1 of 133 Eric Liebowitz/Columbia/ The Kobal Collection
The Booty Call director and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air producer died Dec. 23 at 54 while out exercising. His body was found in Hermosa Beach, Calif., by a jogger and police believe that he died of natural causes. Pollack helped create Fresh Prince in 1990 with Benny Medina through their production company, which was later renamed Handprint Entertainment and was shuttered in 2008. Pollack wrote, directed and produced his first major feature, Above the Rim, in 1993, and directed Booty Call in 1997 and Lost & Found in 1999. He also served as an executive consultant on The Tyra Banks Show.
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The original Three 6 Mafia member died Dec. 21 at 40 of a heart attack in his sleep. Born Ricky Dunigan, he formed the hip-hop group in 1991 with his uncle DJ Paul and Juicy J. In 2006, Three 6 Mafia became the first hip-hop group to win an Oscar when "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from Hustle & Flow won Best Original Song.
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The country singer died Dec. 16 at 87 after a yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer. At 20, Price began performing on radio stations in the late 1940s. Price moved to Nashville after signing with Columbia Records and scored hits with "Talk to You Heart," "Don't Let the Stars Get In Your Eyes," and "Heartaches by the Number." In the 1960s, Price shot to No. 2 with "Make the World Go Away," but soon after he started to experiment with his sound on songs like 1967's "Danny Boy." He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996 and released his most recent album, Last of the Breed, in 2007. One of the tunes, "Lost Highway" with Willie Nelson, won him a Grammy the following year. Price had been working on a new album, Love Songs In Nashville, which is expected to be released next year.
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The Oscar-winning star of Alfred Hitchcock classics died Dec. 15 at 96. A three-time Oscar nominee, Fontaine received her first nod for 1940's Best Picture winner Rebecca and won Best Actress for 1941's Suspicion. She is the only actor to win an Oscar for a Hitchcock film. Fontaine defeated her older sister, future two-time Oscar winner and bitter rival Olivia de Havilland for the award, fueling their rivalry even more. In her 1978 autobiography No Bed of Roses, Fontaine said that their legendary feud started as kids because de Havilland couldn't stand sharing their mother's attention. Fontaine also appeared on Broadway and TV, earning an Emmy nomination for her guest spot on Ryan's Hope.
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The eight-time Oscar nominee who shot to fame in Lawrence of Arabia died Dec. 14 at 81. A Shakespearean-trained actor, O'Toole holds the record for the most Oscar acting nominations without a win. He earned his first nod for his star-making performance as T.E. Lawrence in the 1962 epic and his last for 2006's Venus. In between, O'Toole, who received an honorary Oscar in 2003, delivered memorable turns in such films as Becket, The Lion in Winter, Goodbye, Mr. Chips and The Ruling Class. Known for his charisma and off-screen carousing, the actor suffered health issues in the '70s as a result of his drinking before making a big-screen comeback and nabbing nominations for The Stunt Man and My Favorite Year. One of his final roles was voicing food critic Anton Ego in 2007's Ratatouille. O'Toole retired from acting in July 2012.
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The actor, who played Hilary Duff's teacher on Lizzie McGuire, died Dec. 13 at 49 of complications from diabetes. Escobar also recurred on Dharma & Greg, in addition to appearances on How I Met Your Mother, Desperate Housewives and Curb Your Enthusiasm. His films credits include Blow, The Mexican and Sympathy for Delicious. Escobar won a Helen Hayes Award in 2008 for his role in the Woolly Mammoth Theater Company's production of David Greenspan's She Stoops to Comedy.
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The Lady in the Lake star died Dec. 12 at 95 following a stroke and congestive heart failure. Totter's film career began with a small part in The Postman Always Rings Twice, but her breakthrough role came in 1947's Lady in the Lake, in which she played a publishing executive who hires Robert Montgomery to find her boss' wife. She also appeared in The Set-Up, High Wall, The Unsuspected and Tension.
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Laughlin, best known for writing, directing, producing and starring in the Billy Jack films, died Dec. 12 at 82. The character of Billy Jack first appeared in 1967's The Born Losers, which Laughlin wrote and directed as T.C. Frank. Four Billy Jack films were made, and Laughlin repeatedly talked about trying to make a fifth as recently as a few years ago, amid health problems including tongue cancer and a series of strokes. Laughlin, who ran for president in 1992, 2004 and 2008, also wrote several books on psychology and Jungian psychological theory.
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The three-time Oscar nominee who's best remembered as The Sound of Music's Baroness died Dec. 9 at 91 due to complications from pneumonia. Parker received her first of three Oscar nominations for Best Actress for 1951's Caged. She was nominated the following year for Detective Story, in which she starred opposite Kirk Douglas. In 1956, she was nominated for her performance as Australian-born opera singer Marjorie Lawrence, who overcame polio in Interrupted Melody. Her other credits include guest spots on The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Hawaii Five-O, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and Murder, She Wrote.
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The actor, who starred on the original Ironside series, died of natural causes on Dec. 8 at 70. Mitchell played Mark Sanger, the ex-con-turned aide to Raymond Burr's wheelchair-bound Robert T. Ironside on the NBC series, which ran from 1967 to 1975. He later reprised the role in the 1993 reunion TV movie.
Mitchell's other credits include Scream Blacula Scream, Matlock, Capitol and I Dream of Jeannie.
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The actress, best known as Mrs. Rodgers on Ellen, died Dec. 6 at 83. Williamson's other TV credits include Home Improvement and NYPD Blue. Her film credits include The Hi-Lo Country andDahmer. Her husband Al Ruscio, who appeared in The Godfather and on Seinfeld, had passed away on Nov. 12.
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The former South African president and anti-apartheid activist died Dec. 5 at 95 after a long illness brought on by a lung infection. In 1962, Mandela was arrested for sabotage and conspiracy and sentenced to life in prison for his activism. He served 27 years before being released in 1990. In 1993, Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his anti-apartheid activism in South Africa. He then served as the first black president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 and sought to undo the racial tension and inequality that had been fostered by decades of apartheid. His organization, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, works to combat poverty and HIV-AIDS in Africa. Mandela was also the recipient of more than 250 other awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Liberty Medal.
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The 38-year-old Curb Appeal was killed in a motorcycle accident in San Francisco, Calif., on Dec. 3 after a car struck him. The founder of BB Design Build, Beckwith was a carpenter and contractor who went on to co-host Curb Appeal, the HGTV series in which people's outdated homes are given makeovers.
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Walker, who was best known for his role in the Fast and the Furious franchise, died on Nov. 30 at 40 in a single-car accident in Santa Clarita, Calif. The actor was a passenger in a Porsche GT driven by his friend Roger Rodas, who also died, that crashed into a tree and exploded into flames during a test spin. Walker's film credits also include Pleasantville, She's All That, Varsity Blues, Joy Ride, Eight Below and Flags of Our Fathers.
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The British actress, who starred in a number of films and television shows throughout the 1940s and '50s, died on Nov. 30 after falling at her home in England. She was 92. Kent began her acting career in local productions as a teenager and went on to appear in more than 45 films, with co-stars including Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier. Her television credits included the live musical The Ship in the Bay in 1930s, and later Crossroads and Lovejoy. In 2011, the British Film Institute honored Kent on her 90th birthday, at which point she told the BBC she was still open to acting roles — as long as they didn't involve walking.
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The actor, who's best known for playing Luigi in the Super Mario Bros. TV series, died Nov. 28 in Toronto at 72. Born Jack Westelman in Montreal, Wells also played Charlie the bartender on The Jeffersons and had guest appearances on such shows as Murder, She Wrote, Happy Days, Eight Is Enough and Punky Brewster. His film credits include Magnolia and Private Benjamin.
