James Avery , 65, best known as Philip Banks from season 2 of the TV series, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” died Dec. 31 following complications from open heart surgery.
The celebrated French tightrope walker and chair-balancer known as Henry’s, who balanced high above the Alps, Niagara Falls, and for months over a supermarket in his hometown, died Dec. 27 at the age of 82.
Grammy-winning musician and composer Yusef Lateef, one of the first to incorporate world music into traditional jazz, died at age 93.
Mikhail Kalashnikov started out wanting to make farm equipment, but the harvest he reaped was one of blood as the designer of the AK-47 assault rifle, the world’s most popular firearm. Kalashnikov died at age 94 in a hospital in Izhevsk, the capital of the Udmurtia republic where he lived.
Ronnie Biggs, who went to prison for his role in the 1963 Great Train Robbery in England, died at age 84. He was later released from prison because of ill health and suffered several strokes.
Country singer Ray Price, a pioneer of Texas honky-tonk music who later applied his rich baritone to lushly arranged ballads for pop crossover hits, died at his home in Mount Pleasant, Texas, at the age of 87.
Joan Fontaine, the patrician blonde actress who rose to stardom as a haunted second wife in the Alfred Hitchcock film “Rebecca’’ in 1940 and won an Academy Award for her portrayal of a terrified newlywed in Hitchcock’s “Suspicion,’’ died at her home in Carmel, Calif., at age 96.
Peter O’Toole, one of the acting world’s most charismatic figures who was known for his starring role in ‘‘Lawrence of Arabia,’’ leading tribesmen in daring attacks across the desert wastes, and for headlong charges into the depths of drinking, died at the age of 81. O’Toole was nominated a record eight times for an Academy Award without ever taking home a statue.
Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president who spent nearly a third of his life as a prisoner of apartheid, yet he sought to win over its defeated guardians in a relatively peaceful transition of power that inspired the world, has died at the age of 95.
Paul Walker, the star of the ‘‘Fast & Furious’’ movie series, died Nov. 30 in a car crash that killed one other person outside of Los Angeles. He was 40.
“Dirty Water’’ singer Dick Dodd of the Standells died at the age of 68, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Dirty Water’’ became the Boston Red Sox Fenway Park victory song.
Doris Lessing, the Nobel prize-winning, free-thinking, world-traveling, and often-polarizing author of ‘‘The Golden Notebook’’ and dozens of other novels that reflected her own improbable journey across the former British empire, died. She was 94.
Todd Christensen, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time Super Bowl winner who later became a color commentator, died from complications during liver transplant surgery. He was 57.
Lou Reed, the great punk poet of rock ’n’ roll who profoundly influenced generations of musicians as leader of the Velvet Underground and remained a vital solo performer for decades after, died at 71.
Marcia Wallace, who was the voice of scoffing schoolteacher Edna Krabappel on ‘‘The Simpsons’’ and played wisecracking receptionist Carol on ‘‘The Bob Newhart Show’’ in the 1970s, died at age 70.
Bill Sharman (right), who built a Hall of Fame career playing for the Boston Celtics in the 1950s, died at age 87.
Bum Phillips, the folksy Texas football icon with his trademark white Stetson hat who coached the Houston Oilers during their Luv Ya Blue heyday and also led the New Orleans Saints, died at 90.
Veteran character actor Ed Lauter, whose long, angular face and stern bearing made him an instantly recognizable figure in scores of movies and TV shows during a career that stretched across five decades, died at 74.
Astronaut Scott Carpenter, the second American to orbit the Earth and one of the last surviving original Mercury 7 astronauts, died at the age of 88.
Tom Clancy, author of books such as “The Hunt for Red October’’ and “The Sum of All Fears,’’ died at the age of 66.
David Hubel, a Nobel prize-winning Harvard scientist who helped revolutionize understanding of the brain, died at the age of 87.
Hiroshi Yamauchi, who ran Nintendo for more than 50 years and led the Japanese company’s transition into a video game giant, died at the age of 85.
Ken Norton, a former heavyweight boxer and the second man to beat Muhammad Ali, died at the age of 70.
