Celebrity Deaths in 2018: Stars We’ve Lost

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Hollywood lost some of its greats this year. Scroll down to see Us Weekly’s tribute to the celebrities who died in 2018.

 

Charlotte Rae

The acting veteran, who played Mrs. Garrett on Diff’rent Strokes and Facts of Life, died on August 5 after battling cancer. She was 92. “I love life. I’ve had a wonderful one already,” she said in a statement in April 2017, revealing that she had bone cancer, seven years after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. “I’ve had a great life, but I have so many wonderful things happening. I’d like to choose life. I’m grateful for the life I’ve already had.” Her former costars Kim Fields and Mindy Cohn paid tribute to the Emmy and Tony nominee, with Cohn writing on Instagram, “She was my champion, a teacher, a proud example of the tenacity and perseverance needed to live as a creative, along with your talent and gifts. I love you char.”

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Nicholas “Duffy” Fudge

Us Weekly confirmed on July 23 that the Wicked Tuna star died at the age of 28. According to his obituary, he died “unexpectedly” on July 19. The National Geographic Channel series paid tribute to Fudge with a moment of silence on Twitter during a season 7 episode. Fudge is survived by his parents, Ronald and Judy, and his brother, Cody.

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Elmarie Wendel

The 3rd Rock From the Sun actress, who played Mrs. Mamie Dubcek, died at the age of 89 on July 21. “#ripelmariewendel you were a great mom and a badass dame,” her daughter J.C. Wendel wrote on Instagram, sharing a throwback photo of her mom with the sitcom’s cast, including John Lithgow and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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Annabelle Neilson

Us Weekly confirmed on July 16 that the Ladies of London star died at 49 years old. The London Metropolitan Police told Us that officers were called to Neilson’s address four days earlier after a woman had been “found deceased at the location.” The police added that her death is not being treated as suspicious.

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Ray Emery

The former NHL goaltender died by drowning on July 15 in Hamilton, Ontario. The 35-year-old’s body was recovered approximately 70 feet from where he was last seen. “At this time, we do not believe there to be any suspicious or foul play. We do believe this is a case of misadventure,” Inspector Marty Schulenberg of the Hamilton Police Service told reporters at the time. “Mr. Emery had gone for a swim and did not surface after he dove in the water.”

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Billy Knight

The former UCLA basketball player died at age 39 on July 8. His body was found on a roadway in Phoenix hours after he posted a YouTube video in which he said, “I’m lost in life, and I feel like there’s no hope. I have no friends with me here. I have no wife, girlfriend. I have nothing, and I just feel like I can’t continue on.” Knight had been arrested less than a month before his death and charged with six felonies for allegedly sexually abusing a child.

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Tyler Honeycutt

The former NBA player died at the age of 27 of an apparent suicide following a standoff with police on July 6. Honeycutt’s mother reportedly called authorities saying that her son was acting erratically before he barricaded himself in his Sherman Oaks home, exchanging gunfire with officers. Hours later SWAT officers entered the home and found the former UCLA Bruins player dead at the scene of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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Richard Swift

Black Keys’ touring bassist, Richard Swift, died at age 41 on Tuesday, July 3, one month after revealing that he’d been hospitalized due to a “life-threatening condition.”

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Smoke Dawg

The Canadian rapper reportedly died on June 30 after being shot dead in Toronto. He was 21. According to local reports, the shooting took place just before 8 p.m. in the entertainment district outside Cube nightclub. Drake posted a heartfelt tribute to Smoke Dawg, who opened for him on his 2017 Boy Meets World European tour. “All these gifts and blessed souls and inner lights being extinguished lately is devastating,” the “God’s Plan” singer wrote on Instagram. “I wish peace would wash over our city. So much talent and so many stories we never get to see play out. Rest up Smoke.”

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Joe Jackson

The father of Janet Jackson and the late Michael Jackson died on June 27 after a battle with cancer, a source confirmed to Us Weekly. He was 89 years old. Us confirmed that Joe had been hospitalized in the final stages of terminal cancer. News of Joe’s death comes just two days after the ninth anniversary of Michael’s death. 