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Musante, who played Nino Chibette on HBO's Oz, died from complications following heart surgery on Nov. 26 in New York City. He was 77. In addition to Oz, Musante starred as the titular detective on Toma, acted alongside Martin Sheen in The Incident and starred opposite Meryl Streep in a 1976 theatrical production of 27 Wagons Full of Cotton. He also received an Emmy nomination for his guest-starring role in a 1975 episode of Medical Story.
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Kean, best known for playing Trixie opposite Jackie Gleason on a revival of The Honeymooners died on November 26 at Providence Medical Center in Burbank, Calif., where she had been since suffering a fall that led to a hemorrhagic stroke. She was 90. Kean starred on the show for five years as Ed Norton's (Art Carney) beleaguered wife, Trixie. In recent years, she voiced Aunt Ida in the children's film Abner the Pig and also put on a one-woman show that looked back on her life's work.
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The In Living Color actor died in November after collapsing on a deer hunt in Wisconsin. He was 50. Leggett's death is believed to be heart-related. In addition to In Living Color, Leggett appeared on Ally McBeal and NYPD Blue. He also wrote and produced the films Employee of the Month and Without a Paddle.
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Mitchell, who was believed to have been the last surviving adult cast member of I Love Lucy died of heart failure in November. She was 94. Mitchell played Lucy Ricardo's pal Marion, who had a distinctive, signature cackling laugh. The comedic actress joined the CBS sitcom in 1953, replacing Margie Liszt, who originated the character in Season 2. Besides Lucy, her TV credits include The Beverly Hillbillies, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Petticoat Junction, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Three's Company and the original Dallas.
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The Season 1 Survivor contestant died in November after battling brain cance. He was 77. Anderson competed on the competition show at the age of 63. He was voted out second. "B.B. was one of the original cast members who launched Survivor back in 2000," host Jeff Probst said in a statement. "He was a powerful presence on the show and that zest for epic adventure was at the heart of everything he did. I was very saddened to hear of his passing."
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Rocker Lou Reed died on Oct. 27 at age 71. His cause of death was not released, but Reed underwent a life-saving liver transplant earlier in the year. Reed studied formed The Velvet Underground in the 1960s. The band, which often collaborated with artist Andy Warhol, is widely hailed as one of the most influential American band of all time. The group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. After The Velvet Underground disbanded, Reed moved to England and embarked on a successful solo career in the early 1970s, with hits including "Walk on the Wild Side."
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Wallace, who voiced Edna Krabapple on The Simpsons, died in October from complications of pneumonia. She was 70. In addition to The Simpsons, Wallace starred on The Bob Newhart Show as the receptionist Carol. Throughout her long career, Wallace also appeared on Full House, Alf, Hollywood Squares, The $25,000 Pyramid and, most recently, The Young and the Restless.
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The longtime stuntman-turned-director died in October after a short battle with cancer. He was 82. As a stuntman and coordinator, Needham worked on more than 30 films, including The Spirit of St. Louis and Chinatown. After becoming one of the highest-paid stuntmen in the film industry, Needham moved behind the camera in 1976 to direct Smokey and the Bandit . The film, which Needham also wrote, became the second-highest grossing movie of 1977. He also directed such films as The Cannonball Run and Stroker Ace. In 2012, Needham received an honorary Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
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The MasterChef alum Josh Marks was found dead on Oct. 11. He was 26. The body of Marks, who came in second in Season 3 of the Fox cooking competition, was discovered in a Chicago alleyway after a woman called 911. Police believe that Marks committed suicide as he was discovered with a gunshot wound to the head. Before his death, Marks recorded a video for "Make a Sound Project," in which he revealed that he had bipolar disorder.
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Carpenter, the second American astronaut to orbit Earth died on Oct. 10 from complications of a stroke. He was 88. Carpenter was one of the Mercury Seven astronauts that went into space in May 1962. Carpenter's memoir about his orbit around the Earth, For Spacious Skies: The Uncommon Journey of a Mercury Astronaut, was released in 2003.
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The best-selling author, who wrote thrillers including The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games, died on Oct. 2 at a Baltimore hospital. He was 66. Several of Clancy's political and military-themed books, featuring the heroes Jack Ryan and John Clark, were adapted into movies. The titles included The Hunt for Red October, Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games and The Sum of All Fears.
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The Broadway star and film actress, who was the niece of actor Van Heflin and All My Children star Frances Heflin, died on Sept. 18 after a lengthy illness. She was 68. She was a frequent collaborator of director Robert Altman in both Broadway productions and films such as 1979's A Perfect Couple. Her stage credits included roles in Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair and Fiddler on the Roof.
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The Broadway icon and Knots Landing star, died of congestive heart failure at her home in West Chatham, Mass. in August. She was 87. Throughout her career, Harris won five Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Play, and was also honored with a Lifetime Achievement Tony in 2002. Her starring roles included playing Sally Bowles in I Am a Camera, Joan of Arc in The Lark and Emily Dickinson in The Belle of Amherst. She also acted in films including East of Eden, The Haunting and Reflections in a Golden Eye.
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Former New York Knicks player Dean "The Dream" Meminger was found dead at the age of 65 in August. His body was discovered in a Casablanca Hotel room after he failed to check out on time. He was pronounced dead on the scene. Meminger battled a cocaine addiction for years and even admitted using during his days in the NBA. In 2009, Meminger, who helped the Knicks clinch the NBA title in 1973, was critically injured by a fire in his room in a building in the Bronx.
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Lew Wood, a longtime broadcast journalist and Today anchor, died in hospice care in August at the age of 84. Wood began his career in radio in 1952 before transitioning to TV as a reporter and cameraman the following year. He then worked as a correspondent for CBS news, where he covered the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy from Dallas and later reported on the Civil Rights moment. He became Today's news anchor in 1975.
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The prolific author, whose novels and short stories have been adapted into countless movies and TV shows including Get Shorty, Out of Sight and Justified, died in August from complications of a stroke at the age of 87. "The post I dreaded to write, and you dreaded to read," Leonard's researcher and webmaster Gregg Sutter posted to his Facebook page . "Elmore passed away at 7:15 this morning from complications from his stroke. He was at home surrounded by his loving family."
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Lee Thompson Young
The Famous Jett Jackson and Rizzoli & Isles star died Aug. 19 at 29 of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The actor was found by his landlord, who was called after Young didn't show up to work. His subsequent TV credits included roles on Scrubs, FlashForward and Smallville, as well as the Friday Night Lights movie.
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The Free Willy star died Aug. 15 at 77 from cancer. A Canada native, Schellenberg, who was part Mohawk and part Swiss-German, played Jesse's Native American mentor Randolph Johnson in Free Willy and reprised the role in both sequels. Schellenberg earned an Emmy nomination in 2007 for the TV movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. He also appeared in the Christian Bale film The New World in 2005 and made appearances on Saving Grace and Grey's Anatomy.
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Lisa Robin Kelly
The That '70s Show actress died Aug. 14 at 43 while in a rehab facility. Kelly, who had long battled substance abuse and, had checked herself in earlier that week to treat an alcohol problem. An initial autopsy did not reveal a cause of death. Kelly also starred in the 1996 movie Amityville Dollhouse. She also had small roles on Murphy Brown, The X-Files and Charmed, among other television shows.
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The Oscar-nominated Five Easy Pieces star died Aug. 8 at 74 from ampullary cancer. Black is well-known for her roles in Easy Rider, The Great Gatsby, Nashville and Family Plot.
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The former NBC News anchor and correspondent died Aug. 3 at 77 after a brief illness. Palmer, whose career with NBC News spanned 40 years, served as a Today news anchor, worked as a White House correspondent during the Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan administrations and even earned an Emmy Award for his reporting on the African famine. He retired from journalism in 2002.
