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in memoriam

In memoriam: Remembering the famous faces from around the world we lost in 2023

We take a look back at some of the many greats we lost this year.

THIS YEAR, WE lost many luminaries of the stage and screen around the world. Here we remember those we said goodbye to in the last 12 months.


On 6 January, former Italy, Juventus and Chelsea striker Gianluca Vialli died aged 58.

lapresse-fabio-ferrari-july-11-2021-london-great-britain-sport-soccer-iitaly-vs-england-euro-2020-final-wembley-stadium-london-in-the-pic-gianluca-vialli-celebrates-the-victory Gianluca Vialli Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Lisa Marie Presley, US singer and only child of Elvis Presley, died aged 54 on 12 January

Following in the footsteps of her father, Presley pursued a career in the music industry, releasing three albums: To Whom It May Concern in 2003; Now What in 2005; and Storm & Grace in 2012.

Upon her father’s death, when she was just nine years old, she became the joint heir to his estate with her grandfather, Vernon Presley, and her great-grandmother, Minnie Mae Hood Presley.

In 1993, when she turned 25, she took full control of the estate and formed The Elvis Presley Trust to continue its successful management.

los-angeles-california-usa-7th-may-2015-lisa-marie-presley-at-arrivals-for-mad-max-fury-road-premiere-tcl-chinese-6-theatres-formerly-graumans-los-angeles-ca-may-7-2015-credit-everett Lisa Marie Presley Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Italian actor and photographer Gina Lollobrigida, one of the last icons of the Golden Age of Hollywood, died aged 95 on 16 January

Best known for Luigi Comencini’s 1953 classic Bread, Love and Dreams, and Jean Delannoy’s 1956 The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Lollobrigida starred with many of the leading men of the time, including Errol Flynn, Burt Lancaster and Humphrey Bogart.

Lollobrigida won seven David di Donatello awards, Italy’s Oscar equivalent, during her career.

stars-gina-lollobrigida Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

On 17 January, the world’s oldest known living person, French nun Lucile Randon, passed away at the age of 118.

Randon, known as Sister Andre, was born in southern France on 11 February 1904, when World War I was still a decade away.

toulon-france-10th-feb-2021-sister-andre-poses-in-her-retirement-home-ehpad-sainte-catherine-laboure-in-toulon-southern-france-on-february-10-2021-one-day-before-turning-117-years-old-this-f Lucile Randon (Sister Andre) Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

US musician David Crosby died at the age of 81 on 18 January following a long illness. 

Cosby, along with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, formed the influential rock band Crosby, Stills and Nash – a US supergroup that would later feature Neil Young – in 1968. The singer-songwriter rose to fame in LA-based folk-rock group The Byrds, who he joined in 1964 alongside Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke.

He also collaborated on chart-topping hits, including a cover of Bob Dylan’s Mr Tambourine Man that went to number one in the US singles chart, and Turn! Turn! Turn!.

david-crosby-performs-live-in-como-italy-on-december-10-2014-photo-by-mairo-cinquettinurphoto David Crosby Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo


Spanish fashion designer Paco Rabanne, known for his eccentric clothing designs and for founding one of the world’s best-known fragrance brands, died on 3 February at the age of 88. 

Rabanne was a key figure in the space-age fashion movement of the 1960s, known for using metal and other unlikely materials in his outfits.

He teamed up with the fashion company Puig in 1968 and they released their first fragrance together a year later, leading to a perfume line that remains one of the most globally popular today.

rabanne-paco-18-2-1934-spanish-fashion-designer-portrait-during-an-interview-munich-16-3-1994 Paco Rabanne Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

On 8 February, Burt Bacharach composer of classic pop songs including I Say A Little Prayer and Walk On By, passed away. 

He was known for romantic and melancholic ballads that straddled the genres of jazz and pop, and regularly topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.

burt-bacharach-performs-live-at-the-hampton-court-palace-festival-2015-at-hampton-court-palace-london Burt Bacharach Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Hollywood actress Raquel Welch died on 15 February

The Golden Globe winner starred in more than 30 films – including Fantastic Voyage and The Three Musketeers – as well as some 50 different television series in a career spanning five decades. 

film-still-publicity-still-from-legally-blonde-raquel-welch-2001-mgm-photo-credit-tracy-bennett-file-reference-30847758tha-for-editorial-use-only-all-rights-reserved Raquel Welch Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

On 19 February, former World of Sport presenter Dickie Davies died at the age of 94.

