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2015 Necrology
What is a necrology? A necrology is a listing of people who have died during a specific time period. Find A Grave necrologies let you browse the names and faces of the 75 most famous people who have died during a selected year, all the way back to 1900. They are listed in order of their Find A Grave 'fame ranking', as voted by Find A Grave contributors. To view a necrology, simply select a year from the pop up list below. You can optionally select a category to restrict the list even further (just actors, just politicians, etc.). To visit the memorial page for any of the names listed on a necrology, click on their name or photo.
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Leonard Nimoy (1931 - 2015)
American Actor. He will forever be remembered as Mr. Spock from the 'Star Trek' franchise. After serving in the Army from 1953-55, he appeared in small roles in a few films, but mostly found roles in TV series, appearing in episodes of 'Dragnet', 'Sea Hunt', 'Bonanza', 'Wagon Train', 'Rawhide', 'The...
 
Donna Douglas (1932 - 2015)
American Actress. Douglas, who grew up in Baton Rouge, will best be remembered for her role as Elly May Clampett in the 1960s CBS television series, 'The Beverly Hillbillies'. Born Doris Smith, she attended a Catholic High School where she was active in sports. In 1957, she was named "Miss Baton Rou...
 
Ernie Banks (1931 - 2015)
Hall of Fame Baseball Player. A career .274 right-handed batter, he amassed 512 homeruns and 2,583 hits during his 18-year Major League career, which was spent entirely with the Chicago Cubs. He was a 14-time All-Star, a 2-time National League MVP and won a gold glove at shortstop in 1960. Most of h...
 
Rod Taylor (1930 - 2015)
Actor. A handsome, rugged leading man who played in a wide range of motion pictures, he may be best remembered by movie audiences for the films "The Time Machine" (1960), "The Birds" (1963) and "Darker than Amber" (1970). Born Rodney Sturt Taylor, his father was a construction contractor, his mother...
 
Lesley Gore (1946 - 2015)
American Singer, Songwriter and Actress. Born Lesley Sue Goldstein, she was discovered by Quincy Jones as a teenager and signed to Mercury Records. In 1963 at age 16, she topped the charts with her song about teenage heartbreak, "It's My Party" which raced to No. 1 on the charts, was nominated for a...
 
James Dickens (1920 - 2015)
Country and Western Musician and Singer. He is best remembered for his small stature (4 feet 11 inches), his rhinestone-studded outfits, and his humorous novelty songs, including his biggest single hit "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" (1965), that reached number 1 on the US Country Chart ...
 
James Best (1926 - 2015)
Actor. He will be fondly remembered for playing the comical, inept 'Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane' in the TV series "The Dukes of Hazzard" (1979 to 1985). Born Jewel Franklin Guy, his cousins from his mother's family side were singers Don and Phil Everly, James was placed in an orphanage following his ...
 
Gary Owens (1934 - 2015)
Entertainer. He will be best remembered as the announcer for the TV series "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" (1968 to 1973). Born Gary Altman, his father was a county treasurer and sheriff, his mother was an educator. Gary suffered from diabetes from the time he was eight years old. At the age of sevent...
 
Percy Sledge (1941 - 2015)
American R&B and Soul Singer. Born Percy Tyrone Sledge, he is best known for the song "When a Man Loves a Woman", a No. 1 pop and soul hit in 1966. It was awarded a million-selling, Gold-certified disc from the RIAA. Having previously worked as a hospital nurse in the early 1960s, he achieved his st...
 
Anita Ekberg (1931 - 2015)
Actress. Born Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg, she will be best remembered for her performance in the film "La Dolce Vita" (1960) by Federico Fellini. During her career she starred in over 70 films including "Abbott and Costello Go to Mars" by Charles Lamont (1953), "Blood Alley" by William A. Wellman...
 
Joseph Langdell (1914 - 2015)
USS Arizona Officer. The last surviving officer from the USS Arizona. His ashes will be entombed inside the ship, joining urns with those of more than 30 other USS Arizona Survivors who have chosen to rejoin the more than 900 sailors and officers who remain aboard, casualties of the Japanese attack ...
 
