Cory Monteith (1982-2013)
Cory Monteith might have been a star of the tv show Glee, but to many fans of the actor he was so much more than just an actor on a TV show. He was a beloved role model to so many and, to be honest, his death was probably the one that hit me the hardest this year. Anytime that I saw him he always seemed like such a bright light, so full of positive energy and a beautiful soul. When I heard about his death I literally sat in disbelief and couldn’t believe he was gone for a good 48 hours. It was so hard to believe that someone with so much life still left to live could just be gone that quickly. He’s been gone for just over five months and for myself and so many other people, it’s still hard to believe that he’s really gone. Cory was a bright light for so many people, and despite the fact that his death was tragic he shouldn’t be defined by the struggles that caused his untimely death, but for the positive impact he left on so many people. RIP Cory Monteith
Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)
Nelson Mandela wasn’t just a South African icon, but a world-wide icon. Mandela passed away peacefully in his home after losing his prolonged battle with a lung infection. No matter what Mandela was doing with his life from being a prisoner to becoming South Africa’s first black president, he always sought out to spread peace to those around him. The world lost a great man in Nelson Mandela and one can only hope that his message of spreading peace continues from present to all future generations to come.
Paul Walker (1973-2013)
Paul Walker was most known for his role in the Fast and the Furious films. When he passed many celebrities that worked with him gave their condolences, but one thing that was made known through all the messages was how much of a hardworking, kind, and humble man that he was. He passed away of injuries from a fiery joy ride gone wrong. He might have left us quickly but he will not be as quickly forgotten.
James Gandolfini (1961-2013)
James Gandolfini is probably most known for his role of Tony Soprano in the hit HBO show The Sopranos. Gandolfini was a big man with an even bigger heart for those around him. He was a hard-working actor who many considered to be one of the most brilliant actors of his time after seeing his role in The Sopranos. His Soprano‘s costar Edie Falco spoke of the type of person he was, that he would rather turn the spotlight off of himself to someone that he thought deserved it more than himself. Well we hope he doesn’t mind the small spotlight we’re putting on him right now, and we hope he knows how much he was truly loved by everyone around him.
Roger Ebert (1942-2013)
Roger Ebert was a legendary movie reviewer who reviewed over 10,000 movies in his lifetime. He was a widely respected man in the world of movies and someone that inspired many to want to join the movie-making business. Ebert had a passion for movies that many will probably never understand, but many will be envious of. He lost the ability to talk during his battle with thyroid cancer, but that didn’t stop him from continuing to spread his passion for movies. It’s safe to say the movie world lost a legend and that movie reviews will never be the same.
Annette Funicello (1942-2013)
Annette Funicello is most known for her role in Beach Party, and for being a Mouseketeer. Everyone that knew her seemed to describe her as a sweet, wonderful person that cared about everyone around her. Funicello was one of the few that was just as beautiful on the outside as she was on the inside. She was Disney’s Girl-Next-Door and will always be beloved by her Disney family and friends. She passed away due to complications from her devastating illness, multiple sclerosis.
Peter O’Toole (1932-2013)
Peter O’Toole was an acting icon, who passed away at the age of 81. He’s best known for his role in Lawrence of Arabia, though throughout his career he starred in over 60 film roles. He was known for his love of film and stage and despite the fact that he never won an Oscar for his many acting roles, he is still thought of as one of the most iconic actors of all time. May he be remembered for the icon that he was, and inspire many to become the respected actor that he became.
Tom Clancy (1947-2013)
Tom Clancy is known as a one of the best-selling authors of all time. He wrote spy and military thriller stories and captivated readers all over the world. Several of his works actually became thrilling films, one of the most recent still yet to be released is the latest Jack Ryan adventure. He passed away from undisclosed causes but its safe to say that he will forever be remembered for the thrilling storytelling he was able to share during his time.
Lee Thompson Young (1984-2013)
Lee Thompson Young is probably most recently known for his role on Rizzoli & Isles, but for my generation he’s probably better remembered for his role in the Disney channel show The Famous Jett Jackson. No matter what you remember him for his death was definitely a shocking one to hear about. It’s always hard to hear about Hollywood suicide, and this one was no different. No one knows why he chose to end his life, but he left an impact on the people who knew him. He was described as hardworking and very kind by former co-stars. He is definitely another gone too soon.
