2017 celebrity deaths: Remembering David Cassidy, Della Reese, Mel Tillis, John Hillerman and more

Throughout 2017 Gold Derby has been featuring many of the celebrity deaths in our special “In Memoriam” photo gallery (view it above). As we approach the final weeks of the year, we wanted to take a moment to remember the lives of recently departed celebrities like “The Partridge Family” star David Cassidy, “Touched by an Angel” Emmy nominee Della Reese, singer/songwriter Mel Tillis and “Magnum, P.I.” Emmy winner John Hillerman. Other notable recent deaths include Fats Domino, Robert Guillaume, Tom Petty and Monty Hall.

Singer and actor David Cassidy died on November 21 at age 67. He played one of the members of the musical “The Partridge Family” for ABC 1970 to 1974. He received an Emmy nomination for his guest role on an episode of “Police Story.”

Singer and actress Della Reese died on November 19 at age 86. She began her pop, jazz and gospel musical career in 1959. Regular series acting roles included “Chico and the Man,” “The Royal Family” and “Touched by an Angel.”

Singer and songwriter Mel Tillis died on November 19 at age 85. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and received the National Medal of Arts in 2012. He was also an actor who appeared in films with Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood.

John Hillerman died on November 9 at age 84. He was nominated four times at the Emmy Awards for “Magnum, P.I.” and won in 1987. He appeared as a regular on “One Day at a Time” and “The Betty White Show” along with the films “Blazing Saddles,” “High Plains Drifter,” “Paper Moon” and “Chinatown.”

Fats Domino died at age 89 on October 24. The singer and pianist was one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. Hit songs in his career included “Blueberry Hill,” “I’m Walkin’,” “Ain’t That a Shame” and “Walking to New Orleans.”

Robert Guillaume died on October 24 at age 89. He was best known for playing butler Benson DuBois on both “Soap” and its spin-off “Benson.” He won an Emmy as Best Comedy Supporting Actor in 1979 and for Best Comedy Actor in 1985. He also starred on “Sports Night” for Aaron Sorkin and was the voice of Rafiki in the animated classic film “The Lion King.”

Tom Petty died on October 2 at age 66. The rock legend was leader of the band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Major hits in his career included “Breakdown,” “American Girl,” “Refugee,” “Free Fallin’,” and “Runnin’ Down a Dream.”

Monty Hall died on September 30 at age 96. He was the host and co-creator of the game show “Let’s Make a Deal,” which launched its long television run in 1963. He received a lifetime achievement award at the Daytime Emmy Awards in 2013.

SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s newsletter with experts’ latest predictions

More News from GoldDerby