The science fiction author died April 14 at the age of 87. He was the author of such acclaimed books as The Fifth Head of Cerberus and The Book of the New Sun. Since none of his books have yet been adapted for the screen, Wolfe is not well known in mainstream pop culture, but his work is beloved by fans of fantasy and sci-fi.
The actress, who rose to fame as soft-spoken Georgette Franklin on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, died April 12 at the age of 70. The actress has said her MTM role was meant to be a one-episode guest spot, but Engel went on to appear in almost 60 episodes of the top-rated comedy. After MTM ended in 1977, she continued to work with co-star Betty White on The Betty White Show and, more recently, on Hot in Cleveland. Over the decades, she appeared on everything from The Love Boat to Mork & Mindy to Fantasy Island to Coach to Passions. She had a recurring role on Everybody Loves Raymond from 2003 to 2005, and was nominated for an Emmy each of the three seasons she appeared on the sitcom. (She previously received two nominations for her work on MTM.)
Charles Van Doren
The former quiz show contestant known for his role in rigging contests in the 1950s died April 9 at the age of 93. Van Doren, the son of two then-prominent literary figures, rocketed to fame with a 14-week winning streak on the NBC quiz show Twenty-One starting in November 1956. He earned $129,000, a record at the time, and a job at NBC News. But in 1959, he testified to Congress that the show’s producers had provided him with the answers, and pleaded guilty to perjury for lying to a grand jury. Ralph Fiennes portrayed him in Robert Redford’s 1994 film Quiz Show.
The Serbian actress, who appeared in two James Bond films, died April 8. She was 87. Regin made her first Bond appearance in 1964’s From Russia with Love alongside Sean Connery as 007, then returned for her second role in 1965’s Goldfinger, where she played a devious belly dancer attempting to seduce the spy. She later appeared in several British TV series before quitting acting in the 1980s to establish a publishing company, Honeyglen Publishing Ltd, with her sister Jelena.
The veteran character actor, known for his collaborations with filmmakers John Cassavetes and Wes Anderson, died April 7 at the age of 84. Cassel made several movies with Cassavetes and was nominated for an Academy Award for his supporting performance in the filmmaker’s 1968 drama Faces. He also worked with Cassavetes on 1959’s Shadows, 1961’s Too Late Blues, 1971’s Minnie and Moskowitz, 1976’s The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, 1977’s Opening Night, and 1984’s Love Streams. Later in his career, Cassel became a favorite of Anderson, who cast him in 1998’s Rushmore, 2001’s The Royal Tenenbaums, and 2004’s The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Cassel’s many other film credits included 1990’s Dick Tracy and 1993’s Indecent Proposal.
The British actress and model died March 31 at the age of 77. Mallet, once described by her cousin Helen Mirren, 73, as “impossibly beautiful and kind,” rose to fame as a model in the ’50s and ’60s and is best known for appearing as Bond girl Tilly Masterson in 1964’s Goldfinger opposite Sean Connery.
The French filmmaking legend died March 29 at the age of 90. The renegade female director helped shape the French New Wave movement throughout the 1960s, and was best known for scripted New Wave staples like 1962’s Cleo from 5 to 7 and 1965’s Le Bonheur. She turned her attention to shorts and documentaries throughout the late 1960s and 1970s, making her proper return to full-length theatrical fiction in the early 1980s with Documenteur: An Emotion Picture (1981) and the Venice Golden Lion-winning Vagabond (1985). She was nominated for her first Oscar in 2018 for directing Faces Places, and the Academy presented her with an honorary Oscar for her contributions to the medium that same year.
The Day of the Dead actor died March 26 at the age of 70. Pilato’s credits include the horror movies Effects and Wishmaster. But Pilato was beloved by genre fans for his portrayal of the bombastic, tyrannical, and foul-mouthed Captain Rhodes in George Romero’s 1985 zombie film Day of the Dead, the concluding movie in the director’s original undead trilogy.
