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Celebrity deaths in 2017: Looking back at the famous figures we lost

by NBC News / / Source: Associated Press
Image: Celebrity Deaths of 2017
Bettmann, Reuters, Rex Features via AP Images, NBCU Photo Bank, AP

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The world lost acclaimed actors, iconic musicians, beloved comedians and legendary athletes in 2017. Here's a look at the famous figures who passed away. Click through to read full obituaries.

Gene Cernan

Gene Cernan, 82, the last astronaut to walk on the moon who returned to Earth with a message of "peace and hope for all mankind," died on Jan. 16.

Image: Eugene Cernan
NASA / dapd via AP

John Hurt

John Hurt, 77, the acclaimed prolific English actor of stage and screen whose credits included "Midnight Express," "The Elephant Man" and "Alien," died on Jan. 25.

Image: Actor John Hurt attends the Rome International Film Festival in Rome on Nov. 9, 2013.
Alessandra Tarantino / AP

Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore, 80, the pop culture icon who co-starred on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and became a torchbearer for women with "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," died on Jan. 25.

Image: Mary Tyler Moore
Bettmann / via Getty Images

Richard Hatch

Richard Hatch, 71, star of the original science fiction cult series "Battlestar Galactica" and its Syfy remake, died on Feb. 7.

Image: Actor Richard Hatch attends the 12th annual Star Trek convention at the Rio Hotel & Casino on August 8, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nev.
Gabe Ginsberg / FilmMagic/Getty Images

Bill Paxton

Bill Paxton, 61, the everyman character actor who appeared in 1990s blockbusters like "Apollo 13," "Twister" and "Titanic," died on Feb. 25.

Image: Actor Bill Paxton poses at the premiere of "She's Funny That Way" in Los Angeles, California, Aug. 19, 2015.
Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Joseph Wapner

Joseph Wapner, 97, who presided over "The People's Court" and became a beloved fixture on daytime television, died on Feb. 26.

Image: Judge Joseph A. Wapner attends his 90th Birthday celebration and honoring him with a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame held on Nov.12, 2009 in Hollywood, California.
Michael Tran / FilmMagic

Robert Osborne

Robert Osborne, 84, the respected film historian and gleeful primetime host of Turner Classic Movies for more than two decades, died on March 6.

2014 TCM Classic Film Festival - "The Wizard Of Oz" Screening
John Sciulli / WireImage via Getty Images

Joni Sledge

Joni Sledge, 60, who with her sisters recorded the timeliness dance anthem "We Are Family," died on March 10.

Image: Joni Sledge of Sister Sledge appears on stage
Andreas Rentz / Getty Images

Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry, 90, the groundbreaking blues singer who was often referred to as the "poet laureate" and "father" of rock 'n' roll, died on March 18.

Photos: Chuck Berry: Rock 'n' roll's first guitar hero

Image: Chuck Berry
Robert A. Reeder / Washington Post via Getty Images

Jimmy Breslin

Jimmy Breslin, 88, the cigar-chomping, Pulitzer Prize-winning tabloid newsman who became the gruff voice of ordinary New Yorkers, died on March 19.

Image: Columnist Jimmy Breslin poses in his New York apartment, May 7, 2002.
Jim Cooper / AP

Chuck Barris

Chuck Barris, 87, king of a game show empire that included "The Dating Game," "The Newlywed Game" and "The Gong Show," died on March 21.

Image: Chuck Barris, Host and Creator of 'The Gong Show,' Dies at 87
Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

Don Rickles

Don Rickles, 90, the venerated comedian whose acid-tongued insults and cantankerous persona delighted audiences for generations, died on April 6.

C.P.O. Sharkey - Season 1
NBCU Photo Bank

John Warren Geils

John Warren Geils, 71, the founder of The J. Geils Band best known for exuberant early 1990s pop hits like "Love Stinks" and "Freeze Fraze," died on April 11.

Photo of Geils j Band
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Charlie Murphy

Charlie Murphy, 57, the comedian and older brother of Eddie Murphy who rose to national fame as a co-star and writer on "Chappelle's Show," died on April 12.

Image: Charlie Murphy performs at a comedy club in New Brunswick
Bobby Bank / WireImage via Getty Images

Erin Moran

Erin Moran, 56, the actress who played sweet-natured Joanie Cunningham on the hit TV sitcom "Happy Days," died on April 22.

