From Carrie Fisher to Prince, from Muhammad Ali to Arnold Palmer, many renowned personalities left us this year. While we are almost about to welcome 2017, Bayside Journal remembers the gems we lost this year, their work and achievements that will continue to inspire generations to come.
1. David Bowie (January 8, 1947 – January 10, 2016)
Known for his alter-ego Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie was one of the world’s best-selling music artists. A music enthusiast since childhood, Bowie formed his band at the age of 15, and steadily climbed the ladder of success thereafter. Bowie breathed his last two days after his 69th birthday, which also marked the release of his album, Blackstar.
Famous songs: “The Man Who Sold the World” (1970), “Space Oddity” (1969), “The Jean Genie” (1973)
Famous Album: Heroes (1977), Low (1977), Lodger (1979)
2. Alan Rickman (February 21, 1946 – January 14, 2016)
Some of Alan Rickman’s most known characterisations have been have been his roles as Hans Gruber in Die Hard and Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series. He was deeply involved with British repertory and experimental groups, and did many film roles. He died of prolonged illness on January 14.
Famous films: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Truly, Madly, Deeply, Sense and Sensibility, Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny
3. Pratyusha Banerjee (August 10, 1991 – April 1, 2016)
Pratyusha Banerjee was a well-known face of the Indian television. She was highly known for the role of Anandi in Balika Vadhu, a daily soap. Apart from that, she played vital roles in several other serials and reality shows. In April this year, Banerjee committed suicide.
Famous TV shows: Balika Vadhu, Sasural Simar Ka, Gulmohar Gang, Bigg Boss Season 7, Jhalak Dikhla Jaa Season 5
4. Victoria Wood (May 19, 1953 – April 20, 2016)
An English comedian, Victoria Wood debuted with the talent show, New Faces. She soon rose to fame and became one of Britain’s most popular stand-up comedians. Her writings and performances often revolved around everyday British life, and she was known for her grounded humour. Wood lost her battle with cancer.
Famous TV Shows: Victoria Wood As Seen On TV (1985-87), That’s Life, BBC (1976), An Audience with Victoria Wood (1988)
5. Prince Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)
Prince, an American singer and instrumentalist, was popular for his songs and performances. A deeply passionate musician since childhood, he explored various popular styles for his songs and music. An influential artist, he died of Fentanyl overdose.
Famous Songs: When Doves Cry, Purple Rain, Kiss, 1999
6. Razzak Khan (1951 – June 1, 2016)
Razzak Khan was known for his comic roles in several Bollywood films. He took off with small television roles and went ahead to do films. He died of heart attack at his residence in Mumbai.
Famous Films: Raja Hindustani (1996), Baadshah (1999), Hello Brother (1999), Hera Pheri (2000), Partner (2007), Kyaa Kool Hain Hum 3 (2016)
7. Muhammad Ali (January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016)
A professional boxer, Muhammad Ali was one of the most eminent sports personalities of the 20th century. Ali, whose training into boxing began at the age of 12, went on to become an inspiring sports figure. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which according to doctors, was due to his boxing-related brain injuries. He breathed his last on June 3.
Achievements: Ali is the only boxer to be a three-time heavy weight champion (1964/74 and 78). He is also the only boxer who was named The Ring Magazine’s Fighter of the Year for six years. He was ranked among the Sports Illustrated list of the Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century, and BBC named him The Sports Personality of the Century.
8. Sulabha Deshpande (1937 – June 4, 2016)
Veteran theatre artist Sulabha Deshpande was extremely active in the theatre movement of the 1960s. Besides theatre, she has also acted in numerous Marathi and Hindi films and television serials. She died of prolonged illness in Mumbai.
Famous Films: English Vinglish (Hindi. 2012), –– Vihir (Marathi, 2009) – Virasat (Hindi, 1997)
Famous Plays: Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe (1967), Bhumika (1977)
Famous Serials: Asmita (Marathi, 2014), Kehta Hai Dil Jee Le Zara (Hindi. 2013), Mrs Tendulkar (Hindi, 2011)
9. Gene Wilder (June 11, 1933 – August 29, 2016)
Wilder began his career on the stage and debuted on screen with the TV series ‘The Play Of The Week’. He later went ahead to act in films. An acting enthusiast since childhood, Wilder’s first major role was playing the character of Leopold Bloom in the satirical comedy movie, The Producers (1968). He was best known for his portrayal of Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Famous Films: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), Silver Streak (1976), Stir Crazy (1980), See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989).
10. Arnold Palmer (September 10, 1929 – September 25, 2016)
Arnold Palmer, an American golfer, is largely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of golf. Popularly known as ‘The King’, he was the first superstar of golf’s television age.
Achievements: Palmer won two PGA tour titles in 1955, and seven major titles in a six-plus-year domination. He was one of the 13 original inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
11. George Michael (25 June, 1963 – 25 December, 2016)
An ambitious musician, George Michael is particularly known for his singles “Last Christmas” and “Wake Me up before You Go”. Wham, a band he founded with school friend Andrew Ridgeley, led to his popularity. Michael came out as a gay man in 1998 and was actively involved in campaigns for LGBT rights and raised funds for HIV/AIDS.
Famous Songs: “Last Christmas” (1984), “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” (1984), “Careless Whisper” (1984), “Freedom! ’90”, 1990
Famous Albums: Faith (1987), Listen Without Prejudice (1990)
12. Carrie Fisher (October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016)
Carrie Fisher was cast as Princess Leia Organa in Star Wars (1977). Later she reprised the same role in the recent film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Having debuted with film Shampoo (1975), she signed several other films and wrote multiple books.
Famous films: Shampoo (1975), The Blue Brothers (1980), Star Wars (1977), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).
Famous Books: Wishful Drinking (2008), Postcards from the Edge (1987), Shockaholic (2007).
13. Debbie Reynolds (April 1, 1932 – December 28, 2016)
Debbie Reynolds soon followed her daughter, Carrie Fisher, to the grave. Reynolds starred in the cult classic Singin’ in the Rain. She managed her own hotel in Las Vegas, and was noted for being a connoisseur of film memorabilia. She was once married to Hollywood actor Eddie Fisher. Reynolds, suffered a stroke and died at 84.
Famous films: Singin’ in the Rain (1952), Tammy and the Bachelor (1957), and The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)