The musician, who rose to fame as part of the Walker Brothers, died at the age of 76 on March 25. Born Noel Scott Engel, he changed his name to Walker after joining the band. The band had several hits in the early ’60s, with songs like “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” and “Make It Easy on Yourself.” In the late ’60s, Walker struck out on his own and released a string of critically-acclaimed solo albums: Scott, Scott 2, Scott 3, and Scott 4. Over the years, he did a mix of solo albums and film scores. Most recently, he composed the score to the 2018 Natalie Portman film Vox Lux.
The director and screenwriter died March 23 at the age of 77. Cohen’s many credits as a writer-director include the horror films It’s Alive (1974), Q (1982), and The Stuff (1985), as well as the blaxploitation movie Hell Up in Harlem (1973), and the Billy Dee Williams-starring thriller Deadly Illusion (1987). He also wrote the scripts for 1987’s Best Seller, 1988’s Maniac Cop, and 2002’s Colin Farrell-led Phone Booth. Cohen was recently the subject of a documentary, King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen.
The budding country singer died March 21 at the age of 35. He reportedly died after a prop gun accidentally went off in his apartment. The rising singer recently signed a deal with Triple Threat Management and was considered “the next Garth Brooks,” said the company’s Mark Atherton.
John Carl Buechler
The filmmaker and special effects artist John Carl Buechler died March 18 at the age of 66. A much-beloved figure in the horror community, Buechler directed films including 1986’s Troll, 1988’s Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, and 1991’s Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College. He contributed special effects to a long list of genre projects, including 1988’s Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, the same year’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, and 2006’s Hatchet, which featured the swamp-dwelling killer Victor Crowley.
The Irish guitarist died March 17 at the age of 66. He recorded several albums with Gillan, the hard rock band fronted by former Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan, and played with Ozzy Osbourne. Among the albums Tormé recorded with Gillan was 1981’s Future Shock, which reached No. 2 on the U.K. album charts. He played with Osbourne following guitarist Randy Rhoads’ 1982 death in a plane accident. He also fronted the Bernie Tormé Band and released several solo albums, including last year’s Shadowland.
The character actor died March 16 at the age of 93. He was best known to audiences as Korean War veteran Leonard “Bucket of Guts” Rodriguez in the comedy series Community. Erdman had an extensive resumé as a character actor with many notable turns in projects throughout Hollywood’s Golden Age, including films like Cry Danger, Stalag 17, and The Men.
The “King of the Surf Guitar,” whose biggest hit served as the opening song for 1994 cult classic Pulp Fiction, died March 16 at the age of 81. Dale is known as the pioneer of surf rock, the rock music subgenre defined by Southern California’s surf culture. Along with his band the Del-Tones, Dale (né Richard Anthony) is most known for his ’60s hit “Misirlou,” which was sampled by the Black Eyed Peas for their popular track “Pump It” in 2006.
The former Amazing Race contestant died March 12 at the age of 42. Raman competed on the long-running reality show in 2014 during its 25th season. Partnered with his wife Misti, the couple ended the race in second place. Although the Ramans didn’t win the show, they were strong racers, finishing five of the show’s 12 legs in first place.
The soap actor, best known for his roles on Beverly Hills, 90210 as Steve Sanders’ dad and Santa Barbara, died March 9 at the age of 84. A longtime character actor on TV, his first role in daytime dramas occurred in 1963 when he joined General Hospital to play Edward L. Quartermaine III. After stints on classic shows like Lassie, Columbo, Mod Squad, Love, American Style, and Adam-12, Allan joined Days of Our Lives in 1977 to play Don Craig. He stayed on the NBC sudser until 1985 before joining Santa Barbara a year later to play C.C. Capwell. He remained there until 1993. n 1994, he went primetime to play Ian Ziering’s dad, Rush, on Fox’s Beverly Hills, 90210 for five years.
The film executive died at the age of 84 on March 8. Sheinberg headed MCA Inc. and Universal Studios for decades, during which time he boosted and mentored the career of Steven Spielberg, who for a spell in the ’70s, was referred to as “Sheinberg’s folly.” During his stewardship of Universal, the studio’s hits included The Sting, Back to the Future, and the Spielberg-directed blockbusters E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Jurassic Park.
