Famous People Who Died In 1989

Discover the most famous people died who died in the year 1989. This list includes people like Ted Bundy, Lucille Ball, Bette Davis, Hirohito, Laurence Olivier and many more. This list of celebrities is loosely sorted by popularity. People featured on this list, include political leaders, journalists, actresses and poets who died in 1989. This list includes people from United States, United Kingdom, Italy & Spain and many more countries.
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 1 
Lucille Ball
(Actress and Comedienne Best Known for Her Shows: 'I Love Lucy', 'The Lucy Show' and 'Here's Lucy')
Lucille Ball
74
Birthdate: August 6, 1911
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Jamestown, New York, United States
Died: April 26

One of the most popular actresses of the 1950s and 1960s, Lucille Ball created the sitcom, I Love Lucy, in 1951. In 1962, she started managing the Desilu Productions, becoming the first woman to run a major TV studio. The recipient of two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Lucille Ball was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1984.

 2 
Salvador Dali
(Spanish Surrealist Painter Best Known for His Work 'The Persistence of Memory')
Salvador Dali
58
Birthdate: May 11, 1904
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Figueres, Catalonia, Spain
Died: January 23

Salvador Dali was a Spanish artist best remembered for his precise draftsmanship and technical skills. His artwork is famous for depicting bizarre and striking images. In spite of producing brilliant artworks, Dali's ostentatious and eccentric public behavior often overshadowed his professional achievements, much to the irritation of his fans and critics. His works have influenced other artists like Jeff Koons.

 3 
Hirohito
(Former Emperor of Japan)
Hirohito
48
Birthdate: April 29, 1901
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan
Died: January 7
Hirohito, or Emperor Showa, the longest-reigning Japanese emperor, reigned from 1926 to 1989 and supported the Axis Powers during World War II. He also served in the Japanese military. He was not prosecuted for war crimes by the U.S. and played a major role in the post-war reconstruction of Japan.
 4 
Bette Davis
(American Actress Who was Known for Playing Unsympathetic, Sardonic Characters)
Bette Davis
34
Birthdate: April 5, 1908
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lowell, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 6

Two-time Academy Award-winner Bette Davis, a prominent figure from the Golden Age of Hollywood, was known for playing unlikeable characters and her addiction to cigarettes both off and on screen. Fans loved her in All About Eve and Human Bondage. Bette was also the first female AFI Lifetime Achievement Award-winner.

 5 
John Cassavetes
(One of the Most Influential American Directors of the Later Half of the 20th Century)
John Cassavetes
7
Birthdate: December 9, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: February 3
John Cassavetes is best remembered for his Academy Award-nominated performance in The Dirty Dozen and for his Academy Award-nominated screenplay and direction in Faces and A Woman Under the Influence, respectively. His movies explored the cinéma verité style of filmmaking and included frequent collaborations with his wife, Gena Rowlands.
 6 
Laurence Olivier
(English Actor and Director Known for His Film ‘Hamlet’)
Laurence Olivier
9
Birthdate: May 22, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dorking, Surrey, England
Died: July 11
Four-time Academy Award-winning actor Laurence Olivier began his career with stage, mostly playing Shakespearean characters. He founded London’s National Theatre. Some of his noteworthy films were Wuthering Heights, Rebecca, and the movie version of Hamlet. He had received the knighthood, the Order of Merit, and a life peerage.
 7 
Lee Van Cleef
(American Actor, Best Known for His Role in the Film ‘For a Few Dollars More’)
Lee Van Cleef
20
Birthdate: January 9, 1925
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Somerville, New Jersey, United States
Died: December 16

Lee Van Cleef was an American actor popular for playing important roles in many Spaghetti Westerns. Since his physical appearance often overshadowed his acting skills, Lee Van Cleef is regarded by some as the unsung hero of the Western films of the 1950s. Ironically, his appearance served as an inspiration for characters in the Metal Gear Solid video game series.

 8 
Sugar Ray Robinson
(One of the Greatest Boxers of All Time)
Sugar Ray Robinson
14
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 3, 1921
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ailey, Georgia, United States
Died: April 12

Sugar Ray Robinson was an American boxer. Considered one of the greatest boxers ever, Robinson held a 91-fight unbeaten streak from 1943 to 1951, the third-longest in the history of professional boxing. Also known for his flamboyant and classy lifestyle outside the ring, Sugar Ray Robinson unsuccessfully tried his hand at a career as an entertainer after retiring from boxing.

