In 2018, we’ve already bid farewell to screen legends, music icons, and acclaimed figures in the world of art and journalism. From The Cranberries frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan, to House of Cards Emmy-winner Reg E. Cathey, rapper Craig Mack, fashion designer Kate Spade, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, and others.
Join us as we take a look at these artists’ early works — Did you know Chicago Fire star DuShon Monique Brown worked as a school counselor and actor John Gavin served in the Korean war? We’ll reflect on their history-making performances, discuss the circumstances surrounding their deaths, and hear what their colleagues had to say about their loss and about the legacies they’ve left behind.
The circumstances surrounding these stars’ deaths are diverse, but some took their own lives. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Here are the stars we’ve said goodbye to this year.
XXXTentacion was shot and killed on June 18, 2018. Born Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, the rapper was just 20 years old when he was targeted outside of a Florida motorcycle dealership, TMZ reported. Two men are suspected in the killing, which police reportedly believe was a robbery, as a Louis Vuitton bag was stolen from the rapper’s vehicle at the time of the slaying.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Department offered a $3,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. Anonymous tips can be made online at browardcrimestoppers.org or by phone at 954-493-8477.
Tentacion had several hit songs and a No. 1 album with 17, but he was perhaps best known for the harrowing domestic violence accusations against him from an ex-girlfriend, who alleged that he kidnapped and attacked her numerous times, including while she was pregnant with his child. He denied all of the claims.
The rapper seemed to eerily foreshadow his untimely passing, saying in an Instagram video (via The Independent), “If I’m going to die or ever be a sacrifice, I want to make sure that my life made at least five million kids happy or they found some sort of answers or resolve in my life regardless of the negative around my name, regardless of the bad things people say to me … Do not let your depression make you. Do not let your body define your soul, let your soul find your body. Your mind is limitless. You are worth more than you can believe.”
Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, best known for his Emmy-winning TV series Parts Unknown, was found dead by apparent suicide at age 61, reported CNN News. The network confirmed that Bourdain was in France working on an upcoming episode of his hit series when a fellow chef found him in a hotel room. CNN issued a statement that said, in part, “It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague … His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much.”
Bourdain built a name for himself as an outspoken chef with a reformed bad-boy reputation — someone who’d admitted to substance abuse problems in the past, but had reportedly overcome those challenges to become a highly successful food and travel connoisseur and renowned journalist. When Parts Unknown received a Peabody Award in 2013, the organization had this to say about Bourdain: “He’s irreverent, honest, curious, never condescending, never obsequious … People open up to him and, in doing so, often reveal more about their hometowns or homelands than a traditional reporter could hope to document.”
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Fashion designer Kate Spade committed suicide by hanging, reported The New York Times. A housekeeper found her body at approximately 10 a.m. on June 5, 2018. She was 55 years old.
Born Katherine Noel Brosnahan, Kate is survived by husband Andy Spade — brother of comedian and actor David Spade — and their 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade. According to TMZ, law enforcement sources said Kate left a note for Frances that said, in part: “Bea — I have always loved you. This is not your fault. Ask Daddy!” Sources also told TMZ that Andy supposedly wanted a divorce, which may have depressed Kate.
Kate began as an editor at Mademoiselle and launched her handbag line with Andy from their New York City apartment in 1993. The award-winning brand expanded into housewares, accessories, and stationery. She walked away from the company in 2006 to focus on parenting Frances.
The Spade family asked for privacy in a statement: “We are all devastated,” it said, in part. “We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly.”
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Richard ‘Old Man’ Harrison
Pawn Stars star Richard “Old Man” Harrison passed away on June 25, 2018. The 77-year-old reportedly battled Parkinson’s disease. Rick Harrison, his son, said Richard was surrounded by loved ones when he died.
Richard, a Navy veteran who often spoke of his service on the show, became a fan favorite on the History Channel hit series, which debuted in 2009, though his recent appearances have been few and far between. Richard opened the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas with Rick after moving to Sin City in the 1980s.
Rick said in a statement, “He was my hero and I was fortunate to get a very cool ‘Old Man’ as my dad. That I got to share him with so many others and they got to see what a great family man he was is something I am grateful to have experienced with him. He lived a very full life and through the History television show ‘Pawn Stars’ touched the lives of people all over teaching them the value of loving your family, hard work and humor.”
