Fred Ward, star of 'The Right Stuff,' 'Remo Williams' and 'Tremors,' dies at 79

Fred Ward, a character actor and producer who starred in “The Right Stuff,” “Tremors” and “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins,” has died at 79.

Publicist Ron Hofmann confirmed to USA TODAY that Ward died Sunday. Ward had a steady presence on screen since the late 1970s, garnering his first major role alongside Clint Eastwood in 1979’s “Escape from Alcatraz.” Ward memorably played Mercury 7 astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom in 1983’s space epic “The Right Stuff” but also tackled giant monster worms side by side with Kevin Bacon in the 1990 cult horror comedy “Tremors.”

Born in San Diego, Ward’s pre-acting jobs – including three years in the Air Force and stints as a short-order cook, boxer and lumberjack – prepared for the tough-guy roles he’d be recognized for in his Hollywood career.

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Ward headlined the 1985 action adventure “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins,” in which he played a cop trained to become an assassin by a martial-arts master (Joel Grey). It turned out to be a failed franchise vehicle, but Ward had noteworthy roles in a pair of 1990 films: He starred as author Henry Miller in “Henry & June,” the first NC-17 film, also featuring Uma Thurman, and he played a Miami detective hunting down Alec Baldwin’s ex-con in the neo-noir dark comedy “Miami Blues.” (Ward himself bought the book rights for Charles Willeford’s novel two years before.)

In addition, Ward had a role as a studio security chief in Robert Altman’s “The Player” and a TV anchor in Tim Robbins’ “Bob Roberts” – both in 1992 – and was a terrorist planning to detonate a bomb at the Oscars in the 1994 spoof “The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult.”

fred ward, star of 'the right stuff,' 'remo williams' and 'tremors,' dies at 79
© SHANE HARVEY/NBC Fred Ward starred in the 2004 NBC miniseries “10.5.”

Ward also played a number of dads, in comedies like 2000’s “Road Trip,” 2001’s “Summer Catch” and 2011’s “30 Minutes of Less” as well as the 2002 revenge thriller “Enough” where he was Jennifer Lopez’s on-screen father.

The actor also worked on the small-screen, including parts in the disaster miniseries “10.5” and shows “In Plain Sight,” “The United States of Tara,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Leverage” and “True Detective.”

A painter late in life, Ward is survived by his wife of 27 years, Marie-France Ward, and son Django Ward.

Fred Ward, star of 'The Right Stuff,' 'Remo Williams' and 'Tremors,' dies at 79
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Fashion model Jethro Lazenby, son of Australian singer/songwriter Nick Cave, has died. A cause of death was not given. “With much sadness, I can confirm that my son, Jethro, has passed away,” the front man of rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds said in a statement to the Associated Press on May 9, 2022. “We would be grateful for family privacy at this time.” 

Rapper, actor and photographer Lazenby was Cave’s son with model Beau Lazenby born in 1991.

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Mike Hagerty, best known for his role as Mr. Treeger on the sitcom “Friends,” has died, HBO confirmed in a statement May 9. A cause of death was not given. 

“We are very saddened to hear about the sudden passing of Mike Hagerty,” the statement read. “His most recent role as Bridget Everett’s father in ‘Somebody Somewhere’ showed his special talent for bringing heart to a performance.”

Hagerty also appeared in television series such as “ER,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” “Mike was a joy to work with and brought warmth and kindness to all who knew him,” HBO said. “We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

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Dennis Waterman, who appeared in British television series like “Minder,” “On the Up” and “New Tricks,” died May 8, Waterman’s manager Derek Webster confirmed to USA TODAY. The 74-year-old actor had been battling cancer for over a year, Webster said.

Waterman is survived by his wife Pam and daughters Julia and Hannah.

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Jack Kehler, best known for his role in the Coen Brothers comedy “The Big Lebowski,” died May 7 of complications from Leukemia, Kehler’s son Eddie Kehler confirmed to USA TODAY. The actor was 75.

Kehler also appeared in the films “Lost Highway” and “Men in Black II,” as well as the sci-fi thriller series “The Man in the High Castle.” He is survived by his wife Shawna Casey, son Eddie, daughter-in-law Mari-Anne and grandson Liam.

