Classic TV Stars We Lost In 2017

We lost a lot of great classic tv stars in 2017. I was hoping not to have to add any more to this list I compiled today, but I just got word that the great Rose Marie passed this afternoon, December 28th. Known for having the longest career in show business of over 90 years, Rose Marie was enjoying a new wave of fan appreciation after joining Twitter and the release of her documentary “Wait For Your Laugh”. She was sweet. She was tough. She was wonderful and she’ll be missed.

Rose Marie - December 28th

Rose Marie, best known for her role as comedy writer Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show, passed away on the afternoon of December 28th of natural causes. She was 94 and her career in show business spanned over 90 years. A documentary on her life in show business, “Wait For Your Laugh”, was released this year to critical acclaim.

Heather North - November 30th

Heather North, known mostly for her role as the voice of Daphne Blake in Scooby Doo, passed away on November 30th from cardiac arrest. She was 71.

Jim Nabors
Jim Nabors - November 30th

Jim Nabors rose to fame as Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show, which earned him his own spinoff, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Carol Burnett considered him her good luck charm and had him guest star on each season’s first episode on The Carol Burnett Show. He passed away on November 30th at age 87.

Rance Howard
Rance Howard - November 25th

Rance Howard, character actor and father of Ron and Clint Howard passed away on November 25th from natural causes. Notable tv roles include Henry Boomhauer on Gentle Ben and Dr. McIvers on The Waltons. He was 89.

David Cassidy - November 21st

Teen idol David Cassidy passed away November 21st from liver failure. The son of actor Jack Cassidy, he was best known for his role as Keith Partridge on The Partridge Family, which he co-starred in with his real life stepmother, Shirley Jones. According to his daughter, his last words were “So much wasted time.”

Della Reese
Della Reese - November 19th

Della Reese, who first found fame as a singer and later as an actress in Touched By An Angel, passed away November 19th. Her career spanned 7 decades. She was 86.

Earle Hyman
Earle Hyman - November 18th

Best known as Cliff Huxtable’s dad Russell on The Cosby Show, Earle Hyman enjoyed a successful career in show business that lasted over 50 years. He passed away November 18th.

Ann Wedgeworth - November 16th

Ann Wedgeworth, best known for her roles on Three’s Company and Evening Shade, passed away on November 16th after a long illness.

John Hillerman - November 9th

John Hillerman, though he had a long, distinguished career in show business, is best known as Jonathan Quayle Higgins III, the Major Domo of Robin Master’s Estate on Magnum, PI. His British accent was so convincing that many people, including a British Lord who wrote to tell him he was a credit to the Empire, assumed he was British. He was Texan. He passed away November 9th at the age of 84.

Robert Guillaume - October 24th

Robert Guillaume, best known as Benson on Soap and its spin-off Benson, was a veteran of the stage and small screen. He passed away October 24th of complications from prostate cancer.

Harry Dean Stanton - September 15th

Harry Dean Stanton’s rough, weather-beaten appearance was great for westerns, appearing in Laramie, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, and more. His impressive resume also included many notable appearances on the big screen and he was working right up until he died. He passed away September 15th of natural causes at the age of 91.

Richard Anderson - August 31st

Richard Anderson, well known for his role as Oscar Goldman in the Six Million Dollar Man series, passed away on August 31st of natural causes. He was 91.

Jay Thomas - August 24th

Jay Thomas enjoyed a varied career as a comic, radio DJ, and actor. He is well known for his role as Eddie LeBec on Cheers. He died on August 24th of cancer. He was 69.

June Foray
June Foray - July 27th

June Foray, “The Cartoon Queen”, was a legend in the voice acting field, with over 300 credits to her name. She voiced multiple popular animated characters such as Natasha Fatale, Rocky the Squirrel, Grandma in the Sylvester and Tweety cartoons, Magica De Spell, and more. She passed away on July 27th at the age of 99.

Red West
Red West - July 18th

Red West was a close friend of Elvis Presley. He had a varied show business career, doing everything from stunts to acting to songwriting. He passed away July 18th from an aortic aneurysm. He was 81.

