2018 Obits, July thru September

July 3
Lorraine Rodgers, 97: American WASP pilot. Lorraine was an avid pilot and loved flying; she was a First Lieutenant and a Woman’s Airforce Service Pilot in WWII.

Richard Swift, 41: American singer-songwriter, producer and musician (The Shins, The Black Keys, Starflyer 59) complications from hepatitis.

Dave VanDam, 63: American voice actor and impressionist (David Letterman, Barack Obama) member of the Wack Pack.

July 5
Saman Kunan, 38: died from asphyxiates after delivering oxygen to 13 trapped people in Tham Luang Nang Non cave. He was a former Thai Navy SEAL.

July 7

tyler honeycutt

Tyler Honeycutt

Tyler Honeycutt, 27: American basketball player (UCLA, Sacramento Kings). The LAPD reported an unnamed suspect appeared to have died of a “self-inflicted gunshot,” after reportedly firing on officers. US Media reported it was the former Sacramento Kings player, who was on contract for Moscow’s BC Kimki. Honeycutt’s mother had called the police because her son was acting erratically. His team confirmed his death on Twitter.

Alan Johnson, 81: American choreographer (The Producers, Young Frankenstein), Emmy winner (1972, 1980, 1988), Parkinson’s disease.

July 8


Tab Hunter

Tab Hunter, 86: died from a blood clot that caused a heart attack according to Allan Glaser, his romantic partner of more than three decades. That alone would confirm the long-standing rumors about his homosexuality. He also published his autobiography in 2005: Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star, which confirmed it.

Alan Johnson, 81: American 3-time Emmy Award winning choreographer (Springtime for Hitler, West Side Story).

Barry Mills, 70: American white supremacist and criminal, leader of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang,  while incarcerated at a federal Supermax prison. He was found dead one day after his 70th birthday. The death was not suspicious. 

July 13
Nancy Barbato Sinatra, 101: first wife and life-long friend of Frank Sinatra. She not only outlived her husband, but also her son, Frank, Jr. as well, who died in 2016.

July 17

Gary Beach

Gary Beach

Gary Beach, 70: veteran Broadway actor and star of The Producers and Beauty of the Beast died in Palm Springs, Calif. His death was confirmed by his agent. His career began in 1969 as an understudy for the role of Edward Rutledge in the original Broadway cast of 1776 (he later assumed the role). He was born in Alexandria, Virginia and is survived by his husband, Jeff Barnett.

July 18
Mollie Tibbetts, 20: American student (University of Iowa) was found dead of multiple sharp force injuries. She was reported missing for over a month, after being seen jogging near her home in the central Iowa town of Brooklyn. Twenty-four year old Christhian Bahena Rivera has been charged with first degree murder in connection with her death. She is the first of two students to have died around Iowa college towns this year.

July 19
Denis Ten, 25: Kazakhstani figure skater, Olympic bronze metalist (2014) died after being stabbed in an incident involving two robbers.

John Vigilante, 33: American ice hockey player (Milwaukee Admirals, Syracuse Crunch, Plymouth Whalers). Cause of death not known.

July 21
Elmarie Wendel, 89: American actress (3rd Rock from the Sun, The Lorax, George Lopez) and singer. She was best known for her role on TV’s 3rd Rock from the Sun as Mrs. Dubcek.

July 22
Rene Portland, 65: Penn State Basketball coach (1980-2007), cancer.

July 23
Lucy Ferry, 58: British model (Robert Mapplethorpe) and socialite, the former wife of singer-songwriter Bryan Ferry, apparent suicide by gunshot. She was married to the Roxy Music singer for 21 years and had four sons with him before their divorce in 2003. Three years later she married Robin Birley, who announced her death.

Elbert Howard

Elbert Howard

Elbert Howard, 80: American civil rights activist, co-founder of the Black Panther Party. He served as newspaper editor, information officer and logistics genius behind the group’s popular social programs. His wife stated he died in Santa Rosa, Calif. after a long illness

August 2
María José la Valenciana, 44: Spanish transsexual sex worker and internet personality.

August 4
Lorrie Collins, 76: American rockabilly singer (The Collins Kids). Lorrie was the older half of the 1950s rockabilly singing duo. Her younger brother and professional partner, Larry Collins, confirmed her death in a post on social media. He stated that his sister had died from injuries related to a fall.

August 5

John Blaire Moore

John Blair Moore Cartoon

John Blair Moore, 70: American comic book artist (Darkling Duck) and editorial cartoonist (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). His daughter posted that he passed away after a brief illness.

Charlotte Rae, 92: American actress (The Facts of Life, Diff’rent Strokes, 101 Dalmatians: The Series). Rae was the lovable house mother, Mrs. Garrett on The Facts of Life who charmed a TV generation. She passed away at her Los Angeles home. Last year she revealed she had bone and pancreatic cancer. She was born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky in Milwaukee, Wisc.

The Facts Of Life - 1979-1988

Charlotte Rae

August 6
Patricia Benoit, 91: American actress (Mister Peepers).

August 7
Étienne Chico, 69: French actor (The Da Vinci Code) and composer.

Richard H. Kline, 91: American cinematographer (King Kong, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Camelot).

August 9
Billy Ray Irick, 59: American convicted murderer, execution by lethal injection, the first by the state of Tennessee since 2009. This comes after his 1986 conviction in Knox County for the rape and murder of 7-year-old Paula Dyer.

August 13
Jim Neidhart, 63: American professional wrestler (WWF, Mid-South, Stampede). The former WWF tag team champion, “The Anvil” died from a grand mal seizure related to Alzheimer’s that he had been suffering from for some time. Neidhart was the father of WWE star Natalya and father-in-law to retired WWE star Tyson Kid (TJ Wilson) who is now a WWE producer. In recent years, he was often seen on the E! reality show Total Divas alongside his one daughter.

August 14
Mela Hudson, 31: American actress (Split Costs, Men in Black 3).

Jill Janus, 42: American rock singer (Huntress), suicide. The heavy metal band confirmed via their Facebook page that Janus had committed suicide, stating she was a “long-time sufferer of mental illness” and died outside of Portland, Ore.

August 16

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin, 76: died of advanced pancreatic cancer. Her voice transcended religion. She sang gospel, soul, pop and hip-hop. If you can “google,” check out her performance of “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman” Kennedy Center Honors, 2015 for Carole King. By the time the song ends, Aretha has shed her fur coat, President Obama wipes away tears and every person is on their feet. She was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If she had to be summed up into one song, it would have to be “Respect.” It’s what made her a live performance master. In 1971 at the Fillmore West, she took to the piano and sang the Simon & Garfunkel classic “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” slowing the song down so she could really tear into those big notes, Aretha style. One of her sets at the concert I “witnessed,” she sat at the piano and played and sang, and it was like she had transcended. It was truly magical. Originally from Memphis, she moved to Detroit at 3, when her father took over as pastor at New Bethel Baptist Church. Her parents separated when she was 6, her mother died before she turned 10. Not long after that, she performed publicly for the first time. More than any other performer, she epitomized soul at its most gospel-charged. She earned the title of “Queen of Soul” which she has worn uncontested. She lied in state at the Charles H Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit in a 24-carat coffin beginning August 28, 2018. Her funeral was held in Detroit and was attended by Stevie Wonder, Ariana Grande and Bill Clinton with a procession of 140 pink Cadillacs. She had no will. She died of cancer. I saw her in 2016 at the Riverside Theater. She was on my “I don’t want to call it a bucket list, bucket list.”

August 18
Tom Clark, 77: American poet and biographer. Traffic collision.

Robert Todd, 55: American filmmaker, an Emerson College professor who was reported missing and then confirmed dead. His body was found in Franklin Park in the city’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood. He is survived by his wife.

August 19
Vaughn Beals, 90: American businessman, one of 13 Harley-Davidson Inc. executives who negotiated the buyback of Harley from AMF Corp. in 1981. He was reported dead by Haven of Rest Funeral Home in Gig Harbor, Washington.

August 22
Edward “Ed” King, 68: American psychedelic rock musician (Strawberry Alarm Clock, Lynyrd Skynyrd), cancer.

August 24
Tom Frost, 82: American rock climber and founder of the gear and apparel company Patagonia, died from prostate cancer.

