A look back at the esteemed personalities who left us this year, who'd touched us with their innovation, creativity and humanity.
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan. The Associated Press contributed to this gallery.
Comedian Louie Anderson (March 24, 1953-January 21, 2022) could easily make fun of his heft, and his own difficult upbringing:
"Eating for me is like my dad's drinking … Even when he was out, like sometimes my dad would be so out, my mom would go, 'Check to see if he's breathing.' And I'd go, 'You check to see if he's breathing. I'm not really concerned.'"
He told "Sunday Morning" in 2018 that such humor could be healing: "But more than that, people don't feel so alone. If people know that I had, you know, my butt kicked and my dad was cruel to me, if they know that I did, and I'm still going, maybe they can keep going."
Anderson, who served as a counselor to troubled youth, won a comedy competition and was hired by Henny Youngman as a writer. In 1984 he made his national TV debut as a standup on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson." Numerous appearances would follow with Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Craig Ferguson, Seth Myers, "Comic Relief," and specials on Showtime, HBO and CMT. He also hosted "Family Feud," and was featured on "Hollywood Squares."
As an actor, Anderson appeared in "Grace Under Fire," "Touched by an Angel," "Ally McBeal," "Chicago Hope," "Young Sheldon" and "Search Party," and was featured in "Coming to America," "Coming 2 America," and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."
In 2016 Anderson was cast as Christine Baskets, the mollycoddling mother of Zach Galifianakis, in the series "Baskets." Basing the character on his own late mother, Anderson won an Emmy for his performance. "You know, she's got the starring role that she deserves," he told "Sunday Morning." "You know, the great thing about my mom was she protected us. She took all the brunt, and this is such a great repay, and tribute. I get to pay her back."
In addition to his role in "Baskets," Anderson won two Daytime Emmys for the animated series "Life With Louie."
He also authored the books "Goodbye Jumbo … Hello Cruel World"; "Dear Dad: Letters From an Adult Child"; "The F Word: How To Survive Your Family"; and "Hey Mom: Stories From My Mother, But You Can Read Them, Too."
The rock star Marvin Lee Aday, best known by his stage name Meat Loaf (September 27, 1947-January 20, 2022), was immortalized by the energetic operatic rock ballads he blasted on his 1977 debut album, "Bat Out of Hell," one of the bestselling records in history. It featured such dark hits as "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" and "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad."
Raised in Dallas by his schoolteacher mother after she divorced his alcoholic father, Aday acted and sang in school productions. After his mother died while he was a teenager, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue work in the music industry. His first band, Meat Loaf Soul (using a nickname he'd acquired in his youth), opened for such acts as Van Morrison, Janis Joplin, The Who and The Grateful Dead.
In New York he appeared on stage in "Hair," "Rainbow," "As You Like it," "More Than You Deserve," and "The Rocky Horror Show" (repeating his role as the biker Eddie in the film version, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show").
Having gotten to know composer Jim Steinman while working at the Public Theatre, the two teamed up with producer Todd Rundgren for the album "Bat Out of Hell," a hybrid of rock and opera that was repeatedly turned down by record companies, before Cleveland International (a division of Epic) released it in 1977. It would sell more than 40 million copies worldwide.
Meat Loaf's subsequent albums – "Dead Ringer," "Midnight at the Lost and Found," "Bad Attitude" and "Blind Before I Stop" – fared less well, but he went to the top of the charts when he and Steinman reunited for 1993's "Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell." Its lead track, "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)," earned Meat Loaf a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance (Solo).
Later albums included "Welcome to the Neighborhood," "Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose," "Hell in a Handbasket," and "Braver Than We Are."
While his musical output proved inconsistent (especially given his turbulent relationship with Steinman), Meat Loaf also made continuous appearances or acted in films and on TV, including "Wayne's World," "Tales From the Crypt," "Spice World," "Black Dog," "The Mighty," "Fight Club," "South Park," and "Ghost Wars."
