2016: A look back on the most notable deaths of the year

(WSVN) - It seems like the year 2016 has been particularly unkind to celebrities. The passing of entertainment icons like David Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali and Carrie Fisher caused many on social media to decry this year as the deadliest ever for notable deaths.

And even though some outlets have said 2016 hasn’t seen numbers all that different from any other recent year, the following list sure makes it seem that way.

Here’s a look at some of the stars who passed away since January:

David Bowie (Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

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

René Angélil (Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

René Angélil, 73. Celine Dion’s husband and manager, who molded her from a French-speaking Canadian ingénue into one of the world’s most successful singers. Jan. 14.

Alan Rickman (Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

Alan Rickman, 69. Classically-trained British stage star and screen villain as Professor Snape in the “Harry Potter” saga and other films. Jan. 14.

Dan Haggerty (Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

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 (Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

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 (Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

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.

Antonin Scalia

Antonin Scalia, 79. Influential conservative and most provocative member of the U.S. Supreme Court. Feb. 13.

Angela "Big Ang" Raiola (Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

Angela “Big Ang” Raiola, 55. Raspy-voiced bar owner who gained fame on the reality TV series “Mob Wives.” Feb. 18.

Harper Lee (Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

Harper Lee, 89. Elusive novelist whose child’s-eye view of racial injustice in a small Southern town, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” became standard reading for millions of young people and an Oscar-winning film. Feb. 19.

Tony Burton (Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

Tony Burton, 78. Professional boxer who rose to fame as Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed’s trainer in the “Rocky” films. Feb. 25.

Nancy Reagan (Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

Nancy Reagan, 94. Backstage adviser, fierce protector, and wife of Ronald Reagan in his journey from actor to president — and finally during his battle with Alzheimer’s disease. March 6.

Phife Dawg (Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

Phife Dawg, 45. Real name: Malik Taylor. Lyricist whose witty wordplay was a linchpin of the groundbreaking hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest. March 22.

Rob Ford (Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

Rob Ford, 46. Populist former mayor of Toronto whose career crashed in a drug-driven, obscenity-laced debacle. March 22.

Garry Shandling

Garry Shandling, 66. Actor and comedian who masterminded a brand of phony docudrama with “The Larry Sanders Show.” March 24.

Patty Duke

Patty Duke, 69. As a teen, she won an Oscar for playing Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker,” then maintained a long career while battling personal demons. March 29.

Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard, 79. Country giant who rose from poverty and prison to international fame through his songs about outlaws, underdogs and an abiding sense of national pride in such hits as “Okie From Muskogee” and “Sing Me Back Home.” April 6.

Doris Roberts

Doris Roberts, 90. She played the tart-tongued, endlessly meddling mother on “Everybody Loves Raymond.” April 17.

Chyna (Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

Chyna, 46. Real name: Joan Marie Laurer. Tall, muscle-bound, raven-haired pro-wrestler who rocketed to popularity in the 1990s with WWE and later made the rounds on reality TV. April 20.

APTOPIX Obit Prince

Prince, 57. One of the most inventive and influential musicians of modern times with hits including “Little Red Corvette,” “Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry.” April 21.

Muhammad Ali (Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

Muhammad Ali, 74. Heavyweight champion whose fast fists, irrepressible personality and determined spirit transcended sports and captivated the world. June 3.

Kimbo Slice (Photo: Fox News)

Kimbo Slice, 42. Bearded street fighter who parlayed his Internet popularity into a mixed martial arts career. June 6.


Christina Grimmie, 22. Singer from New Jersey who gained popularity as a contestant on season six of NBC’s “The Voice” in 2014. Grimmie finished third on the show, and was murdered in a shooting in Orlando. June 10.

Elie Wiesel (middle)

Elie Wiesel, 87. Romanian-born Holocaust survivor whose classic book “Night” became a landmark testament to the Nazis’ crimes and launched his career as one of the world’s foremost witnesses and humanitarians. July 2.

