Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Celebrity Deaths

So many big names have left this world in recent years. Some made me go "Oh my God" when I found out they had died. Some made me feel indifferent. Some fell in between.

Last year alone was crazy. When Jean Simmons, Lynn Redgrave, Patricia Neal and Jill Clayburgh passed on, everyone mourned their deaths. As for me, I felt like I was missing something. Indeed I was. Once I saw movies with Simmons and Neal (have yet to see a movie with Redgrave or Clayburgh), I realized what type of impact they had on Hollywood.

May took Dennis Hopper away from Hollywood forever. Everyone mourned the passing of the original badass, me especially having seen Easy Rider a week or so prior to his death.

Fast forward to September. The last week of the month (or "the week of death" as I call it) was just unbelievable. The passings of Eddie Fisher, Gloria Stuart and Sally Menke were surprising, but the last two casualties of the month left me stunned. Having seen Bonnie and Clyde and The Miracle Worker, Arthur Penn's passing left an indelible mark on Hollywood (and me). Just a day after Penn died, Tony Curtis entered the Hollywood in the sky. I found it a little ironic that Curtis had slipped into obscurity but when he died, tributes just flooded the media.

The end of November claimed the lives of Leslie Nielsen and Irvin Kershner. I had a mixed reaction towards Nielsen's death. On one hand, I hadn't seen the entirety of any of his movies; on the other hand, what I had seen (parts of Airplane! and The Naked Gun movies) had me laughing. For Kershner, I think everyone could agree that The Empire Strikes Back is the best in the series.

The last notable passing of 2010 was that of Blake Edwards. I've only seen Days of Wine and Roses, but finding out of his passing left me speechless.

Overall, 2010 was not kind to the entertainment business. I would say that 2011 should be kinder, but considering we lost Pete Postlethwaite and Anne Francis just a few days ago, I don't think it'll be likely.

Here are some Hollywood icons who passed on in the last decade:

Walter Matthau
Alec Guinness

Jack Lemmon
Stanley Kramer
Anthony Quinn

Billy Wilder
John Frankenheimer
Rod Steiger

Gregory Peck
Katharine Hepburn
Elia Kazan
Charles Bronson
Bob Hope

Marlon Brando
Janet Leigh
Peter Ustinov

Anne Bancroft
Robert Wise

Shelley Winters
Robert Altman

Deborah Kerr
Michelangelo Antonioni
Ingmar Bergman

Charlton Heston
Paul Newman
Sydney Pollack
Richard Widmark

Karl Malden
Jennifer Jones

Jean Simmons
Lynn Redgrave
Dennis Hopper
Patricia Neal
Arthur Penn
Tony Curtis
Jill Clayburgh
Blake Edwards


  1. If only we were fans of young stars who never age. That would solve this problem.

  2. Wow, yeah, 2010 really was a bad one wasn't it. Very sad.


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