2016 Celebrity Deaths: 21 Tributes to 21 Stars

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Prince. David Bowie. Muhammed Ali. Gene Wilder. Alan Thicke, George Michael. Carrie Fisher.

There have been far too many celebrity deaths in 2016.

Before we turn the calendar and hope for better in the new year, however, here's a look back at some of the most memorable tributes from living stars to those that left us too soon...

1. Joanna Kerns on Alan Thicke

Joanna Kerns on Alan Thicke
Alan had this way about him. He was handsome, cocky, and fiercely intelligent, but he was no saint. That was what made him so much fun. He lived to connect with people, and even more important, he loved to make them laugh. He was happiest when he could perform. It's very hard to have a self-deprecating humor about the silliness in yourself, but he could do it better than anybody… Growing Pains was a gift. It lifted us both out of insecurity and changed my life forever. Best of all, it introduced me to Alan. He was my mentor and friend, and I loved him.

2. Henry Winkler on Garry Marshall

Henry Winkler on Garry Marshall
Wisdom. Generosity. No-nonsense. Warm. Funny. Loyal. These are the words that frame his life. He carved his own avenue through the world… I will never get over missing him. I will never get over the gratitude that I have that I was able to have him in my life.

3. Barbra Streisand on Pat Conroy

Barbra Streisand on Pat Conroy
Do you know how you just feel comfortable with some people immediately? That's how I felt with Pat. I wanted to hear his stories: about his father, his mother, his family, his whole life. I was greedy for any detail that would help me flesh out the characters and understand his world. After I showed the movie to Pat, he wrote me a long, beautiful letter that I will treasure forever, and one of the lines was, 'You gave me my book back to me.' At the very end, he said, 'Let me tell you this: I love the movie version of The Prince of Tides. I simply love it. The book has many flaws based on basic flaws of my character. But the movie sings and soars.

4. Sheila E. on Prince

Sheila E. on Prince
You're first attracted by the melody of what he's created, and then you start singing those lyrics. It was just incredible how he would talk about something so personal and specific, but in a way that you're thinking, 'Wait. What did he just say?' Some of the rock & roll bands did that as well, but he did it in a different way. He was an amazing songwriter and, I think, one of the greatest guitar players ever.

5. Ray Romano on Doris Roberts

Ray Romano on Doris Roberts
She played this woman who was intrusive, jealous, and overbearing, who could have easily been hated by the audience. But they adored her because she showed where it came from — love. That's who she was in real life.

6. Paul McCartney on George Martin

Paul McCartney on George Martin
I can't think of anyone who was as good a producer and whose input was as significant to a band as George Martin was to us.

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