Famous People Who Died In 1985

Discover the most famous people died who died in the year 1985. This list includes people like Orson Welles, Rock Hudson, Yul Brynner, Ricky Nelson, Paul Castellano and many more. This list of celebrities is loosely sorted by popularity. People featured on this list, include political leaders, artists, novelists and poets who died in 1985. This list includes people from United States, United Kingdom, France & Russia and many more countries.
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 1 
Ricky Nelson
(Musician)
Ricky Nelson
28
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: May 8, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Teaneck, New Jersey, United States
Died: December 31

Ricky Nelson was an American pop pioneer, rock & roll star, and singer-songwriter. After establishing himself as a top teen idol during the 1950s, Ricky Nelson went on to release several chartbusting songs. He achieved great popularity and was ranked 91st on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list.

 2 
Orson Welles
(One of the Greatest Filmmakers of All Time and Director of 'Citizen Kane')
Orson Welles
37
Birthdate: May 6, 1915
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States
Died: October 10

American filmmaker, Orson Welles, acted in and directed the 1941 film, Citizen Kane, which is considered to be one the greatest movies ever made. Though hailed as a genius, many of his films didn’t work at the box office. The Stranger, Macbeth, Chimes at Midnight, Touch of Evil and The Trial are some of the other films that he directed.

 3 
Rock Hudson
(One of the Most Popular Movie Stars of His Time)
Rock Hudson
19
Birthdate: November 17, 1925
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Winnetka, Illinois, United States
Died: October 2

Considered a heartthrob and one of the most popular movie stars of all time, some of Rock Hudson’s successful movies are the Magnificent Obsession, Giant, Written on the Wind, Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back, Come September and Send Me No Flowers. He also acted in television. It was speculated that he was a homosexual. He died due to AIDS-related illness.

 4 
Dian Fossey
(Zoologist, Conservationist)
Dian Fossey
14
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: January 16, 1932
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: December 26
Zoologist, primatologist, and conservationist Dian Fossey conducted research on mountain gorillas in Rwanda from 1966 until she was murdered in 1985. She was part of the Trimates assigned to study apes by paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey. She wrote Gorillas in the Mist, which was later turned into a film.
 5 
Anne Baxter
(American Actress Who Starred in Hollywood Films, Broadway Productions and TV Series)
Anne Baxter
30
Birthdate: May 7, 1923
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Michigan City, Indiana, United States
Died: December 12

Anne Baxter is best remembered for her Academy Award- and Golden Globe-winning performance as Sophie MacDonald in The Razor's Edge. Her other notable projects were the film All About Eve and the series The Name of the Game. She also actively participated in Republican campaigns.

 6 
Roger Maris
(Baseball player)
Roger Maris
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 10, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hibbing, Minnesota, United States
Died: December 14
 7 
Ruth Gordon
(Actress)
Ruth Gordon
9
Birthdate: October 30, 1896
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Quincy, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 28
Height: 5'0" (152 cm)
 8 
Marc Chagall
(Jewish-French Artist Who was a Pioneer of Modernism)
Marc Chagall
9
Birthdate: July 6, 1887
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lizona, Belarus
Died: March 28

Russian-French artist Marc Chagall, a key figure of modernism, had explored a wide range of media as an artist, from paintings and drawings to stained glass and ceramics. His major projects included the ceiling of the Paris Opéra, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Jerusalem Windows of Israel.

 9 
Louise Brooks
(Actress)
Louise Brooks
4
Birthdate: November 14, 1906
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cherryvale, Kansas, United States
Died: August 8
Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
 10 
Nicholas Colasanto
7
Birthdate: January 19, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Died: February 12
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 11 
Philip Larkin
24
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: August 9, 1922
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Radford, Coventry, United Kingdom
Died: December 2
 12 
Yul Brynner
(Russian-Born Actor Best Known for His Role in the Film ‘The King and I’)
Yul Brynner
65
Birthdate: July 11, 1920
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vladivostok, Russia
Died: October 10

Regarded as one of the first American movie stars, Yul Brynner became known for his performance as King Mongkut in the musical The King and I. He became identified with the role, so much so that he continued shaving his head after having shaved it for the role. A statue of Brynner was unveiled at Yul Brynner Park in 2012.

 13 
Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith
(Last Descendant of Abraham Lincoln)
Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith
3
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 19, 1904
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Riverside, Illinois, United States
Died: December 24
Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, one of the great-grandsons of Abraham Lincoln, was the last living descendant of Lincoln. A gentleman farmer, he owned his private farm, and was also a sailor. A qualified lawyer, he also represented Illinois Day as part of the New York World's Fair 1964.
 14 
Samantha Smith
(American Peace Activist and Child Actress Who Became Famous for Her Anti-War Outreaches During the Cold War)
Samantha Smith
14
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: June 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Houlton, Maine, United States
Died: August 25

Samantha Smith was an American schoolgirl, child actress, and peace activist. She achieved popularity during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States of America; she visited the Soviet Union as a goodwill ambassador which attracted extensive media attention. She also took part in peacemaking activities in Japan before dying in an airplane crash at age 13.

