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Who We Said Good-Bye To In 2017

Who We Said Good-Bye To In 2017

As we move forward into 2018 we say good-bye and remember those who made an impact on our lives. In 2017 we lost:

Martha Swope, 88, a photographer specializing in theatre, and chronicled more than 800 productions. She earned a the Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre in 2004 and was granted a lifetime achievement award from the League of Professional Theatre Women in 2007. Died Jan 12th.

Dick Gautier, 85, who earned a Tony nomination for creating the iconic role of the draft-bound Elvis Presley-like rock ’n’ roller Conrad Birdie in the musical Bye Bye Birdie. Gautier went on to TV, Gautier and was best known for playing Hymie the robot in the Mel Brooks/Buck Henry spy-parody series Get Smart. He also lent his voice to a variety of cartoon roles in Transformers, G.I. Joe, Duck Tales, and Cow and Chicken. Died Jan 13th.

Gene Cernan, 82, the last astronaut to walk on the moon who returned to Earth with a message of “peace and hope for all mankind,” died on Jan 16th.

John Hurt, 77, the acclaimed prolific English actor of stage and screen whose credits included “Midnight Express,” “The Elephant Man” and “Alien,” died on Jan 25th.

Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore, 80, the pop culture icon who co-starred on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and became a torchbearer for women with “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” died on Jan 25th.

Bob Holiday, 84, originated the twin roles of Clark Kent and Superman in the 1966 musical It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman.  at 84. He made his Broadway debut as young law clerk Neil in the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1959 Jerry Bock-Sheldon Harnick musical Fiorello!. Died Jan 27th.

“Professor” Irwin Corey, 102, a comedian and actor who often billed as “The World’s Foremost Authority.” He made seven Broadway appearances, debuting in Leonard Sillman’s New Faces of 1943 and Flahooley. He played Marlo Thomas’ father in Herb Gardner’s Thieves, and made his final Broadway appearance as the Court Clerk in the 2004 revival of Sly Fox. Died Feb 6th.

Richard Hatch, 71, star of the original science fiction cult series “Battlestar Galactica” and its Syfy remake, died on Feb 7th.

Barbara Carroll, 92, acclaimed jazz pianist, singer, and composer, who held court at the Hotel Carlyle’s Bemelmans Bar for 25 years. She had a single Broadway credit, appearing in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 1953 backstage musical Me and Juliet in the role of Chris, the rehearsal pianist. Died Feb 12th.

Bill Paxton, 61, the everyman character actor who appeared in 1990s blockbusters like “Apollo 13,” “Twister” and “Titanic,” died on Feb 25th.

Joseph Wapner, 97, who presided over “The People’s Court” and became a beloved fixture on daytime television, died on Feb 26th.

Joni Sledge, 60, who with her sisters recorded the timeliness dance anthem “We Are Family,” died on March 10th.

Chuck Berry, 90, the groundbreaking blues singer who was often referred to as the “poet laureate” and “father” of rock ‘n’ roll, died on March 18th.

Chuck Barris, 87, king of a game show empire that included “The Dating Game,” “The Newlywed Game” and “The Gong Show,” died on March 21st.

Sheila Bond, 90, who won the Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance as Fay Fromkin in the 1952 Harold Rome musical Wish You Were Here. Her other Broadway appearances include Artists and Models, Street Scene, Make Mine Manhattan, The Live Wire, and as a replacement for Gwen Verdon in Damn Yankees. She also had several screen credits, including The Marrying Kind, and a cameo in Woody Allen’s 1984 comedy Broadway Danny Rose. Died March 25th.

David Storey, 83, a Tony-nominated playwright who had two of his plays adapted to Broadway, Home and The Changing Room. Died March 27th.

Don Rickles, 90, the venerated comedian whose acid-tongued insults and cantankerous persona delighted audiences for generations, died on April 6th.

Tim Pigott-Smith, 70, earned a Tony Award nomination in 2016 for his performance in the title role of King Charles III. He had been scheduled to headline a touring production of Death of a Salesman alongside his wife, Pamela Miles, starting April 10. Pigott-Smith was perhaps best known for his role as Ronald Merrick in the 1984 TV series The Jewel in the Crown. Additional screen credits include 1971’s Doctor Who, V for Vendetta, and Alice in Wonderland. Died April 7th.

Linda Hopkins, 92, made her mark on Broadway embodying an earlier jazz giant, Bessie Smith, in the 1974 musical Me and Bessie. She also appeared in Broadway musicals Purlie, Inner City, but earned her the 1972 Tony Award and Drama Desk Award as Best Featured Actress in a Musical—and Black and Blue. Died April 10th.

Erin Moran, 56, the actress who played sweet-natured Joanie Cunningham on the hit TV sitcom “Happy Days,” died on April 22nd.

