Roll call of some of those who died in 2016

The Denver Post - - LIFE&CULTURE -

Death claimed tran­scen­dent po­lit­i­cal fig­ures in 2016, in­clud­ing Cuba’s rev­o­lu­tion­ary leader and Thai­land’s long­time king, but also took away roy­als of a dif­fer­ent sort: kings of pop mu­sic, from Prince and David Bowie to Ge­orge Michael.

Em­brac­ing Soviet-style com­mu­nism, Fidel Cas­tro, who died in Novem­ber, over­came im­pris­on­ment and ex­ile to be­come leader of Cuba and defy the power of the United States at ev­ery turn dur­ing his half-cen­tury rule. Per­haps be­fit­ting the con­tro­ver­sial leader, his death elicited both tears and cheers across the West­ern Hemi­sphere.

How­ever, shock, grief and nostal­gia greeted the deaths of sev­eral giants of pop mu­sic. David Bowie, who broke mu­si­cal bound­aries through his mu­si­cian­ship and strik­ing vi­su­als; Prince, who was con­sid­ered one of the most in­ven­tive and in­flu­en­tial mu­si­cians of mod­ern times; and Ge­orge Michael, first a teeny­bop­per heart­throb and then a ma­ture solo artist with videos that played up his con­sid­er­able ap­peal.

Among the po­lit­i­cal fig­ures who died in 2016 was the world’s long­est reign­ing monarch: King Bhu­mi­bol Adulyadej, who was revered in Thai­land as a demigod, a fa­ther fig­ure and an an­chor of sta­bil­ity through decades of up­heaval.

Oth­ers in the world of pub­lic af­fairs in­cluded for­mer United National Sec­re­taryGen­eral Boutros BoutrosGhali, U.S. Supreme Court Jus­tice An­tonin Scalia, exse­n­a­tor and as­tro­naut John Glenn, for­mer U.S. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Janet Reno, for­mer Is­raeli leader Shi­mon Peres and for­mer U.S. first lady Nancy Rea­gan.

In the sports arena, the year saw the pass­ing of leg­endary boxer Muham­mad Ali, whose fast fists and out­spo­ken per­son­al­ity brought him fans around the world. Other sports fig­ures in­cluded: golfer Arnold Palmer, Gordie “Mr. Hockey” Howe, bas­ket­ball play­ers Dwayne “Pearl” Wash­ing­ton and Nate Thur­mond, Olympians Vera Caslavska and Tommy Kono, wrestlers Harry Fu­ji­wara and Chyna, and mixed mar­tial arts fighter Kimbo Slice.

Artists and en­ter­tain­ers who died in 2016 in­cluded au­thor Harper Lee, con­duc­tor Pierre Boulez, mu­si­cians Leonard Co­hen, Merle Hag­gard, Mau­rice White, Frank Si­na­tra Jr. and Phife Dawg, and ac­tors Gene Wilder, Abe Vigoda, Florence Hen­der­son, Alan Rick­man, Car­rie Fisher, Robert Vaughn, Garry Shan­dling, Doris Roberts, Alan Thicke, Fyvush Finkel and An­ton Yelchin.

Here is a roll call of some of the peo­ple who died in 2016. (Cause of death cited for younger peo­ple, if avail­able.)


Dale Bumpers, 90. For­mer Arkansas gover­nor and U.S. sen­a­tor who earned the nick­name “gi­ant killer” for tak­ing down in­cum­bents, and who gave a pas­sion­ate speech de­fend­ing Bill Clin­ton dur­ing the pres­i­dent’s im­peach­ment trial. Jan. 1 Pat Har­ring­ton Jr., 86. Ac­tor and co­me­dian who in the 1950s got at­ten­tion as a mem­ber of Steve Allen’s fabled TV comic troupe but se­cured last­ing fame decades later as Dwayne Sch­nei­der, the cocky handy­man on the long-run­ning sit­com “One Day at a Time.” Jan. 6. Otis Clay, 73. Hall of fame rhythm and blues artist known as much for his big heart and char­i­ta­ble work in Chicago as for his singing in­ter­na­tion­ally. Jan. 8. David Bowie, 69. Other-worldly mu­si­cian who broke pop and rock bound­aries with his creative mu­si­cian­ship, strik­ing vi­su­als and a

