Stars we've sadly lost so far in 2017

When a celebrity passes away, it can feel like we're losing a friend. Whether we watched them on the big screen or let them into our lives through our TVs, the world seems darker knowing we've had to say goodbye to a favorite star—even though we can continue enjoying their work indefinitely, letting their legacies live on forever. Here's a fond look back at some of the screen talents we've lost this year.

Bill Paxton

Bill Paxton, the veteran actor and director who appeared in Aliens, Twister, and Titanic, died Feb. 25 following complications from heart surgery, according to TMZ. He was 61.

He started out as a filmmaker before appearing in a string of movies in the '80s with small but memorable roles in Stripes, Commando, Weird Science, and The Terminator. He quickly became a favorite of director James Cameron, who went on to cast him in Aliens, True Lies, Titanic, and the documentary Ghosts in the Abyss.

Paxton transitioned into a leading man with a starring role in Twister, then went on to star in movies like A Simple Plan, the Spy Kids series, and Frailty, which he also directed. He also starred as a modern-day polygamist in the HBO drama Big Love, which brought him three Golden Globe nominations, and he was nominated for an Emmy for his role in the miniseries Hatfields & McCoys. At the time of his death, he was starring the CBS reboot of Training Day.

John Hurt

John Hurt, the legendary British actor widely known for Midnight Express, The Elephant Man, and Alien, died Jan. 25. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he had been battling pancreatic cancer. He was 77.

He had a career than spanned six decades and is most remembered for his work as Kane in Alien, Winston Smith in 1984, a heroin addict in Midnight Express, and the title character in David Lynch's The Elephant Man; he earned Oscar nominations for his performances in the latter two films. He also appeared in many notable television roles, including Doctor Who.

In his later years, he played the wandmaker Ollivander in the Harry Potter series, the evil Chancellor in V for Vendetta, the surrogate father of Hellboy, and Indiana Jones' old friend "Ox" in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He was still very active in acting up until the time of his death: he'd recently appeared in Snowpiercer, The Journey, and Jackie.

Mary Tyler Moore

Television legend Mary Tyler Moore died Jan. 25 at the age of 80 after suffering cardiopulmonary arrest brought on by pneumonia, hypoxia, and diabetes. Her representative told The Hollywood Reporter that she passed away "in the company of friends and her loving husband of over 33 years, Dr. S. Robert Levine."

A groundbreaking actress, she played a stay-at-home mom on The Dick Van Dyke Show, then became a feminist icon when she branched out on her own with The Mary Tyler Moore Show, playing Mary Richards, an independent single woman who becomes a broadcaster.

Moore won six Emmy Awards and was nominated for an Oscar in 1980 for playing the estranged mother of Timothy Hutton's character in 1980's Ordinary People. She was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1986.

Don Rickles

Don Rickles, the popular insult comic who rose to fame through decades of memorable TV and film appearances, died April 6 at his home in Los Angeles after succumbing to kidney failure at the age of 90.

Known for his abrasive style of comedy, Rickles had a career that spanned six decades. A regular at celebrity roasts and an honorary member of the Rat Pack, he would often take jabs at audience members with two signature phrases: "dummy" and "hockey puck."

He was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson and The Late Show With David Letterman, and he had a multitude of guest spots on TV shows like Archie Bunker's Place, The Lucy Show, Get Smart, F Troop, and Newhart. He also showed up on Murphy Brown, The Single Guy, and Hot in Cleveland. In 2007, he won an Emmy for the John Landis-directed documentary Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project. In his later years, he voiced Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story movies and also appeared in Martin Scorsese's Casino.

He's survived by his wife of 52 years, Barbara, their daughter Mindy, and two grandchildren. Rickles' only son, Larry, passed away in 2011.

Miguel Ferrer

Miguel Ferrer, a character and voice actor who appeared in an assortment of films including RoboCop and starred on the TV series NCIS: Los Angeles, died of cancer on Jan. 19, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 61.

The son of '50s singer Rosemary Clooney and actor Jose Ferrer, he was George Cooney's first cousin.

In RoboCop, he played the villain Bob Morton, and he also portrayed an Excelsior helm officer in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. He became a fixture on television with appearances on Magnum P.I., Twin Peaks, Bionic Woman, Desperate Housewives, and Crossing Jordan. He starred on NCIS: Los Angeles for seven seasons, and he also loaned his voice to Superman: The Animated Series, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Robot Chicken, American Dad!, and the video game Halo 3.

Ferrer had recently reprised his Twin Peaks role as FBI pathologist Albert Rosenfield for Showtime's upcoming revival of the cult classic drama.

Charlie Murphy

Charlie Murphy, the actor and comedian who became a household name on Chappelle's Show, died of leukemia on April 12. He was 57.