August 25
John McCain, 81: American war hero, Republican politician who represented Arizona from 1983-2018, Presidential nominee 2008, who originally gained fame as a result of his experience as a POW in North Vietnam for 5 years (1967-1973). Even though he was a Republican, he was one of the fiercest critics of Donald Trump and did not invite him to speak or attend his funeral. Barack Obama, George W. Bush and his daughter Meghan McCain did speak at his funeral, which was broadcast live on network television. I didn’t know a lot about John McCain, but I learned much about his integrity and his love of America when I watched his funeral. He was a great man and will be missed. He died of brain cancer, which he was diagnosed with in July of 2017.

August 26


Neil Simon

Neil Simon, 91: he won three Tony Awards and was nominated for four Oscars. His body of work includes The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park, Promises, Promises, The Goodbye Girl and Lost in Yonkers. Simon died of complications from pneumonia at New York-Presbyterian hospital in Manhattan. His career spanned five decades and he wrote more than 40 plays, many of which were adapted for the screen. He is the most commercially successful American playwright in history. He’s only the second playwright to have four Broadway productions running simultaneously (that was in the 60s, when he was earning a reported $60,000/week). Almost every one of his 30+ plays have been adapted into a motion picture, resulting in more Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer in the history of show business. Part of his film, Chapter Two, was based on his own life. After losing his first wife (Diane Lander), he married actress Marsha Mason after a courtship of 22 days. Son of Mamie (Levy) and Irving Simon, a garment salesman. His grandparents were all Russian Jewish immigrants.

Sept. 2
Clarence Brandley, 66: American janitor, wrongly convicted of murder, a death row exonerate, who never received an apology, died from pneumonia, in his home near Conroe, Texas. He was one of the first men to be released alive from Texas’s death row in 1990. Today, exonerations of the wrongly convicted occur regularly, but in 1990, it was a rarity.

Claire Wineland, 21: American cystic fibrosis assistance advocate, inspirational speaker and social media star, died one week after a lung transplant.

Sept. 3
Thomas Rickman, 78: American screenwriter (Coal Miner’s Daughter, Hooper, Truman) cancer.

Sept. 4
Bill Daily, 91: American actor and comedian (I Dream of Jeannie, The Bob Newhart Show).

Christopher Lawford.jpg

Christopher Lawford

Christopher Lawford, 63: American actor (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Thirteen Days, All My Children) memoirist and political activist. Member of the Kennedy family and son of Peter Lawford. In 2005, HarperCollins published his memoir Symptoms of Withdrawl: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption. In 2009 he released Moment of Clarity: Voices from the Front Lines of Addition and Recovery. Lawford battled a drug and alcohol addiction for much of his early life. He died of a heart attack.

Sept. 6
Thad Mumford, 67: American television producer and writer (The Electric Company, M*A*S*H, The Cosby Show), Emmy winner (1973).


Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds, 82: Born Burton Leon Reynolds on February 11 in Lansing, Mich., Reynolds was a heartthrob who starred in television and movies. He’s known for Boogie Nights, Striptease, Smokey and the Bandit and of course, Deliverance. During a production of Mister Roberts in New York, he was spotted and signed to a TV contract which led to roles in Gunsmoke, Riverboat and his own series, Hawk. He often played a character of Native American descent, but it was roles that demanded a tough-guy performance that made him popular. His ex-stuntman and longtime friend came to him with a “road film” script which turned out to be Smokey and the Bandit (with Sally Field and Jerry Reed) which took in over $100 million at the box office. In April of 1988 he marred Loni Anderson which is a story in itself. He died of cardiac arrest in Jupiter, Florida.

Sept. 7:
Marcelite Jordan Harris, 75: USAF general, first afro-american woman general. Her death was sudden and unexpected and she was taken to the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida while on a Caribbean vacation. She was a fierce military leader, devoted wife, loving mother and nurturing grandmother, who touched the lives of many throughout her career.

Sept. 10
Peter Donat, 90: Canadian-born American actor (The Godfather: Part II, The X-Files, The China Syndrome), complications from diabetes.

Sept. 11
Thomas Aquinas Higgins, 86: American judge.

Jim Houston, 80: American football player (Cleveland Browns), complications from dementia and ALS.

Sept. 12

Pasqualde Buba

Pasqualde Buba

Pasqualde Buba, 72: American film editor and longtime collaborator with George A. Romero, Buba edited Day of the Dead and several other efforts from the zombie movie maestro. He died of cancer at his home in Los Angeles, Calif., his family announced. A proud son of Pittsburgh, Penn. Buba cut the Steel-City thriller Striking Distance (1993), starring Bruce Willis and Sarah Jessica Parker, and worked on Michael Mann’s Heat (1995), starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, and The Brave (1997), directed by Johnny Depp starring Depp and Marlon Brando. Buba also edited Romero’s Knightriders (1981), Creepshow (1982), Monkey Shines (1988) plus many others. He is survived by his wife, his brother, sisters-in-law, brother-in-law and nieces.

Frank Serafine, 65: American sound designer and editor (Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Tron, The Hunt for Red October), traffic collision.

Jack N. Young, 91: American actor and stuntman (Death Valley Days, Wagon Train, How the West Was Won) who doubled for Clark Gable and many others. His death was announced by his son, University of Arizona film professor, Cody Young.

Sept. 13
Marin Mazzie, 57: American actress and singer (Ragtime, Kiss Me, Kate, Passion), ovarian cancer.

Kyle Stone, 54: American pornographic film actor and comedian. He passed away in his sleep and was discovered in his bedroom.

Sept. 15
Marty Ballin (Buchwald), 76: American singer (Jefferson Airplane/Starship).

Sept. 16
Frank Parker, 79: American actor (Days of Our Lives) complications from dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Sept. 17

Celia Arozamena

Celia Barquín Arozamena

Celia Barquín Arozamena, 22: Spanish golfer, who won the European Amateur Championship in July and was a top athlete at Iowa State University was found at the Goldwater Golf Links in the city of Ames, Iowa with several stab wounds to her head, neck and upper body. A homeless man has been charged in her murder. Ms Barquín is the second female student in Iowa to be killed in recent months. (Mollie Tibet’s was found dead after she went for a run July 18.)

Sept. 19
Jon Burge, 70: American police officer (Chicago PD) and suspected mass torturer who was accused of torturing suspects in his Chicago South Side police district (but was never prosecuted) died, a Florida funeral home confirmed. Burge had a “midnight crew” of rogue detectives accused of torturing more than 100 suspects, mostly black men, from 1972-1991, in order to secure confessions. Cattle prods for shocking, typewriter covers (for smothering suspects) and guns were shoved into the mouths of victims, all to secure a confession. Burge was fired in 1993 and sentenced to prison in 2011 for lying in a civil case about his actions. However, it was too late to charge him criminally on the torture charges. The funeral home in Ruskin, Florida confirmed that they were handling his remains, but refused to give the cause or exact date of his death, citing the wishes of his family.


Arthur Mitchell

Arthur Mitchell, 84: American dance and choreographer, founder of the Dance Theatre of Harlem (1986), and the first afro-american dancer with the New York City Ballet (1955). Among other awards, he was recognized as a MacArthur Fellow, he was inducted into the National Museum of Dance’s Mr. & Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame and received the United States National Medial of Arts and a Fletcher Foundation fellowship. In 1993 he received Kennedy Center Honors (one of the youngest persons recognized). George W Bush honored Mitchell and the Dance Theatre of Harlem with a dinner at the White House in 2006. Over a span of fifteen years, he received honorary doctorates from numerous leading universities including Juilliard, Harvard, Yale and Columbia, to name a few.

Sept. 20



K-Run’s Park Me in First (Uno), 13: American beagle show dog, winner of the 2008 Westminster Best in Show, Cancer.

Sept. 22


Al Matthews

Al Matthews, 75: American actor (Aliens, The Fifth Element, The American Way). He played the memorable cigar-chomping Sgt. Apone with the gravely voice in Aliens, and was a decorated US Marine who served almost six years in Vietnam receiving 13 combat awards and two Purple Hearts. He also appeared in Superman III and Tomorrow Never Dies. He was found dead in his home in Alicante on Spain’s Mediterranean coast by a neighbor.

Sept. 23
Gary Kurtz, 78: American film producer (American Graffiti, Star Wars, The Dark Crystal), cancer.

Mark Livolsi, 56: American film editor (The Devil Wears Prada, Saving Mr. Banks, We Bought a Zoo).

Sept. 24:
Norm Breyfogle, 58: American comic book artist (Batman, Prime), complications from a stroke.

