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Dec 31 2016
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For seemingly every year since I can remember, people have speculated that more celebrities than usuall were dying... but 2016 feels different. Perhaps compounded by social media and therefore our ability to know anything and everything that goes on, and in an instant, and certainly aided and abetted by the unfortuitous deaths of quite a few undisputed icons between last January and this December, this feels like the cruelest year on record for the unexpected demises of household names, as well as the inevitable ends of people who had lived long, full lives, and yet seemed as if they'd never die.

Tumblr_nwxi02HmtZ1s2wio8o1_500Me when 2016 ends. (GIF via Lucasfilm)

What follows is a list of some of the biggest names to check out in 2016, preceded by a fresh reminder of some of the non-icons who nonetheless made a great impact on especially LGBTQ fans and admirers, and whose passing I thought could use some highlighting.

Check Out Extra's Photo Gallery of 100+ 2016 Passings Here!

If this list interests or inspires you, please share it. If you have any names to add, please do not hesitate to let me know.

13 Notable LGBTQ & LGBTQ-Adjacent Deaths

Alexis-Arquette-in-The-Wedding-SingerArquette as a Boy George fanatic in The Wedding Singer (Image via New Line Cinema)

Alexis Arquette (July 28, 1969—September 11, 2016)

Born into the acting family sired by director/The Waltons star Lewis Arquette, Alexis forged an acting career as a male over 15 years before coming out as trans. Following playing the wide-eyed child on an amusement park ride in the music video for “She's a Beauty” by the Tubes, Arquette fearlessly played trans in both Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986) and in a memorable role in 1989's Last Exit to Brooklyn, in spite of the stigma associated with playing LGBTQ characters at the time. Already HIV-positive by then, Arquette went on to work frequently in the '90s, including in the oustanding gay films Grief (1993) and I Think I Do (1997), the latter of which cast Arquette as a romantic (male) lead. She came out as trans in 2004, underwent SRS in 2006 (which was documented in the 2007 film Alexis Arquette: She's My Brother) and became a visible trans activist. At the end of her life, Arquette seemingly went off HIV meds, leading to her death from HIV-related cardiac arrest. Via her family, there were conflicting reports as to whether she had gone back to presenting as a male in her final days.

*****

Screen Shot 2016-12-30 at 6.00.17 PMHidden pleasures (Image via Pocket Books)

The Lady Chablis (March 11, 1957—September 8, 2016)

Described by author John Berendt as “everybody's favorite” real-life character from his sensationally successful 1994 book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and the 1997 Clint Eastwood-directed film adaptation of the same name, The Lady Chablis became one of the first trans people to whom many Americans were exposed in popular culture. Her distinctive demeanor made her both funny and imposing, and what Berendt told The New York Times was her “great repartee” helped sell her memorable 1996 memoir, Hiding My Candy. A long-term HIV survivor, she died of pneumonia less than a month after her final club performance.

*****

6a00d8341c2ca253ef01b8d1fd2a76970c-800wiCunningham in 2011 (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

Bill Cunningham (March 13, 1929—June 25, 2016)

The ubiquitous man-on-the-street shooter of real-life fashion for The New York Times was a tireless chronicler of what people wore via his “On the Street” column. Noticed by the paper when he took a candid of Greta Garbo in 1978 — never realizing it was she, so focused was he on her fab nutria coat — Cunningham became a one-of-a-kind Manhattanite who haunted events as well as snapping people as they navigated NYC. In the fantastic 2010 doc Bill Cunningham New York, the photographer semi-addressed his presumed gay sexual orientation, stating, “That's probably why the family wanted to keep me out of the fashion world.” Warholian in the asexuality he projected, he also allowed in the documentary that he did have “body urges,” but that “you control them as best you can.” He worked right up until the stroke that put him out of commission and soon after killed him at age 87.

*****

Unknown_5True blue (Image via True Public Relations)

Joan Edwards (1928 or 1929—April 11, 2016)

I don't have much info on this attractive-looking lady, but she held the amazing position of being John Travolta's personal assistant from 1978 to 1994, a period when he was super hot and then cooling down and then super hot again. As such, she had unfettered access to the allegely closeted star, saying in 2012 (during his masseur sex scandal), “Of course I knew he was gay. It never bothered me.” Edwards went on the record confirming that Travolta had a long-term relationship with pilot Doug Gotterba. Oh, the stories that must've gone to the grave with her; she died after a battle with cancer at age 87.

