Dead People Server

Celebrities and Notable People Who Died in the Year 1997

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1996 * * 1998

Joe Mikolas (actor) -- Dead. Heart attack. Died 1997. Born 1924. A regular on The Ernie Kovacs Show, invented the line "Sorry about that, chief" for Get Smart, married to Janis Hansen for 35 years. Home Page

January

Townes Van Zandt (singer/songwriter) -- Dead. January 1, 1997.

Harry B. Helmsley (businessman) -- Dead. Died January 4, 1997. Born March 4, 1909. Hotelier who once owned the Empire State Building.  Home Page  FindAGrave

Sheldon Leonard (TV producer/actor) -- Dead. January 11, 1997. Born February 22, 1907. (Born same day as Robert Young) IMDb

Jesse White (actor) --Dead. Died January 8, 1997. Born January 3, 1919. (Played the Maytag repairman for about 25 years.) IMDb

Clyde Tombaugh (astronomer) -- Dead. Died January 17, 1997. Born February 4, 1906. (Discovered Pluto in 1930.)

Diana Lewis (actress) -- Dead. Pancreatic cancer. Died January 18, 1997. Born September 18, 1919. Go West, Cry Havoc, married to William Powell for many years.  IMDb  FindAGrave

Paul Tsongas (politician) -- Dead. Pneumonia. Died January 18, 1997. Born February 14, 1941.

Adriana Caselotti (voice) -- Dead. Cancer. Died January 19, 1997. Born May 16, 1916. (She whistled while she worked as the voice of Snow White for Disney.)

James Dickey (writer) -- Dead. Lung disease. Died January 19, 1997. Born February 2, 1923. (Deliverance.)

Colonel Tom Parker (taught Elvis everything he knew) -- Dead. Stroke. Died January 21, 1997. Born 1909.

Richard Berry (blues guy) -- Dead. Aneurysm. Died January 23, 1997. Born 1936. ("Louie Louie," one of the most performed compositions ever.)

Jeane Dixon (astrologer) -- Dead. Heart attack. Died January 25, 1997. Born January 5, 1918. (Apparently missed this prediction...)

February

Herb Caen (columnist) -- Dead. Lung cancer. Died February 1, 1997. Born April 3, 1916.

Pamela Harriman (ambassador/hostess) -- Dead. Stroke. Died February 5, 1997. Born 1920. (Collected art and husbands)

Don Porter (actor) -- Dead. Born February 11, 1997. Born September 24, 1912. (Gidget's Dad.) IMDb

Deng Xiaopeng (politician) -- Dead. Died February 19, 1997. Born August 22, 1904.

David Doyle (TV actor) -- Dead. Heart attack. Died February 26, 1997. Born December 1, 1929. (Charlies' Angels.)IMDb

March

Alexander Salkind (producer) -- Dead. Died March 8, 1997. Born June 2, 1921. (Produced the first Christopher Reeve Superman and the '70s Musketeer movies) IMDb

Terry Nation (writer) -- Dead. Died March 9, 1997. Born August 8, 1930. (Wrote many Dalek episodes of Dr. Who and most of Blake 7) IMDb

Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G." Wallace (rapper) -- Dead. Drive-by shooting. Died March 9, 1997. Born May 21, 1972. Produced Ready to Die just three years before he was killed.  IMDb  FindAGrave

Fred Zinnemann (director) -- Dead. Heart attack. Died March 14, 1997. Born April 29, 1907. IMDb

Gail Davis (TV's Annie Oakley) -- Dead. Cancer. Died March 15, 1997. Born October 5, 1925. IMDb

Willem de Kooning (abstract artist) -- Dead. Alzheimer's. Died March 18, 1997. Born April 24, 1904.

Heaven's Gate (psycho religious cult/overblown movie) -- Both very dead. The cult died on March 26, 1997.

Edwin Alberian (TV celebrity) -- Dead. Pneumonia. Died March 31, 1997. Born in 1920. (The first Clarabell)

April

Jolie Gabor (businesswoman) -- Dead. Old age. Died April 1, 1997 (no foolin'!). Born September 29, 1899. (Her taste for jewelry ran in her family.)

Nancy Woodhull (news editor) -- Dead. Cancer. Died April 1, 1997. Born 1944. (Former senior editor at USA Today.)

Tomoyuki Tanaka (film maker) -- Dead. Stroke. Died April 2, 1997. Born April 26, 1910. (Godzilla's father) IMDb

Judy Flannery (master triathelete) -- Dead. Killed by a stupid driver while biking. Died April 3, 1997. Born 1940.

