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Actors we lost in 2018

It's amazing how much of an impact someone we've never actually met can have on our lives. But that's the magic of movies and television: sometimes the actors we grow up watching can feel just like family. They're like old friends who are always there for you with the click of a remote, and it feels like they'll be there forever. Sadly, however, we've had to say goodbye to many talented performers in 2018, and most of us probably never had the opportunity to tell them how much they mean to us. But thanks to the memorable characters they brought to life on the big screen and on our TVs, these actors will never really leave us. In fact, they'll always be there exactly the way we remember them, and they'll never be more than a few clicks away. The circumstances surrounding these stars' tragic deaths all vary, and while many expired from age or illness, some made the choice to take their own lives. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

Jerry Van Dyke

Jerry Van Dyke, the younger brother of actor Dick Van Dyke and a four-time Emmy nominee, died Jan. 5. He was 86. According to TMZ, Van Dyke was in hospice care before he succumbed to chronic heart disease. 

One of his earliest TV appearances was on a 1962 episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show, playing the brother of his real-life sibling. He infamously turned down a starring role on Gilligan's Island to work on the sitcom My Mother the Car, which is widely regarded as one of the worst shows of the era. It ran for just one season on NBC in 1965. Van Dyke also acted on short-lived series including Accidental Family, Headmaster and 13 Queens Boulevard

But in 1989, he landed the role of Assistant Coach Luther Van Dam on the ABC sitcom Coach, which aired for nine seasons until 1997. Co-starring opposite Craig T. Nelson, Van Dyke earned four Emmy nominations for Best Supporting Actor. In his later years, he made guest appearances on Raising Hope, My Name Is Earl and Yes, Dear.

Reg E. Cathey

Reg E. Cathey, the Emmy-winning actor known for House of Cards and The Wire, died Feb. 9 at his home in New York City. According to TMZ, he had been battling lung cancer. He was 59.

A native of Alabama, Cathey studied theater at the University of Michigan and the Yale School of Drama before appearing in the 1984 television movie A Doctor's Story. He had small roles in Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July in 1989, the Bill Murray comedy What About Bob? in 1991, the Jim Carrey superhero comedy The Mask in 1994, David Fincher's Seven in 1995 and the 2000 dark comedy-horror American Psycho.

From 2000 to 2003, he played unit manager and warden Martin Querns on HBO's Oz, then portrayed political operative Norman Wilson in the fourth and fifth seasons of The Wire. But he received the most acclaim of his career for playing Freddy Hayes on the Netflix series House of Cards. The role brought him Emmy nominations for three straight years, and he won in 2015.

Known for his deep baritone voice, Cathey also played Dr. Franklin Storm in the 2015 reboot of The Fantastic Four and Chief Byron Giles on Robert Kirkman's Outcast.

John Mahoney

John Mahoney, the actor who played Frasier Crane's cranky, blue-collar father Martin on the NBC sitcom Frasier, died in Chicago on Feb. 4. He was 77. According to TMZ, Mahoney suffered from kidney disease and diabetes and he died of complications from lung cancer and brain disease.

Born in England, he moved to the U.S. when he was a teenager and earned his citizenship by serving with the Army. He began his acting career with the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago when he was nearly 40 years old. He frequently worked onstage and won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play thanks to his performance in a 1986 revival of John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves.

Mahoney made his film debut in the early '80s and appeared in movies including Moonstruck, Eight Men Out, Say Anything…, Barton Fink and In the Line of Fire. But he became a TV star when he took the role of Martin Crane on the critically acclaimed Cheers spinoff Frasier, opposite Kelsey Grammar and David Hyde Pierce. He played their father throughout the show's entire run from 1993 to 2004, receiving two Emmy nominations and two Golden Globes nominations. He later concentrated on stage work back in Chicago, and he appeared on Broadway in a 2007 revival of Prelude to a Kiss.

David Ogden Stiers

David Ogden Stiers, the actor who played Major Charles Emerson Winchester III on M*A*S*H, died March 3  at his home in Newport, Oregon. The Oregonian reports he passed away after a battle with bladder cancer. He was 75.

Stiers' earliest television credits include appearances on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Charlie's Angels and Kojak, and his voice can be heard off-screen in George Lucas' first feature film, THX-1138. But he rose to fame when he joined the cast of the hugely popular CBS military sitcom M*A*S*H. He was nominated for two Emmys in 1981 and 1982.

Stiers garnered another Emmy nomination in 1984 for his role as William Milligan Sloane, founder of the U.S. Olympic Committee, in the NBC miniseries The First Olympics: Athens in 1896. He was also an accomplished voice actor and played Cogsworth in the 1991 Disney classic Beauty and the Beast and later voiced characters in Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Lilo & Stitch. In 1997, he played Martian Manhunter in the pilot for the DC Comics television series Justice League of America. However, the show never aired in the U.S.

A gifted musician, he was the resident conductor of the Newport Symphony and guest conducted for more than 70 orchestras around the world. In his later years, he appeared on Stargate: Atlantis, The Dead Zone, and Rizzoli & Isles. He also voiced Mr. Maellard on the animated Regular Show.

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking, the renowned theoretical physicist who explained some of the biggest mysteries of the universe and became something of a pop culture icon, died March 14. He was 76.

According to the BBC, Hawking — who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) when he was just 21 years old — died peacefully at his home in Cambridge, England. At the time of his diagnosis, doctors said he had just two years to live, and although he lost the ability to move or speak, Hawking proved them wrong and survived for another five decades. 

His 1988 book A Brief History of Time explained the secrets of the universe in layman's terms and became an international bestseller. It also turned Hawking into a global celebrity. In 2001, he released The Universe in a Nutshell, which included new concepts like super gravity, naked singularities and the possibility of an 11-dimensional universe.

Despite his illness, Hawking guest-starred on a 1993 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation and several episodes of The Big Bang Theory between 2012 and 2017. He also lent his digitally synthesized voice to four episodes of The Simpsons between 1999 and 2010 and two episodes of Futurama in 2000 and 2011. His life story was the basis for the 2014 film The Theory of Everything, which brought Eddie Redmayne an Oscar for his portrayal of Hawking. 

DuShon Monique Brown

DuShon Monique Brown, best known for her role on the NBC drama Chicago Fire, died March 23. She was 49. According to USA Today, Brown's representative said her "untimely death" was sudden and due to "natural causes."

Born in Chicago, she was a veteran of the city's theater scene and rose to fame playing Nurse Katie Welch on the FOX drama Prison Break from 2005 to 2007. More recently, she portrayed Connie, the secretary to Eamonn Walker's Wallace Boden on the NBC drama Chicago Fire. She co-starred in 53 episodes of the series since its debut in 2012.

"The Chicago Fire family is devastated to lose one of its own," said executive producer Dick Wolf in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with DuShon's family and we will all miss her."

Brown also performed onstage and appeared on TV series including Shameless, Empire, Boss, and Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams.

Donnelly Rhodes

Canadian actor Donnelly Rhodes, perhaps best known for playing Dr. Sherman Cottle on Battlestar Galactica, died Jan. 8 at the age of 80. According to Deadline, he had been battling cancer at the Baillie House Hospice in Maple Ridge, British Columbia.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Rhodes was an airman-mechanic with the Royal Canadian Air Force before he began a long and successful career as an actor. He made his professional stage debut as Stanley Kowalski in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire and then became a contract player for Universal Pictures. That brought him roles on TV series including Mission: Impossible in 1966 and in movies like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1969.

Rhodes played the dim-witted escaped con Dutch Leitner on the sitcom Soap from 1978 to 1981, starred as Dr. Grant Roberts on the family adventure series Danger Bay from 1985 to 1990 and appeared as Det. Leo Shannon on Da Vinci's Inquest from 1998 to 2005. In 2004, he began playing Dr. Sherman Cottle on Battlestar Galactica and appeared in more than 35 episodes of the sci-fi series through 2009. 

More recently, he played Agent Smith on The Flash and DC's Legends of Tomorrow during the "Invasion!" crossover event in 2016. Over the years, Rhodes also appeared on Sliders, The X-Files, The Outer Limits, Millennium, Smallville and Supernatural, and he played Grandpa Flynn in 2010's Tron: Legacy.

Connie Sawyer

Connie Sawyer, known as Hollywood's oldest working actress, died on Jan. 22, according to Deadline. She was 105.

Sawyer began acting at just eight years old when she won a talent contest in Oakland, Calif., and when she was 18, she landed her first vaudeville show. She had more than 140 film and television credits to her name, and continued acting until late 2017. Sawyer appeared in a Broadway production of A Hole in the Head and later took the same role in the 1959 film adaptation starring Frank Sinatra. She also had roles in The Way West, Ada and The Man in the Glass Booth along with TV roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Hawaii Five-O, Dynasty and Archie Bunker's Place.

In more recent years, Sawyer appeared in movies including When Harry Met Sally, Dumb and Dumber and Pineapple Express, and she also guest-starred on television series like Seinfeld, Home Improvement, Will & Grace, ER, The Office, How I Met Your Mother and Ray Donovan.