 9 
Ferdinand Marcos
(Former President of the Philippines)
Ferdinand Marcos
111
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 11, 1917
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, Philippine Islands
Died: September 28

Ferdinand Marcos served as the tenth president of the Philippines. Marcos' rule was marked by brutality, extravagance, and corruption, making him the most controversial leader of his generation. Deemed a kleptocrat, Marcos' dictatorship caused an economic collapse during which the country suffered greatly. He was removed from power in 1986 after a series of protests called the People Power Revolution.

 10 
Mel Blanc
(Known for His Voices of 'Bugs Bunny', 'Daffy Duck' & 'Porky Pig' During the Golden Age of American Animation)
Mel Blanc
10
Birthdate: May 30, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: July 10

Mel Blanc was an American radio personality and voice actor. Dubbed The Man of a Thousand Voices, Blanc contributed immensely to the success of several theatrical cartoons by voicing famous characters, such as Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Barney Rubble, and Mr. Spacely. He was considered one of the most influential and important personalities in the voice acting industry.

 11 
Amanda Blake
(Actress)
Amanda Blake
15
Birthdate: February 20, 1929
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, USA
Died: August 16
Illustrious as the sassy saloon owner, Miss Kitty, on Gunsmoke, Amanda Blake was a celebrated American actress. Also an animal lover, she ran one of the first successful programs for breeding cheetahs in captivity along with her husband, Frank Gilbert. She was also the third performer to be inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers, after Tom Mix and Gary Cooper.
 12 
Frances Bavier
21
Birthdate: December 14, 1902
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York
Died: December 6

Frances Bavier was an American actress best known for playing Aunt Bee in the television series, The Andy Griffith Show and its spin-off, Mayberry R.F.D., winning an Emmy Award for her performance in 1967. Bavier chose not to marry and led a quiet life after her retirement. She promoted Easter Seal Societies and Christmas and often wrote letters to fans.

 13 
Samuel Beckett
(Irish Novelist Who Won the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Samuel Beckett
6
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: April 13, 1906
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Foxrock, Ireland
Died: December 22

Samuel Beckett was a legendary Nobel Prize-winning Irish postmodernist and minimalist playwright and author, regarded as a prominent figure of the "Theatre of the Absurd.” He is best known for the play Waiting for Godot and for his tragi-comic themes and black comedy. He was also the Saoi of Aosdána.

 14 
Huey P. Newton
(Political Activist, Revolutionary Leader and Co-Founder of the ‘Black Panther Party’)
Huey P. Newton
29
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: February 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Monroe, Louisiana, United States
Died: August 22

Huey P. Newton was an African-American civil and political rights activist. He is credited with co-founding The Black Panther Party (BPP), which went on to become one of black movement's most influential organizations of the late-1960s. The party, under Newton's leadership, founded more than 60 community support programs, including Free Breakfast for Children, which provided food to thousands of children.

 15 
Jim Backus
(American Actor Best Known for His Role as ‘Thurston Howell III’ in the TV Sitcom ‘Gilligan's Island’)
Jim Backus
9
Birthdate: February 25, 1913
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died: July 3
Jim Backus is best known as Thurston Howell III from Gilligan's Island and as Frank Stark from Rebel Without a Cause. He also became popular as the voice of the animated character Mr. Magoo. He was also a skilled golfer and has his own show, The Jim Backus Show.
 16 
Graham Chapman
(British Actor, Writer and Member of the Surreal Comedy Group ‘Monty Python’)
Graham Chapman
10
Birthdate: January 8, 1941
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leicester, England, United Kingdom
Died: October 4

Graham Chapman was an English comedian, author, actor, and writer. An important member of the popular comedy group Monty Python, Chapman was also a patron of the Dangerous Sports Club. An openly gay comedian, Chapman supported gay rights throughout his life. In September 2012, a blue plaque was unveiled at The Angel pub in North London to commemorate Graham Chapman.

 17 
Rebecca Schaeffer
(Actress & Model)
Rebecca Schaeffer
17
Birthdate: November 6, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Eugene, Oregon, United States
Died: July 18

Rebecca Schaeffer started her career as a model and is best remembered for her role as Patricia "Patti" Russell in the comedy My Sister Sam. She was shot to death at 21, by an obsessed fan named Robert John Bardo, who had been stalking her for a while.

 18 
Victor French
8
Birthdate: December 4, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Santa Barbara, California, United States
Died: June 15

Victor French was an American actor remembered for playing important roles in television series, such as Carter Country, Highway to Heaven, and Little House on the Prairie. The son of actor and stuntman Ted French, Victor followed in the footsteps of his father and started his career as a stuntman before establishing himself as a successful actor.

