Though these famous figures have died, their legacies live on and continue to inspire and delight us. Join us as we remember celebrities who died in 2016.
William Christopher (1932–2016)
Christopher played beloved character Father Mulcahy on the hit sitcom “M*A*S*H.”
Debbie Reynolds (1932–2016)
The Hollywood legend starred in “Singin’ in the Rain” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” Reynolds died one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher.
Carrie Fisher (1956–2016)
The actress and author will always be remembered for her beloved role as Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” movie franchise.
George Michael (1963–2016)
The pop superstar sold over 100 million albums. His memorable hit songs include “Careless Whisper” with his group Wham! and “Freedom 90” as a solo artist.
Zsa Zsa Gabor (1917–2016)
Zsa Zsa Gabor was a Hollywood legend and socialite known for her European glamour and her many marriages.
Ricky Harris (1962–2016)
The actor and comedian had a recurring role as Malvo on the sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris.”
Craig Sager (1951–2016)
Sager was a longtime NBA sideline reporter beloved for his colorful attire.
Bernard Fox (1927–2016)
Fox was a character actor was known for his role as the zany Dr. Bombay on the classic sitcom “Bewitched.”
Alan Thicke (1947–2016)
The Canadian actor and singer-songwriter was best known for playing TV dad Dr. Jason Seaver on the 1980s hit sitcom “Growing Pains.”
John Glenn (1921–2016)
Astronaut John Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth and later the oldest person to go into space at the age of 77.
Greg Lake (1947–2016)
Lake was guitarist and singer for prog rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
Billy Chapin (1943–2016)
As a child actor, Chapin appeared in many movies and TV series in the 1950s including a memorable role in “The Night of the Hunter.”
Andrew Sachs (1930–2016)
The British actor was best known for his role as the Spanish waiter Manuel on the comedy “Fawlty Towers,” one of the most popular comedies on the BBC.
Van Williams (1934–2016)
The actor starred in the 1960s TV series “The Green Hornet” and “Surfside 6.”
Margaret Whitton (1950–2016)
Whitton starred in the 1980s comedy films “Major League” and “The Secret of My Success.”
Fritz Weaver (1926–2016)
Weaver appeared on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and a memorable episode of “The Twilight Zone.”
Florence Henderson (1934–2016)
Henderson was best-known for the role of Carol Brady, the patient, loving mother on “The Brady Bunch.”
Ron Glass (1945–2016)
Glass was best known for his work on “Barney Miller” and “Firefly.”
Gwen Ifill (1955–2016)
The renowned television journalist served as moderator of the PBS talk show “Washington Week.”
Leon Russell (1942–2016)
The rock musician and singer-songwriter played with the Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, and Elton John.
Robert Vaughn (1932–2016)
Vaughn was best known for his starring role on TV’s “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”
Leonard Cohen (1934–2016)
The poet/singer-songwriter enjoyed a decades-long career with classics such as “Hallelujah” and “Suzanne.”
Julie Gregg (1937–2016)
Gregg played Sonny Corleone’s wife in the first two “Godfather” movies.
Michael Massee (1955–2016)
Massee starred as the villain “The Gentleman” in the “Amazing Spider-Man” movie and also had a memorable role as Ira Gaines on the first season of “24.”
Arnold Palmer (1929–2016)
The legendary golfer had a legion of fans following him while he played called “Arnie’s Army.” Palmer won four Masters titles during his Hall of Fame career.
Jose Fernandez (1992–2016)
The Miami Marlins star pitcher was only 24 when he died in a tragic boating accident.
Jean Shepard (1933–2016)
Grand Ole Opry regular Jean Shepard was one of the first female country music stars.
Charmian Carr (1942–2016)
Carr will be remembered for her role as Liesl Von Trapp in the movie “The Sound of Music.”
Alexis Arquette (1969–2016)
The transgender actress had a role in the comedy “The Wedding Singer” and was the sister of actors David, Patricia and Rosanna Arquette.
Anna Dewdney (1965–2016)
The children’s book author wrote the popular Llama Llama series. Her last wish went viral: she requested that instead of a funeral service, people read to a child.
Gene Wilder (1933–2016)
The comic actor, known for movies including “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Young Frankenstein,” is indelibly associated with many of the funniest films of the 1970s.
Steven Hill (1922–2016)
Hill was known best for his portrayal of District Attorney Adam Schiff for the first 10 seasons of “Law & Order.”
John McLaughlin (1927–2016)
McLaughlin was the host of the PBS political commentary show “The McLaughlin Report.”
Kenny Baker (1934–2016)
The British actor played the role of R2-D2 in “Star Wars.”
John Saunders (1955–2016)
The versatile sportscaster was a long-time presence on ESPN and ABC. At the time of his death, he was the host of ABC’s college football programming.
