The year now ending marks another 12-month period of losing talents who have given television viewers entertainment or information … and some of those passings, even more sadly, came as major and untimely shocks. Zap2it remembers:
Marcia Wallace: Beloved by fans of “The Bob Newhart Show” as receptionist Carol Kester, the comedic actress won a new generation of fans as the voice of Edna Krabappel on “The Simpsons.”
Bonnie Franklin: The stage veteran was quite symbolic on the home screen, portraying a single mother’s challenges on the sitcom “One Day at a Time.”
Eileen Brennan: An actress for all mediums, the smoky-voiced Brennan won an Emmy for reprising her movie role in the series version of “Private Benjamin.”
Noel Harrison: The son of fellow actor Rex Harrison has a place in the hearts of spy-show fans as the partner of “The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.,” Mark Slate.
Sir David Frost: The master interviewer gave TV one of its true events via his conversations with then-former President Richard Nixon, the basis of the play and movie “Frost/Nixon.”
Pat Summerall: The NFL veteran became one of television’s premier sportscasters … and pitchmen, thanks to his hardware store ads.
George Beverly Shea: The gospel singer-composer was an associate of Billy Graham for more than 60 years, frequently performing on the evangelist’s televised crusades.
Gary David Goldberg: The writer-producer’s smart sensibility informed the series “Family Ties” and “Spin City” – and largely gave Michael J. Fox his career.
Henry Bromell: An executive producer of “Homeland” at the time of his death, this renowned “Homicide: Life on the Street” alum was awarded a posthumous Emmy for his writing.
Richard Matheson: The noted fantasy writer made some big contributions to TV, including many “Twilight Zone” episodes (such as the classic “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”) and the Steven Spielberg-directed movie “Duel.”
Jack Shea: This home-screen veteran was the resident director of “The Jeffersons,” also guiding episodes of such shows as “Sanford and Son” and “Designing Women.”
Lou Scheimer: With fellow founders Norm Prescott and Hal Sutherland, Scheimer provided bountiful family entertainment (“The Archie Show,” “Shazam!” and more) through the firm Filmation Associates.
Frank Bank: As Wally Cleaver’s hapless pal Clarence “Lumpy” Rutherford on “Leave It to Beaver,” Bank was one of TV’s iconic best friends.
Malachi Throne: The actor who played Robert Wagner’s boss in most of the run of “It Takes a Thief” also let himself be unidentifiable as the villain Falseface on “Batman.”
Mike Road: Though he had many on-camera roles, this actor was most famous for his voice, specifically as Race Bannon in the original version of “Jonny Quest.”
Jane Kean: TV’s second Trixie Norton, in “Honeymooners” sketches on the 1960s “Jackie Gleason Show,” also was the voice of Belle in “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol.”