Some of the people we lost in 2015

World Today

A look back at just a few of the notable people who died in 2015.

Yao Beina
Pop singer. Jan. 16: 33 years old

Yao Beina won several awards for her achievements in pop music, and the International Astronomical Union, the world’s largest professional body for astronomers, named an asteroid after her. She was an image ambassador for the China Pink Ribbon Campaign help raise awareness of breast cancer. (


Leonard Nimoy
Actor. Feb. 27: 83 years old

Leonard Nimoy, the actor known and loved by generations of “Star Trek” fans as the pointy-eared, purely logical science officer Mr. Spock, sent his last tweet just days before his death: “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.” Story.


Lee Kuan Yew
Singapore’s founding father. March 23: 91 years old
Singapore's former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew was the founding father and first prime minister of Singapore. Story.


Eduardo Galeano
Writer. April 13: 74 years old

Latin American writer Eduardo Galeano dies

Uruguayan journalist and writer Eduardo Galeano died on Monday after battling lung cancer. He was 74. Galeano's writings stretched half a century, but one of his best-known was 'The Open Veins of Latin America'. It was published in 1971 but today, it is still as widely read as it is debated. CCTV's Joel Richards filed this report.

The writings of Uruguayan journalist and writer Eduardo Galeano stretched half a century, but one of his best known was ‘The Open Veins of Latin America.’ Published in 1971, it is still as widely read as it is debated. Story.


B.B. King
Blues musician. May 14: 89 years old

The life of a legend: Remembering B.B. King

The world is mourning a blues icon. B.B. King passed away Thursday at his home in the U.S. city of Las Vegas. CCTV America's Jim Spellman filed this report from Washington.

Blues legend B.B. King, a one-time farmhand, brought new fans to the blues and influenced a generation of musicians with his heartfelt vocals and soaring guitar on songs such as “The Thrill Is Gone.” King played a Gibson guitar that he affectionately called Lucille and was not only the undisputed king of the blues but a mentor to scores of guitarists including Eric Clapton. Story.


Beau Biden
Former attorney general of Delaware and son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. May 30: 46 years old


“The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words,” Vice President Biden said in a statement released by the White House. Story.


Christopher Lee
Actor. June 7: 93 years old

With his deep, mellifluous voice and ramrod 6-foot 4-inch (nearly 2 meter) frame, British actor Sir Christopher Lee devoted his long career to portraying horror film villains and later appeared in the blockbuster “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings” series. The London-born actor achieved fame from the late 1950s into the 1970s playing characters such as Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster and the Mummy for Hammer Films. Story.


Omar Sharif
Actor. July 10: 83 years old
Omar Sharif in a scene from the film Lawrence of Arabia..

Omar Sharif, the Egyptian-born actor with the dark, soulful eyes, soared to international stardom in movie epics including “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Doctor Zhivago.” Story


Satoru Iwata
Nintendo president. July 11: 55 years old

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata led the company through the well-known Pokemon and Super Mario franchises, and news of his death drew condolences from both game fans and industry rivals. On some Internet sites, an image of the flag in the Super Mario game was flying at half-staff. Story.


Julian Bond
U.S. civil rights leader. Aug. 15: 75 years old

Julian Bond’s life traced the arc of the civil rights movement, from his efforts as a militant young man to start a student protest group, through a long career in politics and his leadership of the NAACP almost four decades later. He co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center, made regular appearances on the lecture circuit and on television, and taught at several universities. (AP)


Yogi Berra
Baseball player. Sept. 22: 90 years old

The Hall of Fame catcher was renowned as much for his linguistically dizzying “Yogi-isms” as his unmatched 10 World Series championships with the New York Yankees. He played in more World Series games than any other major leaguer and was a three-time American League Most Valuable Player. (AP)


Maureen O’Hara
Actress. Oct. 24: 95 years old

Fiery-haired and feisty, Maureen O’Hara could handle anything the world and Hollywood threw at her. Director John Ford punched her in the jaw at a party and John Wayne dragged her through sheep dung — real sheep dung — in “The Quiet Man.” In “Miracle on 34th Street” she learned to believe in Santa Claus. In her heyday, O’Hara was known as the Queen of Technicolor because of the camera’s love affair with her vivid hair, bright green eyes and pale complexion. (AP)


Helmut Schmidt
Former West German chancellor. Nov. 10: 96 years old


Helmut Schmidt, the chancellor who guided West Germany through economic turbulence and Cold War tensions, stood firm against a wave of homegrown terrorism and became a respected elder statesman. He was a center-left Social Democrat and led West Germany from 1974 to 1982. Schmidt’s chancellorship coincided with a tense period in the Cold War, including the Soviet Union’s 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. Story.


Kim Young-sam
Former South Korean president. Nov. 22: 87 years old
Kim Young-sam

Former President Kim Young-sam who formally ended decades of military rule in South Korea and accepted a massive international bailout during the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis. He was an important figure in South Korea’s pro-democracy movement and opposed the country’s military dictators for decades. As president, Kim laid the foundation for a peaceful power transfer in a country that had been marked by military coups. Story.


Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister
Rock icon. Dec. 28: 70 years old
Lemmy Kilmister

Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister spent four decades fronting legendary hard rock band Motorhead, and continued recording and touring with the band until his death. He began his career as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, before joining seminal psychedelic band Hawkwind in the early 1970s and founding Motorhead in 1975. The group is best known for the 1980 anthem “Ace of Spades.” He began every legendary live show with the announcement, “We are Motorhead, and we play rock and roll!”