Contents

MORE STORIES FROM BIOGRAPHY

Every year we lose a variety of award-winning, awe-inspiring and at times, controversial figures in the entertainment, political, business, philanthropic and fashion worlds — and 2019 was no different. This year’s famous figures have made a long-lasting impact through their talents, skills, unique perspective and sacrifice. Some died having lived a full and long life, while others exited all too soon.

Here are the famous faces who said goodbye in 2019:

26 26 Images

Carol Channing (January 31, 1921 – January 15, 2019)

Carol Channing

Photo: Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

With her bright eyes, husky voice and larger-than-life smile, Broadway legend Carol Channing mesmerized audiences with her stage performances of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Vamp, Lorelei and her Tony-Award winning role in Hello, Dolly! Her film work includes Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967), for which she won a Golden Globe, and Skidoo (1968). Channing died at age 97 at her Rancho Mirage, California home, just two weeks before her 98th birthday.

READ MORE: 6 Facts About Carol Channing

Lee Radziwell (March 3, 1933 – February 15, 2019)

Lee Radziwell

Photo: Horst P. Horst/Condé Nast/Getty Images

Forever in the shadow of older sister Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Lee Radziwell still managed to hold her own as a jet-setting style icon who sampled all the joys that a privileged life could offer. She dabbled in acting, worked in public relations and interior design, was a published author and even married a prince. But like her famous sister, Radziwell’s life had its fair share of complications and tragedies: Aside from her sibling rivalry with Onassis, she married and divorced three times and had a son, Anthony, whose life was cut short from cancer. Radziwell died at age 85 in New York City.

Albert Finney (May 9, 1936 – February 7, 2019)

Albert Finney

Photo: Eric Robert/Sygma/Getty Images

As a graduate of The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Albert Finney seemed to be destined for a prominent career on stage but instead, found greater success on the big screen — so much so, that he was a five-time Oscar nominee. His notable films include Scrooge (1970), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), Annie (1982), Erin Brockovich (2000), The Gathering Storm (2002) and Skyfall (2012). Finney died at age 82 in London.

Karl Lagerfeld (September 10, 1933 – February 19, 2019)

Karl Lagerfeld

Photo: Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images

Credited for transforming Chanel into the international fashion powerhouse that it is today, German designer Karl Lagerfeld was business savvy, outspoken and one of the most recognizable fashion leaders of his time, thanks to his trademark dark glasses, gloves and immaculate wintry white ponytail. Lagerfeld left a prolific fashion legacy, not only with the reinvention of Chanel but also by leading the creative direction at Fendi and his own label. Lagerfeld died in Paris at 85 from pancreatic cancer.

Peter Tork (February 13, 1942 – February 21, 2019)

Peter Tork

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Despite playing a simpleton in the 1960s musical TV sitcom The Monkees, Peter Tork was a reputable songwriter and musician. As the bass guitarist for his TV band, Tork produced a number of albums with The Monkees, but because of his teen idol status, never managed to be taken seriously by music critics. He quit The Monkees in 1968 and had a falling out with fellow members Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Davy Jones in the early 2000s before reconciling with them and participating in a number of reunion tours and albums. Stricken with recurring cancer, Tork died in his Connecticut home at 77.

READ MORE: How The Monkees Band Created for TV Conquered the Pop Charts

Katherine Helmond (July 5, 1929 – February 23, 2019)

Katherine Helmond

Photo: Walt Disney Television/Getty Images

As scrappy Mona Robinson on the ’80s sitcom Who’s the Boss?, Katherine Helmond made audiences laugh with her character’s boldness and penchant for flirting. Before Who’s the Boss?, Helmond was known for being a ditzy socialite in the ABC sitcom Soap and further demonstrated her comedic chops on other sitcoms like Coach and Everybody Loves Raymond. Suffering from Alzheimer’s, Helmond died at age 89 in Los Angeles.

Luke Perry (October 11, 1966 – March 4, 2019)

Luke Perry

Photo: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

He was called the James Dean of the ’90s for his hunky, brooding teen idol status as Dylan McKay on the television teen drama Beverly Hills, 90210. But in real life, Luke Perry was known for his kindness and professionalism. After 90210, Perry continued acting in television and film, appearing more recently on Riverdale as Archie Andrews’ father and in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019). Suffering from a massive stroke, Perry died in Los Angeles at age 52.

Agnes Varda (May 30, 1928 – March 29, 2019)

Agnes Varda

Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

Despite her diminutive stature, French New Wave film pioneer Agnes Varda was bold, forthright and as original as they got. Varda’s oeuvre — a blend of fiction and documentary — explored taboo subjects like sex and death and reflected art at its most subjective and experimental. Known for films like Cléo From 5 to 7 (1962), Vagabond (1984), The Gleaners and I (2000), and Faces Places (2017), Varda received an honorary Oscar in 2017 — the first female director to do so. Varda released her last film, Varda by Agnes (2019), just a month before she died from breast cancer in Paris. She was 90 years old.

Nipsey Hussle (August 15, 1985 – March 31, 2019)

Nipsey Hussle

Photo: Prince Williams/Wireimage/Getty Images

West Coast rapper and community activist Nipsey Hussle came to prominence starting in the mid-2000s with his numerous production of mixtapes, including his debut Slauson Boy Volume 1 and his highly touted Crenshaw. Hussle’s 2018 debut studio album Victory Lap soared to the top of the music charts and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Album. Hussle was 33 when he was fatally shot in front of his business, Marathon Clothing, in south Los Angeles. He would later receive three posthumous Grammy nominations.

John Singleton (January 6, 1968 – April 28, 2019)

John Singleton

Photo: Anthony Barboza/Getty Images

John Singleton’s debut film Boyz N the Hood (1991) earned him two Oscar nominations — one of which was Best Director — making him, at age 24, the youngest individual to receive such an honor. Singleton fostered the importance of diverse storytelling in Hollywood and pioneered the way for black storytelling in the ’90s. He would go on to direct films like Poetic Justice (1993), Higher Learning (1995), Rosewood (1997), Shaft (2000) and Four Brothers (2005) and co-created FX’s drama Snowfall. Singleton died in Los Angeles at age 51 from a stroke.

