Final goodbye: Roll call of some who died in 2017
They made music that inspired legions of fans.
Rock 'n' roll founding fathers Chuck Berry and Fats Domino, rockers Tom Petty and Greg Allman, grunge icon Chris Cornell, country superstar Glen Campbell and jazz great Al Jarreau were among the notable figures who died in 2017, leaving a void in virtually every genre of music.
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, who founded Playboy magazine and was credited with helping rev up the sexual revolution in the 1960s.
Here is a roll call of some of the people who died in 2017. (Cause of death cited for younger people, if available.)
Tommy Allsup, 85. A guitarist best known for losing a coin toss that kept him off a plane that later crashed and killed rock 'n' roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "Big Bopper" Richardson. Jan. 11. Complications from a hernia operation.
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.
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.
Al Jarreau, 76. A Grammy-winning jazz singer who transcended genres over a 50-year career. Feb. 12.
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.
Robert Osborne, 84. The genial face of Turner Classic Movies and a walking encyclopedia of classic Hollywood. March 6.
Robert James Waller, 77. His best-selling, bittersweet 1992 romance novel "The Bridges of Madison County" was turned into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood and later into a soaring Broadway musical. March 10.
Joni Sledge, 60. With her sisters, she recorded the enduring dance anthem "We Are Family." March 10.
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.
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.
Colin Dexter, 86. The unassuming British writer who created curmudgeonly, music-loving Oxford detective Inspector Morse. March 21.
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, bald-headed 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.
Dorothy Mengering, 95. The mother of host David Letterman, she became an unlikely celebrity in her 70s as she baked mystery pies and covered the Olympics for her son's late-night show. April 11.
Erin Moran, 56. The former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi." April 22. Cancer.
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.
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.
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.
Dina Merrill, 93. The rebellious heiress who defied her super-rich 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.
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.
Peter Sallis, 96. A British actor who played irrepressible, cheese-loving inventor Wallace in the "Wallace and Gromit" cartoons. June 2.
Roger Smith, 84. He brought glamour to the TV detective genre as a hip private eye on "77 Sunset Strip." June 4.
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.
Michael Bond, 91. He was creator of marmalade-loving children's favorite Paddington bear. June 27.
Christopher Wong Won, 53. Known as Fresh Kid Ice, he was a founding member of the Miami hip-hop group 2 Live Crew whose sexually explicit lyrics triggered a national debate over the legal limits of artistic freedom. July 13.
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.
Chester Bennington, 41. The Linkin Park lead singer whose screeching vocals helped the rock-rap band become one of the most commercially successful acts in the 2000s. July 20. Apparent suicide.
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.
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.
Glen Campbell, 81. The affable superstar singer of "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Wichita Lineman" whose appeal spanned country, pop, television and movies. Aug. 8.
Barbara Cook, 89. Her shimmering soprano made her one of Broadway's leading ingenues and later a major cabaret and concert interpreter of popular American song. Aug. 8.
Dick Gregory, 84. The comedian and activist and 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.
Thomas Meehan, 88. A three-time Tony Award-winning book writer best known for transforming the Little Orphan Annie cartoon strip into the smash Broadway musical "Annie." Aug. 21.
Richard Anderson, 91. The tall, handsome actor best known for costarring simultaneously in the popular 1970s television shows "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Bionic Woman." Aug. 31.
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.
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.
Frank Vincent, 80. A veteran character actor known for playing gangster roles, including in "The Sopranos," "Goodfellas" and "Casino."
Grant Hart, 56. The drummer and vocalist for pioneering indie rock band Husker Du, which was seen as a major influence for Nirvana, the Pixies and other bands. Sept. 13. Cancer.
Hugh M. Hefner, 91. The Playboy magazine founder who revved up the sexual revolution in the 1950s 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.
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.
Jimmy Beaumont, 76. The lead singer of the doo-wop group the Skyliners and a co-writer of the iconic ballad "Since I Don't Have You." Oct. 7.
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.
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.
Lil Peep, 21. The rapper was a budding star whose emotional, downtrodden lyrics gained a cult following online. Nov. 15. Suspected drug overdose.
Ann Wedgeworth, 83. An actress who gained fame on film and Broadway before taking on the role of a flirty divorcee on "Three's Company." Nov. 16.
Malcolm Young, 64. The rhythm guitarist and guiding force behind the bawdy hard rock band AC/DC who helped create such head-banging anthems as "Highway to Hell," "Hells Bells" and "Back in Black." Nov. 18.
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 pre-teen idol who starred in the 1970s sitcom "The Partridge Family" and sold millions of records as the musical group's lead singer. Nov. 21.
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.
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.
Heather Menzies-Urich, 68. She played one of the singing von Trapp children in the hit 1965 film, "The Sound of Music." Dec. 24.
OTHER NOTABLE DEATHS
Gene Cernan, 82. A former astronaut who was the last person to walk on the moon. Jan. 16.
Mike Ilitch, 87. The billionaire businessman who founded the Little Caesars pizza empire before buying the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers. Feb. 10.
Harold G. "Hal" Moore, 94. The American hero known for saving most of his men in the first major battle between the U.S. and North Vietnamese armies. Feb. 10.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prominent figures from the sporting world who died included Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, former Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian and boxer Jake LaMotta.
Jerry Krause, 77. The general manager of the Bulls during a 1990s dynasty that included six NBA championships with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
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.
Aaron Hernandez, 27. The former New England Patriots tight end was sentenced to life behind bars for a 2013 murder and committed suicide in prison. April 19.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sugar Ramos, 75. The Cuban featherweight champion whose fists led to two ring deaths — one inspiring a Bob Dylan song. Sept. 3. Complications from cancer.
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.
Dave Strader, 62. The hockey broadcaster known affectionately as "The Voice." Oct. 1.
Connie Hawkins, 75. Basketball's dazzling New York playground great who soared and swooped his way to the Hall of Fame. Oct. 6.
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.
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.
Terry Glenn, 43. Standout wide receiver for the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys who caught Tom Brady's first career touchdown pass. Nov. 20.
Perry Wallace, 69. He broke down a racial barrier in the Deep South by becoming the first black varsity basketball player in the Southeastern Conference. Dec. 1.