The actress and singer, who broke many barriers on stage and screen in projects like Julia, Dynasty, and Grey’s Anatomy, died Oct. 4, at 84. Carroll was the first black woman to win the Tony Award for Best Actress for a musical, for No Strings in 1962. In 1968, she was given the starring role of the network drama Julia, and it marked the first time audiences saw a black actress as something other than a domestic worker. The series earned Carroll a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series in 1968 and an Emmy nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy in 1969. Carroll cemented her status as a legend on Dynasty, portraying Dominique Deveraux. The jet-setting rival half-sister to Blake Carrington faced off with Joan Collins as Alexis Carrington Colby. It marked the first time a primetime soap featured a black lead.
The legendary drummer, who shot to fame in the 1960s as a member of the pioneering British rock trio Cream, died Oct. 6 at age 60. Baker was best known for his work with Cream, which he co-founded with Eric Clapton in London in 1966. The third member of the band, bassist Jack Bruce, died in 2014. Cream, widely cited as the original supergroup since all three members came from accomplished bands, sold 35 million albums in just over two years. The band was awarded the world’s first-ever platinum disc for their double album Wheels of Fire, and produced psychedelic hits like “I Feel Free” and “Sunshine of Your Love.”
The lead singer and bassist of the Muffs died Oct. 2 at the age of 56. The Muffs are best known for their cover of Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America,” which appeared on the 1995 soundtrack of Clueless.
The Muffs released four albums with Shattuck as their lead singer: 1995’s Blonder and Blonder, 1997’s Happy Birthday to Me, 1999’s Alert Today Alive Tomorrow, and 2004’s Really Really Happy. They went on hiatus for several years before returning with 2014’s Whoop Dee Doo and were on the verge of releasing their next album when Shattuck died. She collaborated with numerous bands over the years, including NOFX and the Dollyrots.
The actor, known to fans as Tommy from The Karate Kid movies and YouTube’s sequel series Cobra Kai, died Sept. 27, at 59. The actor secured a place for himself in pop culture history with his role in the 1984 hit Karate Kid. After appearing in that film and The Karate Kid Part II, Garrison went on to appear in shows including Columbo, Coach, and Homefront. In 2019, he reunited with Zabka for a season 2 episode of Cobra Kai, in which Johnny and his old Cobra Kai buddies (Ron Thomas and Tony O’Dell) spring Tommy from the hospital, where he is being treated for cancer.
The Superstore scene-stealer died Sept. 27, at 86. The character actor is best known for her recurring role on NBC’s comedy as Myrtle, one of Cloud 9’s oldest employees, who was laid off but continued to appear on the series, most recently in season 4’s finale. In addition to Superstore, Porter’s extensive resume boasts many guest appearance roles on shows like Gilmore Girls, Showtime’s Twin Peaks revival, American Horror Story, The Mindy Project, 2 Broke Girls, Childrens Hospital, Togetherness, Bunheads, How I Met Your Mother, Disney Channel shows like Phil of the Future, and films like The House, Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday, and Dude, Where’s My Car?
The legend of the horror genre from films like House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects died Sept. 21, at age 80. Haig got his start in horror with 1967’s Spider Baby or, the Maddest Story Ever Told. He was later cast in Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses and its sequel The Devil’s Rejects.
Haig also appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown and would later re-team with the filmmaker on Kill Bill, Vol. 2. Other credits to Haig’s name include Night of the Living Dead 3D, 2007’s Halloween, The Lords of Salem, and Bone Tamahawk.
The pioneering journalist and longtime political commentator died of complications from breast cancer on Sept. 17. She was 75. Roberts was best known for her routine appearance on This Week With George Stephanopoulos. She was also a regular commentator for ABC News and contributed to National Public Radio.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and lead singer of the Cars died Sept. 15, at age 75. Emerging from the New Wave scene, the Cars were one of the most recognizable bands in the 1970s and 1980s, known for their infusion of pop elements — like the synthesizer — into guitar-heavy rock. The band had 13 top-40 singles, including “Shake It Up,” “You Might Think,” “Tonight She Comes,” and its highest-charting track, “Drive.” The band released seven studio albums, the most recent being 2011’s Move Like This. Ocasek and his bandmates were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.
