Actress and singer Irene Cara, an Oscar and Grammy winner best known for the theme songs of "Fame" and "Flashdance" in the early '80s, has died, her publicist said. She was 63.
"Please share your thoughts and memories of Irene," Judith Moose said in a tweet announcing the singer's death. "I'll be reading each and every one of them and know she'll be smiling from Heaven. She adored her fans.
"She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live forever through her music and films."
Academy Award winner Irene Cara, best known for singing the theme songs for “Fame” and “Flashdance,” has died in her Florida home, according to a statement from her publicist made on behalf of the singer’s family.
Conductor Mitch Miller performs for photographers with singers Rosemary Clooney, left, and Irene Cara during a rehearsal,, Jan. 6, 1981, in New York for his NBC-TV special.
Cara died in her Florida home. The cause of death is unknown, according to Moose's statement.
As a youth, Cara appeared on TV's "Electric Company" before acting as a teen in the movies "Aaron Loves Angela" and "Sparkle."
Actress/singer Irene Cara poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California in 1983.
Actress Irene Cara poses during an interview in Los Angeles, on July 2, 1990. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Her breakthrough came as Coco Hernandez in the 1980 musical "Fame," about New York's High School for the Performing Arts. She had a hit record with that movie's title song, and another with the ballad "Out Here on My Own." She was nominated for a Golden Globe and two Grammys that year.
Three years later, Cara co-wrote the lyrics for "Flashdance... What a Feeling," another radio smash for which she received an Oscar for Best Original Song and a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female.
She had a few other hits, including "Why Me" and "Breakdance." She also acted in movies such as "City Heat" with Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood, "D.C. Cab" with Mr. T and "Certain Fury" with Tatum O'Neal.
In memoriam: Those we lost in 2022
Angela Lansbury, the big-eyed, scene-stealing British actress who kicked up her heels in the Broadway musicals “Mame” and “Gypsy” and solved endless murders as crime novelist Jessica Fletcher in the long-running TV series “Murder, She Wrote,” died Oct. 11, 2022. She was 96. Lansbury won five Tony Awards for her Broadway performances and a lifetime achievement award. She earned Academy Award nominations as supporting actress for two of her first three films, “Gaslight” (1945) and “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (1946), and was nominated again in 1962 for “The Manchurian Candidate” and her deadly portrayal of a Communist agent and the title character’s mother.
Bill Russell, the NBA great who anchored a Boston Celtics dynasty that won 11 championships in 13 years — the last two as the first Black head coach in any major U.S. sport — and marched for civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr., died July 31, 2022. He was 88. A Hall of Famer, five-time Most Valuable Player and 12-time All-Star, Russell in 1980 was voted the greatest player in NBA history by basketball writers. He remains the sport’s most prolific winner and an archetype of selflessness who won with defense and rebounding while leaving the scoring to others.
Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Sept. 8, 2022, after 70 years on the throne. She was 96. A link to the almost-vanished generation that fought World War II, she was the only monarch most Britons have ever known, and her name defines an age: the modern Elizabethan Era. The impact of her loss will be huge and unpredictable, both for the nation and for the monarchy, an institution she helped stabilize and modernize across decades of huge social change and family scandals.
Loretta Lynn, the Kentucky coal miner’s daughter whose frank songs about life and love as a woman in Appalachia pulled her out of poverty and made her a pillar of country music, died Oct. 4, 2022. She was 90. As a songwriter, Lynn crafted a persona of a defiantly tough woman. The Country Music Hall of Famer wrote fearlessly about sex and love, cheating husbands, divorce and birth control and sometimes got in trouble with radio programmers for material from which even rock performers once shied away.
James Caan, the curly-haired tough guy known to movie fans as the hotheaded Sonny Corleone of “The Godfather” and to television audiences as both the dying football player in the classic weeper “Brian’s Song” and the casino boss in “Las Vegas,” died July 6, 2022. He was 82. After a break from acting in the 1980s, Caan returned to full-fledged stardom opposite Kathy Bates in “Misery” in 1990. He introduced himself to a new generation playing Walter, the workaholic, stone-faced father of Buddy’s Will Ferrell in “Elf.”
Sidney Poitier, the groundbreaking actor and enduring inspiration who transformed how Black people were portrayed on screen and became the first Black actor to win an Academy Award for best lead performance and the first to be a top box-office draw, died Jan. 6, 2022. He was 94. Poitier won the best actor Oscar in 1964 for “Lilies of the Field.”
Madeleine Albright, the first female U.S. secretary of state, has died of cancer. She was 84. President Bill Clinton chose Albright as America’s top diplomat in 1996, and she served in that capacity for the last four years of the Clinton administration. She had previously been Clinton's ambassador to the United Nations.
Olivia Newton-John, the Grammy-winning superstar who reigned on pop, country, adult contemporary and dance charts with such hits as “Physical” and “You’re the One That I Want” and won countless hearts as everyone’s favorite Sandy in the blockbuster film version of “Grease,” died Aug. 8, 2022. She was 73. From 1973-83, Newton-John was among the world’s most popular entertainers. She had 14 top 10 singles just in the U.S., won four Grammys, starred with John Travolta in “Grease” and with Gene Kelly in “Xanadu.” The fast-stepping Travolta-Newton-John duet, “You’re the One That I Want,” was one of the era’s biggest songs and has sold more than 15 million copies.
