2016 Obits – September through December

jerry-hellerSeptember 2: Jerry Heller, 75: N.W.A.’s controversial original manager and music veteran died of a heart attack at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Heller was in his mid-40s when he joined with Easy-E and the Ruthless Records label. But Heller’s efforts helped N.W.A. make hardcore hip-hop popular around the world. Outspoken, he sued the makers of the 2015 hit biopic Straight Outta Compton and was the subject of numerous dis songs and videos.

September 6: Darren Seals, 29: Ferguson activist, who protected the streets and sought justice for Michael Brown Jr.’s death died in North St. Louis County from a gun shot wound. He was a factory line worker and a hip-hop musician and became an activist following the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager who was fatally shot by a white Ferguson police officer.

September 7: Bobby Chacon, 64: world champion boxer (1974-1975, 1982-1983) from San Fernando Valley and suffered from the effects of brain damage, fell and struck his head in a Hemet care facility and succumbed to his injuries.

ladychablis-1473340985September 8: The Lady Chablis, 59: Savannah actress, who was best known for her role in Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil, passed away surrounded by friends and family, from pneumonia. Lady Chablis was known as a premiere Savannah entertainer, one of Club One’s first.

September 11: Alexis Arquette, 47: transgender actress and activist, who was known for playing a Boy George inspired character in The Wedding Singer has died. She was a sibling of Patricia, Rosanna, David and Richmond Arquette. Cause of death has not been confirmed.

September 16: Edward Albee, 88: Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who challenged theatrical convention in masterworks such as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and A Delicate Balance.

September 16: W.P. Kinsella, 81: Canadian novelist who blended magical realism and baseball in the book that became the smash hit film Field of Dreams.

September 16: Trisco Pearson, 53: R&B singer from the Force MDs, cancer.

September 16: Gabe Regard, 45: reality TV personality from Ax Men, did in a car crash.

September 17: Chairman Carr, 73: actress and singer who played Liesl in The Sound of Music and sang “I am 16 going on 17,” died from complications from dementia. She is survived by her sisters and brothers, her niece and her four grandchildren.

September 20: Curtis Hanson, 71: film director, screenwriter and Oscar winner (1998) for L.A. Confidential but also helmed such box-office hits like The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (1992) and Eminem’s 8 Mile (2002) died at his home in the Hollywood Hills. Paramedics had been called to the scene and found him. Friends stated that he had been battling a rare terminal condition for some time known as frontotemporal degeneration. Similar to Alzheimer’s, with its own set of symptoms and challenges.

September 21: George T. Odom, 66: actor (Straight Out of Brooklyn, The Hurricane, Law & Order), who also wrote scripts. He is survived by his sister, children, grandson and other family.

September 25: José Fernández, 24: Cuban-born American baseball player (Miami Marlins) was one of three men killed in a boating accident. None of them was wearing a life vest. Fernández died from trauma, not drowning.

kashif-copySeptember 25: Kashif, 59: producer, Whitney Houston collaborator and B.T. Express member died at his home of undetermined causes.

September 25: Arnold Palmer, 87: Golfing great who brought a country-club sport to the masses with a hard-charging style, charisma and a commoner’s touch.

September 26: Toughie: Panamanian frog, likely the last of his species (Rabbs fringe-limbed tree frog) died quietly in his enclosure at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

September 28: Chamsulvara Chamsulvarayev, 32: Russian-born Azeri freestyle wrestler and ISIS terrorist, killed in an air strike.

September 28: Gary Glasberg, 50: NCIS Showrunder and beloved executive producer on the most watched show in the world passed away in his sleep, suddenly. He was a married father of two and was juggling duties on NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans.

September 28: Shimon Peres, 93: Former Israeli president and prime minister, whose life story mirrored that of the Jewish state and who was celebrated around the world as a Nobel prize-winning visionary who pushed his country toward peace.