The older brother of Eddie Murphy, he shared stories about his time in Los Angeles during the peak of his brother's fame during the '80s on the recurring Chappelle's Show segment "Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories." The first, about musician Rick James, became a cultural sensation and spawned more than a few catchphrases. The second installment, about a surreal encounter with Prince, proved equally memorable.

Murphy also appeared in numerous movies including Night at the Museum and Norbit, and TV series like Are We There Yet? and Black Jesus. He also did voicework for the animated series The Boondocks and the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Chuck Barris

Prolific TV host and producer Chuck Barris died of natural causes on March 21, as reported by Variety. He was 87.

Best known as the producer and host of the groundbreaking The Gong Show, Barris also created The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game and hosted The Gong Show. He had a profound impact on the changing television landscape in the '60s and '70s, and helped pave the way for modern reality-based competitions like American Idol and America's Got Talent.

In his book Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Barris claimed to have been a C.I.A. assassin while he was a producer. Sam Rockwell portrayed him in a 2002 film adaptation that was written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by George Clooney. Barris continued writing in his later years, penning books such as The Big Question, Who Killed Art Deco?, and Della: A Memoir of My Daughter.

In 2007, Barris spoke about his legacy to The New York Times. "I would love to be known as an author, but I don't think it's written that that's the way it's going to be," he said. "I think on my tombstone it's just going to say, 'Gonged at last,' and I'm stuck with that."

He is survived by his wife, Mary Kane.

Erin Moran

Erin Moran, the actress who played Joanie Cunningham on Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi, died from complications of cancer on April 22, according to TMZ. She was 56.

Moran rose to fame in the '70s after appearing as the little sister of Ron Howard's Richie Cunningham on Happy Days from 1974 to 1984. She reprised the role on the short-lived 1982 series Joanie Loves Chachi alongside Scott Baio, which lasted two seasons.

She also appeared on Family Affair, The Smith Family, Gunsmoke, The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote, Diagnosis Murder, The Bold and the Beautiful, and in Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. Her last project was the 2010 film Not Another B Movie.

Christopher Boykin

Christopher "Big Black" Boykin, who starred on MTV's Rob & Big, died May 9. TMZ reports that no cause of death was revealed at the time.

The bodyguard and best friend of skateboarder and entrepreneur Rob Dyrdek, he rose to fame on the reality series that followed the pair during their day-to-day lives from 2006 until 2008. Boykin eventually became a parent and moved out of Dyrdek's house, but he later appeared on several episodes of the follow-up series Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory and Dyrdek's clip show Ridiculousness. He also started a clothing line named after his catchphrase, "Do work," in 2007.

Before he was on TV, Boykin served in the Navy. MTV released this statement (via Variety): "MTV is deeply saddened to learn the news of Christopher 'Big Black' Boykin's passing. He was a long time and beloved member of the MTV family and will be greatly missed."

Michael Parks

Michael Parks, a veteran character actor who appeared in more than 100 films and TV shows, died May 9 at the age of 77.

His film career began in 1961 on the ABC sitcom The Real McCoys, and Parks went on to co-star in the 1966 religious drama The Bible: The Beginning, the NBC series Sam Benedict, and the medical drama The Eleventh Hour. He played the leading role on the adventure series Then Came Bronson, and recorded the theme song, "Long Lonesome Highway," which hit the Billboard charts, launching a recording career that led to several albums in the late '60s and early '70s. He also played French-Canadian drug runner Jean Renault on the ABC television series Twin Peaks.

Later in his career, Parks became a favorite of directors Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, and Kevin Smith, playing Texas Ranger Earl McGraw in Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Esteban Vihaio in Kill Bill Vol. 2. Smith said he wrote the movies Red State and Tusk specifically for Parks.

Richard Hatch

Richard Hatch, who starred on the original Battlestar Galactica series and the Syfy remake, died Feb. 7 from pancreatic cancer at the age of 71.

He got his start in 1970 on the soap opera All My Children before being cast as Captain Apollo on the cult favorite sci-fi series, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination in 1979. He also appeared on Dynasty from 1984 to 1985 and Santa Barbara in 1990 before playing Tom Zarek in the reboot of Battlestar Galactica from 2004 to 2009. He also wrote five original Battlestar novels and became a fixture at comic book conventions and sci-fi events.

A writer and a producer, Hatch had completed several projects that will be released posthumously, including Blade of Honor, Asylum of Darkness, and Diminuendo.

Martin Landau

Oscar-winning actor Martin Landau died July 15 after a short hospitalization at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center where he suffered unexpected complications, according to TMZ. He was 89.

Landau was a cartoonist before he rose to fame with his portrayal of a homosexual henchman in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 classic North by Northwest. In the '60s, he turned down the role of Spock on Star Trek and played Rollin Hand, the "man of a million faces," on Mission: Impossible for three seasons. He later starred as Commander John Koenig on the '70s sci-fi series Space: 1999. He was also a respected acting teacher who instructed the likes of Jack Nicholson.