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Richard “Old Man” Harrison

Richard Harrison, who earned the nickname “The Old Man” on Pawn Stars, passed away on Monday, June 25, at the age of 77. “He will be tremendously missed by our family, the team at Gold & Silver Pawn and his many fans the world over. He was my hero and I was fortunate to get a very cool ‘Old Man’ as my dad,” his son Rick Harrison said in a statement to Us. The father and son duo opened the pawn shop together in 1989 and starred on The History Channel show since 2009.

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Vinnie Paul

The drummer for metal bands Pantera, HELLYEAH and Damageplan died at age 54. “Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away,” Pantera tweeted on June 23. “Paul is best known for his work as the drummer in the bands Pantera and Hellyeah. No further details are available at this time. The family requests you please respect their privacy during this time.”

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Charles Krauthammer

Fox News contributor and Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Krauthammer died on June 21 after a battle with cancer at 68 years old. The network confirmed his death nearly two weeks after he revealed in an emotional letter that his cancer had returned and he had just “weeks” to live.  He is survived by his wife, Robyn, and their adult son, Daniel.


Big Van Vader

The WWE legend (real name Leon White) died at age 63 on June 18 after a two-year battle with congestive heart failure. His son, Jake Carter, announced the news “with a heavy heart” on Twitter: “Around a month ago my father was diagnosed with a severe case of pneumonia. He fought extremely hard and clinically was making progress. Unfortunately, on Monday night his heart had enough and it was his time.”

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XXXTentacion

The rapper (real name Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy) died on June 18 after being shot while shopping for motorcycles in South Florida. TMZ reported that the 20-year-old was leaving a dealership when he was shot at in a “possible drive-by.” XXXTentacion had barely left his house over the past few months, according to the Miami New Times, as he was on modified house arrest while awaiting trial for a number of criminal charges including domestic battery strangulation, false imprisonment and aggravated battery of his pregnant girlfriend. Stars including Kanye West and Travis Barker paid tribute to the rapper, with West tweeting, “I never told you how much you inspired me when you were here thank you for existing.”

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Jackson Odell

The former teen actor and songwriter, best known for guest roles on TV shows including The Goldbergs, iCarly and Modern Family and the film Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer, died on June 8, at the age of 20. He was found unresponsive at a sober living house in California, sources tell Us Weekly. Odell also wrote several tunes for the soundtrack of the 2018 country music-themed film Forever Your Girl, including the Lauren Alaina song “Wings of an Angel.” “The Odell family has lost our beloved son and brother, Jackson Odell,” the family said in a statement to TMZ. “He will always be a shining light and a brilliant, loving and talented soul. He had so much more to share. Our family will always carry that truth forward. Our wish is that the rest of the world does as well. We are now going to try to make sense of our immeasurable loss privately.”

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Anthony Bourdain

The celebrity chef died of an apparent suicide in France at the age of 61. “It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” CNN said in a statement on June 8. “His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time.”

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Alan O’Neill

Sons of Anarchy star Alan O’Neill died at age 47 on Wednesday, June 6, in L.A. The late Irish-born actor was found by his girlfriend in the hallway of her apartment, according to TMZ.

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Kate Spade

The 55-year-old designer was found dead of an apparent suicide in her New York apartment on June 5.

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Blake Painter

The Deadliest Catch alum died in Oregon in May. He was 38 years old. Painter was best known for his role during the second and third season of the Discovery Channel show. He voluntarily quit following season 3 in 2007.


Margot Kidder

The actress who was perhaps best known for her role as Lois Lane in 1978’s Superman, opposite Christopher Reeve, died May 13 in Montana, according to TMZ. The cause of death is unknown. She was 69 years old.

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Scott Hutchison

The Frightened Rabbit lead singer was found dead at age 36 near South Queensferry, Scotland, on May 10, one day after being reported missing. In a statement posted on Twitter, his bandmates said, “He will be missed by all of us and his absence will always be felt but he leaves a legacy of hope, kindness and color that will forever be remembered and shared.” Hutchison’s family said in a separate statement to CNN that he had battled depression for years.

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Pamela Gidley

Pamela Gidley, best known for her role as Teresa Banks in the 1992 Twin Peaks’ prequel, Fire Walk with Me, died on April 16, in her home in Seabrook, New Hampshire. She was 52.

