Famous People Who Died In 2016

Discover the most famous people died who died in the year 2016. This list includes people like David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, Alan Rickman and many more. This list of celebrities is loosely sorted by popularity. People featured on this list, include political leaders, composers, novelists and presidents who died in 2016. This list includes people from United States, United Kingdom, Canada & Italy and many more countries.
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 1 
Muhammad Ali
(The Greatest Heavyweight Boxer of All Time)
Muhammad Ali
210
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: January 17, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Died: June 3

Widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time, Muhammad Ali was a major figure of the 20th century. He was an inspirational figure for African-Americans during the civil rights movement. Because of his opposition to Vietnam War and his refusal to be drafted into military, Muhammad Ali became an icon for the larger counterculture generation.

 2 
Prince
(Singer-songwriter & Multi-instrumentalist)
Prince
159
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: June 7, 1958
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Died: April 21

Singer-songwriter, dancer, and musician, Prince is is widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of his generation. He was considered a guitar virtuoso and could also play several other instruments. With worldwide sales of over 150 million records, he is ranked among the best-selling music artists of all time. He was also well known for his flamboyant persona.

 3 
Alan Rickman
(Actor and Director)
Alan Rickman
100
Birthdate: February 21, 1946
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England
Died: January 14

One of the most admired British actors, Alan Rickman gained global recognition for his work on stage and screen. The late actor excelled at portraying villainous characters especially in movies like Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny. Other notable works of the versatile actor include Harry Potter film series and Truly, Madly, Deeply.

 4 
David Bowie
(Regarded as One of the Most Influential Musicians of the 20th Century)
David Bowie
174
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: January 8, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: January 10

English singer-songwriter and actor David Bowie is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Dubbed "The Greatest Rock Star Ever" by Rolling Stone magazine, he rose to international prominence in the 1970s with his innovative style of music. Deeply dedicated to his profession, he remained musically active until his death in 2016.

 5 
Carrie Fisher
(Famous for Playing Princess Leia in the 'Star Wars' Films)
Carrie Fisher
99
Birthdate: October 21, 1956
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Burbank, California, United States
Died: December 27

Carrie Fisher was an American actress best known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films. Some of her other films notable film wereShampoo, Soapdish, The Blues Brothers, When Harry Met Sally and The Women. She had issues with bipolar disorder and drug addiction and spoke publicly about it. She died after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest while on a transatlantic flight.

 6 
George Michael
(English Singer Who is Considered One of the Most Significant Cultural Icons of the MTV Generation)
George Michael
105
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: June 25, 1963
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: East Finchley, London, England
Died: December 25

George Michael is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He rose to fame as a member of the music duo Wham and later went solo. His first solo single Careless Whisper reached number one in over 20 countries. He came out as gay in 1998. He was often in news for his personal life and legal troubles.

 7 
Gene Wilder
(Actor, Comedian)
Gene Wilder
49
Birthdate: June 11, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: August 29

Perhaps the most loved Willy Wonka of them all, Gene Wilder was one of the main reasons for the popularity of the iconic character, which he played in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Apart from acting and writing, Gene was also instrumental in promoting cancer awareness through his organization Gilda Radner Ovarian Cancer Detection Center.

 8 
Debbie Reynolds
(One of the Most Popular American Actresses of the 20th Century)
Debbie Reynolds
49
Birthdate: April 1, 1932
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: El Paso, Texas, United States
Died: December 28

Debbie Reynolds was a famous American actress and singer whose career spanned nearly seven decades. Also a well-known humanitarian, Debbie served as president of a charitable organization called The Thalians. Debbie was also a businesswoman; the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio, which she founded in 1979, still operates today. She also owned a hotel and casino in Las Vegas.

 9 
John Glenn
(Tthe First American to Orbit the Earth)
John Glenn
17
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: July 18, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cambridge, Ohio, United States
Died: December 8

The first American to orbit the Earth, John Glenn was an astronaut, aviator, politician, and businessman. Beginning his career as an army man, he was a fighter pilot in World War II. He later joined NASA and was one of the Mercury Seven. Following his retirement from NASA, he became a politician and served in the US Senate.

