Roy Clark, Katherine MacGregor, Stan Lee and other notable celebrity deaths

We remember these celebrities who died in 2018 for their business acumen and larger-than-life personalities (Stan Lee, Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade), the characters they portrayed (Margot Kidder's Lois Lane), their books (Tom Wolfe, Steve Ditko), their brains (Neil Simon), their music (Mac Miller), their service (John McCain).

Here are the actors, musicians, athletes, politicians and other well-known names we've recently said goodbye to.

Roy Clark

Country star Roy Clark, the guitar virtuoso and singer who headlined the cornpone TV show "Hee Haw" for nearly a quarter century and was known for such hits as "Yesterday When I was Young" and "Honeymoon Feeling," died Nov. 15, 2018, of complications from pneumonia. Clark, shown in a 1970s photo, was 85. Newsday's obituary for Roy Clark

Katherine MacGregor

"Little House on the Prairie" actress Katherine MacGregor died Nov. 13, 2018, her representative, Tony Sears, told the Associated Press. She was 93. MacGregor played Harriet Oleson, the mother of "Prairie" mean girl Nellie. She appeared on the series NBC series from 1974 to 1983.

Stan Lee

The man behind our favorite superheroes, Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk and so many other Marvel Comics has died at the age of 95. Lee's daughter, J.C. Lee, confirmed his death to Reuters on Monday. While the writer and editor had help designing the superheroes, he took ownership of promoting them and made cameos in each of the Marvel movies that were made in the first decades of the 21st century, which grossed over $20 billion at theaters worldwide, according to Reuters.


Mac Miller

Mac Miller has died of an apparent overdose, Variety and TMZ reported on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. The 26-year-old rapper, whose real name is Malcolm James McCormick, had been open about his struggle with substance abuse in the past, Variety reported. He released his latest album, "Swimming," in August and was scheduled to perform at MSG Hulu Theater on Nov. 23.

Burt Reynolds

Actor Burt Reynolds, who rose to fame in the '70s with "Smokey and the Bandit," died Sept. 6, 2018, at age 82, a spokesman for his Los Angeles agent confirmed. His career was marked by his roles in Hollywood films such as "Smokey" (1977), "Deliverance" (1972) and "The Longest Yard" (2005), as well as a TV stint in "Gunsmoke" (1962-1965). His role in the 1997 flick "Boogie Nights" earned him a best supporting actor Oscar nod, and he was set to appear in the upcoming "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" crime drama from Quentin Tarantino.

Neil Simon

Neil Simon, one of Broadway's most popular playwrights, died on Aug. 26, 2018. He was 91. Simon was beloved for his works "The Odd Couple," "The Goodbye Girl" and "Lost in Yonkers," among others. Simon was being treated for pneumonia at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City at the time of his death.

John McCain

Sen. John McCain died Aug. 25, 2018, at age 81, according to a statement from his office. McCain had been battling glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. His family announced he was ending treatment for the cancer the day before he died.

The Arizona senator, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, ran unsuccessfully for president in 2008.

"Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28 p.m. on August 25, 2018. With the senator when he passed were his wife Cindy and their family. At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for sixty years," the statement from his office said.

Robin Leach

Journalist Robin Leach, known for his role on "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," died Friday, Aug. 24, 2018, Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John Katsilometes revealed on Twitter. Leach was 76. "Sad to report the death of famed celeb reporter, friend and colleague #RobinLeach @ 1:50 a.m. in #LasVegas. He would have been 77 Wednesday. He suffered a second stroke Monday. He in hospice care. He'd been hospitalized since Nov. 21, after suffering a stroke in Cabo San Lucas," Katsilometes wrote on Twitter. He followed his note with a statement from Leach's family confirming the news. Leach hosted "Lifestyles" between 1984 and 1995 and was best known for his work as a celeb columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Craig Zadan

Hollywood producer Craig Zadan died Aug. 20, 2018, at age 69. Zadan, pictured, left, one half of the studio company Storyline Entertainment, was behind several TV and film musicals, including 1984's "Footloose" and 2007's "Hairspray," and several of his team's productions went on to win Academy Awards. Zadan was a Miami native, but moved to New York to attend Hofstra University before starting his production company in NYC in the '70s.

