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2015 Necrology
What is a necrology? A necrology is a listing of people who have died during a specific time period. Find A Grave necrologies let you browse the names and faces of the 75 most famous people who have died during a selected year, all the way back to 1900. They are listed in order of their Find A Grave 'fame ranking', as voted by Find A Grave contributors. To view a necrology, simply select a year from the pop up list below. You can optionally select a category to restrict the list even further (just actors, just politicians, etc.). To visit the memorial page for any of the names listed on a necrology, click on their name or photo.
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Leonard Nimoy (1931 - 2015)
American Actor. He will forever be remembered as Mr. Spock from the 'Star Trek' franchise. After serving in the Army from 1953-55, he appeared in small roles in a few films, but mostly found roles in TV series, appearing in episodes of 'Dragnet', 'Sea Hunt', 'Bonanza', 'Wagon Train', 'Rawhide', 'The...
 
B.B. King (1925 - 2015)
Legendary Blues Musician. Widely regarded as one of the greatest blues guitarists in music history, he was influential to a bevy of artists including The Beatles and Eric Clapton. Born Riley B. King, he was raised on a Mississippi plantation. He learned to play the guitar during his youth and experi...
 
Donna Douglas (1932 - 2015)
American Actress. Douglas, who grew up in Baton Rouge, will best be remembered for her role as Elly May Clampett in the 1960s CBS television series, 'The Beverly Hillbillies'. Born Doris Smith, she attended a Catholic High School where she was active in sports. In 1957, she was named "Miss Baton Rou...
 
Ernie Banks (1931 - 2015)
Hall of Fame Baseball Player. A career .274 right-handed batter, he amassed 512 homeruns and 2,583 hits during his 18-year Major League career, which was spent entirely with the Chicago Cubs. He was a 14-time All-Star, a 2-time National League MVP and won a gold glove at shortstop in 1960. Most of h...
 
Christopher Lee (1922 - 2015)
Actor. During a lengthy and distinguished film career, with a wide range of roles to his credit, he will perhaps be best remembered for his work in the Horror genre and his association with Hammer Films, where he was often paired with Peter Cushing. Notably as 'Count Dracula'. Additionally, he share...
 
Omar Sharif (1932 - 2015)
Actor. The handsome leading man came to international prominence, when he co-starred with Peter O'Toole in the classic film "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962) and three years later, distinguished himself playing the title role in "Doctor Zhivago" (1965). Born to a wealthy Egyptian-Lebanese family, he learn...
 
Rod Taylor (1930 - 2015)
Actor. A handsome, rugged leading man who played in a wide range of motion pictures, he may be best remembered by movie audiences for the films "The Time Machine" (1960), "The Birds" (1963) and "Darker than Amber" (1970). Born Rodney Sturt Taylor, his father was a construction contractor, his mother...
 
James Best (1926 - 2015)
Actor. He will be fondly remembered for playing the comical, inept 'Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane' in the TV series "The Dukes of Hazzard" (1979 to 1985). Born Jewel Franklin Guy, his cousins from his mother's family side were singers Don and Phil Everly, James was placed in an orphanage following his ...
 
James Dickens (1920 - 2015)
Country and Western Musician and Singer. He is best remembered for his small stature (4 feet 11 inches), his rhinestone-studded outfits, and his humorous novelty songs, including his biggest single hit "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" (1965), that reached number 1 on the US Country Chart ...
 
Anne Meara (1929 - 2015)
Actress. Along with her husband Jerry Stiller, she was half of the Stiller and Meara comedy team. She was the mother of actress Amy Stiller and actor Ben Stiller. Born to parents of Irish descent, her father was an attorney, her mother committed suicide when Anne was eleven years old. After deciding...
 
Lynn Anderson (1947 - 2015)
Country Music Singer. Multi-award-winning American country music singer known for a string of hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s, most notably her 1970 country-pop, worldwide megahit "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden". Anderson's crossover appeal and regular exposure on national television help...
 
