21 stars who left the stage in 2015
Notable deaths from the world of arts and entertainment
From Hollywood icons to the young, dead before their time, following is a look at some of the stars from the world of arts and entertainment who died this year.
La Dolce Vita actress Anita Ekberg, immortalized bathing in the Trevi fountain in Federico Fellini's 1960 tribute to the good life, died on Jan. 11 at age 83.
Her role in La Dolce Vita — where she played a movie star — shot the Swedish-born actress to stardom. The movie came to define the wild and carefree days of the early 1960s and made Ekberg a sex-symbol of the 1950s and '60s.
Leonard Nimoy, the actor, author and director best known as Spock in the TV series Star Trek, died on Feb. 27 at the age of 83. Nimoy was featured in the original Star Trek series from 1966 to 1969 and resurrected the iconic character in movies, video games and cameo appearances spanning decades.
Nimoy continued to work as an actor and director well into his 70s and also published books of poems, children's stories and his own photographs. However, its his enduring role as the ultra-logical half-human Vulcan that has made him a cultural icon.
British fantasy writer Terry Pratchett, who authored the Discworld series set in the fictional city of Ankh-Morpork, was diagnosed with Alzheimers disease and died on March 12. He was 66.
The King of the Blues, B.B. King, whose scorching guitar licks and heartfelt vocals made him the idol of generations of musicians and fans, died on May 14 at his home in Las Vegas. He was 89.
King was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1984, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and received the Songwriters Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990.
King's Grammy Awards include best male rhythm 'n' blues performance in 1971 for The Thrill Is Gone, best ethnic or traditional recording in 1982 for There Must Be a Better World Somewhere and, in 2009, best blues album for One Kind Favor.
Christopher Lee, the prolific, aristocratic British actor known for his dramatic gravitas — his on-screen villains include the wicked wizard Saruman in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, James Bond's enemy Scaramanga and the Sith Lord Count Dooku — died on June 7. He was 93.
Lee appeared in more than 250 movies but for many he will forever be known as the vampire Count Dracula in a slew of Hammer Film's productions — the hugely popular gory, gothic thrillers churned out by the British studio in the 1950s and 1960s.
James Horner's film scores earned the composer 10 Academy Award nominations and two wins, both for 1997's hit Titanic. My Heart Will Go On, sung by Celine Dion, and topped charts around the world. His scores for Alien, Apollo 13, Field of Dreams, Braveheart, A Beautiful Mind, House of Sand and Fog and Avatar also earned Oscar nods. Horner was killed on June 22 when his plane crashed in Southern California.
Already a star of Egyptian cinema, Omar Sharif made his English-language debut in David Lean's sprawling 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia, opposite Peter O'Toole. The role earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor and instantly shot him to international fame.
He teamed up with Lean again in 1965, taking the romantic title role in Doctor Zhivago, co-starring Julie Christie. He also played Fanny Brice's husband, Nicky Arnstein, in Funny Girl alongside Barbra Streisand. Sharif died on July 10 after suffering a heart attack in Cairo.
Canadian opera singer John Vickers, nicknamed "God's tenor" for his voice and Christian beliefs, was born in Prince Albert, Sask., and made his Royal Opera debut in 1957. Vickers became one of the world's leading Wagnerian performers and from 1960 he was a regular at New York's Metropolitan Opera. Vickers retired in 1988 and passed away on July 10.
Bobbi Kristina Brown
Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of singers Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, died on July 26 after being kept in a medically induced coma for months after she was found face-down and unresponsive in a bathtub. She was 22 years old.
A heavyweight author of the 20th century, E.L. Doctorow enjoyed critical and popular success over his 50-year career. He won the National Book Award for fiction in 1986 for World's Fair and the National Book Critics Circle award twice: in 1989 for Billy Bathgate and in 2005 for The March. U.S. President Barack Obama praised Doctorow on Twitter as "one of America's greatest novelists." Doctorow died from complications of lung cancer on July 21, at age 84.
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper
The kilt-wearing trash talker known as "Rowdy" Roddy Piper headlined the first WrestleMania. Piper became a household name as a professional wrestler and starred in the movie They Live. The Saskatchewan-born entertainer also hosted the Winnipeg Comedy Festival in 2006. He died on July 31 at 61.
