Recalling influential people who died in 2021
They both carved out sterling reputations as military and political leaders over years of public service. But both also saw their legacies tarnished by their actions in the long, bloody war in Iraq.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld are among the many noteworthy people who died in 2021.
Powell, who died in October, was a trailblazing soldier and diplomat. He rose to the rank of four-star general in the Army before becoming the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And under former President George W. Bush, he became the nation’s first Black secretary of state.
Rumsfeld, who died in June, had a storied career in government under four U.S. presidents and was seen as a visionary of a modern military.
Rumsfeld was secretary of defense and shouldered some of the blame as Iraq sank into chaos after the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime. In the leadup to the war, Powell cited faulty information during a United Nations Security Council address while claiming Hussein had secretly stashed weapons of mass destruction.
Others political figures the world said goodbye to this year include former U.S. Vice President Walter F. Mondale, former South African President F.W. de Klerk, former Sen. Bob Dole, former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, former Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, former Danish Prime Minister Poul Schlueter and Iranian ambassadors Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour and Ardeshir Zahedi.
Also among those who died this year was a man who held the title of baseball’s home run king for years. Hank Aaron, who died in January, endured racist threats on his path to breaking Babe Ruth’s record and is still considered one of the game’s greatest players.
Other sports figures who died in 2021 include Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda, college football coach Bobby Bowden, Olympic swimmer Clara Lamore Walker, NBA players Paul Westphal and Elgin Baylor, auto racer Bobby Unser, golfer Lee Elder, track and field star Milkha Singh and boxer Leon Spinks.
Among the entertainers who died this year was a children’s author whose books were enjoyed by millions around the world. Beverly Cleary, who died in March, channeled memories from her youth in Oregon to created beloved characters such as Ramona Quimby, her sister Beatrice “Beezus” Quimby and Henry Huggins.
Others from the world of arts and entertainment who died this year include actors Cicely Tyson, Ed Asner, Cloris Leachman, Christopher Plummer, Olympia Dukakis, Ned Beatty, Jane Powell, Sonny Chiba, Gavin MacLeod, George Segal, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Johnny Briggs and Dustin Diamond; magician Siegfried Fischbacher; Bollywood star Dilip Kumar; Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts; theater songwriter Stephen Sondheim; ballerina and actress Carla Fracci; rappers DMX and Biz Markie; artist Arturo Di Modica; telenovela writer Delia Fiallo; authors Anne Rice, Eric Carle, Joan Didion, bell hooks and Norton Juster; reggae musician Bunny Wailer; comedians Norm Macdonald and Paul Mooney; singers Pervis Staples and Sabah Fakhri; ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill; and filmmaker Richard Donner.
Here is a roll call of some influential figures who died in 2021 (cause of death cited for younger people, if available):
George Whitmore, 89. A member of the first team of climbers to scale El Capitan in Yosemite National Park and a conservationist who devoted his life to protecting the Sierra Nevada. Jan. 1.
Gerry Marsden, 78. The lead singer of the 1960s British group Gerry and the Pacemakers that had such hits as “Ferry Cross the Mersey” and the song that became the anthem of Liverpool Football Club, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Jan. 3.
Tanya Roberts, 65. She captivated James Bond in “A View to a Kill” and appeared in the sitcom “That ’70s Show.” Jan. 4.
Tommy Lasorda, 93. The fiery baseball Hall of Fame manager who guided the Los Angeles Dodgers to two World Series titles and later became an ambassador for the sport he loved. Jan. 7.
Sheldon Adelson, 87. He rose from a modest start as the son of an immigrant taxi driver to become a billionaire Republican powerbroker with a casino empire and influence on international politics. Jan. 11.
Siegfried Fischbacher, 81. He was the surviving member of the magic duo Siegfried & Roy who entertained millions with illusions using rare animals. Jan. 13. Pancreatic cancer.
Phil Spector, 81. The eccentric and revolutionary music producer who transformed rock music with his “Wall of Sound” method and who later was convicted of murder. Jan. 16.
Hank Aaron, 86. He endured racist threats with stoic dignity during his pursuit of Babe Ruth’s home run record and gracefully left his mark as one of baseball’s greatest all-around players. Jan. 22.