Mark Salling

Mark Salling, best known for his role as Noah "Puck" Puckerman on all six seasons of the acclaimed musical comedy Glee, was found dead near his home in northern Los Angeles on Jan. 30. According to TMZ, the cause of death was suicide by hanging. He was 35.

At the time of his death, Salling was scheduled to be sentenced to prison after he admitted to possession of child pornography. Salling had reportedly shown some of the images to a girlfriend, who then called police. He was arrested in December 2015. According to Deadline, he was "expected to serve four to seven years in prison, followed by 20 years of supervised release and registry as a sex offender." 

A source told People that Salling had become isolated and didn't communicate with 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."

Robert Dowdell

Robert Dowdell, a supporting actor on the '60s ABC series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Stoney Burke, died Jan. 23. He was 85. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, he died of natural causes on Jan. 23 in Coldwater, Michigan. His family released a statement on Facebook that said he had been "struggling with a myriad of health issues and finally succumbed to them."

Dowdell discovered his passion for acting after enlisting with the Army Corps of Engineers. He appeared on Broadway opposite Joanne Woodward in the 1956 play The Lovers and later acted in Love Me Little with Susan Kohner, Viva Madison Avenue! with Buddy Hackett, Five Finger Exercise opposite Jessica Tandy, and The Midnight Sun helmed by John Frankenheimer.

He portrayed Cody Bristol in 32 episodes of the early '60s TV series Stoney Burke, but he's perhaps best known for playing Chip Morton in 109 episodes of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea from 1964 to 1968. Dowdell later appeared in 1971's City Beneath the Sea and guest-starred on TV shows including Land of the Giants, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, CHiPs, and Max Headroom. His final role was for the PBS series American Masters, in the 1995 episode "Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul."

Jon Paul Steuer

Jon Paul Steuer, the former child actor who played a young Klingon on Star Trek: The Next Generation, died Jan. 1. He was 33.

Steuer began his acting career at the age of four and made his television debut in a 1989 episode on the NBC sitcom Day by Day. He then became the first actor to play Alexander Rozhenko, the Klingon son of Worf, on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He portrayed the character in one episode, "Reunion," and other actors went on to play the role at various ages.

Steuer also co-starred in 1993's Amityville: A New Generation and the 1994 sports comedy Little Giants, but he is perhaps best known for playing Brett Butler's eldest son on the sitcom Grace Under Fire from 1993 until he left the show in 1996. He later said he quit acting in part because of Butler's erratic behavior and controversies surrounding the series.

His death was announced on the Facebook page of his rock band P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S. Steuer sang with the group under the name Jonny Jewels for about a year.

John Gavin

John Gavin, a movie heartthrob in the '50s and '60s who appeared in Psycho, died Feb. 9, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 86.

Before he began his acting career, Gavin studied the economic history of Latin America at Stanford University and served in the Navy as an Air Intelligence Officer. After his discharge, he landed a contract at Universal and he made his film debut in the 1956 Western Raw Edge.

Gavin played Lana Turner's love interest in the 1959 remake of Imitation of Life and portrayed Julius Caesar in 1960's Spartacus. Alfred Hitchcock cast him as Sam Loomis, a man who helps discover the secret of Norman Bates, in the 1960 horror classic Psycho. Gavin later went on to star in the 1967 romantic comedy Thoroughly Modern Millie and he was set to play James Bond in 1971's Diamonds Are Forever before Sean Connery reclaimed the role from George Lazenby. From 1971-'73, Gavin was also president of the Screen Actors Guild.

Gavin's other credits include work on Broadway as well as a long list of TV appearances that spans Destry, The Virginian, Convoy, The Doris Day Show, Mannix, Medical Center, Hart to Hart and Fantasy Island. Later in life, he served as the United States Ambassador to Mexico from 1981-'86.

Debbie Lee Carrington

Debbie Lee Carrington, an actress and stuntwoman who appeared in Total Recall and Men in Black, died March 23. According to Variety, she passed away at her parents' home in Pleasanton, Calif. She was 58.

Carrington began her career in 1981 when she answered a casting advertisement by Little People of America looking for actors for the comedy Under the Rainbow, based on the Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz. Not long after, she landed the part of an Ewok named Romba in 1983's Return of the Jedi, then played another Ewok named Weechee Warrick in the 1984 television movie The Ewok Adventure

Although she often served as a stuntwoman for child actors or stood in as diminutive characters in Batman ReturnsTitanic and the Child's Play franchise, Carrington also had more visible roles. She's perhaps best known for playing the prostitute Thumbelina in 1990's Total Recall, but she also appeared on Seinfeld, Baywatch and The Drew Carey Show

Dorothy Malone

Dorothy Malone, an Oscar-winning actress who played the matriarch on the '60s television show Peyton Place, died Jan. 19. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she had been ill for several years. She was 92.

Malone modeled and signed a contract with RKO Pictures when she was 18, but she mostly received uncredited roles. When that deal lapsed, Warner Bros. cast her in Howard Hawks' detective thriller The Big Sleep in 1946, which paved the way for a larger role in the 1955 World War II movie Battle Cry. After that, she became a sought-after leading lady and won an Oscar for playing the sister of Robert Stack's character in the 1956 melodrama Written on the Wind.

She appeared in dozens of films through the mid-'60s when she took the role of overprotective single mother Constance MacKenzie on ABC's Peyton Place, the first primetime soap opera on U.S. television. Malone was a prominent cast member from 1964 to 1968 and later returned to the franchise for the 1977 TV movie Murder in Peyton Place. She also appeared in the popular miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man in 1976 and her final screen performance was in the 1992 thriller Basic Instinct.

Joseph Wayne Miller

Joseph Wayne Miller, a former child actor who made his breakthrough with a co-starring role in the 1995 comedy Heavyweights, died Jan. 9 at the age of 36. According to TMZ, Miller's mother said he passed away in his sleep. 

Originally from Park Ridge, Ill., he was living in Chicago at the time of his death. Miller played Salami Sam in Heavyweights, which was co-written and produced by Judd Apatow. The movie centers on Camp Hope, a weight loss camp for boys that's taken over by a fitness guru played by Ben Stiller. Miller starred alongside Kenan Thompson, Tim Blake Nelson, and Jeffrey Tambor. The movie was Miller's best-known work.

"When we made Heavyweights, being around Joe Miller was pure joy," Apatow said in a statement to Page Six. "We could not have loved spending time with him more. He made everyone around him so happy. What a terrible loss."

Vic Damone

Vic Damone, the singer and actor who Frank Sinatra once said had "the best pipes in the business," died Feb. 11 at a Miami Beach hospital. According to the Associated Press, he passed away from complications of a respiratory illness. He was 89.

Damone began his career as winner of Arthur Godfrey's Talent Search in 1947 before becoming a regular on the show. His first single, "I Have But One Heart," reached No. 7 on the Billboard chart and he released a string of hits including "You're Breaking My Heart" in 1949 and "On the Street Where You Live" in 1955.

He moved into acting in the '50s, appearing in films like 1951's The Strip and Rich, Young and Pretty. He also had big roles in movie musicals like 1955's Hit the Deck and Kismet and hosted his own TV show, The Vic Damone Show, in 1956. In the '60s, he played crooner Ric Vallone in an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show and later hosted an NBC variety series called The Lively Ones.

By the '70s, Damone had started performing in Las Vegas casinos and Francis Ford Coppola offered him the role of Johnny Fontane in The Godfather. Damone reportedly turned down the part because he didn't think he would get enough screen time and he was also afraid of provoking the mob and Sinatra, whom Damone respected. The role ultimately went to Al Martino.

Harry Anderson

Harry Anderson, the actor, comedian and magician best known for playing a young and unorthodox judge on the NBC sitcom Night Court, died April 16 at his home in Asheville, North Carolina. He was 65. According to TMZ, he died of natural causes.

Anderson began his career as a magician before he got into comedy and acting. He often incorporated magic into his comedy act and performances on television, including his appearances on Saturday Night Live during the early '80s and as Harry "The Hat" Gittes on Cheers. In 1984, he found mainstream fame as Judge Harry T. Stone on the hit comedy Night Court. Anderson earned three Emmy nominations during the show's nine-season run.

Anderson also played Richie Tozier in the 1990 TV miniseries version of Stephen King's It and portrayed columnist Dave Barry on the sitcom Dave's World, which ran from 1993 to 1997. He also made guest appearances on Tales From the CryptComedy Bang! Bang! and The John Larroquette Show, where he reunited with his former Night Court co-star. Anderson's final television appearance was an informal Night Court reunion on 30 Rock in 2008.

R. Lee Ermey

R. Lee Ermey, a veteran and Golden Globe-nominated actor best known for his role as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, died April 15. He was 74. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ermey died from complications of pneumonia. 

Ermey served as a staff sergeant with the Marines and was an honorary gunnery sergeant and a drill instructor. He served 14 months in Vietnam and completed two tours in Okinawa, Japan. After 11 years of service, he retired from the military and began acting. In 1978, he played a Marine drill instructor in The Boys in Company C, then landed a role as a helicopter pilot in Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 epic Apocalypse Now. He also served as a technical advisor on that film. 

