Celebrities who died in 2017: Tom Petty to Mary Tyler Moore

By staff

A number of notable celebrity deaths in 2017 came as big blows to the entertainment industry. The silver screen and music worlds were especially impacted, with the passing of Adam West (Batman), Roger Moore (James Bond), Mary Tyler Moore (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show”), Tom Petty, Mobb Deep (of Prodigy) and Chris Cornell (of Soundgarden/Audioslave), among several others.

The year also marked the conclusion of Hugh Hefner’s reign over his Playboy empire and the end of Linkin Park as fronted by Chester Bennington.

Below, we look back on the legacies of the many celebrities who died in 2017.

Follow our updated coverage for recent notable deaths.

Rose Marie

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Alberto E. Rodriguez

New York City-born actress Rose Marie, known best for her role as Sally Rogers on "The Dick Van Dyke Show," died Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017. She was 94. The Emmy-nominated actress played Sally for five seasons, beginning in 1960. Her resume included a slew of other TV appearances, from "The Monkees" and "My Three Sons" to "Adam-12," "The Love Boat" and "Caroline in the City." Rose Marie, whose full name is Rose Marie Mazetta, is survived by her daughter, Georgiana Marie. Above, Rose Marie and comedian Carl Reiner attend a tribute to Reiner on April 5, 2008 in Culver City, Calif.

Heather Menzies-Urich

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Paul Hawthorne

Best known for her portrayal of Louisa von Trapp, the second oldest daughter in the 1965 classic "The Sound of Music," Heather Menzies-Urich died on Dec. 24, 2017. The actress, and Robert Urich's widow, was 68. Ryan Urich told Variety that his mother had brain cancer. "She was not in any pain but, nearly four weeks after her diagnosis of terminal brain cancer, she had enough and took her last breath on this earth at 7:22 p.m."

Reggie Ossé

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Spotify / Jamie McCarthy

Reggie Ossé, the host of the "Combat Jack Show" podcast, died on Dec. 20, 2017. The hip-hop lawyer, with high-profile clients including Jay-Z and Sean Combs, highlighted his love of the artistic side of music with his podcast, also a magnet for luminaries in rap. Ossé, 48, of Brooklyn, had battled colon cancer.


Jim Nabors

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Matthew Peyton

Actor Jim Nabors died on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, at the age of 87, his husband Stan Cadwallader said. The actor was known best for his recurring role on "The Andy Griffith Show" in the 1960s and later for "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." Nabors died "peacefully at his home" in Hawaii.

Rance Howard

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Valerie Macon

Actor Rance Howard (pictured, left) died Nov. 25, 2017, at the age of 89, his son, director Ron Howard‏, announced on Twitter. He was 89. "He stood especially tall 4 his ability to balance ambition w/great personal integrity. A depression-era farm boy, his passion for acting changed the course of our family history. We love & miss U Dad," Howard‏ wrote. Rance was known best for his roles in "Apollo 13" and "A Beautiful Mind."

David Cassidy

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Rick Diamond

David Cassidy, the singer and actor who became a teen heartthrob after starring in "The Partridge Family" in the 1970s, died Nov. 21, 2017. He was 67. Cassidy had entered a Florida hospital for treatment of liver failure.

Della Reese

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Amanda Edwards

Singer Della Reese, who starred as Tess on "Touched By an Angel," died on Nov. 19, 2017, her family confirmed. Reese was 86. She "passed away peacefully at her California home surrounded by love," her husband Franklin Lett and her family said in a statement.

Malcolm Young

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Kevin Mazur

Rock star Malcolm Young, above, right, who founded the Australian band AC/DC with his brother Angus, left, has died at age 64, the group announced in a Facebook post on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. The band, which was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, said, "With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band." The songwriter, backing vocalist and rhythm guitarist had dementia for several years.

Roy Halladay

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mitchell Leff

Retired Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay, who twice won the league's Cy Young Award and threw one of only two no-hitters in postseason history, died on Nov. 7, 2017, when his small plane crashed off the west coast of Florida. He was 40. Halladay pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies over a 15-year career.

Brad Bufanda

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Kevin Winter

"Veronica Mars" actor Brad Bufanda committed suicide on Nov. 1, 2017, in California, his manager Kirsten Solem said. He was 34. "We are completely devastated for he was an extremely talented young actor and wonderful, caring human being," Solem said in a statement. "He was reviving his career, having just completed two movies, and we are shocked and saddened by his passing. The family would appreciate privacy at this difficult time."

Fats Domino

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Hulton Archive / Daily Express / Clive Limpkin

New Orleans pianist Fats Domino died at age 89, his family told WWL-TV on Oct. 25, 2017. The artist, whose full name was Antoine Dominique Domino Jr., was best-known for his hits "I'm Walkin'" (1957) and "Ain't That a Shame" (1955), among others.

