2009 has seen a strange array of celebrity deaths, from all age groups, and various aspects of the entertainment world.
Jade Goody-Born 5-6-1981 and Died 22-3-2009
Jade had originaly achieved celebrity status through her bizarre appearances on Big Brother. With continuing notoriety she inflamed audiences around the world with her treatment of Shilp Shetty in Celebrity Big Brother.
However, in poor health the public forgave her.
Jade lost a fairly quick battle with cancer. Her last few weeks and her death became public property. Jade allowed digital TV to document her struggle with cancer, in the hope that the money raised would help the two young children she was leaving behind. It also helped raise awareness of the need for cervical smear testing in younger women.
Michael Jackson - Born 29-8-1958 and Died 25-6-2009
The King of pop created as much publicity in death as in life. His sudden death, to unknown causes, came just as he was about to launch a comeback. Despite his cardiac arrest being widely felt to be drugs related, the investigation continues.
Some member's of Michael's family feel that there has been a conspiracy and that Michael died by foul means. Perhaps we shall never know. Michael has left behind a veritable treasure trove of music and, much the same as when Elvis died, his fame and popularity has grown since his death.
Patrick Swayze-Born 18-8-1952 and died 14-9-2009
Patrick Swayze also had a fairly public death. The star had been fighting a battle with cancer for a few years but as is so often the case, the end case a surprise to his fans. Patrick will be remembered for his role in Ghost, opposite Demi Moore, and for his sexy moves in Dirty Dancing.
Keith Floyd- Born 28-12-1943 and Died 15-9-2009
Keith was a British celebrity chef. His outspoken language was not offesive, as Gordon Ramsey's who came much later, but he was still what is often termed a character. Although Keith had bowel cancer he died from a heart attack. With a rather posh accent Floyd was not everyone's favourite chef.
Floyd's love of food remained until the end. His last meal on God's earth included oysters, partridge and champagne. Fitting, I suppose, as Floyd was always eccentric and flamboyant. A rebel until the end.
Mary Allin Travers- Born 9-11-1936 and Died 16-9-2009
In her younger days Mary provided the glamour and beautiful female voice, in Peter, Paul and Mary. In the sixties this rather ingruous folk group had many hits, such as Leaving On A Jet Plane. Mary always looked too glamorous for such a trio and the two men looked like aging beatniks. However, together they made beautiful music.
Stephen Gateley Born 17-3-1976 and Died 10-10-2009
Stephen was famous for his membership of boy band Boyzone. Stephen "came out" with regards to his sexuality, after pressure from the press. The band split some years ago and all went on to new ventures. Stephen starred in the Theatre in various roles. Sadly the band had just reformed and looked set for certain success.
Stephen died on the Holiday island of Majorca. Some mystery surrounded his death and there was some nasty press speculation regarding the details. However, Stephen died as fluid was present in his lungs at the time of his death. It seems as if congenital heart problems may have been the cause.
Of course many ordinary individuals, children, soldiers and more have passed away. It is always so sad to lose a loved one.
The celebrities who have passed away have left a legacy behind which includes some great music and films, and many grieving fans. Other deaths have included:-
- John Travolta's son, aged just 16
- Actor Pat Hingle
- Actor Don Galloway who played Ed in Ironside
- Actor Patrick McGoohan who was famous both sides of the Atlantic
- Once suave actor Ricardo Montalban
- David "Fathead" Newman, jazzman
- Aged actor James Whitmore
- Kelly Groucutt former bass player with band ELO
- Actor and director Ron Silver
- Actress Natasha Richardson
- Nick Adenheart sportsman
- Al Martino singer
- Actress Bea Arthur
- Actor Dom Deluise
- Actor David Carradine
- Actress Farrah Fawcett
- Maggie Jones British actress of UK soap Coronation Street
- Actor Karl Malden
- Guitar wizard Les Paul
- Senator Edward Kennedy
- Actor Edward Woodward
- Brittany Murphy, actress, who was just 32 and died on 20th December 2009.
May you, and those that I have missed out, all rest in peace. You all made your mark on people's lives around the world and left a great legacy which will be enjoyed in the years to come.