Aretha Franklin

"The Queen of Soul," who released hits such as "Think" and "Respect" during the course of a several-decades-long musical career, died on Aug. 16, 2018, officials said. She was 76. The singer, who had been battling advanced pancreatic cancer, died at her home in Detroit, according to one of her publicists. She became the first woman voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and won 18 Grammys throughout her career.

Her last large-scale performance took place at Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City during the November 2017 Elton John AIDS Foundation concert. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press on Aug. 16, 2017, Franklin said she had wanted to open a nightclub in her hometown of Detroit called "Aretha's," where she planned to sing occasionally.

Charlotte Rae

Charlotte Rae, of the '80s sitcoms "The Facts of Life" and "Diff'rent Strokes," died on Aug. 5, 2018, at her home in Los Angeles, according to the New York Times. She was 92. Rae, known best in the role of Edna Garrett, started out on Broadway.

Tab Hunter

Actor Tab Hunter, who rose to fame in the '50s and later became a symbol of the gay rights movement, died July 8, 2018, according to a post on his Facebook page. The New York-born celebrity was 86. The post, on the "Tab Hunter Confidential" Facebook page, did not provide further details on his cause of death. He was known best for his roles in "Damn Yankees!" and "The Burning Hills," as well as a notable turn in John Waters' "Polyester," in which he played upon his heartthrob image. In 2005, his "Confidential" autobiography exposed he'd been living out his fame in Hollywood as a closeted gay man. A movie of the same title was released in 2015.

Steve Ditko

The comic book artist and co-creator of such legendary comic book characters as Spider-Man and Doctor Strange was found dead in his Manhattan home on June 29, 2018, the NYPD confirmed to Variety on July 6. He was 90 years old. Ditko was responsible for conceiving Spider-Man's signature attributes, such as his costume and web shooters. The superhero is one of the most popular ever invented, generating over 360 million book sales and several movie franchises since his debut. Among Ditko's fans was author Neil Gaiman, who tweeted, "I know I'm a different person because he was in the world."

Joe Jackson

The late Michael Jackson's father, Joe Jackson, died Wednesday, June 27, 2018, his family said. He was 89. The music manager behind the careers of the Jackson 5 had reportedly been battling pancreatic cancer. On June 24, Jackson tweeted that he had "seen more sunsets than I have left to see."

Richard 'Old Man' Harrison

Reality star Richard Harrison, left, who appeared in "Pawn Stars," died at age 77, his son Rick Harrison revealed on Twitter June 25, 2018. Known best as "Old Man," Harrison and his son and grandson ran the Las Vegas pawn shop depicted in the series. Harrison, who TMZ reports suffered from Parkinson's disease, opened Gold & Silver Pawn in 1988. "He lived a very full life and through the History television show 'Pawn Stars' touched the lives of people all over, teaching them the value of loving your family, hard work and humor," his son wrote on Instagram in tribute to his late father. "Pawn Stars" has aired 15 seasons on History and A&E since premiering in 2009.

Charles Krauthammer

Pulitzer Prize winner and conservative political commentator Charles Krauthammer died on Thursday, June 21, 2018, at the age of 68, according to The Washington Post and Fox News. Krauthammer, who died of cancer of the small intestine, was a fixture on the Fox News Channel as well as on editorial pages of The Washington Post and other national newspapers.


Rapper XXXTentacion was shot dead in South Florida on Monday, June 18, 2018, TMZ first reported. The rapper, 20, released his first album in August 2017 and reached the Billboard 200 album chart for his second, titled "?" XXXTentacion, whose birth name is Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was fatally injured in a drive-by shooting, according to the Broward County Sheriff's office. The Florida native was involved in legal problems over his alleged beating of a girlfriend while pregnant.