Doris Day (April 3, 1922 – May 13, 2019)

Doris Day

Photo: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Doris Day was the quintessential girl next door who would become one of the most successful actresses in Hollywood. She started her career as a big band singer in the late 1930s and produced chart-topping hits like “Sentimental Journey” and “My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time.” After World War II ended, Day launched her film career, with memorable roles in Calamity Jane (1953), Love Me or Leave Me (1955), Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) and Pillow Talk (1959) — the last of which got her Oscar-nominated for Best Actress. She spent her later years as an animal rights activist before she died at 97 in Carmel Valley Village, California.

READ MORE: Doris Day: From Midwestern Sweetheart to Hollywood Leading Lady (PHOTOS)

Gloria Vanderbilt (February 20, 1924 – June 17, 2019)

Gloria Vanderbilt

Photo: Alex Gotfryd/Corbis/Getty Images

Famous for her family’s wealth, her branded designer jeans and later, for her son, Anderson Cooper, socialite Gloria Vanderbilt was thrust into the spotlight at age 10 when her mother and her paternal aunt each fought for her custody in addition to her $5 million ($95 million in 2019) trust fund in a nationally publicized trial. In her adult life, Vanderbilt expressed herself through her artistic endeavors in painting and fashion and later as a book author. Vanderbilt died at 95 in New York City after being diagnosed with stomach cancer.

Rip Torn (February 6, 1931 – July 9, 2019)

Rip Torn

Photo: J. Vespa/WireImage/Getty Images

Oscar, Tony and Emmy nominee Rip Torn had a career that lasted over six decades in Hollywood. Torn’s Tony nomination came in 1960 for Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird of Youth and a little over two decades later, he received an Oscar nod as Best Supporting Actor for playing Marsh in the 1983 drama Cross Creek. In the ’90s he received praise for playing the producer Artie in Gary Shandling’s groundbreaking The Larry Sanders Show, for which he received six Emmy nominations and won in 1996. Torn died at 88 in his Connecticut home.

John Paul Stevens (April 20, 1920 – July 16, 2019)

John Paul Stevens

Photo: Allison Shelley/Getty Images

As a U.S. Supreme Court appointee under President Gerald Ford, Republican conservative John Paul Stevens was an associate justice from 1975 to 2010. As a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Northwestern University School of Law, Stevens, who served as a decorated World War II naval officer, would go on to make judicial history at the U.S. Supreme Court in landmark cases such as Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council and Massachusetts v. EPA. as part of the majority opinion and famously dissented in Bush v. Gore and Citizens United v. FEC. Towards the end of his tenure, Stevens would often side with the liberal justices of the court. Stevens died in Florida at age 99. He was the third-longest-serving justice in history.

Toni Morrison (February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019)

Toni Morrison

Photo: Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

As a steward of the rich complexities of the African American experience, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison had a six-decade career that gave voice to the marginalized and inspired generations of writers of color. Morrison was the first African American female editor at Random House in the 1960s and wrote her first novel, The Bluest Eye (1970), when she was 39. Seven years later, she rose to prominence with Song of Solomon (1977) and Beloved (1987), the latter of which won her the Pulitzer Prize. In 1993 she won the Nobel Prize in Literature and continued to publish novels, essays, children’s books, plays and even an opera. In 2012 President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Morrison died at 88 in New York City.

READ MORE: Oprah Winfrey Once Described Longtime Friend Toni Morrison as ‘Our Conscience’

Peter Fonda (February 23, 1940 – August 16, 2019)

Peter Fonda

Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for IMDb

Known as a counterculture icon for his starring role in 1969’s Easy Rider, Peter Fonda also co-wrote the film’s script, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. He came from a family of actors — his father is acclaimed actor Henry Fonda and his older sister is actress Jane Fonda. His second Oscar nomination came from his starring role in the drama Ulee’s Gold (1997), and he’d extend his talents into directing a variety of projects. His daughter, Bridget Fonda, followed the family tradition and made a name for herself in Hollywood starting in the 1990s. Fonda died of lung cancer at 79 in Los Angeles.

David Koch (May 3, 1940 – August 23, 2019)

David Koch

Photo: Paul Zimmerman/WireImage/Getty Images

As one of the richest people in the world, conservative billionaire and philanthropist David Koch, along with his brother Charles, has been credited for transforming American politics and influencing its policies. Koch began his career as a chemical engineer and later joined his family’s business, Koch Industries, in 1970, eventually becoming its executive vice president. In 1980 he ran as a vice-presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party but later registered as a Republican, where he donated hundreds of millions of dollars towards ultra-conservative causes. Koch also donated to numerous nonprofits including the Lincoln Center, the American Museum of Natural History and medical institutions for cancer research. When Koch died at 79 in New York, he had a net worth of $50.5 billion, making him the 11th richest person in the world.

Valerie Harper (August 22, 1939 – August 30, 2019)

Valerie Harper

Photo: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

As Rhoda Morgenstern, the self-deprecating, bandana-wearing girl from the Bronx on the 1970s sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Valerie Harper instantly won fans…and three Emmys. As Moore’s best friend, Harper’s Rhoda was so popular that she was given her own spinoff show in 1974, which earned her another Emmy. Although Harper was a sitcom icon, she made some film appearances, continued working on stage and was later nominated for a Tony for her Broadway performance in Looped in 2010. After a long battle with cancer, Harper died at 80 in Los Angeles.

Ric Ocasek (March 23, 1944 – September 15, 2019)

Ric Ocasek

Photo: Bill Tompkins/Getty Images

With his raven black hair, thin frame and enigmatic air, The Cars frontman Ric Ocasek took his band to the top of the ’80s pop charts with New Wave hits like “You Might Think,” “Magic,” “Shake It Up” and “Drive.” After leaving The Cars in 1989, Ocasek embarked on his next career as a solo artist and as a producer of up-and-coming indie and punk bands, which included Weezer, Nada Surf and No Doubt. Famously married to ’80s supermodel Paulina Porizkova, with whom he separated from in 2017, Ocasek died from heart disease at 75 in his Manhattan townhouse.

