Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Broadway Star Hinton Battle Dies at Age 67

Hollywood mourned many celebrities in 2024.

Speed Racer star Christian Oliver (born Christian Klepser) died at the age of 51 during a fatal plane crash on January 5. Oliver was traveling home from a Caribbean vacation with his two daughters — Madita and Annik, whom he shared with wife Jessica Klepser — on January 4. The aircraft had engine trouble and fell into the ocean. The plane’s pilot also died onboard in the accident.

In addition to being an actor, Oliver was also a realtor at Beverly Hills brokerage The Agency.

“Christian, Madita and Annik, you will be missed. May you rest in peace,” The Agency founder Mauricio Umansky wrote in a social media tribute. “My prayers are with you and your entire Agency family. You are a great friend, father, husband, actor and agent. You made us laugh, you care more than most. You are missed and loved.”

Four days later, news broke that The Cleaning Lady star Aden Canto had died at the age of 42.

“Adan had a depth of spirit that few truly knew. Those who glimpsed it were changed forever,” Canto’s rep said in a statement, revealing the actor privately battled appendiceal cancer. “He will be greatly missed by so many.”

Canto is survived by his wife, Stephanie Canto, and their two children: Roman and Eve.

Keep scrolling to remember the stars who died in 2024:

Hinton Battle
The Broadway star died at age 67, pal Debbie Allen confirmed via social media on January 30. A cause of death was not revealed. 
“Today I honor Hinton Battle, my dear friend who left us to dance and sing in God’s Ensemble last night,” Allen wrote via Instagram. “He fought this battle to live and be creative, impacting audiences and young people across the globe. Let us always hold him high in our hearts and in our mind’s eye and forever speak his name.”
Battle was a three-time Tony Award winner. “His unparalleled talent and infectious energy will be deeply missed, but his legacy lives on in the hearts of all who were touched by his brilliance,” read a tribute shared via the Tony Awards’ official X account.
John Lamparski/WireImage
Chita Rivera
The Broadway legend died at age 91 in New York on January 30 following “a brief illness,” her daughter Lisa Mordente confirmed.
Rivera was known for originating the Broadway roles of Anita in West Side Story and Velma Kelly in Chicago, along with winning two Tony Awards throughout her extensive theater career.
Bruce Glikas/Getty Images
Amanda Davies
The One Life to Live alum, who is the daughter of actress Erika Slezak, died “suddenly,” Slezak’s official fan club website confirmed in January. She was 42. (Davies portrayed the teenage version of her real-life mother’s character, Victoria “Viki” Lord, on the soap in 2003.)
“It is with great sadness that I share the news of the passing of Erika’s daughter Amanda Elizabeth Davies who died very suddenly,” the website read. “The family is heartbroken and would appreciate privacy at this time.”
Robin Platzer/IMAGES/Getty Images
Charles Osgood
The journalist died on January 23 at his New Jersey home. He was 91. His family told CBS that dementia was his cause of death. 
Osgood was the host of CBS Sunday Morning from 1994 until his 2016 retirement. He is survived by wife Jean, his two siblings and five children. 
Greg Doherty/Getty Images
Herbert Lee ‘Cowboy’ Coward
Coward, who played Toothless Man in Deliverance, was involved in a collision on January 24. The actor, his girlfriend, Bertha Brooks, and their pet Chihuahua dog and pet squirrel were killed in the crash. Local outlets reported that authorities said Coward and Brooks were not wearing seatbelts when they were by an oncoming truck, which was driven by a 16-year-old. 
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Maricet Espinosa González
The Pan American Judo Confederation confirmed the Olympian and Cuban Judo champion’s death via Instagram on January 22. She was 34. 
“It is with deep sadness that we say goodbye to a legend of Pan-American and Cuban judo,” the post read, via a translation. “Maricet Espinosa, affectionately known as ‘La Mole’, leaves an indelible legacy. Two-time Pan American champion, world medalist and Olympic representative in Rio 2016. Rest in peace, dear Maricet. Our condolences to his family and to Cuban judo. Your spirit and your achievements will always endure. 🥋🕊️.” 