Nichelle Nichols, who broke barriers for Black women in Hollywood when she played communications officer Lt. Uhura on the original “Star Trek” television series, died July 30, 2022, at the age of 89. Her role in the 1966-69 series as Lt. Uhura earned Nichols a lifelong position of honor with the series’ rabid fans, known as Trekkers and Trekkies. It also earned her accolades for breaking stereotypes that had limited Black women to acting roles as servants and included an interracial onscreen kiss with co-star William Shatner that was unheard of at the time.
2022: Meat Loaf
One year ago: Meat Loaf, the rock superstar known for his “Bat Out of Hell” album and for such theatrical, dark-hearted anthems as “Paradise By the Dashboard Light” and “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” died at age 74.
Coolio, the rapper who was among hip-hop's biggest names of the 1990s with hits including “Gangsta's Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage,” died Sept. 28, 2022. Coolio won a Grammy for best solo rap performance for “Gangsta's Paradise,” the 1995 hit from the soundtrack of the Michelle Pfeiffer film “Dangerous Minds” that sampled Stevie Wonder's 1976 song “Pastime Paradise" and was played constantly on MTV.
Naomi Judd, whose family harmonies with daughter Wynonna turned them into the Grammy-winning country stars The Judds, died April 30, 2022 at age 76. The mother-daughter performers scored 14 No. 1 songs in a career that spanned nearly three decades. The red-headed duo combined the traditional Appalachian sounds of bluegrass with polished pop stylings, scoring hit after hit in the 1980s. Wynonna led the duo with her powerful vocals, while Naomi provided harmonies and stylish looks on stage.
Taylor Hawkins, for 25 years the drummer for Foo Fighters and best friend of frontman Dave Grohl, died during a South American tour with the rock band. He was 50. Hawkins was Alanis Morissette's touring drummer when he joined Foo Fighters in 1997. He played on the band's biggest albums including “One by One” and “In Your Honor,” and on hit singles like “Best of You.”
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis, the untamable rock ‘n’ roll pioneer whose outrageous talent, energy and ego collided on such definitive records as “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and sustained a career otherwise upended by personal scandal, died Oct. 28, 2022, at age 87. Lewis was the last survivor of a generation of groundbreaking performers that included Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard.
Anne Heche, the Emmy-winning film and television actor whose dramatic Hollywood rise in the 1990s and accomplished career contrasted with personal chapters of turmoil, died of injuries from a fiery car crash. She was 53. By the late 1990s Heche was one of the hottest actors in Hollywood, a constant on magazine covers and in big-budget films. In 1997 alone, she played opposite Johnny Depp as his wife in “Donnie Brasco” and Tommy Lee Jones in “Volcano” and was part of the ensemble cast in the original “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”
Bob Saget, the actor-comedian known for his role as beloved single dad Danny Tanner on the sitcom “Full House” and as the wisecracking host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” died Jan. 9, 2022. He was 65.
Gilbert Gottfried, the actor and legendary standup comic known for his raw, scorched voice and crude jokes, died April 12, 2022, at age 67. Gottfried was a fiercely independent and intentionally bizarre comedian’s comedian, as likely to clear a room with anti-comedy as he was to kill with his jokes. Gottfried also did voice work for children’s television and movies, most famously playing the parrot Iago in Disney’s “Aladdin.”
Louie Anderson, whose four-decade career as a comedian and actor included his unlikely, Emmy-winning performance as mom to twin adult sons in the TV series “Baskets,” died Jan. 21, 2022. He was 68. In 2016, Anderson won a best supporting actor Emmy for his portrayal of Christine Baskets, mother to twins, in the FX series “Baskets.” He was a familiar face elsewhere on TV, including as host of a revival of the game show “Family Feud” from 1999 to 2002.
Leslie Jordan, the Emmy-winning actor whose wry Southern drawl and versatility made him a comedy and drama standout on TV series including “Will & Grace” and “American Horror Story,” has died. He was 67. The Tennessee native, who won an on outstanding guest actor Emmy in 2005 for “Will & Grace,” appeared recently on the Mayim Bialik comedy “Call me Kat” and co-starred on the sitcom “The Cool Kids.”
Estelle Harris, who hollered her way into TV history as George Costanza’s short-fused mother on “Seinfeld” and voiced Mrs. Potato Head in the “Toy Story” franchise, died April 2, 2022. She was 93. As middle-class matron Estelle Costanza, Harris put a memorable stamp on her recurring role in the smash 1990s sitcom. With her high-pitched voice and humorously overbearing attitude, she was an archetype of maternal indignation.
Liz Sheridan, a veteran stage and screen actress who played Jerry Seinfeld's mother, Helen, on "Seinfeld," died April April 15, 2022, at age 93. Though she had dozens of film credits, she was best known as Seinfeld's doting mother on his titular sitcom, which ran for nine seasons. She also appeared as the snoopy neighbor Mrs. Ochmonek on the alien-led sitcom "ALF."
Full story: Liz Sheridan, Jerry's mom on 'Seinfeld,' dies at 93
Sally Kellerman, the Oscar and Emmy nominated actor who played Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in director Robert Altman's 1970 film “MASH," died Feb. 24, 2022, at age 84. Kellerman had a career of more than 60 years in film and television. She played a college professor who was returning student Rodney Dangerfield's love interest in the 1986 comedy “Back to School.” But she would always be best known for playing Major Houlihan, a straitlaced, by-the-book Army nurse who is tormented by rowdy doctors during the Korean War in the army comedy “MASH."