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Jewell Caples, who was known as the ‘First Lady’ of Death Row Records and released the successful 1994 cover of “Woman to Woman” by Shirley Brown, died May 6. She was 53.

Her manager Timothy Beal confirmed her death to USA TODAY: “Jewell was not only an awesome person, Beautifully spirited woman but an Awesome performer as well … She was like family to us . We will miss her a great deal.” 

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Naomi Judd, the Kentucky-born singer of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, has died. She was 76.

Her daughters announced her death on April 30 in a statement provided to The Associated Press. “Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” the statement said. “We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.”

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Rio Hackford, the eldest son of Taylor Hackford and Georgie Lowres and Helen Mirren’s stepson, died on April 14 from uveal melanoma. He was 51. His brother, Alex Hackford, confirmed his death to Variety on April 15.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Taylor and Mirren said they are “inspired by the life of our son and stepson and heartbroken by his loss.” They continued, “He shared his life’s journey with so many who now mourn him, and at the same time, celebrate their fortune in knowing him.”

The couple added, “We would beg everyone reading this to get their eyes tested at least once a year, which might save their loved ones from this cancer.” Rio was also an actor and appeared in “Jonah Hex,” “Raising Helen,” “Treme,” “The Mandolorian” and more.

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Hip-hop pioneer DJ Kay Slay, who worked with top stars throughout his career, died on April 17 following a battle with COVID-19. The Hot 97 host, whose real name is Keith Grayson, was 55.

On April 18, his family confirmed in a statement through the New York radio station Hot 97, where the Harlem native hosted “The Drama Hour” for more than two decades. “Our hearts are broken,” the family said in a statement to the outlet. “A dominant figure in Hip Hop culture with millions of fans worldwide, DJ Kay Slay will be remembered for his passion and excellence with a legacy that will transcend generations.”

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Actor Liz Sheridan (right), known for her roles on the hit sitcoms “Seinfeld” and “Alf,” died April 15, according to Sheridan’s representative Amanda Hendon. She was 93. Sheridan “died peacefully in her sleep from natural causes,” Hendon said in a press release.

On “Seinfeld,” the New York-born actress portrayed Helen Seinfeld, mother of the show’s title character Jerry Seinfeld. “Liz’s worldwide fan base will continue to enjoy her extensive body of work for years to come,” the press release states. “She was always very grateful to her fans and felt blessed to have enjoyed decades of work in the entertainment business.”

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The Wanted singer Tom Parker died March 30 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2020. He was 33.

“He was our brother, words can’t express the loss and sadness we feel,” the band announced on their Instagram. “Always and forever in our hearts.”

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Paul Herman died on March 29, which is also his birthday. The actor is known for his roles in award-winning movies and TV series, including his portrayal as Beansie in “The Sopranos.” He was 76. 

“A true character on and off screen,” his representative T Keaton-Woods said in a statement to USA TODAY. “He will be deeply missed by all who knew him, and we will always remember the sound of his laughter and bold spirit.”

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Country music singer and songwriter Jeff Carson, who scored hits with “Not On Your Love,” and “The Car” before becoming a police officer, has died in Tennessee, his representative announced March 26. He was 58.

Carson’s career had 14 singles on the Billboard chart in his career before he retired from music to become a police officer in Franklin, Tennessee where he remained on the police force. “It’s hard to believe he’s gone,” the police department said on Twitter.

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Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins has died at 50, the band announced March 25. Hawkins died in Bogota, Columbia, where the Foo Fighters were scheduled to play a festival. The band confirmed the news in a statement shared with USA TODAY; no cause of death was given. “His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever,” the statement read.

Before joining the group in 1997, Hawkins was a touring drummer for Alanis Morissette. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in October 2021. The band’s most recent album, “Medicine at Midnight,” was released in February, and Hawkins starred with his bandmates in a companion horror movie, “Studio 666.”

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Actor William Hurt, a four-time Oscar nominee who won for his role in 1985’s “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” died March 13 at 71 of natural causes, his son, Will, said. He had also been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer in 2018.

