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Actors You May Not Know Are Dead

The following article mentions suicide, domestic violence, child abuse, and addiction.

Every time we sit down to watch our favorite actors do their thing at the movies or on TV, it feels like we get to know them a little bit better. Viewers can develop a special bond with them over time. As such, when an actor leaves us too soon, it can be devastating for fans — especially when their death comes out of the blue. Of course, if a Hollywood A-lister passes away then everyone is going to hear about it, but what about the actors whose job it is to elevate the lead in supporting roles?

The death of a character actor is by no means less tragic than that of a star, but sometimes the news flies under the radar. You may not know some of these actors by name, but you almost certainly know many of their faces, and you may well have been moved by some of their work. With that in mind, we're taking the opportunity to pay tribute to the actors who you may not know passed away.

Jonathan Brandis

Jonathan Brandis had a resume as long as your arm at an age when most people still have no idea what they want to do with their lives. The popular youngster showed up in "Who's the Boss?," "Blossom," "L.A. Law," "Full House," "The Wonder Years," and "Murder, She Wrote," among tons of others. As a child and teenage star for many years, it seemed like he had no shortage of work. He was 16 when he made "Ladybugs," and 17 when he was cast as a teen genius in Steven Spielberg's "SeaQuest DSV."

When "SeaQuest" was canceled in 1996, however, the once-plentiful casting offers dried up. As has been the case with far too many former child actors, Brandis struggled to navigate a new career path. He was only 27 years old when he died in 2003, with suicide confirmed as the cause. However, his death "wasn't due to the entertainment industry," his father told People. "I look back now, and in his 20s, he showed signs of manic depression. I hope that anyone suffering can go get help."

Brad Renfro

Brad Renfro skyrocketed to fame at age 11 through his acclaimed work in Joel Schumacher's adaptation of "The Client" by John Grisham, starring alongside two big names in Tommy Lee Jones and Susan Sarandon. High profile roles quickly followed, and Renfro made appearances in "Sleepers" opposite Brad Pitt, "Ghost World" with Scarlett Johansson, and "The Informers" alongside Billy Bob Thornton and Winona Ryder. Yet, as his star continued to rise onscreen, Renfro was going off the rails away from the cameras.

At age 16, the Tennessee native was arrested for possessing cocaine and marijuana. "I'm glad I got arrested, because it taught me a lot," Renfro said at the time (via People). Unfortunately, more run-ins with police followed. He was arrested for allegedly attempting to steal a yacht in Florida, and he got hit with a DUI in 2005. Renfro was arrested again soon after when he attempted to buy heroin from an undercover police officer. Sadly, the drug played a part in his death — Renfro accidentally overdosed on heroin and morphine in January 2008. Former co-star Susan Sarandon recalled him being "the sweetest, most incredibly gifted young actor to come along for some time" in a tribute statement (via Hollywood).

Lee Thompson Young

Lee Thompson Young's star vehicle "The Famous Jett Jackson" was a very popular show on The Disney Channel for some time. The young up-and-comer worked alongside Rachel McAdams, who at the time was also a rising star. Like a lot of budding Hollywood hopefuls who find a place in the Disney machine, Young was able to use "Jackson" as a springboard into other projects: "Friday Night Lights," "Akeelah and the Bee," and "The Hills Have Eyes II" are some of the few films later added to Young's brief but impressive resume. Sadly, his promising career would soon be cut short.

Young was working as a series regular on the Boston-set cop drama "Rizzoli & Isles" at the time of his death in 2013, playing Detective Barry Frost in the TNT series. When he didn't show up for filming one morning, police were called to investigate, and he was found to have died by suicide. "We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man," TNT said in a statement (via USA Today). "He was truly a member of our family. Lee will be cherished and remembered by all who knew and loved him, both on- and offscreen, for his positive energy, infectious smile and soulful grace."

Heather O'Rourke

Best known for playing Carol Anne in the movie "Poltergeist," Heather O'Rourke skyrocketed to instant fame as the sweet young girl that terrified audiences after being sucked into the television set. In fact, she may have played the part a little too well: although O'Rourke racked up an impressive list of credits after her breakthrough performance as Carol Anne, she remained tied to the franchise in the public's mind, and she was one of a very small number of original cast members that remained with the movie series until its conclusion with 1988's "Poltergeist III." Sadly, the died the year the final film was released.

Hollywood was left in shock when it was revealed that the 12-year-old star had died while undergoing an operation at a hospital in San Diego. She was taken in after experiencing abdominal pains her manager confirmed to the Los Angeles Times, which contacted the hospital for comment. "A spokeswoman for Children's Hospital of San Diego identified the cause of death as intestinal stenosis–a severe bowel obstruction that the girl evidently had from birth," the newspaper confirmed. "The obstruction caused an infection that, in turn, brought on septic shock. The shock prompted full cardiac and pulmonary arrest."

Dana Plato

Dana Plato made her acting debut in a 1975 episode of "The Six Millions Dollar Man" and went on to appear in films like "Exorcist II: The Heretic" and "Return to Boggy Creek" before landing the role that made her a star: Kimberly Drummond in "Diff'rent Strokes." Cast alongside fellow child stars Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges, she was catapulted to instant fame due to the huge success of the show. Sadly, Plato developed an addiction problem that derailed her career and life.

Plato was arrested twice in the early '90s. The first time was in 1991 when she was picked up for "holding up a Las Vegas video store," the New York Post reported, adding, "She later blamed the crime on alcoholism." Plato was arrested again the following year when she was caught forging Valium prescriptions. She stated that she was sober during an interview with Howard Stern conducted just before her death from an overdose of Valium and the painkiller Loritab. While her death was initially ruled an accident, it was later changed to suicide "based upon the drug concentrations [and] a past history of suicidal gestures," medical examiner Larry Balding said (via the New York Post).

Skye McCole Bartusiak

Best known for playing Mel Gibson's daughter in the blockbuster "The Patriot," Skye McCole Bartusiak was a child actor with a promising future. She made her film debut in "The Cider House Rules" in 1999 and starred with Michael Douglas and the similarly tragic Brittany Murphy in "Don't Say a Word" in 2001. She also appeared in the 2006 film "Kill your Darlings" with Alexander Skarsgard, the 2011 indie drama "Good Day for It" with Robert Englund, and she played Lucy in the 2014 horror-thriller "Sick Boy," which turned out to be her final role.

