When worldwide superstars like David Bowie or Carrie Fisher pass away, their loss dominates the news cycle for days. But for other celebrities, sadly, the spotlight doesn’t linger so long.
In fact, it’s possible you may not have even heard that some of your favorite stars are no longer with us. Here’s a look at some celebrities you didn’t know had passed away. Robert Guillaume A frequent guest star on TV shows through the 1970’s, Robert Guillaume became a household name thanks to his star-making turn as Benson DuBois on the hit show Soap. The character proved so popular, Benson was spun off into his own series. Guillaume later starred on the cult hit Sports Night, and famously provided the voice of Rafiki in the classic Disney smash The Lion King. On October 24, 2017, Guillaume lost his battle with prostate cancer and passed away at the age of 89. Fats Domino Just how big a star was legendary New Orleans musician Fats Domino? During the ’50s and ’60s, the man born Antoine Domino Junior racked up over 60 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, with his best known song, “Blueberry Hill,” hitting a peak of number 2 in 1956.
Additionally, Domino had nine number one hits on Billboard’s R&B charts. According to reports, the icon passed away “peacefully” on October 24, 2017. He was 89. Omar Sharif Born in Egypt in 1932, Oscar nominated actor Omar Sharif became an icon for a whole generation of film fans after he appeared in the classic films Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago. For over 60 years, Sharif appeared in blockbusters such as The 13th Warrior and Hidalgo, but in early 2015, Sharif was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
He had a heart attack later that same year and passed away on July 10, 2015, in Cairo, Egypt, at the age of 83. Amanda Peterson In 1987, 15-year-old Amanda Peterson catapulted into our hearts with her breakout role in Can’t Buy Me Love. Sadly, it would prove to be the height of her career. In the decades after, Peterson developed a drug habit and was arrested multiple times for drug possession and assault. In July, 2015, Peterson’s body was found in her home, reportedly with a cocktail of drugs in her system.
The cause of death was officially listed as respiratory failure. She was 43. Craig Sager For nearly four decades, TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager was an unavoidable figure at NBA games, interviewing players and coaches while wearing the loudest, craziest suits possible. Sadly, on December 15, 2016, Sager passed away at the age of 65 after a two year battle with cancer, but not before the league paid tribute to Sager by arranging for him to finally report on his first ever Finals game.
Superstar LeBron James spoke for all basketball fans when he paid tribute to Sager during the game. “I’m happy to see you man. Much love and respect, and I’m happy you were able to witness this in front of all these fans. We really appreciate you.” Glenn Quinn Character actor Glenn Quinn was known to a generation of TV fans as both Doyle on Angel and as Beckey’s dim boyfriend Mark on Roseanne. Quinn seemed on the verge of becoming a major superstar, even dating Gwyneth Paltrow for a time. Unfortunately, though, the bright lights of Hollywood turned out to be too much, as Quinn developed a drug habit. After being thrown out of rehab, Quinn passed of an overdose on December 3, 2002. He was just 32 years old. George Martin A legendary music producer and one of the fellas to be credited as “the fifth Beatle,” George Martin produced all of the Beatles’ hits, from 1963’s Please Please Me, all the way through 1969’s Abbey Road. Working closely with the Beatles to refine the sound and texture of each and every song, Martin was practically a member of the band, and after they split up, he continued producing solo efforts by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
Other musical acts that George Martin worked with include Brian Wilson, Celine Dion, and Elton John, to name a few. On March 8, 2016, Martin passed away in his sleep at the age of 90. Rob Knox After playing ice cream-loving Ravenclaw Marcus Belby in the worldwide smash hit Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Rob Knox seemed on the verge of stardom. His life was tragically cut short, however on May 24, 2008 after a knife-wielding man attacked his brother at a pub. Knox valiantly leapt to his brother’s defense and was stabbed. He was only 18. A year later, his slayer, Karl Bishop, was sentenced to life in prison. At the Half-Blood Prince’s premiere, the cast wore white ribbons as a tribute to Knox.
Manute Bol NBA star Manute Bol was perhaps most famous for being 7’7″, super tall even for professional basketball. But he was perhaps an even better humanitarian than athlete. After he retired, Bol became a tireless advocate for Sudan Sunrise, an organization that promotes, as ESPN put it, “reconciliation in Sudan.” He worked to build houses and schools in Sudan, and used his celebrity status to confront political corruption. Unfortunately, after battling the skin disease Stevens-Johnson syndrome, Bol passed away on June 19, 2010, from kidney failure at the age of 47. After his demise, Sudan Sunrise vowed to continue his fight to improve Sudan and to work toward his goal of building 41 schools around the nation. Windell Middlebrooks You might not know his name, but you’ve certainly seen the face of Windell Middlebrooks, who became a textbook “that guy!” actor thanks to roles in films and TV shows like The Suite Life On Deck.
