One of the saddest things about the end of the year is looking back on all of the talented people we’ve lost in the world. Naturally, we mourn for all of our losses (not just the famous) but this is a list of people who we, as a collective, are sad to see leave our lives.
Pete Seeger: The iconic singer celebrated his 90th birthday with a concert at Madison Square Garden back in 2009. He passed away on January 27, 2014.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman: The first major shock of the year emerging from Hollywood was this sudden and untimely death on February 2, 2014. The actor, who won an Oscar in 2006 for his performance in Capote can currently be seen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.
Shirley Temple: The actress won over audiences as a child with her incredible talent and adorable curly hair. She died on February 10, 2014, at her home in San Francisco, surrounded by loved ones.
Harold Ramis: You can’t imagine Ghostbusters without Harold Ramis’ portrayal of Dr. Egon Spengler, a scientist specializing in parapsychology who ends of ridding New York City of some pretty bad spirits. He and co-star, Bill Murray, also worked together in Stripes. Ramis passed away at 69 due to complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis on February 24, 2014.
James Rebhorn: Over the years, Rebhorn appeared in many films and television shows but, most recently, he portrayed the father of Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) on the hit Showtime series, Homeland. The 65-year-old actor passed away at his home on March 23, 2014.
Mickey Rooney: The Hollywood legend’s acting career spanned more than 80 years but, rather than simply enjoying his legacy, his gave his time and was an activist who spoke out about elder abuse on Capitol Hill at the Senate Aging Committee. On April 6, 2014, Rooney left this world at the age of 93, surrounded by family.
Bob Hoskins: The British actor appeared in many things in his illustrious career including Mona Lisa and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? He retired from acting in 2012 due to Parkinson’s disease but ultimately died from pneumonia on April 29, 2014.
Maya Angelou: There are few things that Dr. Angelou did not accomplish. She was an author, poet, dancer, actress and singer and received more than 50 honorary degrees. Angelou also recited her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” at the inauguration of President Clinton in 1993. She is best known for her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She passed away at home at the age of 86 on May 28, 2014.
Ruby Dee: In addition to her career on stage, radio, television and film, Dee was active in the Civil Rights Movement. Widowed following the death of her beloved husband, Ossie Davis, the actress died at home at the age of 91 on June 12, 2014.
Casey Kasem: How many of us tuned in to the radio every week just to be able to hear Casey Kasem’s smooth voice talking about music and delivering dedications? The king of the Top 40 Countdown passed away at the age of 82 on June 15, 2014.
James Garner: The Oscar-nominated actor could be sweet and gentle, when needed, but he was also known as a bit of a wisecracking tough guy, especially to fans of his television show, Maverick. The 86-year-old passed away from acute myocardial infarction on July 19, 2014.
Robin Williams: Williams was one of the most talented and well-loved comedians to ever grace the small or big screen. Whether he was pretending to be a doctor or an alien, he was always funny and hearts broke around the world (or maybe the universe, if Mork & Mindy fans existed on other planets!) when the 63-year-old actor committed suicide in his California home on August 11, 2014.
Lauren Bacall: The beautiful Bacall helped shape that glamorous era in Hollywood’s early history with incredible performances opposite Humphrey Bogart in number films. She continued to make an impact throughout her career. Following a stroke, the 89-year-old passed away on August 12, 2014.
Richard Attenborough: With an accomplished career as an actor and an Oscar-winning director, Attenborough’s legacy will live on for years to come. He directed and produced the epic 1983 film, Ghandi, and will also be remembered for his performance in Jurassic Park. Every Christmas he is seen in Miracle on 34th Street. His daughter and one of his grandchildren were killed in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Attenborough passed away on August 24, 2014 at the age of 90.
Joan Rivers: Aside from Robin Williams, Rivers’ death was probably one of the most shocking of the year. The controversial 81-year-old comedienne was performing right up until she passed away due to complications of throat surgery on September 4, 2014.
Mike Nichols: Acclaimed director (and husband of Diane Sawyer), passed away on November 19, 2014 at the age of 83. He is best known for his films, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Graduate, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director in 1968.
Joe Cocker: Once in a while we are graced with a truly unique talent and the world will remember Joe Cocker for his raspy, gritty voice and spasmodic body movements during his performances. His cover of “With a Little Help for My Friends” set the tone as the theme song for The Wonder Years, his duet “Up Where We Belong” with Jennifer Warnes took the swoon level of An Officer and a Gentleman to new heights and, of course, there’s his classic single “You Are So Beautiful.” He passed away on December 22, 2014. He was 70.
Other notable deaths:
- Sid Caesar – The comedian passed away on February 12, 2014 at the age of 91.
- Ralph Waite – Best known as the patriarch on, The Waltons, Waite passed away on February 13, 2014. He was 85.
- Bob Casale – A founding member of Devo (“Whip It”) suddenly passed away from heart failure at 61 years of age on February 17, 2014.
- David Brenner – The comedian passed away at age 78 on March 15, 2014.
- L’Wren Scott – The fashion designer died of suicide on March 17, 2014.
- Dave Brockie – The 50-year-old GWAR frontman was found in his home on March 23, 2014.
- Ann B. Davis – Known as Alice from The Brady Bunch. The 88-year-old actress died after a fall at her home on June 1, 2014.
- Bobby Womack – The influential R&B singer-songwriter died at 70 on June 27, 2014.
- Meshach Taylor – Best known for Designing Women, the actor died of cancer at 67 on June 28, 2014.
- Bob Hasting – The McHale’s Navy star passed away at home on June 30, 2014. He was 89.
- Tommy Ramone – The drummer of the iconic band The Ramones died of cancer at age 65 on July 11, 2014.
- Elaine Stritch – The Tony-award winning actress died on July 17, 2014 at the age of 89.
- Jan Hooks – The Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock alum died on October 9, 2014. She was 57.
- Marcia Strassman – Known for her role as Gabe Kaplan’s wife, Julie, on Welcome Back Kotter. She died at age 66 on October 24, 2014.
- Big Bank Hank – Founding member of the Sugarhill Gang who helped pioneer the rap genre. Died on November 11, 2014.
- Carol Ann Susi – Most recently known as the voice of Mrs. Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory. She died of cancer at age 62 on November 11, 2014.
- Diem Brown – The reality star battled cancer several times until she lost the battle at age 32 on November 14, 2014.
Image Sources: Wikipedia