Fats Domino. Don Rickles. Mary Tyler Moore. Edith Windsor. Ara Parseghian. Here are some of the people who died this year.
Rock ‘n’ roll founding fathers Chuck Berry and Fats Domino, rockers Tom Petty and Greg Allman, grunge icon Chris Cornell and country superstar Glen Campbell were among the notable figures who died in 2017.
Comedians Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles and Dick Gregory left their own indelible mark with their iconic routines.
And the story of the 1960s could not be told without Hugh Hefner and Charles Manson, who were synonymous with the decade in vastly different ways.
Hefner founded Playboy magazine and was credited with helping rev up the sexual revolution in the 1960s. The decade ended with Manson becoming the face of evil across America by orchestrating seven murders that marked the end of the era of peace and love.
Most Read Nation & World Stories
- Court: Sotomayor shoulder injury worse than first thought
- Student says Confederate flag theft sparked protests
- Miss America 2005 marries same-sex partner in Alabama
- Paul Allen's team finds wreck of storied USS Helena, torpedoed in 1943 VIEW
- UPDATE: Throw out romaine lettuce from SW Arizona, CDC warns as E. coli spreads
Entertainers who died in 2017 also included iconic TV actress Mary Tyler Moore, actor Roger Moore of James Bond fame and “Batman” actor Adam West.
Prominent figures from the sporting world who died included Cortez Kennedy, the dominating Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle from the 1990s, former Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian and boxer Jake LaMotta.
Others who passed away this year who changed history: Robert W. Taylor was instrumental in creating the internet and the modern personal computer; Norma McCorvey, whose legal challenge under the pseudonym “Jane Roe” led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision that legalized abortion; Edith Windsor, a gay-rights pioneer whose landmark Supreme Court case struck down parts of a federal anti-gay-marriage law and paved a path toward legalizing same-sex nuptials nationwide.
Here is a roll call of some of the people who died in 2017. (Cause of death cited for younger people, if available.)
Al Sugiyama, 67, activist and first Asian-American member of the Seattle School Board. Jan. 2.
Mario Soares, 92. A former prime minister and president of Portugal who helped steer his country toward democracy after a 1974 military coup and grew into a global statesman through his work with the Socialist International movement. Jan. 7.
Clare Hollingworth, 105. A British war correspondent who was the first to report the Nazi invasion of Poland that marked the beginning of World War II. Jan. 10.
William Peter Blatty, 89. A former Jesuit school valedictorian who conjured a tale of demonic possession and gave millions the fright of their lives with the best-selling novel and Oscar-winning movie “The Exorcist.” Jan. 12.
Dick Gautier, 85. The actor who gained fame playing an Elvis-like singer in the Broadway musical “Bye Bye Birdie” and went on to play Hymie the Robot on TV’s “Get Smart.” Jan. 13.
Zhou Youguang, 111. A linguist considered the father of modern China’s Pinyin Romanization system. Jan. 14.
Gene Cernan, 82. A former astronaut who was the last person to walk on the moon. Jan. 16.
Masaya Nakamura, 91. The “Father of Pac-Man” who founded the Japanese video-game company behind the hit creature-gobbling game. Jan. 22.
Butch Trucks, 69. A drummer who was one of the founding members of the Southern rock legend The Allman Brothers Band. Jan. 24. Suicide.
Mary Tyler Moore, 80. The star of TV’s beloved “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” whose comic realism helped revolutionize the depiction of women on the small screen. Jan. 25.
Mike Connors, 91. He starred as a hard-hitting private eye on the long-running television series “Mannix.” Jan. 26.
Barbara Hale, 94. A movie actress who found her most famous role on television as steadfast secretary Della Street in the long-running “Perry Mason” series. Jan. 26.
John Hurt, 77. An actor who had a half-century career highlighted with memorable performances, two Oscar nominations, a Golden Globe and four British BAFTA awards. Jan. 27.
Irwin Corey, 102. The wild-haired comedian and actor known for his improvisational riffs and nonsensical style who billed himself as “The World’s Foremost Authority.” Feb. 6.
Peter Mansfield, 83. A physicist who won the Nobel Prize for helping to invent MRI scanners. Feb. 8.
Al Jarreau, 76. A Grammy-winning jazz singer who transcended genres over a 50-year career. Feb. 12.
