PHOTO BY: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
Bruno Sammartino, wrestler, 82
(Oct. 6, 1935 — April 18, 2018) WWE Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino, known as the Living Legend, rose to fame in the early 1960s, when he won the then-WWF championship and held the title for eight years — the longest reign for a wrestler. At one point, he was among the highest-paid U.S. athletes. He immigrated to the U.S. from Italy when he was 14, weighing a mere 80 pounds, but by his mid-20s, he was holding steady at a muscular 275. He was an idol to many, including pop sensation Bruno Mars, who says he got his nickname from the WWE wrestler.
Barbara Bush, first lady, 92
(June 8, 1925 — April 17, 2018) First lady Barbara Bush and her husband, George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, were married longer than any other presidential couple — 73 years. She also was the mother of the 43rd president, George W. Bush, and a former Florida governor, Jeb Bush. Mrs. Bush was hospitalized several times recently. She suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Graves’ disease. The Bush family announced April 15 that she had decided to no longer receive additional medical treatment and focus on “comfort care.” While serving as
firstlady, the grandmotherly Mrs. Bush founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy to help give people the ability to simply read and write.
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Carl Kasell, broadcaster, 84
(April 2, 1934 — April 17, 2018) For more than three decades, people across the nation tuned their radios to Carl Kasell to hear the day’s news. The National Public Radio (NPR) news anchor knew as a child he wanted to be on the radio. He got his start as a disc jockey at just
16,and broke into radio news after serving in the military. He joined NPR in the mid-1970s, becoming a newscaster for Morning Edition when the program launched in 1979. But Kasell may have been better known as the longtime "official judge and scorekeeper" for NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, a news quiz show that airs on weekends. He died of complications from Alzheimer's disease.
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Harry Anderson, actor and magician, 65
(Oct. 14, 1952 — April 16, 2018) Known as Judge Harry Stone on Night Court, Harry Anderson’s quirky character on the show brought us laughs for nine seasons — and earned him three Emmy nominations. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, we also saw Anderson from time to time on Cheers, known again as Harry — this time as con man Harry "The Hat" Gittes. After both shows ended, he landed the lead role
onCBS’ Dave’s World for five years. Anderson then decided to focus more on what he loved — magic. He performed regular shows combining his funny side and his magic tricks.
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R. Lee Ermey, actor, 74
(March 24, 1944 — April 15, 2018) After serving in the Marine Corps for more than a decade, R. Lee Ermey got into acting and landed a perfect role as a drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket. He brought authenticity to his character, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, and it earned him a Golden Globe nomination in 1988. Over the years, Ermey went on to appear in a number of films and shows, earning dozens of credits, but he has always been — and will be — remembered as a drill sergeant.
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Milos Forman, filmmaker, 86
(Feb. 18, 1932 — April 13, 2018) Oscar-winning director Milos Forman directed popular American films such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which won five Academy Awards in 1976, and Amadeus. Born in what was then known as Czechoslovakia, Forman said one of his greatest pleasures was to return to the Czech Republic in the 1980s to shoot Amadeus. His great work in Hollywood continued for years, and he was again nominated for an Oscar for the 1996 movie The People vs. Larry Flynt. One of the last films he directed was the 2006 drama Goya's Ghosts.
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Chuck McCann, actor and comedian, 83
(Sept. 2, 1934 — April 8, 2018) Children growing up in the 1960s in the New York area remember Chuck McCann as the funny TV host who was often accompanied by puppets. Just for Fun and The Chuck McCann Show were just the beginning for the actor. He went on to appear in films and commercials, including one for General Mills in which he voiced Sonny the Cuckoo Bird and the famous line, "I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.” He also made guest appearances on Little House on the Prairie, Bonanza
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Winnie Mandela, activist, 81
(Sept. 26, 1936 — April 2, 2018) South African anti-apartheid activist Winnie Mandela, often referred to as the Mother of the
Nation,has died following a long illness. She was married to South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, for 38 years, including the 27 years he was imprisoned. Famously photographed walking hand in hand as Mandela left prison a free man in 1990, the couple werean enduring symbol of the fight against apartheid for nearly three decades. But their marriage was a different story; the couple separated in 1992 and were divorced in 1996. During her husband’s incarceration, Mandela worked tirelessly for his release and for the rights of black South Africans. As a result, she endured years of detention, banishment andarrest by white officials.
