LOS ANGELES (AP) — Shelley Morrison, an actress with a 50-year career who was best known for playing a memorable maid on "Will & Grace," died Sunday, her publicist said.
NOTABLE DEATHS IN 2019: See a roll call of notable people who have died in 2019 in a gallery at the end of this story
Morrison died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from heart failure after a brief illness, publicist Lori DeWaal told The Associated Press. She was 83.
Morrison played Rosario Salazar, a maid from El Salvador, in the original run of "Will & Grace" from 1999 to 2006, becoming part of a cast that won a Screen Actors Guild award for best ensemble in a comedy series.
The character, originally written for a single episode, proved so popular in her interactions with co-star Megan Mullally that she would appear in 68 episodes during the NBC series' eight seasons.
"Rosario is one of my all-time favorite characters," Morrison said recently, according to a statement and biography announcing her death. "She reminds me a lot of my own mother, who loved animals and children, but she would not suffer fools. It is very significant to me that we were able to show an older, Hispanic woman who is bright and smart and can hold her own."
Mullally, who played Morrison's boss Karen Walker, praised the actress on Twitter.
"My heart is heavy. putting shelley, her beloved husband walter & their children in the light. thank you for your friendship & partnership, shell. you accomplished wonderful things in this world. you will be missed," she tweeted.
Eric McCormack, who starred as Will in the NBC sitcom, recalled Morrison on Twitter as a "beautiful soul" and wonderful actor. "Her work as Rosario, season after season, was as nuanced and real as it was hysterical," McCormack tweeted.
Debra Messing, who starred as Grace in the sitcom, tweeted: "Oh, Shelley... what a loss. Our dear Rosario has passed on. Shelley had a career that spanned decades, but she will always be our dear Rosie. All my love to Walter and the entire family."
Sean Hayes, who played Jack McFarland on the sitcom, wrote in an Instagram post that Morrison "was absolutely hilarious and had the biggest heart."
Besides the opportunity to portray a strong Latina, Morrison valued "Will & Grace" for its breakthrough TV depiction of gay characters, said her husband, Walter Dominguez.
"Shelley's greatest pride as an actress was in playing the indomitable Rosario, in a comedy series that furthered the cause of social equity and fairness for LGBTQ people. ... She believed that the best way to change hearts and minds was through comedy," Dominguez said in a statement.
Before "Will & Grace," Morrison was best known for playing Sister Sixto on "The Flying Nun" alongside Sally Field from 1967 to 1970.
She guest-starred on dozens of television series starting in the early 1960s, including "The Fugitive," "L.A. Law" and "Murder, She Wrote." Most recently, she voiced a character, Mrs. Portillo, on the Disney animated series "Handy Manny."
Born Rachel Mitrani to Jewish parents from Spain in the Bronx, New York, in 1936, Morrison spoke primarily Spanish as a child. She was often cast as Latina characters, but she played a range of ethnicities in theater, television and film.
Her movie roles put her in casts with Hollywood's biggest stars of several eras.
She appeared with Dean Martin in 1968's "How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life," with Barbra Streisand in "Funny Girl" the same year, with Gregory Peck in 1969's "Mackenna's Gold," with Shelley Long in "Troop Beverly Hills" in 1989, and with Salma Hayek in "Fools Rush In" in 1997.
Morrison is survived by her husband of more than 40 years.
PHOTOS: NOTABLE DEATHS IN 2019 A roll call of notable people who have died this year:
Doris Day, the honey-voiced singer and actress whose film dramas, musicals and innocent sex comedies made her a top star in the 1950s and '60s and among the most popular screen actresses in history, died May 13, 2019. With her lilting contralto, wholesome blonde beauty and glowing smile, she was a top box office draw and recording artist known for such films as "Pillow Talk" and "That Touch of Mink" and for such songs as "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)" from the Alfred Hitchcock film "The Man Who Knew Too Much." She was 97.
Luke Perry, who gained instant heartthrob status as wealthy rebel Dylan McKay on "Beverly Hills, 90210," died March 4, 2019, after suffering a massive stroke, his publicist said. Although Perry was best-known for his role as McKay, he enjoyed a prolific film and television career. Most recently, he played construction company owner Fred Andrews, father of main character Archie Andrews, for three seasons on "Riverdale," the CW series that gives a dark take on "Archie" comics. He was 52.
Cokie Roberts, longtime political reporter and analyst at ABC News and NPR, has died at age 75. ABC announced her death on Tuesday. Roberts was the daughter of Hale and Lindy Boggs, two members of Congress from Louisiana, and went on the chronicle the political world she grew up in. She joined ABC News in 1988 and was co-anchor with Sam Donaldson of the Sunday political show "This Week" from 1996 to 2002.
Nipsey Hussle, the skilled and respected rapper who earned a Grammy nomination this year for his major-label debut and was heavily respected in South Los Angeles where he grew up, was shot and killed March 31, 2019, authorities said. He was 33.
Gloria Vanderbilt, the intrepid heiress, artist and romantic who began her extraordinary life as the "poor little rich girl" of the Great Depression, survived family tragedy and multiple marriages and reigned during the 1970s and '80s as a designer jeans pioneer, died June 17, 2019. She was 95.
Elijah E. Cummings
Elijah E. Cummings died early Thursday at Johns Hopkins Hospital due to complications from longstanding health challenges, his congressional office said. He was 68. A sharecropper's son, Cummings became the powerful chairman of a U.S. House committee that investigated President Donald Trump, and was a formidable orator who passionately advocated for the poor in his black-majority district, which encompasses a large portion of Baltimore as well as more well-to-do suburbs.
