Celebrities & Pop Culture

Famous People Who Died In 2017

The world is mourning the deaths of so many legends. They will all be missed.

It’s hard to believe that 2017 is already coming to a close. As we look back on the year, we’re reminded of all of the well-known singers, actors and other celebrities who passed away in 2017. Here’s a list of four dozen famous people whose deaths we mourned in 2017.

– Additional reporting by Sarah Kuta and Augusta Statz.

1. Della Reese

“Touched By An Angel” star Della Reese passed away in her home on Nov. 19 at the age of 86. “She was an incredible wife, mother, grandmother, friend and pastor, as well as an award-winning actress and singer,” her costar Roma Downey said in a statement on behalf of the late actress’ family. “Through her life and work she touched and inspired the lives of millions of people.”

della reese photo
Getty Images | Frederick M. Brown

2. Tom Petty

The world was stunned when rock icon Tom Petty suddenly passed away at the age 66 on Oct. 2. The musician had recently wrapped up a 40th anniversary tour with his band, the Heartbreakers.

tom petty photo
Getty Images | Alberto E. Rodriguez

3. Roy Halladay

Former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay was just 40 years old when he died in a plane crash off the Gulf of Mexico on Nov. 7. He left behind two children and his wife, Brandy.

roy halladay photo
Getty Images | Drew Hallowell

4. Fats Domino

Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Fats Domino passed away due to natural causes on Oct. 24 at the age of 89. He was among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Fats Domino Official

5. Harry Dean Stanton

Known for his roles in “Twin Peaks,” “Alien” and “The Green Mile,” prolific character actor Harry Dean Stanton died at the age of 91 on Sept. 15. His career spanned more than six decades.

harry dean stanton photo
Getty Images | Jason Merritt/TERM

6. Jerry Lewis

Comedic legend Jerry Lewis passed away on Aug. 20 at the age of 91. In addition to his numerous contributions to the field of comedy, he was well known for his philanthropic efforts, including his annual “Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon,” which he hosted for 44 years to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

jerry lewis photo
Getty Images | Frederick M. Brown

7. Chester Bennington

Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington took his own life on July 20. He was just 41, and left behind a wife and six children.

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Getty Images | Rich Fury

8. Stevie Ryan

YouTube star Stevie Ryan committed suicide on July 1 at the age of 33. Ryan made millions of people laugh and openly struggled with depression.

stevie ryan photo
Getty Images | Robin Marchant

9. Walter Becker

Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker died on Sept. 3 at the age of 67. Becker started playing music with Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen in 1967, when the two met at Bard College.

walter becker photo
Getty Images | Sean Gardner

10. Mary Tyler Moore

Sitcom star Mary Tyler Moore died from complications from pneumonia on Jan. 25 at the age of 80. The iconic actress was beloved for her comedic prowess, sunny disposition and pioneering role in changing the way women were represented on television.

mary tyler moore photo
Getty Images | Angela Weiss

11. Chuck Berry

Legendary rock ‘n’ roll musician Chuck Berry passed away on March 18 at the age of 90. Some of his hits include “Johnny B. Goode” and “Maybellene.”

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Getty Images | Timothy Hiatt

12. Sam Shepherd

Multi-talented playwright, actor, screenwriter and director Sam Shepherd died of Lou Gehrig’s disease on July 27. He was 73.

sam shepherd photo
Getty Images | Frederick M. Brown

13. Prodigy

Rapper Prodigy died on June 20 following a hospitalization for complications from sickle-cell anemia. He was 42. He was best known for his role as one half of the duo Mobb Deep.

prodigy rapper photo
Getty Images | Michael Loccisano

14. Adam West

Actor Adam West died on June 9 at the age of 88 after a battle with leukemia. West was best known for his portrayal of the title character in the “Batman” television series in the 1960s.

adam west photo
Getty Images | Mike Coppola

15. Chris Cornell

Musician Chris Cornell committed suicide on May 18. He was 52. Cornell served as frontman for the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave.

chris cornell photo
Getty Images | Jason Merritt/TERM

16. Don Rickles

Legendary comedian Don Rickles died of kidney failure on April 6, just a month shy of his 90th birthday. Rickles was known for in his insult humor, but was known for being a kind and caring man underneath his tough persona.