However, it was Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket that made Ermey into a star. Delivering famous lines like "What is your major malfunction?" he earned a Golden Globes nomination and a Best Supporting Actor award from the Boston Society of Film Critics. He also played a similar character in Peter Jackson's 1996 horror-comedy The Frighteners and appeared in Fletch Lives, Seven, Prefontaine and the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Ermey lent his voice to several TV shows, video games and movies including SpongeBog SquarePants and the Toy Story films.

Verne Troyer

Verne Troyer, best known as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers movies, died April 21. He was 49. According to People, his death was noted by the coroner as possibly being a suicide via alcohol poisoning.

An announcement on Troyer's Facebook page reads, "It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today. Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to any extent possible. Verne hoped he made a positive change with the platform he had and worked towards spreading that message everyday."

Troyer, who stood at 2 feet, 8 inches, was born with achondroplasia dwarfism — a condition that causes cartilage not to properly convert to bones and often results in undersized arms and legs. He grew up in an Amish community in Michigan and achieved fame when he debuted opposite Mike Myers in 1999's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Troyer had more than 50 acting credits in movies and on television, including roles as Griphook in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Coach Punch Cherkov in The Love Guru. He also appeared on Scrubs, Two and a Half Men and Boston Public.

Pamela Gidley

Model-turned-actress Pamela Gidley passed away at the age of 52 on April 16, dying peacefully in her Seabrook, New Hampshire home. An actress since 1986, Gidley's debut role was in the skateboarding movie Thrashin', in which she appeared alongside Josh Brolin and childhood friend Sherilyn Fenn, the actress who would later play Audrey on the ABC series Twin Peaks

Early in her career, Gidley appeared in the cult sci-fi comedy movie Cherry 2000, playing a lifelike android designed to be "the perfect mate." She went on to have her own notable role in the 1992 Twin Peaks prequel feature Fire Walk With Me, appearing as Teresa Banks, the first victim of the killer who would later loom over the series. 

In 1992, Gidley had a regular role on the buddy cop series Angel Street on CBS, starring opposite Robin Givens as a Chicago homicide detective. In 1995, she got a starring role on the Fox mystery series Strange Luck, appearing in 17 episodes along with D.B. Sweeney.

Gibney's later series roles include the NBC action series The Pretender, the forensic crime series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and the Fox Romeo and Juliet retelling series Skin. Her last credited role is Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces, a long-lost compilation of extended and deleted scenes from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

Mickey Jones

Mickey Jones, a musician and character actor known for his roles in Home Improvement and Justified, died at the age of 76 on February 7, according to Variety

Jones, worked as an entertainer since his teenage years, acting as a drummer for various acts during his early years in Texas and Los Angeles. He performed as a regular band member for Trini Lopez, Bob Dylan, and Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, pivoting to an acting career in the late '60s. By 1976, Jones was a full-time actor, and went on to appear in a number of TV shows and movies including The Rockford Files, Charlie's Angels, The Dukes of Hazzard, and The Incredible Hulk.

Jones worked consistently over the next 40 years, regularly appearing on Home Improvement as construction worker Pete Bilker, a character who played the drums in his own construction company band. He also had a recurring role in Justified, playing marijuana distributor Rodney "Hot Rod" Dunham. His film roles include Tin Cup, Total Recall, and Sling Blade, in which he also put his drumming talents to use.

His final roles include the NBC comedy series Growing Up Fisher and a 2015 appearance in the Adult Swim comedy Newsreaders.

Nanette Fabray

Nanette Fabray, a Tony and Emmy Award-winning dancer, singer, and comic actress known for her work on Broadway, TV, and film, died on February 22 at the age of 97, according to The Washington Post.

Born in 1920 in San Diego, California, Fabray was known for a lifetime of work as an entertainer, beginning her career at the age of four as a tap-dancing, singing vaudevillian. She appeared in her first movie, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, in 1939. Two years later, at the age of 21, she appeared in her first Broadway show.

At 28, she earned a Tony Award for best actress for her role in the musical Love Life, after which she pivoted to the emerging medium of television. She would win two Emmy Awards for her work on Caesar's Hour, a live sketch comedy show hosted by Sid Caesar. Though Fabray would focus on television and the stage for the remainder of her career, she had a vital film role in the 1953 musical The Band Wagon, starring along with Fred Astaire and Jack Buchanan.

She hosted her own television show for one season in 1961, The Nanette Fabray Show (also known as Westinghouse Playhouse). Her other TV appearances include The Mary Tyler Moore ShowThe Love BoatOne Day at a Time, Coach, and Love, American Style.

She is survived by her son and two grandchildren.

Susan Anspach

Susan Anspach, a veteran of the stage, film, and television, died on April 2 at the age of 75, according to The New York Times.

Anspach was born in 1942 in Queens, New York, recording her first television role on The Defenders in 1965. She made her stage debut the same year in an Off-Broadway revival of A View From the Bridge, appearing in the cast with then-unknowns Robert Duvall and Jon Voight.

She performed in the Off-Broadway production of the musical Hair, playing the lead role of Sheila, and also performed twice on Broadway.

Coming to prominence as a performer in the 1970s, Anspach made her film debut with a small part in Hal Ashby's The Landlord. That same year, she appeared in Five Easy Pieces, starring alongside Jack Nicholson. Anspach continued to work in film and television until 2010, appearing in the movies Blume in Love, Montenegro, and Play it Again, Sam. Her television credits include the miniseries SpaceThe Slap Maxwell Story, and The Yellow Rose.

She is survived by two children and three grandchildren.

Margot Kidder

Margot Kidder, who played DC Comics character Lois Lane in the Superman film series, died on May 13, 2018 at her home in Livingston, Montana. She was 69 years old.

Born in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Kidder dreamed of acting from a young age, and moved to Los Angeles after graduating high school. After winning a first role in the 1969 movie Gaily, Gaily, she starred opposite Gene Wilder in Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx. By 1972, after departing to New York City for a short time to work in television, Kidder and her friend Jennifer Salt scored roles in the Brian De Palma movie Sisters, a critically-acclaimed psychological thriller.

Kidder was most famous for her onscreen coupling with Superman, played by Christopher Reeve, with the romance between the two characters playing out across four films between 1978 and 1987.

Beyond her work in one of the first big-screen blockbuster superhero successes, Kidder was known for a variety of other roles, with performances in the horror movies Black Christmas and The Amityville Horror. She continued to work up until 2017, with her last appearance being in the Mafia drama The Neighborhood.

Kidder suffered from mental illness all of her life, and her struggle with bipolar disorder at one point led to a high-profile disappearance. She was also actively involved in causes she believed in, protesting against war and the excesses of the energy industry. 

She is survived by her daughter and first husband.

Joseph Campanella

Joseph Campanella, a character actor who recorded more than 200 film and television roles over a career that spanned 50 years, died on May 16 at the age of 93, according to Variety.

Campanella was a mainstay on TV for decades, appearing in many well-known sitcoms, soap operas, and dramas, often popping up in the same program as a different character throughout his early career. His first regular role was in the medical drama The Doctors and the Nurses in the mid-'60s, which was followed through the decades by roles on MannixOne Day at a TimeThe Bold Ones: The Lawyers, The Practice, and The Colbys, among others.

Campanella also worked as a voice actor in the '90s, serving as the voice of Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard in the Spider-Man animated series. Other voice roles included the animated Road Rovers and Batman: The Animated Series.

Working consistently up until 2009, Campanella's last role was in the drama Lost Dream. He was preceded in death by his older brother, actor Frank Campanella, who died in 2006 at the age of 87. He is survived by his wife Jill Campanella, seven sons, and eight grandchildren.

Robert Mandan

Robert Mandan, an actor who held a consistent presence on television for more than four decades, died on April 29 in Los Angeles following a long period of illness, The Hollywood Reporter announced. He was 86 years old.

Born in Missouri in 1932, Mandan appeared on a number of soap operas throughout his career, such as General Hospital, Santa Barbara, and Days of Our Lives. But his most acclaimed role was on the soap opera parody sitcom Soap, which ran from 1977 to 1981. Mandan played Chester Tate, a stockbroker and family patriarch known for his conniving business practices and philandering ways. 

Beyond Soap, Mandan appeared as an investment banker named James Bradford on the sitcom Three's Company, continuing on to that show's 1984 spinoff Three's a Crowd. His other notable television roles include turns on Married… With Children, Sanford and Son, All in the Family, Barney Miller, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine — among many more over a long and robust career.

Mandan also performed on stage, making his Broadway debut in 1956. He continued to perform in both large-scale professional productions and small local plays for his entire career.

His big-screen work includes Hickey & Boggs, Zapped!, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, in which he appeared alongside Burt Reynolds, Dolly Parton, and Dom DeLuise. Mandan's last role was in the 2014 short film Our Man in Madras. He is survived by his wife, Sherry Dixon.

Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain, a writer, presenter, producer and performer who helped shape the way we see international food culture, died on June 8 in France during the production of his CNN travelogue series Parts Unknown. He was 61.

