Every year, it is important to reflect and pay tribute to those who have passed away. In 2014, the world lost many iconic celebrities.
Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014)
Known for his work in films, such as Capote and Doubt, Academy Award-winning actor and director Philip Seymour Hoffman mesmerized audiences with his ingenious acting and realism on-screen. Other famous works of Hoffman include, The Hunger Games, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Charlie Wilson’s War, Death of a Salesman, and The Master. Sadly, after years of battling drug addiction and alcoholism, Hoffman passed away on Feb. 2 of a drug overdose.
Shirley Temple (1928-2014)
Legendary child film actress Shirley Temple passed away on Feb. 10 after decades of diplomatic work for the United Nations and award-winning acting. During the Great Depression, Temple starred in iconic roles, such as Bright Eyes and Captain January, making a name for herself very early on. By the time Temple was twelve years old, she had starred in a total of 43 films. In addition to her film career, Temple played an important role in our nation’s history, becoming the first person to date to earn the rank of honorary U.S. Foreign Service officer.
Maya Angelou (1928-2014)
As a writer and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou had a profound impact on our society. Known for her 1969 memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and her Pulitzer Prize-nominated poetry collection Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die, Angelou inspired widespread change and reform. After her death on May 28, President Barack Obama expressed, “[Angelou was] a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, a truly phenomenal woman. [She] had the ability to remind us that we are all God’s children; that we all have something to offer.”
Elaine Stritch (1925-2014)
Multi-talented and charismatic, Elaine Stritch was a celebrated vocalist and actress. Stritch participated in numerous projects, such as the Broadway shows Sail Away and Company, as well as films by legendary film directors, such as Woody Allen. On July 17, Stritch passed away, leaving behind a legacy that will continue to shine for the ages. In 2013, Stritch released a documentary about her career and personal life called Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me. This documentary is available on Netflix.
Robin Williams (1951-2014)
With his witty humor and dynamic roles, famed comedian and actor Robin Williams brought happiness and joy to millions. From his work as a stand-up comedian to his work in award-winning films, such as Good Will Hunting and Dead Poets Society, Williams captivated audiences and revolutionized film. On Aug. 11, the world lost Williams to suicide after many years of battling depression.
Joan Rivers (1933-2014)
Innovative, hilarious, outrageous—Joan Rivers took the comedy world by storm. With her confidence on stage and her ability to shed light on controversial topics, Rivers paved a road for aspiring female comedians. After her breakthrough performance at The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Rivers landed her first talk show called “That Show” with Joan Rivers. Throughout her career, Rivers juggled a wide array of projects, such as television shows, jewelry design, and writing. On Sept. 4, Rivers passed away from throat surgery complications.
Mike Nichols (1931-2014)
Director Mike Nichols was a master of both film and theater. Known for his work in The Graduate and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Nichols earned himself multitudes of accolades, including Emmys, Oscars, Tonys, and Grammy awards—an achievement only fourteen directors have accomplished in the history of cinema. Other works of Nichols include, Death of a Salesman, Barefoot in the Park, Luv, The Odd Couple, Silkwood, Working Girl, and Annie. On Nov. 19, the world lost Nichols to cardiac arrest.
(Sources: Biography.com, IMDB, Telegraph, Variety, Washington Times)