Jackson Odell

Songwriter and actor Jackson Odell, who appeared in popular shows such as "iCarly" and "The Goldbergs," was found dead on Friday at his home in Tarzana. The cause of death has not been released, pending an autopsy. No foul play is suspected. He was 20.

Odell played Gumbo in "iCarly," Kyle in "The Fosters," and appeared several times as Ari Caldwell in "The Goldbergs," among other roles. He recently finished writing songs for the soundtrack of the film "Forever My Girl," a drama about a country musician who tries to get his ex-fiancée back, according to his website.

"He will always be a shining light and a brilliant, loving and talented soul," the family said in an emailed statement to amNewYork. "He had so much more to share. Our family will always carry that truth forward. Our wish is that the rest of the world does as well. We are now going to try to make sense of our immeasurable loss privately."

Anthony Bourdain

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain has died at the age of 61, CNN said Friday. The host of the food and travel series "Parts Unknown" was found dead in a hotel room in France where he had been working on an upcoming episode. The cause of death was suicide, CNN said.

Kate Spade

Katherine Noel Brosnahan, known as designer Kate Spade, was found dead in her apartment in Manhattan on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, the NYPD confirmed. She was 55. She was the designer behind her brand, Kate Spade New York. On Thursday, June 7, 2018, her death was ruled a suicide by hanging by the medical examiner's office.

Alan Bean

American astronaut Alan Bean, who walked on the moon in 1969 during the Apollo 12 mission and commanded a crew on the Skylab space station in 1973 before giving up his career to become a full-time painter, died in Houston on May 26, 2018, officials said. He was 86. Bean had fallen ill two weeks earlier while traveling in Indiana, his family said. He was only one of 12 people to ever set foot on the moon, and when he gave up his career at NASA, he created paintings that focused on the Apollo missions and sold for tens of thousands of dollars each.

Philip Roth

Author Philip Roth died on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, his agent said. He was 85. Roth, who died in New York City of congestive heart failure, wrote more than 30 books. "Patrimony," a memoir published in 1991, nabbed him the National Book Critics Circle Award. Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for 1997's "American Pastoral."

Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe, author and journalist behind the New Journalism movement, died on May 15, 2018, his agent said. He was 87. Wolfe was the bestselling author of "The Right Stuff" and "Bonfire of the Vanities." A Virginia native, Wolfe moved to New York City in 1962 when he began working for the New York Herald Tribune, according to the New York Times. He died at a Manhattan hospital.

Margot Kidder

Margot Kidder, "Superman's" Lois Lane, died on May 13, 2018, according to a representative at Montana Funeral Home. Kidder was 69. The actress starred in the 1978 "Superman" film alongside Christopher Reeve. In total, she portrayed the superhero's reporter love interest in four "Superman" flicks -- in 1987, 1983, 1980 and 1978.

Verne Troyer

Verne Troyer, best known for playing the evil sidekick Mini-Me in the "Austin Powers" movie series, died on Saturday, April 21, 2018, according to a statement posted to his verified social media accounts. He was 49. Standing at 2 foot 8 inches, Troyer was one of the shortest men in the world. "Even though his stature was small and his parents often wondered if he'd be able to reach up and open doors on his own in his life, he went on to open more doors for himself and others than anyone could have imagined," reads the statement announcing his death. In addition to his role in the "Austin Powers" films, Troyer had more than 25 other film credits to his name.


EDM star Avicii, known for his radio hits like "Wake Me Up" and "Hey Brother," died Friday, April 20, 2018, his representative Diana Baron said in a statement. He was 28. A cause of death was not immediately released, though his family later said he "struggled" with the meaning of life and "could not go on any longer." Avicii received two Grammy nominations for best dance recording, in 2013 for "Levels" and in 2012 for "Sunshine." He retired from touring in 2016 citing health reasons.

Barbara Bush

Former first lady Barbara Bush died at the age of 92 on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, the Bush family confirmed in a statement. She was the only woman to witness her husband and son sworn in as president.