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Steven Bochco, TV writer-producer, 74
(Dec. 16, 1943 — April 1, 2018) Boundary-pushing writer-producer Steven Bochco passed away after battling leukemia for years. TV historians might someday categorize shows as B.B. and A.B. — Before Bochco and After Bocho. It’s not hyperbole to state that the strong-willed and prolific TV titan fundamentally changed what viewers expect from a small-screen drama. His biggest hits — "Hill Street Blues," "L.A. Law" and "NYPD Blue" — pushed the envelope and caused angst among network censors in the 1980s and ‘90s, garnering 271 Emmy nominations and 71 wins, collectively. “We wouldn’t have the excellence on TV, on cable, broadcast and streaming if it wasn’t for what Steven Bochco did on broadcast TV,” longtime television critic David Bianculli told The New York Times. “He was a pioneer.”
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Frank Avruch, entertainer, 89
(May 21, 1928 — March 20, 2018) Known best for playing the titular role in the much-watched
kidsTV program "Bozo the Clown," Frank Avruch entertained millions of children for years. While there were many "Bozos," Avruch was the first to be nationally syndicated. He starred in Bozo's Big Top from 1965 to 1970. The entertainer had other jobs, too, including serving as a board member of UNICEF'S New England chapter and working for WCVB in Boston for more than 40 years. According to his familyhe died of heart disease.
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Stephen Hawking, scientist
(Jan. 8, 1942 — March 14, 2018) When he spoke, people listened. As a theoretical physicist and cosmologist, Stephen Hawking changed the way scientists think about the universe. Among his accomplishments: his prediction in the 1970s that black holes can emit energy. Time after time, Hawking beat the odds, including in his personal life. At 21, he was diagnosed with a form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, which eventually made him use a wheelchair. He was given only a few years to live. But the university professor kept working despite the debilitating disease and wrote many books, including A Brief History of Time. While many people have played him in films and TV shows, Hawking appeared in some himself, including The Big Bang Theory. A film based on his life, The Theory of Everything, was released in 2014.
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Hubert de Givenchy, designer, 91
(Feb. 21, 1927 — March 10, 2018) His work could be seen around the world. French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy created famous gowns for women such as Queen Elizabeth II, Jackie Kennedy
Audrey Hepburn. Among his biggest designs was the “little black dress” Hepburn wore in the opening scenes of 1961's Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The work of the 6-foot-6 designer is still being seen today: Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman wore custom Givenchy designs to this year’s Oscars. and
PHOTO BY: Fox/Everett Collection
David Ogden Stiers, actor, 75
(Oct. 31, 1942 — March 3, 2018) The tall, balding and somewhat snobbish doctor on M*A*S*H, Charles Emerson Winchester III, wasn’t an original part of the hit TV show cast, but David Ogden Stiers made his character fit right in. The actor joined the show in 1977 and left a lasting impression when the show ended six seasons later. From there, he went on to appear in other TV shows, films and on Broadway, but M*A*S*H was his biggest highlight and earned him Emmy nominations. The 75-year-old died after a battle with bladder cancer.
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Roger Bannister, athlete, 88
(March 23, 1929 — March 3, 2018) He was more than the athlete who ran the first sub-4-minute mile in track and field; Roger Bannister became a national inspiration in Britain in the years after World War II. Shortages and a postwar malaise left the empire in need of a lift. Bannister also had a long post-track career as a neurologist, earning a knighthood for his medical work.
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Nanette Fabray, actress and performer, 97
(Oct. 27, 1920 — Feb. 22, 2018) From the stage to TV and the big screen, Nanette Fabray did it all. She started singing and dancing as a child, and then it was off to Broadway. Her big hit came in the late 1940s when she won a Tony for best actress in a musical, for Love Life. In the 1950s, she — and her big smile — gave TV a shot, and she won three Emmy awards for her work in the sketch comedy show Caesar's Hour with Sid Caesar. She also appeared in several films, including 1953's The Band Wagon, with Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse
andJack Buchanan. An advocate for the hearing impaired, Fabray was outspoken about her own disability. After she underwent multiple operations over the decades, doctors were able to restore her hearing in the 1970s.
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Billy Graham, evangelist, 99
(Nov. 7, 1918 — Feb. 21, 2018) One of the world's most famous Christian evangelists, the Southern Baptist preacher known as "America's pastor" began his spiritual journey at 16. From there, Billy Graham broke barriers and took his spiritual message across the world, preaching to an estimated 200 million people in 185 countries during his lifetime. Thanks to his near-constant presence on radio, television and the internet, his message reached countless more. He began holding revival meetings in the 1940s and went on to become an advisor to several U.S. presidents. In recent years, as his health worsened, his son Franklin Graham played an increasingly greater role in managing his international ministry.
