Stars We Lost In 2022
As 2022 comes to an end, it is a perfect time to reflect on the year, and more importantly, remember those who we lost this year. Every year we lose a good amount of stars, and even though we didn't know them personally, it still hurts to lose someone who may have been a big part of our lives in other ways. Whether you watched them growing up or you listened to their songs that now give you nostalgia, losing a celebrity who had an impact on you can feel just like losing a loved one. Some of us get so caught up in our day-to-day that we may miss the news of a celebrity who has passed, so in honor of their memory, here is a list of 50 stars we lost in 2022.
Bob McGrath was best known for being one of the longest-running human characters in Sesame Street and also an original cast member. He died on Dec. 4th at the ripe age of 90, so he lived a long and healthy life.
Along with Matt Robinson, Will Lee, and Loretta Long, McGrath became part of the inaugural cast of Sesame Street in 1969 when he took up the role of the friendly music teacher named Bob Johnson. McGrath reprised that role for over forty years, creating some magical moments for fans until his arrangement with the show was terminated before the 47th season.
Julia Reichert was a remarkable filmmaker known for her award-winning documentary, American Factory. She died of cancer on Dec. 1st, at the age of 76. Julia studied filmmaking at Antioch College in Yellow Springs. She also co-founded a documentary distribution company called New Day Films.
The first project she delivered was Growing Up Female in 1971, a project that was inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry. Her entire career was characterized by several Oscar-nominated documentaries that explore the human condition and the lives of women.
Brad William Henke
Henke was an NFL star before he made the transition to acting. As an actor, he’s best known for portraying a prison guard in Orange Is the New Black. As an NFL star, he played for the Denver Broncos and made an appearance in Super Bowl XXIV.
He went into acting shortly after a series of injuries forced him to retire from football in 1994, and his portrayal of the brutal and openly gay officer in the fourth and fifth seasons of Orange Is the New Black allowed others to see how multi-talented he truly was.
Freddie Roman made a name for himself as a standup comedian on the famous Borscht Belt. He’d gotten his start at 15 when he got to emcee for the Crystal Spring Hotel owned by his relatives.
Roman tried his hands at teenage comedy and also tried starting a shoe business before settling for a career in comedy. He soon got to headline several resort venues like Las Vegas’s Caesar's Palace. Roman also had a thriving career in acting as he made multiple appearances in shows like Red Oaks and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
Irene Cara was a New York City-born singer and performer, and Oscar award winner known for performing remarkable theme songs for movies like Flashdance and Fame. Unfortunately, she died in her sleep in her Florida home at 63.
After performing as a child and through her teen years, Cara became famous overnight after playing Coco Hernandez in Fame. A year after that performance, she received two Grammy nominations, and she also got to lend her voice to another standout theme song for Flashdance.
Wilko Johnson was a British rocker associated with the Dr. Feelgood band and an actor on Game of Thrones. On Nov. 21st, he died at age 75 after he’d been diagnosed with cancer about 10 years ago and had found inspiration to release new songs from that.
Johnson initially refused to undergo chemotherapy but then he declared he was cancer-free after undergoing surgery with the assistance of a fan in 2014. Until he died, Wilko remained an active member of the Wilko Johnson Band, and he performed and recorded songs for fans.
As the original stuntman for Michael Myers in the 1978 film Halloween, James Winburn got to famously rock the slasher’s mask. He was a standout stuntman that helped simplify the most difficult scenes in the movie, including when he fell off a balcony because he got shot several times by Dr. Samuel Loomis.
Over the course of his legendary career, Winburn worked for more than seventy movies, including Glory, The Night Stalker, and Island of Witches. He also directed a couple of features before his death on Nov. 19th.
Jason David Frank
Jason David Frank was a mixed martial artist and actor known for his role in the original Power Rangers. Frank played the role of Tommy Oliver, the Green and White Ranger in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and quickly became a fan favorite for it.
He got to play the role for a long time in several Power Rangers adaptations like Power Rangers Hyperforce and Power Rangers Zeo. He died at age 49, and fans will forever remember his role in other projects like The Junior Defenders and Family Matters.
Her father played varying roles in projects like The West Wing, Journeyman, and Search for Tomorrow. Described by his daughter as one of the most beautiful humans she ever knew, John Aniston will be missed just as much by fans and peers in entertainment.