King Kong Bundy
The professional wrestler died March 4 at the age of 61. Bundy made his World Wrestling Federation debut in 1981, and his most iconic wrestling moment came five years later when he battled Hulk Hogan in a steel cage match at Wrestlemania 2. Hogan won the match. Bundy left the WWF in the late ’80s but came back in 1994 as part of the Million Dollar Corporation, by which time the WWF had changed its name to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
The actor, who shot to superstardom as heartthrob Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210, died March 4 after suffering a massive stroke. He was 52. Though he was beloved for his role on 90210, Perry worked steadily in television throughout his career, with memorable turns on Oz, John from Cincinnati, Windfall, and Criminal Minds. Recently, he endeared himself to a new generation as congenial, straitlaced Fred Andrews on Riverdale, which he was still filming at the time of his death.
The frontman of U.K. dance act The Prodigy was found dead on March 4. He was 49. Flint was originally the Prodigy’s dancer but performed lead vocals on two 1996 singles, “Firestarter” and “Breathe,” both of which were No. 1 hits in the U.K. “Firestarter” also reached No. 33 on the Billboard Hot 100. Most recently, Flint contributed vocals to the Prodigy’s seventh album No Tourists, which was released last year. The band were due to start a U.S. tour in May.
The Voice contestant, who competed for Team Miley on the NBC series in 2017, died March 2 at the age of 33 due to complications from pneumonia and a blood clot. The singer rose to fame on season 13 of the popular competition series, where she was recruited for coach Cyrus’ team and made it to the Top 11. Her biography from her time on the show said Freeman’s goal in achieving a successful music career was to “provide stability” for her daughter Hannah. It also focused on her recovery from a cervical cancer diagnosis in 2012. She and Cyrus shared a close bond that lasted after Freeman left the show, as she revealed on Twitter in January 2018 that the singer even helped cover her housing bills for six months.
The Oscar-winning composer and conductor died Feb. 28 at the age of 89. Previn was a musical icon, known for his jazz albums, his various stints as musical director at organizations like the Los Angeles Philharmonic and London’s Royal Philharmonic, and his Oscar winning scores. Overall, he was nominated for 13 Oscars and won four times for orchestrations the pre-existing scores for My Fair Lady, Gigi, Porgy and Bess, and writing the original score for Irma La Douce. He was also well-known for his highly publicized marriages, most notably to actress Mia Farrow, which precipitated the end of her marriage to Frank Sinatra.
The one-time drummer for rock band The Cure died on Feb. 26 after a brief battle with stage four cancer. He was 68. Anderson was best known for his work with The Cure, which he first joined in 1983. He recorded on the albums Japanese Whispers, The Top, and Concert, as well as 1983 singles “Speak My Language” and “The Love Cats.” “The Love Cats” marked The Cure’s first top 10 hit in the U.K. After his time with the rock band, he dedicated much of his career to working as a session musician, playing with the likes of Iggy Pop, Jeffrey Lee Pierce, the Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock, Edwyn Collins, Peter Gabriel, Isaac Hayes, Youth, The Steve Hillage Band, and more.
The seven-time Emmy-nominated actress died Feb. 23 at the age of 89. Helmond was best-known for her work as the sexually adventurous Mona Robinson on the ABC sitcom Who’s the Boss? alongside Tony Danza, Judith Light, and Alyssa Milano. She also appeared on Susan Harris‘ ABC daytime satire Soap from 1977 to 1981. The performance earned her four consecutive Emmy nominations for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series; she later received a pair of additional nominations for her work on Who’s the Boss? and another for her guest spot on a 2002 episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, where she played Patricia Heaton’s mother. Among Helmond’s other notable television credits are Doris Sherman — a widowed owner of a fictional NFL team — on ABC’s Coach and Caroline Bellefleur (grandmother to Portia Bellefleur) on HBO’s True Blood. She also acted in a trio of films by Terry Gilliam, including Time Bandits (1981), Brazil (1985), and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998).