In a 2015 Billboard interview, Aday credited his early years for his staying power: "I already had that professionalism, because I'd already studied acting in high school for three years, and college, and done plays. I had the discipline of a football player and the discipline of an actor going in. So, my whole career has been very disciplined. That's why I'm still here."
Actress Yvette Mimieux (January 8, 1942-January 17, 2022) rose to stardom in the 1960 science fiction classic "The Time Machine," based on H.G. Wells' 1895 novel, as a woman in the year 802,701.
The story of her discovery was no less fantastic: at age 15, the blonde and blue-eyed Mimieux was horseback riding in the Hollywood Hills when she was spotted by a publicist in a helicopter; he landed and gave her his card.
As a model and starlet, Mimieux broke through with "Time Machine," and her early films played up her ingenue looks while also hinting at something more mysterious. In "Where the Boys Are," she was a college student on spring break in Florida who is sexually assaulted. In "Light in the Piazza," she played a mentally disabled young woman who finds romance in Italy. In "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse," Mimieux played a member of the French Resistance during World War II.
She starred opposite Charlton Heston in "Diamond Head," and in "Joy in the Morning," costarred with Richard Chamberlain as young newlyweds. (The two had appeared together on the TV series "Dr. Kildare.")
"I suppose I had a soulful quality," she explained in a 1979 Washington Post interview. "I was often cast as a wounded person, the 'sensitive' role."
Other films included "Toys in the Attic," "The Caper of the Golden Bulls," "Three in the Attic," "The Picasso Summer," "Death Takes a Holiday," "Skyjacked," and "The Black Hole." She also starred in the TV series "The Most Deadly Game," and wrote the TV movies "Hit Lady" (about a female assassin), and "Obsessive Love."
In her late 40s, Mimieux retired from acting, devoting herself to other interests, including painting, and studying archaeology at UCLA.
"I decided I didn't want to have a totally public life," she told the Post. "When the fan magazines started wanting to take pictures of me making sandwiches for my husband, I said no. You know, there are tribes in Africa who believe that a camera steals a little part of your soul, and in a way I think that's true about living your private life in public. It takes something away from your relationships, it cheapens them."
Prize-winning photographer Steve Schapiro (1934-January 15, 2022), whose work appeared in such publications as Time, Look, Rolling Stone, Life, The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated, People and Paris Match, started out as a freelancer in the early 1960s, and was witness to such historic moments as the 1963 March on Washington, Robert F. Kennedy's senate and presidential campaigns, and the aftermath of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Having studied under photojournalist W. Eugene Smith, Schapiro emulated the style of Henri Cartier-Bresson in his documentary-style depiction of his subjects through an empathetic lens. He captured Muhammad Ali shadowboxing, the lives of migrant workers, and the Selma-to-Montgomery march.
Beginning in the late 1960s, Schapiro captured images on the sets of films, including "Midnight Cowboy," "The Godfather," "Chinatown," "Taxi Driver," "The Man Who Fell to Earth" and "Risky Business." His work has been collected in such books as "American Edge," "Schapiro's Heroes," "The Godfather Family Album," "Then and Now," "Bowie," and "The Fire Next Time," which paired his photos with text by James Baldwin.
In a 2019 interview with Lens Magazine, Schapiro said, "I think that if you're going to achieve something in any profession, particularly like being a photographer, which at that time was very competitive, you have to put all your energy into that. You have to. It can't be something where that's one element of seven different things you're involved with or thinking about or working at. And it wouldn't work well to be a basketball player and a photographer. Maybe that's not a good example…"
Known as the dean of country music broadcasters, Ralph Emery (March 10, 1933-January 15, 2022) began at radio stations In Tennessee, Louisiana, and the Nashville area, before joining Nashville's WSM, home of the Grand Ole Opry. As a graveyard shift DJ, Emery's show, "Opry-Star Spotlight," was carried by the 50,000-watt station to almost 40 states, for 15 years.
"Ten at night 'til five in the morning is a long time to be on the radio," he said in a 2021 PBS interview. "And there weren't many stations playing country music. I always thought that if the Opry had died and they had taken that show off, it would have killed country music. But because of WSM and the 'Grand Ole Opry' and that all-night show, we hung on by our fingertips."
