Actress MARGOT KIDDER died on May 14th at the age of 69.She was a Canadian American actress and activist. She rose to fame in 1978 for her role as Lois Lane in the Superman film series, opposite Christopher Reeve. Kidder began her career in the 1960s appearing in low-budget Canadian films and television series, before landing a lead role in Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx (1970). She then appeared playing Siamese twins in Brian De Palma's cult thriller Sisters (1973); in the slasher film Black Christmas (1974); and the drama The Great Waldo Pepper (1975), opposite Robert Redford. Her performance as Kathy Lutz in the blockbuster horror film The Amityville Horror (1979) gained her further mainstream exposure. After a highly publicized manic episode and nervous breakdown in 1996, Kidder's career began to slow. By the 2000s, however, she had maintained steady work in independent films as well as television, with guest-starring roles on Smallville, Brothers & Sisters, and The L Word. In 2015, she won an Emmy Award for her performance on the children's television series R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour. She also acted in theatrical productions, most notably appearing on Broadway in a 2002 production of The Vagina Monologues. In 2005, Kidder became a naturalized U.S. citizen. In later years, Kidder became an outspoken political, environmental, and anti-war activist.
Actress CHARLOTTE RAE died of bone cancer at the age of 92 on August 5th. Rae was known for her portrayal of Edna Garrett in the sitcoms Diff'rent Strokes and its spin-off, The Facts of Life (in which she had the starring role from 1979–1986). She received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy in 1982. She also appeared in two Facts of Life television movies: The Facts of Life Goes to Paris in 1982 and The Facts of Life Reunion in 2001. She voiced the character of "Nanny" in 101 Dalmatians: The Series and Aunt Pristine Figg in Tom and Jerry: The Movie. She also appeared as Gammy Hart in Girl Meets World.
Ex-wife of Frank Sinatra, NANCY SINATRA SR died on July 13th at the age of 101. She was married to crooner Frank Sinatra from 1939-1951. Together they had three children: Nancy, Tina, and Frank Jr. Once the elder Sinatra became famous his many affairs caused the couple to break apart. Nancy Sr. never remarried. Frank Sr died in 1998, and Frank Jr died in 2016.
Singer VIC DAMONE died of respiratory failure at the age of 89 on Feburary 11th. He is best known songs such as "You're Breaking My Heart" (a number one hit), the number four hit "On the Street Where You Live" (from My Fair Lady), and "My Heart Cries for You" (also No. 4). Frank Sinatra said often that Damone "had the best pipes in the business", and Damone was intimate friends with Sinatra. Vic Damone also made a handful of movie appearances in MGM musicals of the 1950s including: Kismet (1955) and Hit The Deck (1955). Damone retired in 2002.
|Jerry Van Dyke|
Singer ARETHA FRANKLIN died of cancer on August 16th at the age of 76. She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan. After signing to Atlantic Records in 1966, Franklin achieved commercial success and acclaim with songs such as "Respect", "Chain of Fools", "Think", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman", "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)" and "I Say a Little Prayer".
Actor KEN BERRY died on December 1st at the age of 85. Berry starred on the television series F Troop from 1965 to 1967, Mayberry R.F.D from 1968 to 1971 and Mama's Family from 1983 to 1990. He also appeared on Broadway in The Billy Barnes Revue, headlined as George M. Cohan in the musical George M! and provided comic relief for the medical drama Dr. Kildare, with Richard Chamberlain in the 1960s.
Actor R. LEE ERMY died of pneumonia at the age of 74 on April 15th. He achieved fame when he played Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in the 1987 film Full Metal Jacket, which earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Ermey was also a United States Marine Corps staff sergeant and an honorary gunnery sergeant. During his tenure in the United States Marine Corps, he also served as a drill instructor. Other films included all three Toy Story cartoons, Life (1999), Saving Silverman (2001) and a final movie appearance in The Watch (2012).
Actress DOROTHY MALONE died at the age of 92 on January 19th.She as an American actress. Her film career began in 1943, and in her early years she played small roles, mainly in B-movies. After a decade in films, she began to acquire a more glamorous image, particularly after her performance in Written on the Wind (1956), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her film career reached its peak by the beginning of the 1960s, and she achieved later success with her television role as Constance MacKenzie on Peyton Place from 1964–68. Less active in her later years, Malone returned to films in 1992 in Basic Instinct.
Actor JOHN MAHONEY died on February 4th at the age of 77. He is best known as Kesley Grammer's father on the long running television show Frasier, which ran from 1993 to 2004. Born in England, he entered acting late in life, but he became a dedicated character actor. His best known film role was in Say Anything (1990) and Dan In Real Life (2007). His last appearance was as Betty White's love interest in the television show Hot In Cleveland in 2014.
Singer NANCY WILSON died on December 13th at the age of 81. Her career spanned over five decades, from the mid–1950s until her retirement in the early–2010s. She was notable for her single "(You Don't Know) How Glad I Am" and her version of the standard "Guess Who I Saw Today". Wilson recorded more than 70 albums and won three Grammy Awards for her work. During her performing career Wilson was labeled a singer of blues, jazz, R&B, pop, and soul, a "consummate actress", and "the complete entertainer". The title she preferred, however, was "song stylist"
Songwriter and author JANET CANTOR GARI died on January 28th at the age of 89. Janet was the youngest of Eddie Cantor's daughters, and the last surviving one. She was a songwriter who has collaborated with Toby Garson, the daughter of composer Harry Ruby, on children's shows and an off-Broadway musical. Janet had written many books as well including "Don't Wear Silver In The Winter", which was the story of her elusive mother Ida Tobias Cantor. It was published in 2008.
