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1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (dominical letter E) of the Gregorian calendar, the 1986th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 986th year of the 2nd millennium, the 86th year of the 20th century, and the 7th year of the 1980s decade. The year 1986 was designated as the International Year of Peace by the United Nations.
- January 1
- Spain and Portugal enter the European Community, which later becomes the European Union.
- Aruba gains increases autonomy from the Netherlands and is separated from the Netherlands Antilles.
- The Province of Flevoland is established in the Netherlands.
- UNIDO becomes a specialised agency of the United Nations.
- In Northern Ireland as part of The Troubles, James McCandless (39) and Michael Williams (24), both Protestant members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, are killed by a Provisional Irish Republican Army remote controlled bomb hidden in a litter bin and detonated when their foot patrol passes at Thomas Street, Armagh.
- January 9 – After losing a patent battle with Polaroid, Kodak leaves the instant camera business.
- January 11 – The Gateway Bridge in Brisbane, Australia, at this time the world's longest prestressed concrete free-cantilever bridge, is opened.
- January 12 – STS-61-C: Space Shuttle Columbia is launched with the first Hispanic American astronaut, Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz.
- January 13–24 – South Yemen Civil War.
- January 19 – The first PC virus, Brain, starts to spread.
- January 20 – The United Kingdom and France announce plans to construct the Channel Tunnel.
- January 24 – The Voyager 2 space probe makes its first encounter with Uranus.
- January 25 – Yoweri Museveni's National Resistance Army Rebel group takes over Uganda after leading a 5-year guerrilla war in which up to half a million people are believed to have been killed. They will later use January 26 as the official date to avoid a coincidence of dates with Dictator Idi Amin's 1971 coup.
- January 28 – Space Shuttle Challenger disaster – STS-51-L: Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrates 73 seconds after launch from the United States, killing the crew of 7 astronauts, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.
- January 29 – Yoweri Museveni is sworn in as President of Uganda.
- March 1 – Olof Palme`s deputy Ingvar Carlsson becomes acting Prime Minister of Sweden. He is elected Prime Minister by the Swedish Riksdag on March 15 .
- March 3 – The first paper is published describing the atomic force microscope invented the previous year by Gerd Binnig, Calvin Quate and Christopher Berger.
- March 4 – The Today national tabloid newspaper is launched in the United Kingdom, pioneering the use of computer photosetting and full-colour offset printing, at a time when British national newspapers still use Linotype machines and letterpress printing.
- March 8 – The Japanese Suisei probe flies by Halley's Comet, studying its UV hydrogen corona and solar wind.
- March 9 – United States Navy divers find the largely intact but heavily damaged crew compartment of the Space Shuttle Challenger; the bodies of all seven astronauts are still inside.
- March 13 – In a Black Sea incident, American cruiser USS Yorktown and the destroyer USS Caron, claiming the right of innocent passage, enter the Soviet territorial waters near the southern Crimean Peninsula.
- March 14 – Microsoft Corporation holds its initial public offering of stock shares.
- March 15 – Collapse of the Hotel New World: The six-story Lian Yak Building (1971) in Singapore, housing the Hotel New World, collapses in less than a minute due to structural failure, perhaps caused by a gas explosion, trapping 50 people and killing 33 of them.
- March 25 – The 58th Academy Awards are held in Los Angeles, with Out of Africa winning Best Picture.
- March 26 – An article in The New York Times charges that Kurt Waldheim, former United Nations Secretary-General and candidate for president of Austria, may have been involved in Nazi war crimes during World War II.
- March 27 – Russell Street Bombing: A car bomb explodes at Russell Street Police Headquarters in Russell Street, Melbourne, killing a police constable, the first Australian policewoman to be killed in the line of duty.
- March 31
- April 1 – Sector Kanda: Communist Party of Nepal (Mashal) cadres attack a number of police stations in Kathmandu, seeking to incite a popular rebellion.
- April 2 – A bomb explodes on a Trans World Airlines flight from Rome to Athens, killing 4 people.
- April 3 – The British children's TV show The Raggy Dolls is released on ITV in the UK.
- April 5 – 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing: The West Berlin discothèque La Belle, a known hangout for United States soldiers, is bombed, killing 3 and injuring 230; Libya is held responsible.
- April 13 – Pope John Paul II officially visits the Great Synagogue of Rome, the first time a modern Pope has visited a synagogue.
- April 13 – The first child born to a non-related surrogate mother is born.
- April 14 – Hailstones weighing 1 kg (2.2 lb) fall on the Gopalganj district of Bangladesh, killing 92.
- April 15 – Operation El Dorado Canyon: At least 15 people die after United States planes bomb targets in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and the Benghazi region.
- April 17
- April 21 – Geraldo Rivera opens Al Capone's secret vault on The Mystery of Al Capone's Vaults, discovering only a bottle of moonshine.
- April 26 – Chernobyl disaster: A mishandled safety test at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Pripyat, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union "killed at least 4056 people and damaged almost $7 billion of property". Radioactive fallout from the accident is concentrated near Belarus, Ukraine and Russia and at least 350,000 people are forcibly resettled away from these areas. After the accident, "traces of radioactive deposits unique to Chernobyl were found in nearly every country in the northern hemisphere".
- April 27 – "Captain Midnight" interrupts the HBO satellite feed.
- April 29 – The Diamond Jubilee of Hirohito is held at the Kokugikan in Tokyo.
- October 1 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs the Goldwater–Nichols Act into law, making official the largest reorganization of the United States Department of Defense since the Air Force was made a separate branch of service in 1947.
- October 3 – TASCC, a superconducting cyclotron, officially opens at Chalk River Laboratories.
- October 9
- October 10 – The 5.7 Mw San Salvador earthquake shook San Salvador, El Salvador with a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). Up to 1,500 people were killed.
- October 11 – 12 – Cold War: Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet in Reykjavík, Iceland, to continue discussions about scaling back their intermediate missile arsenals in Europe (the talks break down in failure).
- October 12 – Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh visit the People's Republic of China.
- October 16 – The International Olympic Committee chooses Albertville, France to be the host city of the 1992 Winter Olympics and Barcelona, Spain to be the host city of the 1992 Summer Olympics. The IOC also announces that the summer and winter games will separate with the winter games on every even, common year; and the summer games on every even, leap year starting from 1992.
- October 19 – Mozambican president Samora Machel's plane crashes in South Africa.
- October 21 – The Marshall Islands become an associated state under the Compact of Free Association.
- October 22 – In New York City, WNBC Radio's traffic helicopter crashes into the Hudson River, killing traffic reporter Jane Dornacker. The last words heard on-the-air are Dornacker's screams of terror, "Hit the water! Hit the water! Hit the water!"
- October 24 – Lambda Sigma Gamma Sorority Inc. is founded at Sacramento State by Linda V. Fuentes and 26 Founding Mothers.
- October 26 – Bus deregulation goes into effect in the United Kingdom, except Greater London and Northern Ireland.
- October 27
- October 28
- October 29 – British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher officially opens the M25 Motorway, which encircles Greater London, in a ceremony on the carriageway near Potters Bar. It became Europe's second longest orbital road upon completion, and provides the first and only full bypass of London.
- November 1
- November 3
- Iran–Contra affair: The Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa reports that the United States has been selling weapons to Iran in secret, in order to secure the release of 7 American hostages held by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon.
- Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) in Political Union with the United States. The CNMI Government adopted its own constitution in 1977, and the constitutional government took office in January 1978. The Covenant was fully implemented November 3, 1986, pursuant to Presidential Proclamation no. 5564, which conferred United States citizenship on legally qualified CNMI residents.