A rep for the History Channel told TMZ, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend … He will be greatly missed for his wisdom and candor.”
Jon Paul Steuer
Former child actor Jon Paul Steuer, who starred as Quentin Kelly on Grace Under Fire and as Lt. Worf’s son, Alexander Rozhenko, on Star Trek: The Next Generation, died Jan. 1, 2018 at just 33 years old.
Steuer quit acting after the cancellation of Grace Under Fire amid controversy surrounding the behavior of co-star Brett Butler, reported Variety. Steuer lived in Portland, Ore. and owned a vegan restaurant in the city called Harvest on the Bindery.
He was the lead singer of a band called P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S., who confirmed his untimely passing on Facebook. The band said, “The addition of Jonny to our dysfunctional band family was one of the best choices that we have ever made, and he brought a much needed sense of fun and lightheartedness to everything we did. He was only with us for a little more than a year, but we managed to cram a lifetime of great experiences into his tenure as our singer: dozens shows at home in Portland and across several states, an amazing European tour, and our best full-length release yet.”
Jerry Van Dyke
Jerry Van Dyke, younger brother of TV legend Dick Van Dyke, died Jan. 5, 2018 at 86 years old from heart failure, according to The New York Times. Jerry’s wife, Shirley Ann Jones, said Jerry’s health had begun to worsen following a car accident in 2015.
Jerry got his start with guest appearances on The Dick Van Dyke Show and became a regular on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Judy Garland Show as a comedian. Far from riding his big brother’s coattails, Jerry was an Emmy nominated actor in his own right, earning four nods for his role of assistant coach Luther Van Dam on Coach from 1989 to 1997. After Coach ended, Jerry made regular guest appearances on television shows including My Name Is Earl, The Middle, Yes Dear, and Raising Hope.
Canadian character actor Donnelly Rhodes passed away at 80 years old on Jan. 8, 2018, while in hospice care for a battle with cancer, Deadline reported.
Rhodes became an actor after training for the Canadian National Park Service and serving as an airman-mechanic in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
His most famous roles were dopey escaped convict Dutch in Soap from 1978 to 1981 and Dr. Cottle in the original Battlestar Galactica. Rhodes also appeared on TV shows Mister Ed, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Cheers, Taxi, The Golden Girls, The X-Files, The L Word, Smallville, and The Golden Girls, as well as the movie Tron: Legacy (2010).
Singer Denise LaSalle died Jan. 8, 2018 at 78 years old after suffering health issues for several months, which included the amputation of her right leg after a fall, Billboard reported.
LaSalle was born Ora Denise Allen in Sidon, Miss. She began using a stage name when she moved to Chicago to sing R&B as a teenager. She later transitioned to blues and founded the National Association for the Preservation of the Blues in 1986. She was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis, Tenn. in 2011.
Jason Wayne Miller
Jason Wayne Miller, famous for playing Salami Sam in Heavyweights (1995), died in his sleep on Jan. 9, 2018, at home in Chicago, TMZ reported. He was just 36 years old.
Heavyweights (1995) writer and producer Judd Apatow told Page Six that “being around Joe Miller was pure joy. We could not have loved spending time with him more. He made everyone around him so happy. What a terrible loss.”
Co-star Aaron Schwartz, who played Gerald Garner in the film, told the site, “Joe always brought the fun to the set. He was one of those people you always wanted to be around. So sad. So young. Rest In Peace Joe.”
‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke
Motörhead guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke died Jan. 10, 2018, at age 67. Clarke was the last surviving founding member of the classic metal band.
The band announced his death on its Facebook page: “We are devastated to pass on the news … Fast Eddie passed peacefully in hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia.”
Former Motörhead drummer Mikkey Dee, who is currently a member of the Scorpions, wrote in a statement, “Oh my f**king God, this is terrible news, the last of the three amigos. I saw Eddie not too long ago and he was in great shape, so this is a complete shock. Me and Eddie always hit it off great. I was looking forward to seeing him in the UK this summer when we around with the Scorps.” Dee continued, “Now Lem and Philthy can jam with Eddie again, and if you listen carefully I’m sure you’ll hear them, so watch out!”