don rickles photo
Getty Images | Mark Mainz

17. Erin Moran

Best known as Joanie on “Happy Days,” Erin Moran died on April 22 at the age of 56 following a battle with cancer. Moran said she thought of her co-stars on the show as family. Here are five things you may not know about the star:

 

18. Dick Gregory

Comedian and social justice activist Dick Gregory died on Aug. 19 at the age of 84. Gregory used humor to raise awareness about racism and the civil rights movement.

dick gregory photo
Getty Images | Timothy Hiatt

19. Bill Paxton

Actor Bill Paxton died on Feb. 25 at the age of 61 following complications from surgery. Paxton had roles in a number of notable movies, including “The Terminator,” “Aliens” and “Titanic.”

bill paxton photo
Getty Images | Christopher Polk

20. David Cassidy

After suffering organ failure, former teen idol David Cassidy died on Nov. 21 at the age of 67. Cassidy played Keith Partridge on the iconic “The Partridge Family” TV show in the 1970s.

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Getty Images | Neilson Barnard

21. Don Williams

Country music star Don Williams died at the age of 78 on Sept. 8. He had 17 No. 1 country hits throughout his long career. He retired from performing in 2016.

don williams photo
Getty Images | Jason Kempin

22. Jim Nabors

Best known as Gomer Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show” and its subsequent spin-offs, Jim Nabors died on Nov. 30 at the age of 87. Nabors was famous for his character’s catchphrase, “Goll-eee.”

jim nabors photo
Getty Images | Frederick M. Brown

23. Liz Smith

Famous gossip columnist Liz Smith died on Nov. 12 at the age of 94. Smith differentiated herself from others in her industry by her often kind treatment of the celebrities she wrote about.

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Getty Images | Stephen Lovekin

24. Hugh Hefner

“Playboy” founder Hugh Hefner died on September 27 at the age of 91. Hefner’s son, Cooper, now helms the Playboy brand.

hugh hefner photo
Getty Images | Charley Gallay

25. Monty Hall

Game show host Monty Hall died on Sept. 30 after suffering a heart attack following his wife’s death in June. He was 96. Hall also co-created “Let’s Make A Deal,” the popular game show that he also hosted.

monty hall photo
Getty Images | Chelsea Lauren

26. Martin Landau

Actor Martin Landau died on July 15 at the age of 89. Before becoming an actor, Landau also worked as cartoonist.

martin landau photo
Flickr | GabboT

27. Gregg Allman

Musician Gregg Allman died of complications from liver cancer on May 27 at the age of 69. Along with his late brother, Duane, Allman founded the Allman Brother Band in 1969.

gregg allman photo
Getty Images | Rick Diamond

28. John Heard

Actor John Heard died of a sudden heart attack on July 21 at the age of 71. Perhaps best known for his role as Peter McAllister, Kevin’s dad in “Home Alone,” Heard appeared in nearly 200 films throughout his career.

29. Troy Gentry

Country star Troy Gentry died on Sept. 8 following a helicopter crash in New Jersey. He was 50. Gentry was one half of the country duo known as Montgomery Gentry, and they had plans to release a new album before his tragic death.

troy gentry photo
Getty Images | Frederick Breedon IV

30. Robert Guillaume

Actor Robert Guillaume died on Oct. 24 from complications due to prostate cancer. Some of Guillame’s most notable roles included the title character in the sitcom “Benson” as well as the voice of Rafiki in “The Lion King.”

31. Ralphie May

After suffering cardiac arrest, stand-up comedian Ralphie May died on Oct. 6 at the age of 45. May starred in a number of comedy specials, including “Ralphie May: Unruly,” which premiered on Netflix in 2015.

ralphie may photo
Getty Images | Frazer Harrison

32. Chuck Low

Best known for his role as Morrie in 1990’s “Goodfellas,” actor Chuck Low died in a nursing home in New Jersey on Sept. 18 at the age of 89. Prior to success in Hollywood, Low spent 30 years as a U.S. Army Reserve and eight years in the National Guard.

chuck low photo
Getty Images | Mike Coppola

33. Jimmy Snuka

WWE star Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka died on Jan. 15 at the age of 73 after a battle with stomach cancer. Murder charges in the 1983 death of his mistress were dropped shortly before his death.

