McCluskey reflects on fallen artists from 2017

by Reegan McCluskey

Opinion editor



As the new year rolls in, it’s important to remember the famous artists, musicians, actors, actresses, and athletes who have shaped society throughout the years and who are no longer with us. Some of these inspirational individuals include Malcolm Young, Adam West, Jana Novotna, and David Cassidy.

Over the years, Batman has appeared in many different media platforms such as comic books and movies. Actor Adam West played the character for two years from 1966 to 1968 on TV. West was the third of eight actors to take on the role. On June 17, West died from leukemia at the age of 88. As a tribute, fans showed one last Bat signal in LA to honor his memory.

Well-known TV actor John Heard also deserves recognition. Heard is best known for his role as Kevin’s father in the Home Alone movies. He also received an Emmy in 1999 for his acting in The Sopranos. Heard passed away two days after he received back surgery on July 12 at the age of 72.

Musician Malcolm Young made a huge impact on the music industry with the music he produced. A co-founder of AC/DC and rhythm guitarist in the sensational band, Young lost his three-year battle with dementia at the age of 64.The band started in 1973 and began producing music in 1975. AC/DC continued making music and touring for another 40 years, creating their final album in 2014 named Rock or Bust. This was the first album released without Young due to his health complications. Young’s memory will live on in his songs and leave a lasting memory on his fans.  

Jana Novotna, a decorated tennis player, became a Wimbledon champion in 1997 at the age of 29. Novotna also won three gold medals and 17 Grand Slam titles. Her passing at the young age of 49 on Nov. 19 due to cancer devastated her fans worldwide.

Rocker Tom Petty, who passed away last year, most memorably played in the band The Heartbreakers. The band, which began in 1976, provided Petty with an escape from reality and as he told Rolling Stone magazine, “I need something to do, or I tend to be a nuisance around the house.” Petty enjoyed performing with his close friends and feeling the surge of energy when performing in front of an audience. Petty passed away on Oct. 2 at the age of 66 from cardiac arrest.

Additionally, teenage heartthrob David Cassidy lost his life last year. Cassidy debuted in the family sitcom The Partridge Family as one of the sons. After performing in multiple seasons of the show, Cassidy expanded his horizons and started a music career. After experiencing a rewarding career for many years, Cassidy passed away on Nov. 11 at the age of 67 from liver failure.

Countless inspirational and moving actors, athletes, and musicians passed away in 2017. Each individual played a role in shaping their fields of work and their fans will never forget their contributions to history.

(Sources: Den of Geeks, US Weekly, Biography, IMDB,NY Times, Rolling Stone)  

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