Randy Cordova, The Arizona Republic, and Bernard McGhee, Associated Press
Published 7:47 AM EST Dec 27, 2018
In 2018, we said goodbye to a lot of greats in the world of arts and entertainment.
There were the trailblazers: Aretha Franklin, who forever changed the face of music. Tom Wolfe, the white-suited gent who memorably blended journalism and literary techniques. John Gavin, a Mexican-American actor in the ‘50s who refused to be narrowed by his ethnicity. And Stan Lee, who revolutionized the comic-book industry and inspired geeks everywhere to dream.
Then there were those who were simply terrific at what they did. Neil Simon, who could make almost anyone laugh, or Burt Reynolds, the biggest movie star in the world at one point in the 1970s. Nancy Wilson wasn’t merely a wonderful singer; she oozed class and good taste throughout her career.
And, as always, there were those whose deaths simply shocked us: Mac Miller, Anthony Bourdain and Dolores O’Riordan from the Cranberries fall into that sad category.
Here is a roll call of some who died in 2018.
Jerry Van Dyke, 86: Older brother of Dick Van Dyke found fame on TV through “My Mother the Car” and the long-running “Coach.” Jan. 5.
France Gall, 70. A French pop singer who shot to fame in the 1960s by winning the Eurovision Song Contest then sold millions of albums over a four-decade career. Jan. 7.
Doreen Tracey, 74. A former child star who was one of the original, cute-as-a-button Mouseketeers on “The Mickey Mouse Club” in the 1950s. Jan. 10.
Dolores O’Riordan, 46. Her urgent, powerful voice helped make Irish rock band the Cranberries a global success in the 1990s. Jan. 15.
Edwin Hawkins, 74. The gospel star was best known for the crossover hit “Oh Happy Day” and as a major force for contemporary inspirational music. Jan. 15.
Bradford Dillman, 87. Successful actor moved between films and TV for four decades. Jan. 16.
Dorothy Malone, 93. Actress won hearts of 1960s television viewers as the long-suffering mother in the nighttime soap “Peyton Place.” Jan. 19.
Olivia Cole, 75. She won an Emmy Award for her portrayal of Matilda, wife to Chicken George, in the landmark miniseries “Roots.” Jan. 19.
Ursula K. Le Guin, 88. The award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer who explored feminist themes and was best known for her Earthsea books. Jan. 22.
Lari White, 52. Country singer scored three Top 10 hits in the mid ‘90s. Jan. 22.
Mort Walker, 94. A comic strip artist who tickled millions of newspaper readers with the antics of the lazy private “Beetle Bailey.” Jan. 27.
Mark Salling, 35. Actor and singer found success starring in TV’s “Glee.” Jan. 30.
Dennis Edwards, 74. A Grammy-winning former member of the famed Motown group the Temptations. Feb. 1.
John Mahoney, 77. An actor who played the cranky, blue-collar dad in the TV show “Frasier.” Feb. 4.
John Gavin, 86. The tall, strikingly handsome Mexican-American actor appeared in “Psycho,” “Imitation of Life,” “Spartacus” and other hit films of the ‘50s and ‘60s before forsaking acting to become President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to Mexico. Feb. 9.
Reg E. Cathey, 59. Character actor won an Emmy for “House of Cards;” also enjoyed regular roles on “The Wire” and “Oz.” Feb. 9.
Vic Damone, 89. Velvet-voiced crooner was a household name in the ‘50s and ‘60s thanks to his dapper image and hit songs like “On the Street Where You Live.” Feb. 11.
Daryle Singletary, 46. Country singer enjoyed major chart success in the ‘90s through songs like “I Let Her Lie” and “Amen Kind of Love.” Feb. 12.
Marty Allen, 95. The baby-faced, bug-eyed comedian with wild black hair who was a staple of TV variety shows, game shows and talk shows for decades. Feb. 12.
Nanette Fabray, 97. The vivacious actress, singer and dancer became a star in Broadway musicals, on television as Sid Caesar’s comic foil and in such hit movies as “The Band Wagon.” Feb. 22.
Sridevi, 54. Bollywood’s leading lady of the 1980s and ‘90s who redefined stardom for actresses in India. Feb. 24.
Harvey Schmidt, 88. The composer of “The Fantasticks,” which made its debut when Dwight D. Eisenhower was still president and became the longest running musical in history. Feb. 28.
David Ogden Stiers, 75. Actor earned two Emmy nominations playing stuffy Maj. Charles Winchester in “M*A*S*H.” March 3.
Frank Avruch, 89. A longtime Boston television personality and entertainer who was the star of the popular children’s TV program “Bozo the Clown.” March 20.