The legendary Hollywood director died on Feb. 23 at the age of 94. Master of the musical, Donen oversaw 1949’s On the Town and 1952’s Singin’ in the Rain — both of which he co-directed with the production’s star, Gene Kelly — as well as 1954’s Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and 1957’s Funny Face. His notable films spanned the gamut of genres from thrillers like Charade to romantic comedies like Indiscreet to marital dramedy Two for the Road. He was responsible for a litany of classics beyond this, including Royal Wedding, Damn Yankees, Bedazzled, Lucky Lady, and The Grass Is Greener. While never nominated for an Oscar, he received a lifetime achievement award in 1998.
Clark James Gable
Hollywood icon Clark Gable’s grandson was found dead Feb. 22 at the age of 30. The descendant of Hollywood royalty, Gable was the host of the reality TV series Cheaters, which exposes infidelity within relationships. He was filming a crime drama titled Sunset Dawn shortly before his death, according to Variety.
Tork, who played bass and keyboards with The Monkees, died at the age of 77 on Feb. 21. Tork appeared with the rest of The Monkees — Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, and Davy Jones, who passed away in 2012 — on two seasons of the band’s eponymous TV show in the late ’60s and in the 1968 film, Head. During this period, the group enjoyed a string of hits, including “Daydream Believer,” “I’m a Believer,” “Last Train to Clarksville,” “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You,” and “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone.” Tork was the first member to leave the band at the end of the ’60s, but participated in reunions, starting in the mid-’80s. In 1994, he released a solo album, Stranger Things Have Happened.
The actress died Feb. 21 after battling ovarian cancer. She was 81. Owen was best-known for portraying Marilyn Munster in the first season of classic sitcom The Munsters. She began her TV career on As the World Turns and went on to have roles in Wagon Train and Another World. She remained best-known for playing Marilyn, a role actress Pat Priest took over after Owen’s departure from the show.
The legendary fashion designer, who was creative director of Chanel, Fendi, and his eponymous line Karl Lagerfeld, died on Feb. 19 at the age of 85. The German-born Lagerfeld began designing for Fendi in 1965 and joined Chanel as creative director in 1983, reviving the famed fashion house founded by Coco Chanel. In addition to fashion design, Lagerfeld was a photographer and video director and worked with top models and actresses across the fashion industry and Hollywood.
The Swiss actor died Feb. 16 at the age of 77. Ganz was best known for his portrayal of Adolf Hitler in Downfall, which subsequently sparked a viral YouTube trend, and the angel Damien in Wings of Desire. More recently, Ganz appeared in 2011’s Unknown with Liam Neeson, 2013’s The Counsellor for director Ridley Scott, Lars von Trier’s The House That Jack Built, and Mitko Panov’s I Witness in 2018. Two more roles, in Terrence Malick’s Radegund and Dominik Graf’s Golem will be released posthumously.
The Stargate SG-1 actor died Feb. 10 at the age of 77. Argenziano’s acting career began in the 1970s, most notably with a role in The Godfather Part II. He truly flourished in television, appearing on Cheers, Melrose Place, ER, CSI:NY, Hawaii Five-0, The Mentalist, and Criminal Minds. He is best known as Jacob Carter/Selmak on the series Stargate SG-1.
The renowned British actor died Feb. 8 at the age of 82 following a brief illness. Getting his start in British “kitchen sink” dramas of the 1950s and ’60s, he went on to become a major star, earning five Oscar nominations over the course of his career for Tom Jones, Murder on the Orient Express (playing detective Hercule Poirot), The Dresser, Under the Volcano, and opposite Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich. His work spanned the gamut of cinema, working with top directors on projects like Miller’s Crossing, Two for the Road, Big Fish, Annie, Traffic, and James Bond film Skyfall.
