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2017 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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Mary Moore (1936 - 2017)
American Actress, Television Icon. She was a vivacious actress best known for her roles on both the 1960s sitcom "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and the 1970s sitcom "The Mary Tyler Moore Show". Originally a dancer, she got her start in television as a dancing elf "Happy Hotpoint" in Hotpoint Appliance com...
 
Eugene Cernan (1934 - 2017)
American Astronaut. He, as commander of Apollo 17, was the last person to walk on the Moon. He attended Purdue University and graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He was commissioned in the United States Navy in 1956 and earned his master's degree in aeronau...
 
Mike Connors (1925 - 2017)
Actor. Best remembered for playing the tall, ruggedly, handsome 'Joe Mannix' in the TV detective series "Mannix" (1967 to 1975). Born Kreker (some sources state spelling is Krekor) Ohanian, to parents of Armenian descent, he served with the United States Army Air Force during World War II. Following...
 
John Hurt (1940 - 2017)
British Actor. He was a two-time Academy Award-nominated actor of stage and screen whose career spanned six decades. He studied art in his youth and went on to earn an art teacher's diploma. He decided to change careers and moved to London, where he won an acting scholarship at the Royal Academy of ...
 
Barbara Hale (1922 - 2017)
American Actress. She will best be remembered for her role as legal secretary Della Street on the long-running television series, 'Perry Mason'. At age twelve, she began taking lessons in ballet and started to participate in local theater plays. After she graduated from high school, she enrolled in ...
 
Al Jarreau (1940 - 2017)
Singer. Born Alwin Lopez Jarreau, he was a Grammy-winning tenor who crossed different music genres. He got started in singing at an early age, singing with his family in church concerts and benefits. He continued singing through college and while he worked as a rehabilitation counselor in San Fr...
 
Richard Hatch (1945 - 2017)
American Actor, Writer and Producer. A prolific actor of television, he will best be remembered for his role as Captain Apollo in the original 'Battlestar Galactica' TV series. His career started in 1971 with a stint on the daytime soap-opera 'All My Children' as Philip Brent and would go on to appe...
 
Miguel Ferrer (1955 - 2017)
Actor. Fondly remembered for playing 'Dr. Garret Macy' in the television series "Crossing Jordan" (2001 to 2007) and as 'Owen Granger" in the TV program "NCIS: Los Angeles" (2012 until his death). Born into a family of distinguished, well-known entertainers, his father was Academy Award winner Jose...
 
Dick Gautier (1931 - 2017)
American Actor, Comedian and Author. Although he appeared in dozens of television shows and films, he will best be remembered for his role as Hymie the robot in he TV series 'Get Smart' from 1966 through 1968. Born Richard Gautier, he began acting in high school and after serving in the navy during ...
 
Bruce Lansbury (1930 - 2017)
Television Producer, Writer. The younger brother of actress Angela Lansbury. Born William Bruce Mageean Lansbury, his mother was an actress, his father was a politician, he moved with his family initially to New York, followed by Southern California during the mid 1940. By this point, his sister Ang...
 
Ronald Mundy (1940 - 2017)
Singer. He was a vocalist with the famed doo-wop group The Marcels who had a number one song with "Blue Moon" in 1961. The Marcels were formed in Pittsburgh in 1959 and were named after a popular hairstyle during that time. They sent a demo tape to Colpix Records and the company liked it. They si...
 
Michael Ilitch (1929 - 2017)
Businessman, Sports Magnate. He was well known as the founder and owner of the fast food franchise Little Caesars Pizza as well as the owner of both the National Hockey League's Detroit Red Wings and Major League Baseball's Detroit Tigers. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years and lat...
 
Buddy Greco (1926 - 2017)
Singer, Pianist. Born Armando Greco, he was a best-selling jazz and pop singer and pianist. He started playing the piano at the age of 4 and was performing on the radio and in clubs at an early age. Jazz legend Benny Goodman hired him to sing in his band when he was 16 years old and he toured the wo...
 
Bobby Freeman (1940 - 2017)
American Singer and Songwriter. Freeman will best be remembered for his hit single "Do You Want to Dance" which climbed the pop charts in 1958 and endured long afterward in covers by the Beach Boys, the Ramones, Bette Midler and others. He was still a teenager when he wrote and recorded the song tha...
 
Norma McCorvey (1947 - 2017)
"Jane Roe" of 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Decision. In 1969, 21 year old Norma Leah McCorvey unsuccessfully sought a legal abortion in the state of Texas, lacking credible evidence of a threat to her health. She was referred to Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee, attornies looking for clients to c...
 
