.F.D., died May 31. She was 85. Golonka was a familiar TV face in the late 1960s through the 1990s, appearing on a wide variety of shows including The Rookies, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Maude, One Day At A Time, and more. Her most memorable role may have been as the daughter of Chuckles the Clown on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the classic episode “Chuckles Bites the Dust.” Golonka also worked as a voice actress with credits including The New Yogi Bear Show, Capitol Critters, and the Scooby-Doo franchise.


Ned Beatty

Oscar-nominated character actor Ned Beatty died June 13. He was 83. Beatty made his film debut with a memorable performance in Deliverance (1972); he went on to earn his sole Academy Award nomination for his supporting performance in Network (1976), delivering a show-stopping monologue. Beatty’s other noteworthy film work included roles in Nashville (1975), All the President’s Men (1976), and Superman (1978), as well as a voice role in Toy Story 3 (2010). On TV, Beatty was best known for playing Detective Stanley Bolander on the ’90s NBC drama Homicide: Life on the Street for three seasons. He also recurred on Roseanne and appeared in series like M*A*S*HHawaii Five-0Law & Order, and CSI. Beatty was nominated for two Emmys: one for the 1979 TV movie Friendly Fire, opposite Carol Burnett, and one for 1990’s Last Train Home.

Lisa Banes

Veteran stage and screen actress Lisa Banes has died after being the victim of a hit-and-run accident in New York City. She was 65-years old. Banes worked on Seth MacFarlane’s sci-fi comedy The Orville and was also in the hit feature film Gone Girl. Banes studied at Julliard and her long career included stage plays such as Present Laughter and High Society. Her TV roles also included roles on One Life to Live, China Beach, Madam Secretary, and Nashville.

Frank Bonner

Frank Bonner, the actor who played WKRP In Cincinnati‘s brash, plaid jacket-wearing salesman Herb Tarlek, died from complications of Lewy body dementia. Though he was best known for his role on WKRP, he had subsequent roles on other shows including episodes of The Love Boat, Newhart, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Sidekicks, and more. Bonner was 79 years old when he passed away.

John Langley

John Langley, who created Cops, died on June 26 at 78 years old. He passed away after suffering a heart attack during an off-road race. Though the long-running Cops was his greatest career success, Langley also produced other TV series, including Undercover Stings, and films like Brooklyn’s Finest.

Stuart Damon

Soap actor Stuart Damon died June 29 after a years-long struggle with renal failure. He was 84 years old. Damon was most famous for playing Dr. Alan Quartermaine on General Hospital for more than five decades. He first appeared as the second-generation patriarch of Port Charles’ wealthiest family in 1977 and was a series regular until 2007 when his character was killed off. However, Damon returned periodically to play Alan’s ghost. He also appeared on the General Hospital spin-off Port Charles from 1997 to 2003. Broadway aficionados may remember Damon as Prince Charming in the 1965 TV movie remake of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. “Stuart was an absolute legend of our industry and he’ll be sorely missed,” General Hospital executive producer Frank Valentini wrote in a statement on Twitter.

Donald Rumsfeld

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld died Wednesday, June 30, 2021, according to his family. He was 88. Rumsfeld served under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush and oversaw the Iraq War.


Richard Donner

Director Richard “Dick” Donner died on July 5 at 91 years old. After years of working in television, it wasn’t until 1976 when he directed The Omen that Donner really came on to the film scene. He went on to helm a host of iconic films, including The GooniesSupermanScrooged, and the Lethal Weapon franchise. His last time in the director’s chair was for 2006’s 16 Blocks, which starred Bruce Willis and Mos Def. He is survived by his wife, producer Lauren Shuler-Donner.

Robert Downey Sr.

Robert Downey Sr. died on July 7. He was 85. His son, Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr. confirmed the news on Instagram, saying, “Last night, dad passed peacefully in his sleep after years of enduring the ravages of Parkinson’s. He was a true maverick filmmaker, and remained remarkably optimistic throughout.” Downey Sr. had 18 directing credits to his name at the time of his death, including three episodes of The Twilight Zone. His latest project was directing the documentary Rittenhouse Square, which was released in 2005.