Emery then moved into television, as host of "The Ralph Emery Show"; the syndicated "Pop Goes the Country"; "Nashville Alive" on WTBS; the Nashville Network's live talk-variety show, "Nashville Now"; and a weekly program on RFD-TV.
In 2007 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
He'd tried his hand at a recording career in the early 1960s, but as he later confessed, "I'm not a singer, and that was one of the major problems."
Growing up in New York's Washington Heights as Veronica Bennett, Ronnie Spector (August 10, 1943-January 12, 2022), along with her sister, Estelle Bennett, and cousin Nedra Talley, began performing together in high school, and recorded as Ronnie and the Relatives, before signing on to Phil Spector's Phillies Records.
After releasing their 1963 hits "Be My Baby" and "Baby, I Love You," the group released its debut album, "Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica," which included such hits as "(The Best Part of) Breakin' Up," and "Walking in the Rain."
On their first tour of the U.K., The Ronettes had The Rolling Stones as their opening act; by 1966 The Ronettes were the opening act for The Beatles' American tour, and themselves toured Germany the following year. But disappointing sales of their late '60s songs, such as "Is This What I Get For Loving You?," led to the group's disbandment.
Ronnie married Phil Spector in 1968. The details of their divorce in 1974 revealed that he kept her a virtual prisoner in his home; she would barely record during the years of her marriage. [Her autobiography, "Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts and Madness," was published in 1990.]
In 1973 she recorded as Ronnie Spector and the Ronettes (with Chip Fields Hurd and Diane Linton), and later released several solo recordings. She would also team up with such artists as Bruce Springsteen, Joey Ramone, Keith Richards, Eddie Money and The Misfits. Her solo albums included "Siren," "Unfinished Business," and the 2016 "English Heart."
In a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Spector recalled her treatment by Jimi Hendrix, compared to others in the industry in the 1960s: "I'd get up and sing – anything he would do on his guitar, I would repeat with my voice. He would say, 'Boy, your voice sounds like a guitar.' I didn't know my voice was supposedly that great because people didn't tell you back then how great you were. Then it was, 'Go to the ladies' room. Re-do your eye makeup, or something.'"
A leader in the Native American struggle for civil rights, Clyde Bellecourt (May 8, 1936-January 11, 2022) was a co-founder, in 1968, of the American Indian Movement.
Born on the White Earth reservation in northwestern Minnesota (his Ojibwe name is Nee-gon-we-way-we-dun), Bellecourt found urban life difficult when his family relocated to Minneapolis (encouraged by the Indian Relocation Act). Jailed for robbery and burglary, he met other Native inmates, and upon release embarked on a life as an activist promoting indigenous history, language and spirituality.
In his 2018 autobiography, "The Thunder Before the Storm," Bellecourt wrote that he and his fellow Native Americans had been living with the effects of "historical trauma," including his parents, who'd "had the Indian beaten out of them."
After his introduction to the spiritual life of Native Americans, he wrote, "I really started feeling good about being an Indian. I stopped thinking about killing myself."
AIM began as a local organization in Minneapolis that fought against police brutality and discrimination against Native Americans, cultural appropriation, and environmental injustice. AIM also provided job training and sought to improve housing and education for Indigenous people.
During the 1970s they engaged in multiple national protests, including a 1972 march to Washington, D.C., called the Trail of Broken Treaties. In 1973 AIM led a 71-day occupation of Wounded Knee, on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, to protest corruption on the reservation and federal injustices against Indians. Two people died during a shootout when the demonstration turned violent.
For decades Bellecourt was a key figure in calls for dropping disparaging Indian names from sports teams and mascots. In 2020 the Washington Redskins dropped its name after decades of criticism and mounting pressure from sponsors.
Actor and comedian Bob Saget (May 17, 1956-January 9, 2022) was studying film at the University of Southern California when he left college to pursue stand-up comedy. "I never knew that I could do that until I got up the nerve to go on stage," he told the Norfolk (Va.) Daily Press in 1990. "Look what trouble that's gotten me into."
