Grace Under Fire alum Jon Paul Steuer died on Jan. 1 at the age of 33. A cause of death was not immediately released. Prior to landing a role as the title character's son on Grace Under Fire, Steuer appeared as a young Klingon on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He also had small roles on The Wonder Years and in the film Little Giants before he quit acting at age 12. Later, he was the lead singer of the band P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S. and opened a vegan restaurant in Portland, Oregon.
Van Dyke passed away on Jan. 5 at the age of 86, after a period of declining health stemming from a car accident two years prior. The brother of comic Dick Van Dyke, he performed stand-up routines on a number of shows including his brother's, and went on to have a starring role on Coach. Recently, he guest-starred on ABC's The Middle.
Keith Jackson, regarded by many as the voice of college football, died Friday, Jan. 12 at the age of 89. Known for his signature phrase "Whoa, Nellie!", Jackson first began calling college football games for ABC Sports in 1966 and retired following the 2006 Rose Bowl. During his lengthy broadcasting career, Jackson covered 11 World Series, 10 Winter and Summer Olympics, and worked NFL and NBA games. He is credited with nicknaming the University of Michigan's football stadium "The Big House" and coining the Rose Bowl as "The Granddaddy of Them All." The first American sports announcer to broadcast an event from the Soviet Union, he was inducted into the American Sportscasters Hall of Fame in 1994.
Actor Donnelly Rhodes died at 80 on Jan. 8. He was best known for playing Dr. Cottle on the sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica from 2004 to 2009. He also starred on Soap and appeared on The Golden Girls, Bonanza, Cheers, Taxi, Mission: Impossible (1966), The Young and the Restless, Psych, Smallville, Murder, She Wrote and Supernatural.
Doreen Tracey, one of the original Mouseketeers on The Mickey Mouse Club, died Jan. 10 at 74. She appeared on the show from 1955 to 1958. After the show ended, she continued to work as an actress and touring performer before transitioning into a behind-the-scenes role as a publicist for musician Frank Zappa. In 2001, she published a memoir called Confessions of a Mouseketeer.
Bobby Zarin, husband of former Real Housewives of New York star Jill Zarin, died Jan. 13 after a battle with cancer. He was 71. The fabric magnate appeared occasionally throughout his wife's time on the show, though he was sick for much of it. He was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2009 and battled various forms of the disease for years. He is survived by Jill, his three children Jonathan, David and Jennifer and his stepdaughter Ally.
Peter Wyngarde, star of the British TV series Department S and Jason King, died Jan. 15 at age 90. The flamboyant playboy Jason King character that he played on the two shows later inspired Mike Myers' Austin Powers character. Wyngarde's early life was shrouded in mystery, and his birth date, birth location and name are disputed (his real name may have been Cyril Goldbert). He began acting when he was held in a Japanese internment camp for American and European nationals in China during World War II.
Bradford Dillman, a ubiquitous character actor in the '60s and '70s, died Jan. 16 at 87. Beginning his career in the '50s after serving in the Marine Corps, he first achieved recognition for his performance in the original Broadway run of Eugene O'Neill's play A Long Day's Journey Into Night. He won a Golden Globe in 1958 for the movie A Certain Smile. In the '60s and '70s he focused on television and guest-starred on Ironside, Columbo, The Greatest Show on Earth, Mission: Impossible and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, among others. His final acting credit was a 1995 episode of Murder, She Wrote, a show on which he appeared eight times.
Simon Shelton, the British actor best known for his role as Tinky Winky on the preschool children's show Teletubbies, passed away on Jan. 17 at the age of 52. Shelton played Tinky Winky from 1998 to 2001, taking over for original performer Dave Thompson. Shelton was born Simon Barnes on Jan. 13, 1966 in London. He started his career as a ballet dancer and a choreographer, and was initially reluctant to take the kids' show role.
Dorothy Malone, star of the '60s primetime soap Peyton Place, died Jan. 19 at 93. Malone won an Oscar for the 1956 movie Written on the Wind, which made her a star. She got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960. She played repressed bookstore owner Constance MacKenzie, mother of Allison, played by Mia Farrow, on NBC's Peyton Place from 1964 to 1968.
Actress Olivia Cole died on Jan. 19 after suffering a heart attack at her home in Mexico. Cole made her acting debut on the soap opera Guiding Light in 1969 and went on to appear in dozens of movies and TV shows, and on Broadway. She is perhaps best known for playing Matilda on Roots, a role for which she became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Television Movie. She also received an Emmy nomination for her role in the miniseries Backstairs at the White House.
