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The Sopranos star, 78, died in September of complications from heart surgery, TMZ reported. The actor was known for his tough-guy roles in films like Raging Bull, Goodfellas and Casino, though appeared in myriad films in his long career.
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The 28-year-old indie rocker, formerly of Those Darlins', died in September after battling cervical cancer. The niece of country musician Steve Wariner learned she had cervical cancer when she was 26 after she couldn’t stop bleeding. It was caused by a strain of human papillomavirus, according to the Nashville Scene. She started brachytherapy, but later discovered a lymph node in her neck. Biopsy results showed it was positive for the same type of cancer cell originally found in her cervix.
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LaMura, known for his role as Mark Dalton on All My Children, died at the age of 68 in September after battling lung cancer, Deadline reported. LaMura, who was nominated for a daytime Emmy in 1988 for his work on the soap opera, has several other television credits, including Star Trek: The Next Generation, L.A. Law, One Life to Live, The Sopranos, 30 Rock, Law & Order: SVU and Damages.
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The country star, one-half of the duo Montgomery Gentry, died at age 50 in September in a helicopter crash in New Jersey en route to a concert. Gentry leaves behind wife Angie and daughters, Kaylee and Taylor.
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Country Music Hall of Famer Don Williams died in September after a short illness. He was 78. After beginning his career in Nashville in the late 1960s and signing a songwriting contact in the early 1970s, Williams made his chart debut with “The Shelter of Your Eyes” in 1973. Over the course of his decades-long career, the so-called “Gentle Giant” of country music recorded hits like “Tulsa Time,” “Good Ole Boys Like Me” and “It Must Be Love.” Williams earned 17 No. 1 country hits throughout his career.
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Heron, who played Marty Preston in 1996’s Shiloh, died in September at the age of 35, according to TMZ. Heron had been sick days prior, but had also previously battled heroin addiction and had recently completed rehab (though EMTs found no illegal drugs on the scene, only prescription flu medication). In addition to his role in Shiloh, Heron had small parts in films like We Were Soldiersand 11:13. He also recently appeared in a documentary called A Thousand Junkies, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival.
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Becker, the co-founder, guitarist and bassist of the band Steely Dan, died in September at the age of 67. In July, Becker missed both of Steely Dan’s performances due to an unspecified ailment during the recent Classic West and Classic East concerts in Los Angeles and New York. His Steely Dan partner Donald Fagen later told Billboard that Becker was “recovering from a procedure” and hopefully would be “fine very soon,” but did not elaborate on Becker’s surgery or prognosis. Becker, who was born in Queens, New York, met Fagen when they were both students at New York’s Bard College. The duo later moved to California to form Steely Dan in 1972 alongside guitarists Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and Denny Dias, drummer Jim Hodder and singer David Palmer.
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Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist director Hooper died in August at the age of 74, according to Variety. Hooper’s other directing credits included The Funhouse, Lifeforce, and the 1986 remake of Invaders from Mars. Hooper’s directorial debut was 1969’s experimental ghost story Eggshells, but he made his name with his second film, 1974’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, an unforgettable tale of rural Texas-dwelling cannibals, including the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface. Widely regarded as one of the most terrifying horror films ever made, the movie would spawn many sequels, starting with 1986’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, which Hooper directed himself.
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Murphy Brown actor Jay Thomas has died after losing his battle with cancer, TMZ reported in August. He was 69. Thomas played Jerry Gold on the ‘90s sitcom and also starred in Cheers and Mork & Mindy. Most recently, the Texas native held a reoccurring role on Ray Donovan and appeared on episodes of Bones and NCIS: New Orleans. He also hosted The Jay Thomas Show on SiriusXM.
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Comedy king Jerry Lewis, whose manic style amused generations of moviegoers on both sides of the Atlantic, yet whose popularity often confounded critics, died in August 2017, his agent confirmed to PEOPLE. He was 91. In a statement from Lewis’ daughter Danielle, the comedian’s manager confirmed that “he passed peacefully at home of natural causes with him loving family at his side.”
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The comedian passed away in August 2017 at the age of 84. Gregory made a name for himself in the early ’60s for his wry observations and jokes about racism in America. He became one of the first African-American comedians to cross over and appeal to both black and white audiences. The comedian was also well-known for his involvement in civil rights and social justice issues around the world. He was arrested dozens of times for taking part in peaceful protests in the South, including Birmingham, Alabama. He also later went on dozens of hunger strikes to protest various causes, including the Vietnam War, the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment, apartheid in South Africa and Native American rights.
