Saturday, July 2, 2022

Celebrity Deaths 2022 Part One

As it is every year, Death just can't seem to take a holiday— not even with the pandemic slowing down. Or is it surging again? I honestly can't keep track of it anymore.

Once again Death proved that neither fame nor fortune makes one immune to its icy touch, as so far there've been hundreds of celebrities and public figures who met their makers in 2022. Here's a partial list of the most notable ones who died in the first half of the year.

Note that there were many more high profile celebrity deaths this year than the ones I've listed here. I'm only including the ones I recognize or who had an impact on my life.

Igor Bogdanoff
Died January 3, 2022 at age 72.
One half of the infamous Bogdanoff twins— a pair of French TV presenters who also penned numerous nonsensical physics papers, which somehow ended up being published in respected scientific journals. Also, I'm not quite sure, but I think maybe the two of them may have had an addiction to plastic surgery.

Sadly, Igor's brother Grichka Bogdanoff died just a few days earlier on December 28, 2021. Both of them were unvaxed and died of Covid.

Lawrence Brooks
Died January 5, 2022 at age 112!
At the time of his death he was the country's oldest man and the oldest WWII veteran.

Sidney Poitier
Died January 6, 2022 at age 94.
Sophisticated actor who pioneered serious starring roles for blacks in Hollywood.

Peter Bogdanovich
Died January 6, 2022 at age 82.
Highly influential writer & director, who helmed such classic films as The Last Picture Show, What's Up Doc?, Paper Moon and Mask.

Bob Saget
Died January 9, 2022 at age 65.
Standup comedian who was best known as the host of America's Funniest Home Videos, as well as his role on Full House. Despite his innocent, wholesome looks, his Vegas comedy act was supposedly incredibly filthy.

Dwayne Hickman
Died January 9, 2022 at age 87.
Best known for playing the titular character in 1960s sitcom The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis.

Ronnie Spector
Died January 12, 2022 at age 78.
Frontwoman for The Ronettes, whose songs included the hit Be My Baby. Ex-wife of nutsy cuckoo record producer Phil Spector.

Ron Goulart
Died January 14, 2022 at age 89.
Goulart was well known to comic fans, as he was an historian of the medium— as well as an author.

Yvette Mimieux
Died January 17, 2022 at age 80.
Fan favorite actress, who starred in such sci-fi classics as The Time Machine and The Black Hole.

Peter Robbins
Died January 18, 2022 at age 65.
The original voice of Charlie Brown in the early animated TV specials. Sadly, Robbins struggled with addiction and mental health issues as an adult, and died by suicide.

Meat Loaf
Died January 20, 2022 at age 74.
Singer of bombastic, operatic rock ballads such as Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad, I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) and Paradise By The Dashboard Lights. He was also an actor, who appeared in over a hundred films, including The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Fight Club.

Meat Loaf's real name was Michael Lee Aday, although some sources inexplicably list his first name as Marvin. Take your pick, I guess.

Sadly, he died of Covid, and reportedly protested against mask and vaccine mandates, which is disappointing to say the least.

Louie Anderson
Died January 21, 2022 at age 68.
Neurotic standup comedian, game show host and actor.

Howard Hesseman
Died January 29, 2022 at age 81.
Although he had a long list of credits, Hesseman's best known for playing Dr. Johnny Fever on 1980s sitcom WKRP In Cincinnati

Oddly enough, the show's producers originally wanted to cast Hesseman as salesman Herb Tarlek. Hesseman said he'd be a much better match for the role of Fever, since he'd once been a DJ in the San Francisco area.

Brian Augustyn
Died February 1, 2022 at age 67.
Definitely not a household name, but he was well-known to comic book fans. He was a long-time writer of The Flash comic, among many others.

Douglas Trumbull
Died February 7, 2022 at age 79.
Special Effects pioneer whose innovative work was seen in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Blade Runner and many more. His influence is still being felt in films today.

Ivan Reitman
Died February 12, 2022 at age 75.
Beloved director of many popular comedy films, including Stripes, Ghostbusters, Twins, Ghostbusters II and Kindergarten Cop.

P.J. O'Rourke
Died February 15, 2022 at age 74.
American humorist who wrote for National Lampoon, and published numerous essays and books.

Tom Veitch
Died February 18, 2022 at age 80.
Comic book writer who worked on Animal Man for DC, and many Star Wars comics for Image.

Leo Fong
Died February 18, 2022 at age 93.
Chinese/American actor and martial artist, who starred in numerous action films. Probably best known for Low Blow, which was made famous by the Red Letter Media guys.

Sally Kellerman
Died February 24, 2022 at age 84.
Actress best known for M*A*S*H (the movie, not the TV series), Brewster McCloud and Lost Horizon, among many others. She also starred in the second Star Trek pilot, Where No Man Has Gone Before.

Conrad Janis
Died March 1, 2022 at age 94 (!).
1970s sitcom staple, best known as a regular on Mork & Mindy.

Johnny Brown
Died March 2, 2022 at age 84.
Prolific singer and comedic actor, best known for Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and Good Times.

Alan Ladd Jr.
Died March 2, 2022 at age 84.
Acclaimed film producer, and former head of 20th Century Fox.
Star Wars fans owe Ladd a HUGE debt of gratitude, as he greenlit the film after every other studio in Hollywood passed on it.