Joel Taylor, star of Discovery's Storm Chasers, died Jan. 23 at age 38. Taylor appeared on the tornado-tracking documentary series from its premiere in 2007 through its end in 2012. He was team leader Reed Timmer's driver as they filmed storms throughout Tornado Alley. He had a degree in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma.
Mark Salling, a former star of the musical series Glee, committed suicide Jan. 30. He was 35. He was awaiting sentencing after being convicted of possession of child pornography last year. He played Noah "Puck" Puckerman on the Fox series Glee from 2009 to 2015.
Former American Idol contestant Leah LaBelle Vladowski and her husband, former NBA player Rasual Butler, died in a car accident Jan. 31. Vladowski finished 12th on the third season of American Idol, which was won by Fantasia Barrino. Butler played in the NBA for 14 seasons before retiring in 2016.
Louis Zorich, best known for playing Burt Buchman, the father of Paul Reiser's character on the '90s sitcom Mad About You, died Jan. 30 at 93. He also starred on the early-'90s CBS sitcom Brooklyn Bridge. He was married to Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis from 1962 until his death.
John Mahoney, best known for playing Niles and Frasier Crane's crotchety father Martin on the sitcom Frasier, died Feb. 4. He was 77. He earned two Emmy nominations for his Frasier role. He also appeared on Hot in Cleveland, Burn Notice and In Treatment. He was a member of Chicago's acclaimed Steppenwolf Theater Company.
Mickey Jones, most remembered for his roles on Home Improvement and Justified, died on Feb. 7 from effects of a long illness. He was 76 years old. Outside of his long career as a character actor, Jones was also an author and an accomplished musician. He toured and played with legendary artists like Trini Lopez, Johnny Rivers and Kenny Rodgers. He also toured with Bob Dylan during the folk singer's controversial electric period.
Reg E. Cathey passed away Feb. 9 at the age of 59. He was most known for his role of political operative Norman Wilson on The Wire and as Frank Underwood's (Kevin Spacey) confidant Freddy on Netflix's House of Cards. The Wire creator David Simon remembered Cathey as "Not only a fine, masterful actor -- but simply one of the most delightful human beings with whom I ever shared some long days on set."
Jan Maxwell died on Feb. 11 of complications from breast cancer at her home in Manhattan. She was 61. Though Maxwell, a two-time Tony Award winner, was best known for her work on stage, she also had small roles on several TV shows, including Law & Order, Gossip Girl and The Good Wife.
Comedian Marty Allen, who was recognizable for his frizzy black hair, bug eyes and catchphrase "Hello Dere," died Feb. 12 at age 95. Allen was known as the "Darling of Daytime TV" for his ubiquity on talk shows and game shows throughout the '60s, '70s and '80s. He appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show 44 times with his comedy partner Steve Rossi, including on the historic 1964 episode in which The Beatles made their American debut.
Nanette Fabray died on Feb. 22 at her home in Palo Verdes, California. She was 97. The three-time Emmy winner was most known for her work on the variety show Caesar's Hour and for playing Grandma Katherine Romano on the original One Day at a Time. Fabray also won a Tony Award in 1948 for her role in Love Life. Her other TV credits include The Love Boat and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
David Ogden Stiers, who played surgeon Major Charles Emerson Winchester III on M*A*S*H, died March 3 of bladder cancer. He was 75. Stiers received two Emmy nominations for his role on M*A*S*H, and a third for his portrayal of U.S. Olympic Committee founder William Milligan Sloane in the NBC miniseries The First Olympics: Athens 1896. Among several other notable television and film credits, he voiced Cogsworth in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, for which he won a Grammy award. In 2009, he came out publicly as gay, saying he didn't do so prior because he was worried it would damage his career.
Visionary physicist Stephen Hawking died peacefully in his Cambridge home on March 14 at 76 years old. Hawking is best known for his groundbreaking work in physics regarding relativity and black holes as detailed in his 1988 novel A Brief History of Time. As a major pop culture figure, he appeared as himself in a number of shows including Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Simpsons, Futurama and The Big Bang Theory. He was confined to a wheelchair for most of his adult life after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a debilitating disease affecting his voluntary muscular movement, at age 21.
Boston television personality Frank Avruch, who played the first Bozo the Clown to appear on nationally-syndicated TV, passed away from heart disease on March 22 at 89 years old. Avruch took on the character from 1959 to 1970 and starred in the popular children's show, Bozo the Clown. In addition, he was a contributor to the local news station WCVB-TV for more than 40 years as host of Man About Town and The Great Entertainment.