Cokie Roberts (December 27, 1943 – September 17, 2019)

Cokie Roberts

Photo: Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Raised by two parents who both served as U.S. House of Representatives, Cokie Roberts followed the family tradition of becoming a Washington insider but opted into it as a trailblazing journalist. In the 1970s she was one of the first female reporters who helped establish NPR and later reported and analyzed politics at ABC News, working with heavyweights like Peter Jennings, Sam Donaldson and Ted Koppel. Roberts was also a historian, writing many bestselling books on women in American history. With her sharp intellect and thoughtful analysis on politics, Roberts won multiple Emmys as well as the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award. After battling breast cancer, she died at age 75 in Washington D.C.

Diahann Carroll (July 17, 1935 – October 4, 2019)

Diahann Carroll

Photo: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Actress and singer Diahann Carroll broke barriers onstage and onscreen. She became the first African American woman to win a Tony Award in a leading role for her work in Broadway’s No Strings (1962) and six years later, the first to carry her own primetime network series Julia, which portrayed a strong black woman that defied stereotypes. In 1974 she starred in the romantic comedy-drama Claudine, which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. In the ’80s, Carroll set her sights on becoming, in her own words, “the first black bitch on television,” which she ruthlessly demonstrated in the primetime soap Dynasty as Dominique Deveraux. Carroll died at 84 in Los Angeles after a battle with breast cancer.

Robert Forster (July 13, 1941 – October 11, 2019)

Robert Forster

Photo: Michael Bezjian/WireImage/Getty Images

Actor Robert Forster knew a thing or to about being a comeback kid. He showed real promise in his early years in film and television with the Marlon Brando-led Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967), Haskell Wexler’s drama Medium Cool (1969), the TV show Banyon (1971-73) and Chuck Norris’ The Delta Force (1986). However, Forster experienced a long lull in his career until Quentin Tarantino offered him the role of bail bondsman Max Cherry in Jackie Brown (1996), earning Forster an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. From there, Forster starred in more prominent roles, including Mulholland Drive (2001) and Twin Peaks (2017). The day Forster died in Los Angeles from brain cancer at 78, his last film, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, premiered.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (January 18, 1951 – October 17, 2019)

Elijah Cummings

Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post/Getty Images

The son of a sharecropper, Elijah Cummings was a civil rights activist and politician who served the state of Maryland in the U.S. House of Representatives, beginning in 1996 and until his death. As a U.S. congressman, Cummings addressed issues on poverty on behalf of his city of Baltimore. On the national level, he advocated for gun control and combating the rise of white nationalism under President Donald Trump’s administration. As the chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Cummings had a pivotal role in Trump’s impeachment inquiry, seeking to investigate the president’s finances and government dealings. Cummings, who suffered from many chronic health problems, died at age 68 in Baltimore and became the first black legislator to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol.

John Witherspoon (January 27, 1942 – October 29, 2019)

John Witherspoon

Photo: Chris Haston/NBC/Getty Images

A stand-up comic first and foremost, John Witherspoon spent decades working the circuit and entertaining mainstream audiences in film and television. Witherspoon is perhaps best known for playing grumpy Willie Jones in the movie Friday (1995) and its sequels, as well as his roles in television shows like The Wayans Bros. (1995 – 99) and The Boondocks (2005 – 2014). A frequent guest on the Late Show with David Letterman, Witherspoon was close friends with the former TV show host who was godfather to his sons. Witherspoon, 77, died from a sudden heart attack at his Los Angeles home.

Caroll Spinney (December 26, 1933 – December 8, 2019)

Caroll Spinney

Photo: MediaPunch/IPX/AP Photo

Caroll Spinney spent 50 years giving life to the most joyful of Sesame Street characters (Big Bird) to the grouchiest (Oscar the Grouch). Through Big Bird and Oscar, the puppeteer shaped generations of young minds, teaching them the importance of friendship and navigating growing pains. In 2014 the puppeteer temporarily emerged from the shadows of his iconic Sesame Street characters to participate in a documentary called I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story, which explored his contribution to the children’s educational show and his relationship with Jim Henson. After battling dystonia, a muscle contraction disorder, Spinney died at his Connecticut home at the age of 85.

Don Imus (July 23, 1940 – December 27, 2019)

Don Imus

Photo: Deborah Feingold/Corbis via Getty Images

Taking on everyone from Hillary Clinton and Dick Cheney to Rush Limbaugh, radio shock jock Don Imus had few boundaries and became a national drive-time star during his four-decade-plus career. In 2007 he went too far in making racist comments about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team and CBS and MSNBC canceled his show. He returned to the airwaves less than a year later and retired in March 2018. Imus was also devoted to his charity, Imus Ranch Foundation, which benefits families of children with cancer and other illnesses. The radio personality passed away at age 79 at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in College Station, Texas.

