Remembering the Stars We Lost in 2022: Bob Saget, Angela Lansbury, tWitch, Kirstie Alley & More

Courtesy of The Critics Choice Association;CBS via Getty Images;Emma McIntyre/Getty Images;Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Just as with every year, 2022 saw the death of several beloved celebrities of the small screen. And as the year comes to a close, we like to take the time to look back and pay tribute to their work and their legacies in the world of entertainment.

Loretta Lynn, Angela Lansbury, Bob Saget, and Ray Liotta are just some of the talented stars we lost this year. In the final weeks of 2022, fans bid a heartbreaking farewell to Cheers star Kirstie Alley and So You Think You Can Dance alum and Ellen personality Stephen “tWitch” Boss.

Though they’re gone, audiences can still enjoy their work on television, celebrating and remembering them for years to come. Scroll down for some of other the celebs who have left us this year.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please dial 988 for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

Stephen 'Twitch' Boss
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Stephen "tWitch" Boss

September 29, 1982 – December 13, 2022

Stephen “tWitch” Boss made his TV debut competing on So You Think You Can Dance Season 4 in 2008, finishing in second place behind Joshua Allen. He returned for all-star Season 7 in 2010, where he met his wife and fellow dancer Allison Holker, whom he married in 2013. Boss joined The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2014 as the resident DJ and later executive producer, remaining on the series through its end in 2022. In addition to also being a choreographer, actor, and television personality on a number of shows, he and Holker gained popularity on social media during the COVID pandemic thanks to their joyful dance videos, often featuring their three children, Weslie, 13, Maddox, 6, and Zaia, 2.

Loretta Lynn
Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Americana Music

Loretta Lynn

April 14, 1932 – October 4, 2022

In a sense, the day some 70 years ago when Loretta Lynn punched out three of her husband’s teeth may best describe the journey of this revered country music and feminist queen whose story — and songs tinged with humor and hard living — is an American classic. “You know, he never said a word,” Lynn later recalled about that punch … but she did, in hit songs that told tales from the perspective of a “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” That song — and the lauded Sissy Spacek film it inspired — spoke of her upbringing and marriage to Doo at age 15, a loving, tumultuous bond that lasted 48 years. With Lynn a mother of four by her 20th birthday, Doo bought her a $17 guitar and gave her plenty to sing about. Lynn’s tunes are the stuff of legend, sung with the voice of a true storyteller.

Dwayne Hickman in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
© 20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection

Dwayne Hickman

May 18, 1934 – January 9, 2022

How often does a huge child star survive and ultimately thrive in Hollywood? It’s not easy, but it proved to be the case with Dwayne Hickman, who, while he lived to be nearly 90, still remained largely known as the fresh-faced, girl-crazy teenage characters he portrayed on the sitcoms that brought him early and lasting fame. Following his breakout role as Chuck MacDonald in The Bob Cummings Show (1955-59), Hickman gained stardom as the title character who “wants a girl who’s dreamy” in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959-63). Starting in the late 1970s, Hickman became an executive with CBS, taking time out occasionally for acting roles until 2005. He ultimately succumbed to complications of Parkinson’s disease.

 

William Hurt
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William Hurt

March 20, 1950 – March 13, 2022

One of the finest actors of his generation, stage and screen star William McChord Hurt, could memorably immerse himself deeply into any type of character. Those turns thrilled viewers for 40 years, going back to his movie debut as a professor in the psychedelic sci-fi/horror film Altered States (1980). There was a hint of vulnerability about his roles. He was always remarkably believable — as the lazy lawyer taken in by Kathleen Turner’s beauty in the steamy noir Body Heat (1981), playing a principled but broken Vietnam vet in The Big Chill (1983), and in his Best Actor Oscar-winning performance for Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985). Two more nominations followed that role in the intense drama Children of a Lesser God (1986) and the brilliant comedy Broadcast News (1987). The consummate actor passed away of complications from prostate cancer at his Oregon home just a week before his 72nd birthday.