Norma McCorvey, 69. Her legal challenge under the pseudonym “Jane Roe” led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision that legalized abortion but who later became an outspoken opponent of the procedure. Feb. 18.
Omar Abdel-Rahman, 78. The so-called Blind Sheik convicted of plotting terror attacks in New York City in the decade before 9/11 and spiritual guide to a generation of Islamic militants. Feb. 18. Died in federal prison.
Alan Colmes, 66. The radio and television host and commentator best known as the amiable liberal foil to the hard-right Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel. Feb. 23.
Bill Paxton, 61. A prolific and charismatic actor who had memorable roles in such blockbusters as “Apollo 13” and “Titanic” while also cherishing his work in “One False Move” and other low-budget movies and in the HBO series “Big Love.” Feb. 25. Complications due to surgery.
Joseph Wapner, 97. The retired Los Angeles judge who presided over “The People’s Court” with steady force during the heyday of the reality courtroom show. Feb. 26.
Rene Preval, 74. A low-key technocrat who led Haiti as president during the devastating January 2010 earthquake and a messy and prolonged recovery. March 3.
Robert Osborne, 84. The genial face of Turner Classic Movies and a walking encyclopedia of classic Hollywood. March 6.
Helen Sommers, 84. Former state representative from Seattle. March 7.
Joni Sledge, 60. With her sisters, she recorded the enduring dance anthem “We Are Family.” March 10.
Royal Robbins, 82. A rock-climbing icon who founded the outdoor clothing company bearing his name. March 14.
Chuck Berry, 90. He was rock ’n’ roll’s founding guitar hero and storyteller who defined the music’s joy and rebellion in such classics as “Johnny B. Goode,” “Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Roll Over Beethoven.” March 18.
David Rockefeller, 101. The billionaire businessman and philanthropist who was the last in his generation of one of the country’s most famously philanthropic families. March 20.
Martin McGuinness, 66. The Irish Republican Army commander who led his underground paramilitary movement toward reconciliation with Britain. March 21.
Chuck Barris, 87. His game-show empire included “The Dating Game,” “The Newlywed Game” and that infamous factory of cheese, “The Gong Show.” March 21.
Gilbert Baker, 65. The creator of the rainbow flag that has become a widely recognized symbol of gay rights. March 31.
Yevgeny A. Yevtushenko, 84. An acclaimed Russian poet whose work focused on war atrocities and denounced anti-Semitism and tyrannical dictators. April 1.
Lonnie Brooks, 83. A Chicago blues musician whose relationship with his adopted hometown was cemented by his hit recording of Robert Johnson’s “Sweet Home Chicago.” April 1.
Paul O’Neill, 61. He founded the progressive metal band Trans-Siberian Orchestra that was known for its spectacular holiday concerts filled with theatrics, lasers and pyrotechnics. April 5.
Don Rickles, 90. The big-mouthed, baldheaded comedian whose verbal assaults endeared him to audiences and peers and made him the acknowledged grandmaster of insult comedy. April 6.
J. Geils, 71. He was founder of The J. Geils Band known for such peppy early ’80s pop hits as “Love Stinks,” “Freeze Frame” and “Centerfold.” April 11.
Dan Rooney, 84. The powerful and popular Pittsburgh Steelers chairman whose name is attached to the NFL’s landmark initiative in minority hiring. April 13.
Robert W. Taylor, 85. He was instrumental in creating the internet and the modern personal computer. April 13.
Robert M. Pirsig, 88. His philosophical novel “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” became a million-selling classic and cultural touchstone after more than 100 publishers turned it down. April 24.
Jonathan Demme, 73. The eclectic, ever-enthusiastic filmmaker behind the Oscar winners “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia,” and the director of one of the most seminal concert films ever made, the Talking Heads’ “Stop Making Sense.” April 26.
Gov. Mike Lowry, 78. Former Washington state governor and Democratic congressman. May 1.
Powers Boothe, 68. The character actor known for his villain roles in TV’s “Deadwood,” and in the movies “Tombstone,” “Sin City” and “The Avengers.” May 14.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, 89. President Jimmy Carter’s national-security adviser, who advocated a hard line toward the Soviet Union and helped develop the unsuccessful military mission in 1980 to rescue American hostages held in Iran. May 26.
Chris Cornell, 52. A rocker who gained fame as the lead singer of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave and was one of the leading voices of the 1990s grunge movement. May 17. Suspected suicide.