The singer behind hits like “Two Tickets to Paradise,” “Take Me Home Tonight,” and “Baby Hold On,” died on Sept. 13 at the age of 70. The singer’s eponymous first album dropped in 1977, with hits “Two Tickets to Paradise” and “Baby Hold On.” Songs “Think I’m in Love,” “Shakin,” his Ronnie Spector duet on “Take Me Home Tonight,” and “I Wanna Go Back” would follow.
The screenwriter and frequent collaborator of Martin Scorsese on films like Raging Bull and Mean Streets died Sept. 11, at 82. Martin co-wrote many of Scorsese’s most famous films, including 1973’s Mean Streets, which he penned with the director, and 1977’s New York, New York, which he wrote with Earl Mac Rauch. Martin spent a year and a half researching boxer Jake LaMotta’s life for 1980’s Raging Bull, starring Robert De Niro. He and co-writer Paul Schrader earned a Golden Globe nomination for the movie’s screenplay.
The actor, who voiced the characters Lord Zedd and Finster on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, died Sept. 7 at age 70. Axelrod also had voice roles in the Spider-Man TV series, Digimon Adventure, and Cowboy Bebop, and one of his most recent appearances was in the comedy film The Clapper, starring Ed Helms.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor died Sept. 8 at the age of 72. While well known for his role as Dr. Hoover on Fresh Prince, Wesley appeared in many other TV shows, as well as in movies and on stage in theatrical productions. Other notable credits of his include Mr. Jim on Martin and appearances on Medium, NCIS, Moving, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and the short film, Second Acts.
March, a veteran of Bravo’s Project Runway and Mad Fashion, died Sept. 5, at 56. March appeared in season 4 of Project Runway, on which he famously featured human hair in his couture pieces. Following the reality competition show, he designed looks for Madonna, Prince, Cirque du Soleil, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, and Meryl Streep. In 2011, he developed and starred in Mad Fashion, which followed his design work with celebrity clientele, including Jennifer Coolidge and Chrissy Teigen. The show ran for 10 episodes. March later appeared on season 4 of Project Runway All-Stars in 2015.
The songwriter died Sept. 4 at the age of 41. LaShawn was most known as the man behind the iconic Destiny’s Child hit “Say My Name.” His other notable songwriting credits include Whitney Houston’s “It’s Not Right but It’s Okay,” Jennifer Lopez’s “If You Had My Love,” Spice Girls’ “Holler,” Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” and Michael Jackson’s “You Rock My World.”
Kylie Rae Harris
The actress, best known for playing the ship’s singer in The Poseidon Adventure, died Sept. 3 at 77. She starred in a wide variety of films, including Return to Peyton Place, The Last Sunset with Rock Hudson and Kirk Douglas, and Bunny Lake is Missing, in which she portrayed the mother of a kidnapped child. Lynley was known for waifish sensuality, which translated into one of her most iconic roles as screen siren Jean Harlow in the 1965 biopic Harlow. She often employed her unique looks as a model, even posing for Playboy in 1965. The Poseidon Adventure marked her biggest hit, and Lynley notably sang in the film. The song she performed, “The Morning After,” went on to win the 1973 Oscar for Best Song.
The former American Idol contestant died Aug. 31 at the age of 26. Smith, who was originally from Utah, initially made it through the Colorado auditions back in 2012 but was eliminated in the second round in Hollywood. She was known for wowing Idol judges Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Randy Jackson with her folk twist on Rufus and Chaka Khan’s “Tell Me Something Good.”
The actress, who won four Emmys and one Golden Globe Award for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off Rhoda, died Aug. 30 at 80, after a long battle with a rare form of brain cancer. Following her terminal diagnosis in 2013, Harper was cast in the 17th season of Dancing With the Stars, but was eliminated in week 4. Harper actually began her career as a dancer on Broadway. She later returned to the stage, and in 2010 received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Play, for her performance as Tallulah Bankhead in Looped. In recent years, Harper’s voice talents had been utilized for numerous parts on The Simpsons and American Dad.
The legendary actor and member of a Hollywood dynasty died August 16 at the age of 79. Fonda was the son of classic actor Henry Fonda and brother of icon Jane Fonda. Fonda was perhaps best known for co-writing and starring in the counterculture classic Easy Rider, which helped launch a revolution in American cinema by showing independent films could attain massive success. He had a resurgence in 1997 with his role in Ulee’s Gold, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. He continued to act until the end of his life, appearing in such films as The Limey, Ghost Rider, and 3:10 to Yuma. His final film, the Vietnam War drama The Last Full Measure, is scheduled to be released in October.