British journalist David Frost, best-known for interviewing former US president Richard Nixon, died of a heart attack at the age of 74.
Seamus Heaney, a Nobel Prize-winning poet from Ireland who was associated with Harvard for more than 2½ decades, died Friday after a half-century exploring the wild beauty of Ireland and the political torment within the nation’s soul. He was 74. Read more.
Muriel “Mickie” Siebert, the first woman to become a member of the New York Stock Exchange, has died of complications of cancer at age 80.
Siebert was founder and president of brokerage firm that bears her name, Muriel Siebert & Co. Inc. The company went public in 1996 as Siebert Financial Corp. She bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange in December 1967 after months of struggling with the male-dominated business world that initially resisted her efforts to join.
Julie Harris, one of Broadway’s most honored performers, whose roles ranged from the flamboyant Sally Bowles in ‘‘I Am a Camera’’ to the reclusive Emily Dickinson in ‘‘The Belle of Amherst,’’ died at the age of 87. (Pictured) Harris was James Dean’s romantic co-star in the 1955 film ‘‘East of Eden.’’
Elmore Leonard, a former adman who later in life became one of America’s foremost crime writers, died from complications from a stroke. He was 87.
Lee Thompson Young
Lee Thompson Young, who began his acting career on the Disney Channel and was featured in the series “Rizzoli & Isles,’’ died in Los Angeles. He was 29.
Lisa Robin Kelly
Lisa Robin Kelly, who portrayed Laurie Forman, the sister of Topher Grace’s lead character Eric on “That ‘70s Show’’ died at a Los Angeles addiction treatment facility. She was 43.
Eydie Gorme, a popular nightclub and television singer as a solo act and as a team with her husband, Steve Lawrence,
died at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas following a brief, undisclosed illness. She was 84. Gorme had a huge solo hit in 1963 with ‘‘Blame it on the Bossa Nova,’’
Karen Black, the prolific actress who appeared in more than 100 movies and was featured in such counterculture favorites as ‘‘Easy Rider,’’ ‘’Five Easy Pieces’’ and ‘‘Nashville,’’ died in Los Angeles from complications from cancer. She was 74.
Eileen Brennan, who is best known for playing Captain Doreen Lewis in “Private Benjamin,” died in Burbank, Calif., after a battle with bladder cancer. She was 80.
George ‘Boomer’ Scott
George “Boomer’’ Scott, who was a part of the Red Sox’ “Impossible Dream’’ team, died at age 69 in Greenville, Miss. He had 271 career home runs and was an eight-time Gold Glove winner at first base.
George ‘Bud’ Day
Retired Colonel George “Bud” Day, a Medal of Honor recipient who spent 5½ years as a POW in Vietnam and was Senator John McCain’s cellmate, died at the age of 88. Day was one of the nation’s most highly decorated servicemen since General Douglas MacArthur and later a tireless advocate for veterans’ rights.
Singer-songwriter JJ Cale, who wrote hits Eric Clapton with “After Midnight” and Lynyrd Skynyrd with “Call Me the Breeze,” died at age 74 after suffering a heart attack.
Dennis Farina, a former Chicago cop and a popular actor who played a cop on ‘‘Law & Order,’’ died after suffering a blood clot in his lung. He was 69.
Veteran White House journalist Helen Thomas was a pioneer for women in journalism and an irrepressible White House correspondent. She died in her apartment in Washington at age 92.
Cory Monteith, the handsome young actor who shot to fame in the hit TV series ‘‘Glee’’ but was beset by addiction struggles so fierce that he once said he was lucky to be alive, was found dead in a hotel room. He was 31.
Bose, who founded the Framingham-based company in 1964, died at age 83. Bose Corp. is known for making radios and noise-canceling headphones.
William R. Reagan
William R. Reagan, the founder of Canton-based LoJack, died at age 78. A former police commissioner and selectman in Medfield, Reagan created LoJack in 1986. The system was designed to keep police officers safe as they pursued stolen vehicles.
Charlotte Brosnan, adopted daughter of “James Bond’’ actor Pierce Brosnan, died in London after a three-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 41. She is the third in her family to die from the disease. Her mother and Brosnan’s wife, actress Cassandra Harris, died of ovarian cancer in 1991.Read more.