Delores Taylor, 85. She co-starred with husband Tom Laughlin in the “Billy Jack” series of films. March 23.
Anita Shreve, 71. The best-selling novelist explored how women responded to crises past and present in her native New England in favorites such as “The Pilot’s Wife,” ”Testimony” and “The Weight of Water.” March 29.
Steven Bochco, 74. TV producer behind such acclaimed series as “Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law” and “NYPD Blue.” April 1.
Susan Anspach, 75. Leading lady of the ‘70s who appeared in such films as “Play It Again, Sam” and “The Big Fix.” April 2.
Yvonne Staples, 80. Her voice and business acumen powered the success of the Staple Singers, her family’s hitmaking gospel group that topped the charts in the early 1970s with the song “I’ll Take You There.” April 10.
Mitzi Shore, 87. She was the owner of the Los Angeles club the Comedy Store and one of the most influential figures in stand-up for more than four decades. April 11.
Sergio Pitol, 85. A celebrated Mexican author, essayist and translator and winner of the most prestigious award for literature in the Spanish-speaking world. April 12.
Milos Forman, 86. Filmmaker whose movies “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Amadeus” won a deluge of Academy Awards, including best director Oscars. April 14.
R. Lee Ermey, 74. A former Marine who made a career in Hollywood playing hard-nosed military men like Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket.” April 15.
Harry Anderson, 65. The actor was best known for playing an off-the-wall judge in the television comedy series “Night Court.” April 16.
Dale Winton, 62. Popular U.K. television personality hosted the British version of “Supermarket Sweep.” April 18.
Avicii, 28. The Grammy-nominated electronic dance DJ who performed sold-out concerts for feverish fans around the world and also had massive success on U.S. pop radio. April 20.
Verne Troyer, 49. He played Dr. Evil’s small, silent sidekick “Mini-Me” in the “Austin Powers” movie franchise. April 21.
Charles Neville, 79. A New Orleans-born saxophone player who once backed up B.B. King and later gained fame with the Neville Brothers band and their rollicking blend of funk, jazz and rhythm and blues. April 26.
Kristin Nelson, 72. Ex-wife of Ricky Nelson played a fictionalized version of herself on TV’s “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.” April 27.
Robert Mandan, 86. Dapper character actor spent four seasons starring as Chester Tate on the popular ‘70s sitcom “Soap.” April 29.
Anne V. Coates, 92. An Oscar-winning film editor widely considered one of the greatest in her field whose many credits include such disparate works as “Lawrence of Arabia,” ”The Elephant Man” and “Fifty Shades of Grey.” May 8.
Margot Kidder, 69. She starred as Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve in the “Superman” film franchise of the late 1970s and early 1980s. May 13.
Tom Wolfe, 88. The white-suited wizard of “New Journalism” who exuberantly chronicled American culture from the Merry Pranksters through the space race before turning his satiric wit to such novels as “The Bonfire of the Vanities” and “A Man in Full.” May 14.
Joseph Campanella, 93. Journeyman actor enjoyed a long career in TV and films, with roles in “One Day at a Time” “The Golden Girls” and “Mannix,” for which he received an Emmy nomination. May 16.
Hugh Dane, 75. Actor made an impression on TV fans on “The Office” as Hank, a security guard. May 16.
Patricia Morison, 103. She originated the role of an overemotional diva in the Broadway musical “Kiss Me, Kate,” starred on stage opposite Yul Brynner in “The King and I” and appeared in films alongside Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. May 20.
Clint Walker, 90. The towering, strapping actor handed down justice as the title character in the TV western “Cheyenne” and battled Nazis in “The Dirty Dozen.” May 21.
Philip Roth, 85. The prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, death, assimilation and fate, from the comic madness of “Portnoy’s Complaint” to the elegiac lyricism of “American Pastoral.” May 22.
Jerry Maren, 99. He was the last surviving munchkin from the classic 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz” and the one who famously welcomed Dorothy to Munchkin Land. May 24.
Clarence Fountain, 88. A founding member of the Grammy-winning gospel group the Blind Boys of Alabama. June 3.
Jimmy Gonzalez, 67. He was the frontman for the Grammy-winning Tejano group Jimmy Gonzalez y Grupo Mazz. June 6.
Anthony Bourdain, 61. The celebrity chef and citizen of the world who inspired millions to share his delight in food and the bonds it created. June 8.
D.J. Fontana, 87. A rock and roll pioneer who rose from strip joints in his native Shreveport, Louisiana, to the heights of musical history as Elvis Presley’s first and longtime drummer. June 13.
Leslie Grantham, 71. An actor who became a British TV icon during the 1980s as arch-villain “Dirty” Den Watts on the soap opera “EastEnders.” June 15.