After graduating from the Juilliard School, Hurt got his start in theater, but his film career, starting with “Altered States” and his breakout role in “Body Heat,” led to four Oscar nominations, including for “Children of a Lesser God” and “Broadcast News.” 

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Mitchell Ryan, left, who played a villainous general in the first “Lethal Weapon” movie, a ruthless businessman on TV’s “Santa Barbara” and had character roles on the soap opera “Dark Shadows” and the 1990s sitcom “Dharma & Greg,” died March 4, 2022. He was 88.

Ryan’s agent, Ro Diamond, confirmed his death on March 5 in a statement, writing, “Mitchell was kind, thoughtful, smart, loyal, wonderful husband, father, grandfather & client. I will miss him so much.” 

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Oscar-winning producer and studio boss Alan Ladd Jr. died at 84 on March 2, his daughter Amanda Ladd-Jones announced on social media. No cause of death was given.

As studio head at Fox and MGM, Ladd was involved in some 14 best-picture nominees, including “Young Frankenstein,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Chariots of Fire” and “Blade Runner.” During his time at 20th Century Fox, he greenlit George Lucas’ sci-fi film “Star Wars” — even when few in Hollywood saw any potential in it. “My biggest contribution to ‘Star Wars’ was keeping my mouth shut and standing by the picture,” Ladd told Variety.

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Ralph Ahn, best known for his fan-favorite work on the sitcom “New Girl,” died on Feb. 26 at the age of 95, a rep from The Korean American Federation of Los Angeles confirmed to USA TODAY. No cause of death was given. 

Ahn first appeared on “New Girl” during the Fox comedy’s sophomore season as Tran, an expressive character befriended by the show’s dry bartender roommate, Nick Miller (Jake Johnson). Johnson took to Instagram to share his appreciation for Ahn’s talent, writing that the actor was “so much fun to work with,” alongside a photo of Ahn’s warm smile. “He gave so much with literally no lines.”

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Ned Eisenberg, an actor known for his work on popular shows like “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Mare of Easttown,” died at his New York Home on Feb. 27, his agent Jeanne Nicolosi confirmed. He was 65.

Nicolosi also shared a statement from Eisenberg’s wife, actress Patricia Dunnock, who opened up about her late husband’s cancer battle. “As Ned would say, he was attacked by two very rare assassins — cholangiocarcinoma and ocular melanoma,” Dunnock said. “Over the course of two years, he bravely fought the cancers in private while continuing to work in show business to ensure that his medical coverage paid for himself and his family.”

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Sally Kellerman, the original Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the 1970 Robert Altman film “M*A*S*H*,” died on Feb. 24 from heart failure, her manager and publicist Alan Eichler confirmed to USA TODAY. She was 84. The actress died in her sleep in her Woodland Hills, California home. 

Kellerman earned an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress for her stand-out Houlihan role in the army comedy, which also starred Donald Sutherland and Elliot Gould. In the “M*A*S*H*” film she played a by-the-book nurse who carries on a torrid affair with the equally uptight Major Frank Burns (Robert Duvall) demanding that he kiss her “hot lips” in a moment secretly broadcast over the camp’s public address speakers, earning her the nickname.

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Mark Lanegan, grunge pioneer and lead singer of the Screaming Trees, died Feb. 22 at age 57. No cause of death was given.

In addition to his work with the Trees, who became an influential part of the Seattle grunge scene, Lanegan also released several genre-defying albums and recorded music with artists like Queens of the Stone Age and Isobel Campbell, formerly of Belle and Sebastian.

“Mark Lanegan was a lovely man. He led a wild life that some of us could only dream of,” wrote Peter Hook, bassist of Joy Division and New Order, on social media. “He leaves us with fantastic words and music! Thank god that through all of that he will live forever.” 

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Gary Brooker, frontman for British prog-rockers Procol Harum, died at his home following a battle with cancer on Feb. 19. He was 76.

Brooker founded Procol Harum in 1966 with songwriter Keith Reid after the breakup of his first band, The Paramounts. The band’s debut single, the woozy, organ-drenched “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and topped the charts in the U.K.

“Gary’s charisma was by no means confined to the stage. He lit up any room he entered, and his kindness to a multilingual family of fans was legendary,” the band said in a statement. “His mordant wit, and appetite for the ridiculous, made him a priceless raconteur.” 

