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Biggest Headline of 2009: The Year in Celebrity Passings

We've been counting down the biggest headlines of 2009, and we'll be revealing more throughout the month of December. Read on to take a look back at some of the stories that created the most buzz throughout the year.

This year, we lost many stars, both old and young. Michael Jackson stole headlines over the Summer due to his passing, but we also spent the last 12 months mourning other public figures.

Just two days into the year, John Travolta and Kelly Preston suffered the devastating loss of their son, Jett Travolta, after complications from a seizure. Michael Jackson's highly publicized death almost overshadowed the passing of Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon, who died within days of each other at the end of June. Beloved actor Patrick Swayze lost his battle with cancer in September, after a lengthy and courageous fight. Bea Arthur, meanwhile, passed in April at the age of 86, and director John Hughes suffered a fatal heart attack in August. Legendary senator Ted Kennedy also died that month after his own fight against cancer.

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Two deaths seemed particularly out of the blue — DJ AM overdosed in August after surviving a plane crash and overcoming drugs during a previous battle with addiction, and Natasha Richardson died in March after a tragic ski accident. The most recent star to be gone too soon is Brittany Murphy, who died last weekend at her LA home. Our hearts go out to all of those who lost a loved one this year, and the memories of these celebrities will certainly live on through their work.

Image Sources: WENN, WireImage and Getty
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