With another year coming to a close, it is a good excuse to look back at all that went by. And let us all accept it, 2016 has been mostly horrible.
The worst hit was the world of entertainment which lost so many of its popular stars. Here are the most notable deaths of this year:
The rock icon’s fans were stunned by his death on January 10, just two days after releasing an acclaimed album, “Blackstar,” on his 69th birthday. Bowie, musically innovative until the end, had been battling cancer but his illness was known to few outside his immediate family.
One of the most influential and successful artists of the 1980s, the “Purple Rain” star died on April 21 at 57 at his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota from an accidental overdose of powerful painkillers. Prince, who popularized his own brand of sensual and danceable funk, was prolific in his output but also famously reclusive. With his marathon shows, he had appeared outwardly to be a model of health.
The singer, one of the brightest lights of giddy 1980s pop with the duo Wham! before a more introspective and troubled solo career, died at his home outside London at age 53, apparently on December 25. The “Careless Whisper” singer had numerous health scares and drug-related incidents late in his life.
The poet and singer, whose meditations on love and spirituality had won him an impassioned if niche audience, died on November 7 at 82, with his family quietly burying him in his native Montreal before announcing the news. In a parallel to Bowie, Cohen just weeks earlier had released an acclaimed album, ominously entitled “You Want It Darker.”
TV actor Pratyusha Banerjee, known for her role as Anandi in Hindi soap opera Balika Vadhu died on April 1. She committed suicide at her home in Mumbai. Pratyusha was also an ex-Bigg Boss contestant and was last scene in a negative role on daily soap Sasural Simar Ka.
Alan Rickman died on January 14 at the age of 69. The much loved British actor is best known for his role as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise. He shot to fame after his villainous role as Hans Gruber in the original Die Hard in 1988. His other iconic roles include Love Actually, Sense and Sensibility and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. In 2014, Rickman directed A Little Chaos starring Kate Winslet and Matthias Schoenaerts.
Gene Wilder, the frizzy-haired actor who brought his deft comedic touch to such unforgettable roles as the neurotic accountant in The Producers and the mad scientist of Young Frankenstein died at the age of 83 on August 30. Wilder started his acting career on the stage, but millions knew him from his work in the movies, especially his collaborations with Mel Brooks on “The Producers,” ‘‘Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein.”
After decades of fast living that her fearless Star Wars character Princess Leia would have struggled to keep up with, Carrie Fisher died on December 26, days after suffering a heart attack. She was 60. Born in Los Angeles in October 1956, Fisher was catapulted to worldwide stardom as rebel warrior Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, which has been a worldwide cultural phenomenon since the release of the films from 1977 to 1983.
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