Life is short as we know that people loose loved ones every day but there is nothing like losing a famous Icon to make the pain and loss of death real to some people. 2016 has been a year full of losses of legends. With 2017 fast approaching, its a great time to take a few minutes to quietly reflect and say goodbye to these one of a kind souls.
Muhammad Ali 1/17/1942-6/3/2016 Ali boxing’s heavyweight champion and activist who took a stance against the Vietnam War. Lost his longtime battle with Parkinson’s disease in June this year. He was born Cassius Clay in Louisville Kentucky in 1942, and was an Olympic gold in 1960. He also earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.
David Bowie 1/8/1947-1/10/2016 Born David Robert Jones, Bowie was a world renowned singer, songwriter and actor. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 for songs such as Fame and Ashes to Ashes. He stared in cult classics “The man who fell to Earth” and “The Labyrinth” as well as countless other films and TV credits. He lost his battle with liver cancer early this year. His influence on pop culture and his alter ego Ziggy Stardust will live on for generations to come.
Prince 6/7/1958-04/21/2016 Prince Rogers Nelson or to his legions of fans simply Prince, (Love Symbol), or The Artist Formerly Known as Prince. He was a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, and record producer. He was famous for songs like “Purple Rain” as well as a movie by the same title, and “Little Red Corvette” He was a inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. Rolling Stone ranked him at number 27 on it’s list of 100 Greatest Artists. His kindness and generosity will live on in the many charitable endeavors he secretly took part in.
Leonard Cohen 9/21/34-11/7/2016 Cohen was a Canadian Singer, songwriter, musician, poet, novelist, and painter. He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He received one of the Prince of Asturias Awards for Literature in 2011 and the ninth Glenn Gould Prize. He is most known for his hit “Hallelujah” which is one of the most covered songs of all time.
Harper Lee 4/28/1926-2/19/2016 Born Nelle Harper Lee she was the well known novelist who wrote the classic “To Kill a Mockingbird” She won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for the novel and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature in 2007.
Gene Wilder 6/11/1933-08/29/2016 Born Jerome Silberman but known by his stage name Gene Wilder he was an accomplished film and theater comedic actor, screenwriter, film director and author. He was best known for his roles in “Blazing Saddles”, “Young Frankenstein”, and for his portrayal of Willy Wonka in “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” He has countless other films and TV credits to his name as well as theater which is where he got his start. After loosing his third wife Actress Gilda Radner to ovarian cancer in 1989 he founded the Gilda Radner Ovarian Cancer Detection Center in Los Angeles and Co-founded Gilda’s Club to help raise cancer awareness and treatment. He passed away at the age of 83 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.
Garry Marshall 11/13/34-6/19/16 Born Garry Kent Masciarelli he was an actor, director, producer, writer, and comedian. He was best known for creating the hit TV show “Happy Days” as well as directing the classic movie “Pretty Woman”. He was awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award in recognition of excellence and innovation in creative works and have enhanced the perception of women through the medium of television in 1996. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1997. He was inducted inot hte National Association of Broadcasters in 2012. He recieved the Valentine Davies Award in 1995. He also has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Zaha Hadid 10/31/1950-03/31/2016 aha Mohammad Hadid was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004. She also received the UK’s most prestigious award, the Stirling Prize, in 2010 and in 2011. She was honored by Queen Elizabeth the II and made a Dame in 2012 for her services to architecture and in 2015 she became the first woman to earn the award for the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects. Her works include “the aquatic centre” for the 2012 London Olympics, the “Broad Art Museum” in the US and the “Guangzhou Opera House” in China.
