Celebrity deaths of 2022: Hollywood icons, rock legends

Bob Saget, seen here in 2017 with "Full House" co-star Andrea Barber, died on January 9 at the age of 65. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
1 of 11 | Bob Saget, seen here in 2017 with "Full House" co-star Andrea Barber, died on January 9 at the age of 65. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Dozens of artists on stage and screen, including some Hollywood icons, rock legends and comedians, died in 2022.

Among the most sudden were Bob Saget, Taylor Hawkins, Naomi Judd, Ray Liotta, Anne Heche, Takeoff, Leslie Jordan and Aaron Carter.


Full House patriarch and America's Home Videos host Saget was found dead on Jan. 9 in his Florida hotel room, hours after he performed a stand-up comedy show. The cause was blunt head trauma due to an accidental blow to the head. He was 65.

His other credits include Entourage, How I Met Your Mother,' Raising Dad, Farce of the Penguins, Surviving Suburbia, Half Baked and The Masked Singer.

Saget also hosted several fundraising events for the Scleroderma Research Foundation after his sister died of the autoimmune disease.


Foo Fighters drummer Hawkins was 50 when he died from a drug overdose March 26 while on tour with the rock band, which has won 12 Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year.

Before he joined the group, Hawkins also performed with Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders, NHC, Sass Jordan, Alanis Morrisette and Sylvia.

Grammy-winning country music legend Judd fatally shot herself on April 30. Judd's death came just a day before she was scheduled to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame with her daughter Wynonna Judd.

The mother-daughter duo, together known as The Judds, had announced that they had reunited as a musical group and announced a final tour with special guest Martina McBride. The Judds were best known for their songs "Love Can Build A Bridge," "Give A Little Love" and "Why Not Me."

Goodfellas and Field of Dreams star Ray Liotta died in his sleep after a day of working on the movie Dangerous Waters on May 26. He was 67.

The star of the films Cocaine Bear, The Many Saints of Newark, Muppets Most Wanted, Hannibal, Something Wild, Cop Land, Killing Them Softly and Blow was also recently seen in the TV shows Black Bird, Hanna and Shades of Blue.


Heche died when she was taken off life support on Aug. 14. She sustained a severe brain injury, burns and smoke inhalation after driving her car into a house at a high rate of speed on Aug. 5. She slipped into a coma and never woke up.

The 53-year-old Men in Trees and Wag the Dog star's death has been ruled an accident. Her credits include Another World, Donnie Brasco, Six Days, Seven Nights and Volcano.

Will & Grace, Sordid Lives and Call Me Kat actor Leslie Jordan also died as the result of a car accident at age 67. The Emmy winner drove his BMW into a wall on Oct. 24 after potentially suffering a medical emergency.

Jordan's television career began in the '80s with appearances on The Fall Guy, Night Court and Murphy Brown. He became a television mainstay with a recurring role on Will & Grace, Boston Public and Boston Legal. He also starred in the recent shows The Masked Singer, The Cool Kids and American Horror Story: 1984.

Kirshnik Khari Ball, better known as Takeoff from the rap trio Migos, was shot dead at a bowling alley on Nov. 1. He was 28.


The group was known for such singles as "Bad and Boujee" featuring Lil Uzi Vert, "MotorSport" featuring Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, "Stir Fry," "Narcos" and "Straghtenin."

"I Want Candy" and "Bounce" singer -- and former teen heartthrob -- Carter was found dead on Nov. 5 in his home bathtub after long battles with mental illness, drug addiction and legal issues.

The brother of Backstreet Boys band member Nick Carter was 34. He also competed on Dancing with the Stars, and acted in the Broadway musical Seussical and the off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks.

Golden Age of Hollywood

Several Hollywood legends, most notably Sidney Poitier and Angela Lansbury, who entertained and enlightened audiences for decades, also died this year.

The Oscar-winning Poitier, one of the last remaining living stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood, died Jan. 7 at age 94.

Poitier was known for such films as The Defiant Ones, In the Heat of the Night, Porgy and Bess, A Raisin in the Sun and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. He became the first Black man to win an Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Homer Smith in 1963's Lilies of the Field. Poitier was an activist for civil rights and racial equality. He also served as ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan from 1997 to 2007.


Lansbury was a six-time, Tony Award-winning Broadway icon who was also known for playing crime-solving, mystery writer Jessica Fletcher in the TV drama, Murder, She Wrote, from 1984-96. She died on Oct. 11 at age 96.