Larry King, 87. The suspenders-sporting everyman whose broadcast interviews with world leaders, movie stars and ordinary people helped define American conversation for a half-century. Jan. 23.
Sifis Valyrakis, 77. A former minister and resistance fighter against Greece’s 1967-74 military dictatorship who twice made daring escapes. Jan. 24.
Cloris Leachman, 94. An Oscar-winner for her portrayal of a lonely housewife in “The Last Picture Show” and a comedic delight as the fearsome Frau Blücher in “Young Frankenstein” and self-absorbed neighbor Phyllis on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Jan. 27.
Cicely Tyson, 96. The pioneering Black actor who gained an Oscar nomination for her role as the sharecropper’s wife in “Sounder,” won a Tony Award in 2013 at age 88 and touched TV viewers’ hearts in “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.” Jan. 28.
John Chaney, 89. One of the nation’s leading basketball coaches and a commanding figure during a Hall of Fame career at Temple. Jan. 29.
Dustin Diamond, 44. An actor best known for playing Screech on the hit ’90s sitcom “Saved by the Bell.” Feb. 1. Cancer.
Jack Palladino, 76. The flamboyant private investigator whose clients ranged from presidents and corporate whistleblowers to celebrities, Hollywood moguls and sometimes suspected drug traffickers. Feb. 1. Injuries suffered in an attack.
Rennie Davis, 80. He was one of the “Chicago Seven” activists who was tried for organizing an anti-Vietnam War protest outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago in which thousands clashed with police. Feb. 2. Lymphoma.
Jim Weatherly, 77. The Hall of Fame songwriter who wrote “Midnight Train to Georgia” and other hits for Gladys Knight, Glen Campbell and Ray Price. Feb. 3.
Christopher Plummer, 91. The dashing award-winning actor who played Captain von Trapp in the film “The Sound of Music” and at 82 became the oldest Academy Award acting winner in history. Feb. 5.
Leon Spinks, 67. He won Olympic gold and then shocked the boxing world by beating Muhammad Ali to win the heavyweight title in only his eighth pro fight. Feb. 5.
George P. Shultz, 100. The former secretary of state was a titan of American academia, business and diplomacy who spent most of the 1980s trying to improve Cold War relations with the Soviet Union and forging a course for peace in the Middle East. Feb. 6.
Mary Wilson, 76. The longest-reigning original Supreme. Feb. 8.
Marty Schottenheimer, 77. He won 200 regular-season games with four NFL teams thanks to his “Martyball” brand of smash-mouth football but regularly fell short in the playoffs. Feb. 8.
Chick Corea, 79. He was a towering jazz pianist with a staggering 23 Grammy Awards who pushed the boundaries of the genre and worked alongside Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. Feb. 9. Cancer.
Larry Flynt, 78. He turned his raunchy Hustler magazine into an empire while fighting numerous First Amendment court battles. Feb. 10.
Bernard Lown, 99. A Massachusetts cardiologist who invented the first reliable heart defibrillator and later co-founded an anti-nuclear war group that was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. Feb. 16.
Rush Limbaugh, 70. The talk radio host who ripped into liberals and laid waste to political correctness with a merry brand of malice that made him one of the most powerful voices on the American right. Feb. 17.
Johnny Briggs, 85. A British actor best known for his role as businessman Mike Baldwin in the long-running TV soap opera “Coronation Street.” Feb. 28.
Vernon Jordan, 85. He rose from humble beginnings in the segregated South to become a champion of civil rights before reinventing himself as a Washington insider and corporate influencer. March 1.
Carla Wallenda, 85. A member of “The Flying Wallendas” high-wire act and the last surviving child of the famed troupe’s founder. March 6.
Norton Juster, 91. The celebrated children’s author who fashioned a world of adventure and punning punditry in the million-selling classic “The Phantom Tollbooth.” March 8.
Roger Mudd, 93. The longtime political correspondent and anchor for NBC and CBS who once stumped Sen. Edward Kennedy by simply asking why he wanted to be president. March 9.