Charlie Robinson

Veteran character actor Charlie Robinson, best known for his role as the court clerk on the classic sitcom “Night Court,” died July 11, 2021 in Los Angeles.

Biz Markie

Legendary rapper Biz Markie died at the age of 57 in mid-July 2021. “It is with profound sadness that we announce, this evening, with his wife Tara by his side, hip hop pioneer Biz Markie peacefully passed away,” his rep Jenni Izumi said in a statement to Variety on July 16. Markie’s biggest hit was 1989’s “Just a Friend,” which featured the MC belting off-key about his romantic woes. The song peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a hit again when Mario covered it in 2002.

Frankie Lons

BET reality star and mother to singer Keyshia Cole, Frankie Lons, died on Monday, July 19 of an apparent overdose. She was 61. Lons, who starred on four different BET reality shows including Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is, was open about her struggles with addiction. Her daughter Elite Noel confirmed Lons’ passing in her Instagram stories.

Joey Jordison

Joey Jordison, co-founder and original drummer of the heavy metal hard rock band Slipknot has died, according to a statement from his family to Variety. He was 46. The cause of death was not disclosed, although the family’s statement says he died “peacefully in his sleep.” Slipknot emerged onto the music scene in 1995, hailing from Des Moines, Iowa. Jordison played drums for the band and co-wrote many of their songs until his departure in late 2013. By the early 2000s, Slipknot was one of the world’s biggest hard rock bands in the world, known for their hard-hitting masked performances. They worked with mega-producer Rick Rubin in 2004 and won their first Grammy in 2006.

Joseph “Dusty” Hill

Rock and roll lost another legend when Joseph “Dusty” Hill, the bassist for ZZ Top for more than 50 years, died July 28. He was 72. His passing was confirmed by the group’s longtime representative.  The Houston-based ZZ Top had its first major hit with “Tres Hombres” in 1973 and heir next top 10 album, “Fandango!,” followed in 1975, featuring the hit single “Tush.” By the end of the ’70s, ZZ Top was one of America’s top concert draws. “We, along with legions of ZZ Top fans around the world, will miss your steadfast presence, your good nature and enduring commitment to providing that monumental bottom to the ‘Top’,” Hill’s bandmates Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard said in a statement. “We will forever be connected to that ‘Blues Shuffle in C.’ You will be missed greatly, amigo.”


Markie Post

Actress Markie Post, known for her roles in “Night Court” and “The Fall Guy” among many others, died at 70 on Aug. 7, 2021, after a long battle with cancer.

Bobby Bowden

Bobby Bowden, the Hall of Fame coach who built Florida State into an unprecedented college football dynasty, seen here in 2006, died Aug. 8, 2021 at the age of 91

Una Stubbs

Una Stubbs, the actress known for her role as Mrs. Hudson on “Sherlock,” died Aug. 12, 2021 at the age of 84 at her home in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Nanci Griffith

Grammy-winning folk singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith, whose literary songs like “Love at the Five and Dime” celebrated the South died Aug. 13, 2021 at the age of 68.

James C. Hormel

Former US ambassador and philanthropist James C. Hormel, died at 88 on Aug. 13, 2021. Hormel was the country’s first openly gay ambassador.

Maki Kaji

Maki Kaji, a creator of the popular numbers puzzle Sudoku whose life’s work was spreading the joy of puzzles, has died, his Japanese company said Tuesday, Aug. 17. He was 69 and had bile duct cancer.

Sonny Chiba

Japanese actor Sonny Chiba, who wowed the world with his martial arts skills in more than 100 films, including “Kill Bill,” has died of COVID-19 complications on August 19. He was 82.

Don Everly

Don Everly one-half of the pioneering rock ‘n’ roll Everly Brothers whose harmonizing country rock hits impacted a generation of rock music, has died. Don Everly was 84. A family spokesperson said Everly died at his home in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021.