Roger Ailes, 77. He transformed TV news by creating Fox News Channel, only to be ousted at the height of his reign for alleged sexual harassment. May 18.
Stanislav Petrov, 77. A former Soviet military officer known in the West as “the man who saved the world” for his role in averting a nuclear war over a false missile warning at the height of the Cold War. May 19.
Dina Merrill, 93. The rebellious heiress who defied her superrich parents to become a movie star, often portraying stylish wives or “the other woman.” May 22.
Roger Moore, 89. The suavely insouciant star of seven James Bond films. May 23.
Cortez Kennedy, 48. The Hall of Fame defensive tackle was a dominating force for the Seattle Seahawks in the 1990s. May 23.
Jim Bunning, 85. A Hall of Fame pitcher who went on to serve in Congress. May 26.
Gregg Allman, 69. A music legend whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel The Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock. May 27. Cancer.
Manuel Noriega, 83. A former Panamanian dictator and onetime U.S. ally who was ousted as Panama’s dictator by an American invasion in 1989. May 29.
Jim Piersall, 87. A former major-leaguer who bared his soul about his struggles with mental illness in his book “Fear Strikes Out.” June 3.
Roger Smith, 84. He brought glamour to the TV detective genre as a hip private eye on “77 Sunset Strip.” June 4.
Adnan Khashoggi, 81. A Saudi arms dealer who was once one of the world’s richest men and was implicated in the Iran-Contra affair. June 6.
Glenne Headly, 62. An early member of the acclaimed Steppenwolf Theatre Company who went on to star in films and on TV. June 8.
Adam West, 88. His straight-faced portrayal of Batman in a campy 1960s TV series lifted the tight-clad Caped Crusader into the national consciousness. June 9.
Bill Dana, 92. A comedy writer and performer who won stardom in the 1950s and ’60s with his character Jose Jimenez. June 15.
Helmut Kohl, 87. The physically imposing German chancellor whose reunification of a nation divided by the Cold War put Germany at the heart of a united Europe. June 16.
Yuri Drozdov, 91. The Soviet spymaster who oversaw a sprawling network of KGB agents abroad. June 21.
Michael Bond, 91. He was creator of marmalade-loving children’s favorite Paddington bear. June 27.
Joaquin Navarro-Valls, 80. A suave, silver-haired Spaniard who was a close confidant of Pope John Paul II, serving for more than two decades as chief Vatican spokesman. July 5.
Martin Landau, 89. The chameleon-like actor who gained fame as the crafty master of disguise in the 1960s TV show “Mission: Impossible,” then capped a long and versatile career with an Oscar for his poignant portrayal of aging horror movie star Bela Lugosi in 1994’s “Ed Wood.” July 15.
George Romero, 77. His classic “Night of the Living Dead” and other horror films turned zombie movies into social commentaries and he saw his flesh-devouring undead spawn countless imitators, remakes and homages. July 16.
John Heard, 71. An actor whose many roles included the father in the “Home Alone” series and a corrupt detective in “The Sopranos.” July 21.
Barbara Sinatra, 90. The fourth wife of legendary singer Frank Sinatra and a prominent children’s advocate and philanthropist who raised millions of dollars to help abused youngsters. July 25.
June Foray, 99. An actress who gave voice to Rocky the Flying Squirrel and hundreds of other cartoon characters. July 26.
Jeanne Moreau, 89. She was the smoky-voiced femme fatale of the French New Wave who starred in Francois Truffaut’s love triangle film “Jules and Jim” and worked with many other acclaimed directors during a decades-long career. July 31.
Sam Shepard, 73, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Oscar-nominated actor and celebrated author whose plays chronicled the explosive fault lines of family and masculinity in the American West. from complications related to Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. July 31.
Jeffrey Brotman, 74. Co-founder of Issaquah, Washington-based Costco Wholesale Corp., which helped trigger a movement that spread warehouse-style shopping to much of the world. Aug. 1.
Ara Parseghian, 94. He took over a foundering Notre Dame football program and restored it to glory with two national championships in 11 seasons. Aug. 2.
Glen Campbell, 81. The affable superstar singer of “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Wichita Lineman” whose appeal spanned country, pop, television and movies. Aug. 8.
Dick Gregory, 84. The comedian and activist who broke racial barriers in the 1960s and used his humor to spread messages of social justice and nutritional health. Aug. 19.