 19 
Keith Whitley
(Country Music Singer and Songwriter.)
Keith Whitley
22
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: July 1, 1955
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bedford, Kentucky, United States
Died: May 9

Keith Whitley was an American singer whose career was cut short by his sudden death at the age of 34. Before his death, due to alcohol intoxication, Whitley recorded two albums, which spawned 12 chart-busting singles. His third and final studio album was released posthumously.

 20 
Irving Berlin
(American Composer and Lyricist)
Irving Berlin
8
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: May 11, 1888
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tyumen, Russian Empire
Died: September 22

Irving Berlin was a composer and lyricist. He made tremendous contributions to the Great American Songbook and is widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. He had an extensive career spanning six decades, during which he composed an estimated 1,500 songs. He received the Lawrence Langner Tony Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. 

 21 
John Matuszak
(American Football Defensive End and Actor)
John Matuszak
17
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 25, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Oak Creek, Wisconsin, United States
Died: June 17
Height: 6'7" (201 cm)
 22 
Sergio Leone
(Italian Filmmaker Best Known for Creating the 'Spaghetti Western' Genre)
Sergio Leone
8
Birthdate: January 3, 1929
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: April 30

Best known as a pioneer of the Spaghetti Western genre, Sergio Leone was born to legendary Italian actors Vincenzo Leone and Edvige Valcarenghi. He dropped out of law to focus on films and created masterpieces such as Once upon a Time in America and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

 23 
Billy Martin
(Baseball player)
Billy Martin
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 16, 1928
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States
Died: December 25
 24 
Daphne du Maurier
(English Novelist, Biographer and Playwright)
Daphne du Maurier
7
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: May 13, 1907
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 19

Daphne du Maurier was an English playwright and author. Many of her works, which have been praised for narrative craft, have been adapted into films, including three of Alfred Hitchcock's movies. Such was her popularity that she was selected along with four other Women of Achievement to be featured on a set of British stamps, which were issued in 1996.

 25 
Alvin Ailey
(Dancer)
Alvin Ailey
24
Listed In: Dancers
Birthdate: January 5, 1931
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rogers, Texas, United States
Died: December 1
 26 
Lane Frost
(Bull Riders)
Lane Frost
7
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 12, 1963
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: La Junta, Colorado, USA
Died: July 30
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 27 
Guy Williams
(Actor)
Guy Williams
2
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: January 14, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Washington Heights, New York, United States
Died: April 30
Height: 6'3" (190 cm)
 28 
William Shockley
(American Physicist, Inventor and Winner of the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics)
William Shockley
4
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: February 13, 1910
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 12

American physicist, inventor and Nobel laureate William Bradford Shockley Jr received the Nobel Prize in Physics with John Bardeen and Walter Brattain in 1956 for their researches on semiconductors and for discovering the transistor effect while working at the Bell Labs. He later became a proponent of eugenics while serving as a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University.

 29 
Vladimir Horowitz
(Russian-Born American Virtuoso Pianist)
Vladimir Horowitz
12
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: October 1, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kyiv, Ukraine
Died: November 5
 30 
Christine Jorgensen
(Actress)
Christine Jorgensen
4
Birthdate: May 30, 1926
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: May 3
 31 
Osamu Tezuka
(Film director, Film producer, Mangaka, Animator, Physician, Writer, Designer, Screenwriter)
Osamu Tezuka
4
Birthdate: November 3, 1928
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Toyonaka
Died: February 9

Osamu Tezuka was a Japanese manga artist, cartoonist, animator, and film director. He revolutionized the manga genre in Japan and was lovingly called  "the Godfather of Manga". A prolific artist, he created works for both children and adult-oriented projects. He was the recipient of several awards, including the Winsor McCay Award and the Japan Cartoonists Association Award. 

 32 
Andrei Sakharov
(Soviet Nuclear Physicist, Dissident and Winner of the 1975 Nobel Prize for Peace)
Andrei Sakharov
2
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: May 21, 1921
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: December 14

Andrei Sakharov was a Russian dissident and nuclear physicist best remembered for designing RDS-37, Soviet Union's first two-stage hydrogen bomb. Also an activist for peace and human rights, Andrei Sakharov was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975. The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, which is awarded by the European Parliament, is named in his honor.

