It seems like 2009 was the year of celebrity deaths and it just never stopped, but continued through 2010. Golden Girl Rue McClanahan died this year, actor and comedian Leslie Nielsen and Designing Women‘s Dixie Carter, among a long list of others.
In January, Freya von Moltke died at 98. She was a member of the anti-Nazi resistance in Germany. Tsutomu Yamaguchi, 93, died in January as well. Yamaguchi was the only person recognized as a survivor of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings. Also in January, Miep Gies, 100, died. Gies hid Anne Frank and her family for two years during World War II and saved the young woman’s diary.
Also among those who died in 2010 are:
Teddy Pendergrass, 59. R&B singer who was one of the most successful figures in music until a car crash left him in a wheelchair. Jan. 13. Colon cancer.
Marshall Nirenberg, 82. Scientist whose work in untangling fundamental genetic processes earned him a Nobel Prize. Jan. 15.
Glenn W. Bell Jr., 86. Entrepreneur best known as the founder of the Taco Bell chain. Jan. 16.
J.D. Salinger, 91. Legendary author, youth hero and fugitive from fame whose “The Catcher in the Rye” shocked and inspired a world he increasingly shunned. Jan. 27.
Frances Reid, 95. Played matriarch Alice Horton on “Days of Our Lives” for four decades. Feb. 3.
Alexander McQueen, 40. British fashion designer known for his daring and edgy style. Feb. 11. Suicide.
Doug Fieger, 57. Leader of the power pop band The Knack who co-wrote and sang on the 1979 hit “My Sharona.” Feb. 14. Cancer.
Kathryn Grayson, 88. star of popular MGM musicals of the 1940s and ’50s such as “Anchors Aweigh,” ”Show Boat” and “Kiss Me Kate.” Feb. 17.
Corey Haim, 38. Teen talent who started working in TV commercials at 10 and was a big-screen heartthrob at 15. March 10. Pneumonia.
Peter Graves, 83. Tall, stalwart actor whose calm and intelligent demeanor was a good fit to the intrigue of “Mission Impossible” as well as the satire of the “Airplane” films. March 14.
Robert Culp, 79. Actor who teamed with Bill Cosby in the racially groundbreaking TV series “I Spy” and was Bob in the critically acclaimed sex comedy “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.” March 24.
Johnny Maestro, 70. Performed the 1958 doo-wop hit “16 Candles” with The Crests and enjoyed a decades-long career with The Brooklyn Bridge. March 24.
John Forsythe, 92. Actor who starred in television series such as “Dynasty” and “Bachelor Father” and films including Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Trouble with Harry” and “Topaz.” April 1.
Corin Redgrave, 70. Actor in dozens of plays, television shows and movies including “A Man for all Seasons” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” Brother of Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave. April 6.
Meinhardt Raabe, 94. Played the Munchkin coroner in “The Wizard of Oz” and proclaimed in the movie that the Wicked Witch of the East was “really most sincerely dead.” April 9.
Elizabeth Post, 89. Etiquette expert and author of books and magazine columns. April 24.
Lynn Redgrave, 67. Actress who became a 1960s sensation as the free-thinking title character in “Georgy Girl.” May 2. Breast cancer.
Lena Horne, 92. Jazz singer known for signature song “Stormy Weather” and for her triumph over bigotry that allowed her to entertain white audiences but not socialize with them. May 9.
Gary Coleman, 42. Adorable, pint-sized child star of the 1970s TV sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes” who spent the rest of his life struggling on Hollywood’s D-list. May 28. Brain hemorrhage.
Dennis Hopper, 74. Hollywood actor whose memorable career included “Rebel without a Cause” and “Easy Rider.” May 29. Prostate cancer.
Jimmy Dean, 81. Country music legend for his smash hit about a workingman hero, “Big Bad John,” and an entrepreneur known for his sausage brand. June 13.
Edith Shain, 91. Claimed to be the nurse who was smooched by a sailor in Times Square in the famous Life magazine photograph marking the end of World War II. June 20.
Tuli Kupferberg, 86. Founding member of the 1960s underground rock group the Fugs. July 12.
George Steinbrenner, 80. Rebuilt New York Yankees dynasty over more than three decades of owning the franchise. July 13.
Philip Markoff, 24. Former medical student accused of killing a masseuse he met through the website Craigslist. Aug. 15. Suicide.
Tony Curtis, 85. Defiantly worked to mold himself from a 1950s heartthrob to a respected actor in such films as “Some Like It Hot.” Sept. 29.
Barbara Billingsley, 94. Played the mother of Beaver and Wally in “Leave it to Beaver.” Oct. 16.
Tom Bosley, 83. Actor best known for his role on “Happy Days.” Oct. 19. Lung cancer.
Elizabeth Edwards, 61. Closely advised her husband John Edwards in two bids for the presidency and advocated for health care even as her marriage publicly crumbled. Dec. 7. Cancer.
Mark Madoff, 46. Son of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff. Dec. 11. Suicide.