Davies was best known for anchoring the ITV sports show from 1968 until it came to an end in 1985.

dickie-davies-world-of-sport-1979 Dickie Davies Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

19 February also saw the death of 78-year-old Richard Belzer, the veteran stand-up comedian who became one of TV’s most indelible detectives as John Munch in Homicide: Life On The Street and Law & Order: SVU.

For more than two decades and across 10 series — and including appearances on the sitcoms 30 Rock and Arrested Development — Belzer played the wise-cracking, acerbic homicide detective prone to conspiracy theories.

Belzer first played Munch on a 1993 episode of Homicide and last played him in 2016 on Law & Order: SVU.

2013-nbc-upfront-presentation-arrivals-featuring-richard-belzer-where-new-york-city-ny-united-states-when-13-may-2013-cr Richard Belzer Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

On 23 February, sports commentator John Motson died at the age of 77.

Motson, born in Salford in the UK, enjoyed a distinguished career with the BBC, covering 29 FA Cup finals and 10 World Cups.

His long career also took in two Olympic Games and Wimbledon’s memorable 1988 FA Cup final triumph against Liverpool at Wembley, when the Crazy Gang beat the Culture Club.

Awarded the OBE in 2001 for services to broadcasting, Motson hung up his microphone for the BBC at the end of the 2017-18 Premier League season.

bbc-television-football-commentator-john-motson-watches-the-fa-cup-fourth-round-match-between-leeds-and-portsmouth-at-fratton-park-leeds-won-the-match-5-1-51001-scientists-revealed-the-formula-fo John Motson Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Former British MP Betty Boothroyd, the first woman to be elected Speaker of the House of Commons in Westminster, died at age 93 on 26 February

Boothroyd was elected as a Labour MP in in 1973 and was later briefly an MEP before returning to the House of Commons. She became Deputy Speaker in 1987 and was elected Speaker in 1992, the first and only woman to have held the role to date. She stayed in the role until October 2000.

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Steve Mackey, bassist of Britpop band Pulp, passed away on 2 March aged 56.

Mackey joined Pulp in 1989 and recorded five albums with the band as well as playing on hit songs Common People and Disco 2000.

He also produced songs and albums by M.I.A., Florence and the Machine and Arcade Fire.

jarvis-cocker-and-steve-mackey-cca-glasgow-scotland Jarvis Cocker and Steve Mackey of Pulp Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

2 March also saw the death of Wayne Shorter, the storied saxophonist considered one of America’s greatest jazz composers.

He performed with fellow jazz legend Miles Davis and went on to become a leading bandleader on both soprano and tenor sax, including with his group Weather Report.

He won 12 competitive Grammys over his long career, the last of which came in February of this year, as well as a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy.

wayne-shorter Wayne Shorter Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

US actor Tom Sizemore passed away on 3 March at the age of 61. 

He starred in Steven Spielberg’s 1998 World War II epic Saving Private Ryan, playing the second-in-command to Tom Hanks in a small group of soldiers sent to bring home a serviceman whose three brothers had already died.

tom-sizemore-in-castle-rock-entertainments-and-village-roadshow-pictures-supernatural-thriller-dreamcatcher-distributed-by-warner-bros-pictures-2003 Tom Sizemore Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

On 5 MarchGary Rossington, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s last surviving original member, died at the age of 71.

Rossington was a founding member of the Southern rock group best known for the 1974 song Sweet Home Alabama.

june-23-2019-lynyrd-skynyrd-perform-at-the-hellfest-open-air-festival Gary Rossington Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Chaim Topol, the Israeli actor best known for his portrayal of Tevye in 1971 musical Fiddler On The Roof, died aged 87 on 8 March

Topol scooped a second Golden Globe in 1971, this time for best actor, for his role in the musical. 

