The Final Bow: 2016 In Memoriam

By  · Published on December 26th, 2016

A video tribute to the many staggering talents lost this year.

We should’ve known. When not a fortnight into 2016 we found ourselves mourning a world without cultural icon David Bowie, we should have known this was going to be a brutal year. And in so, so very many ways it has been, not just culturally but socially, and yes, of course, politically as well. But it wasn’t just the bitterness of the pills we were metaphorically forced to swallow that made 2016 so hard to take in spots, it was the sheer quantity of them. There were times it felt like we were losing luminaries by the week, the day, the hour. Just over the span of this last weekend we’ve seen Carrie Fisher hospitalized and George Michael pass, and it feels like par for some terrible course.

But the end of the year isn’t for mourning, it’s for celebrating, it is for looking at what we lost in 2016, yes, but not with a sorrowful eye, rather with a wistful memory, with a fondness reserved for those among us whose contributions to our culture ensure they will exist long after their physical forms have left us. You don’t get into the business of show without a hunger for immortality, you don’t dedicate your life to art and performance if you aren’t hoping that when all is said and done, there will be more of you here than gone, that the sheer sound of your existence will echo beyond that existence.

The folks over at Turner Classic Movies have prepared their annual “Remembers” list, collecting the brightest stars now permanently fixed above Earth instead of on it, and yes, there’s a lot to mourn here. But more so there’s a lot to celebrate, because every tragic death we experienced this year represents a life lived to the fullest, a realization of dreams, and a permanence that time can’t erode.

“Death gives meaning to our lives,” says author/scientist Ray Kurzweil, “it gives importance and value to time.” Take a few moments here, at the end of the year, to embrace the meaning, importance, and value of those lost, as well as the work they have left for us to remember them by.


o Abbas Kiarastomi

o Guy Hamilton

o Andrzej Wajda

o Jacques Rivette

o Hector Babenco

o Garry Marshall (Director/Actor)

o Pierre Étaix (Director/Actor)

o Arthur Hiller

o Herschell Gordon Lewis

o Michael Cimino

o Curtis Hanson

Writers, Cinematographers and More

o Bill Richmond (Writer)

o Ken Adam (Production Designer)

o Raoul Cotard (Cinematographer)

o Haskell Wexler (D.P./Director)

o Joe Powell (Stuntman)

o Vilmos Zsigmond (Cinematographer)


o Robert Vaughn

o Gene Wilder

o Zsa Zsa Gabor

o Abe Vigoda

o Nicole Courcel

o Alan Rickman

o Ken Howard

o Nancy Reagan

o Maggie Blye

o Burt Kwouk

o Bill Henderson

o Marni Nixon-Singer

o John McMartin

o Rita Gam

o Brian Bedford

o Madeleine Lebeau

o Gloria DeHaven

o Joan Carroll

o Patty Duke

o Giorgio Albertazzi

o Douglas Wilmer

o Adrienne Corri

o Kenny Baker (R2-D2)

o Anton Yelchin

o Lupita Tovar

o Charmian Carr

o William Schallert

o Marvin Kaplan

o Doris Roberts

o George Kennedy

o Alan Young

o Richard Bradford

o Madeleine Sherwood

o Richard Libertini

o Garry Shandling

o Bill Nunn

o Billy Chapin

o Jon Polito

o David Huddleston (the other Lebowski)

o George Gaynes

o Lita Baron

o Ruth Terry

o Patricia Barry

o Peter Vaughn

o Richard Davolos

o Frank Finlay


o Prince

o Leonard Cohen

o David Bowie

Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist