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2017 Necrology
What is a necrology? A necrology is a listing of people who have died during a specific time period. Find A Grave necrologies let you browse the names and faces of the 75 most famous people who have died during a selected year, all the way back to 1900. They are listed in order of their Find A Grave 'fame ranking', as voted by Find A Grave contributors. To view a necrology, simply select a year from the pop up list below. You can optionally select a category to restrict the list even further (just actors, just politicians, etc.). To visit the memorial page for any of the names listed on a necrology, click on their name or photo.
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Jerry Lewis (1926 - 2017)
American Actor, Comedian, Singer, Producer, Director, Screenwriter and Humanitarian. Born Joseph Levitch, he had a prolific career in motion pictures, nightclubs, television shows, concerts, album recordings and musicals. He also served as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and ...
 
Glen Campbell (1936 - 2017)
American Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Actor and Television Host. Born Glen Travis Campbell, his father was a sharecropper and Glen was his seventh son, making him the seventh son of a seventh son. He learned to play music on a five-dollar guitar he received from his father, taking lessons from an u...
 
Mary Moore (1936 - 2017)
American Actress, Television Icon. She was a vivacious actress best known for her roles on both the 1960s sitcom "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and the 1970s sitcom "The Mary Tyler Moore Show". Originally a dancer, she got her start in television as a dancing elf "Happy Hotpoint" in Hotpoint Appliance com...
 
Chuck Berry (1926 - 2017)
Singer. Born Charles Edward Anderson Berry, he was considered one of the pioneers of rock and roll music with such big hits as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958). He grew up in a family proud of its African-American and Native...
 
Don Rickles (1926 - 2017)
Actor, Comedian. Born Donald Jay Rickles, he was best known for a cheerfully belligerent brand of humor that relied heavily on ad-libbed insults and broad cultural stereotypes. At age 18 he enlisted in the navy and served in the Philippines during World War II. After being discharged, he studied...
 
Adam West (1928 - 2017)
Actor. Forever and fondly remembered for playing the roles of ‘Bruce Wayne/Batman’ in the television series “Batman” (1966 to 1968). The series elevated West to cult television star status for generations of audiences. Born William West Anderson, his father was a wheat farmer, his mother was a conce...
 
Roger Moore (1927 - 2017)
Actor. Handsome, suave and debonair, he will be remembered for inheriting the role of British spy “James Bond, 007” from Sean Connery, beginning with “Live and Let Die” (1973) and concluding with “View to a Kill”. His father was a police officer (bobby), his mother was a homemaker, Roger took a liki...
 
Don Williams (1939 - 2017)
American Country Singer and Songwriter. Williams, with his imposing stature, smooth vocals and soft-spoken nature, was referred to as the "Gentle Giant" of country music. Over the course of his four decade career, he recorded a long stretch of easygoing hits including "Good Ole Boys Like Me", "Tulsa...
 
Gregg Allman (1947 - 2017)
Rock Musician. He was a founding member of the "Allman Brothers Band" and a pioneer of the Southern Rock and Blues genre. Along with his brother, Duane, who was born 13 months before him, they became interested in music after seeing a 1960 concert by R&B singer Jackie Wilson. While in his teens, Gre...
 
Bill Paxton (1955 - 2017)
Actor and Director. Born the son of Mary Lou Gray and John Lane Paxton, in Fort Worth, Texas. At 18, he moved to Los Angeles, where he found work as a set dresser for Roger Corman's New World Pictures. He made his film debut with them in an uncredited role in “Crazy Mama” (1975). He then moved to Ne...
 
Sam Shepard (1943 - 2017)
American Actor, Director, Screenwriter and Author. Born Samuel Shepard Rogers III, he was a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who wrote nearly 50 plays and saw his work produced across the nation. His 1979 play 'Buried Child' won the Pulitzer for drama. Among other plays he wrote were 'Fool for Love...
 