Sept. 25:
Ronnie Shelton, 57: American convicted serial rapist who raped 30 women in Cleveland during the 1980s, died in prison. He was known as the “West Park rapist” and when he went on trial, there were hundreds of rape charges tied to attacks of more than 30 women. The jury had found him guilty of 220 counts of rape in one of the most high-profile cases of the decade. Judge Richard McMonagle sentenced him to 1,554-3,195 years in prison.

2018 Obits, April thru June

If you know anyone who may be contemplating suicide, give them this number: 1-800-273-8255 Suicide Prevention Lifeline or text TALK to 741741

April 1


Steven Bochco

Steven Bochco, 74: American television producer, writer, 10-time Emmy winner, and the creative force behind Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, Doogie Howser, MD, Murder in the First and NYPD Blue had been suffering with leukemia for several years. He received a stem cell transplant from a then-anonymous 23-year-old in late 2014. In May of 2016, he met the man who prolonged his life, a 25-year old named Jon Kayne. He started off working for MTM Enterprises, came to Hill Street Blues, which debuted at last-place NBC in January 1981 and amassed 98 Emmy noms during its remarkable 146-episode run. They agreed (Bochco and Michael Kozoll) that they would do the pilot for NBC under one condition, which they assumed would kill the deal. The condition was that they leave them completely alone to do whatever they wanted. NBC’s Brandon Tartikoo said “Okay.” In 1987, CBS legend William S. Paley offered Bochco, then 44, the job of president of the network’s entertainment division. He turned it down to sign an unprecedented six-year, 10-series deal (worth about $10 million) with ABC, which had just ended its contract with Aaron Spelling. Of course he had his misfires, too, like NBC’s Bay City Blues; CBS’ Public Morals, ABC’s infamous Cop Rock. But the best Bochco series included large ensemble casts and parallel storylines that pushed the hot-button social issues of the day. He survived by sister Joanna Frank (married to Alan Rachins); his wife of 17 years, Dayna; children Jesse, Sean and Melissa; grandchildren Wes and Stevie Rae. He was married to actress Barbara Bosson, who had a role on Hill Street Blues. One quote I’ve heard him say several times was “… what you try to do is never shit on the people below you and only shit on the people above you.”

April 2


Connie Lawn

Connie Lawn, 73: American journalist, longest serving White House correspondent, passed away after a battle with Parkinson’s disease. She had spent nearly 50 years covering successive US presidents. She was a familiar voice on Radio New Zealand for more than 20 years and also promoted New Zealand tourism. Her last RNZ appearance was on Election Day in the United States, when she described the prospect of a Trump presidency as horrifying. In 1968, she conducted one of the last interviews with Bobby Kennedy, moments before he was shot in Los Angeles. She was beaten by Chicago police during the riots of the Democratic National Convention, and arrived in Czechoslovakia two weeks after Soviet tanks rolled in to crush the Prague Spring. She was living in a Watergate apartment in 1972 at the time of the infamous break-in at Democratic headquarters in the Washington complex and was smuggled into Lebanon in 1982 during that country’s civil war. Her proudest moment was a meeting with Nelson Mandela. She died at her Lake Barcroft home in Falls Church, VA.

Winnie (Madikizela) Mandela, 81: was a controversial figure in South African history and a staunch anti-apartheid activist. She married Nelson Mandela in 1958. When he went to prison in 1963, she became his public face through his 27 years of imprisonment. On several occasions, she was arrested, tortured and exiled. Her image was damaged in the 80s when it emerged she had been involved in the kidnapping, torture and murder by her security detail (known as the Mandela United Football Club). Once Nelson Mandela was released in 1990, their marriage quickly ended and they were divorced in 1996. She died from complications of diabetes.

April 3
Ron Dunbar, 78: American songwriter (“Give Me Just a Little More Time,” “Band of Gold,” “Patches”) Grammy winner (1971). He worked with Barry Gordy, George Clinton and the songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. His death was confirmed by his son Terone.

David Edgerton, 90: American entrepreneur, co-founder of Burger King (complications from surgery).

April 4
Don Cherry, 94: American singer (Band of Gold) and golfer.

Gertrude Jeannette, 103: Afro-American taxi driver, playwright and film/stage actress (Shaft, Cotton Comes to Harlem). She was an original member of the American Negro Theatre. She was the first woman to work as a licensed taxi driver in New York, which she began doing in 1942. She obviously was a pioneer in everything she did.

Johnny Valiant, 71: American Hall of Fame professional wrestler (The Valiant Brothers) and manager (WWF, AWA). He died after being hit by a truck while crossing a busy North Hills, Penn. road. The driver stayed on the scene and there was no indication that it was anything other than a terrible accident. He died at the hospital.

April 5
Tim O’Connor, 90: American actor (Peyton Place, General Hospital, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century), cancer.

April 6

Donald McKayle

Donald McKayle

Donald McKayle, 87: American dancer and choreographer (The Great White Hope, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Jazz Singer). Known as a pioneering dancer and choreographer whose seven decades in modern dance distinguished him as one of the art form’s leading lights and socially conscious practitioners, died from complications due to pneumonia.

April 7
Gerald Ayres, 82: American studio executive (Columbia Pictures) and film producer (The Last Detail, Cisco Pike) and he wrote the movie Foxes, died from complications from dementia at a hospice facility in Watertown, New York.

April 8
Nathan Davis, 81: American jazz musician, a multi-instrumentalist who played tenor sax, soprano sax, bass clarinet and flute. He worked with the likes of Eric Dolphin, Kenny Clarke, Ray Charles, Slide Hampton and Art Blakely.

April 9
Barney A. Ebsworth, 83: American business executive (Build-A-Bear Workshop) and art collector.

April 11
Mitzi Shore, 87: American comedy club owner and mother of Pauly Shore (The Comedy Store), died in Los Angeles after battling Parkinson’s disease for years. Mitzi’s Comedy Store was the launching pad for some of the biggest comics in the world including Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jim Carrey, Chris Rock, Arsenio Hall and Roseanne Barr. She is survived by 4 children.

Kevin Wortman, 49: American ice hockey player (Calgary Flames, JYP Jyväskylä, Schwenninger Wild Wings).

April 12
Deborah Coleman, 61: American blues musician, complications from bronchitis and pneumonia.

Milos Foreman

Milos Forman

April 13
Milos Forman, 86: Czech-American film director (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus, The People vs. Larry Flynt), Oscar winner (1976, 1985) died at the Danbury Hospital near his home in Warren, Conn.

April 14
Kirk Simon, 63: American documentarian (Strangers No More, Chimps: So Like Us, Rehearsing a Dream), Oscar winner (2011), cardiac arrest.

April 15
Philip D’Antoni, 89: American film producer (The French Connection, Bullitt), Oscar winner (1972) died at his home in New York.

R Lee Ermey

R. Lee Ermey

R. Lee Ermey, 74: American actor (Full Metal Jacket, Toy Story, The Frighteners, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and military drill instructor, whose nickname was “The Gunny,” died from complications of pneumonia. Even at age 14 he was a “troublemaker and a bit of a hell-raiser” he told the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s online magazine in September 2010. It was his role in Kubrick’s 1987 Full Metal Jacket that brought him instant recognition and critical acclaim and his Golden Globe nom, considering that he was originally hired to advise and train the actor who would play the role. But Kubrick was so impressed by what he saw, he offered Ermey the role. He had a healthy voiceover career as well, playing the lead of the green plastic Army soldiers in the Toy Story films, along with a role in SpongeBob SquarePants, among others.

April 16

Night Court - 1984-1992

Harry Anderson

Harry Anderson, 65: American actor (Night Court, Dave’s World, It) and magician. He presided over Night Court for nine seasons. He was a magician turned actor and was a rabid fan of jazz singer Mel Torme. It was that affection that was woven into his TV alter ego, Judge Harry Stone, who ruled the bench at a Manhattan night court of NBC from 1984 to 1992. He earned three consecutive Emmy nominations for his work 1985-1987. He was found dead in his home in Asheville, North Carolina, according to a local media report. Foul play was not suspected.

Pamela Gidley, 52: she starred in the prequel to Twin Peaks and played Teri Miller in 5 episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Her family states she died peacefully in her home. The cause of death was not immediately clear. Her role as Teri Miller in CSI was that of the sculptor who put a face onto a skull when there was nothing else.