Actress DuShon Monique Brown died on March 24 of natural causes, according to her manager, after going to the hospital with chest issues. She was 49 years old. Brown played Connie, the no-nonsense assistant to Eamonn Walker's Chief Boden on NBC's Chicago Fire, and her other TV credits include Empire and Shameless.
Lancaster, who participated in the seventh season of MTV's reality series Road Rules, died March 29 at age 43.
Pioneering TV writer and producer Steven Bochco died Sunday, April 1 at the age of 74 after a battle with leukemia. Best known as the creator or co-creator of such iconic TV shows as Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, Doogie Howser, M.D. and NYPD Blue, Bochco was nominated for more than 30 Emmys over his lifetime, eventually taking home 10. He received the prestigious Peabody Award four times and was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1996.
Wrestler Johnny "Luscious" Valiant died on April 4 at age 71 after a fatal car accident. He was crossing the street in Ross Township, Pennsylvania when he was struck by a pickup truck and died. Valiant began his wrestling career in the 60s, rising to fame as one half of The Valiant Brothers in the 1970s. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996. Outside of wrestling, Valiant also appeared in The Sopranos and had a part in Mickey Rourke's Oscar-winning film The Wrestler.
Actor Harry Anderson passed away in Asheville, North Carolina on April 16 at the age of 65. He was best known for his role as Judge Harry Stone on Night Court, which aired on NBC from 1984 to 1992. He received three Emmy nominations for the role. His other credits include Cheers and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
Verne Troyer, one of the world's smallest men and forever imprinted in pop culture as Mini-Me from the Austin Powers films, died April 21 from alcohol poisoning. Raised in Michigan, Troyer was raised in the Amish faith until his parents abandoned it in his childhood. After Powers, Troyer had small roles in films including Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone but mostly appeared in reality shows such as The Surreal Life and the British version of Celebrity Big Brother. He was 49.
Producer Paul Junger Witt, notable for bringing The Golden Girls, Benson and Soap to the small screen, died Friday April 27 at the age of 77. Born in New York City and a graduate of University of Virginia, Witt started in the mailroom at Columbia Pictures. After partnering with Tony Thomas, Witt got The Partridge Family and the 1971 TV movie Brian's Song on TV before their Witt/Thomas Productions took off in the 80s and produced NBC's Empty Nest and the original Beauty and the Beast series. He died of cancer.
A veteran TV actor best known for his role as Chester Tate on the soap opera parody Soap, Mandan died April 29 at age 86 after a long illness. Mandan appeared in dozens of shows over his long career, including Three's Company and its spin-off Three's A Crowd. His other credits include Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, All in the Family, ER, Murder, She Wrote and six appearances on The Love Boat as six different characters.
Margot Kidder, best known for playing Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve's Clark Kent in the popular Superman films of the 1970s and '80s, died Sunday, May 13 in Montana from suicide. She was 69. She also appeared in The Amityville Horror and 2009's Halloween II. Offscreen, she was a notable left-wing activist.
Better known as Hank the security guard on The Office, Hugh Dane died May 16 at age 75. He got into acting by starring in a 1989 video game, which led to a role as the Father on the series Hunter. Dane also had guest roles on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, where he played two roles, and the '90s sitcom Roc, Monk, Boy Meets World, The West Wing and most recently, The Mayor on ABC.
Jerry Maren, best known for playing a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz, died May 24 in La Jolla, California. He was 98. He was the last surviving adult cast member of the classic 1939 movie. He also appeared on Seinfeld and in McDonald's commercials, playing the Hamburglar and Mayor McCheese.
Actress Georgann Johnson died June 4 in Los Angeles. She was 91. She appeared on Broadway and in numerous films and TV shows throughout her 60-year career. She appeared on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Three's Company, Seinfeld, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and As the World Turns, among many other shows.
Actor Alan O'Neill, best known for playing Irish gangster Hugh on Sons of Anarchy, died June 6 in Los Angeles from head trauma complications. He was 47. He also appeared on Undercovers, Tim and Eric's Bedtime Stories and the Irish soap opera Fair City.
Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain died June 8 from suicide. He was 61. Bourdain was best known for his food and travel shows No Reservations and Parts Unknown, where he went all over the world in search of the most authentic foods and experiences. He was the author of several books, including the bestselling Kitchen Confidential. "He brought the world into our homes and inspired so many people to explore cultures and cities through their food," his fellow chef Gordon Ramsay said as a eulogy.
Actress Eunice Gayson, best known for her roles in the James Bond films Dr. No and From Russia with Love, died June 8 in London. She was 90. With her role as Bond's lover Sylvia Trench in the first two Bond movies, she became cinema's first "Bond girl." After Bond, she primarily worked on the London stage.