Allen Ginsberg (Beat poet) -- Dead. Liver cancer. Died April 5, 1997. Born June 3, 1926. Wrote (and often performed) "Howl."  Home Page  FindAGrave

Laura Nyro (songwriter/singer) -- Dead. Ovarian Cancer. Died April 8, 1997. Born October 18, 1947. Wrote "When I Die" and "Wedding Bell Blues."  Home Page  Wikipedia  twitter  IBDB  IMDb  Obituary  FindAGrave

Helene Hanff (author) -- Dead. Pneumonia. Died April 9, 1997. Born April 15, 1916. Wrote 84 Charing Cross Road.  Wikipedia  twitter  IBDB  IMDb  Obituary  FindAGrave

Michael Dorris (writer) -- Dead. Suicide. Died April 11, 1997. Born January 30, 1945.

George Wald (Nobel Prize-winning scientist) -- Dead. Died April 13, 1997. Born November 18, 1906. (Discovered vitamin A in the retina)

Sam Moskowitz (SF fandom historian) -- Dead. Heart attack. Died April 15, 1997. Born June 30, 1920. AwardWeb

Michael Stroka (TV actor) -- Dead. liver cancer. Died April 16, 1997. Born 1939. (played many bit parts on TV, especially on Combat and on Dark Shadows as Aristede) IMDb

Chaim Herzog (former Israeli president) -- Dead. Died April 17, 1997. Born September 7, 1918.

Pat Paulsen (comedian) -- Dead. Complications after surgery, brain and colon cancer. Died April 24, 1997. Born July 6, 1927. (Still running in our hearts, first celeb to blurb DPS.) IMDb

Joey Faye (comic) -- Dead. Died April 26, 1997. Born July 12, 1909. (Old-time burlesque comic, and the Fruit of the Loom grapes...) IMDb

Susan Seddon Boulet (artist) -- Dead. Cancer. Died April 28, 1997. Born 1941.

Keith Ferguson (blues guy) -- Dead. Stupidity/drugs. Died April 29, 1997. Born July 23, 1946. (The Fabulous Thunderbirds)

Mike Royko (columnist) -- Dead. Brain aneurysm and strokes. Died April 29, 1997. Born September 19, 1932.

May

Bebe, AKA Flipper (dolphin actress) -- Dead. Died May 1, 1997. Born 1956. (There were seven Flippers altogether, and Bebe was the last of the lot.)

Alvy Moore (actor/producer) -- Dead. Heart failure. Died May 4, 1997. Born December 5, 1921. (Mr. Kimball on Green Acres.) IMDb

Joanie Weston (roller derby queen) -- Dead. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare brain disorder. Died May 10, 1997. Born 1935.

Harry Blackstone, Jr. (magician) -- Dead. Pancreatic cancer. Dead May 14, 1997. Born June 30, 1934.

Thelma Carpenter (singer) -- Dead. Heart attack. Died May 14, 1997. Born January 15, 1922. Appeared in The Wiz. IMDb

Laurie Lee (writer) -- Dead. Died May 14, 1997. Born June 26, 1914.

Princess Caradja-Kretzulesco (obscure royalty) -- Died. Died May 14, 1997. Born 1920. (A direct descendent of Prince Vlad the Impaler, who was nicknamed Dracula (His father had been nicknamed "Dracul" (Dragon) so the nickname Dracula means "Son of the Dragon.")

Millie (former first dog) -- Dead. Died May 19, 1997. Born 1985. ( Barbara Bush wrote about her in the best-selling Millie's Book in 1990.)

Jeff Buckley (musician) -- Dead. Drowned. Died May 29, 1997. Born November 1966.

George Fenneman (second banana) -- Dead. Emphysema. Died May 29, 1997. Born November 10, 1919. (Gave Groucho many secret words on You Bet Your life.) IMDb

Rosie Will Monroe (WW II icon) -- Dead. Died May 31, 1997. Born in 1920. (She had a riveting past.)

June

Nikolai Tikhonov (politician) -- Dead. Pneumonia. Died June 1, 1997. Born May 1, 1905. (Soviet prime minister, 1980-85)

Doc Cheatham (jazz musician) -- Dead. Stroke. Died June 2, 1997. Born June 13, 1905.

Dennis James (game show host) -- Dead. Cancer. Died June 3, 1997. Born August 24, 1917. (A host of The Price is Right, pitchman for many companies, including Kellogg's) IMDb

Kurt Adler (therapist/writer) -- Dead. Died June 4, 1997. Born April 2, 1905.