Matthew Mellon

Matthew Mellon, 53: Blue-blood banking heir, cryptocurrency bigwig, an early backer of global settlement network Ripple and a former chair of the New York Republican Party’s finance committee, died in Cancun, Mexico where he was planning to check into a rehabilitation facility for follow-up treatment for an addiction consisting of 80 OxyContin pills a day.

Sax Man (Maurice Reedus, Jr.), 65: American street saxophonist, who spent many evenings on Cleveland’s streets entertaining sports fans and theater patrons with crowd-pleasing tunes, was found dead in his apartment. His sister said that he had suffered a heart attack in August of last year and had recovered enough to play music. When family members were unable to reach him, they went to his home, and discovered him. He died in his bed.

April 17
Barbara Bush, 92: First Lady of the United States from 1989-1993 and Second Lady (1981-1989). In 1990, she wrote “Millie’s Book,” about the president’s dog. It was a best-selling non-fiction book. Former President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush were married for over 73 years. She died from complications from COPD and heart failure.

vel phillips

Vel Phillips

Vel Phillips, 95: American attorney and politician, Secretary of State of Wisconsin (1979-1983), civil rights activist, Milwaukee Native, UW Law School graduate, who broke racial barriers by becoming the first Afro-American judge in Milwaukee and the first Afro-American secretary of state of Wisconsin died hours after the Milwaukee City Council unanimously approved the Vel Phillips Trailblazer Award be awarded every year. “She was a true pioneer and leader during the civil rights movement, and fought to improve social and economic justice for underrepresented communities,” said State Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-LaCrosse.

Randy Scruggs, 64: American music producer, songwriter (“Angel in Disguise,” “Love Has No Right,” “We Danced Anyway”) and guitarist, multiple Grammy winner.

April 18
Paul Jones, 75: American professional wrestler and manager (JCP, PNW, CWF).

Bruno Sammartino, 82: Italian-American Hall of Fame professional wrestler (WWF), longest-reigning Heavyweight Champion (1963-1971, 1973-1977) multiple organ failure, after being hospitalized for two months.

April 19
Walter Moody, 83: American convicted murderer, executed by lethal injection in Alabama who used a mail bomb to assassinate Judge Robert S Vance Sr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. He also killed Robert E Robinson, a black civil-rights attorney based in Savannah, Georgia, who died in a separate explosion at his office two days later. Moody also sent mail bombs that were defused at the Eleventh Circuit Court’s headquarters in Atlanta and at the Jacksonville, Georgia office of Willye Dennis of the NAACP. Judge Vance’s wife, Helen, was seriously injured in the blast that killed him. Moody was the oldest inmate to be put to death in the modern era.

Gil Santos, 80: American sportscaster (New England Patriots, WBZ), the legendary voice of the New England Patriots and one of the most beloved sports broadcasters who began his career in 1966, first as a color analyst and then as a play-by-play announcer. He retired in 2013 and was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame.

April 20
Avicii (Tim Bergling), 28: Swedish musician, DJ, remixer and record producer (“Levels,” “Wake Me Up,” “Sunshine”). At 16 he began posting his remixes on electronic music forums which led to his first record deal. He rose to prominence in 2011 which the single “Levels.” In 2013 his first studio album debuted. It peaked in the top ten in more than 15 countries, due mostly to the lead single “Wake Me Up.” In 2015 he released his second album “Stories” followed by an EP Avici in 2017. In early 2012 he was hospitalized for 11 days in NYC with acute pancreatitis caused by alcohol use. He had his appendix and gallbladder removed in 2014. He retired from performing in 2016 because of health reasons. In the documentary Avicii: True Stories, released in 2017, he spoke candidly about his physical and mental pain. The documentary talks about the pressure he was getting from his management to continue to perform life despite his personal objections. Avicii was found dead near Muscat, Oman. On April 26, his family released an open letter stating that he “really struggled with thoughts about meaning, life, happiness. He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace.” On May 1, TMZ reported that the case of death was a suicide due to self-inflicted injuries from a broken wine bottle. He was buried on June 8 in Stockholm.

Verne Troyer

Verne Troyer

April 21
Verne Troyer, 49: American actor (Austin Powers, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone), who is best known for playing Mini-Me in the Austin Powers series died from suicide by alcohol overconsumption.

April 26
Charles Neville, 79: American vocalist and saxophonist (The Neville Brothers), Grammy winner (1990) died of pancreatic cancer.

April 29
Robert Mandan, 86: American actor best known for his role as Chester Tate in the sitcom Soap.

May 1
Dennis Claridge, 76: American football player (Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons) died from bladder cancer.

Robert B. Kennedy, 78: American politician (Massachusetts House of Representatives 1975-1979).

John “Jabo” Starks, 79: American drummer who played for James Brown and The J.B.’s.

May 3
Dan Grimm, 77: American football player (Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons) died of Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

May 6
Brad Steigner, 82: American author and paranormal researcher.

May 7
Jeremy D Safran, 66: Canadian-born American clinical psychologist was killed during a burglary. He was found dead in the basement of his Brooklyn home. Officers did arrest a man who was hiding in a closet, on a murder charge.

May 8
James Scott, 71: American boxer and felon.

Anne V. Coates, 92: British film editor (1962 Oscar, Lawrence of Arabia, The Elephant Man, Fifty Shades of Grey), Oscar winner (1963). She died at the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital in Woodland Hills. On Lawrence of Arabia, Coates and director David Lean worked with 33 miles of footage to craft the 4-hour epic which contains one of the most famous “match” cuts in the history of cinema. A sequence that transitions from a shot of Peter O’Toole as T.E. Lawrence blowing out a match to the desert sun rising from the horizon. The cut – which is said to have inspired Steven Spielberg to become a filmmaker – came about “by accident,” Coates has said.

May 9
Delphine Gibson, 114 years & 265 days: American supercentenarian and former oldest person in the U.S.

Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, 34: Australian heroin smuggler, one of the Bali Nine, which was a group of nine Australians convicted for attempting to smuggle 3.8 kg (18 lbs) of heroin out of Indonesia in April of 2005, dead from stomach cancer.

May 12
Chuck Knox, 86: American NFL coach (Rams, Bills, Seahawks) died from dementia.

May 13
Margot Kidder, 69: Canadian-American actress (Superman, Superman II, The Amityville Horror, Black Christmas) and activist, died from an intentional drug and alcohol overdose, according to the Park County Coroner. She was found in her Livingston, Mont. home, but at the time the Coroner had not specified what drugs she had taken. Her daughter, Maggie McGuane, stated the family wanted to be “open and honest” about the suicide to avoid any “cloud of shame.” Margot had struggled for years, very publicly at times, with bipolar disorder.

May 14
Tom Wolfe, 88: American author (The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test) and journalist. He died in a Manhattan hospital after being hospitalized with an infection.

May 16


Joseph Campanella

Joseph Campanella, 93: American actor (Mannix, Days of Our Lives, The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre) complications from Parkinson’s disease.

May 18
Stephanie Adams, 47: American model (Playboy, Clairol, Venus Swimwear) and author, suicide by jumping. Former Playboy Playmate jumped with her 7-year-old son, to their deaths, from a Midtown hotel, amid a nasty custody battle with her chiropractic ex. She leaped with young Vincent from the top floor of the Gotham Hotel around 8:15am. The pair checked into the hotel around 6pm and were staying in the 25th-floor penthouse suite. Their bodies were found on a second-floor landing in the hotel’s rear courtyard.

May 19
Reggie Lucas, 65: American songwriter (“Never Knew Love Like This Before”) guitarist who played with Miles Davis and record producer (Madonna), won a Grammy in 1981. He died of heart failure.

May 22
Philip Roth, 85: American writer, who wrote Goodbye Columbus, American Pastoral, The Human Stain and Pulitzer Prize winner (1998). Died of heart failure.

May 24
Jerry Maren (Gerard Marenghi), 98: American actor, played Mayor McCheese in The Wizard of Oz.

May 26
Ted (Samuel Frederick) Dabney, 81: American electrical engineer and founder of Atari (Pong).

May 27


Connie Kurtz (on left)

Connie Kurtz, 81: American Gay Rights advocate. Died of liver cancer. She turned her coming out into a lifetime of activism with her wife, including serving as plaintiffs in a lawsuit over domestic-partner benefits for New York City school employees.

