Considered a visionary in the entertainment industry, award-winning director Mike Nichols passed away suddenly on Nov. 19. The German-born director first made a name for himself with 1967's The Graduate, for which he won an Oscar. He was one of only 12 stars to win all four major entertainment awards — Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Nichols is survived by his wife, ABC News presenter Diane Sawyer, and his three adult children from previous marriages.
The Real World/Road Rules family — and the real world at large — lost a true light on Nov. 14 with the passing of recurring cast member 34-year-old Diem Brown. Brown, who was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the tender age of 23, succumbed to the disease after it metastasized to her colon and stomach. A fighter until the end, Brown never lost her trademark pluckiness and hope.
The lady behind the distinctive voice of Big Bang Theory's Mrs. Wolowitz, Carol Ann Susi died on Nov. 11 following an abbreviated battle with an aggressive form of cancer. Susi also guest starred on Seinfeld, Cheers, Grey's Anatomy, That '70s Show and more during her career.
Welcome Back, Kotter actress Marcia Strassman passed away on Oct. 25 after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 66. Her many TV credits include The Patty Duke Show, MASH and Third Watch, though many fondly remember her for her role opposite Rick Moranis in the Disney movies Honey I Shrunk the Kids and Honey I Blew Up the Kid.
Music lost another pioneer in 2014 with the passing of iconic Cream bassist Jack Bruce. One-third of what is widely hailed as one of rock's greatest trios of all time, Bruce penned classic tracks like "White Room" and "Sunshine of Your Love." He was 71 at the time of his death.
On Oct. 20, the world mourned the loss of legendary fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, who died peacefully in his home surrounded by family, friends and his beloved dogs. The sophisticated designer left an indelible mark on the fashion industry, having spent four decades building the beautiful empire that now survives him.
Veteran actress Elizabeth Peña — known and loved for her roles in Jacob's Ladder, La Bamba and Batteries Not Included — passed away on Oct. 14 at the age of 55. Peña enjoyed a recurring guest role on Modern Family and, at the time of her death, had just wrapped the first season of El Rey Network's Matador. The cause of her passing has been reported as cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol abuse.
Comedian Jan Hooks died on Oct. 9 of unknown causes. The star, who was 57 at the time of her death, rose to prominence in the late-'80s golden age of Saturday Night Live. Among the legacy she leaves behind are her hilarious parody sketches of Ivana Trump, Tammy Faye Bakker and Sinead O'Connor.
For more than six decades, Marian Seldes ruled the New York theater scene with starring roles in the works of great playwrights from Tennessee Williams to Edward Albee. She also enjoyed steady work in TV and film with memorable roles like President Carr in Mona Lisa Smile. Seldes died Oct. 6 at her home in Manhattan, her family confirmed.
The death of SAG Award-nominated actress Misty Upham remains shrouded in mystery. Last seen on Oct. 5, the August: Osage County star's body was discovered Oct. 16 near the White River in Washington. Although presumed a suicide, her family contends she was fleeing from the cops "she was afraid of" when she accidentally fell to her death in a ravine.
The long-time host of Skip E. Lowe Looks at Hollywood, Skip Lowe died Monday, Sept. 22 due to complications from emphysema and other respiratory issues. During the 35-year tenure of his TV show, Lowe interviewed in excess of 6,000 celebrities, including greats like Bette Davis, Shelley Winters, Janet Leigh, Mickey Rooney and Lynn Redgrave.
Chicago Fire actress Molly Glynn was enjoying a scenic bike ride with her husband on a forest preserve trail just north of Chicago when a sudden storm hit. Her husband, fellow actor Joe Foust, yelled back to Glynn that the pair should find cover when a tree fell on Glynn, crushing her. The 46-year-old succumbed to her injuries on Sept. 6.
Actress, comedian, writer, producer, television host, mother... there weren't many hats Joan Rivers didn't wear. The first woman to host a late night network TV talk show, Rives was considered both controversial and widely respected. On Aug. 28, Rivers died unexpectedly during a reportedly minor throat procedure at an outpatient clinic in New York City. She died on Sept. 4 at the age of 81. Subsequent investigation into her death has uncovered multiple mistakes made by the clinic.