The acclaimed animator died on August 13 at the age of 86. He was a triple Oscar and BAFTA winner, who was best known for his work as the animation director on the 1988 live-action and animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He created many legendary characters like Roger and Jessica Rabbit. He animated the title sequences for the 1970s classics The Return Of The Pink Panther and The Pink Panther Strikes Again and also worked on Casino Royale. The Little Island, his first film, was released in 1958 and won a BAFTA. He won his first Oscar for his animated adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in 1971.
The indie rocker died August 7 at the age of 52. The singer-songwriter formed Silver Jews in 1989 with Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich of Pavement. The band released six albums between 1994 and 2009 when Berman announced his retirement from music and dissolved the group. He was the only permanent member of the band during its existence. Earlier this year, Berman returned to music, re-emerging with a new band called Purple Mountains. The group released a self-titled debut album in July and had scheduled a tour of North America to begin Aug. 10.
The Nobel Prize-winning author died August 6 at the age of 88.Morrison, the writer of acclaimed and influential novels like Beloved and Song of Solomon, was a giant of American literature. Her most famous novel, Beloved, was published in 1987 and centers on a woman who killed her baby daughter rather than let her become a slave. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and inspired a 1998 movie adaptation starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. In 1993, Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature, becoming the first black woman of any nationality to do so. In 2012, President Barack Obama awarded Morrison the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The titan of Broadway, who produced and/or directed many of the century’s most popular musicals, died July 31 at the age of 91. Over the course of his career in musical theater, Prince earned 21 Tony Awards — far more than any other individual. His first came in 1955 for The Pajama Game, and his last was a Lifetime Achievement Award granted in 2006. In between, Prince earned awards as both producer and director. He brought to the stage such influential musicals as Damn Yankees, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Sweeney Todd, and The Phantom of the Opera, which remains the longest-running show in Broadway history.
The actress who voiced one of Disney’s most recognizable characters in Minnie Mouse, as well as several characters on The Simpsons — died July 26 at the age of 75. A longtime fan of Disney, the Boston-area-born Taylor won the role of Minnie in 1986 and voiced her in such films as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Runaway Brain, Get a Horse!, and Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers. She also played Minnie on TV shows including Mickey Mouse Works, House of Mouse, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Mickey and the Roadstar Racers, as well as in animated shorts and theme park projects. Russi’s voice carried throughout the Disney empire; she also played Nurse Mouse in The Rescuers Down Under, and Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and their friend Webbigail Vanderquack in the original DuckTales animated series, as well as characters in TaleSpin, The Little Mermaid, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Kim Possible, Sofia the First, The Lion Guard, and Tangled: The Series. Simpsons fans know as brilliant, bullied Martin Prince and twins Sherri and Terri, as well as Uter and occasionally Lewis Clark.
The Blade Runner star died on July 19 at the age of 75. Early in his career, Hauer collaborated with Paul Verhoeven on 1973’s Turkish Delight and 1977’s Soldier of Orange. He achieved almost instant iconic status among science fiction fans with his performance in Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner as the replicant Roy Batty. Hauer’s many other credits included 1985’s Verhoeven-directed Flesh+Blood, 1986’s The Hitcher, 1992’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 1994’s Surviving the Game, 2005’s Sin City, the same year’s Batman Begins, the TV show True Blood, and 2011’s Hobo with a Shotgun.
The actor, best known for roles in Another World and two James Bond films, died July 18 at the age of 92. Hedison starred as scientist André Delambre in the classic 1958 horror film The Fly and later appeared in two James Bond movies, playing CIA operative Felix Leiter in 1973’s To Live and Let Die and then reprising the role in 1989’s License to Kill. His other credits include the TV shows Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and the daytime soap operas Another World and The Young and the Restless.
The Irish actor died July 15 at the age of 47. His screen credits included the films Batman Returns, Haywire, and Veronica Guerin and the TV series Peaky Blinders, Into the Badlands, and Fair City.