Image: Erin Moran
Peter Brooker / Rex Features via AP Images

Powers Boothe

Powers Boothe, 68, the Emmy-winning character actor admired as one of Hollywood's most reliable villains, died on May 14.

Image: Powers Boothe
Todd Williamson / Invision/AP

Brad Grey

Brad Grey, 59, the influential Hollywood leader who served as chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, died on May 14.

Image: Brad Grey
Evan Agostini / AP

Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell, 52, the Seattle-born rock guitarist who emerged as a key figure in the 1990s grunge movement, died on May 18.

Image: Chris Cornell attends Back To Black Friday
Paul Zimmerman / Getty Images file

Roger Moore

Roger Moore, 89, the handsome English actor who epitomized the heartthrob swagger of James Bond in seven films over a dozen years, died on May 23.

Image: Roger Moore and Emily Bolton as Manuela in Moonraker
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Jim Bunning

Jim Bunning, 85, a former Hall of Fame pitcher who went on to serve in Congress, died on May 26.

Image: Jim Bunning, number 14 for the Philadelphia Phillies, during a game from his 1964 season. Bunning played for 17 years with 4 different teams. He was 7-time All-Star and was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.
David Durochik / AP

Zbigniew Brzezinski

Zbigniew Brzezinski, 89, a national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter and one of the foremost foreign policy sages in American politics, died on May 26.

Image: Zbigniew Brzezinski
Win McNamee / Getty Images file

Gregg Allman

Gregg Allman, 69, the legendary Southern rocker who belted out countless hits as frontman for The Allman Brothers Band, died on May 27.

Image: Gregg Allman performs in concert at ACL Live Theater on May 9, 2015 in Austin, Texas.
Manuel Nauta / NurPhoto/Sipa USA

Frank Deford

Frank Deford, 78, the celebrated sports journalist who cultivated a distinct style at Sports Illustrated and National Public Radio, died on May 28.

Image: President Barack Obama presents the 2012 National Humanities Medal to sports writer Frank Deford during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on July 10, 2013 in Washington, DC.
Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images

Glenne Headly

Glenne Headly, 62, the Emmy-nominated actress who appeared in "Dick Tracy" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," died on June 8.

Image: Glenne Headly
Matt Sayles / AP

Adam West

Adam West, 88, who defined the tights-wearing title role in the 1960s television version of "Batman," died on June 9.

Image: Adam West
ABC via Getty Images

Stephen Furst

Stephen Furst, 63, who played the guileless fraternity pledge in the comedy classic "Animal House," died on June 16.

Image:Actor Stephen Furst poses for a photo in Los Angeles in May 1986.
Lennox McLendon / AP

Martin Landau

Martin Landau, 89, the prolific actor who rose to fame on the 1960s television show "Mission: Impossible" and won an Oscar for his portrayal of horror movie icon Bela Lugosi in 1994's "Ed Wood," died on July 15.

Image: Actor Martin Landau
Danny Moloshok / Reuters

Chester Bennington

Chester Bennington, 41, the nu-metal singer of Linkin Park who blended rap, metal and electronic music, died on July 20.

Image: Chester Bennington of Linkin Park performs during 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas
Steve Marcus / Reuters

John Heard

John Heard, 71, a familiar face from television and film best known for playing the dad in "Home Alone," died on July 21.

Image: Actor John Heard poses for a portrait at the Getty Images Portrait Studio during the 2006 Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 20, 2006 in Park City, Utah.
Mark Mainz / Getty Images

Barbara Sinatra

Barbara Sinatra, 90, the fourth wife of world-famous crooner Frank Sinatra and a prominent advocate for abused children, died on July 25.

Image: Frank and Barbara Sinatra
Kevork Djansezian / AP

June Foray

June Foray, 99, the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his nemesis Natasha Fatale on "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show," died on July 26.

Image: Voice Actress June Foray Dies At 99
Amanda Edwards / Getty Images for UCLA

Sam Shepard

Sam Shepard, 73, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who became a movie star with his Oscar-nominated portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeagar in "The Right Stuff," died on July 27.

Image: Sam Shepard
David McGough / The LIFE Picture Collection - Getty Images

Robert Hardy

Robert Hardy, 91, a veteran British actor who portrayed Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge in the "Harry Potter" movie franchise, died on Aug. 3.