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The Oscar nominee died July 28 at 80 after battling bladder cancer. Brennan earned a supporting actress Oscar nomination for her performance as Goldie Hawn's drill sergeant Doreen Lewis in Private Benjamin, and won an Emmy and Golden Globe for reprising the role in the TV series adaptation.
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The radio host died July 27 at 53 of cardiac arrest, due to an enlarged heart, at his Kidd's Kid's charity gold tournament in New Orleans. Born David Peter Cradick, Kraddick began his career in high school when he DJ'd his senior dance. He eventually landed his first gig in Miami, followed by jobs in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Tampa, where he was given the name "Kidd" by his director. Ultimately, Kraddick moved to Dallas where his morning show, Kidd Kraddick in the Morning, became syndicated on 75 Top 40 stations. In 1999, he was named Air Personality of the Year at the Radio Music Awards.
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The Captain Kangaroo star died July 26 at 86 of emphysema. Allegretti started working on Captain Kangaroo, which premiered on CBS in 1955, as a set painter, but later replaced the show's puppeteer. Among the characters he created were Bunny Rabbit, Mister Moose, Rollo the Hippopotamus, Miss Frog, Dennis the Apprentice and more. He also brought some characters including Bunny Rabbit and Mister Moose to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood in the early 1970s.
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The Grammy winner July 26 at 74 from a heart attack. A vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist, is best known for writing some of Eric Clapton's most notable hits, including "After Midnight" and "Cocaine." The two also collaborated on the 2006 Grammy-winning album The Road to Escondido. Other notable musicians who covered Cale's work include Lynyrd Dkynyrd, Santana, Tom Petty and Johnny Cash.
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The Midnight Run and Law & Order star died July 22 at 69 after suffering a blood clot in his lung. A Chicago native, Farina worked in the burglary division of the Chicago Police Department from 1967 to 1985. Beginning in the 1980s, he worked as a police consultant for director Michael Mann, who later cast Farina in Crime Story and Miami Vice. His other film credits include Get Shorty and Saving Private Ryan, and he starred in HBO's short-lived Luck. One of his final screen appearances was as Jake Johnson's dad on New Girl.
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The veteran White House reporter, who covered every president from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama, died July 20 at 92 after a long illness. Thomas joined United Press in 1943 and began covering president-elect Kennedy in 1960. She became the official UPI White House correspondent in January 1961. She was known for sitting in an assigned seat on the front row in the briefing room, asking tough, pointed questions and always ending every press conference by saying, "Thank you, Mr. President." Thomas, who was the first female president of the White House Correspondents' Association, retired in 2010, shortly after her controversial remarks about the Iraeli-Palestinian conflict drew criticism. In an interview posted on YouTube, Thomas said that the Israeli Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and that Jews should go home to "Poland, Germany ... and America and everywhere else."
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The 53-year-old British actor, who appeared in such films as Casino Royale and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, was found dead in East Sussex, England, on July 12, two days after going missing. Authorities said that his death is not being treated as suspicious. Bhattacharjee, who also starred in the English soap EastEnders, was scheduled to star in a play at London's Royal Court theater at the time of his death. The role was recast and the show opened as scheduled.
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The character actor died July 14 at 67 of a heart attack. Known for his large frame, Burkley co-starred on the Sanford and Son sequel Sanford, My Name Is Earl, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and King of the Hill. His film credits include Con Air, Tin Cup and The Doors.
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The Glee star was found dead at age 31 on July 13 of a lethal mix of heroin and alcohol in a hotel in downtown Vancouver, Canada. Police said Monteith had been deceased for some time before his body was found, but foul play was not suspected. Monteith, who had battled substance abuse since his teens, voluntarily checked into rehab in March 2013. His other credits include Supernatural, Smallville and Final Destination 3.
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The Waltons star died at the age of 85 on July 7 at a care facility in Newbury Park, Calif., after suffering from dementia. Besides his role as storekeeper Ike Godsey on The Waltons, Conley had bit roles in dozens of series, including Dragnet, Mister Ed and Knight Rider. He released an autobiography in 2009 titled Ike Godsey of Walton's Mountain.
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Kelly, a martial artist who starred alongside Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon, died on June 29 at his home in San Diego, Calif., after a battle with cancer. He was 67. Born in Paris, Ky., Kelly attended the University of Louisville and played football, but eventually turned his attention to karate and other martial arts. In 1971, won the middleweight title at the 1971 Long Beach International Karate Championships and opened his own dojo afterward. Kelly's other film credits in the 1970s include Three the Hard Way and Black Belt Jones.
49 of 133 Mary Evans/HBO/Soprano Productions/Everett Collection
The actor, best known for his Emmy-winning portrayal of Tony Soprano on HBO's The Sopranos, died on June 19 in Rome, Italy, of a heart attack at age 51. A New Jersey native, Gandolfini was a bartender and a club bouncer before he started taking acting classes. He made a name for himself playing a mob enforcer in the 1993 thriller True Romance. He played several other mobster roles before landing the career-defining HBO series, for which he won three Emmys, three Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Golden Globe. He also appeared in such films as The Mexican, The Last Castle, The Taking of Pelham 123, In the Loop, Zero Dark Thirty and Not Fade Away, which reunited him with Sopranos creator David Chase.
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The swimmer-turned-actress died June 6 in her sleep at 91. A national champion in the 1930s, Williams had Olympic aspirations, but when World War II forced the cancellation of the 1940 Olympics, she turned to modeling and was discovered by MGM. Throughout the '40s and '50s, Williams starred in more than a dozen splashy Technicolor musicals, including Dangerous When Wet, Easy to Wed, Neptune's Daughter and The Million Dollar Mermaid, that capitalized on her swimming skills and pinup good looks. Her films, which featured elaborate synchronized aquatic numbers, are credited with popularizing synchronized swimming, so much so that it became an Olympic sport. Williams covered synchronized swimming at the 1984 Olympics and also had her own swimwear line.
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The All in the Family star died May 31 at 90. A Broadway vet, Stapleton won the role of the naive "dingbat" Edith Bunker, opposite Carroll O'Connor, on All in the Family. She won three Emmys for her performance. After Family ended in 1979, Stapleton appeared in Michael, with John Travolta, You've Got Mail, with Meg Ryan, and television shows like Touched by an Angel, Everybody Loves Raymond and Murphy Brown.
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The sci-fi author died May 26 at 96. Over his prolific career, Vance published numerous books under others names, including 11 mystery novels as John Holbrook Vance, three as Ellery Queen and solo novels under the pseudonyms Alan Wade, Peter Held, John van See and Jay Kavanse. His career achievements include winning the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement as well as being named Grand Master of Science Fiction Fantasy Writers of America.
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The Doors co-founder and keyboardist died May 20 at 74 after battling bile duct cancer. Manzarek founded The Doors after meeting then-poet Jim Morrison at UCLA film school. The Doors, which also included guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore, released its eponynous debut album in 1967. The group went on to sell more than 100 million albums, thanks to iconic hits such as "Hello, I Love You," "Light My Fire" and "Riders on the Storm." The Doors put out eight more studio albums before Morrison's untimely death in 1971. After that, Manzarek served as vocalist for a short period of time before the group fell apart. He went on to play in bands, including Nite City, and collaborated with "Weird Al" Yankovic and guitarist Roy Rogers in recent years. Manzarek also reunited with Krieger to tour as The Doors in recent years.