The actress best known for playing the spoiled, gum-obsessed girl Violet Beauregarde in the beloved film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, died July 10 at the age of 62. Nickerson was 13 when she appeared in Willy Wonka, which starred Gene Wilder as the eccentric chocolatier. Nickerson made her screen debut in an episode of the TV series Flipper, and appeared on shows including Dark Shadows, The Electric Company, and The Brady Bunch. She left Hollywood in 1978 and later became a nurse.
The Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actor known for his work on The Larry Sanders Show and in the Men in Black movies died July 9 at the age of 88. The actor played the loyal late-night producer Artie on Larry Sanders. Torn was nominated for six Emmys for his work on the beloved sitcom, winning in 1996. He also earned Emmy noms for The Atlanta Child Murders in 1985, Chicago Hope in 1996, and 30 Rock in 2008. His other TV credits included Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Lyon’s Den, Will & Grace, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. In addition to his television nominations, Torn earned an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in 1983’s Cross Creek. In Men in Black and its first sequel, Torn played Zed, one of the founding members of the eponymous alien monitoring organization. More recently, he was seen on the big screen in Dodgeball, Marie Antoinette, 3 Weeks to Daytona, and Bridge of Names.
The British actor died July 9 at the age of 91. Jones’ many credits included the Hammer horror films Frankenstein Must be Destroyed (1969) and The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973), Federico Fellini’s And the Ship Sails On (1983), the fantasy film Krull (1983), and Barry Levinson’s Young Sherlock Holmes (1985). In recent years, he had become familiar to fans of the British soap Emmerdale for playing the role of Sandy Thomas. Jones was also a favorite of director David Lynch, who cast him in the films The Elephant Man (1980), Dune (1984), and Wild at Heart (1990).
The creator and director of the hit Broadway musical Annie died July 7 at the age of 84. Charnin won a Tony Award for Best Original Score, with composer Charles Strouse, for Annie. Charnin went on to write lyrics for dozens of productions, including seven Broadway musicals. He directed seven shows as well. He also received three Emmys for his work on television variety specials, and a Grammy for Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem),” which sampled the lyrics from Annie.
The Disney Channel star died Saturday, July 6 as a result of an ongoing medical condition. He was 20 years old. Boyce was best known to audiences for his roles on Disney Channel series Jessie and the television movie franchise Descendants, in which he portrayed Cruella de Vil’s son Carlos.
The actor, best known to audiences as Superman’s adoptive father Pa Kent on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, died July 6. He was 84. Jones has a notable onscreen career, including as the widowed father to second baseman Marla Hooch (Megan Cavanagh) in 1992’s A League of Their Own and as owner of the horses War Admiral and Man O’War in 2003’s Seabiscuit. He made his biggest impression as the kindly Jonathan “Pa” Kent, father to Clark Kent/Superman (Dean Cain) on Lois & Clark. His feature film résumé was rich and included Bloodbrothers, Prince of the City, Year of the Dragon, The Grifters, Trading Places, The Rocketeer, and Steven Spielberg’s The Terminal. In addition to his recurring role on Lois & Clark, Jones also starred as the head of a spy agency on Syfy Channel’s The Invisible Man from 2000-02. Other television credits include guest starring roles on Veep, Aquarius, Crossing Jordan, Ghost Whisperer, Party of Five, Touched by an Angel, and Cheers.
The actor best known for playing the dirty old man opposite Ruth Buzzi’s purse-hurling spinster on Laugh-In died on July 3. He was 90 years old. The Michigan-born funnyman developed a prolific resume in Hollywood, starting with appearances in old sitcoms like The Danny Thomas Show, It’s Always Jan, and I Dream of Jeannie to variety shows like The Red Skelton Show, Bob Hope Presents Chrysler Theater, and Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. From 1967 to 1971, Johnson was responsible for some of the variety show’s more memorable characters, like the German soldier who hissed “verrrrrrrryyy interesting” and the dirty old man who repeatedly tried to pick up on Gladys (Buzzi). He won an Emmy for his work on Laugh-In in 1969.
The Dog the Bounty Hunter star died June 26 at the age of 51. Chapman appeared on the A&E reality series Dog the Bounty Hunter alongside her husband Duane for eight seasons. Their new show Dog’s Most Wanted had been filming for several months at the time of her death and new episodes are expected to air eventually.