Howard Hesseman, best known as the hard-rocking disc jockey Dr. Johnny Fever on the sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati," died Jan. 28, 2022. In addition to earning two Emmy nominations for his role on "WKRP," Hesseman also appeared on "Head of the Class" and "One Day at a Time," along with guest appearances on "That 70's Show," among others. The Oregon native also hosted "Saturday Night Live" several times. — CNN
Ray Liotta, the actor best known for playing mobster Henry Hill in “Goodfellas” and baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson in “Field of Dreams,” died May 25, 2022. He was 67. Liotta’s first big film role was in Jonathan Demme’s “Something Wild” as Melanie Griffith’s character’s hotheaded ex-convict husband Ray. A few years later, he would get the memorable role of the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson in “Field of Dreams.” His most iconic role, as real life mobster Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” came shortly after.
Paul Sorvino, an imposing actor who specialized in playing crooks and cops like Paulie Cicero in “Goodfellas” and the NYPD sergeant Phil Cerreta on “Law & Order,” died July 25, 2022. He was 83. In his over 50 years in the entertainment business, Sorvino was a mainstay in films and television, playing an Italian American communist in Warren Beatty’s “Reds,” Henry Kissinger in Oliver Stone’s “Nixon” and mob boss Eddie Valentine in “The Rocketeer.”
Tony Sirico, who played the impeccably groomed mobster Paulie Walnuts in “The Sopranos” and brought his tough-guy swagger to films including “Goodfellas,” died July 8, 2022. He was 79.
Fred Ward, a veteran actor who brought a gruff tenderness to tough-guy roles in such films as “The Right Stuff,” “The Player” and “Tremors,” died May 15, 2022. He was 79. A former boxer, lumberjack in Alaska and short-order cook who served in the U.S. Air Force, Ward was a San Diego native who was part Cherokee. One early big role was alongside Clint Eastwood in 1979’s “Escape From Alcatraz.”
Emilio Delgado, who spent more than 40 years entertaining generations of children playing the Fix-It Shop owner Luis on "Sesame Street," died March 10, 2022. He was 81. Delgado had cited the PBS show's importance as a cultural touchstone in the way people of color were depicted on TV. — CNN
Emilio Delgado, 'Sesame Street's' Luis for more than 40 years, dies at 81
Robbie Coltrane, the baby-faced comedian and character actor whose hundreds of roles included a crime-solving psychologist on the TV series “Cracker” and the gentle half-giant Hagrid in the “Harry Potter” movies, died Oct. 14, 2022. He was 72.
John Aniston, the Emmy-winning star of the daytime soap opera “Days of Our Lives” and father of Jennifer Aniston, died Nov. 11, 2022, at age 89. John Aniston's acting credits included “Search for Tomorrow,” “The West Wing” and “Gilmore Girls.” But he was best-known for his long-running role on “Days of Our Lives” as family patriarch Victor Kiriakis, the former drug lord who goes on to found the powerful Titan Industries.
Ronnie Spector, the cat-eyed, bee-hived rock ‘n’ roll siren who sang such 1960s hits as “Be My Baby,” “Baby I Love You” and “Walking in the Rain” as the leader of the girl group The Ronettes, died Jan. 12, 2022. She was 78.
Aaron Carter, the singer-rapper who began performing as a child and had hit albums starting in his teen years, was found dead Nov. 5, 2022, at his home in Southern California. He was 34. Carter, the younger brother of Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys, performed as an opening act for Britney Spears as well as his brother’s boy band, and recorded several hits including “Aaron's Party (Come Get It)” and “I Want Candy.”
At just 28, rapper
Takeoff had cultivated a rich hip-hop legacy with Migos — along with a reputation as the trio's most lowkey member — before he was killed in a shooting Nov. 1, 2022. Born Kirsnick Khari Ball, Takeoff grew up in suburban Atlanta — Gwinnett County was less than flatteringly name-checked in a couple Migos tracks — alongside the two other members of the group. Quavo was his uncle and Offset was his cousin, and the trio was raised in large part by Takeoff's mom.
Gallagher, best known for his watermelon-smashing comedy routine and many popular specials in the 1980s, died Nov. 11, 2022. He was 76. Gallagher, born Leo Gallagher, became a household name in the early '80s with a comedy special titled "An Uncensored Evening," the first comedy stand up special ever to air on cable television. Gallagher's most famous bit involved a hand-made sledgehammer he called the "Sledge-O-Matic," which he would use to smash food on stage, spraying the audience. — CNN
Mikhail Gorbachev, who set out to revitalize the Soviet Union but ended up unleashing forces that led to the collapse of communism, the breakup of the state and the end of the Cold War, died Aug. 30, 2022. The last Soviet leader was 91. Though in power less than seven years, Gorbachev unleashed a breathtaking series of changes. But they quickly overtook him and resulted in the collapse of the authoritarian Soviet state, the freeing of Eastern European nations from Russian domination and the end of decades of East-West nuclear confrontation.
Orrin G. Hatch, the longest-serving Republican senator in history who was a fixture in Utah politics for more than four decades, died April 23, 2022, at age 88. A staunch conservative on most economic and social issues, he also teamed with Democrats several times during his long career on issues ranging from stem cell research to rights for people with disabilities to expanding children’s health insurance.
Former Defense Secretary
Ash Carter, who opened combat jobs to women and ended a ban on transgender people serving in the military, died Oct. 24, 2022, at age 68. Known as a defense thinker and strategist, Carter was a nuclear expert, three-time Pentagon executive, budget guru and academician who had served as a defense civilian in the building over a period of 35 years.
Bernard Shaw, CNN’s chief anchor for two decades and a pioneering Black broadcast journalist best remembered for calmly reporting the beginning of the Gulf War in 1991 as missiles flew around him in Baghdad, died Sept. 7, 2022. He was 82. Shaw was at CNN for 20 years and was known for remaining cool under pressure. That was a hallmark of his Baghdad coverage when the U.S. led its invasion of Iraq in 1991 to liberate Kuwait, with CNN airing stunning footage of airstrikes and anti-aircraft fire in the capital city.
