Stupendous "Silence of the Lambs" director Jonathan Demme has passed away at 73. The Oscar winning director, producer and screenwriter crafted a high quality body of work over his illustrious career including "Melvin and Howard" and "Philadelphia".
It is a sad day for "Happy Days" fans. Erin Moran, who famously played Joanie Cunningham on the popular sitcom, has passed away the young age of 56. Reports say the actress was found "unresponsive" in Indiana.
The mother of David Letterman has passed away at age 95, with her daughter breaking the sad news. Back in the 1990s, Dorothy Letterman appeared frequently on her son's late-night talk show, most memorably covering the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.
Guitarist and namesake of The J. Geils Band, John Warren Geils Jr. was found dead in his home in Groton, Massachusetts on Apr. 11. He was 71. Best known for their albums "Love Stinks" (1980) and "Freeze Frame" (1981), the latter hitting #1 on the album charts.
Peter Hansen passed away at the age of 95.
Hansen was most famous for playing Lee Baldwin on the timeless ABC soap "General Hospital". The actor also starred in films like "When Worlds Collide" and "The Savage".
Emmy Award-winning comedian Don Rickles passed away at the age of 90 on April 6. One month shy of his 91st birthday, Rickles was a regular guest and guest host of ”The Tonight Show” and released several comedy albums over his career. A frequent panelist on “Hollywood Squares”, he was most known for his role as Sgt. Crapgame on “Kelly’s Heroes”, later voicing Mr. Potato Head in the “Toy Story” franchise.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra creator, Paul O’Neill, has died at the age of 61. "The entire Trans-Siberian Orchestra family, past and present, is heartbroken to share the devastating news that Paul O'Neill has passed away from chronic illness," a post on the group’s Facebook page read. "He was our friend and our leader – a truly creative spirit and an altruistic soul. This is a profound and indescribable loss for us all."
According to police, the music producer was found dead in his Tampa Embassy Suites hotel room on April 5. Officials are currently working to determine the official cause of death, though they confirm no obvious signs of foul play were at the scene.
O’Neill’s band was best known for its hard rock Christmas classics, including “Carol Of The Bells” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”.
A game show pioneer, Chuck Barris's TV achievements include "The Dating Game", "The Newlywed Game" and "The Gong Show", on which he also served as unhinged host. His autobiography, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind", became a feature film starring Sam Rockwell as Barris, who claimed (although presented no evidence) to have been a clandestine CIA assassin during his years as a game show producer. He passed away on April 21 at age 87.
Guitarist, singer and songwriter Chuck Berry was nothing less than the architect of rock 'n' roll, whose catchy riffs inspired the likes of Keith Richards and many others thanks to an enduring string of hits including "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode". The fact that those and other songs remain a part of the pop-culture vernacular speaks to Berry's wide-ranging influence. He passed at 90, yet his legacy will continue to endure with the posthumous release of "Chuck", his first album of original material in 38 years.
A familiar face to viewers of TCM's classic movies, Robert Osborne began his association with the channel in 1994 and remained a constant presence, joined by all manner of celebrities as he shared his passion for and knowledge of film. He passed away in March at age 84.
While stars prepped for the 2017 Oscars, a shockwave rippled throughout Hollywood on the morning of the Academy Awards with the news that Bill Paxton had passed away at age 61. A prolific actor whose big-screen hits included "Aliens" and "Twister", Paxton had won accolades for his work on television in such projects as HBO's "Big Love" and History channel's "Hatfields & McCoys." Before he passed away from a stroke following heart surgery, Paxton had been starring in CBS crime drama "Training Day".
Years before TV viewers had ever heard of Judge Judy, they were watching Judge Joseph Wapner on "The People's Court", which found the real-life judge (then retired) presiding over actual legal cases culled from small claims court, his no-nonsense, common-sense judgements clearly striking a chord with fans during the show's long television run. Wapner passed away in February at age 97.
Best known for his role as swashbuckling Captain Apollo in 1970s sci-fi series "Battlestar Galactica" (and his far-less-heroic role in the 2004 reboot), Richard Hatch was a veteran of numerous TV series, having appeared in such shows as “Dynasty”, “The Love Boat” and “MacGyver”. He passed away from pancreatic cancer at age 71.
Canadian documentary filmmaker Rob Stewart's passion for ocean conservation was evident in his award-winning films such as "Sharkwater" and "Bala". Stewart, 37, tragically drowned during a deep-sea dive in early February.
Boasting one of filmdom's most distinctive voices, two-time Oscar nominee and "Elephant Man" star John Hurt lost his battle with cancer at age 77 after a screen career that spanned six decades. Some of Hurt's numerous films include "Midnight Express", "Alien", "Hellboy" and the recent biopic "Jackie". Hurt remained in demand right up until the end; he has no less than four films slated to be released posthumously.
Mary Tyler Moore
Fans mourned the passing of Mary Tyler Moore, who died at the age of 80 on January 25. Moore has the rare distinction of starring in not one but two of television's most acclaimed sitcoms, playing housewife Laura Petrie on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and then in the groundbreaking "The Mary Tyler Moore Show", in which she starred as a plucky producer on a Minneapolis news broadcast. While comedy may have been her forte, Moore demonstrated some serious dramatic chops in 1980's "Ordinary People", a role that earned her an Oscar nomination.
The son of famed singer Rosemary Clooney and actor Jose Ferrer ("Cyrano de Bergerac"), Miguel Ferrer starred in such TV series as "NCIS: Los Angeles", "Crossing Jordan" and "Twin Peaks". He was 61 when he lost his battle with cancer in January 2017.
Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka
One of the most popular pro wrestlers during his heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka passed away in January at 77. Snuka's life sadly ended surrounded by controversy, facing charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter stemming from the 1983 murder of his then-girlfriend.
Comedy fans will recall Tony Rosato from being in the casts of both "SCTV" and "Saturday Night Live", along with appearances in such TV series as Due South,” “Street Legal,” “L.A. Law,” “Lonesome Dove” and “RoboCop”. Sadly, Rosato's final years saw him battling mental illness before his death at age 62 in January 2017.