Bourdain rose to prominence in 2000 on the back of his bestselling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. He'd already gathered more than 20 years of experience in the kitchen at the time of publication, and his unapologetic attitude and confessional style helped endear him to a wide audience. The book was adapted into a television series in 2005, starring Bradley Cooper as a stylized "bad boy chef" based on Bourdain himself.

That image helped make Bourdain a charismatic presence on the international food scene. He started appearing on television as the host of Food Network A Cook's Tour, an adaptation of Bourdain's second book that saw the chef traveling the world "in search of the perfect meal."

Bourdain continued his career as a host with the series Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, The Layover, and Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. His notoriety also led to winking cameo appearances in film and television, with Bourdain appearing as himself in the 2015 film The Big Short. He also lent his voice to characters inspired by him in the animated series Archer and Sanjay and Craig. He was decorated with awards from the entertainment industry for his work, earning five Emmys and a Peabody Award. 

Bourdain tragically died of an apparent suicide by hanging, his body discovered by a friend and colleague in his Strasbourg, France hotel room on the morning of June 8. During his life, the chef made no secret of with his struggles with depression and history of self-destructive behavior, remarking in one 2016 interview, "I should've died in my 20s."

He is survived by his daughter.

Eunice Gayson

Eunice Gayson, who helped establish a cinematic tradition as the first "Bond girl" of the James Bond film series, died on June 8 at the age of 90. The news was announced via her official Twitter account.

Born in the English town of Purley in 1928, Gayson notched her first acting role at the age of 19 in the TV movie Between Ourselves. Over the next decade, she established a career on TV, film, and the stage, working as a dancer and putting her soprano singing voice to use as a trained opera performer. She played the Baroness Elsa Schraeder in the first London production of The Sound of Music, and was one of the longest-running cast members in a show that ran for 2,385 performances

Gayson's most well-known role remains her turn as Sylvia Trench in Dr. No and From Russia with Love, in which she became indelibly connected to one of the all-time classic lines in cinema. Introducing herself as "Trench, Sylvia Trench," her character prompted the immortal introduction of Sean Connery's MI6 agent, "Bond, James Bond." Her performance as a capable foil for Bond established a template for the movies that's still in use today.

After her turn in the Bond series, Gayson continued to act onscreen until 1972, after which she exclusively performed onstage. She is survived by a daughter, Kate, who followed up on her mother's James Bond legacy with an appearance in the 1995 film GoldenEye.

Leon White

Professional wrestler Leon Allen White, better known to fans the world over as Vader, died on June 18 from complications from pneumonia after a years-long battle with congestive heart failure. He was 63.

Also known as Baby Bull and Big Van Vader, White rose to prominence in wrestling during the early '90s, coming into his own as a formidable heel who entered rings with a distinctive and imposing dark helmet. He won many heavyweight championships in the United States and abroad, and was the first wrestler to ever hold world titles on three separate continents at the same time. 

Like many wrestlers, White occasionally took his charismatic performing talents to more mainstream productions, appearing on episodes of Baywatch and Boy Meets World. His character also appeared in a Marvel-published WCW-themed comic book series.

In November 2016, White was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and given less than two years to live. He faced the development as only a professional wrestler would, selling T-shirts with slogans such as "Big Vader Just Won't Die" and "2 Years to Live My Ass."

He is survived by two children, including the second-generation professional wrestler Jesse White, who is also known by the stage name of Jake Carter.

Stanley Anderson

Stanley Anderson, an actor of the stage and screen, died on June 24 at his home in Santa Rosa, California, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He died at the age of 78, six weeks after receiving a diagnosis of brain cancer.

Anderson was born in 1939 in Billings, Montana. While he would go on to leave his mark on a number of classic TV shows and movies, he didn't segue into film and television until he was already a practiced veteran of the stage. 

Starting his career as a member of the Seattle Repertory Theatre, Anderson eventually worked his way to the Arena Stage company in Washington, D.C., where he performed for more than 20 years. While there, he won a Helen Hayes Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work on The Piggy Bank.

Anderson transitioned to a career on screen in the 1990s, appearing on such series as The Drew Carey Show, The Practice, and NYPD Blue. Among his more notable performances was his role as the judge in the widely seen series finale of Seinfeld, and as an early adversary of the Green Goblin in the Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man

In addition to his work as a performer, Anderson was also a voiceover talent, reading scripts for documentaries on National Geographic, Discovery, TLC, PBS, and the History Channel. He also lent his voice to nationwide advertisements for Democratic party candidates and causes. According to his family, "He was most proud, ultimately, of the part he played in politics."

Tab Hunter

Tab Hunter, an actor known in his heyday as a teen heartthrob, died on July 8 at the age of 86, according to The New York Times. The cause of death was cardiac arrest caused by a roving blood clot moving from his leg to his lung.

Born Arthur Kelm in New York City before moving with his family to California, Hunter's classically attractive features helped him to establish a career in the 1950s. He was promoted by the industry as an all-American hunk and a romantic star, winning over legions of swooning fans with films like Battle Cry, The Burning Hills, Damn Yankees, and The Girl he Left Behind.

In addition to his acting career in films, Hunter also dabbled in music, scoring multiple hit singles such as "Young Love" and "Ninety-Nine Ways." He also starred in his own television series, The Tab Hunter Show, for one season in the early '60s.

Hunter's star faded as he got older, but he revived his career in the 1980s in some decidedly non-Hollywood productions, including John Waters' Polyester, in which he co-starred with Divine. 

A gay man, Hunter spent most of his career in the closet, with Warner Bros. going to great lengths to conceal the truth about his sexuality from the public. He ultimately came out of the closet in a 2005 autobiography, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star.

He is survived by Allan Glaser, his partner of more than 35 years.

Jon Schnepp

Jon Schnepp, a writer, director, editor and animator known for his work on several Adult Swim animated shows, died on July 19 from complications following a massive stroke, according to a social media post by his wife, Holly Payne. He was 51.

Schnepp was primarily known for his work on the cartoon Metalocalypse, the farcical series about a fictional, super-successful death metal group called Dethklok. It was a series that he wrote for, edited, animated and produced, and far from his only contribution to the world of out-there animation. He also directed episodes of The Venture Bros., edited Space Ghost Coast to Coast, and helped to animate Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Nerdland, among other projects.

Schnepp occasionally contributed to animated series as a voice actor, particularly on Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Metalocalypse. He was also an on-camera personality for entertainment website Collider, appearing as a panelist on Collider Movie Talk and hosting Collider Heroes.

In addition to his work in animation, Schnepp was also a documentarian, directing the documentaries Temple of Art and The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?

Schnepp is survived by his wife Holly, his sister Deborah, his mother Miriam, and his father David.

Elmarie Wendel

Elmarie Wendel, a television and stage star who appeared on both soaps and sitcoms in a career that spanned decades, died on July 21 at the age of 89. Her death was confirmed by her daughter, the actress J.C. Wendel, who posted the news on Instagram.

Born in Iowa in 1928, Wendel was raised up by a family of performers, touring around the Midwest and putting on musicals with her parents and sisters. She built a stage career in Los Angeles and New York City, performing both on and off Broadway. 

On television, she is most known for her role as Mrs. Mamie Dubcek in 3rd Rock from the Sun, which aired from 1996 to 2001 for 139 episodes. While she began the show as a recurring player, she was promoted to a full-fledged member of the cast by the show's third season.

In addition to 3rd Rock, Wendell was also known for a recurring role on George Lopez, as well as appearances on General HospitalNYPD Blue, Murder, She Wrote and Seinfeld. She also worked as a voice actor, lending her talents to the animated movie The Lorax and — most recently — the video game Fallout 4.

Mary Carlisle

Mary Carlisle, a Great Depression-era actress who worked in dozens of films between the 1920s and 1940s, died on August 1 in Los Angeles, according to The New York Times. She was 104.

Born Gwendolyn Ritter in Boston on February 3, 1914, Carlisle moved with her mother at a young age to Hollywood, where she was discovered by a Universal Studios executive at the age of 14. Following a promising screen test, she booked a number of small, uncredited parts while honing her acting skills in professional classes, eventually landing a named role in 1932's This Reckless Age

Carlisle's career was brief but dense, with many roles across many genres, from mysteries and romances like Murder in the Private Car to sports comedies like Touchdown, Army. She is perhaps best known for her work in the '30s as a co-star to Bing Crosby in the musicals College HumorDouble or Nothing, and Doctor Rhythm

After the horror film Dead Men Walk in 1943, Carlisle retired from acting to focus on her life with husband James Blakeley, a British actor, who preceded her in death in 2007. Following her retirement from filmmaking, she became a manager for Elizabeth Arden salons in the Hollywood and Beverly Hills areas, while her husband went on to become an executive with 20th Century Fox. She is survived by her son, James Blakeley III, and two grandchildren.

Charlotte Rae

Charlotte Rae, a star of the stage and screen whose career spanned seven decades, died on August 5 at her Los Angeles home, according to an announcement from her publicist. Her son, speaking to The New York Times, said that her death came after a battle against multiple cancers and instances of heart failure. She was 92.