Vinnie Paul, 54. A co-founder and drummer of heavy metal band Pantera. June 22.
Harlan Ellison, 84. The prolific, pugnacious author of “A Boy and His Dog,” and countless other stories that blasted society with their nightmarish, sometimes darkly humorous scenarios. June 27.
Alan Longmuir, 70. Founding member of ‘70s teen-dream band the Bay City Rollers. July 2.
Tab Hunter, 86. The blond actor and singer was a heartthrob for millions of teenagers in the 1950s with such films as “Battle Cry” and “Damn Yankees!” and received new attention decades later when he revealed he was gay. July 8.
Gary Beach, 70. A Broadway and TV veteran whose portrayal of a truly terrible theater director in Mel Brooks’ monster hit “The Producers” won him a Tony Award in 2001. July 17.
Charlotte Rae, 92. She played a wise and patient housemother to a brood of teenage girls on the long-running sitcom “The Facts of Life” during a career that encompassed many other TV roles as well as stage and film appearances. Aug. 5.
V.S. Naipaul, 85. The Trinidad-born Nobel laureate whose precise and lyrical writing in such novels as “A Bend in the River” and “A House for Mr. Biswas” and brittle, misanthropic personality made him one of the world’s most admired and contentious writers. Aug. 11.
Aretha Franklin, 76. The undisputed “Queen of Soul” sang with matchless style on such classics as “Think,” ”I Say a Little Prayer” and her signature song, “Respect,” and stood as a cultural icon around the globe. Aug. 16.
Barbara Harris, 83. The Tony Award-winning actress whose comic-neurotic charms lit up the Broadway stage and helped her steal films, including “Nashville,” ”Freaky Friday” and “A Thousand Clowns.” Aug. 21.
Ed King, 68. Former guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd helped write several of their hits, including “Sweet Home Alabama.” Aug. 22.
Robin Leach, 76. His voice crystallized the opulent 1980s on TV’s “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” Aug. 24.
Neil Simon, 91. A playwright who was a master of comedy whose laugh-filled hits such as “The Odd Couple,” ”Barefoot in the Park” and his “Brighton Beach” trilogy dominated Broadway for decades. Aug. 26.
Gloria Jean, 92. American soprano and actress was a popular teen performer in the ‘40s, starring in films with Bing Crosby and W.C. Fields. Aug. 31.
Carole Shelley, 79. British actress won a Tony for “The Elephant Man.” Other Broadway work includes “The Odd Couple” (also the film and TV versions), “Wicked” and “Billy Elliott.” Aug. 31.
Jeb Rosebrook, 83. Novelist and screenwriter (“The Black Hole,” “Junior Bonner”) was a longtime Arizona resident. Sept. 3.
Bill Daily, 91. The comic sidekick to leading men on sitcoms “I Dream of Jeannie” and “The Bob Newhart Show.” Sept. 4.
Burt Reynolds, 82. The handsome film and television star known for his acclaimed performances in “Deliverance” and “Boogie Nights,” commercial hits such as “Smokey and the Bandit” and for an active off-screen love life. Sept. 6.
Mac Miller, 26. The platinum hip-hop star whose rhymes vacillated from party raps to lyrics about depression and drug use, and earned kudos from the likes of Jay-Z and Chance the Rapper. Sept. 7.
Marin Mazzie, 57. A three-time Tony Award nominee known for powerhouse performances on Broadway in “Ragtime,” ”Passion” and “Kiss Me, Kate.” Sept. 13.
Arthur Mitchell, 84. He broke barriers for African-Americans in the 1950s as a ballet dancer with the New York City Ballet and who would go on to become a driving force in the creation of the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Sept. 19.
Chas Hodges, 74. Half of U.K. musical duo Chas & Dave, which enjoyed eight Top 40 hits in England in the ‘80s. Sept. 22.
Marty Balin, 76. A patron of the 1960s “San Francisco sound” both as founder and lead singer of the Jefferson Airplane and co-owner of the club where the Airplane and other bands performed. Sept. 27.
Joe Masteroff, 98. The Tony Award-winning story writer of the brilliant, edgy musical “Cabaret” and the touching, romantic “She Loves Me.” Sept. 28.
Otis Rush, 84. A legendary Chicago blues guitarist whose passionate, jazz-tinged music influenced artists from Carlos Santana and Eric Clapton to the rock band Led Zeppelin. Sept. 29.
Charles Aznavour, 94. Influential French singer and songwriter whose career spanned more than 70 years. Oct. 1.
Will Vinton, 70. An Oscar-winning animator who invented Claymation, a style of stop-motion animation, and brought the California Raisins to TV. Oct. 4.
