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Celebrities who died in 2018: Aretha Franklin, Anthony Bourdain, more

Anthony Bourdain inside the Park Avenue Les Halles

Anthony Bourdain inside the Park Avenue Les Halles refrigerator on May 19, 2000.  Photo Credit: Bruce Gilbert

In 2018, the world lost some of the biggest names in food (Anthony Bourdain), fashion (Kate Spade), music (Aretha Franklin) and movies (Margot Kidder). Below, we look back on the legacies they left behind. 

Follow our updated coverage for recent notable deaths.

Amos Oz

Israeli author Amos Oz died at the age of 79 on Dec. 28. He published award-winning and popular novels, like "Don't Call It Night," and a memoir, "A Tale of Love and Darkness."

Penny Marshall

Actress and director Penny Marshall, of "Laverne & Shirley" and "A League of Their Own" fame, died on Dec. 17, her rep confirmed. She was 75. The Bronx native was the first female director to gross $100 million, with 1988's "Big."

Colin Kroll

Colin Kroll, the co-founder of the Vine video app and the HQ Trivia game, died on Dec. 16, of an apparent drug overdose in his SoHo apartment, according to Variety. He was 34.

Nancy Wilson

Nancy Wilson, whose career spanned the world of jazz and television ("Hawaii Five-O," "Room 222") died on Dec. 13. She was 81.

George H.W. Bush

Former President George H.W. Bush died on Nov. 30, a family spokesman said. He was 94. Bush served as the 41st president of the United States, from 1989 to 1993.

Stephen Hillenburg

The creator of "SpongeBob SquarePants," Stephen Hillenburg, died following a battle with ALS, Nickelodeon announced on Nov. 27. He was 57. Hillenburg's cartoon made its debut on Nickelodeon in 1999.

Bernardo Bertolucci

Bernardo Bertolucci, the director of "Last Tango in Paris," died Nov. 26, his publicist said. He was 77. The Italian director had been battling cancer for several years and died at home in Rome, according to Variety.

Roy Clark

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

Katherine MacGregor

"Little House on the Prairie" actress Katherine MacGregor died Nov. 13, her representative, Tony Sears, told The Associated Press. She was 93.

Stan Lee

The man behind our favorite superheroes, Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk and so many other Marvel Comics died at the age of 95 on Nov. 12.

Mac Miller

Mac Miller died of an overdose on Sept. 7. The rapper, whose real name is Malcolm James McCormick, had been open about his struggle with substance abuse in the past. He was 26.

Burt Reynolds

Actor Burt Reynolds, who rose to fame in the '70s with "Smokey and the Bandit," died Sept. 6, at 82, a spokesman for his Los Angeles agent confirmed.

Neil Simon

Neil Simon, one of Broadway's most popular playwrights, died on Aug. 26. He was 91. Simon was beloved for his works "The Odd Couple," "The Goodbye Girl" and "Lost in Yonkers," among others.

John McCain

Sen. John McCain died Aug. 25, at 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 cancer the day before he died.

Aretha Franklin

"The Queen of Soul," who released hits such as "Think" and "Respect" during a several-decades-long musical career, died on Aug. 16, officials said. She was 76.

Joe Jackson

The late Michael Jackson's father, Joe Jackson, died June 27, his family said. He was 89. The music manager behind the careers of the Jackson 5 reportedly had been battling pancreatic cancer.


Rapper XXXTentacion was shot dead in South Florida on June 18. The rapper, 20, released his first album in August 2017 and reached the Billboard 200 album chart for his second, titled "?"

Anthony Bourdain

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain died on June 8, at 61. The host of CNN's food and travel series "Parts Unknown" was found dead in a hotel bathroom in France, where he had been working on an upcoming episode. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging; The New York Times later reported that a toxicology report found no narcotics in his system.

Kate Spade

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

Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe, author and journalist behind the New Journalism movement, died on May 15, his agent said. He was 87. Wolfe was the bestselling author of "The Right Stuff" and "Bonfire of the Vanities."

Margot Kidder

Margot Kidder, "Superman's" Lois Lane, died on May 13, 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 April 21, according to a statement posted to his verified social media accounts. He was 49.


EDM star Avicii, known for his radio hits like "Wake Me Up" and "Hey Brother," died April 20, his representative Diana Baron said in a statement. He was 28.

Barbara Bush

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

Stephen Hawking

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

George Kaufman

Chairman of Kaufman Astoria Studios George Kaufman died Feb. 20, his publicist said. He was 89. 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."

Vic Damone

Singer Vic Damone, known for "On the Street Where You Live," among other singles, died Feb. 11, his daughter told The Associated Press. He was 89.

Keith Jackson

Legendary broadcaster Keith Jackson, the signature voice of college football for ABC, died on Jan. 12, at 89.


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