Deaths 1 – 200 of 474

  • Jan 1 Claiborne Pell, U.S. senator (b. 1918)
  • Jan 1 Nizar Rayan, Hamas leader (b. 1962)
  • Jan 1 Edmund Purdom, British actor (The Egyptian, Asissi Underground, Pieces), dies at 84
  • Jan 2 Maria de Jesus, Portuguese supercentenarian (b. 1893)
  • Jan 2 Jett Travolta, son of actors John Travolta and Kelly Preston, dies of a seizure at 16
  • Jan 3 Martin Patterson “Pat” Hingle, American actor (Hang ’em High, Splendor in the Grass, Batman Returns), dies of myelodysplastic syndrome at 84
  • Jan 3 Ulf G. Lindén, Swedish entrepreneur (b. 1937)
  • Jan 3 Hisayasu Nagata, Japanese politician (b. 1969)
  • Jan 3 Olga San Juan, American actress, dancer and comedian (Variety Girl, 1 Touch of Venus), dies at 81
  • Jan 3 Charles Camilleri, Maltese composer, dies at 77
  • Jan 3 Alan Walters, British political economist (Chief Economic Adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher), dies at 82
  • Jan 4 Giselle Salandy, Trinidad & Tobago female boxer (b. 1987)
  • Jan 5 Ned Tanen, American movie executive (b. 1931)
  • Jan 6 Ron Asheton, The Stooges guitarrist (b. 1948)
  • Jan 6 Vivienne Della Chiesa, American lyric soprano who sang on US radio during the 1940s and early 1950s (The American Album of Familiar Music, The Standard Hour), dies at 93
  • Jan 8 Richard John Neuhaus, Canadian-American Christian writer and editor (b. 1936)
  • Jan 8 Don Galloway, American actor (Arrest & Trial, Ironside), dies at 71
  • Jan 9 T. Llew Jones, Welsh author (b. 1915)
  • Jan 9 Dave Dee, British musician (Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich), dies of cancer at 67
  • Jan 10 William Frederick “Bill” Stone, British World War I veteran (b. 1900)
  • Jan 10 Sidney Wood Jr, American tennis player (Wimbledon 1931), dies at 97
  • Jan 11 David Vine, British sports broadcaster (BBC Match of the Day, World Snooker C’ships, Olympics coverage), dies of a heart attack at 74
  • Jan 11 Vivian Ridler, British scholar and printer (Oxford University), dies at 95
  • Jan 12 Claude Berri, French actor, director and screenwriter, dies at 74
  • Jan 12 Arne Næss, Norwegian philosopher (b. 1912)
  • Jan 12 Russ Conway, Canadian-American character actor (Richard Diamond Private Eye), dies at 95
  • Jan 13 Doña Mary Ejercito, Filipino supercentarian, mother of Joseph Ejercito Estrada (b. 1905)
  • Jan 13 Patrick McGoohan, American-born Irish actor, writer, and director (The Prisoner, Secret Agent/ Danger Man), dies at 80
  • Jan 13 Mansour Rahbani, Lebanese composer and lyricist (b. 1925)
  • Jan 13 Nancy Bird Walton, Australian aviator (b. 1915)
  • Jan 13 William De Witt Snodgrass, American poet under the pseudonym S. S. Gardons (b. 1926)
  • Jan 14 Jan Kaplický, British architect of Czech origin, dies at 71
  • Jan 14 Ricardo Montalbán, Mexican actor (Fantasy Island, Star Trek II, Naked Gun), dies of congestive heart failure at 88
  • Jan 16 Joe Erskine, American boxer and long distance runner (b. 1930)
  • Jan 16 John Mortimer, British barrister, screenwriter and author. (b. 1923)
  • Jan 16 Andrew Wyeth, American realist painter (Christina’s World), dies at 91
  • Jan 17 Anders Isaksson, Swedish journalist, writer, and historian (b. 1943)
  • Jan 18 Tony Hart, English artist and television presenter (Take Hart, Hartbeat), dies at 83
  • Jan 18 Grigore Vieru, Romanian poet (b. 1935)
  • Jan 18 Bob May, American actor (b. 1939)
  • Jan 18 Kathleen Byron, British actress (Abdication, Profile, Saving Private Ryan), dies of breast cancer at 88
  • Jan 19 José Torres, Puerto Rican boxer (world light-heavyweight champion), dies of a heart attack at 72
  • Jan 20 Stéphanos II Ghattas, Patriarch Emeritus of Alexandria for the Coptic Catholic Church (b. 1920)
  • Jan 20 Stan Hagen, Canadian politician (b. 1940)
  • Jan 20 David Newman, American jazz musician, nicknamed “Fathead” (b. 1933)
  • Jan 20 Sheila O’Nions Walsh (aka Sheila Walsh, Sophie Leyton), English romance writer (b. 1928)
  • Jan 21 Pat Crawford, Australian cricketer (Australian pace bowler 1956), dies at 75
  • Jan 22 Billy Werber, American baseball player (Cincinnati Reds), dies at 100
  • Jan 23 Robert W. Scott, American politician, governor of North Carolina (b. 1929)
  • Jan 23 George Perle, American composer (12 Tone Tonality), dies at 93
  • Jan 24 Reg Gutteridge, British Boxing Journalist (b. 1924)
  • Jan 24 Kay Yow, North Carolina State Univ. women’s basketball head coach (b. 1942)
  • Jan 24 Gérard Blanc, French singer (b. 1947)
  • Jan 24 Leonard Gaskin, American jazz bassist (Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis), dies at 88
  • Jan 25 Kim Manners, American television producer and director (b. 1951)
  • Jan 27 John Updike, American Novelist (b. 1932)
  • Jan 27 R. Venkataraman, Indian politician, eighth President of India, dies at 98
  • Jan 28 Billy Powell, American musician and keyboardist (Lynyrd Skynyrd-That Smell, Freebird), dies at 56
  • Jan 29 Hélio Gracie, Brazilian martial artist (b. 1913)
  • Jan 29 John Martyn, British singer songwriter, dies at 60
  • Jan 29 Bill Frindall, English cricket scorer and statistician (b. 1939)
  • Jan 29 Alfred Mabbs, British Archivist (Public Records Office), dies at 87
  • Jan 30 Ingemar Johansson, Swedish heavyweight professional boxing champion of the world (b. 1932)
  • Jan 30 Hans Beck, German inventor, “The Father of Playmobil”, dies at 79
  • Jan 31 Nagesh, Indian comedian actor in Kollywood (b. 1933)
  • Jan 31 Erland von Koch, Swedish composer, dies at 98
  • Feb 3 Sheng-yen, Buddhist monk and founder of Dharma Drum Mountain. (b. 1930)
  • Feb 4 Lux Interior, Frontman of the garage rock band The Cramps (b. 1946)
  • Feb 6 James Whitmore, American actor (The Shawshank Redemption, Give ’em Hell Harry), dies of lung cancer at 87
  • Feb 7 Brian Naylor (broadcaster), Australian television presenter (b. 1931)
  • Feb 7 Blossom Dearie, American jazz singer and pianist, dies of natural causes at 84
  • Feb 7 Betty Jameson, American golfer (US Open 1947, Western Open 1942, 54), dies at 89
  • Feb 8 Marian Cozma, Romanian handball player (Romania 60 caps), dies of stab wounds at 26
  • Feb 9 Eluana Englaro, an Italian woman who lived in a persistent vegetative state for 17 years (b. 1970)
  • Feb 9 Robert Anderson, American writer (Tea & Sympathy, I Never Sang for My Father), dies at 91
  • Feb 10 Jeremy Lusk, American freestyle motocross racer (b. 1984)
  • Feb 11 Estelle Bennett, American singer (Ronettes), dies at 67
  • Feb 11 Willem J Kolff, Dutch-American Physician and Biomedical Engineer (artificial kidney, hemodialysis), dies at 97
  • Feb 11 Marina Svetlova, American ballerina and choreographer (Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo), dies at 86
  • Feb 13 Gianna Maria Canale, Italian actress (Go For Broke), dies at 81
  • Feb 14 Bernard Ashley, English businessperson, fashion designer and co-founder of Laura Ashley, dies of cancer at 82
  • Feb 14 Louie Bellson, American jazz drummer and orchestra leader (Pearl Bailey Show), dies at 84
  • Feb 15 Joe Cuba, Puerto-Rican musician (b. 1931)
  • Feb 15 Dr. Diether H. Haenicke, university president (b. 1935)
  • Feb 15 Phil Carey, American actor (One Life to Live), dies at 83
  • Feb 16 Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan, Korean Cardinal, Protopriest of the Holy Roman Church (b. 1921)
  • Feb 17 Gazanfer Özcan, Turkish actor (b. 1931)
  • Feb 17 Conchita Cintrón, Chilean bullfighter (b. 1922)
  • Feb 18 Al-Tayyib Salih, Sudanese novelist and columnist (b. 1929)
  • Feb 19 Kelly Groucutt, Bass guitarist and singer for the band Electric Light Orchestra (b.1945)
  • Feb 19 Miika Tenkula, Finnish guitarist for the band Sentenced (b.1974)
  • Feb 20 Larry H. Miller, American businessman and owner of the Utah Jazz (b. 1944)
  • Feb 22 Günter Kochan, German composer, dies at 78
  • Feb 25 Ivan Cameron, son of David Cameron UK politician
  • Feb 25 Philip José Farmer, American sci-fi writer (Riverworld) dies aged 91
  • Feb 25 Ian Carr, Scottish jazz musician (Nucleus), dies after suffering Alzheimer’s disease at 75
  • Feb 26 Wendy Richard, English actress (b. 1943)
  • Feb 26 Norm Van Lier, Basketball player and broadcaster (b. 1947)
  • Feb 26 Johnny Kerr, Basketball player and Chicago Bulls broadcaster (b. 1932)

