Five Celebrities Died Of Cancer Last Week
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Five Celebrities Died Of Cancer Last Week

The importance of learning their legacies

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Five Celebrities Died Of Cancer Last Week

News headlines have been shouting about the recent deaths of celebrities. Two of which in particular that have been especially difficult for fans and a few more that hit the public at the end of the week, all of whom were killed by cancer. All over social media fans have been mourning the most notable deaths of David Bowie and Alan Rickman.

Mostly I’ve seen quotations from Bowie and Rickman that have come from their roles in films which I think say nothing of them and everything about the writers, so instead I’ll quote the men themselves. It is important to remember that people are not the roles they play, they are themselves and only themselves. Roles are only dimensions of people.


David Bowie died at 69 years from liver cancer on Sunday. He challenged gender boundaries most famously in music but he also played a part in movies, most recognized Labyrinth, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Twin Peaks, Gunslinger’s Revenge, and Arthur and the Invisibles.

“I re-invented my image so many times that I'm in denial that I was originally an overweight Korean woman.”

“There, in the chords and melodies, is everything I want to say. The words just jolly it along. It's always been my way of expressing what for me is inexpressible by any other means.”

“I wanted to prove the sustaining power of music.”

“I suppose for me as an artist it wasn't always just about expressing my work; I really wanted, more than anything else, to contribute in some way to the culture that I was living in. It just seemed like a challenge to move it a little bit towards the way I thought it might be interesting to go.”

“Frankly, I mean, sometimes the interpretations I've seen on some of the songs that I've written are a lot more interesting than the input that I put in.”

“To not be modest about it, you'll find that with only a couple of exceptions, most of the musicians that I've worked with have done their best work by far with me.”

“I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human. I felt very puny as a human. I thought, ‘Fuck that. I want to be a superhuman.’”


“As you get older, the questions come down to about two or three. How long? And what do I do with the time I've got left?”

“I'm always amazed that people take what I say seriously. I don't even take what I am seriously.”

“The humanists' replacement for religion: work really hard and somehow you'll either save yourself or you'll be immortal. Of course, that's a total joke, and our progress is nothing. There may be progress in technology but there's no ethical progress whatsoever.”

“That's the shock: All cliches are true. The years really do speed by. Life really is as short as they tell you it is. And there really is a God—so do I buy that one? If all the other cliches are true...Hell, don't pose me that one.”



Alan Rickman died at 69 years, as well, from pancreatic cancer on Thursday. He was well-known for his role as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series, but he had other roles in at least 43 other movies including Galaxy Quest, Dogma, Sweeney Todd, Die Hard, Sense and Sensibility, Alice In Wonderland, and Alice In Wonderland: Through The Looking Glass.

“I do take my work seriously and the way to do that is not to take yourself too seriously.”

“If people want to know who I am, it is all in the work.”

“I've never been able to plan my life. I just lurch from indecision to indecision.”


“I want to swim in both directions at once. Desire success, court failure.”

“If you could build a house on a trampoline, that would suit me fine.”


“Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theater, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.”

“And it's a human need to be told stories. The more we're governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from, and what might be possible. Or, what's impossible? What's a fantasy?”


“If only life could be a little more tender and art a little more robust.”

“I think there should be laughs in everything. Sometimes, it's a slammed door, a pie in the face or just a recognition of our frailties."



Then there were the deaths of Céline Dion’s husband, René Angélil, at 73 years from throat cancer on Thursday and her brother, Daniel, at 59 years from throat, tongue, and brain cancer on Saturday. And Dan Haggerty, known for acting in the 70’s TV series The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, died at 74 years from spinal cancer.


So many deaths. So many suffering from cancer. It is virtually unheard of that so many celebrities die within the span of just several days as they have this first month of 2016.

[1] http://www.ajc.com/news/entertainment/fans-mourning-multiple-celebrity-deaths-single-wee/np6Sj/

[2] http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/16/entertainment/daniel-dion-celine-dion-brother-dies/

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