Jerry Lewis, 91. The manic, rubber-faced showman who rose to fame in a lucrative partnership with Dean Martin, settled down to become a self-conscious screen auteur and found an even greater following as the host of the annual muscular dystrophy telethons. Aug. 20.
Cecil D. Andrus, 85. A former interior secretary who engineered the conservation of millions of acres of Alaska land during the Carter administration. Aug. 24. Complications from lung cancer.
Tobe Hooper, 74. The horror-movie pioneer whose low-budget sensation “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” took a buzz saw to audiences with its brutally frightful vision. Aug. 26.
Rollie Massimino, 82. The college basketball coach led Villanova’s storied run to the 1985 NCAA championship and won more than 800 games in his coaching career. Aug. 30. Cancer.
Shelley Berman, 92. A comedian who won gold records and appeared on top television shows in the 1950s and 1960s delivering wry monologues about the annoyances of everyday life. Sept. 1.
Walter Becker, 67. The guitarist, bassist and co-founder of the 1970s rock group Steely Dan, which sold more than 40 million albums and produced such hit singles as “Reelin’ In the Years,” “Rikki Don’t Lose that Number” and “Deacon Blues.” Sept. 3.
John Ashbery, 90. An enigmatic giant of modern poetry whose energy, daring and boundless command of language raised American verse to brilliant and baffling heights. Sept. 3.
Kate Millett, 82. The activist, artist and educator whose best-selling “Sexual Politics” was a landmark of cultural criticism and a manifesto for the modern feminist movement. Sept. 6.
Troy Gentry, 50. As one half of Montgomery Gentry, he helped the country-music duo become a successful act in the genre, launching countless hits, winning multiple awards and reaching platinum status throughout the 2000s. Sept. 8.
Don Williams, 78. An award-winning country singer with love ballads like “I Believe in You.” Sept. 8.
Peter Hall, 86. A visionary theater director and impresario who founded the Royal Shakespeare Company and helped build Britain’s National Theatre into a producing powerhouse. Sept. 11.
J.P. Donleavy, 91. An incorrigible Irish-American author and playwright whose ribald debut novel “The Ginger Man” met scorn, censorship and eventually celebration as a groundbreaking classic. Sept. 11.
Frank Vincent, 80. A veteran character actor known for playing gangster roles, including in “The Sopranos,” “Goodfellas” and “Casino.” Sept. 13.
Edith Windsor, 88. A gay-rights pioneer whose landmark Supreme Court case struck down parts of a federal anti-gay-marriage law and paved a path toward legalizing same-sex nuptials nationwide. Sept. 12.
Jake LaMotta, 95. An iron-fisted battler who brawled his way to a middleweight title and was later memorialized by Robert De Niro in the film “Raging Bull.” Sept. 19.
Hugh M. Hefner, 91. The Playboy magazine founder who revved up the sexual revolution in the 1960s and built a multimedia empire of clubs, mansions, movies and television. Sept. 27.
Monty Hall, 96. The genial TV game-show host whose long-running “Let’s Make a Deal” traded on love of money and merchandise and the mystery of which door had the car behind it. Sept. 30.
S.I. Newhouse Jr., 89. The low-profile billionaire media mogul who ran the parent company of some of the nation’s most prestigious magazines. Oct. 1.
Arthur Janov, 93. A psychotherapist whose “primal therapy” had celebrities screaming to release their childhood traumas and spawned a best-selling book in the 1970s. Oct. 1.
Tom Petty, 66. An old-fashioned rock superstar and everyman who drew upon the Byrds, the Beatles and other bands he worshipped as a boy and produced new classics such as “Free Fallin,’ ” “Refugee” and “American Girl.” Oct. 2.
Jalal Talabani, 83. The Kurdish guerrilla leader who became Iraq’s president after the U.S. toppled Saddam Hussein and who embodied hopes for a unified, peaceful future. Oct. 3.
Y.A. Tittle, 90. The Hall of Fame quarterback played 17 years in pro football, including a memorable run for the New York Giants at the end of his career. Oct. 8.
Gord Downie, 53. He made himself part of Canada’s national identity with songs about hockey and small towns as lead singer and songwriter of iconic rock band The Tragically Hip. Oct. 17.
Fats Domino, 89. The amiable rock ’n’ roll pioneer whose steady, pounding piano and easy baritone helped change popular music while honoring the traditions of New Orleans. Oct. 24.
