Final goodbyes

Among the entertainers who died this year was a children’s author whose books were enjoyed by millions around the world. Beverly Cleary, who died in March, channeled memories from her youth in Oregon to created beloved characters such as Ramona Quimby, her sister Beatrice “Beezus” Quimby and Henry Huggins. Here’s a look at some of the artists and entertainers we lost this year.

Jessica Walter, 80. Her roles as a scheming matriarch in TV’s “Arrested Development” and a stalker in “Play Misty for Me” were in line with a career that drew on her astringent screen presence. March 24.

Beverly Cleary, 104. The celebrated children’s author whose memories of her Oregon childhood were shared with millions through the likes of Ramona and Beezus Quimby and Henry Huggins. March 25.

DMX, 50. The iconic hip-hop artist behind the songs “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” and “Party Up (Up in Here)” whose distinctively gruff voice and thoughtful messages in his rhymes made him one of rap’s biggest stars. April 9.

Jim Steinman, 73. The Grammy-winning composer who wrote Meat Loaf’s best-selling “Bat Out Of Hell” debut album as well as hits for Celine Dion, Air Supply and Bonnie Tyler. April 19. Kidney failure.

Lloyd Price, 88. The singer-songwriter was an early rock ‘n’ roll star and enduring maverick whose hits included such up-tempo favorites as “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” “Personality” and the semi-forbidden “Stagger Lee.” May 3.

Ned Beatty, 83. The Oscar-nominated character actor who in half a century of American movies, including “Deliverance,” “Network” and “Superman,” was a booming, indelible presence in even the smallest parts. June 13.

Biz Markie, 57. A hip-hop staple known for his beatboxing prowess, turntable mastery and the 1989 classic “Just a Friend.” July 16.

Floyd Cooper, 65. An award-winning illustrator and author of children’s books whose mission to offer candid and positive images of Black history included subjects ranging from Frederick Douglass to Venus and Serena Williams. July 16.

Dusty Hill, 72. The long-bearded bassist for the Texas blues rock trio ZZ Top. July 28.

Ron Popeil, 86. The quintessential TV pitchman and inventor known to generations of viewers for hawking products including the Veg-O-Matic, the Pocket Fisherman, Mr. Microphone and the Showtime Rotisserie and BBQ. July 28.

Don Everly, 84. He was one-half of the pioneering Everly Brothers whose harmonizing country rock hits affected a generation of rock ‘n’ roll music. Aug. 21.

Ed Asner, 91. The burly and prolific character actor who became a star in middle age as the gruff but lovable newsman Lou Grant, first in the hit comedy “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and later in the drama “Lou Grant.” Aug. 29.

Willard Scott, 87. The beloved weatherman who charmed viewers of NBC’s “Today” show with his self-deprecating humor and cheerful personality. Sept. 4.

Stephen Sondheim, 91. The songwriter who reshaped the American musical theater in the second half of the 20th century with his intelligent, intricately rhymed lyrics, his use of evocative melodies and his willingness to tackle unusual subjects. Nov. 26.

Michael Nesmith, 78. The singer-songwriter, author, actor-director and entrepreneur who will likely be best remembered as the wool-hatted, guitar-strumming member of the made-for-television rock band The Monkees. Dec. 10.

Anne Rice, 80. The novelist whose lush, best-selling gothic tales, including “Interview With the Vampire,” reinvented the blood-drinking immortals as tragic antiheroes. Dec. 11.

Sally Ann Howes, 91. She was a child actor before she later starred in the 1968 film “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” with Dick Van Dyke. Dec. 19.

By The Associated Press

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