Kristoff St. John
The actor known for playing Neil Winters on TV’s most-watched daytime drama, The Young and the Restless, was found dead in his home Feb. 3. He was 52. St. John originated the role of Neil on Y&R in 1991. He won two Emmys for playing the makeup executive, who was best known for his tempestuous relationship with Drucilla Winters (played by Victoria Rowell). At the start of his TV career, St. John appeared in shows including Happy Days, Wonder Woman, and the miniseries Roots: The Next Generations. Later on, he had recurring roles on Diagnosis: Murder and Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper.
The actor, best-known for playingone of the leads in director John Milius’ 1978 coming-of-age film Big Wednesday, died Feb. 10 at the age of 73. He also starred in the CBS show Airwolf, which premiered in 1984 and concerned the crew of a high-tech helicopter. Vincent’s other notable credits included the 1971 drama Going Home, the 1977 science fiction film Damnation Alley, the following year’s stuntmen-focused action-comedy Hooper — in which he starred alongside Burt Reynolds — and the 1983 miniseries The Winds of War. Vincent was twice nominated for Golden Globes, earning recognition for his performances in Going Home and The Winds of War.
The actress best known for her role as Kay Lawrence in the beloved 1954 monster movie Creature from the Black Lagoon died Feb. 3, at age 92. Her many other credits included 1965’s Elvis Presley-starring Tickle Me, Dennis Hopper’s 1971 film The Last Movie, the TV show Murder, She Wrote, and 2006’s Oliver Stone-directed World Trade Center.
The character actor died Jan. 30, at the age of 90. Miller was best known for his work in Terminator and Gremlins. He also appeared in several films directed by Roger Corman, including 1959’s A Bucket of Blood and 1960’s The Little Shop of Horrors. He later became a favorite of filmmaker Joe Dante, a Corman protégé, who cast Miller in 1978’s Piranha, 1981’s The Howling, both Gremlins films, and The ‘Burbs, among other projects. Miller also appeared in Chopping Mall and was the subject of the 2014 documentary That Guy Dick Miller.
The Grammy-winning R&B singer behind hits like “Yah Mo B There” and “I Don’t Have the Heart” died Jan. 29, at the age of 66. Ingram received two Grammys over the course of his career, which began in 1973, and numerous other nominations. “One Hundred Ways,” released in 1981, won Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, and his duet with Michael McDonald on “Yah Mo B There” won Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 1984. Ingram also contributed significantly to film music, lending vocals to An American Tail‘s “Somewhere Out There” and receiving Oscar nominations for “Look What Love Has Done,” from 1994’s Junior, and “The Day I Fall in Love,” from 1993’s Beethoven’s 2nd.
The Oscar-winning composer behind film scores to Yentl and The Thomas Crown Affair died Jan. 26, at age 86. Legrand, a notable jazz pianist, went on to win three Oscars, five Grammys, one Golden Globe, and one BAFTA Award over the course of his illustrious career. He won statuettes from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for his work on 1968’s The Thomas Crown Affair (starring Steve McQueen), 1971’s Summer of ’42 (starring Jennifer O’Neill), and 1983’s Yentl (starring Barbra Streisand). He was nominated for 10 others. Legrand also composed scores for The Three Musketeers (1973), the James Bond film Never Say Never (1983), Wuthering Heights (1970), and Le Mans (1971), in addition to winning Grammys for his jazz work, including a 1975 album with Phil Woods, Images.
The Pakistani-American chef, known for her appearance on season 15 of Top Chef, died in January from a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. She was 29. Ali was diagnosed in 2017, but she told PEOPLE she was “technically cancer-free” at Aspen’s Food & Wine Classic in July. In an intimate essay published in Bon Appetit in October, she divulged that her cancer had returned.
The artist and filmmaker behind 1996’s Black Kite died in January at 65. Andres was the wife of Boardwalk Empire actor Steve Buscemi. The two married in 1987 and enjoyed a 31-year marriage before her death. Their son, Lucian, was born in 1990.
