Rock legend Jim Rodford died Jan. 20, 2018. He was 76 years old. Rodford was a founding member of the band Argent and the bassist for The Kinks and The Zombies.
Rodford’s cousin and longtime bandmate, Rod Argent, announced on The Zombies’ Facebook page: “It is with deep sadness that I learned this morning that my dear cousin and lifelong friend, Jim Rodford, died this morning after a fall on the stairs. More details are not yet known about the exact cause of death … When Colin [Blunstone] and I put together our second incarnation in late 1999, our first phone call was to Jim. He gave us absolutely unflagging commitment, loyalty and unbelievable energy for eighteen years, and our gratitude is beyond measure.”
The statement continued, “To the end, Jim’s life was dedicated to music. He was unfailingly committed to local music … Colin and I would compare notes a couple of days immediately after a U.S. tour and discuss how long it would take us to recover from an intense, fantastic but exhausting couple of months — only to find out and marvel that Jim had already been out playing with local bands … Jim was a wonderful person, loved by everybody. When Colin and I, shocked and hardly able to talk, shared the news this morning, Colin said, ‘I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about him.’ He will be unbelievably missed.”
Temptations singer Dennis Edwards passed away at age 74 on Feb. 1, 2018, reported Variety.
Edwards replaced original lead singer, David Ruffin, in 1968. Edwards brought his signature gospel style to the lead vocals on some of the group’s most memorable later-career hits, including ” Just My Imagination ,” “Cloud Nine,” ” Shakey Ground,” ” Ball of Confusion,” ” Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” “Psychedelic Shack,” and ” I Can’t Get Next to You.” He split from the group in 1977, but rejoined a decade later. In 1989, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Temptations.
According to the Chicago Tribune , Edwards died from complications from meningitis — and was allegedly abused leading up to his death. Court documents from an adult protective services investigator reportedly show that Edwards’ wife, Brenda, was accused of abusing the singer, leading the crooner to obtain an emergency protective order against her. She denied the claims.
Edwards is survived by Brenda, as well as a daughter from his previous marriage to Ruth Pointer of The Pointer Sisters.
John Mahoney, most famous for playing down-to-earth dad Martin Crane on Frasier, died Feb. 4, 2018, while in hospice care, reported Variety. He was 77 years old.
Mahoney was born in England and came to the United States when he was 19. He taught English at Western Illinois University before joining the Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble in his late 30s.
Mahoney’s career began in theater in his native England, then took to film with roles in now-classic films including Moonstruck (1987), Say Anything (1989), In the Line of Fire (1993), and The American President (1995). Before his star turn in Frasier in 1993, Mahoney appeared in the show’s predecessor, Cheers (though not in the same role,) and in 3rd Rock from the Sun . He received a Screen Actors Guild Award, two Emmy nods, and two Golden Globe nominations for his role as Frasier Crane’s blue-collar dad. Mahoney also won a Tony Award in 1986 for his role in The House of Blue Leaves on Broadway.
His most recent roles prior to his passing were as Roy, Betty White’s love interest, on
Hot in Cleveland from 2011 to 2014, and as a tormented CEO seeking therapy in In Treatment in 2009.
Mahoney never married and had no children, but in a touching tribute, Frasier star Kelsey Grammer said in a statement to Variety, “He was my father. I loved him.”
Actor and musician Mickey Jones died Feb. 7, 2018, following a long but unspecified illness, his rep told Variety. He was 76 years old.
Jones’ career as a character actor began in 1971 in the television comedy Rollin’ on the River, which led to a slew of small roles in a ton of movies , including Total Recall (1990) and recurring roles on Hot Rod , Justified , and
Home Improvement , in which he played Tim Allen’s friend, Peter Bilker. Jones’ catchphrase, “That would be me,” became the title of his 2009 autobiography, That Would Be Me: Rock & Roll Survivor to Hollywood Actor.
Jones’ most recent work included roles in J.K. Simmons’ Growing up Fisher and
Newsreaders. In addition to his acting career, Jones was also a prolific drummer, playing on albums by Trini Lopez and Johnny Rivers and touring with Bob Dylan and Kenny Rogers.
Reg E. Cathey
Reg E. Cathey passed away Feb. 9, 2018, at 59 years old after a battle with lung cancer, according to The Hollywood Reporter .
