Remembering The Stars We’ve Lost In 2018
2018 has seemed particularly sad when it comes to celebrities we’ve lost. From Anthony Bourdain to Stephen Hawking, the mark these people have left on the world is undeniable. Take a look back at the people we’ve lost and what made them so remarkable.
Anthony Bourdain’s Tragic End
Fans and fellow foodies around the world were astounded at the news that their favorite witty host and chef had passed away due to suicide. Anthony Bourdain rose to fame after he penned a book about being a chef with anecdotes of his very interesting life. He was also an immensely talented writer as his many contributions will live on for future foodies.
More recently he had been dating actress Asia Argento and supported her in her personal crusade against Harvey Weinstein and thus found a voice as a man supporting women throughout the “Me Too” movement. Upon news of his passing, countless memorials poured in from former Presidents like Barack Obama to his CNN cohorts.
A Fashion Maven’s Private Struggle
World-renowned designer Kate Spade was best known for her quirky and lovable design. Despite the joy and bubbliness in her creations, Kate had been suffering with inner turmoil for some time, according to her family. Kate passed away due to suicide leaving behind a thirteen-year-old daughter. She was also married to Andy Spade, brother to the famous comedian David Spade.
David paid homage to his late sister-in-law on both Twitter and Instagram, urging his followers to be kind to one another and also remarked: “No one knew how funny she was”. Many women from Jenna Bush to Chelsea Clinton remarked how owning one of her bags was a rite of passage and she will undoubtedly be fondly remembered.
Avicii’s Music Will Be Internationally Missed
The young, yet legendary, house musician Avicii had publicly discussed his turmoil due to the constant strain of being a touring musician. Avicii, born Tim Bergling, was loved internationally for his songs some of which included hits like “Wake Me Up” and “Levels”.
Even if you were not a fan of his music, you’ve definitely heard his sound, which is often played on radio stations and Muzak at stores throughout the world. Avicii was only 28-years-old and leaves behind an immeasurable loss, not only for his legions of fans but for his beloved family as well.
Stephen Hawking’s Remarkable Life
The brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking lived a life beyond most people’s wildest imaginations, despite his degenerative illness ALS. Stephen was diagnosed with ALS while he was still a young man and quickly lost his ability to speak and was confined to a wheelchair.
He continued his work, and arguably, produced some of his most spectacular work post-ALS diagnosis. Stephen also became somewhat of a pop culture phenomenon and was able to cross the confines of the public, and reach people who are not typically interested in physics. He lived longer than was ever expected of him and was able to pass away in old age at 76 years old.
Burt Reynolds, “Smokey” To Many Fans, Died Of A Heart Attack
On September 6, 2018, the actor, producer, and director Burt Reynolds died at a hospital in Jupiter, Florida. He was 82 years old and the cause of death was a heart attack. The charismatic Reynolds was known for his good looks and had iconic roles in films such as Smokey and the Bandit, Deliverance, Boogie Nights, The Longest Yard, and Cannonball Run. At the time of his death, he was filming Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, set to be released in 219.
Reynolds, survived by one son, was married to Judy Carne in 1963 and to Loni Anderson in 1988. He also dated Smokey costar Sally Field for years. Reynolds had been plagued with heart problems in recent years and had major heart surgery in 2010.
Joe Jackson Succumbs to Pancreatic Cancer at 89
The famous family patriarch of the Jackson family, Joe Jackson passed away on June 27, 2018. Leading up to his death, Jackson was battling terminal pancreatic cancer. He was reportedly not doing very well earlier in the week, as family members flew in to pay their respects.
The 89-year-old lived a full life, as the father of 11 kids and the manager of The Jackson 5 in the 1960s. He moved the family to California and signed a deal with Motown, which launched their careers, including Michael Jackson’s. Although there was plenty of controversy surrounding his parenting methods and their family, many paid tribute after hearing of his passing. Days before his death, Janet Jackson said, “my father, my incredible father, drove me to be the best that I can.”
