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September 4, 2015

In Memoriam: TV Stars We Lost in 2010

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 26th 2010 10:00AM
Gary ColemanA lot of celebrities die every year, but going over the deaths from 2010, it seems like an inordinate amount of classic TV stars died this year.

We compiled a list of TV-related people we lost in 2010. It's a long list, with links to the full obituaries for each. With so many TV stars passing away over the months, we may have missed one or two, so if there's an obit we overlooked, please let us know in the comments.

Gary Coleman. The 'Diff'rent Strokes' actor had a lot of health complications over years after being born with a kidney disease, but he actually died from a brain hemorrhage he suffered after a fall at home in May. He was 42.

Stephen J. Cannell. It's hard to think of another producer/creator/writer who was known -- not just by name but by face -- for his TV work. That recognition was helped by his signature sign-off on shows, sitting at his word processor and throwing a piece of paper in the air. The prolific writer and producer, behind such shows as 'The Rockford Files,' 'The A-Team,' 'Wiseguy,' and 'Stingray,' died of complications from melanoma in September at age 69.

Andrew Koenig. The 'Growing Pains' actor (he played Boner) was found dead in February. The 41 year-old son of 'Star Trek' actor Walter Koenig took his own life after suffering from depression for many years.

Corey Haim. The 38 year-old star of 'Roomies,' 'The Edison Twins,' and the reality show 'The Two Coreys' was found dead by his mother in March. The official cause of death was various heart problems and pneumonia.

Robert Culp. The 'I Spy' and 'Greatest American Hero' actor, writer, and director -- he also played Debra's dad on 'Everybody Loves Raymond' -- died in March after suffering a fall outside his home. He was 79.

Barbara BillingsleyBarbara Billingsley. The woman who played mom June Cleaver on the classic sitcom 'Leave it to Beaver' died in October at age 94.

Tom Bosley. The star of shows like 'Happy Days' and 'Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home' -- and Glad commercials -- died in October at age 83.

Phil Harris. The 'Deadliest Catch' star passed away after suffering a stroke during filming on Alaska's St. Paul Island. He was 53.

Rue McClanahan. 'The Golden Girls' and 'Maude' star died in October at age 76 from a stroke.

Peter Graves. The star of 'Mission: Impossible' and 'Biography' died in March at age 83.

Dixie Carter. Carter was one of the 'Designing Women' and had a big role on 'Desperate Housewives.' The wife of Hal Holbrook, she died in April at the age of 70.

James MacArthur. MacArthur played Danno on the original version of 'Hawaii Five-0.' He was slated to do a cameo on the new CBS version but passed away in October at the age of 72.

Don Meredith. The former analyst for 'Monday Night Football' football player, actor, and spokesman (Lipton Tea) passed away earlier this month from complications of emphysema and a brain hemorrhage. He was 72.

Blake Edwards. The man behind such TV shows as 'Peter Gunn' and 'Richard Diamond, Private Eye' -- and husband of Julie Andrews -- died last week at the age of 88.

William Self. The television executive and producer ('Batman,' 'The Green Hornet,' 'Daniel Boone,' 'Peyton Place,' 'The Frank Sinatra Show' and the pilot for 'The Twilight Zone') died in November at the age of 89.

Fess Parker. The star of 'Daniel Boone' and 'Davy Crockett' passed away in March at the age of 85.

Dennis Hopper. Hopper, whose TV credits include regular roles on shows like 'Crash,' '24,' and 'E-Ring,' died in May from cancer. He was 74.

Lynn Redgrave. The 'House Calls' and 'Rude Awakening' star died of breast cancer in May at age 67.

Tony Curtis. The star of the TV show 'The Persuaders' died of cardiac arrest in September at the age of 85.

Charlie O'Donnell. The announcer on 'Wheel of Fortune' and other games shows passed away in November. He was 78.

Greg GiraldoGreg Giraldo. The stand-up comic and judge on NBC's 'Last Comic Standing' died from a drug overdose in September. He was 44.

Art Linkletter. The host of classic shows like 'People Are Funny' and 'House Party' passed away in May at the age of 97.

Harold Gould. The 'Rhoda' and 'Golden Girls' star died in September from prostate cancer. He was 86.

