Welcome back to part 2 of this 2-part blog. Last week I showed a cross section of those who died January through July. Here in part 2, I'm covering August through December.
David Huddleston, 85 years old, died August 2: character actor probably best known for his roles in The Big Lebowski and Santa Claus: The Movie.
Pete Fountain, 86 years old, died August 6: world renowned clarinetist famous for his New Orleans Dixieland jazz.
Kenny Baker, 81 years old, died August 13: played the lovable R2-D2 in the Star Wars films, achieving cult status without showing his face or speaking any lines.
John McLaughlin, 89 years old, died August 16: conservative commentator and head of the long running television about Washington politics.
Steven Hill, 94 years old, died August 23: character actor who achieved his greatest success late in life as District Attorney Adam Schiff on the long running television series Law & Order. I remember him from the very first season of the Mission Impossible television series then Peter Graves took over as head of the Impossible Mission's Force at the start of season 2 for the rest of the series run.
Gene Wilder, 83 years old, died August 28: the actor who brought his deft comedic touch to such marvelous zany films as Mel Brooks' The Producers and also Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein as well as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. He was married to Gilda Radnor of Saturday Night Live until her death from cancer.
Jon Polito, 65 years old, died September 1: his 200+ credits range from television series Homicide: Life on the Street and Modern Family to films Barton Fink and The Big Lebowski.
Phyllis Schlaffly, 92 years old, died September 5: outspoken conservative activist who worked to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s.
Lady Chablis, 59 years old, died September 8: transgender performer who became an unlikely celebrity after being included in the 1994 best-seller Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil.
Edward Albee, 88 years old, died September 16: three time Pulitzer Prize winning playwright who gave us such masterworks as Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? and A Delicate Balance.
W.P. Kinsella, 81 years old, died September 16: Canadian novelist who gave us Field Of Dreams.
Arnold Palmer, 87 years old, died September 25: the golfing great who brought what had basically been a country club sport to the masses.
Shimon Peres, 93 years old, died September 28: former Israeli president and prime minister celebrated around the world as a Nobel prize-winning visionary.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 88 years old, died October 13: the world's longest reigning monarch who was revered in Thailand as an anchor of stability through decades of upheaval at home and abroad. When I read 'longest reigning monarch' my first thought was that honor belonged to Elizabeth II of England. So, I had to look it up…the king reigned for 70 years, 126 days. Elizabeth has been on the throne since February 6, 1952 which is 65 years next month.
Janet Reno, 78 years old, died November 7: the first woman to serve as U.S. Attorney General.
Robert Vaughn, 83 years old, died November 11: Oscar nominated actor with many film roles but was most famous for the television series The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Leon Russell, 74 years old, died November 13: singer-songwriter who found his own rock'n'roll spotlight in the 1970s after playing anonymously on dozens of pop hits as an in-demand studio pianist.
Florence Henderson, 82 years old, died November 24: Broadway star who was most famous for The Brady Bunch television series.
Fidel Castro, 90 years old, died November 25: revolutionary who was Cuba's dictator for 5 decades.
Ron Glass, 71 years old, died November 25: Emmy nominated for his portrayal of Detective Ron Harris, another of the Barney Miller cast who died in 2016. He also appeared in the sci-fi cult series Firefly as preacher Derrial Brook.
Grant Tinker, 90 years old, died November 28: former NBC television network chairman who brought such shows as Hill Street Blues to the network. Also co-founded MTM Enterprises with then wife Mary Tyler Moore.
John Glenn, 95 years old, died December 8: first American to orbit the earth in 1962 followed by a long career as the U.S. Senator from Ohio. Returned to space in 1998 for a 7 day mission, making him the oldest man to go into space.
E.R. Braithwaite, 104 years old, died December 12: Guyanese author, educator and diplomat whose years teaching in the slums of London's East End inspired the best seller To Sir, With Love, later made into a movie.
Alan Thicke, 69 years old, died December 13: actor best known for playing the dad on the television series Growing Pains.
Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99 years old, died December 18: Hungarian born beauty queen, married 9 times, sister of Eva Gabor. Served 3 days in jail for slapping a Beverly Hills policeman.
George Michael, 53 years old, died December 25: pop singer whose career started with Wham! in the 1980s before he went out on his own for a solo career.
Carrie Fisher, 60 years old, died December 27: daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, most famous as Princess Leia from the Star Wars movies.
Debbie Reynolds, 84 years old, died December 28: to everyone's shock, she died the day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher's, surprise death. Came to fame starring with Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor in Singing In The Rain.
William Christopher, 84 years old, died December 31: best known for his role as Father Mulcahy in the long running M*A*S*H* television series.