Hollywood and the world of Entertainment lost a lot of individuals this year so far. 2019 is not yet over and we have heard the loss of many iconic people in Hollywood, spouses of reality show stars, Top Chef stars, Broadway legends, and many more. We reflect back on those we lost this year as some were expected and others were not, but more importantly to remember what they did to make a mark on the industry and on our own personal world.
These men and women did more than just entertain us, they were a part of our lives in one way or another. This list is longer than we thought and that makes it all the more important to notice those who are still with us and provide us with the laughs or the tears that they aim to send our way. We lost stars across the full spectrum of music, sports, food, and reality television.
The legendary WWE interviewer known as “Mean” Gene Okerland, passes away on January 2, 2019 at the age of 75. For years Gene suffered from kidney issues, having three kidney transplants. The whole of the wrestling community mourned his loss and remembered him from his days as the man who interviewed Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, and Randy Savage.
Vince McMahon, the CEO of the WWE, tweeted, “It was impossible not to crack a smile whenever ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund entered a room. He was the voice behind so many of WWE’s most iconic and entertaining moments, and the WWE family will miss him immensely.”
The Captain and Tennille musician Daryl Dragon passed away also on January 2, 2019. He was the “Captain” of the duo and was 76 years of age when he passed.
The duo married in 1975 and divorced in 2014. After Daryl died, Tennille said that she “found out he had Parkinsonian symptoms, including tremors exacerbated by anxiety and PTSD after [allegedly] being beaten from age 4 by his famous dad, bandleader Carmen Dragon.”
Bob Einstein of Curb Your Enthusiasm passed away on January 2, 2019 after a long battle with cancer. He too was just 76 years old and a surprising loss.
He played the role of Marty Funkhouser on Curb Your Enthusiasm, as the always upset friend of Larry David. David said of his friend, “Never have I seen an actor enjoy a role the way Bob did playing Marty Funkhouser on ‘Curb, there was no one like him, as he told us again and again.”
Broadway icon Carol Channing passed away on January 15, 2019. The legend was nearly 98 years old and lead a bright career that included her portrayal of Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello Dolly!
She spent a lot of time in television as well, with stints on Touched by an Angel and Family Guy. Carol was married four times throughout her long life, her last wedding being in 2003 – loving until the very end.
In a tragic turn of events, 29-year-old Fatima Ali passed away on January 25, 2019. Ali was a chef in New York City who was on the 15th season of Top Chef.
She wrote about her struggle with cancer and how she had just one year left to live. She wrote an opt-ed in Bon Appetit magazine about her year and what she wants to do during that time. Prior to her passing, Ali let Ellen Degeneres and traveled around the world.
Helmond was best known for her role as on a in Who’s the Boss? which she was on from 1984 to 1992. She was also on Everybody Loves Raymond and True Blood.
Helmond passed away on February 23, 2019. Her passing was due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease which took her life at age 89. Her husband, David Christian, said that she was the love of his life and thanked her for 57 years of marriage and love.
Lisa Sheridan was an actress many knew from her roles on NCIS and CSI. She was just 44 years old when she died on February 25, 2019.
Lisa mostly stuck to television gigs, her breakout role being that of Vivian Winters in Legacy back in 1998. Lisa’s cause of death was not publicized, but her manager did state that her family denies all rumors of suicide. We may never know what happened.
Janice Freeman, whom you may recognize from her time on The Voice, passed away at the age of 33 on March 2, 2019. Her family released a statement as to her cause of death which was a blood clot that traveled to her heart in conjunction with a bout of pneumonia.
Throughout her life, Janice had suffered from cervical cancer as well as lupus. While on The Voice, Janice was on Miley Cyrus’s team. After Janice passed, Miley took to her Instagram to mourn the loss.
Keith Flint, frontman of the band The Prodigy, passed away on March 4, 2019 at 49 years old. Flint’s body was found by the police who were there to check up on him. Flint’s cause of death was self-inflicted and was a result of his own demons that included substance and alcohol abuse.
Flint’s death came two months before the band was supposed to start their tour in the United States that would be their first in over a decade.
At just 52 years old, former 90210 star Luke Perry died. The star passed away on March 4, 2019 due to a massive stroke that he had suffered a few days prior.
He was known for his role as Dylan McKay on 90210, as well as roles in The Fifth Element, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Riverdale, and most recently in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He was also set to be a part of the 90210 reboot that the rest of the cast is also taking part in.
