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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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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 ...
 
James Dickens (1920 - 2015)
Musician. Grand Ole Opry star. Known as Little Jimmy Dickens, he was an American country music singer famous for his humorous novelty songs, his small size, 4'11", and his rhinestone-studded outfits. He started as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1948 and became a member of the Country Music Hall o...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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...
 
Ed Sabol (1916 - 2015)
Filmmaker, Sports Figure. Ed Sabol was a filmmaker and the founder of NFL Films. Sabol was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey and raised in Blairstown, New Jersey. In high school his sport of choice was swimming. After graduation he continued his swimming career at Ohio State University. He was chose...
 
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...
 
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 ...
 
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...
 
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...
 
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 ...
 
Jerry Tarkanian (1930 - 2015)
Hall of Fame College Basketball Coach, Professional Basketball Coach. For nineteen seasons (1973 to 1992), he was head coach of the Nevada-Las Vegas Rebels and transformed their program into a national success, while guiding them to the NCAA Title in 1990. He was the architect of what became known a...
 
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...
 
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...
 
Stewart Stern (1922 - 2015)
Motion Picture Screenwriter. He will perhaps be best remembered for his co-penning of the story for the film "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955). His father was a physician, his uncle was the legendary Hollywood filmmaker Adolph Zukor. He studied Art at the University of Iowa and later served with the Un...
 
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...
 
Edward Brooke (1919 - 2015)
US Senator. Born Edward William Brooke III, he graduated from Howard University in 1941 and served in the Army during World War II, seeing combat in Italy as an officer in the segregated 366th Infantry Regiment, and earning a Bronze Star Medal and other awards. He graduated from Boston University La...
 
Dallas Taylor (1948 - 2015)
Rock Musician. A drummer, he will be best remembered for his work with Crosby, Stills and Nash. Born Dallas Woodrow Taylor, Jr., his father was a stunt pilot, Dallas was raised in San Antonio and Phoenix. His parents divorced during his early youth and at the age of thirteen, he lost his mother to a...
 
Toller Cranston (1949 - 2015)
Olympic figure skater and artist. He received a pair of hockey skates at the age of 7, and began experimenting with skating on his own. Impressed by his ability, Eva Vasak started coaching him at no charge when he was 11. He had a physical setback but won the 1964 Canadian Junior Championship at the...
 
Darrell Winfield (1929 - 2015)
Advertising Figure. For over two decades, he was the macho cowboy Marlboro Man whose face was on billboard signs, in advertisements, magazines and television ads. Discovered by executives from the Leo Burnett ad agency while he was working on the Quarter Circle 5 Ranch in western Wyoming. His rugged...
 
Richard von Weizsäcker (1920 - 2015)
German Politician. Governing mayor of Berlin and the sixth President of Germany. Before the war he studied philosophy and history in Oxford and Grenoble. He joined the Infantry Regiment Nr. 9 where his brother was a lieutenant in 1938. Their unit crossed the border to Poland on September 1st, 1939. ...
 
Ervin Drake (1919 - 2015)
Songwriter. He will perhaps be best remembered for penning the song "It Was a Very Good Year" (1961), which became a hit for Frank Sinatra in 1965. Born Ervin Maurice Druckman, the son of European-Jewish parents, his father was a wholesale furniture distributor, Ervin developed a fondness for music ...
 
Billy Casper (1931 - 2015)
Professional Golfer. Casper was a Hall of Famer who won two U.S. Opens and a Masters. He won 51 PGA Tour events and played on eight U.S. Ryder Cup teams. His 51 tour wins ranks seventh on the all-time list, and from 1964 through 1970 his 27 victories topped every player in the world. He totaled two ...
 
Kenneth Kelley (1941 - 2015)
Singer. He was the last original member of the musical group The Manhattans. The group originally formed in 1962 in Jersey Ciy, New Jersey, imembers included George "Smitty" Smith, Edward "Sonny" Bivins, Winfred "Blue" Lovett, Richard "Ricky" Taylor and Kenny "Wally" Kelley. Their first single "For ...
 
Joe Franklin (1926 - 2015)
Television Personality, Author. Nicknamed "The King of Nostalgia". Regarded by many as a pioneer of the television talk show format, his program "The Joe Franklin Show" ran for more than 40-years from 1950 until 1993. At one point, he earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the long...
 
