Rest in 2022: It’s only been a week into 2023, and we’ve endured a few things already– a temporary collapse of the government, crazy “bomb cyclone” weather in California, travel chaos, etc. But 2022 was a doozie and we suffered some huge losses we won’t soon forget. Betty White died on New Year’s Eve 2021, and as the new year flashed by, more equally beloved pop culture figures followed. To be candid, we didn’t always get to celebrate every exceptional being the way we wanted to. Since COVID 19, LA Weekly’s resources have dictated coverage prioritization towards L.A. events and upcoming entertainment and so, some tributes we hoped to write fell through the cracks. But as we look forward to a new year and maintain hope that we don’t lose too many more greats, we feel compelled to look back and offer appreciation to these figures for making the world a better place with their inimitable cultural contributions.
January 2022 alone saw the deaths of Ronnie Spector, Bob Saget, Sidney Poitier, Michael Lang, and Peter Bogdanovich. In the months that followed we lost style icon Andre Leon Talley, singer Meat Loaf, funk queen Betty Davis, comedian Louie Anderson, designer Thierry Mugler, actor Howard Hesseman, and director Ivan Reitman.
And then more huge goodbyes. From the music world, Jerry Lee Lewis, Olivia Newton-John, Taylor Hawkins, Naomi Judd, Loretta Lynn, Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode, DH Peligro of the Dead Kennedys, Terri Hall of The Specials, Coolio, Takeoff, Irene Cara, Aaron Carter and Christie McVie passed away.
Prolific actors such as Angela Lansbury, Ray Liotta, William Hurt, James Caan, Kirstie Alley, Leslie Jordan, and Anne Heche also left us as the year rolled through, and inspired us to revisit their work and marvel at their acting agility and longevity. Later in the year, British culture lost two iconic women, ironically bonded by art, music and fashion – the Queen of England and designer Vivienne Westwood.
For all of social media’s negatives, the forum it provides to commemorate our departed heroes is unmatched. Posting about a deceased celebrity, whether it be a chance encounter story, a memory about how their work affected you, or a selfie with them, might come off self-aggrandizing to some, but the collective tributes really do mean something for memorialization of public figure legacies. In fact, we’d venture to say they mean more than the obligatory quick-to-run obits that most publications put out (and are often pre-written so they’re ready when an elder star burns out), repeating the same factoids and embedding the same famous people’s tweets and IG posts. We opted not to run these, and instead to focus on figures we knew personally. Like Marty Roberts of Marty & Elayne, the dynamic jazz duo known for their multi-decade reign at the Dresden in Los Feliz. Or Terri King, the popular rock clothing designer for Ozzy Osbourne and Nine Inch Nails, whose Melrose store we worked at in the 90s.
Howie Pyro, a renowned LA and NY punk musician, DJ and friend, who was covered many times over the years in LA Weekly and the Village Voice, passed away after a long health battle and a bevy of benefit concerts (he’s now buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery), while DJ Art Laboe who left us in October, was heavily mourned by native Angelenos who grew up with his passionate dedications on the radio.
Personal tributes to people who made Los Angeles special, like Vin Scully and Nikke Finke, rounded out our culture coverage in 2022. It’s sad that these people are gone, but we choose to feel happy that they were ever here, expressing, entertaining, enlightening, existing, right up until the dawn of 2023. Local feline legend P-22, glam rocker Pat Briggs (who co-promoted one of L.A.’s best parties of all time– Club Makeup), soccer star Pele, journalism great Barbara Walters, singer Anita Pointer and Pope Benedict all ascended from the physical forms just as the new year was beginning. Looking back, the entire deceased list looms large, with examples of life lived to its fullest that we can and should model into the new year. Do what you love and share it with others as much as you can–that’s the takeaway when we think about these losses. Rest in peace to all of these stupendous souls.
Rest in 2022 (Alphabetized List)
Madeleine Albright – Died March 23 at 84
Kirstie Alley – Died Dec. 5 at 71
Louie Anderson – Died Jan. 21 at 68
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI – Died Dec. 31 at 95
Peter Bogdanovich – Died Jan. 6 at 82
Stephen “tWitch” Boss – Died Dec. 13 at 40
Pat Briggs – Died Dec. 27
James Caan – Died July 6 at 82
Irene Cara – Died Nov. 25 at 63
Aaron Carter – Died Nov. 5 at 34
Coolio – Died Sept. 28 at 59
Betty Davis – Died Feb. 9 at 76
Queen Elizabeth II – Died Sept. 8 at 96
Andy Fletcher (Depeche Mode) – Died May 26 at 60
Louise Fletcher – Died Sept. 23 at 88
Nikki Finke – Died Oct. 9 at 68
Jason David Frank – (Power Rangers) – Died Nov. 20 at 49
Gallagher – Died Nov. 11
Jean-Luc Godard – Died Sept. 13 at 91
Mikhail Gorbachev – Died Aug. 30 at 91
Gilbert Gottfried – Died April 12 at 67
Rio Hackford – Died April 14
Philip Baker Hall – (Magnolia, Boogie Nights) – Died June 12 at 90
Terry Hall – (The Specials) – Died Dec. 19 at 63
Estelle Harris – (Seinfeld, Toy Story)- Died April 2 at 93
Taylor Hawkins – Died March 25 at 50
Anne Heche – Died Aug. 22 at 53
Bo Hopkins – (American Graffiti) – Died May 28 on 84
William Hurt – Died March 13 at 71
Maxi Jazz (The Faithless) – Died Dec. 23 at 65
Leslie Jordan – Died Oct. 24 at 67
Naomi Judd – Died April 30 at 76
Terri King – Died Jan. 5
Art Laboe – Died Oct. 11 at 97
Michael Lang (The Woodstock) Died Jan. 8 at 77
Angela Lansbury – Died Oct. 11 at 96
Jerry Lee Lewis – Died Oct. 28 at 87
Ray Liotta – Died May 26 at 67
Loretta Lynn – Died Oct. 4 at 88
Bob McGrath (Sesame Street) – Died Dec. 4 at 90
Christine McVie – Died Nov. 30 at 79
Manfried Thierry Mugler – Died Jan. 23 at 73
Meat Loaf – Died Jan. 20 at 74
Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek)- Died July 31 at 89
P-22 – Died Dec. 17
Pelé – Died Dec. 29 at 82
DH Peligro – Died Oct. 28
Anita Pointer – Died Dec. 31 at 74
Sidney Poitier – Died Jan. 6 at 94
Howie Pyro – Died May 4 at 61
Ivan Reitman – Died Feb. 12 at 75
Marty Roberts (Marty & Elayne) –
Bob Saget -Died on Jan. 9 at 65
Vin Scully – Died Aug. 2 at 94
Jim Seals (Seals & Crofts)- Died June 6 at 79
Paul Sorvino – Died July 25 at 83
Ronnie Spector – Died Jan. 12 at 78
Ken Starr – Died Sept. 13 at 76
Takeoff (Migos) – Died Nov. 1 at 28
Andre Leon Talley – Died Jan. 18 at 73
Ivana Trump – Died July 14 at 73
Barbara Walters -Died Dec. 30 at 93
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