Formerly the highest paid actor on television, Jan-Michael Vincent shot to fame on the show Airwolf which aired in the 80s. He was 73 years old when he passed on February 10, 2019.
He was making $200,000 per episode on the show but his star rose and burned off very quickly thanks to his high stakes Hollywood lifestyle. Vincent managed to get clean and stick to it despite his struggles. He worked throughout the 90s and early 2000s, with his latest role being in the 2002 film White Boy.
The tragic death of former Miss Teenager Universe was a shocking one. The 20-year-old passed away on March 6, 2019 as a result of a heart attack that threw her into a coma that she never woke up from.
Lotte Van Der Zee was on vacation in Austria when she began to feel unwell, which quickly turned into cardiac arrest. She was taken to the hospital where she had slipped into a coma. Her organs began shutting down and sadly no brain activity remained.
Freeda Foreman was the daughter of legendary boxer George Foreman. The 42-year-old passed away on March 9, 2019 at her own hand. Her heartbroken father took to Twitter to say, “First Sunday in 42 years without my Freeda. She’s With her maker now.”
Freeda also took to the ring like her dad, but her career was short-lived as she started it in 2000 and ended it in 2001. George did not want Freeda boxing at first, but came around when he saw her passion for it.
With a career spanning over 70 years, Richard Erdman was on of Hollywood’s longest serving actors. The character actor passed away on March 16, 2019 at the ripe old age of 93.
He started out as a teenager in Hollywood in the 40s after arriving from his native Colorado. He appeared in films such as Presents, Make Room for Daddy, Saints and Sinners, and was the voice in films like Scooby-Doo, and Popeye and Son.
Denise DuBarry Hay died at the age of 63 on March 23, 2019. Her cause of death was due to a fungus that she had contracted. She was known for her stints on television shows such as The Love Boat, Black Sheep Squadron, and the film Being There.
In addition to acting, Denise was a businesswoman to contend with. She founded a marketing agency, as well as served as president and founder of the Palm Springs Women in Film and Television group.
Yoji Harada was the star of the show Miami Ink. The tattoo artist passed away at the age of 46 on March 27, 2019. Harada was in the Netherlands at the time of his passing as he had a tattoo shop there as well.
In addition to his tattooing, he also had a t-shirt line that he founded with Miami Ink co-star Darren Brass. Harada leaves behind a daughter named Sidney.
Nispey Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was a rapper and advocate who was killed on March 31, 2019. Hussle was 33 years old when he was gunned down in Los Angeles.
The background to the killing was a personal vendetta that the gunman had toward Hussle. There were many a-list celebrities who came to honor Hussle at his memorial, such as Jay-Z and Beyonce, and Snoop Dogg. Stevie Wonder performed during the memorial.
Former Bond girl Nadja Regin passed away at the age of 87 on April 6, 2019. Regin was Serbian-born where she grew up and studied in Belgrade prior to turning her sights to acting.
She started her acting career in British television and films such as Edgar Wallace Mysteries, and The Saint. Her Bond girl role was the height of her career in the 1964 Goldfinger and 1963 To Russia With Love.
John Singleton, iconic director and record breaker, passed away on April 29, 2019 at just 51 years old. John suffered a major stroke two weeks before his passing but could not come out of it.
He is known for being the youngest nominee for an Academy Award for his 1991 film Boyz N the Hood, which he was just 24 years old for. He also directed Shaft, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and the music video that changed the game for Michael Jackson’s Remember the Time.
Star Wars fans the world over mourned deeply on April 30, 2019 – the day Peter Mayhew passed away. Peter played the role of Chewbacca in the Star Wars films. There was no cause of death that was shared with the public but he did have surgery in 2015 that was related to his spine and was meant to help him move easier.
Star Wars director George Lucas chose Peter due to the fact that he was 7 foot 2 inches tall, but summed up his feelings of Mayhew by releasing a statement about how wonderful Peter was.
Peggy Lipton was 72 year sold when she passed away on May 11, 2019. The actress and model is also known as the mother of fellow actress Rashida Jones whom she had with music legend Quincy Jones.
Daughter Rashida and Kidada said, “She made her journey peacefully with her daughters and nieces by her side. We feel so lucky for every moment we spent with her.” Lipton started modeling at 15 and acting in her 20s.
The iconic Doris Day was 97 years old when she passed on May 13, 2019. She started acting in the 40s, with her debut role as Georgia Garrett in Romance on the High Seas.