William M. Hoffman, 78, the playwright and librettist,  won a Drama Desk Award and Tony nomination for his 1985 play As Is, one of the first dramas to depict the early days of the AIDS crisis. His numerous Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and regional plays prior to his breakout work included A Book of Etiquette, Children’s Crusade, and Luna. He wrote scripts for the ABC soap opera One Life to Live, for which he received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination in 1992 and won a Writers Guild of America Award in 1993. Died Apri 29th.

Edwin Sherin, 87, directed The Great White Hope, which earned him a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director. He subsequently directed An Evening with Richard Nixon and…, 6 Rms Riv Vu, Find Your Way Home (which earned him a Tony nomination), Of Mice and Men, Sweet Bird of Youth, Rex, The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, Do You Turn Somersaults?, First Monday in October, Goodbye Fidel, The Visit, and, his final Broadway credit, 2004’s Prymate. Died May 4th.

Powers Boothe, 68, the Emmy-winning character actor admired as one of Hollywood’s most reliable villains, died on May 14th.

Dina Merrill, 93, appeared in more than 25 feature films, including the movie adaptation of the Broadway play The Desk Set. She also appeared on more than 100 television shows including The Nanny, The Love Boat, Hawaii Five-O, Murder, She Wrote, Batman (as “Calamity Jan”), and The Magnificent Ambersons. She made made three appearances on Broadway, in John Van Druten’s The Mermaids Singing, a revival of Angel Street and a revival of Rodgers & Hart’s On Your Toes. Died May 22nd.

Roger Moore, 89, the handsome English actor who epitomized the heartthrob swagger of James Bond in seven films over a dozen years, died on May 23rd.

Jim Bunning, 85, a former Hall of Fame pitcher who went on to serve in Congress died on May 26th.

Gregg Allman, 69, the legendary Southern rocker who belted out countless hits as frontman for The Allman Brothers Band, died on May 27th.

Glenne Headly, 62, the Emmy-nominated actress who appeared in “Dick Tracy” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” died on June 8th.

Adam West, 88, who defined the tights-wearing title role in the 1960s television version of “Batman,” died on June 9th.

A.R. Gurney Jr., 86, whose Love Letters, The Middle Ages, Scenes From American Life, and The Dining Room chronicled a slowly vanishing middle-class America. Gurney,  wrote nearly 50 full-length plays, four of which were produced on Broadway: Sylvia, Sweet Sue, Love Letters, and The Golden Age. Many were set in his native Buffalo, New York, including The Snow Ball, The Old Boy, Labor Day, The The Cocktail Hour, and The Dining Room, which was cited as a finalist for the 1985 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Died June 13th.

Danny Daniels, 92, dancer and choreographer who enjoyed a six-decade film, TV, and Broadway career. He created dances for Tammy Grimes in High Spirits, for Norman Wisdom in Walking Happy, for Liv Ullman in I Remember Mama, for Liza Minnelli in the film Stepping Out, and for Christopher Walken in the film Pennies From Heaven. He earned a Tony Award for Best Choreography for The Tap Dance Kid in 1984. Died July 7th.

Martin Landau, 89, the prolific actor who rose to fame on the 1960s television show “Mission: Impossible” and won an Oscar for his portrayal of horror movie icon Bela Lugosi in 1994’s “Ed Wood,” died on July 15th.

Chester Bennington, 41, the nu-metal singer of Linkin Park who blended rap, metal and electronic music, died on July 20th.

John Heard, 71, a familiar face from television and film best known for playing the dad in “Home Alone,” died on July 21st.

Sam Shepard

Sam Shepard

Sam Shepard, 73, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who became a movie star with his Oscar-nominated portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeagar in “The Right Stuff,” died on July 27th.

Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell, 81, the country crooner and guitarist whose sentimental ballads and catchy pop hits soothed America during the tumult of the 1960s and 70s, died on Aug 8th.

Barbara Cook

Barbara Cook In Candide

Barbara Cook, 89, created major roles in landmark musicals, including Cunegonde in Candide, Amalia Balash in She Loves Me and Marian the Librarian in The Music Man. She also starred in Plain and Fancy, Flahooley, and The Gay Life. Thanks to Wally Harper Cook reinvented herself as a cabaret and recording star in the 1970s, making appearances at clubs across the U.S., at Lincoln Center, and at Carnegie Hall. Late in life she also returned to Broadway in Mostly Sondheim, Barbara Cook’s Broadway!, and her final appearance, Sondheim on Sondheim in 2010, for which she earned a Tony nomination. She earned the 1958 Tony Award as Best Featured Actress in a Musical for The Music Man. Died Aug 8th.

