Celebrity Deaths in 2016: Gene Wilder, Darrell Ward, and More
Gene Wilder, Willy Wonka
Credit: Paramount Pictures    

Celebrity

Celebrity Deaths in 2016: Gene Wilder, Darrell Ward, and More

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A slew of celebrity deaths has made 2016 a heartbreaking year so far. Here are the stars from Hollywood (and elsewhere) who have already passed away this year.

August 29

Gene Wilder, a comedic actor best known for his roles in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate FactoryThe Producers, and Young Frankensteindied at the age of 83.

Nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman said the two-time Oscar nominee died at home in Stamford, Connecticut, of complications from Alzheimer's disease, according to Variety.

August 28

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Credit: History Channel    

Darrell Ward, who starred in Ice Road Truckers, died in a plane crash on Sunday, August 28.

The reality star was leaving a truck show in Dallas and heading to Missoula, Montana when the single engine plane crashed.

In a heartbreaking and ironic twist of fate, the 52-year-old was on his way to film a pilot about the recovery of plane wrecks.

"While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief. His manager and best friend M. Bob Stanton and long time friend Chuck Campbell are expected to make a lengthier statement shortly,” his family shared in a statement.

August 21

swipey
Credit: Instagram    

Swipey – an 18-year-old rapper — was shot dead at a party in Suitland, Maryland early on August 21. The star was in a fight involving a girl and things quickly escalated. 

His manager Kevin Baldwin tweeted, "May Allah have mercy on him. This stupid mentality has to stop!! #missingyoualready #notbywordsbyaction #word2dawise."

The rapper, who is best known for his hit "Best Friend," dropped his new album in July. 

August 20

T.J. Martell Foundation 35th Annual Awards Gala
Credit: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images    

Former 3 Doors Down guitarist Matt Roberts died of an apparent prescription drug overdose at the age of 38, his father Darrell reportedly told TMZ.

Roberts was the band's lead guitarist from its formation in 1996 until he left the group in 2012 due to health concerns. It's unknown if these health issues played any role in his death.

August 19

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Credit: Evan Agostini/Getty Images    

Lou Pearlman, the man behind NSYNC and Backstreet Boys, died Saturday, August 20 in prison at the age of 62.

He was arrested and put in jail in 2008 over a massive fraud scheme. He was sentenced to 25 years.

The cause of death has not yet been revealed.

August 13

“Star Wars” Celebration IV – Day 1
Credit: Albert L. Ortega/WireImage)    

Kenny Baker passed away Saturday, August 13 after a long illness at the age of 81.

The legendary actor is best known for playing R2-D2 in six Star Wars films. Mark Hamill, who starred as Luke Skywalker, paid tribute to the actor and called him "a lifelong friend." 

July 31

The Weather Channel’s beloved meteorologist Dave Schwartz passed away on Saturday, July 30, after more than 20 years on the network.  

The 63-year-old weatherman fought a 10-year battle with cancer. Dave beat pancreatic cancer twice, but was then diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2015.

July 26

Yourell Dell Haris, 53, Miss Cleo spokesperson whose TV psychic persona got customers to call a pay-per-call service with a now-famous catchphrase, "Call me now!"

The actress passed away in Palm Beach County, Florida, of colon cancer that had spread to her liver and lungs. Her rep tells TMZ she was a "pillar of strength" during her illness.

July 19

Hollywood lost a living legend in director Garry Marshall, who helmed everything from The Odd Couple to Pretty Woman and The Princess Diaries.

The 81-year-old film icon suffered "complications of pneumonia following a stroke at a hospital in Burbank, California," a rep told E! News.

The Happy Days creator is survived by his wife of 53 years Barbara Sue Marshall, three children, six grandchildren, and two sisters. The family is planning a private funeral, as well as a public memorial on November 13, which would’ve been Garry’s 82nd birthday.

All of Tinseltown is currently mourning his death.

July 18

A Lighter Shade Of Brown rapper Bobby Ramirez died on Monday, July 18, after lying in a coma for 11 days. The 46-year-old was better known by his stage name, DTTX.