As the owner and founder of The Improv, the announcement of Budd Friedman’s death on Nov. 12th as a result of heart failure sent shockwaves around the industry. In 1963, Friedman launched The Improv in New York, and he gradually expanded the franchise to about 22 clubs in 12 states.
Even in death, Kevin Conroy remains one of the most remarkable actors to voice and play the role of Batman. He died after a fight with cancer on Nov. 10th. Kevin studied at the Juilliard School, where he honed his voice-acting skills.
Conroy is credited for making Batman more popular among younger viewers. He also voiced the superhero character in 15 different TV series and a host of movies. Conroy will also be remembered for portraying a live-action Bruce Wayne in the Arrowverse.
Jeff Cook was a famous guitarist, and one of the inaugural members of the country rock group Alabama. After taking up music at a young age in his native Fort Payne, Alabama, he co-founded Alabama with his cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry.
Together they kept the band soaring for over five decades, and they also sold over 80 million albums. Cook’s legacy includes introducing the electric double-neck guitar to country music, and he was a terrific instrumentalist that mastered several sounds.
Phillips was a legendary English comedy actor until he died on Nov. 7th, aged 98. He will be remembered for his role in Carry On, and for voicing the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter franchise. Phillips’ legendary career began in the 1930s, and he’s since appeared in over 200 movies, TV shows, and radio projects.
He was a comedic standout so it was only right that he tried his hand at drama and excelled at it. In recognition of his legendary exploits as an actor, Phillips was named a Commander of the British Empire in 2008.
Herrin was a former actress and Playboy playmate that played the role of the Dream Ghost in the original Ghostbusters movie. Throughout her illustrious career, she got to grace the covers of different magazines, and she was also featured in a handful of movie projects like Road House, Romancing the Stone, and Beverly Hills Cop II.
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis was a piano music legend that helped create the image of the larger-than-life rock star while also creating rock & roll. In 1956, Lewis began to record for the Sun Records label, and he got to hang with generational talents like Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley while he was at it.
With the aid of seminal rock & roll songs like "Great Balls of Fire" and "Whole Lotta Shakin," Lewis quickly became a massively famous star but his star power was diminished somewhat when he married his cousin, Myra Gale Brown.
Jules Bass was a director, composer, and producer best known for creating the evergreen and beloved stop-motion picture Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. He also delivered projects like Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town and Frosty the Snowman. Bass directed and co-produced remarkable projects like The Little Drummer Boy, Pinocchio’s Christmas, and Mad Monster Party.
Along with his friend and colleague, Arthur Rankin Jr., Bass earned an Emmy nomination for The Little Drummer Boy Book II. Rankin passed before Bass in 2014 at the age of 89, so Bass is now reunited with his long-time friend.
Aaron Carter was a beloved singer, songwriter, actor, and dancer who touched the hearts of millions around the world. Sadly, on November 5th, he passed away at the age of 34. A toxicology report was done to determine the cause of death but no causes have been stated.
His ashes are currently being held by his twin sister, Angel, who said she spoke to him the night before and begged him to let her help him. Aaron Carter’s death is a tragedy and a reminder of the importance of mental health awareness and the need to provide support for those who are struggling.
As an actor, Robert Brown was best known for his role on ABC's series Here Comes the Brides. The New Jersey native was on course to play the role of Det. Steve McGarrett before that plan was axed and Jack Lord was made to play the lead role.
John Hartman was the original drummer of the legendary rock group called the Doobie Brothers. He died at age 72, and his band described him as a great showman, great drummer, and wild spirit. He was also described as an intricate part of the band's personality.
Hartman was a part of the rock band when they began to perform in 1970, and he was still with them when they performed a host of chart-topping hits like "What A Fool Believes" and "Listen to the Music." Before announcing his retirement from the band in 1992, Hartman left and returned to the band on multiple occasions.
PnB Rock, whose real name was Rakim Hasheem Allen, was fatally shot during a robbery on Sept. 12th. The Philadelphia native was 30 and he’d signed a deal with Atlantic Records in 2015 after which he became famous on the back of solid singles like "Selfish."
Throughout his shortened career, PnB Rock released two albums, Trapstar Turnt PopStar and Catch These Vibes. He was also featured on several tracks with the likes of Wiz Khalifa, Ed Sheeran, Chance the Rapper, and others.