Entertainer ROY CLARK died on November 15th at the age of 85 of pneumonia. was an American singer and musician. He is best known for hosting Hee Haw, a nationally televised country variety show, from 1969 to 1997. Roy Clark has been an important and influential figure in country music, both as a performer and helping to popularize the genre. Although he has had hit songs as a pop vocalist (e.g., "Yesterday, When I Was Young" and "Thank God and Greyhound"), his instrumental skill has had an enormous effect on generations of bluegrass and country musicians.
Singer and golfer DON CHERRY died at the age of 94 on April 4th. In music, he is best known for his 1955 hit "Band of Gold". He started as a big band singer in the orchestras of Jan Garber and Victor Young. In 1951 he recorded his first solo hits, "Thinking of You" and "Belle, Belle, My Liberty Belle". Throughout his singing career, Cherry was also a top-ranked amateur golfer, and was in contention to win the 1960 U.S. Open before eventually finishing tied for ninth along with Ben Hogan, four strokes behind winner Arnold Palmer.
Child star GLORIA JEAN died on September 1st at the age of 92. is an American actress and singer who starred or co-starred in 26 feature films between 1939 and 1959 including If I Had My Way (1940) with Bing Crosby, Never Give A Sucker A Break (1941) with WC Fields, and Copacabana (1947) with Groucho Marx.
Actor TAB HUNTER died of a heart attack at the age of 86 on July 8th. Hunter made over 40 films during his career which peaked in the late 1950s. His most known film was 1958's Damn Yankees, which he played the title character, Joe Hardy. He also had a number one hit in 1957 with the song "Young Love". Hunter hadn't made a movie in years but appeared in numerous documentaries about Hollywood including one on his life called Tab Hunter Confidential in 2015.
Actress MARY CARLISLE died on August 1st at the age of 104. She starred in more than sixty Hollywood films, moving beyond bit parts after coming to attention, alongside the likes of Gloria Stuart and Ginger Rogers, as one of 15 girls selected by the Western Association of Motion pictures as their WAMPAS Baby Stars in 1932. Her first major role was in the 1933 film College Humor with Bing Crosby. The two performers worked together in two additional films, Double or Nothing (1937) and Doctor Rhythm (1938). After her marriage in 1942 and a starring role in Dead Men Walk (1943), she retired from acting.
Actor GARY BEACH died at the age of 70 on July 17th. He was best known for the role of Roger De Bris in both the stage and film productions of The Producers (2005). In 1994, Beach originated the comical role of Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, a performance that earned him a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Previously, he performed in the chorus for the 1989 Les Misérables: Complete Symphonic Recording. In March 2008, Beach joined the United States national tour cast of Monty Python's Spamalot in the lead role of King Arthur.
Actor SCOTT WILSON died of leukemia on October 6th at the age of 76. He had more than 50 film credits, including In the Heat of the Night, In Cold Blood, The Great Gatsby, Dead Man Walking, Pearl Harbor, and Junebug. In 1980, Wilson received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture for his role in The Ninth Configuration. He played veterinarian Hershel Greene on the AMC television series The Walking Dead from 2011 to 2014.
Actress NANETTE FABRAY died on February 23rd at the age of 97. She began her career performing in vaudeville as a child and became a musical theatre actress during the 1940s and 1950s, winning a Tony Award in 1949 for her performance in Love Life. In the mid-1950s, she served as Sid Caesar's comedic partner on Caesar's Hour, for which she won three Emmy Awards, as well as co-starring with Fred Astaire in the 1953 film musical The Band Wagon. From 1979 to 1984, she appeared as Grandma Katherine Romano on the TV series One Day at a Time. Her last work was on Broadway in 2007.
Actor BURT REYNOLDS died on September 6th at the age of 82. He first rose to prominence starring in television series such as Gunsmoke (1962–1965) and Dan August (1970–1971). His breakout film role was as Lewis Medlock in Deliverance (1972). Reynolds played the leading role in a number of box office hits, such as The Longest Yard (1974), Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Semi-Tough (1977), Hooper (1978), Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982). After a few box office failures, Reynolds returned to television, starring in the sitcom Evening Shade (1990–1994). He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Boogie Nights (1997).
Actor HARRY ANDERSON died of a stroke on April 16th. He was 65. He is best known for the lead role of Judge Harry Stone on the 1984–1992 television series Night Court, and later starred in the sitcom Dave's World from 1993 to 1997. In addition to eight appearances on Saturday Night Live between 1981 and 1985, Anderson had a recurring guest role as con man Harry "The Hat" Gittes on Cheers, toured extensively as a magician, and did several magic/comedy shows for broadcast, including Harry Anderson's Sideshow (1987). He played Richie Tozier in the 1990 miniseries It, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name.
Actor JOHN GAVIN died on February 9th at the age of 86.Gavin was the United States Ambassador to Mexico (1981–86) and the President of the Screen Actors Guild (1971–73). He was best known for his performances in the films Imitation of Life (1959), Spartacus (1960), Psycho (1960), and Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967), playing leading roles in a series of films for producer Ross Hunter. He was also married to actress Constance Towers from 1974 until his death.
Director and actress PENNY MARSHALL died of diabetes on December 17th at the age of 75. She rose to fame in the 1970s for her role as Laverne DeFazio on the television sitcom Laverne & Shirley (1976–1983). Marshall progressed to directing films in the 1980s, making her directorial debut with Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986) before directing Big (1988), which became the first film directed by a woman to gross more than $100 million at the U.S. box office. Her subsequent directing credits included Awakenings (1990), which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, A League of Their Own (1992), Renaissance Man (1994), The Preacher's Wife (1996), and Riding in Cars with Boys (2001).