Ronnie Lane (rocker) -- Dead. Multiple sclerosis. Died June 4, 1997. Born April 1, 1946. (A bassist for the old British group Faces, which also spawned Rod Stewart)

J. Anthony Lukas (writer) -- Dead. Suicide. Died June 5, 1997. Born 1932. (Fine journalist and author of the Pulitzer-prize winning Common Ground)

Peter Blos (psychoanalyst/writer) -- Dead. Died June 12, 1997. Born February 2, 1904. (Wrote The Adolescent Passage.)

Reid Shelton (actor) -- Dead. Stroke. Died June 9, 1997. Born in 1925. (Best-known as the original Daddy Warbucks in Annie) IMDb

Lawrence Payton (singer) -- Dead. Liver cancer. Died June 20, 1997. Born 1938. (The Four Tops)

Art Prysock (jazz musician) -- Dead. Died June 21, 1997. Born January 2, 1929.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau (oceanographer/filmmaker) -- Dead. Died June 25, 1997. Born June 11, 1910. IMDb

Thalassa Cruso (gardening expert) -- Dead. Alzheimer's. Died June 11, 1997. Born 1909. (Hosted PBS's Making Things Grow)

Richard Jaeckel (actor) -- Dead. Cancer. Died June 14, 1997. Born October 10, 1926. IMDb

Bobby Helms (singer) -- Dead. Died June 19, 1997. Born August 15, 1933. (Recorded Jingle Bell Rock)

Lawrence Payton (singer) -- Dead. Liver cancer. Died June 20, 1997. Born March 2, 1938. An original member of The Four Tops, probably best-known for their song "Baby, I Need Your Lovin'".  Home Page  IMDb  Obituary  FindAGrave

Betty Shabazz, Ph.d. (icon) -- Dead. Complications after being caught in a fire set by her grandson. Died June 23, 1997. Born 1934 (36?). (Widow of Malcom X (murdered in 1965) she raised six daughters and earned a doctorate in education.)

"Wino" Willie Forkner (biker) -- Dead. Heart attack. Died June 23, 1997. Born 1919. (Never heard of him? Me neither, but Raymond Vezza says he was the inspiration for the Brando film The Wild One.)

Brian Keith (actor) -- Dead. Suicide (after being bedridden with emphysema). Died June 24, 1997. Born November 14, 1921. Uncle Bill on Family Affair and dozens of movies.  Home Page  IBDB  IMDb  FindAGrave

William Hickey (actor) -- Dead. Emphysema. Died June 29, 1997. Born September 19, 1928. (Played much older men, especially the Don in Prizzi's Honor) IMDb

July

Robert Mitchum (actor) -- Dead. Emphysema and lung cancer. Died July 1, 1997. Born August 6, 1917. IMDb

James Stewart (actor) -- Dead. Cardiac arrest/blood clot. Died July 2, 1997. Born May 20, 1908. (I'd like you to meet my friend Harvey...We'll go over to the bar and have a drink together...) IMDb

Charles Kuralt (reporter) -- Dead. Lupus. Died July 4, 1997. Born September 10, 1934. (CBS Sunday Morning anchor for many years.) IMDb

Charles Drake (geologist) -- Dead. Heart attack. Died July 8, 1997. Born 1925.

Alexandra Danilova (ballet great) -- Dead. Died July 13, 1997. Born November 20, 1904.

Alan Charig (paleontologist) -- Dead. Stroke. Died July 15, 1997. Born July 1, 1927. (The Carl Sagan of the BBC.)

Gianni Versace (fashion designer) -- Dead. Murder. Died July 15, 1997. Born December 2, 1946.

Eugene Shoemaker (astronomer) -- Dead. Car accident in Australia. Died July 18, 1997. Born 1928. (Co-discoverer of the Shoemaker-Levy comet that had a spectacular collision with Jupiter in 1994.) (Spaced)

Linda Stirling (college professor/B movie actress) -- Dead. Cancer. Died July 20, 1997. Born 1922. IMDb

William J. Brennan (jurist) -- Dead. Old age. Died July 24, 1997. Born April 25, 1906. (Served on the Supreme Court for 34 years.)

Ben Hogan (golf great) -- Dead. Stroke/cancer. Died July 25, 1997. Born August 13, 1912.

Bo Dai (ex-monarch) -- Dead. Old age. Died July 31, 1997. Born October 22, 1913. (Last emporer of Vietnam.)

Edith Fore (pitchwoman) -- Dead. Old age. Died July 31, 1997. Born 1916. ("I've fallen and I can't get up!")