genre-span­ning per­sona he chris­tened Ziggy Star­dust. Jan. 10. Alan Rick­man, 69. Clas­si­cal­ly­trained Bri­tish stage star and sen­sual screen vil­lain in the “Harry Pot­ter” saga and other films. Jan. 14. Rene An­gelil, 73. Ce­line Dion’s hus­band and man­ager, who molded Rick­man her from a

French-speak­ing Cana­dian in­génue into one of the world’s most suc­cess­ful singers. Jan. 14. Dan Hag­gerty, 74. Rugged, bearded ac­tor who starred in the film and TV se­ries “The Life and Times of Griz­zly Adams.” Jan. 15. Glenn Frey, 67. Rock ‘n’ roll rebel who co-founded the Ea­gles and with Don Hen­ley formed one of his­tory’s most suc­cess­ful song­writ­ing teams with such hits as “Ho­tel Cal­i­for­nia” and “Life in the Fast Lane.” Jan. 18. Abe Vigoda, 94. Char­ac­ter ac­tor whose leath­ery, sad-eyed face made him ideal for play­ing the over-the-hill de­tec­tive Phil Fish in the 1970s TV se­ries “Bar­ney Miller” and the doomed Mafia sol­dier in “The God­fa­ther.” Jan. 26. Paul Kant­ner, 74. Found­ing mem­ber of the Jef­fer­son Air­plane who stayed with the sem­i­nal band through its trans­for­ma­tion from 1960s hip­pies to 1970s hit mak­ers as the even­tual leader of suc­ces­sor group Jef­fer­son Star­ship. Jan. 28. Ge­or­gia Davis Pow­ers, 92. Gi­ant in the fight for civil rights in Ken­tucky and the first AfricanAmer­i­can woman elected to the state Se­nate. Jan. 30.


Bob El­liott, 92. Half of the en­dur­ing TV and ra­dio com­edy team Bob and Ray. Feb. 2. Mau­rice White, 74. Earth, Wind & Fire founder whose horn­driven band sold more than 90 mil­lion al­bums. Feb. 3. Edgar Mitchell, 85. Apollo 14 as­tro­naut who be­came the sixth man on the moon when he and Alan Shep­ard helped NASA re­cover from Apollo 13’s “suc­cess­ful fail­ure.” Feb. 4. An­tonin Scalia, 79. In­flu­en­tial con­ser­va­tive and most provoca­tive mem­ber of the U.S. Supreme Court. Feb. 13. Boutros BoutrosGhali, 93. Vet­eran Egyp­tian diplo­mat who helped ne­go­ti­ate his Scalia coun­try’s

land­mark peace deal with Is­rael but clashed with the United States when he served a sin­gle term as U.N. sec­re­tary-gen­eral. Feb. 16. Harper Lee, 89. Elu­sive nov­el­ist whose child’s-eye view of racial in­jus­tice in a small South­ern town, “To Kill a Mock­ing­bird,” be­came stan­dard read­ing for mil­lions of young peo­ple and an Os­car-win­ning film. Feb. 19. Ge­orge Kennedy, 91. Hulk­ing, tough-guy ac­tor who won an Academy Award for his por­trayal of a sav­age chain-gang con­vict in the 1960s clas­sic “Cool Hand Luke.” Feb. 28.