Robert Schuller (1926 - 2015)
Religious Leader, Televangelist and Author. Schuller created the weekly 'Hour of Power' television show that at its peak popularity attracted an international audience of millions, wrote dozens of books and built a 40-acre church campus with buildings designed by some of the world's foremost archite...
 
Lizabeth Scott (1922 - 2015)
Actress. A sexy, sultry voiced blonde leading lady of the 1940s and 1950s, she shared the screen with such leading men as Humphrey Bogart, Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas and Charlton Heston. Born Emma Matzo, to parents of Ukrainian ancestry, she was educated at Marywood College and later studied at th...
 
Louis Jourdan (1921 - 2015)
Actor. A handsome leading man, he was capable of playing a wide range of roles including romantic, comedic and villainous characters. His film career began in his native France during the late 1930s and he would gradually advance to international pictures. Born Louis Gendre, his father was involved ...
 
Geoffrey Lewis (1935 - 2015)
American Actor. Lewis, who was a versatile character actor who appeared on dozens of films and TV shows in a career that spanned five decades, will most likely be remembered for the roles he played alongside Clint Eastwood. Born in San Diego and raised in Rhode Island, he studied dramatic arts in hi...
 
Edwin Snyder (1922 - 2015)
US Navy Vice Admiral. Snyder graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1942. After graduation he attended Submarine School in 1943 and served in the Pacific in World War II. He served more than four years aboard the submarines Hake SS-256, the Diablo SS-479. He attended Deep Sea Divers Schoo...
 
Alexander Vraciu (1918 - 2015)
US Military Figure. A highly-decorated commander, he earned the distinction of being the fourth-ranking Naval Ace, after downing nineteen Japanese enemy aircraft during World War II. He was nominated for the Medal of Honor and received the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Flying Cross with Two Gold Sta...
 
Andraé Crouch (1942 - 2015)
Musician, Songwriter, Arranger, Record Producer and Pastor. Andraé Edward Crouch was often referred to as “the father of modern gospel music” and composed such songs as The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power, My Tribute (To God Be the Glory) and Soon and Very Soon. He formed a gospel group called the ...
 
Bob Simon (1941 - 2015)
American News Television Correspondent. Covering the national and international news since the 1960's, Simon, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University, is most noted for his correspondent spot on the CBS news magazine "60 Minutes" since 1996. He joined CBS in 1967 and was recognized with the...
 
Rod McKuen (1933 - 2015)
Poet, Composer, Songwriter and Singer. McKuen was a prolific force in popular culture, turning out hundreds of songs and poems and recordings in the 1960s and '70s which made him one of the best-selling poets in history. He spent his teens ranching and roping horses in a rodeo and wrote poetry in hi...
 
Richard Bakalyan (1931 - 2015)
Actor. He was typecast playing juvenile delinquents during the first half of his career and later made a name for himself in several Disney pictures. Born in New England, to a Canadian mother and an Armenian father, Richard served with the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He broke into...
 
Dean Smith (1931 - 2015)
Hall of Fame College Basketball Coach. At the time of his retirement in 1997, he was college basketball's winningest coach with 879 victories. He guided the University of North Carolina Tar Heels to a NIT Championship in 1971 and two NCAA Titles (1982 and 1993). During his tenure of thirty-six years...
 
Mario Cuomo (1932 - 2015)
Governor of New York. His parents owned a store when he grew up in Queens, and he attended St. John's Preparatory School. He played professional baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, but had to quit after an injury. He completed his bachelor's degree at St. John’s University in 1953 and g...
 
Cynthia Lennon (1939 - 2015)
Author, First wife of John Lennon. She was the former wife of musician John Lennon, and mother of Julian Lennon. She grew up in the middle-class section of Hoylake, on the Wirral Peninsula in North West England. At the age of 12, she was accepted into the Junior Art School, and was later enrolled in...
 