June 4
Dwight Clark, 61: American NFL wide receiver/executive who made “The Catch,” the winning touchdown reception in the 1981 NFC Championship Game played between the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on January 10, 1982. See it for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciI3E9l6wfI

June 5
Kate Spade, 55: American fashion designer, was found by a housekeeper in her Manhattan apartment. Her death was ruled a suicide by hanging. She had left a note addressed to her daughter. Shortly after her death, Andy Spade released a statement regarding her depression and anxiety. It was known that she battled severe depression and battled personal demons and was under medical care at times. Less than three weeks later, on June 20, her father Earl “Frank” Brosnahan, died at the age of 89.

June 7
Peter Stringfellow, 77: English nightclub owner (Stringfellows).

June 8
Eunice Gayson, 90: British actress and first Bond Girl (Sylvia Trench in Dr. No and From Russia with Love).

Danny Kirwan, 68: British musician, singer and songwriter (Fleetwood Mac-Albatross).

Travel Channel promo shoot for Anthony Bourdain Layover in New York

Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain, 61: American-French celebrity chef, author and TV personality who was considered one of the most influential chefs in the world. He had several television shows: A Cook’s Tour, No Reservations, The Layover, Parts Unknown plus participating in Top Chef and other guest appearances. In 2011 Ecco Press announced he would have his own publishing line named after him which would include acquiring between three and five titles per years. Anthony Bourdain wasn’t just any TV chef. He traveled to over 80 countries. Went to war zones. Dined with the President of the US. Received tattoos from an Iban tribesman and ate food Anywhere. He taught all of us that FOOD connected us like nothing else. He had a punk rock attitude but was a lover of literature, music and poetry. One of my favorite quotes from him: Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have. Bourdain had a daughter in 2007, which he said was his reason to live. He committed suicide by hanging. He was 61.

If you know anyone who may be contemplating suicide, give them this number: 1-800-273-8255 Suicide Prevention Lifeline or text TALK to 741741

June 23
Kim Jong-pil, 92: South Korean Prime Minister (1971-75, 1998-2000) and founder of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (now the National Intelligence Service).

June 24
Frank Evans Heart, 89: American computer engineer, who worked on the first routing computer for ARPANET, the Internet’s predecessor.

June 25
Jackson Odell, a songwriter and former teen actor, who was best known for roles on The Goldbergs and the teen movie Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. According to law enforcement he died Friday in the San Fernando Valley. He was found unresponsive in a sober living home, and there were no signs of foul play.

June 27

Joe Jackson Date?

Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson, 89: The father and at times manager of Michael and Janet Jackson, along with the sibling singing group, The Jackson 5. He launched the career of the musical Jackson family dynasty. He died in a Las Vegas hospital due to complication of pancreatic cancer. He married his wife, Katherine, in 1949. They moved into a home in Gary, Ind. the following year, where they welcomed their first 10 children. They went on to become one of the most successful R&B groups in history.

June 28
Harlan Ellison, 84: American sci-fi author and screenwriter (Star Trek “The City on the Edge of Forever”) died of colon cancer.

June 29
Steve Ditko, 90: American comic book artist (The Amazing Spider-Man, Doctor Strange).

2018 Obits, January thru March

Jan. 1
jon-paul-steuerJon Paul Steuer, 33: American actor and singer, best known for his work on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Grace Under Fire, died at age 33, cause unknown. His death was announced on the Facebook page of his band, P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S.

Betty Willis, 76: Betty Jane Willis was a 1960s soul singer. She was killed during an attempted rape by a homeless man in California on New Year’s Day. Rosined Xo Pec, 22, was charged with murder with special circumstances and could face the death penalty. Willis was also homeless at the time of her death.

Jan. 2
Frank Buxton, 87: American actor, screenwriter and director.

Emily Dole, 60: American professional wrestler (GLOW), known as Mountain Fiji died (cause unknown). She had been dealing with health problems and had been staying in an assisted living facility.

Jan. 3
Rob Picciolo, 64: American baseball player (Oakland Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers) and coach (San Diego Padres), heart attack.

Jan. 4
Bruce Halle, 87: American auto parts executive and philanthropist, founder of Discount Tire. He was the wealthiest person in Arizona with an estimated net worth of $5.2 billion at the time of his death.

Harry Landers, 96: American character actor (Ben Casey) (death announced on this date).

Jan. 5
Thomas Bopp, 68: Thomas Joel Bopp was an American astronomer best known as the co-discoverer of comet Hale-Bobb in 1995. At the time of the discovery he was a manager at a construction materials factory and an amateur astronomer. On the night of July 22, Bopp was in the Arizona desert with friends when he made the discovery. It was the first comet he had observed and he was using a borrowed, home-built telescope. Hale and Bopp both discovered the comet, by chance, at approximately the same time.

Carole Hart, 74: American television writer and producer who was involved in the inception of Sesame Street and other projects for broadcast television targeted at children. Hart died from cancer.

Dick Van DykeJerry Van Dyke, 86: American actor, musician and comedian and younger brother of Dick Van Dyke (My Mother the Car, Coach, The Dick Van Dyke Show) died of heart failure.

John Watts Young, 87: American astronaut, (Apollo 16, STS01) naval officer and aviator, test pilot and aeronautical engineer. He was the ninth person to walk on the Moon as Commander of the Apollo 16 mission in 1972. He died from pneumonia.

Jan 6
Dave ToschiDave Toschi, 86: American police detective, whose personal style was used when modeling Bullitt and Dirty Harry and was widely known for his efforts in the San Francisco Police Department as an inspector in the Zodiac Killer Case. He died from pneumonia.

Jan. 7
Anna Mae Hays, 97: American military officer, served as the 13th Chief of Army Nurse Corps (1967-1971). She was the first woman in the U.S. Armed Forces to be promoted to a General Officer rank and in 1970 she was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. She died from complications from a heart attack.

NicoNico, 56: Swiss Western lowland gorilla. He was one of the oldest silverbacks in the world and Longleaf in Wiltshire celebrated his 56th birthday last year. He had spent most of his life there since arriving from Switzerland in the 1980s. He died in his sleep.

Jan. 8
Denise LaSalle, 78: was an American blues and R&B/soul singer, songwriter and producer who, since the death of Koko Taylor, had been recognized as the “Queen of the Blues.”

Donnelly Rhodes, 80: Canadian actor (Soap, Battlestar Galactica, DaVinci’s Inquest) died from cancer.

Jan. 9
Terence Marsh, 86: British production designer who won two Academy Awards (1966 (Doctor Zhivago), 1969 (Oliver!) and was nominated for another two in the Best Art Direction category. He died of cancer.

Joseph Wayne Miller, 36: American actor best known for the film Heavyweights where he played Salami Sam. He apparently died in his sleep. His mother reported that he had sleep apnea.

Jan. 10
William Bigby Keene, 92: American judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court and television personality as a judge in the reality series Divorce Court. He also appeared as Judge Herman Keene in the “Whistle Stop” episode of L.A. Law. He died at home, surrounded by his family, one month shy of his 93 birthday.

Katherine Kellgren, 48: American actress and narrator was best known for her narration of audio books. She passed away after a long battle with cancer. If you’d like to read more about her, go here: https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/narrators/katherine-kellgren/

Fast Eddie Clark, 67: died in a hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia. He was a British guitarist who was a member of Fastway and Motörhead.

Doreen Tracey, 74: English-born, American actress, appeared on the original Mickey Mouse Club show 1955-58. She died from pneumonia.

Jan 11
Edgar Ray Killen, 92: American Ku Klux Klan leader and convicted murderer, who orchestrated the slayings of three civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964, died in prison while serving a sentence of three counts of manslaughter for the deaths of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner.

Jan. 12
Frankie FreemanFrankie Muse Freeman, 101: American civil rights attorney and the first woman to be appointed to the United States Commission on Civil Rights (1964-1979) a federal fact-finding body that investigates complaints alleging discrimination.

Jan. 13
Doug Harvey, 87: American Hall of Fame baseball umpire who worked in the National League for thirty years. Noted for his command of baseball rules, he earned his nicknamed “God” from players and was among the last major league umpires who never attended an umpiring school. Harvey umpired five World Series and seven All-Star Games. His career total of 4,673 games ranked third in major league history at the time of his retirement. He was the ninth umpire to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was under hospice care in Visalia, Calif. when he died.

Naomi Stevens, 92: American actress (Vega$, The Apartment, Valley of the Dolls). Stevens was a character actress that appeared in almost 100 roles, usually depicting someone’s Jewish or Italian mother or neighbor.

