Former NFL defensive end Reggie White, Dec. 26
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Notable deaths of 2004

Former NFL defensive end Reggie White, Dec. 26
Reggie White, one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history, died Dec. 26 at the age of 43. The cause of death was not immediately known, however White had a respiratory ailment for several years that affected his sleep, according to Keith Johnson, a pastor serving as family spokesman. An autopsy is scheduled. White, then a Carolina Panther, is pictured during a preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens in 2000. (Getty Images/Craig Jones)
Bluesman Son Seals, Dec. 20
Son Seals, a musical icon and international symbol of the new generation of Chicago blues, died of complications from diabetes in a suburban Chicago nursing home on Dec. 20. He was 62. (Chicago Tribune)
Guitarist ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott, Dec. 8
Heavy metal band guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott of Damageplan was shot and killed on stage as the band performed at a nightclub in Columbus, Ohio, on Dec. 8. The gunman also fired on the crowd, killing three other people, before a police officer shot and killed him. (Getty Images/Scott Gries)
Actor John D. Barrymore, Nov. 29
John Drew Barrymore, the sometimes troubled heir to an acting dynasty and absent father of movie star Drew Barrymore, died on Nov. 29. He was 72. “He was a cool cat. Please smile when you think of him,” Drew Barrymore said in a statement issued by her publicist’s office. No information was released about the cause of death or where in Los Angeles he died. Barrymore is pictured in a scene from “Rawhide” in 1964. (AP)
Record producer Terry Melcher, Nov. 26
Terry Melcher, a record producer and songwriter who aided the careers of Ry Cooder, the Byrds and the Beach Boys, died on Nov. 26. He was 62. Melcher, the son of actress Doris Day, died at his Beverly Hills home after a long battle with melanoma. Melcher co-wrote the hit song “Kokomo” for the Beach Boys. The song was used in the movie “Cocktail” and was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1988 for best original song. He also performed on the Beach Boys album “Pet Sounds.” (AP)
Pop artist Ed Paschke, Nov. 25
Pop artist and painter Ed Paschke died in his sleep on Thanksgiving day at the Chicago home he shared with his daughter, Sharon. He was 65. The son of a bakery truck driver, Paschke studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he was steeped in the abstract expressionism that was the dominant American art movement in the 1950s. But when he emerged as an artist in the early 1960s, Paschke became a leader of a new school called the Chicago Imagists -- so-called because they incorporated images from the media and pop culture. The New York Times said the well-known Chicago painter’s “neon colors, zombielike figures, acid-toned Kool-Aid formalism and love of urban subcultures brought a distinctively dark vision to Pop Art.” (Chicago Tribune/Heather Stone)
Author Arthur Hailey, Nov. 24
Arthur Hailey, the storyteller who made a fortune using seemingly mundane topics such as hotel management, international banking and snow-packed airports as settings for wildly bestselling, page-turning novels, died on Nov. 24 in the Bahamas. He was 84. (AP/Richard Drew)
Composer Cy Coleman, Nov. 18
Cy Coleman, composer of the Broadway musicals “Sweet Charity” and “City of Angels” as well as such pop standards as “Witchcraft” and “The Best Is Yet to Come,” died of heart failure in a New York hospital on Nov. 18. He was 75. Coleman is pictured showing off some of the Tony Award nominations for the musical “The Life” in New York in 1997. (AP/Richard Drew)
Rapper O.D.B., Nov. 13
Rapper O.D.B. died at a Manhattan recording studio on Nov. 13. O.D.B., whose legal name was Russell Jones, complained of chest pains before collapsing . He was dead by the time paramedics reached him. The cause of death was not immediately clear, but O.D.B. had recently finished a prison sentence for drug possession and escaping a rehab clinic. He would have turned 36 on Nov. 15. ()
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Nov. 11
Yasser Arafat, revered as the beacon of Palestinian statehood but reviled as a sponsor of terrorism, died on Nov. 11 at the age of 75. He died in a French military hospital at 3:30 a.m. Arafat’s passing marked the end of an era in modern Middle East history and prompted calls from President Bush and other world leaders to seize the moment to spur new efforts at Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. (PPO/Getty Images)
Actor Howard Keel, Nov. 7
Actor Howard Keel, the broad-shouldered baritone who sang and romanced in a series of glittery MGM musicals such as “Kiss Me Kate,” “Show Boat” and “Annie Get Your Gun” and later played Clayton Farlow in television’s “Dallas,” died of colon cancer on Nov. 7 at his home in Palm Desert, Calif. He was 85. (AP)