- November 4 – Democrats regain control of the United States Senate for the first time in 6 years. In California, Chief Justice Rose Bird and two colleagues are removed by voters from the Supreme Court of California for opposing capital punishment.
- November 6 – Sumburgh disaster: A British International Helicopters Boeing 234LR Chinook crashes 2.5 miles east of Sumburgh Airport, killing 45 people (the deadliest civilian helicopter crash on record).
- November 11 – Sperry Rand and Burroughs merge to form Unisys, becoming the second largest computer company.
- November 12 – Australian singer John Farnham releases the album Whispering Jack, which becomes the highest selling album in Australia's history.
- November 18 – Greater Manchester Police announce that they will search for the bodies of 2 missing children (who both vanished more than 20 years ago) after the Moors murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley confess to 2 more murders.
- November 21 – Iran-Contra Affair: National Security Council member Oliver North and his secretary, Fawn Hall, start shredding documents implicating them in selling weapons to Iran and channeling the proceeds to help fund the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
- November 22 – Mike Tyson wins his first world boxing title by defeating Trevor Berbick in Las Vegas.
- November 25 – Iran–Contra affair: U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese announces that profits from covert weapons sales to Iran were illegally diverted to the anti-communist Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
- November 26 – Iran–Contra affair: U.S. President Ronald Reagan announces that on December 1 former Senator John Tower, former Secretary of State Edmund Muskie, and former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft will serve as members of the Special Review Board looking into the scandal (they became known as the Tower Commission). Reagan denies involvement in the scandal.
- December 7 – A magnitude 5.7 earthquake destroys most of the Bulgarian town of Strajica, killing 2 people.
- December 14 – Rutan Voyager, an experimental aircraft designed by Burt Rutan and piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, begins its flight around the world.
- December 19 – Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov is permitted to return to Moscow after six years of internal exile.
- December 20 – Three African Americans are assaulted by a group of white teens in the Howard Beach neighborhood of Queens, New York. One of the victims, Michael Griffith, is run over and killed by a motorist while attempting to flee the attackers.
- December 23 – Voyager completes the first nonstop circumnavigation of the earth by air without refueling in 9 days, 3 minutes and 44 seconds.
- December 26 – After 35 years on the airwaves and holding the title of longest-running non-news program on network television, NBC airs the final episode of daytime drama Search for Tomorrow.
- December 31 – A fire at the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, kills 97 and injures 140.
- January 1
- January 2
- January 3 – Lloyd, American R&B recording artist
- January 4
- January 5
- January 6
- January 8 – David Silva, Spanish footballer
- January 10
- January 11
- January 12 – Zlata Ognevich, Ukrainian singer
- January 13 – Joannie Rochette, Canadian figure skater
- January 14 – Yohan Cabaye, French footballer
- January 15 – Jessy Schram, American actress
- January 16 – Paula Pareto, Argentinian judoka
- January 17
- January 18 – Marya Roxx, Estonian-born musician
- January 19 – Claudio Marchisio, Italian footballer
- January 20 – Genie Chuo, Taiwanese singer and actress
- January 21
- January 22 – Daniel Smith, American actor (d. 2006)
- January 23
- January 24
- January 26
- January 28
- January 29 – Drew Tyler Bell, American actor and dancer
- January 31 – Yves Makabu-Makalambay, Belgian footballer
- March 1 – Jonathan Spector, American soccer player
- March 2 – Ethan Peck, American actor
- March 3 – Stacie Orrico, American singer
- March 4 – Margo Harshman, American actress
- March 5
- March 6
- March 8 – Princess Tsuguko of Takamado, a member of the Japanese Imperial Family
- March 9 – Brittany Snow, American actress
- March 11
- March 12 – Danny Jones, English musician
- March 13
- March 14 – Jamie Bell, British actor
- March 16
- March 17
- March 18 – Lykke Li, Swedish singer-songwriter.
