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Actors We Lost In 2023

Because they're in the business of making entertaining and emotionally resonant films and television shows, actors seem immortal. Their art lives forever, after all — we can revisit their greatest performances long after they've passed on. But Hollywood stars really are just like the rest of us: They're not immune to the frailties of existence, and their time on Earth is limited. Actors die, and because we love their work, they're widely and deeply mourned. 

Tragically, 2023 was filled with some truly heartbreaking deaths. We said goodbye to horror stars, indie actors, and beloved comedians alike. Some who passed on were underrated actors who brought bit parts to life and used their immense talents to delight us with memorable supporting characters. Others were some of the most admired and beloved performers in the industry — stars who changed Hollywood and the world itself. Regardless of their status or international acclaim, they entertained us and moved us with their memorable on-screen work.

Updated on January 2, 2023: We lost a number of beloved performers in 2023, and we honor their lives and their work here.

Lance Kerwin

Lance Kerwin spent his childhood racking up guest roles as plucky kids on '70s fare like "Police Story," "Cannon," and multiple after-school specials. As he grew, he starred as relatable and sensitive teen James Hunter on the drama "James at 15," renamed "James at 16" in Season 2. Playing a realistic teenager made Kerwin into a real-life teen idol in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He parlayed this status into parts in the TV movie "The Boy Who Drank Too Much" and the hit miniseries adaptation of Stephen King's "Salem's Lot," in which he played lead vampire resister Mark Petrie. 

Kerwin bounced around TV for years before largely retiring from acting after an appearance in 1995's "Outbreak." According to his daughter, Kerwin died on January 24, 2023 in San Clemente, California (via Variety). He was 62.

Earl Boen

Earl Boen was a consummate character actor, highly recognizable by his face, voice, and demeanor for any number of the nearly 300 projects he was involved with from the mid 1970s to the 2010s. He was probably best known for his recurring role across two decades' worth of "Terminator" movies: In the first three entries of the sci-fi franchise, Boen played persistent criminal psychologist Dr. Peter Silberman. Boen also co-starred in "Alien Nation," "9 to 5," and "My Stepmother is an Alien." On the small screen, Boen enjoyed recurring roles on "Mama's Family," "Scarecrow and Mrs. King," and "Webster." He also had an illustrious career as a voice actor, contributing to animated projects like "Kim Possible," "The New Batman Adventures," "Pinky and the Brain," and "Clifford the Big Red Dog."

On January 6, 2023, TMZ reported that the character actor had died the previous day in Hawaii. A family friend told Variety that Boen had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer. He was 81.

Gina Lollobrigida

An art student and beauty queen, per CNN, screen legend Gina Lollobrigida moved into acting in her native Italy just after World War II. This was an explosively creative era for Italian cinema, and Lollobrigida was a key part of it. She became a superstar in Europe and an international sex symbol in the 1950s, headlining a run of Hollywood hits including "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "Beat the Devil," and "Solomon and Sheba." She ultimately headed back to Italy, where she starred in, wrote, and directed a number of films. 

Lollobrigida didn't act much after 1973, though she did pop up on "Falcon Crest" and "The Love Boat." She filled her time by becoming a celebrated photojournalist and a politician; In 2022, she ran for a seat in the Italian Senate. According to NPR, Lollobrigida had leg surgery after she broke a thigh bone in a fall in September 2022. She died in Rome on January 16, 2023. She was 95.

Adam Rich

In 1977, Adam Rich began a four-year run as Nicholas, the youngest of the eight Bradford children on "Eight is Enough." Rich went on to enjoy a number of guest roles on a variety of series, including "Silver Spoons," "St. Elsewhere," "The Love Boat," and "The Six Million Dollar Man." Tabletop role-playing game fans might also remember him from the 1980s "Dungeons & Dragons" animated series, on which he voiced the magical Presto. 

In the 1990s, celebrated author and publisher Dave Eggers recruited Rich for a massive prank: Eggers' Might magazine reported Rich's death (per The Washington Post). The seemingly posthumous tribute was so convincing, genuine news outlets attempted to jump on the story. According to TMZ, Rich died on January 7, 2023. He was 54.

Lisa Loring

Lisa Loring cemented her legacy at a very early age when she portrayed the iconic and enduring character of Wednesday Addams. Loring was the first actor to ever play the somber girl on screen, making her mark in 1964's "The Addams Family." This performance is still making waves: Her frenetic dance with co-star Ted Cassidy became a meme in recent years. A breakout child star, Loring acted only occasionally after "The Addams Family" ended, with appearances on "The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.," "Fantasy Island," "Barnaby Jones," and a long stint on "As the World Turns" in the early 1980s. Her final work came in the 2015 indie horror movie "Doctor Spine."

Loring's friend Laurie Jacobson reported on Facebook that on January 25, 2023, the actor suffered a severe stroke. She died on January 28, at the age of 64.

Cindy Williams

Cindy Williams was an icon of 1970s entertainment. Following some due-paying with commercials and guest starring roles (according to Variety), Williams landed big parts in major movies by two of the era's most important filmmakers. She played Laurie in George Lucas' nostalgic blockbuster "American Graffiti" — earning some awards attention in the process — and portrayed Ann in Francis Ford Coppola's "Godfather" follow-up, "The Conversation." 

A 1975 performance on "Happy Days" lead to Williams' most famous role: Shirley Feeney. Shirley and her friend Laverne (Penny Marshall) serve as intimidatingly older dates for the show's teenage characters. Their episode proved so popular that a "Laverne & Shirley" spin-off hit the air in 1976. By the 1977-1978 season, it was the most-watched program on television.

According to the Associated Press, Williams died on January 25, 2023, following a brief illness. She was 75.

Melinda Dillon

According to The Hollywood ReporterMelinda Dillon kicked off her acting career in a big way by earning a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the original 1963 production of Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" In the '70s, she lead the casts of three classics of the era: Hal Ashby's Woody Guthrie biopic "Bound for Glory," hockey comedy "Slap Shot," and Steven Spielberg's sci-fi smash "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Dillon landed her most iconic and enduring role in the 1980s, however. Every year, millions of people watch her play the Parker family's doting mother in perennial holiday favorite "A Christmas Story." Dillon followed that era-spanning hit with supporting turns in well-received movies like "Harry and the Hendersons," "The Prince of Tides," and "Magnolia."

Twice nominated for Academy Awards for "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Absence of Malice," Dillon was a giant of 20th century film. She passed away on January 9, 2023, at the age of 83.

Charles Kimbrough

Charles Kimbrough brought an air of dignified authority to most of the roles he played across five decades of acting. He is perhaps most famous for portraying Jim Dial on "Murphy Brown," an upright and uptight veteran anchor. That role brought Kimbrough an Emmy Award nomination in 1990. In recent decades, Kimbrough introduced his deep and serious voice to the world of cartoons, portraying characters like Victor in Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and its spin-offs, Mort Chalk in "Recess," and Dr. Ficus on "Dinosaurs." 

Said voice also helped make Kimbrough a star earlier in his career: He was a two-time Tony Award nominee for his work in big theatrical productions on Broadway. Among many notable performances, Kimbrough co-starred in "Company," "Candide," and "Sunday in the Park with George." Kimbrough also came out of retirement to reprise the role as Jim Dial on the 2018 "Murphy Brown" reboot. According to The New York Times, Kimbrough died on January 11, 2023, in Culver City, California. He was 86.

Al Brown

Al Brown didn't even approach acting professionally until the 1990s, when he was in his mid-50s. Before he was a performer, he served in the U.S. Air Force and put in two tours of duty during the Vietnam War. His acting career ultimately consisted of small but memorable roles, usually uniformed professionals or authority figures. Brown played officers of the law in "12 Monkeys," "Liberty Heights," "Red Dragon," and "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit." Brown's first role was as a sheriff's deputy in a 1995 episode of "Homicide: Life on the Street," and when that show's creator, David Simon, launched "The Wire" on HBO in 2002, the actor landed the role of Baltimore police commissioner Stan Valchek. Brown would recur across all six seasons of the acclaimed drama.

Brown's Facebook page relayed the news of the death. "My name is Michael. I manage Al's Facebook page," the post reported. "I am sad to let you know that angels came for Al yesterday morning, Friday, January 13, 2023." Brown's daughter told TMZ that the cause was Alzheimer's disease. Brown was 83.

George R. Robertson

Canadian character actor George R. Robertson already had nearly two decades of acting experience before he landed his signature role in 1984: Henry Hurst, the nefarious-yet-supportive chief of police in "Police Academy." Robertson reprised the role in five sequels and the "Police Academy" TV series. This role turned out to be the middle of his long and varied career, which also included supporting roles in three films that competed for Best Picture at the Academy Awards: "Airport," "Norma Rae," and "JFK." Robertson specialized in playing stern authority figures, and was frequently cast as politicians, both real and imagined, including the president in "Senior Trip," Senator Barry Goldwater in "The Reagans," and Vice President Dick Cheney in "The Path to 9/11."

According to Legacy, Robertson died on January 29, 2023 in Toronto. He was 89.

George P. Wilbur

An actor and entertainment industry professional with screen credits going back more than six decades, George P. Wilbur's best-known achievements arrived via the horror genre. His face obscured behind a grotesque mask, he played hard-to-kill murderer Michael Myers in "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers" and "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers." A veteran and highly sought-after stunt professional, Wilbur also did the stunts for those two horror movies, as well as action-heavy classics like "Planet of the Apes," "The Poseidon Adventure," "The Towering Inferno," "Escape From New York," "Poltergeist," "Firestarter," "Ghostbusters," "Die Hard," and "Monster Squad." 

Christopher Durand donned the Michael Myers mask for 1998's "Halloween: H20," and it was he who let the world know of Wilbur's death on February 1, 2023. "George, you were a class act and well loved. You will be missed," Durand wrote on Facebook. Wilbur was 81.