 10 
Johan Cruyff
(One of the Greatest Football Players & One of the Best Managers Ever)
Johan Cruyff
36
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 25, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: March 24
Dutch midfielder/forward Johan Cruyff pioneered the idea of Total Football, along with coach Rinus Michels. The first three-time Ballon d'Or-winner was known for his signature move, the Cruyff Turn. He made it to FIFA 100 and ranked second only to Pele in an official World Player of the Century poll.
 11 
Christina Grimmie
(American Pop Singer and YouTube Personality)
Christina Grimmie
31
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: March 2, 1994
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Evesham, New Jersey, United States
Died: June 10

Christina Grimmie was an American singer-songwriter, actress, and YouTuber. She was fatally shot in 2016 when she was signing autographs after performing at The Plaza Live in Florida. Following her murder, celebrities demanded better security measures at concert venues and Billboard published an open letter demanding background checks for gun purchases. Several venues observed safety precautions like adding metal detectors.  

 12 
Leonard Cohen
(One of the Most Accomplished Canadian Folk-Rock Singer-Songwriters of His Generation)
Leonard Cohen
29
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: September 21, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Westmount, Canada
Died: November 7

Leonard Cohen was one of the most popular Canadian celebrities of all time. After starting his career as a poet and novelist, Leonard went on to become a famous singer-songwriter, exploring themes like sexuality, religion, depression, and romantic relationships in his work. Leonard Cohen was one of the inspirations for Steven Clark and Matthew Bissonnette's 2002 film Looking for Leonard.

 13 
Harper Lee
(American Author Best Known for Her Novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’)
Harper Lee
21
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: April 28, 1926
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Monroeville, Alabama, United States
Died: February 19

Harper Lee was an American novelist who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic To Kill a Mockingbird. Despite publishing only two books, Lee was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature, such was her impact in the world of literature. A friend of Truman Capote, Lee has been portrayed by popular actresses in Capote's biographical films.

 14 
Zsa Zsa Gabor
(Actress & Socialite)
Zsa Zsa Gabor
24
Birthdate: February 6, 1917
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: December 18
Zsa Zsa Gabor was a stage actor and also became Miss Hungary before she moved to the U.S. Fans loved her in Moulin Rouge and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3. She was known for her flamboyant lifestyle and her nine marriages, including one to hotelier Conrad Hilton. 
 15 
Glenn Frey
(Singer-songwriter)
Glenn Frey
46
Birthdate: November 6, 1948
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: January 18

American singer, songwriter and vocalist, Glen Frey was the co-founder of the extremely famous rock band of the 1970s—Eagles. The band delivered hit albums like Hotel California before disbanding after a decade. The six time Grammy award winner then enjoyed a successful solo career with hit songs like Smuggler’s Blues and The Heat Is On before re-joining his band.

 16 
Patty Duke
(Actress and the-then Youngest Person to Receive an Oscar in a Competitive Category)
Patty Duke
17
Birthdate: December 14, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: March 29

Best known for her Academy Award-winning portrayal of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, Patty Duke was born to a cashier mother and a cab driver father. As a child actor, she was abused by her talent managers. Suffering from bipolar disorder, she later became a mental-health advocate.

 17 
Arnold Palmer
(American Professional Golfer and One of the Greatest and Most Charismatic Players in the Sport’s History)
Arnold Palmer
15
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 10, 1929
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Latrobe, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: September 25

Arnold Palmer was an American golfer who won 62 PGA Tour titles in a career spanning over 60 years. Nicknamed The King, Palmer is considered one of the most charismatic and greatest players in the history of professional golf. He is seen as the first superstar who helped popularize the sport in the television age, which started in the '50s.