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Zoe Sozo Bethel, the reigning Miss Alabama for America Strong, died Feb. 18 after falling from a third-floor window and sustaining “blunt force trauma.” She was 27. 

In addition to her title as Miss Alabama for America Strong, Bethel served as a political commentator for Right Side Broadcasting Network (RSBN), a conservative media platform, and was a brand ambassador for the conservative nonprofit Turning Point USA, Bethel’s family wrote on social media at the time. “This has been an abrupt & very traumatizing situation for our family, & we can imagine how much of a shock this will also be to everyone who knows & cares for her,” Bethel’s family said. 

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Guitarist and singer Dallas Good, a founding member of the influential Canadian rock/country band The Sadies, died unexpectedly on Feb. 17. He was 48 and had been under a doctor’s care for a coronary illness detected days earlier, the band’s label, Yep Roc Records, shared in a statement. The Sadies, who formed in 1994, have collaborated with Neil Young and were featured on soundtracks for “Nightcrawler” and “Veronica Mars.” 

The band remembered Good as “a son, a brother, a husband, a friend, a bandmate, a leader, a force to be reckoned with” in a statement on social media. “The stage is dark today with the all too soon passing of one of music’s brightest lights.”

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Journalist and political satirist P.J. O’Rourke died at age 74 on Feb. 15., due to complications from lung cancer. “P. J. was one of the major voices of his generation,” said Morgan Entrekin, publisher of Grove Atlantic Inc. Books. “His insightful reporting, verbal acuity and gift at writing laugh-out-loud prose were unparalleled.” 

In addition to working for major publications such as National Lampoon and Rolling Stone, O’Rourke was also a prolific USA TODAY bestselling writer, authoring such popular titles as “Parliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government” and “Give War a Chance: Eyewitness Accounts of Mankind’s Struggle Against Tyranny, Injustice and Alcohol-Free Beer.”

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Ivan Reitman, the influential filmmaker and producer behind beloved comedies from “Animal House” to “Ghostbusters,” died at age 75 on Feb. 12. According to a family statement to The Associated Press, Reitman died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Montecito, Calif. “Our family is grieving the unexpected loss of a husband, father, and grandfather who taught us to always seek the magic in life,” children Jason Reitman, Catherine Reitman and Caroline Reitman said in a joint statement. 

Reitman was known for big, bawdy comedies that caught the spirit of their time, and his big break came with the raucous, college fraternity sendup “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” He directed Bill Murray in his first starring role in “Meatballs,” then again in “Stripes.” His most successful film, however, came with 1984’s “Ghostbusters,” which he produced and directed.

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Isabel Torres, who starred in HBO Max’s “Veneno” died Feb. 11, according to a post from her official Instagram which announced her death in Spanish. She was 52.

The trans actress had been battling cancer and in November said goodbye to fans in what she called her “last video”  on Instagram. According to Out magazine, Torres said “They give me two months to live” in the video and expressed her gratitude for “the success of ‘Veneno.’ “

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Indian singing icon Lata Mangeshkar, revered as the “Melody Queen” and “Nightingale of India,” died Feb. 6 at age 92. She suffered multiple organ failure after contracting COVID-19 last month and died in Mumbai, her physician, Dr. Pratit Samdani, told reporters.

Her first song debuted in a 1942 Bollywood film when she was just 13, and she went on to sing in more than 5,000 films.

“I am anguished beyond words,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted. “She leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled.”

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Cheslie Kryst, the 2019 winner of the Miss USA pageant and a correspondent for the entertainment news program “Extra,” died on Jan. 30. She was 30. 

“In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie,” a family statement read. “Her great light was one that inspired others around the world with her beauty and strength. She cared, she loved, she laughed and she shined. Cheslie embodied love and served others, whether through her work as an attorney fighting for social justice, as Miss USA and as a host on EXTRA. But most importantly, as a daughter, sister, friend, mentor and colleague — we know her impact will live on.”

Kryst, a North Carolina attorney, won the Miss USA pageant in May 2019, and competed in the Miss Universe pageant that year. 

