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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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Mary Tyler 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...
 
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...
 
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 ...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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 ...
 
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 ...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
Wilburn Ross (1922 - 2017)
World War II Medal of Honor Recipient. He received this award from Lt. Gen. Alexander M. Patch III at Zeppelin Stadium, Nuremberg, Germany on April 23, 1945 for his actions on October 30, 1944 as a Private assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division near Saint-Jacques, France. He also fought in the Korean...
 
Ruben Amaro (1936 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player, Coach. For eleven seasons (1958 and 1960 to 1969), he played as an infielder with the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and California Angels. Signed by the Cardinals as an amateur free agent in 1954, he made his Major League debut with St. Lo...
 
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 ...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
Cuba Gooding (1944 - 2017)
Singer. Legendary lead singer for the musical group The Main Ingredient, and to the following generation as the father of an Oscar-winning actor, Cuba Gooding, Jr. In 1971 he took over as lead singer in The Main Ingredient replacing Donald McPherson, who died of leukemia. The group had had a a strin...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
Don Gordon (1925 - 2017)
American Actor. Born Donald Walter Guadagno, he was a prolific character actor who was best known for his affiliation and friendship with Steve McQueen, as the two appeared together in several films as well as a television series. In a career spanning eight decades, he had roles in such films as 'Tw...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
Bob Bruce (1933 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player. For nine seasons (1959 to 1967), he was a pitcher with the Detroit Tigers, Houston Colt .45s/Astros and Atlanta Braves. Born Robert James Bruce, he attended Highland Park High School and later played collegiate baseball at Alma College in Michigan. Signed as an amateur ...
 
Colin Dexter (1930 - 2017)
Author. He created the "Inspector Morse" detective novel series. His father was a taxi driver, Colin served with the Royal Corps of Signals and later received his bachelor's degree in Classical Reading from Christ's College at Cambridge. Following his graduation, he served as an assistant classics m...
 
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 ...
 
Lawrence Hogan (1928 - 2017)
US Congressman. He served in the United States House of Representatives from the 5th District of Maryland from January 3, 1969 to January 3, 1975. He attended Georgetown University and earned both his Bachelors and J.D.. He later earned his Masters from American University in Washington D.C. and did...
 
Quinn O'Hara (1941 - 2017)
Actress. Born Alice Jones, she was a character actress who appeared in both films and television during a career that span six decades. She attended a convent boarding school in Scotland. After stays in Cardiff, Wales, and Quebec, Canada, she and her mother eventually settled in Long Beach, Californ...
 
Jim Fuller (1947 - 2017)
Rock Musician. Known as "The Godfather of Surf Music". A guitarist, he was a member of the Rock and Surf band "The Surfaris", who are widely credited with introducing the Surf Music sound of the 1960s. They will be remembered for their classic musical hit "Wipe Out" (1963), for which became a part o...
 
Tilikum (1981 - 2017)
Orca. Tilikum became a resident of SeaWorld some 25 years ago. He had been born in the waters off Iceland some ten or twelve years previously. In 1983, when it was estimated that he was two or three years old, he was captured near Iceland, then kept for about a year in a holding tank. He then was i...
 
Curt Lowens (1925 - 2017)
Actor. Born Curt Lowenstein, he was a character actor who appeared on stage, television, and in films during a career that span seven decades. When he was fifteen years of age, he, along with his parents, tried to emigrate to the United States via the Netherlands, but their hopes were dashed by the ...
 
Dick Gautier (1931 - 2017)
American Actor, Comedian and Author. Although he appeared in dozens of television shows and films, he will best be remembered for his role as Hymie the robot in he TV series 'Get Smart' from 1966 through 1968. Born Richard Gautier, he began acting in high school and after serving in the navy during ...
 
Charlie Murphy (1957 - 2017)
American Actor, Comedian, Voice Artist and Writer. Murphy, who was the older brother of actor and comedian Eddie Murphy, had a prolific career as a co-writer, most notably many of his younger brother's films, including 'Vampire in Brooklyn' (1995) and 'Norbit' (2007). He also appeared in minor actin...
 
Steve Palermo (1949 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Umpire, Crime Victim. Palermo's career as a major league baseball umpire ended when he was shot and partly paralyzed after intervening in a robbery. He was in his 15th season as an American League umpire in 1991, with a reputation as one of the best callers in the sport, when o...
 