 18 
Merle Haggard
(Country Singer & Leader of the Band ‘The Strangers’)
Merle Haggard
7
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: April 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Oildale, California, United States
Died: April 6
Country singer Merle Haggard initially gained fame performing with The Strangers. He had several brushes with the law in his younger days, before he launched his music career. His songs reflected the angst of the working class. He won several accolades, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
 19 
Doris Roberts
(American Actress Who Had a Long Career Spanning Seven Decades)
Doris Roberts
14
Birthdate: November 4, 1925
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died: April 17

Five-time Emmy Award-winning actor Doris Roberts is best remembered as Marie Barone from the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond and as Mildred Krebs from Remington Steele. She also appeared on various talk/game shows and in films such as The Honeymoon Killers. She was a prominent animal rights activist, too.

 20 
Nancy Reagan
(Former First Lady of the United States)
Nancy Reagan
25
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: July 6, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Midtown Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States
Died: March 6

Nancy Reagan was an American actress who also served as the first lady of the US between 1981 and 1989. One of her major initiatives as the first lady was her role in founding a drug awareness campaign called Just Say No. She had a strong influence on President Ronald Reagan, having an impact on many of his diplomatic decisions.

 21 
Anton Yelchin
(American Actor Best Known for His Role as 'Pavel Chekov' in the 'Star Trek' Reboot Film Series)
Anton Yelchin
31
Birthdate: March 11, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: June 19

As an actor, who was also interested in photography and playing the guitar, Anton Yelchin was a man of many talents. Unfortunately, he was involved in a freak accident that killed him when he was 27. Such was his impact in Hollywood that a bronze statue of his was erected at his grave and many celebrities attended the unveiling ceremony.

 22 
Elie Wiesel
( Author, Holocaust Survivor, Political Activist and Winner of 1986 Nobel Peace Prize)
Elie Wiesel
19
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: September 30, 1928
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sighetu Marmației, Romania
Died: July 2

Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist Elie Wiesel is best remembered for his book Night, which relates his traumatic experience as a Jewish prisoner in the Nazi concentration camps. After surviving the Holocaust, he became a journalist and a human rights activist, and also helped in establishing the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

 23 
Zaha Hadid
(Architect)
Zaha Hadid
30
Listed In: Architects
Birthdate: October 31, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Baghdad
Died: March 31
Baghdad-born British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid is best remembered for her revolutionary and modern architectural designs, that involved abstraction and relied on curves. She won the Stirling Prize and was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Prize. She designed the Guangzhou Opera House and Rome's MAXXI Museum, among other marvels.
 24 
José Fernández
(Cuban-American Professional Baseball Pitcher)
José Fernández
28
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 31, 1992
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Santa Clara, Cuba
Died: September 25

José Fernández was a Cuban-American baseball player who played for the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball from 2013 to 2016. Renowned for his skills as a pitcher, José had four pitches in his armory: a four-seam fastball, a slurve, a changeup, and a sinker. He died at the age of 24 when a speedboat, which he was piloting, crashed.

 25 
Bhumibol Adulyadej
(Former King of Thailand (1946 - 2016))
Bhumibol Adulyadej
25
Birthdate: December 5, 1927
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Died: October 13

Bhumibol Adulyadej of the Chakri dynasty reigned as the ninth monarch of Thailand. Reigning from 1946 until his death in 2016, Adulyadej is the second-longest reigning monarch in the history. During his reign, Bhumibol Adulyadej retained enormous constitutional powers and was extremely popular among his subjects, with some even seeing him as close to divine.

 26 
Robert Vaughn
8
Birthdate: November 22, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Charity Hospital in New York City
Died: November 11

Robert Vaughn was an American actor known for his contribution across all three major acting mediums. Vaughn also had political aspirations and was among the first Hollywood stars to openly criticize the war against Vietnam. A member of the Democratic Party, Robert Vaughn was credited with founding a group called Dissenting Democrats along with Carl Reiner and Dick Van Dyke.