Jim McCusker (1936 - 2015)
Professional Football Player. For seven seasons (1958 to 1964), he played at the tackle position in the National and American Football Leagues with the Chicago Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and New York Jets. Born James Brian McCusker, he attended Jamestown High School where he ma...
 
Dana Rinehart (1946 - 2015)
50th Mayor of Columbus. A graduate of The Ohio State University, earning both a BA in Political Science in 1970 and his law degree in 1973, he started his political career as Franklin County Treasurer, serving two terms from 1976 to 1984. He then succeeded Tom Moody as Mayor of Columbus in 1984, se...
 
Don Harron (1924 - 2015)
Actor and comedian. He entertained TV audiences in Canada and the U.S. for decades with his comic alter ego Charlie Farquharson. In 1956 he co-wrote the script for the television musical “Anne of Green Gables.” Later, in 1965, he adapted the production for stage and called it “Anne of Green Gables –...
 
Kim Fowley (1939 - 2015)
Singer, Musician and Producer. Fowley, who has been described as "one of the most colorful characters in the annals of rock & roll", will best be remembered for his role behind a string of novelty and cult pop rock singles in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1959, he began working in the music industry in va...
 
Val Fitch (1923 - 2015)
Nobel Prize Recipient. He was a nuclear physicist who together with colleague Professor James Cronin, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1980. During World War II, he served in the US Army assigned to the Special Engineering Detachment located in Los Alamos, New Mexico, at the research cente...
 
Demis Roussos (1946 - 2015)
Singer. Alexandria born Artemios Venturis-Roussos came from a Greek family of musicians, the father, George, being a classical guitarist apart from his official position as an engineer, and the mother, Olga, a singer. Named after his paternal grandfather in accordance with the Greek tradition, Artem...
 
Taylor Negron (1957 - 2015)
American Actor, Writer, Painter and Comedian. Brad Taylor Negron is probably best known for "The Last Boy Scout", "Fast Times At Ridgemont High", "Easy Money", "Young Doctors In Love", "Angels In the Outfield", and nine appearances on "The Dating Game". He grew up in La Cañada, California. Taylor wr...
 
Edgar Froese (1944 - 2015)
Musician and Artist. He is best known for his work with the group Tangerine Dream, which he founded. Born in East Prussia during the latter days of World War II, he and his mother fled to Berlin. His father and some relatives had been killed by the Nazis, and as his family had lost everything when h...
 
Clark Terry (1920 - 2015)
Jazz Musician. A trumpeter and flugelhorn player, Clark emerged as one of the highest-regarded jazz showmen of his era. Born in St. Louis, the seventh of eleven children, his childhood was anything but warm. His mother died early in his youth and his father was physically abusive. Terry focused on m...
 
Colleen McCullough (1937 - 2015)
Author. She will be remembered for penning the bestseller "The Thorn Birds" (1977). The novel was adapted into a highly-viewed miniseries in 1983 which starred Richard Chamberlain as the Catholic priest who encountered a forbidden love affair with a young woman in the Australian Outback. Raised in S...
 
Steve Strange (1959 - 2015)
Musician. Born Steven John Harrington, he was best known as the lead singer and frontman of the 1980s pop group Visage. Strange got involved in music after seeing the Sex Pistols in concert in 1976. When he was 15, he went to London to work for Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren before co-founding ...
 
Wendell Ford (1924 - 2015)
US Senator, Governor of Kentucky. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the State of Kentucky's 53rd Governor from 1971 until 1974. He represented the State of Kentucky in the United States Senate from 1974 until 1999. He held the position of United States Senate Majority Whip from 1991 unt...
 
Arch Moore (1923 - 2015)
US Congressman, Governor of West Virginia. A member of the Republican Party, he served the State of West Virginia's 1st Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives from 1957 until 1969. He served as the 28th and 30th Governor of the State of West Virginia (from 1969 until 19...
 
June Fairchild (1946 - 2015)
Actress. Born June Edna Wilson, she will best be remembered for her iconic Ajax snorting scene in Cheech and Chong’s 1978 comedy 'Up in Smoke'. A prom queen from Manhattan Beach, California, she had a promising movie career in the late 1960s and early 70s, appearing in such films as 'Where Angels Go...
 
