Watch CBS News

​Hail and farewell to those we lost in 2018

It's a "Sunday Morning" tradition: Our annual look back to those who left us in the year gone by. They had all sorts of talents, all kinds of skills, and one big thing in common: they will be missed. HAIL AND FAREWELL, presented by Jane Pauley: 

No need for us to spell it out; Aretha Franklin rose to become the "Queen of Soul."

"Do you think you're intimidating?" asked Anthony Mason.

"I could be, I could be. I've seen that a little bit," Franklin replied.

Our R-E-S-P-E-C-T-S to one of the greats.

By the way, Aretha was "Daydreaming" of a very particular Temptation when she wrote that song, by the name of Dennis Edwards. "I was daydreaming about him, yes," she told Mason. 

"I think he said he'd made a mistake in not marrying you."

"I said, 'You sure did!'"

Dennis Edwards, lead singer of The Temptations. He, too, left us this year.

Burt Reynolds had his legion of fans. "My audience is the people you fly over between New York and L.A.," he said. He spent almost 60 years in front of a camera. He even did his own stunts. 

"I do love doing stunts, and I love stunt men, I always have," he said. 

Kitty O'Neil was a daredevil, but no wonder you didn't know it. She was Lynda Carter's stunt double on "Wonder Woman," and she didn't seem to be afraid of anything.

Nothing scared Anthony Bourdain when it came to food. He unabashedly sampled all kinds of cuisine.

"A little quality time once in a while, sweating and shaking on the cold bathroom floor, is well worth all the truly great meals I've had in my life, and I wouldn't have had them if I'd been afraid," he said.

Our thanks to Anthony Bourdain for plate after plate of culinary culture.

Dorcas Reilly came up with a kitchen classic. She perfected Campbell's Green Bean Casserole. Six ingredients, 40 minutes. Mmm mmm good!

Oh, and that Campbell's jingle? Marlene Ver Planck sang us that.

Who knew a sponge could be such a squeeze? Former marine biology teacher Stephen Hillenburg put square pants on a silly yellow sponge, soaking up millions of viewers ever since for "SpongeBob SquarePants."

Don't touch that dial! Time to say "So long" to some other familiar faces

Love comes in all shapes and sizes. Artist Robert Indiana made that eternally clear. "I have to face it, I know where I am stuck – it's going to be 'Indiana' and 'Love' for the rest of time," he said.

He spread "Love" all over the globe.

You might call astronaut Alan Bean's art out of this world. "You know, as an artist, you don't just copy reality, you try to enhance it or just see how it might look if you did something else to it," he said.

Bean painted lunar landscapes only he and a few others have ever walked on.

John Young was certainly no stranger to space. He went up six times, and went on to be the first commander of the Columbia space shuttle.

Stephen Hawking never did make it to space, but his mind roamed the cosmos. "For me, it is quite an achievement. I never thought I would get so far," he said.

Hawking helped all of us better understand the mysteries of the universe.

"Aw gee, I got so many more stories to tell!" said Stan Lee (in "Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2"). He gave us a different universe – something to marvel at.

He was asked by our Lee Cowan, "Did you ever worry you were going to run out of characters or run out of superpowers?"

"No, that never really occurred to me. It was too much fun doing them!" he replied. .

And guess which one of his classic creations almost never made it off the drawing board? "I ran in to my publisher and said, 'Have I got an idea for you. His name is Spider-man. He's a teenager with personal problems …' I couldn't get any further. He said, 'Stan, that is the worst idea I have ever heard!'"

Happily, a talented artist by the name of Steve Ditko didn't think so, and gave "Spidey" an appeal that sticks with us to this day. Excelsior to Steve Ditko and Stan Lee.

Actress Margot Kidder didn't have superpowers, but as ace reporter Lois Lane she sure had a hunch who did: 

"I'm so sure that you're Superman that I'm willing to bet my life on it," she said to Christopher Reeve's Clark Kent as she prepared to jump into Niagara Falls in "Superman II." "And if I'm wrong you've got yourself one helluva story!"

But her real heroics were off-screen. Kidder advocated for the mentally ill at a time when few other celebrities were willing to go the distance.

Roger Bannister went the distance in record time. As a 25-year-old medical student, he became the first man in the world to run a mile in under four minutes, clocking in at 3:59.4.

Earl Bakken set a life-saving pace. He developed the first portable pacemaker.

Microsoft's Paul Allen changed the way we live. He helped put a computer in just about every home.

And Ted Dabney showed us you don't need a computer to play videogames. The co-founder of Atari tinkered around with old TV parts, and gave us Pong.

Two iconic images of technology: Pong and Hal 9000. CBS News; Warner Brothers

Goodbye to Douglas Rain. He gave Hal, the computer in Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," that cold, methodical voice.

"This conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye."

Verne Troyer never spoke as "Mini-Me," but sure made us laugh as he took on Austin Powers, that British spy with mojo.

And Eunice Gayson was a lover to that other British spy. Farewell to the first Bond Girl, Gayson. Eunice Gayson.

Connie Sawyer stuck around Hollywood long enough to become its "oldest working actress." Her secret? Take the small roles. She was 105.

Jerry Maren knew a thing or two about small roles, as a representative of the Lollipop Guild in "The Wizard of Oz." Still, he had a big personality. And which Munchkin was he? "I told my mother, 'Look for the guy with the lollipop, 'cause that's me!'" he laughed. 

­Kate Spade knew all about accessories. "You get to pick and choose what it is you want, that makes you feel like you," she said. So long, Kate. You left us too soon.

"'What a colorful man, he wears white suits' - I realized I had a substitute for a personality," said author Tom Wolfe, whose fashion sense was just as eclectic as the subjects he wrote about. "This country is wild. This country is bizarre. And I contend that you can settle in for a month, any county in this country, and come up with a great yarn," he said.

