I may be taking a bit of a risk publishing my list of the most tragic celebrity deaths of
2009 before the year is over.  While there is still a week to go in 2009 I'm willing to
chance that no more shocking deaths will occur before midnight December 31st.

It has been a pretty big year for celebrity deaths. The year seems to have been filled
with an inordinate amount of high-profile losses, famous names have been dropping
like flies - and sometimes in threes - causing much grief and retrospection all over the

As this year limps to a close, thankfully - we celebrity observers wonder if we will ever
see a year like it again. A year that claimed an inordinate number of superstars,
beloved performers, golden girls, screen hunks, scions of political families, household
names...broadcasting legends...big names...and "oh no, not him (or her)" names.

A year like no other. The rich, the powerful, the young and the beautiful...no one was
immune this year from death.

From the King of Pop to the youngest son of the Kennedy dynasty to a pop icon of the
70s in Farrah Fawcett to the most trusted man in TV news in Walter Cronkite...to
Brittany Murphy at 32, another stunning tragic loss, 2009 proved to be particularly
cruel in the celebrity death department.

We lost icons, and kings of pop and a golden girl and a girl with golden tresses.
America's first porn star. Johnny's sidekick. The wrestler who made wrestling
mainstream. The dirty dancer. Too many people of promise. Too many people whose
lives had so many more chapters to write. But Michael, and Farrah, and Marilyn
Chambers, Ed McMahon, Patrick Swayze and Captain Lou Albano would be, by no
means, alone.

But was 2009 any more notable for celebrity deaths than other years? Or, in our
hyper-caffeinated, overly Twittered culture, is there simply more awareness?

There was suddenly a rash of unexpected, untimely, or just plain tragic deaths. These
deaths were well publicized, often surprising, and at times simply disturbing.
Presented here are my choices for the ten most tragic deaths of the past year.
The 10 Most Tragic Celebrity Deaths of 2009
by Roland Hansen
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