Carol Channing, the lanky, ebullient musical comedy star who delighted American audiences over almost 5,000 performances as the scheming Dolly Levi in "Hello, Dolly" on Broadway and beyond, died Jan. 15, 2019. Besides "Hello, Dolly," Channing starred in other Broadway shows, but none with equal magnetism. She often appeared on television and in nightclubs, for a time partnering with George Burns in Las Vegas and a national tour. Her outsized personality seemed too much for the screen, and she made only a few movies, notably "The First Traveling Saleslady" with Ginger Rogers and "Thoroughly Modern Millie" with Julie Andrews. She was 97.
Beth Chapman, the brash, buxom and blonde wife and co-star of "Dog the Bounty Hunter" reality TV star Duane "Dog" Chapman, died June 26. She was 51
H. Ross Perot
H. Ross Perot, the colorful, self-made Texas billionaire who rose from a childhood of Depression-era poverty and twice ran for president as a third-party candidate, died July 9. Perot's 19% of the vote in the 1992 presidential race stands among the best showings by an independent candidate in the past century. As a boy in Texarkana, Texas, Perot delivered newspapers from the back of a pony. He earned his billions in a more modern way, however. After attending the U.S. Naval Academy and becoming a salesman for IBM, he went his own way — creating and building Electronic Data Systems Corp., which helped other companies manage their computer networks. He was 89.
Jessye Norman, the renowned international opera star whose passionate soprano voice won her four Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honor, died Sept. 30. Norman was a trailblazing performer, and one of the rare black singers to attain worldwide stardom in the opera world, performing at such revered houses like La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera, and singing title roles in works like "Carmen," ''Aida" and more. She sang the works of Wagner, but was not limited to opera or classical music, performing songs by Duke Ellington and others as well. She was 74.
Katherine Helmond, an Emmy-nominated actress who had notable roles on the sitcoms "Who's the Boss?" and "Soap," died Feb. 23, 2019. Nominated for seven Emmy Awards in a 60-year career, Helmond played Judith Light's mother and Alyssa Milano's grandmother Mona Robinson on "Who's the Boss?," the series that ran on ABC from 1984 to 1992. She played matriarch Jessica Tate on another ABC sitcom, "Soap," a parody of soap operas that aired from 1977 to 1981. She was 89.
Georgia Engel, who played the charmingly innocent, small-voiced Georgette on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and amassed a string of other TV and stage credits, died April 12, 2019. Engel was best known for her role as Georgette on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," the character who was improbably destined to marry pompous anchorman Ted Baxter, played by Ted Knight. Engel also had recurring roles on "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Hot in Cleveland." She was a five-time Emmy nominee, receiving two nods for the late Moore's show and three for "Everybody Loves Raymond." She was 70.
Peter Tork, a blues and folk musician who became a teeny-bopper sensation as a member of the Monkees, the wisecracking, made-for-TV pop group that imitated and briefly outsold the Beatles, died Feb. 21, 2019. If the Monkees were a manufactured version of the Beatles, a "prefab four" who auditioned for a rock 'n' roll sitcom and were selected more for their long-haired good looks than their musical abilities, Tork was the group's Ringo, its lovably goofy supporting player. He was 77. — Bio by The Washington Post
In this Jan. 15, 1995, file photo, actor
Rip Torn gives a thumbs-up to photographers after winning for Best Actor in a Comedy Series for HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show," at the 16th annual CableACE Awards ceremony, in Los Angeles. The award-winning television, film and theater actor Torn died at the age of 88, his publicist announced July 9.
Cameron Boyce, best known for his role as the teenage son of Cruella de Vil in the Disney Channel franchise "Descendants," died July 6. An official cause of death has not been announced, but his family released a statement Sunday saying Boyce "passed away in his sleep due to a seizure that was a result of an ongoing medical condition for which he was being treated. According to his bio on the Disney Channel, Boyce was born and raised in Los Angeles. He was a dancer who got his acting start in commercials, then television and film. Boyce starred alongside Adam Sandler in "Grown Ups" and "Grown Ups 2," and other film credits include "Mirrors," ''Eagle Eye" and the indie feature "Runt." He also starred in the upcoming HBO series "Mrs. Fletcher." He was 20 years old.
Albert Finney, the Academy Award-nominated star of films from "Tom Jones" to "Skyfall," has died. Finney was a rare star who managed to avoid the Hollywood limelight for more than five decades after bursting to international fame in 1963 in the title role of "Tom Jones." The film gained him the first of five Oscar nominations. Others followed for "Murder on the Orient Express," ''The Dresser," ''Under the Volcano" and "Erin Brockovich." He was 82.
Diahann Carroll, the Oscar-nominated actress and singer who won critical acclaim as the first black woman to star in a non-servant role in a TV series as "Julia," has died. She was 84. Carroll's daughter, Susan Kay, told The Associated Press her mother died Friday in Los Angeles of cancer.
Ric Ocasek, The Cars frontman whose deadpan vocal delivery and lanky, sunglassed look defined a rock era with chart-topping hits like "Just What I Needed," was discovered dead Sept. 15 in his Manhattan apartment. The death comes a year after The Cars were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, followed by an announcement by model Paulina Porizkova on social media that she and Ocasek had separated after 28 years of marriage. The pair first met while filming the music video for "Drive," another Cars hit. He was 75.
Kristoff St. John
Kristoff St. John, an actor best known for his longtime role on the popular soap opera "The Young and the Restless," died Feb. 3, 2019. St. John had played Neil Winters on the CBS soap opera since 1991, earning nine daytime Emmy nominations. He won a Daytime Emmy in 1992 for outstanding younger actor in a drama series and won 10 NAACP Image Awards. He was 52.