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Landham, the Native American actor who costarred in action films Predator and 48 Hrs., died in August at the age of 76. According to his sister, Landham died from congestive heart failure in a hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, the AP reports. Beginning his career in adult films and stunt work, Landham transitioned into acting work in the late 1970s, often drawing on his Cherokee and Seminole ancestry to portray characters of Native American descent. His mainstream movie debut was a minor role as a subway policeman in Walter Hill’s 1979 film, The Warriors. Based on that performance, Hill cast him in his first major role as Billy Bear, one of the criminals being tracked by Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy in 48 Hrs.
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Bologna, an Oscar nominee for screenwriting and character actor best known for My Favorite Year, Blame It on Rio, and numerous television appearances, died on Aug. 13 at age 82. Bologna was called a “beloved role model in the Italian-American community” in a statement released by his representatives. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corp, Bologna wrote Lovers and Other Strangers as a Broadway show with wife Renée Taylor. His Oscar nomination came for the 1970 film based on the play. He also wrote the scripts for Made for Each Other (with Taylor) and the 1996 film Love Is All There Is (also with Taylor), which starred a young Angelina Jolie.
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The jeweler to the stars passed away in his New York City home on July 26 at the age of 85. Leighton, actually born Murray Mondschein, began his career by selling wedding dresses and Mexican and Native American silver jewelry in a storefront in N.Y.C., but later switched to vintage jewelry, becoming known for his Art Deco baubles, according to the New York Times.
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The country legend died on Aug. 8, 2017, at age 81, following a six-year battle with Alzheimer's disease. Born April 22, 1936 in Billstown, Arkansas, he released more than 70 albums, sold over 45 million records, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and won 10 Grammy Awards as well as 10 Academy of Country Music Awards.
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The theater icon who starred in Broadway musicals like The Music Man and She Loves Me died on Aug. 8 at age 89 of respiratory failure. Officials with the Tony Awards remembered the clear-voiced soprano in a moving Facebook post, writing, “Rest in Peace Barbara Cook, we were so fortunate enough to see you shine in so many great roles.”
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British film and TV actor Robert Hardy died on Aug. 3 aged 91, according to BBC News. The actor’s family said he lived “tremendous life” with “a giant career in theatre, television and film spanning more than 70 years,” according to the outlet. Born in Gloucestershire, England, Hardy played Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge in four Harry Potter films — 2002’s Chamber of Secrets, 2004’s Prisoner of Azkaban, 2005’s Goblet of Fire and 2007’s Order of the Phoenix. The actor was also known for his role as veterinarian Siegfried Farnon in the long-running British TV series All Creatures Great and Small and played Winston Churchill in multiple projects. He won a BAFTA in 1981 for his portrayal of the great former Prime Minister in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years.
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Shepard, known for his acting work in films such as Black Hawk Down and The Right Stuff, died in late July at age 73. His theater representative confirmed to PEOPLE that Shepard passed away at his home in Kentucky from complications from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Shepard was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in 1983’s The Right Stuff. More recently, he is known for playing Noah’s (Ryan Gosling) father in The Notebook. He was also in the recent adaptation of August: Osage County alongside Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. In 2015, he appeared in Netflix’s dark family drama Bloodline. He wrote several films as well, including Paris, Texas, Fool for Love and Simpatico.
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Moreau, an icon of French New Wave cinema who went on to become an international film star, died in Paris in late July. She was 89. The star of François Truffaut’s classic 1962 film Jules et Jim, Moreau also worked with Orson Welles, who once called her “the greatest actress in the world.” She lived as flamboyantly off screen as on, frequently serving as a muse and lover to directors. Among her reported liaisons were affairs with Marcello Mastroianni, Lee Marvin, director Tony Richardson and designer Pierre Cardin.
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Heard — known for his role in several iconic ’80s and ’90s movies including Big, Beaches and Home Alone — died in July at age 71. With a four-decade career in Hollywood and more than 200 credits on stage and screen, Heard appeared in a number of well-known projects afterwrad — including Gladiator, The Pelican Brief, White Chicks, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Sopranos and The Trip to Bountiful.
