The Year In Review. Celebrities We Loved, Or Hated, Who Died in 2016

Celebrities who died in 2016

2016 has been a rough year, and a lot of us won’t be sad to see it go. We lost a lot of personal friends and loved ones. We lost 40 soldiers and U.S. civilian contractors in ongoing military operations abroad. We lost 955 victims in police shootings, and 64 innocent police officers. And it was a banner year for losing celebrities, who touched our lives by making us laugh, cry, learn, jeer, and cheer.

Celebrities who passed away in 2016

  • Richard Adams: Author, “Watership Down”
  • Bhumibol Adulyadej: King of Thailand
  • Joe Alaskey: The Man of a Thousand Voices (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck)
  • Edward Albee: Playwright, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf”
  • Muhammad Ali: Heavyweight-boxing champion and world ambassador
  • Big Ang: Actress, think “Mob Wives”
  • Alexis Arquette: Actor and cabaret artist
  • Kenny Baker: Actor, R2-D2
  • Erik Bauersfeld: Actor, Admiral Ackbar in “Return of the Jedi”
  • Boutros Boutros-Gali: Former Secretary General of U.N.
  • David Bowie: Legendary musician, songwriter, actor, icon
  • E.R. Braithwaite: Author, think “To Sir, With Love”
  • Tony Burton: Actor, Apollo Creed’s trainer in “Rocky”
  • Lady Cablis: Actor, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”
  • Fidel Castro: Communist leader of Cuba
  • Chyna: Pro-wrestler
  • Michael Cimino: Oscar-winning director, including “The Deer Hunter”
  • Guy Clark: Musician, including “L.A. Freeway”
  • Miss Cleo: TV psychic
  • Leonard Cohen: Legendary musician and songwriter
  • Pat Conroy: Author, think “The Great Santini”
  • Bill Cunningham: New York Times photographer
  • Phife, Dawg: Rapper, A Tribe Called Quest
  • Steve Dillon: Comic-book artist, including “The Punisher”
  • Isabelle Dinoire: World’s first recepient of partial-face transplant
  • Patty Duke: Oscar-winning actress
  • Umberto Eco: Author, like “The Name of the Rose”
  • Keith Emerson: Founder of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer
  • Jose Fernandez: Miami Marlin’s pitcher
  • Fyvush Finkel: Actor, think “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Boston Public”
  • Carrie Fisher: Actor, most beloved for Star Wars’ Princess Leia
  • Rob Ford: Ex-mayor of Toronto, marred by crack and prostitute scandals
  • Tomy Ford: Actor, “Martin”
  • Pete Fountain: Dixieland-jazz clarinetist
  • Glenn Frey: Musician, co-founder of the Eagles, co-wrote “Hotel California”
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor: Actress and socialite
  • Jaun Gabriel: Musician and songwriter
  • Joe Garagiola: Sports announcer
  • George Gaynes: Actor, “Punky Brewster” dad
  • Ron Glass: Actor, “Barney Miller”
  • John Glenn: First American astronaut to orbit the Earth.
  • Christina Grimmie: Musican and songwriter
  • Merle Haggard: Country musician
  • Dan Haggerty: Actor, “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams”
  • Curtis Hanson: Writer and director, like “L.A. Confidential” and “8 Mile”
  • Pat Harrington: Actor, Schneider on “One Day at a Time”
  • Ricky Harris: Actor, including “Everybody Hates Chris”
  • Jim Harrison: Writer, think “Legends of the Fall”
  • Henry Heimlich: Inventor of the eponymous Heimlich Maneuver
  • Jerry Heller: Manager, N.W.A., Journey, Marvin Gaye, Van Morrison, CSN, and so many more.
  • Florence Henderson: Actress, most beloved for Carol Brady in “The Brady Bunch”
  • Steven Hill: Actor, famous for “Law & Order” D.A. Adam Schiff
  • Gordie Howe: Mr. Hockey
  • David Huddleston: Actor, think “The Big Lebowski”
  • Gwen Ifill: Journalist, host of “The PBS NewsHour”
  • Sonny James: Country musician