Fellow founding member Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister died from cancer in December 2015, and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor passed away that fall.
Bobby Zarin, husband of The Real Housewives of New York star Jill Zarin, died Jan. 13, 2018. He was 71 years old.
“With the heaviest of hearts, we are devastated to share the news that our beloved Bobby Zarin passed away peacefully today surrounded by family after a courageous battle with cancer,” Jill wrote in a statement on her website. “There are no words to describe how heartbroken we are. Thank you, everyone, for all your love and support during this difficult time.”
Bobby was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in June 2009. It returned and spread to his brain in November 2016.
Jill posted a tribute to Bobby the day after his passing, writing on Instagram, “Rest in Peace my love. Words cannot express the hole in my heart. Bobby taught me what true and deep love is. Thank you my love for sharing your life with me … for raising Allyson as if she was your own, being an amazing father and grandfather and teaching me how to be a better person. You inspire those around you to be the best they can be … I will never forget you … your legacy lives on through your beautiful children and grandchildren. I will continue to raise money and awareness for ITOG (International Thyroid Oncology Group) so maybe this won’t happen to the next guy who draws the proverbial short straw. I will continue to honor you and make you proud. You taught me so many lessons.”
Dolores O’Riordan, frontwoman of The Cranberries, died Jan. 15, 2018 at age 46.
Her publicist said O’Riordan was in London for a short recording session, but released no further details, according to Ireland’s The Journal. The U.K. coroner told The Associated Press she was found dead in her hotel room in London and that her passing was “unsuspicious,” meaning there was no foul play.
O’Riordan was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after an altercation at an airport in 2014, reported The Telegraph. She later told The Telegraph that her mental health issues (including depression, an eating disorder, and an attempted overdose in 2012) stemmed from sexual abuse she suffered as a child.
O’Riordan’s boyfriend of two years, D.A.R.K. musician Olé Koretsky, wrote in a statement: “My friend, partner, and the love of my life is gone. My heart is broken and it is beyond repair. Dolores is beautiful … The energy she continues to radiate is undeniable. I am lost. I miss her so much.”
Actress Olivia Cole, who won an Emmy for her role as Mathilda George in Roots (1977), died Jan. 19, 2018, at 75 years old, reported Deadline. Aside from her iconic role in Roots (1977), Cole also earned an Emmy nomination as Maggie Rogers in Backstairs at the White House (1979).
Cole’s other notable works included The Women of Brewster Place (1989) opposite Oprah Winfrey, Coming Home (1978), Some Kind of Hero (1982) with Richard Pryor, Go Tell it on the Mountain (1984), First Sunday (2008), Guiding Light, L.A. Law, and Murder, She Wrote.
Comedian Bob Smith died Jan. 20, 2018, after a battle with ALS. He was 59 years old. Smith was the first openly gay comedian to appear on The Tonight Show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Smith was also the first openly gay comic to perform an HBO half-hour special.
In addition to performing stand-up comedy, Smith was also an acclaimed writer, penning several novels, as well as three essay collections, including LAMBDA Book Award winner Openly Bob in 1997 and LAMBDA Book Award nominee Way to Go, Smith in 1999. His final book of essays, Treehab: Tales from My Natural Wild Life, was published in 2016 during his battle with ALS. He penned the entire collection with his one functional hand using an iPad.
Connie Sawyer, Hollywood’s oldest working actress, died at 105 years old on Jan. 22, 2018, Deadline reported. Her entertainment career began when she appeared in Vaudeville at just 8 years old and continued for decades, with movie roles in A Hole in the Head (1959), Ada (1961), The Way West (1967), The Man in the Glass Booth (1975), When Harry Met Sally (1989), Dumb and Dumber (1994), and Pineapple Express (2008).
Sawyer’s six decades of television credits include roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Hawaii Five-O, Dynasty, Archie Bunker’s Place, Home Improvement, Seinfeld, Will & Grace, ER, The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Ray Donovan, and Murder, She Wrote.
Storm Chasers star Joel Taylor died Jan. 23, 2018, while aboard a cruise ship, TMZ reported. Taylor was 38 years old.Sources told TMZ that Taylor may have passed away from a drug overdose. A fellow passenger on the ship claimed Taylor passed out on the dance floor during the cruise after using the drug GHB and was taken back to his room by two other guests. He was found dead the following day.