Howard Hesseman in WKRP in Cincinnati
©CBS/Courtesy Everett Collection

Howard Hesseman

February 27, 1940 – January 29, 2022

“All right, Cincinnati, it is time for this town to get down!” With those words, a legendary TV character was born, as Howard Hesseman’s Dr. Johnny Fever offered the rock ’n’ roll prescription for morning radio on WKRP in Cincinnati. The ensemble sitcom ran from 1978-82 and earned Hesseman two Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmy nominations, along with a legion of fans who still enjoy his laid-back comic persona. Seen in many TV series in the years after, including One Day at a Time from 1982-84, Hesseman died from complications of colon surgery in Los Angeles.

Sharknado - Olivia Newton- John, sharkando, syfy preview
Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

Olivia Newton-John

September 26, 1948 – August 8, 2022

Olivia Newton-John, the note-perfect vocalist, first admired for her “incandescent sweetness,” mirrored the charming Sandy she played opposite John Travolta in the 1978 blockbuster Grease. She rose to fame with an aw-shucks demeanor thanks to easy-listening hits such as “Have You Never Been Mellow,” “I Honestly Love You” and “Let Me Be There.” She shifted gears in the late ’70s and thrilled with the 1981 song “Physical,” Billboard’s most successful Hot 100 single of the 1980s. She followed that up with the musical fantasy Xanadu (which inspired the Broadway hit), where she introduced the wildly popular song “Magic.” Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, Newton-John beat the disease three times but ultimately succumbed to it at her home in the Santa Ynez Valley of California at the age of 73. Her ageless beauty remains.

Bob McGrath on 'Sesame Street'
Everett Collection

Bob McGrath

June 13, 1932 – December 4, 2022

With his warm smile, McGrath became an icon to generations of families as one of the original human stars of Sesame Street, appearing as friendly neighbor Bob Johnson for five decades and 46 seasons. He also sang some of the show’s most popular songs, including “People in Your Neighborhood.”

Robert Clary in Hogan's Heroes
Peter Loeser /TV Guide/courtesy Everett Collection; Hamilton Millard /TV Guide/courtesy Everett Collection

Robert Clary

March 1, 1926 – November 16, 2022

A Holocaust survivor, Clary found fame on Hogan’s Heroes, the 1960s comedy about Allied prisoners of war, playing French corporal Louis LeBeau over
the show’s six seasons. He also had roles on the soaps Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless, and The Bold and the Beautiful.

Nicki Aycox on Dark Blue
Richard Foreman Jr. / © TNT / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Nicki Aycox

May 26, 1975 – November 16, 2022

Aycox amassed multiple TV credits over her years acting—among them Cold Case, Providence, Ed, LAX, and Significant Others. But her breakout role came as Supernatural’s Meg Masters, a former human who became the host body of an unnamed demon.

John Aniston for 'Days of Our Lives'
NBC/courtesy Everett Collection

John Aniston

July 24, 1933 – November 11, 2022

Aniston appeared on soap operas at the beginning of his career and, in 1985, originated the role of Victor Kiriakis on NBC’s Days of Our Lives, playing the character on and off for 37 years until his death. Other TV gigs included Gilmore Girls, The West Wing, and Star Trek: Voyager.

Kevin Conroy
Gary Miereanu

Kevin Conroy

November 30, 1955 – November 10, 2022

Many actors have portrayed Batman, but when it comes to his voice, Conroy stands cowl and shoulders above the rest, having voiced the animated Dark Knight for three decades. He began his career in the theater in New York, finding success in the ’80s on Broadway and then on TV with roles on Dynasty and Search for Tomorrow.

Ron Masak
The Everett Collection

Ron Masak

July 1, 1936 – October 20, 2022

Masak’s first notable role came in a 1960s episode of The Twilight Zone. The affable actor went on to appear in dozens of TV shows in the ’70s and ’80s, including I Dream of Jeannie, Get Smart, Bewitched, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. In 1988, he began a 39-episode stint as Sheriff Mort Metzger opposite Angela Lansbury on Murder, She Wrote.

