In 2018, we’ve already bid farewell to screen legends, music icons, and more. From The Cranberries frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan, to
House of Cards Emmy-winner Reg E. Cathey, plus rappers Fredo Santana and Craig Mack and legendary stage actor Sammy Williams, blues great Denise LaSalle, and many more. Join us as we take a look at these artists’ early works — Did you know
Chicago Fire star DuShon Monique Brown worked as a school counselor and actor John Gavin servied in the Korean war? We’ll reflect on their history-making performances, discuss the circumstances surrounding their deaths, and hear what their colleagues had to say about their passing.
Here are the stars we sadly said goodbye to this year.
Jon Paul Steuer
Former child actor Jon Paul Steuer, who starred as Quentin Kelly on Grace Under Fire and as Lt. Worf’s son, Alexander Rozhenko, on Star Trek: The Next Generation , died Jan. 1, 2018 at just 33 years old.
Steuer quit acting after the cancellation of
Grace Under Fire amid controversy surrounding the behavior of co-star Brett Butler, reported Variety. Steuer lived in Portland, Ore. and owned a vegan restaurant in the city called Harvest on the Bindery.
He was the lead singer of a band called P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S., who confirmed his untimely passing on Facebook . The band said, “The addition of Jonny to our dysfunctional band family was one of the best choices that we have ever made, and he brought a much needed sense of fun and lightheartedness to everything we did. He was only with us for a little more than a year, but we managed to cram a lifetime of great experiences into his tenure as our singer: dozens shows at home in Portland and across several states, an amazing European tour, and our best full-length release yet.”
Jerry Van Dyke
Jerry Van Dyke, younger brother of TV legend Dick Van Dyke, died Jan. 5, 2018 at 86 years old from heart failure, according to The New York Times . Jerry’s wife, Shirley Ann Jones, said Jerry’s health had begun to worsen following a car accident in 2015.
Jerry got his start with guest appearances on
The Dick Van Dyke Show and became a regular on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Judy Garland Show as a comedian. Far from riding his big brother’s coattails, Jerry was an Emmy nominated actor in his own right, earning four nods for his role of assistant coach Luther Van Dam on Coach from 1989 to 1997. After Coach ended, Jerry made regular guest appearances on television shows including My Name Is Earl , The Middle,
Yes Dear , and Raising Hope.
Canadian character actor Donnelly Rhodes passed away at 80 years old on Jan. 8, 2018, while in hospice care for a battle with cancer,
Rhodes became an actor after training for the Canadian National Park Service and serving as an airman-mechanic in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
His most famous roles were dopey escaped convict Dutch in Soap from 1978 to 1981 and Dr. Cottle in the original Battlestar Galactica. Rhodes also appeared on TV shows Mister Ed, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Cheers, Taxi ,
The Golden Girls, The X-Files , The L Word ,
Smallville, and The Golden Girls, as well as the movie Tron: Legacy (2010). tar Galactica – Laura Asks Cottle For A Favor
Singer Denise LaSalle died Jan. 8, 2018 at 78 years old after suffering health issues for several months, which included the amputation of her right leg after a fall,
LaSalle was born Ora Denise Allen in Sidon, Miss. She began using a stage name when she moved to Chicago to sing R&B as a teenager. She later transitioned to blues and founded the National Association for the Preservation of the Blues in 1986. She was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis, Tenn. in 2011.
Jason Wayne Miller
Jason Wayne Miller, famous for playing Salami Sam in Heavyweights (1995), died in his sleep on Jan. 9, 2018, at home in Chicago,
TMZ reported. He was just 36 years old.
Heavyweights (1995) writer and producer Judd Apatow told Page Six that “being around Joe Miller was pure joy. We could not have loved spending time with him more. He made everyone around him so happy. What a terrible loss.”
Co-star Aaron Schwartz, who played Gerald Garner in the film, told the site, “Joe always brought the fun to the set. He was one of those people you always wanted to be around. So sad. So young. Rest In Peace Joe.” Watch out for Salami Sam !
‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke
Motörhead guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke died Jan. 10, 2018, at age 67. Clarke was the last surviving founding member of the classic metal band.
The band announced his death on its Facebook page: “We are devastated to pass on the news … Fast Eddie passed peacefully in hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia.”
Former Motörhead drummer Mikkey Dee, who is currently a member of the Scorpions, wrote in a statement, “Oh my f**king God, this is terrible news, the last of the three amigos. I saw Eddie not too long ago and he was in great shape, so this is a complete shock. Me and Eddie always hit it off great. I was looking forward to seeing him in the UK this summer when we around with the Scorps.” Dee continued, “Now Lem and Philthy can jam with Eddie again, and if you listen carefully I’m sure you’ll hear them, so watch out!”
Fellow founding member Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister died from cancer in December 2015, and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor passed away that fall.
Bobby Zarin, husband of The Real Housewives of New York star Jill Zarin, died Jan. 13, 2018. He was 71 years old.
“With the heaviest of hearts, we are devastated to share the news that our beloved Bobby Zarin passed away peacefully today surrounded by family after a courageous battle with cancer,” Jill wrote in a statement on her website . “There are no words to describe how heartbroken we are. Thank you, everyone, for all your love and support during this difficult time.”
Bobby was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in June 2009. It returned and spread to his brain in November 2016.
Jill posted a tribute to Bobby the day after his passing, writing on Instagram, “Rest in Peace my love. Words cannot express the hole in my heart. Bobby taught me what true and deep love is. Thank you my love for sharing your life with me … for raising Allyson as if she was your own, being an amazing father and grandfather and teaching me how to be a better person. You inspire those around you to be the best they can be … I will never forget you … your legacy lives on through your beautiful children and grandchildren. I will continue to raise money and awareness for ITOG (International Thyroid Oncology Group) so maybe this won’t happen to the next guy who draws the proverbial short straw. I will continue to honor you and make you proud. You taught me so many lessons.”
Dolores O’Riordan , frontwoman of The Cranberries, died Jan. 15, 2018 at age 46.
Her publicist said O’Riordan was in London for a short recording session, but released no further details, according to Ireland’s The Journal. The U.K. coroner told The Associated Press she was found dead in her hotel room in London and that her passing was “unsuspicious,” meaning there was no foul play.
O’Riordan was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after an altercation at an airport in 2014, reported The Telegraph . She later told The Telegraph that her mental health issues (including depression, an eating disorder, and an attempted overdose in 2012) stemmed from sexual abuse she suffered as a child.
O’Riordan’s boyfriend of two years, D.A.R.K. musician Olé Koretsky, wrote in a statement: “My friend, partner, and the love of my life is gone. My heart is broken and it is beyond repair. Dolores is beautiful … The energy she continues to radiate is undeniable. I am lost. I miss her so much.”
Actress Olivia Cole, who won an Emmy for her role as Mathilda George in Roots (1977), died Jan. 19, 2018, at 75 years old, reported Deadline . Aside from her iconic role in Roots (1977), Cole also earned an Emmy nomination as Maggie Rogers in Backstairs at the White House (1979).
Cole’s other notable works included The Women of Brewster Place (1989) opposite Oprah Winfrey, Coming Home (1978), Some Kind of Hero (1982) with Richard Pryor, Go Tell it on the Mountain (1984), First Sunday (2008), Guiding Light , L.A. Law, and Murder, She Wrote .
Comedian Bob Smith died Jan. 20, 2018, after a battle with ALS. He was 59 years old. Smith was the first openly gay comedian to appear on The Tonight Show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Smith was also the first openly gay comic to perform an HBO half-hour special.
In addition to performing stand-up comedy, Smith was also an acclaimed writer, penning several novels, as well as three essay collections, including LAMBDA Book Award winner Openly Bob in 1997 and LAMBDA Book Award nominee Way to Go, Smith in 1999. His final book of essays, Treehab: Tales from My Natural Wild Life, was published in 2016 during his battle with ALS. He penned the entire collection with his one functional hand using an iPad.