R. Lee Ermey

Former marine and Hollywood actor R. Lee Ermey died April 15, 2018, due to complications from pneumonia, his manager Bill Rogin tweeted. He was 74. Ermey is remembered for his role as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's 1987 "Full Metal Jacket." The Golden Globe-nominated actor also appeared in "Apocalypse Now," "Mississippi Burning" and did voice work for "Toy Story."

Milos Forman

The Czech-born movie director, best known for his Oscar-winning classics "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Amadeus," died at age 86 on Friday, April 13, 2018. His other notable work included the 1979 rock musical "Hair," the 1981 drama "Ragtime," and 1996 biopic "The People vs. Larry Flynt," which earned a nomination for an Academy Award.

Chuck McCann

Chuck McCann -- the voice behind the "I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs" commercial -- died at age 83, his publicist said on April 9, 2018. The Brooklyn-born voice actor and comedian died of congestive heart failure at a Los Angeles hospital. He was known for roles including "Little House on the Prairie," "Bonanza" and "Columbo," including that of the Cocoa Puffs breakfast cereal advertisement. "His work was legendary," his publicist Edward Lozzi said. "What baby boomer doesn't know cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs?"

Steven Bochco

Prolific television producer Steven Bochco died April 1, 2018, at 74. Bochco, who battled a rare form of leukemia, is credited with breaking ground with his genre-bending TV dramas, including "Hill Street Blues," "L.A. Law" and "NYPD Blue." Bochco, who won 10 Emmy Awards, also developed "Doogie Howser, M.D.," and in a rare miss, the oft-maligned "Cop Rock."

Andrew Balducci

The founder of Balducci's, the specialty foods market that got its start as a fruits stand in Greenwich Village, died of leukemia on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York. He was 92. Born in Greenpoint, he spent most of his childhood in Italy before returning to the U.S. and opening his brick-and-mortar store selling gourmet goods like prosciutto and fresh mozzarella in Manhattan. Today, there are five Balducci's stores in New York and Connecticut.

Stephen Hawking

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking died on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at his home in Cambridge. He was 76. Hawking, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, when he was 21 years old, sought to understand some of the most complicated topics, including the origins of the universe and the mysteries of black holes.

Craig Mack

Rapper Craig Mack died Monday, March 12, 2018. He was 46. The "Flava in Ya Ear" rapper was among the first to sign with Bad Boy Records in the early '90s. The Long Island-born rapper died at his home in South Carolina.

Hubert de Givenchy

Designer Hubert de Givenchy, center, died Saturday, March 10, 2018, a representative for his fashion label confirmed to The New York Times. He was 91. The French fashion icon was known for dressing Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy, among other famous faces. Givenchy was behind the little black dress that has become iconic to "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

David Ogden Stiers

David Ogden Stiers, known for playing surgeon Maj. Charles Winchester III on "M.A.S.H.," died March 3 after battling bladder cancer, according to his talent agency. The Oregonian had more than 150 film and TV credits with voice acting roles in a number of Disney films, including in "Beauty and the Beast" as Cogsworth and characters in "Lilo & Stitch" and "Pocahontas." He also appeared on the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" and in "Perry Mason" movies. He was 75.

George Kaufman

Chairman of Kaufman Astoria Studios George Kaufman died Feb. 20, 2018, his publicist said. He was 89 years old. Kaufman is credited with rejuvenating the neighborhood with the success of the historic production venue, the filming location for several NYC-set shows like "Orange is the New Black" and "Blue Bloods." "George was so much more than a real estate developer. He understood deep in his bones the importance of investing in New York's communities because they are the very foundation of the City's greatness," Hal Rosenbluth, the president and CEO of Kaufman Astoria Studios, said in a statement.

Billy Graham

Evangelist Billy Graham, who counseled presidents and preached to millions across the world from his native North Carolina to communist North Korea during his 70 years on the pulpit, died on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. He was 99, a spokesman said. According to his ministry, he preached to more people than anyone else in history, reaching hundreds of millions of people either in person or via TV and satellite links.

