Celebrities We Lost in 2014
Celebrities have a
strangely powerful effect on our society. The roles they play often influence the people who bear witness to the emotion they displayed while acting out a character. We also find that our favorite celebrity's characteristics rub off on us, even if they are not like that in real life. The power or confidence that they showed us when performing their craft was so believable that it sometimes makes a mark in our hearts and minds that sticks with us through a lifetime.
Robin Williams was one of those people to me. He acting was truly genius. The man could play a role so somber and serious that you could feel it in your toes. When he played the part of Sean Maguire in the movie "Good Will Hunting", you believed he was a troubled genius counseling a boy he seen himself in. His character was so good that it left me longing for someone like him in my own life.
versatility couldn't be contained by the character he played in "Good Will Hunting:, though. From his early 70's stand up comedy and roles as Mork, Robin brought a special light into this world with his way of turning pain into laughter. When he played Adrienne Cronauer in "Good Morning, Vietnam", he left political correctness standing on it's head. Mr Williams unashamedly tore apart the idea of being at war with a relentless comedic assault, which he broadcast from the local military base.
He also took to many family friendly roles as well. He made a wonderful cross dressing nanny in "Mrs Doubtfire", and touched an incredible number of hearts in his role in "Patch Adams". With no less than 103 acting performances to his credit, Mr Robin Williams will forever be remembered as one of the best to ever do it. RIP, Mr Williams. Thank you for all the laughter you blessed this world with.
was another extremely talented individual that we lost in 2014. A huge man who often played characters with huge hearts, Mr Avery became one of the most well known make actors in America through his powerful and convincing acting. Even though his first televised roles were uncredited roles without lines in movies like "The Blues Brothers", he worked his way all the way up to the top, landing leading role after leading role later in his career. James was born and raised in Atlantic City, NJ, and much to my surprise, I just learned that he was also a veteran of the Vietnam War.
He's probably best known for his work as Uncle Phil, the lovable judge who takes in his nephew (Will Smith) for a tv series that turned into a comedic adventure like no other. Avery's and Smith's characters took on serious issues in their roles while providing some of the most memorable moments and jovial laughter that television programming had to offer in the 1990s. Mr Avery played several more characters after they cancelled "The Fresh Prince", but he will forever be enshrined in the minds of a certain age group as Phillip Banks, the kind patriarch he portrayed in a tv show.
The best of Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Phillip Seymour Hoffman
was another notable and well loved actor and director that we lost this year. He was born in NY in 1967, and left us on February 2nd of 2014. A number of people in the dramatic arts don't have a flare for the dramatic by accident, and Mr Hoffman seemed to be one of them. The same powerful emotions that made him such a presence on the big screen, apparently, also made for an emotional roller coaster of a life that ultimately ended from a mixture of intoxication's. His roles in Hollywood were numbered and diverse, playing everything from his role in "Capote" to the role he got his big break in "Boogie Nights", It's sad that his life ended early. Mr Hoffman had a lot more beauty that he would have added to the world. Rest assured though, his film legacy will long outlive his days on earth.
was one of the 20th centuries most prolific writers. Her poetry has been read by millions and her quotes are known world wide. Maya was a product of St Louis, MS, who was born in 1928. Her list of accolades are so incredibly long that I can't possibly include them all here. She was everything from the first African American cable car operator in San Francisco to one of the only two poets to ever be asked to perform at a presidential Inauguration. Even though she didn't speak for years after going through traumatic experiences as a child, she eventually became one of the most decorate female authors in history.
Born with the name Marguerite Annie Johnson, Maya also spoke 6 languages fluently, received the Medal of Freedom award, and was inducted into the Woman's Hall of Fame. On top of all of that she received more than 30 other awards from other institutions throughout the world over the course of her lifetime. She was even a personal mentor for Oprah Winfrey, and other women who shared her passion. Even in the wake of her passing, she left so many beautiful additions to our world that one can only be amazed by what all she accomplished.
The list of Celebrities we lost
in 2014 doesn't stop there. The insanely talented Joan Rivers died, as well as Shirley Temple, Mickey Rooney, Lauren Bacall, Jan Hooks, and Harold Ramis. Each of these people added wonderful memories for those who watched them perform. Their lives ending will deprive the rest of us of any new memories, but at least we'll always have them on film.
It's strange how strongly we connect with this group of strangers who perform their crafts for our entertainment. I've never spoken a word to any of the people listed above, yet even I, a person who has never really taken to watching television, feel a strong connection to the characters many of them portrayed. Each of their deaths was a tragedy in it's own respects, but the lives that came before those deaths were quite the lives indeed. We'll lose celebrities every year as long as there is an entertainment industry, but you'll be hard pressed to find another single year when so many brilliant minds left our midst. 2014 took some of the best.