Jan. 14
Barbara Cope, 67: who went on tour with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker and was a famous groupie, died after a fire ripped through her home in East Dallas. She gained notoriety from a LA Times article written in the early 1970s. David Cassidy had once said that he’d “rather spend an evening with her than in the living room of the Partridge family.”

Hugh Wilson, 74: American film director, writer and television show runner, best known as the creator of WKRP in Cincinnati and director of Police Academy and The First Wives Club. In died in Charlottesville, Virginia, after an illness.

Jan. 15
Mathilde Krim, 91: Italian-born American HIV/AIDS researcher and the founding chairman of amfAR, American Foundation for AIDS Research. In August 2000, President Clinton awarded Krim the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the US, in recognition of her “extraordinary compassion and commitment.” In 2003, she received the Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged, an award given out annually by the Jefferson Awards. Krim died at home in Kings Point, New York.

Dolores O’Riordan, 46: lead singer of The Cranberries, an Irish rock band formed in Limerick in 1989. They rose to international fame in the 90s with their debut album “Everybody Else is Doing It So Why Can’t We?” which became a commercial success. In 2004, O’Riordan started collaborating with other musicians before launching her solo career with an album entitled “Are You Listening?” She followed with “No Baggage” in 2009. The band reunited in 2009. Dolores was found dead in a London hotel room. She was in London for a recording session.

Jan. 16

Bradford Dillman

Bradford Dillman

Bradford Dillman, 87: American actor (Compulsion, The Way We Were, The Enforcer) complications from pneumonia.

Tyler Hilinsky, 21: Washington State quarterback suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head with a rifle. A suicide note was found beside him, according to police. Officers responded to his apartment to conduct a welfare check when he did not show up for practice.

Jo Jo White, 71: Hall of Fame basketball player (Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Kansas City Kings) Olympic Champion (1968) died of pneumonia.

Jan. 17
Denis Cuspert, 41: German rapper and jihadist, airstrike.

Simon Shelton, 52: British actor (Teletubbies, Incredible Games) hypothermia.

Jan. 18
Denise LaSalle (Ora Denise Allen), 79: an American blues, R&B and soul singer, songwriter and producer who was recognized as the Queen of the Blues. Her best songs were “Trapped by a Thing Called Love” and “Down Home Blues.” LaSalle suffered from heart problems and had her right leg amputated in October of 2017 after a fall. She died surrounded by her family.

Julius Lester, 78: American writer of books for children and adults and an academic who taught at the Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst for 32 years. He was also a photographer and a musician who record two folk albums and original songs. Since 1968 he has written 44 books: 8 nonfiction, 31 children’s books, one book of poetry and photographs and three adult novels. His first book was an instructional book on how to play the 12-string guitar, co-authored with Pete Seeger. His photographs have been included in an exhibit of images from the civil rights movement at the Smithsonian Institution. He died of COPD after a brief hospitalization.

Anthony Allen Shore, 55: serial killer and child molester, known as the “Tourniquet Killer” because of the use of a ligature, he was responsible for slaying one woman and three girls: Laurie Lee Tremblay (14), Maria del Carmen Estrada (21), Diana Rebollar (9) and Dana Sanchez (16) (we name his victims because they are far more important than he is). He was executed by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas (a far more merciful way to die than he afforded his victims).

Stansfield Turner, 94: American admiral, Director of Central Intelligence (1977-1981) under Jimmy Carter.

Jan. 19
Olivia Cole, 75: American actress (Roots, Backstairs at the White House, Brewster Place), Emmy Award winner (1977), died of a heart attack.

Dorothy Malone, 93: American actress (Written on the Wind, Peyton Place, Basic Instinct) Oscar winner (1956). She had been one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Fredo Santana (Derrick Coleman), 27: was a rapper whose debut studio album “Trappin’ Aint’ Dead” was released on October 31, 2018 via Savage Squad. He died of a fatal seizure at his residence in Reseda, Los Angeles. He has a son. According to TMZ, he had been suffering from liver and kidney problems stemming from his heavy use of “lean” or “purple drank” (a prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine typically mixed with Sprite or Mountain Dew and a Jolly Rancher hard fruit candy thrown in for extra sweetness).

Allison Shearmur, 54: Allison worked at Disney as a VP between 1994-1997, before joining Universal as exec-VP, Paramount as co-president of production, and in 2008, Lionsgate as president of motion picture production. in 2011, Lionsgate fired several top executives, including Shearmur, and she went on to form her own eponymous production company, Allison Shearmur Productions. She died of lung cancer at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. She had two children with her husband, Ed Shearmur.

Jan. 20
John Coleman, 83: American meteorologist, co-founder of The Weather Channel.

Terry Evans, 80: American blue and soul singer, songwriter and guitarist.

We_Can_Do_It!Naomi Parker Fraley, 96: the Real Rosie the Riveter, was an American war worker who is now considered the most likely model for the iconic “We Can Do It” poster. During WWII, she worked on aircraft assembly at the Naval Air Station Alameda. Another woman (Geraldine Hoff Doyle) was initially credited as the subject, but research by a professor at Seton Hall University set the record straight. She is survived by her son and six step-children.

Jim Rodford, 76: English bassist (Argent, The Kinks, The Zombies) injuries from a fall.

Bob Smith, 59: American comedian (Funny Gay Males) and author. Smith was the first openly gay comedian to appear on The Tonight Show and the first gay comedian to have his own HBO half-hour comedy special. Along with fellow comedians Jaffe Cohen and Danny McWilliams, formed the comedy troupe Funny Gay Males in 1988. Smith died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) at his Manhattan, New York home.

Miyako Sumiyoshi, 30: Japanese speed skater who competed at 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in the 500 meters (14th) and in the 1000 meters (22nd). She was found dead in her home in Nagano.

Connie Sawyer, 105: was an American stage, film, and television actress, affectionately nicknamed “The Clown Princess of Comedy.” She was best known for her appearances Pineapple Express, Dumb and Dumber and When Harry Met Sally.

Jan. 23

Joel Taylor

Joel Taylor

Joel Taylor, 38: Storm Chaser Joel Taylor had a fatal mix of drugs in his system when he was found dead on a cruise ship in San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to the toxicology report by the Institute of Forensic Sciences of Puerto Rico. MDMA (ecstasy) along with Zolpidem, MDA (a psychedelic amphetamine) were all found in his system at the time of death.

Jan. 26
Raphael Cruz, 31: American acrobat, clown and actor, was known for having played the lead role of Buster, a Buster Keaton inspired character in the cinema themes Cirque du Soleil production Iris. Cruz died in Paris from heart and lung failure. He was found dead in a Paris hotel room.

Raphael Cruz

Raphael Cruz

Cyrus Yavneh, 76: American producer (24, Supernatural) lung cancer.

Jan. 27
Jerry Butler, 58: American pornographic actor, with a career that lasted from 1981 to 1993 and included more than 500 films. After being diagnosed with a tumor some months previously (which had been removed) a follow-up revealed the cancer had spread throughout his body and was inoperable. He died in Brooklyn, New York.

Ingvar Kamprad, 91: Swedish retail furniture-home design exec and philanthropist, founder of IDEA, died of pneumonia.

Robert Parry, 68: American investigative journalist, complications of a stroke.

Dennis Peron, 72: American cannabis and LGBT activist, lung cancer. He became a leader in the movement for the legalization of cannabis throughout the 1990s and influenced many in California, changing the political debate on marijuana in the U.S.

Mort Walker, 94: American comics artist (Beetle Bailey, Hi and Lois, Boner’s Art), died of pneumonia.

Jan. 28
Jacquie Jones, 52: American public television film director, producer, writer and media executive. She was an editor of the Black Film Review from 1989-1993. Jones was the exec director of the Black Public Media from 2005-2014. She died of cancer.

Jan. 30
Mark Salling, 35: American actor and musician who was known as Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the television series Glee. In January of 2013 he was accused of sexual battery but settled with the accuser out of court. In December of 2015 he was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography. He faced between four and seven years of imprisonment after pleading guilty, but died due to asphyxia by hanging prior to his sentencing.

Jan. 31
Rasual Butler, 38: American basketball player (Miami Heat, New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers), traffic collision.

Ann Gillis, 90: American actress (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Bambi, 2001: A Space Odyssey).

Alf Humphreys, 64: Canadian actor (My Bloody Valentine, First Blood, Diary of a Wimpy Kid) brain cancer.

Leah LaBelle, 31: Canadian-born American singer (American Idol) traffic collision.