The comedian died Jan. 22 from complications caused by pancreatitis. He was 32. Together with Lil Rey Howery and Josh Rabinowitz, Barnett created the sitcom Rel, which revolves around a Chicago nurse whose life is turned upside down when he discovers his wife is having an affair with his own barber. It launched in the fall of 2018 on Fox. Before Rel, Barnett also wrote for Comedy Central’s Broad City and NBC’s The Carmichael Show.
The actress, singer, and comedian died Jan. 21 in Rancho Mirage, Calif. She was 93. Ballard was best known for her role on the NBC sitcom The Mothers-in-Law, opposite Eve Arden. She also appeared in the 1946 musical Three To Make Ready with The Wizard of Oz star Ray Bolger. After a stint in cabaret, she moved to the small screen, first by playing one of the two wicked stepsisters in the live telecast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella featuring Julie Andrews in 1957. She was a regular on NBC’s The Perry Como Show and appeared on The Patty Duke Show before becoming a household name as Kaye Buell, a live wire whose son married her next-door neighbor’s daughter in The Mothers-in-Law. It aired from 1967 to 1969.
Tony Mendez, the spy whose involvement in the Iran hostage crisis inspired Ben Affleck’s Argo, died Jan. 19. He was 78. With his wife, Mendez co-wrote The Moscow Rules: The Secret CIA Tactics That Helped America Win the Cold War, which chronicles their time serving as CIA operatives spying on Moscow during the Cold War in the 1970s. The book will be published on May 21. Mendez was also a founding member of the International Spy Museum.
The film producer died Jan. 20 at the age of 74. Some of Vajna’s most notable productions include Sylvester Stallone’s first three Rambo films. He also produced many films set in Hungary, such as 1996’s Evita starring Madonna. In 2005, he co-produced (alongside the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Lucy Liu) the documentary Freedom’s Fury, which told the story of the 1956 Olympic water polo match between Hungary and the Soviet Union. Since 2011, Vajna had been a political commissioner in Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government, in charge of developing Hungary’s film industry.
The Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner died Jan. 17 at age 83. Oliver’s poems, which often touched on themes of nature and spirituality, were infused with a joyfulness, a profound acceptance of the universe, that made her one of the most beloved poets in the country.
Carol Channing, the effervescent star who charmed audiences on Broadway and beyond, died of natural causes Jan. 15, at the age of 97. The three-time Tony Award winner was best known for starring as matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly!, a role she performed for more than 5,000 performances. She also starred as the gold-digging “little girl from Little Rock” Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, a role Marilyn Monroe would portray in the film version of the musical.
The Curb Your Enthusiasm actor died Jan. 2 at the age of 76. Einstein played Marty Funkhouser, a longtime friend who vexes Larry David in nearly two dozen episodes of the HBO comedy since making his debut in season 4. His last appearance came in the most recent season. (He was slated to be part of the upcoming 10th season but could not participate due to his declining health.)
His other credits include Roseanne, Ocean’s Thirteen, and Arrested Development, the latter of which he appeared in several episodes as the “surrogate” for an imprisoned George Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor).
One half of the legendary 1970s pop duo Captain & Tennille, Dragon died Jan. 2 at the age of 76. Dragon’s ex-wife and musical partner, Toni Tennille, was reportedly by his side at the time of his death. Before becoming a star in his own right, Dragon was a keyboardist for the Beach Boys. Later, Tennille and Dragon began collaborating and producing hits like “Muskrat Love,” “Shop Around,” and “Do That to Me One More Time.” In 1976, they won a Grammy for “Love Will Keep Us Together.”
The WWE personality known as “Mean Gene” died on Jan. 2 at the age of 76. Okerlund, who was nicknamed “Mean Gene” by wrestler-turned-Minnesota-governor Jesse “The Body” Ventura, started out his broadcasting career by interviewing the stars of the Minnesota-based American Wrestling Association in the ’80s before moving to the World Wrestling Federation (later renamed WWE) in 1984. He was also a ringside commentator and an occasional musician. He sang the national anthem at the first WrestleMania in 1985 and even contributed a cover of “Tutti Frutti” to WWE’s The Wrestling Album that same year.