Ronald DeFeo, 69. The man convicted of slaughtering his parents and four siblings in a home that later inspired the “The Amityville Horror” book and movies. March 12.
Elgin Baylor, 86. The Lakers’ 11-time NBA All-Star who soared through the 1960s with a high-scoring style of basketball that became the model for the modern player. March 22.
George Segal, 87. The banjo player turned actor who was nominated for an Oscar for 1966’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and worked into his late 80s on the ABC sitcom “The Goldbergs.” March 23. Complications from bypass surgery.
Jessica Walter, 80. Her roles as a scheming matriarch in TV’s “Arrested Development” and a stalker in “Play Misty for Me” were in line with a career that drew on her astringent screen presence. March 24.
Beverly Cleary, 104. The celebrated children’s author whose memories of her Oregon childhood were shared with millions through the likes of Ramona and Beezus Quimby and Henry Huggins. March 25.
Bobby Brown, 96. An infielder who played on five World Series champions with the New York Yankees and later became a cardiologist and president of the American League. March 25.
G. Gordon Liddy, 90. A mastermind of the Watergate burglary and a radio talk show host after emerging from prison. March 30.
John Naisbitt, 92. The author whose 1982 bestselling book “Megatrends” was published in dozens of countries. April 8.
Prince Philip, 99. The irascible and tough-minded husband of Queen Elizabeth II who spent more than seven decades supporting his wife in a role that both defined and constricted his life. April 9.
DMX, 50. The iconic hip-hop artist behind the songs “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” and “Party Up (Up in Here)” whose distinctively gruff voice and thoughtful messages in his rhymes made him one of rap’s biggest stars. April 9.
Bernard Madoff, 82. The infamous architect of an epic securities swindle that burned thousands of investors, outfoxed regulators and earned him a 150-year prison term. April 14.
Charles “Chuck” Geschke, 81. The co-founder of the major software company Adobe Inc. who helped develop Portable Document Format technology, or PDFs. April 16.
Walter F. Mondale, 93. The former U.S. vice president was a liberal icon who lost one of the most lopsided presidential elections after bluntly telling voters to expect a tax increase if he won. April 19.
Jim Steinman, 73. The Grammy-winning composer who wrote Meat Loaf’s best-selling “Bat Out Of Hell” debut album as well as hits for Celine Dion, Air Supply and Bonnie Tyler. April 19. Kidney failure.
Shock G, 57. He blended whimsical wordplay with reverence for ’70s funk as leader of the off-kilter Bay Area hip-hop group Digital Underground. April 22.
Michael Collins, 90. An Apollo 11 astronaut who orbited the moon alone while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made their historic first steps on the lunar surface. April 28. Cancer.
Olympia Dukakis, 89. The veteran stage and screen actor whose flair for maternal roles helped her win an Oscar as Cher’s mother in the romantic comedy “Moonstruck.” May 1.
Bobby Unser, 87. A beloved three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 and part of the only pair of brothers to capture “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” May 2.
Lloyd Price, 88. The singer-songwriter was an early rock ‘n’ roll star and enduring maverick whose hits included such up-tempo favorites as “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” “Personality” and the semi-forbidden “Stagger Lee.” May 3.
Mohammed Ashraf Sehrai, 78. A prominent politician in Kashmir who challenged India’s rule over the disputed region for decades. May 5. Died while in police custody.
Pervis Staples, 85. His tenor voice complimented his father’s and sisters’ in the legendary gospel group The Staple Singers. May 6.
Norman Lloyd, 106. His role as kindly Dr. Daniel Auschlander on TV’s “St. Elsewhere” was a single chapter in a distinguished stage and screen career. May 11.
Charles Grodin, 86. The actor and writer who scored as a caddish newlywed in “The Heartbreak Kid” and later had roles ranging from Robert De Niro’s counterpart in the comic thriller “Midnight Run” to the bedeviled father in the “Beethoven” comedies. May 18. Bone marrow cancer.
Paul Mooney, 79. A boundary-pushing comedian who was Richard Pryor’s longtime writing partner and whose sage, incisive musings on racism and American life made him a revered figure in stand-up. May 19. Heart attack.