The '90s hip hop star was hospitalized in Las Vegas earlier this month after paramedics found him unconscious on the street. Bobby’s family believes he died of heat stroke and cardiac arrest, as his body temperature was reportedly 107 degrees when recovered.

“On behalf of the Ramirez family, they would like to thank friends and the fans for ALL of your prayers during this difficult time,” the Lighter Shade Facebook page wrote. 

July 10

Matt Villines, 39, Saturday Night Live director who helmed digital shorts like "A Thanksgiving Miracle," "(Do It in My) Twin Bed," and "Sad Mouse." He died of cancer, SNL co-writer Bryan Tucker revealed on Facebook.

“Matt was not only an excellent director. He was a warm, kind guy who got an enormous amount done without ever raising his voice," Bryan wrote.

July 2

Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner, has died at the age of 87. His death was confirmed by his longtime friend, Menachem Rosensaft.

Elie authored several dozen books in his lifetime, most notably his 1955 memoir Night, which has sold millions of copies and is widely credited with making sure the tragedy of the Holocaust did not fade into memory.

June 25

Famed fashion photographer Bill Cunningham died on Saturday, June 25, at 87. The street style king was hospitalized for a stroke before his death.

The artist captured the best of New York fashion for almost 40 years with his New York Times series “On the Street” and “Evening Hours.” He was named a “Living Landmark” in 2009 by the NYC Landmarks Conservancy.

June 19

Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin died early Sunday morning at the young age of 27, following a freak accident. 

Pavel Chekov's portrayer was pinned between his car and a brick mailbox attched to a security gate, TMZ reports. Friends found the Russian-born celeb's body at about 1 a.m. in his San Fernando Valley home after he never showed up for rehersals. 

The engine to Anton's car was still running and the vehicle, which was on a steep incline, was in neutral. 

Despite the bizarre nature of the accident, law enforcement does not expect foul play. 

June 17

The most loveable member of Varsity Blues has passed away. Ron Lester — who played Billy Bob — died at 45 in a Dallas, Texas hospital.

The longtime actor, who suffered kidney and liver failure, had been hospitalized for months and was moved to hospice care on Friday, EW reports. That same day he asked to be taken off of life support.

Ron’s fiancée Jennifer Worland was there by his side.

Varsity Blues co-star James Van Der Beek shared some kind words about his friend, tweeting, "Sad day... #RonLester was a sensitive soul with a huge heart. Everything you loved about Billy Bob was authentically Ron."

One half of the '90s R&B group P.M. Dawn also died on Friday, June 17. Singer Attrell Cordes, 46, who is better known as Prince Be, lost his battle with kidney disease, TMZ reports.

A post on the P.M. Dawn Facebook page reveals the "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" performer had diabetes as well.

ann morgan guilbert dead

June 14

The Nanny star Ann Morgan Guilbert lost her battle with cancer on Tuesday, June 14, at age 87. The comedienne, whose career spanned more than 6 decades, is probably best remembered for her role as Fran's beloved grandmother on The Nanny and as next door neighbor Millie on The Dick Van Dyke Show. She appeared in recent years on a number of sitcoms including Modern Family, Life in Pieces, and the HBO seriocomedy Getting On.

Upon hearing the news, co-star Fran Drescher shared a sweet picture of the two of them on Twitter with the caption, "Grandma Yetta I love you!"

June 13

Fred Caruso, 41, producer of off-Broadway hit Newsical and co-writer and co-director of films The Big Gay Musical and Go Go Crazy. He died of an apparent suicide, scheduling a suicide note to go live on Facebook that night. 

"Those of you that know me well, know that I have been dealing with ending things for a while," he said. "I have nothing left in me to create. I truly don't think I have any idea what love or happiness is."

In the note, Fred also detailed his suicide attempt a week prior, in which he consumed 30 Ambien pills. 

