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15 Celeb Parents You Didn't Know Passed Away In 2017

These celebs left behind a family, fans, and a legacy that will live on forever.

People come into and leave this earth every single day. For some, it may seem like they were taken from this world too soon. We should try to remember everyone for the good they have done and the positive things they have achieved in their lifetime. When it comes to celebrities, most of us may not have known them personally, but that does not mean that they did not have an impact on our lives. Whether it is was a movie they were in or a song they had created, there is a good chance something they did, affected the way we felt at one point.

For some of these celebrities, their absence will be felt for years to come while others had already started to fade away from the limelight before their passing. That does not mean that they will be missed any less. We can try to hold on to their memories by watching or listening to the forms of entertainment they have contributed to our society during their brief time here. It is amazing how these people that we had no real connection to were able sometimes to make us laugh or cry, or even do both at the same time. Hopefully, we can try to remember them as they were in the prime of their stardom so that we are able to share what they left behind for generations to come. Here is a list of celebrities that you may not have known passed away in 2017

20Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner was globally known and was born on April 9, 1926. He has a long, large and fulfilling life. Hugh passed away peacefully at the notorious Playboy mansion surrounded by his loved ones. He passed from natural causes at the old age of 91 on September 27, 2017. Hugh was a writer and illustrator who created the infamous men’s adult entertainment magazine known as, ‘Playboy’ in December 1953. He did not have an official date of publication on the magazine because he was not sure if there would ever be more than one publication. In his first issue, the centerfold was none other than the beautiful Marilyn Monroe. Hugh had two sons, Marston and Cooper, with his ex-wife Kimberly Conrad who he has married in 1989, separated from in 1998, and officially divorced in 2009. 

19Chester Bennington

Chester Bennington was born on March 20, 1976, in Phoenix, Arizona. Sadly, he was taken too soon and passed away on July 20, 2017, in Palos Verdes Estates, California. He had taken his own life after struggling with depression and the loss of a friend. Chester was the lead singer and songwriter for the very popular band Linkin Park. He was in a band previously that was called Grey Daze, which he joined when he was still high school. The band created two albums together before breaking up. Chester attributes his life experiences for being able to write his own music for Linkin Park. He was married for the first time from 1996 to 2005 to a woman named Samantha who he had one child with. He got married for a second time in 2005 to a woman named Talinda who he had three children with.

18Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore was born on December 29, 1936, in Brooklyn, New York. Sadly, she passed away on January 25, 2017, shortly after her 80th birthday. She was an amazing actress and Hollywood icon who made headway for women with her 1970’s TV show The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which also won her three Emmy’s. She had won two more Emmy’s when she played Laura Petrie in the Dick Van Dyke Show. Mary has been married three times in her life. She had been diagnosed with Diabetes Type 1 and was also an advocate and spokeswoman for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In 2012, she had been presented the Screen Actor’s Guild Award for her lifetime achievements. When she passed away, due to cardiopulmonary arrest, and she was surrounded by the ones she loved.

17Charlie Murphy

Charlie Murphy was born on July 12, 1959, in Brooklyn, New York. He was best known for being the older brother of the very famous Eddie Murphy. He was also a performer, and a writer for the Comedy Central show The Chappelle Show. Charlie also a writer on two of his young brother’s movies Vampire in Brooklyn and Norbit. He did some voiceover work as well. For The Boondocks, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the popular video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Sadly, Charlie lost his ongoing battle with leukemia on April 12, 2017, and he passed away leaving behind three devastated children. "Our hearts are heavy with the loss today of our son, brother, father, uncle, and friend Charlie," the Murphy family said in a statement. "Charlie filled our family with love and laughter, and there won’t be a day that goes by that his presence will not be missed. Thank you for the outpouring of condolences and prayers. We respectfully ask for privacy during this time of great loss for all of us.”

16Della Reese

Della Reese was born during the Great Depression in 1931 in Michigan. She was well known for her role on the TV shows Sanford and Sons, Thought By An Angel, and for her TV talk show simply called Della. She’s been in the entertainment industry since in the mid-1950’s. She was multitalented and had amazing vocals and was a gospel singer. Della went to Wayne State University and majored in psychology. While in college she formed an all women gospel around called The Meditation Singers. Unfortunately, Della’s mother had passed away, and her father was ill, and she had to put her singing and studies on hold temporarily. In 1954 Della signed with Jubilee Records and her biggest hit song was called, “All That Reminds Me.” She ended up switching to RCA records. Sadly, Della passed away on November 19, 2017, surrounded by her loved ones in her home.