Bartusiak was found dead in the garage apartment connected to her parents' home in July 2014. Her mother suspected that she had died as a result of a seizure: Helen McCole Bartusiak told CNN that the actor had been experiencing epileptic seizures in the days leading up to her death. However, when the toxicology report came back, it revealed that the 21 year old died from substance abuse. "According to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, the primary cause of death was the combined toxic effects of hydrocodone — typically Vicodin — and difluoroethane with carisoprodol," TMZ reported. "Difluoroethane is a colorless gas used as a refrigerant, something huffed to get a high. Carisoprodol is a muscle relaxer."

Dominique Dunne

The 1982 horror film "Poltergeist" was a smash hit that launched a franchise, but behind the scenes, there were so many troubling stories after the film wrapped that talk eventually spread of a "curse" on the cast. In addition to young Heather O'Rourke, who passed away in 1988 at the age of 12, another actor from the film met an early demise: Dominique Dunne. She played Dana Freeling, the 16-year-old sister of O'Rourke's Carol Anne.

Dunn got off to a fast start in Hollywood, compiling a list of early credits that includes appearances in the TV shows "Chips," "Fame," and "The Quest." "Poltergeist" might have been her big break, but it sadly wasn't to be: The same year the film arrived in theaters, Dunn was killed by her ex boyfriend, who choked her and left her unconscious on the driveway of her Hollywood home. She was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and placed on life support, but she died five days later. She was 22.

Lisa Robin Kelly

Lisa Robin Kelly made audiences laugh for several seasons as part of the ensemble cast of Fox's hit sitcom "That '70s Show," playing Eric Forman's annoying sister, Laurie. However, the issues she encountered after her time on the show are no laughing matter. Kelly fought addiction and found herself on the wrong side of the law a few times: She was hit with two DUI arrests and was arrested for assault after a fight with her husband in 2012. She also had drug problems, though she had been taking steps to combat them at the time of her death.

Fans of Kelly were hopeful when she revealed that she had entered rehab in 2013. This made the news of her death all the more shocking when it broke just a few days later. The actor (who also appeared in shows like "The X Files," "Married with Children," "Days of Our Lives," and "Charmed") died of "multiple drug intoxication," E! News confirmed. The outlet also published a statement from Kelly's publicist: "Lisa had voluntarily checked herself into a treatment facility early this week where she was battling the addiction problems that have plagued her these past few years. I spoke to her on Monday and she was hopeful and confident, looking forward to putting this part of her life behind her. Last night she lost the battle."

Thuy Trang

Thuy Trang was best known for her work as the original Yellow Ranger on "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers," but, unlike a lot of actors who start out in genre TV, she seemed in no danger of being typecast. In fact, she was developing what seemed like a potentially promising career after leaving the show. Trang jumped right into feature work, landing roles in a pair of movies released in 1996: the Leslie Nielsen comedy "Spy Hard" and the dark drama "The Crow: City of Angels."

Clearly, Trang had enough chops to tackle work from a variety of genres, but sadly, she never had a chance to fulfill that potential — she tragically lost her life in 2001. "Trang had been traveling between San Francisco and Los Angeles with her friend Angela Rockwood, for whom she was to serve as a bridesmaid, when their vehicle — which was being driven by another bridesmaid — swerved off the road and hit the roadside rock face," Entertainment Weekly confirmed. She was 27.

Andy Hallett

A Buffyverse fan favorite, Andy Hallett logged his first uncredited screen performance as an extra in a 1999 episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" It turned out to be a fateful beginning for a career that's best remembered for his Satellite Award-nominated work in the long-running role of Lorne, a demon in the Deathwok clan who proved a popular fixture on the "Buffy" spinoff series "Angel."

Much more than a guy who had a commanding presence underneath a layer of demon makeup, Hallett was a talented vocalist as well as a magnetic screen presence — something he readily demonstrated when he flashed his musical chops on multiple "Angel" episodes as well as contributing a pair of songs to the show's soundtrack album. He seemed to be just getting started when "Angel" went off the air, but Hallett's story ended far too soon — he died in 2009. "He was 33 and had endured a five-year battle with congestive heart disease," Entertainment Weekly confirmed.

Taylor Negron

One of Hollywood's all-time ultimate "That Guy" actors, Taylor Negron compiled a truly impressive list of classic screen credits without ever becoming a household name in his own right. Although he tended to be on screen for no more than a few moments at a time, Negron's deadpan delivery made him a fan favorite among film aficionados of the '80s — and a standout in pictures like "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "Better Off Dead."

Later in his career, Negron made memorable appearances on hit TV shows like "Seinfeld" and "Friends," but as much fun as he could be onscreen, he was even more interesting behind the scenes. In addition to acting, Negron was an acclaimed writer whose work included published collections of short stories, as well as a trained painter whose work was shown in multiple galleries. He was only 57 when he died of liver cancer in 2015.

Rowdy Roddy Piper

After making a name for himself as a professional wrestler — partly through a rivalry with Hulk Hogan that helped bring wrestling to an ever-wider audience in the '80s — "Rowdy" Roddy Piper branched out onto the big screen, most notably through his starring role in the 1988 cult classic "They Live." Leading that cult John Carpenter classic, Piper waged a one-man war against a covert alien invasion and coined the unforgettable catchphrase "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubblegum."

Piper's bone-crunching work in that film helped set the tone for a busy Hollywood career full of B-movie roles and small-but-unforgettable appearances on television shows like "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." On the screen as well as in the ring, Piper gave every performance his all, frequently elevating otherwise forgettable material and consistently serving as the most memorable component of whatever project he was appearing in. He died in his sleep in 2015 after a pulmonary embolism triggered a heart attack.

Sage Stallone

Critically maligned and pretty much ignored at the box office, "Rocky V" is indisputably the least loved film of Sylvester Stallone's long-running boxing franchise. Take a careful look under its cheesier elements, however, and you can see the outline of a truly affecting story about a former heavyweight champ going broke, losing his ability to box, and nearly losing his relationship with his son.

To help tell the story, Stallone brought in his own 14-year-old son, Sage, to play the part of Robert "Rocky Jr." Balboa in the film. The young Stallone's time on the set clearly made a positive impression: After college, Sage continued working in the industry in small, low-key projects, carving out a career in his own right away from his blockbuster-leading father. News of his death in 2012 at the age of 36 came as a shock — he died of a heart attack brought on by atherosclerosis, the Los Angeles County coroner confirmed.

Dana Hill

Dana Hill originally wanted to be a track star until type I diabetes ended her youthful athletic dreams. Her father's career as a TV commercial producer helped her start off in the industry, and she booked a series of ads before appearing on various television programs, including "Mork & Mindy," "Fallen Angel," and "Magnum, P.I." She also voiced a variety of animated characters for cartoons like "Pound Puppies," "Rugrats," "Goof Troop," and "Darkwing Duck."

