Ralphie May, the larger-than-life comedian and Last Comic Standing star who died of cardiac arrest Friday, became the latest celebrity whose journey ended in 2017. He’s joined by Tom Petty and Hugh Hefner, who also died in the past few days.
Here, courtesy of Us Weekly Magazine, is a list of celebrities who have died in 2017, most-recent first. NOTE: for the sake of brevity, this article will exclude some celebrities who died in 2017, but whose fame may not be as noteworthy as that of those listed here.
Ralphie May, Tom Petty, Hugh Hefner: There’s an urban legend that celebrity deaths come in threes. And as NBC News reported in 2013, that’s not actually true, it just seems that way because of the human brain’s tendency to find patterns and meaning where there are none.
Nevertheless, the 10-day span between September 27 and October 6 saw the deaths of three big names: Ralphie May, Tom Petty, and Hugh Hefner.
Ralphie died Friday at age 45 of cardiac arrest. Rocker Tom Petty died on October 2, also of cardiac arrest, at age 66. Playboy founder and legendary bon vivant Hugh Hefner, who was 91 at the time of his death on September 27, also died of cardiac arrest, as well as respiratory failure, sepsis, and an E. coli infection.
Harry Dean Stanton: Joining Hugh Hefner on the list of celebrities who died in advanced age, Harry Dean Stanton, star of Twin Peaks and, later, Big Love, died of natural causes on September 15 at the age of 91.
Troy Gentry: Half of the country duo Montgomery Gentry, Troy died September 8 in a New Jersey helicopter crash, leaving behind a wife and two daughters. He was 50.
Walter Becker: The Steely Dan guitarist and co-founder died of undisclosed reasons on September 3 at the age of 67.
Jerry Lewis and Glen Campbell: The legendary comedian and telethon host died August 20 at the age of 91, after decades of battling multiple health issues. He was preceded in death by Country singer Glen Campbell, who died on August 8 at the age of 81, following a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Chester Bennington: The Linkin Park lead singer died of suicide at the age of 41 on July 20.
Adam West: The Batman actor died of leukemia on June 9 at the age of 88.
Chris Cornell: Like Chester Bennington, the rocker of Soundgarden fame died of suicide. He died in Detroit on May 17 at the age of 52.
Erin Moran: The Happy Days actress’ days after the show were anything but happy. After failing to find lasting fame following the big TV hit from her teenage years, the actress struggled with poverty and addiction, and was at one time homeless. She died of cancer on April 22 at the age of 56.
John Hurt: The legendary British actor, star of The Elephant Man, Alien, and countless other films, died on January 27 at 77, following a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
[Featured Image by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for T.J. Martell]