Celebrities Who Died In New Jersey
It seems as though lately, whenever we look at the news, we hear of another celebrity death. Only 3 weeks into the new year, and we've already lost Lisa Marie Presley, Adam Rich, Robbie Knievel, Jeff Beck, and Robbie Bachman.
This is a list of celebrities who died in New Jersey.
In 1975, beachgoers were panic-stricken to enter the ocean after the movie adaptation of the Peter Benchley novel, Jaws, became a smash hit in theaters. In February 2006, at the age of 65, Peter Benchley passed away in Princeton.
Robert James Marella was a professional wrestler, who came to fame as a wrestler in the then WWF as a heel with a finishing move known as the airplane spin. Marella, known better as Gorilla Monsson, went on to become a fan-favorite ringside announcer. In October of 1999, Gorilla Monsson died of heart failure brought on by diabetes. He died at his home in Willingboro.
One of the biggest shows on television in the '70s, was the sitcom, Welcome Back Kotter. John Travolta was the most successful actor to come from that series. Travolta may have had the greatest success, but he wasn't the only one. Robert Hegyes played the role of Juan Epstein on Kotter, and he went on to play the role of Manny Esposito on the 80's cop show, Cagney & Lacey. The cousin of Jon Bon Jovi passed away in January 2012 at the age of 60 in Edison, New Jersey.
Luther Vandross was one of the best R&B performers of all time. Over the course of his career, he sold tens of millions of albums and collected numerous Grammy Awards. Vandross wrote/performed with the likes of Diana Ross, Whitney Houston Richard Marx, Usher, and others. Luther, like his siblings, was a diabetic, and a serious stroke in 2003 affected his ability to sing and confined him to a wheelchair. Luther Vandross passed away in 2005 in Edison at the age of 54.
Bob McGrath had many television credits but is best known as Bob Johnson on Sesame Street. Bob was a fixture on Sesame Street from 1969 until 2016. Who didn't love his song, "Who are the people in your neighborhood?" Bob died of a stroke, on his ranch in Norwood in 2022 at the age of 90.
Photo Sources: Peter Benchley talks 'Jaws' on Greater Boston in 2004 - YouTube, WWF Gorilla Monsoon Tribute - YouTube, Ron Palillo Dead: John Travolta Remembers; Horshack's Best Moments From 'Welcome Back Kotter' - YouTube, Luther Vandross - Superstar (from Live at Wembley) - YouTube, ‘Sesame Street’s’ Bob McGrath Dies at 90 - YouTube