Cheers and Drop Dead Gorgeous star Kirstie Alley succumbed to colon cancer on Dec. 5. She was 71.
«We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered,» Alley’s children True and Lillie confirmed to PEOPLE.
«She was surrounded by her closest family and fought with great strength, leaving us with a certainty of her never-ending joy of living and whatever adventures lie ahead,» they continued. «As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.»
«I was on a plane today and did something I rarely do,» Danson said in a statement to PEOPLE. «I watched an old episode of Cheers. It was the episode where Tom Berenger proposes to Kirstie, who keeps saying no, even though she desperately wants to say yes,» the actor revealed. «Kirstie was truly brilliant in it. Her ability to play a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown was both moving and hysterically funny.»
For his part, Grammer kept his tribute short and sweet telling PEOPLE, «I always believed grief for a public figure is a private matter, but I will say I loved her.»
«Kirstie was a unique and wonderful person and friend,» Pelman said in her statement. «Her joy of being was boundless. We became friends almost instantly when she joined the cast of Cheers. She loved kids and my kids loved her too. We had sleepovers at her house, with treasure hunts that she created.»
Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss
According to TMZ, tWitch’s wife, Allison Holker Boss, ran into an LAPD station distraught because her husband left their home without a car and had been unreachable. Shortly thereafter, paramedics received a phone call from an L.A. hotel where they found the beloved dancer dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
«It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to share my husband Stephen has left us,» Holker Boss confirmed to PEOPLE.
«Stephen lit up every room he stepped into. He valued family, friends and community above all else and leading with love and light was everything to him. He was the backbone of our family, the best husband and father, and an inspiration to his fans.»
«Right now what I want to do is remember all the love and laughter I had with tWitch,» the comedian posted on her Instagram page. «He brought so much joy to my life. I know he brought joy to yours too. I’m going to be sharing some of my favorite moments with him. If you want to you can also share yours. #ILovetWitch.»
The «Believe» singer let her fans know of the sad news through a simple tweet that read, «Mom’s gone» accompanied by a sad face emoji.
Holt’s passing came three months after Cher revealed she had previously been hospitalized for pneumonia. «Sorry I’ve Been Mia. Mom’s Been Sick Off & On. She Just Got Out Of Hosp. She Had Pneumonia,» the singer wrote at the time.
Born in Arkansas, Holt’s acting resume includes roles on classics such as Watch the Birdie and I Love Lucy. She also made appearances on The Mike Douglas Show and The Merv Griffin Show.
Soccer journalist Grant Wahl collapsed while attending the Argentina vs. Netherlands match during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar on Dec. 10. He was 48.
Though the cause of death was initially unknown, his brother Eric Wahl suspected foul play. While in Qatar, Grant had extensively covered the issue of migrant deaths at the FIFA World Cup, and earlier in the tournament was detained for wearing a rainbow shirt into a match.
«My name is Eric Wahl. I live in Seattle, Washington. I am Grant Wahl’s brother. I am gay, I am the reason he wore the rainbow shirt to the World Cup,» Eric revealed on Instagram. «My brother was healthy, he told me he received death threats. I do not believe my brother just died. I believe he was killed, and I just beg for any help.»
However, several days later, it was revealed the award-winning journalist suffered from an aortic aneurysm.
«Grant died from the rupture of a slowly growing, undetected ascending aortic aneurysm with hemopericardium,» Grant’s wife Dr. Céline Gounder wrote on his Substack. «The chest pressure he experienced shortly before his death may have represented the initial symptoms. No amount of CPR or shocks would have saved him.»
She clarified, «His death was unrelated to COVID. His death was unrelated to vaccination status. There was nothing nefarious about his death.»
Tributes immediately started pouring from all over the world, but the most poignant were the ones from her family.
«On Thursday, the world lost an extraordinary leader, whose commitment to the country, the Realms and the commonwealth was absolute,» Prince William said in a statement. «I, however, have lost a grandmother. And while I will grieve her loss, I also feel incredibly grateful. I have had the benefit of the Queen’s wisdom and reassurance into my fifth decade.»
The queen’s death came after she had a string of health issues which led to her canceling several engagements over the last year.
Efectivo name Kirsnick Khari Ball, Takeoff was killed during an altercation at a private party taking place at Billiards & Bowling Alley. He attended the event with fellow group member, Quavo, who didn’t sustain any injuries during the incident.
«This whole time I’ve been trying to figure out what you really are to me because nephew wasn’t it. We hated the word ‘nephew’ or when they said ‘Unc and Phew’ because we always knew we were way closer than that and it made me feel old too,» Quavo wrote in a heartfelt Instagram dedication.
He continued, «Now I finally get it… you are OUR angel watching me and watching us this whole time in living form, making sure EVERYONE FELT UR LOVE AND HUGS while u here and u made our dreams come true.»
The comedian was found dead in his hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando on the afternoon of Jan. 9 following a performance in Jacksonville, Florida, the night before.
Following news of his death, the late Full House star’s family released a statement.
«We are devastated to confirm that our beloved Bob passed away today. He was everything to us and we want you to know how much he loved his fans, performing live and bringing people from all walks of life together with laughter,» read the statement. «Though we ask for privacy at this time, we invite you to join us in remembering the love and laughter that Bob brought to the world.»
Saget leaves behind wife Kelly Rizzo and his three daughters — Aubrey, Lara, and Jennifer — whom he shares with first wife Sherri Kramer.
Screen and Broadway legend Angela Lansbury, best known for her role as Jessica Fletcher on CBS’ Murder, She Wrote, died at age 96 in October, days before her birthday.
The London-born actress had a career that spanned a staggering seven decades, with sobresaliente and timeless roles including voicing Miss Potts in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and playing the titular character in Broadway’s Mame.
Tributes from the likes of Jason Alexander, George Takei, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Mario Cantone started pouring in merienda news of her death broke.
«One of the most renombrado moments in my life was being so very fortunate to be in the recording studio when Ms. Lansbury sang the title song ‘Beauty and the Beast,'» actor Robby Benson, who voiced the Beast in the 1991 Disney classic, told PEOPLE. «For me, the 2 minutes and 46 seconds was a lifetime of inspiration.»
The legendary actor, who was the first Black man to win a Best Actor Oscar, died on Jan. 6. He was 94.
Born in Miami, Sidney Poitier was raised in his native Bahamas, on a rural farm with no electricity or running water. He later moved to Harlem, washing dishes to pay his way.
He went on to serve in the Army before joining the American Sable Theater, where he traded janitorial services for dramatic arts training. His career began on Broadway, with a role in Lysistrata.
His breakthrough big screen role was as Dr. Brooks in 1950’s étnico drama No Way Out. He went on to star in countless films, earning prestigious awards and accolades including the Best Actor Academy Award for his turn in Lilies of the Field. Other iconic films of his include To Sir With Love, In the Heat of the Night and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, which continued to interrogate themes of race and class.
Outside of his acting, Poitier explored those same issues offscreen as an active participant in the Civil Rights Movement. He later served as the Ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan from 1997 to 2007.
He was married twice: first to Juanita Hardy, from 1950 until 1965, and then to Joanna Shimkus, whom he wed in 1976 and remained married to until his death. He leaves behind Shimkus as well as five daughters: Beverly, Pamela, Sherri, Anika and Sydney. His daughter Gina Poitier died in 2018.
«Dame Olivia Newton-John passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time,» her husband, John Easterling, announced on Newton-John’s social media accounts.
