Deaths in Film & TV on December 20

  • 1948 C Aubrey Smith [Charles], British actor (The Prisoner of Zenda), dies at 85
  • 1971 Roy O. Disney, American businessman and co-founder of the Walt Disney Company with brother Walt, dies of cerebral hemorrhage at 78
  • 1973 Bobby Darin [Walden Robert Cassotto], American singer ("Mack the Knife"; "Splish-Splash"; "Beyond the Sea"), and actor, dies of a heart attack at 37
  • 1975 William Lundigan, American actor (Climax, Pinky, They Asked for It), dies of lung and heart congestion at 61
  • 1976 Walter Fitzgerald, actor (Adv of Sadie, Fallen Idol), dies at 80
  • 1981 Dimitris Rontiris, Greek actor and director (b. 1899)
  • 1988 Alphonse Ouimet, Canadian television pioneer and president of the CBC, dies at 80

Max RobinsonMax Robinson (1939-1988)

1st African American network TV anchor (ABC), dies of AIDS at 49

  • 1989 Audrey Christie, American actress (Splendor in the Grass, Fair Exchange), dies at 77
  • 1991 Helene Heigh, actress (Undercover Woman, Teen Age Thunder), dies at 86
  • 1991 Walter Chiari, actor (Girl Under Sheet), dies of a heart attack at 67
  • 1992 Peter Brocco, American actor blacklisted in the 1950's (Spartacus: One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest), dies of a heart attack at 89
  • 1995 Madge Sinclair (née Walters), Jamaican-American actress (Conrack; Roots - "Bell"; Trapper John, M.D. - "Ernestine"; The Lion King), dies of leukemia at 55
  • 1997 Dawn Steel, American filmmaker, 1st woman to head Hollywood studio, dies of cancer at 51
  • 1998 Irene Hervey, American actress (b. 1910)
  • 1999 Riccardo Freda, Italian film director and screenwriter (Theodora, Slave Empress), dies at 90
  • 2001 Foster Brooks, American comedian and actor (The Villain, Oddballs, Mork & Mindy), dies of natural causes at 89
  • 2008 Dorothy Sarnoff, American operatic soprano, Broadway actress (Rosalinda), author and pioneer of the self-help movement (Speech Can Change Your Life, Speech Dynamics), dies at 94
  • 2009 Arnold Stang, American comedian and actor (Broadside, Milton Berle, Top Cat), dies at 91
  • 2009 Brittany Murphy, American actress (Drop Dead Gorgeous), dies at 32
  • 2009 Mairoon Ali, Trinidadian comedienne and actress (b. 1954)
  • 2010 Steve Landesberg, American comedian and actor (Barney Miller - "Dietrich"), from colon cancer on at 74
  • 2014 John Freeman, British politician (Labour)/ambassador/TV host, dies at 99
  • 2015 Patricia Elliott, American actress (Renee-Empire, One Life to Live), dies at 77
  • 2016 Michèle Morgan, French actress (Passage to Marseille), dies at 96
  • 2018 Donald Moffat, British actor (Logan's Run), dies at 87