Jerry Doyle (1956–2016)
Doyle was best known for his role as Michael Garibaldi, chief of space station security, on the sci-fi TV series “Babylon 5.”
Gloria DeHaven (1925–2016)
Singer and actress Gloria DeHaven starred in a number of MGM musicals as well as daytime television soap operas.
Garry Marshall (1934–2016)
The legendary producer and director created beloved TV sitcoms including “Happy Days” and “Laverne & Shirley,” and directed hit movies such as “Pretty Woman.”
Noel Neill (1920–2016)
The actress was well known for her role as Lois Lane in the classic Superman television series.
Michael Cimino (1939–2016)
Filmmaker Cimino won an Academy Award for directing “The Deer Hunter.”
Elie Wiesel (1928–2016)
Elie Wiesel turned his tragic personal experiences during the Holocaust into the gripping autobiographical novel “Night.” He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for his work against violence, repression and racism.
Pat Summitt (1952–2016)
The legendary coach for the University of Tennessee’s women’s college basketball team won 8 NCAA championships and has the record for most victories in college basketball in Division I history.
Buddy Ryan (1934–2016)
As defensive coordinator, Buddy Ryan helped lead the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl win in 1985.
Bud Spencer (1929–2016)
Italian actor Bud Spencer, who was born Carlo Pedersoli, starred in many spaghetti western movies included the classic “They Call Me Trinity.”
Ryan Jimmo (1981–2016)
Jimmo was an Ultimate Fighting Champion veteran known as “Big Deal.” He had a career record in mixed martial arts of 19 wins and only five losses.
Bill Cunningham (1929–2016)
Cunningham was a legendary fashion photographer for the New York Times. He was known for walking around the streets of Manhattan daily with his camera while wearing a blue windbreaker.
Bernie Worrell (1944–2016)
The keyboardist was one of the founding members of legendary funk band Parliament-Funkadelic.
Anton Yelchin (1989–2016)
The actor was known for playing Chekov in the big screen Star Trek reboot. He had finished filming the third of the new Star Trek movies when he died in a tragic accident at the age of 27.
Ron Lester (1970–2016)
Lester was best known for supporting roles in movies such as “Varsity Blues” and “Not Another Teen Movie.”
Ann Morgan Guilbert (1928–2016)
Guilbert played Millie Helper on “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”
Theresa Saldana (1954–2016)
Saldana starred opposite Robert DeNiro as Jake Lamotta’s wife in the movie “Raging Bull,” as well as on TV’s “The Commish” as Rachel Scali.
Christina Grimmie (1994–2016)
The YouTube singing sensation starred on season six of NBC’s “The Voice.”
Muhammad Ali (1942–2016)
The boxing titan named “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated magazine began boxing as a preteen. His amateur career culminated with a gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Italy, after which he moved on to a professional boxing career. He took to calling himself The Greatest, and the nickname stuck for obvious reasons.
Gordie Howe (1928–2016)
The Detroit Red Wings great known as “Mr. Hockey” played a record 26 seasons in the NHL, making the All-Star team in 23 of them.
Nick Menza (1964–2016)
Menza was the drummer for the pioneering thrash metal band Megadeth from 1989 until 1998. He performed with the band during their most successful period which included the albums “Rust in Peace” and “Youthanasia.”
Morley Safer (1931–2016)
The legendary CBS reporter worked on “60 Minutes” for 46 years and also covered the Vietnam War.
Guy Clark (1941–2016)
Clark was a Grammy Award-winning country music singer-songwriter whose songs “L.A. Freeway” and “Desperadoes Waiting for a Train” were widely covered.
Madeleine Lebeau (1923–2016)
Lebeau, an actress known best for her role as Rick’s girlfriend in “Casablanca,” was widely believed to be the last surviving cast member of the classic Humphrey Bogart film.
Billy Paul (1934–2016)
Paul was a Grammy Award-winning R&B and jazz singer known best for his 1972 No. 1 hit song “Me and Mrs. Jones.”
The pop music legend gave us timeless songs such as “Purple Rain,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” and “Raspberry Beret.”
The popular WWF wrestler also starred on reality TV shows such as “The Surreal Life.”
Doris Roberts (1925–2016)
Roberts was known best for her role as Marie Barone on the popular TV comedy “Everybody Loves Raymond.” The Emmy-winning actress was terrific playing the meddling mother-in-law in the Ray Romano sitcom.
Daisy Lewellyn (1980–2016)
Lewellyn starred in the first two seasons on the reality TV show “Blood, Sweat & Heels.” The former magazine editor died of a rare form of liver cancer at the age of 36.
Merle Haggard (1937–2016)
Haggard was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994. Part of the outlaw country music scene, his hit songs include “Okie From Muskogee.”