Newton-John announced that she was diagnosed with breast cancer which had metastasized to the sacrum in May 2017. At the time, her team revealed she was completing photon radiation therapy in addition to natural wellness therapies. In 2018, she appeared to be in good spirits while attending a 40th-anniversary screening of Grease held in Beverly Hills.
Early last year, Newton-John was thrilled and grateful to have been still alive to see her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, get married. «I’m so lucky to still be doing all these things,» Newton-John told PEOPLE. «I don’t think I imagined living this long! I feel very blessed.»
Robbie Coltrane who played Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies, died on Oct. 14 at age 72, his agent and friend Belinda Wright announced.
Though the cause of death was not initially revealed, Deadline reported the beloved actor «had been in ill health for the past two years,» and died in Larbert, Scotland, in a hospital close to his home.
Immediately after the shocking news was announced, longtime colleague Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry, released a statement saying Coltrane was simply one of the funniest people he’s ever worked with.
«I’ve especially fond memories of him keeping our spirits up on (2004’s Harry Potter and the) Prisoner of Azkaban, when we were all hiding from the torrential rain for hours in Hagrid’s hut and he was telling stories and cracking jokes to keep morale up,» Radcliffe added. «He was an incredible actor and a lovely man.»
The celebrity-favorite French fashion designer behind his eponymous line died on Jan. 23 at the age of 73.
Mugler began designing in the 1970s. He eventually became known for his dramatic, avant-garde designs.
He retired from fashion in 2002 before Clarins shuttered his ready-to-wear brand the next year, yet the iconic designer remained a staple in the world of fashion. The brand was relaunched in 2010 as Mugler, which is currently under the creative direction of designer Casey Cadwallader.
Mugler came out of retirement on a few occasions, creating the costumes for Beyoncé‘s 2009 I Am… World Tour. In 2019, he designed the dress Kim Kardashian wore to the Met Gala, inspired by Sophia Loren in Boy on a Dolphin.
André Leon Talley
The famed writer and former Vogue creative director died at age 73 on Jan. 18.
News of Talley’s death quickly circulated on social media, with designer Diane von Fürstenberg writing on Instagram, «Good bye darling André ❤️🙏… No one saw the world in a more glamorous way than you did ❤️🙏… no one was grander and more soulful than you were ❤️🙏…the world will be less joyfulI ❤️🙏 I have loved you and laughed with you for 45 years…. I miss your loud screams …I love you soooo much ❤️🙏.»
Talley first joined Vogue in 1983 as the magazine’s fashion news director. He quickly rose to creative director and editor-in-chief Anna Wintour‘s right-hand — a position he held from 1987 to 1995. After stints at other publications, he returned to Vogue, parting ways with the magazine for a final time in 2013.
The Goodfellas actor died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, PEOPLE confirmed on May 26. He was 67 years old.
A source told PEOPLE at the time that no foul play was suspected in his death and that his fiancée Jacy Nittolo was with him when he passed.
Deadline was first to report the news.
Liotta is survived by Nittolo, her four kids, and his daughter Karsen, 23, whom he shared with ex-wife Michelle Grace.
Police sources told PEOPLE the «I Want Candy» singer was discovered by a house sitter in his bathtub. Though there were prescription pills and drug paraphernalia in his bedroom, an official cause of death wasn’t revealed.
«My heart has been broken today,» older brother Nick Carter wrote on Instagram. «Even though my brother and I have had a complicated relationship, my love for him has never ever faded. I have always held onto the hope that he would somehow, someday want to walk a healthy path and eventually find the help that he so desperately needed.»
Ex-girlfriend Hilary Duff also paid her respects to the late singer, writing, «I am deeply sorry that life was so hard and that you had to struggle in front of the whole world. You had a charm that was absolutely effervescent. Boy, did my teenage self love you deeply. Sending love to your family at this time. Rest easy.»
News of Leslie Jordan‘s passing shocked the world when on Oct. 24, TMZ announced the beloved actor had been in a fatal car crash following a medical emergency. He was 67.
«The world is definitely a much darker place today without the love and light of Leslie Jordan,» his agent David Shaul said in a statement to PEOPLE at the time. «Not only was he a mega talent and joy to work with, but he provided an emotional sanctuary to the nation at one of its most difficult times. What he lacked in height he made up for in generosity and greatness as a son, brother, artist, comedian, partner and human being. Knowing that he has left the world at the height of both his professional and personal life is the only solace one can have today.»
Following the sad news, tributes from colleagues and friends started pouring in. «Well I am as hurt and shocked as if I have lost a family member,» Dolly Parton said in an Instagram post. «Leslie and I had a special bond, I think the world felt they had a special bond with him.»
Sean Hayes, Jordan’s co-star on Will & Grace, also paid his respects, saying, «My heart is broken. Leslie Jordan was one of the funniest people I ever had the pleasure of working with. Everyone who ever met him, loved him. There will never be anyone like him. A unique talent with an enormous, caring heart. Leslie, you will be missed, my dear friend.»
On Aug. 5, actress Anne Heche crashed her car into a house in the Mar Presencia neighborhood of Los Angeles. Though she was in critical condition, the Men in Trees actress was initially deemed stable but never regained consciousness.
A week after the accident, Heche was declared legally dead. She was 53.
«My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom,» her eldest son, Homer, said in a statement to PEOPLE. «After six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings, I am left with a deep, wordless sadness. Hopefully my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom.»
Heche rose to fame in the ’80s and ’90s with roles in films such as I Know What You Did Last Summer, Six Days Seven Nights and Psycho. She also had a solid career in TV, having starred in the soap opera Another World in addition to Men in Trees.
The actor’s publicist, Ron Hofmann, confirmed to PEOPLE that Ward died on May 8. He was 79 years old. A cause and location of death have not been shared, per his family’s wishes.
Before breaking into acting, Ward served in the U.S. Air Force for three years, and also worked various jobs including as a lumberjack in Alaska, a boxer and a short-order cook. Ward made his big-screen estreno in 1974’s Ginger in the Morning after starting out on television, and went on to appear in series like Quincy, M.E. and The Incredible Hulk.
Fans were in shock when Coolio’s manager announced that the rapper had suddenly died on Sept. 28.
Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., the «Gangsta’s Paradise» rapper was found collapsed on the floor of a friend’s bathroom, TMZ reported. The friend called for help and merienda paramedics arrived, they declared Coolio dead at the scene. He was 59.
With a career that spanned decades, Coolio’s friends and collaborators took to social media to pay their tributes. Michelle Pfeifer, who was the lead in the video for «Gangsta’s Paradise» — the first track off the Dangerous Minds soundtrack — was among the first to pay her respects.
«This is sad news. I witness[ed] first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace @Coolio,» fellow rapper Ice Cube wrote.
Flash Gordon director Mike Hodges passed away at age 90, his former producer and collaborator Mike Kaplan revealed. Though a rep for Hodges could not be reached for comment, Kaplan confirmed Hodges passed away due to heart failure.
Before Flash Gordon gained confianza with the masses, Hodges made his directorial estreno with Get Carter (1971) and Pulp (1972). His career also translated to the small screen as he directed Squaring The Circle in 1984 and Dandelion Dead in 1994. The latter earned him a BAFTA in 1995.
Founder of Babydoll Beauty Couture and star of WE tv’s Super Sized Salon Jamie Lopez died at age 37.
According to TMZ, Lopez had been hospitalized in Las Vegas over the weekend of Dec. 16 due to heart complications.
«On behalf of the Babydoll Beauty Couture team, we regretfully announce, with great pain, the passing of The Founder & Owner of Babydoll Beauty Couture, The Legendary Jamie Lopez,» the company shared in an Instagram post announcing the news. «We ask, on behalf of the Babydoll family, that you allow us time to process this tremendous loss.»