Joey Feek, 40. With her hus­band, Rory, she formed the award-win­ning coun­try duo Joey + Rory. March 4. Pat Con­roy, 70. Au­thor of “The Great San­tini,” ”The Prince of Tides” and other best-sellers, whose nov­els drew upon his bruis­ing child­hood and the vis­tas of South Carolina. March 4. Ray­mond Tom­lin­son, 74. In­ven­tor of mod­ern e-mail and a tech­no­log­i­cal leader. March 5. Nancy Rea­gan, 94. Help­mate, back­stage ad­viser and fierce pro­tec­tor of Ron­ald Rea­gan in his jour­ney from ac­tor to pres­i­dent — and fi­nally dur­ing his bat­tle with Alzheimer’s disease. March 6. Frank Si­na­tra Jr., 72. He car­ried on his fa­ther’s legacy with his own mu­sic ca­reer; his kid­nap­ping as a young man added a bizarre chap­ter to his fa­ther’s leg­endary life. March 16. Rob Ford, 46. Pug­na­cious, pop­ulist for­mer mayor of Toronto whose ca­reer crashed in a drug­driven, ob­scen­ity-laced de­ba­cle. March 22. Cancer. Garry Shan­dling, 66. Ac­tor and co­me­dian who master­minded a brand of phony docu­d­rama with “The Larry San­ders Show.” March 24. Patty Duke, 69. As a teen, she won an Os­car for play­ing He­len Keller in “The Mir­a­cle Worker,” then main­tained a long ca­reer while bat­tling per­sonal demons. March 29.


Le­an­dro “Gato” Bar­bieri, 83. Latin Jazz sax­o­phon­ist who com­posed the Grammy-win­ning mu­sic for the steamy Mar­lon Brando film “Last Tango in Paris” and recorded dozens of al­bums over a ca­reer span­ning more than seven decades. April 2. Merle Hag­gard, 79. Coun­try gi­ant who rose from poverty and prison to in­ter­na­tional fame through his songs about out­laws, underdogs and an abid­ing sense of national pride in such hits as “Okie From Musko­gee” and “Sing Me Back Home.” April 6. David Gest, 62. Mu­sic pro­ducer, re­al­ity TV star and for­mer hus­band of Liza Min­nelli. April 12. Doris Roberts, 90. She played the tart-tongued, end­lessly med­dling mother on “Ev­ery­body Loves Ray­mond.” April 17. Chyna, 46. Tall, mus­cle-bound, raven-haired pro-wrestler who rock­eted to pop­u­lar­ity in the 1990s and later made the rounds on re­al­ity TV. April 20. Vic­to­ria Wood, 62. Bri­tish co­me­dian who Chyna found hu­mor in ev­ery­day life and blazed a trail for other fe­male comics. April 20. Prince, 57. One of the most in­ven­tive and in­flu­en­tial mu­si­cians of mod­ern times with hits in­clud­ing “Lit­tle Red Corvette,” ”Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry.” April 21. Is­abelle Di­noire, 49. French­woman who re­ceived the world’s first par­tial face trans­plant. April 22. Billy Paul, 80. Jazz and soul singer best known for the No. 1 hit bal­lad and “Philadel­phia Soul” clas­sic “Me and Mrs. Jones.” April 24. Harry Wu, 79. For­mer po­lit­i­cal pris­oner who ded­i­cated his later life to ex­pos­ing abuses in China’s bru­tal prison la­bor camp sys­tem. April 26. Rev. Daniel Ber­ri­gan, 94. Ro­man Catholic priest and peace ac­tivist who was im­pris­oned for burn­ing draft files in a protest against the Viet­nam War. April 30.


Tommy Kono, 85. He took up weightlift­ing in an in­tern­ment camp for Ja­panese-Amer­i­cans and went on to win two Olympic gold medals for the United States. May 1. Don­no­van Hill, 18. Cal­i­for­nia teenager whose par­a­lyz­ing foot­ball in­jury led to in­creased safety pro­tec­tions for young play­ers af­ter he sued a youth league. May 11. Sa­muel Gib­son, 39. Diminu­tive New Zealand man who in­spired many by de­fy­ing the brit­tle bones he was born with and pur­su­ing a life filled with rig­or­ous out­door ad­ven­tures. May 16. Died af­ter fall­ing from wheel­chair dur­ing half-marathon. Mor­ley Safer, 84. Vet­eran “60 Min­utes” cor­re­spon­dent who was equally at home re­port­ing on so­cial in­jus­tices, the Ori­ent Ex­press and ab­stract art, and who ex­posed a mil­i­tary atroc­ity in Viet­nam that played an early role in chang­ing Amer­i­cans’ view of the war. May 19. Alan Young, 96. Ac­tor-co­me­dian who played the ami­able straight man to a talk­ing horse in the 1960s sit­com “Mis­ter Ed.” May 19.