Dig - Anne Heche
Virginia Sherwood/USA Network

Anne Heche

May 25, 1969 – August 11, 2022

After an award-winning turn on daytime drama Another World, playing twins Vicky Hudson and Marley Love (1987–91), she rose to prominence in film roles before returning to TV in the 2000s with Men in Trees, Hung and Save Me. She was also a contestant on Dancing With the Stars.

Pat Carroll
TV Guide / courtesy Everett Collection

Pat Carroll

May 5, 1927 – July 30, 2022

The acclaimed actress and comedian was delightfully evil voicing Ursula on the big screen in The Little Mermaid. Prior to that, she gave memorable performances on The Danny Thomas Show and Laverne & Shirley and won an Emmy for her work on Caesar’s Hour. Later television appearances included Designing Women and ER.

Leave It To Beaver's Tony Dow
Gene Trindl/Courtesy of Everett Collection

Tony Dow

April 13, 1945 – July 27, 2022

Dow will forever be young, the idealized brother Wally to little “Beaver” Cleaver (Jerry Mathers) in the classic suburban-family sitcom Leave It to Beaver (1957–63). In the 1980s, he reprised his most famous role in a CBS TV movie and in the cable reunion series The New Leave It to Beaver (1984–89).

Tony Sirico
Everett Collection

Tony Sirico

July 29, 1942 – July 8, 2022

Sirico gave one of TV’s most unforgettable performances as ill-tempered and volatile Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri on The Sopranos. He also had roles in Miami Vice, Medium, Cop Land, Mickey Blue Eyes, and several Woody Allen films.

Paul Sorvino Goodfellas
Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

Paul Sorvino

April 13, 1939 – July 25, 2022

As NYPD sergeant Phil Cerreta on Law & Order, Sorvino helped establish the show’s early popularity in its second season. But he also was beloved as a father figure, playing Bruce Willis’ dad on Moonlighting, Jeff Garlin’s pop on The Goldbergs, and, in real life, Mira Sorvino’s father.

Larry Storch in F Troop
Everett Collection

Larry Storch

January 8, 1923– July 8, 2022

Storch’s expressive face is well-remembered from his Emmy-nominated performance as bumbling Cpl. Randolph Agarn on the classic sitcom F Troop (1965–67). He was a familiar presence, usually in supporting roles, in 20-plus feature films and numerous TV guest spots between 1951 and 2005.

James Caan in Detachment
©Tribeca Films/courtesy Everett Collection

James Caan

March 26, 1940 – July 6, 2022

He may be best known as The Godfather’s Sonny Corleone, but Caan was nominated for an Emmy in Brian’s Song. He later had roles on Hawaii Five-0 (where he guest starred alongside his son Scott) and as Ed Deline in the NBC dramedy Las Vegas from 2003 to 2007.

Gilbert Gottfried in Gilbert
©Gravitas Ventures/courtesy Everett Collection

Gilbert Gottfried

February 28, 1955 – April 12, 2022

Memorably portraying Iago in the Aladdin animated films and series, in addition to other voice work in movies and television, Gottfried was the voice of the duck in the Aflac commercials for many years and played Mr. Peabody in the Problem Child films. He also appeared regularly on Hollywood Squares from 1998 to 2004.

Estelle Harris as Estelle Costanza in Seinfeld
Courtesy of Everett Collection

Estelle Harris

April 22, 1928 – April 2, 2022

As George’s (Jason Alexander) long-suffering mom on Seinfeld, Harris could be obnoxious and melodramatic, sweet, sassy, domineering and a pulled pin in
the grenade that was her husband, Frank (Jerry Stiller). The comedic talent was also a constant presence on TV commercials and, later, as Mrs. Potato Head in the Toy Story franchise.

Emilio Delgado on Sesame Street
PBS/courtesy Everett Collection (photo by Richard Termine)

Emilio Delgado

May 8, 1940 – March 10, 2022

Cast on Sesame Street in 1971, Delgado expected to be on for only one or two years. Instead, he became a series fixture until 2016 thanks to his role as kindly handyman Luis Rodriguez, owner of the Fix-It Shop. Delgado was also influential behind the scenes as coordinator of their Bilingual Task Force, which helped update the show’s content.