Margot Kidder Passes Away
Actress Margot Kidder was one of the top actresses of the 1970s. She appeared in classics like horror movie The Amityville Horror and Superman as the iconic character Lois Lane alongside the late Christopher Reeve. Margot sadly struggled with mental health issues including a well-publicized manic episode due to being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
She took somewhat of a hiatus from acting before becoming an outspoken advocate for mental health. By the 2000s she resumed acting by appearing in various TV and movie roles. Margot passed away in her sleep at the age of 69 in May of 2018.
Dolores O’Riordan’s Untimely Death
Dolores O’Riordan was the lead singer of the alternative band The Cranberries which led the top of the charts throughout the early to mid-1990s. Even today, you can hear various incarnations of her music on TV programs, commercials, and various store music stations. O’Riordan suffered from addiction throughout the years, which came to plague both her professional and personal life.
In 2017, she publicly discussed being diagnosed with bipolar disorder as well as her struggle with back problems. Only months later, O’Riordan passed away while in London to record an album. Her cause of death has not been announced. She was only 46-years-old.
Verne Troyer’s Sad Struggles
Verne Troyer is best known as the character “Mini-Me” from the Austin Powers film franchise. Verne had cartilage hair-hypoplasia and was only two feet eight inches tall. Verne also had a stint on several Vh1 TV shows including The Surreal Life. Verne was shown engaging in drinking while on the show and it was later revealed that he suffered from alcoholism. Ultimately, he checked himself into a rehabilitation center.
On April 1st of 2018, Verne was rushed to the hospital and was said to have been very upset. He remained hospitalized until April 21st, when his life came to end due to booze poisoning. Michael Meyers, star of Austin Powers, released a statement about his old friend saying, “Verne was the consummate professional and a beacon of positivity for those of us who had the honor of working with him. It is a sad day, but I hope he is in a better place. He will be greatly missed.”
The Bush Matriarch Says Goodbye
First Lady Barbara Bush was married to her husband President George Bush Sr. for 73 years, before her death in 2018 at age 92. In fact, it is said that she married the first man she ever kissed. She met her husband when she was only sixteen years old. The former First Lady devoted her life to literacy, which was a cause she became interested in after her son Neil was diagnosed with dyslexia.
She also realized the socioeconomic issues connected to literacy and was said to have believed that homelessness had a direct connection to literacy and education. Barbara was surrounded by her family when she died. Her husband George paid homage to his wife’s lifelong cause at her funeral, sporting a pair of socks covered with books.
Winnie Mandela: A Force For South African Politics
Winnie Mandela was the wife of Nelson Mandela who was largely credited with helping bring the end of Apartheid in South Africa after going from political prisoner to the first Black President. However, despite his notoriety, Winnie also accomplished much of her own work within the anti-apartheid movement. She served as a member of the South African Parliament from 1994 to 2003 and again from 2009 until her death.
Many have said that Winnie has not gotten the credit for her role in the anti-Apartheid movement. In 2014, Guardian writer, Gugulethu okaMseleku, noted that the film Mandela: Long Road to Freedom, rightfully shown a light on Winnie. okaMseleku wrote, “The fact is that, for South African women, Winnie’s role was more fundamental than her husband’s.” Winnie died in April of 2018 after being in and out of the hospital for some time. She was 81-years-old.
R. Lee Ermey Memorable Moments
If you hear the name R. Lee Ermey, it might not ring a bell. However, if you see his face or hear his distinctive voice, you would certainly remember seeing him in one of his many roles. Ermey was a character actor who was primarily typecast as a military drill sergeant. He first became famous after his role in the film Full Metal Jacket.
Ermey had actually been a United States Marine and served during the Vietnam War. He was also a drill instructor while in the Marines. He continued acting in various roles until just several years before his death. He passed away due to complications from pneumonia in April of 2018 at the age of 74.
Emma Chambers: A Classic Character
Emma Chambers was a delightful character actor that hailed from both sides of the pond. She might be most well-known for her portrayal of the character Honey Thacker in the film Notting Hill. She also had a number of roles in British television and film. The Honey character was the younger sister of the role played by Hugh Grant, who was the lead of the film, and her quirky and kind nature won the hearts of viewers around the world.
