2010 Celebrity Deaths

Thursday, May 5 by Rose Smith

The 2010 celebrity deaths left us stunned, saddened and aghast at the lights that should’ve shone brightly for longer. When we hear about celebrity deaths we often grieve as if they’re somehow part of our families. Because the entertainment business allows us a glimpse into their star-studded lives, they feel familiar, so we often feel the sting of the loss.

  1. Tony Curtis Even though he was 85 and in failing health, the young, gorgeous actor with the amazingly smoky eyes is what many of us identify with because of the staying power of his movies such as “Some Like It Hot,” “The Defiant Ones” and “The Sweet Smell of Success.” His 2010 death reminded us how much he embodied the Golden Age in Hollywood.
  2. Teena Marie The surprise 2010 celebrity death of the 54-year-old singer the day after Christmas shocked and saddened fans all over the world. This “soul sister” was one of the first white singers to help break down racial stereotypes with her distinctive, soulful vocals. She and mentor Rick James, who also died young at 56 just six years before Marie, made memorable R&B ballads as well as soulful funk. Marie made several appearances on TV music shows including the 2004 BET Awards where she did the “Fire & Desire” duet with James.
  3. Eddie Fisher Another 2010 celebrity death makes us reminisce about the Golden Age in Hollywood. Fisher, the 82-year old silver and still golden celebrity, was one of the most successful singers and entertainers in the 1950s. His ex-wives list reads like a Hollywood A-list. He was married to Debbie Reynolds, Elizabeth Taylor and Connie Stevens. His hit records included “Oh, My Papa,” “I Need You Now” and “Any Time.”
  4. Leslie Nielsen Nielsen became famous for his dead-pan delivery of absurd dialog. His “Airplane” hit line “Don’t call Me Shirley” still resonates as do his performances as Lt. Frank Drebin in the “Naked Gun” series. As famous as Nielsen became for his humor, he was actually once a leading man type. You can see him in his leading man glory in the classic,”Forbidden Planet,” co-starring with Ann Francis
  5. Dennis Hopper Seventy-four when he passed, he left his mark with memorable performances in films such as “Easy Rider,” “Apocalypse Now” and “Blue Velvet.” Hopper was in at least 25 movies in the last ten years.
  6. Maury Chaykin This character actor played in films such as “Mouse Hunt,” “Gone Fishin‘” and “My Cousin Vinny.” Chaykin was mostly known for his portrayal of detective, Nero Wolfe. He played in dozens of movies and TV series.
  7. Gary Coleman His sad, illness-plagued real life didn’t resemble life in the Drummond penthouse in “Different Strokes.” When this cute, chubby-cheeked kid delivered the catch-phrase, “Whatcha talkin‘ ’bout Willis?” his charm was irresistible. Sadly, his appeal didn’t translate into his often bitter and troubled adulthood.
  8. Andy Irons Known as a professional surfer extraordinaire, Irons held three world titles. The 2004 film “Blue Horizon” paralleled his life on the World Championship Tour. His 2010 death reminded us of how brilliantly his light shined, yet dimmed too early at the age of 32.
  9. Blake Edwards The legendary comedy director oversaw the hilarious “Pink Panther” franchise. He was an award-winning producer, film director and screenwriter.
  10. Irvin Kershner Kershner was best known as the director of “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Celebrity deaths remind us of our equal-opportunity lives. While we may not share the glamor of their lives, one thing we all share with celebrities is the payment for passage into this life: death.
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