 15 
Phil Silvers
(American Entertainer and Comedic Actor)
Phil Silvers
5
Birthdate: May 11, 1911
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: November 1

Phil Silvers was an American comedian and entertainer. Dubbed the King of Chutzpah, Silvers won two Primetime Emmy Awards and two Tony Awards during his illustrious career that spanned almost six decades. In 1996, he was ranked 31st on TV Guide's list of 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time. Silvers’ work has inspired other comedians like Dick Van Dyke.

 16 
Vivien Thomas
(Surgeon)
Vivien Thomas
14
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: August 29, 1910
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Iberia, Louisiana, United States
Died: November 26

Vivien Theodore Thomas was laboratory supervisor who never went to college; yet he rose above poverty and racism to develop a procedure for treating cyanotic heart disease. Initially billed as janitor, he began his career as assistant to surgeon Alfred Blalock first at Nashville University and later at Johns Hopkins, and in time discovered the life-saving technique, eventually becoming a teacher of operative techniques.

 17 
Robert Graves
(Poet & Novelist)
Robert Graves
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: July 24, 1895
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wimbledon, England
Died: December 7
 18 
Edmond O'Brien
(American Actor Who Mainly Played Character Roles)
Edmond O'Brien
2
Birthdate: September 10, 1915
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: May 9

Edmond O'Brien was an American film director and actor. During his illustrious career, that spanned almost four decades, O'Brien recieved several prestigious awards like an Academy Award and Golden Globe Awards. He also has a couple of stars on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 19 
Simone Signoret
(One of the Most Versatile French Actresses of the 20th Century)
Simone Signoret
4
Birthdate: March 25, 1921
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wiesbaden, Germany
Died: September 30

Simone Signoret was a German-born French actress best known for her role in the film Room at the Top, for which she won several awards, including an Academy Award. Growing up during the Nazi occupation, she started acting in the early 1940s. She was professionally active for over 40 years, until her death in 1985.

 20 
Stepin Fetchit
3
Birthdate: May 30, 1902
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Key West, Florida, United States
Died: November 19
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 21 
Selma Diamond
(Actress)
Selma Diamond
1
Birthdate: August 5, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: May 13
 22 
Ettore Boiardi
(Italian-American Chef Known for His Food Products, Named ‘Chef Boyardee’)
Ettore Boiardi
8
Listed In: Food Experts
Birthdate: October 22, 1897
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Piacenza, Italy
Died: June 21

Italian-American chef Ettore Boiardi is remembered for revolutionizing the culinary industry with his food brand Chef Boyardee, which made a variety of Italian food products, such as sauces and spaghetti, available to Americans for the first time. He even supplied food to the Allied soldiers during World War II.

 23 
Cus D'Amato
(Boxing Manager and Trainer Who Handled the Careers of 'Mike Tyson', 'Floyd Patterson', and 'José Torres')
Cus D'Amato
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 17, 1908
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States
Died: November 4
 24 
The Singing Nun
(Singer-songwriter)
The Singing Nun
3
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: October 17, 1933
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Laeken, Brussels, Belgium
Died: March 29

Singer-songwriter Jeanne-Paule Marie Deckers, better known as The Singing Nun, soared to fame with the Billboard-charting track Dominique. She was also a Dominican Order nun, who later took the name Sister Luc Gabriel. She often played the guitar and was accompanied by a chorus of 4 nuns.

 25 
Michael Redgrave
(Actor)
Michael Redgrave
1
Birthdate: March 20, 1908
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bristol, England
Died: March 21
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 26 
Lloyd Nolan
(Actor)
Lloyd Nolan
1
Birthdate: August 11, 1902
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: September 27
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 27 
John G. Trump
(Scientist)
John G. Trump
8
Birthdate: August 21, 1907
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: February 21

Better known as former U.S. president Donald Trump’s uncle, John G. Trump was an MIT physicist and engineer. Though he had initially aspired to be an architect and join his brother Fred’s real-estate business, John later concentrated on his research that led to the invention of high-voltage generators.

 28 
Johnny Olson
(Actor, Radio personality)
Johnny Olson
1
Birthdate: May 22, 1910
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: October 12
 29 
Laura Ashley
(Founder of 'Laura Ashley' Brand)
Laura Ashley
9
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: September 7, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil,, Wales
Died: September 17

Laura Ashley was a Welsh businesswoman and fashion designer. She is credited with co-founding a British textile design company called Laura Ashley plc, which became an international retail chain after some 20 years from its founding. Two years after her death, the Laura Ashley Foundation was established in order to fund arts and social welfare projects.

