Celebrities who died in 2023
In memory of the actors, musicians, authors, and other famous faces who have died in 2023, including Tom Sizemore, Raquel Welch, Lisa Marie Presley, and David Crosby, among others. Read on to remember their life and work.
Guitarist Gary Rossington, founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, performs onstage during Day 2 of the Stagecoach Music Festival on April 27, 2019 in Indio, California.
Gary Rossington of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd
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Gary Rossington, a guitarist and the last surviving original member of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, died March 5 at the age of 71. “Gary is now with his Skynyrd brothers and family in heaven and playing it pretty, like he always does,” his bandmates said in a statement. Rossington founded My Backyard, the band that would eventually be renamed Lynyrd Skynyrd, with lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and drummer Bob Burns as teenagers growing up in Jackson, Fla. in 1964. Guitarists Allen Collins and Larry Junstrom were later added to the mix. The history of band is marked by the 1977 plane crash that killed multiple members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, including Van Zant. Rossington survived with severe injuries, but he rejoined the band a decade later when it was reformed by Van Zant’s brother. Rossington continued with the band, though he also formed the Rossington Collins Band with Collins and the Rossington Band with wife Dale Krantz-Rossington.
SLUG: ME_HEUMANN4 DATE: 05/18/2007 PHOTOGRAPHER: Sarah L. Voisin Washington, DC NEG #: 190924 Judy Heumann, new acting director of DC’s new Department of Disability Services in her office. (Photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Judy Heumann, disability rights activist and star of Oscar-nominated ‘Crip Camp’, dies at 75
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Judy Heumann, “mother of the disability rights movement”and star of the Oscar-nominated documentary Crip Camp, died on Mar. 4. She was 75. Born in Brooklyn in 1947, Neumann developed polio at 18 months, causing her to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life. From the ages of nine to 18, Heumann attended Camp Jened, a summer camp for disabled teens in the Catskills of New York run by self-professed hippies. In 2020, Heumann was featured in the documentary Crip Camp, produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions, following how campers at Jened were inspired and invigorated by their time there and went on the become activists in their own right. The film was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2021 Academy Awards.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Glasshouse Images/Shutterstock (11003726a) Ted Donaldson, on-set of the Film, “The Decision of Christopher Blake”, Warner Bros., 1948 Various
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Ted Donaldson, the former child actor who starred as Cornelius “Neeley” Nolan in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Bud Anderson in the original radio version of Father Knows Best, died March 1 at the age of 89. He made his big screen debut in the 1944 fantasy comedy Once Upon a Time opposite Cary Grant and Janet Blair, and also headlined all eight of the Adventures of Rusty children’s films, centered on a German Shepherd dog named Rusty. Other credits included movies Mr. Winkle Goes to War, A Guy, a Gal and a Pal, Personality Kid, The Decision of Christopher Blake, and Phone Call from a Stranger, and shows Front Row Center, Matinee Theatre, and The Silent Service. Donaldson also starred in the Broadway productions of Life With Father and Sons and Soldiers. Later in life, Donaldson taught acting classes and worked at a bookstore in Hollywood.
Tom Sizemore during “Babel” Los Angeles Premiere – Arrivals at Mann Village in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic)
| Credit: Jason Merritt/FilmMagic
Tom Sizemore, an actor who made memorable turns in Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, and Heat, died March 3 at 61 after suffering a brain aneurysm. Sizemore worked with many of Hollywood’s most esteemed directors, including Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone, and Michael Mann, and amassed more than 200 film and television credits, including True Romance, Natural Born Killers, Born on the Fourth of July, Strange Days, The Relic, Passenger 57, and Blue Steel. The embattled star struggled with drug abuse and faced numerous legal troubles, including a 2003 domestic violence conviction involving former fiancee Heidi Fleiss.
Steve Mackey of Pulp
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Steve Mackey, a record producer and bass guitarist for English rock band Pulp, died on March 2 following a three-month-long stay in the hospital. He was 56. Mackey joined Pulp a decade into the band’s career in 1989 and is featured on some of its biggest hits including “Common People,” “Do You Remember the First Time,” and “Disco 2000.” He was also a prolific producer who helped co-write Marianne Faithfull‘s “Sliding Through Life on Charm,” Florence + The Machine‘s “Kiss With a Fist,” and Arcade Fire‘s “Everything Now.” Alongside Pulp bandmate Jarvis Cocker, Mackey also appeared as a member of fictional wizard rock group The Weird Sisters in the 2005 film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Wayne Shorter, US jazz saxophonist, playing the saxophone during a live concert performance at the Town & Country Club in Kentish Town, London, England, Great Britain, in April 1987.
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Wayne Shorter, a master jazz saxophonist and composer, died March 2 at the age of 89. Shorter began his musical career in the 1950s as a member of the prominent jazz group Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He would later join Miles Davis’ Second Great Quintet in the 1960s before going on to co-found the jazz fusion band Weather Report in the following decade. The 12-time Grammy award-winning musician released more than 20 albums over his lifetime and frequently collaborated with an array of artists including Joni Mitchell, Carlos Santana, and Steely Dan. In 2002, Norah Jones told EW that there was simply “no way to be as cool as Wayne Shorter,” adding, “Who is that cool?”
