Every year it seems like we lose a few more noted celebrities, and 2017 was no different. Just last year in 2016 people were grousing that we lost a lot of celebs and noted personalities since some of the most influential were passing away. But this year we’ve still lost a lot of people that were influential in their time only to drop out of the public eye later on it life. Celebrities such as Tom Petty and Hugh Hefner passed away this year, as did David Cassidy and Harry Dean Stanton. Even Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, was duly noted more than others simply because he was a part of this current generation in many ways. But 2017 has managed to take a lot more than just those individuals, as it’s also taken some people that were still notable faces in one way or another.
Here are just a few you might not have realized are gone.
5. Jim Nabors
Gomer Pyle himself. Nabors got his start as Gomer Pyle on the Andy Griffith who after he attained notice and was eventually given his own sitcom to work with. The show only lasted five seasons but it was more than enough to become a fond memory in the minds of most Americans. He went on to a singing career after that and did fairly well. He passed on November 13th and Gomer Pyle was made an honorary Marine.
4. John Hillerman
A lot of people watched Magnum P.I. for Tom Selleck but some actually watched for Higgins. He was the more cultured of the two and sometimes the more stodgy. However he definitely brought a more refined side to the show that Selleck balanced with his more carefree attitude. Higgins was an acquired taste but people still found that a show without him in it would be kind of pointless.
3. Fats Domino
Thanks to his humility and shy manner it’s often been overlooked that Fats Domino was one of the pioneers of rock and roll. He was 14 the first time he played at a bar in New Orleans and in 1947 Billy Diamond picked him up and made him part of his band. He got the name Fats supposedly by the fact that he had an enormous appetite, but it was also rumored that he reminded Diamond of pianists Fats Waller and Fats Pichon.
2. Dick Gregory
Dick Gregory has the distinction of being the first black comedian to cross over from playing to an all-black audience to showing his comedic skills to a white audience for the first time. He had a knack for making fun of racism and bigotry on stage that astounded people and made them laugh at the same time. Gregory passed in August of this year in Washington D.C.
1. Jerry Lewis
No matter what has ever been said about him Jerry Lewis is one of the undisputed kings of comedy. His slapstick method and classic approach to comedy was something that has yet to be fully matched or replicated and personally I hope it never is. Jerry Lewis was a man that brought something new and innovative to Hollywood. He passed in August of this year, and he’ll be missed.
All of them will be missed in the years to come, but not forgotten.