Emma had chronic and severe animal allergies which exacerbated her asthma and made it difficult for her in many situations. Sadly, she ultimately succumbed to a heart attack at only 53-years-old.
Jackson O’Dell: Gone Too Soon
Jackson O’Dell first came to fame as a child star in shows like iCarly. He landed multiple episodes of other well-known shows like Modern Family, Arrested Development and The Fosters. O’Dell also had a reoccurring role on the show The Goldbergs as the character Ari Caldwell. He was also a musician and had recently contributed original music for the film Forever My Girl.
O’Dell was found unresponsive on June 8th of 2018 and was later pronounced dead. It was later revealed that he was at a sober living facility at the time, although the cause of death has not been announced. Jackson was only 20-years-old.
The Tragic Fall Of Mark Salling
Actor and musician Mark Salling hit it big when he was cast as the character Noah Puckerman or “Puck” on the TV show Glee in 2008. Mark was a favorite with many fans and he catapulted his music career with Glee fame, beginning his own music label called Pipe Dream Records. However, soon Mark had a staggering fall from grace which culminated with his death.
In 2013, he was charged with assault of a former girlfriend. He reportedly later settled out of court for a massive payday of over $2 million. In 2015, one of his former girlfriends approached authorities with information regarding Mark and child photographs. Authorities raided his home and he later plead guilty to the charges. He was set to face sentencing in March of 2018 but instead committed suicide in January. Mark was 35-years-old.
A TV Dad Says Goodbye
John Mahoney was perhaps one of the most loved TV dads to ever grace the airwaves. Mahoney played the role of Martin Crane on Frasier throughout its entire eleven-year tenure on the air. Mahoney was originally from England where he began his acting career on stage in the 1970s before later switching to film.
He appeared in many films, theater productions, films and also regularly lent his voice to animated film over the years. One of his last on-air stints was in the show Hot in Cleveland alongside Betty White where he played the character Roy for six episodes. John succumbed to complications from throat cancer in February of 2018 at the age of 77-years-old.
Harry Anderson’s Peaceful Goodbye
Harry Anderson is another well-known actor who passed away in 2018. Anderson is probably best known for his role on Night Court as the character Judge Harry Stone. He also had a recurring role on Cheers as Harry Gitte who was a conman magician.
In real life, Harry was an actual magician and had even toured around the country performing. In January of 2018, Harry was struck down with a bad case of influenza which in turn caused him to have several strokes. Ultimately, he passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 65.
David Ogden Stiers Acted Till The End
David Ogden Stiers was known for playing the role Major Charles Winchester in M*A*S*H from the beginning of the series until its end. He also appeared in the Perry Mason TV series. Stiers was also featured as the voice of many beloved Disney characters over the years including Cogsworth from Beauty and the Beast, Governor Ratcliffe in Pocahontas and Dr. Jumba Jookiba in Lilo and Stitch.
He continued working until the end of his life with his last credits being in 2017. David passed away in March of 2018 at age 75.
Scott Hutchinson’s Heartbreaking Choice
Scott Hutchinson was the lead singer of the Scottish indie rock band Frightened Rabbit. He was also the main songwriters for the band. Scott was an artist in many forms and also created the artwork for each of the album covers. Despite his success, Scott suffered from depression.
On May 9th of 2018, Scott posted two alarming messages on Twitter. They read, “Be so good to everyone you love. It’s not a given. I’m so annoyed that it’s not. I didn’t live by that standard and it kills me. Please, hug your loved ones.” And, “I’m away now. Thanks.” The band soon issued a statement and he was reported missing in the area. Sadly, the body of Scott was later recovered. He was 36.
Pamela Gidley Ends Her Stay
Pamela Gidley (pictured right) was best known for her role on the original version of David Lynch’s film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, a precursor to the television series. Gidley was originally discovered in a modeling contest put on by Wilhelmina Modeling Agency, in which she won the title “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World”.
Gidley also had a recurring role in the TV show The Pretender in which she played the character, Brigitte. Pamela passed away in her home in April of 2018 of undisclosed causes. She was 52-years-old.