Feb. 1
John Battaglia, 62: executed by lethal injection in Huntsville, Tex. after the Supreme Court denied his appeals without providing a reason. Battaglia, a former accountant, killed his two young daughters (Mary Faith, 9 and Liberty, 6) in his Dallas apartment while the girls’ mother listened on the phone and heard the fatal gunshots and her children’s screams.

Feb. 3
Dennis Edwards, 74: American Hall of Fame soul and R&B singer (The Countours, The Temptations (lead singer) complications from meningitis following a stroke.

Feb. 4
Edwin Jackson, 26: American football Player (Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals) traffic collision by suspected drunk driver on I-70. He was one of two people killed when they were struck by a undocumented immigrant who used a fake name and had been deported twice in the past.

John Mahoney, 77: English-American actor (Frasier, In the Line of Fire, Say Anything …. ) complications from throat cancer.

Esmond Bradley Martin, 76: American conservationist, who was a top ivory investigator. He was found stabbed to death in his Nairobi home.

Feb 6
Muhiyidin Elamin Moye, 32: A Black Lives Matter leader, known for diving over a barrier to snatch a Confederate flag from a protestor on live TV last year was shot dead in New Orleans, police said. He was found dead Tuesday morning after being shot in the thigh while riding his bicycle. New Orleans spokesman Beau Tidwell said there was no information about a motive or a suspect.

Michael White, 58: British author and musician (Thompson Twins).

Feb. 7
Mickey Jones, 76: American drummer (Kenny Rogers and The First Edition) and actor (Home Improvement, National Lampoon’s Vacation).

Jill Messick, 50: Film producer (Mean Girls, Frida) and former talent manager (Rose McGowan). She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had been battling depression for years. She took her own life one day after the third anniversary after her mother’s death.

Feb. 9
Reg E. Cathey, 59: American actor (The Wire, House of Cards, Fantastic Four) Emmy winner (2015) lung cancer.


John Gavin

John Gavin, 86: was an American actor who was best known for his performance in Imitation of life, Spartacus and Psycho. He was the US Ambassador to Mexico from 1981-1986 and the President of the Screen Actor Guild from 1971-1973. He was born Juan Vincent Apablasa, Jr. He died from pneumonia.

Feb. 11
Vic Damone (Vito Farinola), 89: American pop singer (On the Street Where You Live, You’re Breaking My Heart), actor and TV presenter, complications from respiratory illness.

Jan Maxwell

Jan Maxwell

Jan Maxwell, 61: passionate, talented, celebrated stage actress, but I remember her from Law & Order, Gossip Girl and many other television shows. She appeared in 13 Broadway and numerous off-Broadway productions and earned five Tony Award nominations for her work in musicals and plays, comedies and dramas. Maxwell died from meningitis complicated from breast cancer.

Feb. 12
Marty Allen, 95: American actor and comedian (Allen & Ross), complications from pneumonia.

Louise Latham, 96: American actress, who made her big-screen debut by playing Tippi Hedren’s mother in Hitchcock’s Marnie, died in a retirement home in Montecito, Calif.

Daryle Singletary, 46: American country music singer (“I Let Her Lie”, The Note”, “Amen Kind of Love”) passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at his home in Lebanon.


Edward M. Abroms

Feb. 13
Edward M. Abroms, 82: he was the first film editor to work with a young Steven Spielberg on Night Gallery and The Sugarland Express and received an Oscar nomination for cutting John Badham’s Blue Thunder. Abroms died of heart failure in Los Angeles, stated his daughter, Lynn, to The Hollywood Reporter.

Feb. 19
Max Desfor, 104: American photographer (Associated Press), Pulitzer Prize winner (1951), whose photo of hundreds of Korean War refugees crawling across a damaged bridge in 1950 helped win him a Pulitzer Prize, died in his apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he’d been living in his retirement.

Feb. 21
billy-grahamBilly Graham, 99: evangelist, America’s pastor, counselor to presidents. A charismatic North Carolina pastor who took his preaching crusades around the country and the globe, wrote more than two dozen books (including a 1997 best seller “Just as I Am”) and is estimated he reached 215 million people in 185 countries during his life. Graham died at his home in Montreat, NC at 7:46am, and his longtime physician arrived approximately 20 minutes later and said, quote, “he just wore out.” He died in his sleep. In addition to his body laying in at the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville, it will laid in repose at the Graham Family Someplace and will also be brought to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC. He is survived by his sister, five children, 19 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. His son said his tombstone will simply read ‘preacher.’

Feb. 22
Nanette Fabray, 97: died at her home in Palos Verdes, Calif., her son, Jamie MacDougall told The New York Times. Fabray was an actress, singer, Emmy Award-winner, dancer, comedienne, who played opposite Sid Caesar on Caesar’s Hour, only to leave the show because of a misunderstanding (that she didn’t discover until years later at an industry testimonial for Caesar). Later she portrayed the mother of Bonnie Franklin’s character on the CBS sitcom One Day At a Time.

Feb. 23
James Colby, 56: American actor (Patriots Day, Tower Heist, Empire). In addition to his movie credits, Colby had extensive theatre credits including SWEAT. He is survived by his wife Alyssa Bresnahan and their seven-year-old daughter.

Lewis Gilbert, 97: British film director, producer and screenwriter best known for Alfie (1966) as well as three James Bond movies: You Only Live Twice (1967), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979). He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture and a Golden Globe for Best Director for his work on Alfie. He was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute in 2001. He was married to Hylda Tafler for 53 years (she died in June of 2005). He died of natural causes.

Feb. 24
Bud Luckey, 83: American animator and voice actor who designed Woody for Toy Story died at a hospice facility in Newtown, Conn. after an extended illness.

Feb. 25
Dan Fegan, 56: American basketball agent (DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall, Ricky Rubio), was killed in an automobile accident in Colorado. He was driving an SUV when he was hit by a bus on a highway near Aspen. Two otherS in the SUV, a 29-year-old woman from California and Fegan’s 5-year-old son, were airlifted to a Denver hospital with serious injuries.

Feb. 26
Sean Lavery, 61: American ballet dancer (New York City Ballet) died in Palm Springs, Calif. A spinal tumor sidelined him in 1986. His sister confirmed his death, but a cause was not given.

Feb. 27
Lance Clark, 81: British shoemaker, the sixth generation of the Clarks family and the single largest shareholder of the business and managing director until he retired in 1994.

Feb. 28
Barry Crimmins, 64: American pioneering comedian and social activist who fought internet paedophiles, died of cancer. His wife, Helen, who is also battling cancer, posted the news on Twitter. Bobcat Goldthwaite, actor turned film director, made a 2015 award-winning documentary movie called Call Me Lucky, about Crimmins’ life (available on Netflix).

Keith English, 50: American politician, member of the Missouri House of Representatives (2013-2017) and former Florissant lawmaker, took his own life. He was found dead in a parking lot near the intersection of Sue Drive and Route 179 of a self-inflicted gun shot wound.

March 2
Billy Herrington, 48: American gay pornographic actor, died from his injuries after he was trapped for a time inside his vehicle from a crash in Rancho Mirage. The crash occurred around 8:30pm according to the sheriff. The other driver had minor injuries.

Joseph Israel, 40: American local reggae musician and New Door Records recording artist passed away after a battle with cancer.

Brandon Jenkins, 48: American red dirt singer-songwriter, was admitted to a Nashville hospital on Feb. 21 for a heart procedure, but there were complications, and he remained hospitalized.

March 3
Frank Doubleday, 73: American actor (Escape from New York, Assault on Precinct 13, Broadcast News) complications from esophageal cancer.

David Ogden Stiers, 75: American actor (M*A*S*H, Beauty and the Beast, The Dead Zone), best known for playing Major Charles Emerson Winchester III in M*A*S*H died peacefully as his home in Newport. He had been battling bladder cancer, according to his agent.

March 4
J. Paul Raines, 58: American retail executive, CEO of GameStop (2010-2017), brain cancer.

March 6
Peter Nicholls, 78: Australian literary scholar and critic. He was the creator and co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction with John Clute.

Donna Butterworth, 62: a child actress and singer who co-starred with Elvis Presley in the 1966 movies Paradise, Hawaiian Style passed away at the Hilo Medical Center following a long illness.

March 7
Gary Burden, 84: American artist and a pioneer in concept album cover art (Neil Young, Nash, The Doors).