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Romero, the legendary filmmaker who terrified America with the 1968 zombie cult classic Night of the Living Dead, died in July at the age of 77 after a battle with lung cancer. Dubbed the father of the zombie-movie genre, he directed several sequels and worked on other projects, including writing the story for the 1973 film The Crazies and directing the 1981 film Knightriders.
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KENNETH JAY LANE
Costume jewelry designer Lane was known for his covetable creations made of faux gems often revered by royals and first ladies alike. He was 85 when he died in his sleep at his New York City apartment in July. Several iconic women, including First Lady Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Diana and Princess Kate, were clients of Lane and idolized his glimmering jewelry. A documentary on Lane's life and 50-year career entitled Fabulously Fake: The Real Life of Kenneth Jay Lane is set to air in early 2018.
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The 41-year-old lead singer of Linkin Park was found dead in his home after committing suicide by hanging in July. Bennington – a father of six – joined the Grammy-winning band in 1999 and wrote many of their songs based off his tumultuous upbringing. The band released their most recent album One More Light in May, and was slated to embark on a three-month tour prior to his death. In an official statement, Bennington’s band mates honored his ability to sing about the demons he faced. “You fearlessly put them on display, and in doing so, brought us together and taught us to be more human.”
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The Roots actor passed away on July 4 at age 77, surrounded by family. On the big screen, Cumbuka best known for playing the “Toothless Gambler” in the 1989 Eddie Murphy comedy Harlem Nights. Before that, he appeared in Richard Pryor’s 1985 comedy Brewster’s Millions. He also had parts in Blacula, Maurie (in which he played NBA guard Oscar Robertson), Mandingo, Bound for Glory, Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde, Fun With Dick and Jane, Moving, and Midnight Edition.
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A stuntman for the hit zombie series The Walking Dead, Bernecker died in July at 33 after an on-set accident while filming season 8. The show’s executive producer Scott M. Gimple responded to the tragedy saying, “We are grateful for his contributions, and all of us send our condolences, love, and prayers to John’s family and friends.” Bernecker had more than 90 stunt credits, including work in Get Out and a few upcoming Marvel flicks.
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Star of HBO’s True Blood as fan favorite Lafayette, Ellis’ sudden death in July at 39 was due to heart failure brought on by alcohol withdrawal. An open funeral was held for the actor, who also appeared in films like The Help and Get on Up, in his home state of Illinois; many of his costars attended.
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An Italian actress known in the U.S. for her role in 1955’s The Indian Fighter alongside Kirk Douglas, Martinelli was one of the first models to successfully shift to a career in acting. Born in Tuscany, she appeared in Vogue and on the cover of Life, as well as in more than 40 films. She passed away in July at age 82.
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Atkin, known for his roles on Cagney & Lacey and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, died in July at age 74 after a prolonged battle with cancer. His first big break was in the 1979 comedy Meatballs, starring Bill Murray, and he also appeared in films such as Funeral Home and Speed Zone. More recently, he appeared as a judge on USA Network’s Suits.
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FRESH KID ICE
The founding 2 Live Crew member died in July at age 53 of an undisclosed medical condition. Ice, whose real name was Chris Wong Won, was widely recognized as the first prominent Asian rapper. He was arrested in Florida for performing tracks from 2 Live Crew’s album, As Nasty as They Wanna Be, which was dubbed legally obscene, at a club in 1990. The trial launched a national debate, and Ice and two of his band mates were later acquitted. He then went on to found is own label Chinaman Records, and is credited with discovering Flo Rida.
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The French singer died of a heart attack, possibly brought on by being electrocuted, at age 35 while performing onstage at a concert in France in July. According to her biography on her website, she grew up in the circus, and later turned to music. The up-and-coming artist’s debut album Le grand H de l’Homme was released earlier this year, and earned her prizes for the songwriting and music.
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YouTuber Ryan died at age 33 in July in what was ruled as a suicide by hanging, just two days after revealing her grandfather had passed away. She became famous for her YouTube series Little Loca, and then did celebrity parodies on the video platform. She continued her impersonations on the VH1 sketch series Stevie TV, and later co-hosted, with Brody Jenner, E!’s Sex with Brody. Most recently, she co-hosted Mentally Ch(ill), a podcast that focused on depression.