Actor Jackson Odell died June 8 at his home in Tarzana, California. He was 20. The cause of death was not released. Odell was best known for his role as Ari Caldwell on The Goldbergs. He also appeared on The Fosters, Modern Family and iCarly.
Neal E. Boyd, the Season 3 winner of America's Got Talent, passed away on June 10 at the age of 42 from heart failure, kidney failure and liver disease. The opera singer released his debut album My American Dream in 2009, followed by My Christmas Wish in 2013. He survived a near-fatal car accident in 2017 and had been working on a new album, which he hoped to release in 2019, during his slow recovery.
Richard Harrison, affectionately known as "The Old Man" on History's Pawn Stars, died of natural causes at 77 on June 25. Harrison starred in the hit reality series alongside his son Rick and grandson Corey. He gained popularity for his dry humor and frank opinions, often directed at his family.
Annabelle Neilson, who starred on the Bravo reality series Ladies of London from 2014-2015, passed away Monday, July 16 at the age of 49. Police are not treating her death as suspicious. Neilson is perhaps best known for her close friendships with Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and the late Alexander McQueen. She's also a former model and wrote a series of children's books titled The Me Me Me's.
Wicked Tuna star Nicholas "Duffy" Fudge died unexpectedly July 19 in Greenland, New Hampshire. He was 28. Fudge was a fisherman who appeared on National Geographic's documentary series Wicked Tuna and its spin-off Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks.
Actress Elmarie Wendel, best known for her role as kooky landlord Mrs. Dubcek on the NBC sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun, died Jul. 21. She was 89. Wendel guest-starred on numerous shows throughout her long career, including Seinfeld, NYPD Blue and George Lopez, and lent her voice to the Dr. Seuss adaptation The Lorax.
Charlotte Rae, best known for playing Edna Garrett on Diff'rent Strokes and its spin-off The Facts of Life, died Aug. 5 at her home in Los Angeles. She was 92. Rae first played the Drummonds' housekeeper on the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes before getting her own spin-off, The Facts of Life, where Mrs. G was the housemother to the girls of the Eastland School. The sitcom was one of the longest-running of the '80s and Rae was the top-billed actor before she left in the Season 8 premiere.
Singer Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul," died Aug. 16 in Detroit after a long battle with cancer. She was 76. Considered by many, including Rolling Stone magazine, to be the greatest singer of all time, her career achievements include 18 Grammys, a National Medal of Arts and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her iconic songs include "Respect," "Chain of Fools" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."
Robin Leach, co-creator and host of the syndicated celebrity profile show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, died Aug. 24 in Las Vegas. He was 76. Leach rose to fame as TV's foremost chronicler of Reagan-era opulence on the show that ran from 1984 to 1995 and introduced the phrase "champagne wishes and caviar dreams" into the lexicon. Leach was also known for helping launch Entertainment Tonight and appearing as himself on over a hundred other shows.
Former ER actress Vanessa Marquez was shot and killed after a confrontation with police on Thursday, Aug. 30. Authorities were called to her Pasadena, Calif. home for a welfare check after a landlord reported a woman in trouble. She is said to have been suffering from seizures and officers described her as "gravely disabled." In Oct. 2017, she accused former ER co-star George Clooney of helping to blacklist her after she spoke up about harassment on set, allegations which Clooney has denied. Marquez's other credits include Malcolm & Eddie, Seinfeld, Melrose Place and the film Stand and Deliver.
Best known for his signature mustache and fun-loving style, Burt Reynolds died on Sep. 6 at the age of 82. Reynolds will be remembered for his work in films like Deliverance, Boogie Nights (for which he earned an Oscars nom) and, of course, Smokey and the Bandit. A legendary actor, Reynolds was Hollywood's top grossing star for four years in a row, from 1978 to 1982. At one point during that same period he had four films playing in theaters at the same time, which is a rare feat these days.
Scott Wilson died from complications associated with leukemia on Oct. 6. The actor was perhaps best known to modern television fans as Hershel Greene on The Walking Dead, but that fan-favorite role followed a lengthy career in film. With breakout roles in movies like In the Heat of the Night and In Cold Blood and his Golden Globe-nominated work in the 1980 film The Night Configuration, he spent the majority of his years in show business working on silver screen sets. However, by the mid-aughts, he began working on the small screen more and more, with recurring roles on shows such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Bosch and The OA. Wilson was 76.
