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Celebrities Who Died in 2015

Updated June 14, 2019 848.8k views43 items

 

This list of celebrities who died in 2015 is a watch list of all notable deaths of the year. Death spares no one - not even the rich and/or famous. This lists includes all of those musicians, athletes, actors, and other famous people of entertainment that died in 2015, those recent losses we collectively mourn. Here you will also find the best obituaries for each celebrity who was lost this year.

This list is regularly updated to include all well-known people in Hollywood and beyond who have died in 2015. The latest deaths this week or even today might have been due to natural causes or old age, illness like cancer, foul play, or some sort of accident, like a drug overdose or car wreck. Beneath each dead celeb listed below are links to recent obits and wiki articles as well as other information about the person's life and career. Celebrities who became deceased in 2015 include Christopher Lee, Dusty Rhodes, Leonard Nimoy, and Wes Craven. 

Also see: our Celebrity Deaths 2014 list, and our 2019 Celebrity Deaths list.

Death is almost always sad, and it can be heartbreaking to see our favorite talented and bright shining idols pass away. This listed is ordered by recency, with the latest / most recent 2015 death listed first.

 

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  • Photo: flickr / CC0

    May 23, 2015: Mathematician John Nash, who became famous after the movie A Beautiful Mind was based on his life, passed away in a car crash. Nash, 86, and his wife Alicia, 82, were riding in a taxi in New Jersey when they were killed.

    Nash won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994 thanks to his groundbreaking work on Game Theory, but his struggle with schizophrenia marred his success. A Beautiful Mind, which starred Russel Crowe as Nash, premiered in 2001 and chronicled his genius work and his mental illness. As his health deteriorated, his wife had him committed to an psychiatric institution and the two divorced in 1962. But by the 1980s, Nash's condition had improved, and the they remarried in 2001.

    More John Nash obituaries:
    BBC, Quartz, CNN
    • Age: 93
    • Birthplace: Bluefield, West Virginia
  • Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY

    May 14, 2015: Blues legend B.B. King passed away at the age of 89. Known for bringing the blues into the mainstream, the expert guitarist got his start in music after hitchhiking to Memphis in 1947. He landed a job as a disc jockey for radio station WDIA-AM, where he settled on his nickname, "Beale Street Blues Boy," which was eventually shortened to "B.B."

    In 1948, he got his big break playing on Sonny Boy Williamson's radio program. By 1951, his record, Three O'Clock Blues, was at the top of the charts. Over his career, King garnered dozens of awards and honors, ranging from his 30 Grammy nominations to a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. He won his first Grammy for the song, "The Thrill is Gone."

    King continued to perform well into his 80s, until his struggle with Type II diabetes finally kept him from touring. He passed away in Las Vegas, and is survived by his daughter, Patty King, and his beloved guitar, Lucille. 

    More B.B. King obituaries:
    CNN, The New York Times, BBC

     

    • Age: 95
    • Birthplace: Berclair, Mississippi, United States of America

    More B.B. King 

    The Best B.B. King Albums of All Time#3 of 100 Rolling Stone's Top 100 Guitarists of All Time#346 of 649 The Best Singers Of All Time

  • Jean Nidetch

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    April 29, 2015: Weight Watchers founder Jean Nidetch died at the age of 91, more than 50 years after first dropping 70 pounds (and keeping it off). What started as a gathering of six overweight friends in her living room became a multimillion dollar corporation by the late 1960s. She sold the company to H.J. Heinz Co. for about $71 million in 1978. Decades after founding Weight Watchers, Nidetch remained a celebrity among the company's converts. Once an unhappy 214 pounds, Nidetch never topped 150 again.

    More Jean Nidetch obituaries:
    New York Times, AP, People
    • Age: 91
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York
  • Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    April 14, 2015: 38-year-old celebrity chef Homaro Cantu was found dead of an apparent suicide in a Chicago building where he was planning on opening a brewery. Police said they found him hanging from the ceiling.

    Cantu had been a competitor on popular food shows like Iron Chef, Hell's Kitchen, and Dinner Impossible. He was also the star of Planet Green/Discovery's Future Food, which centered around his restaurant, Moto. Cantu was known for mixing science and culinary art, and was a proponent of the "miracle berry" that could make sour foods taste sweet.

    More Homaro Cantu obituaries:
    People, Chicago Tribune, New York Times