Muham­mad Ali, 74. Heavy­weight cham­pion whose fast fists, ir­re­press­ible per­son­al­ity and de­ter­mined spirit tran­scended sports and cap­ti­vated the world. June 3. Peter Shaf­fer, 90. Bri­tish play­wright whose durable, award-win­ning hits in­cluded “Equus” and “Amadeus.” June 6. Victor Korch­noi, 85. Chess grand­mas­ter and for­mer Soviet cham­pion who de­fected to the West and was con­sid­ered among the best play­ers never to win a world cham­pi­onship. June 6. Kimbo Slice, 42. Bearded street fighter who par­layed his In­ter­net pop­u­lar­ity into a mixed mar­tial arts ca­reer. June 6. Theresa Sal­dana, 61. “Rag­ing Bull” ac­tress who sur­vived a stalker’s bru­tal at­tack to be­come a crime vic­tims’ ad­vo­cate and re­claimed her en­ter­tain­ment ca­reer with “The Com­mish” and other TV shows. June 6. Gordie Howe, 88. Known as “Mr. Hockey,” the rough-and­tum­ble Cana­dian farm boy whose blend of tal­ent and tough­ness made him the NHL’s quin­tes­sen­tial star. June 10. Mar­garet Vinci Heldt, 98. She be­came a hairstyling celebrity af­ter she cre­ated the bee­hive hairdo in 1960. June 10. Ge­orge Voinovich, 79. For­mer U.S. sen­a­tor and a two-term Ohio gover­nor who preached fru­gal­ity in his per­sonal and pub­lic life and oc­ca­sion­ally bucked the GOP es­tab­lish­ment. June 12. Jo Cox, 41. Law­maker who cam­paigned for Bri­tain to stay in the Euro­pean Union. June 16. Killed by a gun- and knife-wield­ing at­tacker. An­ton Yelchin, 27. Ris­ing ac­tor best known for play­ing Chekov in the new “Star Trek” films. June 19. Hit by his car in his drive­way. Michael Herr, 76. Au­thor and Os­car-nom­i­nated screen­play writer who vis­cer­ally doc­u­mented the rav­ages of the Viet­nam War through his clas­sic non­fic­tion novel “Dispatches” and through such films as “Apoc­a­lypse Now” and “Full Metal Jacket.” June 23. Pat Sum­mitt, 64. Win­ningest coach in Di­vi­sion I col­lege bas­ket­ball his­tory who up­lifted the women’s game from ob­scu­rity to national promi­nence dur­ing her 38-year ca­reer at Ten­nessee. June 28.


Elie Wiesel, 87. Ro­ma­ni­an­born Holo­caust sur­vivor whose clas­sic “Night” be­came a land­mark tes­ta­ment to the Nazis’ crimes and launched his ca­reer as one of the world’s fore­most wit­nesses and hu­man­i­tar­i­ans. Wiesel

July 2. Michael Cimino, 77. Os­car­win­ning di­rec­tor whose film “The Deer Hunter” be­came one of the great tri­umphs of Hol­ly­wood’s 1970s hey­day and whose dis­as­trous “Heaven’s Gate” helped bring that era to a close. July 2. Jack C. Tay­lor, 94. He started a leas­ing com­pany with seven cars and built it into En­ter­prise RentA-Car. July 2. Wil­liam L. Arm­strong, 79. Colorado me­dia ex­ec­u­tive who be­came a ma­jor con­ser­va­tive voice in the Se­nate. July 5. Nate Thur­mond, 74. Tena­cious NBA de­fen­sive cen­ter who played with Wilt Cham­ber­lain. July 16. Thomas Suther­land, 85.



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