Born Charlotte Rae Lubotsky in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1926, Rae dropped out of Northwestern University in 1948 and moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting, eventually ending up known to millions for her work in sitcoms. Her breakthrough series was the early '60s program Car 54, Where Are You?, a cop comedy on which she played a police officer's wife. 

Rae is perhaps best known for her role as Edna Garrett, a housekeeper and caretaker who appeared on both Diff'rent Strokes and its spinoff series The Facts of Life. She was part of the casts of Sesame Street and the sitcom Hot L Baltimore, among many others, and also did voice work in cartoons and video games. Her films include HairYou Don't Mess with the Zohan, and her final role in 2015's Ricki and the Flash.

In addition to her many screen roles, Rae was a mainstay of the stage both on and off Broadway for five decades, and was nominated for two Tony Awards for her work in the musical Pickwick and the one-act play series Morning, Noon and Night

Rae is survived by a son, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Stefán Karl Stefánsson

Stefán Karl Stefánsson, an Icelandic actor most known for his role as Robbie Rotten on the TV series Lazy Town, died among his friends and family following a years-long battle with cancer, according to a report by TMZ. He was 43 years old.

Born in 1975 in the village of Hafnarfjörður, Stefánsson was a comedic actor who came up honing his skills at the Reykjavik-based Iceland Academy of the Arts, after which he began performing with the National Theatre of Iceland. There, he took on the Lazy Town role of the villainous Robbie Rotten in what started as an original stage production, playing a part which would eventually catapult him to worldwide fame.

As an actor, Stefánsson was most readily identifiable with his work on the popular children's series, which aired in more than 100 countries, and on which he starred for more than ten years. A huge portion of his notoriety came from a popular meme that sprung from the series, that being the exuberant musical number "We Are Number One."

Whatever its ironic roots may have been, the appreciation for Stefánsson grew deeply in online meme communities over the years, especially after Stefánsson was first diagnosed with cancer of the bile duct in 2016. In turn, he showed much appreciation to fans the world over, who showered him with sometimes inexplicable praise. His final role was as a voice actor in the video game For Honor in 2017. He is survived by his wife and four children.

Robin Leach

Robin Leach, a journalist, producer, and television personality who rose to notoriety as the host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, died on August 24 at the age of 76 after suffering two strokes, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He had worked as a writer for the publication since 2016. 

While much of the public came to know Leach through his appearances as a television presenter and sometimes actor, Leach's professional interests focused first and foremost on journalism. Born in London on August 29, 1941, he worked to establish his career as a writer from a young age, earning a job at his local newspaper, The Harrow Observer, when he was 15 years old. Shortly after, he advanced to become an editor at the Daily Mail at the age of 18. 

Leach's journalistic interests continued to develop after he relocated to the United States in 1963. His work frequently tied into the show business beat, which led to his first television appearances as a pop culture commentator in the early 1980s. Alongside producer Al Masini, Leach co-created his signature program about celebrity and luxury culture in 1984, with the series airing in syndication until 1995.

While most of Leach's onscreen work made use of his own personality, he also occasionally worked as an actor, usually pivoting off of his notoriety as a distinguished host. His recent credits include Great NewsThe Ridiculous 6, I.M. Caravaggio, and Family Guy. He is survived by three sons and four grandchildren.

Barbara Harris

Barbara Harris, a Tony award-winning comedic actress, died on August 21 at age 83 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The cause of death was lung cancer, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Harris is remembered as a founding member of the Second City improvisational theater in Chicago, which has continued to cultivate new talent since its creation in 1959. But while her roots were in improv comedy, her talents took her to a variety of heights. She made her film debut in 1965 with the film A Thousand Clowns, followed by a successful run on Broadway. She earned Tony nominations two years in a row for her work in the musicals On a Clear Day You Can See Forever — written expressly with her in mind — and The Apple Tree, which she won the award for. 

Harris' film career includes the original 1976 Freaky Friday, which she co-starred in with Jodie Foster. Other notable films include Alfred Hitchcock's Family PlotPeggy Sue Got Married, NashvilleDirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Grosse Pointe Blank. She was also nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar in 1971 for the film Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?

Despite all of her accomplishments as an actor, Harris said she deliberately avoided seeking the spotlight. In a 2002 interview with the Phoenix New Times, she claimed "I always chose movies that I thought would fail, so that I wouldn't have to deal with the fame thing."

Clint Walker

Clint Walker, a physically striking actor known for his work in the influential western series Cheyenne, died at 90 of congestive heart failure in Grass Valley, California, according to the Associated Press.

Born during the Great Depression, Walker spent his youth chasing a variety of odd jobs. Moving from his southwestern Illinois home, he eventually ended up in California, after being encouraged to pursue a career in acting based on the strength of his six-foot-six height and classical movie star look. There, he met director Cecil B. DeMille, who cast him in a relatively small role in his film The Ten Commandments. The attention that movie received got him cast on the series Cheyenne as the lead character Cheyenne Bodie, a cowboy who wandered the untamed west, dispensing justice. The series proved popular, running for seven seasons as one of the first successful hour-long television dramas.

Following the success of Cheyenne, Walker pivoted to work in many movies, the best-remembered perhaps being the landmark war film The Dirty Dozen, which was released in 1967.

In addition to acting, Walker also worked as a singer and recording artist, putting his vocal talents to use on TV shows and movies and a 1959 Christmas album.

Walker is survived by his third wife and a daughter from his first marriage. 

Sridevi Kapoor

Actress and producer Sridevi Kapoor — also known mononymously as simply Sridevi — died on February 24 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from an accidental drowning, according to BBC News. She was 54 years old.

The prolific actress gained fame and great success in her native India as a Bollywood performer, where she was commonly regarded as the male-dominated industry's first female superstar. She began acting at the age of four, and — apart from one years-long hiatus — continued to perform until her death, appearing in hundreds of films over the course of her career.

Sridevi proved herself to be an expert performer in many genres and even languages, acting in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, and Malayalam productions. Her career, spanning five decades, developed along with the contemporary cinema of India in general, with her talents proving her capable of succeeding in earlier, more conservative fare and more recent, culturally progressive works. She took a break from performing for several years in 1997, slowing down her output considerably, but her 2012 Bollywood comeback movie English Vinglish proved to be just as successful as her earlier work. 

Sridevi's awards include a National Film Award for best actress for her 2018 movie Mom, as well as the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian honor. Her final film, Zero, will be released in December 2018. She is survived by her husband and two daughters.

Vanessa Marquez

Vanessa Marquez, an actress known for her work on the long-running television series ER, died on August 30 at the age of 49 after being shot by police with the South Pasadena police department, according to a report on the incident by TheWrap. Authorities had been called to her residence for a welfare check, and the encounter ended in her death.

Born on December 21, 1968 in Los Angeles, Marquez made her debut as part of the cast of the 1988 film Stand and Deliver, playing the student Ana Delgado. The success of the movie led to more opportunities in film and television, including roles in Seinfeld, Wiseguy, and Tequila and Bonetti. She also appeared in the gangster drama Blood In, Blood Out and the independent film Twenty Bucks, which follows the journey of a single $20 bill as it circulates through an unnamed American city. 

Marquez was featured on the NBC series during its first three seasons from 1994 to 1997, playing nurse Wendy Goldman. She ultimately appeared in 27 episodes of the medical drama.

In addition to roles on Melrose Place and Malcolm & Eddie, Marquez also made an appearance in the first season of the A&E series Intervention, which presented her as an actress driven to the brink of bankruptcy by a compulsive shopping addiction. Her most recent film credit is for the 2013 movie Shift.

Susan Brown

Susan Brown, most recognizable for her long-running role on the daytime drama General Hospital, died on August 31 in Los Angeles at the age of 86. The news was confirmed on Twitter by Frank Valentini, the series' executive producer. Prior to her death, Brown struggled with Alzheimer's disease, according to a report by Deadline.

Born on May 4, 1932 in San Francisco, Brown began to break into television in her early twenties, making small appearances in series such as Alfred Hitchcock PresentsAs the World Turns, and Have Gun — Will Travel. She recorded her first substantial regular role on a series in 1964, appearing in 130 episodes of The Young Marrieds over the course of two years. 

In 1977, she made her first appearance on General Hospital, on which she portrayed the character of Dr. Gail Baldwin. While she departed the series in 1985, she returned within five years for occasional appearances, becoming a recurring character again in 1992. She also played the character on the spinoff series Port Charles, which ran from 1997 to 2000. 

For her work on General Hospital, Brown earned a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 1979.

Brown also made appearances on the series Murder, She WroteFrasier, and Beverly Hills, 90210, and played two First Ladies of the United States in TV movie performances as Pat Nixon and Nancy Reagan. Beyond acting, she also owned and operated an interior design firm which catered to her peers in Hollywood.

Carole Shelley

Carole Shelley, a Tony Award-winning star most recognizable as one of The Odd Couple's exuberant Pigeon sisters, died on August 31 in Manhattan at the age of 79, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The cause of death was cancer.