John Singleton, who debuted with the Oscar-nominated "Boyz N the Hood" and continued making movies that probed the lives of black communities in his native Los Angeles and beyond, died April 29. He was 51. Singleton's family said that he died after being taken off life support, about two weeks after the director suffered a major stroke.
Tim Conway, the stellar second banana to Carol Burnett who won four Emmy Awards on her TV variety show, has died, according to his publicist. He was 85. Conway died Tuesday morning, May 14, 2019, after a long illness in Los Angeles, according to Howard Bragman, who heads LaBrea Media.
Bart Starr, the gentlemanly quarterback and catalyst of Vince Lombardi's powerhouse Green Bay Packers teams of the 1960s whose sneak won the famed "Ice Bowl" in 1967, died May 26, 2019. The Packers selected Starr out of the University of Alabama with the 200th pick in the 1956 draft. He led Green Bay to six division titles, five NFL championships and wins in the first two Super Bowls. Until Brett Favre came along, Starr was known as the best Packer ever. The team retired his No. 15 jersey in 1973, making him just the third player to receive that honor. Four years later, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. He was 85.
Jan-Michael Vincent, a golden boy of Hollywood action films in the 1970s who starred on the mid-1980s TV adventure series "Airwolf" and saw his career crater amid drug and alcohol addiction, died Feb. 10, 2019. He was 74, by most accounts, but the certificate listed him as 73.
Family says Eddie Money, 'Two Tickets to Paradise' singer, has died at 70.
Rip Taylor, the madcap mustached comedian with a fondness for confetti-throwing who became a television game show mainstay in the 1970s, died Oct. 6. The man who would become known worldwide as Rip did not have a direct line into show business. He was born Charles Elmer Taylor Jr. in Washington, D.C., to a waitress and a musician and first worked as a congressional page before serving in the Army during the Korean War, where he started performing standup. His ascent began with spots on "The Ed Sullivan Show," where he was known as the "crying comedian." The moniker pre-dated his television stints, however, and went back to his time in the Catskills. He was 84.
Chanel's iconic couturier,
Karl Lagerfeld, whose accomplished designs as well as trademark white ponytail, high starched collars and dark enigmatic glasses dominated high fashion for the past 50 years, died Feb. 19, 2019. Lagerfeld was of the most hardworking figures in the fashion world holding down the top design jobs at LVMH-owned luxury label Fendi from 1977, and Paris' family-owned power-house Chanel in 1983. Indeed, his indefatigable energy was notable: he lost around 90 pounds in his late 60s to fit into the latest slimline fashions. He was around 85 years old.
Peter Mayhew, the towering actor who donned a huge, furry costume to give life to the rugged-and-beloved character of Chewbacca in the original "Star Wars" trilogy and two other films, died April 30, 2019. As Chewbacca, known to his friends as Chewie, the 7-foot-3 Mayhew was a fierce warrior with a soft heart, loyal sidekick to Harrison Ford's Han Solo, and co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon. He was 74.
Peggy Lipton, a star of the groundbreaking late 1960s TV show "The Mod Squad" and the 1990s show "Twin Peaks," died of cancer May 11, 2019. Lipton played one of a trio of Los Angeles undercover "hippie cops" on "The Mod Squad," which aired on ABC. She was 72.
T. Boone Pickens
Oil and gas developer
T. Boone Pickens, who amassed a fortune as an oil tycoon and corporate raider and gave much of it away as a philanthropist, has died. He was 91. Spokesman Jay Rosser confirmed Pickens' death Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019.
Gene Okerlund, a gentlemanly wrestling announcer who specialized in interviewing the biggest, loudest and most obnoxious professional grapplers in the business, died Jan. 2, 2019. Short, bald, jowly and with a neatly trimmed mustache, Okerlund was a study in stark physical contrast to the athletes he interviewed. He became a stalwart of World Wrestling Entertainment as it became a global juggernaut in the 1980s under entrepreneur Vince McMahon. Wrestling fans know him better as "Mean Gene." He was 76. (Bio by The Washington Post)
I.M. Pei, the versatile, globe-trotting architect who revived the Louvre with a giant glass pyramid and captured the spirit of rebellion at the multi-shaped Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died May 16, 2019. Pei's works ranged from the trapezoidal addition to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., to the chiseled towers of the National Center of Atmospheric Research that blend in with the reddish mountains in Boulder, Colorado. His buildings added elegance to landscapes worldwide with their powerful geometric shapes and grand spaces. Among them are the striking steel and glass Bank of China skyscraper in Hong Kong and the Fragrant Hill Hotel near Beijing. He was 102.
Lee Iacocca, the auto executive and master pitchman who put the Mustang in Ford's lineup in the 1960s and became a corporate folk hero when he resurrected Chrysler 20 years later, has died. In his 32-year career at Ford and then Chrysler, Iacocca helped launch some of Detroit's best-selling and most significant vehicles, including the minivan, the Chrysler K-cars and the Ford Escort. He also spoke out against what he considered unfair trade practices by Japanese automakers. He was 94.
Los Angeles Angels pitcher
Tyler Skaggs died July 1 at the age of 27, stunning Major League Baseball and leading to the postponement of the team's game against the Texas Rangers. Skaggs was with the team in Texas when he was found unresponsive in his hotel room, police said . He was pronounced dead at the scene. Skaggs, who would have turned 28 on July 13, had been a regular in the Angels' starting rotation since late 2016, when he returned from Tommy John surgery. He struggled with injuries repeatedly over the past three seasons but persevered to become a valuable starter in Los Angeles' injury-plagued rotation.
