Remembering those who left us this year -- We recall the lives of Ahmet Ertegun, Betty Friedan, Wendy Wasserstein, Bruno Kirby, and more

By EW Staff
Updated December 22, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST

Wendy Wasserstein
OCT. 18, 1950 – JAN. 30, 2006
”She spoke at my niece’s graduation. I thought, How lucky you women are [that] this is what sent you out into the next chapter.” — Sarah Jessica Parker

William Styron
JUNE 11, 1925 – NOV. 1, 2006
”With The Confessions of Nat Turner and Sophie’s Choice, he caught a lot of hell — since he was neither a Jew nor a Negro — for daring to write about them, but I think he did a first-rate job in both cases.” — Kurt Vonnegut

Syd Barrett
JAN. 6, 1946 – JULY 7, 2006
”There was something utterly authentic and fragile and gentle in the way his imagination worked.” — Wayne Coyne

Betty Friedan
FEB. 4, 1921 – FEB. 4, 2006
”Betty Friedan wasn’t afraid to be called abrasive. She pursued her feminist principles with a flamboyant pugnacity that has become all too rare in these yuppified times. She hated girliness and bourgeois decorum and never lost her earthy ethnicity.” — Camille Paglia

Bruno Kirby
APRIL 28, 1949 – AUG. 14, 2006
”I’ve always loved Bruno. [He did a small] part [on Entourage] and in one scene, he had to listen to another actor speak for four pages. I told all the guys, ‘Just watch how he listens. It’s amazing.’ He’s so present. Putting him and Jeremy Piven together, I thought, would have been fantastic. I specifically wrote a whole episode for them; sadly, it never got shot. Bruno played the perfect best friend in When Harry Met Sally…. The guy who was always there for you, no matter what. City Slickers was a similar thing. He was able to play straightforward and honest, even if harsh, but always very lovable. That’s how Bruno was to me in the brief time I got to know him. A great man.” — Doug Ellin

Ahmet Ertegün
JULY 31, 1923 – DEC. 14, 2006
”He was not just the Turkish gentleman, the son of an ambassador, but the ambassador of music. How amazingly strange that we’d lose him this way. It’s just like Ahmet. There’s no other way he would have wanted it than being at a [Rolling Stones] show. He always believed in his artists and tried to work with them not just as artists but as friends — as you can see with him being at that concert. He didn’t have to be there; he was there because he felt that was his job: to show up, to represent…. He sincerely loved music and the people that created it. He knew exactly what he was doing at all times. He was always together. Now he’s in charge of all the great signings of paradise. There’s gonna be a lot of hot artists up there.” — Solomon Burke