Lesley Gore (1946 - 2015)
American Singer, Songwriter and Actress. Born Lesley Sue Goldstein, she was discovered by Quincy Jones as a teenager and signed to Mercury Records. In 1963 at age 16, she topped the charts with her song about teenage heartbreak, "It's My Party" which raced to No. 1 on the charts, was nominated for a...
 
Patrick Macnee (1922 - 2015)
Actor. A suave looking leading man, he will be remembered for playing 'John Steed' in the British TV spy series "The Avengers" (1961 to 1969) and "The New Avengers" (1976 to 1977). Born Daniel Patrick Macnee, his parents divorced during his early youth. He studied at Eton College and following his d...
 
Yvonne Craig (1937 - 2015)
American Actress and Dancer. Craig will best be remembered for her role as "Batgirl" in the 1960s TV series, 'Batman'. She began her theatrical career as the youngest member of The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and had toured for three years when she was discovered by John Ford’s son, Patrick and was ...
 
Ben King (1938 - 2015)
American R&B Singer and Songwriter. Born Benjamin Earl Nelson, he first found success as an original member of the Drifters, the doo-wop group famous for such hits as "Save the Last Dance for Me", "This Magic Moment" and "There Goes My Baby", before leaving the group in 1960 over a contract dispute....
 
Frank Gifford (1930 - 2015)
Legendary NFL Player and Broadcaster. Gifford was a former New York Giants star who successfully transitioned to a long career as a sportscaster on television and radio. He attended the University of Southern California on a football scholarship and went pro after being selected 11th overall in the ...
 
Jayne Meadows (1919 - 2015)
American Stage, Film and Television Actress. Born Jane Meadows Cotter in China to missionary parents, she returned back to Connecticut in the early 1930s with her family which included her sister, Audrey Meadows. In 1942, she made her debut on Broadway in the comedy 'Spring Again', and went on to pe...
 
Jim Ed Brown (1934 - 2015)
American Singer, Radio and TV Host. Brown was a longtime Grand Ole Opry member who had hits as a solo artist, as part of a duet and as a member of a trio, and was also featured prominently on country music television shows in the 1970s and 1980s. Brown and his two sisters, Bonnie and Maxine, perform...
 
Dewitt Lowrey (1922 - 2015)
US World War II Military Figure. A corporal, he served as an original member of the Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division known as the "Band of Brothers", which was featured in an award-winning HBO mini-series (2001). In addition, Lowrey was h...
 
Dick Van Patten (1928 - 2015)
Actor. He will be fondly remembered for playing 'Tom Bradford', the family patriarch in the TV series "Eight is Enough" (1977 to 1981). Born Richard Vincent Van Patten, his father was a furniture salesman, his mother was a Physical Education teacher, Dick developed a fondness for the theater and beg...
 
Vincent Bugliosi (1934 - 2015)
American Attorney, Prosecutor and Author. Bugliosi will best be remembered for successfully prosecuting Charles Manson and his accomplices for the seven Tate-LaBianca murders in 1969. Bugliosi graduated from the University of Miami, which he attended on a tennis scholarship. In 1964, he received his...
 
Cecil Lion (2002 - 2015)
Celebrated African Lion. Cecil was a male African lion who primarily lived in the Hwange National Park in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe. He was a major attraction at the park and was being studied and tracked by Oxford University as part of a larger study. He was described by The Guardian as "one of ...
 
Betsy Palmer (1926 - 2015)
Actress. She shall be remembered for her participation as a regular panelist on the TV gameshow "I've Got a Secret" (1955 to 1967). Additionally, she will be known to movie audiences for playing 'Mrs. Voorhees', the psychopathic killer in the film "Friday the 13th" (1980) and "Friday the 13th: Part ...
 
James Last (1929 - 2015)
Bandleader, Composer. The developer of the "happy party sounds", he and his band toured world wide, and became one of the most successful touring orchestras. Over the course of a 50 year career he played in Europe and the United States, the former Soviet Union, China, Australia and New Zealand. He ...
 