Billy Graham Left An Immeasurable Mark On The World
Billy Graham was perhaps the most well-known evangelist and televangelist in the world. By the 1940s he was internationally-known. Although Graham was a Southern Baptist, he was known to be appreciated by various Christian denominations including various Protestant sects and Roman Catholics. Graham was also known to discourage racial segregation even when it was a societal norm.
Some of his broadcasts were said to have garnered upwards of 2 billion people tuning in. Society was known to depend on his guidance and opinions on various issues facing the United States and the world including issues like war, presidents, and other issues of morality. He died in February of 2018 at the age of 99.
Tom Wolfe’s Groundbreaking Journalistic Style
Tom Wolfe was of the most famous living American writers. He was well-known for his style of writing and “New Journalism” in which more stringent journalism styles allowed more literary ways of writing. He first began his career as a newspaper writer before publishing books. Among his most famous works was “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test”.
Several of his books were made into films including The Right Stuff which was directed by Philip Kaufman. The novel he wrote called, The Bonfire of the Vanities was very popular and was also adapted to film and was directed by Brian De Palma. Tom Wolfe died in May of 2018 at the ripe old age of 88.
Tab Hunter, An American Heartthrob
The 1950s and 1960s actor, singer, author, and film producer Tab Hunter was known for his all-American good looks. He passed away on July 18, 2018. He was 86. Hunter, who appeared in more than forty films during his career, died from a heart attack caused by a blood clot.
He was one of the biggest actors of his time and was a fan favorite for roles like Joe Hardy in the Damn Yankees! movie. In 2005 he released an autobiography, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star. In it, he confirmed his long-rumored homosexuality. His partner of three decades, Allan Glaser, announced the sad news of Hunter’s death. “ “SAD NEWS: Tab passed away tonight three days shy of his 87th birthday. Please honor his memory by saying a prayer on his behalf. He would have liked that.”
Annabelle Neilson Was A Muse To Alexander McQueen
A stunning beauty and former model, Annabelle Neilson was one of the famed fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s favorite muses. The two were also close friends. Neilson was found dead in her London home on July 12, 2018. Her sister said that the cause of death was a heart attack.
Neilson, who was also a television personality, was known for her sometimes outlandish behavior and proclivity for wearing revealing outfits. She once opened up to W Magazine about her relationship with McQueen: “He liked my wackiness — and the fact that when I went out, I made his outfits live.” Neilson was the last person to see her good friend alive before his 2010 suicide, which devastated her. She was only 49 when she passed away.
Charles Krauthammer Was Known As The ‘Dean Of Conservative Commentators’
Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning political columnist, died on June 21, 2018 at the age of 68. His son revealed that the cause of death was cancer of the small intestine. Months prior to his death, Krauthammer announced his illness in the Washington Post. He only had a few weeks to live at that point. “This is the final verdict,” he wrote. “My fight is over.”
Krauthammer studied psychiatry at Harvard University but during his first year, he was in a diving accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Undeterred, he returned to his studies and went on to co-create the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III. He later became Vice President Walter Mondale’s speechwriter before beginning a career as a political commentator, columnist, and best-selling author.
Ray “Razor” Emery’s Tragic Death
On July 15, 2018, former NHL goalie Ray Emery went swimming with friends in his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario. Sadly, he drowned in what investigators have deemed a “case of misadventure”. He was just 35 years old. Emery was home in Ontario to play in a game that raised money for a charity called Food4Kids.
He was an 11 season NHL veteran, who tended goal for the Ottawa Senators, Atlant Moscow, Philadelphia Flyers, Anaheim Ducks, and Chicago Blackhawks. Emery helped the Chicago Blackhawks win a Stanley Cup championship in 2013.
Elmarie Wendel Was ‘A Great Mom And A Badass Dame’
Actress Elmarie Wendel was best known for playing the sassy landlady “Mrs. Dubcek” on the hit 1990s sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun. She died at the age of 89, on July 21, 2018. In an Instagram post, Wendel’s daughter J.C. Wendel paid tribute: “you were a great mom and a badass dame.” No cause of death was provided.
