Stan Lee (December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018) was an American comic-book writer, editor, film executive producer, actor, and publisher. He was formerly editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, and later its publisher and chairman before leaving the company to become its chairman emeritus, as well as a member of the editorial board. He was also known for making several cameo appearances in Marvel Cinematic Universe films.
Lee died at the age of 95 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California on November 12, 2018, after being rushed there in a medical emergency earlier in the day.
In late September 2012, Lee underwent an operation to insert a pacemaker, cancelling planned appearances at conventions.
On July 6, 2017, his wife for 69 years, Joan, died of complications from a stroke. She was 95 years old.
Douglas Rain (March 13, 1928 – November 11, 2018) was a Canadian actor and narrator. Though primarily a stage actor, he provided the voice of the HAL 9000 computer for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and its sequel, 2010 (1984).
Rain died on November 11, 2018, at the age of 90 at St. Marys Memorial Hospital in St. Marys, Ontario, of natural causes. He leaves three children and a grandchild behind.
Frederick Segrest (December 21, 1926 – October 27, 2018), known professionally as Freddie Hart, was an American country musician and songwriter best known for his chart-topping country song and lone pop hit “Easy Loving,” which won the Country Music Association Song of the Year award in 1971 and 1972.
Hart charted singles from 1953 to 1987, and later became a gospel singer. He performed at music festivals and other venues until he died.
Hart died as a result of pneumonia on October 27, 2018 in Burbank, California.
James Karen (born Jacob Karnofsky; November 28, 1923 – October 23, 2018) was an American character actor of Broadway, film and television. Karen was best known for his roles in Poltergeist, The Return of the Living Dead, Invaders from Mars, and in The Pursuit of Happyness.
He was married to Susan Reed (1926–2010), the actress and folk singer, with whom he had one son, Reed, whose godfather was Buster Keaton, Karen’s good friend. Karen and Reed divorced in 1967. He married Alba Francesca in 1986.
Karen died on October 23, 2018, at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 94. The cause was cardiorespiratory arrest.
The Return of the Living Dead – James Karen in blue shirt
Burton Leon Reynolds Jr. (February 11, 1936 – September 6, 2018) was an American actor, director and producer. He first rose to prominence starring in television series such as Gunsmoke (1962–1965), Hawk (1966), and Dan August (1970–1971).
His breakout film role was as Lewis Medlock in Deliverance (1972). Reynolds played the leading role in a number of subsequent box office hits, such as The Longest Yard (1974), Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Semi-Tough (1977), Hooper (1978), Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982).
After a few box office failures, Reynolds returned to television, starring in the sitcom Evening Shade (1990–1994). He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Boogie Nights (1997).
Despite his lucrative career, in 1996 he filed for bankruptcy, due in part to an extravagant lifestyle, a divorce from Loni Anderson and failed investments in some Florida restaurant chains. The filing was under Chapter 11, from which Reynolds emerged two years later.
Reynolds died at a Florida hospital on September 6, 2018. He had been suffering from heart problems for a number of years. He was 82.
Burt Reynolds on the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson
William Edward Daily Jr. (August 30, 1927 – September 4, 2018) was an American actor, comedian and best known for his performances in various sitcoms, most notably astronaut Roger Healey on I Dream of Jeannie and commercial airline navigator Howard Borden on The Bob Newhart Show.
Daily died on September 4, 2018 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His death was announced by his family three days later. Daily died of natural causes.
Marvin Neil Simon (July 4, 1927 – August 26, 2018) was an American playwright, screenwriter and author. He wrote more than 30 plays and nearly the same number of movie screenplays, mostly adaptations of his plays. He received more combined Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer.
During 1966, Simon had four shows playing at Broadway theatres simultaneously: Sweet Charity, The Star-Spangled Girl, The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park.
In 1991, Simon was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Lost in Yonkers
In 2006, Simon received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor
Neil Simon Cause of Death
In 2004, Simon received a kidney transplant from his long-time friend and publicist Bill Evans.
Neil Simon died on August 26, 2018, after being on life support while hospitalized for renal failure. He also had Alzheimer’s disease. He was 91. The cause of death was complications of pneumonia, according to his publicist, Bill Evans. Simon died around 1 a.m. Sunday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.
Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer and songwriter. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister. In 1960, at the age of 18, she embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but only achieving modest success. Following her signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Spanish Harlem” and “Think”. By the end of the 1960s she had gained the title “The Queen of Soul”.
Franklin has won a total of 18 Grammy Awards and is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide.
On August 13, 2018, Franklin was reported to be gravely ill at her home near Detroit. She was reported to be under hospice care and surrounded by friends and family. Stevie Wonder and Jesse Jackson, among others, had visited her.
On August 16, 2018, it was reported that Franklin had died at home in Detroit, aged 76. The cause was reported to be advanced pancreatic cancer.
Josip Hrvoje Peruzović (October 14, 1947 – July 29, 2018), better known by his ring name of Nikolai Volkoff, was a Yugoslav-born American professional wrestler who was best known for his performances in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Although the Volkoff character was often portrayed as a villainous Russian, Peruzović originated from Croatia.
He wrestled into the age of 70, still wrestling just before he died a few months later.
Formal cause of death was not announced. Volkoff had been in the hospital in Maryland for several days for “dehydration,: along with other issues that were not specified.