The Cuban Sports University also shared the news of González’s death via Facebook, saying they were in “mourning” and “great pain” over González’s passing, per a translation.  
Norman Jewison
The Hollywood director, best known for films In the Heat of the Night and Moonstruck, died at age 97, a spokesman for the family confirmed.
Jewison was a three-time Oscar Nominee and recipient of the 1999 Academy Award for lifetime achievement.
Sonia Recchia/WireImage
Frank Farian
The German music producer, known for founding Boney M. and producing Milli Vanilli, died at the age of 82 at his home in Miami.
Florian Seefried/Getty Images
Gary Graham
The Star Trek star died at the age of 73 after going into cardiac arrest. He died at a hospital in Spokane, Washington.
Becky Graham, the actor’s wife, confirmed the news to The Hollywood Reporter.
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David Gail
The actor, known for his roles on the General Hospital spinoff Port Charles and on Beverly Hills, 90210, died at age 58. “There’s barely been even a day in my life when you were not with me by my side always my wingman always my best friend ready to face anything and anyone [with] me,” Gail’s sister, Katie Colmenares, wrote via Instagram on January 21. “The bears will never be the same but I will hold you so tight every day in my heart you gorgeous loving amazing fierce human being missing you every second of every day forever there will never be another 💔💖.”
Cover Images
Marlena Shaw
Shaw’s daughter, Marla Bradshaw, confirmed the “California Soul” singer’s death at age 81 via Facebook on January 19. “It’s with a very heavy heart that for myself and my family I announce that our beloved mother, your beloved icon and artist Marlena Shaw has passed away today at 12:03,” Bradshaw stated. “She was peaceful. We were at peace. … She went listening to some of her favorite songs.”
Michael Putland/Getty Images
Shawn Barber
The pole vaulting world champion died at his home in Kingwood, Texas on January 17, his agent, Paul Doyle, told the Associated Press. While a case of death was not revealed, the athlete had been experiencing health issues, according to the outlet. He was 29. 
“More than just an incredible athlete, Shawn was such a good-hearted person that always put others ahead of himself,” Doyle said in a statement at the time. “It’s tragic to lose such a good person at such a young age.”
Barber’s management agency later confirmed the news via Instagram, writing, “A friend that will never be forgotten. Canadian Olympic Pole Vaulter Shawn Barber has passed away. 🕊️.”
Dan Mullan/Getty Images
Dejan Milojevic
The Golden State Warriors assistant coach died at age 46 on January 17 after being hospitalized for a heart attack one day prior. 
“We are absolutely devastated by Dejan Milojević’s sudden passing,” the Golden State Warriors wrote in a statement shared via X. “This is a shocking and tragic blow for everyone associated with the Warriors and an incredibly difficult time for his family, friends and all of us who had the incredible pleasure to work with him.”
Andreas Rentz/Bongarts/Getty Images
Lynne Marta
The actress died on January 11 after a battle with cancer, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed. She was 78.
She appeared as Lulu Warnicker, the aunt of Kevin Bacon’s Ren, in 1984’s Footloose. She also had an extensive TV resume, appearing in classics like Starsky & Hutch and Charlie’s Angels as well as soap operas such as Passions, The Young and the Restless and Days of Our Lives.
Stanley Bielecki Movie Collection/Getty Images
Roy Battersby
Battersby’s stepdaughter, actress Kate Beckinsale, confirmed via Instagram that the British director died at age 87. “It is with great sorrow that the family of film and television director Roy Battersby announces the news of his recent death after a brief period of illness,” read an obituary shared by Beckinsale on January 15. “He passed away peacefully on 10 January 2024, in Los Angeles surrounded by family, aged 87. Funeral will be held in London, details to follow.”
Battersby had directed a number of TV shows and films throughout his career, including A Touch of Frost, Red Mercury, Between the Lines and Eurocops, and married Beckinsale’s mom, Judy Loe, in 1997.
Courtesy of Kate Beckinsale/Instagram
Joyce Randolph