Clearly, Hill was an in-demand talent as a rising young star, but as busy as she remained throughout her brief career, there's one role that really stands out: She's best recognized for playing Audrey Griswold in "National Lampoon's European Vacation," replacing Dana Barron from "National Lampoon's Vacation" a few years prior. Hill's life and career were both cut short by complications related to her diabetes in 1996. "Hill fell into a diabetic coma that was followed by a stroke," People reported. "Though she woke periodically, she could communicate only by blinking her eyes yes or no." She was 32.

Richard Bonehill

While you might not recognize Richard Bonehill's face, you'll certainly recognize some of the characters he's played over the years, especially if you're a "Star Wars" fan. Bonehill's history as a competitive fencer and swordsmanship coach gave him a strong leg up in Hollywood, helping him land work on the likes of "Highlander," "Flash Gordon," and "Doctor Who." In addition to that impressive list of genre credits, he also played a variety of characters in "Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back" and "Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi."

For the most part, Bonehill filled various background roles, including multiple stormtroopers and Rebel Alliance soldiers, but he landed one part that truly stood out from the rest. If you've seen the original "Star Wars" trilogy (and who hasn't?), you'll probably best remember him as Nien Nunb, Lando Calrissian's alien co-pilot on the Millennium Falcon during the attack on the second Death Star. Bonehill died in 2015 at the age of 67.

Earl Hindman

Earl Hindman had a relatively low-profile showbusiness career, but he stayed consistently busy for decades, appearing in movies like "Silverado" and "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three." Throughout the '70s and '80s, he had his most consistent visibility in the part of Bob Reid, a character he played in more than 450 episodes of the long-running ABC daytime drama "Ryan's Hope." It was another supporting role on a long-running series, however, that ultimately earned Hindman his greatest notoriety.

Most '90s kids will remember him as Wilson, the mysterious-but-friendly neighbor of Tim "The Toolman" Taylor on the hit sitcom "Home Improvement." Hindman died in 2003 at the age of 61 due to lung cancer, leaving a generation with fond memories of that lovable neighbor behind the fence whose face was always half hidden. Wilson, who often had the best advice and most interesting hobbies, was based on a real-life neighbor that Allen had as a kid.

Gary Coleman

"Whatchoo talkin' 'bout Willis?" Kids of the '70s and '80s — not to mention anyone who enjoys the classic sitcoms of those eras — will immediately recognize the immortal catchphrase Gary Coleman coined as an adorable kid on the long-running show "Diff'rent Strokes." Coleman's diminutive stature helped him continue to play younger characters throughout much of his career, and at the peak of his fame, he landed a series of film and television roles.

Unfortunately, his young looks and peak height of 4'8" were side effects of medication he was taking for congenital kidney disease. Work in Hollywood became harder to come by after "Diff'rent Strokes" left the airwaves, and behind the scenes, he underwent frequent dialysis treatments. He even underwent two kidney transplants, one when he was just five and another at 16. Coleman died in 2010 after a fall at his home. "He suffered a brain hemorrhage and died after being removed from life support," The New York Times confirmed. He was 42.

Chris Penn

The younger brother of veteran actor Sean Penn, Chris Penn followed in his sibling's footsteps, breaking into Hollywood at a young age to launch what would ultimately become an admirably varied career in its own right. Penn is best remembered for his portrayal of mob scion Nice Guy Eddie in "Reservoir Dogs," but that's far from the only film he appeared in. Penn also landed roles in "Footloose," "The Funeral," "Mulholland Falls," "Rush Hour," "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," and "Short Cuts," to name but a few.

The talented actor died in 2006 at the age of 40 due to cardiomyopathy, a progressive heart disease. "It may take months, years or decades, but it usually leads to the patient's demise," Dr. Gerald Pohost, chief of cardiovascular medicine at USC's Keck School of Medicine, told the Los Angeles Times. While this was the main cause of the actor's death, the Los Angeles County coroner's office confirmed that some substances may have contributed: The cough syrup Phenergan could have worsened his condition, doctors said. Valium, morphine, marijuana, and codeine were also found in Penn's bloodstream, a toxicology report confirmed (via Today).

Richard Griffiths

A veteran stage, film, and television actor, Richard Griffiths is known by the masses for his portrayal of Harry Potter's uncle, Vernon Dursley. While Dursley was always cruel to the young wizard, fans of the franchise remember his performance well. He captured the essence of J.K. Rowling's version of the character perfectly, dovetailing well with Fiona Shaw's Aunt Petunia. "He was a philosopher clown," Shaw told the Los Angeles Times. "He was incredibly knowledgeable about history, science, almost everything. He had a huge ambition and was a total delight in what he did."

Outside of the "Harry Potter" series, Griffiths won a slew of awards over the course of a busy career, earning particular acclaim for his portrayal of English teacher Douglas Hector in a play called "The History Boys." He also starred in a variety of big projects, including "Superman II," "Gandhi," "Sleepy Hollow," "King Ralph," "Hugo," "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," and "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Griffiths passed away in 2013 at the age of 65 due to complications from heart surgery.

James Avery

Whether you call him the Big Guy or Uncle Phil, James Avery earned household name status through his portrayal of Philip Banks on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." Prior to making his mark on the long-running NBC sitcom, the burly actor had plenty of small roles throughout his TV career, although he was particularly well known for his voice acting work. Avery was the voice of Shredder on "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and War Machine on "Iron Man," and he also did voices for the likes of "The Prince of Egypt," "Extreme Ghostbusters," "Fist of the North Star," and "Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling."

Fans of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" were devastated to learn that Avery had passed away. He died in 2013 from complications following heart surgery, aged 68. The actor was remembered by the stars of the show when they got together for a reunion soon after, with Will Smith revealing how Avery helped shape him as an actor. "James Avery was this six-foot-four, 300-pound stage-trained Shakespearean beast and I'm the little rapper from Philly under him and I wanted him to think I was good," Smith said (via NME). "It's like people don't even know when they're shaping you and forming you and crafting you. He knew."

Lou Albano and Danny Wells

As the first two actors to play Mario and Luigi in live-action roles, "Captain" Lou Albano and Danny Wells entertained millions of children from 1989-1991 on "The Super Mario Bros. Super Show." The series featured Albano and Wells playing the two beloved plumbers during live-action sequences at their Brooklyn residence, often with a celebrity guest, before switching over to a cartoon episode of "Super Mario Bros." or "The Legend of Zelda." Albano and Wells also voiced Mario and Luigi in the "Mario Bros." cartoon episodes.

