Published On: Sun, Dec 26th, 2010

A farewell to famous folk who passed away in 2010 Part 1 (Jan – Jun)

Childhood heroes, famous celebrities and  politicians leave us every year and 2010 had its share of losses, shocking and otherwise.
Every year, the world loses some of its movers and shakers. Every year, people we have grown up with, heard on the radio, seen on TV or found on the Internet pass away.

Haitians: On January 1,2 2010 a  massive earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. An estimated 200,000 people were killed in the impoverished country.

Teddy Pendergrass, the legendary R&B singer, died in hospital in Philadelphia on January 13 from complications from colon cancer. He was 59.

J.D. Salinger, reclusive American author of The Catcher in the Rye, died of natural causes at his home in New Hampshire on January 27, 2010. He was 91.

Democrat from Virginia, John Murtha, who served in the House of Representatives since 1974, was the first Vietnam War veteran elected to Congress. February 8th, at 77, he died of complications from gall bladder surgery in hospital in Virginia.

It was Valentine’s Day when Dick Francis, the prolific British crime writer who used his experience as a prize winning jockey in many of his best selling novels. He died at his home in Grand Cayman in the Caribbean. He was 89.

Richard Nixon’s chief of staff, Alexander Haig, who helped plan Nixon’s resignation. Later Haig served in Ronald Reagan’s cabinet. He died on February 20th from complications from an infection at age 85.
Andrew Koenig, the son of actor Walter Koenig who played Checkov in the Star Trek franchise, went missing in Vancouver on Feb. 14. His body was found in Stanley Park. The 41-year-old committed suicide, according to his family.

Corey Haim, Toronto-born 1980s  actor who starred in films like “The Lost Boys”, “Lucas” and “A License to Drive” died on March 10th of a prescription drug overdose in Los Angeles at age 38.

March 11 brought the loss of Merlin Olsen, Hall of Fame football player, famous Ram, who successfully transitioned to television as a colour commentator on NFL broadcasts and acting on “Little House on the Prairie” and “Father Murphy”. His death was from lung cancer associated with exposure to asbestos.

Actor Peter Graves, from TV’s “Mission Impossible”, a memorable role in “Airplane” and served as the host for the program Biography. He died of a heart attack at his Pacific Palisades California home. He was 83.

A short time later, March 24, Robert Culp, an actor best known for playing a secret agent in the 1960s era program “I Spy” died from a fall at the age of 79.
April 1st, John Forsythe, the voice of Charlie on the “Charlie’s Angels”, a star on the show “Dynasty” died in Santa Ynez, California after contracting pneumonia. He was ill with cancer at the time. He was 92.
Eddie Carroll, the voice of the Disney cartoon Jiminy Cricket for nearly 40 years, died in Los Angeles of brain cancer. He was 76.
Dixie Carter, Julia Sugarbaker in the 1980s television comedy “Designing Women”, died April 10 in Houston of endometrial cancer at 70.
Daryl Gates. The former chief of police in Los Angeles he was forced to retire after the Rodney King riots in 1992. He died in his L.A. area home of cancer. He was 83.
May 9th, Lena Horne, the legendary black American singer/actress who tried to break the Hollywood colour barrier as a star in the 1940s and 1950s. She continued to perform on television, Broadway and nightclubs for decades. She died in hospital in New York. She was 92.
1950s and 60s TV host and interview Art Linkletter (born Gordon Arthur Kelly in Moose Jaw, Sask), at age 97 died of natural causes at his Los Angeles home May 26.
Two days later, May 28th, after a dialysis treatment, Gary Coleman. The famous child actor from the sitcom “Different Strokes” died in a Utah hospital at age 42.
A day later Dennis Hopper, “Easy Rider”, “Blue Velvet” and countless other films,  died after a bout with prostate cancer at 74.
Rue McClanahan, actress best known for playing Blanche Devereaux in the 1980s sitcom “The Golden Girls” died in a New York hospital from a brain hemorrhage.
Jimmy Dean, American country singer, television host and sausage entrepreneur, died suddenly while watching television at his Varina, Virgina home. He was 81.
June 28th, Senator Robert Byrd, the longest-serving member of the U.S. Congress, 51 years in the Senate. The West Virginia Democrat died in a Washington area hospital. He was 92 and no official cause of death was announced.
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- Stories transferred over from The Desk of Brian where the original author was not determined and the content is still of interest of Dispatch readers.

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