More than 100 notable celebrity, other deaths in 2016

Clockwise from top left: Debbie Reynolds and daughter Carrie Fisher, Janet Reno, Alan Rickman, Gwen Ifill, Shimon Peres, Muhmmad Ali, Gene Wilder, Antonin Scalia.
Clockwise from top left: Debbie Reynolds and daughter Carrie Fisher, Janet Reno, Alan Rickman, Gwen Ifill, Shimon Peres, Muhmmad Ali, Gene Wilder, Antonin Scalia.

More than 100 notable entertainers, politicians, and athletes died in 2016. Several of them were connected to others on the list by films, bands, family or romance. For instance, Carrie Fisher and Kenny Baker both starred in the “Star Wars” franchise. We found 11 such ties.

  • George Kennedy appeared in and Michael Cimino directed “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.”
  • Vanity and Prince were a couple for a time in the 1980s.
  • Keith Emerson and Greg Lake were two-thirds of Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
  • Ken Howard and James Noble acted together in the musical “1776.”
  • Actress Ann Guilbert was best known as Millie Helper on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” and one of the show writers was Garry Marshall.
  • David Huddleston and Gene Wilder appeared in “Blazing Saddles.”
  • Huddleston and Jon Polito appeared in “The Big Lebowski.”
  • Abe Vigoda and Ron Glass were both regulars on the sitcom “Barney Miller.”
  • Ronnie Claire Edwards played Corabeth Godsey on television’s “The Waltons,” which was created and narrated by Earl Hamner Jr.
  • Mother-and-daughter actresses Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher died one day apart.
  • Beth Howland, who died Dec. 31, 2015, and Marvin Kaplan appeared as regulars on TV’s “Alice.” Howland’s death wasn’t reported to the media until May 24, at her request.


5: Pierre Boulez, 90, conductor, former principal conductor, New York Philharmonic

6: Pat Harrington Jr., 86, actor, “One Day at a Time”

8: Otis Clay, 73, musician, “The Only Way Is Up,” “Trying To Live My Life Without You”

10: David Bowie, 69, musician/actor, Grammy winner

11: David Margulies, 78, actor, most notably the mayor in “Ghostusters” I and II

14: Alan Rickman, 69, actor, “Die Hard,” “Galaxy Quest,” “Harry Potter” series

15: Dan Haggerty, 74, actor, “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams”

18: Glen Frey, 67, singer/songwriter, co-founder of The Eagles

26: Abe Vigoda, 94, actor, “Barney Miller,” “The Godfather” parts I and II

28: Paul Kantner, 74, singer/songwriter, co-founder of Jefferson Airplane

28: Mike Minor, 75, actor, “Petticoat Junction”


2: Bob Elliot, 92, comedian, part of the comedy duo of Bob and Ray

4: Maurice White, 74, musician/songwriter, co-founder of Earth, Wind & Fire

13: Antonin Scalia, 79, associate justice, U.S. Supreme Court

15: George Gaynes, 98, actor, “Punky Brewster,” “Police Academy” franchise

15: Vanity (Denise Katrina Matthew), 57, actress/singer, lead for girl group Vanity 6; former girlfriend and muse of Prince

16: Boutros Boutros-Ghali, 93, Egyptian statesman, negotiated peace deal with Israel, later United Nations Secretary-General

19: Harper Lee, 89, novelist, Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction in 1961 for “To Kill a Mockingbird”

25: Tony Burton, 78, actor, most notably a boxing trainer in six “Rocky” movies

28: George Kennedy, 91, actor, “Cool Hand Luke,” “Airport” franchise


6: Nancy Reagan, 94, first lady, actress

8: Sir George Martin, 90, music producer, heavily involved with all of The Beatles’ albums

11: Keith Emerson, 72, musician, co-creator of Emerson, Lake & Palmer rock group

17: Larry Drake, 67, actor, most notably on “L.A. Law”

18: Joe Santos, 84, actor, most notably on “The Rockford Files,” “The Postman,” “Blue Thunder”

22: Phife Dawg, 45, lyricist, A Tribe Called Quest, “Can I Kick It?,” “Mr. Muhammad”

22: Rob Ford, 46, politician, controversial former mayor of Toronto, Ontario

23: Joe Garagiola, 90, baseball player, baseball announcer and television host

23: Ken Howard, 71, actor, “White Shadow,” “1776,” and president of SAG-AFTRA (actors union)

