Year in Review
TV Star Deaths 2016

2016 in Review: TV Stars We Said Goodbye to This Year

As we look back on 2016, we can’t help but think of all the TV greats who left us.

It’s been a tough year for celebrity deaths across the board — RIP, David Bowie, Prince and now George Michael — and the TV world was no exception, getting hit hard by the loss of a number of legendary performers. We said goodbye to a hilarious comedian in Garry Shandling. A ’60s icon in Patty Duke. A pair of all-time great sitcom parents in Florence Henderson and Alan Thicke. A four-time Emmy winner in Doris Roberts. A soap-opera villain we all loved to hate in Joseph Mascolo. And many more names we remember from their years on the small screen. (Too many more, if you ask us.) 

Let’s take a moment to look back and appreciate the TV stars, producers and contributors who left us in 2016. Take a look through the gallery to the right — or click here for direct access — to see our remembrances, and then come back and hit the comments to share your own fond memories of all the great stars we lost this year. May they all rest in peace, in TV heaven.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Kevin says:

    2016 was the worst year EVER and the world have lost so many great TV stars most recently Florence Henderson (one of the best TV moms) and Alan Thicke (one of the best TV dads).

  2. Star says:

    I will miss Christina Grimmie. Such a beautiful person. She died at a very tender age of 22. RIP to all those stars as well.

  3. iHeart says:

    this was a terrible year news wise, I hope that 2017 will be way better

  4. raddadtone says:

    As a huge fan of television, that gallery was depressing to look at. Some of those I knew better than others. Some I’d forgotten about. Others I had no clue they had passed. What a brutal year for television personalities and celebs in general

  5. Columbus says:

    You should send this very comprehensive list to the Emmys so that they don’t leave anyone out in their Memorial tribute.

  6. datdudemurphy says:

    2016 sucked. So much bad has happened.

    Bring on 2017.

  7. MMD says:

    2016 has just been awful for deaths of artists of any medium. I have noticed a trend where people either seem to live to enjoy their 80’s and 90’s but 60-69 has just been brutal. It seems like a generation is having a hard time making it to 70 which is so very sad.

    I just pray and hope that 2017 is better.

  8. Butch says:

    I believe it was Phyllis Coates, not Noel Neill, who played Lois Lane’s mother, Ellen, in one episode of “Lois and Clark.” The role was later played by Beverly Garland.

    • Butch says:

      Noel Neill did play Lois Lane’s mother in a scene cut from the theatrical version of the first Superman (1978) movie. The scene is shown on the extended DVD/Blu Ray edition of the film. Kirk Alyn, Superman in the movie serials which also featured Noel Neill as Lois Lane, played Lois’s father in the scene.

  9. RedReddington says:

    It feels wrong to leave Alan Rickman off this list even if he wasn’t a “TV” star..I miss him the most from my TV! 😭😭😭

    • YestoKylie says:

      I came here to say the same thing…Hans/Snape’s demise hit me like a ton of bricks….even today, it just doesn’t seem real.

  10. Pat L says:

    I think you should add Hugh O’Brian (9/5) the legendary Wyatt Earp and Van WIlliams (11/28) of Surfside 6 and Green Hornet.

    • Pat L says:

      Sorry, Van Williams is there. How about Robert Horton (Wagon Train) and Peter Brown (Lawman, Laredo and many others)?

      • ragnar51 says:

        Absolutely Pat, I think there have just been so many that even TVL is swamped and saddened over the number of talented folks lost this year.

  11. Steven says:

    Doris Roberts’ name in Everybody Loves Raymond was Marie not Maria.

  12. HAP says:

    Certainly not looking to start a contest here, but in my opinion, the death of 27 year old Anton Yelchin strikes me as the saddest, and most bizarre tragedies.

  13. Joey says:

    You really shouldn’t have posted this yet. 2016 will use this as an excuse to grab someone every day for the next 5 days.

  14. Amanda says:

    This year has been so sad especially in the TV and music industries. So many I loved and was a fan of have passed this year. Sadly I think it will be like this from now on for me since I loved so many TV shows, movies, and music over the years. Also I was sad not to see Glenn Frey included. I know he’s considered mostly a musician but he was also an actor especially on TV and had big roles both acting and music wise in “Miami Vice” and was on a full arc of “Wiseguy” in their third season, as well as guest starred on other shows and reunited with the Eagles on MTV in 1994 for “Hell Freezes Over”.

  15. TaMara says:

    Wouid have been nice to go through the photos without the intrusive auto-play ads that you can’t fully mute and always start out at full volume. Stopped going to for that reason, would hate to start avoiding TVLine for the same reason.

  16. Walkie says:

    Sadly I fear Carrie Fisher is going to be added to this list.
    What a terrible year.

  17. GeoDiva says:

    Ugh! Cancer sucks!

  18. Marianne says:

    Old school here. Peter Brown(Laredo) and James Stacy (Lancer)

  19. Dianna says:

    What a horrible year! I know this list is comprised of those in television, but can anyone clarify for me wether we lost Natalie Cole in December of 2015(New Year’s Eve) or January 2016(New Year’s Day)? It seems like losing her was the beginning of the hellscape that is this year.

    • MMD says:

      According to Wikipedia it was New Year’s Eve 2015 but depending on your time zone it might have been reported on January 1st, 2016. Since I am AT which is 4 hours later than PT I as well as abroad would have heard on the 1st.

  20. This year was sad, but next year will be better.

  21. Ry says:

    need to add Carrie Fischer now :(