Billy Paul (born Paul Williams; December 1, 1934 – April 24, 2016) was a Grammy Award winning American soul singer, most known for his 1972 number-one single, "Me and Mrs. Jones", as well as the 1973 album and single "War of the Gods" which blends his more conventional pop, soul and funk styles with electronic and psychedelic influences.
He was one of the many artists associated with the Philadelphia soul sound created by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell. Paul was identified by his diverse vocal style which ranged from mellow and soulful to low and raspy. Questlove of The Roots equated Paul to Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, calling him "one of the criminally unmentioned proprietors of socially conscious post-revolution '60s civil rights music."
Billy Paul Cause of Death
Paul died on the afternoon of April 24, 2016 at his home in Blackwood, New Jersey from pancreatic cancer at the age of 81.
Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016), known by his mononym Prince, was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and actor, serving as a major figure in popular music for over three decades. Prince was renowned as an innovator and was widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range. He was widely regarded as the pioneer of Minneapolis sound. His music combined rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip hop, disco, psychedelia, jazz, and pop.
Illness and death
On April 15, 2016, Prince's private plane was forced to land in Illinois so he could seek medical treatment for flu-like symptoms. He performed in a concert one day later in Atlanta, Georgia. On April 21, 2016, he died at the age of 57. He was found unresponsive at his home in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
Chyna (born Joan Marie Laurer; December 27, 1970 – April 17-20, 2016) was an American professional wrestler, actor, glamour model, bodybuilder and pornographic film actor.
On April 20, 2016, Laurer was found dead at her home in Redondo Beach, California. She had been taking medication for anxiety and insomnia. A statement was posted to her Twitter account confirming her death.
Doris Roberts (born Doris May Green; November 4, 1925 – April 17, 2016) was an American actress. She received five Emmy Awards and a Screen Actors Guild award during her acting career, which began in 1951. She was perhaps best known for her role as Raymond Barone's mother, Marie Barone, on the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond (1996–2005).
Roberts died in Los Angeles, California, on April 17, 2016, at age 90.
Merle Ronald Haggard (April 6, 1937 – April 6, 2016) was an American country music songwriter, singer, guitarist, fiddler, and instrumentalist. Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band the Strangers helped create the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized by the twang of Fender Telecaster and the unique mix with the traditional country steel guitar sound, new vocal harmony styles in which the words are minimal, and a rough edge not heard on the more polished Nashville sound recordings of the same era.
On December 5, 2015, Haggard was treated at an undisclosed hospital in California for pneumonia. He made a recovery, but postponed several concerts.
In March 2016, Haggard was once again hospitalized. His concerts for April were cancelled due to his ongoing double pneumonia. On April 6, 2016, his 79th birthday, he died of complications from pneumonia at his home in Palo Cedro, California.
Merle Haggard - Lonesome Fugitive & Sing Me Back Home
Erik Bauersfeld (June 28, 1922 - April 3, 2016) was an American radio dramatist and voice actor. His most notable role was providing the voices of Admiral Ackbar and Bib Fortuna in the third film of the original Star Wars trilogy, Return of the Jedi. He reprised his role as the voice of Admiral Ackbar in Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015.
Bauersfeld died in his home in Berkeley, California, on April 3, 2016, at the age of 93.
Anna Marie "Patty" Duke (December 14, 1946 – March 29, 2016) was an American actress of stage, film, and television. She first became known as a teen star, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at age 16 for her role as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (1962), which she had originated on Broadway. Later she had the lead in the eponymous sitcom The Patty Duke Show. Duke progressed to more mature roles such as in the film Valley of the Dolls (1967), playing Neely O'Hara. She served as the president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1985 to 1988, four years after her Patty Duke Show co-star William Schallert held the same office.
Duke was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982, after which she devoted much of her time as an advocate for and educating the public on mental health issues.
In 1996, 30 years after The Patty Duke Show ended, Duke was ranked No. 40 on TV Guide's "50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time".
Patty Duke cause of deagth
Duke died on the morning of March 29, 2016, at the age of 69, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, of sepsis from a ruptured intestine.
Gilbert Roland "Gil" Hill (November 5, 1931 – February 29, 2016) was the President of the Detroit City Council. He was also a Detroit police officer and part-time actor, gaining recognition for his craft in the Beverly Hills Cop movie franchise.
Already a nationally-prominent figure through his success in law enforcement, Hill rose to worldwide fame when he appeared in the Beverly Hills Cop films, playing the role of Inspector Todd, the boss of Eddie Murphy's character Axel Foley. Offered other acting work after the film's release, Hill declined to pursue acting as a career, but did appear in the two subsequent sequels of the movie, saying that the only difference between his famous character's life and his own was that he didn't curse as much in real life.