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The S.W.A.T. star died May 18 at 87. Forrest splashed onto the scene in 1953's So Big, for which he won New Star of the Year at the Golden Globes. Forrest soon transitioned to TV series, appearing on Playhouse 90, Lux Video Theater and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. He became a fixture in the American Western genre. His classic Western TV roles included Gunsmoke, Bonanza and The Virginian. In 1975, he joined S.W.A.T., playing team leader Lt. Dan "Hondo" Harrelson. The Aaron Spelling series lasted two seasons. Forrest's later TV roles included Dallas, Malibu and Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge.
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The 1964 U.S. Open champion and longtime CBS Sports golf analyst died May 17 at 82 after being hospitalized with pneumonia and infections in his back and intestines. Venturi started out as an accomplished amateur golfer who won the 1964 U.S. Open after overcoming two devastating losses in the Masters and a 1961 car accident. He underwent major surgery on both hands, and retired from the sport because of carpal tunnel syndrome. He joined CBS as the lead golf analyst in 1968. Over the years, he worked with other legendary sportscasters like Vin Scully, Pat Summerall and Jim Nantz. Venturi also played himself in the 1996 Kevin Costner movie Tin Cup. Venturi retired in 2002 after 35 years — making him the longest-tenured lead analyst in sports broadcasting history.
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The former NASCAR driver died May 16 at 71 of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police had received a call from Trickle, in which he reported there would be a dead body at a cemetery and it would be his. Trickle, who was nicknamed the "White Knight," has been billed the winningest driver in America, with approximately 1,200 wins. He won seven ARTGO championships and was named the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year in 1989. In the Sprint Cup series, he was in 303 races over a span of 24 years, including 36 top 10 finishes.
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The famed psychologist, TV personality and columnist died May 13 at 85. Brothers' celebrity status first took off in 1955 after she won The $64,000 Question game show in the boxing category, which led to a gig as a boxing commentator. In 1958, she was given a TV show in New York, where she doled out advice. She continued with a number of other TV shows, including Consult Dr. Brothers and Living Easy with Dr. Joyce Brothers. Brothers also wrote a monthly column for Good Housekeeping for nearly 40 years and published several bestselling books, including What Every Woman Should Know About Men.
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The Young & the Restless star died May 8 at 84. Cooper began her career with a role in the 1953 western film The Redhead in Wyoming. She went on to star in an early episode of NBC's Tales of Wells Fargo, followed by several guest appearances on CBS' Perry Mason, Hawaii Five-O, Mannix and Ironside. In 1973, Cooper began playing "Dame of Genoa City" Katherine Chancellor, a role she held throughout the last four decades. Her character went through four marriages, battled alcoholism and even had a facelift after Cooper asked writers to incorporate her real-life cosmetic surgery into the show. She earned two Daytime Emmys and 10 Daytime Emmy nominations during her career.
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The visual effects and animation Hollywood innovator died May 7 at 92. Harryhausen was best known for using stop-motion technology in the pre-CGI era. His most acclaimed films included The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, and the Oscar-winning Mighty Joe Young. Harryhausen's techniques included using rudimentary models and painstaking shot-by-shot animation to bring his films to life. His final special effects work was on 1981's Clash of the Titans, but Harryhausen also appeared in front of the camera, playing a bar patron in Beverly Hills Cop III and voicing the polar bear cub in Elf.
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The eight-time Emmy-winning Los Angeles news anchor-turned-actor died May 4 at 78 of complications from pneumonia. Throughout the '60s and '70s, Machado was Los Angeles' first Asian-American newscaster, working for KHJ-TV (now KCAL-TV) and KNXT (now KCBS-TV). He was also the host of Medix, a medical investigation series for which he earned three Emmy nominations. Additionally, he portrayed a news anchor in such films as Scarface, Robocop and Oh, God!
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The Slayer guitarist died May 2 at 49 of liver failure. Hanneman had been off the road since 2011 after he contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease, from a spider bite that nearly cost him his arm. The disease is believed to have contributed to his death. Hanneman was a founding member of Slayer, along with fellow guitarist Kerry King, and had played on all 10 of the band's studio releases.
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The Kris Kross rapper died May 1 at 34 of a suspected drug overdose after he was found unresponsive in his home. Kelly and his longtime rap partner Chris "Daddy Mac" Smith were discovered in 1990 by a young Jermaine Dupri at an Atlanta mall. Their debut album, Totally Krossed Out, was released in March 1992 and sold four million copies. The CD included the hit single "Jump," which topped the Billboard Hot 100 charts for eight weeks. The music video also sold more than 100,000 copies as a VHS video single. The group's second album, 1993's Da Bomb, went platinum but couldn't match the success of their debut. Their third ablum, 1996's Young, Rich & Dangerous, went gold. Kelly and Smith went solo afterward, but reunited in 2013 for So So Def's 20th Anniversary concert.
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The documentarian, activist and screenwriter of The China Syndrome died of heart failure on April 30 at 77. Gray addressed problematic social issues in both his writing and filmmaking, including two documentaries on race relations in Chicago and books on American drug policy and NASA. He earned a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination for 1979's The China Syndrome, which tackled the safety of nuclear power plants. Gray became an activist and renounced his Goldwater Republican ways after filming police beatings of protestors at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
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The sitcom director and former Directors Guild of America president died April 27 at 84. A two-time Emmy nominee, Shea got his big break directing the game show Truth or Consequences. He went on to helm directed 110 episodes of The Jeffersons, 91 episodes of Silver Spoons, in addition to Sanford and Son, Designing Women, Growing Pains and The Waltons.
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The baseball player-turned-actor died April 27 at 54 of liver failure. He had been living in a nursing home and undergoing dialysis for kidney issues for the past seven months. Early in his career, Lesley was a pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers, as well as the Hankyu Braces in Japan before turning to acting. He's well-known for his roles in Mr. Baseball and Little Big League, in which he played angry pitcher John 'Blackout' Gatling. He also appeared as himself in Space Jam.
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The country music legend died April 26 at 81, a week after being hospitalized with a fever and irregular blood pressure. Jones, who had been on his final tour, scored No. 1 hits in five straight decades and holds the record for the most charted country songs with approximately 160 hits during his seven-decade career. He is best known for his heartbreaking 1980 classic "He Stopped Loving Her Today," which many critics have hailed as the best country song of all time. A member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1956, Jones was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992 and was a Kennedy Center honoree in 2008. He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award last year.
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The folk singer, who opened Woodstock in 1969, died from a heart attack on April 22 at 72. Havens and his band were initially scheduled to go on as the fifth act of the opening day at Woodstock, but were forced to go first after opening act Sweetwater hit traffic on the way. Havens returned to Woodstock in 2009 to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Havens released more than 25 albums during his career. His last album, Nobody Left to Crown, was released in 2008. In addition to performing at Bill Clinton's Inauguration in 1993, Havens recorded jingles for different companies' commercials, including Amtrak and Maxwell House Coffee.
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The 1930s child star died April 20 at 91. Durbin made her feature film debut at the age of 15 in the film Three Smart Girls. She went on to appear in 100 Men and a Girl, which was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Durbin's musical talents were further showed off in the 1938 movies That Certain Age and Mad About Music. The following year she and Mickey Rooney were given miniature Academy Awards for "significant contribution in bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth." In 1946 Durbin's salary of $323,477 from Universal made her the second-highest-paid woman in America behind Bette Davis. Two years later, Durbin retired from acting.
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The Divinyls singer died April 20 at 53 after battling breast cancer and multiple sclerosis. Amphlett formed Divinyls in the early 1980s in Sydney with Mark McEntee and Jeremy Paul. The band, which underwent several lineup changes before breaking up in 1996, is best known for its 1991 hit "I Touch Myself." In 2006, Divinyls were inducted in the ARIA Hall of Fame and announced a new album and tour. As an actress, Amphlett co-starred in the 1982 movie Monkey Grip and starred alongside Russell Crowe in the stage musical Blood Brothers in Australia in 1988. She also played Judy Garland in the original touring production of The Boy from Oz.