Bibi Andersson, the Swedish actress who starred in classic films by compatriot Ingmar Bergman, including "The Seventh Seal" and "Persona," died April 14, 2019. The Swedish Film Institute said Andersson was the only person to have been named best actress four times in its annual awards. In 1958, Andersson also shared the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her performance in Bergman's "Brink of Life." Five years later, she won Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival for her performance in Vilgot Sjoman's "The Mistress." She was 83.
Bob Einstein, the comedy veteran known for "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm," died Jan. 2, 2019. Einstein created and played the spoof daredevil character Super Dave Osborne, who appeared on comedy-variety shows and specials. He also played Marty Funkhouser on Larry David's "Curb Your Enthusiasm." He was 76.
Daryl Dragon, the cap-wearing "Captain" of Captain & Tennille who teamed with then-wife Toni Tennille (left) on such easy listening hits as "Love Will Keep Us Together" and "Muskrat Love," died Jan. 3, 2019. Dragon and Tennille divorced in 2014 after nearly 40 years of marriage, but they remained close and Tennille had moved back to Arizona to help care for him. He was 76.
Pegi Young, who with fellow musician and then-husband Neil Young helped found the Bridge School for children with speech and physical impairments, died Jan. 1, 2019. Pegi Young first conceived of the California-based school in 1986 after she and her husband struggled to educate their son Ben, born with cerebral palsy. Over the next three decades, the Youngs helped stage all-star concert benefits, with guest performers including Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie and Tom Petty. The Youngshad been one of rock's most enduring couples. They met in 1974, when Pegi was living in a teepee, and married four years later. Neil Young's 1992 country-rock ballad, "Harvest Moon," is a tribute to Pegi. She was 66.
Shirley Boone, the longtime wife of singer Pat Boone as well as a philanthropist, died Jan. 11, 2019. Shirley and Pat Boone had been married for 65 years. During that time, Shirley Boone helped to establish Mercy Corps, which has become an international charitable organization dedicated to addressing economic, environmental, social and political problems. She also published writings, hosted TV shows and recorded music. She was 84.
John C. Bogle
John C. Bogle, who simplified investing for the masses by launching the first index mutual fund and founded Vanguard Group, died Jan. 16, 2019. Bogle did not invent the index fund, but he expanded access to no-frills, low-cost investing in 1976 when Vanguard introduced the first index fund for individual investors, rather than institutional clients. He was 89.
Mary Oliver, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet whose rapturous odes to nature and animal life brought her critical acclaim and popular affection, died Jan. 17, 2019. Author of more than 15 poetry and essay collections, Oliver wrote brief, direct pieces that sang of her worship of the outdoors and disdain for greed, despoilment and other human crimes. One of her favorite adjectives was "perfect," and rarely did she apply it to people. Her muses were owls and butterflies, frogs and geese, the changes of the seasons, the sun and the stars. She was 83.
Glen Wood, the courtly and innovative patriarch of the famed Wood Brothers Racing team who had been the oldest living member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, died Jan. 18, 2019. Wood and younger brother Leonard co-founded Wood Brothers Racing in 1953. Wood Brothers is the longest continuous Cup team in NASCAR and has weathered lean years over nearly seven decades, including seasons in which the organization ran only a partial schedule. The team has been credited with revolutionizing pit stops from routine service calls into carefully orchestrated strategic events that can win or lose races. He was 93.
Former Sen. Harris Wofford of Pennsylvania, a longtime civil rights activist who helped persuade John F. Kennedy to make a crucial phone call to the wife of Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1960 presidential campaign, died Jan. 21, 2019. He was 92.
Russell Baker, the genial, but sharp-witted writer who won Pulitzer Prizes for his humorous columns in The New York Times and a moving autobiography of his impoverished Baltimore childhood and later hosted television's "Masterpiece Theatre," died Jan. 21, 2019. Amiable and approachable, but also clear-eyed and street smart, Baker enjoyed a decades-long career as reporter, columnist, critic and on-air personality. He won Pulitzers in 1979 for the "Observer," the Times column he wrote for 35 years, and in 1983 for his autobiography "Growing Up." He was 93.
James Ingram, the Grammy-winning singer who launched multiple hits on the R&B and pop charts and earned two Oscar nominations for his songwriting, died Jan. 29, 2019. In 1983 Ingram released his debut album, "It's Your Night," which included the hit "Yah Mo Be There." The song, which featured Michael McDonald, became a Top 20 hit on the Billboard pop charts and won the Grammy for best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocal. Ingram also reached the top of the pop charts twice with the songs "I Don't Have the Heart" and "Baby, Come to Me," a duet with Patti Austin. "Somewhere Out There," Ingram's collaboration with Linda Ronstadt from the 1986 film "An American Tail," reached No. 2 on the pop charts. He was 66.
Country Music Hall of Fame guitarist
Harold Bradley, who played on hundreds of hit country records including "Crazy," "King of the Road" and "Crying" and helped create "The Nashville Sound" with his brother Owen, died Jan. 31, 2019. The Bradley brothers had a huge impact on Nashville during the 1950s and beyond, with Harold serving as a member of the "A Team" of session musicians and Owen leading Decca Records. He was 93.
Hall of Famer
Frank Robinson, the first black manager in Major League Baseball and the only player to win the MVP award in both leagues, died Feb. 7, 2019. An MVP with Cincinnati and Baltimore, Robinson cemented his legacy when he became Cleveland's manager in 1975. The Reds, Orioles and Indians retired his No. 20 and honored him with statues at their stadiums. Fearsome and fearless in the batter's box, Robinson hit 586 home runs — he was fourth on the career list behind only Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays when he retired and now ranks 10th. He won the Triple Crown while leading the Orioles to their first World Series championship in 1966. He was 83.
Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in American history and a master of legislative deal-making who was fiercely protective of Detroit's auto industry, died Feb. 7, 2019. Dubbed "Big John" for his imposing 6-foot-3 frame and sometimes intimidating manner, a reputation bolstered by the wild game heads decorating his Washington office, Dingell served with every president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama. He was a longtime supporter of universal health care, a cause he adopted from his late father, whom he replaced in Congress in 1955. He also was known as a dogged pursuer of government waste and fraud, and even helped take down two top presidential aides while leading the investigative arm of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, which he chaired for 14 years. The Michigan Democrat served for 59 years before retiring in 2014. He was 92.
Lyndon LaRouche Jr., the political extremist who ran for president in every election from 1976 to 2004, including a campaign waged from federal prison, died Feb. 12, 2019. The cult-like figure, who espoused a wide range of conspiracy theories and advocated for an overhaul of the world's economic and financial systems, ran first as a U. S. Labor Party candidate and later, after an apparent shift to the right, as a Democratic or independent candidate. He was 96.
Stanley Donen, a giant of the Hollywood musical who through such classics as "Singin' in the Rain" and "Funny Face" helped give us some of the most joyous sounds and images in movie history, died Feb. 21, 2019. The 1940s and '50s were the prime era for Hollywood musicals and no filmmaker contributed more to the magic than Donen, among the last survivors from that era and one willing to extend the limits of song and dance into the surreal. He was part of the unit behind such unforgettable scenes as Kelly dancing with an animated Jerry the mouse in "Anchors Aweigh," Astaire's gravity-defying spin across the ceiling in "Royal Wedding," and, the all-time triumph, Kelly ecstatically splashing about as he performs the title number in "Singin' in the Rain." He was 94.
Keith Flint, lead singer of influential British dance-electronic band The Prodigy, was found dead March 4, 2019, the band said. Flint was the stage persona of the band, whose 1990s hits "Firestarter" and "Breathe" were an incendiary fusion of techno, breakbeat and acid house music. He was 49.
Hal Blaine, the Hall of Fame session drummer and virtual one-man soundtrack of the 1960s and '70s who played on the songs of Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and the Beach Boys and laid down one of music's most memorable opening riffs on the Ronettes' "Be My Baby," died March 11, 2019. The winner of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award last year, Blaine's name was known by few outside the music industry, even in his prime. But just about anyone with a turntable, radio or TV heard his drumming on songs that included Presley's "Return to Sender," the Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man," Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were," the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations," dozens of hits produced by Phil Spector, and the theme songs to "Batman," ''The Partridge Family" and dozens of other shows." He was 90.
Former U.S. Sen. Birch Bayh, who championed the federal law banning discrimination against women in college admissions and sports known as Title IX, died March 14, 2019. Bayh, a liberal Democrat, had a back-slapping, humorous campaigning style that helped him win three narrow elections to the Senate starting in 1962 at a time when Republicans won Indiana in four of the five presidential elections. Bayh's hold on the seat ended with a loss to Dan Quayle during the 1980 Ronald Reagan-led Republican landslide. He was 91.
Dick Dale, whose pounding, blaringly loud power-chord instrumentals on songs like "Miserlou" and "Let's Go Trippin'" earned him the title King of the Surf Guitar, died March 16, 2019. Dale liked to say it was he and not the Beach Boys who invented surf music — and some critics have said he was right. An avid surfer, Dale started building a devoted Los Angeles fan base in the late 1950s with repeated appearances at Newport Beach's old Rendezvous Ballroom. He played "Miserlou," ''The Wedge," ''Night Rider" and other compositions at wall-rattling volume on a custom-made Fender Stratocaster guitar. He was 81.
Agnes Varda, the French New Wave pioneer who for decades beguiled, challenged and charmed moviegoers in films that inspired generations of filmmakers, died March 29, 2019. With a two-tone bowl haircut, the Belgian-born Varda was a spirited, diminutive figure who towered over more than a half century of moviemaking. Her first film, made at the age of 27, "La Pointe Courte," earned her the nickname Grandmother of the New Wave, even though she — the sole woman among the movement — was a contemporary of its participants, including Jean-Luc Godard and Jacques Demy, whom she later married. She was 90.
Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings
Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings, the silver-haired Democrat who helped shepherd South Carolina through desegregation as governor and went on to serve six terms in the U.S. Senate, died April 6, 2019. Hollings, whose long and colorful political career included an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, retired from the Senate in 2005, one of the last of the larger-than-life Democrats who once dominated politics in the South. He had served 38 years and two months, making him the eighth longest-serving senator in U.S. history. He was 97.
Marilynn Smith, one of the 13 founders of the LPGA Tour whose 21 victories, two majors and endless support of her tour led to her induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame, died April 9, 2019. Smith was president of the LPGA from 1958 to 1960, and in 1973 she became the first woman to work a PGA Tour event as a TV broadcaster. She was 89.
Richard "Dick" Cole
Retired Lt. Col.
Richard "Dick" Cole, the last of the 80 Doolittle Tokyo Raiders who carried out the daring U.S. attack on Japan during World War II, died April 9, 2019, at a military hospital in Texas. Cole, who lived in Comfort, Texas, had stayed active even in recent years, attending air shows and participating in commemorative events including April 18, 2017, ceremonies for the raid's 75th anniversary at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton, Ohio. He was 103.