*****

Screen Shot 2016-12-30 at 7.13.08 PMCall girl (Video still via MindAndSpirit.com)

Youree Dell Harris aka Miss Cleo (August 12, 1962—July 26, 2016)

You could hardly watch trash TV in the late '90s/early '00s without marveling at the blatant hucksterism embodied by Miss Cleo, who hawked pay-per-call psychic help. A young mother and failed playwright/actress, she took on the Miss Cleo persona to pay the bills, presenting herself as a Jamaican shaman. When her bosses were indicted, she was able to walk away, but did play the unforgettably cheesy character in a variety of other ads until being legally forced to stop. Not as widely known, Harris came out as a lesbian in 2006. I find her story interesting because it's a uniquely LGBTQ story of scrambling to stay afloat in a world where opportunity does not knock on as many doors as our culture pretends. She battled colon cancer in the final years of her life, succumbing in July.

*****

38DF457600000578-3811263-Pals_Mr_Irwin_originally_from_Southport_started_taking_photos_ag-a-26_1475051593938Seen here hanging out with Rita Ora, Irwin was also a special favorite of Lady Gaga & 1D. (Image via Rita Ora)

Matt Irwin (February 10, 1980—May 5, 2016)

The effervescent celeb photographer shot everyone from Nicki Minaj to One Direction. Cute, talented, in-demand, he seemingly had it all, but after breaking up with his boyfriend in May, he took a lethal dose of the party drug GHB, ending his life. In his suicide note, Irwin wrote that he felt he was letting people down, which only serves to underscore the illogical scourge of depression that haunts the LGBTQ community more so than others. Everyone liked the guy, but he didn't like himself, an irony we should remember and honor and try to figure out to spare us the loss of more innovators and artists and just plain good people.

*****

6a00d8341c2ca253ef01b7c889a35f970b-800wiMe and Lou. No, those fingers did not smell funny. (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

Lou Pearlman (June 19, 1954—August 19, 2016)

Like Bill Cunningham, Lou Pearlman was cagey about his sexuality. Like Miss Cleo, it didn't take a psychic to figure out he was not sincere. In my lengthy obit for the confoundingly affable, apparently amoral  boy-band impresario, I wrote back in August, “Instead of outright accusations of indecency, there was just always this innuendo that while God must've spent a little more time on the girls *NSYNC was singing about, Lou probably spent a little too much time on at least one male member of each of his groups.” Tough stuff for a dude who'd just died in prison, but it was a remembrance, not a tribute, and while Pearlman was almost certainly gay, he was beyond the shadow of a doubt a terrible role model. Not only did he likely sexually entice a number of the young, sometimes too young, boys under contract to him (no charges were ever filed, very few specific, on-the-record accusations were ever made), he also robbed a ton of people blind, depleting their life savings. Lou's short life was more cautionary tale than story of a gay icon, but cautionary tales deserve to be told as well.

*****

Jon Polito (December 29, 1950—September 1, 2016)

This prolific character actor and voice artist worked on the stage, in film and on TV for over 30 years, becoming most familiar for his roles on Homicide: Life on the Street, Crime Story, Seinfeld, five Coen brothers movies and as the crotchety closet-king rival of Jay Pritchett (Ed O'Neill) on Modern Family. In real life, Polito — who died of multiple myeloma — was anything but a closet-king: He married his longtime boyfriend, fellow performer Darryl Armbruster, in 2015.

*****

15726884_1886336131652702_4349621263650180283_nMany of many faces (Image via Facebook @ Empress Musings)

David Frank Ray (?—December 28, 2016)

This longtime stylist and beauty expert, who had worked on the faces of everyone from Jaclyn Smith to the supermodels of the '70s and '80s, died unexpectedly last week after living with HIV for decades. Ray was unapologetically, outspokenly gay, and embraced flamboyance (his signature color was pink) and humor in a way that lit up the lives of all he encountered. At the time of his death, he was the EIC of an online magazine for women over 50, Irresistible Beauty, which also describes his own lasting impression. We corresponded on Facebook but, sadly, we never met in spite of living in the same town.

*****

Apla-about-banner-1Redman is pictured on the far right. (Image via APLA)

Matt Redman (1950—December 27, 2016)

This co-founder of the highly influential, life-saving org AIDS Project Los Angeles back in 1992 was an accomplished interior designer whose compromised T-cell count led to his death at 66 when an upper respiratory infection spread to his heart. “My friends and I were in New York in 1981, hearing stories among friends coming down with this mysterious disease. We realized that back home in L.A. there was no hotline, no medical care, and no one to turn to for emotional support,” Redman told The Advocate in 2001 about his journey as both an HIV/AIDS advocate and a survivor. Jim Vellequette, who served on APLA's Board of Directors, told ThePrideLA.com of Redman, “Let us not mourn a fake memory of Matt. Matt was a straight-up force of unbridled determination with a ‘my life and the lives of my friends are at risk son-of-a-bitch' [attitude] if you had to go up against him. Thankfully, he was our SOB and it is Matt Redman and the kindred rabble-rousing spirits from the generation just before mine that made it possible for so many of us to still be here and bid him a very respectful, well-earned, thank you. His fire will not soon fade from my memory.”