Connie Sawyer, Hollywood’s oldest working actress, died at 105 years old on Jan. 22, 2018, Deadline reported. Her entertainment career began when she appeared in Vaudeville at just 8 years old and continued for decades, with movie roles in A Hole in the Head (1959), Ada (1961), The Way West (1967), The Man in the Glass Booth (1975),
When Harry Met Sally (1989), Dumb and Dumber (1994), and Pineapple Express (2008).
Sawyer’s six decades of television credits include roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show,
Hawaii Five-O , Dynasty, Archie Bunker’s Place, Home Improvement , Seinfeld, Will & Grace, ER, The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Ray Donovan , and Murder, She Wrote .
Storm Chasers star Joel Taylor died Jan. 23, 2018, while aboard a cruise ship, TMZ reported. Taylor was 38 years old.Sources told TMZ that Taylor may have passed away from a drug overdose. A fellow passenger on the ship claimed Taylor passed out on the dance floor during the cruise after using the drug GHB and was taken back to his room by two other guests. He was found dead the following day.
Oscar-winning actress Dorothy Malone died of natural causes on Jan. 19, 2018, at 92 years old, Variety reported. Malone won an Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role as Marylee Hadley in Written on the Wind (1956), which co-starred Rock Hudson and Lauren Bacall.
Malone’s other notable works include
Warlock (1959), Peyton Place, Condominium (1980), and convicted murderer Hazel Dobkins in Basic Instinct (1992).
Former Glee star Mark Salling allegedly committed suicide by hanging on Jan. 30, 2018, reported TMZ. He was 35 years old.
“Mark was a gentle and loving person, a person of great creativity, who was doing his best to atone for some serious mistakes and errors of judgment,” Salling’s attorney, Michael Proctor, told People. “He is survived by his mother and father, and his brother. The Salling family appreciates the support they have been receiving and asks for their privacy to be respected.”
At the time of his death, Salling was preparing to commence a life behind bars. According to USA Today , he “admitted to possessing pornographic images of prepubescent children” in a plea agreement in October 2017. Salling was scheduled to be sentenced on March 7, 2018 and “expected to spend 4 to 7 years in prison, followed by 20 years of supervised release and registry as a sex offender,” reported Deadline .
A source told People that the disgraced actor had become isolated from friends. “This other dark side of him was completely shocking to everyone close to him,” the insider said. “Close people who didn’t talk to him are still sad about it. They loved him because of the person he was before all of this happened. There’s a level of sadness with everyone, but the sadness is from afar.”
World-famous theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking died March 14, 2018. According to the BBC , Hawking — who’d been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, when he was just 21 years old — died peacefully in his home in Cambridge. He lived to be 76 years old, despite being given just two years to live at the time of his diagnosis. He is survived by his children: Lucy, Robert, and Tim.
“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,” his kids said in a statement (via E! News). “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.” The statement continued, “His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humor inspired people across the world. He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss you forever.”
Rapper Fredo Santana died Jan. 19, 2018, at just 27 years old.
The Chicago-based MC (and cousin of controversial and often-incarcerated rapper Chief Keef) suffered from a fatal seizure, reported TMZ. Santana, born Derrick Coleman, had been hospitalized in the months leading up to his death, including a hospitalization for liver and kidney failure in October 2017. Once released from the hospital, Santana reportedly went right back into the studio to make more music, though Rolling Stone reported that he considered going to rehab as well.
The drill rapper was open about his addiction to lean, also commonly known as sizzurp — a combination of prescription cough syrup (usually codeine) and other substances, which may have caused his fatal seizure. His girlfriend reportedly arrived at his home at 11:30 p.m. and found him dead on the floor.
Several rappers paid tribute to Santana,
including Drake and Maxo Kream.
Making the situation even more tragic: Santana had an 8-month-old son.c
In 2018, we’ve already bid farewell to screen legends, music icons, and more. From The Cranberries frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan, to