2016 Was a good year for some people, and a pretty big disappointment for some others. But no matter which of those people you are, you can’t deny that last year was exceptionally deadly for the entertainment industry. From seemingly immortal goblin kings like David Bowie to rebellious galactic princesses like Carrie Fisher, and even worldwide sex symbols (literally!) like Prince, death was a busy deity in 2016. Now that we’ve finally crossed the threshold into a new year, I’m hoping the grim reaper will take a breather. Meanwhile, there were so many notable deaths last year, I had to actually narrow-down the list to only 25. Here’s 25 cultural icons you won’t believe 2016 took from us!
As a Hollywood veteran of over 200 film and television productions, George Kennedy showed his massive talent and versatility by winning an Academy Award on “Cool Hand Luke” (1967) and being nominated for multiple Golden Globe awards. He was still acting as recently as 2014 before he passed away February 28th, 2016 at 91 years old.
Frank Sinatra Jr.
The son of “Ol’ Blue Eyes”, Frank Sinatra Jr. never made it to the iconic level of his father. But most argue that it was because of his father’s legacy he wasn’t further recognized. Despite that, he was an accomplished musician, performer, director and conductor. He appeared in several television shows and feature films (including alongside Sammy Davis Jr.) and eventually put his rising career on hold to act as his father’s director at Frank Sinatra Senior’s request. After his father passed away, Jr. returned to music until he died March 16th, 2016 at 72 years old.
Morley Safer was the sort of journalist who demanded respect and emanated legitimacy through sheer integrity and communication ability. He was with CBS Nightly News for over half a century while simultaneously working on 60 Minutes for 46 of those years. His tireless dedication to his craft earned him twelve Emmy awards before he retired and eventually passed away on April 19th, 2016 at 84 years old.
Glen Frey is one of the founding members and lead singers of the legendary rock group know as The Eagles (you may have heard of them.) He co-wrote and was the lead vocalist on classic songs like “Take It Easy” and “Tequila Sunrise” which contributed to him winning six Grammy Awards and five American Music Awards. After the Eagles broke up in 1980, Glen was one of the more successful solo careers, releasing six more songs that made the Billboard Top 40 singles list. Eventually, his rheumatoid arthritis took its toll, and complications from that treatment led to his death on January 18th, 2016 at just 67 years old.
Marine Colonel John Glenn was the kind of patriot that would make Captain America envious. His entire resume consists of serving the USA in drastically different ways. He was a fighter pilot in both World War II and the Korean War, and that’s how he got started. Colonel Glenn then decided to join the space program, strap himself to a rocket, and become the first American to ever orbit the Earth. That must’ve given him a great deal of perspective because for his next trick he came back down to Earth in order to serve as the Senator from Ohio for a quarter-century. Eventually, when he ran out of awesome things to do for our country, Colonel Glenn passed away on December 8th, 2016 at 95 years old.