*****

Jamessheldon01-e1458573878583This handsome devil's pool parties in the '60s up the road from Rock Hudson's place must've been something. (Image via James Sheldon)

James Sheldon (November 12, 1920—March 12, 2016)

Jim was a friend of mine, one I only had the pleasure of knowing from October 12, 2015 until his death on March 12 of the following year. In those five months, he became a close buddy, and knowing him such a short time truly made me realize how much I'd missed by not bumping into him sooner. We met at a screening of Tab Hunter Confidential — how much gayer can you get? Jim beckoned me to sit by him in the front row and squeezed my knee. He was 94 and had no shame in his game, but was the least sleazy player you could ever meet. When he talked about sex or attempted to get you to have it with him, he did it with kid-like zeal. He still had so much curiosity and passion, and in spite of what was an impressive dance card that dated back to the '30s, he was as boy-crazy as I am. I found his sexuality inspiring because he had been basically bisexual for much of his life (he had been married and had kids), divorced and came out to his family in the '60s and never made any bones about being with whomever he liked. He talked with me about sex after 70, 80, and 90, something gay men almost never discuss. His stories about directing over 1,000 episodes of TV (Twilight Zone among them) — and being the only person to direct James Dean twice (“No, I never slept with him.”) — were absolutely fascinating, stacked with technical details, the office politics of Hollywood and plenty of cheerfully salacious asides (“Troy Donahue may have been homophobic, but he sure didn't mind having his dick sucked.”). Jim was a consummate professional in his craft and remained 100% engaged in the arts right up until cancer crept up on him and killed him weeks after it was detected. I never knew him not to have an appointment on any given day, and that included going to see movies at the DGA screening room, the latest Broadway plays (he had apprentice-directed Bus Stop and had been to the opening nights of most of the classics of American theater) and yet he was the most down-to-earth person I've ever met and quite a fan himself of the Golden Age greats as well as new talent. I'll miss him, and I hope to be as much like him as I can be at this late date.

*****

Janet_Reno-us-PortraitI was with her. (Image via U.S. government)

Janet Reno (July 21, 1938—November 7, 2016)

Just two days before her boss's wife would unexpectedly lose the presidential election — and miss out on becoming the first woman president — trailblazer Janet Reno died of Parkinson's disease. She had never come out publicly as a lesbian, but the never-married Reno was not exactly trying to pass as straight; her butch appearance made her fodder for countless comics during her tenure as the first female Attorney General of the United States, as if her mannishness were the lede, as opposed to her glass-ceiling-breaking position. Serving under Bill Clinton from 1993 until 2001, she weathered some excruciating controversies, including the siege at Waco, the capture of the Unabomber and the return of Elián González to Cuba. Her dignity and work ethic were admirable — why shouldn't we claim her as one of our own, even if she decided against declaring herself while alive? Liberace never came out either.

*****

Screen Shot 2016-12-30 at 5.48.30 PMWill X. Walters decent and allegedly indecent  (Images via Facebook)

Will X. Walters (1981—December 13, 2016)

This San Diego man was arrested and charged with public nudity — the only person ever arrested for that reason in his city's history — for wearing a loincloth over underwear at a Gay Pride celebration. He spent years fighting the obviously ridiculous arrest, racking up $1M in legal fees, only to lose his case. He was found dead December 28, an apparent suicide. He was last seen on December 13, when he learned he had lost his case.

*****

Noteworthy Names Who Died in 2016

Norman Abbott, prolific TV director, creator of Sugar Babies & nephew of Bud Abbott

Colonel Abrams, house music singer

Ken Adam, Oscar-winning James Bond production designer

Richard Adams, author of Watership Down

Kathryn Adams, last surviving cast member of 1939's The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Caroline Aherne, British TV writer/actress

Joe Alaskey, took over voicing Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck from Mel Blanc

Screen Shot 2016-12-31 at 7.57.44 PM(Image via HarringtonBooks.co.uk)

Edward Albee, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? playwright

Giorgio Albertazzi, acclaimed Italian actor

Jean Alexander, Coronation Street actress

Muhammad Ali, “The Greatest” boxing icon

1101780227_400(Image via Time)

Kathryn Reed Altman, widow of Robert Altman

Sylvia Anderson, Thunderbirds co-creator

René Angélil, producer/husband of Céline Dion

Eddie Applegate, The Patty Duke Show actor

Alice Arlen, Silkwood screen writer

Frank Armitage, Disney illustrator

Large_vlwtOgkFxxQVv98ytD2yjZlpSbx(Image via FilmDallas)

Héctor Babenco, Kiss of the Spider Woman director

Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting author

Jimmy Bain, Scottish rocker

Open-uri20150608-27674-1fwzu9h_bec2141d(Image via Lucasfilm)

Kenny Baker, R2-D2 in the first six Star Wars films

Robert Balser, Yellow Submarine animation artist

Gato Barbieri, jazz saxophonist

Lita Baron, actress & nightclub performer, I Love Lucy guest star

MORE AFTER THE JUMP ...

