Final goodbye to those who died in 2017
Some fought for equality. Some made music that inspired legions of fans.
Rock 'n' roll founding father Chuck Berry and Fats Domino, rockers Tom Petty and Greg Allman, grunge icon Chris Cornell, country superstar Glen Campbell and jazz great Al Jarreau were among the notable figures who died in 2017, leaving a void in virtually every genre of music.
Comedians Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles and Dick Gregory left their own indelible mark with their iconic routines. And the story of the 1960s could not be told without Hugh Hefner and Charles Manson, who were synonymous with the decade in vastly different ways.
Hefner founded Playboy magazine and was credited with helping rev up the sexual revolution in the 1960s. The decade ended with Manson becoming the face of evil across America by orchestrating seven murders that marked the end of the era of peace and love.
Entertainers who died in 2017 also included actors Roger Moore of James Bond fame, Bollywood star Reema Lagoo, "Batman" actor Adam West and Mary Tyler Moore.
Here is a roll call of some of the people who died in 2017.
Clare Hollingworth, 105. A British war correspondent who was the first to report the Nazi invasion of Poland that marked the beginning of World War II. Jan. 10; Tommy Allsup, 85. A guitarist best known for losing a coin toss that kept him off a plane that later crashed and killed rock 'n' roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "Big Bopper" Richardson. Jan. 11. Complications from a hernia operation; Gene Cernan, 82. A former astronaut who was the last person to walk on the moon; Jan. 16. Masaya Nakamura, 91. The "Father of Pac-Man" who founded the Japanese video game company behind the hit creature-gobbling game. Jan. 22; Butch Trucks, 69. A drummer who was one of the founding members of the Southern rock legend The Allman Brothers Band. Jan. 24. Suicide; Mary Tyler Moore, 80. The star of TV's beloved "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" whose comic realism helped revolutionize the depiction of women on the small screen. Jan. 25.
Mike Ilitch, 87. The billionaire businessman who founded the Little Caesars pizza empire before buying the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers. Feb. 10; Al Jarreau, 76. A Grammy-winning jazz singer who transcended genres over a 50-year career. Feb. 12; Norma McCorvey, 69. Her legal challenge under the pseudonym "Jane Roe" led to the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized abortion but who later became an outspoken opponent of the procedure. Feb. 18; Alan Colmes, 66. The radio and television host and commentator best known as the amiable liberal foil to the hard-right Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel. Feb. 23; Bill Paxton, 61. A prolific and charismatic actor who had memorable roles in such blockbusters as "Apollo 13" and "Titanic" while also cherishing his work in "One False Move" and other low-budget movies and in the HBO series "Big Love." Feb. 25. Complications due to surgery; Joseph Wapner, 97. The retired Los Angeles judge who presided over "The People's Court" with steady force during the heyday of the reality courtroom show. Feb. 26.
Robert James Waller, 77. His best-selling, bittersweet 1992 romance novel "The Bridges of Madison County" was turned into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood and later into a soaring Broadway musical. March 10; Joni Sledge, 60. With her sisters, she recorded the enduring dance anthem "We Are Family." March 10; Amy Krouse Rosenthal, 51. A popular author, filmmaker and speaker who brightened lives with her wide-eyed and generous spirit — and broke hearts when she wrote of being terminally ill and leaving behind her husband. March 13; Chuck Berry, 90. He was rock 'n' roll's founding guitar hero and storyteller who defined the music's joy and rebellion in such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven." March 18; David Rockefeller, 101. The billionaire businessman and philanthropist who was the last in his generation of one of the country's most famously philanthropic families. March 20; Martin McGuinness, 66. The Irish Republican Army commander who led his underground paramilitary movement toward reconciliation with Britain. March 21; Chuck Barris, 87. His game show empire included "The Dating Game," ''The Newlywed Game" and that infamous factory of cheese, "The Gong Show." March 21.
Paul O'Neill, 61. He founded the progressive metal band Trans-Siberian Orchestra that was known for its spectacular holiday concerts filled with theatrics, lasers and pyrotechnics. April 5; Don Rickles, 90. The big-mouthed, bald-headed comedian whose verbal assaults endeared him to audiences and peers and made him the acknowledged grandmaster of insult comedy. April 6; Dan Rooney, 84. The powerful and popular Pittsburgh Steelers chairman whose name is attached to the NFL's landmark initiative in minority hiring. April 13; Erin Moran, 56. The former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi." April 22. Cancer.
Chris Cornell, 52. A rocker who gained fame as the lead singer of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave and was one of the leading voices of the 1990s grunge movement. May 17. Suspected suicide; Roger Ailes, 77. He transformed TV news by creating Fox News Channel, only to be ousted at the height of his reign for alleged sexual harassment. May 18; Reema Lagoo, 59. The Bollywood actress was the ever-smiling screen mother to some of India's top actors. May 18. Cardiac arrest; Roger Moore, 89. The suavely insouciant star of seven James Bond films. May 23; Patti Upton, 79. She founded the multimillion-dollar home fragrance company Aromatique thanks to a popular homemade mix of pine cones, oils and spices she concocted to help a friend's shop "smell like Christmas." May 23; Gregg Allman, 69. A music legend whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel The Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock. May 27. Cancer; Manuel Noriega, 83. A former Panamanian dictator and onetime U.S. ally who was ousted as Panama's dictator by an American invasion in 1989. May 29.