David McCullough, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose lovingly crafted narratives on subjects ranging from the Brooklyn Bridge to Presidents John Adams and Harry Truman made him among the most popular and influential historians of his time, died Aug. 7, 2022. He was 89.
Ken Starr, a former federal appellate judge and a prominent attorney whose criminal investigation of Bill Clinton led to the president’s impeachment and put Starr at the center of one of the country’s most polarizing debates of the 1990s, died Sept. 13, 2022, at age 76.
Ivana Trump, a skier-turned-businesswoman who formed half of a publicity power couple in the 1980s as the first wife of former President Donald Trump and mother of his oldest children, died July 14, 2022. She was 73.
Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman who flew 409 fighter combat missions over three wars and later helped to bring attention to the Black pilots who had battled racism at home to fight for freedom abroad, died Jan. 16, 2022. He was 102.
Hall of Fame broadcaster
Vin Scully, whose dulcet tones provided the soundtrack of summer while entertaining and informing Dodgers fans in Brooklyn and Los Angeles for 67 years, died Aug. 2, 2022. He was 94. As the longest tenured broadcaster with a single team in pro sports history, Scully saw it all and called it all. He began in the 1950s era of Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson, on to the 1960s with Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax, into the 1970s with Steve Garvey and Don Sutton, and through the 1980s with Orel Hershiser and Fernando Valenzuela. In the 1990s, it was Mike Piazza and Hideo Nomo, followed by Kershaw, Manny Ramirez and Yasiel Puig in the 21st century.
Bob Lanier, the left-handed big man who muscled up beside the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as one of the NBA’s top players of the 1970s, died May 10, 2022. He was 73. Lanier played 14 seasons with the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks and averaged 20.1 points and 10.1 rebounds for his career. He is third on the Pistons’ career list in both points and rebounds. Detroit drafted Lanier with the No. 1 overall pick in 1970 after he led St. Bonaventure to the Final Four.
Hall of Fame quarterback
Len Dawson, whose unmistakable swagger in helping the Kansas City Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title earned him the nickname “Lenny the Cool,” died Aug. 24, 2022. He was 87.
Shirley Spork, one of the 13 founders of the LPGA Tour who learned two weeks ago she would be inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame, died April 12, 2022. at age 94. While she never won on the LPGA Tour — her best finish was runner-up in the 1962 LPGA Championship at Stardust Country Club in Las Vegas — Spork's impact stretched across seven decades of starting the tour and teaching the game.
Scott Hall, professional wrestling’s “Bad Guy” who revolutionized the industry as a founding member of the New World Order faction, died March 14, 2022. He was 63. Hall, who also wrestled for WWE as Razor Ramon, was a two-time inductee into the company’s Hall of Fame.
Peter Bogdanovich, the ascot-wearing cinephile and director of 1970s black-and-white classics like “The Last Picture Show” and “Paper Moon,” died Jan. 6, 2022. He was 82. Bogdanovich was heralded as an auteur from the start, with the chilling lone shooter film “Targets” and soon after “The Last Picture Show,” from 1971, his evocative portrait of a small, dying town that earned eight Oscar nominations and catapulted him to stardom.
Ivan Reitman, the influential filmmaker and producer behind many of the most beloved comedies of the late 20th century, from “Animal House” to “Ghostbusters,” died Feb. 12, 2022. He was 75. Known for bawdy comedies that caught the spirit of their time, Reitman’s big break came with the raucous, college fraternity sendup “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” which he produced. He directed Bill Murray in his first starring role in the summer camp flick “Meatballs," and then again in 1981's “Stripes,” but his most significant success came with 1984’s “Ghostbusters.”
André Leon Talley
André Leon Talley, a towering figure who made fashion history as a rare Black editor in an overwhelmingly white industry, died Jan. 18, 2022. He was 73. Talley was the former creative director and editor at large of Vogue magazine. Often dressed in sweeping capes, he was a highly visible regular in the front row of fashion shows in New York and Europe for decades.
Manfred Thierry Mugler
French fashion designer
Manfred Thierry Mugler, whose dramatic designs were worn by celebrities like Madonna, Lady Gaga and Cardi B, died Jan. 23, 2022. He was 73. Mugler, who launched his brand in 1973, became known for his architectural style, defined by broad shoulders and a tiny waist. The use of plastic-like futuristic fabric in his sculpted clothing became a trademark.
Pat Carroll, a comedic television mainstay for decades, Emmy-winner for “Caesar’s Hour” and the voice Ursula in “The Little Mermaid,” died July 30, 2022. She was 95. Carroll won an Emmy for her work on the sketch comedy series “Caesar’s Hour” in 1956, was a regular on “Make Room for Daddy” with Danny Thomas, a guest star on “The DuPont Show with June Allyson” and a variety show regular stopping by “The Danny Kaye Show,” “The Red Skelton Show” and “The Carol Burnett Show.” A new generation would come to know and love her voice thanks to Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” which came out in 1989.
Tony Dow, who as Wally Cleaver on the sitcom “Leave It to Beaver” helped create the popular and lasting image of the American teenager of the 1950s and 60s, died July 27, 2022. He was 77. Dow's Wally was an often annoyed but essentially loving big brother who was constantly bailing out the title character, Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver, played by Jerry Mathers, on the show that was synonymous with the sometimes hokey, wholesome image of the 1950s American family.