24: Earl Hamner Jr., 92, writer/producer, “Spencer’s Mountain,” creator of “The Waltons” TV show

24: Garry Shandling, 66, comedian/actor, “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and “The Larry Sanders Show”

28: James Noble, 94, actor, most notably on “Benson”

29: Patty Duke, 69, actress, “The Miracle Worker,” “The Patty Duke Show”


6: Merle Haggard, 79, singer/songwriter, “Okie From Muskogee”

17: Doris Roberts, 90, actress, “Everybody Loves Raymond”

20: Chyna, 46, professional wrestler, WWE; actress, “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”

20: Dwayne “Pearl” Washington, 52, basketball player, rated top high school player nationwide 1983; Syracuse University, New Jersey Nets, Miami Heat

21: Prince, 57, musician/songwriter/actor, “Purple Rain,” “When Doves Cry”


1: Tommy Kono, 85, former Japanese-American internee, weightlifter, two-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time Mr. Universe, former head coach of the U.S. Olympic weightlifting team

19: Morley Safer, 84, journalist, “CBS News,” “60 Minutes”

19: Rosalie Chris Lerman, 90, Auschwitz-Berkenau death camp survivor who championed Holocaust remembrance

19: Alan Young, 96, actor, most notably on “Mr. Ed”

24: Burt Kwouk, 85, actor, most notably on “Pink Panther” films

27: Mike Barnett, 89 singer, co-founder of the singing group The Lettermen


3: Muhammad Ali, 74, Louisville native, heavyweight boxer, Olympic gold medalist and three-time world heavyweight champion

10: Gordie Howe, 88, hockey player, 23-time NHL All-Star

14: Ann Guilbert, 87, actress, “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The Nanny”

14: Ronnie Claire Edwards, 83, actress, most notably on “The Waltons,” “The Dead Pool”

19: Anton Yelchin, 27, actor, most notably Pavel Chekov in the “Star Trek” reboot movies

28: Buddy Ryan, 85, NFL coach, inventor of the “46” defense

28: Pat Summitt, 64, longtime Tennessee women’s basketball coach, first NCAA coach to reach 1,000 wins, (1,098–208), claimed eight NCAA championships


2: Michael Cimino, 77, writer/director, “The Deer Hunter,” “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot,” “Heaven’s Gate,” “Silent Running”

2: Elie Wiesel, 87, Holocaust survivor, writer/political activist, Nobel Peace Prize laureate

3: Noel Neill, 95, actress, most notably in television’s “Adventures of Superman”

19: Garry Marshalll, 81 writer/producer/actor, creator of “Happy Days,” “Mork & Mindy,” “Laverne & Shirley”

24: Marni Nixon, 86, singer, provided the singing voice for several movie stars, including Katherine Hepburn in “My Fair Lady,” Natalie Wood in “West Side Story,” Deborah Kerr in “The King and I”

25: The Rev. Tim LaHaye, 90, co-authored “Left Behind” series


2: David Huddleston, 85, actor, “The Big Lebowski,” “Blazing Saddles”

11: Glenn Yarbrough, 86, singer, The Limeliters, “Baby the Rain Must Fall”

13: Kenny Baker, 81, actor, R2-D2 and Paploo the Ewok in “Star Wars” franchise

16: John McLaughlin, 89, commentator, host of “The McLaughlin Group”

19: Dr. Donald Henderson, 87, former chief of the Centers for Disease Control, proposed and oversaw program to eradicate smallpox worldwide (the last reported case was in 1977)

19: Jack Riley, 80, actor, “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Rugrats”

23: Steven Hill, 94, actor, “Law & Order,” “Mission: Impossible”

25: Marvin Kaplan, 89, actor, “Top Cat,” “Alice,” “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”

28: Juan Gabriel, 66, singer/songwriter, Latin artist who sold 100 million copies worldwide, wrote more than 1,000 songs

29: Gene Wilder, 83, actor, “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”

30: Vera Caslavska, 74, gymnast, seven-time Olympic gold medalist, opponent of Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia


1: Jon Polito, 65, actor, “The Freshman,” “Barton Fink,” “Homicide: Life on the Street”

5: Hugh O’Brian, 91, actor, “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp,” “The Shootist”

5: Phyllis Schlafly, 92, conservative activist, helped defeat Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s