Stuart Scott (1965 - 2015)
Television Sports Commentator, Journalist, Actor. He will be best remembered for his work on ESPN's "SportsCenter" from 1993 until his death. He earned the reputation as being one of the hardest working and respected sportscasters, during the course of his career. Raised in North Carolina, he receiv...
 
Jimmy Greenspoon (1948 - 2015)
American Musician and Composer. Greenspoon, who was the son of silent screen actress Mary O'Brien, will best be remembered as a member and keyboard player for the band, Three Dog Night. He attended Beverly Hills High School and studied at the LA Conservatory of Music. In 1963, he and future Academy ...
 
Joe Mauldin (1940 - 2015)
Musician. He was a bassist best known for being an original member of the band, Buddy Holly and the Crickets. At age 16, he joined Holly's band then appeared on such early 1950s, rock-and-roll classics hits as “That'll Be the Day”, “Peggy Sue”, “Rave On, Oh, Boy!” and “Maybe Baby”. After Holly's dea...
 
Stan Freberg (1926 - 2015)
American Voice Actor, Comedian and Writer. Born Stanley Friberg, he was a composer, singer, actor, author, comedian and advertising executive whose career spanned eight decades. In 1944, he went to work at Warner Brothers doing voices in a cartoon called 'For He's a Jolly Good Fala'. Often teamed wi...
 
Jerry Tarkanian (1930 - 2015)
Hall of Fame College Basketball Coach, Professional Basketball Coach. For nineteen seasons (1973 to 1992), he was head coach of the Nevada-Las Vegas Rebels and transformed their program into a national success, while guiding them to the NCAA Title in 1990. He was the architect of what became known a...
 
Edward Egan (1932 - 2015)
Roman Catholic Cardinal. He served as the head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York from 2000 until 2009. He received a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary in Illinois and later attended the Pontifical North American College in Vatican City. He was ordained ...
 
Richard von Weizsäcker (1920 - 2015)
German Politician. Governing mayor of Berlin and the sixth President of Germany. Before the war he studied philosophy and history in Oxford and Grenoble. He joined the Infantry Regiment Nr. 9 where his brother was a lieutenant in 1938. Their unit crossed the border to Poland on September 1st, 1939. ...
 
Stewart Stern (1922 - 2015)
Motion Picture Screenwriter. He will perhaps be best remembered for his co-penning of the story for the film "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955). His father was a physician, his uncle was the legendary Hollywood filmmaker Adolph Zukor. He studied Art at the University of Iowa and later served with the Un...
 
Darrell Winfield (1929 - 2015)
Advertising Figure. For over two decades, he was the macho cowboy Marlboro Man whose face was on billboard signs, in advertisements, magazines and television ads. Discovered by executives from the Leo Burnett ad agency while he was working on the Quarter Circle 5 Ranch in western Wyoming. His rugged...
 
Minnie Minoso (1925 - 2015)
Major League Baseball Player. For seventeen seasons (1949, 1951 to 1964, 1976 and 1980), he played at the outfielder and third baseman positions with the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Senators. He is credited as being the first black player to play for the ...
 
Edward Brooke (1919 - 2015)
US Senator. Born Edward William Brooke III, he graduated from Howard University in 1941 and served in the Army during World War II, seeing combat in Italy as an officer in the segregated 366th Infantry Regiment, and earning a Bronze Star Medal and other awards. He graduated from Boston University La...
 
Harve Bennett (1930 - 2015)
Television and Motion Picture Producer, Screenwriter. He will be best remembered for penning and producing the "Star Trek" film series. Born Harve Bennett Fischman, his first experience in the entertainment industry happened while he was a child on the radio program "Quiz Kid". After deciding on a c...
 
Dallas Taylor (1948 - 2015)
Rock Musician. A drummer, he will be best remembered for his work with Crosby, Stills and Nash. Born Dallas Woodrow Taylor, Jr., his father was a stunt pilot, Dallas was raised in San Antonio and Phoenix. His parents divorced during his early youth and at the age of thirteen, he lost his mother to a...
 