Comedian Vaughn Meader, Oct. 29
Comedian Vaughn Meader, who skyrocketed to fame in 1962 with his comedic impersonations of President John F. Kennedy on television and on a wildly successful record album, died Oct. 29 at age 68. The bottom fell out of Meader’s career when the president was killed in 1963, and he spent much of the past four decades trying to step out of JFK’s shadow and make a name for himself with his original comedy and music. (AP)
Cardinal James Hickey, Oct. 24
Cardinal James Hickey, pictured in 1997 during a funeral Mass for Mother Teresa at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, died on Oct. 24 at a nursing home in Washington at age 84. He served as archbishop of the nation’s capital for 20 years before retiring in November 2000. (AP/William Philpott)
Singer Robert Merrill, Oct. 23
Acclaimed singer Robert Merrill, the opera baritone who felt equally comfortable on opening night at the Metropolitan Opera House or opening day at Yankee Stadium, died on Oct. 23 at his home in suburban New York City. Reference books gave conflicting ages for Merrill, 87 or 85. Merrill, once described in Time magazine as “one of the Met’s best baritones,” became as well-known to New York Yankees fans for his season-opening rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” -- a tradition that began in 1969. In his 31 consecutive seasons with the Metropolitan Opera, Merrill performed virtually every baritone role in the operatic repertoire. (AP/Mark Lennihan)
Journalist Pierre Salinger, Oct. 16
Pierre Salinger, a veteran print reporter and editor who served as press secretary in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations before becoming a widely known foreign correspondent for ABC News, has died. He was 79.Salinger died of heart failure on Oct. 16 at a hospital near his home in Le Thon, France. He had undergone surgery earlier in the week to implant a pacemaker. (AP)
Actor Christopher Reeve, Oct. 10
“Superman” actor Christopher Reeve, who turned personal tragedy into a public crusade and from his wheelchair became the nation’s most recognizable spokesman for spinal cord research, died on Oct. 10. He was 52. In the last week Reeve had developed a serious systemic infection from a pressure wound, a common complication for people living with paralysis. Reeve went into cardiac arrest on Oct. 9 while at his Pound Ridge, N.Y., home, then fell into a coma and died on the 10th at a hospital surrounded by his family. (AP)
Baseball star Ken Caminti, Oct. 10
Ken Caminiti, the 1996 National League MVP who later admitted using steroids during his major league career, died Oct. 10. He was 41. Caminiti died of a heart attack in New York. His 15-year big league career ended in 2001, five seasons after he led the Padres to a division title and was a unanimous pick for MVP. The three-time All-Star third baseman often was in trouble in recent years. In May 2002, he told Sports Illustrated that he used steroids during his MVP season, when he hit a career-high .326 with 40 home runs and 130 RBIs. He estimated half the players in the big leagues were also using steroids. (AP/Ming-Tai Huh)
Record-setting marathoner Johnny Kelley, Oct. 6
Johnny Kelley, a two-time Boston Marathon champion who became a beloved figure in the history of the race by running it a record 61 times, died on Oct. 6. He was 97. Kelley won America’s oldest marathon in 1935 and 1945 and finished second a record seven times. But it was his longevity for which Kelley will be remembered. He completed 58 Boston Marathons, also a record, and had 18 finishes in the top 10. (AP/Susan Walsh)
Comedian Rodney Dangerfield, Oct. 5
Rodney Dangerfield knew “I don’t get no respect” was funny when it cracked up New Yorkers, notorious for being tough. From there on out, the one-liner became his catchphrase -- and the pudgy, bug-eyed comic became the perennial loser. Dangerfield, 82, died on Oct. 5 at the UCLA Medical Center, where he had undergone heart surgery in August. After the operation, the comedian suffered a small stroke and developed infectious and abdominal complications. He had been in a coma but regained consciousness in the week before his passing. ()
Astronaut Gordon Cooper, Oct. 4
Astronaut Gordon Cooper, pictured in a spacesuit in July 1965, died Oct. 4 at his home in Ventura, Calif. He was 77. Cooper was one of the original Mercury astronauts who were pioneers in human space exploration. As he circled the globe 22 times in 34 hours and 20 minutes, Cooper became the first astronaut in a spaceflight of more than 24 hours. He was also the first astronaut to sleep in space, and he successfully carried out a beacon experiment that made him the first man to launch a satellite in space. (AP)
Actress Janet Leigh, Oct. 3
Actress Janet Leigh, the wholesome beauty whose shocking murder in the classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller “Psycho” was credited with making generations of film fans think twice about stepping into a motel room shower, has died. She was 77. The actress’ husband, Robert Brandt, and her daughters, actresses Kelly Curtis and Jamie Lee Curtis, were at their mother’s side when she died on Oct. 3 at her Beverly Hills home. (AP/Reed Saxon)