Oscar-winning actress Dorothy Malone died of natural causes on Jan. 19, 2018, at 92 years old, Variety reported. Malone won an Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role as Marylee Hadley in Written on the Wind (1956), which co-starred Rock Hudson and Lauren Bacall.
Malone’s other notable works include Warlock (1959), Peyton Place, Condominium (1980), and convicted murderer Hazel Dobkins in Basic Instinct (1992).
Former Glee star Mark Salling allegedly committed suicide by hanging on Jan. 30, 2018, reported TMZ. He was 35 years old.
“Mark was a gentle and loving person, a person of great creativity, who was doing his best to atone for some serious mistakes and errors of judgment,” Salling’s attorney, Michael Proctor, told People. “He is survived by his mother and father, and his brother. The Salling family appreciates the support they have been receiving and asks for their privacy to be respected.”
At the time of his death, Salling was preparing to commence a life behind bars. According to USA Today, he “admitted to possessing pornographic images of prepubescent children” in a plea agreement in October 2017. Salling was scheduled to be sentenced on March 7, 2018 and “expected to spend 4 to 7 years in prison, followed by 20 years of supervised release and registry as a sex offender,” reported Deadline.
A source told People that the disgraced actor had become isolated from friends. “This other dark side of him was completely shocking to everyone close to him,” the insider said. “Close people who didn’t talk to him are still sad about it. They loved him because of the person he was before all of this happened. There’s a level of sadness with everyone, but the sadness is from afar.”
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
World-famous theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking died March 14, 2018. According to the BBC, Hawking — who’d been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, when he was just 21 years old — died peacefully in his home in Cambridge. He lived to be 76 years old, despite being given just two years to live at the time of his diagnosis. He is survived by his children: Lucy, Robert, and Tim.
“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,” his kids said in a statement (via E! News). “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.” The statement continued, “His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humor inspired people across the world. He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss you forever.”
Rapper Fredo Santana died Jan. 19, 2018, at just 27 years old.
The Chicago-based MC (and cousin of controversial and often-incarcerated rapper Chief Keef) suffered from a fatal seizure, reported TMZ. Santana, born Derrick Coleman, had been hospitalized in the months leading up to his death, including a hospitalization for liver and kidney failure in October 2017. Once released from the hospital, Santana reportedly went right back into the studio to make more music, though Rolling Stone reported that he considered going to rehab as well.
The drill rapper was open about his addiction to lean, also commonly known as sizzurp — a combination of prescription cough syrup (usually codeine) and other substances, which may have caused his fatal seizure. His girlfriend reportedly arrived at his home at 11:30 p.m. and found him dead on the floor.
Several rappers paid tribute to Santana, including Drake and Maxo Kream.
Making the situation even more tragic: Santana had an 8-month-old son.
Rock legend Jim Rodford died Jan. 20, 2018. He was 76 years old. Rodford was a founding member of the band Argent and the bassist for The Kinks and The Zombies.
Rodford’s cousin and longtime bandmate, Rod Argent, announced on The Zombies’ Facebook page: “It is with deep sadness that I learned this morning that my dear cousin and lifelong friend, Jim Rodford, died this morning after a fall on the stairs. More details are not yet known about the exact cause of death … When Colin [Blunstone] and I put together our second incarnation in late 1999, our first phone call was to Jim. He gave us absolutely unflagging commitment, loyalty and unbelievable energy for eighteen years, and our gratitude is beyond measure.”
The statement continued, “To the end, Jim’s life was dedicated to music. He was unfailingly committed to local music … Colin and I would compare notes a couple of days immediately after a U.S. tour and discuss how long it would take us to recover from an intense, fantastic but exhausting couple of months — only to find out and marvel that Jim had already been out playing with local bands … Jim was a wonderful person, loved by everybody. When Colin and I, shocked and hardly able to talk, shared the news this morning, Colin said, ‘I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about him.’ He will be unbelievably missed.”
Temptations singer Dennis Edwards passed away at age 74 on Feb. 1, 2018, reported Variety.