Born in London on August 16, 1939,  Shelley was a versatile talent who worked in many realms of entertainment, from musical theater to live-action films and animation voiceover. She played her most memorable role in her 1965 Broadway debut, portraying the character Gwendolyn Pigeon in the Neil Simon play The Odd Couple. Along with Monica Evans as sister Cecily Pigeon, she reprised the role in a 1968 movie adaptation, as well as a 1970 television series based on the play.

Pivoting off their notoriety as the Pigeon sisters, Shelley and Evans performed voiceover work for the animated films The Aristocats and Robin Hood. On her own, she voiced the character of Lachesis in Disney's Hercules.

Shelley earned four Tony Award nominations over her career, winning the award for Best Actress in a Play for her work in 1979's The Elephant Man. In 1998, by which point she was already a practiced veteran of the stage, she entered the world of musical theater.

All throughout her career, Shelley also worked in film and television, appearing in movies like The Boston Strangler and Jungle 2 Jungle and on TV shows such as All My ChildrenThe Cosby ShowFrasier, and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Her last Broadway performance was in 2013.

Simon Shelton Barnes

Simon Shelton Barnes, an English actor most known for his performance as Tinky Winky in the children's show Teletubbies, died on January 17 at the age of 52, according to BBC report. It was later reported by Metro that the cause of death was due to hypothermia.

Trained as a ballet dancer and choreographer, Barnes took on the Teletubbies role in 1998, taking over the part after the departure of original actor Dave Thompson. He continued to perform as the character until 2001.

With acting not being his first professional priority, Barnes expressed hesitation about taking the Teletubbies job, according to the UK's Independent. That hesitation faded once he recognized the show's success, with his performance being broadcast in more than 120 countries. "I thought it was a bit of a risky move," he said. "But it certainly paid off." 

Prior to his work on Teletubbies, Barnes also appeared on the children's game show Incredible Games, as well as the films Prisoner of HonorAnna, and Swing Kids.

As a dance instructor, Barnes' choreography work was featured in commercials, TV shows, movies and live musicals, and he also worked as a movement coach for performers such as Kylie Minogue, Diana Ross, and Elton John.

Barnes is survived by three children from an ex-wife, as well as his niece, the actress Emily Atack. In a memorial post on Instagram, Atack remembered her uncle fondly, calling him "the kindest and most talented man you could ever wish to meet."

Bradford Dillman

Bradford Dillman, an actor praised for his work in the films A Certain Smile, Compulsion, and In Love and War, died on January 16 in Santa Barbara at the age of 87, according to Variety. His death came as a result of complications from pneumonia.

Born in San Francisco on April 14, 1930, Dillman studied English at Yale and served in the US Marines before pivoting to acting, which he pursued for almost 50 years. His career began on stage, with his first notable role being in the 1956 Broadway production of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night. The award-winning performance brought him to the attention of 20th Century Fox, which cast him in the 1958 film A Certain Smile. That performance earned him a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer.

Dillman's most celebrated movie role was his turn in the 1959 film Compulsion, which earned him an acting award from the Cannes Film Festival. He shared the honor with co-stars Orson Welles and Dean Stockwell. 

Dillman's other notable film credits include The Way We Were, The Iceman Cometh, The Lincoln Conspiracy, and Piranha. He also appeared on the television shows The Man from U.N.C.L.E.Murder, She Wrote, and Mission: Impossible, among others.

Dillman is survived by five children, including the actress Pamela Dillman, as well as a stepdaughter. He became an author in his later years, writing the football history Inside the New York Giants and the memoir Are You Somebody?: An Actor's Life.

Doreen Tracey

Doreen Tracey, known for being one of the first Mouseketeers of Disney's Mickey Mouse Club, died on January 10 at the age of 74 in Thousand Oaks, California. According to Variety, her death came following a two-year struggle against cancer. 

The child of two American vaudevillians, Tracey was born on April 3, 1943 in London, and earned her spot in the original Mickey Mouse Club lineup when she was 12 years old. In addition to appearing on their own variety show, the group also toured worldwide, with its members also making appearances in other Disney productions. Tracey's work with Disney included the 1956 live-action film Westward Ho the Wagons! and the television show Annette.

Throughout her life, Tracey remained readily identifiable with her history as a Mouseketeer, appearing in reunion specials, retrospectives, and at various live reunion shows with other former members of the cast. More recently, she was a part of the series' 60th anniversary celebration in 2015.

After working as a live touring performer visiting American military bases abroad, Tracey began working in the entertainment industry in a behind-the-scenes capacity. As a promoter with Warner Bros. Records, she worked as a publicist for the musicians Frank Zappa, the Doobie Brothers, and Tower of Power.

Tracey is survived by her son and two grandchildren.

Christopher Kennedy Lawford

Christopher Kennedy Lawford, an actor, writer, and political scion who shared his personal life story as an addiction recovery advocate, died in Vancouver on September 4 of a heart attack, according to an announcement from his cousin, former U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy. He was 63.

Born March 29, 1955, Lawford was brought up with wealth and privilege as the son of Peter Lawford, a popular film actor, and Patricia Kennedy Lawford, a sister of President John F. Kennedy. Despite those advantages, Lawford struggled with addiction from a young age, using opiates and other drugs regularly as he worked to earn a law degree through the early '80s. 

After graduating college and becoming sober, Lawford took after his father and embarked on an acting career, with credits including the soap operas General Hospital and All My ChildrenFrasier, and Tales from the Crypt. His film work included The DoorsThirteen Days, and The World's Fastest Indian, among others. 

Lawford drew upon his experiences as an addict to lecture widely about the nature of addiction and rehabilitation, writing several books and memoirs about the topic. He also worked for a time as an ambassador of recovery for the office of National Drug Control Policy.

He is survived by his wife, three children, and three sisters.

Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds, a movie star known for his displays of genial charm and inimitable charisma over the course of a storied 50-year career, died on September 6 at the age of 82, according to Us Weekly.

Born on February 11, 1936, Reynolds began his career on Broadway and in television, first rising to prominence as a cast member of the western series Riverboat, Gunsmoke, and Navajo Joe. He would go on to leave his mark on American cinema through his appearances in a number of successful films, including Deliverance, The Longest Yard, Smokey and the Bandit, and Boogie Nights. His outsized persona and sex symbol status made him a fixture of pop culture in the 1970s and 80s, and he enjoyed wild success between 1978 and 1982 as the industry's top-grossing movie star

Despite his natural talents as a box office draw, Reynolds spent much of his career seeking validation as an actor, rarely earning much critical respect for his performances. He wrote in a 2015 memoir that he didn't start challenging himself as a performer until he was older, being more interested in leading an exciting life than cultivating an award-winning body of work. 

For his work in Boogie Nights, he was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor, losing the Oscar but winning a Golden Globe. He also won two Golden Globes and an Emmy for his work on the comedy series Evening Shade.

He is survived by his son.

Bill Daily

Bill Daily, an actor best known for his work on the American sitcoms I Dream of Jeannie, The Bob Newhart Show, and ALF, died on September 4 in Santa Fe, New Mexico of natural causes, according to a statement his son made to Variety. He was 91.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa on August 30, 1927, Daily took an unorthodox route through the entertainment industry on his way to sitcom stardom. He began his professional life as a jazz musician, and later worked as a stand-up act and comedy writer for a number of variety shows. The sketches he wrote occasionally led to opportunities to perform, which became more substantial as his reputation as a writer grew. 

He made his sitcom debut on Bewitched in 1964, after which he became a regular on I Dream of Jeannie, playing Roger Healey. Daily appeared in over 130 episodes of the sitcom, and went on to appear in even more episodes of The Bob Newhart Show, playing Howard Borden. In between his regular gigs, he made appearances on series such as The Love Boat, CHiPs, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Daily was a fan of stage magic, occasionally hosting magic shows on television, and was also a frequent guest on game shows as a celebrity contestant, including Match Game and Hollywood Squares. He is survived by his son.

Peter Benson

Peter Benson, an English actor of the stage and screen best known for his lengthy tenure on the series Heartbeat, died on September 6 following a short illness, his agent confirmed to The Independent. He was 75.

Born on June 13, 1943, Benson was a singer and a dancer in addition to being an actor, and a consistent presence in movies, television shows, and on the stage for more than 40 years. He was most identifiable as the character Bernie Scripps on the popular police series Heartbeat, on which he appeared in more than 200 episodes over the course of 18 seasons.

Benson's other television work included appearances on Doctor Who, Blackadder, Jeeves and Wooster, and A Touch of Frost. He also put his theatrical experience to use on a television adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry VI, playing the title role in a BBC adaptation of the play in 1983.

His final role was in the series Casualty, on which he appeared in 2013.

Derrick O'Connor

Derrick O'Connor, a Irish character actor who performed in TV, movies, and on the stage over a long and successful career, died on June 29 of pneumonia, according to The New York Times. He was 77.