Charlie Watts

Legendary English drummer Charlie Watts, who spent more than half a century with the Rolling Stones, died on Aug. 24. He was 80. Watts joined the Stones early in 1963 and remained with the group until his death, touring with them as recently as 2019. He had been set to reunite with the band for a 2021 tour before withdrawing in early August due to an unspecified health issue. A powerful, versatile drummer influenced by jazz music, Watts kept a lower profile than his fellow Stones but was widely regarded as one of the best drummers in history. He was ranked at No. 12 on Rolling Stone‘s 2016 list of the 100 greatest drummers of all time. Along with his bandmates, Watts was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

Lee “Scratch” Perry

Reggae and dub legend Lee “Scratch” Perry died on Aug. 29 at 85 years old. The Jamaican musician began his career in the 1950s and pioneered the dub genre throughout the 1970s, solidified by the creation of the Black Ark, the studio he built in his backyard. He was a prolific producer and recording artist, working with a wide range of artists that included Bob Marley, the Beastie Boys, and the Clash. In the 1980s, after years of albums with his band, the Upsetters, and many production credits, Perry’s music was brought to new audiences after he began collaborating with British producer Adrian Sherwood. The Upsetter, a documentary about Perry’s life narrated by Benicio Del Toro, was released in 2008.

Ed Asner

Television icon Ed Asner, best known for his role as the lovably gruff newsman Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off series Lou Grant, died on Aug. 29. He was 91. Asner was a seven-time Emmy Award winning actor, earning five for his portrayal of Grant and two more for his work in Rich Man, Poor Man and Roots, making him the most awarded male actor in Emmy history. Later in his career, he became known for his work in kids’ movies, including Up, in which he voiced the curmudgeonly widower Carl Fredricksen, and Elf, in which he played Santa Claus.


Sarah Harding

Sarah Harding, who rose to fame as a member of the pop group Girls Aloud, has died after battling cancer. She was 39

Terry Brennan

Terry Brennan, a star halfback on three unbeaten Notre Dame teams who was hailed as a wunderkind when he succeeded Irish coaching great Frank Leahy at just 25 years old, has died. He was 93

Michael K. Williams

Michael K. Williams died Sept. 6 at age 54. The actor was found dead in his New York City apartment, police told CNN. Williams was a prolific performer, with five Emmy nominations and more than 100 acting credits to his name, but is perhaps best known for his role as Omar Little in the acclaimed HBO drama The Wire. He more recently appeared in Boardwalk EmpireWhen They See Us, and Lovecraft Country, which landed him his final Emmy nomination.

Michael Constantine

Veteran film and television actor Michael Constantine died Aug. 31 at 94 years old.  He is perhaps best known for his role as the ornery patriarch My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but Constantine was also a well-known face to TV fans. He co-starred in James L. Brooks’ classic TV series Room 222 as school principal Seymour Kaufman, winning an Emmy for the role in 1970. His other TV credits include The Untouchables, The Twilight Zone, Perry Mason, and more.

Art Metrano

Comedian Art Metrano, best known for his role as the police captain in two Police Academy movies, died Sept. 8. He was 84 years old. Metrano made his name as a stand-up comedian when he appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1970. He went on to work in feature films such as The Heartbreak Kid, and History of the World: Part I. He also guest-starred in various TV series such as Joanie Loves Chachi, All in the Family, and Bewitched.

Norm Macdonald

Comedian Norm Macdonald died Sept. 14 at the age of 61. Deadline reported that the former SNL star died after a nine-year battle with cancer. Macdonald was known for his droll sense of humor and laconic jokes. He became a mainstream comedy name in the early ’90s when he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live, and most memorably hosted the “Weekend Update” segment in his last two years on the show, helping to transition the segments into the political commentary they are famous for today. Prior to his time on SNL, Macdonald was a writer for The Dennis Miller Show and Roseanne. The comedian also had his own sitcom, Norm, that aired from 1999-2001. His last TV credit was voicing Pigeon on Mike Tyson Mysteries.

Jane Powell

Jane Powell, MGM musical starlet, died Sept. 16. She was 92 years old. Powell’s most notable credits include Royal Wedding and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, co-starring with Fred Astaire and Howard Keel, respectively. In the late 1950s, Powell also began adding TV credits to her resume with Producers’ Showcase and Alcoa Theatre. She also made notable guest appearances on Fantasy Island, Growing Pains, and more.

Sarah Dash

Sarah Dash, who co-founded the all-female singing group LaBelle, best known for their raucous 1974 hit “Lady Marmalade,” died at 76, it was announced Sept. 20, 2021.

