Beth Howland (actress/dancer) -- Dead. Died December 31, 2015. Born May 28, 1941. Best-known as playing Vera on the '70s TV sitcom Alice, won an Oscar for producing the documentary You Don't Have to Die, appeared in the original Broadway productions of Bye, Bye Birdie and Company, married to Michael J. Pollard in the '60s and to Charles Kimbrough from 2002 until her death, died same day as Natalie Cole and Wayne Rogers. IBDB IMDb Obituary
Emma Morano (last surivor of people born in the 1800s) -- Living. Born November 29, 1899. Former factory worker and kitchen worker who is the last well-documented person born in the 1800s who is still alive in 2016. She credits her longevity to eating 2 raw eggs a day (one raw and one cooked) and drinking homemade brandy. She also had a sibling who lived to be 102 so genes mattered too.
Katherine G. Johnson (NASA mathematician/teacher) -- Alive. Born August 26, 1918. A college graduate at 18, she became a "human computer" for the government in the '50s and went on to calculate trajectories for NASA before electronic computers took over in the '80s (the upcoming movie Hidden Figures is about this team of African American women), awarded a Congressional Medal of Freedom when she was 97.
Ryan White (AIDS role model) -- Dead. Respiratory infection/AIDS. Died April 8, 2016. Born December 6, 1971. Just a kid with hemophilia who got AIDS from blood products, was denied the right to attend public school and fougnt a very public battle to stay in school. IMDb Obituary FindAGrave
Charlotte Rae (actress) -- Alive. Born Apri 22, 1926. Probably best-known as Mrs. Garrett in The Facts of Life, she performed in hundreds of TV shows since 1954 and over a dozen movies, very active on Broadway in the '50s, friend of Sheldon Harnick since college, survived pancreatic cancer. IBDB IMDb