A 1991 Broadway revival of Fiddler On The Roof also saw Topol nominated for a Tony Award for best actor.

topol-tevye-in-fiddler-on-the-roof-at-the-london-palladium-london-w1-28061994-music-jerry-bock-lyrics-sheldon-harrick-book-joseph-stein-design-boris-aronson-choreography-direction-sa Chaim Topol Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

On 16 March, Ann Summers founder Jacqueline Gold died at the age of 62 Gold was best known for leading the lingerie and sex toy brand and growing the retailer into a familiar sight on high streets.  

The brand was originally developed by David and Ralph Gold, her father and uncle respectively.

In 1981, Jacqueline Gold first joined the business on an internship.

Around 10 years later, Gold was then made a director of the business before swiftly being named as its chief executive officer.

jacqueline-gold-the-british-business-woman Jacqueline Gold Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Lance Reddick, an actor best known for his role in HBO series The Wire, died aged 60 on 17 March

Reddick appeared in more than a dozen films and shows during his 25-year acting career.

He was also known for starring as Charon in the John Wick action-thriller movie franchise.

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On 24 March, Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel who set the breakneck pace of progress in the digital age with a simple 1965 prediction of how quickly engineers would boost the capacity of computer chips, died aged 94.

Moore, who held a PhD in chemistry and physics, made his famous observation – now known as “Moore’s Law” – three years before he helped start Intel in 1968.

gordon-e-moore-a-chemist-and-physicist-who-co-founded-the-intel-corporation-in-1968 Gordon Moore Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

TV presenter and comedian Paul O’Grady passed away aged 67 on 28 March

During his career, he hosted The Paul O’Grady Show, Blind Date and Blankety Blank, as well as ITV’s multi-award-winning For The Love Of Dogs. He also hosted the ITV celebrity game show Paul O’Grady’s Saturday Night Line Up.

chelsea-london-uk-23rd-may-2022-presenter-and-broadcaster-paul-ogrady-mbe-looks-around-the-show-chelsea-flower-show-press-day-previews-the-show-which-returns-to-the-royal-hospital-chelsea-and Paul O'Grady Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo


1 April saw the death of Scottish boxing great Ken Buchanan at the age of 77. 

Buchanan became the undisputed world lightweight champion in 1971 and won his first 33 fights, finishing his career with a 61-8 (27KOs) record.

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S Club 7 singer Paul Cattermole died at the age of 46 on 6 April.  

Originally created by former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller in 1998, S Club 7 had hits including Reach, Don’t Stop Movin’ and their debut Bring It All Back.

Cattermole left the seven-piece pop group in 2002 after four years to embark on a solo career.

paul-cattermole-of-s-club-formerly-s-club-7-performing-live-at-the-palace-theatre-melbourne-australia-03-06-12 Paul Cattermole Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

On 7 April, Ben Ferencz, the last living prosecutor from the Nuremberg trials, who secured guilty verdicts from 22 Nazis and dedicated his life to fighting international injustice, passed away. 

Ferencz, an American who at the age of 27 and with no prior trial experience served as one of the trials’ chief prosecutors, would later go on to battle for compensation and the return of stolen goods to victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

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Australian entertainer Barry Humphries died aged 89 on 22 April

During a seven-decade career, the stage and screen veteran entertained generations with satirical characters including Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson.

barry-humphries-outside-the-oldie-of-the-year-awards-simpsons-the-strand-london-2nd-feb-2016 Barry Humphries Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

22 April also saw the death of former Strictly Come Dancing head judge Len Goodman at the age of 78. 

He first became a judge on the show back in 2004 and his final appearance was on the 2016 Christmas Day special. 

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On 25 April, Harry Belafonte, the civil rights and entertainment giant who began as an actor and singer and became an activist and humanitarian, died. 

Belafonte not only participated in protest marches and benefit concerts, but also helped organise and raise support for them.

He was one of the first black performers to gain a wide following on film and sell a million records as a singer.

Many still know him for his signature hit Banana Boat Song (Day-O) and its call of: “Day-O! Daaaaay-O.”

harry-belafonte-circa-1982-file-reference-32557_537tha Harry Belafonte Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Jerry Springer, the one-time US mayor and well-known talk show host, died aged 79 on 27 April

He was best known for showcasing dysfunctional families on The Jerry Springer Show, which ran from 1991 until 2018 in the US.