PARSIPPANY, NJ – APRIL 26: Ricou Browning attends the 2013 Chiller Theatre Expo at Sheraton Parsippany Hotel on April 26, 2013 in Parsippany, New Jersey. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
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Ricou Browning, the actor who donned the Gill-man suit in extensive underwater sequences in Creature From the Black Lagoon, died Feb. 27 at 93. Browning, who reportedly could hold his breath for up to four minutes, was widely considered the last surviving actor to have played one of the original Universal monsters. He reprised the role in two sequels to the original 1954 film. Browning also worked extensively in marine coordination for television and film, often directing underwater sequences, including scenes in Thunderball, Never Say Never, and Caddyshack. He was also the creative force behind Flipper, both the movie and the TV series, directing 37 episodes of the television show and co-writing the film.
Dorian Zev Kweller
Ben Kweller, Dorian Kweller
Ben Kweller; Dorian Zev Kweller
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Dorian Zev Kweller, son of singer-songwriter Ben Kweller, died Feb. 27 at the age of 16. A rising musician, the young Kweller followed in his famous father’s footsteps as an aspiring artist who created music under the name Zev. He released the singles “SH3,” “How I Am,” “4th of July,” “Parachute,” “Nobody’s Perfect,” and “Hickeys,” and was set to play his first gig at South by Southwest weeks before his untimely death. He is survived by his parents and younger brother, Judah.
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Burny Mattinson, Walt Disney Animation’s longest-serving employee who worked as an animator, story artist, director, and producer across multiple films, died Feb. 27 at the age of 87. Mattinson was involved in many of the studio’s classics, from 1977’s The Rescuers all the way up to 2022’s Strange World. Disney had been planning to award Mattinson a first-of-its-kind honor on June 4 for 70 years of service to the company. Mattinson had been named a Disney Legend in 2008. In 2018, he broke the record for longest-serving Disney employee, which was previously held by Disney artist and Imagineer John Hench, who worked for nearly 65 years.
TORONTO – SEPTEMBER 11: Actor Gordon Pinsent of the film “Away From Her” poses for portraits in the Chanel Celebrity Suite at the Four Season hotel during the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2006 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
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Gordon Pinsent, the prolific Canadian actor who gained international recognition in Away From Her and voiced beloved children’s book character Babar the Elephant, died Feb. 25 at the age of 92. With more than 150 film and TV credits, Pinsent’s seven-decade-spanning career made him a household name in his native country. Notable credits include The Rowdyman, Due South, John and the Missus, A Gift to Last, The Red Green Show, Quentin Durgens, M.P, and American productions It Takes a Thief, Colossus: The Forbin Project, Banacek, and The Thomas Crown Affair. A three-time Genie Awards winner, Pinsent was also named a Companion of the Order of Canada and the recipient of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award and the Earle Grey Award. He voiced Babar in Babar: The Movie and on the animation series Babar and the Adventures of Badou. Beyond acting, Pinsent was a painter, writer, playwright, and director; he authored memoir By the Way and novels The Rowdyman and John and the Missus, which serve as the basis of the films in which he starred.
Jansen Panettiere at a Los Angeles event in 2015
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Jansen Panettiere, an actor who appeared on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon projects occasionally alongside his sister Hayden Panettiere, died on Feb. 19 from an enlarged heart. He was 28. After his first on-screen performance in an episode of Disney Channel’s Even Stevens, Jansen went on to give voiceover performances in animated movies and TV shows including Blue’s Clues, Ice Age: The Meltdown, and The X’s. His final screen performances were in 2019, for the film How High 2 and an episode of The Walking Dead. Since then, he seemed to dedicate himself more to visual art like graffiti and shoe designs, as seen on his Instagram.
Richard Belzer during Richard Belzer Ad Shoot for the “Little Shelter Animal Adoption Center” at Jim Saldano Studio in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jemal Countess/WireImage)
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Richard Belzer, the comedian and actor best known for his role as John Munch on the Law & Order franchise, died Feb. 19 at the age of 78. Belzer began his career as a stand-up comic, but his most memorable role came as investigator John Munch in the NBC crime drama Homicide: Life on the Street, which aired between 1993 and 1997, before becoming a fixture on the long-running Law & Order franchise. Over the course of two decades, Belzer played the wisecracking investigator not just within the franchise but in several other shows that spanned different networks, including The X-Files, The Wire, Arrested Development, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and 30 Rock. His other credits included films Scarface, Missing Pieces, The Puppet Masters and shows Mad About You, Minding the Store, and American Dad. A self-proclaimed conspiracy theorist, Belzer also authored a series of books, including UFOs, JFK, and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don’t Have to Be Crazy to Believe and Hit List: An In-Depth Investigation into the Mysterious Deaths of Witnesses to the JFK Assassination. Belzer survived testicular cancer in 1983, which he discussed in his stand-up special Another Lone Nut.