9780747277743-uk(Image via Trafalgar Square)

George Barris, shooter of those last, beachy images of Marilyn Monroe

Patricia Barry, ubiquitous '50s & '60s actress, soap star

Erik Bauersfeld, “Admiral Ackbar” voice in Star Wars films

Terence Bayler, Monty Python's Life of Brian & Harry Potter actor

Robin-hood-disneyscreencaps.com-413(Image via Walt Disney)

Brian Bedford, theater actor, titular voice of Disney's Robin Hood

Robert Beecher, Dick Tracy actor

Dave Bell, reality TV pioneer

Barbara Allyne Bennet, character actress

AR-AF108_BENSON_P_20140213115511(Image via Irving Benson)

Irving Benson, 101-year-old vaudeville vet & heckler of Milton Berle

David Berry, The Whales of August playwright/screenwriter

John Berry, original Beastie Boys member

Betsy Bloomingdale, L.A. style icon & socialite

Lennie Bluett, Gone with the Wind extra

Maggie Blye, The Italian Job actress

Shannon Bolin, original “Meg” in Damn Yankees

Joey Boots, Howard Stern personality

Giphy-1(GIF via Giphy.com)

David Bowie, persona-shifting glam-rock icon

Richard Bradford, The Untouchables actor

John Bradshaw, self-help guru

Herb Braha, Godspell actor

ER Brathwaite, To Sir, with Love author

Bobby Breen, boy soprano of the '30s

Charles Briles, The Big Valley actor

Lawman_peter_brown(Image via ABC)

Peter Brown, Lawman & Foxy Brown actor

Pete Burns, Dead or Alive singer

1352100890836731_animate(GIF via Epic)

Tony Burton, Rocky actor

Don Calfa, The Return of the Living Dead actor

Virginia Campbell, Cecil B. DeMille player

Harriet Carell, Steve Carell's mother

Keion Carpenter, former NFL player

Charmian Carr, “Liesl” from The Sound of Music

Joan Carroll, child actress of the '40s

John Carson, prolific British actor of Sri Lankan descent

Fidel Castro, Cuban despot

Tonita Castro, Life in Pieces actress

Billy Chapin, child actor of the '50s

William_christopher(Image via CBS)

William Christopher, M*A*S*H actor

B3bd2a44d30da59fe3f98e9d0b12180a_crop_north(Image via WWE.com)

Chyna, wrestler

Michael Cimino, writer-director of The Deer Hunter, Heaven's Gate

Guy Clark, musician

Otis Clay, R&B singer

Anjwaltz1fx(GIF via YouTube @ LeonardCohenVEVO)

Leonard Cohen, legendary “Hallelujah” singer-songwriterPat Conroy, The Prince of Tides author

Ronnie Corbett, British TV personality

Noreen Corcoran, Bachelor Father actress

Adrienne Corri, actress gang-raped in A Clockwork Orange

Stream_img(Video still of memorial via ITV.com)

Prince Filippo Corsini, member of Italian nobility

Scott Cosgrove, stuntman

Holding(Image via Vogue)

André Courrèges, fashion designer

Paul Cox, Australian filmmaker

Wayne Crawford, actor, Valley Girl screenwriter & producer

C. Martin Croker, Aqua Teen Hunger Force voice talent, animator

298fdaf4f21e6de770f9e0e89c549573(Image via Trinity Broadcasting)

Jan Crouch, Trinity Broadcasting televangelist

Ron Cummins, character actor

Kevin Curran, writer & producer on The Simpsons

Paul Daniels, British TV magician

Dick Darley, director of the original The Mickey Mouse Club

Richard Davalos, East of Eden actor

Deddie Davies, Pride actress

Howard Davies, theater director

Jackdavis02(Images by Jack Davis for Time & Mad)

Jack Davis, Mad magazine & political illustrator

Phife Dawg, A Tribe Called Quest member

Jean Dawnay, '50s supermodel, later Princess George Galitzine

Frank De Filitta, author of Audrey Rose

1bc3a7500cbce6c7d33bf05294a7e473(Image via MGM)