Joseph Bologna, My Favorite Year

Joseph Bologna, My Favorite Year

Joseph Bologna, 82, the actor, writer, and director who appeared on Broadway in three of his own plays with his wife, actor Renée Taylor. The couple wrote and co-starred in plays that touched on the comedic side of romance and marriage. Their 1968 Lovers and Other Strangers was later adapted for the big screen in 1971, earning the couple an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. The pair also starred in their 1981 play, It Had to Be You, and in their autobiographical 2001 two-hander, If you ever leave me…I’m going with you!. On his own, Bologna is remembered for playing the blustering TV star King Kaiser in the film My Favorite Year. Died Aug 14th.

Stuart Thompson, 62, a six-time Tony-winning theatrical producer and manager who worked on more than 70 Broadway and West End productions. The Australian-born producer’s long list of projects includes Art, The Book of Mormon, Not About Nightingales, The Play What I Wrote, On Golden Pond, and the three longest running non-musical plays on Broadway of the last 25 years: The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, Proof (2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), and The Curious Incident of Dog in the Night-Time. Recent Broadway credits include Sweat (2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation, King Charles III, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Death of a Salesman, Jerusalem, The Motherf**ker With the Hat, God of Carnage, and Exit the King. Died Aug 17th.

Dick Gregory, 84, the barrier-breaking comedian who used humor to spread messages of social justice, died on Aug 19th.

Jerry Lewis, Jack Jones

Jerry Lewis, Jack Jones

Jerry Lewis, 91, the comedian, actor and filmmaker whose brand of soulful slapstick helped define 20th-century entertainment, died on Aug 20th.

Thomas Meehan, 88, three-time Tony-winning librettist of Annie, Hairspray (with Mark O’Donnell), and The Producers (with Mel Brooks). He co-write the scripts to I Remember Mama, Bombay Dreams, Young Frankenstein, Elf, and Chaplin, among other shows. His final Broadway credit was the book to the musical Rocky in 2014. Died Aug 21st.

Jay Thomas, 69, an actor best known for his roles on the beloved TV comedies “Cheers” and “Murphy Brown,” died on Aug 24th.

Bernard Pomerance, 76, author of The Elephant Man, the Tony Award-winning 1977 drama based on the life of 19th century Londoner Joseph Merrick, afflicted with a rare genetic condition that produced huge growths of flesh and bone on his body. The compelling drama received its Off-Broadway premiere in January 1979, starring Philip Anglim as Merrick. The production transferred to the Booth Theatre on Broadway in April 1979, and ran for 916 performances. The play enjoyed two more Broadway revivals in 2002 starring Billy Crudupand 2014 starring Bradley Cooper. Died Aug. 26th

Shelley Berman, 92, who starred in John Kander’s first Broadway musical, the short-lived A Family Affair.  He scored his greatest success in standup comedy, comedy records, movies, and on television, where he earned an Emmy nomination for playing Larry David’s father on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Died Sept. 1st.

Walter Becker, 67, the co-founder of the beloved, hugely popular jazz-rock band Steely Dan died Sept 3rd.

Michael Friedman, 41, the Obie-winning composer of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, a founding member of the theatre group The Civilians, held positions at the Public Theater and City Center’s Encores! Off-Center, where he had taken over as artistic director just a few months before his death. He recieved an Obie Award for sustained excellence in 2007. Died Sept. 9th.

Sir Peter Hall, 86, groundbreaking British director and theatre administrator. He founded Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company and spent the years 1973 to 1988 as director of the National Theatre in London. He brought across the Atlantic to Broadwaythe 1981 Tony Award-winning Best Play Amadeus by Peter Shaffer and the 1967 Broadway transfer of The Homecoming. Both productions earned Hall Tony Awards for Best Direction of a Play. Hall was nominated for seven other Tonys for a lifetime total of nine. Died Sept. 11th.

Frank Vincent, 80, the veteran character actor who frequently played tough guys in Mafia entertainment like “The Sopranos” and “Goodfellas,”  died Sept 13th.

Shirley Callaway, 84, singer, pianist, one of New York’s leading voice teachers. Mother to Tony-nominated Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callawa. She counted among her students Tovah Feldshuh, Boyd Gaines, and Cady Huffman. Died Sept. 14th.

Harry Dean Stanton, 91, the enigmatic, prolific and craggy-face character actor who starred in “Paris, Texas,” “Repo Man” and other cult favorites, died Sept 15th.

Jake LaMotta, 95, the former middleweight champion whose turbulent life was depicted in the classic Martin Scorsese drama “Raging Bull,” died Sept 19th.

Anne Jeffreys, 94, who stared in the TV series Topper when it was being scripted by a young Stephen Sondheim. She appeared in four Broadway shows, including the original run of Kiss Me, Kate where she replaced Patricia Morison as Lilli Vanessi/Katharine. Died Sept. 27th.

Hugh Hefner, 91, who built Playboy into a multimillion-dollar adult magazine and entertainment empire tied to a Lothario lifestyle of lavish parties and beautiful women  died Sept 27th.