Queen Elizabeth II
The monarch of the United Kingdom and its 15 other Commonwealth realms, Queen Elizabeth II, died on Sept. 8th, aged 96. She was the longest-reigning monarch in the history of the UK.
She was coronated at Westminster Abbey in June 1953, and her coronation was televised, marking the first time that people across the globe could witness the coronation. She reigned for about 70 years, and those years were mostly peaceful even though lots of changes still happened across the country in that span.
David A. Arnold
David A. Arnold was an actor, showrunner, writer, and comedian known for creating That Girl Lay Lay, a Nickelodeon series. Arnold was a Cleveland native and experienced stand-up comic that had lots of hilarious opinions about marriage and life in general.
2020’s Fat Ballerina and 2022’s It Aint For the Weak are two of his comedy specials. He also wrote material for several TV series like Nickelodeon’s Side Hustle, Netflix’s Fuller House, and more. His foremost series, That Girl Lay Lay, is a teen comedy that tells the story of a girl that magically brought an avatar to life.
Peter Straub was an accomplished author that created remarkable supernatural fiction stories like Ghost Story, The Talisman, and Julia. He wrote both Black House and The Talisman along with his close friend Stephen King.
His first two books, Under Venus and Marriages, weren’t very successful but then Julia’s paranormal content found some success. 1979’s Ghost Story talks about four older men that were haunted by something they did in their youth. The story was good enough to be adapted into a movie.
Joe E. Tata
Joe E. Tata was an actor known for portraying the approachable Peach Pit diner owner, Nat Bussichio on Beverly Hills, 90210. He played the role of Nat for the entire run of Beverly Hills, 90210 from 1990 to 2000.
Tata also got to reprise the role on the CW's 90210 reboot, and he has some other TV credits on projects like Lost in Space, Mission: Impossible, Magnum P.I., and the Adam West Batman series. Unfortunately, Tata died on Aug. 24th, aged 85, and it’s safe to say the Bronx native’s talents will be missed.
Denise Dowse was a veteran actress known for portraying therapist Rhonda Pine on Insecure and Vice Principal Yvonne Teasley on Beverly Hills, 90210. She died on Aug. 13th after falling into a meningitis-induced coma at age 64.
Dowse was quite famous on 90s TV as she got to appear on famous projects like Full House, Seinfeld, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Moesha, and more. Some of her most recent credits include Secrets and Lies, Stumptown, Good Trouble, Dr. Dolittle, and Requiem for a Dream.
Wolfgang Petersen was an Oscar-nominated German filmmaker that became famous thanks to his World War II drama Das Boot, which had some technically accurate set pieces. Wolfgang Petersen died on Aug. 12th aged 81 due to pancreatic cancer.
The German-born filmmaker began his directing career in the 1960s, and his first feature film, One or the Other of Us, was released in 1974 but he found the most success with Das Boot in 1981. That project earned critical acclaim and six Academy Award nominations. He got to expand to Hollywood thanks to the success of that project.
Anne Heche was an actress that rose to fame thanks to the soap opera Another World, and a couple of appearances in movies such as Wag the Dog, My Friend Dahmer, and Six Days, Seven Nights. After being involved in a scary car crash in Los Angeles on Aug. 5th, she died at 53.
She became famous after playing the role of Vicky Hudson and Marley Love on Another World, performances that earned her two Soap Opera Digest Awards and a Daytime Emmy. Heche made her primetime TV debut in 1991, and her first feature-film role came in 1993.
Roger E. Mosley
Mosley’s most famous performance was as Theodore T.C. Calvin, the helicopter pilot on the ‘80s hit show Magnum P.I. He died on Aug. 7th, aged 83 after sustaining injuries from a car accident. His acting career started in 1971 when he appeared in Gordon Parks’ Leadbelly, which was inspired by the life of Huddie Ledbetter, the folk singer.
Mosley got to appear along with a young Arnold Schwarzenegger in Stay Hungry as well the same year. Next, he played the role of boxer Sonny Liston in The Greatest, a biological sports movie that starred Muhammad Ali as well.
Roseanna Christiansen became famous after playing the role of the Ewings’ maid on 112 episodes of Dallas, a prime-time soap opera. She died at the Antelope Valley Medical Center on July 14th, aged 71.
