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Famous People Who Died in 2009

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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 2009 was no exception. The most obvious death was that of pop legend Michael Jackon, whose passing resulted in the arrest of one of his physicians. Iconic actress Farrah Fawcett died as well, leaving behind millions of sad fans. Here's our list of the most notable people to die in 2009, 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.

Which celebrities died in 2009? Scroll down and see for yourself.
Michael Jackson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Cardiac arrest, Homicide
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. Called the King of Pop, his contributions to music and dance, along with his publicized personal ...more
Farrah Fawcett is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Anal cancer
Mary Farrah Leni Fawcett was an American actress and artist. A four-time Emmy Award nominee and six-time Golden Globe Award nominee, Fawcett rose to international fame when she posed for her ...more
Brittany Murphy is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Cardiac arrest, Anemia, Pneumonia
Brittany Murphy-Monjack, known professionally as Brittany Murphy, was an American film and stage actress, singer, and voice artist. Murphy, a native of Atlanta, moved to Los Angeles as a ...more
Ted Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Cancer, Brain Cancer
Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. He was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and was ...more
Walter Cronkite is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Cerebrovascular disease
Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. was an American broadcast journalist, best known as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years. During the heyday of CBS News in the 1960s and 1970s, he was ...more
Patrick Swayze is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Pancreatic cancer
Patrick Wayne Swayze was an American actor, dancer, and singer-songwriter. Having gained fame with appearances in films during the 1980s, Swayze became popular for playing tough guys and ...more
Billy Mays is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
William Darrell "Billy" Mays, Jr. was an American television direct-response advertisement salesperson most notable for promoting OxiClean, Orange Glo, Kaboom, and other cleaning, ...more
Dom DeLuise is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Renal failure, Cancer
Dominick "Dom" DeLuise was an American actor, comedian, film director, television producer, chef, and author. He starred in a number of movies directed by Mel Brooks, in a series of ...more
Adam Goldstein is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Drug overdose
DJ AM was an American DJ, remixer, record producer and musician. Goldstein was a member of the rock band Crazy Town, co-owner of a management company called Deckstar and worked on albums for ...more
Test is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
Andrew Robert Patrick Martin was a Canadian professional wrestler. He was best known for his time with the World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment under the ring name Test. Martin won six ...more
Ricardo Montalbán is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Heart failure
Ricardo Montalbán was an actor.
Ed McMahon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Bone cancer
Edward Leo Peter "Ed" McMahon, Jr. was an American comedian, game show host and announcer. He is most famous for his work on television as Johnny Carson's sidekick, announcer, and ...more
Les Paul is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Pneumonia
Lester William Polsfuss, known as Les Paul, was an American jazz, country and blues guitarist, songwriter, luthier and inventor. He was one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar, ...more
Ron Silver is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Esophageal cancer
Ronald Arthur "Ron" Silver was an American actor, director, producer, radio host and political activist.
John Updike is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Lung cancer
John Hoyer Updike was an American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, and literary critic. Updike's most famous work is his "Rabbit" series, which chronicles the life of ...more
David Carradine is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Erotic asphyxiation, Hanging
David Carradine was an American actor and martial artist, best known for his leading role as a warrior monk, Kwai Chang Caine, in the 1970s television series Kung Fu. He was a member of a ...more
John Hughes is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Myocardial infarction
John Wilden Hughes, Jr. was an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He directed or scripted some of the most successful comedy films of the 1980s and early 1990s, including the ...more
Erica Boyer is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Traffic collision
Erica Boyer, legal name Amanda Margaret Jensen was an American pornographic actress. She is a member of the AVN Hall of Fame, Legends of Erotica and the XRCO Hall of Fame.
Naomi Sims is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Cancer, Breast cancer
Naomi Ruth Sims was an American model, businesswoman and author, She was the first African-American model to appear on the cover of Ladies' Home Journal, and widely credited as being the first ...more
Natasha Richardson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Skiing accident, Epidural hematoma, Traumatic brain injury
Natasha Jane Richardson was an English stage and screen actress. A member of the Redgrave family, she was the daughter of actress Vanessa Redgrave and director/producer Tony Richardson and the ...more
Jack Kemp is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Cancer
Jack French Kemp was an American politician and a collegiate and professional football player. A Republican, he served as Housing Secretary in the administration of President George H. W. Bush ...more
Bea Arthur is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Cancer
Beatrice "Bea" Arthur was an American actress, comedian, and singer whose career spanned seven decades. Arthur achieved fame as the character Maude Findlay on the 1970s sitcoms All in ...more
Stephen Gately is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Stephen Patrick David Gately was an Irish pop singer-songwriter, actor, children's writer and dancer, who, with Ronan Keating, was one of two lead singers of the pop group Boyzone. Gately and ...more
Jim Carroll is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Myocardial infarction
James Dennis "Jim" Carroll was an American author, poet, autobiographer, and punk musician. Carroll was best known for his 1978 autobiographical work The Basketball Diaries, which ...more
Dominick Dunne is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous People Who Died in 2009
Bladder cancer
Dominick John Dunne was an American writer and investigative journalist whose subjects frequently hinged on the ways in which high society interacts with the judicial system. He was a movie ...more