Which stars left our presence in 2013?
The overall caveat with celebrities is that there are a lot more of them than they used to be, people actually live longer lives than ever, and many of the famous people who died in 2013 have been with us for a very long time. On the other side, there are famous people who died all too young, and like James Dean or Heath Ledger in the past, have had a hand in their own early demise.
In the last 20 years the notion of celebrity has been stretched to include stars of unscripted shows, people who became famous on YouTube, and people from cult films that were never popular in their own times. Many musicians and "singers" have gotten fame as part of ensembles or televised singing contests, so it is important to consider that more celebrities are dying because there are just more celebrities. It is also a sad commentary that people follow the lives of celebrities closer than they follow the actions of world leaders or the deeds of historical figures, and fictional storylines take more precedence in people's lives than actual events that may impact them.
Why we mourn celebrities.
We mourn celebrities because there is clearly some creative void in our own lives that we can't fill, either due to a lack of education or the fact that our parents failed to imbue us with a sense of wonder, curiosity, or imagination. While there are a lot of good TV writers out there, people don't consider that they could create some of their own art and get more fulfillment out of it. Today, everything is prepackaged and run by focus groups, assembled by near-slave labor in China and heavily discounted over here. Once upon a time, if you wanted to learn the latest tunes you had to know how to play the piano and buy sheet music. You would read the newspaper (an ongoing celebrity death) and not spend your time following tweets or inane rants on Facebook, which probably would have been named "idiot soapbox" if the name hadn't already been taken. Achievement does more good than any celebrity, or all of them put together, so remember that the next time you mourn some guy who was famous for movies about reckless driving, who died as a result of it. Instead, you could mourn all the anonymous victims of street racing who were hit by careless drivers inspired by same.
Unexpected or Unusual Losses
In a case of cosmic irony, Elanor Parker, who starred in the original Sound of Music, died within days of the live version seen on NBC. Lisa Robin Kelly of That 70s Show, whose character was replaced, is unfortunately a victim of Hollywood excesses. Gia Allemand of The Bachelor died of an apparent suicide. Cory Monteith, James Gandolfini, were unexpected losses. Chris Kelly, Richie Havens, George Jones, and Richard Griffiths (Mr. Dursley from the Harry Potter Movies, Dr. Meinheimer from Naked Gun 2 1/2)