Co-workers, friends and fans across the country were quick to share their condolences when Chris Hyndman, the co-host of CBC TV's Steven and Chris, was found without vital signs in an alley in Toronto on Aug. 3. He was 49.
Hyndman and his partner of 25 years, Steven Sabados, hosted the CBC daytime show between 2008 and 2015 and was among the first openly gay television hosts.
Marguerite McDonald, the inaugural host of CBC Radio's political affairs show The House passed away in Ottawa on Aug. 24, after a battle with cancer. She was 73. In 1983, McDonald was appointed social affairs correspondent for CBC-TV, making her the public broadcaster's first female national news TV reporter based in Ottawa. In 1990, she returned to her broadcasting roots to host Open House, a show about religion and spirituality. She retired from the CBC in 1996.
Prolific horror filmmaker Wes Craven, who directed the slasher classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, died on Aug. 30 at the age of 76. The original Elm Street, which cost less than $2 million US to make, starred Robert Englund as Freddy Kruger: a clawed villain who torments a group of youths through their dreams. It was a box office bonanza and spawned eight sequels as well as a television series and novels.
In 1996, Craven struck box office gold again with Scream, another teens-in-peril slasher film but one that also satirized the genre. Craven went on to direct three more Scream films over the next 15 years.
Jackie Collins, who wrote bestselleing novels about characters driven by lust, power and greed, died of breast cancer on Sept. 19. She was 77. Collins sold more than 500 million copies of her books in 40 countries, with about 30 titles making the New York Times bestseller list. In 2013, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for "services to fiction and charity."
Michael Burgess, Canada's Jean Valjean, passed away on Sept. 28 at age 70. During the 1980s, he played the role of Valjean in more than 1,000 performances of Les Misérables at the historic Royal Alex Theatre in Toronto and on tour across Canada. He also appeared in the production's 10th anniversary concert at Royal Albert Hall in London.
Other performance credits include the title role in Man of La Mancha, television productions of H.M.S. Pinafore, You Must Remember This, The Beggar's Opera and The Sandy Bottom Orchestra, as well appearances on shows including Street Legal, Border Town and E.N.G.
However, hockey fans will best remember Burgess as the singer of the national anthem at Toronto Maple Leafs home games for many years. In 1992, he become the first person to sing O Canada at a World Series baseball game.
Maureen O'Hara, the red-haired Irish movie star who appeared in classics ranging from Miracle on 34th Street to the grim How Green Was My Valley, died on Oct. 24 at age 95.
She became a screen success in 1941 with How Green Was My Valley, which went on to win five Oscars including best picture and best director for John Ford, famously beating out Orson Welles and Citizen Kane.
Legendary Newfoundland singer-songwriter Ron Hynes, who documented hope and heartbreak with songs such as Sonny's Dream and Atlantic Blue, died Nov. 19 at the age of 64.
Hynes, known as "the man of a thousand songs," released seven solo albums, starting in 1972 with Discovery, which holds the distinction of being the first album comprising all-original material from a Newfoundland artist. His songs have been covered by more than 100 artists worldwide.
Scott Weiland, whose powerful vocals fuelled mega-selling bands Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver as he fought a very public battle with drug addiction, died on Dec. 3 at age 48.
Weiland first found fame with Stone Temple Pilots, which he formed in San Diego with Erik Kretz and brothers Dean and Robert DeLeo. The band was a stalwart on alternative and rock radio in the 1990s. He later hooked up with former Guns 'n' Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum to serve as frontman for their super group Velvet Revolver. At the time of his death, Weiland was on tour with his latest band, the Wildabouts.
Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister, the growling, whisky-drinking, mutton-chops wearing frontman of U.K. heavy metal band Motörhead, died on Dec. 28 at age 70, two days after being diagnosed with an aggressive cancer.
After cutting his teeth in beat bands in the 1960s, Lemmy formed Motörhead with guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke and drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, and proceeded to tear through a string of albums that fed off the energy of punk rock and helped inspire thrash metal. Motörhead would record 22 studio albums in all.