"The Death of Minnehaha" by William de Leftwich Dodge in 1892.)
Death is the final act of a life (hopefully well-lived). Here is just a sampling of some of the more well-known people who died in 2015.
1- Mario Cuomo, 82, American politician, Governor of New York (1983–1994).
1- Donna Douglas, 82, American actress (The Beverly Hillbillies, Frankie and Johnny, The Twilight Zone).
2- Little Jimmy Dickens, 94, American country music singer ("May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose").
3- Edward Brooke, 95, American politician, member of the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts (1967–1979)
3- Bryan Caldwell, 54, American football player (Houston Oilers).
4- Stu Miller, 87, American baseball player (San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles).
4- Stuart Scott, 49, American sports journalist (SportsCenter).
7- Jethro Pugh, 70, American football player (Dallas Cowboys).
7- Rod Taylor, 84, Australian actor (The Time Machine, The Birds).
8- Andraé Crouch, 72, American gospel singer.
9- Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., 88, American film producer (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World).
9- Roy Tarpley, 50, American basketball player (Dallas Mavericks).
10- Taylor Negron, 57, American comedian and actor (Angels in the Outfield, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Bio-Dome).
11- Anita Ekberg, 83, Swedish-Italian actress (La Dolce Vita, Paris Holiday, Back from Eternity).
18- Dallas Taylor, 66, American drummer (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young).
18- Tony Verna, 81, American television producer, invented instant replay.
23- Ernie Banks, 83, American Hall of Fame baseball player (Chicago Cubs).
29- Rod McKuen, 81, American poet, singer and songwriter ("Jean", "Seasons in the Sun").
2- Stewart Stern, 92, American screenwriter (Rebel Without a Cause, Rachel, Rachel, Sybil).
5- Anne Moody, 74, American author and civil rights activist.
7- Billy Casper, 83, American Hall of Fame golfer, 51 career PGA Tour wins.
7- Dean Smith, 83, American Hall of Fame basketball coach (North Carolina).
11- Bob Simon, 73, American television journalist (60 Minutes).
11- Jerry Tarkanian, 84, American Hall of Fame basketball coach (Long Beach State, UNLV, San Antonio Spurs, Fresno State).
12- Sam Andrew, 73, American musician (Big Brother and the Holding Company).
14- Louis Jourdan, 93, French actor (Letter from an Unknown Woman, Gigi, Octopus).
14- Philip Levine, 87, American Pulitzer Prize-winning poet.
16- Lesley Gore, 68, American singer ("It's My Party", "Judy's Turn to Cry", "You Don't Own Me").
21- Clark Terry, 94, American jazz trumpeter and flugelhornist.
26- Oscar Díaz, 32, American welterweight boxer, head injury.
27- Leonard Nimoy, 83, American actor and director (Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, Fringe).
28- Anthony Mason, 48, American basketball player (New York Knicks).
1- Minnie Miñoso, 92, Cuban baseball player (Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians).
5- Albert Maysles, 88, American documentary filmmaker (Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens).
8- Sam Simon, 59, American writer, producer and director (The Simpsons, Cheers, The Drew Carey Show).
8- Lew Soloff, 71, American jazz trumpeter (Blood, Sweat & Tears).
16- Andy Fraser, 62, British musician (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Free) and songwriter ("All Right Now", "Every Kinda People").
20- Jim Berry, 83, American cartoonist (Berry's World).
20- A. J. Pero, 55, American drummer (Twisted Sister, Adrenaline Mob).
21- Chuck Bednarik, 89, American NFL Hall of Fame football player (Philadelphia Eagles).
1- Dave Ball, 65, British musician (Procol Harum).
1- Eddie LeBaron, 85, American football player (Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys).
1- Robert Walker, 54, Canadian-born American animator and director (Aladdin, Brother Bear, Mulan, The Lion King).
2- Tom Towles, 65, American actor (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Miami Vice, The Rock).
3- Sarah Brady, 73, American gun control campaigner.
3- Bob Burns, 64, American drummer (Lynyrd Skynyrd).
