2017 celebrity deaths: Remembering Tom Petty, Hugh Hefner, Monty Hall and more

Throughout 2017, we have been featuring many of the celebrity deaths in our special “In Memoriam” photo gallery (view it above). October has already gotten off to a rough start with the passing of Tom Petty, founder of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Other recent deaths have included Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner and “Let’s Make a Deal” creator and host Monty Hall. Here is a look at just a few of those performers and others spotlighted in our gallery of over 40 people from the entertainment industry.

Petty died on October 2 at age 66. The rock legend had just finished shows in Hollywood the week before. His band was 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.”

Hefner died at age 91 on September 27. He was the founder and publisher of Playboy magazine and went on to launch TV and film companies based on his success. Many years ago, he bought the burial spot in Westwood next to Marilyn Monroe, his first centerfold model.

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

Jerry Lewis died at age 91 in Las Vegas on August 20. He began his stage career with his partner Dean Martin, with whom he made several popular movies. His most successful film as a solo star was “The Nutty Professor.” He received the 2009 Hersholt humanitarian award at the Oscars in 2009 for his lengthy career working with the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Singer and songwriter Glen Campbell died on August 8 at age 81. His country and pop crossover hits included “Gentle on My Mind,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” and “Southern Nights.” He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

Oscar winner Martin Landau died on July 15 at the age of 89. The veteran actor won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the film “Ed Wood” (1994) and received two other Oscar nominations for “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” (1988) and “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989). One of his first notable film roles was in Alfred Hitchcock’s “North By Northwest” (1959) which he later followed with a multi-year run on the TV spy classic “Mission: Impossible.”

Director Jonathan Demme on April 26 in New York at age 73. His greatest triumph was at the Oscars as Best Director of the 1991 film “The Silence of The Lambs,” Best Picture winner. Other films in his career included “Melvin and Howard,” “Swing Shift,” “Something Wild,” “Married to the Mob,” “Philadelphia,” and “Rachel Getting Married.”

Don Rickles died on April 6. The comedian was famous for his insults in his nightclub act, with Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show,” and on the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. He became a voiceover favorite in the “Toy Story” films as Mr. Potato Head. He won an Emmy Award for his 2007 variety special “Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project.”

Rock legend Chuck Berry died on March 18. The singer, songwriter and guitarist was one of the first artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. His hit songs included “Johnny B. Goode,” “Maybelline,” and “Roll Over Beethoven.”

Actor Bill Paxton died at age 61 on February 26. Paxton is best known for his roles in the films “Aliens,” “Titanic,” “Twister,” “The Terminator,” “A Simple Plan,” “Apollo 13,” and “True Lies.” He also starred in the HBO drama series “Big Love,” which brought him three Golden Globe nominations for Best TV Drama Actor in 2007, 2008 and 2010. His television work in “Hatfields and McCoys” (2012) reaped a Best TV Movie/Miniseries Actor nomination at the Emmys and SAG Awards but a loss to co-star Kevin Costner. He won a Screen Actors Guild Award as part of the Best Film Ensemble of “Apollo 13” and another nomination with the cast of “Titanic.”

Television legend Mary Tyler Moore died at age 80 in Connecticut on January 25. She starred in “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” winning 7 Emmy Awards in her career. She was inducted by the TV academy in their hall of fame in 1986 and received the SAG life achievement award in 2012. In addition to being an accomplished actress, she was also one of the co-founders of the industry’s powerful production company MTM in the 1970s. Moore was an Oscar nominee for Best Actress in “Ordinary People” (1980) and won the Golden Globe for that role.

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