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Famous People Who Died in 1985

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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 1985 was no exception. Perhaps the most talked about death was of American actor Rock Hudson, after losing his battle with AIDS. Here's our list of the most notable people to die in 1985, 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 on this list include Orson Welles and Dian Fossey. Which celebrities died in 1985? Scroll down and see for yourself.
Rock Hudson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
AIDS
Rock Hudson was an American actor. Hudson is generally known for his turns as a leading man in the 1950s and 1960s. He achieved stardom with dramatic roles in films such as Magnificent Obsession ...more
Orson Welles is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Myocardial infarction
George Orson Welles was an American actor, director, writer and producer who worked in theater, radio and film. He is best remembered for his innovative work in all three media: in theatre, most ...more
Dian Fossey is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Murder
Dian Fossey was an American zoologist, primatologist, and anthropologist who undertook an extensive study of gorilla groups over a period of 18 years. She studied them daily in the mountain ...more
Margaret Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Myocardial infarction
Margaret Brainard Hamilton was an American film character actress best known for her portrayal of the Wicked Witch of the West in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's classic film The Wizard of Oz. A former ...more
Michael Redgrave is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Parkinson's disease
Sir Michael Scudamore Redgrave CBE was an English stage and film actor, director, manager and author.
Phil Silvers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Myocardial infarction
Phil Silvers was an American entertainer and comedy actor, known as "The King of Chutzpah." He is best known for starring in The Phil Silvers Show, a 1950s sitcom set on a U.S. Army ...more
Yul Brynner is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Lung cancer
Yul Brynner was a Russian-born United States-based film and stage actor. He was best known for his portrayal of the King of Siam in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I, for which ...more
Leonard Lake is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Suicide
Leonard Thomas Lake was an American serial killer. He often used the alias Leonard Hill. The crimes he committed with Charles Ng became known after Lake committed suicide by taking a cyanide ...more
Simone Signoret is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Pancreatic cancer
Simone Signoret was a French cinema actress often hailed as one of France's greatest film stars. She became the first French person to win an Academy Award, for her role in Room at the Top. In ...more
Ruth Gordon is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Stroke
Ruth Gordon Jones, better known as Ruth Gordon, was an American film, stage, and television actress, as well as screenwriter and playwright. Gordon began her career performing on Broadway at age ...more
Alex Odeh is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Assassination
Alex Odeh was an Arab-American anti-discrimination activist who was killed in a bombing as he opened the door of his office at 1905 East 17th Street, Santa Ana, California. Odeh was west-coast ...more
Dan James White is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Suicide, Carbon monoxide poisoning
Daniel James "Dan" White was a San Francisco supervisor who assassinated San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, on Monday, November 27, 1978, at City Hall. In a ...more
Enrique Camarena is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Assassination, Murder
Enrique S. "Kiki" Camarena was a Mexican-born American undercover agent for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration who was abducted on February 7, 1985, and then tortured ...more
Louise Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Myocardial infarction
Louise Brooks, born Mary Louise Brooks, was an American dancer and actress, noted for popularizing the bobbed haircut. Brooks is best known as the lead in three feature films made in Europe: ...more
Anne Baxter is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Intracranial aneurysm
Anne Baxter was an American actress of stage and screen. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Sophie in the 1946 film The Razor's Edge, and received an Academy ...more
Fran Gerard is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
John Scarne is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
John Scarne was an American magician and book author who was particularly adept at playing card manipulation. He became known as an expert on cards and other games, and authored a number of ...more
Wilfrid Brambell is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Cancer
Henry Wilfrid Brambell was an Irish-born English film and television actor best known for his role in the British television series Steptoe and Son. He also performed alongside the Beatles in ...more
Eddie Graham is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Suicide
Edward F. Gossett, better known as Eddie Graham, was an American professional wrestler. He was also the promoter and booker for Championship Wrestling from Florida and President of the NWA in ...more
Jules White is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Alzheimer's disease
Jules White was a Hungarian-born American film director and producer best known for his short-subject comedies starring the Three Stooges.
Sanjeev Kumar is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Myocardial infarction
Sanjeev Kumar 9 July 1938 - 6 November 1985 was a noted Indian film actor. He won several major awards including two National Film Awards for Best Actor for his performances in the movies Dastak ...more
Ricky Nelson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Aviation accident or incident
Eric Hilliard Nelson – known as Ricky Nelson, later also as Rick Nelson – was an American actor, musician and singer-songwriter. He starred alongside his family in the television series, The ...more
Patricia Roberts Harris is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Breast cancer
Patricia Roberts Harris served in the American administration of President Jimmy Carter as United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and United States Secretary of Health, ...more
Israel Regardie is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Francis Israel Regardie, known simply as Israel Regardie, was an occultist, a writer, and Aleister Crowley's personal secretary and transcriptionist, widely known for his books and commentaries ...more
Kazuo Nagano is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous People Who Died in 1985
Assassination
Kazuo Nagano was chairman of the board at Toyota Shoji which was responsible for swindling 3,855 people, mostly elderly, out of 12 billion yen. In 1985, two men – Masakazu Yano and Atsuo Iida – ...more