Photographer Richard Avedon, Oct. 1
Richard Avedon, the revolutionary photographer who redefined fashion photography as an art form while achieving critical acclaim through his stark black-and-white portraits of the powerful and celebrated, died on Oct. 1 after suffering a brain hemorrhage last month while on assignment in San Antonio, Texas, for The New Yorker magazine. He had been taking pictures for a piece called “On Democracy,” shooting politicians, delegates and citizens from around the country. Avedon was 81. He is pictured in front of a photograph of actor Bert Lahr at an exhibit of Avedon’s work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2002. (AP/Kathy Willens)
Astrologer Joyce Jillson, Oct. 1
As the official astrologer for 20th Century Fox Studios, Joyce Jillson consulted on the best opening days for movies, including 1977’s “Star Wars” -- the second-highest grossing movie of all time. Jillson, author of a nationally syndicated astrology column who also divined the stars on behalf of the Reagan administration, died on Oct. 1 at Cedars Sinai Medical Center of kidney failure. She was 58. (Los Angeles Times)
Fashion designer Geoffery Beene, Sept. 28
Designer Geoffrey Beene, the award-winning designer whose simple, classic styles for men and women put him at the forefront of American fashion, died on Sept. 28 at his Manhattan home. He was 77. Beene died of complications of pneumonia, ending a career that exploded after he launched his own company on a shoestring budget in 1963 and turned it into a multimillion-dollar fashion empire. (AP/Richard Drew)
Photojournalist Eddie Adams, Sept. 19
Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Eddie Adams, who was best known for his photograph of the 1968 killing of a Viet Cong captive in Vietnam, died on Sept. 19 from complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 71. Adams’ picture of South Vietnam’s police chief, Lt. Col. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, shooting the prisoner in the head on Feb. 1, 1968, would became one of the Vietnam War’s most indelible images. (AP)
Grand Ole Opry singer Skeeter Davis, Sept. 19
Skeeter Davis, who hit the top of the pop charts with “The End of the World” in 1963 and sang on the Grand Ole Opry radio show for more than 40 years, died on Sept. 19 of cancer. She was 72. Davis died at a Nashville hospice. she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1988 and had a recurrence in 1996. (AP)
Family patriarch Ellis Marsalis, Sept. 19
Patriarch of the internationally known Marsalis family of musicians, Ellis L. Marsalis Sr., died on Sept. 19 at the age of 96. A New Orleans native, Marsalis was the father of Ellis Jr., and grandfather of Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason. (AP/The Times Picayune)
Director Russ Meyer, Sept. 18
Russ Meyer, who has been called “King of the Nudies,” died on Sept. 18 at his home in the Hollywood Hills. Spokeswoman Janice Cowart said Meyer had suffered from dementia and died of complications of pneumonia. He was known for directing films such as “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” a sequel to the studio’s big grossing “Valley of the Dolls"; “The Immoral Mr. Teas,” “Erotia” and “Wild Gals of the Naked West,” “Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!’ and “Vixen.” (AP)
Attorney Marvin M. Mitchelson, Sept. 18
Attorney Marvin M. Mitchelson, who pioneered the legal revolution known as “palimony” and counseled scores of celebrities through messy breakups, died on Sept. 18 after battling cancer. He was 76. (AP)
Punk guitarist Johnny Ramone, Sept. 15
Johnny Ramone, the guitarist whose bursts of primitive punk energy helped the Ramones go from an obscure New York band to a reshaping force in rock ‘n’ roll, died on Sept. 15 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 55. Ramone, born John Cummings but known by the surname adopted by each of the punk group’s members, died in his sleep surrounded by friends. The guitarist had been battling prostate cancer for five years and took a turn for the worse in June. (AP)
Broadway lyricist Fred Ebb, Sept. 11
Broadway lyricist Fred Ebb, pictured in 1988 with actress Chita Rivera, wrote the lyrics for such hit Broadway musicals as “Chicago” and “Cabaret.” He died of a heart attack in New York on Sept. 11. He was believed to be 76 years old, although Ebb always was “sweetly vague” about his age, said director Scott Ellis, who worked with him on several shows..Among the other musicals Kander and Ebb wrote during their four decades of collaboration were “Kiss of the Spider Woman” (1993), “The Rink” (1984), “Woman of the Year” (1981) and “Zorba” (1968). (AP/Khue Bui)
Former Mississippi Gov. Kirk Fordice, Sept. 7