Tom Wolfe. He truly had the right stuff.

Clay was the right stuff for claymation animator Will Vinton. His singing and dancing raisins were irresistible.

Hollywood heartthrob Tab Hunter made the girls swoon. But his "all-American boy" was a fiction. "Tab Hunter, to me, was a fabrication; I mean, it is me, but it's the Hollywood fabrication," he told "Sunday Morning" in 2005.

Hunter came out later in life, some 40 films later.

"I am Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, your senior drill instructor. From now on, you will speak only when spoken to."

Ronald Lee Ermey drew on his experiences as a real-life drill sergeant to play a famously harsh one in the movies.

"You will not laugh, you will not cry. You will learn by the numbers. I will teach you. Now get up, get on your feet!"

At ease, Sarge!

"Gooood Morning, Vietnam!"

Goodbye to the real Adrian Cronauer. The Air Force DJ (played in the movies by Robin Williams) helped young troops new to Vietnam feel at home. "I wish that I had been as neat a guy as he portrayed me," Cronauer said. "I was sitting in Saigon defending my country at 33⅓ rpm."

Navy Aviator John McCain spent five-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war before returning home. "I was raised in the concept and belief that duty, honor, country is the lodestar for the behavior that we have to exhibit every single day," he said.

The Arizona Senator was a maverick to the end. A salute to you, John McCain.

And a salute to all our men and women in uniform, all over the world. We will never forget your service.

Anna Mae Hays rose through the ranks to become the nation's first female general. She left us at age 97.

We lost our oldest veteran just this past week. Richard Overton was 112.

And "Aloha" to Hawaii Senator Daniel Akaka. He fought to better the lives of veterans.

Jhoon Rhee taught hundreds of Members of Congress a very different style of fighting: he was a grandmaster of tae-kwon-do.

Edwin Hawkins brightened our days. He re-arranged the hymn "Oh Happy Day" and created a gospel hit.

Every day was a happy day for St. John's University's John Gagliardi. His claim to fame? The winningest coach in all of college football. "When it comes off and it works well, it's sort of to me like drawing a beautiful painting," he said.

So many athletes, with such astonishing talents, left us this year, including:

The Rev. Billy Graham knew how to pack a stadium.  "Wherever you are, God is giving you an opportunity once again to give your life to Jesus Christ." He called himself "America's pastor," and insisted he was always ready for those pearly gates.

"I'm looking forward to seeing God face to face," he said.

It was Graham who delivered the prayer at the Inauguration of President George H.W. Bush, who said that day, "I see history as a book with many pages. And each day, we fill a page with acts of hopefulness and meaning."

We'll remember our 41st president for his honest decency, happily married for 73 years to Barbara Bush, wife to one president, mother to another.

Literacy was her cause. "Everything is connected with illiteracy," she said. "If you can't read, you cannot function as a giving, doing person in our society."

Todd Bol agreed; he spent his life setting up little free libraries all across the country.

Songwriter Bob Dorough knew the score. His songs for the children's animated series, "Schoolhouse Rock," took on all kinds of subjects, such as legislation ("I'm Just a Bill.").

Robert Mann's subject was classical music. With his Juilliard String Quartet, he had the world on a string.

And so many other musicians left us…

As a child, Linda Brown had to walk miles to school, even though there was a classroom just a few blocks from home. "My father did in turn take me to the all-white school in our neighborhood and try to enroll me, and that's how we became a part of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954," she said.

And that's how Linda Brown became the face behind the lawsuit that made "separate but equal" a thing of the past.

"Rosie the Riveter" rallied the nation during World War II. Any number of women claimed to be the real Rosie. But it's largely believed Naomi Parker Fraley was the real inspiration. 

So long, Rosie!

And so long, Kalman Aron. His talents as a young artist helped him survive seven concentration camps. Aron later moved to Los Angeles, and created something beautiful out of tragedy.

Wee were shocked by the shootings at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md. But more than 50 other journalists were also killed this past year. Our thanks to our colleagues striving to find the truth.

Carl Kasell gave us the headlines on NPR's "Morning Edition" for three decades. His voice was stilled this past year.

Roy Clark. He kept us a-grinnin'. Where would country music be without TV's "Hee Haw"?

Mort Walker (and his "Beetle Bailey" strip) kept us laughing for 68 years in the funny papers, longer than any other cartoonist. "I think laughter helps the world," he said. "People need to get happy. I think it's always helped me. I'm very seldom sad."

And take a bow, Neil Simon, the toast of Broadway. He knew a thing or two about funny. "It's very tough to write a comedy. If it wasn't tough to do a comedy, then you would see about a thousand of them on the stage, but you don't see them," he said.  

"Words that are funny have a "K" sound in it. 'Cucumber' is funnier than 'lettuce,' am I right? "

Philip Roth was one of our greatest novelists. But when Rita Braver asked him about his legacy, he asked her, "When does a legacy begin?"

"I think when you're gone, way down the line," she replied. 

"When I'm gone, huh? I don't worry about that," Roth said. 

It might be "inconceivable" (to quote "The Princess Bride"), but no one could turn a phrase quite like screenwriter William Goldman, who coined the memorable "Follow the money" in the Watergate thriller, "All the President's Men."

And truly in a league of her own was director Penny Marshall. Still, we'll never forget her as the lovable Laverne.

They say it took just a few minutes for "Fantasticks" composer Harvey Schmidt to come up with his fabled musical classic, "Try to Remember."

There are so very many we'll try to remember. Some died young, some old. But they leave behind so many gifts to be grateful for. To one and all, we say "Thank you."

To one and all, we say, "Hail and farewell."

Story produced by Kim Young. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.