Cody Longo

Entering the entertainment industry in 2006, Cody Longo, also billed as Cody Anthony, became something of a teen idol. In rapid succession, he starred in two JoJo videos, the movie "Ball Don't Lie," a "Bring It On" straight-to-DVD movie, the 2009 remake of "Fame," and a TV remake of the gymnastics movie "Make It or Break It." In young adulthood, Longo landed a recurring part on "Days of Our Lives" as Nikki Alamain, and he also stood out on "Hollywood Heights" as rock star Eddie Duran. 

However, Longo's career virtually cratered following a 2020 domestic assault arrest. Then, in 2021, Longo was charged with the sexual assault of a minor, which led him to plead guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge. On February 8, 2023, police in Austin, Texas, provided a wellness check requested by Longo's wife. They found the actor dead in his bedroom. An autopsy determined that the cause of death was chronic drinking. Longo was 34 years old.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Raquel Welch

Raquel Welch was among the most iconic and glamorous movie stars of the 20th century. She made a big move into acting in 1966 with the sci-fi classic "Fantastic Voyage," in which she played a scientist who is shrunken down and sent into a sick man's body to investigate his illness. That same year, Welch starred in the prehistoric adventure "One Million Years B.C.," which saw her don a fur bikini. Images of her in this unique garment became the cornerstone of the film's marketing blitz and a legendary pin-up. Many vampy and showy roles followed in the 1960s and 1970s, with "Bedazzled," "The Three Musketeers," and "Myra Breckinridge." Her most notable recent role came in "Legally Blonde," in which she played the widow of a wealthy man whose murder is one of the central points of the film.

According to a statement provided by her manager, the actor died on February 15, 2023, following a short period of illness. Welch was 82.

Richard Belzer

In the 1970s and 1980s, Richard Belzer established himself as a dark, acerbic, and deeply cynical wisecracker. That outsider stance, which saw him deliver unapologetic social commentary, informed many of Belzer's hosting gigs and acting roles, particularly Detective John Munch. Belzer originated the character on "Homicide: Life on the Street," and went on to  portray him on "Law & Order" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" until 2016. He also brought the world-weary, droll-witted, and curmudgeonly investigator to "The Wire," "30 Rock," "Arrested Development," and "Sesame Street." 

Belzer and Munch shared a cultural background, a complicated attitude about city life, and an interest in conspiracy theories. By bringing him to such vivid life, the actor became a touchstone to generations of TV-watchers. Belzer died on February 19, 2023 at his home in France. He was 78.

Ricou Browning

You might not recognize Ricou Browning by name, but you definitely know his work. In a trio of films in the 1950s, he portrayed the iconic Gill-Man, aka the Creature, in Universal's "Creature from the Black Lagoon," "Revenge of the Creature," and "The Creature Walks Among Us." 

Highly proficient in the sought-after skillset of stunt performance and underwater cinematography, Browning pulled off expressive and entirely silent acting while completely submerged. He played the Creature in the movies' many underwater scenes, some of which are seriously lengthy (other actors played the Creature — aka the Gill-man — on land). Browning continued to carve out a niche in Hollywood as a creator and facilitator of waterlogged projects, directing the underwater scenes in "Caddyshack" and "Never Say Never Again," as well as co-creating the friendly dolphin TV series "Flipper."

Browning was part of a very small club of actors who portrayed the titular monsters in Universal's beloved slew of midcentury horror films. In fact, he was the last surviving original performer of the "Universal monsters," as they're typically known. The actor and filmmaker died on February 27, 2023, at his home in Florida. He was 93.

Tom Sizemore

The '90s produced plenty of thoughtful action movies and innovative indies about the seedier aspects of American life, and Tom Sizemore was often a major part of them. After his breakthrough role as a Vietnam War-era soldier on the TV drama "China Beach" earned him widespread attention, Sizemore appeared as a DEA Agent in "Point Break," a counter-terrorism expert in "Passenger 57," a detective in "True Romance," "Natural Born Killers," and "The Relic," and a high-ranking officer in "Saving Private Ryan." His career ultimately came to encompass more than 200 roles.

Sizemore collapsed at his home in Los Angeles on February 19, 2023. It was soon determined he'd suffered a brain aneurysm. He died on March 3, at the age of 61.

Chaim Topol

"Fiddler on the Roof" wasn't the likeliest candidate to be a smash-hit musical. Based on Sholem Aleichem's beloved tales of Jewish life in the Pale of Settlement, the musical tells the story of a milkman named Tevye who struggles to maintain his traditions, accept his daughters' potential husbands, and navigate a hostile world. Israeli actor Chaim Topol — or just Topol, as he was usually billed — was a big part of the success of "Fiddler on the Roof," and would forever be linked to the role of Tevye. The signature performance of his career, Topol portrayed Tevye in thousands of individual stage productions of "Fiddler on the Roof": He played the part in the original 1967 West End production, revivals in 1983 and 1994, and a Broadway revival in 1990. Most prominently, he starred in the hit 1971 film adaptation, which landed him a nomination for best actor at the Academy Awards.

After establishing his fame and a following, Topol portrayed Dr. Hanz Zarkov in the 1980 movie version of "Flash Gordon," smuggler Columbo in the James Bond movie "For Your Eyes Only," and Berel Jastrow in the blockbuster miniseries "The Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance." Topol, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, died in Tel Aviv on March 8, 2023. He was 87.

Robert Blake

There were three unique and distinct phases in the life and career of Robert Blake, an actor who started appearing in films in the late 1930s at the age of 6. Between 1939 and 1944, "Bobby Blake" portrayed Mickey in more than three dozen "Our Gang" or "Little Rascals" theatrical comic shorts. That gave way to numerous appearances as Little Beaver in "Red Ryder" movie serials and appearances on TV Westerns in the 1950s and '60s. 

After playing convicted killer Perry Smith in 1967's "In Cold Blood," Blake starred as Detective Tony Baretta on the crime drama "Baretta" from 1975 to 1978, which won him an Emmy Award. In the '80s and '90s, Blake assumed a lot of tough guy roles, retiring after a memorably creepy appearance in David Lynch's "Lost Highway" in 1997. 

Following the wind-down of his acting career, Blake would make headlines when he was arrested and tried for the 2001 murder of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. The salacious trial ended in an acquittal, but Blake was held liable in a civil wrongful death suit and had to pay his deceased wife's family $30 million. The Associated Press reported that Blake died at his Los Angeles home from heart disease on March 9, 2023. He was 89.

Lance Reddick

Lance Reddick brought star power and irresistible energy to a series of high profile and cult projects over the years. His intensity and deep character work often made them unforgettable. Reddick broke out on the HBO prison drama "Oz," where he played undercover narcotics officer Johnny Basil. He then appeared on celebrated drama "The Wire" as police lieutenant Cedric Daniels. Reddick once again played a complex authority figure on "Fringe": federal agent Phillip Broyles, head of the titular paranormal office. 

Many more TV roles followed for Reddick, including Deputy Chief Irving on "Bosch," Albert Wesker on Netflix's "Resident Evil" spin-off series, and deeply evil boss Christian DeVille on Comedy Central's "Corporate." Film fans know him best as Charon, the concierge-turned-sidekick of the "John Wick" movies, while gamers  will remember him for years to come as Commander Zavala of the "Destiny " video game series.

Reddick was discovered dead of natural causes in his home outside Los Angeles on the morning of March 17, 2023. He was 60 years old.

Paul Grant

Paul Grant was an important part of multiple sci-fi and fantasy franchises — series that are still beloved to this day by multiple generations of fans. Underneath extensive makeup and costuming, he played an Ewok in "Return of the Jedi" and a member of the Goblin Corps in "Labyrinth," in which he also served as a stunt double for Hoggle. Grant also served as a stunt performer in some of the other big fantasy epics of the era, "Legend" and "Ladyhawke." Then in 2001, Grant turned in his last on-screen performance as a goblin of Gringotts bank in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

In March 2023, Grant crumpled to the ground and became unresponsive near London's King's Cross station. He was eventually taken off life support and pronounced dead on March 20, at the age of 56.

Michael Lerner

Michael Lerner was a character actor, but never one that retreated into the scenery or the ensemble. A dominant and commanding force in most every role he took, Lerner was a quintessential supporting actor who specialized in portraying adversarial authority figures and bullying blowhards. 

After starting out in San Francisco theater in the 1960s, Lerner took on many dues-paying roles on '70s and '80s TV shows like "Hill Street Blues" and "The Rockford Files" and in movies such as "Eight Men Out" and "Harlem Nights." Probably his best known role, and the one for which he received the most accolades, was as the tyrannical movie studio boss Jack Lipnick in "Barton Fink." That part in the 1992 Coen brothers cult classic earned Lerner an Academy Award nomination. 

Lerner worked often through the '90s, co-starring in "Newsies," "Blank Check," and in 1998's Godzilla as the ineffectual mayor of a besieged New York City. Later gigs included that of a nasty children's book publisher in "Elf" and an anti-mutant senator in "X-Men: Days of Future Past." "The Goldbergs" star Sam Lerner, Michael Lerner's nephew, broke the news of his uncle's death on Instagram on April 9, 2023. He was 81.

Barry Humphries

A national treasure in his home nation of Australia, Barry Humphries worked as a comedian, actor, and drag performer for decades. He's better known, however, as his drag alter ego, Dame Edna Everage, a saucy, purple-haired, older woman from the upper crust who says whatever is on her mind, often speaking truth to power and issuing withering put downs. 

In addition to portraying Dame Edna's odious rival Sir Les Patterson, Humphries appeared as his signature character in hundreds of talk shows, TV series, and movies in Australia, Europe, and the United States. For years, Dame Edna was a virtual regular on "The Tonight Show" and hosted the mock-talk show "Dame Edna's Hollywood" on NBC in the early 1990s.

Additionally, Pixar fans will recognize Humphries as the voice of Bruce the shark from "Finding Nemo," who's trying his best to view fish as friends, not food. He also voiced the Great Goblin in Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." Humphries was so beloved in Australia that his death was reported to the public by way of a tweet from the country's prime minister, Anthony Albanese. Humphries was 89 years old.