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The M*A*S*H star died April 19 at 95. A military photographer, Arbus ran a fashion photography business with his wife, the famed photographer Diane Arbus, before getting into acting. He played psychiatrist Maj. Sidney Freedman on M*A*S*H and was so convincing that Alan Alda found himself opening up to Arbus on set. Arbus also appeared on Starsky and Hutch and Judging Amy. His last television appearance was on Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2000.
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The actor, who played Darth Vader's cohort Admiral Conan Antonio Motti in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, died unexpectedly at 66 on April 16. LeParmentier also co-starred in several high-profile 1970s and '80s films, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Rollerball and Octopussy. He later worked as a screenwriter for British TV.
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The broadcasting legend died April 16 at 82 after undergoing surgery for a broken hip. Known for his minimalist style, the former NFL pro became part of the most popular sports broadcast team in the country when he joined forces with John Madden for 21 seasons. Summerall also called NBA games for CBS, and was the network's lead voice on golf and tennis events, including 27 Masters and 20 tennis U.S. Opens. In 1994, he followed Madden to Fox when the network outbid CBS for NFL programming rights. He broadcast his last Super Bowl in 2002 and retired soon after.
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The Leave It to Beaver star, who played Wally's dimwitted sidekick Lumpy, died April 13 at 71 after battling several illnesses. After Beaver ended in 1963, Bank became a stock and bond broker in the 1970s and counted Mathers and his former co-star Barbara Billingsley, who played Mrs. Cleaver, among his clients. Bank reprised the role of Lumpy on the 1980s series The New Leave It to Beaver and in the 1983 TV movie Still Beaver. He also had a cameo as Frank in the 1997 movie Leave It to Beaver.
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The improv comedian and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Mork & Mindy and The Loved One star died April 11 at 87 of natural causes. After winning a talent contest, Winters began a career as a radio DJ before becoming a staple on late-night TV, making frequent appearances on The Tonight Show when it was hosted by Jack Paar and Johnny Carson. He even landed his own show The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters, which ran from 1972-74. In 1981, he joined the final season of Mork & Mindy, playing Robin Williams' extraterrestrial son, Mearth. Winters was most famous for his groundbreaking improv work and mimicry skills that inspired such stars as Williams and Jim Carrey.
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The Beach Party and Mickey Mouse Club star, singer and former teen icon died April 8 at 70 from complications of multiple sclerosis. Handpicked by Walt Disney himself, Funicello became one of the mose popular Mouseketeers on the original MMC before launching a successful singing career. In 1963, she teamed with Frankie Avalon for Beach Party, which spawned a series of sequels and is credited for popularizing the beach party film genre. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1987, Funicello first chose to keep it a secret, but was forced to go public in 1992 to refute rumors that she had lost the ability to walk because of alcoholism. She detailed her battle in her 1994 autobiography, A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: My Story. Disney adapted it into a TV movie a year later, starring Eva LaRue as Funicello, who appeared in a few scenes as herself.
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The Spanish actress died April 8 at 85 after passing out. Montiel experienced some success in Spain, but her career reached new heights in Mexico in the late 1940s, where she starred in such hit Spanish language films as Carcel de Mujeres (Women's Prison). She then transitioned to Hollywood and starred in the 1955 western Vera Cruz with Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster, and the musical Serenade alongside Joan Fontaine and Vincent Price. Her 1957 film El Ultimo Cuple (The Last Couplet) became one of the highest grossing movies in Spanish history, earning Montiel more than $1 million for next film — a rare feat for a Spanish star of her time. She retired from the big screen in the 1970s and turned her attention solely to live musicals on stage and television.
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The former British prime minister died April 8 at 87 after suffering a stroke. After serving as a member of Britain's Parliament, Education Secretary and Leader of the Opposition, Thatcher became the first female prime minister of Britain. She served as the leader of Britain's Conservative Party from 1979 to 1990 and was nicknamed "The Iron Lady" for her uncompromising demeanor. During her time in office, Thatcher developed a close relationship with U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Thatcher retired from public life in 2002 after suffering a series of strokes and had been in relatively poor health in recent years.
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The documentary filmmaker died April 7 at 77 after a yearlong battle with bladder cancer. Blanks' films covered a variety of subjects, from blues to garlic lovers to Werner Herzog, though he did not think of himself as a documentarian. His former wife Chris Simon said that he preferred to think of himself as a filmmaker whose work happened to be about real people. His 42 films, most of which are under an hour, earned him lifetime achievement awards from the American Film Institute and the International Documentary.
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The music producer and sound engineer who worked with such bands as Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and Van Halen died April 7 at 61 after a brief hospitalization. Johns was the engineer for the majority of Led Zeppelin's albums, including Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin IV, Houses of the Holy and Physical Graffiti. He also worked on the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street and Goats Head Soup; Van Halen's For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge; and two albums by Joe Satriani.
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The legendary film critic died April 4 at 70 after an 11-year battle with cancer that saw him lose his jaw and robbed his ability to speak. Ebert, who worked at The Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death, reviewed nearly 200 movies a year during his career, both in print and on the television show At the Movies with partner Gene Siskel and later Richard Roeper. Siskel and Ebert, who were famous for their heated disagreements about some films, ended their reviews with a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down." The best of films often received a "two thumbs up" endorsement, a that phrase quickly entered the lexicon. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005 and was the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize, which he did in 1975. Two days before his death, Ebert announced that his cancer had returned and he would be taking a "leave of presence" from reviewing films. His last written words in that blog post: "Thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies."
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Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
The author and two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter died April 3 at 85 after a long illness. During a career that spanned more than 40 years in the film industry, Jhabvala wrote more than 20 screenplays for Merchant Ivory productions. She won Oscars for adapting the E.M. Forster novels Howards End and A Room with a View, and was nominated for her adaptation of The Remains of the Day. In 1975, Jhabvala received the Booker Prize, Britain's highest literary award, for her novel Heat and Dust. Her final published short story appeared in the March 25 issue of The New Yorker.
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The Irish actor Milo O'Shea, who played an evil scientist in Barbarella and a Supreme Court chief justice on The West Wing, died April 2 at 86 after a brief illness. O'Shea was nominated for a Tony Award in 1968 for his performance as a gay man in Staircase, and also in 1982 for playing Father Tim Farley in Mass Appeal. His other notable film roles included Friar Laurence in Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet and a trial judge in The Verdict alongside Paul Newman.
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The Spanish horror director died April 2 at 82 of complications from a stroke. Known for his low-budget cult films, Franco scored his first big hit with the 1962 film The Awful Dr. Orloff, which was also released in the U.S. He contributed greatly to the cinema fantastique genre, which employed supernatural phenomena in realistic stories, and he helped lead the 1960s Spanish horror boom. Despite fascist censorship, sex, blood and gore were prominently featured in his films. Franco's other notable works include 1969's Count Dracula, 1971's Dracula vs. Frankenstein and Oasis of the Zombies in 1983.
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Jane Nebel Henson
Nebel Henson, who co-created the Muppets with her husband Jim Henson, died April 2 at 78 after a lengthy battle with cancer. After meeting her husband in a puppetry class in college, the two created and performed together on a television show, Sam and Friends, which aired on the local NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C., while they were still in school. The Muppets on Sam and Friends soon gained popularity and began appearing on variety shows such as Steve Allen's Tonight Show Nebel Henson retired from full-time Muppeteering in the early 1960s to raise their children, but continued to perform non-speaking Muppets on Sesame Street through at least the 1980s. She and Henson separated in 1986 but remained close until his death in 1990.