Jack Carter (1923 - 2015)
American Comedian, Actor and Host. Carter was one of television’s first stars in the late 1940s whose career spanned well into the 21st century. Born Jack Chakrin to Jewish immigrant parents from Russia, they owned a restaurant on Coney Island where he was dancing on the tables entertaining customer...
 
George Kinnear (1928 - 2015)
US Navy Admiral. He served as the Commander of the Naval Air Force, United States Atlantic Fleet from 1978 until 1981. He served as United States Representative to the NATO Military Committee from 1981 until 1982. A four-star Admiral, he flew more than 100 missions during the Korean and Vietnam Wars...
 
John Nash (1928 - 2015)
Nobel Prize Winning Mathematician. The recipient of the 1994 Nobel Prize for Economics Sciences and the subject of Sylvia Nasar's 1998 biography "A Beautiful Mind" as well as the 2001 the Academy Award winning movie of the same name in which he was portrayed by Russell Crowe, he shall be remembered ...
 
Gary Owens (1934 - 2015)
Entertainer. He will be best remembered as the announcer for the TV series "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" (1968 to 1973). Born Gary Altman, his father was a county treasurer and sheriff, his mother was an educator. Gary suffered from diabetes from the time he was eight years old. At the age of sevent...
 
Percy Sledge (1941 - 2015)
American R&B and Soul Singer. Born Percy Tyrone Sledge, he is best known for the song "When a Man Loves a Woman", a No. 1 pop and soul hit in 1966. It was awarded a million-selling, Gold-certified disc from the RIAA. Having previously worked as a hospital nurse in the early 1960s, he achieved his st...
 
Nicholas Winton (1909 - 2015)
Humanitarian. Responsible for the rescue of 669 mostly Jewish children via the so-called "Kindertransport" from the Nazis before World War II. He was dubbed by the English press as "Britain's Schindler", a title which he hated. He was born Chaim Wertheimer into a German-Jewish family in London that ...
 
Rowdy Piper (1954 - 2015)
Professional Wrestler, Actor. Roderick George Toombs, known by his ring name "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, was a Canadian professional wrestler, film actor and podcast host. In professional wrestling, he was best known for his work with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE). Although he was Canadian,...
 
Robert Schuller (1926 - 2015)
Religious Leader, Televangelist and Author. Schuller created the weekly 'Hour of Power' television show that at its peak popularity attracted an international audience of millions, wrote dozens of books and built a 40-acre church campus with buildings designed by some of the world's foremost archite...
 
Cilla Black (1943 - 2015)
British Singer, Actress, Entertainer. Black, who was born Priscilla Maria Veronica White, was a British entertainer who achieved popularity in various areas of entertainment. She began her career, being influenced by the Beatles, in singing. Black had two number one hits in "Anyone Who Had A Heart"...
 
Lizabeth Scott (1922 - 2015)
Actress. A sexy, sultry voiced blonde leading lady of the 1940s and 1950s, she shared the screen with such leading men as Humphrey Bogart, Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas and Charlton Heston. Born Emma Matzo, to parents of Ukrainian ancestry, she was educated at Marywood College and later studied at th...
 
Ken Stabler (1945 - 2015)
American Professional Football Player. Born Kenneth Michael Stabler, he was a multi-sport athlete at Foley High School, but it was football that he excelled at the most, earning the nickname "The Snake" for his ability to maneuver and weave through opposing defenses. In 1964, he was recruited to the...
 
Anita Ekberg (1931 - 2015)
Actress. Born Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg, she will be best remembered for her performance in the film "La Dolce Vita" (1960) by Federico Fellini. During her career she starred in over 70 films including "Abbott and Costello Go to Mars" by Charles Lamont (1953), "Blood Alley" by William A. Wellman...
 