5- Richard Dysart, 86, American character actor (L.A. Law, Wall Street, The Thing).
6- James Best, 88, American actor (The Dukes of Hazzard, Ride Lonesome, The Twilight Zone).
6- Walter H. Haas, 97, American astronomer.
7- Stan Freberg, 88, American comedian and voice actor (Looney Tunes, Lady and the Tramp).
7- Geoffrey Lewis, 79, American actor (High Plains Drifter, Maverick, The Lawnmower Man).
10- Lauren Hill, 19, American college basketball player, pediatric cancer advocate, brain cancer.
12- Mario Wallenda, 74, American highwire artiste (The Flying Wallendas).
13- Günter Grass, 87, German novelist (The Tin Drum), Nobel Prize laureate in Literature (1999).
14- Percy Sledge, 74, American R&B singer ("When a Man Loves a Woman").
19- Freddie Gray, 25, American police suspect, severed spinal cord.
24- Frankie Lee, 73, American blues singer-songwriter.
25- Don Mankiewicz, 93, American screenwriter (Star Trek, Ironside, Profiles in Courage).
26- Jayne Meadows, 95, American actress (I've Got a Secret, Undercurrent, Song of the Thin Man).
27- Andrew Lesnie, 59, Australian cinematographer (The Lord of the Rings, I Am Legend, The Water Diviner), Oscar winner (2002).
28- Jack Ely, 71, American singer ("Louie Louie").
29- Calvin Peete, 71, American golfer, Tournament Players champion (1985).
30- Ben E. King, 76, American soul and R&B singer ("Stand by Me").
30- Nigel Terry, 69, British actor (The Lion in Winter, Excalibur, Troy).
2- Michael Blake, 69, American author and screenwriter (Dances with Wolves), Oscar winner (1991).
6- Jim Wright, 92, American politician, member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas's 12th district (1955–1989), Speaker of the House (1987–1989).
9- Elizabeth Wilson, 94, American actress (The Birds, The Graduate, 9 to 5), Tony Award winner (1972).
12- Tony Ayala, Jr., 52, American light middleweight boxer.
14- B.B. King, 89, American Hall of Fame blues guitarist, singer and songwriter ("The Thrill Is Gone").
19- Happy Rockefeller, 88, American socialite and philanthropist, Second Lady of the United States (1974–1977), First Lady of New York (1963–1973).
20- Mary Ellen Trainor, 62, American actress (Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, The Goonies).
21- Joaquim Durão, 84, Portuguese chess player.
22- John Mosley, 93, American football player (Colorado A&M Aggies) and WWII AF officer (Tuskegee Airmen).
23- Hugh Ambrose, 48, American historian and author (The Pacific).
23- Anne Meara, 85, American comedian (Stiller and Meara) and actress (Archie Bunker's Place, The King of Queens).
23- John Forbes Nash, Jr., 86, American mathematician, laureate of the Nobel Prize in Economics (1994), subject of A Beautiful Mind.
24- Daniel Meltzer, 63, American lawyer, legal adviser to Barack Obama.
28- Reynaldo Rey, 75, American actor and comedian (227, Friday, White Men Can't Jump).
29- Henry Carr, 73, American track and field athlete, Olympic champion (1964).
29- Betsy Palmer, 88, American actress (I've Got a Secret, Mister Roberts, Friday the 13th).
30- Beau Biden, 46, American politician, Attorney General of Delaware (2007–2015).
6- Vincent Bugliosi, 80, American attorney and author (Helter Skelter).
6- Ronnie Gilbert, 88, American singer-songwriter (The Weavers) and actress (Running on Empty).
7- Sir Christopher Lee, 93, British actor, voice artist, and singer (Dracula, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars).
12- Monica Lewis, 93, American singer and actress (Earthquake), voice of Chiquita Banana (since 1947).
14- Anne Nicol Gaylor, 88, American atheism and reproductive rights advocate, co-founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
15- Blaze Starr, 83, American stripper, burlesque comedienne and club owner, subject of Blaze.
17- Ron Clarke, 78, Australian long distance runner, Olympic bronze medalist (1964), Mayor of the Gold Coast (2004–2012).
