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7 celebrities we said goodbye to in 2017

POSTED: January 3, 2018 3:59 a.m.
Travis Poppleton/

As we look forward to a new year of music, movies and live events, let's take a minute to remember some of the entertainment legends we lost in 2017.

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Well, 2017, you have been both a fine friend and skilled adversary.

As we part ways, I can’t help but want to hug you for your medical breakthroughs, the fall of Raqqa and a pretty spectacular solar eclipse. During that embrace, however, I can’t promise I’ll resist the temptation to kick you in the shins for your senseless violence, natural disasters and anything related to Harvey Weinstein.

As a movie writer, I’m almost definitely not the guy to lament about your political dealings or scientific breakthroughs. But as we part ways, I would like to take a moment to remember a few of the great entertainers you’ll be taking with you.

Here’s a list of seven celebrities we said goodbye to in 2017.

Mary Tyler Moore Dec. 29, 1936 – Jan. 25, 2017

Mary Tyler Moore may have started her career as a dancing elf for Hotpoint Appliances, but she went on to become one of the biggest names in television, and later, as an Academy Award-nominated actress. In addition to her most famous roles on the “Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and later in the 1980 film, “Ordinary People,” Moore also co-starred in “Change of Habit” with Elvis Presley, and enjoyed success on the Broadway stage.

Moore died at the age of 80 from cardiopulmonary arrest complicated by pneumonia.

Bill Paxton May 17, 1955 – Feb. 25, 2017

Bill Paxton was the kind of actor who could be in “Aliens” one day and a small TV show the next. His career didn’t seem to follow any of the traditional A-lister rules, and as a result, there wasn’t any one role or genre that defined him.

Movie fans know him for his many blockbusters like “True Lies,” “Twister,” “Titanic” and “Tombstone” while TV audiences will remember him for “Big Love,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Training Day.”

Paxton died at the age of 61 due to complications following heart surgery.

Roger Moore Oct. 14, 1927 – May 23, 2017

From 1973 to 1985, the world knew Roger Moore as Britain’s most dashing secret agent, James Herbert Bond. Moore took over for Sean Connery in '72, and starred in some of the franchises biggest hits including, “The Spy Who Loved Me,” “The Man with the Gold Gun,” and “For Your Eyes Only.” Moore was also knighted by Queen Elizabeth the II, and was a UNICEF Good Will Ambassador.

Roger Moore died at his home in Switzerland as a result of cancer.

Adam West Sept. 19, 1928 – June 9, 2017

Some actors regret taking a role that later defines their career, but Adam West owned his campier version of the Dark Knight from the minute he donned the cowl in 1966. Even 51 years later, the actor continued to lend his voice to the famous superhero, making him one of the few actors in history to play or reprise a role for over 50 years.

West married Marcelle Tagand Lear in 1970 and the couple remained married for 46 years until West’s passing. West was 88 when he died after a short battle with leukemia.

Jerry Lewis March 16, 1926 – Aug. 20, 2017

Where do you even begin with a man like Jerry Lewis? Do you first talk about how he became known as the King of Comedy, his decade of work with Dean Martin, his movies, his live events, his musicals or his awards? Lewis was a man history had its eye on long before he raised over $2 billion for charity.

Lewis was the chairman and spokesman for muscular dystrophy, and dedicated almost 60 years of his life to raising money and awareness for the fight against the debilitating disease.

Lewis was 91 years old when he died at his Las Vegas home from peripheral artery disease.

Tom Petty Oct. 20, 1950 – Oct. 2, 2017

As lead singer of the 1976 group, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Tom Petty was one of the best-selling musicians of all times, selling more than 80 million records worldwide. The musician, producer and actor was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 2001 and lent his acting skills to the 1997 movie “The Postman.” Petty was also a co-founder and member of the band Mudcrutch and the Traveling Wildburys. Petty also enjoyed a successful solo career.

Petty died at the UCLA Medical Center as a result of cardiac arrest.

David Cassidy April 12, 1950 - Feb. 20, 2017

Teen heartthrob, David Cassidy, was both an actor and musician who caught the attention of television audiences everywhere when he was cast as Keith Partridge in the 1970s show, “The Partridge Family.” Cassidy would later launch a solo career and also star in several theatrical productions before finding success doing Las Vegas shows. Cassidy also released an album in 2001 called "Then and Now,” which eventually went platinum.

Cassidy struggled with dementia later in life, and in 2017, symptoms of the illness were reportedly noticeable in live events.

Cassidy was hospitalized for liver and kidney failure, and he died of liver failure at the age of 67.
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