The best of The Ed Sullivan Show - Watch on Decades Weekdays at 12pm | 5pm | 11p ET
Back to Articles

In memoriam: Notable deaths of 2016

John Glenn

Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, who later spent 24 years representing Ohio in the Senate, died Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, at the age of 95. 

Image: AP Photo

Fidel Castro

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro led a rebel army to improbable victory and embraced Soviet-style communism. He defied the power of 10 U.S. presidents during his half century rule. The bearded revolutionary, who survived a crippling U.S. trade embargo as well as dozens, possibly hundreds, of assassination plots, died eight years after ill health forced him to formally hand power over to his younger brother Raul.

Image: AP Photo/Andrew St. George

Florence Henderson

Henderson, who went from Broadway star to become one of America's most beloved television moms, died Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, in Los Angeles.

Image: AP Photo

Gwen Ifill

"NewsHour" co-anchor and award winning journalist Gwen Ifill died on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, of cancer, PBS said.

Image: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Leonard Cohen

Cohen, the gravelly-voiced Canadian singer-songwriter of hits like “Hallelujah,” "Suzanne” and "Bird on a Wire," died in early November of this year. 

Image: AP Photo/Dennis Keeley

Janet Reno

Reno was the first woman to serve as U.S. attorney general and the epicenter of several political storms during the Clinton administration. She died on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016.

Image: AP Photo/Barry Thumma

Junko Tabei

Mountain climber Junko Tabei became the first woman to stand on the summit of Mt. Everest in Nepal on May 16, 1975.

Image: AP Photo/Tsugufumi Matsumoto

Arnold Palmer

Palmer made golf popular for the masses with his hard-charging style, incomparable charisma and a personal touch that made him known throughout the golf world as "The King." He died Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016.

Image: AP Photo

Edward Albee

Albee was a three-time Pulitzer Prie-winning playwright. He is known for works like The Sandbox (1959), A Delicate Balance (1966), and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962). His plays are frank examinations of the modern condition and continue to be performed. 

Image: AP Photo

Gene Wilder

On Monday, Aug. 29, 2016, Wilder's nephew announced that Gene Wilder had died late Sunday at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, from complications from Alzheimer’s disease. Wilder is remembered for many classic comedies like Young Frankenstein and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  

Image: AP Photo/Dave Pickoff

John McLaughlin

McLaughlin, the conservative political commentator and host of the namesake long-running television show that pioneered hollering-heads discussions of Washington politics, died August 16, 2016. He was 89.

Image: AP Photo/Kevin Wolf

Garry Marshall

A famous writer and director, Garry Marshall is known for his television hits like Happy Days and Laverine & Shirley. On the silver screen, he is known for favorites like Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride

Image: AP Photo / Nick Ut

Elie Wiesel

The Romanian-born Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel is rememebred by his book Night. Night was a testament to the Nazi's crimes and launched Wisel's career as a humanitarian. 

Image: AP Photo

Bill Cunningham

This Nov. 23, 2010, photo shows New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham bicycling to work in New York. Cunningham, a longtime fashion photographer for The New York Times died on June 25, 2016, after suffering a stroke. He was 87. 

Image: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Gordie Howe

Howe, the rough-and-tumble Canadian farm boy whose boundless blend of talent and toughness made him the NHL’s quintessential star during a career that lasted into his 50s, died at 88.

Image: AP Photo/File

Muhammad Ali

Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee. The boxer fought 56 fights during his career and only lost five. Muhammad Ali made boxing a global sport and he became a household name. He died in July of this year at age 74. 

Image: AP Photo/Dan Grossi

Morley Safer

Safer, the veteran “60 Minutes” correspondent who exposed a military atrocity in Vietnam that played an early role in changing Americans’ view of the war, died Thursday, May 19, 2016. He was 84.

Image: AP Photo/ Richard Drew

Prince

Prince, the artist who defied genre, is remembered by hits like Let's Go Crazy, When Doves Cry, and Little Red Corvett. The self-inspired film Purple Rain remains a cult classic and won Prince an Academy Award. 

Image: AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File

Doris Roberts

Doris Roberts, beloved mother on Everybody Loves Raymond, died of natural causes at the age of 90. An actress of film, stage and television, Roberts will be remembered as an instantly recognizable character actor who had portrayed many memorable roles.

Image: AP Photo/Laura Rauch

Patty Duke

Patty Duke started acting as a child and continued throug her adulthood. She made her debut in 1959 at age 12 with her portryal of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker on Broadway. The film adaptation of this play won her an Academy Award, where she reprised her role. Other noteable roles include Patty Lane and Cathy Lane in The Patty Duke Show. She was an advocate for mental health.   

Image: The Everett Collection

Garry Shandling

Shandling was an actor and comedian who pioneered a pretend brand of self-focused docudrama with The Larry Sanders Show. 

Image: The Everett Collection

Ken Howard

Ken Howard starred in the 1970s television series The White Shadow. He also led the Screen Actors Guild for years prior to his death in March. 

Image: AP Photo/Lee Celano

Nancy Reagan

The former first lady died at 94, the Associated Press confirmed Sunday, March 6, 2016.

Image: AP Photo/Dennis Cook, File

George Martin

Martin was the brilliant music producer known as "the Fifth Beatle."

Image: AP Photo/Barry Batchelor

Boutros Boutros-Ghali

In this December 31, 1991, photo, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, then Deputy Foreign Minister of Egypt, addresses the United Nations General Assembly after being sworn in as the new U.S. Secretary-General in the United Nations. He died on February 16, 2016.

Image: AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, File

Harper Lee

Lee, elusive author of best-seller To Kill a Mockingbird, died February 19, 2016, according to her publisher, Harper Collins. She was 89.

Image: AP Photo/Rob Carr

Antonin Scalia

Supreme Court Justice Scalia served on the court for three decades. He is known for his legal theories, his personality, and his vivid writing. 

Image: AP Photo/Lana Harris

Alan Rickman

Rickman had a diverse performance career. He found success off-screen in Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company and on-screen in many films like Harry Potter, Sense & Sensibility, and Die Hard. He died early this year on January 16th. 

Image: AP Photo/Louis Lanzano

David Bowie

Bowie was an innovative and iconic singer with an illustrious career spanning five decades. He was a multitalented musician and performer. In addition to his music, he also appeared in movies, like Labyrinth and The Prestige. He was also in the Broadway production of The Elephant Man

Image: AP Photo/Brian Killigrew

Carrie Fisher

Best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars cannon, Fisher was an actress and mental health advocate. She was also an author, turning her struggles with mental illness and addiction into wickedly funny books, a one-woman show, and a hit film. She died in December of 2016 at 60 years old. 

Image: AP Photo 

Alan Thicke

Alan Thicke is best remembered for his role of Dr. Jason Seaver on Growing Pains. He was also a known singer and songwriter. He wrote the theme songs for Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life

Image: AP Photo

George Michael

Sometimes called Britain's biggest pop star of the 1980s, George Michael died from heart failure at age 53. After getting his start with the pop duo Wham!, Michael became a solo artist. He found success with hit songs like Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go and I'm Your Man. 

Image: AP Photo

Debbie Reynolds

Hollywood royalty Debbie Reynolds is remembered for iconic films like Singin' in the Rain and The Unsinkable Molly Brown. She passed away on December 28 one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher. 

Image: AP Photo

Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Advertise