September 30: George Barris, 94: the man who took the last photos of Marilyn Monroe on a beach in July of 1962, died at his home in Thousand Oaks, Calif. After he photographed Monroe, he moved to France after her death and remained there for two decades. In 1995, he published a book, Marilyn: Her Life in Her Own Words: Marilyn Monroe’s Revealing Last Words and Photographs, that featured his iconic photos. He claimed that they had been working on the book together. They had become friends after they met on the set of The Seven-Year Itch (1955).

cameron-mooreOctober 5: Cameron Moore, 25: basketball center (Reyer Venezia Mestre) was betrayed by his heart condition while training with first division team AV Ohrid from FYROM. He was diagnosed with cardiomegaly in 2015.

October 5: Josh Samman, 28: mixed martial arts fighter from Tallahassee died in South Florida. He had been hospitalized later in the week and was in a coma. He was moved to hospice, was breathing and had pulse. Police suspected it may have been a drug overdose.

October 5: Rod Temperton, 66: English keyboardist (Heatwave) and songwriter (Rock With You, Give Me the Night, Thriller) after a brief aggressive battle with cancer. Other hits included Off The Wall and Baby Be Mine for Jackson and Boogie Nights for his band, Heatwave.

October 12: Rick Gudex, 48: politician, member of the Wisconsin Senate (since 2013) died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the chest, stated the Fond du Lac County Medical Examiner’s Office. His body was found around 1:30am in the Town of Eden. Toxicology rest results are pending.

quentin-grovesOctober 15: Quentin Groves, 32: football payer, Auburn career sacks leader and NFL defensive end/linebacker apparently died from a heart attack.

October 16: Jia Jia, 38: Chinese giant panda, the world’s largest, was euthanized at Hong Kong’s Ocean park. She had been losing interest in food and losing weight over the past few weeks.

michael-massee-24_0October 20: Michael Massee, 64: the prolific villain in countless television shows died of cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He most recently appeared as a guest star across 12 episodes of 24’s first season in 2001 as Ira Gaines, a leader of a terror cell. I know him from his appearance in Rizzoli & Isles and Criminal Minds. He also appeared on Carnivale, Alias and Flashforward. Massee was the actor who pulled the trigger on a faulty prop gun that accidentally killed Brandon Lee during production of a scene on 1994’s The Crow.

October 22: Steve Dillon, 54: English comic book artist known for Preacher, The Punisher and Judge Dredd died in New York City from appendicitis.

October 25: Kevin Curran, 59: Emmy winner and longtime Simpsons writer who spent 15 year on the show died Tuesday at his home after a long illness. He is survived by a son and daughter that he had with his former partner, author Helen Fielding.

October 29: Norman Brokaw, 89: talent agent and influential William Morris leader who basically built the television department from scratch, died in Beverly Hills after a long illness. Some of his clients included Marilyn Monroe, Danny Thomas, Clint Eastwood, Bill Cosby, Loretta Young, Andy Griffith, Natalie Wood and more.

leonard-cohenNovember 7: Leonard Cohen, 82: Canadian singer-songwriter. His intensely personal lyrics explored themes of love, faith, death and philosophical longing made him a cult artist and whose song “Hallelujah” became a anthem recorded by hundreds of artists. He was a poet and a novelist before he stepped onto the stage as a performer in the 60s.

November 7: Janet Reno, 78: lawyer, politician, and the first woman to serve as U.S. Attorney General (1993-2001) died from complications of Parkinson’s disease. She was one of the Clinton administration’s most recognizable figures and faced criticism early in her tenure for the raid on the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas. In the spring of 2000, she authorized the armed seizure of then 5-year-old Elian Gonzalez from the home of his relatives so he could be returned to Cuba with his father.

robert-vaughn-2-shotNovember 11: Robert Vaughn, 83: his Napoleon Solo on NBC’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. set TV’s standard for suavity and crime busting cool died after a brief battle with acute leukemia. He died with his family around him.

November 13: Leon Russell, 74: Hall of Fame musician and songwriter, emerged in the 70s as one of rock ’n roll’s dynamic performers and songwriters after playing anonymously on dozens of pop hits as a much in-demand studio pianist in the 60s. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. He died in his sleep in Nashville, Tenn., his wife said in a statement on his website.

