Robert Walker Jr.
The actor known for the memorable Star Trek episode “Charlie X,” died Dec. 5 at the age of 79. In “Charlie X,” the second episode of the original series, which ran from 1966 to 1969, Walker played the lone survivor of a shuttle crash with dangerous powers. In addition to the popular sci-fi show, Walker had roles on series including Dallas (as Harding Devers), Bonanza, Charlie’s Angels, Columbo, CHiPs, Murder, She Wrote, and L.A. Law. He also appeared in numerous films, including 1964’s Ensign Pulver and 1969’s Easy Rider and Young Billy Young. As the son of actors Robert Walker and Jennifer Jones, he also had significant Hollywood roots.
The actor known for his roles in Norma Rae, Friends, and Angels in America, died Dec. 6. He was 82. Throughout his lengthy career, Leibman held roles in television, on the stage, and in film. He won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1979 for his role as Martin “Kaz” Kazinsky in the crime drama series Kaz, which he also co-created. Friends fans will also recognize him as Rachel’s (Jennifer Aniston) short-tempered father, Dr. Leonard Green. Other notable television roles include work on the series Murder, She Wrote, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Archer, The Sopranos, among many others. Liebman was also a profilic stage actor and made his biggest splash as caustic lawyer Roy Kohn in the original production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, for which he won the 1993 Tony for Best Actor in a Play.
The character actor died Nov. 2 at the age of 60. Most recently, he starred on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as Jackie, the emcee at the Gaslight comedy club where Midge performs. The longtime character actor had many guest-starring roles on shows including Gilmore Girls, The Black Donnellys, The Sopranos, Heroes, Law & Order, and The Good Wife, and appeared in movies such as The Kitchen, Jacob’s Ladder, Donnie Brasco, Uncle Buck, and Summer of Sam.
One of the very first Survivor contestants, Boesch died on Nov. 1 at the age of 91 following complications from Alzheimer’s disease. The retired Navy SEAL competed on the first season of CBS reality competition series, Survivor: Borneo, back in 2000. He made it to the finals and finished in third place. When he was on the show, Boesch was 72, making him the oldest Survivor competitor to ever play the game in all 39 seasons. Boesch returned to the franchise to compete once again in 2004 for Survivor: All-Stars where he was the second person voted out.
The creator of the 1970s TV series The Partridge Family died Oct. 30 at the age of 89. In addition to creating the iconic TV series, he also was nominated for an Oscar for adapting his own play Same Time, Next Year. Slade also wrote for Bewitched and developed two Sally Field vehicles: The Flying Nun and The Girl With Something Extra.
The comedian and actor known for the Friday series died Oct. 29 at the age of 77. Witherspoon appeared as Willie Jones, the hilariously crotchety father of Ice Cube’s character in the 1995 classic comedy Friday. He reprised his role in the next two films in the series, 2000’s Next Friday and 2002’s Friday After Next. He was a prolific actor and collaborated with a slew of talented costars, including Eddie Murphy in four films, such as Vampire in Brooklyn and Dr. Dolittle 2, as well as Tracy Morgan on The Tracy Morgan Show and 2006’s Little Man. Witherspoon also appeared on series including The Wayans Bros., The First Family, and the beloved animated show The Boondocks, in which he reunited with his Friday costar Regina King.
The legendary producer and studio executive died Oct. 26 at the age of 89. The hugely ambitious but terribly inexperienced Evans took over the ailing Paramount in the ’60s and reinvented it as the most profitable studio in town. His remarkable slate at the Gulf+Western company included The Italian Job, Love Story, Harold and Maude, and The Godfather Parts I and II, as well as The Great Gatsby, Rosemary’s Baby, and Chinatown, his final film as head of production at Paramount for which he received his one and only Best Picture Oscar nomination.
