Dodger’s great Vin Scully, musicians Jerry Lee Lewis and Loretta Lynn, and actors James Caan and Angela Lansbury are among the notable deaths of 2022.
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis, whose fiery records and scandals made him both fascinating and frightening, died at the age of 87. The Louisiana-born pianist, who called himself “Killer”, is considered one of the most important founders of rock.
Vin Scully, the legendary sports announcer who was the Dodgers’ beloved voice from their arrival in town in 1958 until his retirement in 2016, has died at the age of 94. Scully’s soothing, insightful style remained a constant for fans as the team changed players, managers, and owners.
Queen Elizabeth the second
Queen Elizabeth the second, whose 70-year reign as British monarch saw the country transform from an outsized if isolated imperial power into a humble, multicultural European nation, died at the age of 96. The first child of Prince Albert, the 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 pioneer and controversial figure on the country music scene in the early 1960s, died at the age of 90. The Country Music Hall of Famer wrote fearlessly about sex and love, cheating husbands, divorce and birth control sometimes got in trouble with radio programmers.
Actress Angela Lansbury
who stormed the New York stages in 1966 as the spirited, eccentric star of “Mame” and solved endless murders as a crime writer in the TV series “Murder, She Wrote”, died at the age of 96. Lansbury has won five Tony Awards for her Broadway performances and a lifetime achievement award during her 75-year career, which spanned 36 films and nearly as many television plays.
James Caan, an actor known to film fans as the hot-tempered Sonny Corleone in The Godfather and to television audiences as both the dying football player in Brian’s Song and the casino boss in Las Vegas, has died at the age of 82. Caan’s first acclaimed film role was in 1964’s Lady in a Cage, opposite Olivia de Havilland, and by 1971 he was establishing himself as a top acting talent.
Bill Russell, professional basketball’s first black superstar and a pioneering big man who reinvented the center position with the dynastic Boston Celtics in the late 1950s and 1960s, died at the age of 88. A Hall of Famer, five-time Most Valuable Player and 12-time All-Star, Russell was voted the greatest player in NBA history by basketball writers in 1980.
Olivia Newton-John, an actress and singer best known for her role as Sandy in the film version of Grease and for hits like Physical and You’re the One That I Want, died at the age of 73. Newton-John burst onto the US country music 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 aged 78. Her mix of longing and determination was evident in the timeless Be My Baby and her story of survival at the hands of her abuser.
Madeleine Albright, a child of Czechoslovak refugees who became the first woman to become US Secretary of State, died at the age of 84. Albright wanted to be a journalist before climbing the ranks in the Democratic Party.
Maury Wills, a base-stealing specialist who helped the Dodgers win three World Series titles in the 1960s, died at the age of 89. Wills led the National League in steals six times, earned two Gold Gloves for his fielding, and beat Willie Mays for the league’s Most Valuable Player award in 1962.
Bob Saget, an actor and comedian best known for his role as a squeaky clean widower and father on the sitcom Full House and as the hilarious host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, has died at the age of 65. Saget has had an occasional focus on directing over the years, and was most recently on a stand-up comedy tour.
Naomi Judd, whose harmonies with daughter Wynonna made them Grammy-winning country music stars The Judds, died at the age of 76. Naomi was working as a single mom and nurse in Nashville when she and Wynonna started singing together professionally.
Norman Mineta, a longtime California congressman who broke racial barriers to Asian Americans by becoming mayor of San Jose and was also the first Asian-American cabinet secretary, died at the age of 90.
Sidney Poitier, who broke color barriers at a time when black people were generally assigned stereotypical roles on Hollywood studio lots, died at the age of 94. Poitier rose to fame in films like In the Heat of the Night and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner in the 1960s.