Gloria DeHaven, '40s musical star

Douglas Dick, Rope actor

Steve Dillon, comic book artist

James Douglas, Peyton Place actor

Nancy Dow, actress & Jennifer Aniston's mother

Jerry Doyle, Babylon 5 actor

Larry Drake, L.A. Law actor

Alice Drummond, character actress

ADbYt-1476456236-1184-blog-Header(Image via MeTV)

Gary Dubin, '70s child actor

Patty(GIF via 20th Century Fox)

Patty Duke, The Miracle WorkerThe Patty Duke Show & Valley of the Dolls star, mental health advocate

Johnny Duncan, “Robin” in '40s Batman serials

Lois Duncan, I Know What You Did Last Summer author

Holly Dunn, country singer

Herman Echevarria Sr., The Real Housewives of Miami personality

Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose author

Ronnie Claire Edwards, The Waltons actress

Bob Elliott, Bob and Ray comic

Keith Emerson, founding member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Jon English, British-Australian singer

Joe Esposito, Elvis Presley confidant & publisher

Valerie Fairman, 16 and Pregnant personality

Harry Falk, TV director & ex-husband of Patty Duke

Ronald Falk, voice artist from Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones

Thaddeus Wilk Farrow, son of Mia and brother of Ronan Farrow

Joey Feek, Evangelical country singer

Abel Fernandez, The Untouchables actor

Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins pitcher

Fyvush Finkel, Picket Fences actor

Frank Finlay, Othello actor

Giphy-2(GIF via Lucasfilm)

Carrie Fisher, Star Wars icon, comic writer/memoirist, mental health advocate, daughter of Debbie Reynolds & Eddie Fisher

Joe Fleishaker, Troma movie actor

Dario Fo, Nobel Prize-winning writer

James R. Fonseca, guitarist

Rob Ford, combative, crack-smoking Toronto mayor

Tommy-ford(Image via Warner Bros.)

Tommy Ford, Martin actor

Margaret Forster, Georgy Girl author

Pete Fountain, jazz clarinetist

Bernard_fox(Image via CBS)

Bernard Fox, “Dr. Bombay” on Bewitched

Janet Frager, mother of Tom Hanks

Don Francks, actor & musician

Tumblr_mp349tulUl1qcgbbpo8_1280(Video still via WGRamsey.com)

Glenn Frey, The Eagles guitarist, solo star

Greta Zimmer Friedman, female subject of Alfred Eisenstadt's V-J Day kiss photo

Makiko Futaki, Japanese animator

Rad Fulton aka James Westmoreland, '50s & '60s western actor

Queen-of-outer-space-12(Image via Allied Artists Pictures)

Zsa Zsa Gabor, TV & movie actress, larger-than-life personality

Giphy-3(GIF via Giphy.com)

Juan Gabriel, Mexican superstar singer

James Galanos, designer

Michael Galeota, The Jersey actor

Rita Gam, '50s glamourpuss

Joe Garagiola, baseball player & sportscaster

Trinity Gay, teenage daughter of Olympian Tyson Gay

Lisa Gaye, Rock Around the Clock actress & sister of Debra Paget

George-gaynes-punky-brewster-tease-today-160217_fe3b8fc8b34bc4d31661488fe09090f0(Image via NBC)

George Gaynes, Punky Brewster actor

Daniel Gerson, Monsters, Inc. screenwriter

David Gest, producer/promoter & ex-husband of Liza Minnelli

Barbara Gibb, mother of The Bee Gees & Andy Gibb

Sandra Giles, '50s blond bombshell

David Gilkey, NPR journalist

A.A. Gill, British writer & critic

Gary Glasberg, NCIS showrunner

Images(Image via ABC)

Ron Glass, Barney Miller actor

Seamon Glass, character actor

Michael Gleason, writer & producer, co-creator of Remington Steele

John Glenn, NASA hero & former Democratic senator

Gogi Grant, '50s singer

Jerry Greer, country singer Craig Morgan's son

Julie Gregg, The Godfather actress

Tammy Grimes, Tony-winning actress

Christina Grimmie, The Voice pop singer

Reg Grundy, creator of iconic Australian show Neighbours

Screen Shot 2016-12-31 at 9.21.43 PM(Images via CBS)

Ann Morgan Guilbert, The Dick Van Dyke Show & The Nanny actress

Gene Gutowski, Roman Polanski producer

Rs-237134-R1260_cover(Image via Rolling Stone)

Merle Haggard, country music legend

RawImage(Image via NBC)

Dan Haggerty, The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams star

Gita Hall, Swedish bombshell

Guy Hamilton, James Bond director

Earl Hammer Jr., creator of The Waltons

Curtis Hanson, L.A. Confidential director

Robin Hardy, The Wicker Man director

160107121906-pat-harrington(Image via CBS)