He had stepped down from The Jerry Springer Podcast, after eight years, in December last year.

jerry-springer-arriving-at-the-comedy-central-roast-of-david-hasselhoff-held-at-the-sony-pictures-studios-los-angeles-august-1st-2010-photo-by-lionel-hahnabacapress-com Jerry Springer Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo


Andy Rourke, bassist with The Smiths, died at the age of 59 on 19 May

With the original line-up comprising Rourke, frontman Morrissey, guitarist Marr and drummer Mike Joyce, The Smiths had a string of hits in the 1980s with songs like This Charming Man, Ask and Girlfriend In A Coma.

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On 19 May, British author Martin Amis, the writer of iconic novels including Money and London Fields, died at the age of 73.

Amis published 15 novels, the memoir Experience in 2000 as well as works of nonfiction, and collections of essays and short stories.

In his later work he investigated Stalin’s atrocities, the war on terror and the legacy of the Holocaust.

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24 May saw the death of music legend Tina Turner at the age of 83. 

Turner was known for such hits as Proud Mary and What’s Love Got To Do With It and her dynamic on-stage performances.

In a career spanning over 60 years, the American-Swiss singer, who was born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee, won eight competitive Grammy Awards.

She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.

tina-turner-artist-in-stockholm-at-press-conference Tina Turner Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo


Astrud Gilberto, the Brazilian singer, songwriter and entertainer whose off-hand, English-language cameo on The Girl From Ipanema made her a worldwide voice of bossa nova, died aged 83 on 5 June.

Born in Salvador, Bahia, and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Gilberto became an overnight, unexpected superstar in 1964, thanks to knowing just enough English to be recruited by the makers of Getz/Gilberto, the classic bossa nova album featuring saxophonist Stan Getz and her then-husband, singer-songwriter-guitarist Joao Gilberto.

The Girl From Ipanema, the wistful ballad written by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, was already a hit in South America.

get-yourself-a-college-girl-stan-getz-astrud-gilberto-1964 Astrud Gilberto Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

7 June saw the death of The Iron Sheik (Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri), a heavyweight champion WWE wrestler. 

At the height of his wrestling career in the 1980s, Sheik took on other greats in the ring including Bob Backlund, Sgt Slaughter and Hulk Hogan.

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On 12 June, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi died aged 86. 

He defied numerous scandals to be Italian prime minister three times, and held a seat in the Italian Senate up to his death. 

silvio-berlusconi-italian-politician-and-entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Actor Treat Williams died after a motorcycle crash in Vermont on 12 June

He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his role as hippie leader George Berger in the 1979 movie version of the hit musical Hair.

He appeared in dozens of television shows but was perhaps best known for his starring role from 2002 to 2006 in Everwood as Dr Andrew Brown, a widowed brain surgeon from Manhattan who moves with his two children to the Colorado mountain town of that name.

treat-williams-stars-as-hal-yeager-the-head-of-the-studio-in-woody-allens-latest-contemporary-comedy-hollywood-ending-2002-being-distributed-domestically-by-dreamworks Treat Williams Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

US author Cormac McCarthy died aged 89 on 13 June

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist wrote The Road and No Country for Old Men, both of which became feature films.

Over his nearly six-decade long career, McCarthy won major literary awards and gained international acclaim for a dozen sparsely written, soul-wrenching novels.

file-author-cormac-mccarthy-attends-the-premiere-of-the-road-in-new-york-on-nov-16-2009-mccarthy-has-two-novels-coming-out-this-fall-his-first-fiction-releases-since-the-pulitzer-prize-winning Cormac McCarthy Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

On 15 June, actress and former UK politician Glenda Jackson passed away at the age of 87.  

The screen star and former Labour MP won the Oscar for best actress in 1970 for Women In Love and again three years later for A Touch Of Class – although opted not to attend the ceremony on either occasion.