Harry Belafonte

Born in the New York neighborhood of Harlem to a family from the Caribbean, Harry Belafonte was America's biggest Black multi-hyphenate superstar during the mid-20th century. Just before the emergence of rock n' roll in the 1950s, Belafonte was the biggest pop singer in the United States. He sang traditional and new songs in Caribbean-based styles — including his signature tune, "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" — and topped the Billboard album chart with "Calypso" for 31 weeks. 

His success on records and as a captivating live performer demonstrated the public's demand for Belafonte-based content, and Hollywood obliged. In the 1950s, the singer starred in the musical movie "Carmen Jones," the romance "Island in the Sun," and the post-apocalyptic "The World, the Flesh, and the Devil." After a long break to focus on the Civil Rights Movement, where he was a prominent and outspoken advocate for African-American equality and systemic change and worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Belafonte returned to acting in the 1970s, appearing in "Buck and the Preacher" and "Uptown Saturday Night." His final on-screen work was a supporting role in 2018's "BlacKkKlansman," where he delivered a speech that's absolutely devastating.

Belafonte died of congestive heart failure at his home in New York on April 25, 2023. The entertainer was 96 years old.

Gerald Castillo

Gerald Castillo was likely known to most modern audiences for a couple of recurring roles on very successful 1980s daytime television programs. But he started out as a stage performer in Chicago and in a number of nationally touring productions. On the advice of co-star Sherman Hemsley, Castillo headed to Hollywood and landed small roles in "Death Wish IV," "Above Suspicion," and "Delta Force 2," as well as guest spots on "Simon and Simon," "Hill Street Blues," "Dallas," and "M*A*S*H." 

From 1992 to 1994, he earned particular distinction for playing Judge Davis Wagner on the ABC soap opera "General Hospital." Right around the same time, he portrayed Major Slater, a hard-nosed military dad on "Saved by the Bell." Castillo retired from performing in 2012 and moved to Houston, where he died at home on May 4, 2023. The actor was 90 years old.

Jacklyn Zeman

Jacklyn Zeman is known primarily for one role, which she played for more than 45 years. It elevated her to icon status within a fiercely beloved television genre. From 1977 until 2023, Zeman portrayed nurse Bobbie Spencer on ABC's daytime soap "General Hospital." Outlasting dozens of costars and figuring in hundreds of storylines, Zeman appeared in nearly 900 episodes of the serial drama. Strongly associated with both her character and soaps in general, Zeman also enjoyed cameos in soap-spoofing projects like "Young Doctors in Love" and "Chicago Hope," and had a continuing role as Sofia Madison on the Peacock serial "The Bay." For her work on "General Hospital," Zeman was nominated for four Daytime Emmy Awards, along with one nod for "The Bay."

On May 10 2023, "General Hospital" executive producer Frank Valentini announced Zeman's death on Twitter. Zeman's family told ABC News that the actor died from complications of cancer. The soap star was 70 years old.

Samantha Weinstein

At 8 years old, Canadian actor Samantha Weinstein entered the TV industry with a guest part on the long-running comedy "The Red Green Show." The talented voice actor worked steadily in TV series including "Gerald McBoing Boing," "Super Why," "Babar and the Adventures of Badou," "The ZhuZhus," and "Dino Ranch." Weinstein was also part of many American and Canadian live-action productions, appearing on "Being Erica," "Less Than Kind," "Alias Grace," "The Border," and "Wild Card." Some of Weinstein's most notable film work includes "Jesus Henry Christ," the Celine Dion biopic "Celine," "The Rocker," and the 2013 remake of "Carrie," where she played one of the girls who bullies the titular psychic.

In 2021, Weinstein was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive variety of ovarian cancer. Following more than two years of treatments, the actor died on May 14, 2023 at the age of 28.

Jim Brown

The NFL became nationally popular in the 1960s thanks to television and explosive stars like running back Jim Brown. In a nine-year career stretching from 1957 to 1965, Brown was named to nine Pro Bowl squads, never missed a game, and set the records for yards and touchdowns. And after leading the Cleveland Browns to its last league championship and being named the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1965, Brown decided to apply his attention and talents to acting. 

Brown tendered his resignation to the Browns while shooting his first major film role, in the classic war movie "The Dirty Dozen." He'd go on to star in numerous action films in the 1960s and 1970s, including "The Grasshopper," "Ice Station Zebra," and "Three the Hard Way." In the '80s and '90s, Brown settled into episodic TV work, appearing on "CHiPs," "Knight Rider," and "The A-Team," before poking fun at his career and tough guy persona in comedies like "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" and "Mars Attacks!"

For all his professional accomplishments, Brown's personal life was full of controversy, and he faced multiple assault charges. In 1968, for example, he allegedly threw a female partner from a balcony, and in 1999, he was arrested after taking a shovel to his wife's car and allegedly threatening murder. In both cases, the women withdrew their stories. A family representative told the Associated Press that Brown died at his home in Los Angeles on May 18, 2023. The athlete and actor was 87.

Ray Stevenson

After cutting his teeth with small roles on British television series in the 1990s, North Irish character actor and occasional leading man Ray Stevenson became a prolific go-to guy for producers all over the world looking to bring gravity and intensity to their action-oriented films and TV series. 

His first prominent gig came in the 2004 smash adaptation of "King Arthur," as the self-sacrificing knight Dagonet. Stevenson followed that with "Punisher: War Zone," portraying the titular vigilante in the franchise reboot. In addition to supporting roles in "The Three Musketeers," "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," and "The Book of Eli," Stevenson notably appeared in the first three MCU "Thor" films as Thor loyalist and warrior Volstagg, as well as in "Divergent" as Abnegation leader Marcus Eaton. Stevenson was heavily involved in the "Star Wars" universe, voicing Gar Saxon in multiple projects and playing Baylan Skoll in the Disney+ "Ahsoka" series. He also co-starred as soldier Titus Pullo on HBO's "Rome," played the villainous Governor Scott Buxton in the India-produced global hit "RRR," and worked alongside martial arts star Scott Adkins in the "Accident Man" series.

His publicist told Variety that the actor died in Italy on May 21, 2023. Stevenson was 58 years old.

Ed Ames

All-male vocal quartets dominated pop music in the early 1950s. Ed Ames was a major part of this wave as a member of the Ames Brothers: The group topped the charts with "Rag Mop," "Sentimental Me," and "You, You, You." After rock took over by the decade's end, Ames moved into stage acting. He starred in productions of "The Crucible," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "The Fantasticks," "Fiddler on the Roof," and "I Do, I Do," which generated a solo hit single for Ames in "Who Will Answer?" 

However, history buffs and fans of old-timey TV will probably recognize Ames for his turn on "Daniel Boone." From 19647 to 1970, he played Mingo, an Oxford-educated Cherokee guide. Interestingly, while promoting "Daniel Boone," Ames featured in one of the most famous bits on "The Tonight Show." In demonstrating how to throw a hatchet, he comically nailed a cowboy silhouette in the groin, eliciting howls of laughter from the audience and host Johnny Carson.

Ames' spouse, Jeanne Ames, told the media that the actor and singer died on May 21, 2023, from complications of Alzheimer's. He was 95 years old.

Lew Palter

An Army veteran and prolific stage actor, Lew Palter was nearly 40 years old before he booked his first national TV role on a 1967 episode of "Run for Your Life." In 1971, he began a four-decade run as an acting teacher at CalArts in Santa Clarita, California, and he also ran workshops around the U.S. and in Europe. Over the years, he trained notable performers like Don Cheadle, Cecily Strong, and Ed Harris. 

Palter also worked steadily as a guest performer on a variety of network TV series, with stints on "The Virginian," "Gunsmoke," "Mission: Impossible," "The Doris Day Show," "Columbo," "The Brady Bunch," "The Waltons," and "The A-Team." The actor's most significant roles were that of a Supreme Court judge in the 1981 legal drama "First Monday in October," a detective on the short-lived '70s police drama "Delvecchio," and real-life tycoon Isidor Straus in 1997's "Titanic." Remember the old man lying in his bed, holding his wife tight, as the ship filled with water? Yep, that was Palter breaking our hearts.

The actor's daughter reported that Palter died on May 21, 2023 at his Los Angeles home. He was 94.

George Maharis

Starring as Buz Murdock on the atmospheric 1960s road drama "Route 66" made George Maharis into a TV star. But partway through the show's third season — and on the heels of an Emmy nomination — Maharis contracted hepatitis. This caused a cascade of events that ended with him walking away from the hit series entirely. 

Maharis resumed his career swiftly, though, starring in 1960s movies like "The Satan Bug," "Sylvia," "Quick Before It Melts," and "The Happening." The actor returned to TV in the 1970s and enjoyed a comeback, starring on the quickly canceled "The Most Deadly Game" and playing a boxer on the top-rated miniseries "Rich Man, Poor Man." Some more TV and B-movie appearances followed, and Maharis retired from acting after completing work on the 1993 film "The Evil Within."

On May 24, 2023, the actor died at his Beverly Hills home. He was 94.

Tina Turner

Born Anna Mae Bullock, Tina Turner would become an iconic musician in multiple eras and earn the nickname "the Queen of Rock 'n Roll." Combining a raspy voice, a passionate performance style, and frenetic dance moves, Turner propelled the duo Ike and Tina into massive success in the 1960s and 1970s with rock-meets-soul hits like "River Deep – Mountain High," "Nutbush City Limits," and a cover of "Proud Mary." In the 1980s, Turner returned to prominence as a solo act and struck it big with "Private Dancer," "Simply the Best," and "What's Love Got to Do With It," ultimately selling 180 million albums and winning 12 Grammy Awards.

Turner was so famous, recognizable, and charismatic that Hollywood eventually beckoned. Turner took on just four film roles in her life, but all were memorable. She appeared as The Acid Queen in Tommy," gave a cameo in "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," played the villainous Aunt Entity in "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome," and appeared as The Mayor in "Last Action Hero." Tragically, Turner's family released a statement to Rolling Stone on May 24, 2023, announcing the rock star's death at her home in Kusnacht, Switzerland. Turner's passing came after a lengthy sickness; she was 83 years old.

