This is just a quick list of some people who died this year. The title of this post is from a song Jim Carroll wrote and sang. He also wrote the Basketball Diaries that help launch Leonardo DiCaprio’s career into the stratosphere. Carroll also died, died, this year.
1. Michael Jackson—love’em or hate’em he was about as influential as they get.
2. Les Paul—indirectly the most influential person in music recording history. His guitar and multi-track recording will live on forever.
3. Farrah Fawchett—created a hairdo of a decade and her poster helped young boys more than she ever intended.
4. Patrick Swayze—Forget Ghost and Dirty Dancing, Road House was a bad-ass movie.
5. Brittany Murphy—definitely doable in Clueless and 8 mile.
6. John Hughes—shout out for the 80’s movies, mainly Breakfast Club and 16 Candles.
7. Bea Arthur—only because I used to watch Golden Girls, but her career span five decades and if you’re in showbiz that long, you deserve a shout-out.
8. David Carradine—Every UFC fighter were influenced by this man whether they admit it or not. Respect that Grasshopper.
9. Ed McMahon—“Heeerrreee’s Johnny”
10. Dom DeLuise—Blazing Saddles anyone?
11. Walter Cronkite—America’s most trusted man.
12. Mary Travers—from Peter, Paul and Mary. She’ll have little kids singing the drug-referenced Puff the Magic Dragon song for years to come.
13. Billy Mays—The World’s Best Pitchman, “Billy Mays here!”
14. Frank McCort—Pulitzer Prize winner, wrote Angela’s Ashes, Teacher Man and Tis.
15. John Updike—two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner.
16./17. Billy Powell and Donald Evans, both members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, died this year. I can guarantee rednecks all over America will still be yelling out, “Freeeeebiiiird!” at concerts that aren’t even remotely related to Skynyrd.
18. Roy Disney—credited with resurrecting Disney in the 90’s.
There were other celebrity deaths, but I’m not old enough to know who they were. If you want to find out more you can look them up yourself at: