Notable departures in 2010:
Joan Sutherland, Australian opera singer: some say one of the best of the 20th century. I can't say I've taken enough time to appreciate her, but what little I've heard gives me some indication why she was so warmly regarded.
Richard Holbrooke: Abrasive US diplomat who was, nonetheless, widely praised for his intelligence and abilities. A notable example of his success was peace in the Balkans.
Tony Curtis, US actor. A significant presence in the 1950s. Of the films he appeared in, easily my favourite is the biting film noir Sweet Smell Of Success. Seek it out.
Leslie Neilsen, Canadian-born Hollywood actor: has a successful later career in comedy films such as Naked Gun. Others put the words into his mouth, but his straight delivery was his own: simply marvellous.
Teddy Pendergrass, 1970s US R'n'B singer: must get a mention for his so-soulful lead vocals on all the hits by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, including If You Don't Know Me By Now, The Love I Lost, and Wake Up Everybody.
Peter Graves: An icon of the 1960s tv series Mission Impossible. It wouldn't be the same without his Jim Phelps.
Others that could round out a 10 include J D Salinger, Lena Horne, and Dennis Hopper.
One apparent demise in 2010 that will not be missed: people now seem to be saying twenty-ten, twenty-oh-nine, etc, instead of two-thousand-and-ten, two-thousand-and-nine. Once again, I'm no longer out of step with the mainstream. :)