Ken Kercheval, who played perennial punching bag Cliff Barnes to Larry Hagman's scheming oil baron J.R. Ewing on the hit TV series "Dallas," died April 21, 2019. He was in "Dallas" for its full run, from 1978 to 1991, and returned as oilman Cliff opposite Hagman for a revival of the prime-time drama that aired from 2012-14. He was 83.
John Havlicek, the Boston Celtics great whose steal of Hal Green's inbounds pass in the final seconds of the 1965 Eastern Conference final against the Philadelphia 76ers remains one of the most famous plays in NBA history, died April 25, 2019. Gravel-voiced Johnny Most's radio call of the 1965 steal — "Havlicek stole the ball! Havlicek stole the ball!" — helped make the play one of the most enduring moments in NBA history. He was 79.
Sen. Richard Lugar, a Republican foreign policy sage known for leading efforts to help the former Soviet states dismantle and secure much of their nuclear arsenal, but whose reputation for working with Democrats cost him his final campaign, died April 28, 2019. A soft-spoken and thoughtful former Rhodes Scholar, Lugar dominated Indiana politics during his 36 years in the U.S. Senate. That popularity gave him the freedom to concentrate largely on foreign policy and national security matters — a focus highlighted by his collaboration with Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn on a program under which the U.S. paid to dismantle and secure thousands of nuclear warheads and missiles in the former Soviet states after the Cold War ended. He was 87.
Damon J. Keith
Damon J. Keith, a grandson of slaves and figure in the civil rights movement who as a federal judge was sued by President Richard Nixon over a ruling against warrantless wiretaps, died April 28, 2019. Keith served more than 50 years in the federal courts, and before his death still heard cases about four times a year at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. He was 96.
Jim Fowler (right), a naturalist who rose to fame on the long-running television program "Wild Kingdom" and who famously bantered with Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show," died May 8, 2019. "Wild Kingdom" debuted in 1963. Fowler began as an assistant and later became a co-host with Marlin Perkins before taking over as host. Fowler had his arm swallowed by an anaconda and was charged by a gorilla and other creatures. He was 89.
Herman Wouk, the versatile, Pulitzer Prize winning author of such million-selling novels as "The Caine Mutiny" and "The Winds of War" whose steady Jewish faith inspired his stories of religious values and secular success, died May 17, 2019. Among the last of the major writers to emerge after World War II and first to bring Jewish stories to a general audience, he had a long, unpredictable career that included gag writing for radio star Fred Allen, historical fiction and a musical co-written with Jimmy Buffett. He won the Pulitzer in 1952 for "The Caine Mutiny," the classic Navy drama that made the unstable Captain Queeg, with the metal balls he rolls in his hand and his talk of stolen strawberries, a symbol of authority gone mad. A film adaptation, starring Humphrey Bogart, came out in 1954 and Wouk turned the courtroom scene into the play "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial." He was 103.
Formula One great
Niki Lauda, who won two of his world titles after a horrific crash that left him with serious burns and went on to become a prominent figure in the aviation industry, died May 20, 2019. Lauda won the F1 drivers' championship in 1975 and 1977 with Ferrari and again in 1984 with McLaren. In 1976, he was badly burned when he crashed during the German Grand Prix, but he made an astonishingly fast return to racing just six weeks later. He was 70.
Bill Buckner, a star hitter who became known for making one of the most infamous plays in major league history, has died. He was 69. Buckner won an NL batting title, was an All-Star and got 2,715 hits in a 22-year career. But it was a little groundball in the 1986 World Series that forever changed his legacy.
Sen. Thad Cochran, who used seniority to steer billions of dollars to his home state of Mississippi, died May 30, 2019. Cochran was elected to the U.S. House in 1972. When he won a Senate seat in 1978, he became the first Republican since Reconstruction to win statewide office in Mississippi. He was 81.
Mac 'Dr John' Rebennack
Dr. John, the New Orleans musician who blended black and white musical styles with a hoodoo-infused stage persona and gravelly bayou drawl, died June 6, 2019. His spooky 1968 debut "Gris-Gris" combined rhythm 'n blues with psychedelic rock and startled listeners with its sinister implications of other-worldly magic. He later had a Top 10 hit with "Right Place, Wrong Time," collaborated with numerous top-tier rockers, won multiple Grammy awards and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He was 77.
A publicist for rapper
Bushwick Bill says the founder of the iconic Houston rap group the Geto Boys has died. Bill’s publicist, Dawn P., told The Associated Press that the rapper died Sunday, June 9, 2019, at a Colorado hospital. In this March 18, 2016, photo Bushwick Bill, right, joins Deftones' Chino Moreno onstage at the SPIN Party at Stubb's during the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas.
Pat Bowlen, the Denver Broncos owner who transformed the team from also-rans into NFL champions and helped the league usher in billion-dollar TV deals, died June 13. He was 75.
Judith Krantz, whose million-selling novels such as "Scruples" and "Princess Daisy" engrossed readers worldwide with their steamy tales of the rich and beautiful, died June 22, 2019. Krantz wrote for Cosmopolitan and Ladies Home Journal magazines before discovering, at age 50, the talent for fiction that made her rich and famous like the characters she created. Her first novel — "Scruples" in 1978 — became a best-seller, as did the nine that followed. Krantz's books have been translated into 52 languages and sold more than 85 million copies worldwide. They inspired a series of hit miniseries with the help of her husband, film and television producer Steve Krantz. She was 91.
Arte Johnson, who won an Emmy for comedy sketch work on the television show "Laugh-In," died July 3. Johnson became known for his catchphrase "Verrry interesting" on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In." The Michigan native won an Emmy in 1969 and was nominated two more times through his work on the hit show. One of his characters was Wolfgang, a cigarette-smoking German soldier who thought World War II was still going on. He was 90.