Born in Dublin, Ireland on January 3, 1941, O'Connor was a versatile performer, with credits ranging from independent films to Hollywood blockbusters. In his early years, he performed theater with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Scottish National Theater, and also made appearances in British stage productions and on television shows produced in the United Kingdom. He appeared in multiple films from director Terry Gilliam, with roles in Jabberwocky, Time Bandits, and Brazil

O'Connor also appeared in American productions, the most prominent of which as a villain in the action movie Lethal Weapon 2. Other American film productions he worked on include End of Days, Deep Rising, Daredevil, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

O'Connor's American television work includes Alias, Monk, Carnivale, and Murder, She Wrote.

On stage, O'Connor also worked as a director and producer, staging plays in San Francisco, where he lived for a time with his family. He is survived by his wife and a son.

Gloria Jean

Gloria Jean, a performer who came to fame at a young age as a singer and actress, died on August 31 of heart failure and pneumonia in Mountain View, Hawaii, according to The New York Times. She was 92.

Born Gloria Jean Schoonover on April 14, 1926, Jean started her entertainment career at a young age, with her voice being broadcast on local radio around her home of Scranton, Pennsylvania. She was discovered by Hollywood at the age of 13 following a successful audition for the musical The Under-Pup.  

After signing a contract with Universal, Jean spent the 1940s making regular appearances in movie musicals, with credits including If I Had My Way, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, and Copacabana

Jean's film career largely came to an end with the turn of the decade, after which she found work on scripted TV and in variety shows. Her last credited role was in the 1962 TV series Saints and Sinners.

After retiring from the entertainment industry, Jean worked as a hostess and a receptionist. She reportedly had no qualms about returning to a more regular life after a decade of movie stardom, according to her biographer. She is survived by four grandchildren.

Leslie Grantham

Leslie Grantham, an actor notorious for his role as Dirty Den Watts on the British soap opera EastEnders, died on June 15 at the age of 71, the Associated Press reported. The news was disclosed by his management company, and did not include a cause of death.

Grantham was born on April 30, 1947, in Camberwell, England, and enlisted in the British Army when he was 16 years old. While posted in West Germany at the age of 20, he attempted to rob a taxi driver named Felix Reese, killing him in the process. Grantham was subsequently convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, but saw release in 1977 after only 10 years. 

Following his release from prison, Grantham began to develop an acting career, making small appearances on British television by the end of the 1970s. He won his signature role as the pub landlord Den Watts on EastEnders in 1985, and went on to appear in over 300 episodes of the show.

EastEnders, which follows a cast of characters in a fictional working-class London neighborhood, was a national sensation at the time of its debut. Grantham's scoundrel of a character was a fan favorite, giving him widespread notoriety. He left the show in 1989, but returned for two more years with the series in 2003. Beyond EastEnders, he also hosted the game show Fort Boyard and authored the children's book Jack Bates and the Wizard's Spell in 2016.

Grantham is survived by three children. 

Allyn Ann McLerie

Allyn Ann McLerie, an actress, singer, and dancer who left her mark on both Hollywood and Broadway, died of Alzheimer's disease in North Bend, Washington on May 21, according to The New York Times. She was 91.

Born on December 1, 1921 in Grand-Mère, Quebec, McLerie was gifted with many artistic talents, and could be seen performing on Broadway by the age of 16. One of her breakthrough roles was in the popular stage show Where's Charley?, which was adapted for a film musical in 1952 which she also starred in. Other films from her early career include Calamity Jane and They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

McLerie continued to perform on Broadway as her film career developed, but her professional ambitions soon shifted fully towards the screen. She made her last Broadway appearance in 1963.

In the 1970s, McLerie moved from New York City to Los Angeles and began working in television, making appearances on shows such as Bonanza, Cannon, and The Waltons. She was best known on TV for her work on WKRP in Cincinnati, The Tony Randall Show, and The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd.

McLerie married the actor George Gaynes in 1953, remaining married until his death in 2016. She is survived by a daughter, a granddaughter, and two great-granddaughters.

Peter Donat

Peter Donat, a Canadian-American actor best known for his appearances in The X-Files and The Godfather Part II, died on September 10 of complications from diabetes, according to The New York Times. He died at his home in Point Reyes Station, California, at the age of 90.

Donat, a nephew of the British actor Robert Donat, was born on January 20, 1928 in Kentville, Nova Scotia, Canada. Following his education at the Yale School of Drama, he went on to a career in movies, TV shows, and stage plays that spanned 50 years. 

On TV, he played the recurring character of William Mulder, the father of David Duchovny's Agent Fox Mulder, on The X-Files, appearing in several episodes of the series in the late '90s. Outside of that show, Donat had a regular role on the NBC series Flamingo Road. He also made appearances on Murder, She Wrote, The Outer Limits, Hill Street Blues, Charlie's Angels, and Dallas.

Donat was equally prolific when it came to his appearances in movies. Aside from his role in The Godfather Part II, Donat's movie appearances include The Game, The War of the Roses, The China Syndrome, and Skin Deep. He also worked with director Francis Ford Coppola a second time in 1988's Tucker: The Man and His Dream.

Donat's last role was in the TV movie Murder, She Wrote: The Celtic Riddle in 2003. He is survived by his wife, three sons, three stepchildren, 11 grandchildren, and his brother, actor Richard Donat. 

Al Matthews

Al Matthews made a home for himself in sunny Spain when he semi-retired from acting, living out his days on the beautiful Mediterranean coast. Best known for portraying Sgt. Apone in James Cameron's Aliens, Matthews was found dead in his Alicante home on September 23. According to the El Pais newspaper (via The Independent), emergency services were tipped off by a concerned neighbor but sadly were unable to revive him. He was 75.

Matthews was born in Brooklyn in 1942, months after America entered World War II. He joined the Marines as a young man and went on to become a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War. According to his official website, he was "the first black Marine in the 1st Marine Division in Vietnam to be meritoriously promoted to the rank of sergeant." His famous rant in Aliens was so convincing because he really did love the Corps

Matthews agreed to reprise the role of Apone in 2013, lending his distinctive tones to the character for the "disappointingly mundane" first-person shooter Aliens: Colonial Marines. It's the role he'll forever be remembered for, but Matthews was more than just a cigar-chewing military type. His resume includes everything from superhero movies (Superman III) and sci-fi (The Fifth Element) to horrors (Omen III: The Final Conflict) and spy thrillers (Tomorrow Never Dies). He was also known for his voice in the UK, where he had a minor hit with the 1975 song "Fool."

Scott Wilson

October is a month that has been associated with The Walking Dead for many (too many, some argue) years now, but in 2018 it brought unwelcome news for fans of the show. Just one day before the ninth season premiered on October 7, Scott Wilson, known for playing infallible farmer Hershel Greene between 2011 and 2014, passed away after a battle with cancer. He was 76.

Hershel's farm was an important setting for the show in its prime. Wilson (whose last film was 2017's Hostiles) was a lead cast member in seasons three and four, and he became a popular figure among the cast and crew in that time. His passing was announced on The Walking Dead's official Twitter account, which said that the production had been left "deeply saddened" by the news. "Our thoughts are with his family and friends," the tweet continued. "Rest in paradise, Scott. We love you!" Lauren Cohan (who plays Hershel's daughter Maggie on the show) joined in the tributes with a touching photo, while Khary Payton (Ezekiel) said that they had lost one of the family.

In an official statement, AMC said that Hershel was always at "the emotional core" of The Walking Dead and that he continues to "inform our characters' choices to this day," long after his death. In fact, he's due to appear in the first half of season nine in some kind of flashback sequence, so fans will get to see Hershel one last time.

Paul John Vasquez

Paul John Vasquez was never a big name in Hollywood, but he never let that stop him from living the movie star lifestyle whenever he got the chance. "I work hard and I play hard," the character actor admitted in his Twitter bio, which sadly will never be updated again. In September 2018, Vasquez was found dead at this father's home in California. He was 48 years old.

"This news has come as a surprise to us," a representative for the late actor said (via NME). "Our hearts are heavy. He was a kind, creative and loving man. He will be missed." There's been no official word on the cause of death, but sources close to Vasquez have told TMZ that they believe he suffered cardiac arrest. "Vasquez died Monday night from an apparent heart attack at his father's home in San Jose," the report states. "We're told his dad found him unconscious and paramedics were called but they were unable to revive him."

His biggest career credit was probably Sons of Anarchy (he appeared in two episodes as Angel Ganz in 2011), but Vasquez actually popped up in many more much-loved TV shows over the years. He landed one-off roles in 21 Jump Street and Freddy's Nightmares after he started out in the late '80s, and he later found work on police procedurals, appearing in NYPD Blue once and CSI: NY on two separate occasions. He also played a sex addict in a 2009 episode of How I Met Your Mother.

James "Jimmy" Karen

If you're from northeastern America you'll probably recognize the late James Karen's face, even if you never knew his name until now. The character actor will be forever remembered as "The Pathmark Man" in this part of the world because of an advertising campaign for Pathmark supermarkets that lasted almost two decades. "I go to New York every two weeks and run off 20 30-second commercials at a time," he explained in 1984 (via The New York Times). "This is the best job an actor can have. It pays very well, and it's steady."

Karen actually lived in Los Angeles, miles away from the nearest Pathmark store. It was at his home in L.A. that he passed away after respiratory difficulties brought on cardiac arrest. He was 94 years old.