He continued: "I have produced great theatre, movies (two of which I wrote and directed), and I traveled all over the world. I regret nothing especially the choice that I am making now."

Michu Meszaros, 76, a Hungarian-born, 2-foot-9 circus star best known for playing the titular alien in the '80s NBC sitcom ALF. Michu also performed with Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey circus, and he was a close friend of Michael Jackson.

He had been comatose for a week prior to his death after being found unconscious in his home, as TMZ reports.

June 6

Kimbo Slice, 42, born Kevin Ferguson, professional mixed martial artist. The cause of death for the 6-foot-2 heavweight champ hasn't been announced, but he had been hospitalized earlier in the day in Margate, Florida, per ESPN.

"We are all shocked and saddened by the devastating and untimely loss of Kimbo Slice, a beloved member of the Bellator family," Bellator MMA president Scott Coker said in a statement. "[He was] a charismatic, larger-than-life personality that transcended the sport."

June 3

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who called himself “The Greatest” and lived up to the moniker, died Friday, June 3, in a Phoenix, Arizona hospital. The iconic athlete, 74, was fighting respiratory complications, which became fatal, NBC reports.

For over 30 years, Muhammad — born Cassius Marcellus Clay — battled the neurological condition Parkinson’s disease. He’s survived by his wife Yolanda Williams and nine children, including boxing champ Laila Ali.

May 21

Former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza, 53, passed away after suffering a "massive heart attack" while performing with his band OHM at the Baked Potato in Los Angeles. 

The musician belonged to the legendary heavy metal band from 1989 until 1998, playing on the group's first four albums. His former bandmates were in shock and reacted to the news on social media. 

Megadeth founder Dave Mustaine, 54, tweeted: "TELL ME THIS ISN'T TRUE! I woke at 4 AM to hear Nick Menza  passed away on 5/21 playing his drums w/Ohm at the Baked Potato #nickmenzarip."

The band's former guitarist, 53-year-old Marty Friedman, wrote on Facebook: “We all know the great and unique drummer that Nick Menza was, but he was also a trustworthy friend, a hilarious bandmate, as well as a very loving dad. I’m beyond sad, did not see this coming at all. RIP Brother.”

May 19

Morley Safer, 84, longtime CBS news correspondent. After gaining prominence reporting on the Vietnam War, he appeared on CBS’s news magazine show 60 Minutes for five decades. He died at his Manhattan home on May 19 after a period of declining health — and eight days after CBS announced his retirement — as The New York Times reports.

“Suave, casual, impeccably tailored, with a long, craggy face, receding gray hair and a wide, easy smile, Mr. Safer was something of a Renaissance man,” the Times writes. 

“He baked pies and cakes (but swore he did not eat them), played pétanque (a French version of bocce), pounded out scripts on a manual typewriter long after computers became ubiquitous, and painted watercolors of the interiors of countless hotel and motel rooms he had occupied.”

May 7

Harriet Carell, 90, mother of The Office star Steve Carell. Kathleen Doran Boyle, director of the Acton Funeral Home in Acton, Massachusetts, tells ABC News Harriet died at home surrounded by family. She had a total of four children and six grandchildren.

Steve announced the news on Twitter, writing, "Love you, mom."

In 2013, the comedic actor paid tribute to his parents in an interview with The Guardian, saying, "My parents ... are very down to earth, kind, smart, generous people. They both grew up during the Great Depression and had a true sense of value: for possessions, for family, for each other."

May 2

Afeni Shakur, 69, mother of slain rapper Tupac. The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation founder may have died of a heart attack, TMZ reports.

Deputies from the Marin County Sherriff's Department reported to her home in Sausalito, California, at 9:43 p.m. local time after receiving a report of cardiac arrest. Afeni died at a local hospital 45 minutes later.

In addition to her philanthropic work, Afeni also greenlit the production of All Eyez on Me, an upcoming biopic about her son.

April 21

Michelle McNamara, 46, crime writer and wife of comedian Patton Oswalt. She died in her sleep.