Reeves, a former NFL running back and coach, died on Jan. 1 «due to complications from a long illness,» according to his family. He was 77.
«Legendary NFL player and coach Dan Reeves passed away early this morning, peacefully and surrounded by his loving family at his home in Atlanta, GA,» the family said in a statement released through former Atlanta Falcons media relations director Aaron Salkin, according to the Associated Press.
«His legacy will continue through his many friends, players and fans as well as the rest of the NFL community,» they added.
After his time playing as a running back for the Dallas Cowboys, Reeves went on to coach the Denver Broncos from 1981-1992 and the Atlanta Falcons from 1997 to 2003. He led the Falcons to their first-ever Super Bowl in 1999.
The NFL legend, who is the only person in history to play and coach in multiple Super Bowls, also served as head coach for the New York Giants from 1993 to 1996. He earned the NFL’s Coach of the Year award twice, in 1993 and 1998.
Weaver, a member of the Christian band Big Daddy Weave, died of COVID-19 complications on Jan. 2. He was 42.
Jay’s brother and fellow band member Mike confirmed Jay’s death in a video shared to the band’s social media.
«Thank you so much for all your prayers for my brother,» Mike said. «You have walked with him through a huge fight, and I’m so sorry to bring this news but I’m also excited to celebrate where he is right now. My brother Jay went to be with Jesus just a couple hours ago due to complications due to COVID-19.»
The musical group formed in 1998 after they met at the University of Mobile in Alabama.
Big Daddy Weave has had several number one songs on the contemporary Christian radiodifusión charts, including «My Story» and «I Know.»
Grichka and Igor Bogdanoff
The French TV stars and twin brothers died of COVID-19 within days of each other.
Igor died on Jan. 3, just six days after Grichka died Dec. 28, according to CBS. The brothers were 72 years old.
BBC reported that the brothers, who were hospitalized in mid-December 2021, had not received the COVID-19 vaccine.
The twins are best known for their late ’70s TV show Temps X, which explored science fiction in layman’s terms. The series ran until 1987. The pair went on to write doctoral theses in mathematics and physics, which were largely dismissed by academics, according to CBS.
The Broadway actress died at her home in New York City on Jan. 4, Deadline reported. She was 99.
A cause of death has not yet been reported. Copeland, the younger sister of legendary playwright Arthur Miller, began her acting career in the 1940s before becoming one of the diferente members of the prestigious Actors Studio.
She earned a number of awards and nominations over the years, including the Drama Desk Award and an Obie Award.
In addition to her work on stage, Copeland had some roles on the small screen as well, in titles ranging from Love of Life and Law & Order to All in the Family, Chicago Hope, NYPD Blue and ER.
The Snowdrop actress died on Jan. 5. She was 29.
News of her death was confirmed by her agency, Landscape Entertainment, who reported that she passed away «suddenly.» A cause of death has yet to be provided.
«Kim suddenly left us on Jan. 5,» her agency said in a statement, according to Variety. «The bereaved are deep in their sorrow at the sudden sadness. Please refrain from reporting false rumors or speculation so that the family can mourn in peace.»
Mi-soo portrayed student activist Yeo Jung-min in the Korean series Snowdrop, which was announced as a Disney+ diferente program in October.
Mi-soo also appeared on the television series Into the Ring and Hi Bye, Mama!, as well as the 2019 films Kyungmi’s World and Memories, according to Variety.
Lang had been diagnosed with a rare form of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, per a statement obtained by PEOPLE. The famed concert promoter died at the Demanda Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City on Saturday.
In addition to the diferente Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969, Lang helped create and organize follow-up events Woodstock ’94 and Woodstock ’99.
The writer and director, best known for his classic films like 1971’s The Last Picture Show and 1973’s Paper Moon, died at home on Jan. 6. He was 82.
Bogdanovich earned Academy Award nods for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for The Last Picture Show, and famously directed A-listers including Cher, Sam Elliott, Laura Dern, Jennifer Aniston and more.
He is survived by daughters Antonia and Sashy. He shared both children with ex-wife Polly Platt (who died in 2011 at age 72). After splitting from Platt, he went on to date Dorothy Stratten in 1980, who was soon after murdered by her estranged husband. He remained close to her family and later wed her younger sister Louise in 1988. The pair divorced in 2001.
Calvin Simon, the co-founder of the music group Parliament-Funkadelic and Rock and Roll Recibidor of Fame member, died at 79 years old on Jan. 6.
«[Thanks] everyone for the wonderful memories… we will so miss you Calvin… but love the thought that heaven just got a bit funkier,» a post on Simon’s official Facebook page stated on Jan. 8, confirming the death of the performer.
His former bandmates Bootsy Collins and George Clinton both paid tribute to the musician on social media.
Marilyn Bergman, a lyricist who has won multiple Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys — and was inducted into the Songwriters Recibidor of Fame — died in the early hours of Jan. 8 at the age of 93.
Bergman died at her home in Los Angeles surrounded by husband and songwriting partner Alan Bergman and daughter Julie.
Marilyn’s cause of death has been revealed as respiratory failure, though it was not related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The musician is now survived by Alan, 96, Julie, son-in-law iLan Azoulai, and granddaughter Emily Sender.
Ross Browner, former Cincinnati Bengals defensive end, died at 67.
Browner’s death was confirmed by his son, former NFL offensive lineman Max Starks, who shared the news of his father’s death on Twitter on Jan. 5.
«It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of my Father, Ross Browner,» Starks wrote. «The world has lost a Titan, @CFBHOF [College Football Hall of Fame] member, @Bengals Legend, but he was most proud of being an @NDFootball [Notre Dame Football] alumnus. Our hearts are heavy but he is at peace now.»
Dwayne Hickman, widely known and celebrated for his role on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, died at 87.
A spokesperson for Hickman’s family confirmed to The New York Times that he died Jan. 9 in Los Angeles from complications related to Parkinson’s disease. Beyond his television credits, Hickman also worked as an executive at CBS, producer and director.
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis aired on CBS from 1959 to 1963, starring Hickman as Dobie Gillis, a girl-crazed teenager who yearned for success and luck in love.
Grammy-winning songwriter and musician James Mtume has died at 76.
Mtume’s son Falau confirmed the news to Pitchfork on Jan. 9. Further information about his cause of death was immediately available.
Mújol Lucas, the daughter of Mtume’s late frequent collaborator Reggie Lucas, also shared the sad news on Twitter, calling the musician her «honorary uncle.»
«So much loss. So much grief. Rest in power to Uncle Mtume,» she wrote. «My late father’s partner in crime, the co-creator of the songs of my life (and about my birth!). He was [an] essential part of the life of the man who made me, therefore me too. Gone now. He will be dearly, eternally missed.»
The death of Ewing, who was merienda married to famed theater director and Royal Shakespeare Company founder Sir Peter Recibidor, was confirmed in a statement by her family obtained by PEOPLE.
«She was an extraordinarily gifted artist who by the sheer force of her talent and will catapulted herself to the most rarefied heights of the international opera world,» the statement read. «She was deeply loved, and her loss will be felt not only by her family and friends, but by all those around the world who were touched by her singular voice.»
Ewing, a soprano and mezzo-soprano, made her estreno at the Metropolitan Opera in 1976 as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, and after nearly 100 performances, gave her last show on the highly regarded stage in 1997, as Marie in Berg’s Wozzeck.
Legendary bodybuilder Dickerson, who made history as the first-ever Black Mr. America, died on Dec. 23, according to multiple outlets who uncovered the news in January. He was 82.