Louie Anderson
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Louie Anderson

March 24, 1953 – January 21, 2022

Anderson wore many hats in his career—comedian, Emmy-winning actor, author, and game show host among them. The performer co-created the animated Life With Louie and the sitcom The Louie Show and received a supporting actor Emmy playing Zach Galifianakis’ mom on the FX comedy Baskets.

Bob Saget
Courtesy of The Critics Choice Association

Bob Saget

May 17, 1956 – January 9, 2022.

Audiences first fell for him as the always caring, forever clean Danny Tanner on Full House (1989–97). His quicksilver gift of gab and charming likability led to his hosting America’s Funniest Home Videos for nearly a decade. Starting in 2005, Saget was the voice of the older Ted Mosby narrating How I Met Your Mother; series star Josh Radnor gushed that Saget was the “kindest, loveliest, funniest and most supportive man.” He dedicated much of his time to drawing attention to scleroderma, a disease his late sister battled.

Angela Lansbury
Everett Collection

Angela Lansbury

October 16, 1925 – October 11, 2022

Already a star, Lansbury was an overnight TV sensation—at almost 60!—as Murder, She Wrote’s adorably sincere amateur sleuth Jessica Fletcher. Lansbury’s true calling, though, was Broadway; she won Tonys for Mame, Gypsy and Sweeney Todd. Generations also loved her voice work as Mrs. Potts in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

© XJJOHNSON/jpistudios.com

Nichelle Nichols

December 28, 1932 – July 30, 2022

As Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek, Nichols was among the first African American performers featured on a primetime television series, and her character shared a groundbreaking interracial kiss with William Shatner’s Captain Kirk. Her run with the iconic character stretched 25 years and through six films. The beloved actress, singer and dancer later became a recruiter of minorities for NASA.

Kirstie Alley
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Kirstie Alley

January 12, 1951 – December 5, 2022

Starting her career in film, Alley found even greater fame when she joined the hit comedy Cheers in 1987. Over six seasons, she earned Emmy and Golden Globe awards as neurotic Rebecca Howe, the new romantic foil for Ted Danson’s Sam after Shelley Long’s departure. The role launched Alley into an acclaimed TV career that included the title character in NBC’s Veronica’s Closet, the Showtime comedy Fat Actress and the TV film David’s Mother (which scored her a second Emmy).

Queen Elizabeth
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Queen Elizabeth II

April 21, 1926 – September 8, 2022

Through a reign lasting 70 years—one that saw her greet 13 U.S. presidents—Queen Elizabeth grew from an enigmatic public figure into one of compassion. Her visits to America were always televised news, whether dancing at a state dinner with Gerald Ford or riding horses with Ronald Reagan. In recent years, her life was explored via acclaimed depictions in the hit series The Crown.

Ray Liotta

Ray Liotta

December 18, 1954 – May 26, 2022

The quintessential movie tough guy in classics like Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, Liotta began his television career on the NBC soap opera Another World. Among his memorable TV performances: Frank Sinatra in the HBO movie The Rat Pack, Jennifer Lopez’s corrupt mentor on Shades of Blue and a dying alcoholic on ER, for which he won a 2005 guest actor Emmy.

Robert Morse
Stephane Cardinale/Corbis

Robert Morse

May 18, 1931 – April 20, 2022

Morse may have started his career in the theater, but his television credits soon became just as prominent. He played Dominick Dunne in The People v. O.J. Simpson won an Emmy as Truman Capote in PBS’s Tru, but it was his late-in-the-game role as Bert Cooper in Mad Men that led to a career triumph.

Leslie Jordan
FOX

Leslie Jordan

April 29, 1955 — October 24, 2022

Short in stature but big in personality, Jordan made a name for himself on shows such as Ally McBeal, Ugly Betty, Caroline in the City, and Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story franchise. But it was his roles as Karen’s (Megan Mullally) frenemy Beverley Leslie on Will & Grace (for which he won a guest actor Emmy) and baker Phil on Call Me Kat that won him fans around the world.