Pat Harrington Jr., One Day at a Time actor

Ricky Harris, comedian, Everybody Hates Chris

Jim Harrison, Legends of the Fall author

Cecilia Hart, actress & wife of James Earl Jones

Tom Hayden, anti-war activist & Jane Fonda's ex

Bridget Hedison, wife of David Hedison & mother-in-law of Jodie Foster

Henry Heimlich, inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver

7809(Image via PolyGram)

Bill Henderson, Clue actor & jazz singer

Tenor(GIF via CBS)

Florence Henderson, stage actress, singer & mom on The Brady Bunch

Drewe Henley, British movie & stage actor

Michael Herr, Full Metal Jacket screenwriter

Gil Hill, Beverly Hills Cop actor

Steven-hill-law-and-order-dead(Image via NBC)

Steven Hill, Mission: Impossible & Law & Order actor

Arthur Hiller, Love Story director

Gwen Hiller, Arthur Hiller's wife

Bob Hoover, pilot

Robert Horton, Wagon Train actor

James Hostetter, Murphy Brown actor

James Houghton, NYC theater champion, Signature Theatre founder

White-shadow-800(Image via CBS)

Ken Howard, The White Shadow actor & SAG-AFTRA president

Gordie Howe, hockey legend

David Huddleston, The Big Lebowski & Blazing Saddles actor

Gordon Hunt, acting coach & father of Helen Hunt

Gwen Ifill, veteran PBS journalist

George S. Irving, Tony winner & voice of the “Heat Miser”

Anne Jackson, acclaimed stage & screen actress, wife of Eli Wallach

Sonny James, country singer

Jayaram Jayalalithaa, actress & Indian politician

Fran Jeffries, The Pink Panther actress

Barry Jenner, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actor

Sharon Jones, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings singer

Rocky Kalish, '60s & '70s sitcom scribe

Paul Kantner, founding member of Jefferson Airplane

Marvin Kaplan, Alice actor

Buck Kartalian, Planet of the Apes actor

Dan Kay, Survivor contestant

Frank Kelly, Irish actor

Tommy Kelly, '30s child actor with a bit part in Gone with the Wind

Kennedy-dragline-looks-jail(Image via Warner Bros.)

George Kennedy, Oscar-winning Cool Hand Luke actor

Mohamed Khan, Egyptian filmmaker

Abbas Kiarostami, Iranian filmmaker

W.P. Kinsella, author of Shoeless Joe (on which Field of Dreams was based)

George Kosana Night of the Living Dead actor and investor

Jonathan D. Krane, Look Who's Talking producer & husband of Sally Kellerman

Burt-kwouk(Image via MGM)

Burt Kwouk, The Pink Panther actor

Julius La Rosa, '50s singer fired on live TV by Arthur Godfrey

Tim LaHaye, Left Behind co-writer

Greg Lake, Emerson, Lake & Palmer member

Dick Latessa, Tony winner for Hairspray

Casablanca(Image via Warner Bros.)

Madeleine Lebeau, last surviving member of Casablanca cast

E661773ebe445873eecb1d968965faf4(Image via Lippincott)

Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird author

Ron Lester, Varsity Blues actor

Daisy LewellynBlood, Sweat & Heels personality

Herschell Gordon Lewis, the “Godfather of Gore” movies

Sagan Lewis, St. Elsewhere actress

Richard Libertini, character actor

China Machado, model

Lonnie Mack, singer

Larkin Malloy, soap opera actor

Stanley Mann, screenwriter

John B. Mansbridge, art director

David Margulies, Ghostbusters & The Sopranos actor

Micki Marlo, '50s nightclub singer

Bill Marshall, Toronto International Film Festival founder, Outrageous! producer

Don Marshall, Land of the Giants actor

Garry-Marshall(Image via Paramount)

Garry Marshall, TV vet, creator of Happy Days, director of Pretty Woman & The Princess Bride

Tony Martell, T.J. Martell Foundation founder

George Martin, producer of the Beatles

Jeanne Martin, model & ex of Dean Martin, mother of Ricci Martin

Ricci Martin, singer & son of Dean Martin

Leslie H. Martinson, '60s TV director

Joseph Mascolo, Days of Our Lives villain

Michael Massee, The Crow actor

Lisa Lynn Masters, TV actress

Vanbity6-thegamutt(GIF via BBC)

Denise Matthews aka Vanity, Vanity 6 singer & Prince protégée

Nicole Maurey, The Day of the Triffids actress

Maylia, '40s actress

Henry McCullough, Wings guitarist

Kim McGuire, “Hatchet-Face” from Cry-Baby

Joe McKnight, NFL player

John McLaughlin, The McLaughlin Group host

John McMartin, Broadway & film actor

Michelle McNamara, true crime writer & wife of Patton Oswalt

Kevin Meaney, stand-up comic

Gary Menteer, Music Man actor & Family Matters creative

Nick Menza, Megadeth drummer

Screen Shot 2016-12-31 at 9.54.22 PM(Image via Sony)

