Final goodbye: Roll call of some who died in 2017

Chuck Berry (AP Photo/Israel Lopez Murillo, File)
Chuck Berry (AP Photo/Israel Lopez Murillo, File)

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.

Entertainers who died in 2017 also included actors Roger Moore of James Bond fame, "Batman" actor Adam West and Mary Tyler Moore.

Here is a roll call of some of the people who died in 2017. (Cause of death cited for younger people, if available.)

JANUARY:

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.

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.

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.

FEBRUARY:

Al Jarreau, 76. A Grammy-winning jazz singer who transcended genres over a 50-year career. Feb. 12.

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.

MARCH:

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.

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.

APRIL:

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.

Erin Moran, 56. The former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi." April 22. Cancer.

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.

MAY:

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.

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.

JUNE:

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.

JULY:

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.

AUGUST:

Glen Campbell, 81. The affable superstar singer of "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Wichita Lineman" whose appeal spanned country, pop, television and movies. 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.

SEPTEMBER:

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.

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.

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.

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.

OCTOBER:

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.

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.

NOVEMBER:

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.

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.

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.

DECEMBER:

Johnny Hallyday, 74. France's biggest rock star for more than half a century and an icon who packed sports stadiums and all but lit up the Eiffel Tower with his pumping pelvis and high-voltage tunes. Dec. 6.

Bruce Brown, 80. He molded the modern image of surfer as seeker and transformed the sport with his 1966 surfing documentary "The Endless Summer." Dec. 10.

 

Mary Tyler Moore (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Mary Tyler Moore (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
David Cassidy (AP Photo, File)
David Cassidy (AP Photo, File)
Dick Gregory (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)
Dick Gregory (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)
Della Reese (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac, File)
Della Reese (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac, File)

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