TIME remembrance

Remembering the Artists and Athletes We Lost in 2015

Star Trek: The Original Series
CBS Photo Archive / Getty Images Leonard Nimoy as Commander Spock (Mr. Spock) in the STAR TREK: The Original Series episode, "The Cage."

9 of TIME's most memorable obituaries of 2015

Since the first issue of TIME, the Milestones section has marked important moments and celebrated lives recently lost.

Here are nine of the most notable Milestones obituaries from 2015:

James Poniewozik on Leonard Nimoy: “To say that Spock had no emotion wasn’t true. He was in fact part-human, constantly wrestling to keep his emotion in control. This gave drama to his very being, and Nimoy, with his careful cadence, showed how being Spock was a job that required constant mental effort. Watch clips of Star Trek, and you quickly see that Nimoy’s performance is in fact full of emotion: there are knowing smiles, rapt pauses of concentration, deliberate speeches that play musically like prayers. What Nimoy did was to strip his performance not of emotion, but of “feelings”—the little flailings of affect that most actors (and non-actors) rely on.”

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Richard Zoglin on TIME film critic Richard Corliss: “Film critics can sometimes be intimidating figures: self-assured, cynical, crusaders for an overlooked masterpiece one week, debunkers of your favorite movie the next. Richard Corliss, TIME’s movie critic for the past 35 years, conveyed nothing so much as the sheer joy of watching movies — and writing about them. He savored it all: the good, the bad, the indifferent. Except that he was indifferent to nothing. To any fan or friend who would ask whether a new movie was ‘worth seeing,’ Corliss had a stock, succinct reply: ‘Everything is worth seeing.’ He meant it.”

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Quincy Jones on B.B. King: “B.B. was the king because he took the blues from dirt-poor, smoke-in-the-air juke joints all the way to the big concert halls. He started out picking cotton–he was in the dark side of our country, and his music was a positive way of escaping that darkness.”

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Leah Remini on Anne Meara: “My first impression of Anne Meara was that she was gracious. Sometimes in this business, when you come across a comedy legend, they come off as jaded. But not Anne. She was funny, quick-witted and immediately disarming. And she had balls.”

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Richard Ford on James Salter: “Yes, there were the lapidary sentences–so extraordinary in their word-choosings and their rightness about human response to life’s exigencies that the rest of us, his adoring colleagues and writer pals, just shook our heads: you couldn’t teach that, or learn it. It’s genius. But James Salter, who died at 90 on June 19, lived anything but a Flaubertian life of tweezing self-scrutiny.”

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Aasif Mandvi on Omar Sharif: “The first time I ever saw Omar Sharif was in the film Doctor Zhivago. I was a little brown kid living in the north of England who dreamed of one day being an actor in Hollywood. He was an inspiration to me. It was the first time I had seen a brown man in a Hollywood film who was neither a servant nor a savage. He was a gentleman, a brown gentleman, who held himself with dignity and had sex appeal.”

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Daniel D’Addario on Jackie Collins: “Collins, who died Sept. 19 at 77, was a provocateur, one of literature’s best. The famed romance novelist Barbara Cartland called Collins’ first novel, 1968’s The World Is Full of Married Men, ‘nasty, filthy and disgusting.’ And in 2010, Collins bragged that real Hollywood wives ‘hated me. I got beneath the facade and into the mansions.’ But she was also an inveterate hard worker, writing each day in longhand on legal pads.”

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Sean Gregory on Yogi Berra: “For his accidental comedy, Berra’s popularity will always stretch far beyond the ballpark. He’s a national treasure. But on the occasion of his passing, let’s not forget Berra’s athletic excellence. During his 18 seasons playing in a New York Yankees uniform, from 1946 to ’63, the team reached the World Series 14 times and won 10 titles. He is baseball’s Lord of the Rings: no player owns more championship jewelry.”

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Chris Columbus on Maureen O’Hara: “Last year, a reporter asked Maureen O’Hara to name her most marked characteristic. ‘The hell and fire in me,’ she replied. ‘They came as a set.’ Maureen was arguably the strongest and toughest female performer to ever appear onscreen. Her characters embodied power and intelligence, in an era when it wasn’t always fashionable.”

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