Harry Parker, the legendary Harvard rowing coach and former Olympian, died after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 77.
Richard Matheson, the prolific sci-fi and fantasy writer whose ‘‘I Am Legend’’ and ‘‘The Shrinking Man’’ were transformed into films, died in Los Angeles at 87.
James Gandolfini, whose portrayal of a brutal, emotionally delicate mob boss in HBO’s ‘‘The Sopranos’’ helped create one of TV’s greatest drama series and turned the mobster stereotype on its head, died in Italy. He was 51.
Award-winning journalist and war correspondent Michael Hastings, whose unflinching reporting in Rolling Stone ended the career of US Army General Stanley McChrystal, died in a car accident in Los Angeles. He was 33.
Joan Parker, the widow of the late author Robert B. Parker, died on June 11. Parker did fund-raising work for a number of charities and was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer in 2011.
The former Massachusetts governor and US ambassador to Canada died after a five-year battle with ALS, according to two close family friends.
Esther Williams, the swimming champion turned movie star, died in her sleep in Beverly Hills, Calif., on June 6. She was 91.
David ‘Deacon’ Jones
Former NFL defensive end David “Deacon’’ Jones, who played for the Los Angeles Rams, the SanDiego Chargers, and the Washington Redskins and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, died of natural causes at his home in Southern California on June 3. He was 74.
US Senator Frank Lautenberg, a multimillionaire New Jersey businessman known for his liberal voting on domestic issues such as gun control and the environment, died on June 2 of viral pneumonia. He was 89.
Jean Stapleton, the stage-trained character actress who played Archie Bunker’s far better half, the sweetly naive Edith, in TV’s groundbreaking 1970s comedy “All in the Family,’’ died on May 31 at age 90. Read more.
The Rev. Andrew Greeley, an outspoken Roman Catholic priest, prolific best-selling novelist, and Chicago newspaper columnist whose career spanned five decades, died on May 29 in his home in Chicago. He was 85.
Zach Sobiech, the Lakeland, Minn., teenager whose song “Clouds” became an Internet sensation, died of bone cancer on May 20 at his home, surrounded by family and his girlfriend Amy Adamle (right). He was 18. Read more.
Ray Manzarek, keyboardist who was a founding member of The Doors, died at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany, after being diagnosed with bile duct cancer. Read more.
Pictured: Manzarek in an undated photo.
Joyce Brothers, the pop psychologist who pioneered the television advice show in the 1950s and enjoyed a long and prolific career as a syndicated columnist, author, and television and film personality, died in New York City. She was 85.
Jeanne Cooper, the enduring soap opera star who played grande dame Katherine Chancellor for nearly four decades on ‘‘The Young and the Restless,’’ died. She was 84.
Chris Kelly, half of the 1990s kid rap duo Kris Kross who made one of the decade’s most memorable songs with the frenetic ‘‘Jump,’’ died in Atlanta of an apparent drug overdose. He was 34.
George Jones, the peerless, hard-living country singer who recorded dozens of hits about good times and regrets and peaked with the heartbreaking classic ‘‘He Stopped Loving Her Today,’’ died in Nashville at 81.
Joseph R. Nolan
Joseph R. Nolan (pictured with his family), a justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for 14 years, died at age 87.
Richie Havens, the folk singer and guitarist who was the first performer at Woodstock, died at age 72.
Chrissy Amphlett, the raunchy lead singer of the Australian rock band Divinyls whose hit ‘‘I Touch Myself’’ brought her international fame in the early 1990s, died at her home in New York City. She was 53.
Canadian-born singer and film actress Deanna Durbin, the internationally famous child star from Hollywood’s Golden Age who appeared in nearly 30 movies, died in April in the village outside Paris where she had lived since 1949. She was 91.
Pat Summerall, the NFL player turned broadcaster whose deep, resonant voice called games for more than 40 years, died in Dallas at 82.
Legendary New York City Ballet prima ballerina Maria Tallchief died at age 88.
