In Memoriam: Get To Know Those We Lost In 2018

By: Eric Piwowar
Image: Universal Pictures

About This Quiz

Every year we celebrate the legacies and memories of those who have left us, and this year is no different. In 2018 we said goodbye to a number of much-loved actors, politicians, musicians and more. From world-renowned novelists to cherished recording artists to a former U.S. president, the world lost a lot of notable individuals, some of whom you may have already forgotten.

Get to know those we lost a little bit better by taking this quiz. Even though their lives have ended, their spirits live on in all of us. Their speeches will continue to echo for ages to come, audiences will still enjoy their works even as mediums change and future generations will benefit from their world-changing innovations and theories. You'll remember them every time you cook a meal or gaze upon the stars.

It is never easy saying goodbye, especially under tragic circumstances, but we're all the more lucky to have experienced the contributions these souls have given the world. Learn about just some of the names who we said goodbye to over the course of 2018, and join us in celebrating the legacies and memories they left behind.

Actor Verne Troyer, best-known for his performance as Mini-Me in the “Austin Powers” trilogy, died April 21 at the age of 49. Troyer's career began in the late '90s as a stunt double, with his big break coming as the loveable sidekick Mini-Me, playing opposite to Mike Meyers' Austin Powers. Troyer's death was ruled a suicide due to alcohol poisoning.

British physicist Stephen Hawking died at the age of 76 from complications related to ALS on March 10. Hawking suffered from the disease his entire adult life, but never let it define him. The legendary scientist is arguably best known for writing "A Brief History of Time," which sold more than 10 million copies. Hawking had even been developing theories around black holes and general relativity all the way up until the time of his death.

Influential fashion designer Katherine Noel Brosnahan, known professionally as Kate Spade, was found dead on June 5 inside her New York City home. Brosnahan, along with her husband Andy Spade, launched the Kate Spade New York brand out of their New York apartment in the mid-'90s, with their handbags quickly becoming a must-have accessory. Brosnahan's death was ruled a suicide by hanging. She was 55.

Jerry Van Dyke, the comedic younger brother of Dick Van Dyke, died on January 5 at the age of 86. Van Dyke, best known for his portrayal of Luther Van Dam on the sitcom "Coach," enjoyed a nearly 60-year career in show business thanks to early appearances on his brother's "The Dick Van Dyke Show." Van Dyke would go on to earn a regular role on "The Judy Garland Show," solidifying his presence in the world of comedy.

Software engineer and businessman Paul Allen died on October 15 at the age of 65 due to complications from non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
 Allen, along with Bill Gates, co-founded software giant Microsoft in 1975, creating one of the most valuable companies in the world. Allen then pivoted his successes to investment, where he financed projects in aerospace, real estate and sports, owning both the NBA's Portland Trailblazers and the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.

Hollywood icon Burt Reynolds died September 6 at the age of 82. Initially, Reynolds had his sights set on a career in professional football, playing halfback for Florida State University, but after injuries ended his career he found his way into acting. Reynold's 60-year career in Hollywood saw him star in dozens of TV shows and films including “Evening Shade,” “Boogie Nights” and the “Smokey and the Bandit” trilogy, earning him two Golden Globe Awards, one Emmy Award and an Oscar nomination.

Rapper and producer Mac Miller died on September 7 at the age of 26. The Pittsburgh native rose to stardom at a relatively young age after recording several college anthems, including 2011's "Donald Trump," and collaborating with the likes of Whiz Khalifa and Odd Future. Miller was found unresponsive and pronounced dead at his Los Angeles home. The L.A. County Coroner’s office announced Miller died from an accidental drug overdose.

Evangelist Billy Graham died from natural causes on February 21 at the age of 99. Graham was one of the first religious figures to combine faith with modern media to become a prominent Southern Baptist, Christian voice listened to the world over, preaching to millions at events held in some of the largest stadiums on the planet.