Reference 89.9k views 83 items

List Rules: Famous People Who Died of Ovarian Cancer

List of famous people who died of ovarian cancer, listed by fame and notoriety with photos when available. This list of celebrities who died from ovarian cancer includes information like the victim’s hometown and other biographical information when available. Unfortunately many famous people’s lives have been cut short because of ovarian cancer, including actors, musicians and athletes.

This list includes Gilda Radner, Madeline Kahn, Dinah Shore, Jessica Tandy, Marjorie Gross, Anita Morris, Suzanne Mizzi, and more.

This list answers the questions, “Which celebrities have died from ovarian cancer?” and “Which famous people died due to ovarian cancer?”These notable ovarian cancer deaths include modern and past famous men and women, from politicians to religious leaders to writers. Everyone on this list has has ovarian cancer as a cause of death somewhere in their public records, even if it was just one contributing factor for their death. Photo: flickr/CC0 1 Gilda Radner Photo: Metaweb/GNU Free Documentation License Gilda Radner was an American comedic actress who appeared on the television series “Saturday Night Live.” She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1986. She went into remission for a period of time before the cancer returned in December 1988. She died on May 20, 1989 at the age of 42 with her husband Gene Wilder at her side.

Age: Dec. at 43 (1946-1989)

Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States of America

2 Madeline Kahn Photo: flickr/CC0 Madeline Kahn was an American actress who appeared in the film “Young Frankenstein.” She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1998 and died on December 3, 1999. Kahn was 57 years old. Madeline Gail Kahn (born Madeline Gail Wolfson; September 29, 1942 – December 3, 1999) was an American actress, comedian, voice actress, and singer, known for comedic roles in films directed by Peter Bogdanovich and Mel Brooks, including What’s Up, Doc? (1972), Young Frankenstein (1974), High Anxiety (1977), History of the World, Part I (1981), and her Academy Award–nominated roles in Paper Moon (1973) and Blazing Saddles (1974). Kahn made her Broadway debut in Leonard Sillman’s New Faces of 1968, and received Tony Award nominations for the play In the Boom Boom Room in 1974 and for the original production of the musical On the Twentieth Century in 1978. She starred as Madeline Wayne on the …more on Wikipedia

Age: Dec. at 57 (1942-1999)

Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

3 Dinah Shore Photo: flickr/CC0 Dinah Shore was an American singer and actress who appeared in the film “Up in Arms.” She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1993 and died on February 24, 1994. Shore died a few days before turning 78.

Age: Dec. at 78 (1916-1994)

Birthplace: Winchester, Tennessee, United States of America

Photo: flickr/CC0 Coretta Scott King was a civil rights leader and the widow of Martin Luther King, Jr. She had a number of heath problems later in life including heart disease and a series of strokes. She died from respiratory illness complicated by ovarian cancer on January 30, 2006. King was 78 years old.