  • Barry Jenner: Actor, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”
  • Sharon, Jones: Musician, Dap-Kings
  • Paul Kantner: Musician, co-founder of Jefferson Airplane
  • George Kennedy: Actor, “Airport” and “Naked Gun”
  • Abbas Kiarostami: Director, think “Taste of Cherry”
  • W.P. Kinsella: Writer, including “Field of Dreams”
  • Tim LaHaye: Reverend and Author of the “Left Behind” series
  • Greg Lake: Founder of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer
  • Harper Lee: Author, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
  • Jane Little: Musician, world’s longest-serving symphony player
  • Shawty Lo: Rapper
  • China Machado: Model and fashion editor (first none-white cover model)
  • Garry Marshall: TV Writer, shows like “Happy Days,” “The Odd Couple,” “Laverne & Shirly,” “Mork & Mindy”
  • George Martin: The Beatles’ producer
  • Joseph Mascolo: Actor, “Days of our Lives”
  • John McLaughlin: Host of TV’s “The McLaughlin Group”
  • Michelle McNamara: Author, founded “True Crime Diary” website
  • Nick Menza: Drummer for Megadeth
  • George Michael: Legendary Musician
  • Dave Mirra: BMX racker
  • Edgar Mitchell: Astronaut, 6th man on the Moon
  • Scotty Moore: Guitarist, member of Elvis’ original band
  • Noel Neill: Actor, Lois Lane in 1948’s “Superman”
  • Bill Nunn: Actor, “Do the Right Thing” and “Spider Man”
  • Arnold Palmer: Legendary golfer
  • Billy Paul: Musician, think “Me and Mrs. Jones”
  • Lou Pearlman: Producer (Backstreet Boys and ‘NSync), later sentenced for Ponzi schemes
  • Shimon Peres: Former President of Israel and Nobel Peace Prize winner
  • Jon Polito: Actor, “Modern Family” and “The Big Lebowski”
  • Prince: Legendary musician and songwriter
  • Nancy Reagan: Former first lady
  • Janet Reno: First woman to serve as U.S. Attorney General
  • Debbie Reynolds: Actor, most beloved for “Singing in the Rain”
  • Alan Rickman: Actor, too many to list (“Harry Potter,” “Robin Hood”,”Die Hard”)
  • Doris Roberts: Emmy-winning Actress, Ray’s mother on “Everybody Loves Raymond”
  • Leon Russell: musician and songwriter
  • Morley Safer: Journalist, CBS
  • Theresa Saldana: Actor, “Raging Bull”
  • John Saunders: ESPN broadcaster
  • Antonin Scalia: Galvanizing conservative Supreme Court justice
  • Phyllis Schlafly: Conservative activist
  • Afeni Shakur-Davis: Mother of Tupac Shakur
  • Garry Shandling: Comedian
  • Frank, Sinatra: Jr. Musician
  • Kimbo Slice: Street fighter
  • Ralph Stanley: Musician, wrote music for “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
  • Pat Summitt: Winningest coach in NCAA basketball
  • Alan Thicke: TV’s “Growing Pains” dad
  • Toots Thielemans: Jazz harmonica legend
  • Grant Tinker: NBC chairman
  • Alvin Toffler: Author, think “Future Shock”
  • Vanity: Musician and actress
  • Robert Vaughn: Actor, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”
  • Abe Vigoda: Actor, “The Godfather” and “Barney Miller”
  • Les Waas: Advertiser who wrote the Mister Softee truck jingle
  • Papa Wemba: Musician
  • Maurice White: Founder of Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Elie Wiesel: Holocaust survivor, author, winner of Nobel Peace Prize
  • Gene Wilder: Emmy-winning Actor
  • Bernie, Worrell: Keyboarder for Parliament-Funkadelic
  • Anton Yelchin: Actor, Star Trek reboot’s Chekov
  • Alan Young: Actor, “Mr. Ed”
  • and last but not least, Greta Zimmer-Friedman: The nurse kissed by the WW II sailor in that iconic photo…

Here’s hoping 2017 brings a lot less loss and a lot more joy.


Featured images from wikipedia commons.

About Charlie Barrel 116 Articles
Charlie has been writing news, opinion, and spoof pieces on politics off and on since 1994. In between gigs, he's a stand-up philosopher.