Former Mississippi Gov. Kirk Fordice, a hard-nosed, no-nonsense businessman who became Mississippi’s first Republican governor in more than 100 years, died on Sept. 7 of leukemia. He was 70. The Vicksburg self-made millionaire served as governor from 1992-2000. Despite controversies over his comments on race and the environment and his private life, the silver-haired grandfather only seemed to grow more popular with conservative Mississippians. He led a push for an income tax reduction, helped the Legislature craft welfare reform and touted anti-crime plans. (AP/Rogelio Solis)
Singer Laura Branigan, Aug. 26
Singer Laura Branigan, a Grammy-nominated pop singer best known for her 1982 platinum hit “Gloria,” died of a brain anuerysm in her sleep at her home in East Quogue, N.Y., on Aug. 26. She was 47. (AP/The Detroit News)
Newspaper publisher Helen K. Copley, Aug. 25
Helen K. Copley, publisher emeritus and chairman emeritus of the Copley Press Inc., died on Aug. 25 in her home in La Jolla, Calif. She was 81. Copley published The San Diego Union-Tribune and its predecessors for nearly three decades after the death of her husband, James S. Copley, in 1973. She retired in 2001 and handed over The Copley Press Inc. to her son, David C. Copley. (AP/San Diego Union-Tribune)
Author Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Aug. 24
Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a psychiatrist of the University of Chicago and internationally known author and expert on death and dying, died on Aug. 24. She was 78. Kubler-Ross invited Americans to confront their squeamishness about mortality with “On Death and Dying,” her groundbreaking 1969 study of emotional experiences at the end of life. The book changed not only medical practice but the way people understand their feelings as they confront terminal illness in their loved ones or themselves. (AP)
Composer Elmer Bernstein, Aug. 18
Elmer Bernstein, shown here in 2001, worked for more than 50 years as an entertainment industry composer, writing scores for more than 200 movies and television shows. He died on Aug. 18 at his home in Ojai, Calif., after a lengthy illness. Bernstein was 82. (Los Angeles Times/Kirk McCoy)
Master chef Julia Child, Aug. 12
Julia Child, whose books and television shows demystified French cuisine and ignited a gourmet cooking craze, died on Aug. 12 in her sleep at her home near Santa Barbara, Calif. She was 91. ()
Actress Fay Wray, Aug. 9
Fay Wray, remembered best as the woman held by the giant gorilla in the 1933 classic film, “King Kong,” died Aug. 9 at her Manhattan apartment. She was 96. (AP)
Firefighter Paul ‘Red’ Adair, Aug. 7
Oil field firefighter Paul N. “Red” Adair, who was instrumental in capping Kuwaiti oil wells set ablaze by Iraq and was immortalized by John Wayne in a movie based on his life, died on Aug. 7 of natural causes at a Houston hospital. He was 89. (AP/The Houston Chronicle, Robert Seale)
Funk singer Rick James, Aug. 6
Funk singer Rick James died Aug. 6 at his home in Los Angeles of natural causes. The singer was a diabetic and also had a pacemaker. He suffered a stroke in 1998. His three children said through a spokeswoman that they believe their father died of heart failure. An autopsy on Aug. 7 failed to determine the cause of death. (AP/Rene Macura)
Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, Aug. 4
Henri Cartier-Bresson, the French pioneer of photojournalism whose pictures defined the mid-20th century and inspired generations of photographers, died on Aug. 4 at age 95. From his early dabblings with a Brownie box camera, Cartier-Bresson spent a lifetime traveling the world to capture the human drama on film -- from photographing Mahatma Gandhi’s funeral to portraits of William Faulkner and Chinese revolutionaries. (AP/Michel Lipchitz)
Nobel Prize-winning scientist Francis Crick, July 28
Nobel Prize-winning scientist Francis Crick, who with James Watson discovered the spiral, “double-helix” structure of DNA, paving the way for everything from DNA blood tests to genetically engineered tomatoes, died July 28 in San Diego. Crick had been battling colon cancer. He was 88. (AP/Denis Poroy)
Phoenix Suns’ Cotton Fitzsimmons, July 24
Lowell “Cotton” Fitzsimmons, who won 832 games in 21 seasons as an NBA coach, died on July 24 due to complications from lung cancer. He was 72. Fitzsimmons was executive vice president of the Phoenix Suns, a team he coached on three occasions. A malignant tumor was found on Fitzsimmons’ lung, near his heart, in April and he had been in a Phoenix-area care center since suffering a stroke earlier in July. (AP/Scott Troyanos)
Jazz saxophonist Illinois Jacquet, July 22
Illinois Jacquet holds the microphone as President Clinton plays the saxophone at the end of a jazz concert on the White House lawn in 1993. Jacquet, a tenor saxophonist who defined the jazz style called screeching and played with jazz legends including Lionel Hampton, Count Basie and Cab Calloway during a career spanning eight decades, died on July 22. He was 81. (AP/Marcy Nighswander)