Albano was known for a prominent professional wrestling career that began back in 1953. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996. "He was often imitated but never duplicated, and he certainly will never be forgotten either," he Hall of Fame profile reads. In terms of acting, he was perhaps best known for playing Cyndi Lauper's father in the music for 1983's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," which was shown regularly on MTV at the time. Albano died from a heart attack in 2009 at the age of 76.

Danny Wells, who played Luigi, was known for his TV guest appearances on the likes of "Happy Days," "Punky Brewster," "Chips," "The A-Team," "Sanford and Son," "Starsky & Hutch," and "The Jeffersons," in which he played the bartender Charlie. The Montreal native also did voice acting, working on the likes of "Heathcliff," "Batman: The Animated Series," and more. He died of undisclosed causes in 2013.

Edward Herrmann

Exactly where you remember esteemed actor Edward Herrmann from depends on whether you favor musicals, vampire movies, medical TV shows, or fast-talking mother-daughter family dramas. Herrmann is perhaps best recognized for his role as pompous but warm-hearted patriarch Richard Gilmore in "Gilmore Girls." Richard's dry sense of humor and quiet authority contrasted with the quick wit and constant banter that flew between his wife Emily (Kelly Bishop), daughter Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and granddaughter Rory (Alexis Bledel). Offscreen, Herrmann and Bishop — both classically trained and meticulous about their craft — were especially close. Herrmann's wife Star, whom he married in 1994, would joke that Bishop was his other wife. In Herrmann's final moments, his family invited Bishop to say goodbye with them.

Before his longest-running role in "Gilmore Girls," Herrmann worked regularly on TV and in movies. He was nominated for an Emmy for playing a priest in the medical drama "St. Elsewhere," and won one for the legal series "The Practice." He played Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1982 adaptation of "Annie" (having previously played the President for a miniseries and TV movie in the late '70s). And, in 1987, he played a stepfather from Hell (literally) in the vampire movie "The Lost Boys." Herrmann died of brain cancer, aged 71, on December 31, 2014. In the Netflix revival of "Gilmore Girls," it was revealed that Richard had also died, sparking big changes for Emily in particular.

Deezer D

Deezer D was one of the foundational actors on hit medical drama "ER." Born Dearon Thompson, he played nurse Malik McGrath for the show's entire 15-year run, appearing in 188 episodes. As often happens in real hospitals as well as fictional ones, "ER" typically focused on its physicians and surgeons, not the nurses. But Thompson was one of just a handful of actors who appeared in every season, and his episode count makes him one of the most prolific cast members.

Outside of "ER," Thompson had a few small parts in movies including the cult classic comedy "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" and "Bringing Down the House," and appeared in Vanilla Ice's video for "Cool as Ice." He played one of the members of a fictional rap group in the mockumentary movie "CB4" in 1993, and also rapped for real. He released multiple records, including the full-length album "Delayed, But Not Denied" in 2008, and continued making songs until his death. His final track, "History Can't Be Stopped," was released posthumously.

Thompson started having heart issues around 2008, telling Radar the following year that he had been suffering from recurrent pneumonia and heart failure. It was discovered that he had a leaking valve and expanded aorta, which was addressed with surgery in 2009. He reportedly went on to have more operations on his heart over the next 10 years or so. Thompson died on January 7, 2021, aged 55, of a suspected heart attack.

Kathryn Joosten

Kathryn Joosten was in her 50s when she started working consistently in the notoriously youth-centric film industry during the 1990s. She'd started acting in 1980, after realizing she was missing out on following her dreams. Despite her late start, Joosten built a career playing one-off but always memorable characters in hit TV series. Her credits include "Roseanne," "Seinfeld," "Frasier," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "The X Files," "Charmed," "Will & Grace," "Gilmore Girls," and "Grey's Anatomy", and that's just the tip of the iceberg: Name a hit show of the '90s and '00s, and Joosten probably appeared in it. 

Her most memorable guest appearance was as a woman who refused treatment for kidney failure in Season 1 of "Scrubs." The episode, "My Old Lady," consistently ranks as a fan favorite. In addition to those guest roles, Joosten landed regular parts in two major series. She played President Bartlet's (Martin Sheen) steely secretary in two seasons of "The West Wing," combining her talents for fast-paced drama and comedy, and nosy but occasionally helpful neighbor Karen McCluskey in "Desperate Housewives."

Joosten was first treated for lung cancer in 2001, the year "My Old Lady" aired. She was undergoing treatment while making the final season of "Desperate Housewives," which was written into her character's arc. McCluskey died in the series finale. Joosten died just a few weeks after that episode aired in 2012. She was 72.

Hugh Dane

Hugh Dane's resume reads like a list of the top sitcoms of the '90s and early '00s. He played two different characters in "The Fresh Prince," appeared in an episode of "Martin," and multiple episodes of "Roc." He had small parts in "Friends," "Sister, Sister," "Everybody Hates Chris," and "New Girl." On the drama side, he played a judge in an episode of "The West Wing." He also appeared briefly in the comedy movies "Little Fockers" and "Bridesmaids."

However, Dane will most likely be remembered and missed for his role as Hank, the permanently unimpressed security guard in "The Office." He appeared in 22 episodes of NBC's hit mockumentary about the inner workings and ridiculous shenanigans in a Scranton, Pennsylvania paper company.

Dane died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 75 on May 16, 2018. After his death, former "The Office" co-star Rainn Wilson described him as "One of the greats. So kind, funny, talented." In 2021, Peacock tweeted a video of a cold open that never aired, featuring Dane. It showed one of Jim's (John Krasinski) most elaborate pranks on nemesis Dwight (Wilson), with Dane starring as Dorpheus, the made-up brother of Morpheus from "The Matrix."

Judith Barsi

The entry discusses domestic violence against children

If you're one of the few people who made it all the way through the "Jaws" franchise to the fourth movie (1987's "Jaws: The Revenge"), you may recognize Judith Barsi as the young granddaughter of Police Chief Martin Brody (originally played by Roy Scheider). Before that movie came out, Barsi had already played small parts in well-known TV series including "Knots Landing," "The Twilight Zone," "Cheers," and "Cagney & Lacey." Today, she is best remembered for two Don Bluth feature animations: She voiced excitable young dinosaur Ducky in 1988's "The Land Before Time," and animal whisperer Anne-Marie in "All Dogs Go to Heaven."

On July 25, 1988, four months before "The Land Before Time" premiered that November, Judith, age 10, and her mother Maria were shot dead by Judith's abusive father Jozsef, who then killed himself. According to the Los Angeles Times, a neighbor said that Maria had lived in fear for herself and her daughter. She was trying to leave Jozsef, but feared he would find out and kill them, the neighbor said. Both "The Land Before Time" and "All Dogs Go to Heaven" came out after Judith and Maria's deaths. Actor Heather Hogan voiced Ducky in subsequent "Land Before Time" sequels.