Geoffrey Lewis (1935 - 2015)
American Actor. Lewis, who was a versatile character actor who appeared on dozens of films and TV shows in a career that spanned five decades, will most likely be remembered for the roles he played alongside Clint Eastwood. Born in San Diego and raised in Rhode Island, he studied dramatic arts in hi...
 
Dusty Rhodes (1945 - 2015)
Professional Wrestler. Rhodes, better known as "The American Dream", was an American former professional wrestler and trainer who worked for the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Born Virgil Runnels, the son of a plumber, he was billed as "a common man and a working-class hero" who fought many in...
 
Theodore Bikel (1924 - 2015)
Actor. Highly-versatile, he played a wide range of parts and may perhaps be best remembered for his stage performances, notably as 'Tevye' in "Fiddler on the Roof". Born to a Austrian-Jewish family, he learned Hebrew and Yiddish at home, while being taught German in school. After the Nazi occupation...
 
James Horner (1953 - 2015)
American Composer. Horner was a two-time Academy Award winner who was primarily known for composing film scores. In all, he earned 10 Oscar nominations for such films as 'Aliens' (1986), 'Field of Dreams' (1989), 'Braveheart' (1995), 'A Beautiful Mind' (2001), 'House of Sand and Fog' (2003) and 'Ava...
 
Melody Patterson (1949 - 2015)
American Actress. Patterson, who began her career performing in plays at the age of four, attended the Hollywood Professional School and later studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. At the age of 16, she landed the role of "Wrangler Jane" on the television series 'F-Troop...
 
Monica Lewis (1922 - 2015)
Actress, Singer. She is best remembered as the voice of the Chiquita Banana cartoon character who reminded Americans to not put bananas in the refrigerator. Born May Lewis, she started singing on a radio show called Gloom Dodgers. With the help of Benny Goodman, Lewis began a solo singing career an...
 
Ron Moody (1924 - 2015)
Actor. A prolific performer, often cast in comedic roles, he will be best remembered for playing the criminal ringleader 'Fagin' in the motion picture "Oliver!" (1968). He earned a Golden Globe Award and received an Academy Award nomination for the role. Born Ronald Moodnick, the son of a Jewish fat...
 
Joseph Langdell (1914 - 2015)
USS Arizona Officer. The last surviving officer from the USS Arizona. His ashes will be entombed inside the ship, joining urns with those of more than 30 other USS Arizona Survivors who have chosen to rejoin the more than 900 sailors and officers who remain aboard, casualties of the Japanese attack ...
 
Andraé Crouch (1942 - 2015)
Musician, Songwriter, Arranger, Record Producer and Pastor. Andraé Edward Crouch was often referred to as “the father of modern gospel music” and composed such songs as The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power, My Tribute (To God Be the Glory) and Soon and Very Soon. He formed a gospel group called the ...
 
Louis Jourdan (1921 - 2015)
Actor. A handsome leading man, he was capable of playing a wide range of roles including romantic, comedic and villainous characters. His film career began in his native France during the late 1930s and he would gradually advance to international pictures. Born Louis Gendre, his father was involved ...
 
Neil LeVang (1932 - 2015)
Musician. He was a versatile stringed instrumentalist, best known for playing guitar, banjo and violin on Lawrence Welk’s television show. After his service in the US Coast Guard in the early 1950s, he played with "Texas Jim Lewis and his Lonestar Cowboys" and hosted his own radio show. In 1959, he...
 
Chris Squire (1948 - 2015)
Rock Musician. A bass player (known for his trademark Rickenbacker 4001), he was a founding member of the British music ensemble "Yes". Born Christopher Russell Edward Squire, his father was a cab driver, Chris developed a fondness for music at an early age and participated in his church choir. By h...
 
Edwin Snyder (1922 - 2015)
US Navy Vice Admiral. Snyder graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1942. After graduation he attended Submarine School in 1943 and served in the Pacific in World War II. He served more than four years aboard the submarines Hake SS-256, the Diablo SS-479. He attended Deep Sea Divers Schoo...
 