Hill died from pneumonia at the age of 84 on February 29, 2016 at 4:40 PM at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.
George Harris Kennedy, Jr. (February 18, 1925 – February 28, 2016) was an American actor who appeared in more than 200 film and television productions. He is best remembered for portraying "Dragline" opposite Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke (1967), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and was nominated for the corresponding Golden Globe. He received a second Golden Globe nomination for portraying Joe Patroni in Airport (1970).
Kennedy was the only actor to appear in all four films in the Airport series, having reprised the role of Joe Patroni three times. He was also widely recognized as Police Captain Ed Hocken in the Naked Gun series of comedy films and corrupt oil tycoon Carter McKay on the original Dallas television series.
For his contributions to motion pictures, Kennedy received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6352 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California
Kennedy resided in Eagle, Idaho, at the time of his death. He died on the morning of Sunday, February 28, 2016, of a heart ailment at an assisted living facility in Middleton, Idaho, at the age of 91. He had a history of heart disease.
At the time of his death, Kennedy was the oldest living Oscar winner in the Best Supporting Actor category. Coincidentally, he died the day of the 88th Academy Awards ceremony.
Anthony "Tony" Burton (March 23, 1937 – February 25, 2016) was an American actor, comedian, boxer, and football player. He was best known for his role as Tony "Duke" Evers in the Rocky franchise.
Tony Burton had been frequently hospitalized for the last year of his life, according to his sister. On February 25, 2016, he died at the age of 78, from complications of pneumonia at a hospital in Menifee, California.
James Hugh Loden (May 1, 1928 – February 22, 2016), known professionally as Sonny James, was an American country music singer and songwriter best known for his 1957 hit, "Young Love". Dubbed the "Southern Gentleman" for his congenial manner, his greatest success came from ballads about the trials of love. James had 72 country and pop charted releases from 1953 to 1983, including an unprecedented five-year streak of 16 straight Billboard #1 singles among his 26 #1 hits. Twenty-one of his albums reached the country top ten from 1964 to 1976. James was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1961 and co-hosted the first Country Music Association Awards Show in 1967. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007.
James died on February 22, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 87.
George Gaynes (born George Jongejans; 16 May 1917 – 15 February 2016) was an American singer, actor, voice artist, and comedy performer of stage, screen, and television. Born to Dutch and Russian parents in Finland, he grew up in France, England, and Switzerland; after serving in the Royal Netherlands Navy during World War II, he immigrated to the United States, where he became a citizen and began his acting career on Broadway.
Gaynes' most recognized roles in cinema were, arguably, that of Commandant Eric Lassard in the Police Academy series and the comedy film Tootsie. To television fans, he is perhaps best remembered as the curmudgeonly but lovable foster parent Henry Warnimont on the NBC series Punky Brewster; as high-powered theatrical producer Arthur Feldman on The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, in which Gaynes' real-life wife, Allyn Ann McLerie, co-starred as his love interest; and as Frank Smith, the mob boss brought down by Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) on the soap opera General Hospital.
Gaynes died at his home in North Bend, Washington on 15 February 2016. He was 98 years old.
Daniel "Dan" Gerson (August 1, 1966 – February 6, 2016) was an American screenwriter best-known for his work with Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. He co-wrote the screenplays of Monsters, Inc., Monsters University and Big Hero 6; the latter two with his regular writing partner Robert L. Baird. At the time of his death, it was reported that he would be a co-writer of the upcoming Cars 3, again with Baird.
Gerson was also a member of the Pixar and Disney writing teams, and contributed material to Chicken Little, Curious George, Cars, Meet the Robinsons, Up, Inside Out and Zootopia, as well as television shows including Misguided Angeles, Big Wolf on Campus and Something So Right. Of the films he wrote, Big Hero 6 won the Academy Award for best animated film, for which Monsters, Inc was also nominated. Big Hero 6 was also the highest-grossing animated film of 2014. He also won a BAFTA award.
Gerson died in Los Angeles at the age of 49 on February 6, 2016, due to brain cancer. He was survived by his parents, wife and children, and his sister.
Joe Dowell (January 23, 1940 – February 4, 2016) was an American pop singer.
He sang the tune "Wooden Heart", which had been a hit for Elvis Presley in Europe, but which was never released as a single stateside. "Wooden Heart", became the first single released on Smash Records to shoot to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. In the wake of his success, Dowell wanted to become a songwriter in his own right, but due to contractual obligations, he was required to sing music owned by Smash's parent company, Mercury Records. He had two further hits, "The Bridge of Love" (US #50) and "Little Red Rented Rowboat" (US #23), but after struggles with his management he was dropped from the label.
Joe Dowell died on February 4, 2016 in Bloomington, Illinois after suffering a heart attack in the prior weekend.