Martin Landau - July 15th

Martin Landau was an incredible talent whose career spanned 64 years on stage, tv, and in the movies. He played notable guest roles on many tv shows like The Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Gunsmoke, and of course, Mission: Impossible and Space: 1999. He passed away July 15th at the age of 89.

Skip Homeier - June 25th

Skip Homeier was a character actor with over 130 credits to his name. He had memorable roles in Star Trek, many westerns, and starring roles in the short-lived series Dan Raven and The Interns. He passed away June 25th of spinal myelopathy. He was 86.

Stephen Furst - June 16th

Stephen Furst is mostly remembered for his roles as Dr. Elliot Axelrod on St. Elsewhere and Vir Cotto on Babylon 5. He passed away on June 16th due to diabetes-related complications. He was 63.

Bill Dana - June 15th

Bill Dana is famous for his character Jose Jimenez, whom he has played in his own tv series The Bill Dana Show, as well as The Spike Jones Show and Make Room For Daddy. He passed away June 15th at the age of 92.

Adam West - June 9th

Adam West is best known the world over as Batman from the 1966 tv series. Adam never could shake the role as Batman, so he embraced it and would go on to voice Batman in several animated shows. He lost his fight with leukemia on June 9th. He was 88.

Roger Smith - June 4th

Roger Smith was best known as Detective Jeff Spencer on the hip series 77 Sunset Strip. He was married to Ann-Margret. He passed away June 4th due to complications from Parkinson’s. He was 84.

Jared Martin - May 24th

Jared Martin had the fortune of being a regular in two series, Dallas and War of the Worlds. He passed away May 24th of pancreatic cancer at the age of 75.

Powers Boothe - May 14th

Powers Boothe’s credits include Skag, Philip Marlowe, Private Eye, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He passed away May 14th of pancreatic cancer at the age of 68.

Don Gordon - April 24th

Don Gordon’s career spanned 64 years and he had over 130 credits to his name on popular shows such as Knight Rider, Dukes of Hazzard, Macgyver, Remington Steele, Airwolf, T.J. Hooker, and more. He passed away April 24th at the age of 90.

Erin Moran - April 22nd

Erin Moran was best known as Joanie Cunningham from the shows Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi. She passed away April 22nd from complications from throat cancer. She was 56.

Don Rickles
Don Rickles - April 6th

Comedian Don Rickles had a career that spanned over 60 years. He starred in his own short-lived series The Don Rickles Show, as well as Daddy Dearest and C.P.O. Sharkey. He died April 6th of kidney failure at the age of 90.

Chuck Barris - March 21st

Chuck Barris is best known as the creator and host of The Gong Show. He passed away March 21st of natural causes. He was 87.

Judge Wapner - February 26th

Judge Wapner was the longtime host of reality courtroom drama The Peoples’ Court. He passed away February 26th at the age of 97.

Richard Hatch - February 7th

Richard Hatch was best known as Apollo on Battlestar Galactica. He passed away on February 7th from pancreatic cancer at the age of 71.

Mike Connors - January 26th

Mike Connors, best known for his title role on Mannix passed away January 26th of leukemia at the age of 91.

Barbara Hale - January 26th

Barbara Hale’s most memorable role was that of Della Street on Perry Mason. She passed away on January 26th. She was 94.

Mary Tyler Moore - January 25th

Mary Tyler Moore gained fame in her role as Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Later, she had another hit show with The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She was a spokesperson for diabetes (which she suffered from) and animal rights. She passed away on January 25th from cardiopulmonary arrest at the age of 80.

Tony Rosato - January 17th

Tony Rosato was a cast member on both Saturday Night Live and SCTV. He died of a heart attack at the age of 62 on January 17th.

Francine York - January 6th

Francine York had guest roles on many popular tv shows, but her longest stint was on Days of Our Lives. Classic tv fans know her from her roles as Lydia Limpet on Batman and Niolani on Lost In Space. She lost her battle with cancer on January 6th at the age of 80.

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