This year was a monster for celebrity deaths: Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, David Carradine, Patrick Swayze... even Bea Arthur and Ed McMahon are probably boning in Heaven as we speak (and if you're in Hell, you get the cam-feed).
But while you're rushing out to buy Thriller memorial parasols and Kung Fu Forever neckties, a lot of other important people kicked the bucket that the media didn't deem important enough to tell you about. Once again, these are the most overlooked deaths of 2009--a notoriously murderous year:
13January 14: KHAAAANN!!!
Ricardo Montalban, owner/operator of Fantasy Island and professional KHAAAAANN!!!
Congestive heart failure.
As one of few working Hispanic actors in the 50s, Montalban was mostly used as the go-to guy when a movie about attractive white people needed a miscellaneous foreign person to laugh at or to learn inscrutable wisdom from. Examples of these roles include everything from Indians to Jamaicans, and one time even a Japanese Samurai--where he presumably infused the role with his trademark Latin suavity and almost assuredly did so with an anachronistically oiled bare chest.
Years of playing the embodiment of racism inspired Montalban to develop a foundation dedicated to raise the profile of Hispanic actors, and he even had a theater named for him in 1999. Also, "KHAAAAAANNN!!!!"