As the year wraps up, let’s take a quick moment to look back on those we lost in 2017. Below are some of the influential and inspiring cultural icons that were called home this year.
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- Heather Menzies-Urich — Actress Heather Menzies-Urich was a model, actress, and activist. She was perhaps best-known for her iconic role as Louisa Von Trapp in The Sound of Music. She passed away on December 24th at the age of 68. Read her obituary here.
- Adam West — Adam West was widely known for his role as Batman in the 1960s TV series. West began his career in the 1950s and his acting career spans over 60 years, appearing in several movies and television shows. He passed away on June 9th at the age of 88. Read his obituary here.
- Roger Moore — Roger Moore took up the iconic James Bond role in 1973. His first role as Bond was in Live and Let Die and he appeared in 6 more James Bond feature films. Beyond Bond, Moore has received several lifetime achievement awards and other honors for his generous charity work. He passed away on May 23rd at the age of 89. Read his obituary here.
- Mary Tyler Moore — Mary Tyler Moore was best-known for her roles in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show. Her roles helped make her a cultural icon and her work inspired several young actresses and feminists. In 2011, she was awarded the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award. She passed away on January 25th at the age of 80. Read her obituary here.
- Della Reese — Before she became an actress, Della Reese was a popular gospel and R&B artists, releasing more than 15 studio albums. She transitioned to acting in the 1960s and became best-known for her role in the TV series Touched By an Angel. She passed away on November 19th at the age of 86. Read her obituary here.
Athletes and Sports Figures
- Y.A. Tittle — Y.A. Tittle was a Hall of Fame quarterback, MVP, and 7-time Pro Bowler. In his final years playing, he led the New York Giants to three consecutive championship games. He passed away on October 8th at the age of 90. Read his obituary here.
- Frank Deford — Frank Deford was an iconic sportswriter and author of more than 20 books. He received the U.S. Sportswriter of the Year six times and was elected into the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters. He passed away on May 28th at the age of 78. Read his obituary here.
- Jake LaMotta — Jake LaMotta, the boxing icon known as the “Raging Bull,” won the World Middleweight Champion title in 1949. His boxing career spanned 106 fights, of which LaMotta won 83. He passed away on September 19th at the age of 95. Read his obituary here.
- Dick Enberg — Dick Enberg was a Hall of Fame broadcaster featured on networks such as NBC, CBS, and ESPN. During his career, he covered 28 Wimbledons, 10 Super Bowls, and 8 NCAA men’s basketball title games. He passed away on December 21st at the age of 82. Read his obituary here.
- Dan Rooney — Dan Rooney served as the chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers and helped lead the team to 6 NFL Championships. He also helped open up the NFL to more diversity, creating what is now known as the Rooney Rule. He passed away on April 13th at the age of 84. Read his obituary here.
- Tom Petty — Tom Petty was a beloved singer-songwriter and record producer. During his career, Tom Petty recorded dozens of hit singles and sold more than 80 million records. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. He passed away on October 2nd at the age of 66. Read his obituary here.
- David Cassidy — David Cassidy’s career included singing, acting, songwriting, and activism for Alzheimer’s disease. Best-known for his appearance in the Partridge Family, Cassidy was a pop culture icon in the 1970s. He passed away on November 21st at the age of 67. Read his obituary here.
- Fats Domino — Fats Domino was an early pioneer in Rock and Roll Music. His music influenced everyone from the Beatles to Elvis and countless other artists. He was the first artist to sell more than a million copies of a record. He passed away on October 24th at the age of 89. Read his obituary here.
- Glen Campbell — Glen Campbell spent more than 50 years creating music, releasing more than 70 albums. He was known for helping fuse pop with country and was popular for hits such as Rhinestone Cowboy. He passed away on August 8th at the age of 81. Read his obituary here.
- Chuck Berry — Chuck Berry was another Rock and Roll pioneer. His mix of rhythm and blues with swagger and showmanship created the modern Rock and Roll genre we know today. His popular hits included Maybellene, Roll Over Beethoven, Rock and Roll Music, and Johnny B. Goode. He passed away on March 18th at the age of 90. Read his obituary here.
Public Figures, Activists, and Icons
- Bruce McCandless II — Bruce McCandless was an American astronaut. During a 1984 Challenger mission, Bruce achieved the first ever untethered free flight into space. He passed away on December 21st at the age of 80. Read his obituary here.
- Jerry Lewis — Jerry Lewis was a slapstick comedy legend. During his career, he received several lifetime achievement awards, including honors from the American Comedy Awards, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the Venice Film Festival, and many others. He’s perhaps best-known for his partnership with Dean Martin, creating the comedy duo Dean and Lewis. He passed away on August 20th at the age of 91. Read his obituary here.
- Dick Gregory — Dick Gregory was a groundbreaking comedian and civil rights activist. He became one of the first African American comedians to perform in major venues in the 1960s. Gregory went on to become a well-known author and lecturer and helped bring attention to several issues ranging from world famine, to police brutality, to civil rights and the Vietnam War. He passed away on August 19th at the age of 84. Read his obituary here.
- George Romero — George Romero launched the modern zombie horror genre with this 1986 film, Night of the Living Dead, earning him the title of the “Father of the Zombie Film.” He passed away on July 16th at the age of 77. Read his obituary here.
- Jimmy Breslin — Jimmy Breslin was an award-winning journalist who wrote for several New York City newspapers. His work was well-known for always standing up for the “little guy” and advocating for everyday working-class people. He passed away on March 19th at the age of 88. Read his obituary here.