The actor, best known for playing Bea Arthur’s on-screen husband in the All in the Family spin-off Maude, died Oct. 17. He was 97. Macy is best known for his role of Walter Findlay on Maude, which ran on CBS from 1972-1978. Arthur’s character, Maude Findlay, was introduced as a cousin of Edith Bunker, played by Jean Stapleton on All in the Family. Over the course of his career, Macy also frequented many shows as a guest star, including Seinfeld, St. Elsewhere, Jack & Jill, L.A. Law, and Nothing in Common. In 2010, he appeared on an episode of TNT’s Hawthorne.
The actor, best known for starring as Mickey Horton on Days of Our Lives, died Oct. 16. He was 88. First debuting on Days in 1965, Clarke acted on the soap for 39 years before leaving in 2004. From 1961-62, he starred in the ABC crime drama The New Breed, and also appeared on The Twilight Zone, Death Valley Days, Maverick, and more. On the film side, Clarke was featured in projects like Judgement at Nuremberg, The Satan Bug, Man Missing, and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World.
The K-pop star died Oct. 14 at the age of 25. Sulli was best known as a founding member of the girl group f(x) and as the star of popular TV dramas and films. Sulli (real name Choi Jin-ri) began her career in 2009 as one of the original members of the pop group f(x), assisting the group’s rise to fame via four No. 1 albums and four No. 1 singles in their home country. She later left the group in 2015 to pursue a solo career, and released her debut single “Goblin” earlier this year. In addition to singing, Sulli led the popular TV drama To the Beautiful You before appearing in major Korean movies like The Pirates (2014), Fashion King (2014), and Real (2017).
The charismatic pimp who largely serviced classic Hollywood’s closeted LGBTQ community died Oct. 13 at the age of 96. As outlined in his 2012 memoir (and director Matt Tyrnauer’s nonfiction film Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood), Bowers claimed he helped arrange same-sex liaisons for iconic stars like Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Rock Hudson, and more from the 1940s through the 1980s.
The actor, best known for his role in Jackie Brown and most recently in Last Man Standing and the Breaking Bad movie El Camino, died Oct. 11. He was 78. After working in theater, he made the move to Los Angeles and nabbed parts in films like Reflections in a Golden Eye, Medium Cool, and Justine. He played cops on TV in shows like Police Story and Nakia and nabbed action roles in flicks like The Delta Force opposite Chuck Norris. Quentin Tarantino revived his career with a role in Jackie Brown, which earned Forster an Oscar nomination. He went on to appear in Mulholland Drive, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Firewall, and The Descendants. He also kept busy in TV series including Karen Sisco, Heroes, Alcatraz, and Twin Peaks, where he had a recurring role as Sheriff Frank Truman.
The the creator of NBC’s popular teen sitcom Saved by the Bell and writer of dozens of stage plays died Oct. 11 at 87. In addition to creating the hit Saved by the Bell, Bobrick wrote on Captain Kangaroo, The Andy Griffith Show, Bewitched, The Flintstones, and Get Smart. He was also a prolific playwright, writing titles like The Psychic, No Hard Feelings, Murder at the Howard Johnson’s, Norman, Is That You?, and Wally’s Cafe.
The founding member of Southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd and longtime bassist for the band .38 Special died Oct. 7. He was 70. Junstrom began his musical career in the mid-’60s playing in early versions of Lynyrd Skynyrd. He departed the group before they recorded their debut album, Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd, in 1973. n 1977, Donnie Van Zandt — younger brother of Lynyrd Skynyrd lead singer, Ronnie — invited Junstrom to join his band, .38 Special, to replace bassist Ken Lyons. He held the gig for nearly four decades, playing on hits including “Hold on Loosely,” “Caught Up in You,” and “Rockin’ into the Night.”
One of the original Mouseketeers on Disney’s The Mickey Mouse Club died Oct. 6 at the age of 73. Pendleton joined the cast of The Mickey Mouse Club at age 8, becoming one of the show’s youngest cast members. She remained on the show for the entirety of its original 1955-1959 run on ABC, one of only nine kids, including Annette Funicello, to do so. Pendleton was known for her blond curls and for her frequent song pairings with fellow Mouseketeer Cubby O’Brien, including in the show’s closing sequence.
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 prime-time 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 80. 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.”