Her film credits include Gaslight, National Velvet, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Samson and Delilah, The Court Jester, The Long, Hot Summer, The Manchurian Candidate, Mame, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Death on The Nile, Beauty and the Beast, Anastasia, Nanny McPhee and Mary Poppins Returns.

Cancer deaths

Cancer cut short the lives of beloved stars Louie Anderson, Olivia Newton-John, Judy Tenuta and Kirstie Alley.

Stand-up comedian and Baskets Emmy winner Anderson died of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma on Jan. 21 at age 68. A fixture on late-night talk shows for years, he was named one of 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time by Comedy Central in 2004.

Pop music star and Grease icon Newton-John died of breast cancer on Aug. 8. She was 73. The four-time Grammy Award winner, who recorded the hit songs "Physical" and "I Honestly Love You," had battled the disease off and on for more than 30 years. As an actress, she appeared in the films Xanadu and Two of a Kind.


"Love Goddess" comedian Judy Tenuta died of ovarian cancer on Nov. 7. She was 72. Tenuta was known for her brash style of humor, outlandish outfits and for playing the accordion during her shows.

She appeared in the films Material Girls, Sister Mary and Gibsonburg, the TV series General Hospital and The Weird Al Show, and had comedy specials on HBO, Showtime and Lifetime during her career.

Cheers and Look Who's Talking actress Alley, a two-time Emmy winner, died of colon cancer at the age of 71 on Dec. 5. She starred in Kirstie Alley's Big Life, Veronica's Closet, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, It Takes Two, For Richer or Poorer, Madhouse, Blind Date, North and South and Summer School. She was also the author of the book How to Lose Your Ass and Regain Your Life.

Rock legends

Michael Lee Aday, the Grammy-winning musical artist known as Meatloaf, died on Jan. 20 at the age of 74 after years of failing health. He was best known for his hit songs "I Would Do Anything For Love, (But I Won't Do That,)" "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" and "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth," as well as his acting performances in the films Fight Club and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.


Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and pianist Jerry Lee Lewis, one of the first rock 'n' roll stars, died on Oct. 28 at 87. He was known for the songs, "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," "Breathless," "Chantilly Lace" and "Great Balls of Fire," and also for theatrical performances in which he would often stomp on his piano and tap the keys with his feet while performing. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter Christine McVie died on Nov. 30. She was 79. McVie joined the Grammy-winning band in 1968, first appeared on Fleetwood Mac's second album, Mr. Wonderful, and played and recorded with the group through the 1997 live album, The Dance.

Taking a hiatus from the band from 1998 to 2014, she released three solo albums and a fourth collaboration with Fleetwood Mac bandmate Lindsey Buckingham. She was part of Fleetwood Mac's 1998 induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and played engagements with the musicians until shortly before her death.

Last laugh

Stand-up comedian and voice actor Gilbert Gottfried died April 12 at the age of 67 after a long illness. He is perhaps best known for his portrayal of the villainous parrot Iago in Disney's animated movie Aladdin, its two sequels and TV series. His other credits include Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast, The Aristocrats, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Problem Child, Night Court, A Different World and Mad About You.


Seinfeld moms

Liz Sheridan and Estelle Harris -- the actresses who played Jerry's and George's mothers respectively on the sitcom, Seinfeld -- both died at the age of 93.

Sheridan died on April 15. Before her successful Hollywood career, she got her start as a dancer in the 1950s and had a romantic relationship with James Dean chronicled in her 2000 book Dizzy and Jimmy: My Life with James Dean. Her other credits include Kojak and Alf.

Harris died on April 3. She was known for her roles in the Toy Story franchise, Futurama, The Looney Tunes Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, iCarly, ER, Mind of Mencia, Phil of the Future, Dave the Barbarian, Kim Possible, The Proud Family, House of Mouse, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Godzilla: The Series, The Wild Thornberrys, Hercules, Cybill, Living Single, Moesha, The Mask, Night Stand, Star Trek: Voyager, The Tick, Aladdin, Good Advice, Mad About You, Married... with Children and Night Court.

Notable Deaths of 2022

Anita Pointer
Anita Pointer of the Grammy-winning Pointer Sisters stands with Andy Madadian (C) and La Toya Jackson (L) as Madadian is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2020. Pointer, who performed alongside her sisters June and Ruth, died at the age of 74 on December 31 following a battle with cancer. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

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