November 14: Gwen Ifill, 61: veteran journalist and newscaster who co-anchored PBS NewsHour and broke gender and racial barriers along the way died from endometrial cancer while covering this year’s presidential election.

mahpiya-skaNovember 14: Mahpiya Ska (White Cloud), 20: White Cloud, North Dakota’s iconic albino buffalo has died of old age. Genetic testing early in her life revealed that White Cloud was a true albino and also a genetically pure bison. Bison have a life expectancy of 20-25 years. Her white hair made it difficult for her to regulate her body temperature in the winter and summer and may have been a factor in her health problems.

November 14: David Mancuso, 72: DJ and pioneer of the NYC Underground Club Scene and the legendary “invite-only” parties, later known as The Loft. He pioneered the idea of underground private parties in New York in the early 70s as an alternative to the city’s commercial nightclub scene, which quickly took off and became a haven for exciting dance music in the city. A cause of death is unknown.

November 15: Lisa Lynn Masters, 52: actress who guest-starred in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Gossip Girl and Ugly Betty died while traveling in Peru. It is believed to be an apparent suicide by hanging.

November 17: Steve Triglia, 54: A British stuntman was killed in an abseil race from helicopter. According to The Sun, he fell 90m in China. Other details are not available. Ropes that were used had been left out overnight in heavy rain, making them potentially unsafe for the event. Triglia was well known for his work on James Bond and Mission Impossible films.

sharon-jonesNovember 18: Sharon Jones, 60: soul and funk revival band member of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings passed away after a sustained battle with pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings. She was first diagnosed in 2013 and after surgery and some treatment, she went out touring with the band in 2014. But her cancer returned in November of 2015, two years after the release of the band’s album, Give the People What They Want. She was also the subject of a recent documentary, Miss Sharon Jones!, chronicling her first battle with cancer and her relationship with the Dap-Kings.


November 24: Florence Henderson, 84: born in Dale, IN, Florence Henderson career spanned six decades. She is best known for her role as matriarch Carol Brady on the ABC sitcom The Brady Bunch which ran from 1969 to 1974. She also hosted cooking and variety shows and was on Dancing with the Stars in 2010. She died of heart failure on Thanksgiving Day.

November 25: Fidel Castro, 90: He led his bearded rebels to victorious revolution in 1959, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of U.S. presidents during his half-century of rule in Cuba.

ron-glassNovember 25: Ron Glass, 71: he was the stylish and sassy NYPD detective on Barney Miller. He was an aspiring author. He was Shepherd Booth on the short-lived, cult favorite Firefly (as well as the movie Serenity), and his lengthy resume continues with voiceover work on Rugrats, Superman, Aladdin and The Proud Family. A spokesperson confirmed that he died of respiratory failure.

November 26: Fritz Weaver, 90: Tony-Winning character actor died at his home in Manhattan, confirmed my his son-in-law.

November 28: Jim Delligatti, 98: you probably don’t recognize his name, but there’s a “Big” chance you’ve eaten his invention. Jim Dellligatti’s McDonald’s franchise created the Big Mac nearly 50 years ago and saw it become the best-known fast-food sandwich in the world. He died at home in Pittsburgh. According to his son, Delligatti ate at least one Big Mac (540 calories) a week for decades.

November 28: Keo Woodford, 49: filmmaker and actor (Hawaii Five-0, Godzilla, Act of Valor) died from complications from a stroke.