Dickerson died at a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after struggling with a heart ailment, his friend Bill Neylon said, the Washington Post reported.
Dickerson blazed many trails throughout his career, including becoming the first openly gay Mr. Olympia, a men’s professional bodybuilding contest, in 1982. Throughout his lengthy career, Dickerson amassed 50 titles, including wins at International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness Grand Prix competitions in multiple states, the Post said.
YouTuber Ham died after a battle with cancer. She was 36.
Ham’s husband shared the news on her social media account on Jan. 12 — noting that his «sweet, amazing, beautiful wife» tragically died nine days before their 16th anniversary.
«If you’ve been following our journey I’m sure you were, like us, hopeful she could defeat this insidious disease,» he wrote. «Over the past few months things have been progressively getting worse and we’re thankful that we made it to this point through the holidays and tried to make every moment count.»
«My family, our doctors, our nurses and especially Melanie fought until the end and did all we could do to avoid today, but that is not our path. Let me reassure all those rooting for us, Melanie fought like a warrior queen,» he added. «Despite the deep grief my family and I feel today we want to celebrate an amazing woman and a life well-lived. She loved passionately, created beautifully, provided abundantly and was my best friend all the way to the end.»
«Sadly the music world lost one of the greats yesterday as Fred Parris passed away after a brief illness,» the statement read. «Fred’s classic song ‘In the Still of the Night’ has been recognized as one of the greatest love songs of all time and the number one requested song of the doo-wop era.»
«Fred also wrote several other classic songs, and his gorgeous voice enthralled audiences world-wide for decades,» the statement continued. «The Five Satins family is devastated by his loss but appreciative of having shared Fred’s music with thousands of fans and friends. Future plans for services will be posted as they become available. Rest in peace Adiestrado Fred Parris.»
The celebrated photojournalist, whose work documented the civil rights movement and also included celebrity portraits, died on Jan. 15 of pancreatic cancer at his home in Chicago, according to The New York Times. He was 87.
Schapiro’s civil rights coverage included the March on Washington in 1963 and the 1965 marches from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, the Times reported.
Active until the end of his life, Schapiro also documented the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.
McGee, a decorated military pilot and Tuskegee Airman, died at 102.
On Jan. 16, McGee died in his sleep, a family spokesperson told Reuters. «He had his right hand over his heart and was smiling serenely,» his youngest daughter, Yvonne McGee, said in a statement.
«McGee was a living legend known for his kind-hearted, and humble nature, who saw positivity at every turn,» his family added in the statement, per CNN. «He spent the last half century inspiring future generations to pursue careers in aviation, but equally important, he encouraged others to be the best they could be, to follow their dreams, and to persevere through all challenges.»
McGee is survived by his three children, 10 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandchild. His wife Frances preceded him in death in 1994.
The athlete died in College Station, Texas, on Jan. 11 after striking one vehicle before plowing head-on into another driving in the opposite direction.
«This is very difficult to express, I can’t even express this loss,» Texas A&M coach Pat Henry said in a statement to PEOPLE.
Mimieux, an actress known for roles in iconic films such as 1960’s The Time Machine and The Black Hole from 1979, died at age 80.
Mimieux died «peacefully» in her sleep of natural causes on Jan. 17, family representative Michelle Bega confirmed to PEOPLE.
A Los Angeles native, Mimieux had 50 credits to her name as an actress, starting out in 1958 before soon earning a Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Female Newcomer in 1960’s Platinum High School.
Her breakout role came that same year, when she played distant-future damsel in distress Weena in George Pal’s adaptation of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine opposite Rod Taylor.
Harris, a pioneer for women’s básquet, died at the age of 66.
Delta State University, where Harris attended and played for, announced the news in a Jan. 18 statement, remembering her incredible legacy.
«We are deeply saddened to share the news that our angel, matriarch, sister, mother, grandmother, Olympic medalist, The Queen of Básquet, Lusia Harris has passed away unexpectedly today in Mississippi,» her family said in the release, per DSU.
«The recent months brought Ms. Harris great joy, including the news of the upcoming wedding of her youngest son and the outpouring of recognition received by a recent documentary that brought worldwide attention to her story.»
According to French news agency AFP, Ulliel was transported via helicopter to a hospital in Grenoble, France, after suffering a head injury on a ski mountain in the Savoie region. His family, via his agent, told AFP that he later succumbed to his injuries.
In addition to his role as Midnight Man in the highly anticipated Moon Knight series, which released its first trailer days before the actor’s death, Ulliel is known for starring in French films Saint Laurent, It’s Only the End of The World and A Very Long Engagement.
Krüger, who starred in A Bridge Too Far and Barry Lyndon, died at the age of 93.
His agency added, «his warmth of heart, joie de vivre and his unshakeable sense of justice will make him unforgettable,» via THR.
Krüger was married three times and is survived by three children, daughters Christiane and Malaika and son, German actor Hardy Krüger Jr.
Shortly after it was announced that he was being treated in a Las Vegas hospital for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, an aggressive blood cancer, the comedian’s rep confirmed that he died on Jan. 21. He was 68.
The star’s first TV appearance, as a standup comedian on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1984, immediately catapulted him to fame. He had renombrado appearances in movies including Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Coming to America, and in the 1990s and 2000s was known for his TV work including the animated show Life with Louie, the host of Family Feud and his Emmy-award winning turn in Baskets.
Brazilian singer and samba icon Soares died at age 91.
A statement shared to her official Instagram page on Jan. 20, signed by members of her family, her manager, and her team, announced the loss.
«It is with great sadness and regret that we report the death of singer and composer Elza Soares, aged 91, at 15:45 at her home in Rio de Janeiro, of natural causes,» the statement began.
«Icon of Brazilian music, considered one of the greatest artists in the world, the singer elected as the Voice of the Millennium had a triumphant, intense life, that moved the world with her voice, her strength and her determination.»
In 1960, she garnered a record deal, kicking off her iconic singer career, going on to have hits like «Se Tal vez Você Chegasse» and «Cadeira Vazia.»
Soares briefly stepped away from music in the 2010s before making her return with A Mulher do Fim do Mundo in 2015, an album that earned her a Latin Grammy for Best Musica Popular Brasileira Album. The project notably addressed violence against the LGBTQ community, police brutality, and those living oppressed in Brazil.
Her later albums, Deus é Mulher and Planeta Fome, released in 2018 and 2019 respectively, also received Grammy nods.
«Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight surrounded by his wife Deborah, daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends,» Meat Loaf’s agent Michael Green said in a statement to PEOPLE.
«His amazing career spanned 6 decades that saw him sell over 100 million albums worldwide and star in over 65 movies, including Fight Club, Focus, Rocky Horror Picture Show and Wayne’s World. ‘Bat Out of Hell’ remains one of the top 10 selling albums of all time. We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all of the love and support as we move through this time of grief in losing such an inspiring artist and beautiful man. We thank you for understanding of our need for privacy at this time. From his heart to your souls… don’t ever stop rocking!»
Gillies, a Hockey Recibidor of Famer and 4-time Stanley Cup champion with the New York Islanders died at 67.
«The National Hockey League mourns the passing of Clark Gillies, a tower of strength on the ice for the dynastic New York Islanders of the early 1980s and a pillar of the Long Island community ever since,» Bettman said. «Gillies helped define the term ‘power forward’ during a 14-season, Recibidor of Fame career with the Islanders and Buffalo Sabres that was highlighted by winning four straight Stanley Cups with the Islanders.»