Martin Landau (1928 - 2017)
American Actor. Landau was an award-winning actor who appeared in nearly 200 films and TV shows during his prolific career. He worked as a cartoonist before starting his acting career in the '50s. His big break came in 1966 when he was cast as Rollin Hand in the 'Mission: Impossible' TV series along...
 
Robert Osborne (1932 - 2017)
Television Personality. Born Robert Jolin Osborne, he was best known to television viewers as the long time host for Turner Classic Movies (TCM). He graduated from the University of Washington's School of Journalism. After college, he began his career as a contract actor for Desi Arnaz and Luc...
 
Richard Anderson (1926 - 2017)
Actor. Born Richard Norman Anderson, he was best known to television viewers as Oscar Goldman, the head of a secret scientific government organization, on the 1970s series "The Six Million Dollar Man" , its spinoff "The Bionic Woman", and its subsequent television movies. He served a seventeen mon...
 
Bill Dana (1924 - 2017)
American Actor, Writer and Author. Born William Szathmary, he created and starred as the character at the center of the "My Name … Jose Jimenez" routine that made him one of America's most beloved comic performers of the 1960s. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, earning a Bronze Star as...
 
Powers Boothe (1948 - 2017)
Actor. Remembered for his role as 'Philip Marlowe' in the TV series "Philip Marlowe, Private Eye" (1983 and 1986). Born Powers Allen Boothe, his father was a sharecropping farmer, Powers played football during his years at Snyder High School in Texas. After enrolling at Southwest Texas State Univers...
 
Arthur Jackson (1924 - 2017)
World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He received this award from President Harry S. Truman at the White House on October 5, 1945 for his actions on September 18, 1944 as a Marine Corps Private First Class assigned to the Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division against...
 
Chuck Barris (1929 - 2017)
Entertainer, Producer, Author. Best known as the host of the zany TV program "The Gong Show" (1976 to 1980). Born Charles Hirsch Barris, into a Jewish family, his father was a dentist, Chuck was educated at Lower Merion High School and later at Drexel University. While attending the later, he had a ...
 
Mike Connors (1925 - 2017)
Actor. Best remembered for playing the tall, ruggedly, handsome 'Joe Mannix' in the TV detective series "Mannix" (1967 to 1975). Born Kreker (some sources state spelling is Krekor) Ohanian, to parents of Armenian descent, he served with the United States Army Air Force during World War II. Following...
 
John Hurt (1940 - 2017)
British Actor. He was a two-time Academy Award-nominated actor of stage and screen whose career spanned six decades. He studied art in his youth and went on to earn an art teacher's diploma. He decided to change careers and moved to London, where he won an acting scholarship at the Royal Academy of ...
 
Troy Gentry (1967 - 2017)
American Country Singer and Songwriter. Gentry was one-half of the popular country duo, Montgomery Gentry. Along with Eddie Montgomery, they performed together since the 1990s and formed Montgomery Gentry in 1999. The duo are best known for their singles "My Town", "Daddy Won’t Sell The Farm", and "...
 
Eugene Cernan (1934 - 2017)
American Astronaut. He, as commander of Apollo 17, was the last person to walk on the Moon. He attended Purdue University and graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He was commissioned in the United States Navy in 1956 and earned his master's degree in aeronau...
 
Barbara Hale (1922 - 2017)
American Actress. She will best be remembered for her role as legal secretary Della Street on the long-running television series, 'Perry Mason'. At age twelve, she began taking lessons in ballet and started to participate in local theater plays. After she graduated from high school, she enrolled in ...
 
Shelley Berman (1925 - 2017)
Actor, Comedian. Born Sheldon Leonard Berman, his brittle persona and anxiety-ridden observations helped redefine stand-up comedy in the 1950s and early 1960s. After serving in the United States Navy, he trained for the acting profession with the famed teacher Uta Hagen and then enrolled as a drama ...
 