He was perhaps best known, though, as the delivery guy from all those Miller High Life commercials. “and those soda companies showed us how those pop stars hit those high notes. Just repeated strikes to the groin… mmmmm” “wooooooo!” Sadly, on March 9, 2015, Middlebrooks suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism, leading to an outpouring of grief on social media from his many co-stars. He was only 36. Hector Camacho The legendary boxer known as “Macho” Camacho was both a great entertainer and a great fighter, finishing with a career record of 79 wins and just 6 losses. After retiring, though, he struggled with drug addiction. On November 24, 2012, Camacho was driving with a friend who had nine bags of cocaine in his possession. Another car pulled alongside and opened fire. Camacho was shot in the head, and though doctors initially thought he might recover, he then suffered a heart attack that left him braindead. He was taken off life support and passed away four days after the shooting at the age of 50.
Stevie Ryan A YouTuber who gained millions of followers through her Little Loca show, Stevie Ryan became popular enough that she got her own sketch comedy show on VH1, Stevie TV, which ran for two seasons. Unfortunately, Ryan also suffered from depression, a condition that only got worse when her beloved grandfather passed away. She said on the Mentally Chill podcast, “I’m just worried that this is going to send me into a deeper depression.” Two days later, on July 1, 2017, Ryan herself, leaving behind an all-too-brief legacy of a funny lady whose mental health issues took her away long before her time.
Kirby Puckett A Hall of Fame baseball player who won two World Series with the Minnesota Twins, Kirby Puckett’s career was cut short in 1996 due to glaucoma. Less than 10 years later, at the age of 45, Puckett suffered a severe stroke and passed away just one day later. Then-commissioner Bud Selig paid homage, saying, “He was revered throughout the country and will be remembered wherever the game is played.” Zsa Zsa Gabor Legendary Hollywood icon Zsa Zsa Gabor made it until she was 99 years old, though if she got her way, her tombstone would probably say she was 75. Married nine times, Gabor was famous as much for her personality as for the 30 plus films she appeared in beginning in the 1950s. Always quick with a quip, and usually insisting she was younger than she actually was, Gabor was left partially paralyzed after a car crash in 2002. On December 18, 2016, she passed away from heart failure after a long, full life. David Graf If you were a fan of the Police Academy films, you knew and enjoyed David Graf, who played Eugene Tackleberry in all six films. And that was just one of many roles for Graf, who also appeared in films like The Brady Bunch Movie and Rules of Engagement, as well as TV shows including The West Wing, and Touched By an Angel.
Sadly, on April 7, 2001, Graf suffered a fatal heart attack while attending a wedding. His wife later paid tribute to Graf with a moving play called “Surviving David.” Ray Combs In 1988, Ray Combs replaced Richard Dawson for the revival of the classic game show Family Feud. After six seasons, though, in 1994 producers fired Combs and brought back Dawson. It would prove to be the beginning of the end for Combs. After a series of poor financial decisions, Combs went through a painful divorce, and was seriously injured in a car accident. It all led to a deep depression for Combs. On June 1, 1996, Police placed Combs in psychiatric care after he trashed his house, but the intervention came too late. The next day, Combs took the age of 40. Talia Joy Castellano At age 7, Talia Joy Castellano was diagnosed with cancer.
She responded by focusing on making herself as beautiful as possible, and in 2011, she started a YouTube channel devoted to makeup and beauty tutorials. She quickly became popular — so much so, in fact, that she appeared on Ellen in 2012. There, Ellen and CoverGirl magazine dubbed her an honorary CoverGirl, with her own cover and everything. “Cover Girl wants to give you something to help ah….” “Oh my God!” Sadly, on July 16, 2013, Castellano passed away from cancer, surrounded by her loving family and mourned by millions of fans around the world. Monty Hall One of the most beloved game show hosts of all time, Monty Hall co-created and hosted the classic Let’s Make a Deal from 1963 through 1990, turning the simple show into a national phenomenon when he embraced the idea of contestants appearing in wacky costumes. In 2009, Let’s Make a Deal returned with Wayne Brady as host, but Hall was still involved behind the scenes, and even appeared occasionally alongside Brady to present very special deals. Sadly, Hall passed away on September 30, 2017 from heart failure.
He was 96. Rod Taylor He never became a household name, but film buffs of every generation have appreciated Rod Taylor, who appeared in dozens of films over his long career. His most famous movies came nearly five decades apart, as Taylor co-starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic The Birds, as well as Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 smash hit Inglorious Basterds. That was his final film role. On January 7, 2015, Taylor passed away at home, surrounded by his friends and family, just four days shy of his 85th birthday. Steven Hill Over more than 50 years in show business, Steven Hill gained a reputation as a talented, versatile actor.
He gained national fame on the 60’s TV series Mission: Impossible, but is perhaps best known for playing Adam Schiff for ten seasons on the classic series Law & Order. Called “one of the truly great actors of his generation” by Law & Order producer Dick Wolf, Hill passed away at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital on August 23, 2016, at the age of 94..
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