In memoriam: Celebrities we lost in 2016

In memoriam: Celebrities we lost in 2016

In memoriam: Celebrities we lost in 2016

We lost dozens of celebrities in 2016, from legendary musicians to long-time TV stars to pop-culture staples, and it was jarring to wake up to news of another passing almost every week.

As stars age along with us, no doubt we’ll be saying goodbye to more and more of our favourite stars as the years go on, but unquestionably, this year certainly packed a wallop.

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Here are some of the big-name celebrities we lost in 2016, in no particular order.

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Gabor, who lived to the amazing age of 99, was considered one of the last true Hollywood divas.

Muhammad Ali

A true legend beyond description, Ali broke barriers in a hostile time and will live on in infamy for all of his accomplishments.

Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images

Carrie Fisher

Most widely known as Princess Leia of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise, Carrie Fisher passed away just before Christmas after suffering cardiac arrest on a trans-Atlantic flight. Reports claim the 60-year-old never regained consciousness.

Getty Images

Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds, the beloved ’50s and ’60s star, died one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, after suffering a stroke. Her alleged last words were “I want to be with Carrie.”

David Bowie

The year started off on a very sad note when iconic musician Bowie passed away at 69 after a clandestine battle with cancer.


Definitely one of the most shocking passings of 2016, legendary musician Prince was found dead in an elevator after reportedly suffering a drug overdose.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Leonard Cohen

Canada mourned one of their greatest musicians and poets when Cohen passed away in late 2016.

Florence Henderson

Many people considered Henderson as their TV mom, since she played the mom on ‘The Brady Bunch’ for its entire run.

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Alan Thicke

Thicke died unexpectedly in December from a ruptured aorta while he was playing hockey with one of his sons.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Alan Rickman

Rickman, a tremendous actor who won people’s hearts with roles in various movies including ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ and the ‘Harry Potter’ series, passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Ian Gavan/Getty Images

George Michael, ’80s pop star and gay-rights icon, died on Christmas Day after his heart failed. He was 53 and had been reclusive for the past several years.

Gene Wilder

The beloved actor, best-known for playing Willy Wonka in ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,’ passed away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 83.

Garry Shandling

Actor and comedian Shandling pioneered a pretend brand of self-focused docudrama with ‘The Larry Sanders Show.’

Eric Isaacs/FilmMagic

Patty Duke

Duke, who won her Oscar at age 16 for her performance as Helen Keller in ‘The Miracle Worker,’ passed away at 69.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

René Angélil

Angélil was singer Celine Dion’s manager, mentor and singing coach since she was a teenager. The couple has three children together —René-Charles, 14, and five-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy.

George Gaynes

Gaynes played the lovable doofus Commandant Eric Lassard in the ‘Police Academy’ movies and Punky Brewster’s father in ’80s TV series ‘Punky Brewster.’ He lived a lengthy life, dying at age 98.

ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images

Lemmy Kilmister

The Motorhead frontman, whose outsized persona made him a hero for generations of hard-rockers and metal-heads, died after a brief battle with cancer.

Mick Hutson/Redferns

Glenn Frey

Another death that happened early in the year, Frey was one of the founding members of The Eagles, and he passed away after succumbing to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia.

Mike Pont/FilmMagic

Harper Lee

The author of the best-selling novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ died at the age of 89.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Gordie Howe

Known as Mr. Hockey, Howe died in June at his daughter’s home at the age of 88.

George Kennedy

The actor, who starred in ‘Cool Hand Luke’ and ‘The Naked Gun’ movies, died at the age of 91.

Bobby Bank/WireImage

Merle Haggard

The country-music legend, who wrote songs like ‘Okie From Muskogee’ and ‘Sing Me Back Home,’ died at 79.

Joey Feek

Country musician Joey Feek passed away after a much-publicized battle with cancer, with millions of fans hanging on her every word as she bravely approached her own death.

Frazer Harrison/ACMA2013/Getty Images for ACM

Pat Conroy

Beloved author Conroy died at 70 at his home in Beaufort, South Carolina, surrounded by family and friends.

Boris Spremo/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Anton Yelchin

One of the most shocking deaths of 2016 was the passing of 27-year-old Yelchin, who was killed by his own car at his residence.

Francois Durand/Getty Images

Doris Roberts

The actress spent nine years portraying Marie Barone on ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ and was a staple on prime-time TV.

Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Arnold Palmer

Known widely as ‘The King of Golf,’ Palmer died at 87 after being admitted to the hospital Thursday for some cardiovascular work.

Morley Safer

One week after retiring from ’60 Minutes,’ Safer died at 84 with 46 years of broadcasting experience under his belt.

CBS via Getty Images

Tony Burton

Burton, who appeared in six ‘Rocky’ films with Sylvester Stallone, died in California at the age of 78.

Joanie ‘Chyna’ Laurer

The former WWE wrestler died at 46 from an apparent overdose of alcohol and drugs.

Christina Grimmie

At the very young age of 22, Grimmie was shot while onstage performing at a concert in Orlando, Florida.

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Abe Vigoda

This star of ‘Barney Miller’ and ‘The Godfather,’ relatively unknown until the mafia movie franchise, died in January at age 94.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

David Gest

Gest, who was married to entertainer Liza Minnelli for five years from 2002 to 2007, was a houseguest on the U.K.’s ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ earlier this year.

Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Charmain Carr

Best-known for sweetly portraying the eldest von Trapp daughter Liesl in ‘The Sound of Music,’ Carr died at 73.

Michu Meszaros

Known for playing alien ALF in ’80s sitcom ‘ALF,’ Meszaros died at 76 after a week in a coma.

Frank Sinatra, Jr.

The son of Rat Pack singer Frank Sinatra, Sinatra, Jr. died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest while on tour in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Bryan Linden/WireImage

Malik ‘Phife Dawg’ Taylor

The A Tribe Called Quest rapper suffered from many health issues at the time of his death at 45.

Ronnie Corbett

Corbett, half of much-loved duo ‘The Two Ronnies,’ died at the age of 85.

Youree ‘Miss Cleo’ Harris

The 53-year-old TV psychic appeared frequently in catchy ’90s commercials, selling her ‘readings’ in her Jamaican accent. She died from cancer.

Craig Strickland

Country singer Strickland’s body was found in a lake after he’d gone duck-hunting with a friend; he was only 29.

Afeni Shakur Davis

Davis, the mother of late rapper Tupac Shakur, died in California after reportedly suffering a heart attack.

Alexis Arquette

Transgender activist and sister to Patricia and David Arquette, Alexis passed away from complications from AIDS at the age of 47.

Lou Pearlman

While Pearlman wasn’t necessarily beloved in the music industry, he’s credited with forming boy bands Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync; he died in prison at 62.

Sharon Jones

Jones, the powerhouse who shepherded a soul revival despite not finding stardom until middle age, died at 60 after a pancreatic cancer battle.

Peter Vaughan

The British actor, who died at 93, found an entire legion of new fans as Maester Aemon on ‘Game of Thrones.’

Angela ‘Big Ang’ Raiola

The ‘Mob Wives’ star battled throat cancer for a year before dying with her family and friends by her bedside.

Steve Mack/Getty Images

Denise Katrina ‘Vanity’ Matthews

A one-time Prince protégée, Vanity died after years of battling kidney failure at the age of 57.

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