Celebrity deaths in 2016

Photo of a young David Bowie holding a microphone
File photo dated March 20, 1987 of David Bowie, who has died following an 18-month battle with cancer. (PA Wire/Zuma Press/TNS)

David Bowie

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File photo dated March 20, 1987 of David Bowie, who has died following an 18-month battle with cancer. (PA Wire/Zuma Press/TNS)

Bowie’s death came as a surprise to many since the musician kept his diagnosis of liver cancer a secret from the public. The 69-year-old glam-rock pioneer died two days after the release of what became his final album, “Blackstar,” on Jan. 10.


Alan Rickman

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Alan Rickman attends the BAFTA hosted A Life in Pictures with Alan Rickman event on April 15, 2015 in London. The actor has died from cancer at age 69, his family said on Jan. 14, 2016. (Yui Mok/PA Wire/Zuma Press/TNS)

Known for his role in the “Harry Potter” film series as Professor Severus Snape, Rickman died of pancreatic cancer on Jan. 14, following the death of fellow English icon David Bowie. Rickman died at the age of 69.

Glenn Frey

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Glenn Frey, left, and Joe Walsh of the Eagles perform at the Stagecoach Music Festival in Indio, Calif., in 2008. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

One of the founding members of the 1970s rock band Eagles, Frey died due to “complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia” on Jan. 18. The band is known for their song “Hotel California,” which is also the title track of the 1976 album with the same name. Frey was 67 years old.

Maurice White

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Maurice White of the band Earth, Wind and Fire performs at the Forum in Los Angeles in 1981. White died Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, at age 74. (Tony Barnard/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

White was a singer-songwriter and a founding member of the band Earth Wind & Fire who co-wrote songs like “September” and “Sing a Song.” The 74-year-old musician was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1992 and died in his sleep on Feb. 4.

Harper Lee

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Author Harper Lee, who wrote "To Kill a Mockingbird," is pictured at the Stage Coach Cafe in Stockton, Ala., in August 2001. The surprise sequel, "Go Set a Watchman," will be published July 13. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

The novelist behind “To Kill a Mockingbird” and the recent “Go Set a Watchman” died on Feb. 19 at the age of 89. Though Lee only published two novels in her career, the first being in 1960, she is considered an literary icon for her portrayals of race relations in the 1930s south.

Nancy Reagan

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A 1989 file photo of Nancy Reagan at her office in Los Angeles. The influential former first lady died on Sunday, March 6, 2016, at 94. (Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan died at the age of 94 due to congestive heart failure on March 6. Prior to her role as First Lady, Reagan held an acting career up until 1962. She also started the “Just Say No” campaign in 1982 to raise awareness of drug abuse in youth.

Prince

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Prince performs "Purple Rain" as the opening act during the 46th Annual Grammy Awards show on Feb. 8, 2004 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Prince died on April 21, 2016. He was 57. (Richard Hartog/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

On April 21, 57-year-old musician Prince died in an elevator of his Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minn. An autopsy confirmed the cause of death was an opioid painkiller overdose. Prince was known for his catalogue of hit songs like “Purple Rain,” “When Doves Cry” and “I Would Die 4 U.” He was also considered a sex-symbol for his often provocative performances.

Doris Roberts

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-- NO MAGS, NO SALES -- KRT ENTERTAINMENT STORY SLUGGED: TV-EMMYS KRT PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHAEL GOULDING/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER (L.A. TIMES OUT) (September 18) LOS ANGELES, CA -- Doris Roberts gives her Emmy a kiss after winning outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series at the 57th Annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California, on Sunday, September 18, 2005. (mvw) 2005

Roberts, who was most known for her role as Marie on “Everybody Loves Raymond” died from a stroke on April 21. Her career started in the 1950s with Broadway roles and later moved to film and television in the late 1960s and 1970s.

Muhammad Ali

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Muhammad Ali hits Ken Norton in the head during a match in Inglewood, Calif., in 1973. (United Press International/DPA/Zuma Press/TNS)

On June 3, boxer and sports icon Muhammad Ali died due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. Ali was 74 years old. In addition to his skills as a boxer, Ali is known for his saying “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

Gene Wilder

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1974 staff file photo from the set of Young Frankenstein. From left: Teri Garr, Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Mel Brooks and Peter Boyle as Young Frankenstein. (File Photos/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

The man who brought the character of Willy Wonka to life in the 1971 film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” died on Aug. 29 from Alzheimer’s related complications at the age of 83. Wilder’s other popular film roles include “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein.”

Alexis Arquette

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KRT ENTERTAINMENT STAND ALONE PHOTO SLUGGED: TOYSFORTOTS KRT PHOTOGRAPH BY LIONEL HAHN/ABACA PRESS (December 3) Alexis Arquette attends the Motorola's Sixth Anniversary Party to benefit Toys for Tots at the Music Box Theatre in Los Angeles, California, December 2, 2004. (lde) 2004

Transgender actress Alexis Arquette’s career was mainly in lower budget films, but she had roles in big titles like “Pulp Fiction,” Bride of Chucky” and “The Wedding Singer.” In 2007, a documentary titled “Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother” was released. The film documented Arquette’s transition as a woman. Arquette died on Sept. 11 from a heart attack.

Leonard Cohen

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Leonard Cohen performs at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on November 5, 2012. Cohen, a singer-songwriter whose literary sensibility and elegant dissections of desire made him one of popular music's most influential and admired figures, died on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, at 82. (Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen was the mind behind the song “Hallelujah,” in addition to being poet and novelist. Cohen died in his sleep at the age of 82 on Nov. 7.

Florence Henderson

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Florence Henderson attends the Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection at Monahan Station in New York on Feb. 11, 2016. Henderson died at the age of 82. (Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan Co./Sipa USA/TNS)

Known for her role as Carol Brady on “The Brady Bunch,” Henderson died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Nov. 24, a day after she was hospitalized at the facility. Henderson, who was 82-years-old, died of congestive heart failure.

Zsa Zsa Gabor

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A 1952 staff file photo of Zsa Zsa Gabor with her French poodle. (File photo/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Actress and socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor had an extensive list of film and television credits to her name and a larger-than-life, highly glamorous personality and lifestyle. She died at age 99 from cardiac arrest on Dec. 18. Gabor would have turned 100 years old on Feb. 6.

George Michael

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Pop star George Michael performs on June 25, 2008 at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. Michael died over the Christmas holiday. He was 53. (Lori Shepler/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

George Michael was a singer-songwriter and part of the musical duo Wham! from the 1980s. Michael died of heart failure in his house on Dec. 25. He was 53-years-old.

Carrie Fisher

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Carrie Fisher attends the "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" European Premiere held on Dec. 16, 2015 in London. (Bakounine/Abaca Press/TNS)

The “Star Wars” franchise lost its Princess Leia character when actress Carrie Fisher died on Dec. 27 from cardiac arrest. Fisher’s latest appearance in the sci-fi blockbuster series was in 2015’s “The Force Awakens.” As her character is largely vital to the “Star Wars” lore, and the role appearing once more in the upcoming Episode VIII, there was speculation whether Fisher would be in the film or not. The 60-year-old finished filming for the upcoming movie.

Debbie Reynolds

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Film icon Debbie Reynolds during an interview in Hollywood on January 7, 1999. Reynolds died on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016. (Ken Lubas/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Reynolds, an actress, singer and mother of Carrie Fisher, died a day after her daughter, on Dec. 28. The 84-year-old, known for roles in “Singin’ in the Rain” and “How the West was Won” died of a stroke.