Montserrat Caballe, 85. A Spanish opera singer renowned for her bel canto technique and her interpretations of the roles of Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti. Oct. 6.
Scott Wilson, 76. Character actor (“In the Heat of the Night”) who enjoyed a resurgence playing kindly Hershel Greene in “The Walking Dead.” Oct. 6.
Tony Joe White, 75. The country bluesman and hit songwriter behind such successes as “Polk Salad Annie” and “Rainy Night in Georgia.” Oct. 24.
Dave Rowland, 74. Country singer led popular ‘70s trio Dave & Sugar to three No. 1 hits in Billboard. Nov. 1.
Sondra Locke, 74. Actress earned an Oscar nomination for her first film, 1968’s “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.” Later movies included “Willard,” “The Gauntlet” and “Any Which Way You Can.” Nov. 3.
Francis Lai, 86. Film composer created the haunting, Oscar-winning theme to the 1970 smash “Love Story.” Nov. 7.
Douglas Rain, 90. A Canadian actor who played some of Shakespeare’s most intriguing characters onstage but perhaps is best known for supplying the creepily calm voice of the rogue computer HAL in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Nov. 11.
Stan Lee, 95. The creative dynamo who revolutionized comic books and helped make billions for Hollywood by introducing human frailties in superheroes such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk. Nov. 12.
Lucho Gatica, 90. Romantic crooner was a major star in the Spanish-speaking world, popularizing such standards as “Contigo en la Distancia” and “No Me Platiques Más.” Nov. 13.
Katherine MacGregor, 93. She played petty, gossiping mother Harriet Oleson on TV’s “Little House on the Prairie.” Nov. 13.
Roy Clark, 85. The country star and guitar virtuoso who headlined the cornpone TV show “Hee Haw” for nearly a quarter century and was known for such hits as “Yesterday, When I Was Young” and “I Never Picked Cotton.” Nov. 15.
William Goldman, 87. The Oscar-winning screenwriter and Hollywood wise man who won Academy Awards for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “All the President’s Men” and summed up the mystery of making a box office hit by declaring “Nobody knows anything.” Nov. 16.
Bernardo Bertolucci, 77. An Italian filmmaker who won Oscars with “The Last Emperor” and whose erotic drama “Last Tango in Paris” enthralled and shocked the world. Nov. 26.
Ken Berry, 85. Charming song-and-dance man found fame in comedic roles on TV’s “F Troop,” Mayberry R.F.D.” and “Mama’s Family.” Dec. 1.
Philip Bosco, 88. Actor with extensive credits on TV, film and stage; he won a Tony for Best Leading Actor in a Play in 1989 for his work in “Lend Me a Tenor.” Dec. 3.
Pete Shelley, 63. Singer-songwriter and co-founder of punk band the Buzzcocks. Dec. 6.
Nancy Wilson, 81. The Grammy-winning song stylist and torch singer whose polished pop-jazz vocals made her a platinum artist and top concert performer. Dec. 13.
Penny Marshall, 75. Beloved to TV audiences as half of “Laverne & Shirley,” she later found great success directing hit films like “Big” and “A League of Their Own.” Dec. 17.
Peter Masterson, 84. Texan found success as a film director (“The Trip to Bountiful”), playwright (“The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”) and actor (“The Stepford Wives”). Dec. 19.
Donald Moffat, 87. Memorable character with a lengthy career that spanned the screen, stage and TV. Among his best-known performances: the president in “Clear and Present Danger” and a dying businessman in “Tales of the City.” Dec. 20.
Jerry Riopelle, 77. Singer-songwriter was based in Los Angeles but achieved major success in the Phoenix area thanks to concert performances and heavy support from Valley rock radio. Dec. 24.
- Playwright and ‘Stepford Wives’ actor Peter Masterson dies
- Penny Marshall dies at 75
- Influential jazz/pop singer Nancy Wilson dies
- John Gavin, ‘Psycho’ star, screen heartthrob, dies at 86
- Jeb Rosebrook, ‘The Black Hole’ screenwriter, dies in Scottsdale
- Burt Reynolds and a mysterious Arizona death
- ‘Phoenix’s Elvis’ dies at 77
- Amol Palekar remembers friend Vidya Sinha: She went through so much in the last few yrs, it was a beautiful life wasted
- In memoriam: Farewell to 'Bapak' Habibie
- Kalia from 'Sholay', actor Viju Khote, passes away; Rishi Kapoor pays tribute to 'dear friend', Ajay Devgn calls him an institution by himself
- 'Kabhi Kabhie' music composer Khayyam passes away at 92; Lata calls it end of an era, Big B & PM Modi pay tribute