George Michael, pop icon & former Wham! singer

Micole Mercurio, While You Were Sleeping actress

Mihaly Meszaros aka Michu, actor who played “ALF”

Kathlee Miller, Hal Ashby player

Kristine Miller, '40s starlet

Mike Minor, Petticoat Junction actor

Dave Mirra, BMX rider

Edgar Mitchell, astronaut

Scotty Moore, early rock-and-roll guitarist

Michèle Morgan, French acting legend

Johnny Murphy, The Commitments actor

E.M. Nathanson, The Dirty Dozen author

Emilio Navaira, Tejano singer

James M. Nederlander, Broadway producing legend

William Needles, oldest working stage actor in Canada

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Noel Neill, Adventures of Superman actress

Jan Nemec, Czech director

Stuart Nisbet, prolific character actor

Agnes Nixon, creator or co-creator of All My Children, One Life to Live & As the World Turns

Marni Nixon, dubbed the singing voices of Natalie Wood, Audrey Hepburn, Deborah Kerr & more

James Noble, Benson actor

Burt Nodella, Get Smart producer

Nicolas Noxon, Secrets of the Titanic documentarian

Bill Nunn, Do the Right Thing actor

Hugh-obrian-dead(Image via ABC)

Hugh O'Brian, philanthropist & The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp actor

Kevin O'Morrison, Orson Welles player & Sleepless in Seattle actor

George Ortiz, makeup artist

Arnold Palmer, golf legend

Papa Wemba, King of Rumba Rock

Rick Parfitt, Status Quo guitarist

Angela Paton, Groundhog Day actress

Janet Patterson, Oscar-nominated costume designer

Billy Paul, singer

Julie Payne, Emmy-winning producer

Shimon Peres, former president of Israel

Robert Mason Pollock, Dynasty & The Colbys screenwriter

Kathryn Trosper Popper, last surviving Citizen Kane cast member

Screen Shot 2016-12-31 at 10.02.21 PM(Image via Warner Bros.)

Prince, pop/R&B icon

Willis Pyle, famed Disney animator

Jean Rabier, French cinematographer

Angela Raiola aka Big Ang, reality TV star

Dan Ranvaud, producer & academic

Happy-birthday-Nancy-Reagan_1_1(Image via NBC)

Nancy Reagan, actress & former first lady

Lee Reherman, American Gladiators personality

Konrad Reuland, NFL tight end

Tumblr_mq7imtOKEm1rv63c0o1_500(GIF via MGM)

Debbie Reynolds, Singin' in the Rain star, mother of Carrie Fisher, Hollywood memorabilia collector

Bill Richmond, Jerry Lewis's screenwriting partner

_87709909_def96c22-fc39-4569-936a-68e63a5ed444(Image via Warner Bros.)

Alan Rickman, accomplished stage & screen actor, Harry Potter regular

Dylan Rieder, pro skateboarder & model

Jack Riley, The Bob Newhart Show actor

Jacques Rivette, French filmmaker

Brian Rix, comic actor

Rs_512x288-160418163103-Doris_Roberts_bra(GIF via TVLand)

Doris Roberts, longtime character actress & Everybody Loves Raymond star

Matt Roberts, 3 Doors Down guitarist

Denise Robertson, British broadcaster

Teddy Rooney, '50s child actor, son of Mickey Rooney & Martha Vickers

Freda Rosen, '50s actress noted for a classic episode of The Honeymooners

Vera Rubin, astronomer

Leon Russell, rock-and-roller

Sonia Rykiel, designer

Andrew Sachs, Fawlty Towers actor

Morley Safer, longtime 60 Minutes correspondent

Craig Sager, veteran sports broadcaster

Beau St. Clair, Pierce Brosnan's producing partner

Theresa Saldana, Raging Bull actress & stalking victim

Josh Samman, UFC fighter

Joe Santos, The Rockford Files actor

John Saunders, ESPN commentator

Antonin Scalia, right-wing SCOTUS justice

Schallert-182037(Image via CBS)

William Schallert, The Patty Duke Show actor & prolific TV guest star

Phyllis Schlafly, arch-conservative, anti-feminist activist

Earl Schuman, memorable on a classic Seinfeld episode

Ettore Scola, Italian director

Angus Scrimm, Phantasm actor

Peter Shaffer, Amadeus & Equus playwright

Afeni Shakur, activist, mother of Tupac

Tumblr_m47kefNbSo1qkb2u3o1_400(GIF via Showtime)