Age: Dec. at 79 (1927-2006)

Birthplace: Heiberger, Alabama, United States of America

Celebrity Cancer Survivors: 7 Inspirational Stories

Celebrities usually put their best foot forward in the limelight, and sometimes that includes hiding huge parts of their lives. That includes their health, and many celebrities have secretly undergone treatment for different health ailments. Some of that treatment includes marijuana. But then there have been celebrities who went through chemotherapy and surgery due to cancer.

Cancer has affected so many people, threatening their lives and livelihood. But although the battle maybe grueling, it can be won. Here are seven celebrity cancer survivors who have particularly inspirational stories.

1. Michael C. Hall

Actor Michael C. Hall on Dexter. | Source: Showtime

You probably know him for being the star of Dexter, but you might be shocked that Michael C. Hall had to battle Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was diagnosed in 2010 and kept it a secret while filming the fourth season of the hit show. He then started treatment the day after the season wrapped up.

“To discover that I had the Hodgkin’s was alarming,” the actor told The New York Times, “but at the same time I felt kind of bemused, like: Wow. Huh. How interesting.”

The actor had every intention of keeping his illness a secret but looked noticeably different when accepting his Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama. He had less hair and wore a black cap with his suit. “It’s nice to see colleagues,” said the actor “and for me to show I am doing fine.”

He turned to chemotherapy for treatment, and eventually his cancer went into remission. By the time he started filming his movie, East Fifth Bliss, his hair grew back.

2. Angelina Jolie

Michael Buckner/Getty Images

The actress has been privately fighting cancer for many years, and has undergone multiple procedures because of it. She showed signs of early ovarian cancer in 2015. She ended up getting her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed. The surgeon who performed the surgery was no stranger to her.

“The doctor that did my ovary surgery was my mother’s doctor, and apparently my mother had said to her, ‘Promise me you will take Angie’s ovaries out,’” the actress said on NBC. “So when we kind of got together, we both had a big cry, and she said, ‘I promised your mother, and I gotta do this.’”

That’s not the only surgery she had due to cancer. She also had a preventative double mastectomy because she had an 87% risk of breast cancer, partially because her mother had cancer. The procedure has changed her body, but she wrote in an open letter about how empowering the experience was.

“I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer,” wrote the actress in The New York Times. “It is reassuring that they see nothing that makes them uncomfortable. They can see my small scars and that’s it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was. And they know that I love them and will do anything to be with them as long as I can. On a personal note, I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.”

3. Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman in X-Men Origins Wolverine | Source: Fox

The actor has played the healing and resilient Wolverine for years, but it looks like the actor is just as resilient in real life. The actor showed a sign of cancer on his face, but it was his wife who told him to get it checked out.

“Deb said to get the mark on my nose checked,” the actor wrote in a caption of a selfie he posted on Instagram. “Boy, was she right! I had a basil cell carcinoma. Please don’t be foolish like me. Get yourself checked. And USE sunscreen!!!”

The cancer isn’t life threatening, but could lead to disfigurement. The actor was treated for skin cancer three times in 2013. He was diagnosed and treated again in 2016.

4. Edie Falco

Nurse Jackie | Source: Showtime Networks

The actress has been lucky enough to play multiple iconic characters, including Carmela Soprano on The Sopranos and Jackie Peyton on Nurse Jackie. Although many TV lovers might know her, they might not know she was fighting cancer while working. She was diagnosed hours before she had to shoot a scene of The Sopranos where Carmela tells Tony she’s going to take everything in their divorce. She pushed through the scene along with many others.

“It was very important for me to keep my diagnosis under the radar,” the actress wrote for Health, “even from the cast and crew of The Sopranos, because well-meaning people would have driven me crazy asking, ‘How are you feeling?’ I would have wanted to say, ‘I’m scared, I don’t feel so good, and my hair is falling out.’”

The actress ran every day to keep strong and turned to chemo for treatment. She then went into remission, and by 2004, she finally beat it.

5. Mr. T

Brad Barket/Getty Images

The actor and wrestler was notably in The A Team and Rocky III. He also tends to play himself often, because he has become an icon. Although he has a tough persona and catch phrase, he also had to fight cancer.

While removing his earring, he noticed a part of his ear was sore. After getting it checked, he basically ended up getting a cancer named after him! He was diagnosed in 1995 with a rare type of T-cell lymphoma.

“Can you imagine that?!” Mr. T said according to Coping with Cancer. “Cancer with my name on it — personalized cancer.” The cancer was localized in his ear, so he began getting radiation five times a week for four weeks. He was then cancer free until 11 months later.

“Cancer sores sprouting up on my body and I can’t stop it!” continued the actor. “I have no control over this cancer growing outside of my body on my arms, my back, my legs, and my stomach … It is cancer popping like microwave popcorn on my body. I am afraid at this point; no tough guy today.”

He began doing chemotherapy for over a year, and later was declared to be in remission.

6. Rod Stewart

Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

The British musician nearly had his career ended for him when he had thyroid cancer. If his operation was done incorrectly, he wouldn’t have been able to sing again.

“The procedure took four hours,” wrote the musician in his memoir, Rod: The Autobiography “and brought the surgeon’s knife to within a fraction of an inch of my vocal cords. Any slip at that point and it really would have been ‘Goodnight, Vienna’ as far as my career was concerned. But the operation was a complete success.”

Fortunately he didn’t have to do any chemotherapy, but he went six months without singing. He then started building up his skill again through vocal practices, and eventually was able to regain his voice.

7. Sheryl Crow

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

The singer was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, and it came at a difficult time in her life. “It was a really personal blow,” the singer told Health, “because I was newly out of a relationship and that made it more difficult to even fathom that I could be diagnosed with cancer.”

But it was caught early enough to have great results. She had minimally invasive surgery with a lumpectomy. She then had seven weeks of radiation. “I kept my breast cancer tattoos—where the radiation was lined up on my chest. Once in a while I look at it to remind myself that I have to put on my oxygen mask first before I put it on anybody else.”