Kenny Baker

Kenny Baker appeared in the likes of "Flash Gordon," "Time Bandits" and "Amadeus," but he was best-known as the man who originated one of the most beloved characters in one of the most popular movie franchises of all time — he played R2-D2, the brave and mischievous Star Wars droid. According to his obituary in The New York Times, he was the only person small enough to fit into the costume who was also strong enough to move it. Baker had been in entertainment for years: He sang, danced, played instruments, clowned, and ice skated in various touring companies. As he told The Guardian, "There are certain closeup movements only I can do convincingly. It's all about giving R2 a personality, and CGI can never really do that."

In addition to R2, Baker played an Ewok in "Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi" alongside his wife and fellow actor Eileen. The furry inhabitants of the jungle planet Endor were less fun to play than to watch, thanks to the stuffy costumes. It wasn't just that they were hot: The heads were impossible to see out of when they steamed up. The last time Baker played R2 was for "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith," although he served as a consultant on "The Force Awakens." He died at the age of 81 in 2016, with George Lucas leading the tributes. "A talented vaudevillian who could always make everybody laugh, Kenny was truly the heart and soul of R2-D2 and will be missed by all his fans and everyone who knew him," he said.

James Michael Tyler

In a show that made superstars out of its six main cast members, James Michael Tyler managed to hold his own as one of the most memorable side characters. He played coffee shop manager Gunther in "Friends" for all 10 seasons, appearing in 150 episodes total, although he didn't have a line for his first 33 appearances. Tyler originally landed the role because he knew how to work the fancy espresso machine on the Central Perk set.

Not one to take himself overly seriously, after "Friends," he played himself in the satire "Episodes," which saw that version of Tyler experiencing a slightly awkward reunion with Matt LeBlanc, who played Joey on "Friends," also playing himself. Tyler loved the experience of being in "Friends," although there was one drawback. As he told Digital Spy, he was cast with very distinctive bleached blonde hair, which added to his character's mystique. But it was originally the result of an experiment he let one of his friends perform, which turned into weekly bleach jobs for 10 years.

Tyler was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018, which he didn't make public until June 2021. That month, he announced in an interview with NBC that the cancer had reached stage IV, meaning it had spread to other parts of his body. He died just a few months later, on October 24, 2021.

Michael K. Williams

Before getting his big break, Michael K. Williams was consistently cast as one-dimensional criminals. He was a young Black man in a white industry that didn't know how to tell diverse stories about people who looked like him. Also, he had a distinctive facial scar from the time someone attacked him with a razor – something else Hollywood didn't know what to do with.

Williams' big break came courtesy of "The Wire." He made a splash as Omar Little, an armed robber who targets drug dealers and the most feared man in a territory ruled by violence. But Little wasn't a carbon copy of those previous characters. For one thing, he was openly gay in a homophobic society. For another, he was known to give some of his ill-gotten gains to people in his much-in-need community.

After playing Omar, Williams landed roles in several prestigious series, including crime drama "The Night Of," "When We Rise," about the gay civil rights movement, and a recurring part as a racketeer in Prohibition drama "Boardwalk Empire." He even got to show off his comedy skills in "Community." In 2019, he appeared in Ava DuVernay's "When They See Us," as the father of one of the wrongly accused Central Park Five. In 2021, he was nominated for an Emmy — his fifth — for the HBO series "Lovecraft County." Williams died at the age of 54 on September 6, 2021, of what was later confirmed as a drug overdose.

Wendie Jo Sperber

Wendie Jo Sperber had small parts in two very big movies. She was an uncredited dancer in "Grease," one of the most famous musicals of all time. And she played Marty McFly's (Michael J. Fox) older sister Linda in "Back to the Future," reprising the role for "Back to the Future Part III."

Even before "Back to the Future," Sperber was well known to some thanks to her part on the sitcom "Bosom Buddies." The show starred Tom Hanks as Kip and Peter Scolari as Henry, two friends who have to pretend to be women in order to get an apartment in a cheap women's-only hotel. Sperber played Amy, their co-worker and initially the only resident who knows the men's secret. In addition to regular movie roles, Sperber appeared in episodes of hit TV series including "Murphy Brown," "Will & Grace," "Home Improvement," and "JAG."

Sperber was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997. Four years later, she founded weSPARK Cancer Center, a nonprofit intended to support other patients and their families. According to the Los Angeles Times, she was partly inspired by her 1998 appearance on "Murphy Brown," which featured several other cast members who had survived cancer. She died November 29, 2005, at the age of 46.

Helen McCrory

A classically trained actor, Helen McCrory made a name for herself on stage and in a number of fan-favorite films and television series before joining one of the biggest movie franchises ever. After studying at the Drama Centre, McCrory debuted in the London theater in shows like "The Importance of Being Earnest." She eventually went on to win rave reviews for a number of her characters, showing skill at portraying conniving villains like Lady Macbeth and hopeful heroines like Rosalind in "As You Like It."

McCrory was probably best known for playing Narcissa Malfoy (the mother of Tom Felton's Draco Malfoy) in the "Harry Potter" film franchise. Other film credits include "Skyfall," "Hugo," and "The Queen," to name but a few. On television, McCrory played Madame Kali in "Penny Dreadful," provided the voice for Stelmaria on "His Dark Materials," and owned every scene she appeared in as Polly Gray on "Peaky Blinders." She died of breast cancer in 2021 at the age of 52. Tom Felton choked up while discussing his on-screen mother during HBO Max's "Return to Hogwarts" reunion special. "She taught me a lot," he said (via Entertainment Weekly). "She had this ability, yeah, just to sort of show such empathy in her eyes. It was a real treat to work with her."

Willie Garson

For much of his career, Willie Garson was the ultimate character actor. He never really broke out as a name-brand star, but you almost assuredly saw him in something if you've watched television over the last 30+ years. Garson started out his professional acting career with bit roles on a few popular sitcoms, like "Cheers" and "Family Ties." He quickly started adding more credits to his resume, booking recurring roles on popular series like "Mr. Belvedere," "Boy Meets World," and "Quantum Leap," all while continuing to land guest spots on other shows and making minor appearances in films.

Garson is best known for playing Carrie's gay bestie, Stanford Blatch, in HBO's "Sex and the City." He also had a lead role on the USA series "White Collar," where he played Mozzie, and he frequently made appearances on the celebrity game show "25 Words or Less." Garson died from pancreatic cancer in 2021, aged 57. In his obituary, his family paid tribute to his varied career as a working actor, writing: "He could be a classmate of Michael J. Fox on 'Family Ties' or a waiter on a 'Cheers' episode, or L. Harvey Oswald in an independent film 'Ruby' or Bill Murray's assistant in 'Groundhog Day.'"

