Remembering The Stars We Lost In 2020

Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels

If we look back on this stressful year in quarantine, it has been a year full of surprises and disappointments.

The contagious COVID-19 emerged in March, forcing us to stay home and dare I say it, social distance. The streets were empty and coincidently so were store shelves. Suppliers were understaffed and unable to keep up with the high demand from “disaster hoarding.” Americans experienced massive shortages of toilet paper and Clorox wipes. We added face masks to our wardrobe, spaced-out crowds, and lots of handwashing.

Wildfires in the west, protesters and civil unrest, and finally hurricanes. We saw a record number of hurricanes that packed a devastating punch of wind, rain, and destruction on the deep south. It also has been the year of the cancellation. Canceled classes, concerts, parties, and sporting events. And sadly, we have lost lots of friends, family, and celebrities.

A couple of weeks ago, my 95-year grandmother passed away. We thought she would live forever. Earlier in the year, Anthony Pops Melancon, the local Cajun dancing legend, who never missed a chance two-step the night away also died. The list is longer than it should be.

Here is a list of celebrities that have passed away, according to MeTV:

Carl Reiner, legendary creator of The Dick Van Dyke Show
The mind behind some of Hollywood’s funniest moments was 98.

Alex Trebek, the beloved longtime host of Jeopardy!
The legendary game show host died at the age of 80.

Robert Conrad, star of The Wild Wild West and Black Sheep Squadron
The tough television action hero was 84.

David Lander, Squiggy from Laverne & Shirley
The iconic sitcom actor was 73.

Lyle Waggoner of The Carol Burnett Show and Wonder Woman
He also nearly played Batman.

Ja’Net Dubois, singer of The Jeffersons theme song and star of Good Times
She worked with a young Janet Jackson and created a timeless theme song.

Tom Lester, friendly farmhand Eb Dawson of Green Acres
The humble Mississippi native and farmer was 81.

Ken Osmond, who played best buddy Eddie Haskell on Leave It to Beaver
Osmond later became a police officer. He was 76.

Conchata Ferrell of ‘L.A. Law’ and ‘Two and a Half Men’ and much more
The three-time Emmy nominee was 77.

Jerry Stiller, who took his comedy from The Ed Sullivan Show to Seinfeld
The sitcom icon and half of the legendary Stiller and Meara comedy duo was 92.

Kellye Nakahara, who played Nurse Kellye on 10 seasons of MAS*H
She appeared in more than 150 episodes of the classic Korean War sitcom.

Edd Byrnes, the hip Kookie of 77 Sunset Strip
The comb-loving actor was 87.

Linda Cristal, the Golden Globe-winning star of The High Chaparral
The Argentinian actress was 89.

James Drury, star of The Virginian and TV Western icon
The prolific Western actor also appeared in movies alongside Elvis and Frank Sinatra.

Honor Blackman, Sixties spy stunner of Goldfinger and The Avengers
The actress known as Dr. Cathy Gale and Pussy Galore was 94.

Bill Withers, R&B legend and ”Ain’t No Sunshine” singer
The “Lovely Day” and “Lean on Me” hitmaker was 81.

James Lipton, who went from soap operas to host of Inside the Actors Studio
The Detroit native also played the Lone Ranger’s nephew and produced Bob Hope specials.

Jack Burns, the man who replaced Barney on The Andy Griffith Show
The comedian began as George Carlin’s partner and later voiced a famous crash test dummy.

Diana Rigg, Emma Peel of ‘The Avengers’ and James Bond’s wife
The former Bond Girl and Dame of the British Empire was 82.

Terry Jones, founding member of Monty Python
The actor, director, and screenwriter was 77 years old.

Buck Henry of Get Smart and Saturday Night Live fame
The Oscar-nominated writer came up with “the cone of silence.” He was 89.

Gene Dynarski, who went from Star Trek and Batman henchman to Seinfeld
The actor also appeared in two Spielberg films. He was 86.

John Ericson, costar of Ann Francis on Honey West
The actor played Sam Bolt on the hip Sixties detective show. He was 93.

Richard Herd of T.J. Hooker, Star Trek: Voyager and Seinfeld
The actor also played a memorable captain on MAS*H. He was 87.

Marge Redmond, the friendly Sister Jacqueline on The Flying Nun’
She was also the narrator in the Sally Field sitcom and a Cool Whip spokesperson. She was 95.

Anthony James, actor in Gunsmoke and Return to Witch Mountain
The frequent onscreen villain became an artist later in life.

Peggy Pope, TV character actress and Margaret from 9 to 5
She started on Broadway then transitioned to movies and television in a career that spanned more than five decades.

Mary Pat Gleason, comedic talent in everything from Mama’s Family to Mom
The prolific TV and film actress also won an Emmy for writing.