During a career that spanned six decades, Richard Attenborough enjoyed success as one of Britain's top actors and, later, an Oscar-winning director. Considered a man of "huge warmth and integrity" by his peers, Lord Attenborough will forever be endeared to American audiences thanks to his role as John Hammond in Jurassic Park. The then 90-year-old passed away on Aug. 24.
Prolific character actor Stephen Lee passed away in August after suffering a heart attack in his Los Angeles home. Best known perhaps for his role as the overly chatty cabinet installer on Seinfeld, Lee enjoyed an active career including appearances on Hill Street Blues, Nash Bridges, Quantum Leap, Grey's Anatomy, CSI, The West Wing and more. He was 58 at the time of his death.
Silver screen siren Lauren Bacall passed away at her longtime Upper West apartment in The Dakota building following a massive stroke. The actress, who famously married fellow film icon Humphrey Bogart, found stardom after being cast in To Have and Have Not at the age of 19. She went on to star in other classic films such as Key Largo and Murder on the Orient Express. She was 89 at the time of her death.
Robin Williams was discovered unresponsive in his home on Monday, Aug. 11 and subsequently pronounced dead. The iconic actor — whose roster of work includes a slew of cult classics, such as Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire and Good Will Hunting — was 63 at the time of his death. On the legendary comedian's passing, President Obama released a statement, saying in part, "He arrived in our lives as an alien — but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit."
Perhaps best known at the end of his career for his role as the aging Noah in 2004's romantic classic, The Notebook, 86-year-old James Garner passed away at his home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California on July 19. The beloved actor was also known for his roles on the TV series Maverick and The Rockford Files. In 2005, he received the Screen Actors Guild's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Skye McCole Bartusiak
Another star lost far too young, Skye McCole Bartusiak died on July 19 at the tender age of 21 from what relatives suspect to be epileptic seizures. Bartusiak made a lasting impression onscreen, thanks to her role as Mel Gibson's young daughter in the 2000 film The Patriot. The actress kicked off her career at only 6-years-old with a role in The Cider House Rules.
In early July, the music world suffered a major loss when the last Ramone, Tommy, passed away at the age of 65. The Ramones' original drummer and producer, Tommy succumbed to his long battle with bile duct cancer. Dubbed the godfather of American punk, Tommy left behind a storied legacy of rock.
Veteran actor Meschach Taylor, best known to the world as Anthony Bouvier in the 1986-1993 series Designing Women, passed away this June following a battle with cancer. The Emmy-award winning actor died at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by his family, including his wife of more than three decades, Biance Ferguson, and his four children, Tamar, Esme, Yasmine and Tariq.
Radio legend Casey Kasem passed away in June at a California hospital following long-suffering health issues. The icon's death was mired in controversy, due in large part to a bitter battle between his grown children and his second wife, Jean, over visitation with Kasem and his medical care.
Actress, writer, journalist and civil rights activist Ruby Dee died peacefully at her home in New York on June 11. The 91-year-old icon starred in such memorable films as A Raisin in the Sun, American Gangster and The Stand. Her many awards over the span of her impressive career include Grammys, Emmys, Obies, Screen Actors' Guild Awards and more.
Funny man Rik Mayall came to prominence in the entertainment world as part of the comedy group Comic Strip in the 1980s, but he will always be remembered in fans heart for roles like The Young Ones, The New Statesman and — of course — his beloved turn as the mischievous imaginary friend in 1991's Drop Dead Fred. He passed away at his home in London in June at the age of 56.
Ann B. Davis
Tragedy struck on June 2 when beloved showbiz veteran Ann B. Davis fell in her bathroom and hit her head, leading to her death. The 88-year-old actress was best known for her role as the lovable housekeeper Alice in the classic sitcom The Brady Bunch. She later went on to win two Emmy Awards for her work as secretary Schultzy on The Bob Cummings Show.
