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Photos: Gallery | Colorado Springs Gazette, News

A list of beloved stars, entertainers, athletes and infamous figures who died this year

From Hugh Hefner to Mary Tyler Moore: A look back at the most notable deaths of 2017.

Butch Trucks

Butch Trucks
Jan. 24

The drummer was one of the founding members of the Southern rock legend The Allman Brothers Band. The ban was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. He was 69.

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Obit John Hurt

John Hurt
Jan. 25

The versatile actor, whose career spanned over 50 years,  moved audiences to tears in "The Elephant Man," terrified them in "Alien," and later spoofed that very same scene in "Spaceballs." He was 77.

Read more here

Sang Tan

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SAG Awards Show

Mary Tyler Moore
Jan. 25

The star of TV's beloved "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," her comic realism helped revolutionize the depiction of women on the small screen. She was 80. 

Read more here

Mark J. Terrill

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Richard Hatch

Richard Hatch
Feb. 7

The Golden Globe nominated actor is perhaps best known for his role as Captain Apollo in the original “Battlestar Galactica” film and TV series. He was 71.

Paul A. Hebert

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Al Jarreau
Feb. 12

The Grammy-winning jazz singer transcended genres over a 50-year career. He was 76.

Kevork Djansezian

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Norma McCorvey
Feb. 18

Her legal challenge under the pseudonym "Jane Roe" led to the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized abortion but who later became an outspoken opponent of the procedure.

Read more here.

J. Scott Applewhite

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Bill Paxton
Feb. 25

A prolific and charismatic actor who had memorable roles in such blockbusters as "Apollo 13" and "Titanic" while also cherishing his work in "One False Move" and other low-budget movies and in the HBO series "Big Love." 

Richard Shotwell

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Joni Sledge
March 10

With her sisters, she recorded the enduring dance anthem "We Are Family."  She was 60.

CHRIS POLK

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Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry
March 18

Rock 'n' roll's founding guitar hero and storyteller defined the music's joy and rebellion in classics like "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven." He was 90.

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Chuck Barris

Chuck Barris
March 21

His game show empire included “The Dating Game,” ″The Newlywed Game” and that infamous factory of cheese, “The Gong Show.” He was 87.

Bebeto Matthews

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David Rockefeller
March 20

The billionaire businessman and philanthropist who was the last in his generation of one of the country's most famously philanthropic families. He was 101.

D. Pickoff

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Lonnie Brooks

Lonnie Brooks
April 1

A Chicago blues musician whose relationship with his adopted hometown was cemented by his hit recording of Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago." He was 83. 

Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune via AP)

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Paul O'Neill
April 5

The founder of the progressive metal band Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which was known for its spectacular holiday concerts filled with theatrics, lasers and pyrotechnics. He was 61.

Jim Cooper

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Don Rickles

Don Rickles
April 6

The big-mouthed, bald-headed "Mr. Warmth" comedian, whose verbal assaults endeared him to audiences and peers and made him the acknowledged grandmaster of insult comedy.  He was 90. 

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Erin Moran

Erin Moran
April 22

The former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi." She was 56.

Read more here.

Para/REX/Shutterstock

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Obit Jonathan Demme

Jonathan Demme
April 26

The eclectic, ever-enthusiastic filmmaker behind the Oscar winners "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Philadelphia," and the director of one of the most seminal concert films ever made, the Talking Heads' "Stop Making Sense." He was 73. 

CAROLYN KASTER

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 Steven Holcomb

Steven Holcomb
May 6

The longtime U.S. bobsledding star who drove to three Olympic medals after beating a disease that nearly robbed him of his eyesight. He was 37.  

Hans Pennink

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Obit Powers Boothe

Powers Boothe
May 14

The character actor was known for his villain roles in TV's "Deadwood," and in the movies "Tombstone," ''Sin City" and "The Avengers."  He was 68.

Read more here.