John Forsythe. The star of 'Bachelor Father,' 'Dynasty' and 'Charlie's Angels' (he was the voice of Charlie) passed away in April at the age of 92.

Helen Wagner. The 'As The World Turns' matriarch died in May at the age of 91.

James Mitchell. The veteran 'All My Children' star died in January at the age of 89.

Frances Reid. The matriarch of the soap 'Days of Our Lives' died in February at the age of 95.

Pernell Roberts. The star of such shows as 'Trapper John, M.D.' and 'Bonanza' passed away from cancer in January. He was 81.

Edwin Newman. The veteran NBC newsman died in September at the age of 91.

Leslie NielsenLeslie Nielsen. The star of the short-lived but classic comedy 'Police Squad' died in November at the age of 84.

Merlin Olsen. The star of the family drama 'Family Murphy' - and former football player -- passed away from complications of mesothelioma in March. He was 69.

David Mills. The producer and writer on such shows as 'The Wire,' 'ER,' 'Homicide,' and 'NYPD Blue' collapsed on the set of 'Treme' in March. The cause of death was a brain aneurysm. He was 48.

Robert B. Parker. The man who wrote the novels that served as the basis for 'Spenser: For Hire' and the 'Jesse Stone' movies died in January at the age of 77.

Steve Landesberg. The 'Barney Miller' actor died earlier this week of cancer at the age of 65.

Simon MacCorkindale. The 'Manimal, 'Falcon Crest,' 'Counterstrike,' and 'Casualty' star died of cancer in October. He was 58.

Robert Schimmel. The star of several HBO specials and an 'In Living Color' writer, Schimmel died from injuries he sustained in a car accident in August. He was 60.

Al Masini. Masini, the creator of 'Entertainment Tonight' and 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous' died of cancer earlier this month at the age of 80.

Zelda Rubinstein. The 'Picket Fences' actress died of various causes in January at the age of 76.

Maury Chaykin. Chaykin played the title role in the 'Nero Wolfe' TV series and had a role on 'Entourage. He died in July -- on his 61st birthday -- from kidney and other problems.

Elaine Kaufman. The owner of Elaine's, the Manhattan restaurant hangout of many stars, died earlier this month at the age of 81.

Sandy Kenyon. Character actor who appeared in 'The Twilight Zone,' 'The Dick Van Dyke Show,' 'The Travels of Jaime McPheeters,' 'The Fugitive,' 'The Wild, Wild West,' 'I Spy,' 'Gunsmoke,' 'Knot's Landing,' and dozens of other shows. He died in February at the age of 87.

Christopher Cazenove. The 'Dynasty' actor died of septicemia in April. He was 64.

James Wall. The 'Captain Kangaroo' actor -- he played neighbor Mr. Baxter -- died in October at the age of 92.

Denise Borino-Quinn. She played Ginny on 'The Sopranos.' She passed away in October from liver cancer. She was 46.

Caroline McWilliamsCaroline McWilliams. The star of 'Soap' and 'Benson' died of multiple myeloma in February. She was 64.

Nan Martin. The veteran actress -- best known to TV fans as Drew Carey's boss Mrs. Louder on 'The Drew Carey Show' -- passed away in March from emphysema. She was 82.

Mitch Miller. The bandleader and star of 'Sing Along With Mitch' died in July at the age of 99.

James Gammon. Gammon played Don Johnson's dad on 'Nash Bridges' and appeared in many TV westerns. He died of cancer in July at the age of 70.

Tom Brookshier. The CBS broadcaster and former pro died of cancer in January. He was 78.

Chet Simmons. The sports pioneer and 'SportsCenter' creator died in March at the age of 81.

Fred Foy. The 'Lone Ranger' and "Dick Cavett Show' announcer passed away last week at the age of 89.

Clay Cole. He was a writer and producer and host of the influential music dance show 'The Clay Cole Show' in the New York area in the '50s and '60s. He also created the first entertainment magazine show in 1979, 'People.' He died of a heart attack last week at the age of 72.

Jimmy Dean. The star of countless commercials (and an actor), Dean died in June at the age of 81.

Dorothy Provine. She starred in such shows as 'The Roaring Twenties' and 'The Alaskans.' She died of emphysema in April at the age of 75.

Lisa Blount. Blount had a regular role on 'Profit' and appeared in dozens of other shows. She died in October at the age of 53.