Mike Batayeh

Mike Batayeh appeared in an episode or two of dozens of TV shows from the late 1990s on, particularly comedies like "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Boy Meets World," "The Bernie Mac Show," and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." All that work culminated in the two recurring roles for which he's best known: Ziad on the Showtime terrorism drama "Sleeper Cell" and Dennis Markowski on "Breaking Bad." On three episodes of the acclaimed crime saga, Batayeh portrayed the manager of Lavanderia Brillante, the laundromat that serves as a cover for drug kingpin Gus Fring's meth lab. Concurrent with this acting career, Batayeh was an active stand-up comic, performing at major clubs like The Laugh Factory, The Comedy Store, and The Improv. He was also one of the first American comics to perform in the Middle East.

Batayeh died on June 1, 2023, as the result of a heart attack in his sleep. The actor and comic was 52 years old.

Marlene Clark

Fondly remembered for a string of memorable roles in 1970s cult classics, Marlene Clark left a big impression on audiences. Following her performance in the made-for-TV movie "Lost Flight" opposite then-husband Billy Dee Williams, Clark emerged as a pulp and B-movie icon, portraying a likely werewolf in "The Beast Must Die," a reptilian in "Night of the Cobra Woman," a victim in "Beware! The Blob," and a secretary in Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon." Clark's most enduring films were the 1973 Cannes hit "Ganja and Hess" and 1975's "Switchblade Sisters," in which she played a vampire and the head of a gang that kills off drug pushers, respectively. Clark also gained fame as Janet Lawson, fiancée to main character Lamont on the immensely popular 1970s sitcom "Sanford and Son." In the 1980s and 1990s, Clark moved into acting part-time, in order to run her own upscale clothing boutique and manage a restaurant.

Clark died at her Los Angeles home on May 18, 2023. No cause of death was immediately provided. The actor was 85 years old.

Treat Williams

Starting out in acclaimed films during the 1970s, Treat Williams spent the 1980s and 1990s popping up in everything from prestige movies to crowd-pleasers to made-for-television fare. Williams broke out with a major role as hippie leader Berger in the 1979 film adaptation of the musical "Hair," then appeared in Steven Spielberg's "1941" and the harrowing police drama "Prince of the City," which earned the actor a Golden Globe nomination. He'd never be off the screen for long, co-starring in crime sagas such as "Once Upon a Time in America" and "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead." 

Over the course of his prolific career, Williams racked up more than 100 acting credits, and these days, he's best remembered for numerous Christmas projects for Hallmark and Netflix, as well as playing dads of characters in "Chicago Fire," "White Collar," and "Chesapeake Shores." What many consider Williams' signature role came in The WB's family drama "Everwood," where he starred as kindly neurosurgeon (and compassionate single father) Dr. Andy Brown.

Williams' agent, Barry McPherson, told The Hollywood Reporter that the actor was riding his motorcycle near his home, outside Dorset, Vermont, on June 12, 2023, when he was struck by a car, throwing him from the bike. After an airlift to Albany Medical Center in New York for treatment of severe injuries, Williams was pronounced dead at age 71.

Glenda Jackson

Across a variety of film genres and high-end theatrical productions, Glenda Jackson was among the most acclaimed actors of both her generation and the mid-20th century. A member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1960s, Jackson portrayed Ophelia in a notable "Hamlet" staging and originated the role of Charlotte Corday in the London production of the controversial play "Marat / Sade," receiving a Tony Award nomination when the work moved to Broadway. 

Jackson then moved into film with a lead role in 1970's "Women in Love," winning her first of two Academy Awards for best actress. She'd win the other for the 1973 romantic comedy "A Touch of Class." More Oscar noms arrived for "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "Hedda Gabler, with more Tony notices for "Strange Interlude" and "Macbeth."

In 1992, Jackson sidelined her extremely distinguished acting career for politics, running for and winning a seat in the U.K.'s House of Commons. She'd go on to serve as junior transport minister for the Labour Party's prime minister Tony Blair. After retiring from public service in 2015, Jackson returned to acting, portraying the titular role in a London-based "King Lear" and winning a Tony Award for "Three Tall Women."

According to a statement issued by Jackson's agent and friend Lionel Larner, the actor died at her home in the Blackheath area of London following a short period of illness. Jackson was 87.

Frederic Forrest

In the "auteur" days of 1970s American cinema, filmmakers relied on the services of trusted collaborators to express their vision. For example, Francis Ford Coppola frequently cast Frederic Forrest in his movies. In 1974, he portrayed Mark in "The Conversation," and eight years later, he landed the romantic lead of Hank in "One From the Heart." In between those films, there was 1979's "Apocalypse Now," where Forrest gave a riveting performance as Jay "Chef" Hicks, a culinary student turned drafted troop who suffers a breakdown in the Vietnam War. 

That same year, Forrest received Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for "The Rose," playing Huston Dyer, an AWOL army sergeant and limousine driver who provides guidance for the titular rock star character. In the '80s and '90s, Forrest would pop up in the "Lonesome Dove" miniseries, originate the role of Captain Jenkins on Fox's early hit "21 Jump Street," and appear in "Valley Girl," "The Two Jakes," and "Tucker: The Man and His Dream," another Coppola picture. Forrest retired following his work in the 2006 version of "All the King's Men."

Forrest's friend Barry Primus told The Hollywood Reporter that the actor had suffered from a lengthy period of illness before dying at his Santa Monica, California, home on June 23, 2023. Forrest was 86 years old.

Julian Sands

Frequently cast in horror movies and British period pieces, Julian Sands brought intensity and gravitas to more than 150 film and television roles dating back four decades. In the 1980s and 1990s, Sands made a big impression with major roles in acclaimed films like "The Killing Fields," "A Room with a View," and "Impromptu" while also starring in scary fare like "Gothic," the "Warlock" movies, and "Arachnophobia." Along with playing in dark films like "Naked Lunch," "Boxing Helena," and the 1998 horror version of "The Phantom of the Opera," Sands segued into TV, voice acting on "Biker Mice From Mars" and "Jackie Chan Adventures" before starring as Yulish on "Banshee" and recurring on "Smallville" as Superman's father, Jor-El.

In early January 2023, Sands went hiking near Mt. Baldy in California's San Gabriel Mountains and didn't return, prompting his family to file a missing persons report. Snowstorms interrupted rescue efforts until spring 2023. On June 24, 2023, the San Bernardino Sheriff's Office reported that hikers had found human remains in the area where Sands disappeared. Three days later, they were conclusively identified as those of the actor. Sands disappeared just after his 65th birthday.

Alan Arkin

A prolific character actor and leading man, Alan Arkin consistently appeared in films and TV series since the 1960s, specializing in playing gregarious, over-the-top, and self-deprecating figures. An early figure in the improv movement that would shape 20th-century comedy, Arkin was among the first members of Chicago's Second City group. Part of the program's Broadway debut in 1961, Arkin would win a Tony Award in 1963 for "Enter Laughing." Just four years after that, he'd receive an Emmy nomination for "The Love Song of Barney Kempinski" and an Oscar nomination for the Cold War farce "The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming."

The Oscars would recognize Arkin a few more times, with nods for 1968's "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" and 2012's "Argo" (as conspiring film producer Lester Siegel) and a win for 2006's "Little Miss Sunshine" for the role of unhinged grandpa Edwin. In between those career bookends, Arkin starred in numerous and various well-received films, including "Wait Until Dark," "Catch-22," "Last of the Red Hot Lovers," "The In-Laws," "Edward Scissorhands," and "Grosse Pointe Blank."

According to a statement from Arkin's sons, the actor died on June 29 at his Carlsbad, California, home. Arkin was 89 years old.

Jane Birkin

A definitive icon of the mid-20th century cool, sexy French aesthetic that spread through pop culture, Jane Birkin was a singer, model, fashion figure, and actor from the 1960s onward. Born in London and coming of age during the city's "Swinging 60s," Birkin relocated to Paris where she found success as an actor and singer, particularly with her partner, French superstar Serge Gainsbourg, who she connected with on the set of the movie "Slogan." Their envelope-pushing, abundantly sensual 1969 single "Je t'aime ... moi non plus" was alternately a smash or banned around the world, but it launched a long musical career and made Birkin hugely famous. 

At the same time, she appeared in numerous edgy 1960s and 1970s movies, including "Blow-Up," "Wonderwall," "La Piscine," and "Death on the Nile." In 1984 — the same year Hermes introduced the highly-coveted Birkin bag, which was inspired by the entertainer — Birkin starred in "La Pirate," which earned her the first of three Cesar Award nominations, followed by "La Femme de ma vie" and "La Belle Noiseuse."

Birkin performed across multiple formats well into her 70s. A stroke and broken shoulder led to multiple canceled engagements in 2023, and on July 16, 2023, she died at her Paris home. Birkin was 76.

Lelia Goldoni

A major character actor with prominent roles in mid-20th century film, Lelia Goldoni had a knack for collaborating with major auteurs. Trained as a dancer with the Lester Horton Dancers, Goldoni switched to acting in her late teens and studied with John Cassavetes. In 1958's "Shadows," a largely improvised film about then-controversial issues like interracial relationships (which also happened to be the actor-turned-filmmaker's first major work), he cast Goldoni as Lelia, a Black woman believed by others to be white. 

"Shadows" garnered Goldoni a BAFTA Award nomination for most promising newcomer; soon after, she appeared in "The Italian Job," "The Day of the Locust," and Philip Kaufman's 1978 remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Goldoni earned a second BAFTA nod for her supporting role as Bea, friend to Ellen Burstyn's main character, in Martin Scorsese's "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore." Later in her career, Goldoni showed up on TV programs including "Cagney and Lacey" and "L.A. Law" and taught at UCLA and the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute.

According to a friend, Goldoni died on July 22, 2022, at The Actors Fund Home in Englewood, New Jersey. She was 86.

Inga Swenson

While she enjoyed a long and illustrious career as a New York theatrical actor and television performer, Inga Swenson is likely best remembered for her seven-year stint on one of the most popular sitcoms of the 1980s. After playing a character with a name similar to her own on "Soap" — Ingrid Svenson — Swenson landed a main cast role on that show's spinoff, "Benson." 