HILL STREET BLUES — Season 3 — Pictured: Barbara Bosson as Fay Furillo — (Photo by: Herb Ball/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
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Barbara Bosson, the Emmy-nominated actress best known for her role on Hill Street Blues, died Feb. 18. She was 83. Bosson’s first major onscreen role was in Steve McQueen’s 1968 crime film Bullitt, but she rose to critical acclaim while playing Fay Furillo on NBC’s 1980s drama Hill Street Blues — which was created by her then-husband, Steven Bochco. She earned five Emmy nominations from her time on that series, as well as an additional nomination a decade later for her work playing Miriam Grasso on ABC’s drama Murder One.
Kyle Jacobs and Kellie Pickler
Kyle Jacobs and Kellie Pickler
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Kyle Jacobs, a songwriter and the husband of American Idol alum Kellie Pickler, died on Feb. 17 at the age of 49. A CMA Award and ACM Award winner, Jacobs penned and produced a collection of country staples throughout his musical career, including co-writing Garth Brooks‘ 2007 hit “More Than a Memory,” which made history by becoming the first song ever to debut at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Jacobs went on to write for numerous country legends including Tim McGraw, Kelly Clarkson, Scotty McCreery, and his wife. Two of his co-written songs — “Back Home” and “Already Gone” — were also featured in the pilot episode of the musical series Nashville.
Stella Stevens, US actress, wearing a low-cut dark blue top in a studio portrait, against a light blue background, circa 1960.
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Stella Stevens, the beloved 1960s actress and bombshell who dazzled on screen in The Nutty Professor and Too Late Blues, died Feb. 17 at the age of 84. Born Estelle Eggleston, Stevens began her film career as a chorus girl in the 1959 film Say One for Me, a role that won her the Most Promising Female Newcomer award at the 17th Annual Golden Globes in 1960. She went on to share the screen with other legends, including Elvis Presley in the 1962 musical Girls! Girls! Girls!, Jerry Lee Lewis in 1963’s The Nutty Professor, and Dean Martin in 1966’s The Silencers. Her 50-year career in entertainment also included credits in 1972’s The Poseidon Adventure, 1975’s Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold, 1980’s Make Me an Offer, and 2005’s Pop Star.
R&B singer Chuck Jackson performs at the 27th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner to benefit the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis at The Waldorf Astoria on September 24, 2012 in New York City.
R&B singer Chuck Jackson died on Feb. 16, 2023.
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Chuck Jackson, an R&B singer and one of the first artists to make hit records out of music written by Burt Bacharach, died on Feb. 16 — little more than a week after Bacharach himself. Jackson was 85; his cause of death has not been disclosed. Born in Winston-Salem, N.C. in 1937, he grew up singing gospel music in church and began his professional career as a member of doo-wop group the Del-Vikings. After leaving the group in 1959, Jackson began recording as a solo artist and had his biggest hit with the Bacharach-composed “Any Day Now,” which became Jackson’s signature song and scored him a deal with Motown Records. Jackson’s longtime friend and fellow Bacharach collaborator Dionne Warwick had this to say after this death: “Another heartache has come my way. Chuck Jackson has made his transition. He was my label mate on Scepter Records and was like a big brother to me. I’ll truly miss his daily calls checking on me and his wonderful voice. Rest in heavenly peace, my dear friend.”
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Raquel Welch, an actress who rose to fame as a sex symbol during the 1960s, died Feb. 15 at the age of 82. Born Jo Raquel Tejada, Welch entered the zeitgeist with her roles as Cora in the 1966 sci-fi film Fantastic Voyage and Loana in the fantasy film One Million Years B.C. Though she only had a handful of lines in the latter title opposite John Richardson, her memorable outfit — a risqué deerskin bikini — turned her into an international sex symbol. She appeared in a steady number of films throughout the ’60s and ’70s, including The Queens, Bedazzled, Lady in Cement, Hannie Caulder, 100 Rifles, The Three Musketeers, and Crossed Swords. She won a Golden Globe for her work in The Three Musketeers in 1975. Other credits included Mork & Mindy, Evening Shade, Seinfeld, and, most recently, Legally Blonde, American Family, and How to be a Latin Lover.
Austin Majors in 2009
Austin Majors in 2009
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Austin Majors, the former child star known for for playing Dennis Franz’s son on NYPD Blue, died Feb. 11 at 27. Majors appeared on the long-running police drama from 1999 to 2004, and received a Young Artists Award for his work in 2002. His other screen credits included ER, Threshold, NCIS, Desperate Housewives, American Dad, According to Jim, and How I Met Your Mother. Majors, who also went by Austin Majors Setmajer-Raglin, graduated from the University of Southern California in 2017, after studying film production and cinematography. He also created music under the moniker Pope.
David “Trugoy the Dove” Jolicoeur
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 02: David Jolicoeur AKA Trugoy the Dove of the band De La Soul visits ‘Sway in the Morning’ with Sway Calloway on Eminem’s Shade 45 at the SiriusXM Studios on June 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images)
David Jolicoeur, also known as Trugoy the Dove, of De La Soul
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David Jolicoeur, member of the iconic hip hop trio De La Soul who performed under the stage name Trugoy the Dove, died at the age of 54. Jolicoeur formed De La Soul alongside Kelvin Mercer (also known as Posdnuos) and Vincent Mason (Maseo) in 1988, and the group burst into the scene with their 1989 debut album 3 Feet High and Rising, which featured classic tracks such as “Buddy” and “Me Myself and I.” The trio, best known for their use of eclectic samplings, have been celebrated for introducing rap to a broader audience, with Jolicoeur’s lyricisms and wordplay helping cement the group’s icon status on music charts and within the wider culture. Later albums include De La Soul is Dead, Stakes is High, Buhloone Mindstate, The Grind Date, and And the Anonymous Nobody.
