Dearon ‘Deezer D’ Thompson
Dearon “Deezer D” Thompson died Jan. 7, at 55. The actor was best known for portraying nurse Malik McGrath on the beloved NBC medical drama ER from 1994 until 2009, including the pilot and series finale. Thompson also appeared in movies such as Fear of a Black Hat, CB4, Bringing Down the House, and Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.
Actress Marion Ramsey died Jan. 7, at 73. She was best known for portraying Officer Laverne Hooks in the Police Academy movies. Ramsey was also an accomplished stage actor, appearing on Broadway in Grind and Eubie, as well as touring the country in Hello, Dolly, starring opposite Bette Davis in Miss Moffatt, and costarring in two productions of Little Shop of Horrors. She was one of the three singers that the original Broadway show Dreamgirls was based on and also performed many voice roles, including in Robot Chicken and the animated series The Addams Family.
Eric Jerome Dickey
Best-selling author Eric Jerome Dickey died Jan. 3, at 59, after a long illness. Throughout the Memphis native’s lengthy career, he published 29 novels, including multiple New York Times best-sellers: Milk in My Coffee, Cheaters, Chasing Destiny, The Other Woman, Sleeping With Strangers, Resurrecting Midnight, Sister, Sister, An Accidental Affair, and Decadence. Dickey also penned the 2007 Marvel Comics miniseries Storm, chronicling the epic love story between the Black superheroes Storm (of X-Men fame) and Black Panther.
- MF DOOM, rapper, 49. Rapper MF DOOM, born Daniel Dumile, died Oct. 31. His death was announced by his wife on Dec. He was 49 years old. HipHopWired reports
- Adolfo “Shabba Doo” Quiñones, dancer, 65. Adolfo “Shabba Doo” Quiñones, a hip-hop dance pioneer who influenced several generations, has reportedly died at the age of 65.
- Joe Clark, 82. Known for using extreme methods of communication in his prized Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey, Joe Clark would routinely roam the hallways brandishing a bullhorn or baseball bat in an effort to both discipline and sow the seeds of learning into his student body — one that went from being ridden with truancy, drugs and crime to a group of straitlaced overachievers in the classroom.
- Ty Jordan, 19. Ty Jordan, a star freshman running back for the University of Utah’s football team, died after shooting himself on Christmas Day. He was just 19 years old.
- John le Carré, novelist, 89. (Oct. 19, 1931 — Dec. 12, 2020) This master storyteller revered by his readers was once a spy named David Cornwell. He began undercover work for the British secret service while studying modern languages at Oxford, and later served in Germany during the Cold War.
- Chuck Yeager, ‘The Right Stuff’ pilot, 97. (Feb. 13, 1923 — Dec. 7, 2020) Many Americans may not have heard of retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles “Chuck” Yeager until The Right Stuff, the Tom Wolfe book and subsequent film about the test pilots who helped launch America’s spaceflight program.
- David L. Lander, actor, 73. (June 22, 1947 – Dec. 4, 2020) A leading light of the 1970s com