Claire Gordon (1941 - 2015)
Actress. A stunning, perky blonde, she was often cast in light, comedic roles on British TV, films and stage. Her father was a physician, her mother had an association with the entertainment industry as a make-up artist for Max Factor, Claire marked her stage debut at the age of thirteen in a produc...
 
Don Harron (1924 - 2015)
Actor and comedian. He entertained TV audiences in Canada and the U.S. for decades with his comic alter ego Charlie Farquharson. In 1956 he co-wrote the script for the television musical “Anne of Green Gables.” Later, in 1965, he adapted the production for stage and called it “Anne of Green Gables –...
 
Steve Byrnes (1959 - 2015)
American Television Announcer and Producer. He was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in New Carrolton, Maryland, and graduated from the University of Maryland in 1981. He began his career after graduation as a sports producer, covering several NFL teams. In 1985, Byrnes began his involvement with...
 
Ed Sabol (1916 - 2015)
Filmmaker, Sports Figure. Ed Sabol was a filmmaker and the founder of NFL Films. Sabol was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey and raised in Blairstown, New Jersey. In high school his sport of choice was swimming. After graduation he continued his swimming career at Ohio State University. He was chose...
 
Chuck Bednarik (1925 - 2015)
Hall of Fame Professional Football Player. From 1949 until 1962, he played at the linebacker and center positions in the National Football League with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was a key contributor to two NFL Titles (1949 and 1960). Bednarik will perhaps be best remembered for a thunderous hit he...
 
Joe Franklin (1926 - 2015)
Television Personality, Author. Nicknamed "The King of Nostalgia". Regarded by many as a pioneer of the television talk show format, his program "The Joe Franklin Show" ran for more than 40-years from 1950 until 1993. At one point, he earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the long...
 
Taylor Negron (1957 - 2015)
American Actor, Writer, Painter and Comedian. Brad Taylor Negron is probably best known for "The Last Boy Scout", "Fast Times At Ridgemont High", "Easy Money", "Young Doctors In Love", "Angels In the Outfield", and nine appearances on "The Dating Game". He grew up in La Cañada, California. Taylor wr...
 
Rhoda Winkler (1927 - 2015)
Chief Puppeteer and Voice Actress. Winkler performed for five and a half years with the 'Howdy Doody Show' beginning with its premier on December 27, 1947. Born Rhoda Mann, she taught herself to work marionettes at age 9. Her first job in show business was working as assistant to Ali Benali, the Mor...
 
Ralph Taeger (1936 - 2015)
Actor. He will be best remembered by TV audiences for playing 'Mike Halliday' in the series "Klondike" (1960 to 1961) and 'Hondo Lane" in the series "Hondo" (1967). Born to German immigrants, he was an athlete during his youth and briefly played within the Brooklyn Dodgers' minor league system, prio...
 
Gregory Walcott (1928 - 2015)
American Actor. Walcott, who starred in several movies in the 1950s and early ’60s, will mostly be remembered for his role in Ed Wood's cult classic, 'Plan 9 From Outer Space'. Born Bernard Mattox, he served in the Army just after the end of World War II. After leaving the service, he made his way t...
 
Paul Almond (1931 - 2015)
Canadian Television and Motion Picture Screenwriter, Director, Producer, and Novelist. He attended Bishop's College School, McGill University and Balliol College, Oxford University, where he read Philosophy, Politics, Economics, edited the University magazine Isis played for the Oxford University Ic...
 
Demis Roussos (1946 - 2015)
Singer. Alexandria born Artemios Venturis-Roussos came from a Greek family of musicians, the father, George, being a classical guitarist apart from his official position as an engineer, and the mother, Olga, a singer. Named after his paternal grandfather in accordance with the Greek tradition, Artem...
 