34. Heather Menzies-Urich

Heather Menzies-Urich was best known for playing Louisa von Trapp in the 1965 movie “The Sound of Music.” She died at the age of 68 after a battle with brain cancer.

The 40th Anniversary & DVD Release 'The Sound of Music'
Getty Images | Paul Hawthorne

35. Charlie Murphy

Charlie Murphy died at the age of 57 from leukemia. In addition to being an accomplished comedian, Murphy was a star on “Chappelle’s Show” and the older brother of actor Eddie Murphy.

Premiere Of Warner Bros. 'Lottery Ticket' - After Party
Getty Images | Alberto E. Rodriguez

36. Sue Grafton

Accomplished author Sue Grafton died late in 2017 at the age of 77. Her detective novels were titled using letters from the alphabet—”A Is For Alibi” was the first book in the series.

Los Angeles Times Festival Of Books - Day One
Getty Images | Michael Buckner

37. Bruce McCandless

Astronaut Bruce McCandless became the first person to fly untethered in space in February 1984. He logged more than 300 hours in space during his long career. McCandless died at the age of 80.

NASA

38. June Foray

Though you may not recognize her face, you’d likely know her voice if you heard it. June Foray, an accomplished voice actress, died at the age of 99. Some of her most notable roles include Rocky the flying squirrel and Natasha Fatale in Rocky and Bullwinkle.

 

Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Happy Feet Two' - Arrivals
Getty Images | Jason Merritt

39. Ueli Steck

Ueli Steck was a celebrity in the climbing world. The Swiss mountaineer died at the age of 40 after a fall near Mount Everest.

40. Miguel Ferrer

Actor Miguel Ferrer was perhaps best known for his role in “NCIS: Los Angeles.” He also appeared in “RoboCop” and “Iron Man 3.” Ferrer died at the age of 61 of throat cancer.

The American Film Institute Presents 'Twin Peaks - The Entire Mystery' Blu-Ray/DVD Release Party And Screening - Red Carpet
Getty Images | Alberto E. Rodriguez

41. John Hurt

Oscar-nominated British actor John Hurt appeared in “The Elephant Man,” “Midnight Express,” “Doctor Who” and three Harry Potter films. He died in London at the age of 77.

'The Imitation Game' - Opening Night Gala Red Carpet Arrivals - 58th London Film Festival
Getty Images | Anthony Harvey

42. Glen Campbell

The world also lost country music star Glen Campbell in 2017. The singer, who died at the age of 81, was best known for the hit songs “Gentle on My Mind,” “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.”

Alzheimer's Association Evening With Glen Campbell
Getty Images | Kris Connor

43. Rose Marie

Actress Rose Marie was a star on the hit 1960s sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” She also appeared in other shows, including “The Love Boat” and “Murphy Brown.” She died at the age of 94.

LA.COM's Launch Party at Perino's in Los Angeles
Getty Images | Kevin Winter

44. Jay Thomas

Actor Jay Thomas died at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer. He was a two-time Emmy winner who appeared in “Murphy Brown,” “Cheers” and other shows.

SIRIUS XM Radio Celebrity Fantasy Football Draft-Times Square
Getty Images | Mark Von Holden

45. Robert Hardy

Harry Potter fans will remember British actor Robert Hardy for playing Cornelius Fudge, the “Minister of Magic.” His acting career spanned 70 years and included roles in theatre, film and television. He died at the age of 91.

Spitfires And Hurricanes Mark The 70th Anniversary Of The Battle Of Britain
Getty Images | Dan Kitwood

46. Nelsan Ellis

Actor Nelsan Ellis was best known for his role on HBO’s hit vampire series “True Blood.” He died of complications from heart failure at the age of 39.

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47. Roger Moore

British actor Roger Moore, who appeared in seven films as James Bond, died at the age of 89 after a short battle with cancer. He played the role of James Bond in more movies than any other actor and was also known for his humanitarian efforts.

Sir Roger Moore - Book Signing
Getty Images | Stuart C. Wilson

48. Michael Bond

If you were a fan of Paddington Bear, you have Michael Bond to thank for creating the lovable character. The British author published “A Bear Called Paddington” in 1958. Bond died at the age of 91.

Investitures At Buckingham Palace
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