Celebrities Who Have Died In 2017: The Ultimate Playboy And Legendary WWE Manager Add To Long List

Late on Wednesday evening, one of the most well-known names in the world was added to the list of celebrity deaths for 2017, as Playboy legend Hugh Hefner passed away. At the age of 91, the man who made the word “centerfold” a household name, Hef lived enough for probably 15 lifetimes, but it was still difficult to hear he was gone. Sadly, he is among the ever-growing list of celebrities we’ve lost this year, which keeps getting longer much too quickly.

As reported by CNN Money, Hefner founded Playboy back in 1953 for a sum of just $600, and he turned it into one of the biggest titles in history. He lived life to its fullest and was hardly ever seen without a smile on his face.

Even though word of his death came about late on Wednesday, many had paid tribute to him by early on Thursday morning. He was known by everyone, and there were many who respected him as a man and considered him a dear friend.

Hef’s death is just one of many celebrities who have added to the list for 2017, which appears to now be trying to compete with 2016.

It’s getting hard to fathom the number of big names that are disappearing from our lives, and fans just don’t know how to handle it. As many have noted, 2017 is really turning into a year where greats from music, movies, and sports are fading away, with only the memories to keep them alive.

The following is a list of notable celebrities who have passed away in 2017, but it is far from all of them.


  • Hugh Hefner
  • Harry Dean Stanton
  • Jerry Lewis
  • Richard Anderson
  • John Heard
  • Martin Landau
  • Sam Shepard
  • George A. Romero
  • Powers Booth
  • Adam West
  • Nelsan Ellis
  • Michelle Rounds
  • Deborah Watling
  • Frank Vincent
  • Jay Thomas
  • Blake Heron
  • Robert Hardy
  • Sir Roger Moorerobert
  • Harvey Atkin
  • Erin Moran
  • Bruce Forsyth
  • Sonny Landham
  • Michael Parks
  • Bill Paxton
  • Michael Mantenuto
  • Peter Sallis
  • Richard Machowicz
  • Mary Tyler Moore
  • Francine York
  • Geoffrey Bayldon
  • Tim Pigott-Smith
  • Jonathan Demme
  • Christopher “Big Black” Boykin
  • John Cygan
  • Miguel Ferrer
  • Don Rickles
  • Gordon Kaye
  • Dick Gauthier
  • Richard Hatch
  • Frank Pellegrino
  • Sir John Hurt
  • Charlie Murphy
  • Chuck Barris
  • Dick Gautier


  • Troy Gentry
  • Walter Beck
  • Glen Campbell
  • Cuba Gooding Sr.
  • Chester Bennington
  • Chris Cornell
  • Al Jarreau
  • John Abercrombie
  • Gregg Allman
  • Don Williams
  • Allan Holdsworth
  • Eddie Kamae
  • John Warren Geils Jr.
  • Chuck Berry
  • Buddy Greco
  • Peter Sarstedt


The loss of Bobby Heenan earlier this month wasn’t entirely unexpected due to his declining health over the years, but it didn’t make his death any easier to take. As reported by the New York Post, the legendary manager and commentator died at the age of 72.

  • Bobby “The Brain” Heenan – wrestling
  • Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka – wrestler
  • “The Outlaw” Ron Bass – wrestler
  • Ivan Koloff – wrestler
  • George “The Animal” Steele – wrestler
  • Chavo Guerrero Sr. – wrestler
  • Yordano Venture – baseball
  • Nicole Bass – wrestler/radio personality
  • Matt “Rosey” Anoa’i – wrestler
  • Joe Klein – baseball
  • Gary West – Olympian

A number of other celebrities from other walks of life who have also passed in 2017.

  • Roger Ailes – Fox News
  • Dick Gregory – Satirist
  • William Peter Blatty – author
  • Paul Goble – author
  • Eugene Cernan – astronaut
  • Norma McCorvey – “Jane Roe”
  • David Rockefeller – billionaire
  • Barry Norman – film critic
  • Michael Bond – author/creator of Paddington Bear

With three full months remaining in 2017, everyone is hoping that the big-name losses are finished. As a matter of fact, they’re hoping that any losses at all could be done with, but that is asking a bit much. The losses of Hef and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan have made the last couple of weeks almost unbearable, but looking at the length of the list of celebrities who have died this year makes it even harder to take.

[Featured Image by Charley Gallay/Getty Images]

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