Max Mosley, 81. Shook off the stigma of his family’s links to fascism to become international motorsport’s top administrator and later made a stand as a privacy campaigner in response to tabloid stories about his sex life. May 23.
Eric Carle, 91. A beloved children’s author and illustrator whose classic “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and other works gave millions of kids some of their earliest and most cherished literary memories. May 23.
John Warner, 94. He served for 30 years in the U.S. Senate and was a longtime military expert who became famous as the sixth man to walk down the aisle with movie star Elizabeth Taylor. May 25.
Lois Ehlert, 86. Her cut-and-paste shapes and vibrant hues in books including “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” put her among the most popular illustrators of books for preschoolers of the late 20th century. May 25.
B.J. Thomas, 78. The Grammy-winning singer who enjoyed success on the pop, country and gospel charts with such hits as “I Just Can’t Help Believing,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” and “Hooked on a Feeling.” May 29.
Gavin MacLeod, 90. The veteran supporting actor who achieved fame as sardonic TV news writer Murray Slaughter on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and stardom playing cheerful Capt. Stubing on “The Love Boat.” May 29.
F. Lee Bailey, 87. The celebrity attorney who defended O.J. Simpson, Patricia Hearst and the alleged Boston Strangler, but whose legal career halted when he was disbarred in two states. June 3.
Clarence Williams III, 81. Played the cool undercover cop Linc Hayes on the counterculture series “The Mod Squad” and Prince’s father in “Purple Rain.” June 4.
Ned Beatty, 83. The Oscar-nominated character actor who in half a century of American movies, including “Deliverance,” “Network” and “Superman,” was a booming, indelible presence in even the smallest parts. June 13.
Frank Bonner, 79. He played a brash salesman with an affection for polyester plaid suits on the TV comedy “WKRP in Cincinnati.” June 16. Complications of Lewy body dementia.
Mike Gravel, 91. A former U.S. senator from Alaska who read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record and confronted Barack Obama about nuclear weapons during a later presidential run. June 26.
Donald Rumsfeld, 88. The two-time defense secretary and one-time presidential candidate whose reputation as a skilled bureaucrat and visionary of a modern U.S. military was unraveled by the long and costly Iraq war. June 29.
Richard Donner, 91. The filmmaker who helped create the modern superhero blockbuster with 1978’s “Superman” and mastered the buddy comedy with the “Lethal Weapon” franchise. July 5.
Edwin Washington Edwards, 93. The high-living, quick-witted four-term governor who reshaped Louisiana’s oil revenues and dominated the state’s politics for decades, a run all but overshadowed by scandal and eight years in federal prison. July 12.
Biz Markie, 57. A hip-hop staple known for his beatboxing prowess, turntable mastery and the 1989 classic “Just a Friend.” July 16.
Phyllis Gould, 99. One of the millions of women who worked in defense plants in World War II and who later relentlessly fought for recognition of those “Rosie the Riveters.” July 20. Complications of a stroke.
Mike Enzi, 77. The retired U.S. senator and Wyoming Republican was known as a consensus-builder in an increasingly polarized Washington. July 26. Died after breaking his neck in a bicycle accident.
Joey Jordison, 46. A founding member of Slipknot, who drummed for the influential metal band in its most popular period and helped write many of its best-known songs. July 26.
Dusty Hill, 72. The long-bearded bassist for the Texas blues rock trio ZZ Top. July 28.
Ron Popeil, 86. The quintessential TV pitchman and inventor known to generations of viewers for hawking products including the Veg-O-Matic, the Pocket Fisherman, Mr. Microphone and the Showtime Rotisserie and BBQ. July 28.
Carl Levin, 87. A powerful voice on military issues in Washington and a staunch supporter of the auto industry back home in Michigan during his tenure in the U.S. Senate. July 29.
Donald Kagan, 89. A prominent classical scholar, contentious defender of traditional education and architect of neo-conservative foreign policy. Aug. 6.
Markie Post, 70. She played the public defender in the 1980s sitcom “Night Court” and was a regular presence on television for four decades. Aug. 7.
Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas, 70. A founding member of the long-running soul-funk band Kool & the Gang known for such hits as “Celebration” and “Get Down On It.” Aug. 7.