Jim Bouton, the former New York Yankees pitcher who shocked and angered the conservative baseball world with the tell-all book "Ball Four," died July 10. Published in 1970, "Ball Four" detailed Yankees great Mickey Mantle's carousing, and the use of stimulants in the major leagues. Bouton's revealing look at baseball off the field made for eye-opening and entertaining reading, but he paid a big price for the best-seller when former teammates and players and executives across baseball ostracized him for exposing their secrets. He wasn't invited to the Yankees' Old-Timers' Day until 1998. He was 80.
Jerry Lawson, who for four decades was the lead singer of the eclectic cult-favorite a cappella group the Persuasions, died July 10. Lawson's smooth baritone led the group of five and later six singers, who were revered as the "The Kings of a Cappella" by their small but devoted fan base. He was 75.
Robert Mugabe, the former leader of Zimbabwe forced to resign in 2017 after a 37-year rule whose early promise was eroded by economic turmoil, disputed elections and human rights violations, has died. He was 95.
Robert Frank, a giant of 20th century photography whose seminal book "The Americans" captured singular, candid moments of the 1950s and helped free picture-taking from the boundaries of clean lighting and linear composition, died Sept. 9. The Swiss-born Frank influenced countless photographers and was likened to Alexis de Tocqueville for so vividly capturing the U.S. through the eyes of a foreigner. Besides his still photography, Frank was a prolific filmmaker, creating more than 30 movies and videos, including a cult favorite about the Beats and a graphic, censored documentary of the Rolling Stones' 1972 tour. But he was best known for "The Americans," a montage that countered the 1950s myth of bland prosperity and opened vast new possibilities for photography, shifting the paradigm from the portrait to the snapshot. He was 94.
Juanita Abernathy, who wrote the business plan for the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and took other influential steps in helping to build the American civil rights movement, died Sept. 12. The widow of the Rev. Dr. Ralph Abernathy, Juanita Abernathy worked alongside him and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and others for the right to vote. She also taught voter education classes, housed Freedom Riders and marched on Washington, D.C., in 1963 seeking passage of what became the Civil Rights Act. Abernathy also was a national sales director for Mary Kay Cosmetics. She was 88.
Sid Haig, the bearded character actor best known as Captain Spaulding in the "House of 1000 Corpses" trilogy, died Sept. 21. The actor's other credits ranged from George Lucas' "THX 1138" to the Quentin Tarantino movies "Jackie Brown" and "Kill Bill, Vol. 2." He also appeared in the 1970s blaxploitation classic "Foxy Brown." He was 80.
Robert Hunter, the man behind the poetic and mystical words for many of the Grateful Dead's finest songs, died Sept. 23. Although proficient on a number of instruments including guitar, violin, cello and trumpet, Hunter never appeared on stage with the Grateful Dead during the group's 30-year run that ended with the 1995 death of lead guitarist Jerry Garcia, his principal songwriting partner. When he did attend the group's concerts, he was content to either stand to the side of the stage or, better yet, sit anonymously in the audience. He was 78.
Jacques Chirac, a two-term French president who was the first leader to acknowledge France's role in the Holocaust and defiantly opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, died Sept. 26. Chirac was long the standard-bearer of France's conservative right, and mayor of Paris for nearly two decades. He was nicknamed "Le Bulldozer" early in his career for his determination and ambition. As president from 1995-2007 he was a consummate global diplomat but failed to reform the economy or defuse tensions between police and minority youths that exploded into riots across France in 2005. He was 86.
Joseph Wilson, the former ambassador who set off a political firestorm by disputing U.S. intelligence used to justify the 2003 Iraq invasion, died Friday, according to his ex-wife. Wilson died of organ failure in Santa Fe, said his former wife, Valerie Plame, whose identity as a CIA operative was exposed days after Wilson's criticism of U.S. intelligence that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was attempting to purchase uranium. He was 69.
Ginger Baker, the volatile and propulsive drummer for Cream and other bands who wielded blues power and jazz finesse and helped shatter boundaries of time, tempo and style in popular music, died Oct. 6. With blazing eyes, orange-red hair and a temperament to match, the London native ranked with The Who's Keith Moon and Led Zeppelin's John Bonham as the embodiment of musical and personal fury. Using twin bass drums, Baker fashioned a pounding, poly-rhythmic style uncommonly swift and heavy that inspired and intimidated countless musicians. He was 80.
Robert Forster, the handsome and omnipresent character actor who got a career resurgence and Oscar nomination for playing bail bondsman Max Cherry in "Jackie Brown," died Oct. 11. Bryan Cranston called Forster a "lovely man and a consummate actor" in a tweet. The two met on the 1980 film "Alligator" and then worked together again on the television show "Breaking Bad" and its spinoff film, "El Camino," which launched Friday on Netflix. He was 78.
Kathryn Johnson, a trailblazing reporter for The Associated Press whose intrepid coverage of the civil rights movement and other major stories led to a string of legendary scoops, died Oct. 23. Johnson was the only journalist allowed inside Martin Luther King Jr.'s home the day he was assassinated. When Gov. George Wallace blocked black students from entering the University of Alabama, she sneaked in to cover his confrontation with federal officials. She scored exclusive interviews with 2nd Lt. William L. Calley Jr. before he was convicted of his role in the My Lai massacre. She was 93.