«The adoration and admiration of his teammates reflected the heart and passion he brought to our game,» he added. «We send our deepest condolences to his family and his countless friends and fans.»
The rhythm guitarist’s family told PEOPLE he died peacefully of natural causes on Jan. 22 in Tacoma, Washington. Wilson had his four children by his side at the time.
«Our dad was an amazing rhythm guitar player who touched people all over world with his band, The Ventures,» his son Tim said in a statement. «He will have his place in history forever and was much loved and appreciated. He will be missed.»
Kates, a veteran character actress with credits including Orange Is the New Black, Seinfeld and Law & Order: SVU to her name, died at the age of 73.
Kates’ representatives confirmed the news to PEOPLE, with Erica Bines of Headline Talent Agency noting that the actress died on Jan. 22 «after a hard fought battle with lung cancer.» She added that a ruego for Kates is being planned for the spring.
The performer’s manager Bob McGowan wrote in an email, «my heart is broken, she was the best.» He added, «The entire time she was sick, she never complained.»
Thích Nhất Hạnh
Thích Nhất Hạnh, an influential Buddhist monk and peace activist, died at the age of 95.
Plum Village, the organization that Hạnh founded, announced the news of his death on its website on Jan. 22.
«With a deep mindful breath, we announce our beloved teacher Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh has passed away peacefully,» the statement read.
During the Vietnam War, Hạnh was among the monks and nuns who were tasked with deciding whether or not to remain meditating within the monasteries, or to provide aid to those affected by the war. Deciding to do both, Hạnh then founded the Engaged Buddhism movement.
Bobbe Long ‘Beegie’ Adair
Adair, a prolific jazz pianist and prominent figure in Nashville’s music scene, died on Jan. 23. She was 84.
The Associated Press reported Adair’s manager Monica Ramey said she died in Franklin, Tennessee. The AP added the cause of death was not immediately disclosed.
Adair accumulated a number of accolades throughout her impressive career that spanned six decades.
Most notably, Adair played on over 100 records. She was a musician on both The Johnny Cash Show and The Ralph Emery Show and worked on albums with country stars Dolly Parton, Vince Gill and musician Chet Atkins among other notables.
Tampa Bay Rays bullpen catcher Ramirez died unexpectedly on Jan. 10 at the age of 28.
«We extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to Jean’s family,» Rays President of baseball operations Erik Neander said in a statement. «He was a caring teammate and friend. He exuded so much joy in all he did, and his kind heart was truly a gift to all. As we process this unexpected and difficult loss, we are grateful for the times we shared with Jean.»
The team did not announce Ramirez’s cause of death.
Ramirez joined the Rays organization in the 28th round of the 2016 MLB draft and spent three seasons in the minor leagues before he was released.
But the Rays brought Ramirez back to the team as a bullpen catcher and coach in 2019 and reached the World Series the following year.
Spector, the lead singer of the legendary girl group the Ronettes, died following a short battle with cancer. She was 78.
«Our beloved earth angel, Ronnie, peacefully left this world today after a brief battle with cancer,» her family said in a statement shared with PEOPLE on Jan. 12. «She was with family and in the arms of her husband, Jonathan.»
«Ronnie lived her life with a twinkle in her eye, a spunky attitude, a wicked sense of humor and a smile on her face. She was filled with love and gratitude,» the statement continued. «Her joyful sound, playful nature and magical presence will live on in all who knew, heard or saw her. »
Frazier, a legendary and Grammy-nominated country music songwriter, died at 82.
Frazier died at a rehabilitation facility in Gallatin, Tennessee, according to the New York Times.
His death was confirmed to the outlet by his daughter, Melody Morris, who said that her father had suffered two strokes since August.
Frazier is now survived by Morris, as well as his wife, Sharon Carpani Frazier; their two other daughters, Robin Proetta and Alison Thompson; four grandchildren; one great-grandson; and a sister, Judy Shults.
Wavy Navy Pooh
According to the Miami Herald, the «M.I.A.M.I. (Murder Is A Major Issue)» rapper, 28, was gunned down while driving a Toyota Camry near Zoo Miami.
According to the Herald, Miami-Dade police said Beaubien stopped at Southwest 152nd Street and 127th Avenue when a gray four-door Lexus pulled up with someone inside who fired shots.
Legendary songwriter Jon Lind died after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 73.
Lind, who helped create songs like Earth, Wind & Fire’s «Boogie Wonderland,» Madonna‘s «Crazy For You» and Vanessa Williams‘ «Save the Best for Last,» died on Jan. 15, his attorney, Jeremy Rosen, confirmed to Variety.
The accomplished writer also worked with artists like Cher, Deniece Williams, Atlantic Starr, Aaron Neville and the Emotions during his decades-long music career, according to Variety.
Adalia Rose Williams
«January 12, 2022 at 7pm Adalia Rose Williams was set free from this world,» a post on both her Instagram and Facebook accounts started. «She came into it quietly and left quietly, but her life was far from it. She touched MILLIONS of people and left the biggest imprint in everyone that knew her.»
«She is no longer in pain and is now dancing away to all the music she loves,» the post continued. «I really wish this wasn’t our reality but unfortunately it is.»
The architectural engineer’s death was announced Jan. 13 on Twitter by his high school wrestling coach Scott Bayer of Batavia, Illinois, who shared some memories of the Batavia High School alumnus and his time on the team and touched on his professional wrestling career.
«It is with a heavy heart and a sense of profound loss that we announce the death of one of the Batavia Wrestling Program’s All-Time greats, 2005 graduate, Clint Arlis,» Bayer wrote. «Clint was the beloved son of Coach Tom Arlis and his wife, Jamie, protective, loving older brother of his sister, Taylor, and the boyhood idol and best friend of his kid brother, Coach Logan Arlis.
«Last night I received a call no parent ever wants,» Jessica began her post, which was written alongside a black and white photograph of Jordan.
«My oldest beloved daughter, Jordan has passed away, she was only 26 years old,» she continued. «Our hearts are truly broken. No parent should ever have to go through losing a child, EVER.»
Rosa Lee Hawkins
Hawkins, a member of the ’60s girl group The Dixie Cups, died at 76.
Her sister and bandmate Barbara Ann Hawkins told The New York Times that Rosa died after experiencing internal bleeding caused by complications related to surgery performed at Tampa Universal Hospital.
«When the audience smiled and applauded, it made her happy because she knew she put a smile on their faces, if only for that time,» Barbara said of their shared career.
In 1964, the band’s iconic single «Chapel of Love» shot to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, topping The Beatles’ «Love Me Do.»
Breck Denny Jr.
Denny Jr. died in mid-January at age 34.
Denny is survived by his parents, Robert and Ninna, as well as sisters Combate, Carter and Louise, according to Deadline.
Denny was engaged to fiancée Emily Levitan, who works as the director of diferente series at Netflix. The couple announced their engagement on Instagram in July. Their Zola wedding registry indicated that they were set to wed on April 30.
The Fame and Melrose Place star died in his Los Angeles home on Jan. 26. He was 70.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office later confirmed that Stevens died of natural causes due to arteriosclerosis cardiovascular disease.
Born October 16, 1951 in Knoxville, Tennessee, the actor headed to Hollywood soon after graduating college. His big break was as teacher David Reardon in two seasons of Fame. Other roles he’s best known for include A Year in the Life, The Waltons, Roses are for the Rich, The Return of Marcus Welby M.D., and more.
After a hiatus from acting, the star returned to the small screen in 1992 with a recurring role as Nick Diamond in the hit Fox drama Melrose Place.