Small acting roles in "Bosom Buddies," "New Love, American Style" and "It's a Living" led to his starring role in the sitcom "Full House," playing a widower raising three daughters with the help of his best friend and his brother-in-law. The show (which costarred John Stamos, Davie Coulier, Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, and – as the youngest child, Michelle – twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) ran for eight seasons.
He would play another widower in the sitcom "Raising Dad," and returned to the Tanner household in the 2016 sequel series, "Fuller House." Saget was also the narrator of the long-running CBS series, "How I Met Your Mother."
His charisma and wholesome humor were put to good use as the host of the family-friendly "America's Funniest Home Videos" for its first eight years. But his comedy could run much bluer, as in the 2005 documentary "The Aristocrats," in which he contributed his take on the world's dirtiest joke. He had a cameo appearance as a cocaine addict in "Half Baked," and in the comedy series "Entourage," he was featured as a foul-mouthed, misogynistic character named … Bob Saget.
As Saget told "CBS This Morning" in 2017, his uncensored stand-up could come as a surprise to his TV fans: "I was playing in Vancouver one night in a casino up there, and there was a lady that just started to walk. But for the most part I always adapt in a chameleon-like way to the audience. I don't purposely go, 'I'm gonna be crass here,' if they're not enjoying it, you know? I want to get laughs."
He also directed several films, including the Norm MacDonald comedy "Dirty Work," "Benjamin," the mockumentary "Farce of the Penguins," and the TV movie "For Hope," a drama about a woman battling scleroderma, inspired by his late sister, Gay. In 2020, when the pandemic halted his planned comedy tour, he hosted a podcast, "Bob Saget's Here For You," in which he answered fans' questions.
In January, while in Florida on his "I Don't Do Negative Comedy Tour," he tweeted, "Loving beyond words being on tour … I had no idea I did a 2 hr set tonight. I'm happily addicted again to this s***."
Lyricist Marilyn Bergman (November 10, 1928-January 8, 2022), and her husband, Alan Bergman, were among the most enduring and successful songwriting partnerships. Their romantic ballads for movies, television and Broadway earned them three Oscars, four Emmys, and two Grammys.
They worked with such composers as Marvin Hamlisch, Michel Legrand, John Williams, Henry Mancini, David Shire, Dave Grusin, Cy Coleman and Billy Goldenberg, and wrote hits for Frank Sinatra ("Nice 'n' Easy") and Dean Martin ("Sleep Warm").
Their greatest collaborations were with singer Barbra Streisand; they won the Academy Award for best original song for "The Way We Were" (with composer Marvin Hamlisch); and their song "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" – first recorded by Neil Diamond and later covered by Streisand – became a duet, after radio station DJs began splicing together the two versions. Diamond and Streisand recorded a new version together, which went platinum.
The Bergmans also won Oscars for "The Windmills of Your Mind" (from "The Thomas Crown Affair"), and for the song score for Streisand's "Yentl."
Their TV theme songs included the sitcoms "Maude," "Alice," and "Good Times." They also contributed lyrics to music in the films "In the Heat of the Night," "The Happy Ending," "Sometimes a Great Notion," "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean," the 1976 "A Star Is Born," "Best Friends," "Tootsie," "Yes, Giorgio," "The Promise," "Micki & Maude," "For the Boys," "Sabrina," "Major League," and "Shirley Valentine."
The couple was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Marilyn became the first woman elected to ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), and later served as the chair and president. She was also the first chair of the Library of Congress' National Recorded Sound Preservation Board.
In 2010 "Sunday Morning" correspondent Nancy Giles asked the Bergmans how they were able to combine working together with being married for more than half a century. Marilyn replied: "The way porcupines make love – carefully."
In the summer of 1969 concert promoter Michael Lang (December 11, 1944-January 8, 2022), along with three partners, put together a festival billed as "three days of peace and music." Roughly 400,000 people would show up at the small town of Bethel, N.Y., on land owned by farmer Max Yasgur, and endure mammoth traffic jams, rains, food shortages and overwhelmed restrooms to participate in the culture phenomenon that was known as Woodstock.