Philip Baker Hall
Philip Baker Hall, the prolific character actor of film and theater who starred in Paul Thomas Anderson's first movies and who memorably hunted down a long-overdue library book in “Seinfeld,” died June 12, 2022. He was 90. In a career spanning half a century, Hall was a ubiquitous hangdog face whose doleful, weary appearance could shroud a booming intensity and humble sensitivity. His range was wide, but Hall, who had a natural gravitas, often played men in suits, trench coats and lab coats.
Larry Storch, the rubber-faced comic whose long career in theater, movies and television was capped by his “F Troop” role as zany Cpl. Agarn in the 1960s spoof of Western frontier TV shows, died July 8, 2022. Storch was 99.
Kevin Conroy, the prolific voice actor whose gravely delivery on “Batman: The Animated Series" was for many Batman fans the definitive sound of the Caped Crusader, died Nov. 10, 2022, at 66. Conroy was the voice of Batman on the acclaimed animated series that ran from 1992-1996, often acting opposite Mark Hamill's Joker. Conroy continued on as the almost exclusive animated voice of Batman, including some 15 films, 400 episodes of television and two dozen video games, including the “Batman: Arkham” and “Injustice” franchises.
Bobby Rydell, a pompadoured heartthrob of early rock ‘n roll who was a star of radio, television and the movie musical “Bye Bye Birdie,” died April 5, 2022, at age 79. Between 1959 and 1964, Rydell had nearly three dozen Top 40 singles including “Wild One,” “Volare,” “Wildwood Days,” “The Cha-Cha-Cha” and “Forget Him." He had recurring roles on “The Red Skelton Show” and other television programs, and 1963's “Bye Bye Birdie” was rewritten to give Rydell a major part as the boyfriend of Ann-Margret.
Jeff Cook, who co-founded the country group Alabama and steered them up the charts with such hits as “Song of the South” and “Dixieland Delight,” died Nov. 8, 2022. He was 73.
Hilary Mantel, the Booker Prize-winning author who turned Tudor power politics into page-turning fiction in the acclaimed “Wolf Hall” trilogy of historical novels, died Sept. 22, 2022. She was 70. Mantel is credited with reenergizing historical fiction with “Wolf Hall” and two sequels about the 16th-century English powerbroker Thomas Cromwell, right-hand man to King Henry VIII — and in Mantel’s hands, the charismatic antihero of a bloody, high-stakes political drama.
Sonny Barger, the leather-clad fixture of 1960s counterculture and figurehead of the Hells Angels motorcycle club who was at the notorious Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Speedway, died June 29, 2022. He was 83.
Shinzo Abe, a divisive archconservative who was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister and remained a powerful and influential politician after leaving office, has died after being shot during a campaign speech July 8, 2022. He was 67. Abe, a political blueblood, was perhaps the most polarizing, complex politician in recent Japanese history. At the same time, he revitalized Japan’s economy, led efforts for the nation to take a stronger role in Asia and served as a rare beacon of political stability before stepping down two years ago for health reasons.
Mickey Gilley, whose namesake Texas honky-tonk inspired the 1980 film “Urban Cowboy” and a nationwide wave of Western-themed nightspots, died May 7, 2022. He was 86. Overall, Gilley had 39 Top 10 country hits and 17 No. 1 songs. He received six Academy of Country Music Awards, and also worked on occasion as an actor, with appearances on “Murder She Wrote,” “The Fall Guy,” “Fantasy Island” and “The Dukes of Hazzard.”
William Hurt, whose laconic charisma and self-assured subtlety as an actor made him one of the 1980s foremost leading men in movies such as “Broadcast News," “Body Heat” and “The Big Chill,” died March 13, 2022. He was 71. In a long-running career, Hurt was four times nominated for an Academy Award, winning for 1985's “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” After his breakthrough in 1980’s Paddy Chayefsky-scripted “Altered States” as a psychopathologist studying schizophrenia and experimenting with sensory deprivation, Hurt quickly emerged as a mainstay of the '80s.
Louise Fletcher, a late-blooming star whose riveting performance as the cruel and calculating Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest” set a new standard for screen villains and won her an Academy Award, died Sept. 23, 2022, at age 88.
Sacheen Littlefeather, the actor and activist who declined Marlon Brando’s 1973 Academy Award for “The Godfather” on his behalf in an indelible protest of Hollywood's portrayal of Native Americans, died Oct. 2, 2022. She was 75. Littlefeather’s appearance at the 1973 Oscars would become one of the award show's most famous moments. Clad in buckskin dress and moccasins, Littlefeather took the stage when presenter Roger Moore read Brando's name as the winner for best actor.
Claes Oldenburg, who turned the mundane into the monumental through his outsized sculptures of a baseball bat, a clothespin and other objects, died July 18, 2022, at age 93.
Tony Siragusa, the charismatic defensive tackle who was part of one of the most celebrated defenses in NFL history with the Baltimore Ravens, died June 22, 2022. He was 55. Siragusa, known as “Goose,” played seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and five with the Ravens. Baltimore’s 2000 team won the Super Bowl behind a stout defense that included Siragusa, Ray Lewis and Sam Adams. Siragusa was popular with fans because of his fun-loving attitude, which also helped him transition quickly to broadcasting after his playing career.
Mike Bossy, one of hockey’s most prolific goal-scorers and a star for the New York Islanders during their 1980s Stanley Cup dynasty, died April 14, 2022, after a battle with lung cancer. He was 65. Bossy helped the Islanders win the Stanley Cup four straight years from 1980-83, earning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 1982. He scored the Cup-winning goal in 1982 and ’83.