John Witherspoon, who memorably played Ice Cube's father in the "Friday" films, died Oct. 29. The actor had a prolific career, co-starring in three "Friday" films, appearing on "The Wayans Bros." television series and voicing the grandfather in "The Boondocks" animated series. His film roles included "Vampire in Brooklyn" and "Boomerang," and he was a frequent guest on "Late Show with David Letterman." For many his most recognizable role was "Pops," Ice Cube's father in the stoner comedy "Friday" and its two sequels, a crude but affectionate father trying to guide his son to be better. He was 77.
Brian Tarantina, a character actor who was most recently known for his role in "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," died Nov. 2 in his Manhattan home. On "Mrs. Maisel," Tarantina played an emcee at a comedy club called the Gaslight. He was 60.
Jake Burton Carpenter
Jake Burton Carpenter, the pioneer who brought snowboarding to the masses and helped turn the sport into a billion-dollar business and Olympic showpiece, died Nov. 20. Carpenter quit his job in New York in 1977 to form the company now known simply as Burton. His goal was to advance the rudimentary snowboard, then called a “Snurfer,” which had been invented by Sherman Poppen a dozen years earlier. It worked, and more than four decades later, snowboarding is a major fixture at the Winter Games and snowboards are as common as skis at resorts across the globe. He was 65.
Barbara Hillary, who was in her 70s when she became the first black woman to officially make it to the North and South Poles, has died. Hillary reached the North Pole in 2007 at the age of 75, and the South Pole in 2011 at age 79. She was 88.
Gary Rhodes, who helped transform the stodgy reputation of British food, died Nov. 26. Starting in the 1990s, Rhodes ran innovative British restaurants in London and beyond. He was a star in the TV show “Hell’s Kitchen” and fronted “MasterChef” and “Rhodes Around Britain.” He also authored several cookbooks. He was 59.
William Ruckelshaus, a pragmatic and resolute government official who shaped the Environmental Protection Agency in the early 1970s as its first administrator and returned to the agency a decade later to restore its shattered morale after its watchdog powers had been muzzled, died Nov. 27. In a long career in government and private industry, Ruckelshaus was widely promoted as "Mr. Clean" as much for his uprightness as for his role with the EPA. He cemented his reputation for unshakable integrity when, in 1973, as Richard Nixon's deputy attorney general, he refused a presidential order to fire the special prosecutor investigating the Watergate break-in. He was 87.
John McKissick, whose 621 victories at South Carolina’s Summerville High made him the nation’s winningest football coach at any level, died Nov. 28. McKissick had a career record of 621-155-13 at Summerville from 1952 through 2014. He won 10 South Carolina state championships, the last one coming in 1998. He was 93.
Shelley Morrison, an actress with a 50-year career who was best known for playing a memorable maid on “Will & Grace,” died Dec. 1. Morrison played Rosario Salazar, a maid from El Salvador, in the original run of “Will & Grace” from 1999 to 2006, becoming part of a cast that won a Screen Actors Guild award for best ensemble in a comedy series. The character, originally written for a single episode, proved so popular in her interactions with co-star Megan Mullally that she would appear in 68 episodes during the NBC series’ eight seasons. She was 83.
John Conyers is seen during a ceremony for former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin. Detroit police say the former congressman died at his home on Oct. 27. He was 90.
Leonard Goldberg, a network and studio executive and producer whose TV credits ranged from “Starsky and Hutch” in the 1970s to the current drama series “Blue Bloods” and whose independent movies included “WarGames” and “Sleeping with the Enemy,” died Dec. 4. During his tenure as president of Twentieth Century Fox, the studio produced hit films including “Broadcast News,” “Big,” “Die Hard” and “Wall Street.” He was 85.
Caroll Spinney, who gave Big Bird his warmth and Oscar the Grouch his growl for nearly 50 years on “Sesame Street,” died Dec. 8. Spinney voiced and operated the two major Muppets from their inception in 1969 when he was 36, and performed them almost exclusively into his 80s on the PBS kids’ television show that later moved to HBO. He was 85.
René Auberjonois, a prolific actor best known for his roles on the television shows “Benson” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and his part in the 1970 film “M.A.S.H.” playing Father Mulcahy, died Dec. 8. Auberjonois worked constantly as a character actor in several golden ages, from the dynamic theater of the 1960s to the cinema renaissance of the 1970s to the prime period of network television in the 1980s and 1990s — and each generation knew him for something different. He was 79.
Juice WRLD, who launched his career on SoundCloud before becoming a streaming juggernaut and rose to the top of the charts with the Sting-sampled hit “Lucid Dreams,” died Dec. 8 after a “medical emergency” at Chicago's Midway International Airport. The rapper, whose legal name was Jarad A. Higgins, was 21. Authorities have not released details about his cause of death.
Pete Frates, a former college baseball player whose battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease helped inspire the ALS ice bucket challenge that has raised more than $200 million worldwide, died Dec. 9. He was 34.
Paul Volcker, who as Federal Reserve chairman in the early 1980s elevated interest rates to historic highs and triggered a recession as the price of quashing double-digit inflation, has died, according to his office. Volcker took charge of the Fed in August 1979, when the U.S. economy was in the grip of runaway inflation. Consumer prices skyrocketed 13% in 1979 and then by the same pace again in 1980. Working relentlessly to bring prices under control, Volcker raised the Fed’s benchmark interest rate from 11% to a record 20% by late 1980 to try to slow the economy’s growth and thereby shrink inflation. He was 92.
Marie Fredriksson, the female half of the Swedish pop duo Roxette, died Dec. 9. Fredriksson formed Roxette with Per Gessle in 1986. The two released their first album the same year and went on to achieve international success in the late 1980s and 1990s with hits including “The Look” and “It Must Have Been Love.” Fredriksson was 61.