Eddie Macon (1927 - 2017)
Professional Football Player. Born Edwin Donald Macon, he was the first African-American to play for the National Football League's Chicago Bears in the franchise's history. He played football collegiately at the University of the Pacific and was drafted by the Bears in the second round of the 1952 ...
 
Bruce Lansbury (1930 - 2017)
Television Producer, Writer. The younger brother of actress Angela Lansbury. Born William Bruce Mageean Lansbury, his mother was an actress, his father was a politician, he moved with his family initially to New York, followed by Southern California during the mid 1940. By this point, his sister Ang...
 
Dan Rooney (1932 - 2017)
National Football League Team Owner and Former Ambassador to Ireland. Born Daniel Milton Rooney, his first job with the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team his family has controlled since 1933, was as a water boy at age 12 and he began working in the front office after he graduated from Duquesne University ...
 
Kathleen Crowley (1929 - 2017)
Actress. Born Betty Jane Crowley, she had aspirations of becoming an actress at an early age and following graduation from high school, she received the title of "Miss New Jersey". This led to her earning a place as a finalist in the "Miss America Pageant", of which was held in Atlantic City. From t...
 
Ronald Mundy (1940 - 2017)
Singer. He was a vocalist with the famed doo-wop group The Marcels who had a number one song with "Blue Moon" in 1961. The Marcels were formed in Pittsburgh in 1959 and were named after a popular hairstyle during that time. They sent a demo tape to Colpix Records and the company liked it. They si...
 
Roger Ailes (1940 - 2017)
American Media Consultant and Television Executive. He was the founder and former Chairman and CEO of Fox News and the Fox Television Stations Group.
 
John Andariese (1938 - 2017)
Hall of Fame Sports Broadcaster. Best known for his work with the New York Knicks. He was paired with Marv Albert as the color analyst for New York Knicks' television broadcasts from 1986 until 1998. Prior to this, he worked with Albert on Knicks' radio broadcasts during the 1970s. Additionally, he ...
 
Michael Jackson (1969 - 2017)
Professional Football Player. Born Michael Dwayne Jackson, he was a wide receiver for both the National Football League's Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens from 1991 to 1998. He played football collegiately at the University of Southern Mississippi and was a teammate of Brett Favre during the 19...
 
Irwin Corey (1914 - 2017)
American Actor and Comedian. In a career that spanned eight decades, he endeared himself to generations of audiences as "Professor Corey, the World’s Foremost Authority", whose nonsensical monologues were laced with mock-intellectual routines filled with malapropisms and non sequiturs. He debuted on...
 
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...
 
Bobby Freeman (1940 - 2017)
American Singer and Songwriter. Freeman will best be remembered for his hit single "Do You Want to Dance" which climbed the pop charts in 1958 and endured long afterward in covers by the Beach Boys, the Ramones, Bette Midler and others. He was still a teenager when he wrote and recorded the song tha...
 
Jane Freeman (1935 - 2017)
Actress. Born Shirley Ann Pithers, she was best known for her role as Ivy, the formidable cafe owner in the long-running television comedy "Last of the Summer Wine." She began acting as a teenager, changing her name to Jane Evans. By the time she had graduated from the Cardiff College of Music an...
 
Butch Trucks (1947 - 2017)
Rock Musician. A drummer, he was a founding member of the American Southern Rock band "The Allman Brothers Band". Born Claude Hudson Thomas into a devout Baptist family, he became acquainted with the drums at roughly the age of fourteen. While attending Florida State University, he formed his first ...
 
Rosie Hamlin (1945 - 2017)
American Singer and Songwriter. She will best be remembered for writing and singing lead vocals on the 1961 hit single 'Angel Baby' by Rosie and the Originals. She got her start in music at 13, fronting a country western band in a San Diego suburb. At age 14, she wrote a poem about a teenage love ca...
 
John Cygan (1954 - 2017)
Actor. Born John Frederic Cygan, he was a character actor who was not only well known for his work in television, but also for his voice work in animated films and video games. He first got involved in acting in a church theatre troupe while still in high school. His first acting role came in ...
 