November 28: Brazilian people killed in the crash of LaMia Flight 2933: Ailton Canela, 22; Dener Assunção Braz, 21; Sérgio Manoel Barbosa Santos, 27; Matheus Biteco, 21; Mateus Caramelo, 22; Ananias Eloi Castro Monteiro, 27; Victorino Chermont, 43 (reporter); Paulo Julio Clement, 51 (commentator); José Gildeixon Clemente de Paiva, 29; Guilherme Gimenez de Souza, 21; Lucas Gomes da Silva, 26; Josimar, 30; Caio Júnior, 51 (player and manager); Everton Kempes dos Santos Gonçalves, 34; Filipe Machado, 32; Arthur Maia, 24; Marcelo Augusto Mathias da Silva, 25; Delfim Peixoto, 75 (politician and football executive; vice-president of CBF, president of Federacão Catarinense de Futebol and congressman); Deva Pascovicci, 51 (announcer Fox Sports); Mário Sérgio Pontes de Paiva, 66 (football player, manager and commentator Fox Sports); Bruno Rangel, 34; Tiaga da Rocha Vieira, 22; Cléber Santana, 35; Thiego, 30; Marcos Danilo Padiha, 31 (died on November 29 from injuries)

December 1: Joe McKnight, 28: former USC running back was shot and killed following a road rage altercation just outside New Orleans in Terrytown, Louisiana. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The shooter, 54-year old Ronald Gasser, remained at the scene and was arrested.

December 5: Big Syke (Tyruss Himes), 41: rapper and Tupac collaborator, apparently died of natural causes. Big Syke was found dead in his home in Hawthorne, Calif., according to law enforcement sources. No foul play is suspected.

December 5: Rahsaan Salaam, 42: former Chicago Bears football player and Heisman trophy winner (1994) was found dead at a park in Boulder, Colo. Police have determined that there were no signs of foul play. His mother told USA Today that “they found a note” and police told her it was a suspected suicide.

cindy-stowellDecember 5: Cindy Stowell, 51: Jeopardy! contestant Cindy Stowell never saw herself on Jeopardy!. She was fighting Stage 4 colon cancer when she recorded episodes in August and September, competing on painkillers and fighting off a fever that caused makeup artists to rush onstage to clean up her sweat. She died just over a week before her taped episodes began showing. But once the world saw her compete and heard her story, she inspired fans unlike anyone in the quiz shows’s 33-year history. Before dying she pledged her more than $100,000 in winnings to the Cancer Research Institute.

December 6: Peter Vaughan, 93: He played Maester Aemon for 5 years in the HBO series, Game of Thrones. He had many other roles in British TV shows including Citizen Smith, Chancer and Our Friends in the North. He died peacefully with his family around him.

lake-center-elpDecember 7: Greg Lake, 69: English singer, musician and front man for both King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer died after a “long and stubborn battle with cancer,” said his manager. His band-mate, Keith Emerson died nine months earlier of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

December 8: John Glenn, 95: His 1962 flight as the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth made him an all-American hero and propelled him to a long career in the U.S. Senate.

December 10: Eric Michael Hilton, 83: founded Three Square food bank almost a decade ago when he discovered that Clark County, Nevada would soon be without a food bank. The youngest son of Hilton Hotels Corp. founder Conrad Hilton, Texas native Eric Hilton began working for his father’s company in 1949 and was promoted several times before retiring as vice chairman emeritus in 1997. He lived in many places, including Las Vegas, before becoming a full-time valley resident in 2013. He died in his sleep at his Las Vegas home.

December 11: Bob Kkrasnow, 82: record label executive of Electra Records and co-founder of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

December 12: Konrad Neuland, 29: former tight end with the Baltimore Ravens died following a brain aneurysm. He had emergency surgery two weeks earlier in hopes of rectifying the issue, but succumbed and died. 

colburnDecember 13: Lawrence Manley Colburn, 67: he was the helicopter gunner in the Vietnam War who helped end the slaughter of hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese villagers by U.S. troops at My Lai. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize in 2001 for his actions and received the Soldier’s Medal, the highest U.S. military award for bravery not involving conflict with the enemy.His wife said her husband was diagnosed with cancer in late September and it took his life.

December 13: Alan Thicke, 69: sit-com actor, talk show host, reality TV star, composter, author. Alan Thicke didn’t just wait around for the phone to ring. He gained his greatest renown as the beloved dad on the sitcom Growing Pains. He died of a ruptured aorta.