Joseph Medicine Crow
Joseph Medicine Crow, the last surviving war chief of Montana’s Crow tribe, was known best for his writings and lectures on the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
Zaha Hadid (1950–2016)
Zaha Hadid was one of the best-known women in architectural history. She designed the wave-shaped London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Patty Duke (1946–2016)
Patty Duke found fame early when she won an Oscar at 16 for her role in “The Miracle Worker.” She then went on to star in “The Patty Duke Show” and later became an advocate for awareness of mental health issues.
Nancy Reagan (1921–2016)
As Nancy Davis, she was a Hollywood actress in the 1940s and 1950s. After marrying in 1952, she became Nancy Reagan and would go on to become first lady of California and, later, first lady of the United States.
Mother Mary Angelica (1923–2016)
Mother Mary Angelica, a Roman Catholic nun who founded the Eternal Word Television Network, a global religious television network that reaches hundreds of millions of believers, died on Easter Sunday.
Garry Shandling (1949–2016)
The innovative comedian was known for creating and starring in “The Larry Sanders Show.”
Joey Feek (1975–2016)
Joey Feek and her husband formed the popular country and bluegrass duo Joey + Rory. The duo were winners of the 2010 Academy of Country Music Award for Top New Vocal Duo.
Pat Conroy (1945–2016)
The best-selling author wrote “Prince of Tides” and “The Great Santini.” Both were made into Oscar-nominated films.
George Kennedy (1925–2016)
The actor won an Oscar for his role as a tough prisoner in “Cool Hand Luke.” Later in his career he made fun of his tough guy roles in the “Naked Gun” movies.
Cara McCollum (1992–2016)
A former Miss New Jersey, she competed in the Miss America contest and went on to become a news anchor for “SNJ Today.”
Singer and actress Denise Matthews, aka Vanity (1959–2016), fronted the music group Vanity 6, a collaboration with the legendary singer Prince.
Katie May (1981–2016)
The Sports Illustrated magazine model was also known as the Queen of Snapchat.
The Earth, Wind & Fire founder won a total of seven Grammys out of 21 nominations. He is also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Paul Kantner (1941–2016)
Kantner was one of the founding members of Jefferson Airplane. He was a guitarist, singer and songwriter for the band that pioneered psychedelic rock in the 1960s.
Glenn Frey (1948–2016)
One of the founding members and guitarist for The Eagles, Frey sang lead vocals on such classic songs as “Take it Easy” and “Lyin’ Eyes.”
Abe Vigoda (1921–2016)
Character actor Abe Vigoda was well loved for his role as Detective Fish in the classic sitcom “Barney Miller” and on the short lived series “Fish.” He also had a memorable role as Tessio in “The Godfather” movie.
Noreen Corcoran (1943–2016)
Corcoran is best remembered for her role as Kelly Gregg on the popular sitcom “Bachelor Father.”
Dan Haggerty (1941–2016)
Haggerty will be best remembered for his role as the bearded mountain man James “Grizzly” Adams on the television series “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams.”
René Angélil (1942–2016)
Angélil was the husband and former manager of singer Céline Dion.
Alan Rickman (1946–2016)
A versatile actor with an immediately recognizable voice, Rickman will be well remembered for his role as Professor Severus Snape of the “Harry Potter” film series.
Sir George Martin (1926–2016)
Sir George Martin was the brilliant creative mind behind the Beatles.
David Bowie (1947–2016)
The legendary rock star gave the world so much great music during his career. Paul McCartney said, “His star will shine in the sky forever.”
Phife Dawg (1970–2016)
Phife Dawg was a rapper and founding member of the influential hip-hop trio A Tribe Called Quest.
Keith Emerson (1944–2016)
The keyboardist was a founding member of the seminal prog rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
Scrimm was a character actor best known for playing the terrifying “Tall Man” in the Phantasm horror film series.
Pat Harrington Jr. (1929–2016)
Character actor Pat Harrington Jr. will be always remembered for his memorable role as Schneider on the popular sitcom “One Day at a Time”.
Angela Raiola (1960–2016)
Raiola was better known as “Big Ang,” the bar owner was a star on the TV show “Mob Wives.”
Kitty Kallen (1922–2016)
Pop singer Kitty Kallen was most popular during the swing era. Her best-known solo recording was 1954’s No. 1 hit “Little Things Mean a Lot.”
Pierre Boulez (1925–2016)
The world-renowned French conductor was a major force in modern classical music.
Robert Stigwood (1934–2016)
Stigwood was a force in music, movies, and Broadway. He was the manager for Cream and the Bee Gees before producing a string of popular musicals and films including “Grease” and “Saturday Night Fever.”