Willie Garson

Sex and the City star Willie Garson died Sept. 21 at the age of 57. His son Nathan confirmed the news with a heartfelt tribute on Instagram. “I’m so glad you got to share all your adventures with me and were able to accomplish so much. I’m so proud of you. I will always love you, but I think it’s time for you to go on an adventure of your own,” he wrote in part. Garson began acting professionally in the ’80s, landing small parts on CheersCoach, and more. His acting resume includes Supergirl, Hawaii Five-0, and more, but he is most known for his tenures on White Collar as Mozzie and on Sex and the City as Carrie’s (Sarah Jessica Parker) best friend Stanford Blatch. Garson also filmed episodes of the spin-off series And Just Like That…, which premieres on HBO Max in December.

Melvin Van Peebles

Filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles died Sept. 21 at age 89. The filmmaker famous for Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassss Song, and was the father of director and actor Mario Van Peebles. Van Peebles became an indie filmmaker pioneer after financing and releasing Sweet Sweetback on his own, using the film’s soundtrack featuring Earth, Wind, and Fire to raise the film’s profile. Sweet Sweetback was a groundbreaking film because Van Peebles financed and released the film independently, leading the way for indie filmmakers. He also used the film’s soundtrack featuring Earth, Wind, and Fire, to raise the film’s profile. Van Peebles also made a name for himself in front of the camera appearing in the cult classic Boomerang, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Last Action Hero, and so many more. His television credits included Dream OnIn the Heat of the Night, and Living Single. 


Cole the cat

Beloved famous feline Cole, one half of the duo Cole and Marmalade, has died after a battle with kidney disease and beating cancer, Cole passed away on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

Betty Lynn

Betty Lynn, the film and television actor who was best known for her role as Barney Fife’s sweetheart Thelma Lou on “The Andy Griffith Show,” has died. She was 95 Oct 16

Colin Powell

The first Black secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell died Oct. 18. He was 84 years old. His family confirmed the news with a public Facebook post the declared Powell had died from COVID-19 complications at Walter Reed National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He also suffered from multiple myeloma and Parkinson’s disease, which suppressed his immune system, his chief of staff revealed to CNN. Powell was a Vietnam War veteran who was appointed as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by President George H.W. Bush in 1989. As such, he played a prominent role in the Panama invasion, Desert Shield, and Desert Storm. He stayed in the role during Bill Clinton’s tenure as president and then was appointed secretary of state for President George W. Bush’s first term. In that role, Powell was part of the team that oversaw the Iraq invasion of 2003. He resigned in 2004. Powell is survived by his wife Alma, their three children, and four grandchildren.

William Lucking

William Lucking, best known for playing Piney Winston on Sons of Anarchy for four seasons, died Oct. 18. He was 80 years old. His wife Sigrid Lucking confirmed the news with an obituary she wrote, distributed by Lucking’s friend and fellow actor Stephen Macht, saying that Lucking had passed away in his Las Vegas home. “Although William often played toughs and strongmen, in his actual life he was an elegant man with a brilliant intellect who loved to argue about politics and current affairs, discuss philosophy and physics, and assert fine-pointed opinions about art and poetry,” his wife penned. Lucking’s other TV credits included NBC’s The A-Team and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Peter Scolari

Bosom Buddies actor Peter Scolari died Oct. 22 after a two-year battle with cancer, per Deadline. He was 66. Aside from Bosom Buddies, where Scolari became close friends with Tom Hanks, the actor was nominated for an Emmy for his performance as Michael Harris on Newhart and took home the trophy for his recurring part on HBO’s Girls, where he played the father to Lena Dunham’s Hannah. His most recent credit was playing Bishop Thomas Marx on Evil. Scolari was also a lauded Broadway actor, appearing in musicals like Hairspray and Wicked.

James Michael Tyler

James Michael Tyler died Oct. 24 of prostate cancer. The actor was 59 years old. Tyler was best known for his role as Gunther on Friends. He played the Central Perk barista with an ardent crush on Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) for 10 seasons, beginning with the second episode, making him the show’s longest recurring guest star. He made a special video appearance at the reunion special that premiered on HBO Max earlier in 2021. “Warner Bros. Television mourns the loss of James Michael Tyler, a beloved actor and integral part of our Friends family,” reads a statement released on the official Friends Twitter account. “Our thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues, and fans.” Tyler is survived by his wife, Jennifer Carno.