March 8
Ron Franklin, 58: American jockey, Kentucky Derby winner (1979) lung cancer.

March 9
Joaquin Avila, 69: American civil rights activist and voter law attorney, who fought discrimination in classrooms, workplaces and voting booths as a leader of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, died of cancer at his Seattle home.

March 10
Hubert de Givenchy, 91: French fashion designer, famous for the “little black dress” and styling Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy, died in his sleep, according to his longtime partner. His 40-year friendship with his muse, Audrey Hepburn, whom he met while she was making Billy Wilder’s Oscar-winning comedy Sabrina in 1953, helped make him a fashion legend. It was the black sheath dress Givenchy created for the opening scenes of Breakfast at Tiffany’s was perhaps the most famous “little black dress” of all time, even if Coco Chanel is credited with inventing it. “His are the only clothes in which I am myself.” Hepburn once said of him. “He is far more than a couturier, he is a creator of personality.”

March 12
Nokie Edwards, 82: American Hall of Fame instrumental and surf rock musician (The Ventures), complications from hip surgery.

Ken Flach, 54: American tennis player, Olympic (1988) and Wimbledon champion (1986-1988), complications from pneumonia.

Craig Mack, 47: American rapper and producer from Brentwood, NY (“Flava in Ya Ear”), heart failure.

Charlie Quintana, 56: American rock drummer (Social Distortion, The Plugz, Cracker), heart attack.

Jeremiah Wolfe, 93: American Cherokee elder. He was a respected member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and was awarded the title of “Beloved Man” by his tribe in 2013, an honor that hadn’t been given out for more than 200 years. He was one of the last Cherokee stonecutters, a stickball cutter, a storyteller and a WWII veteran. He had been awarded an honorary doctorate by Western Carolina University. He spoke the Cherokee language fluently and was interviewed for the documentary First Language – The Race to Save Cherokee.

March 14
hawking-full-bleed-superJumboStephen Hawking, 76: English theoretical physicist, professor (University of Cambridge), writer (A Brief History of Time), a man who did not allow his physical limitations to hinder his quest to answer “the big question: Where did the universe come from?” His story was the basis of an award-winning feature film, The Theory of Everything. Dr. Hawking was played by Eddie Redmayne (who won an Academy Award). Scientifically, he will be remembered for a strange discovery: When is a black hole not black? The answer: When it explodes. In 1963, as a graduate student he learned he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neuromuscular wasting disease, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was given only a few years to live. It reduced his bodily control to the flexing of a finger and voluntary eye movements, but left his mental faculties untouched. Hawking went on to become a leader in exploring gravity and the properties of black holes. That led to a turning point in modern physics and applied quantum theory. Dennis W. Sciama, a cosmologist and Hawking’s thesis adviser at Cambridge, called his thesis in Nature “the most beautiful paper in the history of physics.”

Adrian Lamo, 37: American computer hacker (WikiLeaks) and threat analyst who first gained media attention because he hacked into several high-profile computer networks including The New York Times, Yahoo! and Microsoft which culminated in his 2003 arrest. He was best known for reporting US soldier Chelsea Manning to Army criminal investigators in 2010 for leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive US government documents to WikiLeaks. Despite a complete autopsy and additional testing, no definitive cause of death was identified.

March 15
Carlton Gary, 67: American serial killer and rapist, who was convicted of killing three elderly white women in Columbus, Georgia in 1977 and 1978, though he was suspected of at least four more, was executed by lethal injection.

March 16
Arnaldo Pagliarini “Arnie” Lerma, 67: was the first person to post the court document known as the Fishman Affidavit, including the Xenu story to the internet via the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology. He was a writer, activist, a former Scientologist and a critic of Scientology who appeared in television, media and radio interviews. Lerma committed suicide by gunshot after shooting his wife, Ginger Sugerman, in the face. He was at his home in Sylvania, Georgia.

March 17
Sammy WilliamsSammy Williams, 69: American actor (A Chorus Line), Tony winner (1976) and star of the original 1975 A Chorus Line died at the age of 69. The news was shared by fellow original cast members. Williams created the role of Paul and won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance.

March 18
Prof. David Cooper, 68: Australian immunologist and medical research (HIV), President of the International AIDS Society (1994-1998). He had diagnosed Australia’s first AIDS case and is being remembered as a brilliant scientist who led breakthrough research efforts into the global HIV pandemic.

KilljoyFrank “Killjoy” Pucci, 48: an American singer and frontman for Necrophagia, died suddenly at the age of 48. It was announced on the band’s Facebook page, no cause of death was given. Necrophagia, which was formed in 1983, was one of the earliest death metal bands on the US scene. Pucci was an important part of the international underground tape trading movement in the development days of death metal.

March 19
David Bischoff, 66: American novelist and television writer (Star Trek: The Next Generation), who wrote the TNG novel and shared writing credits on two TNG episodes passed away in Oregon. In addition to TNG in wrote The Seeker, Mandala, Hackers and The Diplomatic Touch, while his fiction series efforts included Aliens, Dragonstar, Gremlins and The Crow as well as Tin Woodman which served as the basis for his TNG episode “Tin Man.” He also taught creative writing at Seton Hill University.

Arnold R. Hirsch, 69: American historian who taught at the University of New Orleans where he served as Ethel and Herman L. Midlo Endowed Chair for New Orleans Studies. His book, “Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago 1940-1960” analyzed Chicago segregation. Hugely influential among urban historians and sociologists, his book didn’t spare anyone. Hirsch was a native of Chicago and influenced many in the field of urban studies. He died at his Oak Park, Ill. home.

SudanSudan, 45: Kenyan northern white rhinoceros, last known male of his subspecies. He was elderly in rhino years and suffered from problems associated with age. During his final years he had problems breeding and suffered from a low sperm count, which made his ability to procreate difficult. He had a daughter, Najin (28) and granddaughter (Fatu). He was euthanized after his condition deteriorated further. He lived in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, surrounded by armed guards in the days leading up to his death, to protect him from poachers.

March 20
Bobby Mitchell, 75: American golfer who played on the PGA and always gave back to the Danville community, died at the Lynchburg General Hospital.

March 22
Wayne Huizenga, 80: American businessman, CEO of Waste Management and Blockbuster and sports team owner (Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers, Florida Marlins) died of cancer.

Johan van Hulst, 107: Dutch teacher who helped save 600 children from the Nazis.

Morgana King, 87: who played Carmela Corleone in all three Godfather movies and had a fantastic singing voice and released dozens of albums, died of non-Hodgkins lymphoma in Palm Springs. A representative from the Riverside County Coroner’s office told The Washington Post. Her death went unreported until August 14 until a friend, John Hoglund, wrote about her the week of August 13 on Facebook.

March 23
DuShon Monique Brown, 49: American actress (Chicago Fire, Prison Break, Unexpected) who played the no-nonsense Connie on Chicago Fire died at Franciscan St. James Health Olympia Fields from sepsis. She was a longtime Chicago stage actor, performing at the Goodman, Victory Gardens, Lookingglass, Drury Lane, MPAACT and Pegasus Players. Some of her previous TV work includes Prison Break as well as one-time guest spots on Empire and Shameless.

March 24
Arnaud BeltrameArnaud Beltrame, 44: the police officer saved lives when he traded places with a hostage and was killed by a terrorist during a standoff with a rampaging gunman. He died of injuries suffered in the incident. His bravery earned him recognition as a hero in a country that has been shaken by a number of terrorist attacks in recent years. At 44, he was a lieutenant colonel in the gendarmerie, a part of the French military that focuses on domestic policing. He has been previously decorated for his bravery during operations in Iraq and spent four years in the early 2000s in France’s Republican Guard, protecting the Elysee Palace in Paris.

March 27
Rosendo Rodriquez, 38: American convicted rapist and murderer, who was known as the “suitcase killer.” He was executed with a fatal drug cocktail in Texas. Rodriquez remained defiant until the end, speaking for seven minutes but never apologized to the relatives of his victims, as they watched through a window. He urged people to boycott Texas businesses, to pressure the state into ending the death penalty and reiterated issues raised in the late appeals that were rejected by the courts. He was convicted of killing a 29-year old woman in Lubbock and stuffing her battered, naked body into a new piece of luggage and tossing it into the garbage. Workers in a city landfill in September of 2005 spotted and then opened the suitcase, discovering her corpse. She was 10-weeks pregnant.

March 30
Alias, 41: American rapper, producer and record label founder (Anticon), heart attack.