 33 
Blaze Foley
(Singer-songwriter)
Blaze Foley
5
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 18, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Malvern, Arkansas, United States
Died: February 1
 34 
Jock Mahoney
(Actor)
Jock Mahoney
4
Birthdate: February 7, 1919
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died: December 14
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
 35 
Joe Spinell
4
Birthdate: October 28, 1936
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: January 13
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 36 
Paul Shenar
12
Birthdate: February 12, 1936
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: October 11
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 37 
John Payne
(Actor)
John Payne
2
Birthdate: May 23, 1912
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Roanoke, Virginia
Died: December 6
 38 
Cornel Wilde
(Actor and Filmmaker Known for His Role in the Film 'A Song to Remember')
Cornel Wilde
3
Birthdate: October 13, 1912
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Prievidza, Slovakia
Died: October 16

Starting his career with Broadway, Cornel Wilde later gained fame for his Academy Award-nominated role of Frédéric Chopin in A Song to Remember. Though he had made it to the US Olympic fencing team in 1936 and had also joined Columbia University to become a physician, he decided to focus on acting instead.

 39 
Barry Sadler
(Soldier and Writer)
Barry Sadler
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: November 1, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Carlsbad, New Mexico, United States
Died: November 5
 40 
Anthony Quayle
1
Birthdate: September 7, 1913
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ainsdale, England
Died: October 20
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 41 
Konrad Lorenz
(Austrian Zoologist, Ethologist, Ornithologist and Winner of 1973 Nobel Prize in Medicine)
Konrad Lorenz
2
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: November 7, 1903
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 21

Nobel Prize-winning Austrian zoologist Konrad Lorenz is remembered as a pioneer of ethology. The son of a surgeon father and a physician mother, Lorenz was a qualified physician himself. A university degree awarded to him was rescinded posthumously due to his association with the Nazi party

 42 
Robert Webber
(Actor)
Robert Webber
1
Birthdate: October 14, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Santa Ana, California, United States
Died: May 19
 43 
Ewan MacColl
(Folk Singer-Songwriter Known for His Songs: 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face', 'Dirty Old Town')
Ewan MacColl
3
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: January 25, 1915
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Broughton, Salford, Lancashire, England
Died: October 22

British folk singer-songwriter, folk song-collector, political activist, and actor Ewan MacColl, was a leading figure of the 1960s British folk revival. He is noted for writing songs like The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and Dirty Old Town. He was also involved in trade unionism and socialist politics as a steadfast communist and wrote several left-wing political songs.

 44 
Edward Abbey
(Essayist)
Edward Abbey
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: January 29, 1927
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 14
 45 
Diana Vreeland
(Magazine editor, fashion journalist and special consultant)
Diana Vreeland
0
Birthdate: July 29, 1906
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 22

Diana Vreeland was a French-American editor and columnist who worked for popular fashion magazines like Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. From 1963 to 1971, she served as the editor-in-chief of Vogue. In 1964, she was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. Diana Vreeland’s life and career inspired the 2011 documentary Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel.

 46 
R. D. Laing
(Psychiatrist)
R. D. Laing
3
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: October 7, 1927
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Govanhill
Died: August 23

Psychiatrist R. D. Laing was known for his different perspective on mental illnesses, particularly psychosis. Known as anti-psychiatry, his theory of resolving mental ailments opposed the age-old shock therapy. His written works include The Divided Self. He was also a talented poet and had fathered 10 children by four women.

 47 
Georges Simenon
(One of the Most Widely Published Authors of the 20th Century)
Georges Simenon
4
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: February 13, 1903
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Liège, Belgium
Died: September 4

Georges Simenon was a Belgian writer who published nearly 500 novels during his illustrious career that spanned several years. Simenon is credited with creating one of the most popular fictional detectives of all time, Jules Maigret. A self-proclaimed Casanova, Simenon claimed in 1977 to have had sex with 10,000 women since his 13th birthday.

 48 
John Meillon
(Actor)
John Meillon
10
Birthdate: May 1, 1934
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mosman, Australia
Died: August 11
 49 
Maurice Evans
(Actor)
Maurice Evans
0
Birthdate: June 3, 1901
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dorchester, England
Died: March 12
 50 
Herbert von Karajan
(Austrian Conductor and Former Principal Conductor of the 'Berlin Philharmonic')
Herbert von Karajan
9
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: April 5, 1908
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Salzburg, Austria
Died: July 16

The principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic for over 3 decades, Herbert von Karajan was a piano prodigy in childhood. Though a Nazi Party member, he later claimed he had not been too keen on joining the party. The three-time Grammy winner was also an avid sports lover.