Jean Stapleton (1923-2013)
Many knew Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker, Archie Bunker’s wife in All in the Family. To many her performance in the popular show was brilliant, the way that she could make a character that some might think of as a dumb and silly on paper into someone who people are endeared and inspired by. Before her death she was asked how she wanted to be remembered and this was her response:
“To be remembered? I don’t think about that uh very much, frankly. I don’t think anybody’s remembered too well, after awhile… I really don’t think it’s one of my goals or projects to decide that. I hope that my work stands up, if it’s ever seen in the future.”
Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013)
Margaret Thatcher was a trailblazer of her generation as she became Great Britain’s first female prime minister. She’s considered one of the most influential world leaders of the 20th Century and someone many females aspire to be like. She made the path to becoming a world leader just a little bit easier, just by making it happen for herself. She was influential enough to even have a movie made about her life, using her infamous nickname, The Iron Lady. She got the nickname because of her tough, hardworking, and no-nonsense attitude that she used to get what she needed done in her stay as Prime Minister. The lady is gone, but her iron spirit will live on for generations to come.
Richard Griffiths (1947-2013)
He may be known as Richard Griffiths, but many may know him better as Harry Potter’s “muggle” Uncle Vernon Dursley. He may have played a not so nice person on screen, but off-screen he was anything but. Friends described him as a witty, intelligent man. He was a funny man with a big heart for doing what he loved, acting. He also was a critically acclaimed actor on stage in plays like The History Boys and Equus with Daniel Radcliffe. Griffiths died from complications during heart surgery back in March.
Lou Reed (1942 – 2013)
Rock and roll lost a legend when it lost Lou Reed. He’s known for both his solo career and his time as the frontman for the band The Velvet Underground. He influenced so many people throughout his career from Glee’s Darren Criss to rock legends Metallica and Mötley Crüe. He pioneered the way for the edgy rock music that we hear today, from S&M to drug references. You might able to say that the reason that artists like Lady Gaga and Kanye West’s music is as accepted as it is because he paved the way and probably even inspired them to be the artists they became. Without Reed, who knows what music today would be like. He was described as “the ultimate outsider” but he was the ultimate outside that everyone could identify with. Reed died from end stage live disease, but with his death the music industry lost a true icon.
Marcia Wallace (1942 – 2013)
Marcia Wallace was known as a great character actress and character voice artist. her portrayals of the characters she played were always memorable because she always gave her all to each role. She was an actress that always wanted to make people laugh and with every role she always succeeded. Her most recent role to make audiences laugh and one of her most memorable was voicing Bart Simpson’s fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Edna Krabappel. The role earned her an Emmy for her voicing in the episode “Bart the Lover”. Wallace sadly died after losing a 30 year battle to breast cancer and the world lost another funny woman.
Dennis Farina (1944 – 2013)
Dennis Farina was a real life cop turned beloved American actor. He’s most known for his role as a detective on Law and Order. A quote from director Michael Mann, who gave Farina his first acting job, described Farina in the best way possible ““He thought all he had to do to have a career as an actor was to be known as ‘Dennis, the dream to work with.’ Because everybody told him that. He was the best guy on the planet. And he was a lot more than a nice guy. He had the charisma and the ability as a storyteller and raconteur to hold your interest. He appreciated the fullness, the roundness, of human life.” Farina died after losing his battle to lung cancer this year.
Kidd Kraddick (1959 – 2013)
David “Kidd” Kraddick was known for his hosting of the “Kidd Kraddick in the Morning Show” on radio stations across the U.S. He wasn’t just a radio host though, he was also known for his charitable manner. He created a charity called the Kraddick Foundation. It involved “Kidd’s Kids” in which money was raised so that kids with chronic illnesses or physical disabilites could go on adventures of a lifetime and “The Glamour Squad” which they take licensed cosmetologists and a team of volunteers to local hospitals to provide a day of beauty for terminally/chronically ill teenage girls between the ages of 12 and 19. His big heart caused his untimely death as he died from cardiac arrest from an enlarged heart. He was a man that gave to so many children and teens to brighten their days and despite his passing his legacy will live on with his charity that plans to continue to brighten more children’s days in his memory.