The actress died of natural causes at her Manhattan home on January 13. She was 99.
Best known for starring as Trixie Norton on The Honeymooners, Randolph is survived by son Randolph Charles.
Andrew H. Walker/FilmMagic
Alec Musser
The All My Children alum died at his home in Del Mar, California, on January 12. He was 50. No cause of death was reported.
The actor starred in Grown Ups, Desperate Housewives and Rita Rocks. He is survived by fiancee Paige Press.
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
Peter Crombie
The actor died on January 10 in at a medical facility in Palm Springs, California, following a surgery, Crombie’s ex-wife Nadine Kijner said. He was 71.
Crombie, best known for playing “Crazy” Joe Davola on Seinfeld, is survived by brother Jim.  
Courtesy of Youtube
Bill Hayes
The actor, who portrayed Doug Williams on Days of Our Lives for more than 50 years, died on January 12, according to a statement from the show. He was 98. 
“It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of our beloved Bill Hayes,” the soap opera said in a January 12 statement to Deadline. “One of the longest-running characters on Days of Our Lives, Bill originated the role of Doug Williams in 1970 and portrayed him continuously throughout his life. He and his wife, Susan Seaforth-Hayes, remained the foundation of the Williams-Horton family spanning more than 50 years.”
Executive producer Ken Corday added, “I have known Bill for most of my life and he embodied the heart and soul of Days of Our Lives. Although we are grieving and will miss him, Bill’s indelible legacy will live on in our hearts and the stories we tell, both on and off the screen.”
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Days Of Our lives
Tisa Farrow
Mia Farrow’s youngest sibling died in her sleep on January 10.
“If there is a Heaven, undoubtedly my beautiful sister Tisa is being welcomed there,” Mia wrote via Instagram one day later. “She was the best of us — I have never met a more generous and loving person. She loved life & never complained. Ever.”
Tisa, an actress like Mia, is survived by her siblings, husband Terry Deane and grandchildren. (Tisa and Deane’s son, Jason, died in 2008.)
Harry Benson / Stringer
Christian Oliver
Oliver and his daughters are survived by Klepser, Oliver’s parents and his siblings following their fatal plane crash.
“The deep bond, infectious laughter, and adventurous spirit shared by Madita and Annik will be profoundly missed in their communities,” Klepser wrote in an Instagram statement. “[Christian’s] loss will be deeply felt by all who knew him.”
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic
Adan Canto
The Designated Survivor alum died after a private cancer battle.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” his wife, Stephanie, wrote via Instagram, quoting Bible verse Matthew 6:19-21. “Forever my treasure Adan, see you soon.”
Jason Mendez/WireImage
David Soul
The Starsky & Hutch actor died at the age of 80. His wife, Helen Snell, confirmed his passing on January 5.
“He shared many extraordinary gifts in the world as actor, singer, storyteller, creative artist and dear friend,” Snell said in a statement. “His smile, laughter and passion for life will be remembered by the many whose lives he has touched.” 
Eric Fougere/Sygma via Getty Images
Glynis Johns
Johns, who was best known for playing Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins, died on January 4 at the age of 100.
“Glynis powered her way through life with intelligence, wit and a love for performance, affecting millions of lives,” her longtime manager, Mitch Clem, told Us Weekly in a statement. “She entered my life early in my career and set a very high bar on how to navigate this industry with grace, class and truth. Your own truth. Her light shined very brightly for 100 years.”
He added, “She had a wit that could stop you in your tracks powered by a heart that loved deeply and purely. Today is a somber day for Hollywood. Not only do we mourn the passing of our dear Glynis, but we mourn the end of the golden age of Hollywood.”
The British actress died at an assisted living facility in Los Angeles and will be buried next to her father, who passed away in 1993, in England. She is survived by her grandson Thomas and three great-grandchildren.
Glasshouse Images/Cover Images

By Michael

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