John Heard (1946 - 2017)
American Actor. Born John Matthew Heard, Jr., he was a prolific actor whose career spanned five decades, appearing in nearly 100 films. The son of an actress who was involved in the arts and appeared in community theatre, and whose father worked for the office of the Secretary of Defense, he attende...
 
Helmut Kohl (1930 - 2017)
German Statesman. He served as Chancellor of West Germany from 1982 until 1998 (Germany from 1990 until 1998). He held the distinction of being the first and longest serving Chancellor of postwar unified Germany. During his tenure, he saw the conclusion of the "Cold War" and the removal of the Berli...
 
Harry Stanton (1926 - 2017)
Actor. He was a very prolific character actor whose career spanned seven decades. After serving in the United States Navy during World War II, he attended the University of Kentucky and studied journalism and radio. He also acted on the stage while at Kentucky. After college, he pursued acting by ...
 
Joseph Wapner (1919 - 2017)
Superior Court Judge, Television Personality. He was a fixture on the popular TV program “The People’s Court” from 1981 to 1993, appearing in nearly 2,500 episodes. A graduate of the University of Southern California (USC) Law School, he served in the U.S. Army’s 132nd infantry during the Second Wor...
 
Chris Cornell (1964 - 2017)
American Musician, Singer and Songwriter. Born Christopher John Boyle, he was best known as the frontman for the rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave. In 1984, he helped form Soundgarden, which released the its first single, "Hunted Down" in 1987, followed by two EPs. Their debut album 'Ultramega O...
 
Jay Thomas (1948 - 2017)
American Actor, Comedian and Talk Show Host. Born Jon Thomas Terrell, he was an Emmy Award-winning actor best known for his roles on television. The two-time winner for his guest appearances as Jerry Gold on 'Murphy Brown', is perhaps even better remembered for his role as barmaid Carla’s washed-up ...
 
June Foray (1917 - 2017)
American Voice Actress. Born June Lucille Forer, she will best be remembered for voicing Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Natasha Fatale of Boris and Natasha fame in the 1960s animated 'The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show’. She was also the voice behind Looney Tunes’ Witch Hazel, Nell from 'Dudley Do-Right',...
 
Gene Michael (1938 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player, Manager, Executive. Born Eugene Richard Michael, he played the shortstop position for four different Major League Baseball teams (Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, and Detroit Tigers) during a ten year career (1966-1975). He attended Kent State ...
 
Erin Moran (1960 - 2017)
Actress. She is best known for her recurring role as 'Joanie Cunningham' on the popular and successful television situation comedy series "Happy Days", which ran for 11 seasons between 1974 and 1984. She later co-starred in the short-lived spinoff "Joanie Loves Chachi", which lasted for just two sea...
 
Al Jarreau (1940 - 2017)
Singer. Born Alwin Lopez Jarreau, he was a Grammy-winning tenor who crossed different music genres. He got started in singing at an early age, singing with his family in church concerts and benefits. He continued singing through college and while he worked as a rehabilitation counselor in San Fr...
 
Frank Vincent (1939 - 2017)
American Actor. Born Frank Vincent Gattuso Jr., he was known for his roles in several Martin Scorsese films, usually playing a mobster or tough guy. An accomplished player of drums, trumpet and piano, he originally aspired to a career in music, but in 1976 he landed a role in the low-budget gangster...
 
Elena Verdugo (1925 - 2017)
Actress. Born Elena Angela Verdugo, she will be remembered by television viewers in the role of the devoted office assistant and nurse Consuelo Lopez on the 1970s ABC drama "Marcus Welby M.D.". She got her start in acting at the age of 6 in the 1931 film "Cavalier of the West". She would go on to ap...
 
Ty Hardin (1930 - 2017)
Actor. Born Orison Whipple Hungerford Jr., he was best known to television viewers as Bronco Layne on the ABC western series "Bronco" from 1958 to 1962. He was born in New York City, but his family later moved to Texas where he went to school. He served in the United States Army during the Korean Wa...
 