Gwen Ifill 9/29/1955-11/14/2016 Gwendolyn L. Ifill the award winning journalist, television newscaster, and author. She was the first African American woman to host a nationally televised U.S. public affairs program the “Washington Week in Review” She won the Peabody award in 2008 and moderated both the 2004 and 2008 vice-presidential debates. She was the author of the best-selling book “The Breakthrough:Politics and Race in the Age of Obama”. She Was also awarded the Women in Film and Video Women of Vision Award in 2000, the Gracie Allen Tribute Award in 2004, in 2010 She was honored with the First Amendment Award by Ford Ford Hall Forum and Harvard University honored her the same year with the gold smith career Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 2011 she recieved the 17th Fred Friendly First Amendment Adward from Quinnipiac University. Later that same year she was named a honorary member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame in 2012. She has many more awards credited to her name and passed away at the age of 61 due to endometrial cancer.
Florence Henderson 2/24/1934-11/24/2016 Florence Agnes Henderson the actress and singer who’s career spanned six decades but was best knows as her role as Americas mom as Carol Brady on “The Brady Bunch” which ran from 1969 to 1974. She Had a host of movies and TV shows to her credit including several game show appearances such as “Hollywood Squares” and even “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”. She won Several Gracie Awards one at the 33rd annual gala in 2008 for her Individual Achievement Award and an Outstanding Host for “The Florence Henderson Show” then another Outstanding Host at the 37th Gala in 2012 for co-hosting “Good Food, Good Deeds”.
Anton Yelchin 03/11/1989-06/19/2016 Anton Vikorovich Yelchin the film and TV actor best known for playing Pavel Chekov in the “Star Trek” reboot series and Jacob Helm in “Like Crazy”. He has several big movies such as “Terminator Salvation” and “The Smurfs” to his credit. His life was cut short in a tragic accident in June of this year.
Nancy Reagan 7/6/1921-3/6/2016 Born Anne Frances Robbins Nancy was the wife of President Ronald Reagan. Nancy served as first of the United States of America from 1981 to 1989 while her husband served as the President. During that time she advocated drug abuse prevention creating the “Just Say No” drug awareness campaign. Before becoming the first lady she was an actress and stared in the films ” The Next Voice You Hear”, “Night into Morning”, and ” Donovan’s Brain”. She was also the First Lady of California while her husband was the governor there from 1967 to 1975.
Alan Rickman 02/21/1946-01/14/2016 Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman was an English actor and director best known for playing a variety of roles both on stage and on screen. Best known by today’s audiences for his role in the “Harry Potter” series as well as the voices of Marvin the paranoid android in in ” The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and Absolem the Caterpiller in “Alice in Wonderland”. His extensive list of awards include BAFTA Award in 1991 , Golden Golbe Award in 1996 for his work in “Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny”, People’s Choice Award in 2011, Primetime Emmy Award in 1996 also for “Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny”, San Diego Critics Society Awards in 2011 for his work in Harry Potter, Satellite Award for his work in “Rasputin” in 1996, Scream Award in 2009, and the Screen Actors Guild Award also in 2011 for his work in Harry Potter.
Elie Wiesel 09/30/1928-07/02/2016 Eliezer Wiesel was a writer, professor, political activist and Nobel Laureate. He was also a Jewish Holocaust survivor who wrote about his experiences as a prisoner in Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. He was a professor at Boston University and helped establish the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. He campaigned for victims of oppression in places like South Africa and Nicaragua and genocide in Sudan. He was a strong defender of Human Rights. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. He was also a founding board member of the New York Human Rights Foundation and remained an active member throughout his life. He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992, the Grand Cross in the French Legion of Honor in 2000, an Honorary Knighthood in the United Kingdom in 2006, the National Humanities Medal in 2009, U.S. Congressional Gold Medal in 1984, the Holocaust Memorial Award, New York Society of Clinical Psychologists in 1975, and the Star of Romania in 2002 among many others through his lifetime.
Sharon Jones 5/4/1956-11/18/2016 Sharon Lafaye Jones was a soul, R&B, and Funk Singer Who used her Vocals as the lead singer of the group Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings. Seen by many as the revival of soul and funk. She was nominated for her fist Grammy in the category of Best R&B Album for “Give the People What They Want” in 2014. She passed away after suffering a stroke in November during a long battle with cancer.