Robert Guillaume

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Emmy-winning actor Robert Guillaume died on Oct. 24, 2017, after battling prostate cancer, his wife said. He was 89. Guillaume was known best for his role in the '80s series "Benson."

Y.A. Tittle

Photo Credit: AP / NFL

Hall of Fame quarterback Y.A. Tittle died on Oct. 8, 2017, at the age of 90. In the 1960s, he led the Giants to three division titles.

Tom Petty

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Kevork Djansezian

Singer Tom Petty died on Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, at age 66, his long-time manager, Tony Dimitriades, said in a statement. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's office attributed his death to a "multisystem organ failure" brought on by an accidental overdose of seven medications, the agency said Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. Petty was found unconscious at his home in Malibu in October and taken to UCLA Medical Center, but could not be revived, Dimitriades said.

Monty Hall

Photo Credit: Getty Images for the Pantages Theatre / Chelsea Lauren

Monty Hall, the popular "Let's Make a Deal" game show host, died on Sept. 30, 2017, at age 96 at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., his son said. Richard Hall said his father likely died of heart failure.

Hugh Hefner

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Central Press

Hugh Hefner, who built what became known as the popular Playboy empire after debuting the men's magazine in the 1950s, died Sept. 27, 2017, Playboy Enterprises said. He was 91. In this undated photo, Hefner and his girlfriend Barbi Benton are welcomed by "Bunny Girls" from the London Playboy Club, on their arrival at Heathrow Airport aboard his private DC 9 jetliner, which bears the Playboy logo. One Bunny Girl is wearing a Union Jack costume.

Jake LaMotta

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Keystone

Bronx-born boxer Jake LaMotta died Sept. 19, 2017, one of his daughters, Christi LaMotta, announced. He was 95. LaMotta, "The Bronx Bull," was portrayed by Robert De Niro in the 1980 Martin Scorsese-directed city-set film "Raging Bull" focused on his time in the ring. According to TMZ, he died in a nursing home after suffering from pneumonia.

Chuck Low

Photo Credit: Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival / Grant Lamos IV

Actor Chuck Low, a New York City native, died Sept. 18, 2017, Deadline reports, citing the New York Times. He was 89. Low, known best for his role of Morris "Morrie" Kessler in the 1990 film "Goodfellas," was a longtime pal of actor Robert De Niro. He also starred in the 1982 movie "The King of Comedy" and 1996's "Sleepers."

Harry Dean Stanton

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Michael Buckner

Actor Harry Dean Stanton, whose screen credits include nearly 70 movies and TV shows, died Sept. 15, 2017, his agent said. He was 91. Stanton most recently appeared on TV in the David Lynch reboot of "Twin Peaks" and he'll appear in "Lucky," set for release Sept. 29. His early roles include 1979's "Alien" and 1984's "Paris, Texas" and "Repo Man."

Frank Vincent

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Paul Hawthorne

"Sopranos" and "Goodfellas" actor Frank Vincent died on Sept. 13, 2017. He was 78. Vincent Pastore, who starred alongside him in the "Sopranos," announced his death on Facebook. According to a TMZ report, Vincent was undergoing heart surgery after suffering a heart attack and died due to complications. Vincent's other film credits include "Do the Right Thing," "Jungle Fever," "The Pope of Greenwich Village," "Wise Guys," "Night Falls on Manhattan" and "Shark Tale."

Edith Windsor

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Bryan Bedder

Edith Windsor, gay marriage pioneer and activist, died on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, her wife said. She was 88. Windsor's successful challenge to a federal law that had defined marriage in the eyes of the U.S. government as between one man and one woman helped pave the way for gay marriage nationwide.

Walter Becker

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison

Guitarist Walter Becker, who co-founded the influential jazz-rock band Steely Dan with keyboardist Donald Fagen, died on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. He was 67. Born in New York City, Becker helped write such '70s hits as "Reelin' in the Years," "Do It Again," "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" and "Deacon Blues."

Jay Thomas

Photo Credit: Getty Images for SiriusXM / Michael Loccisano

Actor Jay Thomas, who had been fighting cancer, died on Aug. 24, 2017, his agent confirmed to Variety. He was 69. Thomas was known best for his comedic roles in "Murphy Brown" and "Cheers," in which he played Rhea Perlman's husband, Eddie LeBec.

Jerry Lewis

Photo Credit: Invision / Rich Fury

Comedic actor-filmmaker Jerry Lewis died Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017, at age 91. He died of natural causes in Las Vegas with his family by his side, his publicist said. Lewis was a polarizing figure in entertainment, embraced by the French as a visionary filmmaker, and lambasted by critics for his slip-and-fall comedy and tear-jerking telethon speeches.