Swenson played Gretchen Kraus, the sharp-tongued cook who works in the governor's mansion alongside Robert Guillaume's titular character. "Benson" aired from 1979 to 1986, during which time Swenson picked up three Emmy Award and one Golden Globe nomination for her work. "Benson" stood out on a resume that stretched back to the early decades of TV, with appearances on "Playhouse 90," "Dr. Kildare," "Bonanza," and "Medical Center." On Broadway, Swenson received back-to-back Tony Award nominations in the 1960s for "110 In the Shade" and "Baker Street."

After half a year of worsening health issues, Swenson died of natural causes at a Los Angeles care facility on July 23, 2023. The actor was 90 years old.

Paul Reubens

In the 1970s, Paul Reubens helped turn the Los Angeles comedy collective the Groundlings into a workshop for top-level sketch comedians. He parlayed that into 1980's "The Pee-wee Herman Show," a full-length production that sent-up and darkly skewed old-fashioned kiddie TV shows, and he played the title role — a high-voiced, overly made-up, effervescent man-child. 

The show was such a hit that HBO taped it and brought Pee-wee mania national, leading to the 1985 feature film "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" (directed by Tim Burton), the 1988 sequel "Big Top Pee-wee," and the live-action, Emmy-winning Saturday morning classic, "Pee-wee's Playhouse." In the 1980s, Reubens almost always appeared in public fully in character and costume as Pee-wee, even hosting "Saturday Night Live" in that guise.

After "Playhouse" ended in 1990, Reubens retired Pee-wee and delved into primarily comedy character work, popping up briefly with memorable roles in film and TV. Reubens portrayed The Penguin's father in "Batman Returns," a vampire lackey in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," a criminal/faux-crime-stopper on "Reno 911," a monstrous blue-blood on "30 Rock," Spleen in "Mystery Men," and a powerful vampire on "What We Do in the Shadows." In 2016, he revived Pee-wee for the Netflix original "Pee-wee's Big Holiday."

On July 31, 2023, a message on Reubens' Instagram account revealed that the actor and comedian died the previous evening. "Paul bravely and privately fought cancer for years with his trademark tenacity and wit," the item shared. Reubens was 70.

Angus Cloud

While Angus Cloud attended the same Oakland performing arts school with his eventual "Euphoria" co-star Zendaya, he was working in a New York restaurant when presented with the opportunity to audition for the popular and influential HBO teen drama series. Cloud quickly became a pivotal member of the "Euphoria" ensemble cast in its first two seasons as the taciturn but emotionally complex drug dealer Fezco, a supplier to Rue (Zendaya) and love interest for Lexi (Maude Apatow). Additionally, Cloud made appearances in the films "North Hollywood" and "The Line," popped up in music videos for Juice WRLD, Becky G and Karol G, and Noah Cyrus, and was set to co-star in an anthology film and a horror movie from the makers of "Scream 6."

On the morning of July 31, 2023, the Oakland Fire Department answered an emergency call, whereupon they discovered Cloud's body. Cloud's family released a statement noting the actor's history with mental health issues and how his passing followed the death of his father by mere days. It was later confirmed that the actor had died due to an accidental overdose. Cloud was 25 years old.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Mark Margolis

A highly recognizable and prolific actor, Mark Margolis brought a palpable and captivating intensity to his roles, which often called for intimidating dangerous underworld figures. Margolis broke out as Alberto the Shadow in the 1983 crime classic "Scarface." For five years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Margolis portrayed organized crime lord Antonio Nappa on HBO's bleak prison drama "Oz." Around the same time, Margolis began a long collaboration with filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, playing a math genius in "Pi," a priest in "The Fountain," a landlord in "The Wrestler," an arts enthusiast in "Black Swan," and an angel-like figure in "Noah." 

But Margolis is best known for his portrayal of high-ranking drug trafficking figure Hector Salamanca on "Breaking Bad" and its prequel, "Better Call Saul." The character couldn't speak, requiring Margolis to do all his acting with his face and a bell. In 2012, the performance earned Margolis an Emmy Award nomination for outstanding guest actor in a drama series.

Following a brief period of sickness, Margolis died at New York City's Mount Sinai Hospital. The actor was 83.

Johnny Hardwick

Johnny Hardwick rarely appeared in front of the camera, so he's likely not as recognizable for his face as he is for his voice. He portrayed ineffectual, oblivious, chain-smoking exterminator and conspiracy theorist Dale Gribble in the animated series "King of the Hill" (and in some video game spinoffs and crossovers) for 13 years. 

When the show was in pre-production, "King of the Hill" co-creator Greg Daniels attended a comedy showcase in Los Angeles. After hearing the Austin-based Hardwick tell some funny stories about his father, he hired the comic to be part of the writing staff for the Texas-spoofing cartoon. Then Hardwick auditioned to play Dale and got the part, his first credited role on a filmography that includes numerous independent projects. He also remained on the writing staff of "King of the Hill," part of the team that won a 1999 Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program.

Summoned to Hardwick's Austin home on August 8 to perform a welfare check, police found the body of the actor and writer. Hardwick was 64.

Darren Kent

Darren Kent broke into acting with the 2008 horror movie "Mirrors." This first screen role eventually became part of a resume bursting with high-profile horror, period, and fantasy pieces. After roles in "Snow White and the Huntsman, "The Frankenstein Chronicles," "Blood Drive," and "Les Miserables," Kent was prominently featured on an episode of "Game of Thrones" as a goatherd in Slaver's Bay. Then in the 2023 film "Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves," Kent portrayed a zombified human. 

Kent additionally won best actor at the 2012 Van D'Or Awards for portraying Danny, a character coping with a skin disease, in "Sunny Boy." Also a filmmaker, Kent took home a January Award for his short film "You Know Me." Sadly, on August 15, 2023, Kent's agency, Corey Dodd Associates, revealed that the actor had died. "Darren Kent passed away peacefully on Friday," the release, posted to X, read. "His parents and best friend by his side." The actor was 36 years old.

Ron Cephas Jones

A prolific actor of stage and screen with a decades-spanning career, Ron Cephas Jones earned fame and acclaim for a string of high-profile roles in popular TV series. Jones landed a recurring role on "This Is Us" as William Hill, the dying biological father of adopted triplet Randall. The part garnered Jones four outstanding guest actor in a drama nominations at the Emmys, an award he won twice. Concurrently, he portrayed Shreve Scoville on the murder mystery "Truth Be Told" and renegade hacker Romero on "Mr. Robot." Additionally, Jones popped up frequently on "Law & Order: Organized Crime," "Better Things," "The Get Down," and "Luke Cage." On the big screen, Jones co-starred in "Half Nelson," "Across the Universe," and "He Got Game."

The actor's representative reported that Jones' death was related to a long-term pulmonary issue. He was 66 years old.

Arleen Sorkin

Arleen Sorkin was a consistent presence on network television for decades. In 1984, she started a 400-plus episode run on "Days of Our Lives" as Calliope Jones Bradford, a role that would garner her four Soap Opera Digest Awards and two Daytime Emmy Award nominations. Sorkin parlayed that into a supporting role on the 1987 sitcom "Duet," one of the first ever Fox shows, and its spin-off "Open House." The actor also appeared on "Dream On" and "The New Mike Hammer," starred in "Perry Mason: The Case of the Killer Kiss," and hosted the "America's Funniest Home Videos" spinoff "America's Funniest People." 

In addition to winning a Peabody Award for her work producing the 2010 documentary "Bhutto," Sorkin's grandest achievement is originating and defining the role of Harley Quinn in numerous animated DC Comics projects. Beginning with "Batman: the Animated Series" in 1992, Sorkin voiced the character in 12 projects total across video, TV, and the internet.

Sorkin's death was announced on August 26, 2023. She was 67.

Bob Barker

While not primarily an actor, Bob Barker was an entertainer, television star, and household name. While hosting "The Bob Barker Show" in 1950 Los Angeles, he was plucked to host the television version of the popular radio game show "Truth or Consequences," a gig Barker held for 18 years. His follow-up project lasted even longer and made him a legend. In 1972, Barker hosted the first of more than reportedly 6,000 episodes of "The Price is Right." He retired in 2007, collecting 19 Emmy Awards along the way.

Thanks to "The Price is Right," the many televised pageants he hosted, and his animal rights activism, Barker became famous for being Bob Barker. He even played fictionalized, heightened versions of himself from time to time. Barker contributed cameos to "Futurama, "Yes, Dear," "How I Met Your Mother," "The Nanny," and, most famously, "Happy Gilmore." In the 1996 comedy, he memorably and thoroughly pummels Adam Sandler's character on a golf course.

Barker's publicist announced on August 26, 2023, that the game show host had died. Barker was 99.

Byun Hee-bong

Initially a stage actor in his native South Korea, Byun Hee-bong moved into voice acting on television in the 1960s. He'd eventually become a prolific, often-cast, award-winning character actor on popular and notable Korean TV shows including "The Legendary Doctor Hur Jun," "The First Republic," "Grandpas Over Flowers Investigation Team," and "The Joseon Dynasty 500 Years: Seouljungmae." 

However, Byun would find international recognition when he began a series of collaborations with acclaimed filmmaker Bong Joon-ho. He portrayed the janitor in 2000's "Barking Dogs Never Bite," Sgt. Koo Hee-bong in 2003's "Memories of Murder," and Park family patriarch Hee-bong in 2006's box office smash "The Host." Byun was most likely best known for his role as the lead character's grandfather in Bong's Cannes Film Festival and Netflix hit fantasy "Okja."

On September 18, 2023, Byun died after experiencing medical issues related to a recurrence of diagnosed and treated pancreatic cancer. Byun was 81 years old.