The reason Karen chose to live in California despite his regular work being on the other side of the country was his love of film. He had his steady commercials gig, but the Pennsylvania-native also popped up in hundreds of Hollywood movies over the years (perhaps most famously as real estate agent Mr. Teague in 1982's Poltergeist) and made plenty of famous friends along the way. Good buddy George Clooney revealed that Karen once tricked him into writing his obituary prematurely. 

"He just wanted to know what everybody thought about him while he was still around," Clooney said when he accepted the American Film Institute's lifetime achievement award in 2018. "He got a bunch of people to do it."

Diana Sowle

If Johnny Depp is your Willy Wonka then you might not know who Diana Sowle is, but those who grew up with the Gene Wilder-led adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will remember her as Mrs. Bucket, Charlie's cabbage soup-loving mother. After Wilder (who had sadly been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease) passed away in 2016, Sowle was one of the last remaining adult cast members from 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The retired actress passed away two years later surrounded by loved ones. She was 88 years old.

"She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend, and will be dearly missed," a representative for the family said in a statement (via BBC), confirming that Sowle died "with family by her side." Wilder was undoubtedly the star of the show (they even changed the title to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as if to highlight that fact), but Sowle chipped in with a solid debut performance — her song "Cheer Up, Charlie" is often overlooked because the original soundtrack is packed with so many undeniable classics.

Sowle seemed to vanish after she played Mrs. Bucket, but she made a surprise return to Hollywood in the mid-'90s, playing a hairdresser in Guarding Tess and a cartel maid in Clear and Present Danger, both released in 1994. Her fourth and final acting credit came a decade before her death when she provided several voices for 2008's Fallout 3, including Old Lady Palmer and Agatha.

Yvonne Suhor

She's best-known for her time on ABC western The Young Riders, but Yvonne Suhor's biggest contribution to acting was made away from the cameras. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she founded her own studio in Winter Park, Florida in 1997 and was teaching her craft there right up until her death in September 2018. Her husband confirmed that she had pancreatic cancer. She was 56.

The Young Riders ran from 1989 to 1992 and also featured an up-and-coming Josh Brolin, who played a young version of the notorious Wild Bill Hickok. The show is set around the time of the Pony Express, which Suhor's character Lou (real name Louise) manages to join by pretending to be a man. "I was in so many layers of clothes to disguise my (hardly) feminine physique," Suhor said during a fan Q&A, recounting a particularly awkward scene she shared with Brolin. "We used the word 'dancing' as a metaphor for sex. The lines were so hokey and embarrassing."

Suhor admitted that there was a "locker room mentality" on the predominantly male set, but she loved being there. "It was a very special feeling to exist back in those days," she said. "I would love to reunite." Sadly, any chance of a Young Riders reunion died when Suhor did. She was dedicated to her students in her final years but still took on the odd gig herself. Her final appearance was in an episode of Lodge 49, which aired a few weeks after her passing.

Marin Mazzie

She guest-starred as Kevin Nealon's wife in CBS sitcom Still Standing between 2003 and 2006, but the late Marin Mazzie was undoubtedly best-known for her work on Broadway. The Illinois native starred in memorable productions of RagtimeKiss Me, Kate and Passion, which became the shortest-running Best Musical winner in the history of the Tony Awards when it triumphed in 1995. Mazzie herself was nominated for a Tony on three separate occasions throughout a career that was tragically cut short by disease.

According to Variety, Mazzie was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer in May 2015. She continued to work now and again (her final onscreen appearance came as recently as 2017, when she popped up in a TV movie named Tenure), but Mazzie dedicated much of the three years that followed to raising awareness of the disease. She passed away in September 2018, her publicist confirmed. She was 57 years old.

Mazzie was in the middle of a run on the musical Zorba! when she found out she had cancer, though the last thing she wanted to do after her devastating diagnosis was quit. "I went to the show that night," she said (via NPR). "I went from Memorial Sloan Kettering, and I walked to City Center. And I went to my dressing room and put on my makeup and put on my wig and walked out on stage. And I start the show, and I sang. I said, 'Listen to me,' and I sing."

Emma Chambers

Emma Chambers, the British actress known for the romantic comedy Notting Hill, died Feb. 21. She was 53. According to the BBC, she died of natural causes.

Chambers was a stage actress before she landed her first television role in a 1988 adaptation of the D.H. Lawrence novel The Rainbow. But her breakthrough came in 1994 when she starred as Charity Pecksniff in the BBC miniseries based on Charles Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit and she also began playing village church verger Alice Tinker on the popular BBC comedy The Vicar of Dibley. She appeared in all 20 episodes of the show through 2007. American audiences probably remember her best as Honey, the eccentric younger sister of Hugh Grant's character in 1999's Notting Hill

Chambers also played Helen Yardley on the TV series How Do You Want Me? from 1998 to 1999 and Martha Thompson in the 2000 remake of Take a Girl Like You. A talented voice actor, she contributed to the animated 1995 adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, the animated '90s series Pond Life and two episodes of Little Robots in 2003.

Jackson Odell

Jackson Odell, an actor, musician, and songwriter, was found dead in his home on June 8, according to a report by TMZ. He was 20 years old. 

Born in 1997, Odell began his acting career at the age of 11, making his debut in a small role on the ABC series Private Practice. He landed his first major part in the 2011 feature Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer, going on to make appearances on the TV series iCarlyModern Family, and Arrested Development. 

As an actor, Odell is most known to audiences for his work on The Goldbergs, where he played recurring character Ari Caldwell. In recent years, Odell's work had pivoted toward a role as a singer-songwriter in the country music genre, with several of his compositions appearing on the soundtracks to the 2016 movie Great Plains and the 2018 release Forever My Girl.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Odell was found unresponsive in a sober living facility in Tarzana, CA. TMZ noted in its reporting that the performer had a history of heroin abuse, but that no drugs or paraphernalia were found at the site of his death. It was later revealed that the cause of death was an accidental overdose of heroin and cocaine.

Stan Lee

We were beginning to think that Marvel mastermind Stan Lee would live forever, but in November 2018, his own epic arc came to an end when he passed away in Los Angeles. He was 95. "Stan was an icon in his field," Lee's family said in a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter). "He loved his fans and treated them with the same respect and love they gave him."

Born in 1922, Lee's first gig was as a gofer at Timely Publications. Comic books were far from mainstream at the time, but the success of Superman over at Timely's biggest rival, DC Comics, gave owner Martin Goodman hope. He tasked a then 17-year-old Lee with writing a story for Captain America #3, and within the span of two years the youngster had become editor-in-chief at Timely, later known as Atlas Comics before being rebranded as Marvel in the 1960s. From his cluttered office in Manhattan, Lee helped create numerous classic comic book characters and superhero teams, from Spider-Man and Black Panther to the Fantastic Four and, of course, the Avengers.

Lee famously made short-but-sweet cameo appearances in Marvel movies, with his personal favorite being the time Thor got him blind drunk in Avengers: Age of Ultron. According to ScreenRant, the late legend filmed his bits for the upcoming Captain Marvel and Avengers 4 before his passing, which the man himself had been philosophical about in his later years. "Keep moving forward, and if it's time to go, it's time," he told Playboy in 2014. "Nothing lasts forever."

Ricky Jay

In life, Ricky Jay was both a charismatic performer and a private person. When the veteran magician and actor passed away in November 2018, nobody could accurately report on his exact age, though he's said to have been born in Brooklyn sometime in 1948. This world-renowned master of sleight of hand was only seven years old when he made his first appearance on TV, performing tricks that baffled adults. By the time he was an adult himself, Jay was lethal with a deck of cards, quite literally — he reportedly set a new world record after throwing a playing card 190 feet at a staggering 90mph.

Fellow showman Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller fame) took to social media to express his appreciation, calling Jay a "genius" in a tweet. "One of the best who ever lived," Jillette said. "We'll all miss you, Ricky. Oh man." Actor Neil Patrick Harris also paid tribute to Jay's "knowledge and appreciation of the allied arts," calling his death a "profound loss."

Jay had friends in Hollywood due to his work in movies like the Paul Thomas Anderson classic Boogie Nights and Pierce Brosnan-led Bond adventure Tomorrow Never Dies, in which he played American terrorist Henry Gupta. "In high school, my fantasies were to write for the New Yorker and to be in a James Bond movie," he once told The Believer. "It's much more surprising to me that those two things have happened than the success with my one-man shows in New York."

Penny Marshall

It's difficult to overstate just how much the Hollywood owes to Penny Marshall, who died on December 17 at the age of 75 due to complications with diabetes. Her status as a legend would've been cemented if she'd only been known for being one half of the popular TV duo Laverne & Shirley. But that was only the beginning, as her impact on television and film went much, much further.

She became a true trailblazer for women in show business when she directed the Tom Hanks star-making vehicle Big, which was the first female-directed film to gross more than $100 million. And a few years later, she directed A League of Their Own, which the Library of Congress selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2012 for its cultural significance. While many fans may only know her as Laverne from Wisconsin, Marshall's impact on American film and television is undeniably tremendous.