Mike Porcaro (1955 - 2015)
Rock Musician. He will be best remembered as the bass player for the ensemble "Toto". Born into a musical family, the son of jazz drummer Joe Porcaro, his brothers Steve Porcaro and Jeff Porcaro were bandmates in "Toto". Formed in 1978, Mike replaced bassist David Hungate following their Grammy Awar...
 
Camille Muffat (1989 - 2015)
Athlete. She was a French swimmer and three-time Olympic medalist. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, she won gold in the 400-meter freestyle, silver in the 200-meter freestyle and bronze in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay. Killed in helicopter crash while filming Dropped, a popular celebrity sh...
 
Colleen McCullough (1937 - 2015)
Author. She will be remembered for penning the bestseller "The Thorn Birds" (1977). The novel was adapted into a highly-viewed miniseries in 1983 which starred Richard Chamberlain as the Catholic priest who encountered a forbidden love affair with a young woman in the Australian Outback. Raised in S...
 
Ben Powers (1950 - 2015)
Actor. He will be best remembered from playing 'Keith Anderson' in the TV series "Good Times" (1979). Born Alton Adelbert Powers, he was raised in Providence Rhode Island by his older siblings. He became interested in performing and sang in a choir at a local church. He enrolled at Rhode Island Scho...
 
Ervin Drake (1919 - 2015)
Songwriter. He will perhaps be best remembered for penning the song "It Was a Very Good Year" (1961), which became a hit for Frank Sinatra in 1965. Born Ervin Maurice Druckman, the son of European-Jewish parents, his father was a wholesale furniture distributor, Ervin developed a fondness for music ...
 
Richard Dysart (1929 - 2015)
American Actor. Dysart, who was best known for his role as Leland McKenzie on 'L.A. Law', was nominated for four Supporting Actor Emmys in a row for before winning in 1992. He got his start in radio as a teen and worked at New York’s off-Broadway Circle in the Square Theatre in the 1950s. Among Broa...
 
Francis George (1937 - 2015)
Roman Catholic Cardinal. The son of a janitor, Chicago born Francis Eugene George contracted polio at the age of thirteen and due to a developed limp was rejected by Chicago's archdiocesan seminary, leading him to join the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1957. Making his solemn profession the followin...
 
Patsy Garrett (1921 - 2015)
Entertainer. Born Virginia Garrett, both her parents were Vaudeville performers, she was raised in Richmond, Virginia and by the age of seven, she had her own children's radio program. Her national break came at the age of seventeen, when she landed a regular spot as a singer on Fred Waring's progra...
 
Bob Burns (1950 - 2015)
Rock Musician. A drummer, he will be best remembered for his work with the ensemble "Lynyrd Skynyrd". Burns was attending Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, Florida, when he co-founded the group "The Noble Five" followed by "One Percent", before deciding on "Lynyrd Skynyrd". He was an import...
 
Billy Casper (1931 - 2015)
Professional Golfer. Casper was a Hall of Famer who won two U.S. Opens and a Masters. He won 51 PGA Tour events and played on eight U.S. Ryder Cup teams. His 51 tour wins ranks seventh on the all-time list, and from 1964 through 1970 his 27 victories topped every player in the world. He totaled two ...
 
Arch Moore (1923 - 2015)
US Congressman, Governor of West Virginia. A member of the Republican Party, he served the State of West Virginia's 1st Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives from 1957 until 1969. He served as the 28th and 30th Governor of the State of West Virginia (from 1969 until 19...
 
Walter Grauman (1922 - 2015)
Motion Picture and Television Director. He directed scores of popular television programs from the late 1950s into the 1990s. The son of German immigrants, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, while serving with the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. Following the war, he moved...
 
Kim Fowley (1939 - 2015)
Singer, Musician and Producer. Fowley, who has been described as "one of the most colorful characters in the annals of rock & roll", will best be remembered for his role behind a string of novelty and cult pop rock singles in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1959, he began working in the music industry in va...
 