Hockey Hall of Famer
Guy Lafleur, who helped the Montreal Canadiens win five Stanley Cup titles in the 1970s, died at age 70. One of the greatest players of his generation, Lafleur, nicknamed "The Flower," registered 518 goals and 728 assists in 14 seasons with Montreal.
Vangelis, the Greek electronic composer who wrote the unforgettable Academy Award-winning score for the film “Chariots of Fire” and music for dozens of other movies, documentaries and TV series, died May 17, 2022, at age 79.
Lucianne Goldberg, a literary agent and key figure in the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton over his affair with Monica Lewinsky, died Oct. 26, 2022, at the age of 87. Goldberg, a longtime conservative activist whose agency specialized in right-wing books, gained national prominence for advising her friend Linda Tripp to secretly tape Tripp's conversations with Lewinsky, a former White House intern who had been involved in a sexual relationship with Clinton.
Longtime NFL journalist
John Clayton, nicknamed "The Professor," died March 25, 2022, following a short illness. He was 67. Clayton spent more than two decades covering the Pittsburgh Steelers for the The Pittsburgh Press and the Seattle Seahawks for The News Tribune in Tacoma. Clayton moved to ESPN in 1995, becoming one of the lead NFL writers for the company. Clayton appeared on TV and radio for ESPN and worked at the company for more than 20 years.
Bobbie Nelson, the older sister of country music legend Willie Nelson and longtime pianist in his band, died March 10, 2022. She was 91. An original member of the Willie Nelson and Family Band, Bobbie Nelson played piano for more than 50 years with her brother.
Eileen Ryan, an actor who appeared on TV, in films and on Broadway and the matriarch of the steeped-in-the-arts Penn family, died Oct. 9, 2022. She was 94. Her TV credits include appearances on “The Twilight Zone,” “Bonanza,” “The Detectives,” “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “Arli$$,” “Ally McBeal,” “NYPD Blue,” “ER,” “CSI,” “Men of a Certain Age” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Her film roles included “Parenthood,” “At Close Range” and “Benny & Joon.”
Jean-Luc Godard, the iconic “enfant terrible” of the French New Wave who revolutionized popular cinema in 1960 with his first feature, “Breathless,” and stood for years among the film world's most influential directors, died Sept. 13, 2022. He was 91. Over a long career that began in the 1950s as a film critic, Godard was perhaps the most boundary-breaking director among New Wave filmmakers who rewrote the rules for camera, sound and narrative — rebelling against an earlier tradition of more formulaic storytelling.
Art Laboe, the pioneering radio DJ who read heartfelt song dedications to generations of loyal listeners and was credited with helping end segregation in Southern California during an eight-decade broadcast career, died Oct. 7, 2022. He was 97. Laboe is also credited with popularizing the phrase “oldies, but goodies.”
Judy Tenuta, a brash standup who cheekily styled herself as the “Love Goddess” and toured with George Carlin as she built her career in the 1980s golden age of comedy, died Oct. 6, 2022. She was 72.
Pharoah Sanders, the influential tenor saxophonist revered in the jazz world for the spirituality of his work, died Sept. 24, 2022. He was 81. Sanders launched his career playing alongside John Coltrane in the 1960s.
James A. McDivitt
James A. McDivitt, who commanded the Apollo 9 mission testing the first complete set of equipment to go to the moon, died Oct. 13, 2022. He was 93. McDivitt was also the commander of 1965’s Gemini 4 mission, where his best friend and colleague Ed White made the first U.S. spacewalk. His photographs of White during the spacewalk became iconic images.
Marilyn Bergman, the Oscar-winning lyricist who teamed with husband Alan Bergman on “The Way We Were,” “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” and hundreds of other songs, died Jan. 8, 2022. She was 93.
Gaspard Ulliel, known for appearing in Chanel perfume ads as well as film and television roles, died Jan. 19, 2022, after a skiing accident in the Alps. He was 37. Ulliel portrayed the young Hannibal Lecter in 2007's “Hannibal Rising” and fashion mogul Yves Saint Laurent in the 2014 biopic “Saint Laurent.” He is also in the Marvel series “Moon Knight."
Dan Reeves, who won a Super Bowl as a player with the Dallas Cowboys but was best known for a long coaching career highlighted by four more appearances in the title game with the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons, all losses, died Jan. 1, 2022. He was 77.
Don Maynard, a Hall of Fame receiver who made his biggest impact catching passes from Joe Namath in the wide-open AFL, died Jan. 10, 2022. He was 86. When Maynard retired in 1973, he was pro football’s career receiving leader with 633 catches for 11,834 yards and 88 touchdowns. The Jets retired his No. 13 jersey.
Don Young, who was the longest-serving Republican in the history of the U.S. House, died March 25, 2033. He was 88. Young, who was first elected to the U.S. House in 1973, was known for his brusque style. In his later years in office, his off-color comments and gaffes sometimes overshadowed his work.
Michael Lang, a co-creator and promoter of the 1969 Woodstock music festival that served as a touchstone for generations of music fans, died Jan. 8, 2022. He was 77.
Lawrence N. Brooks
Lawrence N. Brooks, the oldest World War II veteran in the U.S. — and believed to be the oldest man in the country — died Jan. 5, 2022, at the age of 112.
Tom Parker, a member of British-Irish boy band The Wanted, died March 30, 2022, after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. He was 33. Formed in 2009, The Wanted had a string of hit singles including U.K. No. 1s “All Time Low” and "Glad You Came.”
