2022... the year of Celebrity/Legends Deaths?

BigE

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The former Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, Albright made history as the first female to hold that position. She did the same as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Although her philosophies—notably using military force—were often criticized, her mission to fight poverty while improving things like medical care came with praise. Albright passed away on March 23, at age 84.
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Estelle Harris’ most notable role as George Costanza’s mom, Estelle, on “Seinfeld” placed her in pop-culture infamy. And her unique, raspy voice would also lead her to a role that introduced the actress to a younger generation—the pestering Mrs. Potato Head in the “Toy Story” films. Harris passed away on April 2 at 93.
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Liz Sheridan was best known for her role as Jerry’s mother, Helen Seinfeld, on the iconic sitcom “Seinfeld.” But her career resume went well beyond that, one filled with impressive credits on both the stage and television that began back in the 1950s. Sheridan passed away on April 15. She was 93.
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Robert Morse, a cast member in “Mad Men,” appears at the season six premiere of the drama series at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles on March 20, 2013. Morse, who won a Tony Award as a hilariously brash corporate climber in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and a second one a generation later as the brilliant, troubled Truman Capote in “Tru,” died peacefully at his home on Wednesday, April 20, at the age of 90.
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(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
 

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John “The Professor” Clayton, an NFL football writer and reporter for ESPN, stands on the sideline during an NFL football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Seattle. Clayton died Friday, March 18, 2022, following a short illness. He was 67.
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(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
 

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This undated photo provided by The Hickman Family Archives shows Dwayne Hickman. Hickman, the actor and network TV executive who despite numerous achievements throughout his life would always be remembered fondly by a generation of baby boomers for his role as Dobie Gillis, died Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. He was 87.
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(Courtesy of The Hickman Family Archives via AP)
 

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DJ Kay Slay​

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DJ Kay Slay, prolific hip-hop disc jockey and record executive, died April 17 due to complications from COVID-19. He was 55. The DJ, real name Keith Grayson, first burst into the scene as a graffiti artist, adapting the infamous moniker Drama King. Kay Slay became a prominent DJ in the mixtape scene in the early 2000s, working with the likes of Nas, Ghostface Killah, Busta Rhymes, Fabolous, and Fat Joe throughout the course of his career. He released six studio albums, including the recent The Soul Controller in 2021. The New York Times coined the late DJ "Hip-Hop's One-Man Ministry of Insults" due to his ability to capture high-profile feuds in his mixtapes, including Ja Rule vs. 50 Cent and Nas vs. Jay-Z.
 

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Betty Davis, whose singing and songwriting informed generations of performers, died Feb. 9. She was 65. After graduating from New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, Davis worked as a model for Wilhelmina and became one of the first Black models to be featured in the magazines Glamour and Seventeen. She became a duel force in singing and modeling, bringing her visionary performance skills to the studio and becoming one of the first Black women to write, arrange, and produce her own albums. Most recently, her music was featured in television shows such as Orange Is the New Black, Girlboss, Mixed-ish, and High Fidelity.
 

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Calvin Simon​

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Calvin Simon, a founding member of the pioneering funk music group Parliament-Funkadelic, died Jan. 6 at the age of 79. A West Virginia native, where he sang with a church choir for weekly radio broadcasts prior to his relocation to New Jersey with his family as a teen, Simon joined the group originally known as the Parliaments in the late 1950s, releasing hit singles like "(I Wanna) Testify" in 1967. Following a two year stint in the Vietnam War, Simon returned to the group and later joined Parliament-Funkadelic, a funk music collective of rotating musicians that released hits "Give Up the Funk" and "Flash Light," among others. Simon left the band in 1978, returning to his gospel roots with the albums Share the News, It's Not Too Late, and I Believe. In 1997, he and other Parliament-Funkadelic members were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2019, the group received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
 

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Earth, Wind & Fire’s Andrew Woolfolk dead at 71: Defined ’70s sound​

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Earth, Wind & Fire saxophonist Andrew Woolfolk, who was instrumental in defining the disco sound of the 1970s, has died at age 71.

The musician — who helped create some of the band’s biggest hits, including “September” and “Boogie Wonderland” — passed away Monday following a six-year illness. An official cause of death has not been disclosed.

The sad news was announced by bandmate Philip Bailey, who penned a touching tribute
on Instagram.

 

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Naomi Judd, Matriarch of the Judds, Dies at 76​

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Singer and television star Naomi Judd, famous for nearly four decades as the matriarch of the country music duo the Judds, died Saturday at 76. No cause of death was immediately given, although in a statement daughters Wynonna Judd and Ashley Judd attributed their mother’s death to “the disease of mental illness.”
 

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NBA great Bob Lanier, Hall of Fame center for Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks, dies at 73​


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Ray Liotta Dies: ‘Goodfellas’ Star & ‘Field Of Dreams’ Actor Was 67​


A shocker. Ray Liotta, the terrific actor whose career breakout came in the 1990 Martin Scorsese crime classic Goodfellas after co-starring in Field of Dreams, has died. He was 67.

Deadline hears he died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, where he was shooting the film Dangerous Waters. We will have more details when they become available.

Liotta leaves behind a daughter, Karsen. He was engaged to be married to Jacy Nittolo.
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