Those we lost in 2016

As we grow older is makes sense that many of our idols will die, we grieve for them because they touched our lives with their work.  And then 2016 happened.  We lost so many celebrities in 2016 that it almost seemed like every announcement had added to the tally.  We decided to make this article to celebrate some of those celebrities and maybe bring to light some of the films, tv shows or plays we loved most.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, we lost far too many people for that, and we limited ourselves to 3 bodies of work and we tried to feature some of the less well known bits too.  For Carrie Fisher, for instance, we didn’t let ourselves simply list three Star Wars films.  There are some other allowances too, we’ve included David Bowie; yes he’s better known for his music but we simply couldn’t leave out Labyrinth and therefore we had to include him.

Please try to track down some of the Films and TV shows (where possible), we think they are classics in their own right and a real part of our lives.  Don’t forget to let us know some of the films and TV shows you loved too.



Pat Harrington Jr (86) January 6th 2016
An american actor and comedian, starred in many american television favourites
  • Beverly Hillbillies (TV)
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • Aquaman (TV)


David Bowie (69) January 10th 2016
A much loved british musician who managed to reimagine himself to keep his career fresh for decades
  • Labyrinth
  • The man who fell to earth
  • Absolute beginners


Alan Rickman (69) January 14th 2016
A classically trained British actor who exhibited incredible range appearing in films as diverse as Die Hard and Galaxy Quest before becoming internationally loved in Harry Potter
  • Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
  • Die Hard
  • Galaxy Quest


Dan Haggerty (74) January 15th 2016
An american actor who had a long career but is probably most loved as the bearded outdoorsman Grizzly Adams
  • The life and times of Grizzly Adams (TV)
  • Legend of the Wild
  • Ladies night


Abe Vigoda (94) January 26th 2016
An american character actor whose leathery features were pretty much his calling card
  • The Godfather
  • Canonball Run 2
  • Barney Miller


Joe Alaskey (63) February 3rd 2016
You might not know his face, but Joe’s voice was unmistakable to anyone who enjoyed cartoons, being the voice of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck among others
  • Toons marooned (TV)
  • Out of this world (TV)
  • Tiny toon adventures (TV)


George Gaynes (89) February 15th 2016
Probably best known as the nice but dim Commander in Police Academy but also loved for his role in the hit american sitcom Punky Brewster
  • Police Academy
  • Punky Brewster
  • Tootsie


Tony Burton (78) February 25th 2016
Probably best known as Apollo Creeds trainer in Rocky and Rocky 2 he also appeared as Larry Durkin in The Shining
  • Rocky
  • Assault on Precinct 13
  • The Shining


George Kennedy (91) February 28th 2016
An american actor with a long credit list including the classic Cool Hand Luke. Nowadays probably best known for The Naked Gun.
  • Cool Hand Luke
  • The Phil Silvers Show (TV)
  • The Naked Gun


Garry Shandling (66) March 24th 2016
Actor and comedian, possibly responsible for inventing the docudrama with The Larry Sanders Show
  • The Larry Sanders Show (TV)
  • It’s Garry Shandlings Show (TV)
  • Mixed Nuts (TV)


Patty Duke (69) March 29th 2016
American actress who maintained a long lasting career despite battling with bipolar disorder
  • Swiss Family Robinson (TV)
  • The Miracle Worker (TV)
  • The Patty Duke Show (TV)


Erik Bauersfeld (93) April 3rd 2016
The majority of his fans might not recognise this american actor, but you’ll know his most famous line ‘It’s a trap’
  • Return of the Jedi
  • AI
  • The Force Awakens


Doris Roberts (90) April 17th 2016
An american actress with an impressive cv, most known nowadays as the sharp tongued mother of Raymond from Everybody loves Raymond
  • Everybody loves Raymond (TV)
  • Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (TV)
  • Remington Steele (TV)


Alan Young (96) March 29th 2016
American comedy actor, most loved for his role as the straight man in the classic Mr. Ed
  • Mr Ed (TV)
  • The Smurfs (TV)
  • The Flintstones (TV)


Theresa Saldana (61) May 19th 2016
American actress who appeared in Raging Bull. Became a victim’s advocate after surviving a brutal attack by a stalker
  • The Commish (TV)
  • Raging Bull
  • I wanna hold your hand


Ron Lester (45) June 17th 2016
American actor, best known in his role of Billy Bob in the American Football film Varsity Blues
  • Varsity Blues
  • Not Another Teen Movie
  • Freaks and Geeks (TV)


Michu Meszaros (76) June 13th 2016
Most known in his role of the cat eating alien, ALF
  • Alf (TV)
  • Big top Pee-wee
  • Look who’s talking


Anton Yelchin (27) June 19th 2016
Best known as Chekov in the reboot of the Star Trek franchise he died heartbreakingly young in a car accident
  • Alpha Dog
  • Star Trek
  • Terminator Salvation


Michael Cimino (77) July 2nd 2016
An oscar winning Director and writer, most famous for the classic The Deer Hunter
  • The Deer Hunter
  • Silent Running
  • Heaven’s Gate