David McCallum

After landing breakthrough roles in '60s classics "The Great Escape" and "The Greatest Story Ever Told" (he played Judas in that biblical epic), David McCallum enjoyed a long and illustrious career, bookended by playing major characters on two era-defining TV series about intelligence agents. In the James Bond-influenced 1964 spy series "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," McCallum played elite secret agent Illya Kuryakin, who, along with Robert Vaughn's Solo, waged weekly war around the world against the nefarious T.H.R.U.S.H. McCallum would reprise the role in multiple TV projects along with the big-screen "U.N.C.L.E." offshoots "One Spy Too Many," "One of Our Spies is Missing," and "The Karate Killers." Then, in 2003, McCallum co-starred on "NCIS" as Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard, a veteran criminal profiler and provider of low-key comic relief.

McCallum died of natural causes in New York City on September 25, 2023. He was 90 years old.

Michael Gambon

One of the most acclaimed and employed actors of his generation, Michael Gambon began his long cinematic career in 1965, starring opposite Laurence Olivier in an adaptation of Shakespeare's "Othello." Following steady work in British films, Gambon broke out internationally in the '80s with the 1985 romance "Turtle Diary" and the 1986 TV series "The Singing Detective." That show won Gambon his first BAFTA TV Award — a prize he also took home for "Wives and Daughters," "Longitude," and "Perfect Strangers." 

In the U.S., the Emmys nominated Gambon for his work in "Path to War" and 2009's "Emma." Also a star of the British stage and winner of three Olivier Awards, Gambon is probably best known for his post-2000 work, such as voicing Uncle Pastuzo in the "Paddington" films and the villainous Bean in "Fantastic Mr. Fox," as well as showing up in projects such as the "Doctor Who" episode "A Christmas Carol," "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou," and Kevin Costner's "Open Range." Of course, we're saving his most famous role for last. After the late Richard Harris died in 2002, Gambon was picked to play the part of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in the "Harry Potter" series, guiding and assisting the titular Boy Who Lived over the course of six beloved films.

Sadly, on September 28, 2023, Gambon's family announced that the actor had died after contracting pneumonia. Gambon was 82 years old.

Dick Butkus

Before he popped up on TV throughout the '70s, '80s, and '90s, Dick Butkus was among the most dominant linebackers in the NFL. From 1965 to 1973, the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee set league records in recovered fumbles, was named Defensive Player of the Year twice, and was named to the NFL's 100th anniversary squad. 

Butkus parlayed his image as a tough guy on the field into an acting career in action-heavy projects. Following an appearance as himself in the 1971 football-based TV movie "Brian's Song," while still an active player, Butkus booked guest spots on "Wonder Woman," "The Six Million Dollar Man," "Police Story," "MacGyver," "Emergency!," and "Simon and Simon." In the mid-1980s, Butkus starred on the quickly-canceled helicopter-centric police show "Blue Thunder" and was cast in a long-running, sports-focused campaign for Miller Lite beer. He's probably best known for his roles on sitcoms for kids, such as a former football player who runs a hangout restaurant on "My Two Dads," and a high school basketball coach on "Hang Time."

Butkus' family announced on social media that he had died in his sleep on October 5, 2023. He was 80 years old.

Mark Goddard

Debuting in 1965 and lasting three seasons, "Lost in Space" was one of the first hit science fiction TV series. It followed the cosmos-wandering Robinson family, whose ship was piloted by the brash Major Don West. He was portrayed by Mark Goddard, already familiar to television viewers of the '60s from his roles on action shows like "The Detectives" (as Sgt. Chris Ballard), "Johnny Ringo" (as Deputy Cully), a starring role on the short-lived sitcom "Many Happy Returns," and appearances on "Perry Mason" and "The Beverly Hillbillies." 

As the decades marched on, Goddard took on supporting roles in movies and guest-starred on sitcoms, soaps, and crime dramas. He enjoyed a prominent cameo in the 1998 big-screen adaptation of "Lost in Space," where Matt LeBlanc played Major West and Goddard portrayed a general. Goddard died from pulmonary fibrosis on October 10, 2023, in Hingham, Massachusetts. The actor was 87 years old.

Phyllis Coates

Portraying an iconic comic book character is an opportunity afforded to few actors, and it's even rarer to originate the on-screen depiction of that entity. Phyllis Coates was the very first actor to ever play Lois Lane from the "Superman" comics, both in film and on television. After performing in vaudeville and USO shows and scoring bit parts in 1940s movies like "Girls Don't Talk" and "My Foolish Heart," Coates landed the part of Superman's love interest and Clark Kent's colleague in the 1951 movie "Superman and the Mole Men." In 1952, the film was adapted into the syndicated television show "Adventures of Superman." Coates portrayed Lois Lane in Season 1 only, and would go on to act in more than 100 movies and TV series, including "I Was a Teenage Frankenstein," "The Lone Ranger," "Perry Mason," and "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," as Lois Lane's mother.

Coates died at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in southern California on October 11, 2023, of natural causes. The actor was 96.

Piper Laurie

Rosetta Jacobs landed a contract with Universal Studios while still in school. By 1950, she was starring opposite Ronald Reagan in "Louisa" as Piper Laurie. Laurie would earn her first Academy Award nomination by 1962 for playing the love interest in pool drama "The Hustler." For the next decade or so, she moved away from film and into Broadway and television. In the former category, she starred in projects like the 1965 revival of Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie," and in the latter, she ultimately received nine Emmy Award nominations for productions including "The Thorn Birds" and "St. Elsewhere." 

Laurie earned more Oscar recognition for "Children of a Lesser God" and "Carrie," where she played Sissy Spacek's murderous, hyper-religious mom. She enjoyed a particularly major comeback in David Lynch's surreal murder mystery series "Twin Peaks," playing the manipulative Catherine Martell. Laurie last appeared on screen in 2018, in an episode of "MacGyver" and the film "White Boy Rick."

According to a representative of the actor, Laurie died in Los Angeles on October 14, 2023, after a lengthy period of illness. She was 91.

Suzanne Somers

A quintessential 20th century TV star, Suzanne Somers launched her career with a memorable bit role as an anonymous, ethereal woman in a white Thunderbird in George Lucas's 1973 smash "American Graffiti." Four years later, she landed the role that made her famous: The comically dumb Chrissy Snow, one of three roommates on the ribald ABC hit "Three's Company." Slowly written out of the show after asking for a salary increase, Somers resurfaced on the mid-1980s syndicated sitcom "She's the Sheriff" before landing another lead role on long-running ABC comedy "Step by Step." But throughout the 1990s, Somers was more visible for a different TV gig: being the on-air pitch-person for the ThighMaster exercise gadget. Somers and her husband and manager Alan Hamel ultimately bought the rights to the ThighMaster, an endeavor that earned them an estimated $300 million.

According to a statement Somers' publicist shared with People, the actor and entrepreneur was diagnosed with breast cancer more than 20 years ago. On October 15, 2023, a day before her 77th birthday, Somers died at home, surrounded by family.

Burt Young

Burt Young acted in more than 160 films and TV shows, most prominently gritty 1970s and 1980s crime-based classics like "Chinatown," "Once Upon a Time in America," "Last Exit to Brooklyn," and "The Pope of Greenwich Village." He often played toughs and brutes, utilizing the edge he developed in the U.S. Marines and his 17-and-1 record as a professional boxer. His experience with the sport informed his signature and most acclaimed role, that of cornerman, butcher, and matchmaker Paulie in 1976's "Rocky." Among the film's many Academy Award nominations, Young received a nod for best actor in a supporting role. After writing and starring in the jazz drama "Uncle Joe Shannon" in 1978, Young reprised the role of Paulie in four more "Rocky" films, and appeared on episodes of "Miami Vice," "Law and Order," "The Equalizer," and "Russian Doll."

Young's daughter, Anne Morea Steingieser, told The New York Times that her father died on October 8, 2023. No cause of death was noted. Young was 83 years old.

Richard Roundtree

Richard Roundtree was a working actor for more than 50 years, appearing in the film "Moving On" and the TV series "Cherish the Day" and "Family Reunion" all in 2022. But he was forever associated with and best loved for his very first movie role, the title character in 1971's "Shaft." In what would be remembered as the quintessential entry in the "blaxploitation" genre, Roundtree portrayed the extremely cool detective John Shaft in the original movie, as well as in the sequels "Shaft's Big Score!" and "Shaft in Africa," a "Shaft" TV series, and 2000 and 2019 franchise reboots. Roundtree, a Golden Globe winner for most promising newcomer for "Shaft," also popped up in epics like "Inchon," comedies including "What Men Want" and "George of the Jungle," the landmark miniseries "Roots," and, more recently, TV projects like "Desperate Housewives" and "Being Mary Jane."

On October 24, 2023, Roundtree died due to pancreatic cancer. The actor was 81.

Richard Moll

When Richard Moll made a simple choice about his appearance for a prominent role in a B-movie, it helped him land the signature part of his career — one he'd play for eight years. With a head shaved to portray Hurok in the sci-fi B-movie "Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn," Moll got the attention of "Night Court" producers who cast him as courtroom bailiff Bull Shannon. Writers reimagined the character with Moll's input as a gentle giant and sweet goofball, abandoning their idea of making him a tough guy. Moll portrayed Bull from 1984 to 1992, spawning a catchphrase ("ooo-kay!") and a puppet in his likeness.

Before and after "Night Court," Moll appeared on TV a lot, guest starring on "The Rockford Files," "Happy Days," "Mork & Mindy," "Alice," and, most recently, as The Drifter on Nickelodeon's "100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd." He also voiced characters in "American Pop" and "Mighty Max," as well as multiple animated Batman projects as Harvey Dent / Two-Face. Moll died at home in Big Bear Lake, California, on October 26 at the age of 80.

Matthew Perry

From the late 1980s until the early 1990s, Matthew Perry was almost constantly on television, showing up in episodes of sitcoms including "Charles in Charge," "Silver Spoons," and "Empty Nest." He even starred on one of the first ever Fox shows, "Boys Will Be Boys," and guested for a dramatic arc on "Growing Pains." 

