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Jim Henson


24 September 1936 – 16 May 1990 (Aged 53)

Henson was a beloved American puppeteer and filmmaker.

He is world-famous for creating The Muppet Show, particularly the iconic Kermit the Frog, and his work as a producer Sesame Street.

The Muppet Show became an international smash, winning three Grammy Awards, attracting hundreds of millions of viewers, and airing in over 100 countries.

In 1987, Henson was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, while he is one of only three people to be honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame both as himself and the character he played, Kermit the Frog in this case.

Henson died unexpectedly from organ failure following an infection at the age of 53.

Henson’s legacy has been maintained and introduced to a new generation of children by his wife, Jane, who died in 2013, and his children.

Sammy Davis Jr.


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8 December 1925 – 16 May 1990 (Aged 64)

Sammy Davis Jr. was a famous American entertainer, renowned for being part of the legendary ‘Rat Pack’, along with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop.

In 1954, Davis lost his eye in a traffic accident and wore a glass eye for the rest of his life.

He was best known for his role in the 1960 film Ocean’s 11, his hit song ‘The Candy Man’, and for being one of the biggest entertainers in Las Vegas.

Davis died from throat cancer at the age of 64, he had been known for smoking multiple packs of cigarettes per day in his adult life.

In 2001, he was posthumously given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, before being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame the following year.

Roald Dahl


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13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990 (Aged 74)

Dahl was a legendary British author, known for writing children’s books, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, George’s Marvellous Medicine, and Matilda.

During World War II, Dahl was a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force before a crash-landing in Egypt, left him with a fractured skull, among other injuries.

Dahl was subsequently transferred to Washington D.C., where he began his writing career.

Dahl died from a rare cancer of the blood at the age of 74.

He is widely regarded as one of the greatest children’s storytellers of all time, with his books having sold over 200 million copies worldwide.

Greta Garbo


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18 September 1905 – 15 April 1990 (Aged 84)

Garbo was a Swedish actress, regarded as one of the biggest screen icons of the 20th century.

She became a star of the silent film before going on to be one of the ‘talkies’ most successful stars of the 1930s.

During her career, she was nominated for three Academy Awards for films such as Ninotchka, Anna Christie, and Anna Karenina. 

Garbo then suddenly retired from her acting career in 1942, rejecting all later offers to return to the screen.

In 1954, Garbo was awarded an Academy Honorary Award for her life’s work, though she did not attend the ceremony.

For the remainder of her life, Garbo lived a private life during which she invested heavily in her art collection and in real estate.

Garbo died from kidney failure at the age of 84, after which she was cremated and later, interred in Skogskyrkogarden cemetery, outside of her native Stockholm, in Sweden.

Le Duc Tho

(Vietnamese Politician)

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14 October 1911 – 13 October 1990 (Aged 78)

Le Duc Tho was a Vietnamese revolutionary leader and politician.

He was responsible for negotiating the Paris Peace Accords in January 1973.

Tho and U.S. national security advisor Henry Kissinger were awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize, which he rejected.

Tho died suffering from cancer, the day before his 79th birthday.

Leonard Bernstein


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25 August 1918 – 14 October 1990 (Aged 72)

Bernstein was a gifted American composer, seen as one of the most gifted of the 20th century.

He is best known for his tenure directing the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and his scores for Peter Pan, West Side Story, and On the Waterfront.

Over the course of his career, Bernstein won multiple Grammy and Tony Awards.

In 1985, Bernstein was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, while he was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1990.

Bernstein died from a heart attack at the age of 72, having suffered from emphysema for many years. He had been a heavy smoker for much of his life.

Ava Gardner


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24 December 1922 – 25 January 1990 (Aged 67)

Gardner was a renowned American actress, best known for films such as Mogambo, The Night of the Iguana, and The Killers.

One of Hollywood’s famed femme Fatales, Gardner had a colored life off-screen also, marrying Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw, and Frank Sinatra, as well as romantic relationships with Ernest Hemingway and Howard Hughes.

Gardner was a long-term smoker, which led her to suffer from emphysema in her later years.

She died in her London home at the age of 67, having had pneumonia. She is buried in her family grave in Smithfield, North Carolina.

Tunku Abdul Rahman

(Malaysian Prime Minister)

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8 February 1903 – 6 December 1990 (Aged 87)

Rahman was a Malaysian politician.

He is widely regarded as the founding father of Malaysia, and the driving force behind Malaysia’s independence.

In 1957, he became Malaya’s first prime minister following its’ independence.

Singapore, Sabah, and Sarawak then joined Malaya to form the Malaysian Federation in 1963, of which Rahman became the first prime minister.

Tunku Abdul Rahman died from natural causes at the age of 87.