Dean Stockwell

Dean Stockwell, who starred in Quantum Leap, died Nov. 7. He was 85 years old. Stockwell was nominated for four Emmys and won a Golden Globe for his performance as Admiral Al Calavicci on Quantum Leap, which aired from 1989 to 1993 on NBC. He was also known on TV for his memorable recurring role as Brother Cavil on Battlestar Galactica. Stockwell earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as mob boss Tony “the Tiger” Russo in Jonathan Demme’s 1988 crime comedy Married to the Mob. He also appeared in movies like Long Day’s Journey Into Night (1962), Dune (1984), Blue Velvet (1986), and Air Force One (1997), and he was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in the 1960 film Sons and Lovers.

Jerry Douglas

The Young and Restless icon Jerry Douglas died on Nov. 9, per Variety. He was 88. Douglas played John Abbott on CBS’s soap opera for over three decades from 1982 to 2006. Even after his character died, Douglas returned in flashbacks or whenever the spirit of John Abbott was needed. Aside from his storied soap career, Douglas’ TV credits also included guest spots on Arrested Development, Melrose Place, Cold Case, and more.

Winter the Dolphin

Winter the dolphin  beloved by fans around the world and star of the movie “Dolphin Tale,” died of twisted intestines on Nov 11

Art LaFleur

Actor Art LaFleur died Nov. 17 after a 10-year battle with Parkinson’s. He was 78. His wife Shelly confirmed the news with a touching social media post. The actor is most known for his iconic take on Babe Ruth in the classic film The Sandlot, but he also played the Black Sox leader Chick Gandil in Field of Dreams and The Tooth Fairy in the second and third The Santa Clause films alongside Tim Allen. LaFleur’s TV credits were also numerous with guest appearances on M*A*S*H, ER, and Hill Street Blues to name a few.

Stephen Sondheim

Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim died Nov. 26 at his home in Connecticut. He was 91. The composer was the mastermind behind the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy, as well as music and lyrics for Sweeney ToddFolliesCompanyInto the WoodsSunday in the Park with George, and so many more shows. Widely regarded as one of the best lyricists in Broadway history, Sondheim also mentored generations of breakout musical talent, including Rent composer Jonathan Larson and Hamilton scribe Lin-Manuel Miranda. Sondheim’s last credit was doing a brief voice part in Miranda’s film adaptation of Larson’s musical Tick, Tick…Boom! playing himself leaving an answering machine message for the young composer after his first showcase. His award wins included eight Tony Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Tony in 2008), eight Grammy Awards, and an Academy Award.

Eddie Mekka

Eddie Mekka, known for his role on Laverne & Shirley, died Nov. 27. He was 69. Mekka played Carmine “The Big Ragoo” Ragusa, the high school sweetheart of Cindy Williams’ Shirley, on the long-running Happy Days spin-off, which aired on ABC from 1976 to 1983. His character had Broadway aspirations; in real life, he was a Tony Award nominee for his leading role in the short-lived 1975 rock opera The Lieutenant. Mekka also appeared on shows like 24 and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and in movies like Dreamgirls and A League of Their Own, directed by Laverne & Shirley‘s Penny Marshall. He also reunited with Laverne & Shirley co-star Cindy Williams in a national tour of Grease in 2000. In a tweet, Williams remembered him as a “world-class talent”

Virgil Abloh

Designer Virgil Abloh, the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection and the founder of the Off-White label, has died at the age of 41 after privately battling “a rare, aggressive form of cancer” a statement read on his Instagram on Nov. 28


Stonewall Jackson

Country musician, Stonewall Jackson, most known for performing on the longest-running radio show, The Opry, died on December 4, 2021.

Bob Dole

Former Senator Bob Dole died in December 5, 2021. He was 98. Dole represented the state of Kansas on Capitol Hill for 36 years before giving up the seat to run against Bill Clinton in the 1996 presidential election. Ahead of the election, Dole was considered one of the most powerful and adept Republicans in U.S. politics. He is survived by his second wife Elizabeth and their daughter.