Doug Hogland (1931 - 2017)
Professional Football Player. For six seasons (1953 to 1958), he played at the guard and tackle positions in the National Football League with the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Cardinals and Detroit Lions. Born Matthew Douglas Hogland, he was raised in Oregon where he attended Bend High School and la...
 
George Irvine (1948 - 2017)
Professional Basketball Player, Coach. Born George R. Irvine, he coached both the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association after a six year playing career in the American Basketball Association. He played basketball collegiately at the University of Washington where ...
 
Olive Dunbar (1925 - 2017)
Actress. She chose to pursue a career as an actress at an early age and studied at the Yale School of Drama. This led to her Broadway debut in the play "She Stoops to Conquer" (1949 to 1950). She has the distinction of originating the part of 'Myfanwy Price' on Broadway in the Dylan Thomas play "Und...
 
Robert Waller (1939 - 2017)
Author. Known for his bestselling novel "Bridges of Madison County" (1992), which was made into a 1995 motion picture adaptation starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. Born in the small Midwestern town of Rockford, Iowa, his father was the proprietor of a produce and dairy business, his mother wa...
 
Sheila Bond (1928 - 2017)
Actress. Born Sheila Phyllis Berman into a Jewish, New York family, she began her association with the Broadway stage at the age of sixteen, as a dancer in the production "Artists and Models" (1943). She worked her way from minor roles in "Allah Be Praised!" (1944) and "Street Scene" (1947), prior t...
 
Luis Olmo (1919 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player. Born Luis Francisco Rodriguez Olmo, he played several positions for the National League's Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves from 1943 to 1945 and 1949 to 1951. He debuted for the Dodgers on July 18, 1943 and in 57 games that season, batted .303 with four home runs ...
 
Michael Ilitch (1929 - 2017)
Businessman, Sports Magnate. He was well known as the founder and owner of the fast food franchise Little Caesars Pizza as well as the owner of both the National Hockey League's Detroit Red Wings and Major League Baseball's Detroit Tigers. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years and lat...
 
Alberto Zedda (1928 - 2017)
Conductor. A prolific maestro of 19th century Italian Opera, he shall be best remembered for interpreting the works of Gioachino Rossini. Raised in Milan, he was inspired by 1951 meetings with Igor Stravinsky and studied conducting with Antonino Votto and Carlo Maria Giuliani prior to his 1956 profe...
 
John Harlan (1925 - 2017)
Television Personality. Best know for his lengthy association with TV game shows, as well as for Bob Hope specials. He studied at California State University in Fresno, prior to launching his career in radio, followed by television. His break came in 1960, when he took over announcing duties for the...
 
Roy Sievers (1926 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player. For seventeen seasons (1949 to 1965), he played at the first base and outfield positions with the St. Louis Browns, Washington Senators, Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies. Born Roy Edward Sievers, he excelled at baseball and basketball during his years at Beau...
 
Yale Lary (1930 - 2017)
Hall of Fame Professional Football Player. For eleven seasons (1952 to 1953 and 1956 to 1964), he played at the safety and punter positions in the National Football League with the Detroit Lions. Born Robert Yale Lary, Jr., he attended North Side High School in Fort Worth, Texas, where was a well ro...
 
Lola Albright (1924 - 2017)
Actress. Born Lola Jean Albright, she was best known for playing nightclub singer Edie Hart on the television series "Peter Gunn" from 1958 to 1961. After graduating from high school, she got a job as a receptionist at a local radio station in her hometown of Akron, Ohio. She later left her job ...
 
George Steele (1937 - 2017)
Hall-of-Fame Professional Wrestler. An eccentric character in his sport whose uncouth appearance belied the cultured gentleman that he was in real life, he was known for his green tongue as well as his trademark 'eating' of the ring turnbuckle. Born William James Myers, he was a star athlete in scho...
 
Lawrence Montaigne (1931 - 2017)
Actor. Raised in Rome, Italy, he learned to speak several different languages, in addition to studying Classical Dance. Following service with the United States Marine Corps, he returned to his native New York, where he studied at the Dramatic Workshop. He acquired experience on stage in the Broadwa...
 
Antony Armstrong-Jones (1930 - 2017)
1st Earl of Snowdon, Photographer, Filmmaker. He, also known as Lord Snowden, was the husband of Princess Margaret, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, for eighteen years. He also was well known for his photography and film work. He attended Cambridge University and later established himself a...
 

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