A rep has confirmed the True Crime Diaries blog creator’s tragic death “was a complete shock to her family and friends, who loved her dearly.” Michelle and Patton share a 7-year-old daughter named Alice.

Prince, 57, legendary musician and actor whose music spanned three decades, many instruments, and numerous genres.

His body was discovered at his Paisley Park compound in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as TMZ reports.

No cause of death has been determined, but a medical emergency a week prior made his private plane make an emergency landing. Representatives for the singer told TMZ at the time he had the flu.

April 20

 Chyna, 45, WWF legend. She was found dead in her Redondo Beach, California apartment.

E! News reports a friend found Chyna — AKA Joanie Laurer — unresponsive in her home and called 911. Police pronounced her dead on the scene, though an exact cause of death has not yet been revealed. According to authorities, there were no signs of foul play, and her manager tells the site "she was found peacefully."

According to TMZ, Chyna had been dead for "a day or two" before her pal found her, but there was no suicide note at the scene. There were also legal perscription bottles found at her home, but "nothing out of the ordinary."

The wrestler's death was announced via Twitter, with a moving message. 

"It is with deep sadness to inform you today that we lost a true icon, a real life superhero," the statement read. "Joanie Laurer aka Chyna, the 9th wonder of the world has passed away. She will live forever in the memories of her millions of fans and all of us that loved her."

Our thoughts are with Chyna's family and friends, many of whom have already taken to social media to express their grief

April 18

Doris Roberts, 90, the actress who played Raymond's mom, Marie Barone, on Everybody Loves Raymond.

TMZ reports she passed away on April 17 in Los Angeles, California.

Doris was a talented actress, having won 5 Emmy Awards — four of which were for Everybody Loves Raymond and one for a guest appearance on St. Elsewhere. She also starred in several movies and TV shows including Grandma's BoyNational Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Full House, and many more.

Doris had a son, Michael Cannata, from her first husband. Her second husband, William Goyen, passed away in 1983. She also had three grandchildren, Kelsey, Andrew, and Devon.

Our thoughts go out to Doris's family and friends.

April 12

David Gest, 62, ex-husband of Liza Minelli, friend of Michael Jackson, and contestant on Celebrity Big Brother and the British version of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!

He was found dead in a Four Seasons hotel in London, and no cause of death has been announced, though police say the death isn't suspicious, per BBC News.

"David was truly larger than life," said friend and former bodyguard Imad Handi in a statement. "He was not just a huge talent and a dear friend but a showbiz icon. "I know he will be missed by millions of fans around the world, and particularly in Britain, who came to love his charm and blistering one-liners."

April 10

Lady Melinda Rose Woodward, 75, wife of Sir Tom Jones. After battling cancer, the legendary singer's spouse passed while "surrounded by her husband and loved ones."

The couple had been married for 59 years after tying the knot at just 16-years-old. They shared a son together, Mark, who's now his famous father's manager. 

April 8

Keith Hefner, 87, brother of Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner. Keith died of cancer, the news coming just a day before Hugh's 90th birthday. 

The Playboy exec regularly appeared in The Girls Next Door, along with movies like Fever Pitch. Keith's brother confirmed the death, tweeting, "This morning, my dear brother and best friend passed away. I love you, Keith. Rest in peace."

April 6

Merle Haggard, 79, Country Music Hall of Famer who helped create the Bakersfield sound in country music. He died at home near Redding, California, on his birthday.

As TMZ notes, Merle battled double pneumonia last year but had been feeling better recently, so much so that he had scheduled tour dates with Willie Nelson.

April 5

Barbara Turner, 79, screenwriter and mother of Oscar-nominated Hateful Eight actress Jennifer Jason Leigh.

The behind-the-scenes star was nominated for two Emmys and wrote 1995’s Georgia, which starred Jennifer, now 54. Barbara, who died in Los Angeles, also leaves behind two other daughters, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

April 3

Erik Bauersfeld, 93, best known for voicing Admiral Ackbar in the Star Wars films. Coolwater Productions said Erik died at his home in Berkeley, California.