Alan Thicke 3/1/1947-12/13/2016 Alan Willis Jeffrey was best known as Americas Dad on the TV show “Growing Pains” However he was an accomplished actor, songwriter, and game and talk show host. In 2013 He was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. He is well loved by both his biological children whom include the famed singer Robin Thicke as well as his TV children as he was known to be a supportive and caring father figure both on and off the screen. He was playing Hockey with his youngest son when he suffered a heart attack which he later died from.
Garry Shandling 11/29/1949-03/24/16 Garry Emmanuel Shandling was a stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and producer. He is best known for “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and “The Larry Sanders Show”. He got his start on shows such as “Sanford and Son” and “Welcome back Kotter”. He won two British Comedy Awards, twelve CableACE Awards and was nominated for two Writers Guild of America Awards. He received three American Comedy Awards, two Satellite Award nominations and in 2004 he was presented with the Austin Film Festival’s Outstanding Television Writer Award.
Doris Roberts 11/04/1925-04/17/2016 Doris May Green was an actress, author and philanthropist. Her career spanned six decades and she was best known for her long-running string as Raymond Barone’s mother on the hit TV show “Everybody Loves Raymond”. However, she was also a well known film star, and animal rights activist. She received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the University of Carolina in 2005, was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor on May 7th 2011 and awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in February 2003.
John Glenn 7/18/1921-12/8/2016 John Herschel Glenn Jr. an American aviator, engineer, astronaut and United States Senator from Ohio. He was the First American to orbit the Earth. He was a distinguished fighter pilot in World War II and Korea decorated with six Distinguished Flying Crosses and eighteen clusters on his Air Medal. He Received NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal, The Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978. He was inducted into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990. After retiring from NASA he served in the US Senate for his home state of Ohio under the Democratic party. he served for 24 years until 1999. He came out of retirement in 1998 while still a sitting senator and was the oldest person to fly in space as a crew member of the “Discovery” space shuttle and the only person to fly in both the Mercury and Space Shuttle programs. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
Janet Reno 07/21/1938-11/7/2016 Janet Reno was the first woman and second person to serve as the United States Attorney General the longest and served from 1993 until 2001 under President Bill Clinton. She received the Council on Litigation Management’s Professionalism Award in 2008, the Justice Award in 2009, and was presented the Reno Award by the Obama Administration. She was an advocate against child abuse and for the rights of children.
Phife Dawg 11/20/1970-03/22/2016 Malik Izaak Taylor Was a rapper and member of the group “A Tribe Called Quest”. Phife was also known as “The five footer” or “The five foot Assassin” because he stood roughly 5’3″. The group was closely associated with fellow hip-hop acts “De La Soul” and “Jungle Brothers” making them collectively knows as the “Native Tongues”. His 1991 album “The Low End Theory” is considered one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever released.
Glenn Frey 11/6/1948-07/18/2016 Glenn Lewis Frey was a Songwriter, singer, and actor best known for being a founding member of the rock group the “Eagles”. He was the lead singer and front man of the group. Roles he came to share with his fellow member Don Henley with whom he wrote most of the “Eagles'” material. After the breakup of the “Eagles” in 1980 he embarked on a successful solo career. Throughout his career he won six Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and had 24 top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot 100.
Arnold Palmer 11/10/1929-11/25/2016 Arnold Daniel Palmer was perhaps on of the greatest golfers of all time. He was a professional golfer who has won numerous events on both the PGA Tour and the circuit now known as the PGA Tour Champions. Nicknamed “The King”, he was one of golf’s most popular stars and is its most important trailblazer, the first superstar of the sport’s television age, which began in the 1950s. His career spanned more than six decades over which time he won 62 PGA Tour titles from 1955 to 1973, placing him behind only Sam Snead and Ben Hogan, and still fifth on the Tour’s all-time victory list. He earned seven major titles in a six-plus-year domination from the 1958 Masters to the 1964 Masters. He also won the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, and in 1974 was one of the 13 original inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Merle Haggard 4/6/1937-4/6/2016 Merle Ronald Haggard the great American Singer, songwriter, guitarist, and fiddler. Haggard and his band the Strangers helped create the
“Bakersfiled Sound” which is characterized by the twang of Fender Telecaster and the unique mix with the traditional country steel guitar sound, new vocal harmony styles in which the wors are minimal, and a rough edge not heard on the more polished Nashville sound recordings of the same era. He is best knows for Hits like “The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde”, “Mama Tried”, ” I think I’ll just stay here and Drink” and “The Fightin’ side of Me”. Over his long musical carrer he was awarded many times including from THE Academy of Country Music, Most Promising Male Vocalist in 1965, Top Male Vocalist in 1966, 1970,1972,1974, and 1981, Best Vocal Group (With Bonnie Owens) 1965, Top Vocal Group (With Bonnie Owens) 1965, Top Duo (With Bonnie Owens) 1967, He recieved the BMI Icon Award in 2006, Haggard was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 1994,the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1977, the Oklahome Music Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Kennedy Center of Honors in 2010.