17- John David Crow, 79, American Heisman Trophy-winning football player (Texas A&M, Chicago/St. Louis Cardinals) and coach (Northeast Louisiana).
17- Nelson Doubleday, Jr., 81, American publisher (Doubleday) and Major League Baseball team owner (New York Mets).
18- Danny Villanueva, 77, American football player (Los Angeles Rams, Dallas Cowboys) and broadcasting executive, co-founder of Univision.
22- Don Featherstone, 79, American artist and inventor of the plastic pink flamingo.
22- James Horner, 61, American composer (Titanic, Field of Dreams, Apollo 13), Oscar winner (1998).
23- Dick Van Patten, 86, American actor (Eight Is Enough, Spaceballs, Robin Hood: Men in Tights).
24- Walter Browne, 66, Australian-born American chess Grandmaster, six-time U.S. champion.
24- Marva Collins, 78, American educator.
25- Patrick Macnee, 93, English-American actor (The Avengers, This Is Spinal Tap, A View to a Kill).
26- David Turner, 91, American rower, Olympic gold medalist (1948).
27- Chris Squire, 67, English bass guitarist (Yes).
28- Jack Carter, 93, American comedian (Cavalcade of Stars) and actor (Dr. Kildare, Alligator).
2- Charlie Sanders, 68, American Hall of Fame football player (Detroit Lions).
3- Diana Douglas, 92, Bermudian-American actress (The Indian Fighter, Days of Our Lives, Planes, Trains and Automobiles).
8- Frances Shea-Buckley, 86, American rear admiral, Director of the Navy Nurse Corps (1979-1983).
8- Ken Stabler, 69, American football player (Oakland Raiders).
8- James Tate, 71, American Pulitzer Prize-winning poet.
15- Aubrey Morris, 89, British actor (A Clockwork Orange, Love and Death, The Wicker Man).
18- Alex Rocco, 79, American actor (The Godfather, The George Carlin Show, The Facts of Life), Emmy winner (1990).
21- Theodore Bikel, 91, Austrian-born American actor (The Defiant Ones, My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof), folk singer and composer.
21- E. L. Doctorow, 84, American author (Ragtime, Billy Bathgate, The March).
26- Bobbi Kristina Brown, 22, American media personality and singer.
26- Ann Rule, 83, American true crime author (The Stranger Beside Me).
28- James Jude, 87, American thoracic surgeon, developer of CPR.
30- Lynn Anderson, 67, American country singer ("Rose Garden").
31- Gerald S. O'Loughlin, 93, American actor (The Rookies, In Cold Blood, Ice Station Zebra).
1- Vincent Marotta, 91, American entrepreneur, co-creator of Mr. Coffee.
2- Forrest Bird, 94, American Hall of Fame aviator and inventor.
7- Louise Suggs, 91, American Hall of Fame professional golfer, co-founder of LPGA.
9- Frank Gifford, 84, American Hall of Fame football player (New York Giants) and broadcaster (Monday Night Football).
15- Julian Bond, 75, American civil rights activist and politician, chairman of the NAACP (1998–2010).
17- Yvonne Craig, 78, American actress (Batman, Star Trek, Olivia).
18- Bud Yorkin, 89, American film and television director, producer (All in the Family, Maude, Sanford and Son) and actor.
26- Alison Parker, 24, American news reporter (WDBJ), shot.
26- Adam Ward, 27, American news cameraman (WDBJ) and photojournalist, shot.
30- Wes Craven, 76, American film director, writer and producer (A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, The Hills Have Eyes).
1- Dean Jones, 84, American actor (The Love Bug, Company, Beethoven).
2- Alan Kurdi, 3, Syrian refugee, drowned.
3- Judy Carne, 76, British actress and comedienne (Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In).
6- Martin Milner, 83, American actor (Adam-12, Route 66, Sweet Smell of Success).
12- Frank D. Gilroy, 89, American playwright and screenwriter.
13- Moses Malone, 60, American Hall of Fame basketball player (Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets).
16- Peggy Jones, 75, American guitarist (Bo Diddley).