"His passing comes at the age of 93 and the cause was natural causes," the company says in a statement. "Erik will be deeply missed by his family here at Coolwaters and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."

March 29

Anna "Patty Duke" Pearce, 69, Oscar winner for her role as Helen Keller in 1962's The Miracle Worker, star of The Patty Duke Show, and mother of Lord of the Rings actor Sean Astin.

"Anna 'Patty Duke' Pearce passed away this morning March 29, 2016 at 1:20 am," her rep said, per USA Today. "Her cause of death was sepsis from a ruptured intestine. She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a mental health advocate, and a cultural icon. She will be missed."

March 24

Garry Shandling, 66, famed comedian and star of The Larry Sanders Show.

Sources have confirmed Garry himself called 911 but the call never made it through — he reportedly lapsed into unconsciousness while on the call, and paramedics were immediately sent to his home. It appears he died of a heart attack, though the actor was in good health prior to the emergency.

March 22

david-smyrl-dead
Credit: Sesame Street    

David Smyrl, 80, known for his role as Mr. Hanford, the shop owner on Sesame Street. The Hollywood Reporter reports the Emmy winner was diagnosed with lung cancer in January and passed away at a hospital outside Philadelphia.

He is survived by his wife, Cheryl Smyrl, and his stepson, Pancho Scott.

Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor, 45, member of A Tribe Called Quest. The exact cause of the emcee's death is unknown, but the diabetic suffered from a number of recent health issues, including a 2008 kidney transplant

Rita Gam, 88, Golden Globe nominee for 1952’s The Thief and actress in TV series like The Jackie Gleason Show. She reportedly died of respiratory failure. She’s survived by a daughter, son, and three grandkids.

Rob Ford, 46, former mayor of Toronto, Canada, of cancer. The ex-politician came into international fame in 2013 when Gawker revealed there was a video available of him smoking crack. 

Rob went on to admit his substance abuse and was pulled into countless other bizarre scandals. But his political career officially ended when he was diagnosed with an abdominal tumor. 

Other eventually fatal tumors were found on his bladder in October 2015. Rob is surived by a wife and two children.

March 18

Joe Santos, 84, was best known for playing Lt. Dennis Becker on The Rockford Files, though he also appeared on shows like Magnum, P.I. and The Supranos. The Emmy nominee had a heart attack in his Los Angeles home on March 16 and was put on life support, as TMZ reports, passing away two days later.

He is surved by two sons and a daughter.

March 17

Larry Drake, 66, best known for his two-time Emmy-winning role as Benny Stulwicz in L.A. Law. He was found dead in his Hollywood home by a home, TMZ says.

After L.A. Law, he continued TV work with roles on shows like Six Feet UnderFirefly7th Heaven, and Boston Legal. He also lent his voice to Johnny Bravo.

"He was such a nice man and a great actor," Drake's agent Mike Eisenstadt tells People

March 16

Frank Sinatra Jr., 72, son of Frank Sinatra and famous singer in his own right. Frank died of cardiac arrest in Daytona Beach, Florida, while traveling the country on his "Sinatra Sings Sinatra" tour, as CNN reports.

Nancy Sinatra, his sister and another famed singer, posted a short eulogy on Facebook, saying, "Sleep warm, Frankie," 

March 8

George Martin, 90, British record producer known as the "Fifth Beatle" for his work with the famous pop group. He died in his sleep in his home in Wiltshire, England, but a cause of death has not been reported.

"Thank you for all your love and kindness, George. Peace and love," Beatles drummer Ringo Starr tweeted.

March 7

Michael White, 80, producer behind movies like The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He died of apparent heart failure at the home of his ex-wife in Ojai, California.

"Michael had an appetite for life that was unmatched in my opinion," former girlfriend Lyndall Hobbs told Reuters. "A unique man who put on hundreds of shows and truly was a theatrical pioneer."

March 6

In Memoriam: Kathryn Trosper Popper (1915-2016)My mother dodged death more times than I can remember but she died last...