Rayfield Wright, the Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle nicknamed “Big Cat” who went to five Super Bowls in his 13 NFL seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, died April 7, 2022. He was 76.
Charley Taylor, the Hall of Fame receiver who ended his 13-season career with Washington as the NFL's career receptions leader, died Feb. 19, 2022. He was 80. Taylor was the 1964 NFL rookie of the year and was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's All-1960s Team. The eight-time Pro Bowl selection was a first-team all-NFL pick in 1967.
Tommy Davis, a two-time National League batting champion who won three World Series titles with the Los Angeles Dodgers, died April 3, 2022. He was 83. Recruited to play for the Dodgers by Jackie Robinson, Davis batted .357 with 17 home runs, 104 RBI and 68 stolen bases in 127 games in that first season with the team. He won consecutive titles in 1962, when he hit .346 and led the NL in hits and RBI, and 1963, when he hit .326.
Bill Fitch, who guided the Boston Celtics to one of their championships during a Hall of Fame coaching career spanning three decades, died Feb. 2, 2022. He was 89. A two-time NBA coach of the year, Fitch coached for 25 seasons in the NBA, starting with the expansion Cleveland Cavaliers in 1970. He was Larry Bird's first pro coach with Boston in 1979, won a title with the Celtics in 1981 and spent time with Houston, New Jersey and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Robert Morse, who won a Tony Award as a hilariously brash corporate climber in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and a second one a generation later as the brilliant, troubled Truman Capote in “Tru,” died April 20, 2022. He was 90.
Dede Robertson, the wife of religious broadcaster Pat Robertson and a founding board member of the Christian Broadcasting Network, died April 19, 2022. She was 94.
Robert C. Krueger, who followed two U.S. House terms with a brief interim appointment to the Senate before launching a sometimes-hazardous diplomatic career, died April 30, 2022, at age 86.
Johnnie A. Jones Sr.
Johnnie A. Jones Sr., a Louisiana civil rights attorney and World War II veteran who was wounded during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, died April 23, 2022. He was 102 years old.
Gary Brooker, the Procol Harum frontman who sang one of the 1960s' most enduring hits, “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” died Feb. 19, 2022. He was 76. Brooker was singer and keyboard player with the band, which had a huge hit with its first single, “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” With its Baroque-flavored organ solo and mysterious opening line - “We skipped the light fandango, turned cartwheels cross the floor" — the song became one of the signature tunes of the 1967 “Summer of Love.”
Brent Renaud, an acclaimed filmmaker who traveled to some of the darkest and most dangerous corners of the world for documentaries that transported audiences to little-known places of suffering, died March 13, 2022, after Russian forces opened fire on his vehicle in Ukraine.
Ronnie Hawkins, a brash rockabilly star from Arkansas who became a patron of the Canadian music scene after moving north and recruiting a handful of local musicians later known as the Band, died May 29, 2022. He was 87.
Andy “Fletch” Fletcher, the unassuming, bespectacled, red-headed keyboardist who for more than 40 years added his synth sounds to Depeche Mode hits like “Just Can’t Get Enough” and “Personal Jesus,” died May 26, 2022, at age 60.
Ann Turner Cook
Ann Turner Cook, whose cherubic baby face was known the world over as the original Gerber baby, has died. She was 95. Cook was 5 months old when a neighbor, artist Dorothy Hope Smith, drew a charcoal sketch of her that was later submitted for a contest Gerber was holding for a national marketing campaign for baby food. The image was a hit, so much so that it became the company's trademark in 1931 and has been used in all packaging and advertising since.
Dwayne Hickman, the actor and network TV executive who despite numerous achievements throughout his life would always be remembered fondly by a generation of baby boomers for his role as Dobie Gillis, died Jan. 9, 2022. He was 87.
Political commentator and columnist
Mark Shields, who shared his insight into American politics and wit on “PBS NewsHour” for decades, died June 18, 2022. He was 85.
James Rado, co-creator of the groundbreaking hippie musical “Hair,” which celebrated protest, pot and free love and paved the way for the sound of rock on Broadway, died June 21, 2022. He was 90. “Hair,” which has a story and lyrics by Rado and Gerome Ragni and music by Galt MacDermot, was the first rock musical on Broadway, the first Broadway show to feature full nudity and the first to feature a same-sex kiss.
O. Bruton Smith, who emerged from North Carolina farm country and parlayed his love of motorsports into a Hall of Fame career as one of the biggest track owners and most successful promoters in the history of auto racing, died June 22, 2022. He was 95.
Marlin Briscoe, who became the first Black starting quarterback in the American Football League more than 50 years ago, died June 27, 2022. He was 76.
Oprah Winfrey’s father,
Vernon Winfrey, died July 8, 2022, at the age of 89. Vernon served as a member of Nashville's Metro City Council for 16 years and was a trustee for the Tennessee State University. Oprah spent her early childhood at her father's hometown of Kosciusko, Mississippi, and in Milwaukee with her mother, Vernita Lee, who died in 2018.
William “Poogie” Hart
William “Poogie” Hart (center), a founder of the Grammy-winning trio the Delfonics who helped write and sang a soft lead tenor on such classic “Sound of Philadelphia” ballads as “La-La (Means I Love You)” and “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time),” died July 14, 2022, at age 77.
David Warner, a versatile British actor whose roles ranged from Shakespearean tragedies to sci-fi cult classics, died July 24, 2022. He was 80. Often cast as a villain, Warner had roles in the 1971 psychological thriller “Straw Dogs,” the 1976 horror classic “The Omen,” the 1979 time-travel adventure “Time After Time” — he was Jack the Ripper — and the 1997 blockbuster “Titanic,” where he played the malicious valet Spicer Lovejoy.