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The 21-year-old Buckwild star was found dead April 1 his 1984 Ford Bronco, along with his uncle David Gandee and friend Donald Myers. The trio, who had gone muddling the day before, died from carbon monoxide poisoning after the truck became submerged in the mud, preventing deadly fumes from escaping from the car. Production on Season 2 of Buckwild has since been halted.
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The music producer, known as the "Pope of Pop," died March 30 at 72. Ramone won 14 Grammys throughout his five-decade career and worked with some of the industry's top artists, including Madonna, Bob Dylan, Burt Bacharach, Aretha Franklin, Paul McCartney and Frank Sinatra. Ramone co-founded A & R Recording in 1958 and produced the first major commercial release on CD, Billy Joel's 1982 album 52nd Street.
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The British actor, best known for playing Uncle Vernon in the Harry Potter franchise, died March 28 at 65 after undergoing heart surgery. Prior to Harry Potter, Griffiths was most famous for playing Uncle Monty in the 1987 cult classic Withnail and I. He also worked with Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe in a 2007 London production of Equus. His last major role was opposite Danny DeVito in a West End production of The Sunshine Boys in 2012.
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The New York Times columnist who twice won a Pulitzer Prize, died March 24 at 85 from complications of renal and heart failure. Lewis worked at the Times for 32 years where he used his column to champion liberal causes, such as human rights and free speech. He won his first Pulitzer in 1955 after defending a Navy civilian who was falsely accused of being a communist sympathizer. His second came in 1963 for his reporting on the Supreme Court. The journalist also wrote the critically acclaimed 1964 book Gideon's Trumpet, which was adapted into a television movie starring Henry Fonda.
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The bodybuilding expert and mentor to Arnold Schwarzenegger died March 23 at 93 of heart failure. Weider began lifting weights after he was turned down from joining a local wrestling team because of his small size. By age 17, he had won his first bodybuilding ranking. Later, he and his brother started a mail-order barbell business, formed the International Federation of Bodybuilders and held the first Mr. Canada competition in 1946. Weider popularized bodybuilding with appearances in such magazines as Muscle & Fitness and Flex. (Schwarzenegger is now the executive editor of both.) He also created bodybuilding events such as the Mr. and Ms. Olympia contests, the Fitness Olympia and the Figure Olympia.
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The opera singer died March 20 at 99, only three months shy of becoming a centenarian. Stevens, who sang as a mezzo-soprano with the Metropolitan Opera from 1938 to 1961, was celebrated for her take on Carmen. She also lent her voice to radio and film, including Journey Back to Oz, Going My Way and The Chocolate Soldier.
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The legendary adult film star, best known for Deep Throat, died March 19 at 65 of organ failure brought on by pancreatic cancer. Reems, whose real name is Herbert Streicher, slipped into a coma four days before his death after his liver and kidneys began to fail. After briefly serving in the United States Marine Corps, Reems decided to pursue acting and appeared primarily in off-Broadway theater. He first rose to fame in 1972 when he stared in Deep Throat, the first adult film made for wide screen. Because of Deep Throat, Reems was the only actor ever tried and convicted of pandering obscenities for being in a film, but the conviction was overturned on appeal. Reems eventually left the adult film industry in the mid-1980s and became a realtor.
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The Homeland producer died March 18 at 66 of a heart attack. Bromell had worked on Homeland since its inception, first as a consulting producer and then an executive producer. He shared in the show's Best Drama Series Emmy win in 2012. Bromell's other credits include Northern Exposure, Homicide: Life on the Street and Rubicon.
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The Are You Being Served? star died in his sleep on March 16 at 92. The British actor landed the role of Captain Peacock on Served in the 1972. He subsequently starred in the series Last of the Summer Wine and appeared in movies including Gosford Park.
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The musician died March 16 at 39. While his record label said Molina died of natural causes, other reports said he died of organ failure from alcohol abuse. As a solo artist, Molina created the bands Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. for which he'd enlist other musicians for individual projects as needed. He had released over a dozen albums with the bands.
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The country singer died March 14 at 83 from complications stemming from Alzheimer's disease. Nicknamed the Jolly Green Giant, Greene joined Ernest Tubb's Texas Troubadours as a drummer and a relief singer in 1962. When one of his vocal recordings with the band gained traction, he was offered a record deal as a solo artist. He officially left Tubb's band in 1967 when his single "There Goes My Everything" began topping the country charts. That same year, he took home three awards at the first-ever Country Music Association Awards and joined the Grand Ole Opry cast that December. He went on to score five No. 1 country hits in three years and also recorded several hit duets with Opry member Jeannie Seely, including 1969's "Wish I Didn't Have to Miss You."
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The character actor died March 13 at 84 of cancer. Throughout his five-decade career, Throne appeared on more than 90 television shows. He is best known for playing Batman villain False Face in a two-part episode in 1966 and Robert Wagner's boss on It Takes a Thief. He also provided the voice for Talosian leader The Keeper in the Star Trek pilot. He went on to play Commodore Jose Mendez in the series' only two-parter, as well as work on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II.
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The former Iron Maiden drummer died March 12 at 56 after a 12-year battle with multiple sclerosis. Burr joined Iron Maiden in 1979 and contributed to the rock group's first three albums: its 1980 self-titled debut, 1981's Killers and the Number of the Beast in 1982. He left the band in 1982 just before the band enjoyed major success. After leaving Iron Maiden, Burr played with the French group Trust, and the American band Alcatrazz. He also led a group first known as Clive Burr's Escape, later called Stratus, before he joined Dee Snider's post-Twisted Sister band Desperado. In the 1990s, he played with British bands Elixir and Praying Mantis.
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Princess Lilian of Sweden
The royal, whose relationship with Prince Bertil was kept secret for more than 30 years because she was a commoner, died March 10 at 90 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. In 1943, she met Sweden's Prince Bertil, who was stationed at the Swedish Embassy in London. His father, King Gustaf VI Adolf, prevented the two from marrying because it would put their dynasty in jeopardy. Lilian and Bertil settled for a common-law marriage and lived together in France and Stockholm, though their relationship was never made official. Finally, in 1976, a new king gave them permission to get married, which they did in December of that year.
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The original Yes guitarist died March 7 at 65 from heart failure. Banks helped form Yes in 1968 before leaving the band in 1970. He went on to form the band Flash, with whom he released three albums before forming the band Empire. He also released five solo albums over the course of his career.
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The country singer died March 7 at 90 after his son found him unresponsive in bed. An original member of the Louisiana Hayride, the same Saturday night show where Elvis Presley also got his start, King was best known for the 1962 hit "Wolverton Mountain," which told the story of Clifton Clowers, who protected his daughter from potential suitors. The song held the No. 1 position on Billboard's country music chart for nine weeks and reached top 10 of the Hot 100.
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The Ten Years After guitarist died March 6 at 68 following complications from a routine surgery. With his band, the British singer and guitarist performed at Woodstock in 1969, where their song, "I'm Going Home," became a key part of Michael Wadleigh's film and soundtrack about the festival. The band went on to release 10 albums before splitting in 1973. Most recently, Lee released his 14th solo album, Still on the Road to Freedom, in August 2012.
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The socialist president of Venezuela died March 5 at 58 after a battle with pelvic cancer. Chavez, who tried unsuccessfully to overthrow Venezuela's elite in a coup in 1992 before being elected in 1999, was a polarizing leader who befriended some of the world's dictators. He remained popular in his country as a champion of the poor and held onto power thanks to a series of populist elections and referenda, which allowed him to seek a limitless number of terms in office. Always outspoken, Chavez criticized oil companies and the Catholic Church. He also often criticized the United States' treatment of Latin America and at different times called President George W. Bush a "liar," a "murderer" and, during a 2006 speech before the UN General Assembly, "the devil."