Dave Somerville (1933 - 2015)
Entertainer. He was the co-founder and lead vocalist of the 1950s music ensemble "The Diamonds". Raised in Toronto, he initially studied Architecture, prior to focussing on singing (which he enjoyed to do since his childhood). After forming "The Diamonds" during the mid 1950s, they scored gold recor...
 
Bob Simon (1941 - 2015)
American News Television Correspondent. Covering the national and international news since the 1960's, Simon, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University, is most noted for his correspondent spot on the CBS news magazine "60 Minutes" since 1996. He joined CBS in 1967 and was recognized with the...
 
Alex Rocco (1936 - 2015)
American Character and Voice Actor. Rocco was a veteran character actor of film and TV, known for his portrayals of edgy characters with gangland or police affiliations, will best be remembered for his role as Moe Greene in 1972's 'The Godfather'. Born Alexander Federico Petricone, Jr., he was invol...
 
Dean Smith (1931 - 2015)
Hall of Fame College Basketball Coach. At the time of his retirement in 1997, he was college basketball's winningest coach with 879 victories. He guided the University of North Carolina Tar Heels to a NIT Championship in 1971 and two NCAA Titles (1982 and 1993). During his tenure of thirty-six years...
 
Rod McKuen (1933 - 2015)
Poet, Composer, Songwriter and Singer. McKuen was a prolific force in popular culture, turning out hundreds of songs and poems and recordings in the 1960s and '70s which made him one of the best-selling poets in history. He spent his teens ranching and roping horses in a rodeo and wrote poetry in hi...
 
Ann Rule (1930 - 2015)
American Author. A former Seattle Policewoman, Rule was raised in a law-enforcement family and was regarded by many as one America's foremost true crime writers. Both her grandfather and her uncle were Michigan sheriffs, her cousin was a Prosecuting Attorney and another uncle was the Medical Examine...
 
Gerald O'Loughlin (1921 - 2015)
American Television, Stage, and Film Actor. O'Loughlin will perhaps best be remembered for his role as Lieutenant Rd Ryker on the 1970s ABC cop show 'The Rookies'. After serving with the Marines during World War II, he studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York on the G.I. Bill before becomin...
 
Billy Pierce (1927 - 2015)
Major League Baseball player. Spent 18 years in the major leagues as a pitcher, winning 211 games and was named to 7 All-Star teams. Made his debut in 1945 with the Detroit Tigers, pitching in five games. After spending the next two full seasons in the minor leagues, he returned to the majors for go...
 
Vincent Marotta (1924 - 2015)
American Inventor, Real Estate Developer and Philantropist. Marotta, a former pro football player who had also signed with Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals, was a co-creator of the Mr. Coffee machine that eventually replaced the standard percolator found in most American homes. A star ath...
 
Verne Gagne (1926 - 2015)
Professional Wrestler. Owner of the American Wrestling Association which featured such wrestlers as The Crusher, Mad Dog Vachon and Hulk Hogan. Ten time AWA Heavyweight Champion. Often won his matches with his trademark sleeper hold. Two time NCAA wrestling champion. Inducted into the WWE, WCW and P...
 
Alexander Vraciu (1918 - 2015)
US Military Figure. A highly-decorated commander, he earned the distinction of being the fourth-ranking Naval Ace, after downing nineteen Japanese enemy aircraft during World War II. He was nominated for the Medal of Honor and received the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Flying Cross with Two Gold Sta...
 
William White (1927 - 2015)
US World War II Military Figure. He was a member of the Army Air Corps group known as the "Tuskegee Airmen". With the then-segregated United States Military, White made history with a highly-skilled combat force of African-Americans, who played a major role in air power during World War II. As a pil...
 
Mario Cuomo (1932 - 2015)
Governor of New York. His parents owned a store when he grew up in Queens, and he attended St. John's Preparatory School. He played professional baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, but had to quit after an injury. He completed his bachelor's degree at St. John’s University in 1953 and g...
 