More than 30 acts performed on the concert's main stage, from Richie Havens, Joan Baez, Carlos Santana, The Who, the Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, and Sly and the Family Stone, to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (playing their second-ever gig) and Jimi Hendrix. The epic festival, heralded as a peaceful celebration of community in the midst of a divisive war, was immortalized in an Oscar-winning documentary.
Lang (who also ran a label in the early '70s, Just Sunshine Records, and managed such artists as Joe Cocker and Rickie Lee Jones) had organized the Miami Pop Festival in 1968, and would go on to produce, in 1994 and 1999, follow-ups of Woodstock, which had created the template, as it were, for later music festivals that even hoped to match its singular cultural impact. "We sort of set a precedent in a lot of those areas," Lang told "CBS Evening News" in 2009, on the 40th anniversary of the original Woodstock. "It was the beginning of the idea of music and social change, I think."
The first Black Academy Award-winner for best actor, Sir Sidney Poitier (February 20, 1927-January 6, 2022) created a career filled with memorable characters who exhibited dignity, intelligence, and moral courage – particularly noteworthy given he did so in a Hollywood notorious for underserving Black artists and audiences.
Born in Miami to Bahamian parents, Poitier rose from a childhood of poverty to perform with the American Negro Theater in New York City, before breaking out as a film actor in the 1950 drama "No Way Out." He starred in such classics as "The Blackboard Jungle," "The Defiant Ones," "Porgy and Bess," "To Sir With Love," "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," and "In the Heat of the Night." Poitier received a Tony Award nomination for the 1961 Broadway production of Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun" (he later starred in the film version).
In a life filled with firsts, he became the first Black man to win a best actor Oscar, for "Lilies of the Field" (1963), playing a handyman who helps a group of nuns in the Arizona desert construct a chapel. He was the first Black man to kiss a White woman in a movie (1965's "A Patch of Blue"). With three hit films, including the Oscar-winner for best picture, Poitier was named by theater owners the No. 1 movie star of 1967 – the first time ever for a Black actor.
But he said his career choices were less about being "first" and more about the image of his characters. In a 2013 "Sunday Morning" profile Poitier told CBS News' Lesley Stahl he would never play someone who was immoral or cruel: "If you go through my career package, you'll find that I didn't ever. I didn't ever."
He also directed nine features, including "Buck and the Preacher" (starring alongside Harry Belafonte), and the comedies "Uptown Saturday Night" (co-starring Bill Cosby and Flip Wilson), and "Stir Crazy" (directing Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder).
Later acting appearances on television brought him Emmy nominations, for portraying future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall (in "Separate But Equal") and Nelson Mandela (in "Mandela and de Klerk"). His 2000 autobiography, "The Measure of a Man," was an Oprah Book Club selection.
He received a lifetime achievement Oscar in 2002. In 2009 President Barack Obama awarded Poitier the Presidential Medal of Freedom, saying that the actor "not only entertained but enlightened ... revealing the power of the silver screen to bring us closer together."
Throughout his life he was adamant about representation on screen. Before signing on to play the role of Virgil Tibbs, a Philadelphia homicide detective who reluctantly helps a small town police chief in Mississippi solve a murder, in 1967's "In the Heat of the Night," Poitier asked for a major script change to one scene in which his character is slapped: "I said, 'If he slaps me, I'm going to slap him back. You will put on paper that the studio agrees that the film will be shown nowhere in the world, with me standing there taking the slap from the man.'"
He had the slap written into his contract. "Yes, I knew that I would have been insulting every Black person in the world [if I hadn't]," Poitier said.
One of a cohort of "New Hollywood" directors who came of age in the late 1960s and '70s, Peter Bogdanovich (July 30, 1939-January 6, 2022) got an education in film early, taken at age 5 by his father to the Museum of Modern Art to watch Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton movies. From age 12 to 30, he saw nearly 4,000 films, which he documented and reviewed on index cards.
He would become a film journalist, documentary filmmaker and actor (studying under Stella Adler), and even work as a film programmer at MoMA. He engaged with the old guard of Hollywood: Howard Hawks, John Ford and Orson Welles, with whom he would later collaborate.
As a director, Bogdanovich earned praise for his early films, including the low-budget thriller "Targets" (produced by Roger Corman and starring an Old Hollywood stalwart, Boris Karloff), and his 1971 classic, "The Last Picture Show." Adapted from Larry McMurtry's novel, the black-and-white period piece about a small, dying rural Texas community earned eight Academy Award nominations and scored Oscars for actors Cloris Leachman and Ben Johnson.
In a 2013 "Sunday Morning" interview, Ellen Burstyn revealed Bogdanovich's direction of her performance in "Last Picture Show," when her character realizes her daughter (played by Cybill Shepherd) has been sleeping with her lover. "I said, 'Peter, I have eight different things to express here, and I don't have a line.' And he went, 'I know!' And I said, 'How am I supposed to do that?' And he said, 'Just think the thoughts of the character, and the camera will read your mind.'"
Bogdanovich followed with "What's Up, Doc?" a screwball comedy with Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal; and "Paper Moon," a Depression-Era comedy (also shot in black-and-white) starring Ryan O'Neal and Tatum O'Neal as a pair of con artists. Tatum, at age 10, became the youngest winner of an Oscar, for best supporting actress.
But Bogdanovich's personal life also dramatically colored his work. His affair with Cybill Shepherd during the filming of "Last Picture Show" ended his marriage to producer and production designer Polly Platt, and his later films starring Shepherd – "Daisy Miller" and "At Long Last Love" – failed at the box office. His relationship with former Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten, begun during the filming of the comedy "They All Laughed," ended with her murder by her estranged husband – a tragedy that Bogdanovich wrote about in a book, "The Killing of the Unicorn." [He would later marry Dorothy's younger sister, Louise.]
Other films received mixed critical response, from the terrific Ben Gazzara drama "Saint Jack," and the hit "Mask," starring Cher, to "Texasville," (a sequel to "Last Picture Show"), "Noises Off," "The Thing Called Love," "The Cat's Meow," and "She's Funny That Way."
He returned to acting, with turns as Dr. Melfi's psychiatric colleague in "The Sopranos," and in "Out of Order," "While We're Young," and "It: Chapter Two."
His friendship with Welles (who likewise came out of the gate as a wunderkind young director and faced increasing difficulties with his later projects) would lead him to take a role in Welles' long-in-the-works drama "The Other Side of the Wind," playing a protégé and fellow filmmaker opposite star John Huston. Parts of the film were even shot in Bogdanovich's house in Bel Air. Begun in 1970, the film was unfinished at the time of Welles' death, and remained in legal limbo for decades, until Bogdanovich and a production team rescued the negative, completed the film, and premiered it at Venice in 2018.
The movie was shot in the manner of a mockumentary before there were mockumentaries. "It's funny, it seems very modern to me," Bogdanovich told CBS News. "It seems like it was way ahead of its time. Even though the Seventies was kind of a free-for-all in terms of filmmaking, nobody quite made a film like this."
After Welles' death, Bogdanovich published a book of their interviews, "This Is Orson Welles," in 1992.
In a 2002 interview with The AV Club, Bogdanovich decried the lack of interest or knowledge of film culture more than a few years old: "Younger people don't seem to know anything about older films," he said. "And it's not just movie history that nobody knows. It's regular history. America is a young country, I suppose, and maybe that's the reason why there's no tradition of tradition. … Yes, older films are available now, in a way that they never were before. And there's less interest than ever. It's just awful. It's like ignoring buried treasure, but it's not even buried. It's right there. …
"You look at the average, well-made movie of the '30s … well, not average, but the good movies of the '30s: If you look at it today, you'll see that those films were made for adults, but kids could see them. Whereas today, films are made for kids, and adults are expected to tolerate them. It's a whole new world."