Cathey’s biggest roles were on television: He starred as Martin Querns on Oz from 2000 to 2003, as reporter-turned-politician Norman Wilson on The Wire from 2006 to 2008, as Barry K. Word in Lights Out in 2011, as Barry Querns on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit from 2008 to 2013, as Detective Julius Bonner on Banshee in 2014, as Uncle Bobby in The Divide, as Freddy, a restaurant owner who gets a job in the White House in House of Cards from 2013 to 2016, and as Chief Giles on Outcast from 2016 to 2017.
His movie work included roles in the Fantastic Four reboot (2015), St. Vincent (2014),
S.W.A.T. (2003), Pootie Tang (2001),
American Psycho (2000), Se7en (1995),
Airheads (1994), Clear and Present Danger (1994), The Mask (1994), What About Bob? (1991), and Born on the Fourth of July (1989).
Famous for his rich, deep voice, Cathey told The Guardian in 2016, “What I did notice is that Barack Obama becomes president and suddenly black people who are well-spoken are working more. This new market for the well-spoken black actor is all due to Obama. He got inaugurated, and I started working like a fiend — hired by the same people who would previously ask: ‘Have you always spoken like that?’ It’s like, ‘You know what, motherf**kers? Yes, I have.'”
Actor John Gavin died Feb. 9, 2018 at 86 years old.
Before acting, Gavin graduated from Stanford and served in the Navy in the Korean War before finally giving in to a family friend who urged him to take a screen test. His breakout parts included a sympathetic German soldier in the World War II drama A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958) and as Steve Archer in
Imitation of Life (1959). His most famous roles were that of Sam Loomis in Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Psycho (1960), and as Julius Caesar in Spartacus (1960). He was almost cast as James Bond and even signed a contract for Diamonds are Forever (1971) until producers hired Sean Connery instead.
He soon transitioned to television roles, reported Variety. “When I walked through the gate, Universal quit building actors … Some of those early roles were unactable,” Gavin said. “Even Laurence Olivier couldn’t have done anything with them. The dialogue ran to cardboard passages such as ‘I love you. You can rely on me darling. I’ll wait.’ It was all I could do to keep from adding, ‘with egg on my face.'”
Gavin served on the board of the Screen Actors Guild, including as president from 1971 to 1973. He considered running for Senate as a Republican in 1991.
Comedian Marty Allen died from complications from pneumonia on Feb. 12, 2018, The Associated Press reported. He was 95 years old.
After serving in World War II, Allen’s comedy career began in 1950. He rose to notoriety when he partnered with Steve Allen for the duo Allen & Rossi. The pair performed on The Ed Sullivan Show a whopping 44 times, including the episode during which The Beatles made their U.S. TV debut. He and Allen split in 1968, but would continue to perform together occasionally throughout the 1990s.
Allen made hundreds of television appearances through the 1970s and 1980s, with credits ranging from game shows such as Hollywood Squares to serious roles in daytime dramas such as The Big Valley.
In 1984, Allen married Karon Kate Blackwell, with whom he performed a musical comedy act on tours throughout the United States for more than 30 years — they even had sold out performances as recently as 2015.
David Ogden Stiers
David Ogden Stiers, who starred as nobby surgeon Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester II on M*A*S*H , died March 3, 2018. He was 75 years old. According to Variety, Stiers suffered from bladder cancer leading up to his passing.
An Oregon native who studied acting at Juilliard, Stiers earned two Emmy nominations for his most famous role as Winchester, and a third for his performance in the NBC miniseries The First Olympics: Athens 1896 (1984). His Broadway debuts were in three simultaneous plays in 1973.
Stiers served as the narrator and voice of Cogsworth in Disney’s animated smash
Beauty and the Beast (1991), Governor Ratcliffe in Pocahontas (1995), the archdeacon in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), and Dr. Jumba Jookiba in Lilo & Stitch (2002).
He starred in eight Perry Mason TV movies from 1986 through 1988, and had small roles in Woody Allen films Shadows and Fog (1991), Mighty Aphrodite (1995), Everyone Says I Love You (1996), and The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001).
Stiers came out as gay in 2009, admitting he’d waited because his income came from mostly family-friendly fare. The same year, he began stage acting again.
Stiers most recently appeared in The Regular Show from 2011 to 2016.