Jonathan Winters, the cherub-faced comedian whose breakneck improvisations and misfit characters inspired the likes of Robin Williams and Jim Carrey, died. He was 87.
Robert Edwards, a Nobel Prize recipient who co-developed the in vitro fertilization procedure that resulted in the 1978 birth of the world’s first test-tube baby, died at 87.
Annette Funicello, the most popular Mouseketeer on ‘‘The Mickey Mouse Club,’’ who matured to a successful career in records and ’60s beach party movies but struggled with illness in middle age and after, died at 70.
Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s “Iron Lady,’’ whose 11½ years as prime minister transformed British society as much as it did British politics, died of a stroke. She was 87.
Lilly Pulitzer, a Palm Beach socialite turned designer whose tropical print dresses became a sensation in the 1960s and later a fashion classic, died at 81. Read more.
Anne Smedinghoff, 25, a US diplomat who grew up outside of Chicago, died in a terrorist attack while traveling with a group that was delivering textbooks in Afghanistan, officials said. Read more.
The Irish actor Milo O’Shea, whose many roles on stage and screen included a friar in Franco Zeffirelli’s ‘‘Romeo and Juliet,’’ an evil scientist in ‘‘Barbarella,’’ and a Supreme Court justice on ‘‘The West Wing,’’ died in New York City. He was 86.
Matthew Warren, 27, the son of Pastor Rick Warren, committed suicide after struggling with mental illness and deep depression throughout his life, according to his father’s church.
Roger Ebert (shown above right with TV partner Gene Siskel), was among the most famous and popular film reviewers of his time, wielding the nation’s most influential thumb. He died at 70 after a long battle with cancer. Read more.
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Oscar-winning screenwriter and award-winning novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala died at 85. She won two Academy Awards for her adaptations of the E.M. Forster novels ‘‘Howards End’’ and ‘‘A Room With a View.’’ She was also nominated for adapting 1993’s ‘‘The Remains of the Day.’’ All three films were also best-picture contenders.
Former New England Patriots coach Chuck Fairbanks, credited as helping to bring legitimacy to a woebegone franchise when he took over in 1973, died at age 79. Read more.
Jane Henson, co-founder of the Muppets and wife of Jim Henson, died at her Connecticut home following a battle with cancer. She was 78.Read more.
William H. Ginsburg, who was Monica Lewinsky’s lawyer during the sex scandal of the Clinton presidency, died of cancer in Los Angeles. He was 70. Read more.
Elsie Thompson, the oldest person in the United States, died at age 113, just weeks before her 114th birthday. Thompson often said the secret to her longevity was loving people and greeting each day with a smile. Read more.
Shain Gandee, star of MTV’s reality show “Buckwild,’’ was found dead in a vehicle in a remote area of West Virginia on April 1.
Phil Ramone, the masterful Grammy Award-winning engineer, arranger and producer whose platinum touch included recordings with Ray Charles, Billy Joel and Paul Simon, died at 72.
Anthony Lewis, a journalist and author who won two Pulitzer Prizes and penned a column for The New York Times for more than three decades, died at age 85.
Joe Weider, a legendary figure in bodybuilding who helped popularize the sport worldwide and played a key role in introducing a charismatic young weightlifter named Arnold Schwarznenegger to the world, died at age 93.
Boris Berezovsky, a self-exiled and outspoken Russian tycoon who had a bitter falling out with Russian President Vladimir Putin, was found dead in southeast England. He was 67.
Ray Williams (pictured left, with teammates Dennis Johnson and Greg Kite), who reached the NBA Finals in 1985 with the Celtics, died March 22 in a New York City hospice after suffering a stroke while undergoing treatment for late-stage colon cancer.
Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, who wrote the classic ‘‘Things Fall Apart,’’ died at age of 82.
Achebe’s novel, published in 1958, is widely regarded as the first major work of modern African fiction and inspired others to tell the continent’s story through the eyes of those who lived there.
President Hugo Chavez, the fiery populist who declared a socialist revolution in Venezuela, died at age 58 after a nearly two-year bout with cancer. Read more.
