R.I.P. Celebrities We Lost In 2018
Loss is never easy, but it can be particularly hard when mourning those who touched so many lives. In 2018, we said goodbye to celebrities from all walks of life, from singers and dancers to actresses and designers. Here’s a look back at the famous people who died this past year.
Aretha Franklin spent decades using her voice not only to entertain the masses with spiritual hymns and sensual songs but also to spark change during the Civil Rights Movement. On August 16, “The Queen of Soul” died in her home at the age of 76 from a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor. She was interred at Woodlawn Cemetery in her hometown of Detroit.
When Kim Porter passed away unexpectedly November 15, messages of grief poured in from far and wide. The 46-year-old was a mother of four, including twin girls, Jessie and D’Lila, and son Christian with Sean “Diddy” Combs, and son Quincy with singer Al B. Sure! Her cause of death remains unknown.
The patriarch of the Jackson family passed away one month before his 90th birthday on June 27. Despite living separately from Katherine Jackson for decades, Joe was still married to his wife of 69 years at the time of his death. He left behind 10 living kids. Son Michael passed away in 2009 at the age of 50.
Bill Cosby’s daughter Ensa died at the age of 44 on February 26. Ensa had reportedly been awaiting a kidney transplant and died of renal disease. Though she lived her life out of the spotlight, the second-youngest of the comedian’s children spoke out strongly against the accusations hurled at her father.
“The accusations against my father have been one-sided from the beginning,” she declared. “When he tried to defend himself, he was sued in civil court. I’ve seen the accusations become more horrific and extreme with time, and I’ve witnessed my father’s reputation and legendary works be dismissed without any proof. I strongly believe my father is innocent of the crimes alleged against him, and I believe that racism has played a big role in all aspects of this scandal.”
Jazz legend Nancy Wilson’s career spanned five decades during which time she was praised with numerous awards and accolades, though she preferred the title of “song stylist” the most. On December 13, Wilson died in her home after a long battle with kidney cancer at the age of 81. Her husband, Wiley Burton, died from renal cancer earlier this year as well.
Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was known for his food travel shows, including No Reservations, Parts Unknown, and The Layover. On June 8, while on location in France for Parts Unknown, Bourdain committed suicide by hanging at the age of 61. He left behind 11-year-old daughter Ariane and had been dating Italian actress Asia Argento since 2017.
New York rapper Craig Jamieson Mack was best known for his 1994 hit single “Flava In Ya Ear.” Mack died on March 12 from heart failure at a hospital near his home in South Carolina at the age of 47.
Actress Olivia Cole was best known for her role as Matilda, Chicken George’s wife, in the 1977 miniseries Roots, a role which earned her the honor of becoming the first African American woman to win an Emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Television Movie. Cole died from a heart attack at her home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, on January 19. She was 75.
Raven Wilkinson was the first African-American woman to dance for a major classical ballet company when she signed a contract to dance full-time with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1955. Later a mentor to fellow barrier-breaker Misty Copeland, Wilkinson died on December 17 at the age of 83.
Reg E. Cathey
Reg E. Cathey was best known for his roles on The Wire, Oz, and House of Cards, the latter of which earned him three consecutive Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series and a win in 2015. Cathey died at his home in New York City on February 9 at the age of 59. He was reported to have had lung cancer.
Kate Spade was the founder and former co-owner of the designer brand Kate Spade New York. On June 5, Spade’s housekeeper found her dead in her Manhattan apartment. Her death was ruled a suicide by hanging. The 55 year old, who was married to entrepreneur Andrew Spade, left a note behind for their 13-year-old daughter Frances.