Edwards replaced original lead singer, David Ruffin, in 1968. Edwards brought his signature gospel style to the lead vocals on some of the group’s most memorable later-career hits, including “Just My Imagination,” “Cloud Nine,” “Shakey Ground,” “Ball of Confusion,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” “Psychedelic Shack,” and “I Can’t Get Next to You.” He split from the group in 1977, but rejoined a decade later. In 1989, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Temptations.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Edwards died from complications from meningitis — and was allegedly abused leading up to his death. Court documents from an adult protective services investigator reportedly show that Edwards’ wife, Brenda, was accused of abusing the singer, leading the crooner to obtain an emergency protective order against her. She denied the claims.
Edwards is survived by Brenda, as well as a daughter from his previous marriage to Ruth Pointer of The Pointer Sisters.
John Mahoney, most famous for playing down-to-earth dad Martin Crane on Frasier, died Feb. 4, 2018, while in hospice care, reported Variety. He was 77 years old. Mahoney’s career began in theater in his native England, then took to film with roles in now-classic films including Moonstruck (1987), Say Anything (1989), In the Line of Fire (1993), and The American President (1995). Before his star turn in Frasier in 1993, Mahoney appeared in the show’s predecessor, Cheers (though not in the same role,) and in 3rd Rock from the Sun. He received a Screen Actors Guild Award, two Emmy nods, and two Golden Globe nominations for his role as Frasier Crane’s blue-collar dad. Mahoney also won a Tony Award in 1986 for his role in The House of Blue Leaves on Broadway.
His most recent roles prior to his passing were as Roy, Betty White’s love interest, on Hot in Cleveland from 2011 to 2014, and as a tormented CEO seeking therapy in In Treatment in 2009.
Mahoney never married and had no children, but in a touching tribute, Frasier star Kelsey Grammer said in a statement to Variety, “He was my father. I loved him.”
Actor and musician Mickey Jones died Feb. 7, 2018, following a long but unspecified illness, his rep told Variety. He was 76 years old.
Jones’ career as a character actor began in 1971 in the television comedy Rollin’ on the River, which led to a slew of small roles in a ton of movies, including Total Recall (1990) and recurring roles on Hot Rod, Justified, and Home Improvement, in which he played Tim Allen’s friend, Peter Bilker. Jones’ catchphrase, “That would be me,” became the title of his 2009 autobiography, That Would Be Me: Rock & Roll Survivor to Hollywood Actor.
Jones’ most recent work included roles in J.K. Simmons’ Growing up Fisher and Newsreaders. In addition to his acting career, Jones was also a prolific drummer, playing on albums by Trini Lopez and Johnny Rivers and touring with Bob Dylan and Kenny Rogers.
Reg E. Cathey
Reg E. Cathey passed away Feb. 9, 2018, at 59 years old after a battle with lung cancer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Cathey’s biggest roles were on television: He starred as Martin Querns on Oz from 2000 to 2003, as reporter-turned-politician Norman Wilson on The Wire from 2006 to 2008, as Barry K. Word in Lights Out in 2011, as Barry Querns on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit from 2008 to 2013, as Detective Julius Bonner on Banshee in 2014, as Uncle Bobby in The Divide, as Freddy, a restaurant owner who gets a job in the White House in House of Cards from 2013 to 2016, and as Chief Giles on Outcast from 2016 to 2017.
His movie work included roles in the Fantastic Four reboot (2015), St. Vincent (2014), S.W.A.T. (2003), Pootie Tang (2001), American Psycho (2000), Se7en (1995), Airheads (1994), Clear and Present Danger (1994), The Mask (1994), What About Bob? (1991), and Born on the Fourth of July (1989).
Famous for his rich, deep voice, Cathey told The Guardian in 2016, “What I did notice is that Barack Obama becomes president and suddenly black people who are well-spoken are working more. This new market for the well-spoken black actor is all due to Obama. He got inaugurated, and I started working like a fiend — hired by the same people who would previously ask: ‘Have you always spoken like that?’ It’s like, ‘You know what, motherf**kers? Yes, I have.'”
