2017 is never going to be the same for us. We lost many of our icons leaving us mourning for a long time. While we saw Donald Trump winning the Presidential election and our beloved Barack Obama preparing to leave the House, on the other hand, Indians saw PM Narendra Modi taking everyone by sway with the surgical strike on black money. The plight of Syria wrenched our hearts and pellets in Kashmir left us half dead.
Let us look at the icons 2016 stole from us, leaving the world in pool of tears.
“Died peacefully, surrounded by his family”, as the released statement said, but none of us was at peace after hearing this. With him an era died. He was one of the most influential singer and songwriter of this era who lost an 18-month long battle with cancer. The music of Let’s dance, Starman, Modern Love, Changes, Space Oddity, Life on Mars, and Rebel Rebel still rings in our ears.
We know him for his splendid performances in movies and TV serials like, Lagaan, Swades, Mahabhata, Bharat Ek Khoj. His death due to heart attack made the theater lovers believe that things won’t be same as before.
When our beloved Snape lost his battle with cancer this January, he left a burning hole in our hearts. His acting career began at the age of 42. A Bafta and Golden Globe awards winner, acted in quite a lot movies apart from Die Hard and Harry Potter franchise, like Truly Madly Deeply, Sense and Sensibility and Love Actually. Alice Through the Looking Glass would be his last work.
When we still have not recovered from prior losses, the founder and guitarist of Eagles, Glenn Frey left us. This rock ‘n’ roll rebel left us at the age of 67. He was fighting a battle against pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis and acute ulcerative colitis. Few of his finest of the tracks include Desperado, Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man, One of these Nights, Take It Easy, Tequila Sunrise, Peaceful Easy Feeling, Lyin’ Eyes, Doolin-Dalton, and New Kid in Town.
The world can never forget that adorable voice of Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, and other Looney Tunes characters. However, Joe Alaskey was the reason behind these voices. The man who enticed us during our childhood left us with repeats of Looney Tunes only.
The readers across the world mourned the loss of Harper Lee. This Pulitzer Prize winner passed away at the age of 89. Her first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) reflected her deep empathetic, affectionate and humorous nature with a novel that talked of legal injustice and racism. However, in 2015 only readers were able to rejoice yet another work of hers, in form of Go Set a Watchman.
Seems like after the entertainment industry, it was the turn of bibliophiles to mourn incessantly. 84-year old Umberto Eco departed from this world leaving his woks like best seller and a masterpiece historical novel, The Name of the Rose, Foucault’s Pendulum and Baudolino. Eco never pandered to popular tastes. His academic writings and fiction became the intellectual voice of Italy and changed the Italian culture.
The Oscar winner who played bad guy in several movies, George Kennedy died at the age of 91. His performances in Charade, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Naked Gun, Cool Hand Luke, The Good Guys and the Bad Guys and many other are simply unforgettable.
The mastermind behind the phony docudrama, The Larry Sanders Show bid adieu on March 24. This comedian, writer, actor and producer had us in splits with his Emmy Awards garnering performances. However, we lost him in “medical emergency”. The revelation of the death cause happened after over nine months of his departure.
The Indian entertainment industry and the nation shook in fear when the death news of Pratyusha Banerjee arrived. The controversy related to her suicide has not seen an ended yet. Almost every Indian household loved her for her role in Balika Vadhu as “Anandi”. The suicide made an uproar owing to the previous ones like of Nirosha, Jia Khan and Praveen Babi.
Declared as the “Ninth wonder of the World” by quite a lot. In her lifetime, Chyna donned multiple hats ranging from professional wrestler, to glamour model and pornographic actor to a bodybuilder. However, after garnering immense popularity in 1990s and thereon, she left us on April 20.
The death of this musician left the world wrecked. But the reason of death took all by storm, as it was accidental overdose of drugs. His “Let’s Go Crazy” and “when Doves Cry” were a public sensation.
The Manikchand of Badshah passed away in June. This comedian had us in splits innumerable times, however this time he left us in pool of tears.
The self-proclaimed “The Greatest” left us in with his inspiring words and journey to the heavenly abode in June. The civil rights champion and exceptional boxer, Muhammad Ali inspired many and left quite a lot mourning over the loss.
The veteran actor lost the battle against the prolonged illness. She was one of the finest actor and theatre director India had. She will be remembered for her indistinguishable contribution in Hindi film industry, Marathi cinema and theatre.
The delight with which Willy Wonka showed his Chocolate factory, the neurotic accountant of “The Producers” and the mad scientist of “Young Frankenstein”, Gene wilder amazed us with each role and his unforgettable acting skills. However, now the world will miss the impeccable comedic touch of this frizzy haired actor.
Greta Zimmer Friedman
Although Friedman is not some exceptional icon who changed the world or perceptions; she is one who is a part of that iconic photo that celebrates the end of World War 2. She, in the photo, was shown as a nurse who was smooching a happy sailor in Times Square.
Three time Pulitzer Prize winner, Edward Albee challenged the theatrical world with his masterpieces like “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf” and “A Delicate balance”. The death of this exceptional playwright left us mourning.
Radio Raheem of “Do the Right Thing” passed away at the age 62. His remarkable performances in New Jack City as Duh Duh Duh Man, Spider Man franchise and School Daze were unforgettable. This Oscar Nominated veteran’s death did left a burning hole in many hearts.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej
The world’s longest reigning monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away at the age of 88. He headed the state for 70 years and was able to stabilize the political scenario of Thailand. Thousands mourned the loss in spite of him being a monarch. People were heard saying, “How will Thailand live without you, father?”
The late politician and “amma” for thousands left the world on December 5. Her heart attack broke many hearts and several even attempted to commit suicide.
E. R. Braithwaite
The 104-year old Guyanese writer, diplomat and educator, E.R. Braithwaite whom we know for his international bestseller, “To Sir, With Love” passed away on 12 December.
The pop sensation with his “Careless Whispers” stole our hearts and “heal the pain”. Apart from being the singer and songwriter, he worked for humanity under the garbs. His “Faith”, “Precious Box”, “Outside” and lot more are still imprinted on our hearts. However, death at a tender age made each of believe that 2016 was jinxed.
Harris had us in splits with his recurring role of Chris Rock, sitcom “Everybody hates Chris”. Alongside he voiced many other characters in hip-hop albums. However, his death shook us to the core.
Cruel time never spare anyone. The rebel Princess Liea of “Star Wars” even had to succumb to it. Carrie Fisher brought life to many characters in movies like When Harry Met Sally, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. She donned many hats in her life ranging from actor to author and to screenwriter. Even her mother, Debbie Reynolds passed a day after Fisher’s death while the followers were left in pool of tears.
The deaths in succession just kept on strengthening our belief that something was seriously wrong with 2016. Although we accept that death and change are constants, yet the irreparable void does leave us mourning. Nevertheless, the aforementioned icons and many others left their marks in the sand of time.