Sadly, that isn’t the last time the singer’s health has been in jeopardy. She now has a brain tumor, but it isn’t that big and it is benign. The singer found out by going to a doctor complaining about her memory. Although the tumor is by her temple, it has not affected her memory and she doesn’t plan to get it surgically removed.

“I don’t really want to have it removed, either, because that would mean a craniotomy,” the singer said according to the Mirror, “which would mean another big scar. It should stay the same size – or it may grow an infinitesimal amount, but I don’t really think about my brain tumor and really I don’t think about breast cancer anymore, either.”

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!

Inside Pierce Brosnan’s Heartbreaking Loss of His Wife and Daughter to Cancer: ‘I Was in a Helpless State’

Pierce Brosnan is all too familiar with the pain of personal loss and grief.

While promoting his new AMC show The Son, the 63-year-old actor recently opened up about the heartbreak of his past — twin tragedies that struck 22 years apart: Brosnan lost his first wife, Cassandra, and their daughter, Charlotte to ovarian cancer.

“There is an incredible cruelty in it all, losing a person you shared everything with,” he previously told PEOPLE in 1992, four months after Cassandra’s death. “This is the first time in my life I’ve ever experienced bereavement, and it’s overwhelming.”

Brosnan met the Australian-born Cassandra, whom he called Cassie, in the late ’70s and they married in December 1980. The actress had two kids from a previous marriage, Charlotte and Christopher, and the couple had their only son, Sean in 1983. After Charlotte and Christopher’s father, Dermot Harris, died in 1986, Brosnan adopted the children and they took his last name.

Image zoom Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

Brosnan with Cassandra, Charlotte and Christopher in 1985

The family of five often traveled together as Brosnan’s career took off and his wife would encourage him to take on bigger and broader roles, but that changed in 1987 when they returned to London from India to find out Cassandra, who was in her late 30s, had an aggressive form of ovarian cancer — the disease that had taken her mother.

“From day 1, we really had a fight on our hands,” said Brosnan. “This wasn’t a shadow or a small tumor — this had invaded Cassie’s being.” But his wife, he added, “took her destiny in her own hands with incredible courage and grace.” She wisely questioned every prescribed treatment and decided which ones to take, which to reject. “You must,” Brosnan said. “As frightened as you are, you have to second-guess. I was the quiet party, but I was always there for her.”

Cassandra, who starred in the 1981 James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only, went through four years of treatment, including eight surgeries and a year and a half of chemo. Two years into her battle, the couple moved to Malibu and Cassandra dedicated her time between surgeries and chemo to decorate the house and make it a home for their three children. The house, Brosnan said, “gave Cassie so much joy.”

Image zoom Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

Brosnan and Cassandra in Feb. 1991

The couple continued to fight the disease until December of 1991, when Brosnan said they realized it was the end.

“I was in a helpless state of … confusion and anger,” Brosnan said about a moment when they lay in bed together near the end. “She was comforting me. She said, ‘Please, darling, don’t worry. It’s just a life winding down.’ What can you do? Up until then there was always something, some new treatment. But then the options got fewer and fewer. At the end, Cassie didn’t want to be resuscitated any machines.”

Cassandra died on Dec. 28, 1991 at the age of 43, with Brosnan and Christopher by her side. Charlotte, who was 20 and in London studying acting, was on the phone. Hours after her death, Brosnan went home to tell a then-8-year-old Sean about his mom.

Though it was the hardest time in Brosnan’s life, the actor continued to be there for his children and did everything he could to give them a joyful life — all while still feeling Cassandra’s effect on him. “She has made me the man I am, the actor I am, the father I am,” the actor said at the time. “She’s forever embedded in every fiber of my being. She’s there with me every day. I was so blessed to have met someone like that.”

Image zoom Dave Hogan/Getty

Christopher, Brosnan, Charlotte and Sean in 2003

In 2013, almost 22 years after Cassandra’s death, Brosnan was struck by tragedy again when their daughter Charlotte died of the same disease at the age of 41. The late actress had just gotten married to her longtime love Alex just weeks before her death. The couple had two children, Isabella, who was 14 at the time and Lucas, who was 8.

“Charlotte fought her cancer with grace and humanity, courage and dignity. Our hearts are heavy with the loss of our beautiful dear girl,” Brosnan told PEOPLE at the time.

Charlotte’s death was another hard blow to Brosnan, who relied on Christopher and Sean and his new family — current wife Keely Shaye Smith and sons Dylan and Paris — to help him cope with his grief.

Image zoom MJ Kim/BAFTA via Getty

With Charlotte in 2006

The family leaned on one another once again as they grieved the loss of their unofficial “custodian of laughter,” as Charlotte was nicknamed. Charlotte was “a bubbly, almost kind of goofy, gorgeous girl,” Brosnan’s longtime friend Nancy Ellison told PEOPLE after her death. “Pierce wrote to me after she died that the most intense memory that he had was of always being able to make Charlotte laugh. He wanted to be able to make her laugh again.”

Charlotte’s children were roughly the same age that she and Christopher were when they lost her mother, Cassandra — and family friends said she had already made a huge impact on her children, much like Cassandra had on her children.

“To their mummy, Bella and Lucas were absolutely the pinnacle,” said her close friend Clare Beckwith. “They have always got that for the rest of their life, that their mum just worshipped them. People would ask her why she didn’t move into acting, and she would always say, ‘No, this is my family.’ She wanted to give her family as much love as she could. She was totally devoted to them.”

April 06, 2017 – 09:40 BST Gemma Strong Pierce Brosnan opens up about losing both his wife and daughter to cancer and growing up without a father

Pierce Brosnan has overcome a series of personal tragedies in his life – most poignantly losing both his wife and his daughter to ovarian cancer. Now the former James Bond star has spoken candidly about both his loss and his unconventional childhood in a new interview with Esquire. “I don’t look at the cup as half full, believe me,” Pierce, 63, admitted. “The dark, melancholy Irish black dog sits beside me from time to time.”