Garry Marshall

Garry Marshall, 81. Actor, director, and writer for hit sitcoms including “Happy Days,” “Laverne and Shirley,” and “Mork and Mindy.” July 19.

Still image from one of the '90s psychic's many TV advertisements.

Miss Cleo / Youree Dell Harris, 53. Actress who became famous playing the Jamaican psychic Miss Cleo, claiming to know callers’ futures in ubiquitous TV infomercials and commercials. July 26.

Kenny Baker (Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

Kenny Baker, 81. He played the lovable droid R2-D2 in the “Star Wars” films, achieving cult status and fans’ adulation without showing his face or speaking any lines. Aug. 13.


Gene Wilder, 83. Frizzy-haired actor who brought his deft comedic touch to such unforgettable roles as the neurotic accountant in “The Producers” and the mad scientist of “Young Frankenstein.” Aug. 28.

Jose Fernandez

José Fernández, 24. Cuban-born star baseball pitcher for the Miami Marlins who died in a boating accident. Sept. 25.

Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer, 87. Golfing great who brought a country-club sport to the masses with a hard-charging style, charisma and a commoner’s touch. Sept. 25.

Janet Reno

Janet Reno, 78. First woman to serve as U.S. attorney general and the epicenter of several political storms during the Clinton administration, including the seizure of Elian Gonzalez. Nov. 7.

Leonard Cohen (Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

Leonard Cohen, 82. Baritone-voiced Canadian singer-songwriter who blended spirituality and sexuality in songs like “Hallelujah,” “Suzanne” and “Bird on a Wire.” Nov. 7.

Gwen Ifill (Photo courtesy: PBS)
(Photo: PBS)

Gwen Ifill, 61. Co-anchor of PBS’ “NewsHour” with Judy Woodruff and a veteran journalist who moderated two vice presidential debates. Nov. 14.

Florence Henderson (Photo courtesy Associated Press)
(Photo: Associated Press)

Florence Henderson, 82. Broadway star who became one of America’s most beloved television moms in “The Brady Bunch.” Nov. 24.


Fidel Castro, 90. He led his bearded rebels to victorious revolution in 1959, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of U.S. presidents during his half-century of rule in Cuba. Nov. 25.

Ron Glass (Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

Ron Glass, 71. Prolific TV actor known for playing Ron Harris in the sitcom “Barney Miller” and Shepherd Derrial Book in “Firefly.” Nov. 25.

John Glenn

John Glenn, 95. His 1962 flight as the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth made him an all-American hero and propelled him to a long career in the U.S. Senate. Dec. 8.


Alan Thicke, 69. Versatile performer who gained his greatest renown as the beloved dad on the sitcom “Growing Pains.” Dec. 13.

Craig Sager (Photo: Turner Sports)
(Photo: Turner Sports)

Craig Sager, 65. Longtime NBA sideline reporter for Turner Sports, famous for his flashy suits and probing questions. Dec. 15.

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99. Jet-setting Hungarian actress who made a career out of multiple marriages, conspicuous wealth and jaded wisdom about the glamorous life. Dec. 18.

Photo: Billboard on Twitter
(Photo: Billboard/Twitter)

George Michael, 53. British pop superstar who reached early fame with WHAM! and went on to a solo career lined with controversies and chart-topping hits. Dec. 25.

Ricky Harris (Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

Ricky Harris, 54. Comedian known for his racy routines on HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam” and portrayal of Malvo in the Chris Rock-narrated comedy “Everybody Hates Chris.” Dec. 26.

(Photo: Fox News)
(Photo: Fox News)

Carrie Fisher, 60. Daughter of Hollywood royalty who gained pop-culture fame as Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” and author who openly discussed her struggles with addiction and mental illness. Dec. 27.


Debbie Reynolds, 84. First found super-stardom with “Singin’ in the Rain,” went on to be one of MGM’s principal stars of the 1950s and 60s. Passed away just one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher. Dec. 28.

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