Dustin Diamond

When it came to the characters on "Saved by the Bell," the odd man out was often Sam Powers, better known as Screech. The "Saved by the Bell" bunch boasted a nice collection of stereotyped characters, and Screech was the dork. Though Screech was often used as an ancillary character, aiding the schemes of Zack and Slater, actor Dustin Diamond was able to showcase his comedic talent and helped carve out a solid identity for a character that could have easily been a throwaway member of the central cast.

Like his character, however, Diamond was kind of the odd man out. After the show ended, he struggled to land substantial roles, and often found himself at the center of bizarre controversies. A sex tape was leaked in 2006 — one that Diamond later admitted he himself released, with a body double replacing him in most of the scenes — and Diamond would also release a behind-the-scenes tell-all book called "Behind the Bell," in which he aired out all the dirty laundry on his "Saved by the Bell" co-stars. He would later admit that a ghostwriter made up almost everything in the book. Diamond died from lung cancer in 2021. He was 44.

Louie Anderson

Funnyman Louie Anderson had one of the most iconic voices in the world of comedy. He was an actor whom you could identify after just hearing a few words from his mouth. Anderson's wit and quick-thinking delivery made him a sought-after stand-up act — he regularly appeared on late-night television and celebrity game shows to help get the crowd rolling.

Anderson's television career was an interesting one. Early on, he created a cartoon series called "Life With Louie," based on his childhood in the Midwest. Anderson voiced both the childhood version of himself and his father on the series. The show was nominated for eight Daytime Emmy awards in the 1990s, with Anderson winning for outstanding performer in an animated program on two occasions.

He went on to appear on many other shows in small, memorable roles before becoming a critical darling again with the FX series "Baskets." Anderson created baskets along with Zach Galifianakis, Louis C.K., and Jonathan Krisel. He also starred on the series as Christine Baskets. Anderson died on January 21, 2022 from lymphoma at the age of 68.

Glenn Quinn

Fans of '90s sitcoms will surely remember Mark Healy, Becky's delinquent boyfriend on "Roseanne." Played by actor Glenn Quinn, Mark was a great example of a sitcom demonstrating some serious character development. When he was first introduced, he was dumb, immature, and hated by the Conners for "corrupting" their daughter. As the show continued, Mark gradually won over the family by maturing into a hard worker and thoughtful caretaker.

Of course, this character wouldn't have worked without a strong actor behind him. Quinn did some impressive development with his limited screen time, not to mention the fact that he fooled audiences everywhere into thinking he was American. His other notable television role, the half-demon clairvoyant Allen Francis Doyle on "Angel," showcased Quinn's native Irish accent.

Quinn died of an accidental heroin overdose in 2002. He was 32. In 2018, actor Michael Fishman (D.J. Conner) paid tribute to his former co-star on X, known as Twitter at the time. He shared a picture of Quinn's grave along with a message. "Glenn and family are frequently on my mind," he said. "As long as 'Roseanne' is on Glenn Quinn is part of it. I'll always honor him and the Quinn family in my work."

Erin Moran

In the world of classic television, not many shows stand above their peers like "Happy Days." It ran for over a decade, featuring 11 seasons and over 250 episodes, and also helped launch the careers of notable actors like Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, and Scott Baio. One other actor who appeared on every season of "Happy Days," and starred in one of its spin-offs, was Erin Moran.

Moran played Joanie Cunningham, the younger sister of Richie and Chuck, who eventually starts dating Chachi. As the young couple started gaining popularity on the show, a spin-off series called "Joanie Loves Chachi" was created. This new series was about the young couple trying to start a musical act, and episodes featured performances from Baio and Moran. 

"Joanie Loves Chachi" was not as well-received as "Happy Days" and was canceled during its second season. The characters popped back up on "Happy Days" and actually got married in the final episode. Moran continued to find work after "Happy Days," but never really returned to the spotlight. She died from cancer in 2017 at the age of 56.

Mary Pat Gleason

Like many of the actors on this list, Mary Pat Gleason is one of those that you're sure you've seen before, but you might not know where. With a professional career that lasted nearly four decades, Gleason has more than likely appeared in some movies or television series you've enjoyed over the years, though her most notable work didn't even occur in front of the camera: She was part of the writing team for the long-running soap opera "The Guiding Light" in the 1980s. The team won a Daytime Emmy award for their work on the series, and Gleason also appeared on a handful of episodes as Jane Hogan.

Gleason generally portrayed brash characters, and she had strong comedic timing to go with her over-the-top performances. Her film credits include "Bruce Almighty," "The Crucible," "Intolerable Cruelty," and "13 Going on 30." She made guest appearances on dozens of television series as well, including "Mom," "Will & Grace," "Desperate Housewives," and many more — Gleason had almost 200 credits on her resume by the time of her death from cancer in 2020. She was 70.

Raquel Welch

Raquel Welch was known as a major sex symbol in the 1960s. She made her first splash with the film "One Million Years B.C." — she appeared on the movie's poster clad only in an animal-skin bikini. She only had a handful of lines in the film, but that image was more than enough to make her a household name. Outside of that, she is probably best known for roles in films like the 1973 version of "The Three Musketeers," "Kansas City Bomber," "Bedazzled," and "Right to Die." She was a regular guest on celebrity specials and game shows, and also had recurring roles on a handful of short-lived series, like 2008's "Welcome to the Captain" and 2017's "Date My Dad."

Welch died in 2023 at the age of 82. A year later, an event called Bombshell: The Raquel Welch Collection was announced by Julien's Auctions, giving fans of the late star the chance to bid for some of her most iconic items. "Among the items up for bid are a faux fur bikini Welch wore in her 1974 TV special 'Really Raquel,' a replica of the iconic costume from her 1966 breakout film 'One Million Years B.C.,'" People revealed. "Other items available include her 1974 Golden Globe Award for best actress in a comedy or musical for her role in 'The Three Musketeers,' a flapper-style dress, designed by Ron Talsky, that she wore in the 1975 musical-comedy 'The Wild Party' and a Bob Mackie halter dress she wore on 'The Muppet Show' in 1978."

Andy Whitfield

Despite being born and raised in Wales, actor Andrew Whitfield spent the majority of his adult life in Australia. Having studied engineering, he moved to the country in 1999 after spending several years working in London. It was here that Whitfield discovered a passion for acting after taking a drama class, appearing in dozens of commercials before landing a lead role in the 2007 horror "Gabriel." He went on to appear in another Australian horror film called "The Clinic," and he had parts in TV shows like "Packed to the Rafters" and "McLeod's Daughters." However, viewers will probably know him best for his part in the Starz historical drama "Spartacus: Blood and Sand."

Starring alongside the likes of John Hannah and Lucy Lawless, Whitfield portrayed the protagonist in the first season of the show, which scored lukewarm reviews from the critics but gained a fan following regardless. Whitfield also voiced the character in the prequel series "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena." Production on the second season was delayed after the actor was diagnosed with cancer, and Whitfield was eventually replaced by Liam McIntyre. He was initially diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2010 and was found to have relapsed several months later, after he was thought to have been successfully treated. Whitfield died as a result of the disease in 2011. He was 39.

Anton Yelchin

Anton Yelchin was born in Russia during the latter days of the Soviet Union but moved to the United States with his parents when he was still a baby. Having lived in Los Angeles from a young age, it might not be that surprising that he eventually turned to acting. He quickly established himself as a talented performer, winning praise for his roles in films such as "Hearts in Atlantis" (for which he won best leading young actor at the 2002 Young Artist Awards), "Along Came a Spider," and "A Man Is Mostly Water."

Yelchin was then cast in several television series, including the Showtime drama series "Huff" (playing the titular character's teenage son) and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." It was in 2009 that he began to become a recognized name, with high-profile roles in both "Star Trek" and "Terminator Salvation," with the actor returning for the sequels "Star Trek Into Darkness" and "Star Trek Beyond" in 2013 and 2016, respectively.

Yelchin was living with cystic fibrosis, but the condition didn't hold him back in his career, nor did it contribute to his early death. He died due to what can only be described as a tragic accident when he was crushed by his car after it rolled back and pinned him against a fence surrounding his home. He was just 27 at the time of the accident, which took place on June 18, 2016.

Charlbi Dean

Charlbi Dean began modeling long before reaching her teenage years, signing a professional contract with an agency at just 12 years old. She went on to take part in high-profile shoots for the likes of Gucci and appeared on the cover of Vogue magazine. It wasn't until 2010 that Dean transitioned to acting, with a debut role in the comedy-drama "Spud." The movie, which stars John Cleese and Troye Sivan, is an adaptation of the 2005 novel by John van de Ruit.

Dean went on to appear in a number of films over the next decade, including "Spud 2: The Madness Continues," and "Blood in the Water." She landed what is arguably her most famous role in 2018, playing Syonide in The CW superhero series "Black Lightning." She followed that up with a leading part in "Triangle of Sadness," a 2022 black comedy from the mind of Ruben Östlund. Her performance in the Palme d'Or-winning film drew praise from critics and likely would have led to a stellar acting career had tragedy not struck.

The young actor died on August 29, 2022 from bacterial sepsis shortly after being admitted to hospital. She was just 32 years old at the time. The condition was made worse as Dean's spleen had been removed a decade earlier when she was involved in a serious car accident. "It's involved in fighting off infections, and that could have had something to do what happened," the actor's brother told Rolling Stone. "Her spleen not being there just added on to the reason whey she perhaps couldn't fight it off."

Corey Haim

Corey Haim was a child star who found fame early on in his career. The youngster only began acting after becoming interested in the job while following his sister to auditions. One of his earliest roles came in the 1984 film "Firstborn," with Peter Weller, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Robert Downey Jr. also appearing. Throughout the '80s, Haim was a major star and featured in a number of successful films, ranging from "Silver Bullet" to "License to Drive." His most famous role came in Joel Schumacher's comedy horror film "The Lost Boys," where he was part of a cast that included Corey Feldman and Kiefer Sutherland. Feldman and Haim would subsequently work together on many occasions.

Haim struggled with substance abuse and mental health issues in his adult life, which have been linked to allegations that he was sexually abused by an unnamed Hollywood figure. In the days leading up to his death, he had illegally obtained hundreds of prescription pills, leading to suggestions that he may have accidentally overdosed. However, it was later confirmed that his death on Mach 10, 2010 was due to pneumonia, which caused terminal damage to his lungs. He had some substances in his system at the time, "But nothing was at a level that would have contributed to his death," a coroner's spokesman told Fox News. He was 38.

Kevin Clark

The 2003 comedy "School of Rock" holds a special place in the hearts of those born in the 1990s. The film stars Jack Black as an unemployed musician who fraudulently takes on a substitute teaching role at a prestigious school, where he discovers that many of the students are incredibly talented. Joan Cusack, Sarah Silverman, and Mike White also appear in supporting roles, with a cast of youngsters that includes familiar faces such as Miranda Cosgrove. Among them was Kevin Clark, a drummer who portrayed the energetic and rebellious Freddy Jones.

"School of Rock" proved to be Clark's only acting credit but he continued in music and was in a number of bands throughout his life, including outfits like Robbie Gold Band and Jess Bess and the Intentions. He also taught music and was involved in a reunion with other members of the cast to mark the film's 10th anniversary. Clark was killed on May 26, 2021 when his bicycle was hit by a car in Chicago. The intersection where the accident happened was known for being dangerous, said the Chicago Sun-Times, which confirmed that the musician was taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. He was 32.

Michelle Thomas

Rising to fame thanks to her role as Justine Phillips on "The Cosby Show," Michelle Thomas actually got her start in show business several years earlier. She appeared in a number of commercials as she tried to break into the industry, and she eventually did just that, with the NBC sitcom becoming her big break. Starring alongside Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, and Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Thomas made eight appearances in the series.

She then went on to play Myra Monkhouse in "Family Matters" after being introduced in the show's fourth season. A love interest for Jaleel White's character Steve Urkel, the young actor became a staple of the show with more than 50 appearances to her name. Continuing her run as a regular television actor, Thomas was cast as Callie Rogers in the CBS soap opera "The Young and the Restless." She also made a number of appearances in music videos for artists such as Boyz II Men, Mint Condition, Dru Hill.

Before landing her role on "The Young and the Restless," Thomas had been diagnosed with cancer and undergone several surgeries to remove tumors. Unfortunately, despite undergoing surgery, she was never completely cured of the disease and on December 23, 1998, she died in hospital. Her cause of death was given as a rare type of cancer called Intra-abdominal Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor. She was 30.

Elizabeth Peña

Most people will know Elizabeth Peña from her role in "Rush Hour," in which she played LAPD detective and bomb expert Tania Johnson. Along with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker's characters, she helps rescue the young kidnap victim and plays a pivotal role in foiling the plans of the villain played by Tom Wilkinson. Her first major role came decades earlier in the 1979 film "El Super" and she followed this up with appearances in "La Bamba," "Jacob's Ladder," and the Tupac Shakur-Tim Roth film "Gridlock'd," to name but a few.

