List of Famous people who died at 88
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, The Tramp, and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977, and encompassed both adulation and controversy.
Frank Lucas was an American drug trafficker who operated in Harlem during the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was known for cutting out middlemen in the drug trade and buying heroin directly from his source in the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia. Lucas boasted that he smuggled heroin using the coffins of dead American servicemen, but this claim is denied by his Southeast Asian associate, Leslie "Ike" Atkinson. Rather than hide the drugs in the coffins, they were hidden in the pallets underneath, as depicted in the feature film American Gangster (2007) in which he was played by Denzel Washington, although the film fictionalized elements of Lucas' life for dramatic effect. In 1976, Lucas was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to 70 years in prison; however, after becoming an informant, his sentence was reduced to five years. He was convicted of the same offense in 1984, and sentenced to seven years in prison. He died in 2019.
Wilbur Addison Smith was a Zambian-born South African novelist specialising in historical fiction about international involvement in Southern Africa across four centuries, seen from the viewpoints of both black and white families.
Fred Astaire was an American actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, and television presenter. He is widely considered the most influential dancer in the history of film.
María de los Ángeles Alvariño González, known as Ángeles Alvariño, was a Spanish fishery research biologist and oceanographer globally recognized as an authority in plankton biology. She was the first woman ever appointed as scientist aboard any British or Spanish exploration ships. She discovered 22 new species of marine animals and published over a hundred scientific books, chapters and articles. In her late career she studied the history of early marine scientific exploration.
Gudrun Margarete Elfriede Emma Anna Burwitz was the daughter of Heinrich Himmler and Margarete Himmler. Her father, as Reichsführer-SS, was a leading member of the Nazi Party, and chief architect of the Final Solution. After the Allied victory, she was arrested and made to testify at the Nuremberg trials. Never renouncing Nazi ideology, she consistently fought to defend her father's reputation and became closely involved in Neo-Nazi groups that give support to ex-members of the SS. She married Wulf Dieter Burwitz, an official of the extremist NPD.
Yoram Jerzy Gross was a Polish-born Australian producer of children's and family entertainment. Internationally acclaimed for his films and television series, Gross established a worldwide reputation for the adaptation of children's characters from books and films to animation that won the hearts of children and adults worldwide. His company is best known for producing the films Blinky Bill: The Mischievous Koala and Dot and the Kangaroo.
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd president of the United States from 1945 to 1953, succeeding upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt after serving as the 34th vice president. He implemented the Marshall Plan to rebuild the economy of Western Europe, and established the Truman Doctrine and NATO.
Thomas Savage was an American author of novels published between 1944 and 1988. He is best known for his Western novels, which drew on early experiences in the American West.
Bhumibol Adulyadej, conferred with the title King Bhumibol the Great in 1987, was the ninth monarch of Thailand from the Chakri dynasty, titled Rama IX. Reigning since 9 June 1946, he was the world's longest-reigning current head of state from the death of Emperor Hirohito of Japan in 1989 until his own death in 2016, and is both the second-longest reigning monarch of all time and the longest-reigning monarch to have reigned only as an adult, reigning for 70 years and 126 days. During his reign, he was served by a total of 30 prime ministers beginning with Pridi Banomyong and ending with Prayut Chan-o-cha.