List of Famous people who died in 2009
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century. Through stage and video performances, he popularized complicated dance moves such as the moonwalk, to which he gave the name, and the robot. His sound and style have influenced artists of various genres, and his contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades. Jackson is the most awarded artist in the history of popular music.
Brittany Anne Murphy-Monjack was an American actress and singer. Born in Atlanta, Murphy moved to Los Angeles as a teenager and pursued a career in acting. Her breakthrough role was as Tai Frasier in Clueless (1995), followed by supporting roles in independent films such as Freeway (1996) and Bongwater (1998). She made her stage debut in a Broadway production of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge in 1997 before appearing as Daisy Randone in Girl, Interrupted (1999) and as Lisa Swenson in Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999).
Patrick Wayne Swayze was an American actor, dancer, singer, and songwriter. Gaining fame with appearances in films during the 1980s, he became popular for playing tough and romantic male leads, giving him a wide fan base. He was named by People magazine as its Sexiest Man Alive in 1991.
Shyamala Gopalan was an American biomedical scientist born in British India, whose work in isolating and characterizing the progesterone receptor gene stimulated advances in breast biology and oncology.
Natasha Jane Richardson was an English actress of stage and screen. A member of the Redgrave family, Richardson was the daughter of actress Vanessa Redgrave and director/producer Tony Richardson, and the granddaughter of Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson.
John Colin Campbell Jordan was a leading figure in post-war neo-Nazism in Great Britain. In the far-right circles of the 1960s, Jordan represented the most explicitly "Nazi" inclination in his open use of the styles and symbols of Nazi Germany. Through his leadership of organisations such as the National Socialist Movement and the World Union of National Socialists, Jordan advocated a pan-Aryan "Universal Nazism". Although later unaffiliated with any political party, Jordan remained an influential voice on the British far right.
Qian Xuesen, or Hsue-Shen Tsien, was a Chinese mathematician, cyberneticist, aerospace engineer, and physicist who made significant contributions to the field of aerodynamics and established engineering cybernetics. Recruited from MIT, he joined Theodore von Kármán's group at Caltech. During WWII, he was involved in the Manhattan Project, which ultimately led to the successful development of the first atomic bomb in America. Later on, under the pressure of deportation for suspicions of association with Communists, he would eventually return to China, where he would make important contributions to China's missile and space program.
Kurt Demmler, born Kurt Abramowitz was a German songwriter. He was a noted lyricist and songwriter for many German rock bands.
John Wilden Hughes Jr. was an American filmmaker. Beginning as an author of humorous essays and stories for National Lampoon, he went on to write, produce and sometimes direct some of the most successful live-action comedy films of the 1980s and 1990s such as National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) and its sequels National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), Mr. Mom (1983), Sixteen Candles (1984), Weird Science (1985), The Breakfast Club (1985), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), Pretty in Pink (1986), Some Kind of Wonderful (1987), Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), She's Having a Baby (1988), Uncle Buck (1989), Dutch (1991), Dennis the Menace (1993), Baby's Day Out (1994), the Beethoven franchise and Home Alone (1990) and its sequels Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) and Home Alone 3 (1997).
Edward Moore Kennedy was an American politician and lawyer who served as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts for almost 47 years, from 1962 until his death in 2009. A member of the Democratic Party and the Kennedy political family, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-continuously-serving senator in United States history. Kennedy was the younger brother of President John F. Kennedy and U.S. Attorney General and U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and was the father of Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy.