Goodbye to 2009 and some old faces … Part 2

Filed under: Entertainment,Florida News |


The beloved television icon, who starred in the groundbreaking ’70s series Maude and the much-beloved ’80s sitcom The Golden Girls, died April 25 at age 86 after a long battle with cancer. “Bea was such an important part of a very happy time in my life and I have dearly loved her for a very long time,” Golden Girls costar Betty White said in a statement. “How lucky I was to know her.”


The filmmaker behind such ’80s classics as The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the ’90s blockbuster Home Alone was visiting family in Manhattan when he suffered a fatal heart attack during a morning walk on Aug. 6. From Molly Ringwald to Matthew Broderick and Macauley Culkin, the director and screenwriter, who was 59, was remembered for giving iconic young actors their big break. “The world has lost not only a quintessential filmmaker whose influence will be felt for generations, but a great and decent man,” Culkin said.


While taking a private ski lesson at the Mont Tremblant resort in Québec, the actress, 45, fell down in what appeared to be a minor incident. Two days later, on March 18, she passed away from what was later ruled “blunt trauma” to her head, leaving behind her husband of 14 years, actor Liam Neeson, and two sons. “She was an adoring and loving wife and mother,” family friend Ralph Fiennes said. “I cannot imagine a world without her wit, her love, her mischief, her great, great talent and her gift for living.”


The beloved pro-wrestling figure – who appeared as Cyndi Lauper’s father in the video for “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” – was 75 when he died on Oct 14. The star, who helped launch pro wrestling into national prominence, had suffered heart attacks previously.

The Fantasy Island star – who battled Captain Kirk as his nemesis Khan in the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – died Jan. 14 from “complications of advancing age,” his son-in-law Gilbert Smith said. Montalban was 88 when he passed away at his Beverly Hills home, surrounded by his children and grandchildren. “He was in peace,” Smith said.


The movie and TV star, 72, was shooting a new film in Bangkok when he was discovered in his hotel room on June 3 with a rope around his neck and body. While circumstances surrounding his death – ruled as accidental asphyxiation – remain unclear, what isn’t in doubt is the outpouring of love and respect the actor received from hundreds of friends, family and stars (Tom Selleck to Lucy Liu) who came out to say goodbye to the Kung Fu master.

During a family vacation in the Bahamas, John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s 16-year-old son Jett suffered a seizure on Jan. 2, and fatally struck his head. “I remember Jett when he was born,” family friend Tom Cruise said. “I saw him when he was just a few months old and John just adored him, and both of his children, and Kelly.” The family held a memorial for their son in their Ocala, Fla., hometown, where the locals remembered sharing a special bond with the boy. Said nearby resident Barbara Weiland, “We felt it was important to come out and let them know that every day people loved Jett too.”

Dubbed “the most trusted man in America,” the TV news legend – who anchored the CBS Evening News and reported on President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the moon landing and the Vietnam War – died at age 92 on July 17. His distinguished voice still can be heard introducing the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, per his family’s wishes. As he said on his last Evening News broadcast, “Old anchormen, you see, don’t fade away – they just keep coming back for more.”


Just weeks before he was to kick off his London comeback concerts, the 50-year-old was rushed to UCLA Medical Center on June 25 after he was found unresponsive in his Hombly Hills, Calif., home. While the coroner and LAPD worked to uncover a cause of death (it was ruled a homicde), Jackson’s family, friends and millions of fans were left to mourn the passing of an icon But it was Jackson’s daughter Paris, taking hold of the mic at his public memorial, who reminded the world that the King of Pop was more than a larger-than-life figure: “Daddy has been the best father you can ever imagine. And I just want to say I love him so much.”

We also lost many other people that warrant a mention, people like:

Michael Crichton, Don Hewitt, James Whitmore, Bill Melendez, Pat Hingle, Paul Benedict, Bernie Hamilton, Robert Prosky and Ron Silver. It was a tough year and we lost some great people. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of their friends and family members as we enter the New Year.

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