Outside of "Rush Hour," which earned her an ALMA for outstanding actress in a feature film, Peña's best known role came in the 1996 mystery Western "Lone Star," which also led to a few accolades, including a Film Independent Spirit Award. Peña was also an experienced voice actor. She lent her vocal talents to Rosa Santos in "Maya & Miguel" and was the voice of  Mirage from "The Incredibles," reprising the part in numerous video games and other projects.

News reports revealed that Peña died on October 14, 2014 at the age of 55. The death came as a shock as there was no public knowledge that she had any existing health problems. Around a week later, more details began to emerge. "The death certificate issued for actress Elizabeth Peña shows 'cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol' as one of the four listed causes of her sudden death last week," USA Today confirmed. "It lists cardiopulmonary arrest, cardiogenic shock, and acute gastrointestinal bleeding as the three other causes of death."

Conchata Ferrell

Most people will remember Conchata Ferrell as a comedy actor, but there was more to her than that. She established her acting chops right at the start of her career, winning awards for her on-stage performances. She then began appearing on television in the mid '70s and was a regular on shows such as "Hot L Baltimore" and "B. J. and the Bear." Her big break came in 1984 when she landed the part of nurse Joan Thor in "E/R," a role she had for some 22 episodes.

Ferrell later appeared in a number of high-profile films, including "Edward Scissorhands" and "Erin Brockovich." But it was her stint on "L.A. Law" that really showcased her talents, with the actor receiving an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of attorney Susan Bloom. This would be her first Emmy nod, with Ferrell receiving two further nominations for playing Berta in "Two and a Half Men" — she appeared in every season of the hit sitcom as the housekeeper, even after Charlie Sheen was replaced by Ashton Kutcher.

Ferrell died on October 12, 2020 at the age of 77. The official cause of death was revealed to be problems caused by a cardiac arrest that happened several months before her passing. "She was a beautiful human," Jon Cryer, who worked with Ferrell on "Two and a Half Men," told Deadline. "I'm crying for the woman I'll miss, and the joy she brought so many."

Nick Lashaway

Nick Lashaway made his screen debut in the 1997 film "Operation Dalmatian: The Big Adventure" before going on to appear in "The X Files" as a young version of Mulder in the sixth season episode "Dreamland II." The up-and-comer went on to make appearances in various television series and films, often in minor guest spots or supporting roles. Some of his credits include "8 Simple Rules," "National Lampoon's Bag Boy," and "The Office."

Lashaway also made a notable appearance in the classic comedy "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" as a young boy at a health clinic. In 2010, he had two of his biggest roles, the first being the coming-of-age romance film "The Last Song." He joined a cast headlined by Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, and Greg Kinnear. He followed that project up with a part in Wes Craven's box office flop "My Soul to Take."

One of his final performances came in the Lena Dunham-led comedy-drama "Girls." He took on the role of Jessa's stepbrother Frank, a brief love interest for Dunham's character Hannah. He died on May 8, 2016, in a road traffic collision. The accident took place in Framingham, Massachusetts and he was just 28 at the time. "We will always remember the week we shared with him, his playful smile, his easy instincts, how much he made us laugh even when we had to stay up all night in the woods," Dunham said in a tribute Instagram post.

Lisa Banes

Lisa Banes was a veteran of the television and movie industry. Having started her career in the 1980s with roles in "Look Back in Anger" and "Marie," she went on to appear in more than 80 on-screen releases in addition to her numerous stage performances on and off Broadway. She appeared in the Tom Cruise film "Cocktail" in 1988 and also had roles in both "Miami Rhapsody" and "Dragonfly." However, she was best known for her many television appearances.

Banes was part of the main cast of "Son of the Beach" and she had a recurring role on the soap opera "One Life to Live" in 2004. Banes also made numerous guest appearances, ranging from "Six Feet Under" and "Boston Legal" to "Desperate Housewives" and "Psych." More recently, she had a recurring part in both "Nashville" and the Seth MacFarlane sci-fi comedy series "The Orville."

The actor was taken to hospital with a serious head injury on June 4, 2021 after being involved in a collision while crossing the road. The hit-and-run incident saw a man driving an electric scooter hit Banes after going through a red light. Banes died 10 days later from her injuries at the age of 65. The driver was eventually sentenced to up to three years in prison for fleeing the scene and causing the death.

Jansen Panettiere

Showbusiness is in Jansen Panettiere's family. His mother is a former soap opera star, and he followed in her footsteps as an actor when he made his screen debut in 2002, appearing in an episode of the Disney show "Even Stevens." Panettiere quickly secured another Disney role, playing Joey in "Tiger Cruise," a film starring his sister, Hayden Panettiere. Over the next few years, he continued to have roles in projects aimed at younger and family audiences, such as "The Last Day of Summer" and "The Perfect Game," before making a transition into more serious parts.

He reunited with his sister for the 2011 film "The Forger," a drama about art forgery — the actor was a big art fan in real life. He also plied his trade in the likes of "The Walking Dead," "How High 2," and "The Martial Arts Kid." In addition to his on-screen roles, Panettiere also had experience on stage. His most significant stage performance came in Dustin Lance Black's play "8," where he starred with the likes of Martin Sheen and Jamie Lee Curtis. Some people may also recognize his voice, with Panettiere playing a young version of Rodney in the animated feature "Robots" as well as Truman in Nickelodeon's "The X's."

Panettiere died at the age of 28 on February 19, 2023. His family later confirmed the cause in a statement. "Though it offers little solace, the Medical Examiner reported Jansen's sudden passing was due to cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), coupled with aortic valve complications," it read (via ABC News). "We love you so much Jansen and you will be in our hearts forever."

Dennis Farina

A former police detective in the Windy City, Chicago native Dennis Farina put his knowledge to good use playing characters on both sides of the law throughout his acting career. He transitioned from law enforcement to entertainment in the 1980s and rose to fame thanks to his appearance in 1986's "Manhunter." That same year, he was cast in "Crime Story." He played the part of Lieutenant Mike Torello in the NBC crime drama in all 44 episodes, working alongside Anthony Denison and Stephen Lang.

Farina will probably be best remembered for his portrayal of Detective Joe Fontana on "Law & Order" between 2004 and 2006. In more recent years, he had film roles in the likes of "What Happens in Vegas" and "Knucklehead." Prior to that, he had appeared in "Get Shorty" and Guy Richie's U.K.-set gangster film "Snatch," continuing his habit of appearing in crime-based releases. On July 22, 2013, Farina died while in hospital after suffering from a pulmonary embolism, otherwise known as a blood clot in the lungs. He was 69.

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