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Famous People Who Died in 1983

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For one reason or another, we as human beings seem to be fascinated by celebrity deaths. Every year we mourn the loss of famous people who pass away, and 1983 was no exception. Sports fans right remember the death of heavyweight boxer Jack Dempsey, who died of heart failure at the ripe age of 87. Here's our list of the most notable people to die in 1983, ordered by how well-known they were.

All walks of famous people are on this list, including actors, athletes, musicians, politicians and more.Although the rich and famous are just like the rest of us, it's alarming how many of them have their lives cut short because of drug overdoses or other accidents. Still others live out many long years only to succumb to diseases like cancer late in life.

Examples of celebrity deaths on this list include Tennessee Williams and Dennis Wilson. Which celebrities died in 1983? Scroll down and see for yourself.
  • Thomas Lanier Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983), known by his pen name Tennessee Williams, was an American playwright. Along with contemporaries Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller, he...  more
  • Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller was an American neo-futuristic architect, systems theorist, author, designer, and inventor. Fuller published more than 30 books, coining or popularizing terms such...  more
  • Norma Shearer

    Edith Norma Shearer (August 10, 1902 – June 12, 1983) was a Canadian American actress and Hollywood star from 1925 through 1942. Shearer often played spunky, sexually liberated ingenues. She appeared...  more
  • William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey (June 24, 1895 – May 31, 1983), nicknamed "Kid Blackie" and "The Manassa Mauler", was an American professional boxer who competed from 1914 to 1927, and reigned as the...  more
  • Dennis Carl Wilson (December 4, 1944 – December 28, 1983) was an American musician, singer, and songwriter who co-founded the Beach Boys. He is best remembered as their drummer and as the middle...  more
  • David Niven

    Motor neuron disease
    James David Graham Niven (; 1 March 1910 – 29 July 1983) was a British actor, memoirist and novelist. His many roles included Squadron Leader Peter Carter in A Matter of Life and Death, Phileas Fogg...  more
  • Karen Carpenter

    Anorexia nervosa
    Karen Anne Carpenter (March 2, 1950 – February 4, 1983) was an American singer and drummer who was part of the duo the Carpenters alongside her brother Richard. She was praised for her contralto...  more
  • Dolores del Río

    Liver failure
    Dolores del Río (Spanish pronunciation: [doˈloɾez ðel ˈri.o]; born María de los Dolores Asúnsolo López-Negrete; 3 August 1905 – 11 April 1983) was a Mexican actress of film, television, and theater....  more
  • Peter Scott Ivers (September 20, 1946 – March 3, 1983) was an American musician, songwriter and television personality. He was the host of the experimental music television show New Wave Theatre....  more
  • Michael Conrad

    Urethral cancer
    Michael Conrad (October 16, 1925 – November 22, 1983) was an American actor perhaps best known for his portrayal of veteran cop Sgt. Phil Esterhaus on Hill Street Blues, in which he ended the...  more
  • George Cukor

    Myocardial infarction
    George Dewey Cukor (; July 7, 1899 – January 24, 1983) was an American film director. He mainly concentrated on comedies and literary adaptations. His career flourished at RKO when David O. Selznick,...  more
  • Joan Miró

    Cardiovascular disease
    Joan Miró i Ferrà ( mi-ROH, also US: mee-ROH, Catalan: [ʒuˈam miˈɾo j fəˈra]; 20 April 1893 – 25 December 1983) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, and ceramicist born in Barcelona. A museum dedicated...  more
  • Anthony Frederick Blunt (26 September 1907 – 26 March 1983), styled as Sir Anthony Blunt, KCVO, from 1956 to 1979, was a leading British art historian who in 1964, after being offered immunity from...  more
  • Arthur Morton Godfrey (August 31, 1903 – March 16, 1983) was an American radio and television broadcaster and entertainer who was sometimes introduced by his nickname, The Old Redhead. An infamous...  more
  • Gloria Swanson

    Heart Ailment
    Gloria May Josephine Swanson (March 27, 1899 – April 4, 1983) was an American actress and producer. A major Hollywood star of the silent era, she later achieved widespread critical acclaim and...  more
  • Maurice Bishop

    Capital punishment
    Maurice Rupert Bishop (29 May 1944 – 19 October 1983) was a Grenadian revolutionary and the leader of New Jewel Movement – popular efforts in the areas of socio-economic development, education, and...  more
  • John Bodkin Adams (21 January 1899 – 4 July 1983) was a British general practitioner, convicted fraudster and suspected serial killer. Between 1946 and 1956, more than 160 of his patients died in...  more
  • Christopher George

    Myocardial infarction
    Christopher John George (February 25, 1931 – November 28, 1983) was an American television and film actor, best known for his starring role on the 1960s television series The Rat Patrol. He was...  more
  • Carolyn Jones

    Colorectal cancer
    Carolyn Sue Jones (April 28, 1930 – August 3, 1983) was an American actress of television and film. Jones began her film career in the early 1950s, and by the end of the decade had achieved...  more
  • Rocco Chinnici

    Assassination, Murder
    Rocco Chinnici (Italian pronunciation: [ˈrɔkko kinˈniːtʃi], Sicilian: [kɪnˈniːʃɪ]; 19 January 1925 in Misilmeri – 29 July 1983 in Palermo) was a noted Italian anti-Mafia magistrate killed by the...  more
  • Luis Buñuel

    Liver cancer, Pancreatic cancer
    Luis Buñuel Portolés (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlwis βuˈɲwel poɾtoˈles]; 22 February 1900 – 29 July 1983) was a Spanish born Mexican filmmaker who worked in France, Mexico and Spain.When Buñuel died...  more
  • Jessica Savitch

    Traffic collision, Drowning
    Jessica Beth Savitch (February 1, 1947 – October 23, 1983) was an American television news presenter and correspondent, best known for being the weekend anchor of NBC Nightly News and daily presenter...  more
  • John Beverley Nichols (9 September 1898 – 15 September 1983) was an English author, playwright, journalist, composer, and public speaker....  more
  • Emil Grunzweig

    Emil Grünzweig (Hebrew: אמיל גרינצווייג‎) (December 1, 1947 – February 10, 1983) was an Israeli teacher and peace activist affiliated with the Peace Now movement. He became an icon of the Israeli...  more
  • Buster Crabbe

    Myocardial infarction
    Clarence Linden Crabbe II (; February 7, 1908 – April 23, 1983), known professionally as Buster Crabbe, was an American two-time Olympic swimmer and film and television actor. He won the 1932 Olympic...  more