Bonnie Franklin, the pert, redheaded actress loved by millions of viewers for her role as divorced mom Ann Romano on the long-running sitcom ‘‘One Day at a Time,’’ died in Los Angeles of complications from pancreatic cancer. She was 69.
Actor Dale Robertson, best remembered for his portrayal of Jim Hardie from 1957-62 in the TV series “Tales of Wells Fargo,’’ died from lung cancer and pneumonia at age 89.
Van Cliburn, the internationally celebrated pianist whose triumph at a 1958 Moscow competition helped thaw the Cold War, died in Fort Worth, Texas, at age 78. Read more.
Pictured: Van Cliburn performed in the final round of the Tchaikovsky International Piano & Violin competition in Moscow on April 11, 1958.
C. Everett Koop
Former US surgeon general Dr. C. Everett Koop, who raised the profile of the surgeon general by riveting America’s attention on the then-emerging disease known as AIDS and by railing against smoking, died in New Hampshire at age 96. Read more.
Otis ‘Damon’ Harris
Otis “Damon’’ Harris, second from right, died of prostate cancer at age 62. He performed with the celebrated Motown act The Temptations from 1971 to 1975 and sang on hits including ‘‘Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone’’ and ‘‘Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are).’’
Jerry Buss, the Los Angeles Lakers’ playboy owner who shepherded the NBA franchise to 10 championships from the ’80s Showtime dynasty to the Kobe Bryant era, died at 80.
He had been hospitalized for cancer, but the immediate cause of death was kidney failure, his assistant said. Read more.
Country star Mindy McCready apparently took her own life at her home in Heber Springs, Ark. She was 37, and left behind two young sons.
Cardiss Collins, the first African-American woman to represent Illinois in Congress, died of complications from pneumonia at a Virginia hospital at age 81. Collins, pictured with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, originally was elected to fill the seat left vacant when her husband, Representative George W. Collins, was killed in a 1972 airplane crash.
Ed Koch, who served four terms (1969-1977) in Congress and three terms (1978-1989) as mayor of New York City, died at 88. The combative, acid-tongued Democrat who rescued the city from near-financial ruin embodied New York chutzpah for the rest of the world.
Caleb Moore, an innovative freestyle snowmobile rider who was hurt in a dramatic crash at the Winter X Games in Colorado, died at 25. His death was the first in the 18-year history of the X Games.
Patty Andrews, the last surviving member of the singing Andrews Sisters trio whose hits, such as the rollicking “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B,’’ captured the home-front spirit of World War II, died at 94.
Stan Musial, one of baseball’s greatest hitters and a Hall of Famer with the St. Louis Cardinals for more than two decades, died at 92.
“Stan the Man’’ won seven National League batting titles, was a three-time MVP and helped the Cardinals capture three World Series championships in the 1940s.
The fiery former manager of Baltimore Orioles, pictured with former Orioles player Cal Ripken Jr., right, died while on a Caribbean cruise associated with the team. He was 82.
Pauline Friedman Phillips
“Dear Abby’’ advice columnist Friedman Phillips, known to millions of readers as Abigail van Buren, lost a battle to Alzheimer’s disease and died at age 82. Read more.
Bain, who starred as the kindly white adoptive father of two young African-American brothers in the TV sitcom ‘‘Diff’rent Strokes,’’ died at 89 in his hometown of Livermore, Calif.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning editor and columnist who helped fellow Southern whites understand the civil rights movement died at age 89 at his Florida home.
The Web entrepreneur and political activist, who made headlines in 2011 when he was charged with hacking into MIT’s network and stealing millions of documents, took his life in New York City at age 26.
Rex Trailer, host of “Boomtown,’’ a children’s TV show that beguiled generations of New England children, died at 84.
Patti Page, who made ‘‘Tennessee Waltz’’ the third best-selling recording ever, died at age 85. She was the top-selling female singer in history with more than 100 million record sales. Her career included 15 gold records and three gold albums. Read more.
File- This April 3, 1978 file photo shows actress Joan Fontaine at the 50th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles. The Oscar-winning actres has died at the age of 96. Longtime friend Noel Beutel says she died in her sleep in her Carmel home Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/File)