Wendel received her first film credit in 1961 and later transitioned to television, with roles in shows like Knight Rider, Murphy Brown, Seinfeld, and George Lopez. 3rd Rock costar Jim Beaver tweeted, “She was raucous, funny, endearing, and terribly, terribly sweet. Goodnight, Mrs. Dubcek, wherever you are.”
‘Indie Rock Treasure’ Richard Swift
Richard Swift was a producer, singer-songwriter, short film-maker, and multi-instrumentalist who played with bands like the Black Keys, The Shins, and the Arcs. Pitchfork calls him an “indie rock treasure” for his contributions to the genre. Swift died on July 3, at the young age of 41.
In a Facebook statement released a few days later, Swift’s family and management confirmed the cause of death. “Yes, Richard Swift suffered from abooze addiction, and it’s ultimately what took his life… his body gave out before he could overcome the disease.” He left behind a wife and three children.
Reg E. Cathey Was A Familiar Face
American actor Reginald Eurias “Reg E” Cathey passed away at home in New York City on February 9, 2018. He was best known for his roles in the smash Netflix series House of Cards and HBO’s The Wire and Oz. He was 59 years old, and the cause of death is suspected to be lung cancer although that has not been confirmed.
Cathey’s work earned him three Emmy Award nominations and one win, for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. He started his acting career in 1984 and accumulated a lengthy filmography in addition to his television work.
Jerry Van Dyke, 1931-2018
Comedian, actor, and musician Jerry Van Dyke was Dick Van Dyke’s younger brother but he made a name for himself throughout his career. Van Dyke died of heart failure on January 5, 2018, at 86 years old. He had been in a car wreck two years earlier and had suffered from declining health since.
Van Dyke made several guest appearances on The Dick Van Dyke Show during its five-year run. He later had a career as a character actor, including several years on the sitcom Coach. He leaves behind a wife and two children. A third child died in 1991. Above are Jerry (left) and Dick in 1991.
“Fast” Eddie Clarke Was The Last Surviving Member Of Motörhead’s Classic Lineup
Edward Allan “Fast Eddie” Clarke became famous as the guitarist of the heavy metal bands of heavy metal bands Motörhead and Fastway. The London-born musician He was the last surviving member of Motörhead’s original lineup, but died on January 10, 2018. He was 67.
Members of Motörhead’s current lineup announced news of Clarke’s death on Facebook. “Fast Eddie…keep roaring, rockin’ and rollin’ up there as man, your Motörfamily would expect nothing less!!!” Metallica’s Lars Ullrich also paid tribute via a tweet. “Thank you for the riffs. Thank you for the solos. Thank you for the attitude. Thank you for being in the coolest band. Thank you for inspiring me to go down the same path.”
Jessica Vogel Battled With Disease
Jessica Vogel was a 34-year-old chef that competed on Season 12 of Hell’s Kitchen. Vogel studied culinary arts at Johnson & Wales and auditioned for the show while she was working at a creperie and bakery in California. Before her death, she was being treated for her inflammatory bowel disease colitis in Southern New Jersey when “her heart gave out.”
Her fiance John Michael Keyser went on to open up about the couple’s plans to open up a restaurant together before she was overcome by her illness. Vogel placed 12th in Hell’s Kitchen in 2014.
WWE Star Brian Lawler
Brian Lawler is the son of WWE superstar Larry “The King” Lawler. Brian followed in his father’s footsteps and became an American professional wrestler as well. He was best known for his career in the WWE and wrestled as Brian Christopher and Grand Master Sexay.
Throughout his career, he won 44 titles within the World Wrestling Federation. In July 2018, he was arrested for drunk driving and evading the police. On the morning of July 29, 2018, he was found hanging in his cell. He was taken off of life support after his father came to say goodbye.
Richard Harrison “Old Man”
Richard Harrison, also known as “The Old Man” and “The Appraiser” was a businessman and a reality television star on the hit show on Pawn Stars. He is the co-owner of the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, Nevada. He and his son Rick Harrison opened the store together in 1989 and ran it as a normal pawn shop until it became internationally famous. On June 25, 2018, Harrison passed away from Parkinson’s Disease.