Michael Nesmith

The Monkees guitarist Michael Nesmith died December 10, 2021 of natural causes. He was 78. Nesmith performed with the rock group created for the ’60s NBC comedy series of the same name for several years before lending his songwriting talents to other artists like The Stone Poneys, Lynn Anderson, and more. His last gig was in November 2021 with fellow Monkees member Micky Dolenz. Nesmith is survived by three sons and a daughter, per Variety.

Anne Rice

Anne Rice, the gothic novelist widely known for her bestselling novel “Interview With the Vampire,” died at the age of 80 on Dec 11th.

Vicente Fernández

Vicente Fernández, the Mexican entertainer whose illustrious career as the “king of rancheras” spanned decades in music and film, died Dec 12th  in Guadalajara in his home state of Jalisco. He was 81.

Bell Hooks

Author and activist Bell Hooks died on Wednesday, Dec. 15, in her home in Berea, Kentucky. She was 69. bell hooks is her pen name. The activist was born Gloria Jean Watkins, and is credited for leading the way in inclusive feminism, pushing for representation of women of color, specifically Black women, beginning with her first book Ain’t I a Woman? Black Women and Feminism in 1981. In 1991, she won the prestigious American Book Award for Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics. She published over 30 books and numerous scholarly articles over the course of her career and established the bell hooks Institute at Berea College in 2014.

Ken Kragen

Ken Kragen, a former Hollywood manager whose charitable endeavors included the groundbreaking “We Are The World” and Hands Across America, died December 18th. He was 85

Johnny Isakson

Johnny Isakson, former Georgia Republican U.S. senator, dies Dec 19

Sally Ann Howes

Sally Ann Howes, who starred in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and My Fair Lady, has died aged 91 on Dec 22

Bob Keselowski

Bob Keselowski, an ARCA Menards Series champion who later became a pioneering driver in the early days of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, has died  on Dec 22. He was 70 years old

Joan Didion

Joan Didion, the revered author and essayist whose precise social and personal commentary in such classics as “The White Album” and “The Year of Magical Thinking” made her a uniquely clear-eyed critic of turbulent times, died Dec 23. She was 87.

Ray Illingworth

Former England captain Ray Illingworth has died at the age of 89.who led England to a 2-0 Ashes series victory in Australia in 1970-71, had been undergoing radiotherapy for esophageal cancer. Dec 25

Harvey Evans

Harvey Evans, an actor, singer and dancer who had a knack for landing roles in the original Broadway productions of such classics as “West Side Story,” “Follies” “Hello, Dolly!” and “Gypsy,” has died. He was 80 on Dec 25.

Tiffini Hale

Tiffini Hale, the actress and singer who starred on The All New Mickey Mouse Club from 1989 to 1995, died on Christmas Day, her bandmates confirmed in an Instagram post on Thursday. She was 46.

Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu, South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning icon, an uncompromising foe of the country’s past racist policy of apartheid and a modern-day activist for racial justice and LGBT rights, died Sunday Dec 26 at 90

Jean-Marc Vallée

Jean-Marc Vallée, the Quebecois director of films including “Dallas Buyers Club” and TV projects such as “Big Little Lies,” died at his cabin outside Quebec City, Canada. He was 58. Dec 26

Edward O. Wilson

Edward O. Wilson, the pioneering Harvard biologist who argued for a new vision of human nature in “Sociobiology” and warned against the decline of ecosystems, has died on Dec. 26 in Burlington, Massachusetts He was 92

John Madden

John Madden, the Hall of Fame coach turned broadcaster whose exuberant calls combined with simple explanations provided a weekly soundtrack to NFL games for three decades, died Dec 28th. He was 85.

Harry Reid

Harry Reid, the former Senate majority leader and Nevada’s longest-serving member of Congress Died Dec 28th . He was 82.

Betty White

Betty White, The Golden Girls and Hot in Cleveland Star, Dead at 99 on Dec 31st

Sam Jones

Hall of Famer Sam Jones, who won 10 titles during the Boston Celtics’ dynasty in the 1950s and 1960s, died Thursday, the team announced. He was 88. on Dec 31st

by Tia "Blindbat" Jenkins

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