Posted by Laura Popper onMonday, March 7, 2016

Kathyrn Popper, 100, assistant of late filmmaking legend Orson Welles who's believed to be the last surviving cast member of his greatest achivement, Citizen Kane.

Lana Rae Meisner, 63, wife of Randy Meisner, co-founder of The Eagles. She was found dead in their home in Studio City, California — having been shot in the head — after Randy called 911. 

Per TMZ, Lana called 911 an hour and a half beforehand to report domestic violence, saying Randy was "acting erratically" and waving a BB gun.

After her death, Randy told police he saw her go to a room and close the door, and then he heard a gunshot. The cops are now launching an investigation.

March 4

Celebrity deaths, Tony Dyson
Credit: Tony Dyson's official website    

Tony Dyson, 68, British professor, robot maker, owner of the White Horse Toy Company, and designer of the original R2-D2 droid robot for Star Wars.

He was found by police at his home in Malta after a neighbor called to report his door was open. (Note: His date of death has not yet been revealed — March 4 was the date his death as reported.)

Tony also worked on Superman IIMoonraker, and Dragon Slayer and won an Emmy for his special effects supervision, but he said that his work on Star Wars was "one of the most exciting periods" of his life, per BBC News.

March 1

Lee Reherman, 49, Ivy League football star who later starred as Hawk on the original American Gladiators TV show in the 1990s. In recent years, he appeared in Star Trek Into Darkness, The First Family, and Jane the Virgin.

As of the time of this post, his cause of death is unknown, but TMZ reports he complained of a metallic taste just before he died.

"Anybody who came in contact with him, even people who may have been on a film set with him for just one day, Lee was very much loved by everyone," said his manager, Kathy Carter, per NBC News.

February 28

George Kennedy, 91, actor known for his roles in Cool Hand LukeThe Naked Gun, and Airport.

As his grandson confirmed to Entertainment Weekly, George died in Boise, Idaho, of various health issues.

He won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his Cool Hand Luke performance, later telling the Associated Press, “My biggest fear was that nobody would see the picture. [1967] was the year of the blockbusters, and except for Paul Newman, our little prison camp movie didn’t have much going for it.”

February 25

Tony Burton, 78, actor, comedian, and boxer best known for his role as Apollo Creed's trainer "Duke" in the first six Rocky movies.

Younger sister Loretta "Peaches" Kelly told MLive.com her brother and been in and out of the hospital for the past year but hadn't received an official diagnosis.

He hadn't gotten a chance to see Creed, the latest movie in the franchise, but Peaches says the film honored him.

"There's a scene in the restaurant of that movie where his picture is on the wall," Kelley said. "We didn't talk about [Rocky] a lot. I mean we were excited, but other people were more excited. Whenever he would come home other people would just come over."

February 18

Harper Lee, 89, novelist and President Medal of Freedom recepient best known for the Puliter Prize-winning 1961 book To Kill a Mockingbird. She's also the author of a quasi-sequel called Go Set a Watchman, which was controversially published in 2015, 60 years after she wrote it.

AL.com reports Harper died in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. "Lee returned to Monroeville for good once her sister Alice became ill and needed help," the site says. "She'd eat breakfast each morning at the same fast-food place, and could later be seen picking up Alice from the law firm founded by their father."

February 18

Angela "Big Ang" Raiola, 55, star of the VH1 reality show Mob Wives, of throat cancer.

“It is with sad regret that we inform you that at 3:01 a.m. Angela Raiola peacefully ended her battle with cancer, and was called home,” a statement from her rep reads. “She was surrounded by nothing but love from her immediate family, and closest friends."

February 15

George Gaynes, 98, an actor best known for his roles as Commandant Eric Lassard in the Police Academy movies, Henry Warnimont on Punky Brewster, and Frank Smith on General Hospital.

Born in Finland in 1917, George passed away at his daughter's house in Washington.

February 4

Katie May, 34, Playboy model and self-proclaimed Queen of Snapchat.