He experienced a career revival in the late '80s with Francis Ford Coppola's Tucker: The Man and His Dream and Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors. Tim Burton cast him as horror legend Bela Lugosi in 1994's Ed Wood, which brought him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Landau collaborated with Burton again in Sleepy Hollow and Frankenweenie, and he also appeared in The X-Files: Fight the Future.

On television, Landau earned Emmy nominations for performances on the CBS series Without a Trace and HBO's Entourage

George Romero

George Romero, director of the iconic horror classic Night of the Living Dead, died July 16 after a "brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer," according to the Los Angeles Times. He was 77.

Romero made Night of the Living Dead on a budget of just $114,000, and it went on to make $30 million at the box office. The black and white film about a group of people trapped by a horde of the undead was integral in creating the modern zombie genre. He later directed 1978's Dawn of the Dead and 1985's Day of the Dead, but gained attention for other types of movies including KnightridersCreepshow, Monkey Shines, and The Dark Half. In his later years, he returned to zombie movies with Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, and Survival of the Dead.

Romero also acted, often in uncredited cameos in his own movies. But he also played an FBI agent in The Silence of the Lambs and voiced Dr. B.E. Vil in the game Zombie Squash.

Chester Bennington

Chester Bennington, singer for the rock band Linkin Park, committed suicide by hanging on July 20, according to TMZ. He was 41.

Bennington joined Linkin Park before the release of the band's debut album Hybrid Theory in 2000. He served as one of two singers in the band along with guitarist and primary songwriter Mike Shinoda. Hybrid Theory was a massive commercial success, paving the way for six more studio albums through One More Light, which was released in May 2017. In 2005, Bennington formed a side project, Dead by Sunrise, and released the band's debut album, Out of Ashes, in 2009. He also served as the singer of Stone Temple Pilots after the band parted ways with original frontman Scott Weiland. Bennington can be heard on the band's 2013 EP High Rise

Bennington also worked as an actor, appearing in Crank, Crank: High Voltage, and Saw 3D: The Final Chapter.

John Bernecker

John Bernecker, a stuntman with 93 credits in a decade-long career, died July 13 after a serious accident on the set of the eighth season of The Walking Dead. He was 33. TMZ reports that Bernecker fell more than 20 feet from a balcony onto concrete and was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center where he later died. 

Bernecker had an extensive resume as a stunt performer. He was credited in Logan, Black Panther, The Fate of the Furious, Get Out, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Fantastic Four, Goosebumps, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 22 Jump StreetThis Is the End, and Green Lantern.

Judge Joseph Wapner

Joseph Wapner, who became famous as Judge Wapner on the reality series The People's Court, died of respiratory failure on Feb. 26 at the age of 97.

A graduate of USC Law School, Wapner served in World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star while serving in the South Pacific. In the '60s and '70s, he served as a judge at the Los Angeles Superior Court before retiring, after which he became a TV star on the groundbreaking The People's Court, which debuted in 1981. He became something of a pop culture icon during his tenure on the show, which ended in 1993.

Wapner received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2009, and on his 90th birthday, he returned to The People's Court to serve as guest judge.

Neil Fingleton

Neil Fingleton, who played the giant warrior Mag the Mighty on Game of Thrones, died from heart failure on Feb. 25, according to the U.K.s Mirror. He was 36.

Fingleton was the U.K.'s tallest man at 7'7" in height. In his younger days, he played basketball at the University of North Carolina and was drafted the Austin Toros in the 2005 NBA Development League Draft. He retired from basketball in 2007, then turned his attention to acting.

In addition to Game of Thrones, Fingleton appeared on Doctor Who and in movies including Jupiter Ascending, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and X-Men: First Class.

Michael Mantenuto

Michael Mantenuto, an actor and college hockey player who starred in Disney's 2004 movie Miracle, died April 24 as the result of an apparent suicide at the age of 35. TMZ reports that police found him inside his car in Des Moines, Wash., where he had reportedly shot himself.

Mantenuto, who was a former University of Maine hockey player, played real-life defenseman Jack O'Callahan in Miracle, which tells the story of the U.S. men's hockey that won the gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics. The victory over the heavily favored Soviet team was dubbed the "Miracle on Ice," and the U.S. team went on to beat Finland to win the gold. Mantenuto had a limited acting career beyond Miracle, but he did appear in the 2006 TV movie Dirtbags and 2008's Surfer, Dude.

He later joined the military, and in a news release announcing Mantenuto's death, Col. Guillaume Beaurpere wrote, "Those of you that knew Mike will remember him for his passionate love for his family and his commitment to the health of the force."