Bobby Bowden, 91. The folksy Hall of Fame coach who built Florida State into an unprecedented college football dynasty. Aug. 8.
Maki Kaji, 69. The creator of the popular numbers puzzle Sudoku whose life’s work was spreading the joy of puzzles. Aug. 10.
Nanci Griffith, 68. The Grammy-winning folk singer-songwriter from Texas whose literary songs like “Love at the Five and Dime” celebrated the South. Aug. 13.
Tom T. Hall, 85. The singer-songwriter who composed “Harper Valley P.T.A.” and sang about life’s simple joys as country music’s consummate blue collar bard. Aug. 20.
Don Everly, 84. He was one-half of the pioneering Everly Brothers whose harmonizing country rock hits affected a generation of rock ‘n’ roll music. Aug. 21.
Charlie Watts, 80. The self-effacing Rolling Stones drummer who helped anchor one of rock’s greatest rhythm sections and used his “day job” to support his enduring love of jazz. Aug. 24.
Ed Asner, 91. The burly and prolific character actor who became a star in middle age as the gruff but lovable newsman Lou Grant, first in the hit comedy “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and later in the drama “Lou Grant.” Aug. 29.
Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammed Saeed al-Hakim, 85. One of Iraq’s most senior and influential Muslim Shiite clerics. Sept. 3.
Willard Scott, 87. The beloved weatherman who charmed viewers of NBC’s “Today” show with his self-deprecating humor and cheerful personality. Sept. 4.
Norm Macdonald, 61. A comedian and former “Saturday Night Live” writer and performer who was “Weekend Update” host when Bill Clinton and O.J. Simpson provided comic fodder during the 1990s. Sept. 14.
Jane Powell, 92. The bright-eyed, operatic-voiced star of Hollywood’s golden age musicals who sang with Howard Keel in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and danced with Fred Astaire in “Royal Wedding.” Sept. 16.
George Holliday, 61. The Los Angeles plumber who shot grainy video of four white police officers beating Black motorist Rodney King in 1991. Sept. 19. Complications of COVID-19.
George Frayne, 77. As leader of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, he enjoyed a cult following in the 1970s with such party and concert favorites as “Hot Rod Lincoln” and “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette).” Sept. 26.
Alan Kalter, 78. The quirky, red-headed announcer for David Letterman for two decades who frequently appeared in the show’s comedy bits. Oct. 4.
Ronnie Tutt, 83. A legendary drummer who spent years playing alongside Elvis Presley and teamed up with other superstars ranging from Johnny Cash to Stevie Nicks. Oct. 16.
Betty Lynn, 95. The film and television actor who was best known for her role as Barney Fife’s sweetheart Thelma Lou on “The Andy Griffith Show.” Oct. 16.
Colin Powell, 84. The trailblazing soldier and diplomat whose sterling reputation of service to Republican and Democratic presidents was stained by his faulty claims to justify the 2003 U.S. war in Iraq. Oct. 18.
Jerry Pinkney, 81. A prize-winning children’s book illustrator known for his richly textured images of Black life, fables and fairy tales in works ranging from “The Lion and the Mouse” to “The Sunday Outing.” Oct. 20.
Peter Scolari, 66. A versatile character actor whose television roles included a yuppie producer on “Newhart” and a closeted dad on “Girls” and who was on Broadway with longtime friend Tom Hanks in “Lucky Guy.” Oct. 22.
Sunao Tsuboi, 96. A survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing who made opposing nuclear weapons the message of his life, including in a meeting with President Barack Obama in 2016. Oct. 24.
Roh Tae-woo, 88. The former South Korean president was a major player in a 1979 coup who later became president in a landmark democratic election before ending his tumultuous political career in prison. Oct. 26.
Mort Sahl, 94. A satirist who helped revolutionize stand-up comedy during the Cold War with his running commentary on politicians and current events and became a favorite of a new, restive generation of Americans. Oct. 26.
A. Linwood Holton Jr., 98. Virginia’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction and a crusader against racial discrimination. Oct. 28.
