In Memoriam: Those We Lost In 2017

Remembering the people we lost this year – Gone But Never Forgotten


Billy Mize


Born William Robert Mize was an American steel guitarist, bandleader, vocalist, songwriter, and TV show host. Mize died on October 28, 2017, at age 88.

Robert Wilson Blakeley

was an American graphic designer, known for making the fallout shelter sign. He served with the U.S. Marine Corps and worked for many years for the Army Corps of Engineers. With the Army Corps of Engineers, Blakeley designed the fallout sign as a civil defense measure during the Cold War.Blakeley died in on October 25, 2017, from complications from a bacterial infection.


Fats Domino


Born Antoine “Fats” Domino Jr. was an American pianist and singer-songwriter of French Creole descent. Five of his records released before 1955 sold over a million copies and were certified as gold records, and he had 35 records in the U.S. Billboard Top 40. His musical style was based on traditional rhythm and blues, accompanied by saxophones, bass, piano, electric guitar, and drums. Domino died October 24, 2017, at age 89, after a long illness. 

Robert Guillaume

The Hollywood Reporter

Born Robert Peter Williams was an American actor, known for his role as Isaac Jaffe on Sports Night and as Benson on the TV series Soap (1977-81) and the spin-off Bensonas well as for voicing the mandrill Rafiki in The Lion King. Guillaume died on October 24 at age 89 of prostate cancer.


Larry Ray


Larry Ray, the founding guitarist of Detroit psychedelic rock band Outrageous Cherry, died on October 25 after a battle with lung cancer, according to a statement posted by the band on Facebook last night. He was 63.

Paul J. Weitz

Getty Images

American naval officer and aviator, aeronautical engineer, test pilot, and NASA astronaut, who flew into space twice. He was a member of the three-man crew who flew on Skylab 2, the first manned Skylab mission. He was also Commander of the STS-6 mission, the first of the Space Shuttle Challenger flights. Weitz died on October 22, 2017, from myelodysplastic syndrome at the age of 85.

Scott Putesky

Noisey – Vice

Also known as Daisy Berkowitz, was an American musician, who was the lead guitarist and co-founder of the industrial metal band Marilyn Manson. His stage name was created by combining Daisy Duke from Dukes of Hazzard, with the serial killer David Berkowitz. He left the band on May 8, 1996, halfway through the recording of Antichrist Superstar. In September 2013, Putesky was diagnosed with stage-four colon cancer. He died on October 22, 2017 at age 49. 

George Redburn Young

Irish News

Australian musician, songwriter and record producer. He was a founding member of the bands The Easybeats and Flash and the Pan. He was a member of the 1960s Australian rock band the Easybeats, and co-wrote with bandmate Harry Vanda the international hits “Friday on My Mind” and “Love Is in the Air”, the latter recorded by John Paul Young (who is unrelated). Vanda and Young were also the producers of early work by the Australian hard rock band AC/DC, formed by his younger brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Vanda & Young were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Easybeats were inducted in 2005. Young died on October 22, 2017, aged 70.

Brent Briscoe

Celebrity Rater

Was an American actor and screenwriter. The actor was best known for his work on “Twin Peaks” and “Parks And Recreations”. Briscoe was hospitalized in October 2017 after taking a fall. It led to internal bleeding and heart complications that resulted in his death on October 18, 2017, at the age of 56.

Gord Downie

NBC News

Was a Canadian rock musician, writer, occasional actor, and activist. He was the lead singer and lyricist for the Canadian rock band the Tragically Hip, which he fronted from their formation in 1984 until his death in 2017. Downie died of glioblastoma on October 17, 2017, at the age of 53.


Michele Marsh

NY Daily News

Emmy-winning New York TV News Anchor, Died on October 17 at age 63 of breast cancer.

Sean Hughes

The Sun

Sean Hughes (born John Hughes; was a British-born Irish stand-up comedian, writer, and actor. He starred in his own Channel 4 television show Sean’s Show (1992-93) and was one of the regular team captains on the BBC Two musical panel game Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Hughes passed on October 16, after reportedly being treated for cirrhosis of the liver. He was 51.

John Dunsworth

Was a Canadian actor and comedian, best known for playing the alcoholic trailer park supervisor Jim Lahey on the comedy series Trailer Park Boys and the mysterious reporter Dave Teagues on the supernatural drama series Haven. He also appeared in Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion, a CBC film about the 1917 Halifax Explosion. Dunsworth died of an undisclosed illness on October 16, at the age of 71. In a statement, Dunsworth’s daughter Sarah described the illness as “short and unexpected” and stated that her father was an “amazing husband, father, and grandfather”.

Roy Dotrice

The Sun

Was a British actor known for his Tony Award-winning Broadway performance in the revival of A Moon for the Misbegotten. He appeared in Amadeus (1984) as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s father, Leopold. He also narrated the first five books in George R. R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. He played Hallyne the Pyromancer in Game Of Thrones. Roy Dotrice died October 16, at the age of 94. No cause was given. He is survived by his daughters, Karen, Michele, and Yvette, along with seven grandchildren.

Don Pedro Colley

Colley was an American actor. Some of his better-known roles include Gideon on Daniel Boone, Ongaro in Beneath the Planet of the Apes, SRT in George Lucas’ THX 1138, Joshua in The Legend of Nigger Charley and Sheriff Little in the 1980s TV series The Dukes of Hazzard. Colley died on October 11 after a battle with cancer. He was 79.

Bob Schiller

Los Angeles Times

Was an American Emmy-winner screenwriter who worked extensively with fellow producer/screenwriter Bob Weiskopf on shows for television shows including I Love LucyAll in the Family and The Carol Burnett Show. Schiller died on October 10 at age 98.

Jimmy Beaumont

Frontman for American doo-wop groupThe Skyliners, best known for their 1959 hit, “Since I Don’t Have You”. Beaumont died on October 7, 2017, at age 76.

Ralphie May


Born Ralph Oliver “Ralphie” May was an American stand-up comedian. May died on October 6, at the age of 45.

Tom Petty


Was an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. He was best known as the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers but was also a member and co-founder of the late 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, and his early band Mudcrutch. Petty suffered cardiac arrest the morning of October 2, 2017, and died that night at the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, California at age 66.

Robert Yates

The Charlotte Observer

Legendary NASCAR engine builder and former owner of the Sprint Cup Series team Yates Racing, died October 2 due to liver cancer. He was 74.


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