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The "A Sunday Kind of Love" singer died on her 87th birthday on March 4 of natural causes. Warren, whos real name was Frances Wolfe, performed on a chorus line at the Roxy Theater before auditioning with Duke Ellington's big band at 16. She didn't join his band, but she started singing with bands led by Randy Brooks, Art Mooney, Billy Eckstine, Charlie Barnet and Claude Thornhill soon after. It was with Thornhill's band that she topped the charts for the time with 1947's "A Sunday Kind of Love." Her other hits include "I Said My Pajamas (and Put On My Pray'rs)" with Tony Martin and "It's Anybody's Heart." Her film credits include Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd, The Pajama Game and Finian's Rainbow.
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Rogers, who helped form the Motown group the Miracles along with Smokey Robinson, died March 3 at 73 after a lengthy illness. The group, which was known in later years as Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, recorded Motown's first million-selling single, "Shop Around," in 1960 and spawned 30 Top 40 singles including "You've Really Got a Hold on Me," "I Second That Emotion" and "Tears of a Clown." Rogers and Robinson co-wrote several songs, including the Miracles' "Going to a Go-Go" and the Temptations' "The Way You Do the Things You Do." Rogers is also heard on Marvin Gaye's hit "What's Going On" saying the phrase, "It's just a groovy party, man. I can dig it."
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The One Day at a Time star died March 1 at 69 from pancreatic cancer. Franklin earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her turn as Ann Romano, a single mother of two daughters, on the Norman Lear sitcom. A Tony nominee for Applause, Franklin also appeared on Gidget, Don't Eat the Daisies, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Munsters and Love Boat. Recently, she reunited with her One Day co-star Valerie Bertinelli on Hot in Cleveland and did a guest appearance on The Young and the Restless.
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Robertson, who starred in television and movie Westerns beginning in the late 1950s, died Feb. 27 at 89 after a brief illness. Robertson's film credits include playing Jesse James in 1949's Fighting Man of the Plans. He also starred alongside Joan Crawford in Flamingo Road. Once he transitioned to television in the 1950s, Robertson landed roles in such series as Tales of Wells Fargo, Iron Horse and Death Valley Days. Later, he also starred on Dallas and Dynasty. His final role before retirement was playing Zeke in Harts of the West in the early 1990s.
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The legendary pianist who helped inspire people during the Cold War died Feb. 27 at 78 from bone cancer. A Texas native and Julliard grad, Cliburn rose to fame at age 23 in 1958 after winning the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. That year he was on the cover of Time magazine with the headline, "The Texan Who Conquered Russia." Although Russia and the United States were battling at the time, Cilburn became a hero to Soviets. Cliburn performed for royalty and every U.S. president since Harry Truman. In 2003, Cliburn was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush and in 2004 Russian President Vladimir Putin presented him with the Order of Friendship. He was also given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 and in 2011 President Barack Obama presented him with the National Medal of the Arts.
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The Allman Brothers guitarist died in his sleep on Feb. 25 at 65 after a two-year battle with ALS. Toler joined the legendary rock band in 1979. Toler and his brother David "Frankie" Toler later joined Gregg Allman in his band Gregg Allman and Friends in 1986. In the early '90s, the Toler brothers, John Townsend, Bruce Waibel and Mark Pettey created the Townsend Toler Band. Toler and Townsend teamed up again in 2009.
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C. Everett Koop
The former Surgeon General died Feb. 25 at 96. A former pediatric surgeon, Koop served as Surgeon General from 1982 to 1989. During his tenure, Koop lobbied for safe sex and the use of condoms in the fight against AIDS. He also called for a "smoke-free" society, and his 1986 Surgeon's General report lead to the eventual prohibition on smoking in airplanes, restaurants and at workplaces.
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The Canadian director in a plane crash on Feb. 24 at 30. Driftmier, who had a number of documentary film credits to his name, died while getting footage for the series Dangerous Flights. Both Driftmier and his pilot were killed when their small plane crashed in Kenya.
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Austin, who starred in an anti-smoking commercial in which she smoked a cigarette through a hole in her throat, died of cancer on Feb. 22 at 62. In Austin's PSA, which began airing in California in 1996, she said she had begun smoking at age 13 and had never been able to quit. Designed to illustrate the addictiveness of nicotine, the ad featured Austin inhaling smoke from a lit cigarette through a hole in her throat. The hole, called a stoma, allowed Austin to breathe after she had her larynx removed at age 42. Austin quit smoking four months after filming the ad and she subsequently battled various forms of cancer, but remained an anti-smoking advocate for the rest of her life.
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The A Different World star died Feb. 19 at 77 following a heart-related emergency. His heart stopped and although doctors were able to revive him, he fell into a coma and died hours later. Myers appeared twice on The Cosby Show before landing on its spin-off, A Different World, which ran from 1988-1993. He continued to enjoy guest-star turns on shows like Living Single, ER and NYPD Blue, and also recurred on 2003's All About the Andersons. His film credits include Volcano, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Tin Cup and The Wedding Planner.
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The country singer died at 37 of an apparent suicide on Feb. 17, just a month after her boyfriend, David Wilson, died of an apparent suicide as well. McCready shot to fame in 1996 with her multi-platinum debut album Ten Thousand Angels, which included hits like "Guys Do It All the Time," "A Girl's Gotta Do (What a Girl's Gotta Do)." Her personal troubles, including arrests, probation violations, suicide attempts and substance abuse, soon overshadowed her musical talents. In 2008, it was also revealed that the singer had been involved a long-term extramarital affair with former Major League Baseball player Roger Clemens that lasted for more than ten years. In 2010, McCready appeared on the third season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew to battle her substance addiction. She released what would be her fifth and final album, I'm Still Here, later that year.
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The self-help author of The Dark Side of Light Chasers died Feb. 17 at 57 after a long battle with cancer. Ford also penned eight other books and led workshops and hosted TV and radio shows on self-help.
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The British TV actor died Feb. 17 at 79 after battling a serious lung condition. Briers' first claim to fame was playing George Starling in the TV series Marriage Lines, which ran from 1961 to 1966. His turn as Tom on the 1975 BBC sitcom The Good Life made him a household name. The show's final episode was performed in front of the Queen. In recent years, he had guest-starred on Extras and Torchwood, and also played the servant Adam in Kenneth Branagh's 2006 adaptation of Shakespeare's As You Like It. In 1989, Briers was named an Officer of the British Empire, and in 2003, he was named a Commander of the British Empire.
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Sheridan, who fronted the Beatles' first recording, died Feb. 16 at 72. Sheridan first met the Beatles, which then included John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best, in 1960. Together, Sheridan and the Beatles recorded nine songs together, with Sheridan singing on seven of them ("My Bonnie," "The Saints," "Why (Can't You Love Me Again)," "Nobody's Child," "Take Out Some Insurance On Me, Baby," "Sweet Georgia Brown" and "Swanee River"). McCartney referred to Sheridan as "The Teacher" for his crucial influence over the group, including introducing them to American R&B artists, such as Little Richard. In the mid-'60s, Sheridan toured Europe with Jerry Lee Lewis, Chubby Checker and other American musicians. Sheridan released his last album, Vagabond, in 2002.
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The Dave Clark Five bassist died at 72 on Feb. 11 of emphysema. Huxley played on the band's signature hits, including "Bits and Pieces" and "Glad All Over" during the mid-1960s when the group rivaled the Beatles in popularity. The Dave Clark Five had a huge following in the United States thanks to 18 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show before disbanding in 1970 after 12 years together. Huxley went onto pursue a career in real estate but also stayed involved in the music industry. The Dave Clark Five was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.