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Marty Allen, comedian, 95
(March 23, 1922 — Feb. 12, 2018) Recognized by his wild black hair and for his sense of humor, Marty Allen brought us many laughs. The comedian was a fixture on TV for many years, initially as part of “Allen & Rossi.” He and Steve Rossi appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show 44 times in addition to regular stints on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson and The Merv Griffin Show. The duo was a nationwide hit but split in 1968. Allen then went on to appear on many other TV shows and was a regular entertainer in Las Vegas, where he died. His wife, and performing partner of 30 years, Karon Kate Blackwell, was by his side.
PHOTO BY: The Palm Beach Post/Newscom
Vic Damone, singer, 89
(June 12, 1928 — Feb. 10, 2018) The smooth baritone of Vic Damone won praise from Frank Sinatra as "the best pipes in the business." The crooner's career spanned five decades and included dozens of hits, such as "On the Street Where You Live," "You're Breaking My Heart" and "My Heart Cries for You." Damone and Sinatra dominated the pop music landscape after World War II alongside fellow Italian Americans Dean Martin, Perry Como
andTony Bennett. Damone appeared in several MGM movies and continued to attract large audiences in nightclubs and concerts into his 70s.
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Reg E. Cathey, actor, 59
(Aug. 18, 1958 — Feb. 9, 2018) Best known for his roles as Norman Wilson in The Wire and Freddy Hayes in House of Cards, Reg E. Cathey died after a battle with cancer. The actor was nominated three times for an Emmy for his role on House of Cards, bringing him a win for outstanding guest actor in 2015. Cathey also delighted comic book fans with his roles as Freeze in The Mask and Dr. Franklin Storm in Fantastic Four. The Wire creator David Simon called Cathey not only a fine
actor,but one of the most delightful human beings he'd ever met on set.
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John Gavin, actor, 86
(April 8, 1931 — Feb. 9, 2018) Known as a ruggedly handsome actor in the 1950s and '60s, John Gavin later enjoyed a stint in diplomacy in the 1980s. Although Gavin never achieved superstardom, he played several memorable parts, including Julius Caesar in the Oscar-winning Spartacus, Lana Turner's suitor in the melodrama Imitation of Life and Janet Leigh's boyfriend, Sam Loomis, in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. In the 1970s, he served as president of the Screen Actors Guild before becoming U.S. ambassador to Mexico under Ronald Reagan.
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John Mahoney, actor, 77
(June 20, 1940 — Feb. 4, 2018) Funny and lovable on and off the screen, John Mahoney was best known for his role as a sharp-witted and sometimes cranky father on the TV sitcom Frasier, which aired from 1993 to 2004. He played Martin Crane, a dad that was never afraid to voice his opinion when it came to his sons, Frasier and Niles (Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce). His dog, Eddie, also brought added entertainment to his character and the show. Aside from TV and two dozen movie roles — including Moonstruck, Eight Men Out and Say Anything — Mahoney made appearances on the stage, winning a Tony for his 1986 performance in The House of Blue Leaves.
PHOTO BY: John Salangsang/AP Images
Dennis Edwards, singer, 74
(Feb. 3, 1943 — Feb. 1, 2018) Grammy-winning singer Dennis Edwards was the voice of the Temptations for two decades, having joined the popular R&B vocal group in the late 1960s. Some of the biggest hits he sang on include “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” "Just My Imagination” and “Cloud Nine.” Before replacing the quintet's original lead singer, David Ruffin, Edwards was a hit in another Motown group called the Contours. Edwards and the Temptations were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
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Jerry Van Dyke, actor
(July 21, 1931 — Jan. 5, 2018) A comedian, an actor — and sometimes a mix of both — Jerry Van Dyke worked into his 80s. Highlights of his career include acting alongside his older brother Dick on the classic sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show in the 1960s. Although he was known for several roles, the younger Van Dyke got his big break in 1989 when he was cast as assistant football coach Luther Van Dam on the TV series Coach, a role that kept him busy throughout much of the 1990s. The part earned him four Emmy nominations for supporting actor. His most recent TV appearance, on ABC’s The Middle in 2015, reunited him once again with his older brother, with the two playing a pair of squabbling siblings.
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Also of Interest: Those We Lost in 2017