[Article I wrote for my college newspaper, The Voice; April 6, 2016]
Actors and musicians have long been idolized for their talents, charitable contributions, style choices, and appearances. Many celebrities have left their mark on the hearts and minds of fans around the globe. When these famous beings pass on they not only leave their legacy behind, they leave an ache in the heart of those who worshiped them.
2016 has barely begun and we have already experienced the loss of many famous individuals. In a world of conformity and standards, these daring individuals stood out among the flocks. Great music, great acting and lasting imprints.
David Bowie, aka Ziggy Stardust, passed away on January 10. Bowie began rocking the world in the late 1960s. His flamboyant style and adventurous endeavors kept him at the forefront of innovation and paved the way for future creativity in the music world. Bowie’s eclectic musical stylings earned him an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 1996. Bowie was also known for his acting in the films The Man Who Fell to Earth and Labyrinth, as well as his Broadway performance in The Elephant Man. Bowie has been described as a true original, shamelessly creative, and an extraordinary artist.
Alan Rickman, best known for his role of Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films, passed on January 14. Rickman’s languid voice was his calling card and made him a perfect fit for the villainous roles listed above, as well as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Rickman received a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for his lead role in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny. Rickman also spent time on Broadway and London stages in pursuit of his love for theater. In an outpouring of tributes after his passing, Rickman was described as a magnificent, hypnotic actor, gifted director, and a rare, unique human being.
The Eagles front man and founder, Glenn Frey, passed away on January 18. Famous for classic hits like “Take It Easy” and “Hotel California,” the Eagles have been present on the rock and roll scene since the early 1970s. The band earned an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998; an enormous honor for any musician. Frey has been referred to as a brilliant songwriter and one of the greatest voices, musicians, contributors and collaborators to rock and roll music. The Eagles debut album, Eagles, is still listed on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Abe Vigoda, most famous for his role as Salvatore Tessio in The Godfather films, was also among the greats the world lost this year. Vigoda was also known for his stage role in The Man in the Glass Booth, as well as a television role of Detective Phil Fish on the comedy Barney Miller, which later spun off into Fish starring the late actor. Vigoda also made small appearances in several other films including Cannonball Run II and Look Who’s Talking. During the aftermath of his passing, tributes from family and friends depicted Vigoda as being full of grace and humor and talented with a capital “T.” Vigoda passed away on January 26 at the age of 94.
To die hard fans, losing an icon is devastating. There are mourning periods and tributes to greatness lost. These celebrities will live on through their work, just as Elvis Presley, Judy Garland, Michael Jackson, and so many others do. Fans will hurt for a little while, but will still have a lifetime of memories.