His M*A*S*H co-star Lorena Swit said in a statement, “He was an extraordinary person, a gifted actor, phenomenal musician, and my sweet, dear shy friend … Working with him was an adventure. He was exceptional. I’m hurting. We all are.”
Rapper Craig Mack died March 12, 2018 at 46 years old, reported the New York Daily News. Mack was one of the first artists signed to Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Records and was nominated for a Grammy for his signature track, 1994’s ” Flava in Ya Ear .” Mack reportedly suffered from heart failure.
Fellow Bad Boy artist DJ Scratch claimed on Instagram that he was “the only famous person” at Mack’s memorial, but that may not have been deliberate.
He wrote, “When I left Craig’s memorial service I called @Diddy to thank him for giving Craig the platform for the world to know Craig Mack’s music. I told him I just left the service, he said, ‘They buried Craig already, what service are you talking about?!?’ He didn’t know about the memorial service. @diddy offered to pay for Craig Mack’s funeral, but the religious community Craig was in declined. None of his friends or colleagues were allowed to attend his funeral. Diddy respected their wishes. Craig was immediately buried on the property where he lived. Yesterday’s service was a memorial for Craig’s friends in NY & for fans to attend thrown by Craig’s childhood friend Alvin Toney.”
Legendary stage actor Sammy Williams passed away March 17, 2018 at 69 years old. A family spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that Williams had been battling cancer.
Williams won a Tony Award for best featured actor in a musical in 1976 in the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line , in which he played Paul San Marco, a Puerto Rican performer coming to terms with his homosexuality. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the role of San Marco was partially based on Williams’ own real-life experiences as a gay man, combined with elements from the life of author Nicholas Dante. He won an Obie Award for the role in 1975, per Broadway .com .
Apart from A Chorus Line, which was, incredibly, Williams’ first speaking role on a stage, he also had small parts in Applause and The Happy Time. He later became a choreographer and director in Los Angeles, most recently appearing in the Ahmanson’s Theatre production of Follies in 2012.
DuShon Monique Brown
Chicago Fire star DuShon Monique Brown died March 23, 2018 at just 49 years old. The Chicago Tribune reported that her cause of death was not disclosed but was rumored to be from a heart attack.
Brown starred as Connie, the no-nonsense assistant to Chief Boden, on the series. Prior to her work on the NBC hit, Brown had a recurring role as Nurse Katie Welch on Prison Break and guest roles in Shameless and
Empire. Before breaking out in showbiz, Brown was a school counselor and had a background in social work.
“The Chicago Fire family is devastated to lose one of its own,” executive producer Dick Wolf said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with DuShon’s family and we will all miss her.”
Brown’s co-star, Yuri Sardarov, who plays Otis on the series, launched a GoFundMe account after her passing. “We are shocked, and will miss her immensely. She is survived by her daughter, and fiancé,” the page reads. “Despite her visibility and involvement in a television show, DuShon was not a salaried actor. She had a full time job as a Chicago Public Schools counselor. Please join us in offering DuShon and family support during this very difficult time. Your generosity will help fund the cost of funeral arrangements and other financial burdens that her family must shoulder.”
K-Pop star Seo Minwoo of boyband 100 Percent died March 25, 2018 at only 33 years old, according to The Guardian. The singer was reportedly found unresponsive in his home and pronounced dead by first responders. He suspected cause of death is cardiac arrest.
Minwoo was the lead singer of the group, which originated in 2012. He took a sabbatical from performing in 2014 to perform his government-required military service but returned to the group upon completing his obligations. Minwoo also dabbled in stage acting in productions including The King And I, as well as movie and television roles.
Minwoo’s 100 Percent bandmate, Woo Changbum, paid tribute to Minwoo in an Instagram post after his passing. “May the souls of the deceased refrain,” Changbum wrote ( translated from Korean). “I hope you are comfortable in the sky. I want you to be a bright star and shine this world.”
R. Lee Ermey
R. Lee Ermey, famous for his Golden Globe-nominated portrayal of drill gunnery sergeant “Gunny” Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket died April 15, 2018, at the age of 74.
Ermey’s manager said in a statement on Twitter that the actor passed away from complications from pneumonia.
According to his biography, Ermey was a Vietnam War veteran, having spent 11 years in the Marines — two of which he spent as a drill instructor. After retiring from the military in 1971, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill and studied drama at the University of Manila in the Philippines. Francis Ford Coppola was filming 1979’s Apocalypse Now nearby at the time and cast Ermey as a helicopter pilot.