Director Hugh Hudson attends a photocall for ‘Altamira’ at the Palace Hotel on March 31, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.
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Hugh Hudson, the British filmmaker who made his directorial debut with the Academy Award-winning film Chariots of Fire, died after a short illness on Feb. 10 at 86. His 1981 film — which starred Ben Cross and Nigel Havers as two British track stars whose separate religious beliefs influence their experiences at the 1924 Olympic Games — has been lauded as one of the greatest British films of all time and went on to win four Academy Awards including Best Picture. The director’s other credits include the 1984 Oscar-nominated adventure film Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes and the Al Pacino-fronted historical drama Revolution in 1985.
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Carlos Saura, a renowned auteur at the forefront of Spanish filmmaking, died Feb. 10 at 91. The director’s death came just one day before he was to receive an honorary award at the 2023 Goya Awards. The Film Academy of Spain announced that Saura was awarded the trophy days earlier and said the event would “commemorate the memory of an unrepeatable creator.” Saura’s credits included 1966’s The Hunt, which explored the lasting effects of the Spanish Civil War, and a revered Flamenco-inspired musical trilogy: 1981’s Blood Wedding, 1983’s Carmen, and 1986’s El Amor Brujo. His final film, the documentary Walls Can Talk, was released in Spanish cinemas a week before his death.
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 11: Actor Cody Longo attends the Primary Wave 11th annual pre-GRAMMY party at The London West Hollywood on February 11, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
Credit: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic
Cody Longo, an actor and musician known for his roles on Hollywood Heights and Days of Our Lives, died Feb. 8 at 34. Born March 4, 1987, in Denver, Colo., Longo started his career on the stage before moving on to television and film roles. His first on-screen roles include the video Hip Hop Kidz: It’s a Beautiful Thing and the music video for Jojo’s 2006 hit “How to Touch a Girl.” One of his most notable roles was as teen heartthrob Eddie Duran in Nick at Nite’s Hollywood Heights for 78 episodes. Fans of daytime television will recognize him as Nicholas “Nikki” Alamain from eight episodes of the soap Days of Our Lives. Longo also had other notable television appearances on CSI: NY, CSI, Nashville, The Catch, Secrets and Lies, and more. On the film side, he had roles in Fame, High School, Piranha 3D, The Silent Thief, Bring It On: Fight to the Finish, For the Love of Money, The Last Movie Star, Death House, and more.
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Burt Bacharach, the legendary composer behind beloved hits like “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” and “Walk on By,” died Feb. 8 at 94. Bacharach is widely considered one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. Alongside longtime collaborator and lyricist Hal David, he composed hundreds of pop songs that have since gone on to become modern standards, including the Academy Award-winning “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” for the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and “That’s What Friends Are For,” which was later popularized by Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder‘s 1985 cover. The six-time Grammy award winner released over 20 albums and arranged, conducted, and produced most of his own material, which has gone on to be recorded by over 1,000 different artists in the following years.
America’s Got Talent
Scott Alexander on ‘America’s Got Talent’
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Scott Alexander, the magician who captivated judges on season 6 of America’s Got Talent, died Feb. 5 following a stroke. Alexander appeared on the competition series in 2011 and impressed judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, and Howie Mandel by making his assistant, wife Jenny, appear out of thin air. He advanced to the Vegas Round and later Quarterfinals, where he created the illusion of a disappearing gospel choir, but did not receive enough votes to place in the competition. Alexander later appeared on season 2 of Penn & Teller: Fool Us in 2015, performing as part of a double act with season 7 AGT contestant the Magic of Puck, but the duo was unable to fool magician duo Penn & Teller. Alexander is survived by his wife and their three children.
Paco Rabanne in 1992
Fashion designer Paco Rabanne died on Feb. 3 at 88.
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Paco Rabanne, the iconic Spanish fashion designer known for his futuristic creations, died Feb. 3 at 88. In a statement posted on social media, the House of Paco Rabanne thanked him for “establishing our avant-garde heritage and defining a future of limitless possibilities.” Born Francisco Rabaneda Cuervo in Spain’s Basque region, Rabanne moved to Paris with his mother (a seamstress for Balenciaga) after his father died in the Spanish Civil War. He grew up to become a star of ’60s French fashion thanks to his use of unconventional materials like metal and plastic. One of his most iconic designs was the green sci-fi costume worn by Jane Fonda in Barbarella.
LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 10: Annie Wersching arrives at the premiere of Disney and Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” at the El Capitan Theatre on October 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Annie Wersching in 2017
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Annie Wersching, an actress best known for her work in 24, Bosch, Runaways and voicing the character Tess in the video game The Last of Us, died Jan. 29 at the age of 45 following a battle with cancer. Born and raised in St. Louis on Mar. 28, 1977, Wersching started her acting career in 2002 with a guest appearance on Star Trek: Enterprise, and continued racking up credits on Frasier, Angel, Charmed, Boston Legal, and Supernatural. In 2009, she was cast as FBI special agent Renee Walker on the seventh season of 24 and in 2013, Wersching voiced the character Tess in the video game The Last of Us, who is played by Anna Torv in HBO’s adaptation. Wersching’s other notable credits include Julia Brasher on Bosch, Emma Whitmore on Timeless, Leslie Dean on Runaways, and the Borg Queen on Stark Trek: Picard.
THE ADDAMS FAMILY – “Fester Goes on a Diet” – Season Two – 1/14/66, Wednesday (Lisa Loring); Lisa Loring at arrivals for Child Stars – Then And Now Exhibit Opening Reception, The Hollywood Museum, Los Angeles, CA August 18, 2016.
Lisa Loring, the original Wednesday Addams actress from ‘The Addams Family,’ died at 64.
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Lisa Loring, the former child star who played Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family 1960s sitcom, died Jan. 28 from a stroke caused by smoking and high blood pressure, according to Loring’s agent and friends. She was 64. Born Lisa Ann DeCinces in the Marshall Islands in 1958, Loring started her career as a child model. She soon scored a part on the Dr. Kildare medical drama. At the age of 5 and a half, she landed the role of Wednesday in the first adaptation of the Charles Addams New Yorker cartoons. Loring would go on to appear in The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., Fantasy Island, Barnaby Jones, As the World Turns, Savage Harbor, and Doctor Spine.
Tom Verlaine of Television performs on stage at Hammersmith Odeon, London, 16 April 1978. (Photo by Gus Stewart/Redferns)
Tom Verlaine, frontman of the pioneering 1970s punk-rock band Television, has died.
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Tom Verlaine, the influential guitarist and frontman of the pioneering punk-rock band Television, died Jan. 28 in New York City. He was 73. Born Thomas Miller, Verlaine moved to New York City in the late 1960s and changed his last name as a nod to the French poet Paul Verlaine. In 1973, he co-founded Television with bandmates Richard Hell, Richard Lloyd, and Billy Ficca. The group went on to shape the sound of New York City’s burgeoning punk-rock scene, performing at famed venues across the city, including CBGB and Max’s Kansas City. They released two critically acclaimed albums — 1977’s Marquee Moon and 1978’s Adventure — before breaking up in 1978. The following year, Verlaine kick-started his career as a successful solo artist, releasing several albums and frequently collaborating with other musicians, including Patti Smith. He reunited with Television in 1992, when they released their third, self-titled album, and Verlaine continued to perform with the band throughout his life.
English actress Sylvia Syms wearing an off-the-shoulder dress, circa 1955. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Sylvia Syms in 1955.
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Sylvia Syms, a British actress best known for her roles in 1958’s Ice Cold in Alex and 2006’s The Queen, died “peacefully” on Jan. 27 at Denville Hall, a London retirement home for actors and entertainers, the Associated Press reported. She was 89. Born in London in 1934, Syms graduated from London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before embarking on a 64-year career in entertainment during which she starred as Sister Diana Murdoch in the 1958 war story Ice Cold in Alex, sang and danced alongside Cliff Richard in 1959’s Expresso Bongo, and played the wife of a gay lawyer in the 1961 thriller Victim, the first British film to openly discuss homosexuality. Syms continued to appear on screen in multiple film and television series until 2019, landing roles in 1974’s The Tamarind Seed, 2003’s What a Girl Wants, and as the Queen Mother in 2006’s The Queen opposite Helen Mirren.
Cindy Williams in 1985
Cindy Williams in 1985
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Cindy Williams, who starred as Shirley Feeney on beloved sitcom Laverne & Shirley, died Jan. 25. She was 75. Williams first portrayed the role of Shirley opposite Penny Marshall as Laverne on Happy Days in 1975. They proved to be such popular characters that Garry Marshall spun them off into their own series, which ran on ABC from 1976 to 1983. She notably featured in George Lucas’ American Graffiti as Laurie Henderson, high school sweetheart to Ron Howard’s Steve, and appeared in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation as Ann, one of the people whom Gene Hackman’s surveillance expert Harry Caul has been hired to spy on. Williams also guest-starred in shows like 8 Simple Rules and Law and Order: SVU, and she made her Broadway debut in 2007 in The Drowsy Chaperone.
Lance Kerwin on ‘James at 16’
Lance Kerwin on ‘James at 16’
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Lance Kerwin, the former child actor who made a name for himself with roles on the coming-of-age drama James at 16 and in the Stephen King miniseries Salem’s Lot, died Jan. 24 at 62. Kerwin began his career in the 1970s and appeared in more than 50 TV shows and movies. His titular role in James at 16 (originally James at 15), as a teenager adjusting to life in Boston after his family makes the move from Oregon, propelled him to heartthrob status during its run from 1977 to 1978. Kerwin’s other screen credits included the TV series Wonder Woman, Little House on the Prairie, The Family Holvak, The New Lassie, and Insight, as well as the movie Outbreak. He recently returned to acting after decades away with a small role in the independent film The Wind & the Reckoning.