VIEW GALLERY

Pierce Brosnan lost his first wife, Cassandra Harris, to ovarian cancer

Pierce’s first wife Cassandra Harris died in 1991 aged 43 after a battle with ovarian cancer. The couple had been married for 11 years. His daughter Charlotte – Cassandra’s daughter from a previous relationship, who he later legally adopted – tragically died from the same disease in 2013. The actor has a son, Sean Brosnan, 33, with his late wife and also adopted her son Christopher. Following Cassandra’s death, Pierce married his current wife Keely Shaye Smith, with whom he has two sons: Dylan, 20, and Paris, 16.

STORY: More heartache for Pierce Brosnan as he loses ‘dearest friend’ to cancer

VIEW GALLERY

The actor pictured with his daughter Charlotte in 2006

The Ghost Writer star also opened up about his challenging childhood. Pierce’s father left the family shortly after he was born, and his mother went away to work in London, leaving him to live with relatives and later in a boarding-house, where he slept in a “metal bed with a curtain around it”. Pierce met his father for the first time in 1984, while filming Remington Steele in his native Ireland, but said he would have liked to get to know him better. “My fatherly instincts are purely my own,” he said. “They relate back to no one, because there was no one.

STORY: Pierce Brosnan publicly declares love for his wife with throwback snapshot

“I only met Tom the once. I had a Sunday afternoon with him. A story about this and that, had a few pints of Guinness and we said goodbye. I would have loved to have known him. He was a good whistler and he had a good walk… That’s as much as I know about him.”

Actor Pierce Brosnan’s daughter dies of ovarian cancer

LONDON – Irish actor Pierce Brosnan said on Tuesday that his 41-year-old daughter Charlotte had died after a three year battle with ovarian cancer, the same disease that killed his first wife more than 20 years ago.

Brosnan, 60, who was the fifth actor to take on the role of the fictional British spy 007 in the James Bond movies, said his daughter died last Friday, leaving behind her husband and two children.

Charlotte’s mother was Brosnan’s first wife, Australian actress Cassandra Harris, who died from the same type of cancer at the age of 43 in 1991.

“Charlotte fought her cancer with grace and humanity, courage and dignity. Our hearts are heavy with the loss of our beautiful dear girl,” Brosnan said in a statement.

“We pray for her and that the cure for this wretched disease will be close at hand soon.”

Brosnan adopted Charlotte and her brother Christopher in the 1980s after their father died and they took his surname. He went on to have another son, Sean, with Harris.

Brosnan married Keely Shaye Smith in 2001 and the couple has two children.

Angelina Jolie revealed in May that she underwent a double mastectomy after discovering she carried a gene that increased her risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, the same disease that killed her mother Marcheline Bertrand age 56.

When Celebrities Get Ovarian Cancer

Celebrity news always catches our attention, whether it’s a new romance or a break-up, a family problem, or even a tussle with the paparazzi. However, there are times when celebrities’ fame can actually be used for good. One example is in raising awareness of certain diseases.

Ovarian cancer is a perfect case in point. Celebrities like comedian Gilda Radner, actress Kathy Bates, and civil rights activist Coretta Scott King all had ovarian cancer. When Radner and King died, the headlines were everywhere, making people more aware of this aggressive disease.

The current national spokeswoman for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC), an ovarian cancer education and awareness organization, is CSI: Miami actress Eva LaRue. Her mission, as well as that of the NOCC, is to let the world know about this difficult, often fatal disease. LaRue’s maternal grandmother and great-grandmother died from ovarian cancer.

Ovarian Cancer: A Quiet Killer

Ovarian cancer doesn’t garner the attention that breast cancer does. It is not as common — ovarian cancer accounts for only 3 percent of all cancers and ranks fifth among cancer deaths in women. However, 80 percent of cases are diagnosed at later stages when treatment is more difficult and less likely to be successful.

This tendency toward late ovarian cancer diagnosis is primarily due to hard-to-define symptoms, like bloating, pelvic pain, and irregular periods, and the fact that symptoms can be confused with a wide variety of other ailments. The lack of a successful screening test is another problem.

Education is crucial so that women can try to be more in tune with their bodies and, when something doesn’t seem quite right, get medical attention in a timely manner. And education is where celebrities play a vital role.

Celebrities Raising Ovarian Cancer Awareness

While many medical personnel and everyday people work tirelessly to increase awareness of ovarian cancer, a celebrity can catch the media’s attention and get the story out in a widespread way.

One of the original celebrities to raise awareness about ovarian cancer was Gilda Radner. The Emmy-award winning performer created a number of memorable characters on Saturday Night Live and starred in various movies and Broadway plays before dying of ovarian cancer at age 42 in 1989. She also wrote a book about her fight with cancer entitled It’s Always Something, a line from one of her famous characters.

Her name lives on in the Gilda Radner Familial Ovarian Registry and Gilda’s Club. The registry, founded as the Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry in 1981, was renamed after Radner in 1990. Her husband, actor Gene Wilder, serves as honorary chairman. The registry includes data for women who have two or more close relatives diagnosed with ovarian cancer and offers information and support for women at high risk of the disease.

Gilda’s Club, founded in 1991 by Radner’s cancer psychotherapist and Wilder along with help from various friends, is a collection of clubhouses where people with cancer and their families and friends can gather for support groups, lectures, and social events. In 2009, Gilda’s Club merged with another cancer non-profit, The Wellness Community, to become Cancer Support Community.

More recently, Kathy Bates, the film, TV, and stage actress, has been working to raise awareness about ovarian cancer. Diagnosed in 2003, Bates originally kept the information private, but is now getting out the word to help others. She has created a 30-second public service announcement in conjunction with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance and a YouTube video telling her story.

Other celebrities are also joining in the fight, even if they haven’t experienced ovarian cancer themselves. Singer Janet Jackson, exercise champion Jack LaLanne, race car driver Danica Patrick, and fashion guru Rachel Zoe have all worked with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. It is hoped that the attention they draw to ovarian cancer will raise awareness as well as the money needed for research and better treatment.

Celebrities with ovarian cancer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *