Penny Marshall (October 15, 1943 – December 17, 2018) –
American actress, director and producer.
Marshall came to notice in the 1970s for her role as Laverne DeFazio on the television sitcom Laverne & Shirley (1976–1983), receiving three nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy for her portrayal.
She made her directorial debut with Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986) before directing Big (1988), which became the first film directed by a woman to gross more than $100 million at the U.S. box office. Her subsequent directing credits included Awakenings (1990), which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, A League of Their Own (1992), Renaissance Man (1994), The Preacher's Wife (1996) and Riding in Cars with Boys (2001). She also produced Cinderella Man (2005) and Bewitched (2005), and directed episodes of the TV series According to Jim and United States of Tara.
Marshall died in Los Angeles from complications of diabetes on December 17, 2018, at the age of 75.
Marshall’s brother Garry was a film director, producer, screenwriter and actor, best known for creating Happy Days and its various spin-offs, developing Neil Simon's 1965 play The Odd Couple for television, and directing Pretty Woman, Beaches, Runaway Bride, Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve, Mother's Day, The Princess Diaries, and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. When he needed females to play "fast girls" who were friends of Arthur Fonzarelli and would date Fonzie and Richie Cunningham on Happy Days, he cast his sister Penny as Laverne and Henry Winkler’s friend and ex-girlfriend Cindy Williams as Shirley. Audiences liked them so much that a spin-off was created for them.
George Herbert Walker Bush (June 12, 1924 – November 30, 2018) [
American politician, 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993.
Prior to assuming the presidency, Bush served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. As a member of the Republican Party, he had previously been a congressman, ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.
Bush postponed his university studies after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, enlisted in the Navy on his 18th birthday, and became one of its youngest aviators. He served until September 1945, and then attended Yale University, graduating in 1948.
He moved his family to West Texas where he entered the oil business and became a millionaire by the age of 40 in 1964.
Bush suffered from vascular parkinsonism, a form of Parkinson's disease which had forced him to use a motorized scooter or wheelchair since at least 2012.[ He died on November 30, 2018, aged 94, at his home in Houston.
Bernardo Bertolucci (16 March 1941 – 26 November 2018) –
Italian director and screenwriter.
His films include The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris, 1900, The Last Emperor (for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director and the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay), The Sheltering Sky, Little Buddha, Stealing Beauty and The Dreamers.
In recognition of his work, he was presented with the inaugural Honorary Palme d'Or Award at the opening ceremony of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
Bertolucci died in Rome on 26 November 2018, at the age of 77 of lung cancer.
Stan Lee (December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018) –
American comic book writer, editor, and publisher who was active from the 1940s to the 2010s.
Lee rose through the ranks of a family-run business to become Marvel Comics' primary creative leader for two decades, leading its expansion from a small division of a publishing house to a multimedia corporation that dominated the comics industry.
In collaboration with others at Marvel he co-created numerous popular fictional characters, including superheroes Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch and Ant-Man. In doing so, he pioneered a more naturalistic approach to writing superhero comics in the 1960s, and in the 1970s he challenged the restrictions of the Comics Code Authority, indirectly leading to changes in its policies.
In the 1980s he pursued development of Marvel properties in other media, with mixed results. Following his retirement from Marvel in the 1990s, he remained a public figurehead for the company, continued independent creative ventures into his 90s, until his death in 2018.
Lee died at the age of 95 from cardiac arrest with respiratory failure and congestive heart failure as underlying causes. He also suffered aspiration pneumonia.
After being transferred from the army’s Signal Corps in New Jersey, Lee worked as a playwright in the Training Film Division in Queens with eight other men, including a few who went on to be very famous: Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Saroyan, cartoonist Charles Addams (creator of The Addams Family), director Frank Capra (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington  and It’s a Wonderful Life ) and Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.
Burt Reynolds (February 11, 1936 – September 6, 2018) –
American actor, director and producer.
Reynolds first rose to prominence starring in television series such as Gunsmoke (1962–1965), Hawk (1966), and Dan August (1970–1971).