Red West (1936 - 2017)
Actor, Stuntman. He went from being a body guard and confidant for Elvis Presley to becoming a Hollywood stuntman and respectable actor. Born Robert Gene West, he was a well-rounded athlete during his youth and participated in high school football and later was a Golden Gloves boxer and karate instr...
 
Roger Smith (1932 - 2017)
American Actor and Screenwriter. As a child, he loved to sing and dance, and when the family moved to Nogales, Arizona, he appeared in every theatre production at Nogales High School, where he was president of the school's acting club and was also a star linebacker on the high school football team. ...
 
Chester Bennington (1976 - 2017)
American Musician, Singer and Songwriter. Bennington was the lead singer for the American rock band, Linkin Park. He began his career singing in a band called Sean Dowdell and His Friends, releasing a three-track cassette in 1993. Bennington later formed a new band, Grey Daze, a post-grunge band fro...
 
George Romero (1940 - 2017)
Motion Picture Director. Considered to be the father of the modern zombie film genre, he was born in The Bronx borough of New York City. The son of a commercial artist, his interest in movies began at an early age. He enrolled at Carnegie Mellon University where he showed interest in art, theater, d...
 
Bea Wain (1917 - 2017)
Jazz Vocalist. Born Beatrice Weinsier, she learned to play the piano during her youth, prior to her performing on the radio program "The Children's Hour". She fronted her own ensemble "Bea and the Bachelors" and acquired experience on such radio programs as Kay Thompson and Fred Waring. When Larry C...
 
Walter Becker (1950 - 2017)
Rock Musician. A guitarist and bassist, he was a founding member of the music ensemble Steely Dan. Born and raised in Queens, New York, he was influenced by many jazz greats including Charlie "Bird" Parker and Miles Davis which led to his taking up the saxophone. After the popularity and versatility...
 
Joseph Bologna (1934 - 2017)
Actor, Screenwriter, Playwright. He will be remembered for his co-writing of several films and plays along with his wife Renee Taylor. He received his degree in Art History from Brown University and during this period, he initiated his interest in performing in theater productions. Following a stint...
 
Thomas Kinsman (1945 - 2017)
Vietnam Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He received the award from President Richard M. Nixon at the White House on May 17, 1969 for his actions on February 6, 1968 as a Private First Class of Company B, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division US Army, near Vinh Long in...
 
Miguel Ferrer (1955 - 2017)
Actor. Fondly remembered for playing 'Dr. Garret Macy' in the television series "Crossing Jordan" (2001 to 2007) and as 'Owen Granger" in the TV program "NCIS: Los Angeles" (2012 until his death). Born into a family of distinguished, well-known entertainers, his father was Academy Award winner Jose...
 
Bernie Casey (1939 - 2017)
Professional Football Player, Actor. For eight years (1961 to 1968), he played at the halfback, flanker, tight end and wide receiver positions in the National Football League with the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams. Born Bernard Terry Casey, he was raised in Ohio where he attended East Hig...
 
Dina Merrill (1923 - 2017)
Actress. Born Nedenia Marjorie Hutton, she was well known for her numerous appearances on television, in film, and on the stage during a career that spanned six decades. She was born to a wealthy family and attended George Washington University for one term before dropping out and going to the Am...
 
Michael Bond (1926 - 2017)
Author. Born Thomas Michael Bond, he was best known for creating the Paddington Bear character that is well loved by generations of children worldwide. He attended Presentation College in Reading, Berkshire, England, but left school after awhile and went to work in a solicitor's office for a year ...
 
Don Gross (1931 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player. For six seasons (1955 to 1960), he was a left-handed pitcher with the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates. Born Donald John Gross, he attended Michigan State University and was signed as an amateur free agent by the Cincinnati Reds in 1950. Following service with the...
 