LOS ANGELES – APRIL 1988: Rock and roll legend David Crosby poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images)
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David Crosby, the legendary rocker and co-founder of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, died Jan. 18 at age 81. A Grammy winner and 10-time nominee, Crosby was a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee for his work with influential rock groups the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash (later Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), the latter of which he co-formed in 1968. The band’s debut album, which featured hits “Marrakesh Express” and “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and won them Best New Artist at the Grammys. Crosby, who briefly studied drama in college, also made a string of TV appearances in The John Larroquette Show, Roseanne, and The Simpsons, as well as film appearances in Hook and Thunderheart.
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Van Conner, the bassist and co-founder of the alternative rock band Screaming Trees, died Jan. 17 at 55. Conner founded Screaming Trees in 1984 with his guitarist brother Gary Lee Conner, vocalist Mark Lanegan, and drummer Mark Pickerel; Barrett Martin replaced Pickerel in 1991. The band released eight studio albums, including Buzz Factory, Sweet Oblivion, Invisible Lantern, and Uncle Anesthesia, and several EPs. Their notable songs included “Nearly Lost You,” “All I Know,” and “Clairvoyance.” After various hiatuses, Screaming Trees released their final album, Last Words: The Final Recordings, in 2011 and went on to pursue solo careers.
Gina Lollobrigida in publicity portrait for the film ‘Woman Of Rome’, 1954
Gina Lollobrigida in ‘Woman Of Rome’
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Gina Lollobrigida, an actress and postwar international sex symbol once declared the “most beautiful woman in the world,” died Jan. 15 at 95. The Italian film star rose to prominence in post-war cinema ranging from epics like Solomon and Sheba to dramas like Trapeze to outright comedies like Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell and Come September. She was also a gifted artist, photojournalist, and sculptor. She officially retired from acting in 1997, but remained an active public figure, returning to her first loves of painting and sculpting and even making an unsuccessful run for European Parliament in 1999. Her art has been displayed all over the world and she won numerous accolades, including the “Legion of Honor” as “artiste de valeur” from France. Earlier this year, she announced plans to run for Senate. “I was just tired of hearing politicians arguing with each other without ever getting to the point,” Lollobrigida said in August. “Italy is in bad shape, I want to do something good and positive.”
Actor Yoshio Yoda dies at 88.
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Yoshio Yoda, a Japanese actor and businessman best known for his role on the ’60s TV series McHale’s Navy, died on Jan. 13 in Fullerton, Calif. He was 88. Born in Tokyo, Yoda moved to the United States to pursue an acting career. His fluency in English and Japanese helped him land his first role was in the 1962 war film The Horizon Lieutenant. That led to his role in McHale’s Navy, where he portrayed Japanese prisoner of war Fuji Kobiaji on all 138 episodes.
Al Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/Shutterstock (1636655a) The Wire, Al Brown Film and Television
Al Brown in ‘The Wire’
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Al Brown, who played the savvy and menacing Baltimore Police Department commissioner Stan Valchek on HBO‘s The Wire, died on Jan. 13 in Las Vegas at 83. Brown came to acting later in life, after serving for 29 years in the Air Force. He began his Hollywood career in the ’90s, with small roles in television (Homicide: Life on the Street, The F.B.I. Files) and movies (12 Monkeys, The Replacement). His breakthrough role came in 2002 with David Simon‘s The Wire. As Stanislaus “Stan” Valchek, Brown appeared in all five seasons of the critically adored drama. His character took on a primary role in season 2, which centered on corruption at Baltimore’s shipping docks — and Valchek’s petty feud with dockworker union boss Frank Sobotka (Chris Bauer) over the donation of a stained glass window to a local church. Though Brown’s Valchek was one of many intimidating yet hilarious characters on The Wire, the actor’s comedic timing and brash swagger made Stan Valchek a fan favorite.
Contestant C.J. Harris performs onstage on FOX’s “American Idol” Season 13 Men Perform Live Show on February 19, 2014 in Hollywood, California.
C.J. Harris on ‘American Idol’
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C.J. Harris, who made it into the top six on American Idol season 13, died on Jan. 13 in Jasper, Ala., after suffering a medical emergency. Born in Jasper in 1991, Harris was inspired to take up music by his grandfather, who gave him a guitar when he was a child. “He had one in the shed and it had three strings on it,” Harris told The Hollywood Reporter in 2014. “He said I didn’t need to buy a whole new set of strings.” The singer first auditioned for American Idol in 2010, and also tried out unsuccessfully for Fox’s The X-Factor and NBC’s The Voice. Undaunted, Harris returned to audition for Idol again in 2014, where he impressed the judges with his rendition of The Allman Brothers’ “Soul Shine.” After placing sixth on American Idol, Harris performed with other contestants on the show’s live tour, and he played with one of his musical influences, Darius Rucker, at the Grand Ole Opry in 2014. His debut single, “In Love,” was released in 2019.
