Saluting some of the greatest celebrities who died in 2013
By: Legacy Staff
5 years ago
Of the many notables who died in 2013, there are some whose stories and work will truly stay with us. We're saluting some of the greatest celebrities who died in 2013. These stars have died, but they remain in our hearts.
Patty Andrews (1918 - 2013) was the last surviving member of the Andrews Sisters, darlings of the World War II-era music scene. Their tight harmonies and lively dancing won the hearts of service members and civilians alike. The enduring hits of the Andrews Sisters include "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B" and "I'll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time." Patty Andrews was the youngest of the three sisters and was known as "the sister in the middle," performing flanked by sisters LaVerne and Maxene. She was the lead singer and the group's "chief clown," often taking advantage of a break in the lyrics to perform a devastating jitterbug.
Bobby “Blue” Bland (1930 - 2013) earned the nickname "the Sinatra of the blues" for his smooth vocals and his lavishly arranged music. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honoree got his start working with blues greats B.B. King and Junior Parker in Memphis's thriving Beale Street blues scene, with a stop along the way to record with Sun Records founder Sam Phillips. He hit the big time with top singles like 1957's "Farther Up the Road" and 1961's "I Pity the Fool," both No. 1 rhythm-and-blues hits. Bland's nickname "Blue" stemmed from his tendency to write heartbreaking songs of love lost.
Pop psychologist Joyce Brothers (1927 - 2013) pioneered the television advice show in the 1950s and enjoyed a long and prolific career as a syndicated columnist, author and television and film personality.
Tom Clancy (1947 - 2013) The author's high-tech, Cold War thrillers such as The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games made him the most widely read and influential military novelist of his time. By a stroke of luck, then President Ronald Reagan got Red October as a Christmas gift and quipped at a dinner that he was losing sleep because he couldn't put the book down - a statement Clancy later said helped put him on the New York Times best-seller list.
Enduring soap opera star Jeanne Cooper (1928 - 2013), who played grande dame Katherine Chancellor for nearly four decades on The Young and the Restless, was also the mother of actor Corbin Bernsen. In a recurring role on L.A. Law, she played the mother to Bernsen's character, Arnie, and received a 1987 Emmy nomination for best guest actress in a drama.
Roger Ebert (1942 - 2013) was the nation's best-known film reviewer, who with fellow critic Gene Siskel created the template for succinct thumbs-up or thumbs-down movie reviews. A film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967, he was also the first journalist to win a Pulitzer Prize for movie criticism.
Dennis Farina (1944 - 2013) A onetime Chicago cop who as a popular actor played a cop on Law & Order, Farina died after suffering a blood clot in his lung. He was 69. For three decades, Farina was a character actor who displayed remarkable dexterity, charm and, when called for, toughness, making effective use of his craggy face, steel-gray hair, ivory smile and ample mustache.
Annette Funicello (1942 - 2013) began her entertainment career as one of America's perkiest teenagers on The Mickey Mouse Club. Though she achieved great fame as an actress, Funicello also had a highly successful recording career. Initially uncomfortable being identified as a singer, Funicello charmed the teens of the 1960s with such hits as "Tall Paul" and "O Dio Mio." Her wildly popular beach movies gave her further musical opportunities, as she and frequent co-star Frankie Avalon were often moved to burst into song while sunning and surfing.
James Gandolfini (1961 - 2013) The actor's portrayal of a brutal, emotionally delicate mob boss in HBO's The Sopranos was the brilliant core of one of TV's greatest drama series and turned the mobster stereotype on its head. "He was a genius," said Sopranos creator David Chase. "Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that. He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes."
Richie Havens (1941 - 2013) made history as the very first performer to take the stage Aug. 15, 1969, at Woodstock. The performance launched his stardom, as he played for hours - in part because the crowd loved his folk music, and in part because few other performers had actually arrived yet. When the Woodstock movie was released, Havens became known by a wide audience of music lovers. He founded his own record label, Stormy Forest, worked to educate young people about environmental issues, and acted in movies including The Who's Tommy and Greased Lightning. Havens also made music all his life, playing at Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration and at 1999's Tibetan Freedom Concert.