Bill Hart (1934 - 2015)
Actor, Stuntman. Born Billy Gene Welch, he was regarded as one of the best stuntmen in Hollywood, who acted and appeared in over 150 movies and numerous television shows. After serving in the US Marine Corps in Korea, he moved to North Hollywood, California, in the late 1950s and began a career in t...
 
H. Kenney (1926 - 2015)
Television Director, Producer. During the course of his career, he earned numerous Emmy Awards and nominations for his producing of soap operas including "General Hospital", "The Days of Our Lives" and "The Young and the Restless". Born Harry Wesley Kenney, Jr., he served with the United States Navy...
 
Stan Chambers (1923 - 2015)
Television News Pioneer. Chambers was a veteran television news reporter in Los Angeles whose career at KTLA spanned more than six decades. He was fresh out of the U.S. Navy, enrolled in USC and working on the campus magazine when he first heard about KTLA. He started work on Dec. 1, 1947, building ...
 
Mary Healy (1918 - 2015)
Actress, Singer. She will be best remembered for pairing with her husband Peter Lind Hayes, to form a popular entertainment act in television and on the nightclub circuit. She earned first place at the Miss New Orleans Beauty Pageant during her teens and followed this accomplishment with vocal and d...
 
Jeff Golub (1955 - 2015)
American Musician. Golub was a guitarist who crossed seamlessly between jazz, blues and rock. He played his first gig in 1967 at age 12 and studied at the Berklee College of Music before he worked in singer James Montgomery’s band while in Boston. In 1980, he moved to New York, where he joined Billy...
 
Samuel Goldwyn (1926 - 2015)
Motion Picture Producer, Director. His father was legendary film producer Samuel Goldwyn, his mother was actress Frances Howard, Samuel Jr., lived a lavished childhood within the shadows of Hollywood. Following service with the United States Army during World War II, he went to Britain, where he wor...
 
Tony Verna (1933 - 2015)
Inventor, Television Director, Producer. He will be best remembered for devising television's instant replay which revolutionized the coverage of sporting events. The Philadelphia native began his career as a TV director for the local station WCAU-TV. The concept of instant replay was initiated by V...
 
Hank Peters (1924 - 2015)
Major League Baseball Executive. He was best known as the architect of the 1983 World Series Champion Baltimore Orioles and and also revived baseball in Cleveland. He began his baseball career as a scout for the St. Louis Browns in 1946 and became farm director for the Kansas City Athletics in 1955....
 
Patsy Garrett (1921 - 2015)
Entertainer. Born Virginia Garrett, both her parents were Vaudeville performers, she was raised in Richmond, Virginia and by the age of seven, she had her own children's radio program. Her national break came at the age of seventeen, when she landed a regular spot as a singer on Fred Waring's progra...
 
Gary Glick (1930 - 2015)
Professional Football Player. For seven seasons (1956 to 1961 and 1963), he played at the defensive back and halfback positions in the National and American Football Leagues with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Colts and San Diego Chargers. Born Gary Gaylen Glick, he was rais...
 
Sandy Balson (1930 - 2015)
Actress. A pretty blonde, she is remembered for her roles in numerous screen features of the 1970s. Though little is recorded of her early life, she was born Sandra Perley and made her television debut in a 1969 episode of "The Outsider". Sandy went on to appear in such fare of the day as "Longstree...
 
Clifford Adams (1952 - 2015)
Musician. He was a trombonist most noted for being in the horn section of the popular funk band, “Kool and the Gang”. In his preteen years, he showed a strong appreciation for classical Jazz when he was introduced to the trombone. In 1968, Adams got his professional start when he joined the horn sec...
 
David Carr (1956 - 2015)
Columnist and Author. He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His father was a clothing store owner. He went on to graduate from the University of Minnesota majoring in psychology and journalism. After graduation he went to work for the Twin Cities Reader in Minneapolis and the Washington City Paper ...
 
Lance Percival (1933 - 2015)
Entertainer. He will probably be best remembered for playing the voices of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in the animated 'Beatles' TV series (1965 to 1967). Born John Lancelot Blades Percival, he made a name for himself as the political satire singer in the TV series "That Was the Week That Was" an...
 