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Daredevil Robbie Knievel, the stunt performer famous for record-breaking motorcycle jumps and the son of Evel Knievel, died on Jan. 13 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 60. During his lifetime, “Kaptain Robbie Knievel” set 20 world records and completed hundreds of dangerous jumps, some paying tribute to the feats of his father. In 1989, Knievel successfully jumped the fountains at Caesars Palace in Vegas, two decades after his dad’s failed attempt. In 1999, Knievel cleared a portion of the Grand Canyon, something his father had dreamed of doing. Throughout his career, he jumped over such imposing obstacles as 30 limos, five military planes, and a moving train, as well as the gap between two 13-story buildings. Knievel also headlined the 2005 A&E reality series Knievel’s Wild Ride.
Lisa Marie Presley
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 10: Lisa Marie Presley with Icelandic Glacial at the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton on January 10, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Icelandic Glacial)
Lisa Marie Presley
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Lisa Marie Presley, the singer-songwriter and daughter of Elvis Presley, died Jan. 12 following a suspected cardiac arrest. She was 54. The only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie proved she was a musician in her own right by releasing her debut album, To Whom It May Concern, on which she wrote or co-wrote every song. The album reached No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart, and would later go on to be certified gold. Her sophomore album Now What, also debuted in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. She was married four times, to Danny Keough, Michael Jackson, Nicolas Cage, and Michael Lockwood, and had four children, including actress Riley Keough.
Drummer Robbie Bachman from Canadian group Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO) performs live on stage at the New Fillmore East in New York in December 1974.
Bachman-Turner Overdrive drummer Robbie Bachman
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Robbie Bachman, the drummer of the legendary ’70s rock band Bachman-Turner Overdrive, died Jan. 12 at 69. Born in Winnipeg, Canada, in 1953, Robin “Robbie” Peter Kendall Bachman grew up playing drums in a musical family alongside older brothers Randy and Tim. The trio performed together in the band Brave Belt, which later changed its name to Bachman-Turner Overdrive in 1973. As the co-founder and original drummer of BTO, Robbie’s rollicking drumming can heard on eight of the band’s chart-topping records. He also helped co-write some of their biggest hits — including 1973’s “Hold Back the Water” and 1974’s “Roll On Down the Highway” — and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2014.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP/Shutterstock (9052523n) Actor Charles Kimbrough attends “Murphy Brown: A 25th Anniversary Event” presented by ENCORE, in New York ENCORE Presents Murphy Brown: A 25th Anniversary Event, New York, USA
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Charles Kimbrough, the Tony and Emmy-nominated actor best known for his role as straight-faced anchorman Jim Dial on the hit sitcom Murphy Brown, died Jan. 11 at the age of 86. A veteran stage actor, Kimbrough got his big break in the original production of Stephen Sondheim‘s Company, for which he earned a Tony nomination in 1971. He later appeared in another acclaimed Sondheim musical, 1984’s Sunday in the Park With George, and has also starred in Candide, as well as Same Time, Next Year, Accent on Youth, The Merchant of Venice, and most recently, the 2012 revival of Harvey opposite Jim Parsons. Kimbrough would go on to achieve greater mainstream success for his role as Jim Dial on Murphy Brown, which he starred on throughout its 10-season run between 1988 and 1998. He even reprised the role for a few episodes of the 2018 reboot. His other credits include TV shows Kojak, All My Children, American Playhouse, Love Boat: The Next Wave and movies The Front, It’s My Turn, and The Good Mother. Kimbrough also did voiceover work for the 1996 animated film The Hunchback of Notre Dame and shows Recess and Pinky and the Brain.
Ben Masters in 2003
Ben Masters in 2003
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Ben Masters, who starred as billionaire Julian Crane on the soap opera Passions, died Jan. 11 at 75. The actor also appeared on Broadway and had roles on the big screen in All That Jazz, Key Exchange, Dream Lover, and Making Mr. Right. However, he was best known for playing the cheating billionaire in a whopping 772 episodes of Passions, a role for which he received three Soap Opera Digest Awards nominations. Masters had many other roles on TV over the years, however, including in the miniseries Celebrity and Noble House, and on shows such as Kojak, Petrocelli, Touched by an Angel, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Barnaby Jones, Diagnosis Murder, Sisters, and Pensacola: Wings of Gold.
Unspecified – 1975: Carole Cook appearing on the ABC Saturday morning tv series ‘Uncle Croc’s Block’. (Photo by Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)
Carole Cook on ‘Uncle Croc’s Block’
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Carole Cook, the comedic actress who rose to fame with the help and mentorship of Lucille Ball, died Jan. 11. She was three days shy of her 99th birthday. Born Mildred Frances Cook in Abilene, Tex. on Jan. 14, 1924, Cook changed her first name to Carole on the suggestion of Ball, after Carole Lombard. Ball, after reading a review of Cook’s performance in Annie Get Your Gun, invited the young actress to audition for her Desilu Workshop. After signing with Ball’s production company, Cook even lived with the legendary comedian after her divorce from Desi Arnaz. Cook went on to appear in a number of films and TV shows, working with Ball on The Lucy Show and Here Comes Lucy, playing Don Knotts’ wife in The Incredible Mr. Limpet, and notching memorable roles in American Gigolo and Sixteen Candles. A prolific guest actress, she made appearances on everything from That Girl and Maude, to Charlie’s Angels and Kojak, Starsky & Hutch and Laverne & Shirley, to Dynasty and, of course, The Love Boat. In 2018, Cook was the subject of some unintended controversy when she suggested the best way to deal with then-President Donald Trump was assassination, asking, “Where’s John Wilkes Booth when you need him?” As a result, Cook was paid a visit by the Secret Service, whom she said “couldn’t have been nicer.” Of the incident she quipped, “I said, ‘I can’t go to prison, the stripes are horizontal, they don’t look good on me.'”