Barbara Carroll (1925 - 2017)
Jazz Musician. A pianist, singer, and composer, she is remembered for countless performances and recordings over a long career. Born Barbara Carole Coppersmith, she began piano study at five, at 15 formed her own ensemble, attended the New England Conservatory of music, then in 1947 moved to New Yor...
 
Irwin Corey (1914 - 2017)
American Actor and Comedian. In a career that spanned eight decades, he endeared himself to generations of audiences as "Professor Corey, the World’s Foremost Authority", whose nonsensical monologues were laced with mock-intellectual routines filled with malapropisms and non sequiturs. He debuted on...
 
William Blatty (1928 - 2017)
Novelist, Screenwriter, Actor. He shall be remembered for his penning of the bestselling, supernaturally-themed work "The Exorcist" (1971), which was made into a popular 1973 motion picture adaptation. He received an Academy Award for Best Screenplay. Born to parents of Lebanese descent, his father ...
 
Alec McCowen (1925 - 2017)
Actor. Born Alexander Duncan McCowen, his father was the proprietor of a sandwich shop, Alec developed an interest in movies at an early age. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, prior to initiating his professional career in repertory productions. This would lead to his debut...
 
Aidan Harrington (1928 - 2017)
British Actor. He was a prolific actor of stage, film and television whose career spanned six decades. A 1950 graduate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, he first appeared on the London stage as a member of a background chorus and over the course of his stage career would appear in such produc...
 
Butch Trucks (1947 - 2017)
Rock Musician. A drummer, he was a founding member of the American Southern Rock band "The Allman Brothers Band". Born Claude Hudson Thomas into a devout Baptist family, he became acquainted with the drums at roughly the age of fourteen. While attending Florida State University, he formed his first ...
 
Jimmy Snuka (1943 - 2017)
Professional Wrestler. Born James Wiley Smith (later changed to James Reiher Snuka), he was well known to wrestling fans for his high-flying style of wrestling that he brought to the World Wrestling Federation in the early to mid 1980s. He trained to go into professional wrestling in the late 19...
 
Bill Fischer (1927 - 2017)
Professional Football Player. For five seasons (1949 to 1953), he played at the tackle, guard and defensive tackle positions in the National Football League with the Chicago Cardinals. Born William Anton Fischer, he attended Lane Tech High School in Illinois, prior to playing collegiate football at ...
 
Charles Liteky (1931 - 2017)
American Medal of Honor Recipient, Peace Activist. Also known as Angelo J. Liteky, he was an Army chaplain in Vietnam who was awarded the Medal of Honor for rescuing more than 20 wounded men but later gave it back in protest and became a peace activist. After graduating high school, he attended Chip...
 
Antony Armstrong-Jones (1930 - 2017)
1st Earl of Snowdon, Photographer, Filmmaker. He, also known as Lord Snowden, was the husband of Princess Margaret, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, for eighteen years. He also was well known for his photography and film work. He attended Cambridge University and later established himself a...
 
Peter Mansfield (1933 - 2017)
Nobel Prize Winning Physicist. Known for his significant contributions in the field of MRI Scanners, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Paul C. Lauterbur in 2003. His formal education was interrupted during World War II, which resulted in him leaving school, to find work as a p...
 
Nicolai Gedda (1925 - 2017)
Opera Singer. A lyric tenor, he is remembered for his long career in the world's leading venues. Born Harry Gustaf Nikolai Gedda, he was raised in poverty under the name Nikolai Ustinov, learned to sing in the Russian Orthodox Church, and following World War II worked as a bank teller while studying...
 
Francine York (1938 - 2017)
Actress. Born Francine Yerich, she spent part of her childhood in Cleveland and developed a love for acting which led to her performance in a theater production while in elementary school. She returned with her family to the place of her birth in Aurora, Minnesota and gained attention as winner of l...
 
Clare Hollingworth (1911 - 2017)
Journalist, Author, Humanitarian. A longtime war correspondent with the British news publication the Daily Telegraph, she will be remembered as the initial reporter who broke the news that World War II had begun in 1939. As one of the earliest prominent women in the field of Journalism, she is consi...
 
Mary Webster (1935 - 2017)
Actress. She was a character actress who appeared in television and in various films during the 1950s and early 1960s. She studied at the famed Pasadena Playhouse and got her start in acting in 1954 in the Broadway comedy "Dear Charles". She went on to perform in television with such credits as "The...
 