‘Blob’ director Irwin Yeaworth Jr., July 19
Irvin S. “Shorty” Yeaworth Jr., a Christian filmmaker and theme park pavilion designer who earned his place in pop culture by directing “The Blob,” the science fiction cult classic starring Steve McQueen and a man-eating mass of red goo, died July 19. He was 78. (AP)
Conservationist Laurance Rockefeller, July 11
Laurance Rockefeller and his wife are shown in this 1986 file photo. Rockefeller a conservationist, philanthropist and leading figure in the field of venture capital, died in his sleep on July 11. He was 94. He was the fourth of six children of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. He is pictured in 1986 with his wife, Mary, who died in 1997. (AP)
Business executive Albert Casey, July 10
Albert V. Casey, former chairman of American Airlines who led the company through deregulation and a move from New York City to Fort Worth, died on July 10 at his home in Dallas. He was 84. Casey’s diverse career also included serving as postmaster general, president of Times-Mirror Co. and chief executive officer of Resolution Trust Corp. (AP/Dallas Morning News)
Actress Isabel Sanford, July 9
Isabel Sanford, pictured with Sherman Hemsley, her co-star on the television sitcom “The Jeffersons,” died of natural causes on July 9. She was 86. Sanford died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she had been hospitalized since July 4. Her daughter, Pamela Ruff, was at her side. Sanford’s health had waned after undergoing preventive surgery on a neck artery 10 months ago. (AP/Kathy Willens)
Eric Douglas, July 6
Eric Douglas, youngest son of actor Kirk Douglas and half-brother of Michael Douglas, was found dead of an apparent heart attack on July 6 in his New York apartment. He had battled a drug addiction for much of his adult life. Douglas was 46. Douglas’ death was ruled accidental. The cause was “an acute intoxication” by the combined effects of alcohol and prescription tranquilizers and pain medication. (AP/Mike Derer)
Two-time Indy 500 winner Rodger Ward, July 5
Rodger Ward gets a kiss from his wife, holding the family dog, in the victory lane after winning the Indy 500 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis May 30, 1959. Ward, a two-time Indianapolis 500 champion and the oldest living former winner of the race, died on July 5 at an Anaheim, Calif., hospice. He was 83. (AP)
Actor Marlon Brando, July 1
Marlon Brando, a two-time Oscar winner whose riveting performances transformed acting from a remote craft to a naturalistic art form, died on July 1. He was 80. An actor’s actor whose skill was envied by generations of performers who followed him, Brando died from lung failure at UCLA Medical Center. Brando was nominated seven times for best actor, receiving his first Oscar in 1954 for his portrayal of Terry Malloy in “On the Waterfront” and his second in 1972 for Don Vito Corleone in “The Godfather.” (AP)
Thirteen-year-old poet Mattie Stepanek, June 22
Mattie Stepanek, 13, an accomplished poet who fought a battle with muscular dystrophy, died June 22 in Washington due to complications from his rare neuromuscular disease. He is pictured in 2001 with his mother, Jeni, at their home in Upper Marlboro, Md. Jeni Stepanek also has the disease, which claimed the lives of three of Mattie’s siblings. (AP/Matt Houston)
Fashion designer Egon von Furstenberg, June 11
Fashion designer Egon von Furstenberg, pictured at the end of the 2002/2003 autumn-winter High-Fashion collection show at Rome’s Auditorium, died June 11 in Rome. He was 58. (AP/Gregorio Borgia)
Music legend Ray Charles, June 10, 2004
Music legend Ray Charles, June 10, 2004
Music legend Ray Charles, the musical innovator whose bold, effortless fusions left an indelible mark on the rock, soul and country music of the past half-century, died on June 10, 2004, at his Beverly Hills home. He was 73. The cause of death was complications of liver disease. The hard-working musician, blind since childhood, had undergone successful hip-replacement surgery in 2003, canceling a concert tour for the first time in 53 years on the road. Other ailments, including liver failure, were diagnosed while he was recuperating from the surgery and his health continued to deteriorate. (AP)
Football Hall of Famer Roosevelt Brown, June 9
Roosevelt Brown, pictured holding his bronze bust following his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, in 1975, died June 9 of an apparent heart attack. He was 71. Brown was the New York Giants’ perennial Pro Bowl tackle who was named to the NFL’s 75th anniversary team in 2000. (AP/The Repository)
Former President Ronald Reagan , June 5
Former President Ronald Reagan , who reshaped the Republican Party in his conservative image and devoted most of his energy to the destruction of communism abroad, died on June 5 at age 93 following a 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Nancy Reagan and children Ron and Patti Davis were at the couple’s Los Angeles home when Reagan died at 1 p.m. of pneumonia, as a complication of Alzheimer’s. Son Michael arrived a short time later. (AP)