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JOHN G. AVILDSEN
Oscar-winning filmmaker Avildsen, who helped to make Sylvester Stallone a movie star and launch an enduring Hollywood franchise as the director of Rocky, died of pancreatic cancer in June. He was 81.
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HENRY 'HANK' DEUTSCHENDORF
Deutschendorf, who played baby Oscar in Ghostbusters II, lost his lifelong battle with mental illness and died by suicide in June at age 28. A twin, Deutschendorf was also the nephew of singer John Denver, and had largely stayed out of the spotlight since his famous role.
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Following a battle with inoperable colon cancer, musician Rosser — best known for his work with rock band The Afghan Whigs — died at age 50 in late June.
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ALBERT 'PRODIGY' JOHNSON
Rapper Prodigy died on June 20 in Las Vegas at age 42 after being hospitalized due to complications caused by his lifelong battle with sickle cell anemia. At the time of his death, Prodigy was in Vegas to perform as part of the Art of Rap tour. Following his passing, he was honored by the hip-hop community, with fellow Mobb Deep rapper Havoc noting, “This loss is painful. But the lyrical legacy he left us will impact the culture forever.”
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Singer of the popular ’60s hit “Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye),” DeCarlo died in June after a battle with cancer at age 75. The hit reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969, Rolling Stone reports. The song was famously featured in 2000’s Remember the Titans and has become somewhat of an anthem throughout the years. It took until a revealing 2011 documentary My Music: ’60s Pop, Rock & Soul by PBS host TJ Lubinsky to finally credit DeCarlo for his role in the song.
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Furst, known for his scene-stealing turn as Flounder in National Lampoon’sAnimal House, died on June 16. The actor passed away at his California home from complications due to diabetes. He was 63.
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The actor is best remembered for his turn as Gotham’s Caped Crusader — though his career spanned six decades of film, stage and voice work. He died in June at 88 after a short battle with leukemia.
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Smith, who starred as a leading man in the ’50s and ’60s in the popular ABC detective series 77 Sunset Strip, died in June at age 84. The actor portrayed Jeff Spencer, one-half of a detective pair on 77 Sunset Strip, with Efrem Zimbalist Jr. playing his partner, Stu Bailey. Smith also starred in such films as Man of a Thousand Faces (1957), No Time to be Young (1957) and Auntie Mame (1958) with Rosalind Russell.
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One of Indonesia’s most popular actresses, Perez, 36, died in June after a three-year battle with cervical cancer. Appearing in nearly 30 films, Perez was also known for her work in local soap operas, variety shows and was a popular dangdut singer.
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CHRISTOPHER 'BIG BLACK' BOYKIN
Boykin, who starred opposite professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek on the MTV reality series Rob & Big, died from a heart attack on May 9. The 6-ft., 6-in., 375-lb. reality star appeared as Dyrdek’s bodyguard on 19 episodes of the show from 2006-08 before it abruptly ended following friction between the duo. Boykin, 45, is survived by his daughter, 9-year-old Isis Rae Boykin.
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As the lead singer of rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, Cornell’s natural talent helped him to be a trailblazer for Seattle’s grunge scene, though the Grammy-award winning musician struggled with drug and alcohol abuse throughout his career. Cornell, who was in the middle of a tour with Soundgarden after a 13-year hiatus, was found dead of suicide by hanging at MGM Grand Detroit following the band’s mid-May performance in Detroit. He left behind a wife and three kids.
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The American actress, businesswoman and philanthropist known for often playing society women on screen, died in May at 93. Coenough, Merrill's mother built the Mar-a-Lago estate of President Donald Trump, and the actress spent part of her childhood there.
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Deadwood actor Boothe died of a heart attack in May at age 68 after battling pancreatic cancer for six months. He made his national breakthrough in 1980, starring as a true-life demagogue and cult leader in the CBS docudrama Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones. He went on to star in films like Red Dawn, Sin City and The Avengers.
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Parks, famous for his roles in Kill Bill, Django Unchained and From Dusk Till Dawn, died in May at age 77. The veteran actor frequently collaborated with the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith throughout his decades-long career. Though he got his start on television, playing small roles in the ’60s, Parks eventually graduated to recurring bits on shows like Twin Peaks and later, dozens of action films.