9: James Stacy, 79, actor, “Lancer,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes”

16: Playwright Edward Albee, 88, three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for drama, for “A Delicate Balance,” Seascape,” and “Three Tall Women.” His most famous play was “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

17: Charmian Carr, 73, actress, Liesl in “The Sound of Music”

24: Bill Nunn, 63, actor, “Regarding Henry,” “Do The Right Thing,” “Spider-Man” film trilogy

25: Arnold Palmer, 87, legendary golfer, won 62 PGA Tour titles, and seven majors

28: Shimon Peres, 93, president of Israel (2007-14), Israeli prime minister twice


13: King , 88, revered king of Thailand, the country’s longest-reigning monarch (70 years)

20: Junko Tabei, 77, mountaineer, first woman to climb Mount Everest

21: Kevin Meaney, 60, comedian/actor, “Uncle Buck” TV series, “Big”

23: Tom Hayden, 76, author, antiwar activist


7: Janet Reno, 78, U.S. attorney general, 1993-2001

7: Leonard Cohen, 82, poet, singer/songwriter, “Suzanne,” “Hallelujah” “Bird on the Wire”

11: Robert Vaughn, 83, actor, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” “Bullitt,” “The Magnificent Seven”

13: Leon Russell, 74, musician/songwriter, “A Song for You,” “Delta Lady,” “Shine A Light”

14: Gwen Ifill, 61, journalist, co-anchor of PBS NewsHour

15: Holly Dunn, 59, country-Western singer/songwriter, “Daddy’s Hands,” “Are You Ever Gonna Love Me?,” “You Really Had Me Going”

24: Florence Henderson, 82, actress/singer, “The Brady Bunch”

25: Fidel Castro, 90, Cuban dictator, prime minister from 1959 to 1976 and president from 1976 to 2008

25: Ron Glass, 71, actor, “Barney Miller,” “Firefly,” “Death At A Funeral”

26: Fritz Weaver, 90, actor, “Holocaust,” “Fail-Safe,” “Marathon Man”

28: William Christenberry, 80, artist renowned for photographs of crumbling buildings and rusty cars that captured the decay of the rural South.

28: Van Williams, 82, actor, “The Green Hornet,” “Surfside 6,” “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story”

28: Grant Tinker, 90, television producer, co-founder of MTM Enterprises, CEO of NBC, married to Mary Tyler Moore (1962-81)


3: Don Calfa, 76, actor, “Weekend at Bernie’s,” “Bugsy,” “The Presideo”

4: Margaret Whitton, 67, actress, “Major League,” “The Man Without a Face,” “The Secret of My Success”

7: Greg Lake, 69 musician/songwriter – co-founder of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, “Lucky Man,” “From the Beginning”

8: Joseph Mascolo, 87, actor, “The Days of Our Lives,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Santa Barbara”

8: John Glenn, 95, NASA astronaut, first American to orbit Earth (1962), U.S. senator from Ohio (1974-99)

13: Alan Thicke, 69, actor/writer, “Growing Pains,” “Fernwood Tonight”

14: Bernard Fox, 89, actor, “Bewitched,” “Hogan’s Heroes,” “The Longest Day,” “Titanic”

17: Dr. Henry Heimlich, 96, Cincinnati thoracic surgeon who developed what’s known worldwide as the Heimlich Maneuver

18: Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99, Miss Hungary 1936, actress, “Moulin Rouge,” “A Very Brady Sequel”

18: Gordie Tapp, 94, actor/writer, “Hee Haw”

20: Michèle Morgan, 96, French actress, “Les Grandes Manoeuvres,” “Joan of Paris,” “Higher and Higher”

24: Liz Smith, 95, British actress, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Keeping Mum,” “The Vicar of Dibley”

25: George Michael, 53, singer/songwriter, Wham!, “Faith,” I Want Your Sex,” “Careless Whisper”

25: Vera Rubin, 88, astronomer, pioneer of galaxy rotation rates, contributed to dark matter theory

27: Carrie Fisher, actress/author, Princess Leia in “Star Wars” franchise, “The Blues Brothers,” author of “Postcards from the Edge”

28: Debbie Reynolds, 84, mother of Carrie Fisher, actress, “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Tammy,” “Unsinkable Molly Brown”

29: LaVell Edwards, 86, Hall of Fame college football coach who led BYU for 29 seasons, won the 1984 national championship