Dodgers great Vin Scully, musicians Jerry Lee Lewis and Loretta Lynn, and actors James Caan and Angela Lansbury are among the notable deaths in 2022.
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis, whose fiery records and scandals made him both fascinating and terrifying, has died at 87. The Louisiana-born pianist who called himself “The Killer” is considered one of rock’s key founders.
Vin Scully, the legendary sportscaster who was the beloved voice of the Dodgers from the moment they came to town in 1958 until he retired in 2016, has died at 94. Scully’s calming, insightful style remained a constant for fans as the team changed players, managers and owners.
Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II, whose 70-year reign as Britain’s monarch saw the country transform from a great, if intractable, imperial power to a modest, multicultural European nation, died at 96. As the first child of Prince Albert, Duke of York and the first grandchild of the reigning King George V, she was born a princess but never intended to become queen.
Loretta Lynn, who quickly became a trailblazing and controversial figure on the country music scene when she emerged in the early 1960s, has died at 90. The Country Music Hall of Famer wrote fearlessly about sex and love, incredible men, divorce and birth control, and sometimes got problems with radio programmers.
Actress Angela Lansbury
who stormed the New York stage in 1966 as the cheerful, eccentric star of “Mame” and solved endless murders as a crime novelist on the TV series “Murder, She Wrote,” died at 96. Lansbury won five Tony Awards for her Broadway performances and a lifetime achievement during her 75-year career, which included 36 films and nearly as many teleplays.
James Caan, an actor known to movie fans as the hot-headed Sonny Corleone from “The Godfather” and to TV audiences as both the dying football player in “Brian’s Song” and the casino boss in “Las Vegas,” has died at 82. Caan’s first credited film role co-starred with Olivia de Havilland in 1964’s Lady in a Cage, and by 1971 would establish himself as a top acting talent.
Bill Russell, professional basketball’s first black superstar and a big-play big man who reinvented the center position with the dynastic Boston Celtics in the late 1950s and ’60s, has died at 88. A Hall of Famer, five-time Most Valuable Player and 12-time All-Star , Russell in 1980 was voted the greatest player in NBA history by basketball writers.
Olivia Newton-John, an actor and singer known for her role as Sandy in the film version of “Grease” and for hits such as “Physical” and “You’re the One That I Want,” has died at 73. Newton-John broke into the American country scene in the early 1970s, but her image changed with the 1978 film musical “Grease.”
Ronnie Spector, the lead singer of The Ronettes whose swagger made her a rock icon, has died at 78. Her mix of longing and grit was on display in the timeless “Be My Baby” and in her story of survival at the hands of her abusers.
Madeleine Albright, a child of Czechoslovakian refugees who became the first woman to serve as US secretary of state, has died at 84. Albright had ambitions to become a journalist before climbing the ranks of the Democratic Party.
Maury Wills, a base-stealing specialist who helped the Dodgers win three World Series titles in the 1960s, died at 89. Wills led the National League in steals six times, earned two Gold Gloves for his fielding and beat out Willie Mays for the league’s 1962 Most Valuable Player Award.
Bob Saget, an actor-comedian known for his role as the squeaky-clean widower and dad on the sitcom “Full House” and as the wisecracking host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” has died at 65. Saget occasionally focused on directing under the years. and was most recently on a stand-up comedy tour.
Naomi Judd, whose harmonies with daughter Wynonna turned them into the Grammy-winning country stars the Judds, died at 76. Naomi was working as a single mother and nurse in Nashville when she and Wynonna began singing together professionally.
Norman Mineta, a longtime California congressman who broke racial barriers for Asian Americans when he became mayor of San Jose and was also the first Asian American cabinet secretary, has died at 90.
Sidney Poitier, who broke through color barriers at a time when black people on Hollywood studio lots were generally given stereotypical roles, has died at 94. Poitier emerged as one of the top draws of the 1960s in films like “In the Heat of the Night” and “Guess Who coming to dinner.”