George Michael joins 2016 is a long role of the famous dead

Dec. 2, 1993: George Michael performs during the ‘Concert of Hope’ to mark World AIDS Day at Wembley Arena in London.

(AP/Gill Allen)

George Michael who rose to fame as a member of the 1980s pop duo Wham and went on to sell more than 100 million albums in a music career spanning four decades, died in his home Dec. 25 at the age of 53.

Michael is the last of the many notable people who died in 2016, a list that included fellow pop superstars David Bowie and Prince, sports stars Muhammad Ali and Arnold Palmer, Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia and former first lady Nancy Reagan.

Below is a list of well-known figures who left us in 2016. (Cause of death cited for younger people if available.)


David Bowie, 69. Other-worldly musician that broke down pop and rock boundaries with its creative musician, eye-catching graphics, and a genre-spanning persona he baptized Ziggy Stardust. Jan. 10.

Alan Was 69. Classically trained British stage star and sensual screen villain in the “Harry Potter” saga and other films. Jan. 14.

Glenn Frey, 67. Rock ‘n’ roll rebel who is a co-founder of the Eagles and Don Henley were in one of the most successful writers teams with hits like “Hotel California” and “Life in the Fast Lane.” Jan. 18.

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.

Paul Kantner, 74. The founders of the Jefferson Airplane, who remained with the influential band by means of the transformation of the hippies of the 1960s to 1970s hit makers as the ultimate leader of the successor group Jefferson Starship. Jan. 28.


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

Boutros Boutros-Ghali, 93. Veteran Egyptian diplomat who helped negotiate his country’s landmark peace treaty with Israel, but clashed with the United States when he served one term as U. N. secretary-general. Mar. 16.

Harper Lee, 89. Elusive writer who is the child’s-eye view of racial injustice in a small town in the South, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the standard was for the read of millions of young people and an Oscar-winning film. Mar. 19.

Umberto Eco, 84. The Italian author who enthralled, amazed and delighted readers all over the world with his best-selling historical novel “The Name of the Rose.” Mar. 19.


Nancy Reagan, 94. Helpmate, backstage adviser and a fierce protector of Ronald Reagan in his journey from actor to president, and finally, during his battle with Alzheimer’s disease. 6 march.

George Martin, 90. The Beatles’ urban producer who quietly accompanied by the band swift, historical transformation of the noisy club act of musical and cultural developments. 8 march.

Phife Dawg, 45. Writer whose witty play on words was a cornerstone of the pioneering hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest. 22 march. The complications of diabetes.

Garry Shandling, 66. Actor and comedian, who is the brains behind a brand of fake-docudrama with “The Larry Sanders Show.” March 24.

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


Merle Haggard, 79. Country giant who rose from poverty and prison to international fame with his songs about the outlaws, the underdog, and a lasting sense of national pride in such hits as “Okie From Muskogee” and “Sing Me Back Home.” On The 6th Of April.

Doris Roberts, 90. She played the tart tongue, endless meddling mother in “Everybody Loves Raymond.” April 17.

Chyna, 46. Tall, muscular, raven haired pro-wrestler who rose to popularity in the 1990s and later make the rounds on reality TV. April 20.

Dwayne “Pearl” Washington, 52. Basketball player who went from New York City playground wonder of Big East star for Jim Boeheim at Syracuse. April 20.

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


Morley Safer, 84. Veteran “60 Minutes” correspondent who was equally at home reporting on social injustice, the Orient Express and abstract art, and exposed the military atrocities in Vietnam, which played an early role in the change of Americans’ image of the war. May 19.


Muhammad Ali, 74. Heavyweight champion whose fast fists, irrepressible personality and determined spirit transcended sport and in the ban of the world. 3 June.

Peter Shaffer, 90. The british playwright whose sustainable, award-winning hits included “Equus” and “Amadeus.” 6 June.

Kimbo Slice, 42. Bearded street fighter, which managed to convert its popularity in a mixed martial arts career. 6 June.

Gordie Howe, 88. Known as “Mr. Hockey,” the rugged Canadian farm boy, whose mix of talent and toughness made him the NHL’s ultimate star. June 10.

Pat Summitt, 64. Winningest coach in Division I college basketball history that the raising of the women of the game from obscurity to national prominence during her 38-year career in Tennessee. 28 June.


Elie Wiesel, 87. Romanian-born Holocaust survivor whose classic “Night” was a milestone testament to the Nazis’ crime and started his career as one of the main witnesses and philanthropists. 2 July.

Michael Cimino, P. 77. The Oscar-winning director whose film “The Deer Hunter” was one of the greatest triumphs of Hollywood of the 1970’s heyday and of which the disastrous “Heaven’s Gate” helped to bring that era to a close. 2 July.

Sydney H. Schanberg, 82. Former New York Times correspondent distinguished with a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the genocide in Cambodia in 1975, and of which the story of the survival of his assistant inspired by the movie “the Killing Fields.” July 9.

Nate Thurmond, 74. Tenacious NBA defensive center, who played with wilt Chamberlain. 16 July.

Marni Nixon, P. 86. Hollywood voice double of which the singing was to be heard in place of the leading actresses ” in this movie musical “West Side Story”, “The King and I’ and ‘My Fair Lady’.” July 24.


John McLaughlin, 89. The conservative commentator and presenter of a long running tv series that pioneer screaming at the head of the discussions of Washington politics. Aug. 16.

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


Phyllis Schlafly, 92. Outspoken conservative activist who helped defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and founded the Eagle Forum political group. Sept. 5.

Edward Albee, 88. A three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author who challenged theatrical convention in masterpieces such as “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “A Delicate Balance.” Sept. 16.

W. P. Kinsella, 81. Canadian novelist who mixed with the magical realism and the baseball in the book that became the hit movie “Field of Dreams.” Sept. 16.

Arnold Palmer, 87. Golfing great, who brought a country-club sport for the masses, with a hard-charging style, charisma and a regular burger is the touch. Sept. 25.

Shimon Peres, 93. Former Israeli president and prime minister, whose life story mirrored that of the Jewish state, and who was celebrated all over the world as a Nobel prize-winning visionary who pushed his country towards peace. Sept. 28.


Dario Fo, 90. The Italian playwright whose energetic spot of the Italian political life, social morality and religion won him the praise of, the ridicule of the Nobel prize for Literature. Oct. 13.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 88. The world’s longest reigning monarch, he was honored in Thailand as a demi-god, a humble father figure and an anchor of stability through decades of unrest in the country and abroad. Oct. 13.

Dennis Byrd, 51. Former NFL defensive lineman whose career was ended with a neck injury. Oct. 15. Car accident.


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

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.

Robert Vaughn, 83. A charmer, Oscar-nominated actor whose many roles have been overshadowed by its hugely popular turn in tv’s “The Man From U. N. C. L. E.,” Nov. 11.

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

Ralph Branca, 90. Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher who gave up the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”, that still echoes six decades later as one of the most famous home runs in baseball history. Nov. 23.

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

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


John Glenn, 95. His 1962 flight as the first AMERICAN 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 got his greatest fame as the beloved father on the sitcom “Growing Pains.” Dec. 13.

Craig Sager, 65. Old NBA sideline reporter known for his flashy costumes and probing questions. Dec. 15.

Henry Heimlich, 96. The surgeon that the life-saving Heimlich maneuver for choking victims. Dec. 17.

Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99. Jet-setting Hungarian actress and socialite, who helped invent a new kind of fame, multiple marriages, conspicuous wealth and jaded wisdom about the glamorous life. Dec. 18.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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