Legendary soap actress Peggy McCay passed away on Oct. 7 from natural causes at 90 years old. She starred on Days of Our Lives for more than 30 years as Caroline Brady, the highly opinionated Brady family matriarch who always put her family first. Although she is best known for her iconic turn on Days, she also appeared in a number of other projects including Gunsmoke, Cold Case, L.A. Law, Cagney & Lacey, The Jeffersons, The Waltons and Bonanza.
Stan Lee, the Marvel Comics visionary who co-created several of the brand's most iconic superheroes, including Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk, died Nov. 12 at the age of 95. Born Stanley Martin Lieber, Lee helped evolve Marvel into the global entertainment behemoth it is today by making superheroes relatable. He became recognizable to fans outside the comics world through his cameo appearances in every Marvel movie. At the time of his death he had already filmed numerous appearances in upcoming Marvel movies, including Avengers 4.
Roy Clark, acclaimed country musician and co-host of the long-running variety series Hee Haw, died Nov. 15 from pneumonia complications at his home in Tulsa, Okla. He was 85. Clark was best known for hosting the country comedy and music show Hee Haw alongside Buck Owens. He hosted from when it premiered in 1969 to when it ended in 1997. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009 and was a longtime member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Deadwood star Ricky Jay passed away of natural causes on Saturday, Nov. 24. In addition to his role as Eddie Sawyer on the HBO show, Jay was also known for his film work in movies like Boogie Nights, Magnolia and The Prestige as well as his world-class skills as a magician. The New Yorker once called him "perhaps the most gifted sleight of hand artist alive." His gift for illusion would also inform his work in Hollywood, as he regularly he served as a regular consultant for filmmakers and actors to train in the art. Jay -- birth name Richard Potash -- was 72.
Stephen Hillenburg, creator of the iconic animated series Spongebob Squarepants, died on Nov. 26 after losing his battle with ALS, which he had been diagnosed with in March 2017. A former marine biology teacher, Hillenburg's love of the ocean and all things in it manifested spectacularly in Nickelodeon's Spongebob Squarepants, which has been on for 19 years and is still running.
Ken Berry, best known as the star of the '60s sitcom F Troop, died Dec. 1 at 85. Berry played goofy military officer Capt. Wilton Parmenter on the satirical western, and earned a reputation as a master of physical comedy. He also appeared on The Andy Griffith Show, Mayberry R.F.D., The Carol Burnett Show and Mama's Family. He served in the Army in the '50s, and became an actor after being encouraged by his commanding officer, Leonard Nimoy.
America's Next Top Model Cycle 8 alum Jael Strauss died Dec. 3 at the age of 34 after losing her battle with breast cancer. Strauss passed away two months after announcing her Stage IV diagnosis to her fans on social media. She celebrated five years of sobriety a few months before she passed, and her friends and family remembered her as a "light to the people", particularly for her work with recovering addicts.
Nancy Wilson, a highly influential jazz singer who made a substantive foray into television and film, died Dec. 13 at age 81. A three-time Grammy winner born in Ohio, Wilson cut her teeth in New York in the late 1950s, and quickly became a darling on the jazz circuit, crooning like Dinah Washington and looking as regal as Lena Horne. As her stature in music grew, so did her screen career: In 1967, Wilson hosted her own variety show, The Nancy Wilson Show on NBC, which won an Emmy. She was a frequent guest on TV shows, appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show, I Spy, Hawaii Five-0 and The Carol Burnett Show -- her polished look and impeccable composition part of a deliberate image that was her way of helping challenge stereotypes and prejudice. Active in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, Wilson kept acting throughout the decades and had a particular fondness for comedy: she played Denise Huxtable's mother-in-law on The Cosby Show, and starred on The Parkers, Robert Townsend's The Parent 'Hood, The Sinbad Show as well as several films.
William "Willbilly" Hathaway, who appeared on the National Geographic fishing docuseries Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks, died Dec. 15 due to complications from a car crash. He was 36. Hathaway was the first mate on the fishing vessel Foolish Pleasures, which has been featured on Seasons 3 through 5 of the series.
Penny Marshall, star of Laverne & Shirley and director of movies like Big and A League of Their Own, died Dec. 17 of complications from diabetes. She was 75. She got her big break on Happy Days, which was created by her brother Garry Marshall, and then got her own spin-off Laverne & Shirley, which became the most-watched TV show in the country for a time. After Laverne & Shirley ended, she moved into directing, and her 1988 film Big made history as the first movie directed by a woman to gross over $100 million dollars. Her 1990 film Awakenings was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. As an actress, she appeared in numerous movies and TV shows, often playing herself.