TCM (Turner Classic Movies) has put together their version of a tribute video which you can watch below, and it gave me the same feelings I just mentioned (I wasn't aware they do one every year). It's a beautiful video and very classy. They did miss a couple of people which I mention below.
I would suggest you watch the video before moving on to the list of names below it. It includes actors, directors, composers, screenwriters, animators, etc. A wide cross-section of the many facets of Hollywood film production, and those who make movies possible.
They're all sad of course, but there are a few of particular note to me. Notable in their passing are such greats as Richard Widmark, Charlton Heston, Roy Scheider, Sydney Pollack and Paul Newman. Also striking a chord for me are Edie Adams, Stan Winston, Van Johnson, Robert J. Anderson (he played young George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life), Harvey Korman, Michael Chrichton and Suzanne Pleshette.
Here's the complete list of those who passed away in 2008 and are shown in the video:
Arthur C. Clarke
Ben Chapman (he played the title role in The Creature from the Black Lagoon)
Charles H. Joffe
Don LaFontaine (voiceover king)
Forrest J. Ackerman
John Michael Hayes
John Phillip Law
Joy Page (the young and recently wedded woman in Casablanca)
Robert Do Qui
Robert J. Anderson
These folks also died this year but were not in the video above:
And I suppose this would be a good place to send out condolences to John Travolta and his family over the death of his son, Jett... money and fame it seems, cannot protect one from tragedy.
Hat Tip: /Film