15John Heard

John heard was born on March 7, 1946, and he was born in Washington, D.C. He was an actor who was best known for his role as playing the dad in the Home Alone series alongside Macaulay Culkin, although he had been acting since the 1970’s. He also had a recurring role in CSI: Miami. When John came to Hollywood to pursue acting, he was just a stage actor. In 2008, John was asked about his thoughts on his career, and he said, “I went from being the young leading man to just a kind of hack actor. It is hard for a lot of celebrities to go from being in their prime and in their spotlight and well-known, to being phased out as they age and almost forgotten about. John had three children, but his son Max passed away at the very young age of 22 in 2016. Sadly, John passed from on July 21, 2017, from a heart attack.

14Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell was born on July 20, 1964, in Seattle. He was a musician that co-founded the band Soundgarden in 1984. His birth name was Christopher John Boyle and was one of six children. He learned to play the drums at the age of 15. He dropped out of high school to help bring in money from his family. Chris’s band went multi-platinum with their 1994 CD Superunknown. They ended up winning a Grammy for their two singles, “Black Hole Sun” and “Spoonman.” Chris decided to part ways and went solo and launched his debut album called Euphoria Morning in 1999. Chris ended up forming a band called Audioslave with three other men. Afterward, he ended up putting out three more solo albums. Even with all his success he still suffered from depression from an early age. He also had three children. Unfortunately, Chris’s depression got the best of him, and he took his own life on May 17, 2017.

13Tom Petty

Tom Petty was born on October 20, 1950, in Gainesville, Florida. His interest in music began early when he was 10-years-old because he was able to meet his idol, Elvis Presley, in the summer of 1961. Tom dropped out of school at the age of 17 to play bass for a band that he had created. By 1976, Tom began his music career after joining a band called Mudcrutch. The band reformed and changed its name to Tom Petty and The Heartbreaker. The band released their debut album that same year, which turned out to be very successful, which was the right move for Tom. In 1989 he decided to go Solo and turned out to be even more successful than when he was with Mudcrutch. Tom achieved great things and was and was able to snag himself three Grammy’s. The world lost a music legend on October 2, 2017, when Tom passed away from cardiac arrest.

12Barbara Hale

Barbara Hale was born in 1922 in DeKalb, Illinois. She passed away at the age of 94 on January 26, 2017. She will now get to be alongside her late husband Bill Williams who was an actor on the Western series, The Adventures of Kit Carson, who passed away in 1992. Barbara’s son, who is also an actor, confirmed the news on Facebook regarding his mom’s passing at her home in Sherman Oaks, California the day after the tragedy. Barbara was known for his role as the secretary Della Streets on the tv series and movies Perry Mason. At one point in her life, she even got to perform next to the well-known Frank Sinatra. Barbara is survived by her three children, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

11David Cassidy

David Cassidy was born on April 10, 1950, in New York City, New York. He was taken early and passed away at the age of 67 on November 21, 2017, in a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His cause of death was multiple organ failures due to a serious illness. He was extremely well known for the role he played on the 1970’s hit TV show called the Partridge Family. David was diagnosed with a condition known as Dementia early in this year in 2017. He was married for the first time in 1977 to 1983 to a woman called Kay Lenz. From 1984 to 1988, he had gotten married again to Meryl Tanz. And his third and final marriage were to Sue Shifrin from 1991 to 2016, and together the couple had one child who they named Beau Cassidy.

10Bill Paxton

Bill Paxton was a very well known actor, and even if you didn’t know him by name, you knew at least one of the major movies he was in. He was born in 1955 but he, unfortunately, passed away too soon on February 25, 2017, after facing a fatal stroke after he had heart surgery. He was well known for starring in movies such as Apollo 12, Twister, Titanic and he also appeared on the HBO tv show, Big Love. Bill received his first break into the film industry as a set dresser in the 1970’s. He studied with Stella Adler at New York University. In 1992, Bill landed his first leading role in the movie One False Move. Although, his first break into any film was in 1975 for the movie Crazy Mama.

9Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis was born on March 16, 1926, in Newark, New Jersey. He grew up performing in a vaudeville family which was a theatrical genre of various entertainment, which was popular in the early 1880’s until the 1930’s in the United States and in Canada. It was a performance of separate, unrelated acts grouped together in a common bill. Jerry met singer Dean Martin in 1945, and together they created a popular act and they performed together in nightclubs such as the Copacabana as well as others. A few years later the duo split and went back to doing separate things. Jerry later became the host for annual Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon from 1966-2010. He passed away at the age of 91 on August 20, 2017, in Las Vegas. In 2009, he was presented with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Awards.

8John Hurt Passes Away At 77

John Hurt was born on January 22, 1940, in Chesterfield, Derbyshire in England. He passed away less than a week after his 77th birthday, on January 27, 2017, due to his failing battle with pancreatic cancer. John made his first debut in show business in 1962. In 2012, he had the honor of receiving the lifetime achievement award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. He acted in the 1979 movie Alie and was in three of the Harry Potter movies, and so much more. When he was growing up, his parents would not take him the movies, but he was able to develop his love for acting by going to multiple theatre productions. He went to Grimsby Art School, before settling in as a student at Central Saint Martin’s College and then with a scholarship he received attended Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and graduated in 1962.

7Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry was born on October 18, 1926, in St. Louis Missouri. He was said to be one the most influential performers in rock’n’roll history. The name is was born with was Charles Anderson Edwards Berry. Chuck passed away on March 18, 2017, at the age of 90. At the time of his birth, St. Louis was strictly segregated. His mother obtained a college degree, and his father was a carpenter and a deacon at Antioch Baptist Church. His teenage years were rocky since he did some jail time for robbery, but he was able to make a full turn around. He was introduced to music at a young age from school and church. He began producing hits in the 1950’s, and his very first number one hit was attained in 1972.

6Adam West

Adam West was born on September 19, 1928, in Walla Walla, Washington. He passed away after a full lifetime of achievements on June 9, 2017, at the age 88 due to a battle he was fighting with leukemia. He was known for his role as Batman on the ABC TV series Batman in the 1960’s. Millennials will know him as the voice on the popular animated TV show Family Guy, where was the eccentric and kooky Mayor Adam West. Adam’s birth name was actually William West Anderson. He attended Whitman College and earned a degree in literature and psychology. He enrolled in postgraduate classes and had gotten a job as a disc jockey, but he was drafted into the Army. He spent the next two years starting military TV stations. Sometime later, he starred in a children’s TV show to earn money and stardom was eventually underway for this icon. He has four children, and two of them have his birth last name of Anderson, and two go by the last name of West.

5Miguel Ferrer

Miguel Ferrer passed away on January 19, 2017, at the age of 61-years-old. He had lost his battle with throat cancer. He was in tons of movies and TV shows, but he was most known for the role he played in the hit TV show, NCIS: Los Angeles, and then he also played in, RoboCop and, Iron Man 3. Miguel happened to also be the cousin of George Clooney. When he learned of the loss of his relative, George said that his cousin had made of the world a brighter and funnier place. Miguel had stardom in his bloodline because his father was actor Jose Ferrer, and his mother was a 1950’s singer named Rosemary. Miguel didn’t always have his heart set on acting because he started off as a studio musician and even went on tour with his mom and Bing Crosby.

4Mike Connors

Mike Connors was an older actor who was popular in the 1970’s. He was born on August 15, 1925, and passed away at the age of 91 on January 26, 2017. He was best known in his time for starring on the TV show Mannix where he played a detective name Joe Mannix in the 1960’s and 1970’s. It was something that our grandparents most likely would have watched or that they would at least remember. It was a series done by Desilu Productions, whose president was none other than the all-time funny lady herself, I Love Lucy’s star Lucille Ball. Mike’s most recent documented tv show appearance was in 2007 on the hit comedy Two and a Half Men. Mike had also fought for the United States in the Air Force during World War II.

3Richard Hatch

Richard Hatch was a known star for his role in the original Battlestar Galactica series and again for his role in the remake- although he portrayed a different character. He passed away on February 7, 2017, at the age of 71 due to a losing battle with pancreatic cancer. He was in his house in Santa Clarita, California, with his son, Paul, by his side when he passed away around 1:30 in the afternoon. He earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role as Captain Apollo in Battlestar Galactica. He was on numerous other TV shows predominantly throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. He had roles in other shows such as the soap opera All My Children, and in other tv series such as Baywatch, CHiP’s, MacGyver, and Murder She Wrote. A multitude of stars reached out to Richard’s family after learning of his demise.

2Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson was born on August 8, 1926, in Long Branch, New Jersey. He passed away in his home less than a month after his 91st birthday in Beverly Hills, California. He’s had varying roles in countless movies since 1949. Richard was in plays when he was in high school and then went into the Army. After he was discharged from the Army, he began doing summer stock, radio work and ended up getting a minimal part in a movie in 1949 as a wounded soldier in Twelve O’Clock High. He did some comedy scenes for a TV series in 1950 called Lights, Camera, Action! He ended up impressing some people at MGM who gave him a contract, and by the time that ended he found himself as a regular on the series, Perry Mason, alongside the late Barbara Hale. After that, Richard was all over the place. He is survived by his three daughters.

1Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell was born on April 22, 1936, on a family farm in Arkansas. He was one of 12 children. Glen started playing the guitar at the age of four and quickly progressed into being a paid actor. He started a career in the music industry off as a songwriter to some of the biggest stars of that time period. He received success in both the country music and the pop music end of the spectrum in the late 1960’s with music tracks like, “Gentle On My Mind.” Glen reestablished his place in the music world as a singer with his number one crossover hits, “Rhinestone Cowboy,” and “Southern Nights.” Glen was entered forever into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2012, he won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Unfortunately, Glen struggled with Alzheimer's disease and passed away at the age of 81 on August 8, 2017.

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