Ermey’s career went on to span nearly 40 years, with roles in films including Se7en,
Dead Man Walking, the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre , and as the toy soldiers’ Army Sarge in the Toy Story franchise.
In 2002, Ermey became the first retiree in the history of the Marines to receive an honorary promotion to Gunnery Sergeant.
Steven Bochco, the legendary producer behind television series such as Doogie Howser, M.D. ; NYPD Blue , L.A. Law, and Hill Street Blues, died April 1, 2018. He was 74 years old.
Bochco had been suffering from a relatively rare form of leukemia called blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm for years. Along with chemotherapy, he credited a stem cell transplant he received in 2014 for prolonging his life significantly, according to The Hollywood Reporter .
Throughout Bochco’s career, he was nominated for 30 Emmys, winning 10 of them. He collaborated with the likes of Steven Spielberg, with whom he worked when he wrote for TV series Columbo.
“Steve was a friend and a colleague starting with the first episode of Columbo in 1971 that he wrote and I directed,” Spielberg told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. “We have supported and inspired each other ever since, and through many deep mutual friendships we have stayed connected for 47 years. I will miss Steve terribly.”
Night Court star Harry Anderson passed away in his sleep at 65 years old on April 16, 2018.
TMZ reported that Anderson’s wife, Elizabeth, found him unresponsive in their home. She told emergency personnel that Anderson had suffered from strokes, as well as a battle with the flu, in the months leading up to his death.
In addition to starring as judge Harry Stone on the NBC hit show , Anderson was also an accomplished comedian and magician, and he received numerous tributes from other stars upon their learning of his passing.
Neil Patrick Harris, who practices magic in addition to his work as an actor, revealed on Twitter that Anderson had recently sold him some magic memorabilia, while David Copperfield posted a tribute that included a photo with the three-card Monte that Anderson once used in his performances. Comedian and actor Paul Reiser reminisced on traveling to New Jersey with the former comic for $40 gigs.
Anderson’s Night Court co-star John Larroquette tweeted: “…Out in the cosmos tonight, with his fedora at a rakish angle and a ‘watch this’ wink to us, he’s coaxing whoever might be out there with him: ‘Pick a card. Any card.'”
Swedish DJ and producer Avicii died April 20, 2018 at just 28 years old. The EDM superstar, born Tim Bergling, was most famous for his hits ” Levels ,” ” Wake Me Up ,” ” Hey Brother ,” and ” Fade Into Darkness .”
Bergling suffered from some serious medical issues in the final years of his all-too-short life, including acute pancreatitis, which he told Time magazine in 2013 was caused by excessive drinking. As a result, the DJ reportedly quit drinking entirely, but his health issues continued, and in 2014, he had his gallbladder and appendix removed.
By 2016, Avicii had retired from touring completely, citing not just his physical, but also his mental health as reasons to step back from live performances. He told The Hollywood Reporter, “It was something I had to do for my health. The scene was not for me. It was not the shows and not the music. It was always the other stuff surrounding it that never came naturally to me … I’m more of an introverted person in general. It was always very hard for me. I took on board too much negative energy.”
TMZ reported that the DJ was found dead in Muscat, Oman, where he’d been staying at a luxury resort. To date, the circumstances surrounding his passing remain unclear.
Verne Troyer passed away April 21, 2018. He was just 49 years old. To date, his exact cause of death is unknown, but it’s suspected that his death be connected to an alleged suicide attempt from earlier that month.
“It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today,” stated an announcement on the actor’s Facebook page. “Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to any extent possible. Verne hoped he made a positive change with the platform he had and worked towards spreading that message everyday.”
Troyer, who stood at 2 feet, 9 inches, was born with achondroplasia dwarfism — a condition in which cartilage won’t properly convert to bones, most often in the long bones in arms and legs, resulting in small limbs.
Troyer was best known for his role as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers franchise, though he has more than 50 acting credits from the silver and small screen. Austin Powers star Mike Myers honored Troyer with a statement to The Hollywood Reporter : “Verne was the consummate professional and a beacon of positivity for those of us who had the honor of working with him. It is a sad day, but I hope he is in a better place. He will be greatly missed.”