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SIR ROGER MOORE
Moore, the beloved actor best known for playing James Bond in the ’70s and ’80s, died in Switzerland in May at age 89. The star’s children broke the news in a statement uploaded to Twitter, noting that Moore passed away after a “short but brave battle with cancer.” In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, UNICEF officials described goodwill ambassador Moore as one of the world’s “great champions for children.”
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Former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes died in May at 77, months after he resigned from the news network amid claims of sexual harassment by former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson. He fell on the bathroom floor at his home in Palm Beach and suffered a blood clot and complications from the incident.
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Demme, the Oscar-winning director behind The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia, died in April at 73. A rep for Demme said he passed away at his apartment in New York City due to complications from esophageal cancer.
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Adler, who starred on eight episodes of MTV’s Newport Harbor: The Real Orange County in 2007, committed suicide in April at the age of 27. He also appeared in TV movie The Fish Tank (2009) and an episode of Make It or Break It (2009).
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Actress Moran died in April at age 56 of stage 4 cancer. She most famously played Joanie Cunningham, the younger sister to Richie Cunningham (played by Ron Howard) on Happy Days, which ran from 1974 to 1984. She also starred in the spin-off, Joanie Loves Chachi, from 1982 to 1983; the series followed her character’s romance with Chachi, played by Scott Baio.
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Legendary musician Berry died in March at age 90. Many considered him to be the true "king of rock and roll"; with hits such as "Maybellene" and "Roll Over Beethoven," Berry pioneered a new style of music and performance.
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The "I'll Be Your Everything" singer took his own life in March at the age of 46, leaving behind a partner and three children. He put out nine albums before making the move to the other side of the microphone, working as a record company executive in his later years.
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Barris, who created and hosted the classic game show The Gong Show, and created both The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game, died in March at age 87. His autobiography, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, was made into a film in 2002, which was directed by George Clooney. Sam Rockwell starred as Barris, who claimed in the book that he worked as a CIA assassin in the 1960s and 70s.
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Actor Paxton died at age 61 in February due to complications from surgery. The Texas native, who was nominated for an Emmy for his work in the TV mini-series Hatfields and McCoys, began acting in the 1970s. His earliest credits include minor roles in '80s blockbusters such as Terminator and Aliens; he later scored leading parts in Apollo 13 and Twister.
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Wapner, America’s first reality TV judge who rose to fame on The People’s Court, passed away in February at age 97. Wapner headed the reality court show when it premiered in 1981 and was a fixture of the TV hit for 12 years, reviewing thousands of court cases.
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George “The Animal” Steele — one of the WWE’s most notorious villains, known for his green tongue, hairy torso and wild, unpredictable style — died in February at the age of 79 following a long battle with Crohn's disease.
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Frost, the actor best known for his role as Dr. Will Hayward in the original and 2017 Twin Peaks, died in February at age 91 following a lengthy illness. The actor, who served in the Navy during World War 2, originated the role of Dr. Hayward in the 1990 ABC drama Twin Peaks and came out of retirement last year to reprise the part on Showtime. The new version, which was co-created by Frost’s son Mark, premiered in May.
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Hatch, the star of Battlestar Galactica, died in February at 71 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Born in Santa Monica, California, Hatch was widely known for his starring role as Captain Apollo in the original Battlestar Galactica (1978-79) series and 1978 film, and as Tom Zarek in the revival (2004-09).
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MARY TYLER MOORE
Known for playing Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–66) and later, Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–77), Moore — who died in January at age 80 — was well ahead of her time, transforming TV’s idea of a housewife. Although she suffered from a variety of diabetic complications, she never let that deter her from a lifetime of achievements in TV, film and on Broadway. The last few years of her life were spent advocating for animal rights and juvenile diabetes research, which her longtime rep says will help her “be remembered as a fearless visionary who turned the world on with her smile.”
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Another member of the Allman Brothers, drummer Trucks, died in January at age 69. Trucks founded the Allman Brothers Band in 1969 with guitarists Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson, keyboardist Gregg Allman and bassist Berry Oakley. “When Butch came along,” Betts told Guitar World in 2007, “he had that freight train, meat-and-potatoes kind of thing … he had the power thing we needed.”
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WILLIAM PETER BLATTY
The man behind The Exorcist, author and filmmaker William Peter Blatty, died in January at 89 at a hospital near his home in Bethesda, Maryland. After The Exorcist was published in 1971, Blatty proceeded to write and produce the movie, which was released two years later and went on to make $400 million at the global box office.