«It’s with absolute sadness that we inform all of his fans and friends that our beloved Diego left his body today to continue his journey and creativity in another form of eternal life,» the death announcement reads, posted by his family to social media, per Billboard. «His entire family is submerged in this pain, which is why we ask for your comprehension in these difficult times.»
Verdaguer was first diagnosed with COVID-19 in December, and had been hospitalized, according to The Associated Press.
Born in Buenos Aires in 1951, the Latin Grammy-nominated singer released his first single, «Acullá del Aprecio,» at just 17 years old. In 1980, he moved to Mexico, where he also held citizenship.
Throughout his career, which spanned over five decades, he was famous for hits like «Volvere,» «Corazón de Papel,» «Tonta,» «Ladrona,» and «Voy a Conquistarte,» per Billboard.
Robbins, the diferente voice actor for Charlie Brown in the early animated Peanuts specials, died at the age of 65.
Robbins’ family confirmed the news to Fox 5 San Diego, saying that he died by suicide in mid-January. PEOPLE could not immediately reach his relatives for comment.
Robbins, whose auténtico name was Louis G. Nanasi, was born in Los Angeles in 1956, Deadline reported. He began voicing the beloved cartoon character in 1963, lending his talents to iconic specials including A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Boy Named Charlie Brown and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
Character actor Mangassarian died at the age of 78, it was reported in late January.
Born in Iran in 1943, Mangassarian emigrated to the United States at age 23, working as a waiter in Los Angeles while dreaming of a career in Hollywood. He pursed his passion for acting with gigs in theater and a few roles in movies back in Iran, before landing his big break with The South’s Shark in 1978.
From there, the actor appeared in The Fall Guy, The A-Team, Sledge Hammer!, Murder, She Wrote, Murphy Brown, Falcon Crest, Jake and the Fatman and NYPD Blue, among others, per Deadline. Later, he would play parts in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (playing Qasim Zaghlul), Curb Your Enthusiasm and NCIS: Los Angeles.
Paul Carter Harrison
Harrison, a playwright and theatrical scholar whose work was a staple in the Black community, has died. He was 85.
«We cannot express more the utmost respect and affection he had from many people in the U.S. and across the oceans, as a writer, award-winning director, teacher, colleague and friend,» Paul’s family said in a statement obtained by WSB-TV 2. «For the family he was the Pater Comunidad.»
Alongside his daughter, Paul is now survived by his second wife, Wanda Malone, and a grandson.
Halligan, a founding member of the Grammy-winning jazz-rock group Blood, Sweat & Tears, died at the age of 78.
In a statement shared with PEOPLE, Halligan’s daughter Shana said her father passed away Jan. 18 in Rome, Italy of natural causes. Halligan grew up in Glen Falls, New York, where he was inspired by the sounds of big band bandleaders Stan Kenton, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller.
Blood, Sweat & Tears officially came together in 1967, with Halligan, Lipsius, Al Kooper, Jerry Weiss, Randy Brecker, Steve Katz, Jim Fielder and Bobby Colomby as diferente founding members. The jazz-rock group won big at the Grammy Awards in 1970, taking home album of the year for their self-titled, sophomore album, Blood, Sweat & Tears, which went quadruple platinum.
Betty Davis, the renowned funk singer and ex-wife of Miles Davis, died of natural causes on Feb. 10. She was 77.
«It is with great sadness that I share the news of the passing of Betty Davis, a multi-talented music influencer and pioneer rock star, singer, songwriter, and fashion icon,» Davis’ longtime friend Connie Portis said in a statement to Rolling Stone. «Most of all, Betty was a friend, aunt, niece, and beloved member of her community of Homestead, Pennsylvania, and of the worldwide community of friends and fans.»
A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Davis is the one who wrote The Chambers Brothers’ 1967 hit song «Uptown (to Harlem)» and is also the writer behind all the music that helped The Commodores get signed to Motown.
As a solo artist, she released five albums — Betty Davis, They Say I’m Different, Nasty Gal, Is This Love or Desire and Crashin’ From Passion. Davis is considered a trailblazer in the music industry, having unabashedly engineered sexually liberating lyrics and performances which paved way for the likes of Madonna and Prince.
Delgado was surrounded by family when he died at his home in N.Y.C., his wife Carole Delgado told TMZ. The star had recently been in hospice care after he was diagnosed with Multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, in December 2020.
«A beloved member of the Sesame family for over 50 years, his warmth and humor invited children to share a friendship that has echoed through generations,» a rep for Sesame Street shared in a statement to PEOPLE.
«After living an extraordinary life, and fighting a brave battle with depression, our hearts are shattered to share that Lee took her life on Friday,» the family posted on Instagram. «She was the brightest light, a magnetic force of nature and was loved by so so many.»
Prior to her death, MacMillan had been open about her mental health issues, admitting to fans that she had taken some time to herself and had even picked up golfing and cycling.
Former University of Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Sam Bruce died after suffering a myocardial infarction in April.
A day before his death, the 24-year-old star athlete was involved in a car accident and officials initially believed he had a seizure while driving. However, Florida’s Broward County Medical Examiner discovered he had coronary heart disease, which led to the fatídico heart attack.
According to WPTV, Bruce was a standout wide receiver at St. Thomas Aquinas High School and would later be recruited by the Miami Hurricanes. However, due to multiple team violations, he was completely axed from the roster in 2016 without having officially played.
Born to a Kentucky coal miner, Lynn rose to fame in the ’60s with hits such as «Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin» (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),» «You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man,» and «Fist City.» Her 60-year-career was revered by many, with huge country stars such as Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and Tanya Tucker all looking to her as a pioneer in the genre.
«She was beautiful and feisty and had this spirit that made you want to be better,» Lambert previously told PEOPLE. «She was one of the most genuine artists there is.»
The country icon, who was part of the famous mother-daughter duo The Judds, died on May 30 after suffering from mental illness. She was 76.
«Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public,» the statement read. «We are in unknown territory.»
The statement, which Ashley also posted to her Instagram, did not elaborate further or include an exact cause of death.
An additional statement from Naomi’s husband of 32 years, Larry Strickland, reads: «Naomi Judd’s family request privacy during this heartbreaking time. No additional information will be released at this time.»
A day after their mother’s death, Ashley and Wynonna tearfully accepted their mother’s honor of being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The founding member and keyboardist of Depeche Mode died in May at the age of 60.
«We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness with the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member, and bandmate Andy ‘Fletch’ Fletcher,» read a statement posted to Depeche Mode’s social media pages on May 26.
«Fletch had a true heart of gold and was always there when you needed support, a lively conversation, a good laugh, or a cold pint,» continued the band.
«Our hearts are with his family, and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts and respect their privacy in this difficult time,» the statement concluded.
Bob Lanier, one of the top players in the NBA in the 1970s, died in May. He was 73.
The NBA confirmed the news in a statement released the morning of May 11, saying that the star was surrounded by loved ones when he died, following a «short illness.» The eight-time All-Star was a major influence in the league both on and off the court since being drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1970.
Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement that básquet «was a bordadura of love for Bob,» whom he described as «one of the kindest and most genuine people I have ever been around.»
Kevin Samuels, the controversial YouTuber known for his polarizing takes on relationships, died on May 5. He was 56.
Emergency services were called to Samuels’ home, where a woman informed cops that he complained of chest pain before he collapsed on top of her. Firefighters performed CPR on the scene and later transported him to Piedmont Hospital.
A death report obtained by E! News later revealed Samuels fell to hypertension and the cause of death was ruled natural.
Prior to his passing Samuel had gained notoriety for some of his views, particularly those concerning women. Detractors often deemed his views as sexist, while fans often thought he was brave for keeping it auténtico in the midst of parasol culture.