Darlene Cates

Darlene Cates, who played the mother of Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio in What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, died "peacefully in her sleep" on March 26, according to her daughter (via People). She was 69.

The actress was allegedly discovered by Gilbert Grape author and screenwriter Peter Hedges after she appeared on an episode of Sally Jessy Raphael's talk show titled "Too Heavy to Leave Their House." On the program, Cates discussed how her obesity impacted her life.

She gave a breakthrough performance in the 1993 movie, which brought DiCaprio his first Oscar nomination. After her death, DiCaprio tweeted that Cates "was the best acting mom" he ever worked with. Following Gilbert Grape, Cates appeared on TV shows including Touched by an Angel and Picket Fences.

Clay Adler

MTV reality star Clay Adler, 27, died of an apparent suicide on March 26. According to TMZ, Adler had been shooting guns with friends in the desert the day before when he turned the gun and shot himself in the head.

In 2007, Adler starred on eight episodes of MTV's Newport Harbor: The Real Orange County, a spinoff of the popular Laguna Beach. He also appeared in the 2009 TV movie The Fish Tank and an episode of Make It or Break It.

Dick Gautier

Dick Gautier, who played Hymie the Robot on the sitcom Get Smart and voiced characters on G.I. Joe and Transformers, died after an extended illness on Jan. 13. He was 85.

Gautier served in the Navy, then worked as a stand-up comic before moving into acting and finding early success, earning a Tony nomination for playing Conrad Birdie in the original 1960 production of Bye, Bye Birdie.

Gautier appeared on six episodes of Get Smart over four seasons, but his character became one of the show's most popular. In 1975, he starred as Robin Hood on the short-lived ABC series When Things Were Rotten, co-created by Mel Brooks. In the '80s, Gautier worked often as a voice actor and portrayed the villainous Serpentor on G.I. Joe and the Autobot hero Rodimus Prime on The Transformers.

Francine York

Francine York, who played Lydia Limpet on the '60s Batman TV series, died after a battle with cancer on Jan. 6 at the age of 80.

A former model and showgirl, she got her big break in the 1962 Jerry Lewis comedy It's Only Money. She then appeared in five more of his films including The Nutty Professor, The Patsy, and Cracking Up. She also appeared opposite Marlon Brando in 1964's Bedtime Story and with Elvis Presley in 1965's Tickle Me, then played Lydia Limpet, the henchwoman of The Bookworm (Roddy McDowall) in two episodes of Batman in 1966.

York also appeared on many TV series, including My Favorite Martian, Perry Mason, Lost in Space, Green Acres, I Dream of Jeannie, Mission: Impossible, Kojak, Columbo, and Matlock. In her later years, she landed roles on The King of Queens and Hot in Cleveland.

Mike Connors

Mike Connors, best known for playing detective Joe Mannix on '60s and '70s TV show Mannix, died Jan. 26 at the age of 91. According to Variety, he had been diagnosed with leukemia the week before.

Mannix ran for eight seasons between 1968 to 1975 and Connors won a Golden Globe for his performance as a tough detective who played by his own rules (and drove a series of muscle cars, including a Dodge Dart and Chevrolet Camaro). He later appeared on Murder, She Wrote, Love Boat and Walker, Texas Ranger. In 2007, Connors guest-starred on Two and a Half Men.

Barbara Hale

Barbara Hale, who played secretary Della Street in the Perry Mason television series and movies, died Jan. 26, according to The Washington Post. She was 94.

Hale starred as Street, assistant to Raymond Burr's titular lawyer, during nine seasons of the series from 1957 to 1966 and in 30 television movies. She won an Emmy in 1959 and reprised the character when Perry Mason was revived in the '80s. Earlier in her career, she acted opposite Frank Sinatra in Higher and Higher and with Charlton Heston in The Far Horizons.

Hale was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.

Roger Moore

Roger Moore, the British actor who played James Bond in more movies than any other star in the long-running franchise, died May 23 after a short battle with cancer, according to Variety. He was 89.

Before his time as Bond, Moore played the dashing thief Simon Templar on the TV series The Saint, which ran for 118 episodes between 1962 to 1969. 

In 1972, he replaced Sean Connery as 007, first appearing as the secret agent in 1973's Live and Let Die, then portrayed Bond in six more movies: 1974's The Man With the Golden Gun, 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me (which became the first true blockbuster in the franchise), 1979's Moonraker, 1981's For Your Eyes Only, 1983's Octopussy, and 1985's A View to a Kill. He was known for bringing a campy sense of humor to the series.

In his later years, he appeared in the Spice Girls movie Spice World and an episode of Alias in 2003. He also lent his voice to the 1997 movie adaptation of The Saint and had a role in the 2013 TV version starring Eliza Dushku. He also did voice work for Here Comes Peter Cottontail, Gones and Trolls II: The Forest Trial, and Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.