Sylvester Potts (1938 - 2017)
Singer. Member of the legendary Motown musical group The Contours. He joined the group in 1961, a year before the group's signature hit "Do You Love Me", it hit #1 on Billboard's R&B chart and crossed over to #3 on the Hot 100. The group had three other chart hits during 1963 and 1964 with "Shake Sh...
 
Yordano Ventura (1991 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player. For four seasons (2013 until his death), he was a pitcher with the Kansas City Royals. Born Yordano (Hernandez) Ventura, he was signed as an amateur free agent by the Royals in 2008. He made his Major League debut with Kansas City as a late season call up on September 1...
 
John Wetton (1949 - 2017)
Rock Musician, Songwriter. A bass player, he will be remembered as the lead vocalist for the 1980s super-group "Asia". He began his association with music as a piano player in his family's church. After switching to the bass, he played in several late 1960s bands, among them "Mogul Thrash", before b...
 
Bob Bowman (1931 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player. For five seasons (1955 to 1959), he played in the outfield with the Philadelphia Phillies. Born Robert Leroy Bowman, he attended Lincoln High School in San Jose, prior to enrolling at San Jose State University. Signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agen...
 
Bob Holiday (1932 - 2017)
Actor. He earned his place in entertainment history as being the performer who played the character 'Superman' the most times professionally. Holiday played 'Superman' in the 1966 Broadway production "It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman" 129 times. More so than George Reeves who played the ch...
 
George Steele (1937 - 2017)
Hall-of-Fame Professional Wrestler. An eccentric character in his sport whose uncouth appearance belied the cultured gentleman that he was in real life, he was known for his green tongue as well as his trademark 'eating' of the ring turnbuckle. Born William James Myers, he was a star athlete in scho...
 
Tommy Allsup (1931 - 2017)
American Musician and Producer. Allsup, who was a Western swing musician for much of his career, was also the lead guitarist in Buddy Holly and the Crickets. He began his musical career as a member of the Oklahoma Swingbillies in 1949. Over the next few years he played in a variety of bands, includi...
 
Marvell Thomas (1941 - 2017)
Musician, Producer. A keyboardist, he will be remembered for his work with such artists as Wilson Pickett and Isaac Hayes, as well as his association with Stax Records. Born into a musical family, his father was acclaimed rhythm and blues singer Rufus Thomas, his sister Carla Thomas became a well-kn...
 
John Wold (1916 - 2017)
US Congressman. He served the state of Wyoming in the United States House of Representatives from January 3, 1969 to January 3, 1971. He earned degrees from Union College in Schenectady, New York in 1938 and Cornell University in 1939. He served as a consulting physicist and gunnery officer for...
 
Jay Bontatibus (1964 - 2017)
Actor. Born Jay Fredrick Bontatibus, he was best known for his role of Tony Viscardi on the CBS daytime soap opera "The Young and the Restless" from 1998 to 2000. Before going into acting, he was a two time All American Boxer and two time Northeast Boxing Champion. After boxing, he turned to act...
 
Gorden Kaye (1941 - 2017)
British Actor. Born Gordon Fitzgerald Kaye, he was a BAFTA-nominated actor best known for playing René Artois in the British television comedy series 'Allo 'Allo!. He got his first big TV break on the soap 'Coronation Street', playing Bernard Butler, and went on to appear in a number of roles in sit...
 
Roman Herzog (1934 - 2017)
German President. He was the first President to be elected after Germany's post-Cold War reunification. He studied law at the University of Munich, received his degree in 1958, and worked on the faculty until 1966, when he began teaching at the Free University of Berlin. He subsequently joined the G...
 
Sonny Geraci (1946 - 2017)
Rock Musician. He will be remembered as the lead vocalist for the 1960s, American rock band "The Outsiders". They scored a Top 10 hit with their signature song "Time Won't Let Me". (1966). He went on to the soft-rock ensemble "Climax" and as their lead vocalist, they earned a gold record for the sin...
 
Robert Michel (1923 - 2017)
US Congressman. A member of the Republican Party, he served the State of Illinois' 18th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives from 1957 until 1995. He served as the House Minority Whip from 1975 until 1981 and the House Minority Leader from 1981 until 1995. To date, he...
 
Colo the Gorilla (1956 - 2017)
Western Gorilla. Colo made international history when she became the first Western Gorilla in the world ever born in captivity. In addition, she is also noted for being the world’s oldest gorilla ever on record. She touched the hearts of generations of zoo goers as an ambassador for gorillas. She wa...
 