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Blues drummer and vocalist Sam Lay, who played with Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, died at age 86 on Jan. 29.

Lay died of natural causes in Chicago, Alligator Records said. Known for wearing a cape and carrying a walking stick, Lay was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 as part of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

“Words can’t describe it if you like blues like I do,” Lay told the South Bend Tribune that year, referring to the band. “I enjoyed the moment of it, and everybody that was in that band, I enjoyed. I learned a lot from everybody in there, and they claim they learned a lot from me.”

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Howard Hesseman, enshrined in pop culture history for his role as radio disc jockey Dr. Johnny Fever (pictured) on CBS sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati,” died Jan. 29 at 81 from complications of colon surgery, his manager Robbie Kass confirmed to USA TODAY. 

The actor scored two Emmy nominations as best supporting actor for his role on the show, which ran from 1978 to 1982. He also played Ann Romano’s second husband, architect Sam Royer, on “One Day at a Time” and went on to star in “Head of the Class” as teacher Charlie Moore in the ’80s. 

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Argentine singer-songwriter Diego Verdaguer, whose romantic hits such as “Corazón de papel,” “Yo te amo” and “Volveré” sold almost 50 million copies, died Jan. 27 of complications from COVID-19. He was 70. 

The naturalized Mexican-Argentine musician, who was married to singer Amanda Miguel, died in Los Angeles, his daughter Ana Victoria said in a statement released by Diam Music, Verdaguer’s record company. “With absolute sadness, I regret to inform his fans and friends that today my father left his beautiful body to continue his path and creativity in another form of eternal life,” said his daughter. “My mother, I and the whole family are immersed in this pain, so we appreciate your understanding in these difficult times.”

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Legendary French fashion designer Manfred Thierry Mugler, known for his dramatic and avant garde designs, died Jan. 23. He was 73. Mugler’s death was announced on his official Instagram account. “May his soul Rest In Peace,” the statement read. House of Mugler also confirmed the news of his death on their account writing: “A visionary whose imagination as a couturier, perfumer and image-maker empowered people around the world to be bolder and dream bigger everyday.” 

Born December 21, 1948, in Strasbourg, France, Mugler launched his first fashion collection called “Café de Paris” in 1973. Mugler retired from fashion in 2002, but in more recent years, the designer’s iconic looks have been worn by high-profile entertainers including Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, Cardi B, David Bowie, and Diana Ross. 

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Emmy-winning comedian and actor Louie Anderson died Jan. 21, according to his longtime publicist Glenn Schwartz. He was 68. 

Anderson appeared on TV in many avenues including “Family Feud” and several late-night talk show appearances. His gender-switching role in FX’s “Baskets” won a 2016 Emmy for best supporting actor as he took on the role of Christine Baskets, a mother to twins played by Zach Galifianakis. Anderson received three consecutive Emmy nods for his performance.

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Rock superstar Meat Loaf, whose “Bat Out of Hell” album soared among record sales, died Jan. 20 according to a statement from his family. He was 74. 

“Bat Out of a Hell,” his mega-selling collaboration with songwriter Jim Steinman and producer Todd Rundgren, came out in 1977 and made him one of the most recognizable performers in rock.

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Brazilian samba singer Elza Soares died in her Rio de Janeiro home on Jan. 20, family members said on the artist’s official Instagram account. She was 91. The family said Soares died of ‘’natural causes” and did not provide further detail. 

Elza Gomes da Conceição was born in June 1930, in a modest Rio de Janeiro household. She became famous for singing samba in the early 1960s, before diversifying to other genres, winning her the title of “singer of the millennium” in a BBC London competition in 1999.

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36/45 SLIDES © Thibault Camus, AP French actor Gaspard Ulliel, known for appearing in Chanel perfume ads as well as film and television roles, died Jan. 19 after a skiing accident in the Alps, according to his agent’s office. He was 37.
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André Leon Talley, the visionary former creative director of Vogue magazine, died Jan. 18 at age 73, his literary agent David Vigliano confirmed.

The fashion journalist began at the Condé Nast magazine in 1983, serving as fashion news director, creative director and later, editor-at-large. The 6-foot-6 fashion icon wrote two memoirs, “A.L.T.: A Memoir” in 2003 and “The Chiffon Trenches” in 2020, served as a judge over four seasons of “America’s Next Top Model” and was the center of the 2017 documentary “The Gospel According to André.”