The double Oscar-winner gave up acting for politics more than a quarter of a century ago and served as a Labour MP for 23 years.

actor-and-politician-glenda-jackson-poses-for-a-portrait-ahead-of-an-in-conversation-event-at-the-bfi-southbank-in-london Glenda Jackson Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Oscar-winning actor Alan Arkin died aged 89 on 29 June

Arkin, who starred in Argo and Glengarry Glen Ross, had an acting career stretching back to the 1950s and was still working as of last year via a voice role in the latest Minions film.

catch-22-1970-alan-arkin Alan Arkin Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

On 30 June, Darren Drozdov, the former WWE star who was left paralysed after an in-ring accident in 1999, died aged 54. 


Rugby coach Greig Oliver, from Scotland, passed away on 3 July following a paragliding accident in South Africa.

A former Scotland international, Oliver had been heavily involved in Munster rugby.

He held a number of coaching roles with the Garryowen club and the Munster A side and more recently as Elite Performance Officer for the province, a role he held since 2011.

He was also assistant coach of the Ireland U20 side between 2011 and 2014. 

greig-oliver Greig Oliver James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Legendary US singer Tony Bennett died on 21 July at the age of 96.  

The eminent and timeless stylist, whose devotion to classic American songs such as I Left My Heart In San Francisco brought him admirers from Frank Sinatra to Lady Gaga.

He released more than 70 albums, bringing him 19 competitive Grammys.

nbc-today-show-concert-with-tony-bennett-and-billy-joel Tony Bennett Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

BBC newsreader George Alagiah died at the age of 67 on 24 July

Alagiah joined the BBC in 1989 and spent many years as one of the corporation’s leading foreign correspondents before moving to presenting.

The Sri Lanka-born journalist had been the face of BBC One’s News At Six since 2007. 

george-alagiah-attends-the-annual-edinburgh-tv-festival-at-the-eicc-for-in-shaping-the-news-credit-euan-cherry George Alagiah Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

24 July also saw the death of Trevor Francis, British football’s first £1 million player.

The ex-Birmingham striker, who scored Nottingham Forest’s winner in their 1979 European Cup final triumph, earned 52 England caps and later guided Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham to major finals as a manager.

nottingham-forest-v-malmo-ff-1979-european-cup-final-at-the-olympiastadion-munich-30th-may-1979-nottingham-forest-striker-trevor-francis-final-score-nottingham-forest-1-0-malmo-ff-local-captio Trevor Francis Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

On 30 July, US actor Paul Reubens, who became famous in the 1980s for his comedy character Pee-wee Herman, died aged 70. 

Reubens’ iconic Herman character led to a TV series and multiple films. However, he stepped away from the role for nearly 20 years after being arrested for indecent exposure in 1991 at a movie theatre.

paul-reubens-pee-wee-herman-at-the-after-party-for-the-pee-wee-herman-show-opening-night-after-party-the-bryant-park-grill-new-york-ny-november-11-2010-photo-by-gregorio-t-binuyaeverett-colle Paul Reubens Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Angus Cloud, the actor who starred in the HBO series Euphoria, died at the age of 25 on 31 July

Cloud played drug dealer Fezco “Fez” O’Neill on Euphoria, a role which made him a breakout star.

He had not acted before he was cast in the HBO drama. 

hollywood-los-angeles-california-usa-august-11-american-actor-angus-cloud-arrives-at-the-variety-2022-power-of-young-hollywood-celebration-presented-by-facebook-gaming-held-at-neuehouse-los-ange Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo


American actor Mark Margolis, best known for his role as ex-drug kingpin Hector Salamanca in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, died aged 83 on 3 August

He forged a successful career as a character actor, with supporting roles in films such as Scarface, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Black Swan, as well as HBO series Oz.

In 2012, he was nominated for an Emmy for Breaking Bad.

mark-margolis-the-fountain-2006 Mark Margolis Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

On 7 August, director William Friedkin, best known for his Oscar-winning The French Connection and blockbuster The Exorcist, died at the age of 87.  

william-friedkin-dir-os-the-hunted-2003-film-001-10678 William Friedkin Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Actor, writer and director Darren Kent died at the age of 36 on 11 August

He played a grieving father, Goatherd, in Game of Thrones in 2014.

He also had TV roles in EastEnders, TV mini-series Les Misérables and ITV drama Malpractice.

Michael Parkinson, the veteran broadcaster considered the king of British chat show hosts, died aged 88 on 16 August

The chat show host interviewed some of Hollywood’s biggest names throughout his illustrious career – with names such as Jimmy Cagney, Fred Astaire, Lauren Bacall and Ingrid Bergmann on the list.