Author William Manchester, June 1
Author William Manchester, author of popular biographies on Winston Churchill and Douglas MacArthur and the controversial chronicler of President Kennedy’s assassination, died in his Middletown, Conn., home on June 1. He was 82. (AP/Wesleyan University, William Van Saun)
Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, May 29
Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor fired by President Nixon for refusing to curtail his Watergate investigation, died May 29 at his home, his daughter said. He was 92. (AP/Scott Stewart)
Jazz drummer Elvin Ray Jones, May 18
Elvin Ray Jones, pictured in 1997 while performing at the San Francisco Jazz Festival, was a renowned jazz drummer and member of John Coltrane’s quartet who also played alongside Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. He died May 18 at the age of 76. (AP/Susan Ragan)
Inventor-philanthropist Arnold O. Beckman, May 18
Arnold O. Beckman, the scientific visionary whose inventions transformed chemistry and made him so wealthy that he became one of the country’s major philanthropists, died on May 18. He was 104. The founder of Beckman Instruments and a major benefactor of Caltech — whose accomplishments ranged from perfecting measuring devices capable of unlocking the secrets of life to sniffing out the ingredients of smog — died at Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla, Calif. ()
Actor Tony Randall, May 17
Tony Randall, the comic actor best known for playing fastidious photographer Felix Unger on “The Odd Couple,” died on May 17. He was 84. Randall died in his sleep at NYU Medical Center of complications from a long illness. He is survived by his wife, Heather Harlan Randall, who made him a father for the first time at age 77, and their two children, 7-year-old Julia Laurette and 5-year-old Jefferson Salvini. (AP/Ron Frehm)
Actress Anna Lee, May 14
Anna Lee, who has portrayed Lila Quartermaine since 1978 on ABC’s “General Hospital,” died on May 14. Lee, whose nearly 70-year acting career in movies and television spanned from her breakthrough role in ``How Green Was My Valley’’ to an extended run on ``General Hospital,’' died of pneumonia, her son said. She was 91. (AP/ABC,Craig Sjodin)
Osmond family mom, Olive Osmond, May 9
Olive Osmond, mother of Marie and Donny Osmond and other members of the performing family, died on May 9. She was 79. She died of complications from a massive stroke she suffered more than two years ago. Her condition began to deteriorate last week and family members were by her bedside. (AP)
Cosmetics entrepreneur Estee Lauder, April 24
Cosmetics entrepreneur Estee Lauder, who started a kitchen business blending face creams and built it into an international cosmetics empire, died on April 24. She was 97. (AP/Susan Ragan)
McDonald’s CEO Jim Cantalupo, April 19
Jim Cantalupo, chairman and chief executive officer of McDonald’s, pictured at a news conference in New York in 2003, died of an apparent heart attack early April 19. He was 60. Cantalupo was in Orlando, Fla., attending the company’s international owner and operator convention. (AP/Ed Bailey)
Big-band singer Harry Babbitt, April 9
Harry Babbitt, who sang in his warm, high-baritone voice with the Kay Kyser big band on such hits as “The White Cliffs of Dover’’ and who voiced the laugh of Woody Woodpecker, died on April 9. He was 90. (AP/NBC)
Golf caddie Bruce Edwards, April 8
Tom Watson and caddie Bruce Edwards look over the line of a putt on the 13th hole at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, during the third round of the U.S. Senior Open in June 2003. Edwards, whose struggle with Lou Gehrig’s disease inspired Watson at last year’s U.S. Open, died on April 8. He was 49. (AP/Mark Duncan)
ABC correspondent Jack Smith, April 7
Jack Smith, an Emmy Award-winning reporter who covered the White House and government agencies and started the technology beat during a 26-year career at ABC News, died of pancreatic cancer and a stroke on April 7 at a hospital in Greenbrea, Calif. He was 58. Smith was the son of the late broadcaster Howard K. Smith, one of the famed CBS correspondents who worked closely with Edward R. Murrow during World War II. (AP/ABC, Steve Fenn)
Actress Carrie Snodgress, April 1
Actress Carrie Snodgress, pictured in 1990, died of heart failure on April 1. Snodgress, whose 40-year career included an Oscar nomination for “Diary of a Mad Housewife” and memorable roles in “Pale Rider” and “Wild Things,” was 57. (Los Angeles Times/Robert Durell)
Colombian artist Enrique Grau, April 1
Enrique Grau, in front of a painting of his father that he was working on at his studio in Bogota in 2002, died at his home in Bogota early Thursday, April 1.. One of Colombia’s greatest painters, Grau was 83. (AP/Ricardo Mazalan)
Broadcaster Alistair Cooke, March 30