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Legendary guitarist Jeff Beck died on Jan. 10 at 78 after contracting bacterial meningitis. Once named one of the five greatest guitarists ever by Rolling Stone, Beck’s influence was immense. He is widely credited with expanding the possibilities of blues music and popularized the use of audio feedback and distortion, influencing the sound of heavy metal. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice — once as a member of the Yardbirds and again for his work with the Jeff Beck group. Beck won eight Grammy Awards over the course of his career, the first being Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1986 for “Escape” from the album Flash. In recent years, the rocker had collaborated with embattled actor Johnny Depp. The duo released a cover of John Lennon’s “Isolation” in 2020, playing off the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Depp joined Beck on stage in the U.K. in June 2022 after his victory in the defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard. The pair’s collaborative album, 18, was released in July 2022.
Le top model Tatjana Patitz défile pour Hervé Léger en octobre 1992 à Paris, France.
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Supermodel Tatjana Patitz died on Jan. 11 at 56. Considered one of the original supermodels, the Germany-born beauty modeled for the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Chanel, and Donna Karan, among others, and appeared on the cover of Vogue six different times. She also famously appeared in George Michael’s “Freedom ’90” music video alongside Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington. Her cause of death was not made public.
Melinda Dillon in ‘Harry and the Hendersons’
Melinda Dillon in ‘Harry and the Hendersons’
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Melinda Dillon, best known as harried and loving Mrs. Parker, in 1983’s A Christmas Story, died Jan. 9. She was 83. Though she is most recognizable for her role in the holiday classic, Dillon had a long career and was twice Oscar-nominated, for her turn as a single mom in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and as a sheltered Catholic woman in Absence of Malice. Dillon also earned a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut as Honey in the original 1962 production of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Other notable roles include turns in Magnolia, Bound for Glory, Slap Shot, Harry and the Hendersons, and The Prince Of Tides.
UNITED STATES – MARCH 30: EIGHT IS ENOUGH – Adam Rich Portrait – Season Two – 3/30/78, Adam Rich played Nicholas Bradford, the youngest of eight children of a newspaper columnist., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)
Adam Rich in ‘Eight Is Enough’
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Adam Rich, the former child star who played Nicholas Bradford on the sitcom Eight Is Enough, died Jan. 7 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 54. A cause of death was not made public. In addition to the family sitcom, which ran on ABC from 1977 to 1981, Rich also appeared on several shows and TV movies throughout much of the late 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, including CHiPs, Fantasy Island, Small Wonder, Dungeons & Dragons, Code Red, and Baywatch. He briefly returned to acting in 2003 to play himself in the comedy film Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. He also reprised his role as the youngest Bradford son in the TV movies Eight Is Enough: A Family Reunion and An Eight Is Enough Wedding.
Los Angeles, CA – 1980: Earl Boen appearing in the ABC tv series ‘It’s A Living’.
Earl Boen in ‘It’s A Living’
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Earl Boen, a prolific character and voice actor best known as Dr. Peter Silberman in the Terminator films, died Jan. 5 in Hawaii. He was 81. Boen flexed his acting skills in over 250 different films, television series, and video games throughout his decades-long career in entertainment. He is widely recognized for his performance as the dreaded Dr. Silberman in 1984’s Terminator — a role which he reprised in 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, and via archival footage in 2019’s Terminator: Dark Fate.
EARTH, WIND & FIRE – IN CONCERT – “California Jam” Concert Coverage – Airdate: April 6, 1974
Fred White drumming with Earth, Wind & Fire.
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Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White died Jan. 1 at 67. White joined Earth, Wind & Fire as a teenager in 1974, helping them score their first Billboard No. 1 song with “Shining Star,” and providing beats for their other hits like “September” and “Let’s Groove.” His brother, Verdine White, a founding member of the group, announced the death on New Year’s Day, saying he joins their late bandmate siblings, Maurice, Monte, and Ronald. “Child protégé, member of the EWF ORIGINAL 9, with gold records at the young age of 16 years old!” Verdine wrote on Instagram. “He was brother number 4 in the family lineup. But more than that at home and beyond he was the wonderful bro that was always entertaining and delightfully mischievous!”
Gangsta Boo of Three 6 Mafia
Gangsta Boo of Three 6 Mafia
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Lola Chantrelle Mitchell, better known as the rapper Gangsta Boo, was found dead Jan. 1, though no cause of death was determined. She was 43. The Memphis native was a member of Three 6 Mafia and released six albums with them before leaving the group in 2001. She also released three solo albums and a number of mixtapes, in addition to regularly making guest appearances on other artists’ tracks.