Actor John Gavin died Feb. 9, 2018 at 86 years old. Gavin graduated from Stanford and served in the Navy in the Korean War before finally giving in to a family friend who urged him to take a screen test. His breakout parts included a sympathetic German soldier in the World War II drama A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958) and as Steve Archer in Imitation of Life (1959). His most famous roles were that of Sam Loomis in Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Psycho (1960), and as Julius Caesar in Spartacus (1960). He was almost cast as James Bond and even signed a contract for Diamonds are Forever (1971) until producers hired Sean Connery instead.
He soon transitioned to television roles, reported Variety. “When I walked through the gate, Universal quit building actors … Some of those early roles were unactable,” Gavin said. “Even Laurence Olivier couldn’t have done anything with them. The dialogue ran to cardboard passages such as ‘I love you. You can rely on me darling. I’ll wait.’ It was all I could do to keep from adding, ‘with egg on my face.'”
Gavin served on the board of the Screen Actors Guild, including as president from 1971 to 1973. He considered running for Senate as a Republican in 1991.
Comedian Marty Allen died from complications from pneumonia on Feb. 12, 2018, The Associated Press reported. He was 95 years old. After serving in World War II, Allen’s comedy career began in 1950. He rose to notoriety when he partnered with Steve Allen for the duo Allen & Rossi. The pair performed on The Ed Sullivan Show a whopping 44 times, including the episode during which The Beatles made their U.S. TV debut. He and Allen split in 1968, but would continue to perform together occasionally throughout the 1990s.
Allen made hundreds of television appearances through the 1970s and 1980s, with credits ranging from game shows such as Hollywood Squares to serious roles in daytime dramas such as The Big Valley.
In 1984, Allen married Karon Kate Blackwell, with whom he performed a musical comedy act on tours throughout the United States for more than 30 years — they even had sold out performances as recently as 2015.
David Ogden Stiers
David Ogden Stiers, who starred as nobby surgeon Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester II on MAS*H, died March 3, 2018. He was 75 years old. According to Variety, Stiers suffered from bladder cancer leading up to his passing.
An Oregon native who studied acting at Juilliard, Stiers earned two Emmy nominations for his most famous role as Winchester, and a third for his performance in the NBC miniseries The First Olympics: Athens 1896 (1984). His Broadway debuts were in three simultaneous plays in 1973.
Stiers served as the narrator and voice of Cogsworth in Disney’s animated smash Beauty and the Beast (1991), Governor Ratcliffe in Pocahontas (1995), the archdeacon in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), and Dr. Jumba Jookiba in Lilo & Stitch (2002).
He starred in eight Perry Mason TV movies from 1986 through 1988, and had small roles in Woody Allen films Shadows and Fog (1991), Mighty Aphrodite (1995), Everyone Says I Love You (1996), and The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001).
Stiers came out as gay in 2009, admitting he’d waited because his income came from mostly family-friendly fare. The same year, he began stage acting again.
Stiers most recently appeared in The Regular Show from 2011 to 2016.
His MAS*H co-star Lorena Swit said in a statement, “He was an extraordinary person, a gifted actor, phenomenal musician, and my sweet, dear shy friend … Working with him was an adventure. He was exceptional. I’m hurting. We all are.”
Rapper Craig Mack died March 12, 2018 at 46 years old, reported the New York Daily News. Mack was one of the first artists signed to Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Records and was nominated for a Grammy for his signature track, 1994’s “Flava in Ya Ear.” Mack reportedly suffered from heart failure.
Fellow Bad Boy artist DJ Scratch claimed on Instagram that he was “the only famous person” at Mack’s memorial, but that may not have been deliberate.
He wrote, “When I left Craig’s memorial service I called @Diddy to thank him for giving Craig the platform for the world to know Craig Mack’s music. I told him I just left the service, he said, ‘They buried Craig already, what service are you talking about?!?’ He didn’t know about the memorial service. @diddy offered to pay for Craig Mack’s funeral, but the religious community Craig was in declined. None of his friends or colleagues were allowed to attend his funeral. Diddy respected their wishes. Craig was immediately buried on the property where he lived. Yesterday’s service was a memorial for Craig’s friends in NY & for fans to attend thrown by Craig’s childhood friend Alvin Toney.”
Legendary stage actor Sammy Williams passed away March 17, 2018 at 69 years old. A family spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that Williams had been battling cancer.
