Life makes fools of us all and continues to roll on and on long after we’re all dust. The day you’re born you start to die, but in the time, we have allotted by circumstance some of us get to spend some time in the limelight.
The following list is that of celebrities that have died this year that had a significant influence on my life as a youth. I added a few that were more surprising than anything to me. However, most of these celebs played a role in my formative years as a lower case b.
Wes Craven Acclaimed Writer, Artist & Director
August 30, 2015 – Brain CancerWes Craven was a consummate writer and director. Probably known best for his Nightmare on Elm Street series. Wes was instrumental with my indoctrination to horror when he introduced me to Freddy Kruger. This started my long term love affair with macabre cinema. When I was 16 I skipped school to see the 3rd incarnation of the nightmare series that I still love today. Your vision was not lost on me. You will be missed, Mr. Craven. RIP
Leonard Nemoy A.K.A Spock
February 27, 2015 – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)Though not a traditional Trekkie, Star Trek or as I pronounced as a child “Star Track” was in regular rotation on the boob tube.
I remember seeing Spock die in the radioactive chamber. I felt much the same when he died for real. As logical as his character was on screen his real-life persona could not kick the smoking habit. 30 years after kicking butts he was claimed by COPD.
You lived long and prospered. Good night sweet Vulcan. Your time with us was not spent in vain. Death is logical, but painful nonetheless.
Sam Simon 2015 Simpsons Writer & Animal Activist
March 8, 2015 – Colo-rectal CancerSam was a beacon of positivity. Long after being diagnosed with terminal cancer he donated his fortune to the less fortunate as well as less fortunate animals. Your people would call you a mensch.
Thanks for all the funny. I always smile when I think of you. I don’t dwell on your death so much as I celebrate your life. You’re in good company. You made an impact on an entire generation.
Roderick George “Roddy” Toombs A.K.A. Rowdy Roddy Piper
July 30, 2015 – Cardiopulmonary ArrestIn his 1988 horror classic he came to do 2 things. Chew bubblegum and kick ass. The world was saddened when he not only ran out of bubblegum but also when he kicked his last ass.
Roddy had a rich wrestling background followed up by a decent acting career. He most recently played the part of “the Maniac” on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
I loved your candor, Roddy. You were an inspiration to so many you didn’t even know. Save me some bubblegum where ever you are. Let’s finish it and kick some angelic ass together.
James Best A.K.A. Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane
April 6, 2015 – Complications of Pneumonia
Until I Googled James Best I thought his Dukes of Hazard Character’s name was “Roscoe Pekoe Train”. Much like the ACDC song “Dirty Deeds Dunder Chief”.
Mr. Best met with his sidekick Flash on April 16 of this year. Salutations Sheriff and Coo Coo Coo.
Brad Stephen “Taylor” Negron Actor, Comedian, Painter, & Playwright
January 10, 2015 – CancerLikely most famously known for his Titular role as the pizza guy in Fast Times at Ridgemont High,
Negron was a well known character actor that starred in so many films that only IMDB can rival. If you’re a fan of cinema you’ve seen him time and time again.
April 7, 2015 – Natural CausesGeoffrey Lewis is a celebrated actor with a laundry list a mile long of rolls he played since the advent of his acting career.
The father of Juliet Lewis died in his home of natural causes at the age of 79.
Celebrity Deaths – Donna Douglas A.K.A. Ellie May Clampett
January 1, 2015 – Pancreatic CancerDonna Douglas was on one of the very few TV shows in syndication when I was a child. Even though it was mostly in black and white Ellie May was one of my first actress crushes.
She’s swimming in the cement pond in the sky after being claimed by pancreatic cancer this year.
Celebrity Deaths – Mary Ellen Trainer A.K.A. Mikey and Brand’s Mom from The Goonies
May 20, 2015 – Pancreatic CancerAnother great character actress starring in block buster films as Die Hard and Goonies.
I will always remember you as Mikey’s mom. After this movie I came home to my grand parents house and tried to recreate Data’s techno belt with a slinky, tape and a lot of imagination. You will be missed.
Celebrity Deaths – Dick Van Patton from Eight is Enough
June 23, 2015 – Complications from DiabetesThe dad from 8 is enough lost his battle with diabetes at 86. Claimed by a diabetic stroke the Brady Patriarch was known for his kindness. He was known for often saying “Remember our times together, gang”. You can see the kindness in his face. RIP.
Celebrity Deaths – BB King
May 14, 2015 – Vascular DementiaI was lucky enough to see BB in 2012. He was 85 years old, but he sure didn’t play that way. BB died at age 89 of a series of small strokes brought on by diabetes. It was theorized that he was deliberately poisoned by 2 associates that put him to diabetic shock. In the autopsy it was determined that there was indeed no foul play.
Sir Christopher Lee
June 7, 2015 – Heart FailureThe 93 year old knighted actor worked solidly up until a month before his death. Lee a celebrated actor, author and singer was also a World War II veteran. SO not only was he uber talented, but a hero to boot. He will indeed be missed. To quote Kevin Smith, “Big bucket of win”.
Celebrity Deaths -Cynthia Lennon
April 1, 2015 – CancerWife of John Lennon and mother to Julian Lennon died at age 75 with her son by her side. She had a brief bout with cancer that claimed her life fairly quickly.
Celebrity Deaths -Ben Woolf from American Horror Story
February 23, 2015 – Hit and Run Car AccidentThe American Horror Story actor’s life was snuffed out when he was hit by a cars side mirror in the head. It was said that he was J walking in Hollywood when he was stuck. He died of a stroke brought on by complications at the age of 34.
Celebrity Deaths – Sawyer Sweeten from Everybody Loves Raymond
April 23, 2015 – Self Inflicted Gun ShotSweeten was 19 years old when the child actor from Everybody loves Raymond claimed his own life. His death came on the heels of money problems and rumors that he was gay printed in the tabloids.
July 3, 2015 – Suspected Drug OverdosePeterson was most notably known for her performance in the 80’s rom-com Cant Buy Me Love. It is suspected that she died from an overdose, but toxicology reports have not come out yet. The troubled actress was arrested 4 times on drug charges. When she didn’t show up for a family dinner suspicion arose. The 44 year old actresses body was found in her apartment. There were no signs of foul play.
Bobbi Kristina Brown
Jul 27, 2015 – Non-Natural DeathThis celebrity death is as bizarre as it is sad. Bobbi Kristina Brown was found unresponsive face down in a bath tub just 3 years after her mother died the same way. There were however, no drugs found at the scene which just makes her death that much more strange.
Charmayne “Maxee” Maxwell
February 28, 2015 – Bizarre Accident After Cutting Throat on Wine GlassI have to admit that I didn’t know who this even was before I started researching, but her death was so strange I had to include it. Apparently, the 46 year old singer fell on a glass that severed her throat. She made it to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
2015 Self Inflicted Gun Shot to HimselfOuted by comedian Hannibal Burress Cosby’s career long legacy of drugging and raping woman goes back as far as 1969. To date 35 woman have come forward and claimed they too were drugged and assaulted by the comedian. Though not an actual death, it may as well be. It saddens me to know the comedian I loved as a child; a supposed family man, has been assaulting woman for over 50 years.
Ironically, his wife Comille continues to stand by Bill‘s side even after overwhelming testimony continues to roll in.
For shame Bill.
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