Todd Williamson

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Obit Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell
May 18

The rocker gained fame as the lead singer of Soundgarden and later Audioslave. He was 52. 

Read more here.

Nam Y. Huh

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Roger Moore
May 23

The suavely insouciant star of seven James Bond films. He was 89. 

AP

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Greg Allman

Greg Allman
May 27

His bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel The Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock. He was 69. 

Charles Sykes

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Obit Glenne Headly

Glenne Headly
June 8

Known for her performances in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," "Mr. Holland's Opus"  and "Dick Tracy," she also starred in the TV mini series "Lonesome Dove" and had recurring roles on "ER" and "Monk." She was 62. 

Chris Pizzello

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YE Deaths 2017

Adam West
June 9

His straight-faced portrayal of Batman in a 1960s TV series lifted the tight-clad Caped Crusader into the national consciousness. He was  88. 

Read more here

Lennox Mclendon

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John G. Avildsen
June 16

The Oscar-winning director of “Rocky” and “The Karate Kid” — two dark-horse, underdog favorites that went on to become Hollywood franchises—died at age 81.

AP photo file

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Prodigy
June 20

The rapper,  half of the New York hip-hop duo Mobb Deep. The duo's hits included “Quiet Storm” with Lil Kim, “Shook Ones (Part II)” and “Hey Luv (Anything).” He was 42.

Mark Lennihan, AP

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Michael Nyqvist
June 27

The Swedish actor starred in the original "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" films and often played villains in Hollywood movies like "John Wick."  He was 56. 

Read more .

Arthur Mola

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Nelsan Ellis

Nelsan Ellis
July 8

The actor was best known for playing the character of Lafayette Reynolds on "True Blood." He was 39.

Matt Sayles

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Martin Landau
July 15

The chameleon-like actor who gained fame as the crafty master of disguise in the 1960s TV show "Mission: Impossible," then capped a long and versatile career with an Oscar for his poignant portrayal of aging horror movie star Bela Lugosi in 1994's "Ed Wood." He was 89.  

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George Romero
July 16

His classic "Night of the Living Dead" and other horror films turned zombie movies into social commentaries and he saw his flesh-devouring undead spawn countless imitators, remakes and homages. He was 77.

Amy Sancetta

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Chester Bennington

Chester Bennington
July 20

The Linkin Park singer  sold millions of albums with a unique mix of hard rock, hip-hop and rap. He was 41. 

Read more here.

Owen Sweeney

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John Heard

John Heard
July 22

Best known for playing the father in the "Home Alone" movie series, he also earned an Emmy nomination for a guest role as a corrupt police detective in "The Sopranos." He was 72.

BRIAN KERSEY

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Sam Shepard

Sam Shepard
July 27

A Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Oscar-nominated actor and celebrated author, Shepard's plays chronicled the explosive fault lines of family and masculinity in the American West. He was 73. 

Charles Sykes

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Dick Gregory

Dick Gregory
Aug. 19

He broke racial barriers in the 1960s and used his humor to spread messages of social justice and nutritional health. He was 84. 

Matt Sayles

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Jay Thomas

Jay Thomas
Aug. 24

The radio talk show host and actor had recurring roles on the sitcoms "Murphy Brown" and "Cheers." He was 69.

Read more here.

Nick Ut

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Walter Becker

Walter Becker
Sept. 3

The guitarist and bassist was the co-founder of the rock group Steely Dan, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. He was 67. 

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Don Williams
Sept. 8

The award-winning country singer, nicknamed "the Gentle Giant"  was known for hits including "I Believe in You," ''Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good," ''You're My Best Friend," ''Some Broken Hearts Never Mend," ''Till the Rivers All Run Dry" and "Back in My Younger Days."

Mark Humphrey

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Troy Gentry
Sept. 8

As one half of Montgomery Gentry, he helped the country music duo become a successful act in the genre, launching countless hits, winning multiple awards and reaching platinum status throughout the 2000s. He was 50. 