Powers Boothe

Powers Boothe, the Emmy-winning actor known for Deadwood and Sin City, died on May 14. He was 68. CNN reports that he died of natural causes in his sleep.

In 1980, his leading role in the TV movie Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones brought him an Emmy for lead actor in a limited series or special, and he accepted his award in person, unlike many nominees who boycotted the event as part of a Screen Actors Guild strike. He then starred on HBO's first drama series, Philip Marlowe, Private Eye, beginning in 1983, and later played the villainous Curly Bill Brocius in 1993's Tombstone.

More recently, he played saloon owner Cy Tolliver on the HBO series Deadwood, Senator Roark in the Sin City franchise, Vice President (and later President) Noah Daniels on 24, Lamar Wyatt on Nashville, and Gideon Malick on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He also provided the voice of Gorilla Grodd on the animated Justice League and Justice League Unlimited series.

Red West

Red West, the longtime bodyguard of Elvis Presley who became a successful actor, died July 18 after suffering an aortic aneurysm, according to The Commercial Appeal. He was 81.

An ex-Marine, West worked for Presley for 20 years and occasionally took small roles in movies including 1960's Flaming Star. After Presley's death in 1977, West became a full-time actor and earned a role opposite Robert Conrad in the '70s series Black Sheep Squadron. He also appeared in episodes of Mannix, The Six Million Dollar Man, Magnum P.I., and The A-Team. His most famous role was in the Patrick Swayze cult classic Road House, but he didn't land his first starring role until the indie drama Goodbye Solo in 2008.

John Cygan

John Cygan, who played Lt. Paulie Pentangeli on the '90s TV series The Commish and loaned his voice to dozens of films and video games, died May 13 after a long battle with cancer, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 63.

Cygan appeared on 35 episodes of The Commish as Pentangeli, who worked for police commissioner Tony Scali (Michael Chiklis) in upstate New York. His character was fired at the beginning of the second season, but returned in season 4. Cygan also starred opposite Bob Newhart on the short-lived sitcom Bob, which ran on CBS from 1992 to 1993. He also appeared on episodes of Frasier, Becker, The X-Files, NYPD Blue, The Shield, and Modern Family.

He was a prolific voice actor, contributing to Pixar's CarsWALL-EUpToy Story 3Monsters University, and Inside Out, along with Ice Age: The MeltdownHorton Hears a Who!The Lorax, and Despicable Me 2. Cygan was also the voice of Solidus Snake in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, and also worked on video games in the Star WarsHaloMedal of HonorLord of the Rings and Grand Theft Auto franchises. 

Lisa Spoonauer

Lisa Spoonauer, best known for Kevin Smith's Clerks, died May 20, according to Entertainment Weekly. She was 44.

Smith discovered Spoonauer in a community college acting class and cast her as Caitlin Bree, the high school girlfriend of Dante (Brian O'Halloran) in his 1994 debut feature, Clerks. She later voiced the role in the 2001 animated Clerks series.

Smith paid tribute to Spoonauer in an Instagram post. "In 1992, I went looking for Lisa without knowing either who she was or the integral role she'd play in my life," he wrote. "I popped into an acting class at Brookdale Community College and watched the students from the back. Lisa was easily the most natural and authentic voice in the room. She didn't sound like she was acting at all; she delivered scripted dialogue as if she was inventing her conversation in the moment, like people do in real life."

Spoonauer appeared in only one other movie, 1997's Bartender, and went on to become a restaurant manager and event planner.

Peter Sallis

Peter Sallis, the voice of Wallace in the animated Wallace & Gromit films, died June 2, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 96.

Sallis first rose to fame in the U.K. in the '70s as the mild-mannered Norman Clegg on the long-running sitcom Last of the Summer Wine. He was the only actor to appear in all 295 episodes of the show, which aired from 1973 until 2010. 

However, he'll likely be remembered most for his work in Nick Park's animated Wallace & Gromit series. Sallis provided the voice of Wallace, a cheerful, cheese-loving inventor who first appeared in 1989's A Grand Day Out. He reprised the role in the Oscar-winning films The Wrong TrousersA Close Shave, and The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, along with the TV show Wallace & Gromit's World of Invention. His final film as Wallace was 2008's A Matter of Loaf and Death. 

Sallis retired from acting in 2010.

Molly Peters

Molly Peters, who made a memorable appearance in the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball, died May 30 at the age of 75. The official James Bond Twitter account shared the news.

Peters started out as a model before she was discovered by director Terence Young, who cast her as nurse Patricia Fearing opposite Sean Connery in Thunderball. While her screen time in the movie was limited, she made a lasting impression as the first Bond girl to take off her clothes onscreen.