Issey Miyake, who built one of Japan’s biggest fashion brands and was known for his boldly sculpted pleated pieces as well as former Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ black turtlenecks, died Aug. 5, 2022. He was 84.
Bert Fields, for decades the go-to lawyer for Hollywood A-listers including Tom Cruise, Michael Jackson, George Lucas and the Beatles, and a character as colorful as many of his clients, died Aug. 7, 2022, at age 93.
Melissa Bank, whose 1999 bestseller “The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing" was a series of interconnected stories widely praised for its wit and precise language and embraced by young readers, died Aug. 2, 2022, at age 61.
Albert Woodfox, a former inmate who spent decades in isolation at a Louisiana prison and then became an advocate for prison reforms after he was released, died Aug. 4, 2022, of complications from COVID-19. He was 75.
Barbara Ehrenreich, the author, activist and self-described “myth buster” who in such notable works as “Nickel and Dimed” and “Bait and Switch" challenged conventional thinking about class, religion and the very idea of an American dream, died Sept. 1, 2022, at age 81.
Julie Powell, who became an internet darling after blogging for a year about making every recipe in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” leading to a book deal and a film adaptation, died Oct. 26, 2022. She was 49.
Jason David Frank
Jason David Frank, who played the Green Power Ranger Tommy Oliver on the 1990s children's series “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers," died in November. He was 49.
Robert Clary, a French-born survivor of Nazi concentration camps during World War II who played a feisty prisoner of war in the improbable 1960s sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes,” died Nov. 16, 2022. He was 96.
Christine McVie, the British-born Fleetwood Mac vocalist, songwriter and keyboard player whose cool, soulful contralto helped define such classics as “You Make Loving Fun,” “Everywhere” and “Don’t Stop,” died Nov. 30, 2022, at age 79.
Baseball Hall of Famer and two-time Cy Young Award winner
Gaylord Perry, a master of the spitball and telling stories about the pitch, died Dec. 1, 2022. He was 84. Perry made history as the first player to win the Cy Young in both leagues, with Cleveland in 1972 after a 24-16 season and with San Diego in 1978 — going 21-6 for his fifth and final 20-win season just after turning 40.
Kirstie Alley, a two-time Emmy winner whose roles on the TV megahit “Cheers” and in the “Look Who's Talking” films made her one of the biggest stars in American comedy in the late 1980s and early 1990s, died of cancer Dec. 4, 2022. She was 71. Alley starred opposite Ted Danson as Rebecca Howe on “Cheers,” the beloved NBC sitcom about a Boston bar, from 1987 to 1993. She would take a second Emmy for best lead actress in a miniseries or television movie in 1993 for playing the title role in “David's Mother." She had her own sitcom, “Veronica's Closet,” from 1997 to 2000.
Stephen "tWitch" Boss
Stephen “tWitch” Boss, the longtime and beloved dancing DJ on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and a former contestant on "So You Think You Can Dance," died of suicide Dec. 13, 2022, at the age of 40. The dancer-DJ appeared in films like "Step Up: All In" and "Magic Mike XXL" and was featured in Disney+’s "The Hip Hop Nutcracker," released this year. He also had placed as a runner-up on “So You Think You Can Dance” and later judged season 17 of the dance competition show.
Mike Leach, the gruff, pioneering and unfiltered college football coach who helped revolutionize the passing game with the Air Raid offense, died following complications from a heart condition. He was 61. In 21 seasons as a head coach at Texas Tech, Washington State and Mississippi State, Leach went 158-107.
Paul Silas, a member of three NBA championship teams as a player and LeBron James' first coach in the league, died Dec. 10, 2022. He was 79. Silas took four NBA teams to the playoffs, winning exactly 400 games — 387 in the regular season, 13 more in the postseason.
Dorothy Pitman Hughes
Dorothy Pitman Hughes, a pioneering Black feminist, child welfare advocate and lifelong community activist who toured the country speaking with Gloria Steinem in the 1970s and appears with her in one of the most iconic photos of the second-wave feminist movement, died Dec. 1, 2022. She was 84.
Grant Wahl, an American journalist who helped grow the popularity of soccer in the U.S. and reported on some of the biggest stories in the sport, died Dec. 10, 2022, while covering a World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands. He was 49. Wahl, who wrote for Sports Illustrated for more than two decades and then started his own website, was a major voice informing an American public of soccer during time of increased interest after the U.S. hosted the 1994 World Cup. He also brought a critical eye to the organizational bodies of the international sport.
Mills Lane, the Hall of Fame boxing referee who was the third man in the ring when Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear, died Dec. 6, 2022. He was 85. A boxer himself who won an NCAA championship in 1960, Lane went 10-1 as a pro before eventually making a much bigger mark in the sport as a referee. Respected for being tough but fair, his “Let’s get it on!” command became the final words heard before many memorable fights.
Franco Harris, the Hall of Fame running back whose heads-up thinking authored “The Immaculate Reception,” considered the most iconic play in NFL history, has died. He was 72. Harris ran for 12,120 yards and won four Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s, a dynasty that began in earnest when Harris decided to keep running during a last-second heave by Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw in a playoff game against Oakland in 1972.
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI, flanked by Monsignor Francesco Camaldo, left, and Bishop Piero Marini, greets the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican soon after his election on April 19, 2005. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the German theologian who will be remembered as the first pope in 600 years to resign, has died, the Vatican announced Saturday Dec. 31, 2022. He was 95. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis, File)