Ruby Dee (June 11, 2014) Known as both an actress and civil rights activist whose versatile career spanned stage, radio television and film. The 91-year-old died at home of "natural causes."
Lee Chamberlin (May 25, 2014) Known as the star of The Electric Company. Shelived in Paris but passed away in Chapel Hill, North Carolina while visiting her son. The 76-year-old died of metastatic cancer.
Juanita Moore (January 1, 2014) Known for her role in Imitation of Life, was an American film, television, and stage actress. She was the fifth African American to be nominated for an Academy Award in any category, and the third in the Supporting Actress category. The 99-year-old died at home.
Meshach Taylor (June 28, 2014) Known as a lovable ex-convict surrounded by boisterous Southern belles on the sitcom Designing Women, and appearances in numerous other TV and film roles. The 67-year-old died of colorectal cancer.
James Avery (December 31, 2013) Known for his portrayal as Uncle Phil on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, died on New Year's Eve. The 68-year-old Avery passed away after complications from open-heart surgery.
Robert Chew (January 19, 2013) Known for his portrayal of a drug lord on The Wire. The 52-year-old died of a heart attack.
Jim Kelly (June 29, 2013) Known for playing Williams in Enter the Dragon, died of cancer. The 67-year-old Kelly was the first martial artist of color to break in to the movie business and went on to star in other films like Black Belt Jones, Three the Hard Way, Golden Needles and the Black Samurai.
Lou Myers (February 19, 2013) Known for playing grumpy restaurant owner Vernon Gaines of A Different World. The 76-year-old died after a battle with pneumonia.
Lee Thompson Young
Lee Thompson Young (August 19, 2013) Known for his role as on Disney Channel's The Famous Jett Jackson. The 29-year-old actor died in an apparent suicide.
Don Cornelious (February 1, 2012) Known as the creator and host of the hit show "Soul Train." The 75-year-old was found dead in his Los Angeles home from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Michael Clark Duncan
Michael Clarke Duncan (September 3, 2012) Known for his roles in "The Green Mile", "Daredevil" and "Armageddon." The 54-year-old passed away in the hospital where he had been since having a heart attack.
Al Freeman, Jr.
Al Freeman, Jr. (August 9, 2012) Known as police Captain Ed Hall on the soap opera One Life to Live, he was the first African-American to win a Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding lead actor. He also portrayed Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad in Spike Lee's 1992 film Mal.
Sherman Helmsley (July 24, 2012) Noted actor and singer, known for his role as George Jefferson on the hit shows, All in the Famiy and it's spin-off The Jeffersons. He also released the hit song Ain't That a Kick in the Head in 1989. The 78-year-old was found dead in his home from natural causes.
Whitney Houston (February 11, 2012) Known as a gospel-trained pop diva, who during the course of her life sold over 55 million records, as well as the star of popular films The Bodyguard and Waiting to Exhale.The 48-year-old accidentally drowned in a bathtub due to the effects of chronic cocaine use and heart disease.
6/14/12: Yvette Wilson (June 14, 2012) Known as an actress and comedian, Wilson starred in Moesha and continued in the same role in the spin-off series The Parkers. The 48-year-old died after an extended bout with cervical cancer.