Keith McCormack (1940 - 2015)
Musician, Songwriter. He will be best remembered for co-penning the single "Sugar Shack" (1962), which reached number one on the Billboard Charts for "Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs" in 1963. Raised in Plainview, Texas, he was influenced at an early age by the sound of the electric guitar, as well a...
 
Sam Simon (1955 - 2015)
Television Screenwriter, Producer, Animal Activist. He will be best remembered for co-creating the long running animated TV series "The Simpsons". Raised in Beverly Hills, his father was a clothing manufacturer, his mother was the proprietor of an art gallery, Sam followed his mother's interest in a...
 
Bill Hart (1934 - 2015)
Actor, Stuntman. Born Billy Gene Welch, he was regarded as one of the best stuntmen in Hollywood, who acted and appeared in over 150 movies and numerous television shows. After serving in the US Marine Corps in Korea, he moved to North Hollywood, California, in the late 1950s and began a career in t...
 
A.J. Pero (1959 - 2015)
Musician. He was a drummer who will best be remembered as the drummer for the American heavy metal band, Twisted Sister. Born Anthony Jude Pero, he received his first drum kit at the age of 4, when his parents saw him playing on pots and pans. He took lessons and studied with a local jazz musician, ...
 
Wendell Ford (1924 - 2015)
US Senator, Governor of Kentucky. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the State of Kentucky's 53rd Governor from 1971 until 1974. He represented the State of Kentucky in the United States Senate from 1974 until 1999. He held the position of United States Senate Majority Whip from 1991 unt...
 
Gene Saks (1921 - 2015)
Stage and Motion Picture Director, Actor. He experienced enormous success as a director of Broadway productions and later made the transition to film. He will perhaps be best remembered for his collaborations with writer Neil Simon. Born Jean Michael Saks, into a middle-class Jewish home, his father...
 
Stan Chambers (1923 - 2015)
Television News Pioneer. Chambers was a veteran television news reporter in Los Angeles whose career at KTLA spanned more than six decades. He was fresh out of the U.S. Navy, enrolled in USC and working on the campus magazine when he first heard about KTLA. He started work on Dec. 1, 1947, building ...
 
Daniel Von Bargen (1950 - 2015)
American Actor. Von Bargen was a character actor whose acting career spanned more than 30 years. He attended Purdue University, majoring in drama, before joining the Trinity Repertory Theatre in Providence, Rhode Island. He appeared in several Broadway productions before moving to Los Angeles where ...
 
June Fairchild (1946 - 2015)
Actress. Born June Edna Wilson, she will best be remembered for her iconic Ajax snorting scene in Cheech and Chong’s 1978 comedy 'Up in Smoke'. A prom queen from Manhattan Beach, California, she had a promising movie career in the late 1960s and early 70s, appearing in such films as 'Where Angels Go...
 
Günter Grass (1927 - 2015)
Author and Nobel Prize Recipient. He was one of Germany's most significant post-war authors. Born in what was then the German city of Danzig to a humble grocer, he saw the horrors of World War II as a member of the Hitler Youth and later joined the Waffen-SS, a Nazi special forces unit. Only decades...
 
Maria Radner (1981 - 2015)
Opera Singer. A contralto, she is remembered for her performances in a number of the world's major venues. Raised in Dusseldorf, she graduated from high school in 2000 at the St. Ursula Gymnasium, studied voice with KS Marga Schiml in Karlsruhe, and received a Wagner Scholarship for training at Bayr...
 
Terry Pratchett (1948 - 2015)
Author. A prolific fantasty writer who published more than 70 novels, he shall undoubtedly be best remembered for his "Discworld" series. Born Terence David John Pratchett, he was raised in Buckinghamshire up to age 10, then in Somerset. A good student and voracious reader, he published a short stor...
 
Raúl Castro (1916 - 2015)
American Politician. Raúl Héctor Castro served in both elected and non-elected public offices, including United States Ambassador to El Salvador (1964-68), Bolivia (1968-69), and Argentina (1977-80), and the 14th Governor of Arizona (1975–77). He was the first Mexican American to be elected governor...
 

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