Williams won a Tony Award for best featured actor in a musical in 1976 in the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line, in which he played Paul San Marco, a Puerto Rican performer coming to terms with his homosexuality. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the role of San Marco was partially based on Williams’ own real-life experiences as a gay man, combined with elements from the life of author Nicholas Dante. He won an Obie Award for the role in 1975, per Broadway.com.
Apart from A Chorus Line, which was, incredibly, Williams’ first speaking role on a stage, he also had small parts in Applause and The Happy Time. He later became a choreographer and director in Los Angeles, most recently appearing in the Ahmanson’s Theatre production of Follies in 2012.
DuShon Monique Brown
Chicago Fire star DuShon Monique Brown died March 23, 2018 at just 49 years old. The Chicago Tribune reported that her cause of death was not disclosed but was rumored to be from a heart attack.
Brown starred as Connie, the no-nonsense assistant to Chief Boden, on the series. Prior to her work on the NBC hit, Brown had a recurring role as Nurse Katie Welch on Prison Break and guest roles in Shameless and Empire. Before breaking out in showbiz, Brown was a school counselor and had a background in social work.
“The Chicago Fire family is devastated to lose one of its own,” executive producer Dick Wolf said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with DuShon’s family and we will all miss her.”
Brown’s co-star, Yuri Sardarov, who plays Otis on the series, launched a GoFundMe account after her passing. “We are shocked, and will miss her immensely. She is survived by her daughter, and fiancé,” the page reads. “Despite her visibility and involvement in a television show, DuShon was not a salaried actor. She had a full time job as a Chicago Public Schools counselor. Please join us in offering DuShon and family support during this very difficult time. Your generosity will help fund the cost of funeral arrangements and other financial burdens that her family must shoulder.”
K-Pop star Seo Minwoo of boyband 100 Percent died March 25, 2018 at only 33 years old, according to The Guardian. The singer was reportedly found unresponsive in his home and pronounced dead by first responders. He suspected cause of death is cardiac arrest.
Minwoo was the lead singer of the group, which originated in 2012. He took a sabbatical from performing in 2014 to perform his government-required military service but returned to the group upon completing his obligations. Minwoo also dabbled in stage acting in productions including The King And I, as well as movie and television roles.
Minwoo’s 100 Percent bandmate, Woo Changbum, paid tribute to Minwoo in an Instagram post after his passing. “May the souls of the deceased refrain,” Changbum wrote (translated from Korean). “I hope you are comfortable in the sky. I want you to be a bright star and shine this world.”
- Lee Ermey
- Lee Ermey, famous for his Golden Globe-nominated portrayal of drill gunnery sergeant “Gunny” Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket died April 15, 2018, at the age of 74.
Ermey’s manager said in a statement on Twitter that the actor passed away from complications from pneumonia.
According to his biography, Ermey was a Vietnam War veteran, having spent 11 years in the Marines — two of which he spent as a drill instructor. After retiring from the military in 1971, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill and studied drama at the University of Manila in the Philippines. Francis Ford Coppola was filming 1979’s Apocalypse Now nearby at the time and cast Ermey as a helicopter pilot.
Ermey’s career went on to span nearly 40 years, with roles in films including Se7en, Dead Man Walking, the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and as the toy soldiers’ Army Sarge in the Toy Story franchise.
In 2002, Ermey became the first retiree in the history of the Marines to receive an honorary promotion to Gunnery Sergeant.
Steven Bochco, the legendary producer behind television series such as Doogie Howser, M.D.; NYPD Blue, L.A. Law, and Hill Street Blues, died April 1, 2018. He was 74 years old.
Bochco had been suffering from a relatively rare form of leukemia called blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm for years. Along with chemotherapy, he credited a stem cell transplant he received in 2014 for prolonging his life significantly, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Throughout Bochco’s career, he was nominated for 30 Emmys, winning 10 of them. He collaborated with the likes of Steven Spielberg, with whom he worked when he wrote for TV series Columbo.
“Steve was a friend and a colleague starting with the first episode of Columbo in 1971 that he wrote and I directed,” Spielberg told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. “We have supported and inspired each other ever since, and through many deep mutual friendships we have stayed connected for 47 years. I will miss Steve terribly.”