After reportedly falling at a photo shoot, Katie suffered a blocked carotid artery that led to a catastrophic stroke.

"It is with heavy hearts that we confirm the passing today of Katie May–mother, daughter, sister, friend, businesswoman, model and social media star," her family wrote, per E! News.

Dave Mirra, 41, BMX bike racer, X Games medalist, and former Real World/Road Rules Challenge host, of an apparent suicide.

He was found with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in his truck in Greenville, North Carolina, just hours after posting a loving Instagram to his wife, Lauren. He and Lauren had two kids.

Maurice White, 74, singer, drummer, producer, and co-founder of Earth, Wind & Fire.

February 3

Joe Alaskey, 63, voice actor who voiced Looney Tunes' Bugs Bunny, Daffy Ducky, Tweety, and Sylvester the Cat, as well as Rugrats' Grandpa Pickles. (Note: February 3 is the day Joe's family announced his death.)

January 28

Paul Kantner, 74, guitarist, singer, songwriter, and founding member of the bands Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship.

January 26

Abe Vigoda, 94, character actor best known for his roles as Detective Phil Fish in Barney Miller, Sal Tessio in The Godfather, and Grandpa in Look Who's Talking.

January 18

Glenn Frey, 67, Eagles guitarist and founding member, known for co-writing some of the band's greatest hits including "Tequila Sunrise," "Hotel California" and "Take It Easy."

January 17

"Iron" Mike Sharpe, 64, Canadian wrestler who starred in WWE fights from 1983 to 1985 and who declared himself to be "Canada's Greatest Athlete."

January 15

Dan Haggerty, 74, an actor, animal trainer, and stunt expert best known for his title role in the film The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams and its TV continuation.

January 14

Alan Rickman, 69, English actor and star of films like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Die Hard, Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny, Galaxy Quest, and Love Actually — best known for his part as Hogwarts professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films.

Réné Angelil, 73, Canadian singer and Céline Dion's husband and former manager.

January 13

Brian Bedford, 80, Tony Award-winning stage actor known for Shakespearean acting and directing but also for voicing Robin Hood in the 1973 Disney film.

 

Tera Wray, 33, adult film star and widow of Static-X frontman Wayne Static.

Lawrence Phillips, 40, former NFL running back who was serving a 32-year-old prison sentence for felony assault and domestic assault.

January 11

David Margulies, 78, longtime stage and screen actor who appeared on Law & Order and The Sopranos, partner of True Blood actress Lois Smith.

January 10

David Bowie, 69, English singer, artist, actor, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee with a five-decade glam rock career, five platinum albums, and roles in Labyrinth, The Last Temptation of Christ, and The Prestige.

PHOTOS: K. Michelle Mourns Death of David Bowie, Says Her “Heart Aches”

Michael Galeota, 31, American actor known for his starring role in the 2000s Disney Channel series The Jersey.

Jeanne Córdova, 67, Lammy Award-winning author, LGBT advocate, and co-founder of the Gay and Lesbian Caucus of the Democratic Party and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Press Association.

January 9

Angus Scrimm, 89, American actor best known for playing The Tall Man in the Phantasm film series, including this year’s Phantasm V: Ravager.

January 8

Otis Clay, 73, American Grammy-nominated R&B and soul singer and Blues Hall of Fame inductee.

January 7

Kitty Kallen, 94, American singer and Hollywood Walk of Fame honoree known for her hit “Little Things Mean a Lot.”

Troy Shondell, 76, American singer regarded as a one hit wonder for his gold-certified 1961 single “This Time.”

January 6

Pat Harrington, Jr., 86, Emmy-winning star of the 1970s sitcom One Day at a Time and the voice of Inspector Clouseau in the 1960s animated series The Inspector.

January 5

Sian Blake on EastEnders
Credit: BBC    

Sian Blake, 43, a British actress known for her role on the U.K. soap opera EastEnders. (Note: January 5 was the day her body was discovered — she and her children had been missing for three weeks.)