John Belushi: Member of the original "Saturday
Night Live" cast, 1975-79; manic energy provided some of
the old show's best moments and characters. Died at age 33 on
March 5, 1982 of a cocaine and heroin overdose.
Andy Kaufman: Although not an "SNL" cast
member, he came to prominence on the show, making several memorable
guest spots and appearing as a special guest (mouthing the Mighty
Mouse theme) on the very first show. Died at age 35 on May 16,
1984 of cancer.
Gilda Radner: Member of the original "SNL"
cast, 1975-80; the show's first female star, a fine mimic and
a loving, gleeful spirit. Died at age 42 on May 20, 1989 of ovarian
Michael O'Donoghue: Wrote for the show from 1975-78, and
again in the early 1980s; spoke the very first words in the first
"SNL" sketch, teaching Belushi nonsense English phrases.
Died at age 54 on November 8, 1994 of a brain hemorrhage.
Chris Farley: "SNL" cast member from 1990-95,
specializing in high-energy characters. Like Belushi, died of
a drug overdose, in Farley's case of cocaine and morphine. Died,
like Belushi, at age 33 on December 18, 1997.
Phil Hartman: A member of the cast from 1986-94, giving
him as long a stint with the show as any other cast member. A
brilliant mimic, reliably and invaluably versatile. Died at age
49 on May 28, 1998, shot to death by his wife.
Danitra Vance: A member of the cast during the 1985-86
season; its first black woman member. Like many "SNL"
stars, she had performed with Chicago's famous Second City troupe.
After her season on "SNL," she appeared off-Broadway
in "The Colored Museum" and "Spunk." Died
on August 21, 1994 of cancer; she was 35.