Celebrity deaths 2017: ​Hail and farewell to those we lost in 2017

They made us laugh. Or think. Or wonder. Most made our world a better place; a few did just the opposite. Still, for better or for worse they touched our lives, and so we say … HAIL AND FAREWELL, presented by Jane Pauley: 

We begin with Mary Tyler Moore — she first turned the world on with her smile, and her style (how ’bout those capri pants!) on “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”

But we really came to love her as career woman Mary Richards — smart, funny, and vulnerable, too:

“You have no idea how experienced or inexperienced I am. I mean, sure, true, I’m not what you’d call a ‘wild woman,’ but I’m hardly innocent. I’ve been around … well, all right, I might not have been around, but I’ve been nearby.”

Making it on her own in what was then very much a man’s world. Hats off to you, Mary! You really made it for us all.

Rose Marie stepped into the spotlight in 1929. We came to love her as comedy writer Sally Rogers on “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Cracking wise, and always looking for a husband.

Jerry Lewis made us laugh as an impossibly graceful goofball — first, as Dean Martin’s sidekick, and then on his own. He was brilliantly nutty — a true king of comedy.

Don Rickles was the “King of Zing.”  He spent his life perfecting the art of the insult …

“I came this far in America. Why? ‘Cuz I laugh at what the heck we are, that’s what we have to laugh at. You’re a black man, right? I took a guess!”

… and always maintained that he was really a nice guy.

Jim Nabors really was a nice guy. As Gomer Pyle, that mild-mannered Marine from Mayberry, he wouldn’t hurt a fly. But golllllllly, could he sing!

 A salute to him … and to all who follow their dreams:

Norman Dyrenfurth died this year. He led his team to the top of Mount Everest in 1963.

Joseph Rogers and Tom Forkner shared a dream — of waffles, served 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! They both died this year at 97, and 98. 

James Rosenquist filled entire rooms with his dreams — bold images of everyday life, transformed. He was a bright star of ’60s pop art. 

Morley Safer: “Here we are, with this monster.”
Rosenquist: “It’s not really a monster;  it’s a big painting!” 

David Cassidy was a 1970s pop idol, a teenage girl’s dream. “You just look at him and love him, I dunno,” said one lass. 

“I’m gonna love you, like nobody’s loved you,
come rain or come shine…”

Della Reese was an angel who brought a little bit of heaven down to Earth. 

“When life keeps you in the dark, baby, that’s when you start looking at the…

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