Read more here.

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Frank Vincent

Frank Vincent
Sept. 13

Popular for his role as Leotardo, the ruthless New York mob boss who frequently clashed with Tony Soprano on the popular HBO drama, "The Sopranos" Vincent also portrayed gangsters for director Martin Scorsese, appearing in “Raging Bull,” ″Goodfellas”  and “Casino.”

Wilfredo Lee

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Jerry Lewis
Aug. 20

The manic, rubber-faced showman jumped and hollered to fame in a lucrative partnership with Dean Martin, before settling down to become a self-conscious screen auteur, and finding an even greater following as the tireless, teary host of the annual muscular dystrophy telethons.  He was 91.

Read more here.

Frank Filan

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Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner
Sept. 27 

The pipe-smoking hedonist founder of Playboy, he revved up the sexual revolution in the 1950s and built a multimedia empire of clubs, mansions, movies and television, symbolized by bow-tied women in bunny costumes.

Read more here.

Jae C. Hong

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Tom Petty

Tom Petty
Oct. 2

A singer and guitarist who burst onto the scene in 1970s as one of the most original, searching voices in rock, he remained a major hitmaker for four decades, writing songs including “Free Fallin’,” “I Won’t Back Down” and “American Girl.” He was 66.

Read more here.

Amy Harris

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Ralphie May

Ralphie May
Oct. 6

The Tennessee native who was raised in Arkansas, parlayed a second-place finish on TV’s “Last Comic Standing” in 2003 into TV and club appearances,  and was named casino comedian of the year at the Global Gaming Expo days before his death. He was 45. 

John Davisson/Invision/Ap, file

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Robert Guillaume

Robert Guillaume
Oct. 24

He became the first African-American to sing the title role of "Phantom of the Opera," in a Los Angeles-based production, and was the voice of Rafiki in the film version of "The Lion King." He won an Emmy Awards for his portrayal of the sharp-tongued butler in the TV sitcoms "Soap" and "Benson." He was 89. 

Read more here.

Chris Martinez

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Fats Domino

Fats Domino
Oct. 24 

The amiable rock ‘n’ roll pioneer whose steady, pounding piano and easy baritone helped change popular music even as it honored the grand, good-humored tradition of the Crescent City.  He sold more than 110 million records, and his 22 million-selling singles included “Blueberry Hill,” ″Ain’t It a Shame” and other rock ‘n’ roll standards. He was 89. 

Doug Parker

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Roy Halladay

Roy Halladay
Nov. 7

A two-time Cy Young Award winner who pitched a perfect game and a playoff no-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies.  He died when his plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. He was 40. 

Read more here.

Chris Szagola

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RNS-DEATHROW-CHAPLAIN

Charles Manson
Nov. 19

The hippie cult leader who became the hypnotic-eyed face of evil across America after orchestrating the gruesome murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles during the summer of 1969.  He was 83. 

© STR New / Reuters

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Jana Novotna

Jana Novotna
Nov. 19

The three-time Olympic medalist and tennis Hall of Famer won the hearts of the tennis world by sobbing on the shoulder of a member of the British royal family after a tough loss in the Wimbledon final. She had a professional career spanning 14 years, winning her only Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon in 1998.  She was 49.

CAMAY SUNGU

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David Cassidy

David Cassidy
Nov. 21

The teen and pre-teen idol who starred in the 1970s sitcom "The Partridge Family" and sold millions of records as the musical group's lead singer.  He was 67. 

Dan Steinberg

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Jim Nabors

Jim Nabors
Nov. 30

Nabors became an instant success when he joined "The Andy Griffith Show" in the early 1960s. The character of Gomer Pyle, the unworldly, lovable gas pumper who would exclaim "Gollllll-ly!" proved so popular that in 1964 CBS starred him in "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C," a spinoff that lasted five seasons. 

Read more here.

Darron Cummings

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