Noel Neill (95) March 29th 2016
American actress who could claim to be the first actress to play Lois Lane from the Superman franchise.
  • Sky Dragon
  • Superman (1948)
  • Atom Man Vs Superman


Abbas Kiarostami (76) July 4th 2016
Winner of the Prestigious Palme d’Or, continued to direct films despite opposition from the Iranian government
  • Koker Trilogy
  • Close up
  • Taste of cherry


Garry Marshall (81) June 13th 2016
Prolific writer and director, responsible for some of the most loved American sitcoms
  • Happy Days
  • Pretty woman
  • The princess diaries


David Huddleston (85) August 2nd 2016
An american character actor, best known for playing the title character in The Big Lebowski
  • Blazing Saddles
  • Santa Claus: The Movie
  • The Big Lebowski


Barry Jenner (75) August 8th 2016
A prolific American television actor who appeared in many classic TV shows
  • Dallas (TV)
  • Family Matters (TV)
  • Star Trek: Deep space nine


Kenny Baker (81) August 13th 2016
A much loved british actor, known best as the man hidden in the tin can that made up R2D2
  • Time Bandits
  • Willow
  • Star Wars


Fyvush Finkel (93) August 14th 2016
A American Emmy award winning actor who, despite being is some well known television shows, is possibly best known for being the definitive ‘Fiddler on the roof’ on Broadway.
  • Picket Fences (TV)
  • Boston Public (TV)
  • Nixon


Steven Hill (94) August 23rd 2016
An incredible character actor who was probably best known as the gruff district attorney in Law and Order.
  • Mission Impossible (TV)
  • Law and Order (TV)
  • The Firm


Gene Wilder (83) August 28th 2016
An unforgettable comedy genius, he redefined the idea of the comedy duo with Richard Pryor and gave us the definitive Willy Wonka
  • The Producers
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Stir Crazy


Jon Polito (65) September 1st 2016
Another actor whose gruff voice became his hallmark, although there are arguably better projects on his CV, we’ve included The Chronicle because it highlights some of his greatest skills
  • The Rocketeer
  • The Chronicle (TV)
  • The Big Lebowski


Alexis Arquette (47) September 11th 2016
An actress who championed the rights of transgender people and was a pioneering transgender actress
  • Down and out in Beverley Hills
  • Last exit to Brooklyn
  • The Wedding Singer


Edward Albee (88) September 16th 2016
A pulitzer winning playwright who created some of the most enduring and genre changing plays of modern theatre
  • Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf (theatre)
  • The Zoo Story (theatre)
  • A Delicate Balance (theatre)


Curtis Hanson (71) September 20th 2016
Oscar winning screenwriter of LA Confidential and also a highly respected Director
  • The hand that rocks the cradle
  • LA Confidential
  • 8 Mile


Bill Nunn (62) September 24th 2016
A powerhouse character actor who came to prominence in the 1980s
  • School Daze
  • Do the right thing
  • New jack city


Robert Vaughn (83) November 11th 2016
Probably best known for his role in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. but he also had a prolific film career
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (TV)
  • The magnificent seven
  • Superman III


Florence Henderson (82) November 24th 2016
Even her astounding Broadway career is probably eclipsed by the monster that is The Brady Bunch
  • Wish you were here (theatre)
  • The Brady Bunch (TV)
  • The girl who came to supper (theatre)


Andrew Sachs (86) November 23rd 2016
A incredibly loved German/British character actor, most famous for playing Manuel the hapless waiter in Fawlty Towers.
  • Fawlty Towers (TV)
  • Are you being served (TV)
  • The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy (theatre)


Ron Glass (71) November 25th 2016
A prolific television and film actor, best known now for being Preacher Brook in the cult hit FireFly.
  • Barney Miller (TV)
  • Firefly (TV)
  • Lakeview Terrace


Alan Thicke (69) December 13th 2016
Known equally for his work in the music department as as actor, his biggest claim to fame was being the father in the hit sitcom Growing Pains.
  • Growing Pains (TV)
  • Hope and Gloria (TV)
  • Alpha Dog


Zsa Zsa Gabor (99) December 18th 2016
A Hungarian beauty queen who is, unfortunately, probably better known for her marriages and controversies than her film career
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Death of a Scoundrel
  • Queen of Outer Space


Liz Smith (95) December 24th 2016
A venerable british actress who had a long and wide ranging career but it probably best known for her role in The Royle Family TV series.
  • It shouldn’t happen to a vet
  • The cook, the thief, his wife and her lover
  • The Royle Family (TV)


Carrie Fisher (60) December 27th 2016
Best known for portraying Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise but generally loved for her straight talking on social media.
  • Star Wars IV
  • The Blues Brothers
  • The man with one red shoe


Debbie Reynolds (84) December 28th 2016
Possibly the most heartbreaking death on this list, Debbie passed away the day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher. A venerable actress and star of many classic films.
  • Singin’ in the rain
  • It started with a kiss
  • The Debbie Reynolds Show (TV)


William Christopher (84) December 31st 2016
2016 had one more sting in it’s tail, William was the american star of some classic TV shows including the incredibly loved M*A*S*H*.
  • Hogan’s Heroes (TV)
  • MASH (TV)
  • The Smurfs (TV)


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