- March 19 – Anne Vyalitsyna, Russian model
- March 21 – Scott Eastwood, American actor
- March 22 – Matt Bush, American actor
- March 23 – Brett Eldredge, American country music singer
- March 25
- March 26
- March 27
- March 28 – Lady Gaga (real name Stefani Germanotta), American singer-songwriter and record producer
- March 29 – Romina Oprandi, Italian tennis player
- March 30 – Sergio Ramos, Spanish footballer
- April 1
- April 2 – Lee DeWyze, American singer/songwriter
- April 3
- April 4 – Eunhyuk, South Korean singer and actor
- April 7 – Siwon, South Korean singer, actor and model
- April 8
- April 9 – Leighton Meester, American actress
- April 10
- April 11 – Stephanie Pratt, American television personality
- April 16 – Shinji Okazaki, Japanese football player
- April 18 – Maurice Edu, American footballer
- April 19 – Candace Parker, American basketball player
- April 20
- April 22
- April 23 – Jessica Stam, Canadian model
- April 24 – Tahyna Tozzi, Australian model, singer and actress
- April 27
- April 28 – Jenna Ushkowitz, American stage and television actress and singer
- April 30 – Dianna Agron, American actress
- May 2 – Emily Hart, American actress
- May 5 – Grace Wong, Hong Kong actress and beauty pageant contestant
- May 7 – Rianne ten Haken, Dutch model
- May 9 – Grace Gummer, American actress
- May 12 – Emily VanCamp, Canadian actress
- May 13
- May 14 – Alyosha, Ukrainian singer
- May 15 – Matías Fernández, Chilean footballer
- May 16
- May 17 – Tahj Mowry, American actor, dancer, and singer
- May 20 – Dexter Blackstock, English footballer
- May 21
- May 22 – Tatiana Volosozhar, Ukrainian figure skater
- May 23
- May 25 – Juri Ueno, Japanese actress
- May 26 – Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, Spanish actress and model
- May 27 – Timo Descamps, Belgian actor and singer
- May 28
- May 29 – Jaslene Gonzalez, Puerto Rican-American fashion model
- May 30 – Pasha Parfeni, Moldovan singer
- May 31
- July 1
- July 2 – Lindsay Lohan, American actress and singer
- July 4 – Takahisa Masuda, Japanese actor and singer
- July 5 – Adam Young, American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (Owl City)
- July 7 – Sevyn Streeter, American R&B singer and songwriter
- July 8
- July 9
- July 12
- July 14 – Dan Smith, English singer-songwriter (Bastille)
- July 17
- July 18
- July 24
- July 25 – Hulk, Brazilian footballer
- July 26 – Monica Raymund, American actress
- July 28 – Alexandra Chando, American actress
- July 30 – Jung Chul-woon, South Korean football player
- July 31 – Evgeni Malkin, Russian hockey player
- September 1
- September 2
- September 3
- OMI, Jamaican-born singer
- Shaun White, American professional snowboarder
- September 6 – Raven Riley, American porn star
- September 8 – Jake Sandvig, American actor
- September 9 – José Aldo, WEC Featherweight Champion, the first UFC Featherweight Champion
- September 10 – Ryuji Kamiyama, Japanese vocalist (Run&Gun) and actor
- September 12
- September 14
- September 15
- September 16
- September 18
- September 19
- September 21 – Lindsey Stirling, American violinist, dancer, performance artist, and composer
- September 24 – Leah Dizon, American singer and model
- September 25 – Steve Forrest, American drummer
- September 26 – Ashley Leggat, Canadian actress
- September 27 – Natasha Thomas, Danish singer and songwriter
- September 28 – Andrés Guardado, Mexican footballer
- September 30 – Olivier Giroud, French footballer
- October 1 – Jurnee Smollett, American actress
- October 2
