In memoriam: Notable deaths in 2017



In memoriam: Notable deaths in 2017

From (L-R): Chuck Berry, Mary Tyler Moore and Hugh Hefner
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From little screen to big screen, from baseball diamond to football turf, from teeny-bop pop to nu metal rock, from saints to sinners, 2017 saw the passing of numerous notables. Here are 25 of them.

  • Mary Tyler Moore (Dec. 29, 1936 - Jan. 25, 2017)

    Moore starred in the 1960s and '70s sitcoms "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." The latter was a groundbreaking take on the role of women in the workforce. The actress died in Greenwich, Connecticut, at age 80 of cardiopulmonary arrest due to pneumonia.

    Mary Tyler Moore.
    Bettman Collection | Getty Images
  • Norma McCorvey (Sept. 22, 1947 - Feb. 18, 2017)

    Unmarried, addicted and impoverished at age 22, McCorvey filed a lawsuit in 1970 to be allowed to end her unwanted pregnancy in her home state, Texas. Although the child was born and put up for adoption, McCorvey's case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which in its 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling established a constitutional right to abortion. McCorvey, who later shed her Jane Roe pseudonym and renounced her approval of abortion, died in Katy, Texas, at age 69 of a heart ailment.

    Norma McCorvey (Right),'Jane Roe' plaintiff from Landmark court case Roe vs. Wade during Pro Choice Rally, July 4, 1989 in Burbank, California.
    Bob Riha Jr. | Archive Photos | Getty Images
  • Bill Paxton (May 17, 1955 - Feb. 25, 2017)

    Paxton appeared in a number of blockbuster movies, including "The Terminator," "Aliens," "True Lies," and "Titanic." The actor also was a vocalist for the band Martini Ranch. He died in Los Angeles at age 61 from complications after heart surgery, two months before the release of his final film, "The Circle."

    Actor Bill Paxton attends the 5th Annual Critics' Choice Television Awards in 2015.
    Getty Images
  • Chuck Berry (Oct. 18, 1926 - March 18, 2017)

    The hyperkinetic rock pioneer's hits included "Roll Over Beethoven," "Rock and Roll Music," and "Johnny B. Goode." Berry died at age 90 after being found unresponsive at his house in St. Charles, Missouri.

    Chuck Berry
    Robert A. Reeder | The Washington Post | Getty Images
  • David Rockefeller (June 12, 1915 - March 20, 2017)

    The youngest son of John D. Rockefeller Jr., the billionaire was the longtime head of Chase Bank and gave millions of dollars to charitable and nonprofit organizations. Rockefeller died of congestive heart failure at age 101 at his home in Pocantico Hills, New York.

    David Rockefeller in 2006
    Jean-Christian Bourcart | Getty Images
  • Don Rickles (May 8, 1926 - April 6, 2017)

    The cutting comedian earned the nicknames "The Merchant of Venom" and "Mr. Warmth" for his insult shtick. Rickles died of kidney failure at age 90 at his home in Beverly Hills, California.

    Don Rickles circa 1968
    NBC | NBC Universal
  • Jonathan Demme (Feb. 22, 1944 - April 26, 2017)

    The filmmaker won an Oscar for directing "The Silence of the Lambs." His directing credits also included "Philadelphia" and "Rachel Getting Married." Demme died in New York at age 73 of esophageal cancer and heart disease.

    Director Jonathan Demme attends an evening at the Walter Reade Theater on January 15, 2010 in New York.
    Bennett Raglin | WireImage | Getty Images
  • Roger Ailes (May 15, 1940 - May 18, 2017)

    Ailes was a media consultant to Republicans, including former presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and was an advisor to candidate Donald Trump while serving as chairman and CEO of Fox News. He was forced out at Fox in July 2016 as sexual harassment scandals swamped some of the network's conservative stars, including Ailes himself. He died 10 months after agreeing to a $40 million exit package, falling and hitting his head at his home in Palm Beach, Florida. He was 77.

    Roger Ailes
    Bob Riha Jr. | Getty Images
  • Chris Cornell (July 20, 1964 - May 18, 2017)

    Lead vocalist for the rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, Seattle-born Cornell was one of the founders of the grunge genre. Cornell was found dead in the bathroom of his Detroit hotel room after performing with Soundgarden. The medical examiner ruled his death suicide by hanging. He was 52.