Of course, in 1994, Perry became one of the most famous people in the world as part of the era-definitive comedy "Friends." He played the funny, quippy, commitment-averse Chandler Bing, a character he would inhabit for a decade and that would earn him an Emmy nomination. After "Friends" wrapped in 2004, Perry continued to appear on TV in high-profile projects like "The West Wing," "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," "Go On," a remake of "The Odd Couple," and "Mr. Sunshine," a cynical sitcom he co-created. Perry last appeared onscreen in 2017 — not counting 2021's "Friends: The Reunion" – but he generated a lot of media attention in 2022 for his tell-all memoir, "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing," which detailed his long and harrowing history of addiction. 

On October 28, 2023, TMZ reported that authorities responded to a cardiac arrest emergency at a Los Angeles home, where Perry was discovered deceased in a hot tub. In December 2023, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's Office determined that Perry had died due to "the acute effects of ketamine," which led to cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression. Officials also listed drowning, coronary artery disease, and buprenorphine as contributing factors. Perry was 54.

Tyler Christopher

Tyler Christopher appeared in dozens of projects, but it was his very first role that brought him fame and kept him working for 20 years: Nikolas Cassadine — a character later revealed to be a prince — on "General Hospital." He portrayed Nikolas for more than 1,000 episodes. After departing "General Hospital," Christopher moved to "Days of Our Lives" from 2018 to 2019, playing Stefan DiMera, a role that earned him a Daytime Emmy Award nomination. Christopher also made time for other work, particularly a string of natural disaster B-movies including "Super Volcano," "20.0 Megaquake," and "Ice Storm."

Christopher's "General Hospital" co-star Maurice Benard announced the actor's death on Instagram on October 31, 2023. "Tyler passed away this morning following a cardiac event in his San Diego apartment," Benard explained. "We are beyond devastated by the loss of our dear friend." Christopher was 50 years old.

Evan Ellingson

Following an auspicious early role as the younger version of iconic soap character Luke Spencer on "General Hospital" in 2001, child actor Evan Ellingson landed a recurring role as the child version of comedian Christopher Titus in flashback sequences in the dark, early 2000s Fox sitcom "Titus." From there, Ellingson moved on to a main cast role, as Kyle Savage on the 2004-2005 ABC comedy "Complete Savages," followed by a 10-episode stint on "24" as Josh Bauer, nephew of Kiefer Sutherland's Jack Bauer. 

However, Ellingson is likely best known for a recurring arc on "CSI: Miami" as Kyle Harmon, the teenage son of main character Horatio Caine, or as Jesse Fitzgerald, the teenage son of Cameron Diaz's character in the big-screen drama "My Sister's Keeper." After appearing in 18 episodes of "CSI: Miami," Ellingson left acting behind. On November 5, 2023 — per a statement from Ellingson's father to TMZ — the former actor was found dead in a bedroom at a sober living facility in San Bernardino County, California, where he'd been living as a boost to his recovery from substance addiction abuse issues. Ellingson was 35 years old.

Pat E. Johnson

A chief instructor at one of Chuck Norris' karate academies and a ninth-degree black belt, Pat E. Johnson was perhaps most famous for teaching martial arts to the actors of "The Karate Kid." As a nod to his monumental influence on the look, feel, and veracity of the film, Johnson was cast as a karate tournament referee in the classic movie. He served as the official martial arts supervisor and trainer in both sequels, "The Karate Kid Part II" and "The Karate Kid Part III," while also reprising his role as the referee in those films. He then organized the karate for the 1994 franchise reboot "The Next Karate Kid."

Johnson also co-starred in '70s martial arts movies like "Enter the Dragon" and "A Force of One." After this period, he put his skills to the test as both a stunt coordinator and stunt performer in action-heavy films of the 1990s, including "Mortal Kombat," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and the original "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." On November 5, 2023, Johnson's niece broke the news that the actor and martial artist had died at home in Los Angeles at the age of 84.

Suzanne Shepherd

Suzanne Shepherd spent decades helping countless actors reach their full artistic potential on both the stage and screen, in addition to appearing in film and television herself. When not directing plays at major theatrical outfits across the United States or performing her own roles, Shepherd ran and taught at her eponymous acting studio in New York City, depicted in the yet-to-be released documentary "A Gift of Fire." 

Not until her mid-50s did Shepherd move in front of the camera, landing a role in the 1988 Julia Roberts romantic comedy "Mystic Pizza." She quickly signed up for supporting roles in "Uncle Buck" and "Working Girl" before appearing as the mother of Karen Hill (Lorraine Bracco's character) in the mob drama "Goodfellas." Soon thereafter, Shepherd played a part in a similar project, appearing as the mother of Carmela Soprano (Edie Falco) on HBO's "The Sopranos." Apart from those milestone roles, Shepherd appeared in "Jacob's Ladder," "Requiem for a Dream," "A Dirty Shame," "Blue Bloods," and three "Law and Order" series.

The actor, teacher, and director died on November 17, 2023 at her New York City home, according to her agent. She was 89 years old.

Joss Ackland

An acclaimed and highly trained actor in the British tradition with well over 100 screen credits and a long theatrical resume (including star turns in significant productions of "Evita" and "A Little Night Music"), Joss Ackland was named a Commander of the British Empire in 2001 for his contributions to the arts. But to contemporary American audiences, he's likely best known for scene-stealing roles as colorful, over-the-top, fiendish villains. 

In 1991's "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey," Ackland played the nasty, anti-utopian, time-traveling villain De Nomolos, and in 1989's "Lethal Weapon 2," he played the entitled and connected Arjen Rudd, who gets away with his crimes by crying "diplomatic immunity." Ackland also played Russian ambassador Andrei Lysenko in "The Hunt for Red October" and contributed to "K-19: The Widowmaker" and "Watership Down." His two most critically recognized works are the BAFTA-nominated "First and Last" and "White Mischief."

Ackland died on November 19, 2023. He was 95.

Frances Sternhagen

In the 1980s and beyond, Frances Sternhagen became the go-to actor to play the mom of well-established television characters. She had a recurring, Emmy Award-nominated role on "Cheers" as Esther Clavin, the seldom-pleased mother of doting mama's boy Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberger), and another on "ER" as Millicent Carter, the grandmother of Dr. John Carter (Noah Wyle). On "Sex and the City," she received another Emmy nomination for her work as Bunny MacDougal, uptight mother-in-law to Charlotte (Kristin Davis). Sternhagen also popped up often on police drama "The Closer" as Willie Rae Johnson, imposing mom of detective Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick). 

The storied actor landed 70-plus supporting roles on TV and in movies — including classic horror movies "Misery" and "The Mist" — but before and concurrently to her screen work, she was also a significant theatrical star. The two-time Tony Award winner appeared in major Broadway productions of "The Skin of Our Teeth," "A Doll's House," and "Long Day's Journey Into Night."

Sternhagen's son, actor John Carlin, announced on Instagram that his mother died on November 27, 2023. She was six weeks away from turning 94 years old.

Andrea Fay Friedman

As an actor with Down syndrome who appeared regularly on screen, Andrea Fay Friedman advocated for and demonstrated the importance of inclusion and representation. In the early 1990s, she appeared on 14 episodes of the ABC family drama "Life Goes On" as Amanda Swanson, romantic partner of regular character Corky Thatcher (Chris Burke). She went on to earn guest roles on many TV series, including "Baywatch," "ER," "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit," and "Family Guy." Friedman was also the focus of the documentary "A Possible Dream: The Andrea Friedman Story." The actor last appeared onscreen in the 2019 holiday movie "Carol of the Bells."

Friedman died on December 3, 2023 from complications of Alzheimer's disease. The actor was 53 years old.

Benjamin Zephaniah

Before he was an actor, Benjamin Zephaniah was a poet and a musician. Leaving school at 13, Zephaniah published the first of his many books of poetry at age 22. He worked in the musically adjacent field of Jamaican dub poetry and performed his works live with The Benjamin Zephaniah Band. 

After an impressive start in the literary world, Zephaniah started getting TV and film roles in the early 1990s. After appearing in the movie "Farendj" and on episodes of long-running U.K. series "EastEnders" and "The Bill," he scored the role of Jeremiah Jesus on the internationally popular crime drama "Peaky Blinders." Zephaniah portrayed the street preacher and World War I veteran in 14 episodes.

Tragically, ight weeks after being diagnosed with a brain tumor, Zephaniah died on December 7, 2023. The actor and writer was 65 years old.

Ellen Holly

Ellen Holly portrayed Carla Gray on the long-running ABC soap opera "One Life to Live" from its first season in 1968 until 1980 — a span of over 500 episodes. This made Holly the first Black actor to star on a soap opera. Along with spots on primetime shows including "Dr. Kildare," "The Defenders," "Spenser: For Hire," and "In the Heat of the Night," Holly returned to soaps in the late 1980s, co-starring for five years on "Guiding Light" as Judge Frances Collier. Largely retiring from acting in the 1990s, both on screen and stage, Holly worked as a public librarian in White Plains, New York.

Holly died in the Bronx on December 6, 2023. The actor was 92 years old.

David McKnight

After serving in the Army and working as a police officer in his early decades, David McKnight got his first acting role in 1970. It came on the Chicago TV series "Bird of the Iron Feather," the first soap opera with an all-Black cast. This led to his portrayal of the titular character in the cult horror favorite "J.D.'s Revenge," in which he played a dead criminal who inhabits the body of a young college student to hunt down his murderer. When struggling director Robert Townsend started making the low-budget show business comedy "Hollywood Shuffle," he sought out McKnight for advice, then cast him in a major role as Uncle Ray. Townsend then gave McKnight the role of Pastor Stone in "The Five Heartbeats" and asked him to play his father on his '90s sitcom "The Parent 'Hood." McKnight also guest-starred on many TV shows, including "Moonlighting," "Roc," "227," "L.A. Law" and "Kojak," as well as films like "Under Siege" and "Pump up the Volume."

The actor died on December 3, 2023 in Las Vegas. The cause of death was cancer. McKnight was 87 years old.