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The Storage Wars star was found dead Feb. 11 at 40 of an apparent suicide. His death came two days after he was arrested for a drug-related offense. icknamed "Rico Suave" on Storage Wars because of the flashy attire he wore to auctions, Balelo first appeared on the show in the second season. He made headlines in 2011 when he helped Nicolas Cage recover a rare 1938 comic book featuring Superman's debut that was stolen from his home. The comic book was valued at $1 million.
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The Underdog co-creator died unexpectedly on Feb. 10 at 85. Biggers was working at a New York City advertising firm when he was assigned to create cartoon characters to promote breakfast cereals for the company's biggest client, General Mills. Among his ideas was Underdog, which debuted on NBC in 1964. Biggers, who went by "Buck," later became the vice president of promotion and creative services at NBC. He also wrote for publications such as Reader's Digest, TV Guide and Family Circle, and published several novels.
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The Star Wars makeup artist died Feb. 5 at 98. Freeborn's most famous creations include Yoda, Chewbacca and Jabba the Hutt. He modeled Yoda's facial expressions after his own. Freeborn also worked on 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Great Muppet Caper, The Omen and Dr. Strangelove.
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The famed jazz trumpeter died Feb. 4 at 80. Byrd quickly became one of the signature instrumental voices of the hard-bop jazz movement with the release of his first album in 1955 and appeared on 36 recordings in 1957 alone. During the 1980s and 1990s, Byrd delved into rap music, and his trumpets solos were featured on songs by Public Enemy, Nas and Erykah Badu. In 2000, he was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts, the country's highest honor for jazz musicians and he continued to perform into his late 70s. Byrd also taught at numerous schools, including Howard University, Rutgers University, Delaware State University and the University of Delaware.
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The South Pacific and Tea and Sympathy star died Feb. 2 of heart failure at 81. Kerr, who won a Tony in 1954 for his performance in Tea, was also a presence in television, with guest-starring roles on The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Peyton Place and The Streets of San Francisco. His other film credits include The Pit and the Pendulum.
123 of 133 Robin Sachs
The actor, best known for playing sorcerer Ethan Rayne on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, died Feb. 1 at 61. After getting his start in 1972, Sachs took on the role Adam Carrington in the Dynasty: The Reunion miniseries when original star Gordon Thomson was unavailable. Besides Buffy, he also enjoyed steady work on several sci-fi TV series including Babylon 5, Star Trek: Voyager and Torchwood: Miracle Day. He also played the evil General Sarris in the sci-fi spoof movie Galaxy Quest and most recently guest-starred on NCIS as an MI5 inspector.
124 of 133 Omar Henry/Facebook
The boxer died Feb. 1 at 25 from Stage 4 gallbladder cancer, less than three months after his diagnosis. Henry, who held a 12-0-1 record as a light middleweight, had posted emotional messages on his Facebook page asking for prayers and support. In a post marked Jan. 9, he said he hoped to live to celebrate his 26th birthday on Feb 8.
125 of 133 Jason Kempin/Getty Images
The mayor of New York City died Feb. 1 at 88 of congestive heart failure. Koch was first elected to City Council in 1967. He moved on to the House of Representatives two years later, where he stayed until 1973. Koch served three terms as New York City mayor, from 1978 to 1989, and helped lead the city through the financial crisis in the '70s. nown as Hizzoner, the colorful mayor even had a catchphrase: "How'm I doin.'" After his final term as mayor, Koch went on to host The People's Court in the late '90s, wrote many books, had his own newspaper column and returned to practicing law.
126 of 133 Eric Lars Baake/ESPN/AP
The 25-year-old snowmobiler died Jan. 31 from injuries sustained a week earlier in a Winter X Games crash. Moore had attempted a backflip late in the final, but under-rotated his sled and did not get it far enough down the landing ramp. He was subsequently knocked off the mobile, and the skis of the sled landed on him as he slid down the ramp. He suffered a concussion and a heart contusion, and was underwent emergency surgery the next day. Two days later, a family spokeswoman announced that he had suffered a "brain complication," and he was later listed in critical condition. Moore's death was the first in Winter X Games history.
127 of 133 Robert F. Chew
Robert F. Chew
Chew, who played Prop Joe on The Wire, died Jan. 17 at 52 of heart failure. The actor also appeared on Homicide: Life on the Street and The Corner, both written by The Wire creator David Simon. In addition to acting, Chew was a beloved teacher of young-adult actors at Baltimore's Arena Players, through which he helped 22 of his students land parts on the HBO hit. During The Wire's fourth season, which focused on the Baltimore City School System, Chew mentored the young actors cast alongside him.
128 of 133 Pauline Phillips
Phillips, who created the famous "Dear Abby" advice column, died Jan. 16 at 94 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. Phillips was 37 and a stay-at-home housewife when she called the editor of The San Francisco Chronicle in 1956 and audaciously told him that she could write a better advice column than the paper's current one. Writing under the pen name Abigail Van Buren — chosen for the Old Testament's Abigail and the eighth president Martin Van Buren — Phillips became an instant reader favorite with her flippant tone. She retired in 2002, leaving "Dear Abby" to her daughter Jeanne, who had been co-writing it since 1987 and was co-host of their CBS radio show The Dear Abby Show. Phillips' twin sister, Eppie Lederer, penned the "Ask Ann Landers" column, and the two were estranged for years before reconciling before Lederer's death in 2002.
129 of 133 Mike Marsland/WireImage
The British filmmaker and restaurant critic died Jan. 20 at 77 after an illness. Winner, who got his start in journalism as a teenager, writing an entertainment column for his local paper and later becoming the student editor of Cambridge University's newspaper, started directing features in the '70s. He's directed 30 films, including Scorpio, a remake of The Big Sleep, and his best-known work, the Death Wish trilogy. He worked with legendary actors including Burt Lancaster, Charles Bronson, Faye Dunaway and Marlon Brando.
130 of 133 Herb Ball/NBC/NBCU
The Diff'rent Strokes star died Jan. 14 at 89 of natural causes. After serving in the Canadian Army during World War II, Bain studied acting and started his career on Broadway, with credits including The Iceman Cometh and Uncle Vanya. Upon switching to television, Bain appeared on Dark Shadows and as Bea Arthur's nemesis on Maude, before landing his best-known role on Diff'rent Strokes as Mr. Drummond, the Park Avenue millionaire who adopts two African American boys from Harlem after their mother, Drummond's former housekeeper, dies. Bain reprised the role on the series finale of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1996.
131 of 133 Kevin Winter/Getty Images
David R. Ellis
The Snakes on a Plane director died Jan. 7 at 60. Ellis got his start as an actor before transitioning to stuntman and eventually stunt coordinator. He later did second unit directing for action sequences in films such as Waterworld and The Matrix Reloaded. In 1996, he made his directorial debut with Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco. He was preparing to start production on his next film, Kite, which would've reunited him with Snakes star Samuel L. Jackson, when he died.
132 of 133 Brad Lemack/AP
The 89-year-old Jeffersons star died Jan. 2 from complications related to a fall. After beginning his career on Broadway in the late 1940s, Wertimer moved to Los Angeles in the '60s to focus on television. He made his debut on The Jeffersons as Ralph, the doorman who was "always looking for a tip," in 1975. Throughout his career, Wertimer also appeared on other programs, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mork & Mindy and Gunsmoke. He also had roles in several films, most recently a bit part in 2007's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
133 of 133 The Kobal Collection
The "Tennessee Waltz" and "(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window" singer died Jan. 1 at 85. Page recorded 50 albums during her career, with 19 gold singles and 14 platinum singles. She was also the only musical performer to have her own series on CBS, NBC and ABC. In 1979, Page was given the Pioneer Award by the Academy of Country Music and was also inducted into the Grammy Awards Hall of Fame in 1998. She has stars on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Country Music Walk of Fame.