December 15: Craig Sager, 65: Sager sported suits in every color of the rainbow and beyond. But he was better known for his probing questions when covering the Olympics, Major League Baseball playoffs, the NFL and NCAA tournaments. But he loved the NBA and worked games for TNT for nearly a quarter-century. He had leukemia.

December 17: Henry Heimlich, 96: Surgeon who created the life-saving Heimlich maneuver for choking victims. Complications from a heart attack.

December 18: Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99: a social butterfly well before there was social media. She was well known more for beauty and glamour than acting and was a regular on TV talk shows and for her nine marriages. She died at her Bel Air home from a heart attack.

December 19: Andrei Karlov, 62: Russian diplomat and Ambassador to Turkey (since 2013), he was shot dead in Ankara by a Turkish policeman, apparently in protest of Russia’s involvement in Aleppo.

red-solo-cupDecember 21: Robert Leo Hulseman, 84: the man who launched hundreds of thousands of keg parties died in Northfield, Illinois, surrounded by his family. Hulseman is credited with inventing the Red Solo Cup in the 70s. His father, Leo, founded the Solo Cup Company in the 1930s. Part of the popularity of the cup is its inside rings which mark 1.5 ounces for liquor, 5 ounces for wine and 12 ounces for beer. Though it’s not clear why the cup was made bright red, the Solo Cup brand manager, Rebecca Bikoff told “Vice” in June ‘It makes sense that consumers would gravitate to this color when you think about the kind of occasions it’s used at.’ Hulseman began working at his father’s company at 18 in various roles until it was a $1.6 billion a year in revenue.

george-michaelDecember 25: George Michael, 53: he rose to fame as part of the 80s pop duo Wham and went on to sell more than 100 million albums in a career that spanned four decades. He was a songwriter (Careless Whisper, Last Christmas, Faith). He died at his home of suspected heart failure.

December 27: Carrie Fisher, 60: known best for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, Carrie Fisher was also a novelist and a screenwriter. Her son, Billie Lourd, confirmed that his mother passed away at approximately 9am in morning on the 27th. Her mother, the iconic Debbie Reynolds wrote on Facebook, “Thank you to everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing carrie-fisherdaughter.” Fisher suffered a heart attack last week aboard a Los Angeles-bound flight 15 minutes prior to landing. A medic on board performed CPR until paramedics arrived and she was transferred to UCLA Medical Center where she was immediately placed on a ventilator. George Lucas said, “In Star Wars, she was our great and powerful princess — feisty, wise and full of hope in a role that was more difficult than most people might think.” Harrison Ford, who played alongside Fisher added: “Carrie was one-of-a-kind, brilliant, original. Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely.” Mark Hamill tweeted: no words #Devastated and included a picture of himself as Luke Skywalker and Fisher as Princess Leia. I think Billie Dee Williams said it best, “The force is dark today!”

la-me-debbie-reynoldsDecember 28: Debbie Reynolds 84: she was a triple threat: she sang, she danced, she acted. And her death was tragic, coming one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher. It’s reported that she said she wanted to “see her again” and within 30 minutes she suffered a stroke and died. Reynolds’ son, Todd, told the media that his mother was under stress over the death of her daughter and suffered that stroke at her home around noon. To read more about the lifetime of Debbie Reynolds, here’s the link to her obit in the LA Times:


December 28: Pan Pan, 31: world’s oldest male giant panda, who would have been 100 in human years, passed away.

December 29: Keion Carpenter, 39: football player (Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Falcons) and former Woodlawn High School, died from injuries sustained from a fall.

sutter-brownDecember 30: “It took a dog to humanize the Capitol,” said Jennifer Fearing, a lobbyist for animal rights issues who was one of Sutter Brown’s unofficial caretakers in Sacramento. Sutter was the charismatic corgi who seemed to soften the rough edges of Gov. Jerry Brown. In the process, he became a social media sensation. He died after an illness that sparked a bipartisan outpouring of support.

william-christopherDecember 31: William Christopher, 84: the actor best known for play Father John Mulcahy on the hit TV show M.A.S.H. died, according to his family. His son said he died from non-small cell lung cancer at his home in Pasadena.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s