The “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin died August 16 at the age of 76 from complications due to a pancreatic tumor. The soul legend was known for her massive hits “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” and “I Say a Little Prayer." Perhaps most notably, Franklin was the first woman ever to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Tim Bergling, better known as Avicii, was found dead in his Oman hotel room on April 20. The Swedish DJ launched to stardom in 2011 with his Grammy-nominated song "Levels." He followed the mega-hit up with even bigger tracks in "Hey Brother," and "Wake Me Up," earning an AMA, VMA and Billboard Music Award for his efforts. Bergling's parents say he died of suicide from self-inflicted injuries. He was 28.

Novelist Philip Roth died on May 22 at the age of 85. Roth was one of the most celebrated American novelists of the 20th century, winning the National Book Award twice, a Pulitzer for “American Pastoral”, and was a three-time PEN/Faulkner recipient. Heralded as a visionary, Roth had a passion for American history and frequently explored themes relating to male sexuality.

Actor Reg E. Cathey died on February 9 at the age of 59. Cathey's talents won him roles playing a wide range of memorable characters, from political operative Norman Wilson in HBO's "The Wire," to restaurant owner Freddy Hayes in Netflix's "House of Cards," the latter earning him three Emmy nominations. Cathey died at his home in New York City.

Actor John Mahoney died after a short illness on February 4 at the age of 77. With a career spanning 40 years, Mahoney is arguably most well known for playing the irritable Martin Crane, father of Frasier and Niles, on the sitcom "Frasier." Mahoney received two Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations for his work on the show.

Rapper Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, better known as XXXTentacion, was killed in a shooting in Florida on June 18. Before his death, Onfroy won an AMA, a BET Award and was included in XXL Magazines 2017 "Freshmen Class." In Onfroy's short, and controversial career, he released three platinum-certified albums along with several platinum-certified singles before he was murdered in an apparent robbery. He was 20.

Renowned playwright Neil Simon died on August 26 at the age of 91 due to complications from pneumonia. Simon's comedic mastermind is probably best represented by his accolades; four Oscar nominations, 17 Tony nominations, four Tony Awards (one special), six Writers Guild of America Awards, one Golden Globe, one Emmy and one Pulitzer Prize.

Former Miss Great Britain, Sophie Gradon was found dead on June 20 at the age of 32. Gradon won the title of Miss Newcastle in 2008 and the title of Miss Great Britain in 2009, which she used the platforms of to help raise thousands of pounds for charity. Her career in the public eye continued in 2016 when she joined the cast of the reality show "Love Island." Authorities stated the cause of her death was likely suicide.

U.S. Senator John McCain died on August 25, at the age of 81, after a battle with brain cancer. A U.S. presidential candidate in 2000 and 2008, McCain represented the state of Arizona for over 30 years, continuing to do so all the way up until his death. McCain's life of public service began when he joined the U.S. Naval Academy in 1954. As a naval aviator, he was famously shot down during the Vietnam War and taken prisoner by the North Vietnamese, by whom he was tortured until his release in 1973. Ready for a new challenge, McCain entered politics in 1982 earned the label of "maverick" thanks to his willingness to vote against party lines on certain issues, a label he would live up to throughout his political career, including during his final votes in the U.S. Senate.

Drummer turned character actor Mickey Jones died on February 7 at the age of 76. Jones was best known for his recurring roles in “Justified” and, most notably, “Home Improvement,” where he played Pete Bilker, an employee of the fictional K&B Construction company.

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was found dead from an apparent suicide on June 8 while filming for his critically acclaimed travel show "Parts Unknown" near Strasbourg, France. Bourdain's culinary and TV stardom was rooted in a desire to share with audiences lesser-known culinary and travel experiences, beginning with his best-selling 2000 memoir, “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly." He continued to share this passion with TV shows like “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," for which he won an Emmy and Peabody Award. Unafraid to explore uncharted waters, Bourdain openly spoke of his struggles with drug use. He was 61.

