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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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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 ...
 
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...
 
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 ...
 
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...
 
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 ...
 
John Heard (1945 - 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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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',...
 
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...
 
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. ...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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 ...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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....
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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 ...
 
Paul Casanova (1941 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player. Born Paulino Ortiz Casanova, he played the catcher position for both the Major League Baseball's Washington Senators and Atlanta Braves from 1965-1974. He began his professional baseball career in 1960 when he signed as a free agent with the Cleveland Indians. He played...
 
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...
 
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" ...
 
Darren Daulton (1962 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player. He played fifteens seasons primarily as a catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies and Florida Marlins. He made his Major League debut with a two-game stint for the Phillies in 1983, but didn’t make the team permanently until 1985. From 1985 to 1988 he served as a back-up ...
 
Alice Ludes (1912 - 2017)
Entertainer. She was best know as a member of Bing Crosby's singing ensemble "The Music Maids". As a member of the group, she appeared in numerous Hollywood musicals during the 1940s. One of eight siblings, she found her interest in performing at an early age and following graduation from high schoo...
 
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...
 
David Rockefeller (1915 - 2017)
Banker, Statesman. He was well known as a leading international figure who was a key player in the drive to integrate economics and politics into a single worldwide system. He was born the youngest son of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. He received a B.S. degree from Har...
 
Joni Sledge (1956 - 2017)
Singer. She was best known for being a part, along with her sisters Debbie, Kim, and Kathy, of the 1970s disco pop group Sister Sledge. The four sisters were trained in singing by their grandmother Viola Williams, a former lyric soprano opera singer. Under the grandmother's guidance, they sang a...
 
Leo Thorsness (1932 - 2017)
Vietnam Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He received this award from President Richard M. Nixon at the White House on October 15, 1973 for his actions on April 19, 1967 as a major assigned to the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing at Takhil Royal Air Force Base in Thailand during the Vietnam War. Bo...
 
Michael Parks (1940 - 2017)
Actor, Singer. A handsome leading man during the first half of his career, he made a name for himself playing the main character 'Jim Bronson' in the TV series "Then Came Bronson" (1969 to 1970). He would go on to settle in character roles and remain an in-demand actor until his death. Born Harry Sa...
 
Glenne Headly (1955 - 2017)
Actress. Raised by her mother in San Francisco and later in New York City, she studied ballet at the Robert Joffrey School of Ballet. She continued her studying of Modern Dance at the Martha Graham Studios, in addition to graduating from the High School of Performing Arts with high honors. She made ...
 
John Avildsen (1935 - 2017)
Academy Award Winning Film Director. He was best known for directing the 1976 Oscar winning film "Rocky". He graduated from the prestigious Hotchkiss School and New York University. He started out in the film business as an assistant director on movies by Arthur Penn and Otto Preminger. He made...
 
Skip Homeier (1930 - 2017)
American Actor. Born George Vincent Homeier, he was billed as Skippy Homeier when he made his onscreen debut at age 14 as a Nazi teen in 1944's 'Tomorrow, the World!'. In a career that spanned five decades, the versatile character actor would go on to appear in dozens of television series and movies...
 
Haruo Nakajima (1929 - 2017)
Japanese Actor. Nakajima played Godzilla for 12 consecutive films, beginning with the original 'Godzilla' in 1954. He subsequently played the character in 'Godzilla Raids Again' (1955), 'King Kong vs. Godzilla' (1962), 'Mothra vs. Godzilla' (1964), 'Ghidorah: the Three-Headed Monster' (1964), 'Invas...
 
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...
 
Lorna Gray (1917 - 2017)
Actress. She was also billed as Adrian Booth during the second half of her career. Born Virginia Pound, her father was the proprietor of a company which made women's hats, his business was ruined during the "Great Depression". She initiated her career in entertainment as a singer who performed under...
 
Dallas Green (1934 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player, Manager, Executive. As a manager, he guided the Philadelphia Phillies to their first World Series title in 1980. Born George Dallas Green, he attended Concord High School in Delaware. He played collegiate baseball and basketball at the University of Delaware, prior to b...
 
Don Baylor (1949 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player, Manager. Born Donald Edward Baylor, he played for various Major League Baseball teams (Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics, California Angels, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and the Minnesota Twins) during a nineteen year career (1970-1988). He also managed bo...
 
Frank Deford (1938 - 2017)
Sports Journalist, Author. A writer with Sports Illustrated for fifty-years, he will also be remembered as a contributor to the TV program "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" for 20-years (1995 to 2015). In addition, he was familiar to radio audiences for thirty-seven years with his commentaries on the...
 
Emma Morano (1899 - 2017)
Supercentenarian, Folk Figure. She was an Italian supercentenarian who, before her death at the age of 117 years and 137 days, was the world's oldest living person whose age had been verified, and the last living person to have been verified as being born in the 1800s. She was the oldest Italian per...
 
Clifton James (1920 - 2017)
Actor. Born George Clifton James, he was a character actor best known for his roles as Sheriff J.W. Pepper alongside Roger Moore in the James Bond films "Live and Let Die" (1973) and "The Man with the Golden Gun" (1974), the sheriff in "Silver Streak" (1976), and as the owner of the scandalous 1919...
 
Jimmy Breslin (1928 - 2017)
Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist, Author. While writing for the New York Daily News, he was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1986. Additionally, his novel "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight" (1969), was made into a 1971 motion picture adaptation. Born James Earl Breslin, he...
 
Bob Kuzava (1923 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player. For ten seasons (1946 to 1947, 1949 to 1955 and 1957), he was a left-handed pitcher with the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Washington Senators, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals. Born Robert Le...
 
Chelsea Brown (1947 - 2017)
Actress. Remembered as a cast member of the popular TV series "Rowan and Martin's Laugh In" (1968 to 1969). Born Lois Brown in Chicago, she got her start in the entertainment industry with a minor role in "The Monkees'"film "Head" (1968), prior to joining the cast of "Laugh In", on which she often s...
 
Jeanne Moreau (1928 - 2017)
Actress. She was one of French cinema's biggest stars of the 20th Century who was best known for her multifaceted performances in French New Wave films of the 1950s and 1960s. She studied at the Conservatoire Nationale d’Art Dramatique and became at the age of 20, the youngest member of the Comédie-...
 

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