August

Svyatoslav Richter (pianist) -- Dead. Heart attack. Died August 1, 1997. Born March 20, 1915.

William S. Burroughs (author/head trip) -- Dead. Heart attack. Died August 2, 1997. Born February 5, 1914. (Naked Lunch.)

Jeanne Calment (nice lady) -- Dead. Extreme old age. Died August 4, 1997. Born February 21, 1875. (For many years, the oldest well-documented person. She outlived a lawyer who'd arranged to inherit her house after her death by betting on outliving her..)

Mary Louise Smith (politico) -- Dead. Lung cancer. Died August 22, 1997. Born 1915. (Only woman to chair the Republican National Committee.)

Brandon Tartikoff (TV exec) -- Dead. Hodgkins disease. Died August 27, 1997. Born January 13, 1949. (NBC entertainment president who gave Thursday night to NBC.) IMDb

Diana, Princess of Wales (Philanthropist) -- Dead. Murphy's Law. Died August 31, 1997. Born July 1, 1961. (Beautiful person on her way to becoming an interesting woman. The paparazzi killed their cash cow (possibly, with some help from a legally-drunk limo driver).)

September

Rudolph Bing (opera impresario) -- Dead. Died September 2, 1997. Born January 9, 1902. (Former director of the Metropolitan Opera)

Viktor Frankl (psychiatrist, writer) -- Dead. Heart failure. Died September 2, 1997. Born March 26, 1905. (Man's Search for Meaning)

Sir Georg Solti (conductor) -- Dead. Died September 5, 1997. Born October 21, 1912. IMDb

Mother Teresa (philanthropist) -- Dead. Heart attack. Died September 5, 1997. Born August 27, 1910. (A minister to the poor of Calcutta and the world.)

Derek Taylor (Beatles writer) -- Dead. Cancer. Died September 7, 1997. Born March 7, 1932. IMDb

Burgess Meredith (actor) -- Dead. Melanoma, Alzheimer's and old age. Died September 9, 1997. Born November 16, 1908. (Died in Grumpier Old Men) IMDb

Stikkan (Stig) Andersson (record producer) -- Dead. Heart attack. Died September 12, 1997. Born 1931. (Producer for ABBA, started the Polar Prize.)

Judith Merril (editor/writer) -- Dead. Died September 12, 1997. Born January 21, 1923.

Red Skelton (comic) -- Dead. Old age. Died September 17, 1997. Born July 18, 1913. (Freddie the Freeloader and a host of other characters.) IMDb

Kathy Keeton Guccione (publisher) -- Dead. Cancer. Died September 19, 1997. Born 1939. (A founder of Omni.)

Murray Burnett (writer) -- Dead. Died September 23, 1997. Born 1911. (Co-wrote an unproduced play (Everybody Goes to Rick's) that later became Casablanca.) IMDb

Roy lichtenstein (pop artist) -- Dead. Pneumonia. Died September 29, 1997. Born October 27, 1923.

October

John Denver (singer) -- Dead. Small plane crash. Died October 12, 1997. Born December 31, 1943 (Rocky Mountain High) IMDb

Harold Robbins (salacious novelist) -- Dead. Respiratory failure. Died October 14, 1997. Born May 21, 1916. IMDb

Audra Lindley (actress) -- Dead. Leukemia. Died October 16, 1997. Born September 24, 1918. (Mrs. Roper on Three's Company; fine comic and dramatic actress, married to James Whitmore during the '70s.) IMDb

James Michener (writer) -- Dead. Kidney disease, old age. Died October 16, 1997. Born February 3, 1907. Wrote 48 books, many of them very long, including Hawaii and Texas IMDb

Paul Edwin Zimmer (writer) -- Dead. Heart attack (at a science fiction convention party). Died October 17, 1997. Born 1943. (Brother of Marion Zimmer Bradley.)

Nancy Dickerson (journalist) -- Dead. Stroke/heart attack. Died October 18, 1997. Born January 27, 1927. (About the only woman doing political reporting for the networks in the early '60s, later a Peabody-award-winning documentary producer.)