Her subsequent acting career was brief, however, limited to small roles on the '60s television series Armchair Theater and the 1968 double feature Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River.

Robert Michael Morris

Robert Michael Morris, a director, acting teacher, playwright, and actor best known for the HBO series The Comeback, died May 30, according to Deadline. He was 77.

After teaching theater at high schools and colleges across the U.S., Morris moved to New York City, where he performed in off-Broadway shows including Tommy Tune's Cary Churchill Cloud Nine.

He gained notoriety as Mickey Deane on The Comeback, a role that co-creator and star Lisa Kudrow wrote with him specifically in mind. Morris later appeared on Will & Grace, Arrested Development, How I Met Your Mother, and 2 Broke Girls, reprising his role on The Comeback when HBO revived the series in 2014. He'd most recently appeared as Stan Hoister on the ABC sitcom The Middle.

Roger Smith

Roger Smith, who starred as a private eye on the classic TV series 77 Sunset Strip, died May 30 at age 84. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he suffered from the neuromuscular disease myasthenia gravis, which cut his career short when he was in his 30s.

Smith's early roles included appearances in late '50s films such as No Time to Be Young, Operation Mad BallCrash Landing, and Auntie Mame. He also starred opposite James Cagney in 1957's Man of a Thousand Faces and 1959's Never Steal Anything Small

But his most notable role came in 1958 as detective Jeff Spencer on the action series 77 Sunset Strip. He acted in 136 episodes alongside Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Stu Bailey. Smith left the show in 1963 after five seasons when doctors discovered a blood clot in his brain. Four years later, he married actress Ann-Margret and went on to become her manager.

Elena Verdugo

Elena Verdugo, a pioneer for Latina actresses, died May 30, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She was 92.

Verdugo was best known for her role as nurse and office assistant Consuelo Lopez on the ABC medical drama Marcus Welby, M.D., which ran from 1969 to 1976. The character is considered to be the first professional Latina woman working on TV, and Verdugo earned two Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe nomination.

She also appeared opposite Lon Chaney Jr. in the 1945 Universal horror films House of Frankenstein and The Frozen Ghost. An accomplished singer and dancer, she performed in the '40s with the Xavier Cugat Orchestra and sang on the hit "Tico Tico."

Adam West

Adam West, the man who brought Batman to life for a generation, died June 9 after a short battle with leukemia, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 88.

West started out as a studio contract player for Warner Bros., appearing in movies like The Young Philadelphians in 1959 and Robinson Crusoe on Mars in 1964. He caught the attention of producer William Dozier, who cast him as Batman in the ABC television series that premiered in 1966.

The show, which put a campy and comical spin on the DC Comics classic, was an instant hit and was nominated for an Emmy in its first year. A 20th Century Fox movie hit theaters before the second season debuted that fall. The show's popularity was short-lived, however, and Batman was canceled after its third season in 1968.

West's portrayal of the Caped Crusader was both a blessing and a curse. Although he would forever remain synonymous with Batman, he struggled to find other roles, appearing in obscure movies like The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker in 1971 and The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood in 1980 while continuing to make appearances as Batman at carnivals and car shows.

After Tim Burton's Batman movie returned the character to the mainstream in 1989, audiences again embraced West for his lighter take on Batman, and he voiced the character in The New Adventures of BatmanLegends of the SuperheroesSuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show, and the feature-length Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. He also became a prolific voice actor outside the role, with credits including a long-running stint as an exaggerated version of himself as the mayor on Family Guy.

West was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012.

Glenne Headly

Glenne Headly, the Emmy-nominated actress known for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and the movie adaptation of Dick Tracy, died June 8, according to Deadline. She was 63.

She started out as a stage performer and was an original member of the Steppenwolf Theatre company, appearing appeared in productions opposite Susan Sarandon in Extremities and Kevin Kline in Arms & The Man, the latter of which was produced by her ex-husband John Malkovich. Eventually turning her focus to television and films, Headly was nominated for an Emmy for her performance in the 1989 miniseries Lonesome Dove and the 1996 drama Bastard Out of Carolina. She was perhaps best known for playing a con woman in the comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in 1988 and Tess Trueheart in Warren Beatty's live-action Dick Tracy in 1990.

Headly's later work included appearances in films such as Mr. Holland's Opus, Mortal Thoughts, and 2 Days in the Valley, and TV shows including Monk and HBO's The Night Of.

Nelsan Ellis

Nelsan Ellis, who co-starred on HBO's True Blood, died from complications of heart failure caused by alcohol withdrawal on July 8. He was 39.

Early in his career, he appeared on TV shows including The Inside, Veronica Mars, and Without a Trace, then made his breakthrough as Lafayette, the short-order cook at Merlotte's on True Blood. In the books, the character didn't survive, but because Ellis was so popular, writers for the show decided to change Lafeyette's fate. "Nelsan was a singular talent whose creativity never ceased to amaze me," said series creator Alan Ball. "Working with him was a privilege."

