2014 Year in Review: Obituaries

As 2014 draws to a close, 7News looks back at some of the notable people who passed away this year.

Mayor Tom Menino

Tom Menino was first elected mayor in 1993. Over five terms spanning the next 20 years, he was the face and heart of Boston. After the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, Menino left the hospital to attend memorial services and help lift spirits. The former mayor died of cancer in October at age 71.

Robin Williams

The great comedian and actor Robin Williams made his debut on the 1970s sitcom “Mork and Mindy.” He went on to appear in many films, including “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Dead Poets Society,” and he provided the voice of the Genie in “Aladdin.” Williams also won an Oscar for his role in “Good Will Hunting” and was the star of various stand-up specials. Williams took his own life in August at the age of 63.

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers, considered a pioneer for women in comedy, got her big break doing comedy on “The Tonight Show” in 1965. Rivers released numerous comedy albums and books and even had a jewelry line on QVC. She and her daughter Melissa co-hosted E!’s “Fashion Police” since its debut in 2010, critiquing celebrity red carpet fashions. Rivers died at 81 in September after going into cardiac arrest during a medical procedure.

Sid Caesar

Sid Caesar created one of the earliest sketch comedy TV programs, “Your Show of Shows,” in 1950. He also appeared on Broadway and played Coach Calhoun in the 1978 movie, “Grease.” Caesar died in February at the age of 91 after a brief illness. 

Russel Johnson

Russel Johnson was an actor best known as the Professor from the 1960s sitcom “Gilligan’s Island.” He died of kidney failure in January at the age of 89.

Ann B. Davis

Actress Ann B. Davis was best known as Alice the maid from the sitcom “The Brady Bunch.” She also won two Emmys in 1958 and 1959 for her role on “The Bob Cummings Show.” Davis died in June at the age of 88.

James Garner

James Garner was an actor who starred in the 1950s TV Western “Maverick” and the 1970s detective TV drama “The Rockford Files.” He was nominated for an Oscar in 1985 and also appeared in the 2004 movie “The Notebook.” Garner died in July at the age of 86.

Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols was a former comedian who switched to directing and producing. He won an Oscar for directing “The Graduate” in 1968 and won numerous Grammys, Emmys and Tonys. His other films included “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” “The Birdcage,” and “Charlie Wilson’s War.” Nichols was married to journalist Diane Sawyer. He died in November after suffering a heart attack at the age of 83.

Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple, the child actress who charmed Depression-era moviegoers, was America’s top box office draw from 1935 to 1938. She retired from acting in her 20s and devoted herself to a career in politics. Temple died of natural causes in February at the age of 85.

Mickey Rooney

Mickey Rooney began his career as a child actor and appeared in more than 300 films throughout his career. At age 19, he was the first teenager to be nominated for an Oscar and recently appeared in the “Night at the Museum” films. Rooney died at the age of 93 in April.

Lauren Bacall

Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall starred in more than 30 films and Broadway shows in a career that spanned more than 60 years. She co-starred with husband Humphrey Bogart in “To Have and Have Not” and later appeared alongside Marilyn Monroe in “How to Marry a Millionaire.” Bacall died of a stroke in August at the age of 89.

Oscar de la Renta

A Dominican Republic native, Oscar de la Renta began his career in painting before devoting himself to fashion. De La Renta’s gowns appeared on everyone from actresses on the red carpet at the Oscars to first ladies at presidential inaugural balls. The fashion designer died in October at the age of 82.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was a poet, author, actress and activist. Her first of seven autobiographies, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” became a classic after it was published in 1970. She read her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993, making it a best-seller. She later taught at Wake Forest University. Angelou died at the age of 86 in May.

Chet Curtis

Longtime Boston newscaster Chet Curtis co-anchored the news at WCVB with his then-wife Natalie Jacobson for decades. He worked at NECN since 2001 and had been a part of the Boston news market since 1968. Curtis died of pancreatic cancer complications in January at the age of 74.

Ben Bradlee

Boston native Ben Bradlee served as the Washington Post’s executive editor from 1968 to 1991. He became a national figure in 1971 when he went against requests from government officials and published the Pentagon Papers, a secret study of the Vietnam War. Bradlee also oversaw reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward as they led coverage of the Watergate scandal. Bradlee died in October at the age of 93.

Harold Ramis

Actor-writer-director Harold Ramis worked on some of the biggest comedy films of the past 30 years. Among the films he directed were “Caddyshack” and “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” and he appeared in “Stripes” and “Ghostbusters.” He also co-wrote many of the films he directed or appeared in. Ramis died in February at the age of 69.

Casey Kasem

Casey Kasem was the founder and longtime radio host of “American Top 40” from its debut in 1970 until 2004. He was also the voice of Shaggy on “Scooby Doo.” Kasem died in June at the age of 82.

Phil Everly

Phil Everly was one half of the Everly Brothers rock and roll group, along with his brother Don. The brothers were known for their songs “Bye Bye Love” and “All I Have to Do is Dream.” They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. Everly died in January at the age of 74.

Joe Cocker

British soul singer Joe Cocker was best known for his songs “You Are So Beautiful” and “Up Where We Belong,” his duet with Jennifer Warnes. He also famously covered the Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends,” which he performed at Woodstock in 1969. Cocker died of lung cancer in December at the age of 70.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman won acclaim for his roles on film and on Broadway. He won an Oscar in 2006 for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote. He also appeared in “Doubt,” “Almost Famous,” and “Moneyball.” Hoffman died in February from an accidental drug overdose at the age of 46.

Pete Seeger

Singer and activist Pete Seeger introduced generations of Americans to folk music. He performed with Woody Guthrie at the start of his career and co-wrote “If I Had a Hammer” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.” Seeger was an advocate for civil rights and the environment and walked through Manhattan with the Occupy Movement in 2011. Seeger died in January at the age of 94.