Devin Lima, lead singer of '90s pop group LFO, died November 21 at the age of 41 after battling cancer. LFO scored one of the biggest hits of 1999 with their song "Summer Girls," and with Lima as lead singer, the band's debut, self-titled, album "LFO" sold over 2.5 million copies and featured two top 10 singles.

Marvel Comics founder Stan Lee, died on November 12 at the age of 95. He, along with artist Jack Kirby, created dozens of the most iconic comic book characters in history, including Spider-Man, the Hulk and the X-Men. Their efforts established what is now known as the Silver Age of comics. Lee's culturally significant stories grabbed audiences like never before, making him an ambassador for the entire comic book industry. Although Lee departed Marvel in 1972, and he was not directly involved with Marvel’s live-action films, his consecutive cameos in each movie cemented his name with the company he created to audiences around the world.

The Cranberries frontwoman Dolores O'Riordan died on January 15 at the age of 46 when she tragically drowned in her hotel bathtub. As a member of the Irish rock band, O'Riordan and her bandmates achieved critical success in the early '90s with three studio albums that each broke the top 20 on the Billboard 200. Their album "No Need to Argue" alone sold 17 million copies worldwide.

Barbara Bush, former U.S. First Lady and matriarch of the Bush political dynasty, died on April 17 at the age of 92.
 A champion of education and literacy, Bush made it her cause as the first lady to eliminate the cycle of illiteracy in America, eventually founding the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. Bush met her future husband, future U.S. President George H.W. Bush, at age 16. The two were married in 1945, just months after George survived his aircraft being shot down in WWII combat, and went on to have six children, including 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush and former Florida Governor John Ellis “Jeb” Bush.

Actress Margot Kidder, best known for her role as Lois Lane in "Superman," died on May 13 at the age of 69. Kidder reprised her famous role four times alongside Christopher Reeve, and in 2015 won an Emmy for Outstanding Performer in Children's Programming. Kidder's death was ruled a suicide.

Model Rick Genest, also known as Zombie Boy, died on August 2 at the age of 32. Genest gained notoriety in 2011 after appearing in Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" music video, leading him to high profile modeling and acting jobs. Genest tragically died after falling from the balcony of his Montreal apartment.

Actor Jackson Odell died on June 8 at the age of 20. Odell was known for his role as Ari Caldwell on ABC’s "The Goldbergs," and also appeared on "Private Practice," "iCarly," "Modern Family," "Arrested Development," and a half-dozen more TV shows. Odell's death was ruled an accidental drug overdose.

Jackson family patriarch Joe Jackson died on June 27, at the age of 89, from complications due to pancreatic cancer. Jackson propelled his musically inclined children to stardom in the 1960s by forming the musical group the Jackson 5. After signing with Motown Records, the Jackson's moved from Gary, Indiana to Los Angeles, California, leading to notable careers for many members of their family, including Janet Jackson and Michael Jackson's hugely successful solo careers. Though the Jackson 5 sold millions of records at the height of their fame, and Michael and Janet would go on to become two of the most successful recording artists of all time, controversy followed Joe as his children began to speak out about his treatment towards them growing up.

Character actress Charlotte Rae died on August 5 at the age of 92. Best known for playing house mother Edna Garrett on "The Facts of Life," Rae enjoyed a 60 year acting career earning two Emmy and Tony award nominations.

Reality TV star Richard Harrison, better known as "The Old Man" on "Pawn Stars," died June 25 at the age of 77. In 1989, Harrison opened the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, Nevada. The shop would become the basis for the History network's most-watched TV series ever, "Pawn Stars," with the show becoming the second highest-rated reality series on TV at certain points during its 15 season run.

Koko the gorilla died on June 19 at age 46. Arguably the most famous gorilla on Earth, Koko amazed the world in the 1970s when she mastered American Sign Language thanks to the help of her human teacher Penny Patterson. Koko's fame grew as she met celebrities like Robin Williams, and even adopted and named her own pet kittens.