Upon his death, his son commented, “He was my hero and I was fortunate to get a very cool ‘Old Man’ as my dad. That I got to share him with so many others and they got to see what a great family man he was is something I am grateful to have experienced with him.”
Vinnie Paul Abbot Rocked Until His Final Days
Vinnie Paul was an American drummer and producer. he is best-known for his role as the drummer and co-founder of the heavy metal band Pantera with his Darrell Abbot and Terry Glaze. The band formed in 1982 and was widely successful until it disbanded in 2003.
Then, from 2006 to 2018, he played on the heavy metal band Hellyeah. On June 22, 2018, Abbot died in his home in Las Vegas, Nevada from what his friend called a massive heart attack. He was 54 years old. His death was honored by the entire heavy metal music community who played tributes to his death.
Sophie Gradon Was A Reality Star
Sophie Gradon was an English model and marketing manager. She was crowned Miss Newcastle in 2008 and won the title of Miss Great Britain in 2009. She became even more famous after she became a contestant on the second series of the reality television show Love Island.
On June 20, 2018, she was found dead at the age of 32. A spokesperson from the Northumbria Police claimed that there did not appear to be any signs of suspicious activity or foul play. It was later announced that the likely cause of death was suicide.
Leon White the “Big Van Vader”
Leon White was a professional wrestler, known as “Big Van Vader” by his fans and the rest of the wrestling community. He performed for New Japan Pro-Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Federation, and All Japan Pro Wrestling. In Japan, he grew to a legendary status and has been regarded as one of the greatest heavyweight wrestlers to ever step into the ring.
Throughout his career, he won numerous titles and championships and was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1996. On June 18, 2018, he passed away from heart failure. His son Jesse White confirmed his death.
The Music Industry Lost XXXTentacion
XXXTentacion was a rapper, singer, and songwriter. His first song aired on SoundCloud in 2013 and his popularity grew from there. he became a SoundCloud icon and exploded in popularity after the release his song “Look At Me” in 2017. He was known for his dark lyrics discussing mental health and addiction.
On June 18, 2018, he was fatally shot as he was leaving a motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach, Florida. The attackers fled the scene-stealing a bag. After his death, he became the first artists to top the Hot 100 posthumously since The Notorious B.I.G.
Elvis Presley’s Drummer D.J. Fontana
D.J. Fontana was the long-time drummer for music icon Elvis Presley. He played with him for over 14 years after he was asked to join Elvis in October 1954. Fontana was the drums behind major hits such as “Hound Dog,” Jailhouse Rock,” and more. He passed away in his sleep on June 13, 2018, at the age of 87.
His son shared the news of his father’s death saying on Facebook that “I told everyone that I would keep you posted. My dad passed away in his sleep at 9:33 tonight. He was very comfortable with no pain. I will post more tomorrow when I have more information. We ask for privacy at this time. Thank you for your love and prayers.”
The Legend Bruno Sammartino
Bruno Sammartino was an Italian born American professional wrestler. he had his most success in the World Wrestling Federation (now the WWE). he was the holder of the WWWF World Heavyweight Champion for more than 11 years between two different reigns of the title. He is also known as “The Italian Strongman” early in his career and eventually became known as “The Living Legend.”
He helped make wrestling a better sport by promoting drug tests and stopping the use of profanity. Today, he is considered to be one of the best professional wrestlers of all time. In April 2018, he passed away at the age of 82.
Beverly McClellan Lost Her Battle
Beverly McClellan was a contestant on The Voice, and her vocals blew the judges away. She long struggled with her battle with cancer, and would ultimately lose that battle in October at the age of 49. McClellan made her mark on the very first season of The Voice, and her powerful rendition of “Piece of My Heart” had judges Adam Levine and Christian Aguilera floored. As a member of Team Christina, McClellan made it to the final four.
McClellan was diagnosed with endometrial cancer, which had spread to her intestines, colon, and bladder. McClellan’s wife, Monique, said that her last day was surrounded by so much love.