Vic Damone

Singer Vic Damone, known for "On the Street Where You Live," among other singles, died Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, his daughter told The Associated Press. He was 89. The legendary performer also had several TV and film credits, including "The Vic Damone Show," "Rich, Young and Pretty" and "Kismet."

Jan Maxwell

Tony-winning actress Jan Maxwell died Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, after battling cancer, her son confirmed to Deadline. She was 61. Her theater roles included "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and "The Sound of Music." On TV, she had notable stints on "Law & Order," "The Good Wife" and "The Divide."

Reg E. Cathey

Actor Reg E. Cathey, who played Freddy on "House of Cards" and appeared in "The Wire," died at age 59 after reportedly battling cancer. "The Wire" creator David Simon first reported his death on Feb. 9, 2018. Cathey guest starred on numerous TV shows, but won an Emmy in 2015 for outstanding guest actor in a drama series for his work on Netflix's "House of Cards."

John Gavin

The actor who peaked with roles in Douglas Sirk's "Imitation of Life," Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" and the epic "Spartacus" died on the morning of Feb. 9, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 86. In addition to his acting career, he also served as president of the Screen Actors Guild in the early '70s and as U.S. ambassador to Mexico under Ronald Reagan.

Lovebug Starski

Lovebug Starski, right, died after suffering a heart attack in Las Vegas on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, his manager confirmed. A native of the Bronx, along with Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash, Starski was a key member of the late 1970s scene that spawned hip-hop.

Mickey Jones

Mickey Jones, whose resume as an actor stretched back to the early 1970s, died on Feb. 7, 2018, at age 76, his rep confirmed to Deadline. You loved him as the pot dealer with a heart, Hot Rod Dunham, in "Justified," while your parents might remember him from the short-lived "Alice" spinoff "Flo." The character actor popped up in roles across film ("Sling Blade") and television ("Home Improvement"), as well as TV movies ("V"). Deadline reported that his death followed a long illness.

John Mahoney

John Mahoney died on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, while in hospice care, his manager Paul Martino said. He was 77. The SAG Award-winning actor played "Frasier" dad Martin Crane on all 11 seasons of the NBC show from 1993 to 2004.

Louis Zorich

Tony Award-nominated actor Louis Zorich, who played the father of Paul Reiser's character on NBC's "Mad About You," died on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, at his Manhattan home. He was 93. While the majority of his roles on TV and film were of the character-actor kind, he also tackled big parts like King Lear and Agamemnon on stage. He is survived by his wife, fellow actor Olympia Dukakis, and other family members.

Mark Salling

"Glee" actor Mark Salling died on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. He was 35. He appeared as Noah "Puck" Puckerman on all six seasons of the Fox series which aired its final episode in 2015. While the medical examiner had not officially released cause of death, TMZ reported Salling died of an apparent suicide. In December 2017, Salling had plead guilty to child pornography charges and was facing up to 7 years in prison. His sentencing was scheduled for March 7.

Ursula K. Le Guin

Author Ursula K. Le Guin, whose most recent book was "No Time to Spare," died on Jan. 23, 2018. She was 88. Le Guin was known best for her sci-fi and gender-bending tales, including her breakout 1969 novel "The Left Hand of Darkness."

Rev. Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker

The Rev. Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker, an influential figure in the civil rights movement and chief of staff to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., died Jan. 23, 2018. He was 88.

Keith Jackson

Legendary broadcaster Keith Jackson, the signature voice of college football for ABC, died on Jan. 12, 2018 at age 89. "For generations of fans, Keith was college football," said Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, which owns ABC, in a statement. "When you heard his voice, you knew it was a big game." Listeners could identify Jackson by his signature "Whoa, Nellie" call. Jackson is credited with nicknaming the Rose Bowl "The Granddaddy of Them All" and Michigan's stadium "The Big House."