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Yvette Mimieux, the ’60s movie star who appeared in films such as “Where the Boys Are,” “The Time Machine” and “Light in the Piazza,” died Jan. 17. She was 80. A family spokesperson said Mimieux died in her sleep of natural causes.

She was three times nominated for a Golden Globe, including for her role in the short-lived ABC series “The Most Deadly Game,” from Aaron Spelling. Mimieux eventually retired from acting in her late 40s, citing the one-dimensional roles offered to her to play. “I decided I didn’t want to have a totally public life,” she told The Washington Post. 

“You know, there are tribes in Africa who believe that a camera steals a little part of your soul, and in a way I think that’s true about living your private life in public,” Mimieux added. “It takes something away from your relationships, it cheapens them.” 

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Pop singer Ronnie Spector, who found fame with the ’60s girl group The Ronettes, died Jan. 12 after a brief battle with cancer, according to a family statement. Spector was surrounded by family and “in the arms of her husband, Jonathan.” 

“Our beloved earth angel, Ronnie, peacefully left this world today,” the statement read. “Ronnie lived her life with a twinkle in her eye, a spunky attitude, a wicked sense of humor and a smile on her face.”

While Spector initially struggled to find solo success after leaving the Ronettes, Spector found commercial success in the ’80s with “Take Me Home Tonight,” a duet with Eddie Money, and released the rock-inspired “She Talks to Rainbows” EP to critical acclaim in 1999. 

“Her joyful sound, playful nature and magical presence will live on in all who knew, heard or saw her,” her family wrote.  

Fred Ward, star of 'The Right Stuff,' 'Remo Williams' and 'Tremors,' dies at 79
40/45 SLIDES © Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Bob Saget, the comedian and star of TV’s “Full House” died on Jan. 9, at 65. He was best known for his role as widowed father Danny Tanner in ABC’s “Full House.” 

On TV, Saget played the sweetly neurotic father on ABC’s “Full House” from 1987 to 1995 opposite Jesse (John Stamos), Joey (Dave Coulier), along with his TV daughters D.J. (Candace Cameron), Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and Michelle (played by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen).

But as a stand-up comic, Saget told USA TODAY he preferred “immature taboo humor — good immature taboo humor” while promoting his 2014 memoir, “Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian.”

Fred Ward, star of 'The Right Stuff,' 'Remo Williams' and 'Tremors,' dies at 79
41/45 SLIDES © Photo courtesy of Double XXposure Media Relations

James Mtume, a musician and activist who formed the R&B group Mtume, died on Jan. 9, six days after his 76th birthday, his representative Angelo Ellerbee confirmed to USA TODAY.

Throughout his career, Mtume collaborated with several jazz giants, including Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard and Sonny Rollins. He even formed his own genre of music — a combination of soul, jazz and funk he called “Sophistifunk” — in the 1970s. 

In the 1980s, Mtume formed the R&B group bearing his namesake. The group had five best-selling albums and eleven R&B hits, including the 1982 song “Juicy Fruit.”

Fred Ward, star of 'The Right Stuff,' 'Remo Williams' and 'Tremors,' dies at 79
42/45 SLIDES © THE HICKMAN FAMILY ARCHIVES

Dwayne Hickman, who starred as the perpetually besotted high schooler at the center of TV’s “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” died Jan. 9 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. At the time of his death, he was surrounded by his family at his Los Angeles home. 

The LA native, born May 18, 1934, launched his career at age 6 as an extra in “The Grapes of Wrath,” following in the footsteps of his older brother, child actor Darryl Hickman with early roles in “Captain Eddie” and “The Boy with the Green Hair,” as well as TV’s “The Lone Ranger” and “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.”

He studied at Loyola Marymount University, eventually earning his economics degree, then returned to acting as a regular on TV’s “The Bob Cummings Show” as Cummings’ nephew Chuck MacDonald.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fred Ward, star of ‘The Right Stuff,’ ‘Remo Williams’ and ‘Tremors,’ dies at 79

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