By the time the 50s came around, Doris was a star. She starred in Calamity Jane, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and was the voice of the Oscar-winning song, Que Sera Sera. She had one son and was married four times.
Tim Conway, comedy icon, passed away on May 14, 2019 at the age of 85. He got his big break with the role of Ensign Charles Parker on the show McHale’s Navy.
His following gig on The Carol Burnett Show would seal his comedic fate. Throughout his career, Conway won a Golden Globe and four Emmy Awards. He did the voice of Barnacle Boy on the animated show SpongeBob Squarepants.
Everyone’s favorite upset-looking cat dies on May 14, 2019, she was 7 years old. Grumpy Cat’s owner took to Twitter to tell the world that she passed as a result of complications from a urinary tract infection that could not be treated.
Grumpy Cat shot to stardom in 2012 when her owner’s brother put her photo up on Reddit. Her smaller features and grumpy looking face endeared her to millions.
Former WWE beauty Ashley Massaro passed away on May 16, 2019 at 40 years old. Her cause of death was suicide. She was open about her struggles with mental health to which she said was a result of traumatic brain injury and chronic traumatic encephalopathy that was a result of her years in the ring.
Whether that was accurate or not, Ashley was a power in the wrestling world, having won WWE’s Raw Diva Search in 2005, and 2007’s title of WWE Women’s Championship in WrestleMania.
Daniel Wright was a contestant on the weight loss show The Biggest Loser for two seasons – its seventh and eighth. He was 19 when he started on the show and was 30 when he passed away on May 26, 2019.
His wellness journey through weight loss was halted when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in October of 2017. He had fought the cancer but it returned in December of 2018.
Gloria Vanderbilt’s name was renowned the world over. The socialite, fashion designer, and artist came from a wealthy family that was wrought with drama over money.
She was raised by her aunt after her father passed away as her mother was responsible for draining her baby girl’s trust fund. Gloria was married four times, and was the mother of news personality Anderson Cooper. Gloria passed away on June 17, 2019 at the age of 95.
The beloved wife of Dog the Bounty Hunter’s Duane “Dog” Chapman passed away on June 26, 2019 at the age of 51. Beth was battling throat cancer for months prior to her passing.
Duane took to Twitter to announce that Beth had passed, writing, “It’s 5:32 in Hawaii, this is the time she would wake up to go hike Koko Head mountain. Only today, she hiked the stairway to heaven. We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side.”
Daniel Desmond “Etika” Amofah was a YouTube star. He was found lifeless in his New York City apartment on June 25, 2019. Etika was a video game vlogger who got his original account closed on YouTube due to alleged inappropriate photos were uploaded to his account.
He opened another channel afterwards but his behavior was beginning to make his fans concerned. The vlogger was 29 when he passed. His inner demons were too much for him.
Billy Drago, known to the world as the classic villain in many movies, passed away on June 24, 2019 at the age of 73. He was born to an American father and a Romany mother whose last name he took when he started acting.
He started as a stuntman and eventually moved on to acting in over 100 films. He was in films like The Untouchables, as well as on television shows such as Charmed.
Billionaire Ross Perot passed away on July 2, 2019 at age 89. Perot ran for office twice in his career. He served in the US Navy prior to becoming an IBM salesman.
He was with IBM for a few years prior to starting his own company – Electronic Data Systems (EDS). He then founded Perot Systems, Inc, which turned him into the billionaire he became. While he never got succeeded in his political career, his business acumen won him great success.
Hollywood heavyweight Rip Torn passed away on July 9, 2019, he was 88 years old. Rip had over 200 credits to his name by the time he passed, beginning in the 50s when he started out on Broadway.
He is known for his role in Men In Black, Cross Creek, and Dodgeball. He won an Emmy and was nominated for six of them throughout his career. He also earned himself a Tony nomination early on in his career.
A horrible accident caused the death of 35-year-old YouTube vlogger Emily Hartridge. Emily was riding an electric scooter when a truck collided with her in London.
The accident took place on July 12, 2019. Emily was known for her “10 Reasons Why” short videos on YouTube and was beloved by her followers for her honest and to the point attitude. Her last videos were about relationships as she was talking about her own with Jacob Hazell.
At 75 years of age, actor Rutger Hauer passed away in his home in the Netherlands after a short bout of sickness. Rutger was bets known for his role in Blade Runner, Turkish delight, Nighthawks, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Rite, and most recently he was on the shows Porters.
He worked hard throughout his career, maintaining a steady pace of jobs and enjoying picking his own works very carefully.