His career with the BBC and later ITV also saw him welcome the likes of boxer Muhammad Ali, sporting star David Beckham and Rod Hull – with puppet Emu – onto his chat shows.

michael-parkinson-speaking-on-stage-at-hay-festival-2017-hay-on-wye-powys-wales-uk Michael Parkinson Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

US actor Ron Cephas Jones died at the age of 66 on 19 August

He was best known for his role in the series This Is Us, for which he won two Emmy Awards. 

ron-cephas-jones-arrives-at-the-world-premiere-of-venom-on-monday-oct-1-2018-at-the-regency-village-theater-in-los-angeles-photo-by-richard-shotwellinvisionap Ron Cephas Jones Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

24 August saw the death of WWE wrestler Bray Wyatt at the age of 36. 

Wyatt joined WWE’s developmental programme in 2009 and remained with the company until his death, except for a one-year gap between July 2021 and September 2022. 

new-orleans-louisiana-usa-6th-apr-2014-bray-wyatt-plays-to-the-crowd-in-his-match-against-john-cena-during-wrestlemania-30-at-the-bmw-super-dome-matt-robertszuma-wirezumapress-comalamy Bray Wyatt Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Bob Barker, the charismatic host of one of the most popular US television game shows in history, The Price Is Right, died aged 99 on 26 August

For 35 years, audiences in the US and in many countries around the world watched every weekday as the famously affable Barker called on excited contestants to “Come on down” and test their knowledge of how much consumer goods cost, in return for cash and prizes. Barker won 19 Emmys in his 60-year career in radio and television.

hollywood-california-u-s-bob-barker-in-1982-roger-karnbad-roger-karnbadzuma-wirealamy-live-news Bob Barker Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo


Steve Harwell, the lead singer of Smash Mouth, passed away aged 56 on 4 September

Smash Mouth was formed in 1994, with Harwell as one of its founding members, and is best known for the 1999 hit All Star.

All Star was widely praised upon its 1999 release, but achieved newfound fame when it was used in the 2001 animated movie Shrek. Smash Mouth’s cover of ‘I’m a Believer’ also featured in the hit movie. 

steve-harwell-of-smash-mouth-seen-at-kaaboo-2017-at-the-del-mar-racetrack-and-fairgrounds-on-friday-sept-15-2017-in-san-diego-calif-photo-by-amy-harrisinvisionap Steve Harwell Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Actor David McCallum, who became a teen heartthrob in the hit series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in the 1960s and was the eccentric medical examiner in the popular NCIS 40 years later, died aged 90 on 26 September

david-mccallum-actor-who-plays-the-role-of-secret-agent-illya-kuryakin-in-nbc-show-the-man-from-u-n-c-l-e-pictured-arriving-at-london-heathrow-airport-16th-march-1966-uk-promotion-tour David McCallum Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo


8 October saw the death of 83-year-old Burt Young, the Oscar-nominated actor who played Paulie, the rough-hewn, corner man and brother-in-law to Sylvester Stallone in the Rocky franchise.

Young also had roles in acclaimed films and television shows including Chinatown, Once Upon A Time In America and The Sopranos.

burt-young-rocky-balboa-world-premiere-graumans-chinese-theatre-hollywood-usa-13-december-2006 Burt Young Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Poet and Nobel laureate Louise Gluck died aged 80 on 13 October

Gluck published more than a dozen books of poetry, along with essays and a brief prose fable, Marigold and Rose.

In 1993, she won the Pulitzer Prize for The Wild Iris, an exchange in part between a beleaguered gardener and a callous deity.

Her other books included the collections The Seven Ages, The Triumph of Achilles, Vita Nova and a highly acclaimed anthology Poems 1962-2012.

file-poet-louise-gluck-appears-at-a-ceremony-honoring-her-with-the-national-humanities-medal-in-the-east-room-of-the-white-house-in-washington-on-sept-22-2016-glucks-death-was-confirmed-friday Louise Gluck Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

On 14 October, actress Piper Laurie passed away at the age of 91. 

