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2017 celebrity deaths felt like family

It certainly feels like 2017 was the year of nostalgic deaths.That's because so many of the "greats" tied to t...

Posted: Dec. 28, 2017 2:38 PM
Updated: Dec. 29, 2017 9:36 AM

It certainly feels like 2017 was the year of nostalgic deaths.

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That's because so many of the "greats" tied to the past, who gave their fans a sense of time and place, passed away.

Celebrities like musicians Tom Petty, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, actors Jim "Gomer Pyle" Nabors, Della Reese and Roger Moore, and comedians Jerry Lewis and Don Rickles all left us.

It seemed that we were given a hint that 2017 would go down as a year of losing some of the great ones when iconic actress Mary Tyler Moore died on January 25 at the age of 80.

That same month also saw the passing of "NCIS: Los Angeles" star Miguel Ferrer, "Mannix" star Mike Connors, Oscar-nominated actor John Hurt and Frank Pellegrino, who made his bones on the big screen in "Goodfellas" and on TV's "The Sopranos."

Two other actors who appeared in "Goodfellas" and "The Sopranos" also died in 2017: Frank Vincent, who played Bill Batts, and Chuck Low, who played Morris (Morrie) Kesseler, in the iconic Martin Scorsese mob film.

"Goodfellas" cinematographer Michael Ballhaus died in 2017 as well.

The year would see the deaths of several fan favorites, including "Apollo 13" actor Bill Paxton, "Happy Days" star Erin Moran, "People's Court" judge Joseph Wapner, Richard Hatch of "Battlestar Galactica," "Gong Show" host Chuck Barris and Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne.

The music industry took it's fair share of hits as well, with the loss of Southern-rock icon Gregg Allman, Joni Sledge of the group Sister Sledge, Black Sabbath keyboardist Geoff Nicholls, Main Ingredient singer Cuba Gooding Sr., AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young, jazz singer Al Jarreau and many others.

Like the deaths of Prince and David Bowie in 2016, music also seemed to feature untimely losses that stunned fans.

Such was the case with the suicide of Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington in July, less than two months after his close friend Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell was laid to rest.

Related: Chester Bennington dies on his good friend Chris Cornell's birthday

The deaths of 42-year-old rapper Prodigy of Mobb Deep and You Tube star and rapper-singer Lil Peep at the age of 21 sent their followers reeling.

But no death could have more encapsulated the feeling that the good old days are slipping away more than that of singer David Cassidy.

"The Partridge Family" star carved a career by capitalizing on the nostalgia and esteem he held as a former teen idol who sold out stadiums.

Famed songwriter Diane Warren summed it up in a tweet following Cassidy's death in November.

"Bye bye childhood," she tweeted. "RIP David Cassidy."

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