Alistair Cooke, the broadcaster who epitomized highbrow television as host of “Masterpiece Theatre” and whose “Letter from America” was a radio fixture in Britain for 58 years, died on March 30 at his home in New York . He was 95. No cause of death was given, but Cooke had retired earlier in the month because of heart disease. (AP/BBC, John Jefford)
Actor-writer Sir Peter Ustinov, March 28
Sir Peter Ustinov, a brilliant wit and mimic who won two Oscars for an acting career that ranged from the evil Nero in “Quo Vadis” to the quirky Agatha Christie detective Hercule Poirot, died on March 28. He was 82. Ustinov, a renaissance man whose talents included writing plays, movies and novels as well as directing operas, also devoted himself to the world’s children for more 30 years as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. He died of heart failure in a Genolier clinic near his home at Bursins in Swiss vineyards overlooking Lake Geneva. (AP/Heribert Proepper)
TV game show host Art James, March 28
Art James, who was an announcer or host for a dozen TV game shows over three decades, including “Concentration” and “Family Feud Challenge,” died on March 28, 2004 in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 74. James is pictured in a 1967 publicity photo for his game show named “Temptation.” (AP/ABC)
Musician Jan Berry, March 26
Jan Berry, left, pictured with his longtime musical partner, Dean Torrence, in 1959, died on March 26. He was 62. Berry was one-half of the duo Jan & Dean that had the 1960s surf-music hits “Deadman’s Curve” and “The Little Old Lady from Pasadena,” among others. Berry had a seizure and stopped breathing at his Los Angeles home. He was pronounced dead that evening at a hospital. He had been in poor health recently from the lingering effects of brain damage from a 1966 car crash. (AP/jananddean-janberry.com)
Author Nathan Heard, March 17
Author and professor Nathan Heard died on March 17. He was 67. Heard’s five novels drew from his experiences in prison and on the tough streets of Newark. (AP/The Star Ledger)
‘Rocket Man’ William Pickering, March 15
William H. Pickering, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory director who pulled together the nation’s first successful satellite launch in only three months and who later led the exploration of the solar system that culminated with the landing this year of two successful rovers on Mars, died of pneumonia on March 15 at his home in La Cañada Flintridge. Known affectionately as “Mr. JPL” and “Rocket Man,” the New Zealand native who helped open the door to the stars was 93. (AP)
Actor Robert Pastorelli, March 9
Robert Pastorelli, who played the screwball housepainter Eldin on the “Murphy Brown” TV series, was found dead in his Hollywood Hills home on March 9 in what the coroner’s office said may have been a drug overdose. He was 49. (ABC)
Actor Paul Winfield, March 7
Paul Winfield, the award-winning actor who came to fame during the renaissance of African-American cinema in the 1970s in such films as “Sounder” and “A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwich,” died of a heart attack on March 7 at Queen of Angels-Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in California. He was 62. (AP/Tonya Evatt)
Actor-writer Spalding Gray, March 7
Actor-writer Spalding Gray, pictured in 2002, disappeared on Jan. 10 and is believed to have committed suicide. His body was found on March 7 in the East River in New York City. Gray’s greatest success was his Obie-winning monologue “Swimming to Cambodia,” which recounted in part his movie role in “The Killing Fields.” The monologue, developed over two years of performance, became a film directed by Jonathan Demme. Gray appeared in the David Byrne film “True Stories” as well as other movies that included “Beaches,” “Kate & Leopold” and “The Paper” -- 38 film appearances in all. He was 62. ()
Baseball legend’s son John Henry Williams, March 6
John Henry Williams, right, poses before a large photo of his famous father, Boston Red Sox baseball legend Ted Williams, in 1993 in Newton, Mass. John Henry Williams, 35, died on March 6 of leukemia in a Los Angeles hospital. (AP/ Boston Herald, Matt Stone)
Actress Mercedes McCambridge, March 2
Actress Mercedes McCambridge, pictured in her role for “All the King’s Men,” died March 2. McCambridge, who won an Oscar for the 1949 film and later provided the raspy voice of the demon-possessed girl in ``The Exorcist,’' was 85. (AP)
Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott, March 2
Marge Schott, pictured in her home in Cincinnatti with her her dog Schottzie in 1986, died March 2 at the age of 75. As the controversial former owner of the Cincinnati Red, she readily shared favorable opinions about Hitler and inflammatory comments about minorities, drawing suspensions from baseball for giving the game a black eye. Schott won a World Series and led baseball through a series of public relations fiascos during her 15-year run as owner until 1999. (AP/The Cincinnati Enquirer,John Curley Jr.)