Robert Stone (1937 - 2015)
Author, Screenwriter. He will be best remembered for penning the novel "Dog Soldiers" (1974), which was made into a motion picture adaptation titled "Who'll Stop the Rain" (1978). He had a difficult childhood, as his father abandoned him and his mother suffered from schizophrenia, which required a l...
 
Harold Johnson (1928 - 2015)
Hall of Fame Professional Boxer. Considered by many as being one of the greatest technical fighters in the history of the sport, with an impressive physique to match, he was the former World Lightweight Champion from 1962 until 1963. Born in Philadelphia, Johnson began boxing while serving in the Un...
 
Tim Drummond (1940 - 2015)
Rock Musician. A bass player, he will be best remembered for his work with Crosby, Stills and Nash, Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Born Timothy Lee Drummond, his father served with the United States Air Force, Tim spent some time living in South Carolina, prior to returning to his native Illinois, where ...
 
Pamela Cundell (1920 - 2015)
Actress. A prolific character performer especially adept at comedy, she shall be remembered as Mrs. Fox from the 1970s BBC series "Dad's Army". The child of a music and theatre family with roots going back to Shakespeare's own company, she took to the stage at 14, attended London's Guildhall School ...
 
Movita Castaneda (1917 - 2015)
Actress. Born Maria Castaneda, to parents of Mexican-American descent, she had the distinction of being born on a train which was traveling from Mexico to Arizona. Her exotic beauty caught the attention of Paramount Studio which led to her film debut at the age of thirteen in a Spanish-speaking film...
 
Dave Bergman (1953 - 2015)
Major League Baseball Player. For seventeen seasons (1975 and 1977 to 1992), he played at the first baseman and outfielder positions, in addition to designated hitter with the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers. Born David Bruce Bergman, he attended Maine South...
 
Bob Wilson (1929 - 2015)
Hall of Fame Sports Broadcaster. From 1964 to 1967 and from 1971 until 1994, he served as the radio play-by-play man with the Boston Bruins. Born Robert Henry Castellon, he served with the United States Air Force and following his discharge, he attended Boston University and late the Leland Powers S...
 
Charlie Sifford (1922 - 2015)
Hall-of-Fame Professional Golfer. Called the "Jackie Robinson of golf", he is remembered as the first black to have a major career in his sport. Raised in Charlotte, he began his association with golf by working as a caddy and sneaking onto the Carolina Country Club course when it was closed; by 13 ...
 
Jerome Kersey (1962 - 2015)
Professional Basketball Player. For seventeen seasons (1984 to 2001), he played at the small forward position in the National Basketball Association with the Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Seattle SuperSonics, San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks. He played colle...
 
Marisa Del Frate (1931 - 2015)
Actress, Singer. A pretty brunette who was a sought after model in her youth, she went on to a successful career in Italian cinema and television. Raised in the Italian Capital, she was attractive from an early age and got her start in show business by modelling, competing in beauty pageants, and ap...
 
Allie Sherman (1923 - 2015)
Professional Football Player, Coach. As head coach of the New York Giants (1961 to 1968), Sherman will be best remembered for guiding the team to three consecutive NFL Championship Game appearances (1961 to 1963). Born Alexander Sherman, he attended Boys High School in Brooklyn where he participated...
 
Khan Bonfils (1972 - 2015)
Actor. Bonfils, who trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts, started out in musical theater and worked as a model before landing his big Hollywood break in 1999 playing a horned Jedi master in the first Star Wars prequel, 'Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace', followed by 'Star ...
 
Jethro Pugh (1944 - 2015)
Professional Football Player. For fourteen seasons (1965 to 1978), he played at the defensive end and defensive tackle positions in the National Football League with the Dallas Cowboys. He played collegiate football at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina, prior to being selected by Dal...
 
Robert Blees (1918 - 2015)
American Writer and Producer. Blees, who produced for television and film, wrote the screenplays for Douglas Sirk’s 1954 classic 'Magnificent Obsession', which starred Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman, and 1956's 'Autumn Leaves', with Joan Crawford and Cliff Robertson. Blees attended Dartmouth College and...
 
Jean-Paul Parise (1941 - 2015)
Professional Hockey Player. For fourteen seasons (1965 to 1979), he played at the left-wing position in the National Hockey League with the Boston Bruins, Minnesota North Stars, New York Islanders and Cleveland Barons. Signed by Boston while in his teens, he played parts of four years of Minor Leagu...
 

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