Aaron T. Beck, 100. A groundbreaking psychotherapist regarded as the father of cognitive therapy. Nov. 1.
Sabah Fakhri, 88. One of the Arab world’s most famous singers, he entertained generations with traditional songs and preserved nearly extinct forms of Arabic music. Nov. 2.
Ruth Ann Minner, 86. A sharecropper’s daughter who became the only woman to serve as Delaware’s governor. Nov. 4.
Marília Mendonça, 26. She was one of Brazil’s most popular singers and a Latin Grammy winner. Nov. 5. Airplane crash.
Dean Stockwell, 85. A top Hollywood child actor who gained new success in middle age in the sci-fi series “Quantum Leap” and in a string of indelible performances in film, including David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet,” Wim Wenders’ “Paris, Texas” and Jonathan Demme’s “Married to the Mob.” Nov. 7.
Max Cleland, 79. He lost three limbs to a hand grenade in Vietnam and later became a groundbreaking Veterans Administration chief and U.S. senator from Georgia until an attack ad questioning his patriotism derailed his reelection. Nov. 9. Congestive heart failure.
Jakucho Setouchi, 99. A Buddhist nun and one of Japan’s best-known authors famous for novels depicting passionate women and her translation of “The Tale of Genji,” a 1,000-year-old classic, into modern language. Nov. 9.
Jerry Douglas, 88. He played handsome family patriarch John Abbott on “The Young and the Restless” for more than 30 years. Nov. 9.
F.W. de Klerk, 85. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela and as South Africa’s last apartheid president oversaw the end of the country’s white minority rule. Nov. 11.
William Sterling Cary, 94. A pioneering minister and civil rights activist who was the first Black person in prominent church leadership roles, including president of the National Council of Churches. Nov. 14.
Ardeshir Zahedi, 93. Iran’s flamboyant ambassador to the United States during the rule of the shah who charmed both Hollywood stars and politicians with his lavish parties until the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Nov. 18.
Chun Doo-hwan, 90. A former South Korean military strongman who seized power in a 1979 coup and brutally crushed pro-democracy protests before going to prison for misdeeds while in office. Nov. 23.
Stephen Sondheim, 91. The songwriter who reshaped the American musical theater in the second half of the 20th century with his intelligent, intricately rhymed lyrics, his use of evocative melodies and his willingness to tackle unusual subjects. Nov. 26.
Phil Saviano, 69. A clergy sex abuse survivor and whistleblower who played a pivotal role in exposing decades of predatory assaults by Roman Catholic priests in the United States. Nov. 28.
Lee Elder, 87. He broke down racial barriers as the first Black golfer to play in the Masters and paved the way for Tiger Woods and others to follow. Nov. 28.
Virgil Abloh, 41. A leading designer whose groundbreaking fusions of streetwear and high couture made him one of the most celebrated tastemakers in fashion and beyond. Nov. 28. Cancer.
David Gulpilil, 68. Australia’s most acclaimed Indigenous actor. Nov. 29.
Arlene Dahl, 96. The actor whose charm and striking red hair shone in such Technicolor movies of the 1950s as “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “Three Little Words.” Nov. 29.
Bob Dole, 98. He overcame disabling war wounds to become a sharp-tongued Senate leader, a Republican presidential candidate and then a symbol of his dwindling generation of World War II veterans. Dec. 5.
Lina Wertmueller, 93. Italy’s provocative filmmaker whose mix of sex and politics in “Swept Away” and “Seven Beauties” made her the first woman nominated for an Academy Award for directing. Dec. 9.
Al Unser, 82. One of only four drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 a record four times. Dec. 9.
Michael Nesmith, 78. The singer-songwriter, author, actor-director and entrepreneur who will likely be best remembered as the wool-hatted, guitar-strumming member of the made-for-television rock band The Monkees. Dec. 10.
Anne Rice, 80. The novelist whose lush, best-selling gothic tales, including “Interview With the Vampire,” reinvented the blood-drinking immortals as tragic antiheroes. Dec. 11.
Sally Ann Howes, 91. She was a child actor before she later starred in the 1968 film “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” with Dick Van Dyke. Dec. 19.