«If you have made it to 35 and you are unmarried, you are a leftover woman,» Samuels said in a video, per NBC News. «You are what is left. Men know that there is something likely wrong with you.»
The outlet confirmed the news, and shared a statement from the 16-year-old’s heartbroken family.
«Although she was an accomplished teenager with a bright future ahead of her, unfortunately in one impetuous moment, she made the rash decision to end her earthly life,» relatives said, per TMZ. A foundation in her name has since been established through the Whatcom Community Foundation in Washington state.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text «STRENGTH» to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
Model and social media influencer Niece Waidhofer died by suicide in June at age 31.
According to TMZ, Waidhofer was discovered in her Houston home after a family member requested a welfare check on her. The model had been super open with her 4.2 million Instagram followers regarding her mental health issues and red flags went up when all but three photos were deleted from her account prior to her death.
«Niece was more than her struggles. She was beautiful and kind, sensitive and funny, creative and talented, generous and compassionate, thoughtful and challenging,» her family told TMZ. «While it is so very painful to say goodbye, we take comfort knowing she is reunited with her father, her three grandparents, her Uncle Rusty, and her beloved Puff; and that she is now free to be herself and, finally, at peace.»
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson was found dead in his apartment on June 21. He was 26.
The Baltimore Police Department responded to a «questionable death» phone call late on the night of June 21 and found paramedics already working on the unresponsive NFL player. He never regained consciousness and was declared dead at the scene.
A few weeks later, a representative of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore confirmed Ferguson had died from the effects of cocaine and fentanyl. His death was ruled accidental.
«We are profoundly saddened by the tragic passing of Jaylon Ferguson,» the Ravens said in a statement. «He was a kind, respectful young man with a big smile and an infectious personality.»
Former Miss United Continents Brazil, Gleycy Correia died in June after slipping into a coma, The Washington Post reported. She was 27.
Five days after undergoing tonsil surgery, Correia suffered a hemorrhage which led to the coma. She never regained consciousness and two months later, she died of kidney failure.
«We are deeply saddened by this loss,» family pastor Lidiane Alves told the Post. «She was an amazing woman and much loved by everyone. It won’t be easy to live without her smile and shine. My heart is in pieces.»
Correia, who worked as a beautician and model, won the Miss United Continents Brazil title in 2018 and was also crowned Miss Costa del Sol the same year.
While the initial cause of death wasn’t disclosed, a death certificate obtained by PEOPLE revealed the beloved actor suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as congestive heart failure.
Caan’s illustrious career spanned six decades, with credits in classic films such as The Godfather, Misery and Elf. He also made several TV appearances, most sobresaliente of which was his role as Ed Deline in NBC’s dramedy series Las Vegas. Caan was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards.
Leave it to Beaver star Tony Dow died on July 27 after a battle with cancer. He was 77.
«Tony passed away earlier this morning, with his loving family at his side to see him through this journey,» an announcement on his official Facebook page read.
«We know that the world is collectively saddened by the loss of this incredible man. He gave so much to us all and was loved by so many. One fan said it best—’It is rare when there is a person who is so universally loved like Tony.'»
Dow’s credits included roles in The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, Lassie, Never Too Young and Mr. Novak. He also directed several series including The New Leave It to Beaver, Honey, I Shrunk The Kids: The TV Show, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Crusade and Babylon 5.
Street Outlaws: Fastest in America star Ryan Fellows died in August at age 41 after being involved in a fatídico car accident.
According to TMZ, Fellows lost control of the gold Nissan 240Z, which caused it to roll over and combust. Spectators on the scene tried to help but were ultimately unable to pull him from the car.
«Ryan was an avid car enthusiast and was a road ‘warrior’ in many ways that extended to loves of básquet, cars and business in sales/advertising,» his family wrote on a GoFundMe Page launched to help his survivors.
«He was admired for tenacity and a relentless drive to overcome the challenges before him. The only thing he loved more than these efforts and achievements was his family.»
Country music star Luke Bell died in August, one week after he had gone missing in Tucson, Arizona, due an accidental fentanyl overdose. He was 32.
PEOPLE obtained an autopsy report from the Pima County Medical office which revealed an unresponsive Bell was discovered by a passerby under a parking structure. A toxicology report ordered by the medical examiner also revealed that the «Where Ya Been» crooner had been drinking.
Bell’s family revealed that the singer had been suffering from mental health issues which escalated after his father passed away in 2015.
Beloved The Sopranos actor and co-founder of MCC Theater Robert LuPone died on Aug, 27 after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 76.
A Juilliard graduate, LuPone played the Sopranos’ neighbor and family doctor, Dr. Bruce Cusamano on the hit HBO show. He also held sobresaliente roles on other hit series such as Sex and the City, Guiding Light and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his work on All My Children.
He co-founded MCC Theater along with Bernard Telsey and Will Cantler and the company has gone on to produce hit shows such as Frozen, School Girls and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Wit.
Don Anthony St. Claire
Don Anthony St. Claire, who appeared on season 6 of The Amazing Race, died on Aug. 31. He was 87.
According to his son, Greg, Don collapsed in his California home from what seemed to have been a heart-related issue.
Don competed on the CBS hit show alongside his wife, Mary Jean. The couple placed eighth and were the oldest team to compete on the show up until that point. Prior to getting on reality TV, Don practiced medicine at Stanford Healthcare, where he worked for 40 years.
Don is survived by Mary Jean and their children Valeri Andres, Donald St. Claire, Jr., Gregory St. Claire and Jeffrey St. Claire, as well as his stepchildren Michael Henningsen and Christa Flores. He also had 16 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Grammy-nominated R&B singer Jesse Powell died on Sept. 13, his sisters announced.
«It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved son, brother and uncle Jesse Powell. He passed away peacefully in his Los Angeles home,» Tamara Powell posted on her Instagram. «The family asks for privacy at this time as we mourn this tremendous loss and celebrate his everlasting legacy. Jesse loved music and he especially loved his fans who supported him throughout his career.»
Jesse got his big break in music when record executive Louis Silas, Jr. signed him in 1993, according to AllMusic. He would go on to release four albums between 1996 and 2003 and his second record, ‘Bout It was certified gold in 1999.
Former Dallas Cowboys tight end Gavin Escobar died in a California rock-climbing accident in September at age 31.
Escobar, along with another climber, 33-year-old Chelsea Walsh were discovered at Tahquitz Rock near Idyllwild in the San Bernardino National Forest. Both were declared dead at the scene.
The football player started his five-year-long career playing for the Cowboys before going to the Baltimore Ravens, where he retired in 2018. Escobar had found a new career path as a firefighter as the Long Beach Fire Department revealed he had been hired this past February.
Rapper PnB Rock — born Rakim Hasheem Allen — was fatally shot during a robbery in a Roscoe’s Chicken ‘N Waffles located in Los Angeles.
The 30-year-old Philly native was enjoying a meal with his girlfriend, Stephanie Sibounheuang, when a suspect approached and ordered him to give up his jewelry and other items. Moments later, the «Fleek» rapper was gunned down.
According to The New York Times, police arrested Freddie Lee Trone, 40 and his 17-year-old son in connection to the murder. Both suspects were «charged with one count of murder, two counts of second-degree robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery.» Police also apprehended Trone’s wife, Shantell Trone and charged her with one count of being an accessory after the fact.
Heartland heartthrob Robert Cormier died due to injuries sustained in an accidental fall, his sister told The Hollywood Reporter in late September. The 33-year-old actor was admitted to a hospital in Etobicoke, Ontario, when he died.
