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Chuck Berry’s ignoble connection to Arizona

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In this footage from a 1986 performance, Chuck Berry rocks out with Keith Richards, Neil Young and Jerry Lee Lewis. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The rock n’ roll legend was arrested and convicted for traveling with an underage Yuma teen during his 1959 national tour. Chuck Berry was an innovator with much-copied guitar riffs. Rock legend Chuck Berry died at age 90. (Photo: Walter Bieri, EPA)
36 CONNECT TWEET LINKEDIN 1 COMMENT EMAIL MORE Chuck Berry was already a legend in 1959, having penned and recorded many of the hits that would ensure his place in music history. But on a tour that year, Berry would be accompanied by a teenager who grew up in Yuma and her testimony would place him in prison for two years and put a damper on his career.
Berry, who died on March 18, 2017, is most remembered for the pioneering string of hits he wrote and recorded in the mid-1950s, including “Johnny B. Goode,” a song that would become his signature.
Less remembered was his ignoble tie to the state. He met a teenager from Arizona while on that December 1959 tour, traveled with her from state to state — supposedly with the intention of hiring her to work at his nightclub. The teen, yearning to get back home, contacted police in her home town of Yuma.
The Mann Act Berry was charged with transporting the girl across state lines for an “immoral purpose.” It was a violation of the Mann Act — a law designed to prevent human trafficking — which historians say had a tinged racial history.
Berry, in his defense, said he never had intercourse with the teen. He hired her to sell pictures at his shows, and expected she would be a hat-check girl at his St. Louis club.
The girl told authorities a different story, one detailed in court records.
One appeals decision in the case even describes how the band toured. Berry and his three musicians were “travelling in his Cadillac automobile from one engagement to another,” according to the court decision.
A waitress, a nightclub and a bus ticket In El Paso, Berry met a 14-year-old waitress. The court record says she had an eighth-grade education. It also says she worked as a prostitute.
Berry, according to the court decision archived on Google Scholar, offered her a job at his nightclub in St. Louis. In the meantime, she could join the tour and sell photographs at the concert stops.
They went from Tucson to Phoenix, then over to Santa Fe. Next came Denver, Pueblo, Colo., Kansas City and St. Louis.
This ad ran in The Arizona Republic in 1959, promoting a Chuck Berry concert. On this tour, according to court records, he was accompanied by a 14-year-old Yuma girl whose testimony would lead to Berry’s conviction and two-year prison stay. (Photo: The Republic)
According to court records, the two shared a room in both Tucson and Denver.
After a few nights in St. Louis, Berry fired the girl because her work was not satisfactory, according to court documents. He told her to pack her clothes in a plain paper bag, drove her to the bus station, bought her a ticket to El Paso and gave her $5.
The girl left the bus station and returned to the club where Berry took back the bus ticket, court documents said.
That’s when the girl called authorities in Yuma. They contacted St. Louis police, who arrested Berry.
Conviction and appeals Berry was found guilty in two trials. His first conviction was overturned on appeal because of comments the judge made about his race. Berry also appealed the second conviction, but lost. He began serving his sentence in 1961.
It would not be his last run-in with the law. In the late 1970s, he would serve 120 days for tax evasion.
In 1990, he settled a class-action suit involving 59 women who complained that he’d installed a video camera in the women’s bathroom at two of his restaurants in St. Louis.
It is not known what became of the teenager at the center of the case. Attempts by The Republic to contact her or possible relatives were unsuccessful.
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His breakthrough film was the 1983 gritty drama “Ardh Satya,” or “Half Truth,” about a young policeman’s crisis of conscience as he deals with the nexus of crime and politics in India. Puri, who suffered a heart attack, was 66. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Fullscreen Dec. 31, 2016: William Christopher, who played kindly Father Mulcahy on the CBS sitcom “M*A*S*H,” has died. Christopher played the role for the show’s 1972-1983 run, though actor George Morgan played the role in the pilot episode. Following the program’s demise, Christopher starred in “After Mash” and, in 2012, “Days of Our Lives.” Christopher died at his home in Pasadena, Calif., according to trade publication Variety. He was 84. CBS Fullscreen Dec. 28, 2016: Pierre Barouh, a songwriter, singer and actor, has died, according to the L’Agence France-Presse news agency. Along with Francis Lai, Barouh wrote the the title song to the classic 1966 film “A Man and a Woman,” in which he also appeared. The song earned a Golden Globe nomination and emerged as a standard, recorded by Engelbert Humperdinck, Johnny Mathis, Matt Monro and Ella Fitzgerald, among others. Barouh continued to act and record, releasing albums into the 21st century. He was 82. Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images Fullscreen Dec. 28, 2016: Debbie Reynolds, an actress and singer from Hollywood’s golden age, has died. Her death comes one day after the death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher. Reynolds’ long career is highlighted by such films as the 1952 classic “Singin’ in the Rain,” as well as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” (1964) and “The Catered Affair” (1956). She starred in the 1957 film “Tammy and the Bachelor” and performed the title song, simply called “Tammy.” Her recording would spend five weeks at No. 1, making it one of the biggest hits of the era. Reynolds’ career later expanded to include theater, nightclubs and concert appearances. Survivors include her son, Todd Fisher; and granddaughter Billie Lourd, whose mother was Carrie Fisher. Kathy Willens/Associated Press Fullscreen Dec. 24, 2016: Richard Adams, whose 1972 novel “Watership Down” inspired both an animated film and TV series, has died at age 96. The British author wrote several other books, including “The Plague Dogs” and “Tales from Watership Down,” a 1996 follow-up to his best-known book. His daughter, Juliet Johnson, told the Associated Press on Tuesday that Adams died in Oxfordshire, England. Associated Press Fullscreen Dec. 27, 2016: Carrie Fisher, the princess of Hollywood who became a young star playing a princess in “Star Wars,” has died following a heart attack suffered on a flight from London to Los Angeles, according to reports from TMZ and People. She was 60. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Fullscreen Dec. 26, 2016: Ricky Harris, a comedian and actor known for multiple appearances on the sitcoms “Everybody Hates Chris” and “Moesha,” has died. Snoop Dogg posted a video on Instagram about the death of Harris saying the actor was “my big brother, my homeboy” and a “Long Beach original.” Harris was 54. Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Fullscreen Dec. 25, 2016: Singer George Michael died over the Christmas holiday, according to a statement issued by his publicist on Sunday. The British singer-songwriter, who first became part of the pop-culture landscape as half of the ’80s duo Wham!, was 53. “He was ever a gentle, unassuming soul,” singer-songwriter Alison Moyet said on Twitter. “A rare presence in a world full of self. Honest, genuine talent.’’ Michael Chow/The Republic Fullscreen Dec. 24, 2016: Rick Parfitt, guitarist for influential British rock band Status Quo, has died. Though regarded as a one-hit-wonder act in the United States — 1968’s “Pictures of Matchstick Men” reached No. 12 on these shores, their only Top 40 hit — the group has been a force on the British music scene since the ’60s. The group has charted more than 60 singles in the U.K. charts; this year, the album “Aquostic II: That’s a Fact!” reached No. 7 on the British album chart. In September, Parfitt announced that he would no longer tour with the band due to health reasons. He died from septicemia in Marbella, Spain, where he lived for part of the year. He was 68. Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images Fullscreen Dec. 19, 2016: Michele Morgan, a French actress who found success in both French and English-language films, has died. Morgan received Cannes’ first best actress award for her performance in “Pastoral Symphony” in 1946. Other films included 1948’s “The Fallen Idol” (with Ralph Richardson) and 1938’s “Port of Shadows.” In a statement announcing her death, French President Francois Hollande said that she was “a legend who marked numerous generations,” according to the Associated Press. She was 96. Patrick Hertzog/AFP/Getty Images Fullscreen Dec. 15, 2016: Fran Jeffries, a singer and actress who was a familiar presence on the variety-show circuit of the ’60s, has died. Jeffries appeared in such films as “The Pink Panther” (1963), “Sex and the Single Girl” (1964) and the 1965 Elvis Presley vehicle “Harum Scarum.” She often sang in her film roles; in “The Pink Panther,” she introduced the Henry Mancini song “It Had Better Be Tonight.” She was married five times, including a 1958-1965 union with singer Dick Haymes, with whom she often performed. She recorded several albums; 2000’s “All the Love” was her most recent release. Jeffries died at her home in Los Angeles, the New York Times reports. She was 79. Amanda Edwards/Getty Images Fullscreen Dec. 19, 2016: Actor Dick Latessa, who won a Tony Award in 2003 for playing the father of Tracy Turnblad in the original Broadway production of “Hairspray,” has died. The veteran stage actor made his Broadway debut in 1968, appearing in “The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N.” He would continue to tread the boards in New York for the next several decades, becoming a favorite of Broadway audiences. The actor had an affinity for the works of Neil Simon, starring in the playwright’s “Chapter Two,” “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” “I Ought to Be in Pictures,” “Broadway Bound” and the 2010 revival of “Promises, Promises.” His final Broadway appearance came in 2012, when he starred in “The Lyons” opposite Linda Lavin. On TV, he appeared in such programs as “The Black Donnellys,” “Law & Order” and “The Sopranos.” Latessa was 87, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Jemal Countess/Getty Images Fullscreen Dec. 18, 2016: Gordie Tapp, a comic actor who starred in 90 episodes of the variety program “Hee Haw” between 1969 and 1988, has died. Tapp also wrote for the long-running show, in which he created such characters as Cousin Clem, Samuel B. Sternwheeler and cuckolded husband Lavern Nagger. The Canadian-born Tapp died in Ontario, according to the Hollywood Reporter. He was 94. Special for The Republic Fullscreen Dec. 18, 2016: Zsa Zsa Gabor, actress, socialite, jet-setter and larger-than-life personality, has died at age 99 at her home in Bel Air, Calif. The Hungarian star was the middle sister of the Gabor siblings: Eva (star of “Green Acres”) was younger and Magda, also an actress, was older. Better known for her multiple marriages — she reportedly wed nine times — than her film or TV career, Gabor’s spouses included movie star George Sanders and hotelier Conrad Hilton, who fathered her only child, Francesca, who died in 2015. Gabor died of a heart attack, according to her husband, Prince Frederic von Anhalt. Associated Press Fullscreen Dec. 15, 2016: Craig Sager, NBA sideline reporter for Turner Sports, has died, the network announced. Sager, 65, battled a rare form of cancer for more than two years, undergoing multiple rounds of chemotherapy and other treatments. He worked 26 seasons as a sideline reporter for Turner Sports’ NBA broadcasts on TNT. Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports Fullscreen Dec. 14, 2016: Bernard Fox, a mustachioed character actor who played the mischievous Dr. Bombay on TV’s “Bewitched,” has died. The British actor starred as the warlock physician who was summoned by Samantha Stephens with the memorable cry: “Calling Dr. Bombay, calling Dr. Bombay. Emergency! Come right away!” His extensive credits also include “Hogan’s Heroes,” ”The Dyke Van Dyke Show” and ”Murder, She Wrote” on the small screen, while his movie work includes “Titanic,” “The Mummy” and “The Rescuers.” Fox, who was 89, died of heart failure at a Los Angeles-area hospital, the Associated Press reports. ABC Fullscreen Dec. 13, 2016: Alan Thicke, who achieved his greatest fame playing a sensible dad on the long-running ABC sitcom “Growing Pains,” has died after suffering a heart attack. Thicke, who was 69, played Dr. Jason Seaver during the show’s entire 1985-1992 run, as well as returning for TV-movie reunions in 2000 and 2004. Born in Canada, the performer first gained U.S. fame as the host of the syndicated talk show “Thicke of the Night,” which ran for one season beginning in 1983. A singer and songwriter, he wrote the theme songs for such programs as “Diff’rent Strokes” (he also sang the tune) and “The Facts of Life,” which was performed and co-written by his then-wife, singer and actress Gloria Loring. After “Growing Pains,” Thicke continued to appear on TV, as an actor, host and reality-TV personality. Recent guest spots have included “This Is Us,” “Fuller House” and “Celebrity Wife Swap.” Survivors include his wife, Tanya Callau, and three sons, including singer Robin Thicke. Loring posted on Facebook: “It is a shock. We were all just together for Thanksgiving. He was talented, funny and deeply devoted to his family. Rest In Peace, dear one.” Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Fullscreen Dec. 8, 2016: Actor Joseph Mascolo, who gained fame as a memorable daytime villain on “Days of Our Lives,” has died. The actor, who first appeared on Broadway in 1962, found steady work in film and on TV. His big-screen credits include “Jaws 2” and “Shaft’s Big Score!” On television, he guest-starred on such shows as “All in the Family,” “Kojak” and “The Rockford Files” before joining “Days of Our Lives” in 1982. His character, Stefano DiMera, would appear off and on the program, last appearing on an episode that aired this past July. He ultimately starred in more than 1,600 episodes of the NBC soap. He also had regular roles on “General Hospital” and “The Bold and Beautiful,” in which he appeared from 2001 to 2006. Mascolo, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, was 87. Vivien Killilea/Getty Images Fullscreen Dec. 6, 2016: Peter Vaughan, a character actor best-known for playing Maester Aemon on “Game of Thrones,” has died. The British performer had a screen career that dated back to the ’50s. He appeared in a wide variety of films, including “Straw Dogs” (1971) opposite Dustin Hoffman, “Time Bandits” (1981) and “Death at a Funeral” (2007). On television, he appeared on the U.K. sitcom “Porridge,” as well as 1985’s “Bleak House,” which aired in the United States as part of “Masterpiece Theatre” on PBS. Vaughan was 93. HBO Fullscreen Nov. 23, 2016: Andrew Sachs, best known for his role as Manuel in the 1970s comedy “Fawlty Towers” opposite John Cleese, has died. The German-born British actor had been suffering from vascular dementia, and the Sachs family kept his illness and death quiet until after services were concluded. He was 86. Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images Fullscreen Nov. 24, 2016: Mexican actor and TV personality Renato Lopez has died at age 33, according to a statement released by the Mexico State Attorney General’s Office. Lopez currently has a film in release in Mexico, “Machos.” He hosted TV programs for such networks as E!, Telehit and Mun2. He also has worked as a musician and songwriter; his composition “Fuego con Fuego” was recorded by Gloria Trevi. The bodies of Lopez and publicist Omar Giron Juarez were found with bullet wounds inside a car outside of Mexico City on Nov. 25, Fox News reports. Larry Marano/Getty Images Fullscreen Nov. 25, 2016: Emmy-nominated actor Ron Glass, who gained fame playing a fussy detective on ABC’s “Barney Miller,” has died. Glass appeared on the acclaimed sitcom, which ran from 1975 to 1982, for its entire run. He earned an Emmy nomination in the show’s final season for his portrayal of Ron Harris. The actor, who was born in Evansville, Ind., began appearing on TV in the early ’70s, nabbing guest spots on such programs as “The Streets of San Francisco,” “All in the Family,” “Maude” and “Good Times.” Following the demise of “Barney Miller,” he continued to appear on TV, starring as Felix Unger in “The New Odd Couple” and, most notably, 14 episodes of the science-fiction show “Firefly.” Glass, who was 71, died of respiratory failure, according to USA Today. Kevin Winter/Getty Images Fullscreen Nov. 24, 2016: Florence Henderson, who starred as one of TV’s most iconic moms in the 1969-1974 ABC sitcom “The Brady Bunch,” has died. The singer and actress first appeared on Broadway in the 1950s, then became a frequent guest on TV, regularly visiting talk and variety shows. Her greatest fame came as Carol Brady, the matriarch of a blended family, on the perpetually sunny sitcom, which gained new life in reruns. She remained a presence on TV once the show ended, hosting the TNN series “Country Kitchen” and pitching Wesson cooking oil in a series of commercials. More recently, she appeared on “Dancing with the Stars,” both as a competitor (she came in eighth in 2010) and as a guest this season, rooting and performing with Maureen McCormick, who played her eldest daughter on “The Brady Bunch.” Henderson died of heart failure, according to her family. She was 82. Michelle Pemberton/Indy Star Fullscreen Nov. 18, 2016: Soul singer Sharon Jones, bandleader of the Dap-Kings often referred to as the “female James Brown,” died following a battle with pancreatic cancer. She received her first Grammy Award nomination in 2014 for her album, “Give the People What They Want.” Miss Sharon Jones!, a documentary that followed Jones’ first seven months post-diagnosis, was released in July. She was 60. David Kadlubowski/The Republic Fullscreen Nov. 15, 2016: Actress Lisa Lynn Masters, known for her roles in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Ugly Betty, died of an apparent suicide according to media reports. The actress, who was in Peru to take part in a modeling event, was found dead in her hotel room. She was 52. Jon Kopaloff Fullscreen Nov. 12, 2016: Mexican actress Lupita Tovar, who starred in the 1931 Spanish-language version of “Dracula,” has died at age 106. The actress, who was born in Oaxaca, Mexico, was part of a powerful Hollywood family. She was married to producer and talent agent Paul Kohner; their daughter, Susan Kohner, earned an Oscar nomination for the 1959 film “Imitation of Life.” Tovar’s grandsons, Chris and Paul Weitz, are well-known directors (“About a Boy,” “American Pie”). Tovar’s other films include “Santa” (1931), the first Mexican film with sound. Tovar left her acting career behind in the ’40s to focus on raising her family. She was honored in 1982 with a Mexican stamp that bore her image; in 2006, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences paid tribute to her accomplishments. Tovar, seen in 2006, died in Los Angeles, according to the Washington Post. Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images Fullscreen Nov. 10, 2016: Legendary singer-songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen has died at age 82. The member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had an illustrious career that spanned five decades. Many will recognize his iconic song “1984’s “Hallelujah,” which was famously covered by Jeff Buckley in 1994. Mike Lawrie/Getty Images Fullscreen Nov. 3, 2016: Kay Starr, whose distinctive blend of pop, jazz, blues and country made her one of the nation’s top vocalists in the ’50s, has died. Starr, who began performing as a teenager, topped the national chart twice: 1952’s “Wheel of Fortune” spent 10 weeks at No. 1 while 1956’s “The Rock and Roll Waltz” stayed at No. 1 for six weeks. Starr later recorded several acclaimed albums for Capitol Records, including “Movin’!” (1959), “Movin’ On Broadway!” (1960) and “I Cry By Night” (1962). After the hits faded, she continued to perform in casinos and clubs; for a time in the ’80s, she was part of the 4 Girls 4 concert act that also featured Margaret Whiting and Rose Marie. Starr continued to occasionally record, cutting a duet with Tony Bennett in 2001 for his disc “Playin’ With My Friends: Bennett Sings the Blues.” Starr, who was 94, died at her home in Los Angeles. Special for The Republic Fullscreen Oct. 30, 2016: Tammy Grimes, who catapulted to fame playing “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” on Broadway, has died. Grimes, who starred from 1960 to 1962 in the Meredith Willson musical, won a Tony Award for her performance. The quirky-voiced actress earned a second Tony in 1969 for “Private Lives.” At the height of her fame in the mid ’60s, she starred on her own ABC sitcom, “The Tammy Grimes Show,” and recorded for Columbia Records. She was married to actor Christopher Plummer from 1956 to 1960; actress Amanda Plummer is their daughter. The performer, who was 82, died in Englewood, N.J., the New York Times reports. Jemal Countess/Getty Images Fullscreen Oct. 21, 2016: Kevin Meaney, a veteran stand-up comedian known for the catchphrase “That’s not right!” died Friday, his agent confirmed. He also appeared with Tom Hanks in the 1988 movie, Big; on The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live and on Broadway in the musical Hairspray. He was found unresponsive in his Forestburgh, N.Y., home. An autopsy is pending. He was 60. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images Fullscreen Oct. 10, 2016: Gonzalo Vega, a popular Mexican actor who first appeared on screen in 1969, has died after a battle with a form of bone marrow cancer. Vega received an Ariel Award, Mexico’s equivalent of the Oscar, for best actor for the 1987 film “Lo Que Importa Es Vivir.” He retired in 2010 after being diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, but he later returned to performing, starring in the successful 2013 comedy “Nosotros Los Nobles.” Vega’s two daughters, Zuria and Marimar, are both TV actresses. Vega died in Mexico City with his wife, son and daughters by his side, according to the BBC. He was 69. Warner Bros. Pictures Mexico Fullscreen Sept. 25, 2016: Musician Kashif, an R&B hitmaker in the ’80s, has died at age 59, according to music-industry publication Billboard. Kashif, whose real name was Michael Jones, launched his recording career in 1983. Singles such as “I Just Gotta Have You (Lover Turn Me On),” “Love the One I’m With (A Lot of Love)” and “Personality” all reached the Top 10 on the R&B charts. Equally talented behind the scenes, he produced Whitney Houston’s “You Give Good Love” and wrote “Love Come Down” and “Betcha She Don’t Love You” for Evelyn “Champagne” King. Kashif (seen in 2004) also recorded with Dionne Warwick, Kenny G, George Benson, Jermaine Jackson and Melba Moore. Giulio Marcocchi/Getty Images Fullscreen Sept. 25, 2016: Influential honky-tonk singer Jean Shepard, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, has died at age 82. Shepard’s first hit single, 1953’s “A Dear John Letter,” was a duet with Ferlin Husky. The disc topped the country charts and crossed over to the pop Top 10. Shepard continued to reach the charts through the ’70s with such songs as “A Satisfied Mind,” “Second Fiddle (To an Old Guitar)” and “Slippin’ Away.” The Grand Ole Opry celebrated her 60th year as a member last November. The death of Shepard, seen at the Opry in 1973, was announced by her son, Hawkshaw Hawkins Jr. “Mom has been called home this morning and is now at peace,” his statement reads, according to Billboard. Frank Empson/The Tennessean Fullscreen Sept. 24, 2016: Veteran character actor Bill Nunn, whose credits ranged from the Spider-Man movie franchise to Lee’s Do the Right Thing, He Got Game and School Daze, has died. He also played a stuttering enforcer in the 1991 gangster film New Jack City, and a no-nonsense EMT and Vietnam vet Cassius “Cash” Clay in the TV comedy series Sirens from 2014-15. Nunn died at his home in Pittsburgh after battling cancer, according to The Associated Press. He was 63. Robert Mora/Getty Images Fullscreen Sept. 17, 2016: Charmian Carr, who sang “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” as eldest daughter Liesl in the classic film “The Sound of Music,” has died. Born Dec. 27, 1942, Carr was 22 when the 1965 musical was released. She never appeared in another big-screen feature; later, she authored two books connected to her experiences making the film: “Forever Liesl” (2000) and “Letters to Liesl” (2001). Carr died of complications from dementia, according to the Associated Press. She was 73. Special for The Republic Fullscreen Sept. 5, 2016: Actor Hugh O’Brian, a handsome television leading man who gained fame playing the title character on the 1955-1961 series “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp,” has died at age 91. The actor’s long career also includes such films as “Come Fly with Me” (1963) and “The Shootist” (1976). A familiar face to TV viewers, he guest-starred on such programs as “Fantasy Island,” “Police Story,” “L.A. Law” and “Murder, She Wrote.” Respected for his philanthropic work, O’Brian (seen in 1983) founded the Hugh O’Brian Leadership Foundation in 1958, a program for high-school students that boasts more than 450,000 alumni. The Foundation announced his death in a statement released on Monday. He died at his home in Beverly Hills. Nancy Rhoda/The Tennessean Fullscreen Sept. 1, 2016: Character actor Jon Polito was a favorite of the Coen brothers and appeared in such films as “Miller’s Crossing” and “The Big Lebowski” and shows like “Seinfeld” and “Modern Family.” He died Thursday of cancer, according to his managers. He was 65. Kevin Winter/Getty Images Fullscreen Aug. 29, 2016: Gene Wilder, the comedy icon, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Wilder was known for his roles in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and The Producers. Throughout his career, Wilder was nominated for two Oscars;best supporting actor inThe Producersin 1969, and for best adaptedscreenplay with Brooks forBlazing Saddlesin 1975. He also won an Emmy in 2003 for his roll in Will & Grace. Wilder is also known for helping create theGilda Radner Ovarian Cancer Detection Center in Los Angeles as he was heavily involved in cancer awareness.He was 83. MYCHELE DANIAU/Getty Images Fullscreen Aug. 23, 2016: Juan Gabriel, an iconic Mexican singer and songwriter, has died of a heart attack. Known as the “divo of Juarez” for his flamboyant style and high-energy pop, ranchera and rock ballads, he had put out more than 1500 songs through the course of his career. He started performing full-time at the age of 15 and had 20 Top 10 albums on Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums chart. He was 66. Getty Images Fullscreen Aug. 23, 2016: Steven Hill, best known for playing gruff New York District Attorney Adam Schiff on NBC’s Law & Order, died Tuesday in New York. His wife Rachel confirmed his death at Mt. Sinai Hospital to the Associated Press but didn’t specify the cause of death, saying he’d suffered from multiple ailments. Hill was the longest-serving member of the original cast. His tenure on Law & Order far outlasted his other major TV role as Daniel Briggs on Mission Impossible, which he only played for one season. He was 94. Jessica Burstein/NBC Fullscreen Aug. 19, 2016: Jack Riley, who played a counseling client on “The Bob Newhart Show” and also voiced a character on Nickelodeon’s animated “Rugrats,” died Friday. The actor died in Los Angeles, according to his representative Paul Doherty. The Cleveland native also voiced commercials and made guest appearances on numerous TV series including “Seinfeld,” ”Night Court” and “Diff’rent Strokes.” He was 80. AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, File Fullscreen Aug. 17, 2016: Arthur Hiller, the versatile director who received an Oscar nomination for directing the hugely popular romantic tragedy “Love Story” during a career that spanned dozens of popular movies and TV shows, died Wednesday of natural causes. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced his death Wednesday. Hiller served as Academy president from 1993-97. Although since dismissed by some as overly syrupy, “Love Story,” with Ali MacGraw (pictured with Hiller) and Ryan O’Neal as star-crossed Ivy League lovers, was one of the most popular movies of 1970, but one that almost didn’t get made due to Paramount’s rocky financial situation. Hiller was 92. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File Fullscreen Aug. 16, 2016: John McLaughlin, the conservative political commentator and host of the namesake long-running television show that pioneered hollering-heads discussions of Washington politics, has died. According to an announcement on the Facebook page of “The McLaughlin Group” series, McLaughlin died Tuesday morning. No cause of death was mentioned, but an ailing McLaughlin had missed the taping for this past weekend’s show for the first time in the series’ 34 years. He was 89. Kevin Wolf/AP Photo Fullscreen Aug. 14, 2016: Emmy-winning actor Fyvush Finkel, whose long career encompassed TV, film and theater, has died at his Manhattan home. Finkel got his start as a child performer, appearing in Yiddish theater productions in New York. He made his Broadway debut in “Fiddler on the Roof” in the 1960s. His films include “Q&A” (1990), “Nixon” (1995) and “A Serious Man” (2009). He achieved his greatest fame on television, winning an Emmy for playing a lawyer on “Picket Fences” and portraying a history teacher on more than 60 episodes of “Boston Public.” His career never slowed; his last public performance was a New York cabaret show in July, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Finkel was 93. Kathy Willens/Associated Press Fullscreen Aug. 13, 2016: British actor Kenny Baker, who played R2-D2 in the first six films in the “Star Wars” franchise, has died. His other movies include “Willow,” “Labyrinth,” “Amadeus,” “Time Bandits” and “The Elephant Man.” “A great one,” director Guillermo del Toro posted on Twitter. “And, like Napoleon, his stature was measured not from head-to-ground but head-to-sky.” Baker, seen in 2007, was 81. Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images Fullscreen Aug. 11, 2016: Folk singer Glenn Yarbrough, who founded the popular trio the Limeliters in 1959, has died in Nashville. The singer left the group in 1963; two years later, he scored a major pop hit with “Baby the Rain Must Fall,” the title song to a Steve McQueen film. In later years, the tenor occasionally reunited with the Limeliters and maintained a solo career through concerts and recordings. Yarbrough, who suffered from dementia, was 86. Special for The Republic Fullscreen Aug. 6, 2016: Pete Fountain, a Dixieland clarinet player who achieved great popularity in the ’50s and ’60s thanks to his swinging musical style, has died. Fountain, seen in 2011, recorded a 1959 version of “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” that became his signature tune and inspired the title of his 1972 memoir, “A Closer Walk.” His TV career started on “The Lawrence Welk Show;” later came more than 50 appearances on Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show” and 56 record albums. He announced his retirement from music in 2014. Fountain, who died of heart failure, was 86. Patrick Semansky/Associated Press Fullscreen July 19, 2016: Hollywood actor, director, writer and producer Garry Marshall died at 5 p.m. PT Tuesday from complications of pneumonia following a stroke at a hospital in Burbank, Calif. He was 81. His first TV hit was The Odd Couple. Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley (which starred his sister, Penny Marshall) and Mork & Mindy (which introduced the world to Robin Williams) are among his other hit sitcoms. Matt Mendelsohn/USA TODAY Fullscreen July 3, 2016: Noel Neill, the actress who was the first to play Superman’s love interest, Lois Lane, on screen has died. Noel Neill was 95. Neill’s biographer Larry Ward tells The Associated Press that she died Sunday at her home in Tucson, Arizona, following a long illness. Kevin Winter/Getty Images Fullscreen June 23, 2016: Bluegrass icon Ralph Stanley has died after a battle with skin cancer. A singer and banjo player, Stanley formed the Clinch Mountain Boys in 1946 with his brother, Carter. After Carter died in 1966, Stanley kept the group going through the 21st century. His visibility increased after his work on the top-selling “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack in 2000, in which his performance of “O Death” earned a Grammy for best male vocal country performance. He was 89. Ed Rode/Associated Press Fullscreen June 19, 2016: Anton Yelchin, a rising actor best known for playing Chekov in the rebooted “Star Trek” franchise, has died in a freak traffic collision, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The actor’s other films include “Green Room” and the 2011 remake of “Fright Night.” He was 27. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Fullscreen June 18, 2016: Alejandro “Jano” Fuentes, who competed on the 2011 season of “La Voz,” the Mexican edition of “The Voice,” has died. The singer died in Chicago after being shot three times outside a school where he taught music. Fuentes was celebrating his 45th birthday with friends when the shooting occurred, the Associated Press reports. Singer Lucero, who coached Fuentes on the program, called him a “great friend, great artist” in a Twitter post. Fuentes (left) is seen in a March 13, 2016, photo with Miguel Angel Sanchez. Miguel Angel Sanchez/Associated Press Fullscreen June 17, 2016: Actor Ron Lester, best-remembered for his role as an obese high-school football player in the 1999 film “Varsity Blues,” has died. He also appeared in episodes of “Freaks and Geeks” and “Popular,” as well as in the films “Good Burger” and “Not Another Teen Movie.” The actor, seen in 2004, lost more than 300 pounds after undergoing weight-loss surgery in 2001. He later said his new appearance led to a decline in acting roles. He had been hospitalized since February due to liver and kidney problems, according to the Associated Press. He was 45. Mark Mainz/Getty Images Fullscreen June 17, 2016: Comic actor Rubén Aguirre, known to Spanish-speaking audiences as Professor Jirafales on the long-running TV show “El Chavo del Ocho,” has died of complications from pneumonia. The Mexican actor died at his home in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, according to La Voz. He was 82. Televisa Fullscreen June 14, 2016: Ronnie Claire Edwards, veteran actress on the beloved TV series, The Waltons has died. She appeared in such movies as The Dead Pool (1988), Nobody’s Fool (1986), and 8 Seconds (1994). Her last role in a TV series was Harlene in 2007’s 12 Miles of Bad Road, according to her IMDb page. She also was the author of several books and co-wrote a musical play. She passed peacefully in her sleep according to her Facebook page. She was 83. CBS Photo Archive, CBS via Getty Images Fullscreen June 14, 2016: Actress Ann Morgan Guilbert, who played busybody neighbor Millie Helper on the classic 1961-1966 sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” has died after a battle with cancer. The comedic actress had a durable career, later playing Grandma Yetta on “The Nanny” in the ’90s and appearing this year in two episodes of the CBS comedy “Life in Pieces.” She was 87. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Fullscreen June 6, 2016: Theresa Saldana, who starred on the ’90s cop show “The Commish,” has died at age 61, according to TMZ. The actress also starred in such films as “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and “Raging Bull.” Saldana was violently attacked by a stalker in 1982; she later formed a victims-rights organization called Victims for Victims. In 1984, NBC broadcast a TV movie based on her life, “Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story.” ABC Fullscreen June 3, 2016: Muhammad Ali, widely hailed as the greatest heavyweight boxer in the sport’s history, passed away at the age of 74 in Scottsdale, after being hospitalized a day earlier with a respiratory issue. Ali will be remembered for his personality, social activism, Olympic gold medal in 1960, and for uttering such famous phrases as “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was” and “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1984 and lent his name to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson’s Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix which opened in 1997. The Lavidge Company Fullscreen May 31, 2016: Jan Crouch, a television evangelist who co-founded the Trinity Broadcasting Network with her husband, Paul Crouch, died after suffering a stroke. She was 78. Crouch, seen in 1988, was a familiar presence on the network’s “Praise the Lord” program. Mark Boster Fullscreen Dec. 31, 2015: Actress Beth Howland (center), who played daffy waitress Vera on the Phoenix-set sitcom “Alice,” died Dec. 31, 2015. Her family refrained from announcing her death until May 24, per the actress’ wishes. She starred on “Alice” for its entire run, from 1976-1985. Howland is survived by her husband, actor Charles Kimbrough (“Murphy Brown”). She was 74. CBS Fullscreen May 21, 2016: Former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza died after collapsing on stage during a performance in Los Angeles. He was 51. Menza was a member of Megadeth from 1989-1998. He was playing with his new band, Ohm, when he died. Jim Cooper Fullscreen May 19, 2016: Alan Young, who played Wilbur Post on the 1961-1966 sitcom “Mister Ed,” died at age 96. The comic actor received an Emmy Award in 1951 for “The Alan Young Show” and continued to work into his 90s. CBS Fullscreen May 19, 2016: Morley Safer, the much-honored “60 Minutes” newsman, received several awards in his long career, including 12 Emmys, three Overseas Press Club Awards and three Peabody Awards. He announced his retirement on May 11, 2016. He was 84. Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images Fullscreen May 16, 2016: Tejano music superstar Emilio Navaira, often referred to as “King of the Rodeo” died Monday night after suffering a massive heart attack. Navaira, along with late musician Selena, is credited with bringing Tejano music to the mainstream. He was 53. Scott Gries/Getty Images Fullscreen May 17, 2016: Guy Clark, a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer, died in Nashville on Tuesday morning after a long illness, including a lengthy cancer battle. The author of 13 compelling studio albums, his songs were recorded by Johnny Cash, Ricky Skaggs, Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Bobby Bare, Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and legions of others. He was 74. Mandy Lunn/The Tennessean Fullscreen April 21, 2016: Rock guitarist Lonnie Mack, credited with influencing Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Jimmy Page, died of natural causes Thursday at Centennial Medical Center near his home in Smithville, Tenn. He was 74. The Cincinnati Enquirer file Fullscreen April 21, 2016: Prince, a 2004 Rock Hall of Fame inductee, won multiple Grammys and a best-original-song Oscar for Purple Rain in 1985. His long list of hit songs includes 1999, Little Red Corvette,When Doves Cry, Let’s Go Crazy and Kiss. Prince was briefly hospitalized Friday after his plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Illinois’ Quad City International Airport. His representatives told USA TODAY that he had been struggling with the flu. He was 57. Kevin Winter/Getty Images Fullscreen April 20, 2016: Iconic pro-wrestling champion and WWE wrestler Chyna, whose name is Joan Marie Laurer, was found dead in her California apartment according to the Redondo Beach police department. Chyna, called “the ninth wonder of the world,” was born in Rochester, N.Y. and rose to fame for stints with the WWE. She was 45. Associated Press Fullscreen April 17, 2016: Doris Roberts, the beloved mother on “Everybody Loves Raymond” died Sunday her son Michael Cannata, confirmed Monday. She won four Emmys for her portrayal of Marie Barone on the popular CBS comedy series which ran for 9 seasons (1996-2005) and won an Emmy for her role on the drama St. Elsewhere. Prior to ‘Raymon’ she had roles on shows including Remington Steele, Barney Miller and Alice. She was 90. Jason Merritt/Getty Images Fullscreen April 12, 2016: Anne Jackson, a Tony Award-nominated theater actress who often appeared onstage with her husband, the late Eli Wallach, in comedies and classics, died early Tuesday of natural causes at her home in Manhattan. Her death was confirmed by her son, Peter Wallach. She was 90. Bryan Bedder, Getty Images Fullscreen April 8, 2016: Daisy Lewellyn, a star of Bravo’s Blood, Sweat & Heels, has died of cancer at the age of 36. Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images Fullscreen April 6, 2016: Merle Haggard, the working man’s poet, an architect of the Bakersfield Sound, and an artist who influenced country music like few others, died Wednesday in California. He had just turned 79 years old, and had been in failing health for some time, leading to the cancellation of several concert dates, including two nights at the Ryman Auditorium that were originally scheduled for March. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Fullscreen March 31, 2016: Ronnie Corbett, Influential British comic and half of much-loved duo The Two Ronnies, died Thursday “surrounded by his loving family” according to his publicist Paul Sullivan. The cause of death was not disclosed. He was 85. Rebecca Naden, AFP/Getty Images Fullscreen March 31, 2016: Zaha Hadid, the Iraqi-born British architect who designed modernist, futuristic buildings acclaimed around the world, died suddenly in a Miami hospital Thursday. According to her firm, Hadid suffered a heart attack while being treated for bronchitis. She was 65. Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA Fullscreen March 29, 2016: Patty Duke, the teen who won an Oscar for The Miracle Worker and later played “identical cousins” in her own TV sitcom, has died. She was 69. Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Fullscreen March 26, 2016: Jim Harrison, the fiction writer, poet and outdoorsman who wrote the historical saga Legends of the Fall, has died at age 78 at his home in Patagonia, Ariz. Mathieu Bourgois Fullscreen March 24, 2016: Garry Shandling, a University of Arizona alumni, was best known for his comedic works “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and “The Larry Sanders Show,” died Thursday, March 24, 2016, at the age of 66. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Fullscreen March 23, 2016: Ken Howard, who was a veteran-character actor and president of the Screen Actors Guild since 2009, died at the age of 71 in his Los Angeles home, the SAG announced. Kevin Winter/Getty Images Fullscreen March 23, 2016: Baseball legend Joe Garagiola died at the age of 90. He was known around the globe as a baseball announcer for more than 30 years and member of the broadcasters’ wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame. David Kadlubowski/The Republic, David Kadlubowski/The Republic Fullscreen March 22, 2016: Phife Dawg, one of the founding members of legendary hip-hop collective A Tribe Called Quest, died at 45 of complications from diabetes. Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images Fullscreen March 18, 2016: John Schnabel, patriarch of Discovery Channel’s hit show “Gold Rush”, died Friday morning at age 96 after battling several severe health issues, according to a Facebook post by Parker Schnabel, gold-mining star on the show and John’s grandson. A story said that Schnabel purchased the Gold Nugget Mine in Porcupine Creek, Alaska, nearly 30 years ago. In 1941, Schnabel volunteered to serve his country after the Pearl Harbor bombing. He was in the Air Corps until 1946. He wed Erma Dire in 1950, and the couple had five children. Discovery is set to air a special that will feature Schnabel and his grandson Parker on Friday. The network is also honoring him with a memorial card on-air ahead of a two-hour Gold Rush event at 7 p.m. ET. Gold Rush Legends: Parker Schnabel airs at 9 p.m. ET. Discovery Channel/Edward Gorsuch Fullscreen March 18, 2016: Joe Santos, who played Lieutenant Dennis Becker on The Rockford Files, has died at 84. Santos died in Santa Monica, California, after a heart attack earlier in the week, according to his agent. Wally Fong, AP Photo Fullscreen March 18, 2016: Emmy award-winning actor Larry Drake, who was best known for playing Benny on L.A. Law, died at 66. TMZ reported that Drake had been suffering health issues recently and was found dead in his Hollywood Hills home. EIKE SCHROTER/NBC Fullscreen March 16, 2016: Frank Sinatra Jr., who carried on his famous father’s legacy with his own music career, has died. He was 72. Kidnapped and held for ransom when he was 19, Sinatra Jr. had already followed his dad into the music business by then. He eventually worked for his father as his musical director and conductor. AP Fullscreen March 11, 2016: Keith Emerson, one-third of the 1970s progressive-rock trio Emerson, Lake and Palmer has died at age 71. The band’s official Facebook page confirmed the keyboard player’s death but did not elaborate as to the cause. Gareth Cattermole Fullscreen March 10, 2016: Reese Witherspoon announced that her chihuahua sidekick in the “Legally Blonde” movies, has died. Moonie, who played little Bruiser Woods, was 18. “I will never forget all the days we spent together,” she wrote on Instagram. Sam Emerson, MGM Fullscreen March 8, 2016: The legendary music producer who more than anyone else defined and shaped the sound of the Beatles, died at the age of 90 . Martin earned the title of the “fifth Beatle” after signing the band to their first record contract in 1962 and working with them through the iconic album Abbey Road, according to Rolling Stone. Robyn Beck, AFP/Getty Images Fullscreen March 6, 2016: Former first lady Nancy Reagan, the former actress who played a pivotal role in the political rise and presidency of husband Ronald Reagan, died Sunday of congestive heart failure. She will be buried next to her husband, former President Ronald Reagan, at his presidential library in Simi Valley, Calif. Nancy Reagan may best be remembered for three words: “Just say no,” the motto of her years-long anti-drug crusade. She was 94. Karen Bleier, AFP/Getty Images Fullscreen March 4, 2016: Singer Joey Martin Feek, died Friday following a two-year battle with cervical cancer. She formed one half of the duo Joey + Rory with husband, Rory Feek. Together, they went from finalists on CMT’s music reality competition Can You Duet in 2008 to Grammy nominees this year. She was 40. Here, Joey + Rory perform for fans during the CMA Music Festival at Nashville’s Riverfront Park on June 14, 2009. Billy Kingsley/The Tennessean Fullscreen March 4, 2016: Storyteller Pat Conroy, best known for his work “Prince of Tides,” died Friday, March, 4, 2016, due to pancreatic cancer at the age of 70. Conroy’s compelling works were often continuations from his difficult youth, family trauma and his home state’s civil rights legacy. Jeffrey Vock/Getty Images Fullscreen March 1, 2016: Lee Reherman, who shot to fame as Hawk on the popular 1990s television show American Gladiators, died at his home in Manhattan Beach Tuesday. The cause of death was not immediately known, but he hadn’t been feeling well after undergoing hip replacement surgery. Reherman was a standout offensive tackle at Cornell University who also had a tryout with the Miami Dolphins. He was a scholar who graduated with honors from Cornell, earning a master’s in business administration and was pursuing a doctorate in economics at the University of California, Los Angeles, when American Gladiators came calling. After Gladiators ended he went on to work steadily in television and film over the next 20 years. He was 49. Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images Fullscreen Feb. 24, 2016: Leonard J. “Lennie” Baker (at left), vocalist and saxophone player of the rock-and-doo-wop band Sha Na Na, passed away peacefully on Wednesday at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Mass. He was 69. Although the specific cause of death was not disclosed, his nephew David Baker shared online that Lennie had developed a serious infection the week of his death. In 2002 Lennie Baker underwent a kidney transplant, receiving a kidney donated by his nephew. Baker joined Sha Na Na in 1970 and toured the world with them until he retired in 2000. He also appeared on the Sha Na Na variety TV show (1977-1981), and in the movie Grease, singing lead on the song Blue Moon, the Rogers and Hart standard that was a chart hit from the 1978 movie. Doug Griffin/Toronto Star via Getty Images Fullscreen Feb. 25, 2016: Tony Burton (left) played Tony “Duke” Evers, trainer to Weathers’ Apollo Creed in the original 1976 movie and its 1979 sequel, and then joined the team behind Sylvester Stallone’s (right) Rocky Balboa, where he remained for four more Rocky movies, concluding with 2006’s Rocky Balboa. He began acting in 1974, to parlay his two Golden Gloves light-heavyweight titles into a Hollywood career. He appeared in 1976’s Assault on Precinct 13, 1980’s The Shining and had a steady string of TV guest spots and retired from acting in 2007, the year after his final Rocky movie. Burton never got to see Creed, due to frequent illnesses over the last year, his sister told the BBC. He was 78. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Fullscreen Feb. 22, 2016: Born James Hugh Loden on May 1, 1928, in Hackleburg, Ala., the country singer Sonny James, whose music went from rural Alabama to the moon, died Monday afternoon, according to longtime friend Gary Robble. James was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006. His smooth 1956 recording of “Young Love” came before the rise of the Nashville sound, and in the late 1960s and early 1970s, James released 16 consecutive chart-topping singles. He was 87. Mark Humphrey/AP Photo Fullscreen Feb. 19, 2016: Harper Lee, the little girl named Nelle who grew up to write one of the 20th Century’s most culture-changing novels, has died in her beloved hometown of Monroeville, Ala. She was 89. Her death was confirmed by the mayor’s office in Monroeville, and by a local Alabama news website. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Fullscreen Feb. 18, 2016: Angela “Big Ang” Raiola, the raspy-voiced bar owner who gained fame on the reality TV series Mob Wives, died early Thursday, nearly a year after being diagnosed with throat cancer. Raiola died at a New York City hospital while surrounded by friends and family, said series producer Jennifer Graziano. A statement posted from Raiola’s Twitter account said she had “peacefully ended her battle with cancer.” She was 55. AP Photo Fullscreen Feb. 15, 2016: Gaynes, best known to TV viewers as the foster father to Soleil Moon Frye’s Punky Brewster and her dog Brandon, has died. Born George Jongejans in Helsinki in 1917 to a Russian artist mother and Dutch businessman father, he performed with the New York City Opera, as well as Broadway, where he joined the cast of 1950’s Out of This World. In 1953, He was cast in Leonard Bernstein’s Wonderful Town, changed his last name to Gaynes and married actress Allyn Ann McLerie, with whom he had a daughter, Iya, and a son, Matthew, and spent the rest of his life. Gaynes was a mainstay of the ‘Police Academy’ franchise, in which he played Lassard, the commandant of the recruits, and called it a career after the 2003 Ashton Kutcher film Just Married. He was 98. NBC via Getty Images Fullscreen Feb. 15, 2016: Matthews, the former Prince protege known as Vanity, died at the Washington Hospital Health Care System in Fremont, Calif., according hospital spokeswoman Gisela Hernandez. According to the fundraising page Matthews had on GoFundMe, which appeared to be written in the Fremont hospital four months ago, she had been on dialysis for years but had recently been diagnosed with an often deadly condition called sclerosis encapsulating peritonitis. She was 57. Paul Natkin, Wire Image Fullscreen Feb. 6, 2016: Gerson, who co-wrote several Walt Disney animated films including “Monsters, Inc.” and “Big Hero 6,” died at his Los Angeles home on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, after battling brain cancer He was 49. Gerson, shown here in a July 12, 2010 photo released by Disney, was a frequent contributor for Pixar Animation, co-writing both 2001’s “Monsters, Inc.” and its 2013 sequel, “Monsters University.” Associated Press Fullscreen Feb. 4, 2016: Maurice White, the founder and leader of Earth, Wind & Fire, died at home in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, said his brother, Verdine White. He was 74. In this July 7, 2003 file photo, Philip Bailey, from left, Maurice White, and Ralph Johnson, of Earth Wind & Fire hold up the plaques from their induction at the Hollywood Rock Walk at a ceremony in Los Angeles. Matt Sayles/AP Fullscreen Jan. 29, 2016: Paul Kantner, a founding member of Jefferson Airplane, died Thursday of multiple organ failure at 74. The counterculture psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane was formed in 1965 in the Bay Area, and is said to have first defined what became known as the “San Francisco sound.” Shawn Baldwin/AP Photo Fullscreen Jan. 26, 2016: Abe Vigoda, whose leathery, sunken-eyed face made him ideal for playing over-the-hill detective Phil Fish in the 1970s TV series Barney Miller and the doomed Mafia soldier in “The Godfather,” died Tuesday at age 94. Vigoda’s daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs, told the Associated Press that he died Tuesday morning in his sleep at Fuchs’ home in Woodland Park, New Jersey. The cause of death was old age. “This man was never sick,” Fuchs said. Richard Drew/Associated Press Fullscreen Jan. 18, 2016: Glenn Frey, Eagles founder and guitarist, was known for co-writing some of the band’s top hits, and sang lead on songs “Take It Easy,” “Tequila Sunrise,” “New Kid in Town,” “Heartache Tonight,” “Already Gone,” “Lyin’ Eyes” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and also had a successful solo career. He died of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia. He was 67. Autumn de Wile Fullscreen Jan. 15, 2016: Dan Haggerty, who starred in the 1970s TV series “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” has died. He was 74. This July 2010 photo shows Haggerty in Universal City, California. Dan Steinberg/AP Fullscreen Jan. 14, 2016: René Angélil, the husband of and mentor-manager who helped make Canadian singer Céline Dion a mega star, has died after a years-long battle with throat cancer. He was 73. In this Aug. 17, 1998 photo, Celine Dion is all smiles with Angélil. USA TODAY/File Photo Fullscreen Jan. 14, 2016: British actor Alan Rickman, whose career ranged from Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company to the “Harry Potter” films, has died. He was 69. Rickmanís family said Thursday that the actor had died after a battle with cancer. Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Photo Fullscreen Jan. 10, 2016: Michael Galeota, star of Disney Channel’s series “The Jersey” and movie “Clubhouse Detectives,” has died at age 31, Galeota’s brother, Jimmy, confirmed to USA TODAY. Galeota went to the hospital last Wednesday after complaining about abdominal pains, according to TMZ, which first reported the news. He reportedly left the hospital last Wednesday and died peacefully at home on Sunday. Galeota is seen here in a 1996 photo from series ‘Bailey Kipper’s P.O.V.’ He was 31. MTM Fullscreen Jan. 10, 2016: Legendary singer David Bowie died following a secret battle with cancer, although the type was not specified, according to The Associated Press, the Daily Mail and other British media. The glam-rock icon, whose hits included “Modern Love,” “Heroes,” “Let’s Dance,” and “Fame” was born David Jones in South London on Jan. 8, 1947. His last music video, Lazarus, was released Jan. 7, 2016, and seemed to provide a haunting image of what was to come; Bowie in a hospital bed, his eyes bandaged, the lyrics beginning with the line, “Look up here, I’m in heaven.” He was 69. Jimmy King Fullscreen Dec. 31, 2015: The daughter of legendary crooner Nat King Cole died Thursday evening at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She became a star in her own right, winning nine Grammys and releasing platinum albums including 1977’s Unpredictable and 1991’s Unforgettable… with Love. Yet the singer battled early problems with drug abuse, and later hepatitis C. Cole had a kidney transplant in 2009. The family told the Associated Press the singer died of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension, which led to heart failure. She was 65. EPA Fullscreen Jan, 6, 2016: Pat Harrington Jr., who won acclaim as the buttinsky building superintendent who rarely fixed anything on the long-running 1970s sitcom, “One Day at a Time,” has died, according to his family. His daughters Tresa and Terry posted a message on Facebook Thursday announcing his death on Wednesday evening. He was 86. Harrington is pictured with ‘One Day at a Time’ cast members Bonnie Franklin, lower right, Valerie Bertinelli, center and MacKenzie Phillips, upper right. CBS Fullscreen Jan. 1, 2016:The legendary cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, best known for “The Deer Hunter” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” has died. His business partner Yuri Neyman confirmed that Zsigmond died on Friday in Big Sur, California. He was 85. Tamas Kovacs/MTI/AP Photo Fullscreen Dec. 31, 2015: Natalie Cole, the Grammy-winning daughter of Nat “King” Cole, who carried on her late father’s musical legacy and, through technology, shared a duet with him on “Unforgettable,” has died. She was 65. Cole died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles due to compilations from ongoing health issues, her family said in a statement. Cole had battled drug problems and hepatitis that forced her to undergo a kidney transplant in May 2009. Cole’s older sister, Carol “Cookie” Cole, died the day she received the transplant. Their brother, Nat Kelly Cole, died in 1995. Natalie Cole was inspired by her dad at an early age and auditioned to sing with him when she was just 11 years old. She was 15 when he died of lung cancer, in 1965. She began as an R&B singer but later gravitated toward the smooth pop and jazz standards that her father loved. Evan Agostini/AP Fullscreen Like this topic? 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