 27 
Alan Thicke
(Best Known for Playing Dr. Jason Seaver on the 1980s Sitcom ‘Growing Pains’ on ABC)
Alan Thicke
17
Birthdate: March 1, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kirkland Lake, Canada
Died: December 13

Best known for his star role in the television sitcom Growing Pains, Alan Thicke was a Canadian actor, songwriter and television host, who began his career as a series regular in It's Our Stuff, eventually appearing in numerous films and television productions. Also a popular game and talk show host, he patronized many NGOs including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

 28 
Florence Henderson
(American Actress)
Florence Henderson
14
Birthdate: February 14, 1934
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dale, Indiana, United States
Died: November 24
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 29 
Juan Gabriel
(Singer)
Juan Gabriel
28
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: January 7, 1950
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Parácuaro, Michoacán, Mexico
Died: August 28
Regarded by many as Mexico’s Elvis Presley, singer Juan Gabriel sold more than 60 million records, while his songs have been translated to languages such as Japanese and French. Though never married, he had six children, two of them with his domestic employees. Interestingly, some tabloids suggested he was gay.
 30 
Garry Marshall
(Screenwriter, Actor, Film Director & Producer)
Garry Marshall
7
Birthdate: November 13, 1934
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States
Died: July 19

Garry Marshall was an American screenwriter, actor, and filmmaker. He is credited with creating the popular television series Happy Days and its several spin-offs. He is also credited with co-creating other TV series like Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy. Makin' It, a 1979 sitcom starring David Naughton, was also co-created by Garry Marshall.

 31 
Alfredo Bowman
(Honduran Self-Proclaimed Herbalist Healer)
Alfredo Bowman
29
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: November 26, 1933
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Honduras
Died: August 6

Alfredo Bowman was a Honduran self-proclaimed healer and herbalist. Bowman was known for his dramatic claims that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS and diseases could be cured with a vegan diet and herbs. His client list included celebrities like Michael Jackson and Eddie Murphy. Bowman often landed in trouble for his controversial claims and was arrested on a couple of occasions.

 32 
Garry Shandling
(Stand-up Comedian)
Garry Shandling
17
Birthdate: November 29, 1949
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: March 24

Garry Shandling was initially a sitcom writer and then performed as a stand-up comedian on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. He later soared to fame with his own shows, It's Garry Shandling's Show and the Emmy-winning The Larry Sanders Show. He has also hosted the Grammy and Emmy Awards.

 33 
Abe Vigoda
(Best Known for His Role in The Film ‘The Godfather’)
Abe Vigoda
4
Birthdate: February 24, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: January 26

Abe Vigoda was an American actor, best known for playing Salvatore Tessio in the 1972 crime film The Godfather. He also played important roles in TV series, such as Barney Miller. Apart from acting, Abe Vigoda also enjoyed playing handball, which he played often in his youth.

 34 
Vanity (Singer)
(Lead Singer of The Female Trio 'Vanity 6' Known for Their Hit Song "Nasty Girl")
Vanity (Singer)
29
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: January 4, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Niagara Falls, Canada
Died: February 15
Canadian entertainer Denise Katherine Matthews, better known by her pseudonym, Vanity, initially gained fame as part of the girl group Vanity 6, which delivered hits such as Nasty Girl. She also released solo albums and starred in films such as Action Jackson. She died of kidney failure at 57.
 35 
George Kennedy
7
Birthdate: February 18, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: February 28

George Kennedy was an American actor who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Dragline in the 1967 prison drama film, Cool Hand Luke. A multi-talented person, George Kennedy was also an aviator and writer; he owned a Beechcraft Bonanza as well as a Cessna 210 and wrote three books, including his autobiography titled Trust Me.

 36 
Antonin Scalia
(Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1986 - 2016))
Antonin Scalia
24
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: March 11, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Trenton, New Jersey, United States
Died: February 13

Scalia played an important role as an associate justice of the US Supreme Court for 30 years. Not only was he regarded as one of the most important justices in the history of the court, but he was also considered one of the most influential jurists of the 20th century. He was posthumously honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 37 
Maurice White
12
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 19, 1941
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Died: February 4
 38 
Afeni Shakur
(American Political Activist and Member of the ‘Black Panther Party’)
Afeni Shakur
28
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: January 22, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lumberton, North Carolina, United States
Died: May 2

Afeni Shakur was a political activist best known as the mother of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur. Afeni Shakur was an important member of the popular political organization Black Panther Party where she mentored new members like Jamal Joseph, Dhoruba Bin-Wahad, and Cleo Silvers.