Tim Considine
Died March 3, 2022 at age 81.
Former child star who started on The Mickey Mouse Club. He was also in Disney's Spin & Marty and The Shaggy Dog (which starred 
Fred MacMurray). Probably best know for playing eldest son Mike Douglas on TV's My Three Sons, which also featured MacMurray!

Mitchell Ryan
Died March 4, 2022 at age 88.
One of those "That Guy!" character actors, best known for Dark Shadows, Dharma & Greg and Lethal Weapon.

William Hurt
Died March 13, 2022 at age 71.
1980's leading man who starred in such films as Altered States, Body Heat, The Big Chill and Broadcast News, among many, many others. 

Scott Hall, aka Razor Ramon
Died March 14, 2022 at age 63.
Famed WWF wrester.

Scoey Mitchell
Died March 19, 2022 at age 92.
Mitchell was an actor and director, who frequently appeared on game shows in the 1970s.

Kathryn Hays
Died March 25, 2022 at age 87.
Actress who played Kim Hughes on the long-running soap As The World Turns. She also had a memorable guest spot on Star Trek, as the mute alien empath Gem.

CW McCall
Died April 1, 2022 at 93.
McCall scored it big with his 1975 hit Convoy, which cashed in on the then-current CB radio craze.

Estelle Harris
Died April 2, 2022 at age 93.
A prolific actress in movie, TV and the stage, Harris was probably best known for her memorable role as George Costanza's mom on Seinfeld.

Nehemiah Persoff
Died April 5, 2022 at age 102 (!).
Prolific character and voice actor.

Gilbert Gottfried
Died April 12, 2022 at age 67.
Squinty-eyed, shrill-voiced standup comedian, who went on to become an actor and voiceover artist. Featured in Beverly Hills Cop II, Problem Child 2 and as the voice of Iago the parrot in Disney's Aladdin

His appearance in Disney projects was ironic, as Gottfried was infamous for his incredibly offensive version of The Aristocrats joke.

Liz Sheridan
Died April 15, 2022 at age 93.
Had a lengthy career as a character actress in films, TV and on stage. Her most famous role was likely that of Jerry's mom on Seinfeld.

Amazingly, Sheridan dated James Dean shortly before he became famous. Oddly enough, Sheridan died just a week or two after Estelle Harris, who played George's mom on Seinfeld. Both TV moms died at 93!

Robert Morse
Died April 20, 2022 at age 90.
Best known for starring in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.

James Bama
Died April 24, 2022 at age 95.
Prolific illustrator who painted covers for various novels, including the Doc Savage series, along with Star Trek and Aurora monsters model kits.

Neal Adams
Died April 28, 2022 at age 80.
Brilliant comic book artist and illustrator, whose sleek linework completely revitalized Batman— turning him from a campy hero into a serious threat.

Adams also championed creator rights, and founded the Comic Creators Guild, which helped artists receive the money they were owed from tight-fisted companies.

On the flip side of the coin, Adams was a believer in the Expanding Earth Hypothesis, which claims the Earth is constantly expanding in size (it's not), creating an entire hollow world inside it (nope!). Cuckoo, cuckoo!

David Birney
Died April 29, 2022 at age 83.
Actor best known for roles in Bridget Loves Bernie and ER.

Naomi Judd
Died April 30, 2022 at age 76.
One half of the mother/daughter country music duo The Judds.
Sadly, Judd suffered from mental illness for years and ended her own life.

George Perez
Died May 6. 2022 at age 67.
Beloved comic book artist, who worked on the epic Crisis On Infinite Earths miniseries. He was also the co-creator of The New Teen Titans, which revitalized the team for the 1980s and gave Marvel's uber-popular X-Men comic a run for its money.

Perez specialized in filling his panels with dozens, or even hundreds of characters, and drew stunningly hyper-detailed backgrounds.

Fred Ward
Died May 8, 2022 at age 79.
Beloved and prolific character actor who starred in Tremors, The Right Stuff and many more.

Vangelis
Died May 17, 2022 at age 79.
Famed film composer whose electronic scores graced films such as Chariots Of Fire and Blade Runner.

Colin Cantwell
Died May 21, 2022 at age 90.
Concept artist who designed the prototypes for the ships in Star Wars. Fans owe him a huge debt of gratitude, as even though his concepts were ultimately refined, they established the template for modelmakers to follow.

Ray Liotta
Died May 26, 2022 at age 67.
Intense actor who starred in such films as Goodfellas and Field Of Dreams, among many others.

Ken Kelly
Died June 3. 2022 at age 76.
Fantasy artist whose work was very similar to that of Frank Frazetta. Well, it was!

Ann Turner Cook
Died June 3, 2022 at age 95.
Best known as the model for the Gerber baby foods baby.

Philip Baker Hall
Died June 12, 2022 at age 90.
Prolific, gravelly-voiced character actor, who popped up in just about everything. Probably best known for his amazing turn as Mr. Bookman in Seinfeld.

Tim Sale
Died June 16, 2022 at age 66.
Comic book artist who worked on various Superman and Batman books at DC. Sale had an unusual high contrast style that was somehow simple and detailed at the same time.

Joe Turkel
Died June 27, 2022 at age 97.
Character actor best known for playing Lloyd The Bartender in The Shining, as well as Doctor Tyrell in Blade Runner.

Whew! That's it for the first half of 2022. Let's hope the second half is relatively quiet!

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