Stephen Lewis (1926 - 2015)
British Actor. Lewis was an actor who played many parts on British television for half a century. He began his career as a merchant seaman, but decided to go into acting afterwards. Lewis started acting in the theater, but gradually went into films and then television. In 1969 he started one of h...
 
John Stephenson (1923 - 2015)
Actor. He will be best remembered for his voice work on countless animated TV series of Hanna-Barbera. Along with Mel Blanc, Stephenson was one of the busiest voice artists from the 1950s and 1960s. His father was a mortician, John participated in Speech competitions while in high school. He was stu...
 
Roger Rees (1944 - 2015)
Welsh Actor and Director. Rees was a Tony award winning actor who is best known for his roles on the television shows, 'Cheers' and 'The West Wing'. He spent his childhood in south London where he learned that he had a knack for art early on. He attended Camberwell College of Arts, then the prestigi...
 
Jonathan Crombie (1966 - 2015)
Actor. He was best known for playing Gilbert Blythe in CBC Television's 1985 telefilm Anne of Green Gables and its two sequels. He was born in Toronto on October 12, 1966. His father, David Crombie, was the mayor of Toronto from 1972 to 1978 and a Canadian federal Cabinet Minister in the 1980s. Crom...
 
Richard Bakalyan (1931 - 2015)
Actor. He was typecast playing juvenile delinquents during the first half of his career and later made a name for himself in several Disney pictures. Born in New England, to a Canadian mother and an Armenian father, Richard served with the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He broke into...
 
Joe Mauldin (1940 - 2015)
Musician. He was a bassist best known for being an original member of the band, Buddy Holly and the Crickets. At age 16, he joined Holly's band then appeared on such early 1950s, rock-and-roll classics hits as “That'll Be the Day”, “Peggy Sue”, “Rave On, Oh, Boy!” and “Maybe Baby”. After Holly's dea...
 
Edward Egan (1932 - 2015)
Roman Catholic Cardinal. He served as the head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York from 2000 until 2009. He received a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary in Illinois and later attended the Pontifical North American College in Vatican City. He was ordained ...
 
James Duke (1928 - 2015)
Trauma Surgeon and Professor of Medicine. James "Red" Duke was born in Ennis, Texas. He received his first college degree in 1950 from Texas A & M. From there he served for two years in the U. S. Army. Upon completion of service he received another degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Semi...
 
Diana Dill (1923 - 2015)
Actress. She was formerly married to actor Kirk Douglas and during their union (1943 to 1951), their children Michael Douglas (who went on to become a successful actor and producer) and Joel Douglas were born. Diana Love Dill was the daughter of a high-ranking Bermudian military official and made a ...
 
Joseph Palastra (1931 - 2015)
US Army General. A combat Vietnam War veteran who served three tours there, he rose in rank to become the Commander-in-Chief of US Army Forces Command (FORSCOM)located at Fort McPherson, Georgia (relocated to Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 2011). In 1950 he entered the US Military Academy at West P...
 
Stuart Scott (1965 - 2015)
Television Sports Commentator, Journalist, Actor. He will be best remembered for his work on ESPN's "SportsCenter" from 1993 until his death. He earned the reputation as being one of the hardest working and respected sportscasters, during the course of his career. Raised in North Carolina, he receiv...
 
Grace Whitney (1930 - 2015)
American Actress and Entertainer. She will best be remembered for her role as Janice Rand, the personal assistant who served alongside William Shatner's Captain James T. Kirk aboard the USS Enterprise during the first season of 'Star Trek' and in subsequent film versions. Born Mary Ann Chase, she la...
 
Stan Freberg (1926 - 2015)
American Voice Actor, Comedian and Writer. Born Stanley Friberg, he was a composer, singer, actor, author, comedian and advertising executive whose career spanned eight decades. In 1944, he went to work at Warner Brothers doing voices in a cartoon called 'For He's a Jolly Good Fala'. Often teamed wi...
 

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