Morley Safer 11/8/1931-05/19/2016 Morley Safer was a broadcast journalist, reporter and correspondent for CBS news. He was best known for his long time Anchorage of the new broadcast “60 Minutes”. During his 60-year career as a broadcast journalist, Safer received numerous awards, including 12 Emmys, three Overseas Press Awards, two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, and the Paul White Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association.
Jose Fernandez 7/31/1992-09/25/2016 Jose Fernandez the Cuban-born American professional baseball pitcher played in Major League Baseball for the Miami Marlins from 2013 until his death in 2016. He was selected by the Marlins in the first round of the 2011 MLB draft. He was named to the 2013 MLB All-Star Game and won the National League Rookie of the Month Award in July and August. After the season, he won the NL Rookie of the Year Award and finished third in CY Young Award balloting. He made the MLB All-Star Game again in 2016.
Youree Dell Harris 08/12/1962-07/26/2016 Youree Dell Harris best known as the TV Personality Miss Cleo a spokeswoman for psychic pay-per-call service from 1997-2003. She used various aliases which included LaShawnda Williams, Corvette Mama, Elenore St. Julian, Desiree Canterlaw, Janet Snyder, Maria Delcampo, Christina Garcia, Gleomili Harris, and Youree Perris.
Christina Grimmie 03/12/1994-06/10/2016 Christina Grimmie was a singer, songwriter, musician and YouTuber best known for her participation in the NBC singing competition The Voice. In June of 2011 she released her debut sincle Find Me and her studio album WIth Love was released in 2013. A second sincel Side A was released in 2016. She finished 3rd place in the 6th season of The Voice and was offered a record deal from her Voice coach Adam Levine’s lable 222 Records. She signed with Island Records for a short time and took an acting role in her first and only motion picture The Matchbreaker.
Patty Duke 12/14/1946-03/29/2016 Anna Marie Duke was an actress of stage, film, and television as well as a mental health educator and advocate. Best known for her role as cousins who looked identical in the “Patty Duke Show” as well as her break out role as Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker”. Duke was awarded thoughout her carrer with ten Emmy Award nominations and three Emmy Awards, two Golden globes, and served as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1985 to 1988.
Antonin Scalia 03/11/1936-02/13/2016 Antonin Gregory Scalia was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from August 17th 1986 until his death in 2016. He was appointed to the court by President Ronald Reagan, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate, making him the first Italian-American justice. Scalia served on the Court for nearly thirty years, during which time he espoused a conservative jurisprudence and ideology, advocating textualism in statutory interpretation and originalism in constitutional interpretation. He was a strong defender of the powers of the executive branch, believing presidential power should be paramount in many areas. He opposed affirmative action and other policies that treated minorities as special groups. .
Zsa Zsa Gabor 02/06/1917-12/18/2016 Sari Gabor was a Hungarian-American Actress and socialite. Her sisters were also well known Eva Gabor and Magda Gabor. She began her Stage career in Vienna and was crowned Miss Hungary in 1936. She emigrated from Hungary to the United States in 1941 and became a sought-after actress. She played in ” Lovely to Look At”, “We’re Not Married!”, and “Moulin Rouge”. She was also known for her extravagant Hollywood lifestyle, her glalmorous personality, and her many marriages. In total, she had nine husbands. She once stated, “Men have always liked me and I have always liked men. But I like a mannish man, a man who knows how to talk to and treat a woman-not just a man with muscles.”