George Jones (1931 - 2013) was a legend of country music, who recorded dozens of hits during a career that lasted more than half a century. He could do rollicking rock like "White Lightning" and tear-jerking ballads like "He Stopped Loving Her Today" with ease, his expressive voice driving the tunes to the top of the charts. Waylon Jennings once commented, "If we all could sound like we wanted to, we'd all sound like George Jones." No less effective were his duets with then-wife Tammy Wynette, including "Golden Ring" and "We're Gonna Hold On." Jones was a Grammy-winning country traditionalist who lamented the evolution of modern country music away from the genre's signature sounds he helped create in the 1950s and '60s.
Chris Kelly (1978 - 2013) was known as "Mac Daddy" when he burst onto the music scene in 1992, one-half of the rap duo Kriss Kross. Kelly and his bandmate Chris Smith were young teens when they released their smash hit "Jump," which topped the Billboard Hit 100 for eight weeks, the first rap song to hold the No. 1 spot for so long. Their debut album, Totally Krossed Out, was catapulted to multiplatinum status, and the teens got to perform with Michael Jackson, Run-D.M.C. and TLC.
Nelson Mandela (1918 - 2013) was one of the most inspirational political leaders of the past century. The first black president of South Africa, he was a crusader who worked to abolish apartheid and the injustices that came with it.
Ray Manzarek (1939 - 2013) helped create the unmistakable sound of the Doors with his keyboards. A founding member of the band, Manzarek's work is prominent in some of the best-known Doors songs, from the haunting sounds of "Riders on the Storm" to the catchy opening riff of "Light My Fire" and so many more. After Jim Morrison's death, Manzarek continued creating music with artists including X and Iggy Pop, and he worked as a producer and wrote a novel and a memoir.
Mindy McCready (1975 - 2013) hit the top of the country charts in 1996 with her ode to turning the tables on men, "Guys Do it All the Time." Other hits included "Ten Thousand Angels," "Maybe He'll Notice Her Now" and "You'll Never Know." At the height of her career, she performed with top country stars including George Strait, Tim McGraw and Alan Jackson. Personal problems derailed McCready's career as she struggled with a custody battle and addiction issues, but after a stint on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, McCready asserted that she was drug free.
Cory Monteith (1982 - 2013) The handsome young actor who shot to fame in the hit TV series Glee, but was beset by addiction struggles so fierce that he once said he was lucky to be alive, was found dead in a hotel room at age 31. Monteith starred in Glee as Finn Hudson, a high school football player who puts his status and popularity at risk to join the glee club and its outcast members.
William Moody (1954 - 2013), better known to pro wrestling fans as Paul Bearer, the pasty-faced, urn-carrying manager for performers The Undertaker and Kane, died at 58.
Lou Reed (1942 - 2013) helped change the face of modern music as leader of the Velvet Underground. So avant-garde that they practically invented avant-garde rock, the Velvet Underground were the darlings of Andy Warhol's Factory scene, carving out a new niche for musicians who didn't want to play rock music like everyone else. As a solo artist, Reed continued to innovate and was a major influence on generations of musicians and songwriters. He pushed the envelope throughout his career, and his fans loved him for it.
Jean Stapleton (1923 - 2013) The stage-trained character actress who played Archie Bunker's far better half, the sweetly naive Edith, in TV's groundbreaking 1970s comedy All in the Family died at 90.
Pat Summerall (1930 - 2013), an NFL player and legendary sports broadcaster known for doing play by play of NFL games with his partner John Madden, Summerall was part of network television broadcasts for 16 Super Bowls. His last championship game was for Fox on Feb. 3, 2002, also his last game with longtime partner Madden. The popular duo worked together for 21 years, moving to Fox in 1994 after years as the lead team for CBS. At the end of their final broadcast together, Madden described Summerall as "a treasure" and the "spirit of the National Football League" in a tribute to the partner that complemented the former coach so well.
Margaret Thatcher (1925 - 2013) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990. She was the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century and is the only woman to have held the office.
Helen Thomas (1920 - 2013) The irrepressible White House correspondent used her seat in the front row of history to grill nine presidents — often to their discomfort — and was not shy about sharing her opinions.
Abigail Van Buren (1918 - 2013), aka Pauline Friedman Phillips, wrote the long-running "Dear Abby" advice column that was followed by millions of newspaper readers throughout the world, died at 94.
Paul Walker (1973 - 2013) When actor Paul Walker died this November, the shock reverberated throughout the entertainment world. The star of the Fast & Furious movie series was just 40 years old, gone far too soon in a tragic car crash.
Jonathan Winters (1925 - 2013) The cherub-faced comedian, whose breakneck improvisations and misfit characters inspired the likes of Robin Williams and Jim Carrey, died at 87.