Beloved poet, author and activist Maya Angelou passed quietly in her home on May 28 after struggling with a prolonged illness. Among other works, her book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is widely considered one of the most important modern literary contributions. In addition to inspiring people with her words, Angelou set a noble example through her benevolence and activism.
Director Malik Bendjelloul rose to fame in 2013 when he won an Oscar for his documentary, Searching for Sugar Man. According to Stockholm police, Swedish-born Bendjelloul passed away on Tuesday, May 13 at only 36 years old. Although cause of death has not officially been released, statements reveal foul play is not suspected as Bendjelloul reportedly committed suicide.
British actor Bob Hoskins passed away on April 30 at the age of 71 after suffering a bout of pneumonia, according to his agent. The veteran star — best known for films like The Long Good Friday, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Hook — retired from acting in 2012 after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
One of the legends of the WWE '90s heyday, the Ultimate Warrior — aka James Hellwig — died from a massive heart attack following an appearance on the revived Raw. According to reports, the 54-year-old was walking his wife to her car on April 8 in Arizona when he grabbed his chest and collapsed. Although he was rushed to the hospital, the wrestler never regained consciousness.
On April 7, English socialite and television personality, Peaches Geldof, was found dead at her home in Kent. Although Geldof's death was ruled not suspicious initially, the coroner was awaiting toxicology reports before issuing an official cause of death. According to London's Times, the results are in and 25-year-old Geldof — like her mother, Paula Yates, in 2000 — died from a heroin overdose.
An icon of the silent film era, Mickey Rooney passed away from natural causes at the age of 93. Rooney, who spent nearly his entire life in show business, rose to prominence in Hollywood playing the role of Andy Hardy in over a dozen classic films. He was also a notorious ladies' man — his eight wives included stunners Ava Gardner and Elaine Devry.
Comedian John Pinette was discovered dead in a hotel room in Pittsburgh on April 5. Perhaps most famously known as the mugged man in the Seinfeld finale, Pinette had — according to his personal physician — been struggling with liver and heart disease. As such, no foul play was suspected and an autopsy was not performed on the 50-year-old.
A pioneer in the music industry, Frankie Knuckles — affectionately known in the biz as the "Godfather of House Music" — passed away unexpectedly on April 1 at the age of 59. Some reports say Knuckles, whose real name was Francis Nicholls, died of complications that arose from his type 2 diabetes.
Most famous as the cherubic lead in films like Curly Top, Wee Willie Winkie and The Little Princess, Shirley Temple Black is, arguably, the most beloved child star of all time. As an adult, she became active in politics, turning into quite the diplomat. On Feb. 10, 85-year-old Black died in her home of natural causes. She was surrounded by family and friends.
What an incredible talent the world lost this March when James Rebhorn passed away at the age of 65. The actor, whose prolific filmography included more than 100 roles, was playing recurring characters on both Homeland and White Collar at the time of his death.
Hailed by the New York Times as "perhaps the most ambitious and widely admired American actor of his generation," Philip Seymour Hoffman appeared in movies like Almost Famous, Cold Mountain, Capote, Doubt, Moneyball and, well, the list goes on and on. Tragically, Hoffman was found dead in February at the age of 46 in the bathroom of his Manhattan apartment. The subsequent autopsy report proved the actor died of an acute drug overdose.
Harold Allen Ramis may have been most famous for film roles like that of iconic Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters, but he was also a widely-respected director and writer credited for influencing countless comedians and comedy writers. His work included classics such as Caddyshack, National Lampoon's Vacation, Groundhog Day and more. On Feb. 24, Ramis passed away in his home due to complications from vasculitis. He was 69.
A fashion designer, costume designer and model, L'Wren Scott — whose real name was Laura Bambrough — was found dead in her Manhattan apartment by her assistant on March 17. The police reported that Scott's death was the result of suicide by hanging. The fashion darling left her estate to Mick Jagger, her longtime boyfriend.
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