- October 4 – Yuridia, Mexican singer
- October 5 – Novica Veličković, Serbian basketball player
- October 6
- October 7 – Amber Stevens, American actress and model
- October 9 – Laure Manaudou, French swimmer
- October 10 – Nathan Jawai, Australian basketball player
- October 12 – Marcus T. Paulk, American actor
- October 14
- October 15 – Lee Donghae, Korean singer (Super Junior)
- October 16 – Craig Pickering, British sprinter
- October 17 – Mohombi, Swedish-Congolese R&B singer-songwriter and dancer
- October 18 – Loukas Giorkas, Greek-Cypriot singer and model
- October 20 – Elyse Taylor, Australian model
- October 21
- October 22
- October 23
- October 24 – Drake, Canadian actor and rapper
- October 26 – Emilia Clarke, British actress
- October 28 – Tamar Kaprelian, Armenian American musician and singer
- October 29 – Italia Ricci, Canadian actress
- October 30 – Thomas Morgenstern, Austrian ski jumper
- November 1 – Penn Badgley, American actor
- November 3 – Jasmine Trias, Filipino-American singer
- November 4 – Alexz Johnson, Canadian actress and singer
- November 5
- November 10 – Josh Peck, American actor and director
- November 11
- November 12 – Evan Yo, Taiwanese singer-songwriter
- November 14 – Yuna, Malaysian singer, songwriter, and businesswoman
- November 15 – Sania Mirza, Indian tennis player
- November 17
- November 18 – Georgia King, Scottish actress
- November 19 – Veronica Scott, American fashion designer
- November 20 – Lee Gye-deok, South Korean singer and activist
- November 22 – Oscar Pistorius, South African Paralympic runner
- November 24
- November 25
- November 27 – Suresh Raina, Indian cricket player
- November 28 – Pamela Bianca Manalo, Filipina beauty queen and actress
- November 30
- January 2 – Una Merkel, American actress (b. 1903)
- January 4
- January 7 – Juan Rulfo, Mexican writer (b. 1917)
- January 8 – Maria L. de Hernández, Mexican-American rights activist (b. 1896)
- January 10 – Jaroslav Seifert, Czech writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1901)
- January 14 – Donna Reed, American actress (b. 1921)
- January 16 – Herbert W. Armstrong, founded the Worldwide Church of God (b. 1892)
- January 23 – Willard Van Dyke, American filmmaker and photographer (b. 1906)
- January 24
- January 27 – Lilli Palmer, German actress (b. 1914)
- January 28
- January 29 – Leif Erickson, American actor (b. 1911)
- February 1 – Alva Myrdal, Swedish politician, diplomat, and writer, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1902)
- February 6 – Frederick Coutts, the 8th General of The Salvation Army (b. 1899)
- February 7 – Minoru Yamasaki, Japanese-American architect, designed the twin towers of the World Trade Center (b. 1912)
- February 8 – Sarah Isabella McElligott, New Zealand cook and fruit-stall holder (b. 1883)
- February 10 – Brian Aherne, British actor (b. 1902)
- February 11
- February 14 – Edmund Rubbra, British composer (b. 1901)
- February 16 – Howard Da Silva, American actor (b. 1909)
- February 17
- February 19 – Francisco Mignone, Brazilian classical music (b. 1897)
- February 21
- February 24 – Tommy Douglas, Canadian politician and "Father of medicare" in Canada (b. 1904)
- February 27 – Jacques Plante, Canadian hockey player (b. 1929)
- February 28
- April 3 – Peter Pears, English tenor (b. 1910)
- April 7 – Leonid Kantorovich, Russian economist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1912)
- April 8 – Yukiko Okada, Japanese idol singer (b. 1967)
- April 13 – Stephen Stucker, American actor (b. 1947)