His breakout film role was as Lewis Medlock in Deliverance (1972). Reynolds played the leading role in a number of subsequent box office hits, such as The Longest Yard (1974), Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Semi-Tough (1977), Hooper (1978), Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982).
After a number of box office failures, Reynolds returned to television, starring in the sitcom Evening Shade (1990–1994). He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Boogie Nights (1997).
Reynolds died from a heart attack at the Jupiter Medical Center in Jupiter, Florida, on September 6, 2018, at the age of 82
Reynolds also had a particularly bittersweet anecdote about taking an acting class with Marilyn Monroe as an up-and-comer in the late 1950s. He would walk with her from 58th Street to the Actors Studio, he said, surprised by the blonde icon’s quietude. “She didn’t say much, but she didn’t have to,” he recalled in a March interview with Conan O’Brien. He was also surprised to see that one of the most famous women in the world wasn’t getting swarmed on the street. “How come they don’t jump up and down?” he asked her, referring to the people breezing past her. “She said, ‘Oh—do you wanna see her?” And with that, the actress threw her shoulders back and started strutting with purpose. Within 20 feet, she was “surrounded by about 40 people,” Reynolds said.
Neil Simon (July 4, 1927 – August 26, 2018) –
American playwright, screenwriter and author.
Simon wrote more than 30 plays and nearly the same number of movie screenplays, mostly adaptations of his plays. He received more combined Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer.
He died at age 91 of complications of pneumonia. He was also reported to have had Alzheimer’s disease.
When he died in August 2018, it was overshadowed by the deaths of Aretha Franklin and Senator John McCain. As a result, many people were unaware of his passing.
“When it's 100 in New York, it's 72 in Los Angeles. When it's 20 in New York, it's 72 in Los Angeles. However, there are six million interesting people in New York - and 72 in Los Angeles.” – Neil Simon
John Sidney McCain III (August 29, 1936 – August 25, 2018) –
American politician and military officer who served as a United States Senator from Arizona from January 1987 until his death. He previously served two terms in the United States House of Representatives and was the Republican nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 election, which he lost to Barack Obama.
During the Vietnam War, he was almost killed in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. While on a bombing mission during Operation Rolling Thunder over Hanoi in October 1967, he was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. He experienced episodes of torture and refused an out-of-sequence early release. The wounds that he sustained during the war left him with lifelong physical disabilities. He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981 and moved to Arizona, where he entered politics
He died of cancer aged 81.
No politician is gotcha-proof, but McCain once looked pretty close to it. Ferguson, a writer for the Weekly Standard, recounts watching McCain answer a question posed by a Comedy Central crew on the 2000 campaign trail about the candidate’s favorite poet. He answered that question fairly easily—Robert Service—and the follow-up, about whether he could recite any of it. He proceeded to recite “The Cremation of Sam McGee”—all 14 stanzas of it. But the kicker came later, when McCain explained to the Comedy Central team exactly how he had come to memorize the poem. “The guy in the cell next to me,” he said, according to Ferguson, “it was his favorite poem. He used to tap it to me on the wall, in Morse Code.”
Kofi Atta Annan (8 April 1938 – 18 August 2018) –
Kofi Annan served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.
When you have been secretary general of the United Nations for 10 years, it's never going to be easy to slip into humdrum anonymity. Kofi Annan gave it a good go. On leaving office he and his wife borrowed a friend's Italian hideaway, deep in the forests near Lake Como, and retreated into eight weeks of blissful solitude. With no TV, no radio, no papers; Annan was free, finally, from the clamour of the world's troubles. Two weeks in, he began to get bored.
"Let's go to the tobacconist in the village," he suggested, "and buy a paper."
They had been in the shop for less than five minutes before his heart sank. A group of men were gathered in the corner, staring. "Oh no!" he whispered to his wife. "We've got six weeks to go, and we've blown our cover. How are we going to manage?" One of the men approached and thrust out a pen and paper. "Morgan Freeman, may I have an autograph?" Annan flashed his best Hollywood smile, scribbled "Morgan Freeman" and fled.