China Machado 12/25/1929-12/18/2016 Noelie Dasouza Machado was a Chinese-born Prttuguese-American fashion model, editor, and TV producer. Machado was the first non-white person to appear on the cover of a major American fashion magazine in the 1959 issue of Harmer’s Bazaar.
Franca Sozzani 01/20/1950-12/22/2016 Franca Sozzani was an Italian journalist and the editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia form 1988 until her death. She was awarded the Legion of Honour by French president Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012, that same year she became a United Nations Goodwill ambassador, she was named a global ambassador against hunger for the United Nations’ World Food Program in 2014 and received the Swarovski Fashion Sward for Positive Change in 2016.
George Michael 06/25/1963-12/25/2016 Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou was an English singer, songwriter, and record producer who rose to fame as part of the duo Wham. He was best known for his musical work in the 1980s and 1990s which includes hits such as “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”, and “Last Christmas”, and albums such as ” Faith” and ” Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1″. He sold more than 100 million records worldwide. He ranks among the best-selling British acts of all time, and in 2008 was ranked 40th on Billboard’s list of Greatest Hot 100 Artists of All Time. He won various awards throughout his carrier which include three Britt Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, Four Ivor Novello Awards, three American Music Awards and two Grammy Awards. Michael who came out as gay in 1998 was an active LGBT rights campaigner and HIV/AIDS charity fundraiser.
Carrie Fisher 10/21/1956-12/27/2016 Carrie Frances Fisher was an actress, writer and humorist. Best known for her role as “Princess Leia” in the “Star Wars” film franchise. Her other film roles included “Shampoo”, ” The Blues Brothers”, ” Hannah and Her Sisters”, “The ‘Burbs”, and “When Harry met Sally”. SHe wrote several semi-autobiographical novels, including “Postcards from the Edge, the screenplay for the film of the book, an autobiographical one-woman play, and a non-fiction book, “Wishful Drinking”, based on the play. She worked on other writers screenplays as a script doctor and in later years earned parise for speaking publicly about her experiences with bioplar disorder and drug addiction.
Debbie Reynolds 04/01/1987-12/28/2016 Mary Frances Reynolds was an actress, singer, dancer, businesswoman, film historian, and humanitarian. She was well known for many movie and television roles including roles in “How the West Was Won”, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”, the voice of Charlotte in the children’s classic “Charlotte’s Web”, and Grace Adler’s mom in the TV sitcom “Will & Grace” as well as countless other movies. She was also an businesswoman who founded the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio in North Hollywood, which still operates today. She was a great collector of film memorabillia beginning with items purchased at the landmark 1970 MGM auction. She passed away one day after the death of her daughter fellow actress and star Carrie Fisher.
George S. Irving 11/1/1922-12/26/2016 George S. Irving was an actor best known for his roles on Broadway. His 1943 debut was in the production of Oklahoma but was drafted only three days later to serve in the United States Army in World War II. He went on to appear in over 25 Broadway productions and is perhaps best known for his role opposite Debbie Reynolds and Jane Powell in Irene in 1974. He was nominated of a Tony Award for his performance as Sir John in Me and My Girl.
And a special tribute to my own mother who may not be famous but was the most important person in my life.
Wilma A. Trapp 04/19/1934-10/10/2016 Wilma Alice Evans was a homemaker, she was a wonderful wife and mother of 8 sons and one daughter as well as an adopted daughter. She had 17 grandchildren as well as a special grandson whom she helped raise. She also had 34 great grand children, one great-great grandson and one great-great grandson due to be born in early 2017. She was a devout woman of the Christian faith whom was very giving to everyone she met. This one of a kind one woman will always be loved and missed by all those who’s lives she touched.
BY: Jeannie Yates