LIVE: Crowds take to streets of Minneapolis as protests continue
Hub for reliable, timely news about COVID-19 pandemic

2016 celebrity deaths: A year of great loss

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Prince and Glen Frey, Harper Lee and Elie Wiesel, John Glenn and too many others — 2016 was savage in its taking of talented people.




NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 24: Former astronaut John Glenn looks on at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) on September 24, 2009 in New York City. The Fifth Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) looks to gather prominent individuals in politics, business, science, academics and religion to discuss global issues such as climate change and peace in the Middle East. The event, founded by former president Bill Clinton after he left office, is held the same week as the General Assembly at the United Nations as most world leaders are in New York. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

John Glenn

From the music industry to screen stars and sports legends, if it feels like a large number of celebrities died in 2016, it’s true.

Linnea Crowther is the author of celebrity obituaries for the site

In October, Crowther offered her analysis of celebrity deaths.

“As of September 30, the total number of celebrity deaths so far in 2016 is 71,” she wrote. “That’s more than the total number of celebrity deaths for the full year in any of the other years I looked at for this study. We’re already outpacing previous years by 5 to 20 deaths, and we still have three months to go.”

Since then, more stars have been added to the list including beloved TV parents Florence Henderson and Alan Thicke, veteran newscaster Gwen Ifill and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Florence Henderson arrives for the Vanity Fair Campaign Hollywood 'American Hustle' Toast Sponsored By Chrysler - Arrivals at Ago Restaurant on February 27, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)

Florence Henderson 

Alan Thicke (PHOTO: TMZ)

Alan Thicke (PHOTO: TMZ)

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 05: Journalist Gwen Ifill accepts a Lifetime Achievement award onstage at The Women's Media Center 2015 Women's Media Awards on November 5, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for The Women's Media Center)

Gwen Ifill 

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen

The scope of celebrity deaths in 2016 seems especially heartbreaking, perhaps, because we have lost people who contributed so much — musicians David Bowie and Merle Haggard, rapper Phife Dawg, actors Gene Wilder, Alan Rickman and Garry Shandling, women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt, boxing champion Muhammad Ali.

David Bowie

Country music legend Merle Haggard died of complications from pneumonia at his home in Northern California on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 his birthday, his agent Lance Roberts tells CNN. He turned 79 today.

Merle Haggard 

Gene Wilder

Gene Wilder

Alan Rickman, the British actor known for roles in films including "Die Hard" and the Harry Potter series, has died after a short battle with cancer, a source familiar with his career said Thursday.

Alan Rickman

Garry Shandling (PHOTO:

Garry Shandling (PHOTO:

DENVER, CO - APRIL 01: Tennessee Volunteers women's head coach Pat Summitt waves to the fans as she is honored along with former USA Women's basketball coaches at halftime of the game between the Baylor Bears and the Stanford Cardinal during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship at Pepsi Center on April 1, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Pat Summitt 

2010 A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Cure Parkinson's - Show

Memes, laments and the suggestion that Time’s Person of the Year should be “Death” have circulated in recent months.

The New Yorker ran a cartoon showing an angel at heaven’s gate telling death, “Maybe cool it on the beloved celebrities for a bit.”

From the tragic deaths of promising young stars Anton Yelchin and Christina Grimmie to the loss accomplished greats Garry Marshall and Arnold Palmer, we’ve done a lot of collective mourning in 2016.

Anton Yelchin (PHOTO: TMZ)

Anton Yelchin (PHOTO: TMZ)

Former 'Voice' contestant Christina Grimmie was shot in Orlando at a concert venue.  She later died at the hospital.

Christina Grimmie 

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 07: Honorary starter Arnold Palmer attends the ceremonial tee off to start the first round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Arnold Palmer 

And while most of us didn’t know these celebrities, the loss of them, somehow, feels personal — we cheered their victories, enjoyed their films and danced to their music.

We remember them.

1 Comment

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.