- April 14 – Simone de Beauvoir, French feminist writer (b. 1908)
- April 15
- April 17 – Marcel Dassault, French aircraft industrialist (b. 1892)
- April 19
- April 22 – Mircea Eliade, Romanian historian of religions and writer (b. 1907)
- April 23
- April 24 – The Duchess of Windsor (the former Wallis Simpson), widow of the late Duke of Windsor (formerly Edward VIII) (b. 1896)
- April 26
- April 30 – Robert Stevenson, English film director (b. 1905)
- May 1 – Hylda Baker, English comedy actress (b. 1905)
- May 2 – Henri Toivonen, Finnish rally car driver (b. 1956)
- May 3 – Robert Alda, American-born actor (b. 1914)
- May 9
- May 11
- May 12
- May 14 – Janne Aikala, Finnish murder victim (b. 1975)
- May 15
- May 19 – Jimmy Lyons, American musician (b. 1931)
- May 23
- May 24
- May 25 – Chester Bowles, American politician (b. 1901)
- May 26 – Gian-Carlo Coppola, American film producer (b. 1963)
- May 27 – Ajoy Mukherjee, Indian politician, Chief Minister of West Bengal (b. 1901)
- May 30 – Perry Ellis, American fashion designer (b. 1940)
- May 31
- June 3 – Anna Neagle, English actress (b. 1904)
- June 5 – Bryan Grant, American tennis champion (b. 1909)
- June 6 – William Joynt, officer, farm labourer (b. 1889)
- June 11 – Chesley Bonestell, American painter (b. 1888)
- June 13
- June 14
- June 16 – Maurice Duruflé, French composer (b. 1902)
- June 17 – Kate Smith, American singer (b. 1907)
- June 18 – Frances Scott Fitzgerald, daughter of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre (b. 1921)
- June 19
- Len Bias, American basketball player (b. 1963)
- Coluche, stage name of Michel Colucci, French comedian and humorist (b. 1944)
- June 21 – Assi Rahbani, Lebanese composer, musician, conductor and author (b. 1923)
- June 27 – Don Rogers, American football player (b. 1962)
- June 29
- July 3 – Rudy Vallée, American singer, actor, and bandleader (b. 1901)
- July 4 – Oscar Zariski, Russian mathematician (b. 1899)
- July 6 – Jagjivan Ram, Indian politician (b. 1908)
- July 8
- July 12 – Wacław Kisielewski, Polish pianist (b. 1943)
- July 14
- July 15
- July 19 – Alfredo Binda, Italian cyclist (b. 1902)
- July 21 – Ernest Maas, American screenwriter (b. 1892)
- July 22 – Ede Staal, Dutch singer-songwriter (b. 1941)
- July 24
- July 25
- July 26 – W. Averell Harriman, American diplomat and politician (b. 1891)
- July 27 – Osbert Lancaster, British cartoonist (b. 1908)
- July 31 – Teddy Wilson, American jazz pianist (b. 1912)
- August 1 – Ignatius Joseph Kasimo Hendrowahyono, Indonesian politician (b. 1900)
- August 2 – Renato Leduc, Mexican poet and journalist (b. 1897)
- August 4 – Willem Ruis, Dutch game show host (b. 1945)
- August 10 – Chuck McKinley, American tennis champion (b. 1941)
- August 16 – Jaime Sáenz, Bolivian poet, novelist, and short story writer (b. 1921)
- August 19
- August 20 – Milton Acorn, Canadian poet, writer, and playwright (b. 1923)
- August 21 – Thad Jones, American jazz musician (b. 1923)
- August 22 – Celâl Bayar, ex-President of Turkey (b. 1883)
- August 26 – Ted Knight, American actor (b. 1923)
- August 27 – George Nepia, New Zealand Maori rugby player (b. 1905)
- August 29 – Arthur Meyerhoff, American advertising agency executive and entrepreneur (b. 1895)
- August 30 – George Pelawa, American ice hockey star Minnesota Mr. Hockey (b. 1968)
- August 31
- September 1
- September 4 – Hank Greenberg, Jewish-American baseball player (Detroit Tigers) and member of the MLB Hall of Fame (b. 1911)
- September 6 – Blanche Sweet, American actress (b. 1896)
