From actors and writers to musicians, the close of the year is a time to remember those who inspired and challenged us but whose muse has been silenced.
The year began with British music icon David Bowie’s death from cancer.
The ever-changing artist behind ambitious concepts like “Space Oddity” and new wave pop like “Let’s Dance” was 69 when he passed away in January.
He was regarded by critics and musicians as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970’s. His career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, his music and stagecraft significantly influencing popular music.
During his lifetime, his record sales, estimated at 140 million worldwide, made him one of the world’s best-selling music artists.
British actor Alan Rickman had won over a new generation of fans as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter series.
The actor who had made his name playing beloved bad guy parts in films like “Robin Hood:Prince of Thieves” and “Die Hard” also died from cancer in January and at the age of 69.
Rickman also worked behind the camera directing two films “The Winter Guest” (1997) and “A Little Chaos” (2014).
The Italian novelist, literary critic, philosopher and university professor Umberto Eco was 84 when he passed away in February.
He was best known internationally for his 1980 novel ‘Il nome della rosa’ – ‘The Name of the Rose’. It is a historical mystery combining semiotics in fiction with biblical analysis, medieval studies, and literary theory.
He has been lauded as 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”.
Prince was 57 when he died from an accidental drug overdose in April in his suburban Minneapolis home.