Every year, we take some time to come together with loved ones and make up for the bustle, mistakes, and new lessons of the last twelve months. We measure our successes with our losses and consider the year either a failure or a success. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, but we do it anyway. It’s a ritual of closure. If we look at the celebrities we lost this year, however, it’s been a real bummer of a year.
Losing a celebrity always leads to tremendous sadness. People care for celebrities probably far more than they should, taking inspiration and strength from their work. It helps them get through rough patches in life or gives them inspiration where no one else could. Sometimes a song lyric can be more powerful than a one hour session with a therapist.
As a way of paying tribute to people that gave their entire lives to the purpose of our entertainment, let’s take a look at the great performers and actors we’ve lost in 2016.
This guy barely needs an introduction. If music was good the last 40 years, it was either written by Bowie or inspired by his work. Born as David Robert Jones, Bowie was the greatest musical genius of his generation. Died January 10th, aged 69.
Also known as Severus Snape and Hans Gruber, Alan was one of the best actors of his time. When I watch “Die Hard” with my grandchildren and they ask me if I still want to watch that old movie after all this time, I’ll say, “always.”Died January 14th, aged 69.
Another influential artist that died way too soon. Prince Rogers Nelson was the funkiest artist around and created solid gold with every piece of music he touched. Died April 21st, aged 57.
He floated like a butterfly, and stung like a bee. Died June 3rd at the age of 74.
Most known for his role as Willy Wonka, actor Gene Wilder died August 29th at age 83.
Perhaps the greatest gift Canada has ever given us, Leonard Cohen was walking the fine line between songwriter and poet. Died at age 82, on November 7th.
While George had a thriving solo career, he was most known for his work with Wham!. He was one of the most successful artists in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and gave huge amounts of money to charities. Died on December 25th in his home country of the UK. He was 53 years of age.
Known mostly for being Robin Thicke’s dad, he also famously starred as the father in a series called “Growing Pains”. Died at age 69, on December 13th.
Most famous for her role as Princess Leia and being a sex symbol for all “Star Wars” nerds up until Natalie Portman got into the franchise, Carrie Fisher died on December 27th at the age of 60. A day later, her mother – Debbie Reynolds – died of grief over the loss of her daughter. She was 84.
Zsa Zsa Gabor
The Hungarian-American Hollywood legend was a beauty and hailed as the original Kardashian! Died on December 18th, aged 99. Can’t really say she passed too early, but I guess no time is just right when you have to lose a beloved star like this.
The one death that touched us all equally this year. The legendary Harambe was shot after an incident of a child being ignorant and its parents being generally quite irresponsible (to offended parents: please e-mail me a good reason to let your child climb into a gorilla enclosure). Harambe died on May 28th, aged 17. Way too soon.