- September 7 – Omar Ali Saifuddien III, Sultan of Brunei (b. 1914)
- September 11
- September 12 – Frank Nelson, American actor (b. 1911)
- September 18 – Pat Phoenix, British actress (b. 1923)
- September 21 – Cheryl Keeton, American murder victim (b. 1949)
- September 22 – József Asbóth, Hungarian tennis champion (b. 1917)
- September 23 – Gottfried Freiherr von Banfield, Austro-Hungarian naval aeroplane pilot in the First World War (b. 1890)
- September 25 – Nikolay Semyonov, Russian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1896)
- September 26 – Noboru Terada, Japanese Olympic swimmer (b. 1917)
- September 27 – Cliff Burton, American bassist (Metallica) (b. 1962)
- September 28 – Robert Helpmann, Australian dancer and choreographer (b. 1909)
- September 30 – Storm Jameson, English journalist and author (b. 1891)
- October 5
- October 7 – Wallace Wade, American football coach, University of Alabama, Duke University (b. 1892)
- October 11 – Boris Leven, Russian-born art director (b. 1908)
- October 14 – Keenan Wynn, American actor (b. 1916)
- October 15 – Jerry Smith, American football All Pro tight end, Washington Redskins, NFL (b. 1943)
- October 16 – Arthur Grumiaux, Belgian violinist (b. 1921)
- October 19 – Samora Machel, President of Mozambique (b. 1933)
- October 22 – Albert Szent-Györgyi, Hungarian physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1893)
- October 23 – Edward Adelbert Doisy, American biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1893)
- October 25 – Forrest Tucker, American actor (F Troop) (b. 1919)
- October 26 – Jackson Scholz, American runner (b. 1897)
- October 28 – Ian Marter, British actor and writer (b. 1944)
- October 31 – Robert S. Mulliken, American physicist and chemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (b. 1896)
- November 2 – Paul Frees, American voice actor (b. 1920)
- November 5 – Claude Jutra, Canadian film director (b. 1930)
- November 6 – Elisabeth Grümmer, Alsatian soprano (b. 1911)
- November 8
- November 10 – Rogelio de la Rosa, Filipino actor and politician (b. 1916)
- November 11 – Roger C. Carmel, American actor (b. 1932)
- November 15 – Alexandre Tansman, French composer and virtuoso pianist (b. 1897)
- November 16 – Siobhán McKenna, Irish actress (b. 1923)
- November 18 – Gia Carangi, American supermodel (b. 1960)
- November 21
- November 22
- November 25 – Ivan Magill, Irish-born anaesthetist (b. 1888)
- November 29 – Cary Grant, British actor (b. 1904)
- December 1 – Bobby Layne, American football player (Detroit Lions) and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (b. 1926)
- December 2 – Desi Arnaz, Cuban-born actor (b. 1917)
- December 3 – Austin Hayes, Irish footballer (b. 1958)
- December 10 – Susan Cabot, American actress (b. 1927)
- December 12 – Paul Verner, German politician (b. 1911)
- December 13 – Heather Angel, English actress (b. 1909)
- December 15 – Serge Lifar, Russian dancer and choreographer (b. 1905)
- December 16 – John Nathaniel Couch, American mycologist (b. 1896)
- December 17 – Guillermo Cano Isaza, Colombian journalist (b. 1925)
- December 18 – Andrew Tsu, Chinese Anglican bishop (b. 1885)
- December 21 – Willy Coppens, Belgian pilot (b. 1892)
- December 22 – Ida Cook (aka Mary Burchell), British novelist and campaigner for Jewish refugees (b. 1904)
- December 26 – Elsa Lanchester, English actress (b. 1902)
- December 28 – Jan Nieuwenhuys, Dutch painter (b. 1922)
- December 29
- December 31 – Lloyd Haynes, American actor (b. 1934)