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Celebrity Deaths 2008

Updated on November 5, 2012

2008 Celebrity Deaths

The Year in Review - 2008 Celebrity Deaths

Some may consider reading obituaries a morbid past time. But as we say farewell to our favorite celebrities who died in 2008, it is actually a way to honor their legacies, to celebrate their joie de vivre and to serve as a painful reminder of lives cut tragically short.

Celebrity deaths in particular shed a spotlight on the importance of living a life well lived. 2008 was no exception with celebrity deaths that took us by surprise.

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Heath Ledger -

Reading Obituaries - Excerpt From Website Blog

"Reading an obituary is not so much an act of mourning a death but of reviewing a life of notable accomplishment and celebrating it. Obituaries are capsule biographies.

Still, obituaries concern death. Reading obituaries sharpens this awareness of our mortality. This should spawn melancholy in me; it should be a sure way to spoil the day. But it doesn't. Am I infusing strength in my own life, like a vampire, by reading about the deaths of my elders and contemporaries?

For one, obituaries are often good stories. One reads about remarkable accomplishments, odd achievements, quirky lives, wild adventures, strange vicissitudes, and forgotten personalities. One reads of distinguished lives with details that were not widely known before.

But, most of all, the lure of the daily obituary reading is nostalgia. It is more glowing than mournful. They may be actors, writers, scholars, artists, musicians, scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs, politicians, newscasters, community leaders, even athletes, and other notables. I feel grateful that they had lived during my life for what they have given me and I reflect how they enriched my life -- thinking that we shared the same world warms my heart."

T. Kaori Kitao

The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries (P.S.)
The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries (P.S.)

Marilyn Johnson's book The Dead Beat is a great read with the back story of how these stories get told, a compelling read for anyone who can relate to the peverse pleasures of obituaries.


You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you're going to live. Now. Joan Baez

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly, until he knows that every day is Doomsday. Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is a stark wake-up call that whether we are famous or not, we are all destined to the same fate. Looking back at who died in 2008, how will you choose to live in the coming year?

Dream As If You'll Live Forever - Live As If You'll Die Today - James Dean

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    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

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      Celebrity Dress | one in all

    • Lou165 profile image

      Lou165 8 years ago from Australia

      Wow, I missed Eartha Kitt's passing. I knew the name Sydney Pollack obviously, but I never realized that was who played Patrick Dempsey's father - I love being able to put a face to a name. Great job.

    • Rich-H profile image

      Rich 9 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      Very sad to see the passing of these greats last year and thank you so much for featuring my Heath Ledger lens. 5*s.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 9 years ago

      Nice lens...