2008 Celebrity Deaths…


Celebrity deaths of 2008


Heath Ledger


Actors, actresses and entertainers



Actor Paul Newman died this year. So did Larry Harmon, who was better known as “Bozo the Clown”; W. Mark Felt, who was the mysterious “Deep Throat”; and William Stulla, who as “Engineer Bill” delighted a generation of children with a glass of milk.


William F. Buckley, the father of the modern conservative movement, also left the scene, as did singer and self-proclaimed “sex kitten” Eartha Kitt and the Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter.


Millionaire Steve Fossett’s adventurer’s life came to an end after a plane crash on a California hillside. And, after 28 years in a coma, socialite Martha “Sunny” von Bulow died in December.     (Click on ‘Continue Reading’ for a list of celebrity deaths in 2008)


(Source: Los Angeles Times)



Maila Nurmi, 85; actress created the character Vampira as hostess of late-night TV horror show (Jan. 10)


Jack Eagle, 81; a comedian and actor who played Brother Dominic in a Xerox ad during the 1977 Super Bowl (Jan. 10)


Brad Renfro, 25; actor who got his break as a child in the film “The Client” but later struggled with drug addiction (Jan. 15)


Allan Melvin, 84; a popular character actor who played Cpl. Henshaw on Phil Silvers’ classic 1950s sitcom and later played Barney on “All in the Family” (Jan. 17)


Lois Nettleton, 80; daytime Emmy-award winning actress who had a long career on Broadway and television (Jan. 18)


Suzanne Pleshette, 70; comedic actress best known for her role as Emily Hartley on “The Bob Newhart Show” (Jan. 19)


Heath Ledger, 28; Australian-born actor nominated for an Oscar for his role as a gay cowboy in “Brokeback Mountain” was found dead of prescription drug overdose (Jan. 22)


Shell Kepler, 49; actress who played gossipy nurse Amy Vining on ABC soap opera “General Hospital” (Feb. 1)


Barry Morse, 89; actor played Lt. Gerard on “The Fugitive” (Feb. 2)


Eva Dahlbeck, 87; nimble leading lady of early Ingmar Bergman films (Feb. 8.)


Roy Scheider, 75; actor starred in “Jaws” and “All That Jazz” and was nominated for two Academy Awards (Feb. 10)


Ben Chapman, 79; actor who played the title character in the 1954 3-D monster movie “Creature From the Black Lagoon” (Feb. 21)


Ivan Dixon, 76; pioneering black actor who starred in “Nothing but a Man” and later “Hogan’s Heroes” (March 16)


Paul Scofield, 86; acclaimed British actor won Academy Award for “A Man for All Seasons” (March 19)


Richard Widmark, 93; Hollywood leading man who made a sensational film debut as the giggling killer in “Kiss of Death” (March 24)


Charlton Heston, 84; the Oscar-winning actor who achieved stardom playing larger-than-life figures, including Moses, Michelangelo and Andrew Jackson, and went on to become a darling of the conservative movement in America (April 5)


Stanley Kamel, 65; a veteran character actor who appeared most recently in the TV series “Monk” as detective Adrian Monk’s psychiatrist (April 8.)


Werner Groebli, 92; half of the comic ice-skating duo “Frick and Frack” adored by millions in the 1940s and 1950s (April 14)


Hazel Court, 82; an English actress who costarred with the likes of Boris Karloff and Vincent Price in popular horror movies in the 1950s and ’60s (April 15)


Kay Linaker, 94; a 1930s and ’40s Hollywood actress who later co-wrote the 1958 science-fiction horror film “The Blob” under the name Kate Phillips (April 18)


Joy Page, 83; the stepdaughter of Warner Bros. studio chief Jack L. Warner who earned her place in film history playing the dark-haired Bulgarian newlywed in “Casablanca” (April 18)


Beverlee McKinsey, 72; actress best known for her work on “Another World” and “The Guiding Light” (May 2)


John Phillip Law, 70; a tall, blond actor who cut a striking figure as the blind angel opposite Jane Fonda in 1968’s “Barbarella” and as a Soviet submariner in “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming” (May 13)


Dick Martin, 86; the zany half of the comedy team whose “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In” took television by storm in the 1960s (May 24)


Mitch Mullany, 39; a stand-up comic who starred in the 1990s sitcom “Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher” (May 25)


Harvey Korman, 81; the tall, versatile comedian who won four Emmys for his contributions to “The Carol Burnett Show” and was seen to hilarious effect on the big screen in “Blazing Saddles” (May 29)


Mel Ferrer, 90; versatile actor and director was once married to Audrey Hepburn (June 2)


Robert J. “Bob” Anderson, 75; a former child actor best known for playing the young George Bailey in the Christmas film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” (June 6)


Cyd Charisse, 86; brought sizzle and sophistication to dance in such classic movie musicals as “Singin’ in the Rain” and “Silk Stockings” (June 17)


George Carlin, 71; comedian and social critic tested limits of speech and society (June 22)


Dody Goodman, 93; daffy comedian known for her TV appearances on Jack Paar’s late-night talk show and the soap-opera parody “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” (June 22)


Stig Olin, 87; Swedish actor in several Ingmar Bergman movies (June 28)


Angel Tavira Maldonado, 83; a Mexican regional musician whose stirring debut acting performance in “The Violin” moved audiences and won critical acclaim, including a best actor award at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival (June 30)