Dick Gregory

Photo Credit: Getty images / Jason Davis

A comedian who decried racism after becoming one of the first black comics to perform for white audiences, Gregory died on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Washington D.C., his son said. The 84-year-old died of heart failure at Sibley Memorial Hospital, according to his publicist.

Glen Campbell

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Kris Connor

Country singer Glen Campbell died in Nashville on Aug. 8, 2017, at the age of 81, his publicist said. Campbell, who was known for hits including "Rhinestone Cowboy," had suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

Sam Shepard

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Larry Busacca

Actor and Pulitzer-winning playwright Sam Shepard died of complications related to ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, on Thursday, July 27, 2017. He was 73.

John Heard

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mark Mainz

Actor John Heard, whose lengthy career spanned film and television, died July 21, 2017, aged 72, in Palo Alto, California. TMZ reports that Heard underwent back surgery on July 19. His turn as the father in "Home Alone" is among his most notable, though it has competition from Heard's roles in "Beaches," "Big," "The Trip to Bountiful" and many more.

Chester Bennington

Photo Credit: Getty Images for iHeartMedia / Rich Fury

Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington died Thursday, July 20, 2017, the Los Angeles County coroner's office confirmed. He was 41. According to The New York Times, his death is being investigated as a suicide. Bennington had been the band's vocalist since 1999. Linkin Park rose to fame in the early 2000s with hits like "Numb" and "In the End." The band was set to perform at Citi Field on July 28. The CEO of WB Records, Cameron Strang, said in a statement: "Chester Bennington was an artist of extraordinary talent and charisma, and a human being with a huge heart and a caring soul. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful family, his band-mates and his many friends."

Martin Landau

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival / Mike Coppola

Brooklyn native Martin Landau died July 15, 2017, at the age of 89, his publicist said. The Oscar-winning actor starred in the 1994 film "Ed Wood" and in the 1960s television series "Mission: Impossible." Landau started his career as a 17-year-old cartoonist at the New York Daily News. He graduated from Brooklyn's James Madison High School with the Class of 1946.

George A. Romero

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Kevin Winter

George A. Romero, director of the 1968 horror film "Night of the Living Dead," died July 16, 2017, according to his manager, Chris Roe. He was 77. According to Roe, Romero died after battling lung cancer. "Legendary filmmaker George A. Romero passed away on Sunday, July 16, listening to the score of 'The Quiet Man,' one of his all-time favorite films, with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero at his side," Roe's statement to Deadline read.

Nelsan Ellis

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Michael Buckner

"True Blood" actor Nelsan Ellis died July 8, 2017, HBO confirmed. The 39-year-old died due to complications from heart failure. "We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis," HBO said in a statement. "Nelsan was a long-time member of the HBO family whose groundbreaking portrayal of Lafayette will be remembered fondly within the overall legacy of 'True Blood.' Nelsan will be dearly missed by his fans and all of us at HBO." Known to fans as Lafayette Reynolds on the vampire series, Ellis also appeared in "The Help," "Elementary," "Get on Up," "Little Boxes" and "The Butler."

Joan Lee

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Vince Bucci

Joan Lee, wife of Marvel Comics' Stan Lee, died on July 6, 2017, in Los Angeles after reportedly suffering a stroke earlier in the week. She was 93. The former British hat model was married to Lee for 69 years. The couple lived in New York City when Lee started working for Marvel Comics and moved to California in 1981.

Michael Bond

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British children's book author Michael Bond died on June 27, 2017, his publisher HarperCollins UK said in a statement. He was 91. The creator of Paddington Bear children's book series died at home "following a short illness," the statement read. The official Paddington Twitter account released a video in tribute to Bond, writing, "Today is a very sad day. Michael Bond CBE will be missed by many."

Gabe Pressman

Photo Credit: Diane Bondareff

Gabe Pressman, a senior political correspondent with WNBC, died June 23, 2017, according to the network. He was 93. The Bronx native was known as the "dean" of New York TV journalists with a career that spanned more than six decades. Pressman is seen here, moderating a 2002 gubernatorial debate between Carl McCall, left, and Tom Golisano, right.


Photo Credit: Getty Images / Bryan Bedder

Prodigy, of New York hip-hop group Mobb Deep, died at age 42, his publicist confirmed on June 20, 2017. Prodigy was hospitalized "a few days ago in Vegas" after a performance due to "complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis," according to the statement. His cause of death is not yet known. Nas was among the first to react to the news on Instagram, writing "QB RIP King P. Prodigy 4 Ever."

