In 2014, New York City lost some of its most famous born-here natives, and others who famously adopted NYC. From the big screen to the TV screen, the Broadway stage and NYC nightclub and cabaret stages, we dim the lights and tip the hat in respect for the laughter and tears you gave us.
A sad farewell to —
Mike Nichols – The award-winning director of some of our favorite films, including The Graduate and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, and the husband of ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer. Earlier in his career, the comedy team of Mike Nichols and Elaine May was a regular at NYC clubs.
Elaine Stritch – The tart-tongued, raspy-voiced cabaret and nightclub performer, perhaps best known for one of her last roles, as the tart-tongued mother of the Alec Baldwin character on 30 Rock.
Lauren Bacall – The elegant Bronx-born beauty whose films with husband Humphrey Bogart are among the best Hollywood ever produced. The romance of Bogey and Bacall was the stuff of headlines a generation before Brad and Angie or Jay and Bey. Here’s looking at you, kid.
Ruby Dee: The award-winning actress for roles including Raisin in the Sun was also a playright and a dedicated civil rights activist, who grew up in Harlem. She was the recipient of Grammy, Emmy, Obie, Drama Desk, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Awards as well as the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honors.
Eli Wallach: Born in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and a lifelong New Yorker, he appeared on stage and screen for more than 60 years, well into his 90s, starring alternately as good guys and bad guys in such films as The Magnificent Seven (1960), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010).
Geoffrey Holder: A multi-talented dancer, choreographer, actor, composer, designer, painter and product pitchman whose deep voice and hearty laugh convinced us to drink the Un-Cola.
Joan Rivers: The tart-tongued comedienne equally famous for her one-liners and her facelifts, who got her start on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, making us laugh and cringe for five decades.
Robin Williams: Although he lived on the West Coast, the brilliant and beloved comedian performed one-man shows often in NYC, and his final film role is as New York-born Teddy Roosevelt in the film Night at the Museum 3, which as we all know is set in the American Museum of Natural History on Central Park West.
To all the New Yorkers we lost in 2014, famous and not, you will be missed.