 39 
Pat Summitt
(American women's college basketball head coach)
Pat Summitt
34
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 12, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Clarksville, Tennessee, United States
Died: June 28
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 40 
Gordie Howe
(Canadian Professional Ice Hockey Player)
Gordie Howe
7
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 31, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Floral, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died: June 10
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 41 
William Christopher
(Actor & Comedian Known for His Role in TV Series ‘M*A*S*H’)
William Christopher
7
Birthdate: October 20, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois, United States
Died: December 31

William Christopher was an American comedian and actor remembered for playing important roles in popular TV series, such as M*A*S*H, AfterMASH, and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Also known for his charity work, Christopher devoted his free time to the National Autistic Society, a British charity for autistic people. In 1985, he co-wrote Mixed Blessings, a memoir about raising his autistic son.

 42 
Frank Sinatra Jr.
(Singer-Songwriter, Actor and Son of Actor Frank Sinatra)
Frank Sinatra Jr.
20
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: January 10, 1944
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Jersey City, New Jersey, United States
Died: March 16

The son of popular actor and singer Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Jr. followed in the footsteps of his father to become a singer-songwriter and conductor. He was kidnapped at age 19 and released two days later. The kidnapping was rumored to be a publicity stunt to promote his singing career, which he established around the same time.

 43 
Leon Russell
(American Musician and Singer-Songwriter)
Leon Russell
4
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: April 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lawton, Oklahoma, United States
Died: November 13
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
 44 
Umberto Eco
(Medievalist, Philosopher and Author of 'The Name of the Rose' and 'Foucault's Pendulum')
Umberto Eco
11
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: January 5, 1932
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Alessandria, Italy
Died: February 19

Italian novelist Umberto Eco is best remembered for his novels The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum. He also taught at the University of Bologna and had released quite a few children’s books and translations. He was also known for his work on semiotics and medieval studies.

 45 
Dan Haggerty
(Actor best known for playing the title role in the film and television series The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams.)
Dan Haggerty
6
Birthdate: November 19, 1941
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pound, Wisconsin, United States
Died: January 15
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
 46 
Greg Lake
(Former Singer-songwriter who gained prominence as a founding member of the progressive rock bands King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP))
Greg Lake
6
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: November 10, 1947
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Poole, Dorset, England, United Kingdom
Died: December 7
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 47 
Ron Glass
(Actor)
Ron Glass
7
Birthdate: July 10, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Evansville, Indiana, USA
Died: November 25
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
 48 
Ken Howard
(Actor)
Ken Howard
5
Birthdate: March 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: El Centro, California, United States
Died: March 23
Height: 6'7" (201 cm)
 49 
George Martin
(English Record Producer and Composer Best Known for His Associations with the Rock Band 'The Beatles')
George Martin
17
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: January 3, 1926
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Highbury, London, England
Died: March 8

George Martin was an English composer, conductor, arranger, record producer, and audio engineer. Due to his involvement on each of the Beatles' albums, Martin was often referred to as the Fifth Beatle. In 1996, George Martin was made a Knight Bachelor for his contribution to the music industry. Apart from being a musician, Martin also contributed to several charitable causes.

 50 
Nancy Dow
(American Actress and Mother of Actress Jennifer Aniston)
Nancy Dow
10
Birthdate: July 22, 1936
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Connecticut, United States
Died: May 25

Nancy Dow was an American actress known for appearing in TV series like The Beverly Hillbillies and The Wild Wild West. She got married to actor John Aniston in 1965 and gave birth to their daughter Jennifer Aniston in 1969. Dow's relationship with Jennifer was estranged for nine years before reconciling with her after the latter's divorce from Brad Pitt.