Bill Rotsler (cartoonist/writer) -- Dead. Cancer. Died October 18, 1997. Born circa 1935. AwardWeb

Don Messick (cartoon voice) -- Dead. Strokes. Died October 24, 1997. Born September 7, 1927. (Bam-bam, Astro, Scooby-Doo and dozens more voices) IMDb

Toni Carabillo (writer/feminist) -- Dead. Lymphoma and lung cancer. Died October 28, 1997. Born circa 1926. Edited The Feminist Chronicles 1953-1993 with longtime partner Judith Meuli.  Obituary

Sam Fuller (director/writer) -- Dead. Old age. Died October 30, 1997. Born August 12, 1911. (The Big Red One) IMDb

November

G. Harry Stine (writer) -- Dead. Stroke. Died November 2, 1997. Born 1928. (Also wrote under Lee Correy.)

Richard Hornberger (doctor/novelist) -- Dead. Leukemia. Died November 4, 1997. Born 1924. (Wrote M*A*S*H under the pen name of Richard Hooker.)

Eddie "The Master" Arcaro (jockey) -- Dead. liver cancer. Died November 14, 1997. Born February 19, 1916. (Rode Whirlaway (1941) and Citation (1948) to Triple Crowns - the only jockey to win twice.)

Stefan Lorant (writer) -- Dead. Died November 14, 1997. Born February 22, 1901. (Wrote one of the first coffee table books, Pittsburgh, and made movies in Hungary before WW II.)

George Petrie (actor) -- Dead. Lymphoma. Died November 16, 1997. Born November 16, 1912. (Hundreds of bit parts, semi-regular on The Honeymooners.) IMDb

Michael Hutchence (rocker) -- Dead. Suicide (hanging). Died November 22, 1997. Born January 22, 1960. (INXS) IMDb

Joanna Moore (obscure actress) -- Dead. Lung cancer. Died November 22, 1997. Born circa 1934. (First ex-wife of Ryan O'Neal, Tatum O'Neal's mother.) IMDb

Charles Hallahan (actor) -- Dead. Heart attack. Died November 25, 1997. Born July 29, 1943. (Played a captain on Hunter.) IMDb

Buck Leonard (baseball great) -- Dead. Died November 27, 1997. Born September 8, 1907.

Coleman Young (politician) -- Dead. Respiratory failure. Died November 29, 1997. Born May 24, 1918. (First black mayor of Detroit, served five terms. Make memorial contributions to the Coleman A. Young Foundation)

Kathy Acker (writer) -- Dead. Cancer. Died November 30, 1997. Born 1943. (Bodies of Work: Essays)

December

Stephane Grappelli (jazz violinist) -- Dead. Post-operative complications. Died December 1, 1997. Born January 26, 1908.

Eliot Daniel (composer) -- Dead. Died December 6, 1997. Born 1908. (Wrote the I Love Lucy theme.)

Bob Bell (clown) -- Dead. Old age. Died December 8, 1997. Born January 18, 1922. WGN's first Bozo.  IMDb

Stubby Kaye (comic) -- Dead. Cancer. Died December 14, 1997. Born November 11, 1918. (Last seen playing patty-cake in Roger Rabbit.) IMDb

Lillian Disney (Mickey's mom) -- Dead. Stroke. Died December 16, 1997. Born 1899. (Convinced Walt to rename Mortimer Mouse Mickey Mouse.)

Nicolette Larson (singer) -- Dead. Liver failure and fluid on the brain. Died December 16, 1997. Born July 17, 1952. (Rock one hit wonder for "Lotta Love" who went to country.)

Chris Farley (comic) -- Dead. Drugs and narrowed arteries. Died December 18, 1997. Born February 15, 1964. (SNL and a bunch of movies with David Spade. Scary to think the Enquirer called this one right that year. See also John Belushi.) IMDb

Vincent Ciccone (inventor) -- Dead. Old age. Died December 20, 1997. Born 1916. (Invented Blow-Pops candy and the mass production of penicillin.)

Dawn Steel (studio chief) -- Dead. Brain tumor. Died December 20, 1997. Born August 19, 1946. (An early women producer and studio head, she oversaw films like When Harry Met Sally and Top Gun.) IMDb

James Komack (writer/producer/actor) -- Dead. Heart failure. Died December 24, 1997. Born August 3, 1930. (Developed the TV series The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Chico and the Man, and Welcome Back Kotter.) IMDb

Toshiro Mifune (actor) -- Dead. Died December 24, 1997. Born April 1, 1920. (Many movies with Akira Kurosawa, especially Rashomon.) IMDb

Denver Pyle (actor) -- Dead. Died December 25, 1997. Born May 11, 1920. (Perennial cowboy, AKA "Uncle Jesse" on The Dukes of Hazzard) IMDb

Floyd Cramer (pianist) -- Dead. Cancer. Died December 31, 1997. Born October 27, 1933. (Creator of the Nashville sound, recorded with Elvis Presley and Patsy Cline.)

1996 * * 1998