Ellis also appeared in The Soloist in 2009, Secretariat in 2010, and played Martin Luther King Jr. in Lee Daniels' The Butler in 2013.

Michael Nyqvist

Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist, who starred in the original The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo movies and later appeared in John Wick, died June 27 after a battle with lung cancer, according to Variety.

Nyqvist first gained attention as Mikael Blomkvist in the Swedish miniseries Millennium, based on Stieg Larsson's books that follow the character of Lisbeth Salander. The show was expanded into three theatrically released movies in 2009: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

Nyqvist later played the villain opposite Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol and Keanu Reeves in John Wick. He also appeared in 2015's Colonia with Emma Watson and this year's Hunter Killer with Gerard Butler.

Stevie Ryan

Actress and YouTube celebrity Stevie Ryan died on July 1 at the age of 33. People reports that the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office ruled the death a suicide by hanging. 

Ryan rose to fame with her YouTube series Little Loca, and later transitioned into doing celebrity parodies, which helped land her a VH1 sketch series called Stevie TV, which ran from 2012 to 2013. She later served as co-host of Brody Jenner's E! series Sex with Brody.

Most recently, she co-hosted Mentally Ch(ill), which is a "podcast about depression," according to its iTunes description. Ryan revealed that her grandfather had recently died in an episode that was released just two days before her death. 

Ji-Tu Cumbuka

Ji-Tu Cumbuka, who appeared in Roots and Harlem Nights, died July 4 after a long illness, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 77.

The Alabama native's grandmother gave him the name Ji-Tu, which means "giant" and Cumbuka "to remember" in Swahili. He made his debut in 1968's Uptight and appeared in BlaculaMandingo, and Hal Ashby's Bound for Glory before playing the slave Wrestler on the landmark 1977 miniseries Roots. He co-starred opposite Richard Pryor in Brewster's MillionsMoving, and Harlem Nights. Cumbuka also appeared in the comedies Bachelor Party, Volunteers, and Outrageous Fortune.

He published a memoir called A Giant to Remember in 2012.

Evan Helmuth

Evan Helmuth, the actor who played a priest in the 2012 horror movie The Devil Inside, died July 17 of complications from a stroke, according to Deadline. He was 40.

An alumni of the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, Helmuth attended the USC School of Dramatic Arts. He played Jimmy Fallon's sidekick in the Farrelly Brothers' Fever Pitch and was in the Steve Jobs biopic Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher. In 2012, he played his most recognizable role as Father David Keane in William Brent Bell's The Devil Inside, and he made appearances on TV shows including NCIS, Bones, Rizzoli & Isles, and Battle Creek.

Jerry Lewis

Comedy legend Jerry Lewis, one of the most recognizable and influential American performers of the 20th century, died Aug. 20 at the age of 91. People reports that he succumbed to heart failure after decades of ailing health.

The son of professional entertainers, Lewis started performing when he was five, but he skyrocketed to fame in the '50s when he teamed with crooner Dean Martin for the comedy duo Martin and Lewis. At the height of their popularity, they dominated nightclubs, radio, and the box office; they were the top draw at theaters from 1950 to 1956. After a bitter split with Martin, Lewis remained a top-grossing movie star through the mid-'60s with classics like The Bellboy (1960) and The Nutty Professor (1963).

Although his success tapered off, he gave a critically acclaimed performance opposite Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy (1982) and later appeared in movies like Arizona Dream (1993) and Funny Bones (1995). He guest-starred on a 2006 episode of Law & Order: SVU and recently appeared in The Trust (2016).

Lewis also became well-known as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and hosted an annual Labor Day telethon from 1955 until 2011, raising almost $2.5 billion. He was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1977.

John Heard

John Heard, best known as the father in the Home Alone movies, died July 21. TMZ reports that the cause of death was a heart attack.

Heard gained attention as an off-Broadway actor in the late '70s and received an Obie Award for his performances in productions of G.R. Point, Othello, and Split. He appeared in several movies in the '80s including the Tom Hanks comedy Big (1988), but his mainstream breakthrough came as Peter McAllister in Home Alone (1990), which grossed more than $500 million worldwide. He reprised the role in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992).

He earned an Emmy nomination in 1999 for playing Vin Makazian on The Sopranos and later appeared on Prison Break, Entourage, and NCIS: Los Angeles.

Sonny Landham

Sonny Landham, known for Predator and 48 Hrs., died Aug. 17 at age 76. Variety reports that he passed away from congestive heart failure.