Robert Guillaume, 89. He rose from squalid beginnings in St. Louis slums to become a star in stage musicals and win Emmy Awards for his portrayal of the sharp-tongued butler in the TV sitcoms “Soap” and “Benson.” Oct. 24.
Dennis Banks, 80. He helped found the American Indian Movement and engaged in sometimes-violent uprisings against the U.S. government, including the armed occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973. Oct. 29.
Roy Halladay, 40. A two-time Cy Young Award winner who pitched a perfect game and a playoff no-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies. Nov. 7. Plane crash.
John Hillerman, 84. He played stuffed-shirt Higgins to Tom Selleck’s freewheeling detective Thomas Magnum in the 1980s TV series “Magnum, P.I.” Nov. 9.
Liz Smith, 94. A syndicated gossip columnist whose mixture of banter, barbs and bon mots about the glitterati helped her climb the A-list as high as many of the celebrities she covered. Nov. 12.
Charles Manson, 83. The hippie cult leader who became the hypnotic-eyed face of evil across America after orchestrating the gruesome murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles during the summer of 1969. Nov. 19.
Mel Tillis, 85. The affable longtime country-music star who wrote hits for Kenny Rogers, Ricky Skaggs and many others, and overcame a stutter to sing on dozens of his own singles. Nov. 19.
Della Reese, 86. The actress and gospel-influenced singer who in middle age found her greatest fame as Tess, the wise angel in the long-running television drama “Touched by an Angel.” Nov. 19.
David Cassidy, 67. The teen and preteen idol who starred in the 1970s sitcom “The Partridge Family” and sold millions of records as the musical group’s lead singer. Nov. 21.
Dmitri Hvorostovsky, 55. The Russian baritone known for his velvety voice, dashing looks and shock of flowing white hair. Nov. 22.
Jon Hendricks, 96. The pioneering jazz singer and lyricist who with the trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross popularized the “vocalese” singing style in which words were added to instrumental songs. Nov. 22.
Jim Nabors, 87. The Alabama-born comic actor who starred as TV’s dim but good-hearted Southern rube Gomer Pyle and constantly surprised audiences with his twang-free operatic singing voice. Nov. 30.
John Anderson, 95. Former Republican congressman from Illinois who challenged the two-party system by running as an independent candidate in the 1980 presidential election. Dec. 3.
Christine Keeler, 75. The central figure in the sex-and-espionage Profumo scandal that rocked Cold War Britain. Dec. 4.
Johnny Hallyday, 74. France’s biggest rock star for more than half a century and an icon who packed sports stadiums and all but lit up the Eiffel Tower with his pumping pelvis and high-voltage tunes. Dec. 6.
Bruce Brown, 80. He molded the modern image of surfer as seeker and transformed the sport with his 1966 surfing documentary “The Endless Summer.” Dec. 10.
Vera Katz, 84. A Jewish refugee who was elected to three terms as Portland’s mayor and helped transform it from a sleepy backwater into a trendy city known for its public transit, eco-conscious design and live-work architecture style. Dec. 11.
Ed Lee, 65. Seattle-born mayor of San Francisco who presided over a prosperity boom in the city. Dec. 5.
Charles Jenkins, 77. A U.S. Army deserter to North Korea who married a Japanese abductee and lived in Japan after their release. Dec. 11.
Keely Smith, 89, a smoky-voiced singer with a pageboy bob who emerged in the early 1950s as the deadpan half of a Grammy Award-winning lounge act with Louis Prima, the ebullient, frenzied bandleader who became her husband. Dec. 16.
Clifford Irving, 87. His scheme to publish a phony autobiography of billionaire Howard Hughes created a sensation in the 1970s and stands as one of the all-time literary hoaxes. Dec. 19.
Cardinal Bernard Law, 86. The disgraced former archbishop of Boston whose failure to stop child molesters in the priesthood sparked what would become the worst crisis in American Catholicism. Dec. 20.
Dick Enberg, 82. A Hall of Fame broadcaster known as much for his excited calls of “Oh, my!” as the big events he covered during a 60-year career. Dec. 21.
Rose Marie, 94, an actress, singer and comedian best known for portraying the wise-cracking Sally Rogers in the popular 1960s sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Dec. 28.
Sue Grafton, 77, author of the best-selling “alphabet series” of mystery novels, which began in 1982 with “A is for Alibi” and ended with “Y is for Yesterday,” published in August. Dec.28.