Ivan Koloff (1942 - 2017)
Professional Wrestler. Born Oreal Perras, he was well known to wrestling fans as the "The Russian Bear" who ended then World Wide Wrestling Federation champion Bruno Sammartino's seven and two-third years title reign on January 18, 1971. He left high school at the age of 18 and went to Jack Wentwort...
 
Roberta Peters (1930 - 2017)
Opera Singer. Born Roberta Peterman, she was a star coloratura soprano who was a veteran of the New York Metropolitan Opera Company for 35 years. She started her music lessons at the age of 13 under the tutelage of voice teacher William Hermann. After six years under Hermann, he introduced her ...
 
Stan Boreson (1925 - 2017)
Comedian, Entertainer. Called "King of Scandinavian Humor," he was known for his accordion playing, his wacky songs and hosting "The Stan Boreson Show" on KING-TV from the 1950s through the 1960s. He was born in Everett Washington where he attended Everett's Longfellow school, the same grade school...
 
Andy Marte (1983 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player. For seven seasons (2005 to 2010 and 2014), he played at the third base and first base positions with the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks. Born Andy Manuel Marte, he attended Liceo Nueva Esperanza High School in the Dominican Republic, prior to...
 
Tilikum (1981 - 2017)
Orca. Tilikum became a resident of SeaWorld some 25 years ago. He had been born in the waters off Iceland some ten or twelve years previously. In 1983, when it was estimated that he was two or three years old, he was captured near Iceland, then kept for about a year in a holding tank. He then was i...
 
Nicole Bass (1964 - 2017)
American Bodybuilder, Professional Wrestler and Actress. Bass, who was 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds, competed as a professional bodybuilder before joining Extreme Championship Wrestling. She made her wrestling debut during the first half of 1998, partnering with Justin Credible, Chastity and Jason. She p...
 
Bob Stewart (1950 - 2017)
Professional Hockey Player. For nine seasons (1971 to 1980), he played at the defenseman position in the National Hockey League with the Boston Bruins, California Golden Seals, Cleveland Barons, St. Louis Blues and Pittsburgh Penguins. He played hockey while attending high school, prior to beginning...
 
Walter Morrison (1954 - 2017)
Musician, Record Producer. He was best known for being a member of the 1970s funk band the Ohio Players and later as the musical director of the group P-Funk (Parliament-Funkadelic). He was a producer, writer, keyboardist and vocalist for the funk band the Ohio Players in the early 1970s, where h...
 
Frank Spellman (1922 - 2017)
Olympic Gold Medalist. He received a gold medal in the Men's Weightlifting competition during the 1948 Summer Games in London. Born Frank Isaac Spellman, into a Jewish family, he was abandoned by his family at the age of seven and was raised in an orphanage. After developing an interest in weightlif...
 
Larry Coryell (1943 - 2017)
American Musician. Known as the 'Godfather of Fusion', Coryell was a pioneer of jazz-rock, who released more than 60 solo albums in his lifetime. Born in Texas, but raised near Seattle, he began to play piano at the age of 4, and in his teens, he learned to play rock music on the guitar. After study...
 
Ralph Guglielmi (1933 - 2017)
Professional Football Player. For seven seasons (1955 and 1958 to 1963), he played at the quarterback position in the National Football League with the Washington Redskins, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles. Born Ralph Vincent Guglielmi, he attended Grandview Heights High ...
 
Kevin Geer (1954 - 2017)
Actor. He was a versatile actor who appeared in film, television, and on the stage during a career that span five decades. He got his start in acting in a off-Broadway stage production of "Kid Champion" in 1975. He would go on to perform in many off-Broadway productions throughout his career. He m...
 
Bill Champion (1947 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player. For eight seasons (1969 to 1976), he was a pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers. Born Buford Billy Champion, he attended Shelby High School in North Carolina, prior to being signed by the Philadelphia Phillies during the 3rd round of the 1965 Ama...
 
Robert Miller (1932 - 2017)
Motion Picture Director. Born into a Jewish family in New York City, he studied Drama at Harvard University. He broke into the industry as an actor and experienced performing on the Broadway stage in the play "Tonight in Samarkand" (1955). He moved to Hollywood and began a lengthy association with t...
 
Albert Brewer (1928 - 2017)
Governor of Alabama. He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1954 where he served four years as Speaker of the House. Brewer, who was close to previous Alabama Governor George Wallace and then Governor Lurleen Wallace, was elected in 1966 to serve as Lieutenant Governor. After Gove...
 