Evelyn Keyes, 91; played Scarlett O’Hara’s younger sister Suellen in “Gone With the Wind” and counted director John Huston and bandleader Artie Shaw among her famous husbands (July 4)


Larry Haines, 89; a two-time Daytime Emmy winner for his 35-year role on the soap opera “Search for Tomorrow” (July 17)


Estelle Getty, 84; her acting career bloomed late in life with her Emmy-winning performance as Sophia Petrillo, the wisecracking mother of Bea Arthur on the popular NBC sitcom “The Golden Girls” (July 22)


Bernie Mac, 50; comedian starred in Fox sitcom and the “Ocean’s Eleven” trilogy (Aug. 9)


George Furth, 75; Tony Award-winning librettist for Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” and highly recognizable character actor who played Woodcock in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (Aug. 11)


Julius J. Carry III, 56; prolific TV and film actor best known for scene-stealing turn as Sho’nuff in the 1985 film “The Last Dragon” (Aug. 19)


Fred Crane, 90; a former longtime Los Angeles classical music radio station announcer who achieved a slice of film immortality as an actor who played one of the handsome Tarleton twins in the 1939 movie classic “Gone With the Wind” (Aug. 21)


Barry Price, 64; internationally award-winning sleight-of-hand artist was prominent performer at the Magic Castle (Aug. 24)


Marpessa Dawn, 74; Pennsylvania-born actress and dancer starred in “Black Orpheus” (Aug. 25)


Hazel Warp, 93; stunt double for Vivien Leigh in “Gone With the Wind” (Aug. 26)


Wonderful Smith, 97; known for his boundary-pushing comedy routine in Duke Ellington’s satirical 1941 revue “Jump for Joy” (Aug. 28)


Michael Pate, 88; an Australian actor best known for his roles on American television series in the 1960s and ’70s (Sept. 1)


Anita Page, 98; starred in first talking movie to win an Academy Award (Sept. 6)


Howard Mann, 85; actor and comedian performed rap routine on growing older (Sept. 18)


Thomas “Bud” McDonald, 85; appeared in some of the “Our Gang” movies as a boy and later helped to found prominent alcohol and drug treatment programs in Southern California (Sept. 22)


Irene Dailey, 88; an actress who won praise for her stage performances but was best known for her role as Liz Matthews on the NBC daytime soap opera “Another World” (Sept. 24)


Paul Newman, 83; the legendary movie star and irreverent cultural icon created a model philanthropy fueled by profits from a salad dressing that became nearly as famous as he was (Sept. 26)


Phyllis Welch MacDonald, 95; Broadway actress had brief career in Hollywood in Harold Lloyd’s “Professor Beware” (Sept. 26)


Robert Arthur, 83; youthful-looking actor known for supporting roles in “Twelve O’Clock High” and “Hellcats of the Navy” (Oct. 1)


Choi Jin-sil, 39; one of South Korea’s most popular actresses (Oct. 2)


Eileen Herlie, 90; a stage and TV actress who appeared on the ABC daytime soap opera “All My Children” for more than three decades as the motherly Myrtle Fargate (Oct. 8.)


Edie Adams, 81; the Tony Award-winning actress and singer best known to many as the seductive spokeswoman for Muriel Cigars in the 1950s and ’60s (Oct. 15)


Rudy Ray Moore, 81; the raunchy 1970s comedian paved the way for many rap and hip-hop artists (Oct. 19)


Milton Katselas, 75; a prominent acting teacher and director whose students included George Clooney, Alec Baldwin, Michelle Pfeiffer and hundreds of other actors (Oct. 24)


Estelle Reiner, 94; singer and actress known for her cameo in son Rob Reiner’s film “When Harry Met Sally. . . .” (Oct. 25)


Delmar Watson, 82; a member of a family of child actors who appeared in more than a thousand films in the early days of Hollywood (Oct. 26)


Paul Benedict, 70; film, television actor played Bentley on “The Jeffersons” (Dec. 1)


Nina Foch, 84; actress and longtime professor at the USC film school (Dec. 5)


Beverly Garland, 82; B-movie cult star who also starred on “My Three Sons” (Dec. 5)


Robert Prosky, 77; character actor had roles in “Hill Street Blues” and several high-profile movies (Dec. 8.)


Van Johnson, 92; actor soared to stardom during World War II as MGM’s boy-next-door in films such as “A Guy Named Joe” and “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo” (Dec. 12)


Sam Bottoms, 53; who played the role of California surfer-turned-GI Lance Johnson in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 Vietnam War epic “Apocalypse Now” (Dec. 16)


Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, 76; an actress who played Nurse Christine Chapel on the original “Star Trek” series and who was the widow of series creator Gene Roddenberry (Dec. 18)


John Costelloe, 47; the actor who portrayed the gay lover of a closeted mobster on The Sopranos (Dec. 18)


Page Cavanaugh, 86; a veteran pianist-singer whose trio was a popular nightclub and recording group in the late 1940s and ’50s (Dec. 19)


Eartha Kitt, 81; a sultry singer, dancer and actress who rose from South Carolina cotton fields to become an international symbol of elegance and sensuality (Dec. 25)


Ann Savage, 87; an actress who earned a cult following as a femme fatale in such 1940s pulp-fiction movies as Detour (Dec. 25)


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