Nichelle Nichols was a legendary actor that will be forever remembered for breaking a major race barrier to become the star of the 1960s sci-fi series Star Trek. She died on July 30th, aged 89 in Silver City, New Mexico due to heart failure.
She had her breakout role as Lt. Nyota Uhura on the original Star Trek series, and she was the first African-American woman to play a major role on primetime television when the show aired in 1966. Nichols had the first interracial kiss on American TV when her character kissed William Shatner’s, Captain James T. Kirk.
David Warner was a prolific actor with a legendary career that spanned voice work, stage acting, TV, and film. He was known for contributing to movies like Tron, The Omen, and Titanic before he died on July 24th after a hard-fought battle with cancer.
He died at London’s Denville Hall, which was a care home for members of the entertainment industry. Warner was a compassionate man whose history of exceptional work enabled him to touch so many lives. His career spanned over 60 years and he was involved in some truly remarkable projects.
James Caan was the star of many well-received movies like Elf and The Godfather, where he portrayed Sonny Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 movie, a role that earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Caan died on July 6th at 82, leaving behind five children, including Scott Caan, star of Hawaii Five-O. He also made a name for himself with classic roles in Wes Anderson’s Bottle Rocket and Michael Mann’s Thief. Before his death, Caan had grown into a calming elderly presence on Twitter.
Joe Turkel was a talented character actor that made a name for himself with roles in Blade Runner and The Shining. He died at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica on June 27th, aged 94.
Brad Johnson was a terrific actor best known for his role on the Fox series Melrose Place and Steven Spielberg’s Always. He died on Feb. 18th in Forth Worth, Texas at 62 from a COVID-related illness.
His career began on the professional rodeo circuit in 1984, after he was discovered by a casting director, paving the way for his role as the Marlboro Man in the 1980s. He landed the role of Ted Baker in Always in 1989, and in 1996, he landed the recurring role of Dominic O’Malley in Melrose Place.
George Shapiro was a famous producer and talent manager that represented comedy stars like Andy Kaufman, Jerry Seinfeld, and uncle Carl Reiner until he died of natural causes on May 26th, he was 91. He co-founded Shapiro/West & Associates, an entertainment firm with which Shapiro executive-produced TV shows, documentaries, and specials like Seinfeld.
The firm also enabled Shapiro and his partners to discover talent for shows like That Girl and The Steve Allen Show. They also produced specials headlined by the likes of Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke.
Bo Hopkins was a beloved legendary actor that appeared in over 100 movies and TV shows like American Graffiti and The Wild Bunch. He died on May 28th at 84 after suffering a heart attack earlier in the month.
With a face that even casual movie fans can recognize, Ray Liotta was a famous actor known for being the star of Goodfellas and other well-received movies. He died in his sleep on May 26th while filming a project in the Dominican Republic. He wasn’t even 70 when he passed.
Liotta got his film debut in The Lonely Lady in 1983, but the role that made him famous was in Something Wild in 1986. Some of his other film credits include Killing Them Softly, Marriage Story, Cop Land, and The Place Beyond the Pines.
John Aylward was a veteran screen and stage actor known for his roles on The West Wing and ER. The Seattle native died on May 16th at the age of 75 from natural causes.
He’d gotten his start in the theater scene, and he soon became a founding member of the Empty Space Theatre before landing his first small screen role in The Secret Life of John Chapman, a 1976 TV movie. However, his most famous role is Dr. Donald Anspaugh on ER, and he’s also known for his role in movies like A Million Ways to Die and Water for Elephants.
Fred Ward was a veteran actor known for his role in a diverse selection of movies. He died on May 8th at 79, and his cause of death wasn’t disclosed by his family. In his life, Ward was featured in movies like Miami Blues, Tremors, and the historical drama, The Right Stuff.
He made a final appearance in the second season of True Detective as Ward spent the final years of his life perfecting his painting skills. The legendary actor was also a vet, as he served in the US Air Force for three years.
Rapper Takeoff, real name Kirshnik Khari Ball, has sadly passed away at the age of 28. He was shot outside of a bowling alley in Houston, Texas around 2:30 AM. The incident occurred as Quavo was playing dice with a group of men and an argument broke out.
Takeoff was a member of the Atlanta-based rap trio, Migos, alongside Offset and Quavo. Takeoff was known for his unique delivery and ability to create catchy melodies. He was often credited with helping to push the Migos sound to the next level and was the producer behind many of their songs.