Adam West, 88. His straight-faced portrayal of Batman in a campy 1960s TV series lifted the tight-clad Caped Crusader into the national consciousness. June 9; Helmut Kohl, 87. The physically imposing German chancellor whose reunification of a nation divided by the Cold War put Germany at the heart of a united Europe. June 16; Carla Fendi, 79. One of the five sisters who transformed the family leather goods business into a global luxury fashion house long known for its furs. June 19.
Martin Landau, 89. The chameleon-like actor who gained fame as the crafty master of disguise in the 1960s TV show "Mission: Impossible," then capped a long and versatile career with an Oscar for his poignant portrayal of aging horror movie star Bela Lugosi in 1994's "Ed Wood." July 15; George Romero, 77. His classic "Night of the Living Dead" and other horror films turned zombie movies into social commentaries and he saw his flesh-devouring undead spawn countless imitators, remakes and homages. July 16; Chester Bennington, 41. The Linkin Park lead singer whose screeching vocals helped the rock-rap band become one of the most commercially successful acts in the 2000s. July 20. Apparent suicide; Barbara Sinatra, 90. The fourth wife of legendary singer Frank Sinatra and a prominent children's advocate and philanthropist who raised millions of dollars to help abused youngsters. July 25.
Glen Campbell, 81. The affable superstar singer of "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Wichita Lineman" whose appeal spanned country, pop, television and movies. Aug. 8; Dick Gregory, 84. The comedian and activist and who broke racial barriers in the 1960s and used his humor to spread messages of social justice and nutritional health. Aug. 19; Jerry Lewis, 91. The manic, rubber-faced showman who rose to fame in a lucrative partnership with Dean Martin, settled down to become a self-conscious screen auteur and found an even greater following as the host of the annual muscular dystrophy telethons. Aug. 20; Tobe Hooper, 74. The horror-movie pioneer whose low-budget sensation "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" took a buzz saw to audiences with its brutally frightful vision. Aug. 26; Richard Anderson, 91. The tall, handsome actor best known for costarring simultaneously in the popular 1970s television shows "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Bionic Woman." Aug. 31.
Walter Becker, 67. The guitarist, bassist and co-founder of the 1970s rock group Steely Dan, which sold more than 40 million albums and produced such hit singles as "Reelin' In the Years," ''Rikki Don't Lose that Number" and "Deacon Blues." Sept. 3; Edith Windsor, 88. A gay rights pioneer whose landmark Supreme Court case struck down parts of a federal anti-gay-marriage law and paved a path toward legalizing same-sex nuptials nationwide. Sept. 12; Jake LaMotta, 95. An iron-fisted battler who brawled his way to a middleweight title and was later memorialized by Robert De Niro in the film "Raging Bull." Sept. 19; Hugh M. Hefner, 91. The Playboy magazine founder who revved up the sexual revolution in the 1950s and built a multimedia empire of clubs, mansions, movies and television. Sept. 27; Monty Hall, 96. The genial TV game show host whose long-running "Let's Make a Deal" traded on love of money and merchandise and the mystery of which door had the car behind it. Sept. 30.
Tom Petty, 66. An old-fashioned rock superstar and everyman who drew upon the Byrds, the Beatles and other bands he worshipped as a boy and produced new classics such as "Free Fallin,' "Refugee" and "American Girl." Oct. 2; Jalal Talabani, 83. The Kurdish guerrilla leader who became Iraq's president after the U.S. toppled Saddam Hussein and who embodied hopes for a unified, peaceful future. Oct. 3; Fats Domino, 89. The amiable rock 'n' roll pioneer whose steady, pounding piano and easy baritone helped change popular music while honoring the traditions of New Orleans. Oct. 24.
Salvatore 'Toto' Riina, 87. The Mafia "boss of bosses" who was serving 26 life sentences as the mastermind of a bloody strategy to assassinate both rivals and Italian prosecutors and law enforcement trying to bring down Cosa Nostra. Nov. 17; Malcolm Young, 64. The rhythm guitarist and guiding force behind the bawdy hard rock band AC/DC who helped create such head-banging anthems as "Highway to Hell," ''Hells Bells" and "Back in Black." Nov. 18; Charles Manson, 83. The hippie cult leader who became the hypnotic-eyed face of evil across America after orchestrating the gruesome murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles during the summer of 1969. Nov. 19; Mel Tillis, 85. The affable longtime country music star who wrote hits for Kenny Rogers, Ricky Skaggs and many others, and overcame a stutter to sing on dozens of his own singles. Nov. 19; David Cassidy, 67. The teen and pre-teen idol who starred in the 1970s sitcom "The Partridge Family" and sold millions of records as the musical group's lead singer. Nov. 21; Jim Nabors, 87. The Alabama-born comic actor who starred as TV's dim but good-hearted Southern rube Gomer Pyle and constantly surprised audiences with his twang-free operatic singing voice. Nov. 30.
King Michael I, 96. Romania's former monarch, who was forced to abdicate by the communists in the aftermath of World War II. Dec. 5; Johnny Hallyday, 74. France's biggest rock star for more than half a century and an icon who packed sports stadiums and all but lit up the Eiffel Tower with his pumping pelvis and high-voltage tunes. Dec. 6; Charles Jenkins, 77. A U.S. Army deserter to North Korea who married a Japanese abductee and lived in Japan after their release. Dec. 11.
By Bernard McGhee, Associated Press. Copyright AP, all rights reserved.
The Gayly 12/17/2017 @ 3:45 p.m. CST