Ryan O'Neal

Already a huge TV star and teen idol thanks to a five-year run on salacious TV soap opera "Peyton Place" in the 1960s, Ryan O'Neal shot to the top of the movie star A-list in the 1970s by headlining box office smashes and critical darlings alike. He played cocky Ivy Leaguer Oliver in the tragic romantic drama "Love Story," the top-grossing film of 1970, which earned O'Neal an Oscar nomination for best actor. He followed that up with a starring role opposite Barbra Streisand in the hit 1972 farce "What's Up, Doc?" and a part as a con artist in "Paper Moon," alongside his daughter, actor Tatum O'Neal. 

Then in Stanley Kubrick's Oscar-nominated 1975 period piece "Barry Lyndon," O'Neal portrayed the title character. This winning streak continued into the latter half of the '70s and the '80s, as O'Neal starred in well-received mainstream fare including "The Main Event" and "Irreconcilable Differences," often working with his on-again-off-again romantic partner of many years, Farrah Fawcett. O'Neal's final role was shifty Max Keenan across two dozen episodes of "Bones."

More than 20 years after getting a chronic leukemia diagnosis and a decade after developing prostate cancer, O'Neal died in Santa Monica on December 8, 2023. He was 82.

Andre Braugher

Widely acclaimed as one of the most talented and craft-devoted actors of his generation, Andre Braugher dazzled audiences with major TV roles over the course of the past 30 years. Following breakout roles in the Civil War epic "Glory" and a series of "Kojak" TV movies in 1989, Braugher — a graduate of Stanford and Juilliard — portrayed Baltimore homicide detective Frank Pembleton on the acclaimed NBC police drama "Homicide: Life on the Street." That role landed Braugher his first Emmy Award, for outstanding lead actor in a drama series. 

After receiving an Emmy nomination for the short-lived medical drama "Gideon's Crossing," Braugher won again for the limited series "Thief" before demonstrating his range (and picking up more nominations) by starring on the dramedy "Men of a Certain Age." When that series concluded, Braugher loomed large over the wacky police comedy "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," where he portrayed the hilariously taciturn Captain Raymond Holt

According to Braugher's publicist, the actor died on December 11, 2023. It was later revealed that the cause of death was lung cancer. He was 61 years old.

Camden Toy

A consummate character actor who specialized in playing monsters, creeps, and nightmarish figures where costumes and makeup thoroughly concealed his identity, Camden Toy was probably best known for his frequent work on the television series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." On the beloved supernatural series, Toy played one of the Gentlemen – stalking, skeletal demons dressed in suits who snatch up voices and human hearts. Toy also portrayed the Shape in 2021's "Boogey-Man," as well as the Prince of Lies in the "Buffy" spinoff "Angel." 

Elsewhere, Toy had a regular cast role as Yan Bobek on the early web series "Goodnight Burbank," recurred as Igor Chambers on the streaming soap "The Bay," and voiced multiple characters in the video game "Call of Duty: Vanguard." According to a press release distributed by the actor's publicity agent, Toy died on December 11, 2023, a few years after receiving a pancreatic cancer diagnosis in February 2022. Toy was 68 years old.

James McCaffrey

A consummate and prolific character actor, James McCaffrey scored more than 100 acting roles over a career that began with a bit part in the 1987 sex comedy "New York's Finest." After a few more supporting gigs, McCaffrey landed a prominent supporting role as Joe Astor in the 1994-1999 syndicated action drama "Viper." A couple of years later, he'd first portray what's probably his signature role as rogue, vengeance-minded detective Max Payne in the video game "Max Payne." 

McCaffrey would reprise the voice performance in "Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne" and "Max Payne 3" while continuing to appear in indie movies and on television series. Notably, he starred on FX's "Rescue Me" as ghostly New York City firefighter Jimmy Keefe, as Ryan Huntley on ABC's primetime soap "Revenge," and as Danton Phillips on Netflix's Spike Lee adaptation "She's Gotta Have It." On December 17, 2023, McCaffrey, diagnosed with myeloma — a form of cancer that affects the blood — died at home in Larchmont, New York. The actor was 65.

Mike Nussbaum

Mike Nussbaum frequently collaborated with fellow Chicagoan David Mamet, originating roles in many of the playwright's stage works, including "Glengarry Glen Ross," "Relativity," and "American Buffalo." A leading man on Broadway and off-Broadway, Nussbaum was also a prolific portrayer of small and supporting roles on television and in film. He played many significant parts in hit '80s and '90s movies, such as "Field of Dreams" and "Fatal Attraction," and sci-fi fans will likely recognize him as extraterrestrial jewelry dealer Gentle Rosenburg in "Men in Black." On the small screen, he showed up often in an episode or two of dramas such as "The Equalizer," "Spenser: For Hire," and "The X-Files." He last appeared onscreen in the 2021 short film "The Old Country."

Less than a week before he turned 100 years old — and maintaining his status as the oldest active actor in the U.S. according to the Actor's Equity union – Nussbaum died at his Chicago home on December 23, 2023. The cause of death was reported as natural causes.

Richard Franklin

Apart from many theatrical roles and appearances on popular British television series spanning more than 50 years, Richard Franklin is likely most familiar to viewers in the U.S. and the U.K. from his work in two science fiction franchises. 

After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Franklin made his first TV appearance in 1969, with a role on the serial "Crossroads," before landing the recurring major role of Captain Mike Yates on the Jon Pertwee era of "Doctor Who" in the 1970s. Franklin popped up on 42 episodes of the series and also reprised the character in audio works and wrote a "Doctor Who" spinoff novel "The Killing Stone" about the military figure. After putting in stints on "Emmerdale," "The Doctors," and "Blake's 7," Franklin was cast as Sirro Argonne, a Death Star engineer, in "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."

Franklin died sometime in the early morning of December 25, 2023, following a lengthy period of illness, his family said in a statement via X, formerly known as Twitter. The screen and theatrical performer was 87 years old.

Tom Smothers

The Smothers Brothers was a very unique duo act, with siblings Dick and Tom Smothers blending rapid-fire stage patter with folk music that turned from lighthearted to politically volatile as the '60s and the Vietnam War progressed. Tom Smothers, traditionally the sillier figure compared to Dick's set-up guy persona, was the main voice behind that shift, and his incendiary, anti-war wit and sketches would get the very popular "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" canceled by CBS in 1969.

First and foremost a musical comedian, Tom Smothers was also an actor, both with and without his brother. Before their eponymous variety show, the pair starred in the 1965-1966 sitcom "The Smothers Brothers Show," where Tom played a bumbling ghost haunting nerdy Dick. He then became a near-constant TV presence, showing up on "The Love Boat," "Fantasy Island," "Hotel," "Benson," "Dream On," and "The Simpsons." Smothers would additionally enjoy his elder statesman of comedy role with prominent parts in comedy films like "The Informant!" and the cult classic horror parody "Pandemonium."

Smothers died at home on December 26, 2023 from causes related to a cancer diagnosis. He was 86.

Lee Sun-kyun

In the English-speaking world, Lee Sun-kyun is probably most recognizable for his role as Park Dong-ik, the well-off owner of the palatial home in 2019's "Parasite," which won the Academy Award for best picture — the first foreign-language film ever to do so. Apart from "Parasite," Lee was a mainstay of the Korean film and television industry, with a career going back two decades. Primarily working in episodic television, Lee co-starred on series like "Loveholic," "Pasta," "Behind the White Tower," "Golden Time," "Miss Korea," "Diary of a Prosecutor," "Payback," and "Dr. Brain." The latter nabbed Lee a nomination for best performance by an actor at the International Emmy Awards in 2022.

In his persona life, things were more complicated. Lee was thoroughly questioned multiple times in a 2023 South Korean government drug-busting campaign, and the actor claimed he was coerced into ingesting illegal substances as part of a blackmail plot. After a missing persons report was filed on his behalf, Lee was discovered dead in his car on December 27, with authorities initially ruling the cause of death to be suicide. The actor was 48.

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Tom Wilkinson

Tom Wilkinson had already appeared in four dozen projects — mostly produced in the U.K. where he was born and raised and mostly episodes of television series ("Prime Suspect," "Miss Marple," "Spyship") — before he broke out on a global scale in 1997. That year, he played both the villainous Marquess of Queensberry in the Oscar Wilde biopic "Wilde" and Gerald, an unemployed middle-aged man who turns to exotic dancing in "The Full Monty." The comedy won Wilkinson a BAFTA for best performance by an actor in a supporting role, and the film was nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards.

From that point, Wilkinson appeared in a long string of critically acclaimed and popular films. In 1998's best picture-winning "Shakespeare in Love," he co-starred as theatrical financier Hugh Fennyman, and three years later, he earned a best actor Oscar nomination for the best picture-nominated "In the Bedroom." Adding to major roles in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "The Patriot," "Valkyrie," "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," and "Batman Begins" (where he played gangster Carmine Falcone), Wilkinson was again nominated for an Oscar for "Michael Clayton," where he portrayed a whistleblower who'd lost his mind. On the small-screen, the actor was often sought out to portray complicated historical figures — he won an Emmy for his work as Benjamin Franklin in HBO's "John Adams" and received a nomination for playing Joseph Kennedy in Reelz' "The Kennedys."

Wilkinson died abruptly, at his home with family present, on December 30, 2023. The actor was 75.

Annie Wersching

Annie Wersching was a prolific actress, booking roles on dozens of TV shows throughout the 2000s, along with work in the original "The Last of Us" video game. Wersching earned particular acclaim for her performances as Julia Brasher on "Bosch," the Borg Queen on "Star Trek: Picard," and Emma Whitmore on "Timeless." She further distinguished herself by appearing in a number of fiercely beloved sci-fi, action, and fantasy television series: Her first-ever credit comes from an episode of "Star Trek: Enterprise," and she later popped up on series like "Angel," "Charmed," "Supernatural," and "Revolution." 

Viewers might also remember Wersching from "The Vampire Diaries," on which she played wicked vampire family matriarch Lily Salvatore, or "24," which saw her portray FBI agent Renee Walker. Wersching also portrayed duplicitous cult leader Leslie Dean on the Marvel series "Runaways." According to Deadline, doctors diagnosed Wersching with cancer in 2020. She passed away on January 29, 2023, at the age of 45.