Picture credited to justinhoch @ Flickr
In the wake of the sudden passing of Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, I wanted to look back on the high profile celebrity deaths of this century. Celebrities live a life completely different to the majority of the public. They are constantly in the public eye and are under enormous pressure to make a significant impression.
However, it is not just the impression that they make during their life, but the legacy they leave after their death. This century we have lost some very influential people, some of which had an amazing career that will be remembered for decades, and some that were taken far too soon but showed the potential to be something unique.
This is my top 5 celebrity deaths of this century:
1. Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson is the obvious choice for number 1 but there is a good reason for it. The king of pop died in June of 2009 and the world stood in shock. Jackson had the most number 1 singles in the 80s as well as having the most successful album of all time (Thriller).
As well as this he holds the record for the largest ever viewing of a show, over 133 million people were watching his 1993 performance at the Super Bowl. His death came just weeks before the final tour of his career began. His ‘This is it’ tour was to be the largest of his career, yet sadly was not to be.
2. Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs was undoubtedly one of the greatest minds of our time. The co-founder of Apple gave this world the technology that, in the modern day, seems inconceivable to live without. The creation of Apple with Steve Wozniak in the late 70’s paved the way to some of the biggest technological advances in the space of 30 years.
Jobs was the consummate entrepreneur. He bought the Graphics Group which was later renamed Pixar. In doing this, timeless animated movies such as toy story were created. Jobs gave us the I pod, I phone, I pad and the I tablet after re-joining apple in the 90’s, and it is clear that his passing in 2011 meant the world lost a truly great mind.
3. Heath Ledger
Heath Ledger was taken from this world far too quickly. One of the best young actors at the time, Ledger was in high demand. Ledger was not the most known figure before his performance in Brokeback Mountain where he was nominated for best actor at the Academy Awards in 2006.
However, after his sudden death in early 2008 he will forever be remembered for his performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight in 2008. Ledger won best supporting actor at the Academy Awards the next year but sadly, that was the last we saw of Ledger. a true loss to the acting world.
Here is a video of Ledger at his best, as the Joker :
4. Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse would maybe be a shock entry in this but what is clear is that she had the rawest talent seen in the music industry for decades. Her album ‘Back to Black’ released in 2007 was seen as one of the best albums of this century and received critical acclaim worldwide, with The Guardian saying she she was the only artist under 40 that really stood out . However it was her personal life that always seemed to be in the public eye a lot more prominently.
Winehouse was constantly dealing with alcohol and drug addiction through her career and sadly that is what eventually took her life in June of 2011. She had one of the most recognisable voices in the world and her performances inspired this unique sounding voice that is so prominent in new artists.
5. Philip Seymour Hoffman
I put Philip Seymour Hoffman in this as it is undeniable that he was an amazingly talented actor. As an Oscar winner, he was one of the most sought after actors in the world and it was completely justified. His Oscar winning role as Truman Capote in the 2005 film ‘Capote’ was simply breath taking and as well as this he was also nominated for another Oscar as best supporting actor on three separate occasions (The Master, Doubt, Charlie Wilson’s War).
He was indisputably one of the best actors of his generation and I personally will forever enjoy his films, especially my personal favourite ‘The Boat That Rocked’. The loss of his talent is still fresh and one can only hope there are others out there that will emulate his brilliance.
If you feel I have excluded anyone that deserves to be in this please comment below: