2016 Year in Review: Obituaries

obituaries

(CNN) – We lost many notable celebrities and news-makers in 2016.

One of the most influential first ladies of the 20th century, Nancy Reagan was known for her strength and fierce devotion to her husband. As she once said, “I had a pretty fabulous life.”

Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia was the first Italian-American on the high court and the court’s leading conservative voice.

Janet Reno broke glass ceilings as the first female state attorney in Florida and the first female US attorney general.

John Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth. His successful space missions, along with the rest of the “Mercury 7,” bolstered the American spirit. After retiring from NASA, he continued to serve the country as a US senator.

Fidel Castro led Cuba for 60 years, and while the dictator’s death left some feeling a giant loss, others hope it will mean a new, modern era for the island.

Journalist Morley Safer was part of America’s Sunday nights for more than four decades reporting on the world for CBS’ 60 minutes.

Harper lee wrote one of the most well-known American classics of all time. “To Kill a Mockingbird” won her a Pulitzer and became a beloved Hollywood film.

He proclaimed himself “the greatest” and millions of fans around the world agreed. Muhammad Ali, boxing legend said, “Joe’s gonna come out smokin’ but I ain’t gonna be chokin.” A huge personality outside the ring, boxing legend Muhammad Ali was one of the most well-known athletes in the world.

Arnold Palmer, one of the greatest golfers of all time, won more than 90 tournaments and is credited with making the sport accessible to everyone.

There was great sorrow at the shocking death of music legend, Prince. The seven time Grammy winner known as “The Purple One” died at his studio at just 57.

The world lost another music icon in rocker David Bowie. His unique style transformed over four decades.

As a founding member of the rock band the eagles, Glenn Frey helped make the laid-back, country-rock sound that spawned more than 20 top 40 hits.

Garry Marshall produced and directed some of America’s most popular TV shows and movies, such as “Happy Days” and “Pretty Woman.”

In her six decades in show business, Doris Roberts was best known for her role as Ray Romano’s mother in “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

Florence Henderson was America’s favorite mom, who spent years as a stage actress before becoming the “Brady Bunch” matriarch, and mother to millions over the years through the show’s syndication.

Alan Thicke was the quintessential 1980s TV dad. As Jason Seaver in “Growing Pains,” he helped redefine domestic roles. Off-screen, Thicke was a musician, composing some of TV’s most popular theme songs.

Actor Alan Rickman famously brought villain Hans Gruber to life, as well as Professor Snape from the “Harry Potter” franchise.

Born to Hollywood royalty, actress Carrie Fisher became a household name thanks to her role as Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” movies, and later found success as an author and screenwriter.

Gene Wilder had many memorable comedic roles in the 70s and 80s, playing everything from a mad scientist, to a gunslinger, to possibly his most famous role: Willy Wonka.

George Michael, ex-member of the group Wham! died on Christmas Day of apparent heart failure.

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