Night Court star Harry Anderson passed away in his sleep at 65 years old on April 16, 2018.
TMZ reported that Anderson’s wife, Elizabeth, found him unresponsive in their home. She told emergency personnel that Anderson had suffered from strokes, as well as a battle with the flu, in the months leading up to his death.
In addition to starring as judge Harry Stone on the NBC hit show, Anderson was also an accomplished comedian and magician, and he received numerous tributes from other stars upon their learning of his passing.
Neil Patrick Harris, who practices magic in addition to his work as an actor, revealed on Twitter that Anderson had recently sold him some magic memorabilia, while David Copperfield posted a tribute that included a photo with the three-card Monte that Anderson once used in his performances. Comedian and actor Paul Reiser reminisced on traveling to New Jersey with the former comic for $40 gigs.
Anderson’s Night Court co-star John Larroquette tweeted: “…Out in the cosmos tonight, with his fedora at a rakish angle and a ‘watch this’ wink to us, he’s coaxing whoever might be out there with him: ‘Pick a card. Any card.'”
Swedish DJ and producer Avicii died April 20, 2018 at just 28 years old. The EDM superstar, born Tim Bergling, was most famous for his hits “Levels,” “Wake Me Up,” “Hey Brother,” and “Fade Into Darkness.”
Bergling suffered from some serious medical issues in the final years of his all-too-short life, including acute pancreatitis, which he told Time magazine in 2013 was caused by excessive drinking. As a result, the DJ reportedly quit drinking entirely, but his health issues continued, and in 2014, he had his gallbladder and appendix removed.
By 2016, Avicii had retired from touring completely, citing not just his physical, but also his mental health as reasons to step back from live performances. He told The Hollywood Reporter, “It was something I had to do for my health. The scene was not for me. It was not the shows and not the music. It was always the other stuff surrounding it that never came naturally to me … I’m more of an introverted person in general. It was always very hard for me. I took on board too much negative energy.”
TMZ reported that the DJ was found dead in Muscat, Oman, where he’d been staying at a luxury resort. To date, the circumstances surrounding his passing remain unclear.
Verne Troyer passed away April 21, 2018. He was just 49 years old. To date, his exact cause of death is unknown, but it’s suspected that his death may be connected to an alleged suicide attempt from earlier that month.
“It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today,” stated an announcement on the actor’s Facebook page. “Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to any extent possible. Verne hoped he made a positive change with the platform he had and worked towards spreading that message everyday.”
Troyer, who stood at 2 feet, 9 inches, was born with achondroplasia dwarfism — a condition in which cartilage won’t properly convert to bones, most often in the long bones in arms and legs, resulting in small limbs.
Troyer was best known for his role as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers franchise, though he has more than 50 acting credits from the silver and small screen. Austin Powers star Mike Myers honored Troyer with a statement to The Hollywood Reporter: “Verne was the consummate professional and a beacon of positivity for those of us who had the honor of working with him. It is a sad day, but I hope he is in a better place. He will be greatly missed.”
Margot Kidder, who starred as Lois Lane in Superman (1978) and its three sequels opposite Christopher Reeve, passed away on May 13, 2018. She was 69 years old.
TMZ reported that Kidder was found dead in her home in Livingston, Mont. following a battle with the flu after an unknown caller told 911 dispatchers that she was unconscious and not breathing. Kidder had revealed earlier in the week that she was “puking every hour and a half” and was laid up in bed, but she still planned on appearing at the Motor City Comic Con later that month.
Kidder’s death is being investigated, though foul play isn’t suspected.
Best known for her portrayal of Clark Kent’s love interest, Kidder continued acting her entire life, snagging small roles in TV shows and movies (including the Superman prequel series Smallville) and a memorable turn in The Vagina Monologues on Broadway. She maintained a close friendship with Reeve until his death (via CBS News).
Kidder struggled publicly with bipolar disorder for much of her life, leaving her briefly homeless in 1996, after which she became an advocate for mental health awareness and treatment.
She had a colorful dating history, with suitors including Steven Spielberg, former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and comedian Richard Pryor. Kidder was married three times throughout her life (once for only six days), but she had been reportedly single since the 1980s. She had one daughter, Margaret McGuane, with her first husband, author Thomas McGuane.