Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Year in Review: 10 Notable LA Celebrity Deaths in 2010

LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

An woman whose life was forever changed the instant a stranger grabbed her and gave her a celebratory kiss. The educator who inspired many, despite the odds being against them. A coach whose guidance was revered off and on the basketball court. Entertainers who fought their personal demons, and lost their lives too young. A visionary photographer, a soul singer with deep roots in his community, a small-stature star from a remarkable film, and our Chief during some of the city's most turbulent times.

A look back at some of the most noteworthy "celebrity" deaths of 2010.

Eisenstaedt/AP Photo
Edith Shain July 29, 1918 - June 20, 2010
Shain, a nurse, was grabbed by a sailor in New York's Times Square on V-J Day, 1945. He kissed her, and the image was captured by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, ultimately becoming one of the most iconic images of the end-of-WWII era in our history.Darryl Gates August 30, 1926 - April 16, 2010
Daryl F. Gates was the Los Angeles police chief who saw the department through the Rodney King trial and the subsequent L.A. riots. A USC grad, he "also led the department during the 1984 Olympic summer games and during difficult economic times. He is credited for creating the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program and is considered the father of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams."

Support for LAist comes from

Gary Coleman February 8, 1968 - May 28, 2010
Actor Coleman struggled with life in Los Angeles after his run as Arnold on the hit TV series "Diff'rent Strokes." He even ran for Governor of California in 2003. He died of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 42.

AP File Photo
John Wooden October 14, 1910 - June 4, 2010
The "Wizard of Westwood" died just four months shy of his 100th birthday. He began his coaching career at UCLA "in 1948 where he went on to win 10 National Championships and 19 conference titles until he retired in 1975. His focus on fundamentals made the Bruins a powerhouse when they ripped off an 88-game winning streak from 1971 to 1974. He was known for teaching each player how to put on their socks and shoes on the first day of practice every year. "Jaime Escalante December 31, 1930 — March 30, 2010
Everyone said it was ridiculous for students at East L.A.'s Garfield High to be pushed to excel at calculus. But math teacher Jaime Escalante, who was portrayed by Edward James Olmos in the 1987 movie "Stand and Deliver", did that, and inspired generation after generation of young people to work towards their potential.

Corey Haim December 23, 1971 - March 10, 2010
38-year-old actor Corey Haim "rose to fame in films like "The Lost Boys" and "License to Drive," and recently was attempting a comeback, most notably in a reality series that paired him with longtime friend and co-star Corey Feldman. Haim struggled with drug addiction," which ultimately took his life.