Singer and actor David Bowie (b.David Jones, 1947) died on January 10 after an eighteen-month battle with cancer and 3 days after his birthday and the release of his last album. Many of Bowie’s albums and songs had some tie-in to space, including his hit song “Space Oddity,” which was released a week before the Apollo 11 launch but not played by the BBC until after the Apollo 11 crew returned safely to Earth, and the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Bowie also appeared in several films, including The Man Who Fell to Earth, Labyrinth, and The Prestige.
Chicago fan kT FitzSimmons (b.1956) died on January 10 after a lengthy battle with cancer. In addition to working on Windycon and Capricon in Chicago, FitzSimmons ran programming for Chicon V in 1991. She also served on the board of Phandemonium.
Actor Richard Libertini (b.1933) died on January 7 following a two year battle with cancer. Libertini portrayed Akorem Laan in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He also made appearances on Mork and Mindy, The Adventures of Lois and Clark, and an episode of The Twilight Zone based on Theodore Sturgeon’s “A Saucer of Loneliness.” Libertini also provided voicework for several animated television shows.
Author A. R. Morlan (b.1958) committed suicide on January 4 or 5. Morlan began publishing horror in 1985 with the short story “Four Days Before the Snow” in Night Cry and published several collections of her own work over the years. She co-edited the anthology Zodiac Fantastic with Martin H. Greenberg in 1997. In 1994, her story “The Best Years of Our Lives” was nominated for the Tiptree Award.
Actor Pat Harrington, Jr. (b.1929) died on January 6. Harrington is best known for his role as Schneider on One Day at a Time, but had many genre roles, including the film The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, the voices of Speedy and the Atom on Aquaman, appearances on The Munsters, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, and Kolchak: The Night Stalker.
Hotel sales rep Jim Strauss (b.1948) died at his home on December 26. Strauss wasn’t a member of the fannish community directly, but he worked with multiple Chicago area science fiction conventions at various hotels and offered his expertise to conventions when they were negotiating with other hotels.
Nashville fan Andrew Bostaph (b.1969) died at home in late December. Bostaph was a frequent attendee at Libertycon, Chattacon, and other conventions.
Actor Jason Wingreen (b.1920) died on December 25. Perhaps best known for his role as the bartender on All in the Family and Archie Bunker’s Place, Wingreen also appeared in episodes of the science fiction series Starman and Freddie’s Nightmares. Perhaps his most notable role was as the uncredited voice of Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back.
Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond (b.1930) died on January 1. Zsigmond won an Academy Award in 1978 for his work on Close Encounters of the Third Kind and was nominated for an Emmy for his work on a television adaptation of The Mists of Avalon. Other projects of genre interest include Real Genius, Timeline, and The Witches of Eastwick.
ETA: Correct date of birth.
Las Vegas fan Harrison Simon (b.1975) committed suicide on December 26. Simon was involved in Las Vegas Wrestling and Comic Book fandoms and was also active in Vegrants. he was a charter member of the Trufannish Electronic Press Exchange