Art Clokey. The creator of Gumby died in January at the age of 88.

Corey Allen. The former actor directed many shows over the years, including 'Star Trek: TNG,' 'Dallas,' 'Magnum, P.I.,' 'Hunter,' 'Murder, She Wrote,' 'Simon & Simon,' and 'Hawaii Five-0.' He died in June at the age of 75.

Neva Patterson. She had roles in several TV series since the 40s, including regular roles on 'Nichols,' 'The Governor & J.J.,' 'St. Elsewhere,' and the two original 'V' miniseries. She died last week at age 90 from a broken hip.

Addison Powell. The veteran 'Dark Shadows' actor died in November. He was 89.

Richard Dunn. Dunn was a character actor who appeared in several shows including 'Tim and Eric's Awesome Show, Good Job,' 'Weeds,' and 'Nip/Tuck.' He died at the age of 73.

Eddie Barth. He not only played Myron Fowler on 'Simon & Simon,' he was the guy who gave the closing line -- "Tastes Great, Less Filling" -- in many Miller Lite Beer commercials in the 1980s. He died of heart failure in May at the age of 78.

Alexander Anderson, Jr. The creator of such iconic characters as Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, and Crusader Rabbit, died in October at the age of 90.

Ahna Capri. The actress appeared in everything from 'Leave it to Beaver' to 'Mrs. Columbo.' She died in a car accident in August. She was 66.

Jean Simmons. She appeared in several TV shows, including 'Dark Shadows,' the 'North & South' miniseries, 'Star Trek: TNG,' and 'The Odd Couple.' She passed away from lung cancer in Janary at the age of 80.

Justin Mentell. The 'Boston Legal' actor died in a car accident in February. He was 27.

Glenn Shadix. He played Jerry's first landlord in an early episode of 'Seinfeld' and had regular roles on shows like 'Carnivale,' 'Thanks,' and 'Teen Titans.' The 58 year-old died after hitting his head at home.

RudolphBillie Mae Richards. She was the voice of Rudolph in the classic Christmas specials 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer,' 'Rudolph's Shiny New Year' and 'Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July.' She died in September at the age of 88.

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You forgot Lorene Yarnell, one of the finest tap dancers who died in Norway at the age of 66.

December 28 2010 at 5:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nancy Burd

Rue Mclanahan was one of the Golden Girls.

December 28 2010 at 1:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I imagine Teena Marie was too recent, but I am absolutely heartbroken over her death.

Once again, people who made TV and music worth the electricity are being lost...

RIP, stars.

December 28 2010 at 12:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to PatrioticPirate's comment

so true about teena, tragically sad...plus, she qualifies as a tv star, too, so she should be on this list. apparently, she was (very briefly) a child actress who had appeared on 'the beverly hillbillies'.

r.i.p. to all these brilliant stars.

December 28 2010 at 9:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bill G.

Believe Merlin Olsen's TV show was 'Father Murphy', not 'Family Murphy'. He may be more well know for his role on Little House on the Prairie.

December 28 2010 at 12:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott Imrie

and how could you ever forget Jane Wyman (star of Falcon Crest) and exwife of Ronald Reagan!!!!

December 28 2010 at 12:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carl Miller

Rue Mclanahan was not the star of Maude. That was Bea Arthor.

December 27 2010 at 10:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Carl Miller's comment
Scott Imrie

Also Rue Mclanahan was one of the stars in Mama's family.

December 28 2010 at 12:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It said she was a Maude star not THE star. She was a star in Maude.

December 28 2010 at 7:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


December 27 2010 at 3:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

These were TV stars, not everyone.

December 27 2010 at 2:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Steve Landesberg Was actually 74. (November 23, 1936 - December 20, 2010)Landesberg died from colon cancer on December 20, 2010, aged 74. Initial reports of Mr. Landesberg's death, relying on numerous biographical sources, said he was 65.
In acknowledging that he was actually nine years older, his daughter Elizabeth said he had provided varying birth dates over the years. "He got kind of a late start in show business," she explained, "so he tried to straddle the generations. He fooled the whole world. People were surprised to think he was even 65."

December 27 2010 at 12:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Do not forget R&B singer Teddy Pendergrass, who died in January.

December 27 2010 at 12:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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