Charles Bartlett (1921 - 2017)
Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist, Author. He was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize (with the Chattanooga Times) for his reporting of improper activity by the Secretary of the Air Force in 1956. In addition, he was a member of the Kennedy inner circle and is credited with introducing John F. Kenne...
 
Selene Walters (1924 - 2017)
Actress. Born Elizabeth Florence Walker, her father was an attorney, she was raised by her mother following her parent's divorce. Interested in pursuing a career in entertainment at an early age, she took piano lessons, in addition to studying dance and theater. After studying Journalism in college,...
 
Clint Roberts (1935 - 2017)
US Congressman. A member of the Republican Party, he served the State of South Dakota's 2nd Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives from 1981 until 1983. Raised on his family's South Dakota ranch, he became the proprietor of a garment store, prior to entering the politic...
 
Charles Shackleford (1966 - 2017)
Professional Basketball Player. For six seasons (1988 to 1990, 1991 to 1993, 1994 to 1995 and 1998 to 1999), he played at the center and power-forward positions in the National Basketball Association with the New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Charlotte Hornets. Born Cha...
 
David Modell (1960 - 2017)
Professional Football Executive. Born David Orrick McDearmon Jr., he served as the president and COO (chief operating officer) of the National Football League's Baltimore Ravens from 1996 to 2004. He, along with his brother John, were adopted by Art Modell, the owner of the NFL's Cleveland Browns...
 
Jackie Brown (1943 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Player, Coach. For seven seasons (1970 to 1971 and 1973 to 1977), he was a pitcher with the Washington Senators, Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians and Montreal Expos. Born Jackie Gene Brown, he attended Moss High School in Oklahoma, prior to being signed as an amateur free agent...
 
Greg Trooper (1956 - 2017)
American Singer and Songwriter. He was a singer-songwriter whose songs incorporated country, folk, roots rock and soul, that have been recorded by Vince Gill, Robert Earl Keen, Steve Earle and Billy Bragg among others. He began visiting folk clubs in Greenwich Village in his teens during the early 1...
 
Andre Arruda (1983 - 2017)
Canadian Actor, Comedian and Disability Rights Activist. The 3 foot tall comedian, who was born with Morquio syndrome, a rare birth defect associated with dwarfism, centered his comedic routines on stories and rants about all the "handicrap" he dealt with on a daily basis as a physically disabled pe...
 
Robert Stewart (1979 - 2017)
Wildlife Photographer, Filmmaker, Conservationist, and Educator. He was best known for making and directing the documentary films "Sharkwater" and "Revolution." He died at the age of 37 in a scuba diving incident while in Florida filming "Sharkwater: Extinction."
 
Warren Frost (1925 - 2017)
Actor. He was a character actor who was best known for his role of Dr. Hayward on the popular 1990s ABC series "Twin Peaks". He left home at the age of 17 to enlist in the United States Navy during the Second World War and was a part of the Normandy invasion. After his military service, he enrolled...
 
Dan O'Brien (1929 - 2017)
Major League Baseball Executive. He served as the General Manager of several Major League Baseball clubs for nearly two decades. He graduated from Florida Southern University and entered baseball in 1956 as the head of baseball operations with Burlington-Graham Pirates, a Pittsburgh Pirates affil...
 
David Buckson (1920 - 2017)
Delaware Governor. A member of the Republican Party, he served as the 63rd Governor of the State of Delaware from December 1960 until January 1961. Educated at the University of Delaware, he later attained his law degree from Dickinson College. During World War II, he was stationed in the Pacific Th...
 
Milt Schmidt (1918 - 2017)
Professional Hockey Player, Coach, Executive. Born Milton Conrad Schmidt, he played the center position for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League from 1936 to 1942 and from 1946 to 1955. He played junior hockey with various teams in Ontario until his rights was acquired by the Boston Bruin...
 
George Kosana (1935 - 2017)
American Actor. Kosana was a character actor who will best be remembered for his role as Sheriff McClelland in George Romero's 1968 cult-classic 'Night of the Living Dead'. He reprised the role of Sheriff McClelland in both 'Living Dead' (2012) and 'My Uncle John is a Zombie!' (2016). He also appear...
 
John Hilton (1942 - 2017)
Professional Football Player. He played the tight end position for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, and Detroit Lions of the National Football League from 1965 to 1973. He prepared for college by attending Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia as a postgraduate in the...
 

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