Kirstie Alley, the beloved actress and comedian, sadly passed away at the age of 71. The death was confirmed by her children on Dec. 5th, after her short battle with colon cancer.
Kirstie Alley had a long and successful career in film and television, and she was also a dancer and author. She rose to fame in the late 80s with her breakout role in Look Who's Talking and the sequels, and she was also nominated for two Golden Globe awards for her performance in Cheers.
DJ Kay Slay
DJ Jay Slay was a talented hip-hop disc jockey and record executive that rose to fame as a graffiti artist under the famous moniker Drama King. He died as a result of COVID-19 complications on April 17th, aged 55.
Kay Slay was a famous and prominent DJ in the early 2000s mixtape scene when he got to work with artists like Busta Rhymes, Ghostface Killah, and Nas. He released six studio albums, including The Soul Controller in 2021. DJ Kay Slay had an uncanny ability to capture rap feuds in his mixtapes.
Rae Allen was a talented actress known for remarkable supporting roles in projects like A League of Their Own and The Sopranos. She died of natural causes on April 6th, aged 95. Allen had her first major movie role in the 1958 baseball comedy Damn Yankees, which turned out to be an Oscar-nominated project.
Estelle Harris was a talented actress known for her role as sitcom mom Estelle Constanza on Seinfeld. She died from natural causes on April 2nd, aged 93. Harris’s career began in the 1970s, and she got to star in multiple radio and TV commercials before making her way to the set of shows like Law and Order, Brooklyn Bridge, and Night Court.
Paul Herman’s role as club owner Peter Gaeta on The Sopranos is by far his most memorable role, although he’s also known for starring in movies like The Irishman and Goodfellas. He died on March 29th at the age of 76 and his cause has yet to still be announced.
Herman also appeared in movies like Once Upon a Time in America and The Last Temptation of Christ. The Brooklyn native’s movie career began with an appearance in Dear Mr. Wonderful in 1982, a role that allowed him to feature in other films as well.
John Stahl was a remarkable Scottish actor best known for his role as Richard Karstark on HBO’s Game of Thrones. He died on the Scottish Isle of Lewis on March 2nd, at the age of 68 due to a brain tumor.
Stahl portrayed the Game of Thrones character in the second and third seasons, after taking over the role from Steven Blount, who had portrayed the character in the first season. Stahl also made a name for himself on the Scottish soap opera, Take the High Road from 1982 to 2003.
Ivan Reitman is best known for directing Ghostbusters and for producing two David Cronenberg movies in the mid-70s. He died in his sleep on Feb. 12th, aged 75. He rose to fame after working on Animal House, the highest-grossing comedy ever when it was released.
In 1979, Reitman made his directorial debut with Meatballs, with Bill Murray playing his first starring role. Reitman had a couple of hits in the 80s and 90s, including Kindergarten Cop, Stripes, Six Days, Seven Nights, and Twins.
Betty Davis was a fierce entertainer whose songwriting and singing served as an inspiration to countless performers that came after her. She died on Feb. 9th, aged 65. Davis attended the New York Fashion Institute of Technology, and she worked for Wilhelmina as a model after graduating from the Institute.
Betty Davis was one of the first African-American models to be featured in Seventeen and Glamour. She managed to find success as a singer at the same time, and she was one of the pioneer Black women to write, arrange, and produce her own sounds.
Maria Ewing was a famous opera singer, and she’s also the mother of actress Rebecca Hall. She died on Jan. 9th, aged 71. Maria was the youngest Ewing born to her white Dutch mother and African-American father. In 1976, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.
She got to keep performing at the Met, racking up 96 performances that ended with her role as Marie in Wozzeck, Berg’s 1997 opera. Her Husband, Peter Hall, directed several of her performances throughout her career.
Bob Saget was an actor and comedian that became famous after portraying Danny Tanner on Full House. He’s also remembered for hosting America’s Funniest Home Videos.
Saget died on Jan. 9th, aged 65. During his life, his family-friendly appearance contrasted starkly with his off-color stand-up comedy, and the difference was put to great comedic effect in his movie roles. Saget narrated multiple seasons of How I Met Your Mother as Ted Mosby’s older version. Some of his movie credits include The Aristocrats, Entourage, and Half-Baked.