Jonathan Demme (1944 - 2017)
American Director, Writer and Producer. Born Robert Jonathan Demme, he was an Academy Award-winning director best know for such blockbuster hits as 'Silence Of The Lambs' (1991) and 'Philadelphia' (1993). A graduate from the University of Florida, he first made his debut co-writing the 1971 biker fi...
 
Elsa Martinelli (1935 - 2017)
Actress. Born Elisa Tia, she was best known to the American film audience for her "breakout" role in the 1955 film "The Indian Fighter" opposite Kirk Douglas. She began her career as a model, appearing in the pages of Vogue and on the front cover of Life. In 1953 she started her acting career b...
 
Larry Elgart (1922 - 2017)
Jazz Musician. An alto saxophonist, he will be remembered for his recording of the theme for the TV program "American Bandstand" titled "Bandstand Boogie" (1954). Born Lawrence Joseph Elgart, he watched his parents endure the struggles of the Depression. During his youth he initially played the clar...
 
Sonny Landham (1941 - 2017)
Actor. Born William M. Landham, his best known role was as the Native American tracker 'Billy Sole' in the 1987 science-fiction motion picture "Predator". He got his start as an actor, appearing in pornographic films in the 1970s. His first acting role in a mainstream film came in the 1979 cult-film...
 
Alan Lurie (1933 - 2017)
US Air Force General, Ace Fighter Pilot, and 7-year POW in Vietnam. In 1955, Alan Lurie earned a BA degree in history from Ohio State and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant after completing Air Force ROTC. He went on to have a very distinguished 32-year career in the Air Force, retiring as a Br...
 
Ara Parseghian (1923 - 2017)
Hall of Fame College Football Coach, Professional Football Player. One of the most highly-regarded coaches to helm the University of Notre Dame football program, he guided the Fighting Irish to two National Championships (1966 and 1973), as he tallied a 95 win, 17 loss, 4 tie record with the school....
 
Miriam Colon (1936 - 2017)
Actress. She was trained at the Actors Studio and made her professional debut in the Broadway production "In the Summer House" (1953 to 1954). During this period, she began her lengthy association with television and created strides for Hispanic performers, as she appeared on such programs as "Peter...
 
Bobby Heenan (1943 - 2017)
Professional Wrestling Manager, Wrestler. Born Raymond Louis Heenan, he was best known to wrestling fans as a legendary "heel" manager "The Brain" (or "The Weasel" as he was called by opposing wrestlers and fans) and commentator during his days with the American Wrestling Association, World Wrest...
 
Jimmy Piersall (1929 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player, Broadcaster, Motion Picture Subject. For seventeen seasons (1950 and 1952 to 1967), he played in the outfield (mainly centerfield) with the Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators, New York Mets and Los Angeles/California Angels. Piersall was portrayed by...
 
Tobe Hooper (1943 - 2017)
Motion Picture Director. Hooper will best remebered for directing the horror classic films 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre' and 'Poltergeist'. Born Willard Tobe Hooper, he taught college before starting out making documentaries. His 1974 'Texas Chain Saw Massacre' became a seminal horror title for its...
 
Dick Gregory (1932 - 2017)
Comedian, Social Activist. Born Richard Claxton Gregory, he became well known during the 1960s for a "biting" type of comedy that attacked racial prejudice and gave a comedic voice to the American Civil Rights Movement. He grew up poor and had to work to support his family. He became interested...
 
Jim McDaniels (1948 - 2017)
Professional Basketball Player. For seven seasons (1971 to 1978), he played at the center position in the American and National Basketball Association with the Carolina Cougars, Seattle SuperSonics, Los Angeles Lakers, Kentucky Colonels and Buffalo Braves. Born James Ronald McDaniels, he make his fi...
 