Image: Actor Robert Hardy speaks outside the Churchill War Rooms Museum
Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell, 81, the country crooner and guitarist whose sentimental ballads and catchy pop hits soothed America during the tumult of the 1960s and 70s, died on Aug. 8.

Image: Glen Campbell performs during CMA Music Festival in Nashville
Harrison McClary / Reuters

Dick Gregory

Dick Gregory, 84, the barrier-breaking comedian who used humor to spread messages of social justice, died on Aug. 19.

Image: Comedian Dick Gregory receives his star on Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles
Gus Ruelas / Reuters

Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis, 91, the comedian, actor and filmmaker whose brand of soulful slapstick helped define 20th-century entertainment, died on Aug. 20.

Photos: A life in laughter: Jerry Lewis dies at age 91

Image: Comedian Jerry Lewis reacts during an interview at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, on Aug. 24, 2016. Getting older has been frustrating.
Rich Fury / Invision/AP

Jay Thomas

Jay Thomas, 69, an actor best known for his roles on the beloved TV comedies "Cheers" and "Murphy Brown," died on Aug. 24.

Image: Jay Thomas
Nick Ut / AP

Walter Becker

Walter Becker, 67, the co-founder of the beloved, hugely popular jazz-rock band Steely Dan, died on Sept. 3.

Image: Walter Becker performs with Steely Dan in concert at the Beacon Theatre, New York, Oct. 28, 2016.
Gregory Pace/BEI/Shutterstock / AP

Don Williams

Don Williams, 78, the acclaimed country singer who earned the nickname "The Gentle Giant" with love ballads like "I Believe in You," died on Sept. 8.

Image: Don Williams
Mark Humphrey / AP file

Troy Gentry

Troy Gentry, 50, a country singer of the award-winning duo Montgomery Gentry, died in a helicopter crash on Sept. 8.

Image: Troy Gentry
Harrison McClary / Reuters

Edith Windsor

Edith Windsor, 88, the gay rights pioneer whose lawsuit against the federal government helped pave the way for same-sex marriage nationwide, died on Sept. 12.

Image: Supreme Court Hears Arguments On California's Prop 8 And Defense Of Marriage Act
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Frank Vincent

Frank Vincent, 80, the veteran character actor who frequently played tough guys in Mafia entertainment like "The Sopranos" and "Goodfellas," died on Sept. 13.

Image: Actor Frank Vincent
Paul Hawthorne / Getty Images

Harry Dean Stanton

Harry Dean Stanton, 91, the enigmatic, prolific and craggy-face character actor who starred in "Paris, Texas," "Repo Man" and other cult favorites, died on Sept. 15.

Image: Portrait Session With The Cast Of "Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction"
Michael Buckner / Getty Images

Chuck Low

Chuck Low, 89, a real estate developer whose friendship with Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro led to his appearance in "Goodfellas" and other crime films, died on Sept. 18.

Image: Chuck Low
Grant Lamos IV / Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival

Jake LaMotta

Jake LaMotta, 95, the former middleweight champion whose turbulent life was depicted in the classic Martin Scorsese drama "Raging Bull," died on Sept. 19.

Image: BoxerJake LaMotta
The Ring Magazine / Getty Images

Bernie Casey

Bernie Casey, 78, a professional football player-turned-actor best known for memorable parts in "Revenge of the Nerds" and "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," died on Sept. 19.

Image: Artist Bernie Casey
Michael Buckner / Getty Images

Charles Bradley

Charles Bradley, 68, the old-school soul singer who released his first album at the age of 62, died on Sept. 23.

Image: Charles Bradley Dies At 68
Dave Mangels / Getty Images for Pandora

Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner, 91, who built Playboy into a multimillion-dollar adult magazine and entertainment empire tied to a Lothario lifestyle of lavish parties and beautiful women, died on Sept. 27.

Photos: Playboy Magazine founder, Hugh Hefner, dies at 91

Image: Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner
Jae C. Hong / AP

Monty Hall

Monty Hall, 96, who co-created and emceed the game show "Let's Make a Deal," died on Sept. 30.

Image: Monty Hall
Richard Shotwell / Invision/AP

Tom Petty

Tom Petty, 66, who with his band the Heartbreakers married '60s-era folk rock with the Southern accents of his native Florida into the harder-edged 21st-century musical landscape, died on Oct. 2.

Photos: Rocker Tom Petty's career in photos

Image: 'Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Perform At Le  Grand Rex
David Wolff - Patrick / Getty Images

Ralphie May

Ralphie May, 45, the gregarious stand-up comedian who finished in second place in the first season of NBC's "Last Comic Standing," died on Oct. 6.