Monty Hall, 96, who co-created and emceed the game show “Let’s Make a Deal,” died Sept 30th.

Tom Petty, 66, who with his band the Heartbreakers married ’60s-era folk rock with the Southern accents of his native Florida into the harder-edged 21st-century musical landscape, Oct 2nd.

Gerry Burkhardt, 71, a dancer who appeared in the original 1978 Broadway production of the musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and in its 1982 Broadway revival, and in its 1994 sequel, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public. Broadway credits include Her First Roman, the 1990 revival of Fiddler on the Roof, and the 1992 musical Crazy for You. His sole film credit was playing a dancing ghost in Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You. Died Oct. 3rd.

Y.A. Tittle, 90, the Hall of Game quarterback and 1963 NFL Most Valuable Player who was affectionately known as “The Bald Eagle,” Oct 8th.

Richard Wilbur, 96, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, translator, and lyricist. His Broadway credits as a translator include a number of French classics by Molière: Tartuffe, The Misanthrope, The School for Wives, The School for Husbands, and The Imaginary Cuckold. He is best known for co-writing the lyrics for the musical Candide with Dorothy Parker and John La Touche. Wilbur won two Pulitzer Prizes. Died on October 14th.

Roy Dotrice, 94, the veteran British actor of stage and screen who appeared in the Oscar-winning film “Amadeus” and the hit series “Game of Thrones,” died Oct 16th.

Fats Domino, 89, the piano-playing prodigy with lightning-fast fingers whose pioneering sound blended rock with rhythm and blues, died Oct 24th.

Robert Guillaume, 89, the first African-American Actor to play the title role in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical The Phantom of the Opera, in the Los Angeles production. Guillaume is best known as the title star of ABC’s Benson (1979–1986), which earned him an Emmy Award and three Golden Globe nominations. He supplied the voice for Rafiki the mandrill in the animated film musical The Lion King, and won a Grammy for the audiobook version of the same story. Guillaume, a Tony Award nominee for a 1977 revival of Guys and Dolls, performed on Broadway numerous times throughout his long career. His stage credits included Finian’s Rainbow, Purlie, and Cyrano The Musical. Died Oct 24th.

Dick Gordon, 88, the NASA astronaut who in 1969 became one of only two dozen people ever to have flown to the moon, died Nov 6th.

John Hillerman, 84, the actor best known for his role as Higgins on the television series “Magnum, P.I.” and who also appeared in iconic 1970s films like “Blazing Saddles” and “Chinatown,” died Nov 9th.

Liz Smith, 94, the famed gossip columnist known as the “Dame of Dish” who became a must-read for those who wanted to know about the glamour of the A-list, died Nov 12th.

Ann Wedgeworth, 83,  Tony Award for her performance in Neil Simon’s 1977 comedy Chapter Two. Her Broadway credits included Tennessee Williams’ Period of Adjustment (1960), James Baldwin’s Blues for Mister Charlie (1964), Saul Bellow’s The Last Analysis (1964), and Herb Gardner’s Thieves (1974). Her film roles included Aunt Fern in Steel Magnolias and Dallas Angel in Citizens Band (National Society of Film Critics Awards prize for Best Supporting Actress). Died Nov 16th.

Earle Hyman, 91, a Tony Award-nominated actor for The Lady from Dubuque and a driving force in the history of black theatre in America. 16 Broadway credits, including playing James Tyrone in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night. Best known for his role as comedian Bill Cosby’s father on the long-running TV series The Cosby Show, for which he earned an Emmy nomination. Died November 17th.

Della Reese, 86, who pivoted from pop and jazz stardom in the 1950s and 1960s to a career as a popular actress on TV’s “Touched by an Angel,”died Nov 19th.

David Cassidy

David Cassidy

David Cassidy, 67, the teen heartthrob who soared to fame as the embodiment of 1970s youth in his role on “The Partridge Family,” died Nov 21st.

Heather North, 71, supplied the voice of Daphne on the animated TV series Scooby-Doo. She co-starred as Sandy Horton on the TV soap opera The Days of Our Lives, and appeared on Broadway in the 1967 play The Girl in the Freudian Slip. Died Nov 30th.

Steve Elmore, 84, He originated the role of Paul in the 1970 Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical Company and the original Dames at Sea. Elmore’s three-decade career also included musicals with Carol Burnett, Mary Martin, and Bernadette Peters. Died Dec 5th.

Heather Menzies-Urich, 68, best known for portraying Louisa von Trapp in the 1965 film “The Sound of Music,”died Dec 24th.

Rose Marie, 94, the actress who played the sharp-tongued Sally Rogers on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and show business veteran who worked for nearly a century across mediums, died Dec 28th.

 

Cabaret

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. Currently she has a screenplay in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She was the Broadway Informer on the all access cable TV Show “The New Yorkers,” soon to be “The Tourist Channel.” email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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