Each year, we lose celebrities and public figures we’ve come to enjoy – who sometimes even feel like family.
We let them into our homes through TV, see them countless times on the big screen, sing along with them, and more.
I’m a huge fan of entertainment (which helps when you are responsible for SVM’s entertainment section), and throughout the past few years, I have lost quite a few figures who meant a lot to me. In 2014, it was one of my favorite guys on the planet, Robin Williams. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, too. Last year, we lost a legendary musician in David Bowie.
All part of growing older, I guess.
These icons, who we lost in 2017, are three that I’ll miss greatly:
• Mary Tyler Moore, 80: As a kid born in 1987, who grew up in the ‘90s, Nick at Nite programming was a large part of my childhood. My parents gave my sister and I heavy doses of “the classics,” when it came to TV, and “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” were two of our favorites. Moore was a strong, hilarious woman. She served as an inspiration for women everywhere – long before I was even born – and she helped change television forever. (Died Jan. 25)
• Chris Cornell, 52: The rocker was the voice behind one of my favorite bands when I was younger. As a huge Rage Against the Machine fan in my middle school days, I was unsurprisingly stoked when it was announced that Cornell would join forces with 3⁄4 of Rage Against the Machine to form Audioslave. Even at that young age, Cornell was already one of the favorite voices I had ever heard. I’d been introduced to his previous band, Soundgarden, at a very young age by my dad. If you looked back in time to when my dad first played “Black Hole Sun” or “Spoonman” for me, you’d probably see my chubby young self, mouth agape, eyes wide open. His voice was powerful and as unique as they come, and his suspected suicide was heartbreaking, but his music will live on forever. (Died May 18)
• Tom Petty, 66: Petty was just such a rock-solid musician. As a musician and songwriter myself, I’ve looked up to him for a long time. He could write a hook with the best of them, and his catalog of great songs is so vast. As I’m sure you’ve picked up through this column and other columns I’ve written, my dad did a great job of getting me acquainted with a bunch of great music from a very young age. Of those early acquaintances, Petty was undoubtedly one of the best. I’m still discovering new, forgotten favorites the deeper I dive into his music – and I probably will be for a long time. (Died Oct. 2)