Johnny Mandel, Grammy winner and composer of MAS*H theme song
He played in jazz bands and studied at Julliard before composing for film and TV.

Danny Goldman, who went from MAS*H to voicing Brainy Smurf
He played a Beatnik on Happy Days, too.

Timothy Brown, the NFL star who became a MAS*H surgeon
After ten years as a football pro, he joined Hawkeye and Trapper. He was 82.

Forrest Compton, who played Col. Edward Gray on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
He also starred on a soap opera inspired by Perry Mason.

Julie Bennett, Yogi Bear voice actress and Dragnet regular
The voice actress, also heard on Spider-Man: The Animated Series and The Banana Splits, was 88 years old.

David Schramm, airline owner Roy Biggins on Wings
The Julliard graduate and prolific stage actor was 73.

Fred ”Curly” Neal of the Harlem Globetrotters
The basketball legend and Gilligan’s Island visitor was 77.

Stuart Whitman, star of Cimarron Strip and Highway Patrol
The TV Western and war movie actor was 92.

Claudette Nevins, sitcom wife to Andy Griffith, MASH guest star and JAG regular She (briefly) played the wife of Major Winchester on MASH.

Ben Cooper, a familiar face from dozens of TV westerns and the Twilight Zone
He played a foil to both Lucas McCain and Matt Dillon. He was 86.

Helen Reddy, Seventies pop icon and ”I Am Woman” singer
The Australian-born singer appeared on Carol Burnett several times and starred in Pete’s Dragon.

Paula Kelly, dancer and Night Court star
She earned Night Court its first Emmy nomination.

Orson Bean, voice of The Hobbit and Twilight Zone star
The Dr. Quinn and Being John Malkovich star was 91 years old.

Gene Reynolds, who went from The Little Rascals to co-creator of MAS*H
Reynolds was also the man who moved into the Ricardos apartment and directed “Mayberry on Record.”

Marj Dusay, soap actress and the alien who stole Spock’s brain
The actress gave us the iconic line “Brain and brain—what is brain?!”

Monique van Vooren, Batman and Tarzan villainess
The actress also gave Christopher Walken his stage name.

John Karlen, star of Dark Shadows and Cagney & Lacey
The actor, frequently seen on police shows, was 86 years old.

Carol Serling, the wife of Rod Serling who made a cameo in Twilight Zone: The Movie
The caretaker of the Twilight Zone legacy was 91.

Natalie Trundy, who went from Perry Mason client to Planet of the Apes regular
The actress was married to the Planet of the Apes franchise in more than one way. She was 79.

Martin West, who went from Perry Mason client to Assault on Precinct 13
The soap star had recurring roles on General Hospital and As the World Turns. He was 82.

Warren Berlinger, frequent Happy Days guest star and Joey Bishop Show funnyman
He memorably received a heart transplant on ‘Emergency!’ and raced in ‘The Cannonball Run.’

Abby Dalton, star of The Joey Bishop Show and Falcon Crest
She also appeared in fantastic episodes of The Rifleman, Maverick and Rawhide — not to mention hundreds of game shows.

Norm Crosby, comedian who always knew the wrong words to say
He performed for Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson and guest starred on Adam-12 three times.

The Amazing Randi, the popular magician who appeared on Happy Days
He appeared on TV from kids’ shows to late-night and toured with Alice Cooper.

Tom Kennedy, hard-working game show host of the 1970s and ’80s
He hosted Password, Name That Tune and The Price Is Right.

Mac Davis, singer, actor and variety show host
He wrote songs for Elvis and Dolly Parton along with his own number one hit.

Kevin Dobson, star of Kojak and Knots Landing
He served in the army and worked as a railroad conductor before becoming an actor.

Joe Ruby, co-creator of Scooby-Doo
He also gave us Hanna-Barbera characters like Jabberjaw and Dynomutt.

Lori Nelson, costar of both Barbara Eden and the Creature from the Black Lagoon
This Svengoolie favorite also played the daughter of Ma and Pa Kettle. She was 87.

Jacqueline Scott, who played both the Fugitive’s sister and Festus’ love interest
She also played Dennis Weaver’s wife in ‘Duel’. She was 89.

Brandis Kemp, Fridays cast member and onetime Klinger nemesis
She worked alongside Larry David and Michael Richards in late-night comedy.

Hugh Downs, who once held the record for most hours on network television
His sidekick role on The Tonight Show led to gigs hosting Concentration and 20/20.

Marvyn Roy, the Ed Sullivan Show magician nicknamed ”Mr. Electric”
He was famous for his light bulb tricks on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Mary Hartline, star of classic kids’ shows ‘Super Circus’ and ‘Princess Mary’s Castle’
She was a staple of Chicago television and one of the earliest TV Guide cover stars.

Source: MeTV