She was known for her chilling portrayal of the mother in Carrie and for playing Paul Newman’s girlfriend in The Hustler.  

Suzanne Somers, who gained fame for her role as Chrissy Snow on the sitcom Three’s Company, died aged 76 on 15 October

beverly-hills-california-28th-feb-2016-suzanne-somers-attending-the-2016-vanity-fair-oscar-party-hosted-by-graydon-carter-at-wallis-annenberg-center-for-the-performing-arts-on-february-28-2016-in Suzanne Somers Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Manchester United and England great Bobby Charlton passed away aged 86 on 21 October

Charlton was a key member of England’s victorious 1966 World Cup team and also enjoyed great success at club level with United, who became the first English club to win the European Cup in 1968.

bobby-charlton-manchester-united Bobby Charlton Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

On 27 October, former Chinese premier Li Keqiang, a reform-minded bureaucrat once tipped as the country’s future leader only to be eclipsed by President Xi Jinping, died aged 68.

beijing-china-21st-nov-2013-chinese-premier-li-keqiang-speaks-and-gestures-at-a-press-conference-at-the-great-hall-of-the-people-in-beijing-on-the-16th-eu-china-summit-olli-geibel Li Keqiang Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Matthew Perry, star of the hit US comedy series Friends, was found dead at his Los Angeles home aged 54 on 28 October

Perry was nominated for an Emmy for his role as Chandler Bing in Friends, which ran from 1994 to 2004.

During his time on the show, he struggled with addiction and anxiety which he described in his memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing which was published in 2022.

He joined his co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer for a reunion special hosted by James Corden in 2021.

matthew-perry-disney-abc-television-summer-press-tour-beverly-hills-california-usa-01-august-2010 Matthew Perry Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo


On 19 November, former US first lady Rosalynn Carter, the wife of former president Jimmy Carter, died at the age of 96.

Carter was best known for her work post-White House, as she and her husband championed human rights, democracy and health issues around the world – all while maintaining a notably humble public image.

former-first-lady-rosalynn-carter-speaks-at-an-event-to-recognize-military-and-veteran-caregivers-in-the-east-room-of-the-white-house-april-11-2014-in-washington-dc-usa-photo-by-olivier-doulierya Rosalynn Carter Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

British actor Joss Ackland, who excelled in playing film villains in a varied career spanning eight decades, died on 19 November at the age of 95. 

He played a vengeful mafia don in The Sicilian, and was a buttoned-up aristocratic Englishman accused of murder in Kenya in White Mischief.

Ackland also made a cameo as a murderous hitchhiker in a surreal video for the Pet Shop Boys’ synth-pop version of You Were Always On My Mind.

actor-joss-ackland-cbe Joss Ackland Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

19 November also saw the death of Hannes Strydom, a member of the legendary South Africa 1995 Rugby World Cup winning team.

On 25 November, former England, Barcelona and Tottenham manager Terry Venables passed away at the age of 80.

As a player he made more than 500 appearances for Chelsea, Tottenham, QPR and Crystal Palace but made his real mark as a coach, also managing Palace and QPR.

england-manager-terry-venables-28th-february-1994 Terry Venables Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Henry Kissinger, the influential and divisive US diplomat, died at the age of 100 on 29 November

China was one of Kissinger’s most lasting legacies. Hoping to shake up the Cold War fight against the Soviet Union, Kissinger secretly reached out to Beijing, culminating in a historic 1972 visit by president Richard Nixon and later the US establishment of relations with the then-isolated country.

Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiations to end the Vietnam War, even though the conflict did not immediately end and his North Vietnamese counterpart, Le Duc Tho, declined to accept the prize.

Kissinger was a practitioner of realpolitik — using diplomacy to achieve practical objectives rather than advance lofty ideals. Supporters said his pragmatic bent served US interests; critics saw a Machiavellian approach that ran counter to democratic ideals.

He was faulted for authorising telephone wiretaps of reporters and his own National Security Council staff to plug news leaks in Nixon’s White House. He was denounced on college campuses for the bombing and allied invasion of Cambodia in April 1970, intended to destroy North Vietnamese supply lines to communist forces in South Vietnam.