John G. Avildsen

Photo Credit: Getty Images for SBIFF / Matt Winkelmeyer

Oscar-winning director John G. Avildsen, who led a sweep of the 1977 Academy Awards (including nabbing a best director statue) with "Rocky," died on June 16, 2017. Also known for "The Karate Kid," Avildsen, Reuters reported, had been hospitalized at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with pancreatic cancer. He was 81.

A.R. Gurney

Photo Credit: Getty Images for American Theater / Craig Barritt

Playwright and Pulizter Prize finalist A.R. Gurney died June 14, 2017 at his home in Manhattan. He was 86.

Gurney was known for his captivating -- and mostly Off-Broadway -- plays such as "Love Letters," "The Dining Room" and "The Cocktail Hour."

Adam West

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Adam West, star of the 1960s "Batman" television series, died June 9, 2017. He was 88. A representative for the actor told Variety he died after battling leukemia. His family issued the following statement on Twitter: "Our beloved AW passed away last night. He was the greatest. We'll miss him like crazy. We know you'll miss him too - West Family"

Glenne Headly

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Evan Agostini

Actress Glenne Headly died on June 9, 2017, at age 63.

Roger Smith

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mike Coppola

"77 Sunset Strip" actor Roger Smith, right, died on June 4, 2017. He was 84. According to the agent of his widow, actress Anne-Margret, Smith died after a long battle with a terminal illness.

Gregg Allman

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Southern rock pioneer and founding member of the Allman Brothers Band died at his home in Savannah, Georgia, on May 27, 2017, according to The New York Times. He was 69. Gregg played as the band's lead singer and keyboardist and has been credited for creating the Southern rock of the 1970s, combining genres like jazz, blues, country and rock, the Times writes.

Roger Moore

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Express / Larry Ellis

Actor Roger Moore, best known for his role of Bond, James Bond, died on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, his family said on his Twitter account. "With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated," the tweet read. The 89-year-old died after suffering from cancer. Moore played the leading role in the Bond movies for 12 years.

Roger Ailes

Photo Credit: Fox News via Getty Images / Wesley Mann

Former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes died on May 18, 2017, Fox confirmed. He was 77. "I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning," his widow, Elizabeth Ailes, said in a statement to Fox. "Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many. He was also a patriot, profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise--and to give back."

After 20 years with Fox News, Ailes resigned from his post amid sexual harassment allegations in July 2016.

Chris Cornell

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Kevin Winter

Chris Cornell, the frontman for hard rock bands Soundgarden and later Audioslave, died in Detroit on May 17, 2017, his rep said. He was 52. The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office ruled his death a suicide. The rocker was known as the face of one of the leading bands in '80s and '90s grunge music.

Brad Grey

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mike Coppola

Brad Grey, the former CEO of Paramount Pictures, died of cancer on May 14, 2017. He was 59. Grey ran Paramount for 12 years until he stepped down in February, after the studio reported nearly $450 million in losses. Grey was also the co-founder of Plan B Entertainment, a film company he established with Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston in 2001.

Powers Boothe

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Frederick M. Brown

"Nashville" actor Powers Boothe, right, died on May 14, 2017, his rep confirmed. He was 68. You may also know Boothe for his role of Gideon Malick in "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." His resume also includes stints in "Hatfields & McCoys," "Deadwood" and "24." According to his rep, Boothe died in his sleep from natural causes.

Christopher 'Big Black' Boykin

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Peter Kramer

Christopher "Big Black" Boykin, the best friend and bodyguard of professional street skater Rob Dyrdek, left, and the co-star of MTV's "Rob & Big," died on May 9, 2017, his rep confirmed. He was 45. Boykin was Dyrdek's partner in crime during the show, which ran three seasons and ended in 2008. "We truly were brothers that lived an unexpected unforgettable adventure. I just can't fathom that it would end so suddenly. You will forever be in my heart," Dyrdek said in a statement.

Jonathan Demme

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Oscar-winner Jonathan Demme died on April 26, 2017, according to his publicist, Annalee Paulo. He was 73. "The Silence of the Lambs" director, a native New Yorker, died in his apartment in Manhattan. Demme suffered from esophageal cancer, Paulo said in a statement.

Erin Moran

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison

"Happy Days" actress Erin Moran died in Indiana on Saturday, April 22, 2017. Moran, 56, most notably played Joanie Cunningham, the younger sister of Richie Cunningham (played by Ron Howard), on "Happy Days." She later went on to star in the spinoff "Joanie Loves Chachi." According to TMZ, the star likely died from cancer. Autopsy results reportedly revealed that Moran suffered from stage-four cancer, though the report did not specify what type.