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Verne Troyer

The Austin Powers star died on April 21 at the age of 49. “Verne was an extremely caring individual,” his spokesman said in a statement to Us. “He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to any extent possible. Verne hoped he made a positive change with the platform he had and worked towards spreading that message everyday.” Troyer, who had been to rehab for alcohol addiction, was hospitalized at the beginning of April after a friend reportedly called police to say that the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone star was upset, drunk and suicidal.

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Avicii

Swedish DJ and producer Avicii, whose real name was Tim Bergling, died on April 20 at age 28. The Grammy-nominated artist was found dead in Muscat, Oman, his rep confirmed in a statement. “The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time. No further statements will be given,” the rep said. Avicii, who gained acclaim with his hit “Wake Me Up,” retired in 2016 due to health issues, including acute pancreatitis.

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Barbara Bush

“A former First Lady of the United States of America and relentless proponent of family literacy, Barbara Pierce Bush passed away Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at the age of 92,” her husband George H. W. Bush‘s office said in a statement. “She is survived by her husband of 73 years, President George H. W. Bush, five children and their spouses; 17 grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; and her brother, Scott Pierce. She was preceded in death by her second child, Pauline Robinson “Robin” Bush, and her siblings Martha Rafferty and James R. Pierce. The official funeral schedule will be announced as soon as is practical.” Days earlier, it was announced that she would no longer be seeking medical treatment for her ailing health.

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Brian Lancaster

The former star of MTV’s Road Rules died at age 43 in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, on March 29. His family told TMZ that they believe the cause of death was heart failure as Lancaster had a history of arrhythmia.


Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

The South African anti-apartheid activist and former wife of Nelson Mandela died on April 2 at age 81. She was hospitalized earlier after complaining of the flu. A family spokesperson told Us, “The Mandela family are deeply grateful for the gift of her life, and even as our hearts break at her passing, we urge all those who loved her to celebrate this most remarkable woman.”

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DuShon Monique Brown

The Chicago Fire actress died on March 23 at the age of 49. The Prison Break alum, who played Connie in the NBC series, had checked herself into a hospital earlier in the week after experiencing chest pains but was released shortly afterward, according to TMZ. “The Chicago Fire family is devastated to lose one of its own,” executive producer Dick Wolf said in a statement to the Chicago Tribune. “Our thoughts and prayers are with DuShon’s family and we all miss her.”

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Stephen Hawking

Famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking died on Wednesday, March 14, at age 76. “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years,” his children Lucy, Robert and Tim told the Associated Press in a statement. “His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humor inspired people across the world.”

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Craig Mack

The former rapper, who found fame on Diddy’s Bad Boy Records, died on March 12 at the age of 46. He was best known for his 1994 single “Flava in Ya Ear,” which was famously remixed by Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes and Rampage. Mack later left the music industry to become a minister at a church in South Carolina.

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David Ogden Stiers

The actor, who played M*A*S*H‘s Major Charles Emerson Winchester III died on March 3 at the age of 75 after battling bladder cancer. Stiers scored two Emmy nominations for his role in the Korean War series after joining the show in 1977 when Larry Linville, who played Frank Burns, left the series. He remained with the show until it ended in 1983. He also starred in series including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Charlie’s Angels, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Frasier, and voiced characters in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Lilo & Stitch.

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Ensa Cosby

Bill Cosby’s daughter died from renal disease at the age of 44 on February 23. She had been a steadfast supporter of the Cosby Show alum after he was accused of sexual misconduct by more than 60 women. “The Cosby family thanks many people for their prayers for their beloved and beautiful Ensa,” Bill’s spokesperson Andrew Wyatt said in a statement to Us.

 

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Emma Chambers

The Notting Hill and Vicar of Dibley star died on February 21 at the age of 53. “We are very sad to announce the untimely death, from natural causes, of the acclaimed actress Emma Chambers,” her agent John Grant said in a statement. “Over the years, Emma created a wealth of characters and an immense body of work. She brought laughter and joy to many and will be greatly missed.” Hugh Grant, who played her brother in 1999’s Notting Hill, paid tribute to his costar, tweeting, “Emma Chambers was a hilarious and very warm person and of course a brilliant actress. Very sad news.”