Part Seminole and part Cherokee Native American, Landham began in show business in several X-rated films during the '70s, but he transitioned into more traditional acting roles in movies like The Warriors (1979). He gained attention for playing the Native American tracker Billy Sole alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator (1987) and appeared in more action movies including Action Jackson (1988) and Lock Up (1989). He continued to act through the '90s, compiling more than 50 credits to his name.

In 2003, he embarked upon a brief campaign to become governor of Kentucky and also ran for the Kentucky State Senate in 2004. He was nominated for the U.S. Senate by Kentucky's Libertarian party in 2008, but the party withdrew its support after Landham advocated for Muslim genocide.

Bruce Forsyth

Sir Bruce Forsyth, the king of British game shows, died Aug. 18. He was 89. According to the BBC, he had been ill for some time and was hospitalized earlier in the year. The Guardian reports he recently contracted bronchial pneumonia.

Forsyth began in show business at the age of 11 with an appearance a 1939 appearance on BBC's Come and Be Televised. He rose to fame in the '50s with the TV series Sunday Night at the Palladium and went on to host several popular game shows including The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right, You Bet!, and The Price Is Right. He was a presenter on the variety show Strictly Come Dancing from 2004 to 2013 and, at one point, was Britain's highest-paid TV star.

He was made a Knight Bachelor in 2011 for his services to entertainment and charity, and he holds the Guinness World Record for having the longest career of any male television entertainer.

Joe Bologna

Joe Bologna, an Oscar-nominated actor and writer, died Aug. 13, according to Entertainment Weekly. He was 82.

After serving with the Marines, he made his Broadway debut as the star and co-author of the comedy Lovers and Other Strangers. With his wife Renee Taylor, he wrote and starred in the movie Made For Each Other (1971), which opened the door to roles in films including Cops and Robbers (1973), Honor Thy Father (1973), The Big Bus (1976), and Chapter Two (1979). He also co-starred with Taylor in the Emmy-winning special Acts of Love and Other Comedies (1973), then starred in the made-for-TV movie Torn Between Two Lovers (1979). Bologna continued working in the '80s with My Favorite Year (1982), Blame It on Rio (1984), and The Woman in Red (1984).

In 1991, he starred with Matt LeBlanc in the short-lived Married With Children spinoff Top of the Heap, and he later appeared opposite Adam Sandler in Big Daddy (1999). He also voiced Dan Turpin in the animated Superman series from 1997 to 1998 and Mr. Start in Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006).

Robert Hardy

Robert Hardy, known for the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small and the Harry Potter movies, died Aug. 3 at age 91. 

According to the BBC, Hardy began his career at age 24. He attended Oxford where he studied under J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis before joining the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in 1949. His first film role was in Torpedo Run (1965), the same year he appeared opposite his friend Richard Burton in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. He became well-known to British audiences as veterinarian Siegfried Farnon on All Creatures Great and Small, which ran in the late '70s and '80s. He portrayed former Winston Churchill six times including in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981), War and Remembrance (1988), and Churchill: 100 Days That Saved Britain (2015).

In 2002, Hardy appeared as Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge in Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets (2002), and he reprised the role in three more films in the franchise.

Sam Shepard

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated actor Sam Shepard died July 27 at age 73. The New York Times reports that he succumbed to complications of ALS.

The winner of 13 Obie Awards, he won his first six for plays he wrote between 1966 and 1968. He soon made the transition into screenwriting with films like Me and My Brother (1969) and Zabriske Point (1970). In 1978, he stepped in front of the camera for roles as a land baron in Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven and the part of Rodeo in Bob Dylan's experimental Renaldo & Clara, which Shepard wrote with Dylan. 

He continued to work as a playwright, and penned his critically acclaimed Family Trilogy (1978's Curse of the Starving Class and Buried Child and 1980's True West); Buried Child won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He also thrived as a character actor, earning an Oscar nomination for playing Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff (1983). He starred in Fool for Love (1983), which was based on his play, and co-wrote Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas (1984).

In his later years, Shepard appeared in movies including Black Hawk Down (2001), The Notebook (2004), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), Midnight Special (2016), and the Netflix series Bloodline.

June Foray

June Foray, the "first lady of voice actors," died July 26, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She was 99.

She started her career in radio during the '30s and was soon voicing cartoon characters including Rocky and Natasha on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Witch Hazel on Looney Tunes, Nell on Dudley Do-Right, Granny in Tweety and Sylvester, and Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. She worked alongside Mel Blanc, Chuck Jones, Stan Freberg, and Jay Ward during her eight-decade career and provided the voices for hundreds of characters.

Later in life, she voiced Wheezy Weasel in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), several characters in a 1990 episode of The Simpsons, and Grandma Fa in Mulan (1998). In 2012, she became the oldest performer to win an Emmy for her voice role as Mrs. Cauldron on The Garfield Show. She also reprised the role of Rocky the Flying Squirrel in a Rocky and Bullwinkle short film released in 2014.