Garry Shandling, The Larry Sanders Show star & comedy legend

Shawty Lo, rapper

Hazel Shermet, voice of  “Henrietta Hippo”

Madeleine Sherwood, Tennessee Williams player

Fletcher Sloan Sillix, set designer

Sheila Sim, actress & widwo of Richard Attenborough

Jim Simpson, sportscaster

Frank Sinatra Jr., singer & son of Ol' Blue Eyes

Douglas Slocombe, Raiders of the Lost Ark & The Great Gatsby cinematographer

Jeffrey Slonim, red-carpet entertainment reporter

Brett Smiley, glam-rocker

Liz Smith, British actress

Willard Smith Sr., Will Smith's father

David Smyrl, Sesame Street actor

Franca Sozani, Vogue Italia EIC

Bud Spencer, spaghetti western actor

James Stacy, Lancer actor

Ralph Stanley, bluegrass musician

Len Steckler, Free to Be ... You and Me & Joe Namath pantyhose ad director

Larry Steinbachek, Bronski Beat keyboardist

Robert Stigwood, Grease producer

Cindy Stowell, terminal cancer patient who won big on Jeopardy

Craig Strickland, singer

Pat Summitt, NCAA coach

Peter Sumner, original Star Wars actor

Paul Sylbert, Oscar-winning production designer

Cynthia Szigeti, improv teacher & actress

Gordie Tapp, Hee Haw actor

Barbara Tarbuck, General Hospital actress

Rod Temperton, songwriter behind “Rock with You” & “Thriller”

Ruth Terry, western actress of the '40s

Alan-thicke-joanna-kerns(Image via ABC)

Alan Thicke, Growing Pains dad & father of Robin Thicke

Toots Thielemans, jazz harmonica player

Grant Tinker, TV executive & ex of Mary Tyler Moore

Edith Tolkin, pioneering female studio exec

Adrianne Tolsch, female stand-up comic

Terry Tomalin, journalist, Susan Sarandon's brother

Bruce Toms, reality TV producer

Lupita-tovar-bite(GIF via Universal)

Lupita Tovar, silent actress, Spanish-language Dracula star, mother of Susan Kohner, grandmother of the Weitz brothers

Richard Trentlage, Oscar Mayer wiener jingle writer

Barbara Turner, Georgia screenwriter & mother of Jennifer Jason Leigh

Ret Turner, wardrobe & costume designer who dressed Cher in her Bob Mackie Oscars outfit

Peter Vaughan, veteran actor & Game of Thrones star

Unknown(Image via NBC)

Robert Vaughn, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. actor

Bobby Vee, singer

Alan Vega, musician

James Victor, John Cassavetes protégé & Zorro actor

Gty_abe_vigoda_barney_miller_jc_160126_16x9_992(Image via ABC)

Abe Vigoda, The Godfather & Barney Miller actor, frequent subject of premature death rumors

Janet Waldo, prolific voice talent, voice of “Judy Jetson”

Andrzej Wajda, Oscar-winning director

Darrell Ward, Ice Roads Truckers personality

Tony Warren, creator of Coronation Street

Fritz Weaver, Tony-winning stage actor

Miriam Weinstein, studio heads Bob & Harvey's mom

Kit West, effects artist who won the Oscar for that Raiders of the Lost Ark runaway boulder

Maurice White, Earth, Wind & Fire member

Michael White, The Rocky Horrow Picture Show producer

Margaret Whitton, Major League actress

Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, author of Night, Nobel Laureate

Lyne Wilde, of the '40s singing duo the Wilde Twins

2016-08-29-9c-meme.87149(Image via Paramount Pictures)

Gene Wilder, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Young Frankenstein star

Douglas Wilmer, “Sherlock Holmes” actor

Allan Williams, first manager of the Beatles

051f9e65df53d9d1cb22697f5fad06d8(Image via ABC)

Van Williams, Surfside 6Green Hornet star

Nicholas Wiltgen, Weather Channel meteorologist

 

Terry Wogan, British TV host

Tyrus Wong, artist whose work inspired Bambi

Victoria Wood, British comic

899016a08b8e40ab41ff937e1e2ee4f327ee5e1b(Image via CBS)

Keo Woolford, Hawaii Five-O actor

Bernie Worrell, Parliament-Funkadelic keyboardist

Martha Wright, Broadway musical stand-in

Brock Yates, '80s screenwriter

Chekov(Image via Paramount)

Anton Yelchin, Star Trek films actor

Mister_ed_alan_young_still(Image via CBS)

Alan Young, Mister Ed actor

John Zacherle, horror-movie TV host & Chiller Theatre mascot

Vladimir Zeldin, world's oldest working theater actor

Vilmos Zsigmond, Close Encounters of the Third Kind cinematographer

Andrzej Zulawski, Polish director

   

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