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Celebrities, luminaries who left us this year

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Although 2018 is not yet over, the time has come for our annual listing of celebrity deaths from the past calendar year.

Several sources listing more than 1,000 so-called celebrities were used to compile this collection with names presented including those we know, almost know or think our readers might know.

While all are not included in this group, hopefully you will still recognize some of them.

After preparing a similar list for the past several years, I am still unable to say exactly what qualifies someone as being a celebrity.

More names are almost certain to be added before the year ends.

• Willie McCovey, 80, baseball Hall-of-Famer with the San Francisco Giants.

• Peter Thomson, 88, golfer, winner of five British Opens.

• Tony Joe White, 75, singer, “Polk Salad Annie.”

• Woody Durham, 76, radio voice of UNC Tar Heels for 40 years.

• Aretha Franklin, 76, singer, known as “Queen of Soul.”

• Billy Graham, 99, Baptist minister, Christian evangelist.

• Matt “Guitar” Murphy, 88, musician, played husband of Aretha Franklin character in “Blues Brothers” movie.

• Jim Taylor, 83, Green Bay Packers fullback.

• Tim O’Connor, 90, actor, in “Naked Gun 2 ½.”

• Nanette Fabray, 97, Sid Caesar’s comedic partner on “Caesar’s Hour” in the 1950s.

• Red Schoendienst, 90, St. Louis Cardinals Hall-of Famer.

• Tab Hunter 86, actor/singer, “Young Love.”

• Anthony Bourdain, 61, author, chef, travel documentarian.

• Dwight Clark, 61, played on two Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers teams.

• Paul Allen, 65, co-founder of Microsoft.

• Burt Reynolds, 82, actor, “Smokey and the Bandit.”

• Freddie Hart, 91, country/western singer, “Easy Loving.”

• John Mahoney, 77, played Martin Crane on “Frasier.”

• Hugh Wilson, 74, writer/director of “Police Academy” movie.

• Stephen Hawking, 76, theoretical physicist, Presidential Medal of Freedom winner.

• Ed Roebuck, 86, pitcher with Brooklyn/LA Dodgers in the ‘50s.

• Harry Anderson , 65, actor/comedian on “Night Court.”

• Charles Lazarus, 94, founder of Toys “R” Us.

• Barbara Bush, 92, first lady of President George H. W. Bush.

• Ken Dodd, 90, British comedian.

• Scott Wilson, 76, actor, played Harvey Oberst in “In the Heat of the Night.”

• Eunice Gayson, 90, first-ever James Bond girl in “Dr. No.”

• Keith Jackson, 89, sportscaster, voice of ABC college football, “Whoa, Nelly!”

• Doreen Tracey, 74, Mouseketeer on “Mickey Mouse Club” show in the 1950s.

• Neil Simon, 91, playwright/screenwriter, “The Odd Couple.”

• John McCain, 81, war hero, United States senator from Arizona.

• Robin Leach, 76, entertainment reporter for “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”

• Ed King, 68, Lynyrd Skynard guitarist, co-wrote “Sweet Home Alabama.”

• Verne Troyer, 49, played Mini-Me in “Austin Powers” movies, 2 feet, 8 inches tall.

• Milos Forman, 86, movie director, won Oscars for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Amadeus.”

• Margot Kidder, 69, actress, played Lois Lane in “Superman” movies.

• Alan Bean, 86, astronaut, Apollo 12 mission to moon.

• Jerry Van Dyke, 86, actor, brother of Dick Van Dyke.

• Dan Gurney, 86, race car driver, NASCAR and Indy cars.

• Nancy Sinatra Sr., 101, first wife of Frank Sinatra.

• Stan Mikita, 78, hockey star with the Chicago Blackhawks.

• Charles Krauthammer, 68, Pulitzer prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post.

• D.J. Fontana, 87, drummer for Elvis Presley.

• Lassie Lou Ahern, 97, actress, among last surviving members of “Our Gang” films.

• Chuck Knox, 86, pro football coach.

• Bill Daily, 91, actor/comedian, Maj. Healey on “I Dream of Jeannie.”

• Tito Francona, 84, major league baseball player.

• Marty Allen, 95, comedian, appeared on “Ed Sullivan Show” 44 times.

• David Ogden Stiers, 75, actor, Maj. Charles Winchester on “M*A*S*H.”

• Hal Greer, 81, NBA Hall-of-Famer, known for his great jump shot.

• John Young, 87, astronaut, walked on moon twice.

• Dennis Edwards, 74, lead singer for The Temptations.

• Clint Walker, 90, actor, “Dirty Dozen.”

• Mort Walker, 94, wrote comic strip “Beetle Bailey.”

• Hubert Green, 71, golfer, won U.S. Open and PGA.

• Rusty Staub, 73, major league baseball player, nicknamed “Le Grand Orange.”

• Bruno Sammartino, 82, pro wrestler, known as “The Living Legend.”

• Frank Avruch, 89, played Bozo the Clown.

• Tom Wolfe, 88, author of “The Right Stuff.”

• Jerry Maren, 98, actor, member of “The Lollipop Guild” and last-living Munchkin from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Keith Barnes is a reporter and columnist for the Johnstonian News. Email him at kbarnes.jhn@wilsontimes.com.

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