Actor John Randolph, Feb. 24
Actor John Randolph, a prolific, Tony-winning character actor who played Roseanne’s father on “Roseanne’’ and Tom Hanks’ grandfather on “You’ve Got Mail,’' died on Feb. 24. He was 88. Randolph died at his home in Hollywood, Calif. (AP/Marti Reichenthal)
Saxophonist Cornelius Bumpus, Feb. 3
Saxophonist Cornelius Bumpus, pictured in 1982, died on Feb. 3 en route to performances in California. He began playing saxophone at age 10 in his school band in Santa Rosa, Calif., and had a 1966 stint performing with Bobby Freeman, who wrote and sang “Do You Want to Dance?” Later a member of the Doobie Brothers, Bumpus performed with Steely Dan since 1993. He was 58. (AP/Broadbeach Records)
Former ‘Tonight Show’ host Jack Paar, Jan. 27
Jack Paar, who made the “The Tonight Show” a talk show everybody talked about, died at his Greenwich, Conn., home as a result of a long illness. After a young comic named Johnny Carson became host in 1962, Paar had a hugely popular prime-time talk show for three more seasons, then abruptly retired in 1965. He was 85. (AP)
‘Captain Kangaroo’ Bob Keeshan, Jan. 23
Bob Keeshan, who gently entertained and educated generations of children as television’s walrus-mustachioed Captain Kangaroo, died of a long illness on Jan. 23 at the age of 76. Keeshan’s “Captain Kangaroo” premiered on CBS in 1955 and ran for 30 years before moving to public television for six more. It was wildly popular among children and won six Emmy Awards, three Gabriels and three Peabody Awards. (AP)
Dancer Ann Miller, Jan. 22
Dancer Ann Miller, pictured practicing in her studio in December 1949, died Jan. 22 of lung cancer at the age of 81. a star during the golden age of movie musicals, died Jan. 22. of lung cancer. Miller was a childhood dance prodigy who fast-tapped her way to movie stardom that peaked in 1940s musicals like “On the Town,” “Easter Parade” and “Kiss Me Kate.” She remained a dazzling tapper later in life, earning millions on Broadway. (AP)
‘First Wives Club’ author Olivia Goldsmith, Jan. 15
Olivia Goldsmith, author of “First Wives Club” and “The Bestseller,” died in a New York hospital on Jan. 15. Goldsmith had been in a coma since Jan. 7 after complications resulting from anesthesia during plastic surgery, according to her lawyer. She was 54. (AP/Wyatt Counts)
Actress Uta Hagen, Jan. 14
Actress Uta Hagen, shown in character for a 1987 made-for-television film, “Seasonal Differences,” died on Jan. 14 at her Manhattan home, said Barnetta Carter, managing director of HB Studios, the acting school she helped found. She was 84. (AP)
Fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo, Jan. 6
Fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo, pictured in his New York townhouse in 1983, died on Jan. 6 of heart failure. Scavullo, who shot covers for Cosmopolitan magazine for more than 30 years, was 81. A silk-screen photo of Grace Kelly, made by Scavullo, hangs in the background. (AP/Suzanne Vlamis)
Pitcher Tug McGraw, Jan. 5
Tug McGraw, the relief pitcher who helped the Mets and Phillies win their first world championships and whose three-word phrase “Ya Gotta Believe” became a rallying cry for his team and New York three decades ago, died on Jan. 5. He was 59 and had undergone an operation for a brain tumor last March. He died at the home of his son, country recording star Tim McGraw, outside Nashville, Tenn. McGraw is pictured during a ceremony honoring the 30th anniversary of the 1969 Mets World Series championship. (AP)
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