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Daryle Singletary

The country singer died on February 12 at his home in Lebanon, Tennessee. The “Amen Kind of Love” crooner was just 46. A cause of death wasn’t immediately known.

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John Mahoney

The Frasier star died on February 4 at the age of 77 while in hospice care in Chicago. He was best known for his role as Kelsey Grammer’s father, Martin Crane, on the NBC sitcom for 11 seasons from 1993 to 2004. He was nominated for two Golden Globes and two Emmy Awards for his role.

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Reg E. Cathey

The House of Cards actor died on February 9 at age 59. TMZ reported that the actor had been battling lung cancer and died in his home in New York surrounded by loved ones. The Emmy winner was also known for his roles on The Wire and in movies including The Mask, Fantastic Four and S.W.A.T.

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Mark Salling

The Glee alum died at age 35 on January 30. The LAPD confirmed to Us that he died from an apparent suicide just three months after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography. He faced up to seven years in jail.

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Joel Taylor

The Storm Chasers alum died at the age of 38 on January 23 while aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “We are so saddened to hear about Joel’s passing. We will always remember him fondly as an incredible meteorologist and driver of ‘The Dominator,’” Discovery Channel said in a statement to Us. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time.” A cause of death was not immediately revealed.

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Mark E. Smith

The lead singer of the English post-punk band The Fall, Mark E. Smith, died on January 24. He was 60. The Fall’s manager Pam Van Damned released a statement to announce Smith’s passing via Cherry Red Records: “It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Mark E. Smith. He passed this morning at home. A more detailed statement will follow in the next few days. In the meantime, Pam & Mark’s family request privacy at this sad time.” He is survived by wife Elenor Smith.

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Dolores O’Riordan

Dolores O’Riordan’s publicist confirmed on January 15 that The Cranberries singer died in London. She was 46. “The lead singer with the Irish band The Cranberries was in London for a short recording session,” O’Riordan’s publicist said in a statement to BBC at the time. “No further details are available at this time. Family members are devastated to hear the breaking news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.” The late singer rose to fame as the lead singer of The Cranberries in the ‘90s, providing distinctive vocal work to the band’s greatest hits, including “Zombie” and “Linger.” O’Riordan is survived by her three children: 20-year-old son Taylor, 16-year-old daughter Molly and 12-year-old daughter Dakota.

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Bobby Zarin

Real Housewives of New York City star Jill Zarin‘s husband died at the age of 71 on January 13 after a long battle with cancer. “With the heaviest of hearts, we are devastated to share the news that our beloved Bobby Zarin passed away peacefully today surrounded by family after a courageous battle with cancer,” the family said in a statement on Jill’s website. “There are no words to describe how heartbroken we are. Thank you, everyone, for all your love and support during this difficult time.” Bobby, the owner of Zarin Fabrics, beat thyroid cancer in 2009 but it returned in 2013 and spread to his lungs. In November 2016, Jill revealed that the cancer had spread to his brain. He is survived by Jill, his three children from a previous relationship — Jonathan, David and Jennifer — and stepdaughter Ally.

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“Fast” Eddie Clarke

The former Motörhead guitarist died at the age of 67 on January 10. The English rock band wrote in a statement on Facebook that Clarke “passed peacefully in [the] hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia.” He was the last surviving member of the group’s classic trio, with drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor and vocalist Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister both dying in late 2015.

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Jerry Van Dyke

The Emmy-winning actor and comedian, who was also the younger brother of actor Dick Van Dyke, died at his Arkansas ranch on January 5. He was 86. His wife Shirley Ann Jones confirmed to CNN that he passed due to heart failure after never really recovering from a “horrible car accident” two and a half years prior in which he was “injured very badly.” Van Dyke received critical acclaim for his role on the long-running ABC sitcom Coach.

 

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Jon Paul Steuer

The child actor and talented musician, also known as Jonny P. Jewels, died on New Year’s Day at age 33. His group members in the band P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S confirmed the news with a Facebook post on Wednesday, January 3. “It is with heavy hearts and saddened minds that we announce the passing of our dear friend and singer Jonny Jewels, AKA Jon Paul Steuer,” the group wrote in their tribute. “The addition of Jonny to our dysfunctional band family was one of the best choices that we have ever made, and he brought a much needed sense of fun and lightheartedness to everything we did.”

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