A Roll Call of Some of Those We Lost This Year Deaths: Losses in Music, Television, Politics

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), December 28, 2016 | Go to article overview

A Roll Call of Some of Those We Lost This Year Deaths: Losses in Music, Television, Politics


Byline: Bernard McGhee Associated Press

Embracing Soviet-style communism, Fidel Castro overcame imprisonment and exile to become leader of Cuba and defy the power of the United States at every turn. The strongman's half-century rule was marked by the unsuccessful U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the Cuban missile crisis a year later that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. But after surviving a crippling trade embargo and dozens of assassination plots, Castro died in November at age 90. Perhaps befitting the controversial leader, his death elicited both tears and cheers across the Western Hemisphere.

But Castro was just one of many noteworthy people who died in 2016.

The year also saw the deaths of pop music giants: David Bowie, who broke musical boundaries through his musicianship and striking visuals; Prince, who was considered one of the most inventive and influential musicians of modern times; and George Michael, first a teenybopper heartthrob and then a mature solo artist with videos that played up his considerable appeal.

Among the political figures who died in 2016 were former United National Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, ex-senator and astronaut John Glenn, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, former Israeli leader Shimon Peres and former U.S. first lady Nancy Reagan.

In the sports arena, the year saw the passing of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, whose fast fists and outspoken personality brought him fans around the world. Other sports figures included golfer Arnold Palmer and Gordie "Mr. Hockey" Howe.

Here is a roll call of some of the people who died in 2016.

January

Pierre Boulez, 90. Former principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic who moved between conducting, composition and teaching as one of the leading figures in modern classical music. Jan. 5.

Pat Harrington Jr., 86. Actor and comedian who in the 1950s got attention as a member of Steve Allen's fabled TV comic troupe but secured lasting fame decades later as Dwayne Schneider, the cocky handyman on the long-running sitcom "One Day at a Time." Jan. 6.

Otis Clay, 73. Hall of fame rhythm and blues artist known as much for his big heart and charitable work in Chicago as for his singing internationally. Jan. 8.

David Bowie, 69. Otherworldly musician who broke pop and rock boundaries with his creative musicianship, striking visuals and a genre-spanning persona he christened Ziggy Stardust. Jan. 10.

Alan Rickman, 69. Classically trained British stage star and sensual screen villain in the "Harry Potter" saga and other films. Jan. 14.

Rene Anglil, 73. Celine Dion's husband and manager, who molded her from a French-speaking Canadian ingnue into one of the world's most successful singers. Jan. 14.

Dan Haggerty, 74. Rugged, bearded actor who starred in the film and TV series "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams." Jan. 15.

Glenn Frey, 67. Rock 'n' roll rebel who co-founded the Eagles and with Don Henley formed one of history's most successful songwriting teams with such hits as "Hotel California" and "Life in the Fast Lane." Jan. 18.

Abe Vigoda, 94. Character actor whose leathery, sad-eyed face made him ideal for playing the over-the-hill detective Phil Fish in the 1970s TV series "Barney Miller" and the doomed Mafia soldier in "The Godfather." Jan. 26.

Paul Kantner, 74. Founding member of the Jefferson Airplane who stayed with the seminal band through its transformation from 1960s hippies to 1970s hit makers as the eventual leader of successor group Jefferson Starship. Jan. 28.

Signe Toly Anderson, 74. Vocalist and original member of the Jefferson Airplane who left the band after its first record and was replaced by Grace Slick. Jan. 28.

February

Bob Elliott, 92. Half of the enduring TV and radio comedy team Bob and Ray. …

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