19- Jackie Collins, 77, British-American novelist.
22- Yogi Berra, 90, American Hall of Fame baseball player and manager (New York Yankees, New York Mets), member of 13 World Series championship teams.
28- Frankie Ford, 76, American singer ("Sea Cruise").
2- Willie Akins, 76, American jazz saxophonist.
6- Kevin Corcoran, 66, American actor and producer (Old Yeller, Pete's Dragon, Sons of Anarchy).
6- Rich Davis, 89, American businessman, creator of KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce.
8- Paul Prudhomme, 75, American chef, cookbook writer and restaurateur, recipient of the Order of Agricultural Merit (1980).
10- Sybil Stockdale, 90, American human rights activist, co-founder of National League of Families.
11- Smokin' Joe Kubek, 58, American blues guitarist.
12- Joan Leslie, 90, American actress (High Sierra, Sergeant York, Yankee Doodle Dandy).
22- Jerome Kass, 78, American screenwriter (Queen of the Stardust Ballroom).
24- Maureen O'Hara, 95, Irish-American actress (How Green Was My Valley, Miracle on 34th Street, The Quiet Man).
27- Ralph Richeson, 63, American actor (Deadwood, Hancock).
30- Mel Daniels, 71, American Hall of Fame basketball player (Indiana Pacers).
31- Gregg Palmer, 88, American actor (Gunsmoke).
1- Houston McTear, 58, American sprinter.
1- Fred Thompson, 73, American politician and actor (Die Hard 2, Law & Order, Sinister), U.S. Senator from Tennessee (1994–2003), minority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee.
8- Angad Paul, 45, British manufacturing executive and film producer (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, The Tournament).
9- Carol Doda, 78, American topless dancer.
10- Allen Toussaint, 77, American musician, producer, songwriter ("Fortune Teller", "Working in the Coal Mine", "Southern Nights") and arranger.
11- Phil Taylor, 61, English drummer (Motörhead).
13- Bruce Dayton, 97, American retail executive and philanthropist, President and Chairman of Target, founder of B. Dalton.
15- Vincent Margera, 59, American reality television personality (Viva La Bam, Jackass, CK).
15- P. F. Sloan, 70, American singer/songwriter ("Secret Agent Man", "Eve of Destruction", "A Must to Avoid").
16- David Canary, 77, American actor (All My Children, Bonanza).
17- Al Aarons, 83, American jazz trumpeter (Count Basie Orchestra).
21- Bob Foster, 77, American boxer, world light heavyweight champion (1968–1974).
23- Cynthia Robinson, 71, American trumpeter and vocalist (Sly and the Family Stone).
30- Steve Shagan, 88, American novelist, screenwriter, and producer (Save the Tiger, Voyage of the Damned, Primal Fear).
2-Sandy Berger, 70, American political consultant, United States National Security Advisor (1997–2001).
2- Anthony Valentine, 76, British actor (Colditz, Coronation Street, Escape to Athena).
3- Scott Weiland, 48, American musician (Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, The Wondergirls).
4- Robert Loggia, 85, American actor (Jagged Edge, Scarface, Big).
6- Holly Woodlawn, 69, Puerto Rican-born American actress and Warhol superstar.
10- Dolph Schayes, 87, American Hall of Fame basketball player and coach (Philadelphia 76ers).
11- John "Hot Rod" Williams, 53, American basketball player (Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns).
12- Evelyn S. Lieberman, 71, American public affairs professional, White House Deputy Chief of Staff (1996).
19- Ozell Sutton, 90, American civil rights activist.
20- Patricia Elliott, 77, American actress (A Little Night Music, One Life to Live), Tony Award winner (1973).
25- George Clayton Johnson, 86, American writer (Logan's Run, Ocean's Eleven, The Twilight Zone).
27- Haskell Wexler, 93, American cinematographer (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Bound for Glory) and film director, Academy Award winner (1966, 1976).
27- Meadowlark Lemon, 83, American basketball player (Harlem Globetrotters).
28- Lemmy, 70, English rock musician (Motörhead, Hawkweed).