Image: FILE: Comedian Ralphie May Dies at 45
Terry Wyatt / Getty Images

Y. A. Tittle

Y.A. Tittle, 90, the Hall of Game quarterback and 1963 NFL Most Valuable Player who was affectionately known as "The Bald Eagle," died on Oct. 8.

Image: Y.A. Tittle
Wesley Hitt / Getty Images

Roy Dotrice

Roy Dotrice, 94, the veteran British actor of stage and screen who appeared in the Oscar-winning film "Amadeus" and the hit series "Game of Thrones," died on Oct. 16.

Image: Roy Dotrice death
Fiona Hanson / PA Wire

Fats Domino

Fats Domino, 89, the piano-playing prodigy with lightning-fast fingers whose pioneering sound blended rock with rhythm and blues, died on Oct. 24.

Photos: Fats Domino: Rock 'n' roll piano man

Fats Domino
Clive Limpkin / Getty Images

Robert Guillaume

Robert Guillaume, 89, the gravel-voiced and urbane actor who won Emmys for playing a sarcastic butler-turned-politician on two different sitcoms, died on Oct. 24.

Image: Robert Guillaume poses for a photo in Los Angeles on Nov. 18, 1986.
Michael Tweed / AP

Dick Gordon

Dick Gordon, 88, the NASA astronaut who in 1969 became one of only two dozen people ever to have flown to the moon, died on Nov. 6.

Image: Dick Gordon
NASA

Roy Halladay

Roy Halladay, 40, the two-time Cy Young Award-winning pitcher and eight-time All-Star, died in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico on Nov. 7.

Image: FILE: Former MLB Pitcher Roy Halladay
Drew Hallowell / Getty Images file

John Hillerman

John Hillerman, 84, the actor best known for his role as Higgins on the television series "Magnum, P.I." and who also appeared in iconic 1970s films like "Blazing Saddles" and "Chinatown," died on Nov. 9.

Image: John Hillerman, left, and Betty White, right, arriving at Emmy Awards in Pasadena, California on Sept. 22, 1985.
LIU / AP

Liz Smith

Liz Smith, 94, the famed gossip columnist known as the "Dame of Dish" who became a must-read for those who wanted to know about the glamour of the A-list, died on Nov. 12.

2007 Angel Ball Sponsored by LEVIEV - Inside
Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images for LEVIEV

Malcolm Young

Malcolm Young, 64, the rocker who co-founded the internationally successful Australian band AC/DC, died on Nov. 18.

Image: Malcolm Young, Brian Johnson, Angus Young, Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams from AC/DC posing for photographers at the Apollo Hammersmith in London, March 3, 2003.
Yui Mok / AP

Della Reese

Della Reese, 86, who pivoted from pop and jazz stardom in the 1950s and 1960s to a career as a popular actress on TV's "Touched by an Angel," died on Nov. 19.

Image: Della Reese in October 1991
Douglas C. Pizac / AP

Earle Hyman

Earle Hyman, 91, a journeyman actor best known for playing grandfather Russell Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," died on Nov. 17.

Image: Earle Hyman
Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

David Cassidy

David Cassidy, 67, the teen heartthrob who soared to fame as the embodiment of 1970s youth in his role on "The Partridge Family," died on Nov. 21.

Image: David Cassidy and Shirley Jones arrive at the 49th annual Drama Desk Awards in New York
Paul Hawthorne / Getty Images

Dick Enberg

Dick Enberg, 82, the legendary sports broadcaster who covered Super Bowls, Olympics, NCAA Final Fours and baseball games, died of an apparent heart attack on Dec. 21.

Image: Dick Enberg.
AP

Heather Menzies-Urich

Heather Menzies-Urich, 68, best known for portraying Louisa von Trapp in the 1965 film "The Sound of Music," died on Dec. 24.

Image: Heather Menzies-Urich, Kym Karath and Debbie Turner
Kevork Djansezian / Reuters

Rose Marie

Rose Marie, 94, the actress who played the sharp-tongued Sally Rogers on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and show business veteran who worked for nearly a century across mediums, died on Dec. 28.

Image: FILE PHOTO -  Actress Rose Marie smiles as she listens to Carl Reiner recount their experiences together during ceremonies to honor her with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood
Rose Prouser / Reuters

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