Actor Jerry Maren died May 24 at the age of 98. Maren was known to be the last surviving Munchkin from the 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz." Maren also held the titles of last surviving cast member of "The Wizard of Oz" with a speaking or singing role, and last surviving actor who co-starred in a film starring the Marx Brothers.

Musician Vincent Paul Abbott, known as Vinnie Paul, died June 22 at the age of 54. Paul was best known for co-founding the heavy metal band Pantera along with his brother Darrell Lance Abbott. Abbott was tragically shot and killed on stage in 2004 while Paul was present. This didn't dissuade Paul from continuing to perform, though, as he went on to form the metal band Hellyeah a few years later.

Icelandic Actor Stefan Karl Stefansson died August 21 at the age of 43. Best known for playing villain Robbie Rotten in the children's TV show "LazyTown," Stefan Karl gained internet fame after a GoFundMe campaign for his cancer treatment was popularized by various YouTube users. His fame was furthered in 2017 when he reported his cancer was in remission, but sadly an inoperable form of cancer returned in 2018.

Influential cartoonist Stephen Hillenburg died on November 26 at the age of 57. Hillenburg, initially a marine-biology teacher and later an animator, was the genius behind Nickelodeon's “SpongeBob SquarePants," for which he received won two Emmy Awards and 17 nominations.

Actor Hugh Dane died May 16 at the age of 75. Dane was a prolific actor, appearing in over 30 TV series, but was best known for playing Hank the security guard in 22 episodes of NBC's "The Office."

Legendary French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy died March 10 at the age of 91. Givenchy's fame stemmed from designing wardrobes for the likes of Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn, particularly Hepburn's little black dress in "Breakfast at Tiffany's." To this day with the house of Givenchy tallies huge earnings, recently recording $280 million in annual revenue.

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush died on November 30 at the age of 94. He started his life of public service as early as he possibly could, enrolling in the Navy at age 18 to fight in WWII. At 19 he was one of the youngest aviators in the entire Navy, flying bombing runs against Japanese targets in the Pacific. After his aircraft was shot down and he was rescued by a patrolling U.S. submarine, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals and a Presidential Unit Citation for his combat efforts. In 1945, he married his lifelong partner Barbara Pierce, and after graduating from Yale, quickly built a career in the oil business, co-founding a petroleum corporation that made him a millionaire by the time he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1966. Bush first ran for president in 1980, and served as Ronald Reagan’s vice-president for both of Reagan’s terms, eventually being elected to the office of the President of the United States in 1988. As president, Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Clean Air Act, reformed immigration laws and orchestrated an international coalition to execute Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf. A one-term president, he and first lady Barbara Bush had six children together, including 43rd U.S. president George W. Bush and former Florida Governor John Ellis “Jeb” Bush.

Nevada brothel owner turned politician Dennis Hof died October 16 at the age of 72. Hof's business was featured on the HBO series "Cathouse," for two seasons and ten specials. Before his death, Hof won the GOP primary to represent Nevada Assembly District 36, but subsequently died in his sleep three weeks before the general election. Hof's name was to remain on the ballot and adamant voters elected him posthumously to the Nevada State Assembly by a 68.3 to 31.7 percent margin.

Canadian NHL player Ray Emery died on July 15 at the age of 35. Known affectionately as "Sugar Ray" due to his combative playing style, Emery played 11 seasons in the NHL, winning the Stanley Cup in 2013 with the Chicago Blackhawks. On July 15th, Emery was swimming with friends near his native hometown Hamilton, Ontario when he jumped off a boat and didn’t resurface.

Actress Penny Marshall died December 17 at the age of 75. Marshall played the titular character Laverne DeFazio in the "Happy Days" spin-off "Laverne & Shirley," which ran for eight season between 1976 and 1983. "Laverne & Shirley" was the most-watched television show by its third season, helping Marshall earn three Golden Globe nominations for her work. Marshall went on to transition her talents behind the camera, becoming an A-list director responsible for helming classics like "Big" and "A League of Their Own."

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