That “incursion”, as Nixon and Kissinger called it, was blamed by some for contributing to Cambodia’s fall into the hands of Khmer Rouge insurgents who later slaughtered some two million Cambodians.

secretary-of-state-henry-kissinger-testifying-before-a-senate-hearing-in-april-1976-large-format-sizes-available Henry Kissinger Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

On 30 November, former British chancellor and veteran Labour politician Alistair Darling died aged 70.

He served as a Labour MP from 1987 to 2015 and was chancellor during the financial crisis of 2008.

He retired from the House of Lords in 2020 just five years after being appointed a life peer.

alistair-darling-portraits-for-xmas-copybank-story Alistair Darling Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo


7 December saw the death of poet and actor Benjamin Zephaniah at the age of 65.

 Zephaniah, known for his works about refugees and healthy eating and who also appeared in hit BBC show Peaky Blinders as Jeremiah Jesus, had been diagnosed with a brain tumour shortly before his death.

benjamin-zephaniah-performs-at-the-tuc-aid-concert-for-haiti-held-at-congress-house-in-central-london Benjamin Zephaniah Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

On 8 December, actor Ryan O’Neal died at the age of 82.

The US actor starred in drama Peyton Place before rising to international stardom after his Oscar-nominated turn as Oliver in the romantic 1971 film Love Story, opposite Ali MacGraw.

He later starred in What’s Up, Doc? with Barbra Streisand, and Paper Moon, opposite his daughter Tatum.

malibu-california-usa-3rd-oct-2010-ryan-oneal-an-american-television-and-film-actor-photographed-in-his-malibu-beach-house-a-year-after-the-death-of-his-longtime-companion-actress-farrah-fawc Ryan O'Neal Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Andre Braugher, who starred in Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Homicide: Life On The Street, died at the age of 61 on 11 December

The two-time Emmy winning actor starred as Captain Raymond Holt in US comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine alongside Andy Samberg, playing New York police officers in Brooklyn’s fictional 99th Precinct.

new-york-united-states-23rd-jan-2020-andre-braugher-arrives-on-the-red-carpet-at-the-nbc-midseason-new-york-press-junket-at-four-seasons-hotel-new-york-on-thursday-january-23-2020-in-new-york-ci Andre Braugher Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

On 15 December, Emmerdale star Steve Halliwell, who played Zak Dingle on the ITV soap opera for nearly three decades, died aged 77.

river (3) Steve Halliwell ITV / PA Images ITV / PA Images / PA Images

27 December saw the death of Jacques Delors, a former head of the EU Commission and key figure in the creation of the euro currency.

Delors, a Socialist, had a high-profile political career in France, where he served as finance minister under president Francois Mitterrand from 1981 to 1984.

He then acted as European Commission head from 1985 to 1995.

But he declined to run for president in 1995 despite being overwhelmingly ahead in the polls, a decision he put down to “a desire for independence that was too great”.

jacques-delors-in-oxford-hands-up Jacques Delors Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

South Korean star Lee Sun-kyun, who appeared in the film Parasite, also passed away on 27 December.

new-york-usa-30th-july-2023-lee-sun-kyun-attending-the-2023-new-york-asian-film-festival-closing-night-at-walter-reade-theater-in-new-york-ny-on-july-30-2023-photo-by-efren-landaossipa-usa-c Lee Sun-kyun Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

On 30 December, the Oscar-nominated actor Tom Wilkinson died aged 75. 

The British actor was well known for his role in The Full Monty as former steel mill foreman Gerald Cooper.

Wilkinson was nominated for Academy Awards for actor in a leading role for In The Bedroom in 2001, and again as actor in a supporting role for Michael Clayton in 2007.

tom-wilkinson-arrives-for-the-uk-premiere-of-belle Tom Wilkinson in 2014 Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

30 December also saw the death of investigative journalist John Pilger at the age of 84. 

The Australia-born documentary maker was known for his work covering the aftermath of Pol Pot’s regime in Cambodia and also looked into the Thalidomide scandal along with his war correspondent work.

john-pilger-joins-anti-war-protesters-in-londons-trafalgar-square-demonstrate-against-ten-years-of-conflict-in-afghanistan John Pilger Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Includes reporting by Press Association and © AFP 2023 

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