 30 
Nelson Riddle
(American Arranger, Composer and Orchestrator)
Nelson Riddle
1
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: June 1, 1921
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oradell, New Jersey, United States
Died: October 6
 31 
Scott Brady
(Actor)
Scott Brady
2
Birthdate: September 13, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: April 16
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 32 
Potter Stewart
(Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States)
Potter Stewart
1
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: January 23, 1915
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Jackson
Died: December 7
 33 
Jean-Marie Loret
(Alleged Illegitimate Son of Adolf Hitler)
Jean-Marie Loret
11
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: March 25, 1918
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Seboncourt, France
Died: February 14

Jean-Marie Loret learned he was Adolf Hitler’s illegitimate child when his mother, a French lady named Charlotte revealed it to him on her deathbed. Though Loret died before finding any concrete evidence to prove the same, following his death, proof of cash sent to Charlotte by Hitler proved Loret's claim.

 34 
E. B. White
(Children's Novelist Best Known for His Books: ‘Stuart Little’, ‘Charlotte's Web’ and ‘The Trumpet of the Swan’)
E. B. White
73
Birthdate: July 11, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, United States
Died: October 1
 35 
David Byron
(Singer, Songwriter)
David Byron
0
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: January 29, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Epping
Died: February 28
 36 
Julie Vega
(Model, Singer, Actor)
Julie Vega
8
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: May 21, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Quezon City
Died: May 6
 37 
James Beard
(American Chef, Cookbook Author and Television Personality)
James Beard
2
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: May 5, 1903
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: January 23
 38 
Omayra Sánchez
(Victim of Nevado del Ruiz Volcano)
Omayra Sánchez
21
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: August 29, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Armero
Died: November 16

Omayra Sánchez was a Colombian girl who died at age 13. After the Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupted in 1985, a massive lahar demolished her home and Sánchez was trapped in the water beneath the debris of her home. She died after struggling for 60 hours, and has remained a prominent figure in popular culture; she is remembered through music.

 39 
Sam Spiegel
(Film producer)
Sam Spiegel
1
Birthdate: November 11, 1901
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Jarosław, Austrian Poland
Died: December 31
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 40 
Big Joe Turner
(Singer)
Big Joe Turner
2
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: May 18, 1911
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Died: November 24
 41 
Masako Natsume
(Actor, Model, Poet)
Masako Natsume
0
Birthdate: December 17, 1957
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tokyo
Died: September 11

Masako Natsume was a Japanese actress who achieved worldwide fame after playing Tripitaka in the popular Japanese television series Monkey. Throughout her brief career, Natsume won several awards like the Elan d'or Awards. Masako Natsume remains a household name in Japan; calendars and picture books featuring pictures of Masako Natsume are still popular today.

 42 
Johnny Marks
(American Composer and Songwriter)
Johnny Marks
0
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: November 10, 1909
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, United States
Died: September 3
 43 
Efrem Zimbalist
(Composer, Conductor, Music educator, Violinist, University teacher)
Efrem Zimbalist
1
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: April 21, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rostov-on-Don
Died: February 22
 44 
Brian Horrocks
(British Army Officer)
Brian Horrocks
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 7, 1895
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ranikhet, India
Died: January 4

Born to an army doctor in India, Brian Horrocks was educated at Sandhurst and later became a British Army officer. He was skilled in modern pentathlon and had also participated in the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris. Post-retirement, he penned a memoir and was featured in several BBC programs.

 45 
Grayson Hall
(Actress)
Grayson Hall
1
Birthdate: September 18, 1922
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: August 7
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 46 
Enver Hoxha
(Former Communist Leader of Albania)
Enver Hoxha
22
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 16, 1908
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ergiri (Gjirokastër), Janina Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
Died: April 11

Enver Hoxha was an Albanian politician. From 1944 to 1954, Hoxha served as the prime minister of Albania. He is credited with rebuilding Albania after World War II. He was also responsible for building the country's first railway line, wiping out epidemics, raising the adult literacy rate, and electrification the country.

 47 
Simon Kuznets
(Economist)
Simon Kuznets
0
Birthdate: April 30, 1901
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pinsk
Died: July 8
 48 
Andre Kertesz
(Photographer)
Andre Kertesz
0
Listed In: Photographers
Birthdate: July 2, 1894
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: September 28

Andre Kertesz was a photographer known for his immense contribution to photo essay and photographic composition. Although his style and camera angles, which were considered unorthodox at the time, stopped him from achieving international acclaim during his lifetime, Kertesz is now regarded as one of the most influential figures in the field of photojournalism.

 49 
Mickey Shaughnessy
(Actor)
Mickey Shaughnessy
0
Birthdate: August 5, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: July 23
 50 
Méret Oppenheim
(Swiss Surrealist Artist and Photographer)
Méret Oppenheim
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: October 6, 1913
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: November 15
Méret Oppenheim is best remembered for her surrealist art such as Object: Breakfast in Fur. She also modeled for artists. Throughout her career, she had created furniture, jewelry, and even poetry. In her performance piece Spring Feast, she laid out a banquet on top of a nude woman.