Cormier first appeared in season 6 of the UPtv hit show and prior to Heartland, his acting credits included roles in Firecrackers, Pyrenees, and upcoming projects, The Intersection, Transmission: Vol. 1 and a short called The Antagonist.
Mikaben, auténtico name Michael Benjamin, collapsed while performing at the Accor Arena in Paris in October. He was 41.
Mikaben was performing with the Haitian konpa group CaRiMi when the music suddenly stopped and he turned to walk off stage. He suddenly collapsed and never recovered.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the cause of death was cardiac arrest.
«I lost my other half and I have no words,» Mikaben’s widow, Vanessa Fanfan, wrote in a string of posts on Instagram.
«Oh [my God], Heavenly Father, I know you don’t make mistakes and you won’t give us what we can’t [bear] but…this pain is very heavy,» she wrote in another. «Help me please oh merciful Lord.»
Sacheen Littlefeather became the mainstay of the 1973 Oscars when the young activist was asked by Marlon Brando to turn down his Best Actor award on his behalf. The refusal was an effort to highlight the massacre of Native Americans taking place at Wounded Knee, North Dakota, at that time.
Littlefeather’s refusal speech caused such an immense stir that actor John Wayne had to be «held back by six security guards» to prevent him from assaulting her.
In August, the Academy extended a long overdue apology to the Indigenous actress for the way she was treated and followed up with an event honoring her in September, nearly 50 years after the incident occurred.
Littlefeather died on Oct. 3 due to metastasized breast cancer. She was 75.
Former WWE wrestler Sara Lee died unexpectedly on Oct. 6. She was 30 years old.
Her mother, Terri Lee announced the news via Facebook stating, «It is with heavy hearts we wanted to share that our Sara Weston has gone to be with Jesus. We are all in shock and arrangements are not complete. We ask that you respectfully let our family mourn. We all need prayers, especially [husband] Cory and her children.»
The cause of Lee’s death was not revealed, though the wrestler mentioned she had a sinus infection on her last Instagram post.
Lee entered the WWE after winning season 6 of the competition series Tough Enough which garnered her a $250,000 contract with the prestigious wrestling league. She competed under the stage name Hope (an homage to her hometown of Hope, Michigan) for the following year and wrestled veteran WWE Diva Alicia Fox in her only televised match. She was released from her contract with the WWE in 2016.
Tony Brown, a longtime NBA referee, succumbed to pancreatic cancer in October at age 55.
Brown served in the NBA for 20 years before being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in April 2021. He went through multiple rounds of chemotherapy before entering hospice care.
«After his pancreatic cancer diagnosis early last year, Tony fought courageously through countless rounds of treatment to return to work this past season at the NBA Replay Center, demonstrating the dedication, determination and passion that made him such a highly respected official for 20 years,» NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.
«The entire NBA family mourns Tony’s passing and we send our deepest condolences to his wife, Tina; their children, Bailey, Basile and Baylen; and his fellow referees.»
Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James also paid his respects to Brown, writing on Twitter, «Great ref but greater dude! Loved when I ran on the court for warmups and he would be on the game that night! Your smile and laugh will be missed tremendously here in our sport!»
According to TMZ, the 23-year-old was driving home to Tennessee from Alabama when he crashed his Jeep Cherokee into a semi-truck parked on the side of the road. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Spence was a strong contender during his time on Idol. He — along with former alumna Katharine McPhee — performed a rendition of «The Prayer» by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion that earned him praise from the judges.
«Part of being a star is making people fall in love with you and, man, I am in love with you,» country star Luke Bryan told Spence. «And I am in love with the way you go about being on stage, and the way you go about singing and the place it comes from. It’s amazing.»
Supernatural actress Nicki Aycox died at age 47, her sister-in-law, Susan Raab Ceklosky, confirmed in a Facebook post on Nov. 17.
Though the official cause of death wasn’t revealed, Aycox previously announced she had been diagnosed with leukemia in March 2021.
«My beautiful, smart, fierce, incredibly talented, and loving sister-in-law, Nicki Aycox Raab, passed away yesterday with my brother, Matt Raab, by her side,» Ceklosky wrote. «She was definitely a fighter and everyone who knew her loved her.»
«Sweet papa… John Anthony Aniston. You were one of the most beautiful humans I ever knew. I am so grateful that you went soaring into the heavens in peace — and without pain,» the Friends star wrote. «And on 11/11 no less! You always had perfect timing. That number will forever hold an even greater meaning for me now. I’ll love you till the end of time. Don’t forget to visit.»
John began his stint as Victor Kiriakis on the soap opera in 1985 and played the character on and off for over 36 years.
Upon news of his death, stars of the soap opera also paid tribute to their long-term colleague.
«Our hearts are broken over the loss of our beloved family member John Aniston,» the series’ official accounts posted on social media. «We love you John. Your legend will live on.»
Smyth caught fans’ attention by covering songs like Rihanna’s «Stay» and Miguel’s «Quickie» on YouTube. He would go on to release his first commercial hit, «Twerkaholic» in 2014, and put out his first solo album Thr3 under Motown Records in 2017. Just three weeks prior to his death, he’d released another single, «Twerkaholic Pt. 2,» which got a strong response from fans on TikTok.
He also appeared in Halloween II but never returned to the franchise after the sequel. However, Winburn did work with Carpenter on another film, Escape from New York, and also appeared in Steven Lisberger’s Tron.
His career spanned 35 years; he served as a stunt artist or stunt coordinator in 78 movies and TV shows between 1970 and 2005, IMDb reports.
Mickey Kuhn, the child actor who played Beau Wilkes in Gone With the Wind, died in a hospice facility in Naples, Florida, on Nov. 20, his wife announced. He was 90.
In addition to playing Beau Wilkes, Kuhn also starred in Red River, Juarez, Broken Arrow and A Streetcar Named Desire. As an adult, he was featured in The Last Frontier and Away All Boats and appeared in a handful of episodes of CBS’ Alfred Hitchcock Presents before retiring from acting for good.
According to The Wrap, Kuhn was the last surviving credited cast member of Gone With the Wind.
Michael Armand Hammer
Famed businessman and father to Armie Hammer, Michael Armand Hammer, succumbed to cancer on Nov. 20 at 67 years old.
According to TMZ, Michael got his start in investment banking before traversing over to Occidental Petroleum Corporation, the conglomerate oil company his grandfather, Armand Hammer, helmed prior.
He is survived by ex-wife Dru Ann Mobley with whom he shared Armie and his brother Viktor, as well as his second wife, Misty Millward.
Jason David Frank
The cause of death wasn’t revealed.
Frank was survived by his four children — sons Hunter and Jacob, as well as daughters Skye and Jenna.
In addition to starring in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Frank also partook in other spinoffs in the franchise: Power Rangers Zeo, Turbo and Dino Thunder.
Singer Irene Cara, who was best known for singing the title tracks to Fame and Flashdance, died in November at age 63.
Her publicist, Judith A. Moose revealed the sad news in a statement, saying, «It is with profound sadness that on behalf of her family I announce the passing of Irene Cara. The Academy Award-winning actress, singer, songwriter and producer passed away in her Florida home.»
Cara got her big break after she was cast in the 1980 musical Fame, in which she starred as Coco Hernandez and also sang the title track for. She would go on to be nominated for two Grammys for her vocals on the hit track.
She penned «Flashdance… What A Feeling» for 1983’s Flashdance — along with Giorgio Moroder and Keith Forsey — and she snagged two Grammys as well as an Oscar win for the ballad.