Charismatic (1996 - 2017)
Champion Race Horse. The thoroughbred distinguished himself as the winner of both the 1999 Kentucky Derby and the 1990 Preakness Stakes winner. He was unsuccessful for his bid at the Belmont Stakes that year. The chestnut colt was the offspring of 1999 Preakness Stakes winner Summer Squall and Bali ...
 
Robert Hardy (1925 - 2017)
Actor. Born Timothy Sydney Robert Hardy, he was best known for his role of Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge in four "Harry Potter" films ("Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (2002), "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (2004), "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (2005), and "Harry Pot...
 
Tom Wright (1923 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player. For nine seasons (1948 to 1956), he was an outfielder with the Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Browns, Chicago White Sox and Washington Senators. Born Thomas Everette Wright, he played baseball while attending Shelby High School in North Carolina and following graduation, he ...
 
Stephen Furst (1955 - 2017)
Actor. Born Stephen Nelson Feuerstein, he was best known for his role of Kent "Flounder" Dorfman in the 1978 film classic "National Lampoon's Animal House". He was a graduate of the theater program at Virginia Commonwealth University. He got his first acting role in 1975 in the television se...
 
Patti Deutsch (1943 - 2017)
Entertainer. She was best know for being a recurring panelist on the popular 1970s television gameshow "Match Game", in which she would often provide humorous and eccentric answers. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she began her career with the improv comedy group Ace Trucking Company, prior to lan...
 
J. Geils (1946 - 2017)
Rock Musician. A guitarist, he was a founding member of the music ensemble "The J. Geils Band". They shall be remembered for their gold singles "Centerfold" (1981) and "Freeze-Frame" (1981). Born John Warren Geils, Jr., he was raised in New Jersey. Brought up on heavy doses of jazz music (a love of ...
 
Richard Hatch (1945 - 2017)
American Actor, Writer and Producer. A prolific actor of television, he will best be remembered for his role as Captain Apollo in the original 'Battlestar Galactica' TV series. His career started in 1971 with a stint on the daytime soap-opera 'All My Children' as Philip Brent and would go on to appe...
 
Jim Bunning (1931 - 2017)
Hall of Fame Major League Baseball Player, US Senator, US Congressman. A member of the Republican Party, he served the 4th Congressional District of the State of Kentucky in the United States House of Representatives from 1987 until 1999. He served the State of Kentucky in the United States Senate f...
 
Kristine Jepson (1962 - 2017)
Opera Singer. A mezzo soprano who earned praise the world over, she is probably best remembered for her career at the Metropolitan Opera. Raised in rural Iowa, she graduated from Morningside College and from Indiana University's famed Jacobs School of Music prior to starting a professional career wh...
 
Rollie Massimino (1934 - 2017)
Hall of Fame College Basketball Coach. Born Roland Vincent Massimino, he was best known for coaching the Villanova University Wildcats to one of sports' greatest upsets in 1985 by beating heavily favored Georgetown in the finals of NCAA College Basketball Tournament. He received degrees from the...
 
Viola Harris (1926 - 2017)
Actress. She was a character actress known for her work in television, films, and on the theatrical stage during a career that spanned seven decades. Her first acting role on the small screen came in 1953 on the television series "The Goldbergs". She would go on to appear in such television s...
 
Jon Shepodd (1925 - 2017)
Actor. Born Hugh Goodwin, he was best known to television viewers as the first Paul Martin on the popular television series "Lassie" from 1957 to 1958. His first acting role was playing a bit part in the 1953 film "The Mississippi Gambler". He would go on to appear in such films as "Attack" ...
 
Leonard Landy (1933 - 2017)
Former Child Actor. Landy appeared in 21 of the 'Our Gang' comedies between 1938 and 1941 under the names Leonard, Percy, Deacon or "Phooey". Among some of the shorts he had roles in were 'Feed 'em and Weep', 'Alladin's Lantern', 'Clown Princes', 'Football Romeo', 'Practical Jokers', 'Alfalfa's Aunt...
 

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