    Chris Cornell of Soundgarden performs on stage during the 2014 Lollapalooza Brazil at Autodromo de Interlagos on April 6, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
    Buda Mendes | Getty Images
  • Roger Moore (Oct. 14, 1927 - May 23, 2017)

    The suave British actor was the longest-reigning James Bond, starring as 007 in six films, from 1973 to 1985. In the 1960s, Moore starred as Simon Templar in the thriller TV series "The Saint." Moore died of cancer in Switzerland at age 89.

    English actor Roger Moore on the set of the James Bond film 'The Man with the Golden Gun', directed by Guy Hamilton, 1974.
    Terry O'Neill | Hulton Archive | Getty Images
  • Manuel Noriega (Feb. 11, 1934 - May 29, 2017)

    Two years after being indicted in Florida on drug-smuggling charges, the Panamanian dictator surrendered in January 1990 to U.S. troops who had been ordered into the country by President George H.W. Bush. Noriega was subsequently brought back to the U.S. and convicted of drug and racketeering charges. He was later extradited to France and eventually returned to Panama to face additional charges. He died at age 83 in Panama City from complications of a brain tumor.

    Manuel Noriega speaks in 1988 during the presentation of colors to the San Miguel Arcangel de San Miguelito volunteer battalion in Panama City, Panama.
    Angel Murillo | AFP | Getty Images
  • Adam West (Sept. 19, 1928 - June 9, 2017)

    West became a pop-culture hero after he starred as the Caped Crusader in the campy 1960s TV series "Batman." He died in Los Angeles of leukemia at age 88.

    Actor Adam West attends the Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders Press Room at New York Comic-Con - Day 1 at Jacob Javits Center on October 6, 2016 in New York City.
    Mike Coppola | Getty Images
  • Chester Bennington (March 20, 1976 - July 20, 2017)

    The frontman of hard-rocking Linkin Park was a close friend of Chris Cornell. "I can't imagine a world without you in it," Bennington tweeted after Cornell's suicide by hanging. On what would have been Cornell's 53rd birthday, Bennington was found dead in his Los Angeles-area home. It was determined he committed suicide by hanging. He was 41.

    Chester Bennington of Linkin Park performs on stage at the iHeartRadio Album Release Party presented by State Farm at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles on May 22, 2017 in Burbank, California.
    Getty Images
  • Dick Gregory (Oct. 12, 1932 - Aug. 19, 2017)

    The standup comedian turned his cutting satire into a weapon in the struggle for civil rights and anti-Vietnam War activism. Gregory, who often resorted to hunger strikes, died of heart failure in a Washington hospital. He was 84.

    Comedian and activist Dick Gregory poses for a portrait in 1992.
    Boston Globe | Getty Images
  • Jerry Lewis (March 16, 1926 - Aug. 20, 2017)

    Lewis appeared in more than 15 films with Dean Martin. After a falling out with his co-star, Lewis embarked on a solo career in such zany comedies as "The Geisha Boy," "Cinderfella" and "The Nutty Professor." For more than four decades, he hosted Labor Day telethons for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, raising some $2 billion. He died at his Las Vegas home at age 91 of cardiac disease.

    'Friars Club Roast of Jerry Lewis
    NBCUniversal | Getty Images
  • Edith Windsor (June 20, 1929 - Sept. 12, 2017)

    As the lead plaintiff in United States vs. Windsor, she prevailed in the 2013 Supreme Court battle against the Defense of Marriage Act, which banned same-sex marriages. Three years later, at age 87, Windsor married Judith Kasen at New York City Hall. Two weeks before the first anniversary of their marriage, Windsor died in a New York hospital at age 88.

    Edith Windsor (C), 83, is mobbed by journalists and supporters as she leaves the Supreme Court March 27, 2013 in Washington, DC.
    Getty Images
  • Hugh Hefner (April 9, 1926 - Sept. 27, 2017)

    The pajama-clad, pipe-smoking playboy built a publishing and entertainment empire that helped usher in the sexual revolution. Hefner died at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles' Holmby Hills at age 91. He was laid to rest in a crypt next to Marilyn Monroe. "Spending eternity next to Marilyn is too sweet to pass up," he told the Los Angeles Times in 2009 about the crypt he purchased for a reported $75,000.

    Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner poses for a portrait at his Playboy mansion in Los Angeles, California, July 27, 2010.
    Lucy Nicholson | Reuters
  • Tom Petty (Oct. 20, 1950 - Oct. 2, 2017)

    The lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers died of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles. He was 66. Petty sold millions of albums with hits including "Refugee," "Don't Come Around Here No More" and "Free Fallin.'" He was also co-founder of the Traveling Wilburys, whose other members were George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne.

    Tom Petty of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
    Paul R. Giunta | Getty Images
  • Y.A. Tittle (Oct. 24, 1926 - Oct. 8, 2017)

    After being traded by the San Francisco 49ers at age 34, the quarterback led the New York Giants to conference titles in 1961, 1962 and 1963. Though the team lost the NFL championships all three years, Yelberton Abraham "Y.A." Tittle was inducted into the Hall of Fame. He died in Stanford, California, at age 90.

    New York Giants quarterback Y.A. Tittle.
    NY Daily News Archive | Getty Images
  • Gord Downie (Feb. 6, 1964 - Oct. 17, 2017)

    Canada's beloved rock troubadour and poet was the frontman for the band The Tragically Hip. Downie was also active in environmental causes and efforts to promote reconciliation between "First Nation" peoples and nonindigenous Canadians. After being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, Downie embarked on a farewell tour of Canada, relying on teleprompters for lyrics because of memory lapses. He died two months after his final show at age 53.

    Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie takes part in an honouring ceremony at the Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, December 6, 2016.
    Chris Wattie | Reuters
  • Fats Domino (Feb. 26, 1928 - Oct. 24, 2017)

    Antoine Dominique "Fats" Domino Jr., the trailblazing singer and pianist, sold more than 65 million records, including "Blueberry Hill," "I'm Walkin,'" and "Ain't It a Shame." Elvis Presley credited Domino for his groundbreaking role in rock 'n' roll. Domino died at age 89 in his home in Harvey, Louisiana, across the Mississippi from his native New Orleans.

    American pianist and singer-songwriter Fats Domino photographed in 1967.
    Clive Limpkin | Hulton Archive | Getty Images
  • Roy Halladay (May 14, 1977 - Nov. 7, 2017)

    The retired two-time Cy Young Award winner, who pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, was killed when the plane he was flying solo crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. He was 40.

    Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch against the New York Yankees on June 15, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.
    Jim McIsaac | Getty Images
  • Charles Manson (Nov. 12, 1934 - Nov. 19, 2017)

    The California cult leader, who orchestrated the 1969 "Helter Skelter" murders of actress Sharon Tate and eight other people, died of natural causes at age 83 while serving a life sentence. His death sentence had been commuted.

    Charles Manson is escorted to court for preliminary hearing on December 3, 1969 in Los Angeles, California.
    John Malmin | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
  • David Cassidy (April 12, 1950 - Nov. 21, 2017 )

    Playing shag-haired singer/guitarist Keith Partridge in the 1970s sitcom "The Partridge Family," Cassidy became a teen heartthrob. The role of his mother in the traveling pop-band family was portrayed by his stepmother, Shirley Jones, who married his father, actor Jack Cassidy, in 1956. In later years, David Cassidy struggled with substance abuse and revealed earlier this year that he suffered from dementia. He died of liver failure in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at age 67.

    David Cassidy, American pop singer and star of the television program 'The Partridge Family', walking down a road in Paris with an umbrella in 1974.
    Ellidge | Hulton Archive | Getty Images
  • Jim Nabors (June 12, 1930 - Nov. 30, 2017)

    The Alabama native got his big break as the country bumpkin gas-station attendant in the 1960s sitcom "The Andy Griffith Show." In one episode, Nabors shocked audiences by revealing his operatic baritone voice, opening up a second career as a singer. Nabors was so popular that the producers created a spinoff for his character, "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." He had undergone a liver transplant in 1994 and had been in declining health. Nabors died in Hawaii at age 87.

    Actor and comedian Jim Nabors pictured circa 1970.
    Michael Ochs Archives | Getty Images