I was pretty much done watching the death toll before Christmas. We all know how that turned out. (See “Nerds Unite” blog posting for the month of December.)
A large part of me wishes I could take the time to write about each of the people who have died and explain why they are important to me.
But realistically, that would take far too long. The emotional toll would be too high, as well.
Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, aren’t the last to have died this year, either. Just yesterday, I read about the developer of the red Solo cup dying.
Someone even created a GoFundMe campaign to save Betty White from the pitiless scythe of 2016.
For now, I want to take a moment to commemorate one of the first celebrity deaths that touched me this year.
Alan Rickman died in January. It was quite a shock for me, as I didn’t follow his personal life.
I can’t say why his passing saddened me so, but it did. I’ve never been a “Potterhead,” but I always have enjoyed Rickman’s acting.
His career was well established before “Harry Potter” ever was written, but to many, he always will be Professor Severus Snape.
Perhaps for me, too.
Rickman was the only actor who knew the endgame while filming the Harry Potter movies.
As you rewatch them, you can see more complexities in his performance than are evident the first time through.
He had all of us believing he was the one trying to steal the Sorcerer’s Stone and then showing concern for Harry as he was haunted by He Who Must Not Be Named.
The thing I found so intriguing about this British actor was his voice. There was something about the way that he spoke — it was like honey dripping over every word.
This also was true of his acting in “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”
He sang a duet with Johnny Depp that probably will remain my favorite male duet in all of the musicals I’ve seen.
Of course, as a child, my favorite Alan Rickman character was from that cheesy sci-fi spoof starring Tim Allen, “Galaxy Quest.”
Every bit of cheese in that movie was golden. But Rickman was my favorite.
There were other movies, too. “Love Actually” comes to mind.
Rickman did make a good “bad guy,” didn’t he? But he was funny, too — some of the quotes attributed to him show a playful side that was not often evident in the roles he chose to take.
“I do feel more myself in America. I can regress there, and they have roller-coaster parks,” he once said.
That makes me hope he’s found a roller-coaster on the other side.
Others we’ve lost in 2016
Among the celebrities who have passed away this year:
- Author Richard Adams — 5/9/20 to 12/24/16
- Record producer George Martin — 1/3/26 to 3/8/16
- Actor Joseph Mascolo — 3/13/29 to 12/7/16
- Musician Frank Sinatra Jr. — 1/10/44 to 3/16/16
- Actress Carrie Fisher — 10/21/56 to 12/27/16
- Astronaut John Glenn — 12/18/21 to 12/8/16
- Actress Florence Henderson — 2/14/34 to 11/24/16
- Justice Antonin Scalia — 3/11/36 to 2/13/16
- Musician Maurice White — 12/19/41 to 2/4/16
- Actor Gene Wilder — 2/14/34 to 11/24/16
- Musician Prince — 6/7/48 to 4/21/16
- Musician Merle Haggard — 4/6/36 to 4/6/16
- Actor Anton Yelchin — 3/11/89 to 11/7/16
- Actor Alan Rickman — 2/21/46 to 1/14/16
- Former First Lady Nancy Reagan — 6/6/21 to 3/6/16
- Musician Leonard Cohen — 9/21/34 to 11/7/16
- Musician David Bowie — 1/8/47 to 1/10/16
- Actor Garry Shandling — 11/29/49 to 3/24/16
- Comedian Ricky Harris — 1962 to 12/26/16
- Actor Alan Thicke — 3/1/47 to 12/13/16
- Golfer Arnold Palmer — 9/10/29 to 9/25/16
- Actor Kenny Baker — 8/24/34 to 8/13/16
- Bureaucrat Janet Reno — 7/21/38 to 11/7/16
- Musician George Michael — 6/25/63 to 12/25/16
- Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor — 2/6/17 to 12/18/16
- Actor Ron Glass — 7/10/45 to 11/25/16
- Musician Greg Lake — 11/10/47 to 12/7/16
- Actor George Kennedy — 2/18/25 to 2/28/16
- Musician Keith Emerson — 11/2/44 to 3/11/16
- Boxer Muhammad Ali — 1/17/42 to 6/3/16
- Author Harper Lee — 4/28/26 to 2/19/16
- Musician Ralph Stanley — 2/25/27 to 2/23/16
- Musician Glenn Frey — 11/6/48 to 1/18/16
- Actor David Huddleston — 9/17/30 to 8/2/16
- Actress Doris Roberts — 11/4/25 to 4/17/16
- Actress Patty Duke — 12/14/46 to 3/29/16