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RIP

In memoriam: Remembering the famous faces from around the world we lost in 2022

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 who bid their final farewells in the last 12 months.

On 6 January, American film director Peter Bogdanovich died aged 82.

One of the so-called ‘New Hollywood’ directors, he was heralded as an auteur from the start of his career and directed black-and-white classics including The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon.

His turbulent personal life also featured in the spotlight often, including a well-known affair with Cybill Shepherd that began during the making of The Last Picture Show and the murder of his Playmate girlfriend Dorothy Stratten before his subsequent marriage to her younger sister, Louise, who was 29 years younger than him.

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Also on 6 January, Hollywood’s first major black movie star Sidney Poitier passed away at the age of 94.

The celebrated actor became the first Black star to be nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in 1958′s The Defiant Ones. Six years later, he became the first Black person to win the best actor Oscar for his performance in Lilies of the Field.

He achieved mainstream popularity with a series of ground-breaking roles at a time of great racial tension in America in the 1950s and 1960s, and balanced success with a sense of duty to choose projects that tackled bigotry and stereotypes, including the 1967 classics Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night.

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Comedian Bob Saget passed away at the age of 65 on 9 January.

Often heralded as “America’s dad” and one of the most ubiquitous faces on US television in the 1990s, he was known for starring in the US sitcom Full House, later reprising the role for a Netflix sequel Fuller House.

He was also a host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, wildly popular in the pre-YouTube era, and had been the voice of the narrator on the CBS hit show How I Met Your Mother.

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Italian politician and president of the European Parliament David Sassoli died at the age of 65 on 11 January.

After a three-decade career as an Italian journalist, starting out in newspapers then moving to television and becoming a nationally known anchor, Sassoli became a member of the European Parliament in 2009, and speaker in 2019.

Although his role was that of speaker, he had the title of president of the European legislature; his arrival in the chamber was traditionally announced in Italian as “Il Presidente”.

In that role, he pushed the European Commission to provide funding for young people in the aftermath of the pandemic.

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On 12 January, American singer Ronnie Spector died aged 78.

Born Veronica Greenfield in New York’s Spanish Harlem, she formed the musical group that became known as the Ronettes with her sister Estelle Bennett and cousin Nedra Talley.

They gained traction in the New York area with their soulful songs of young love, before signing in 1963 with the then-legendary producer Phil Spector – whom she later married.

They delivered a string of hits during their early-1960s heyday, including ‘Baby, I Love You’ and ‘(The Best Part of) Breakin’ Up’, along with the beloved ‘Be My Baby’ that in 1999 was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

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French actor Gaspard Ulliel died at the age of 37 after a skiing accident in the Alps on 19 January.

The 37-year-old portrayed the young Hannibal Lecter in 2007’s Hannibal Rising and fashion mogul Yves Saint Laurent in the 2014 biopic Saint Laurent.

He is also in the upcoming Marvel series Moon Knight, and was the advertising face of the Chanel men’s fragrance Bleu de Chanel.

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Singer and actor Meat Loaf died aged 74 on 20 January.

The entertainer, born Marvin Lee Aday, sold millions of albums worldwide, with the Bat Out Of Hell trilogy among his most popular musical offerings. He also enjoyed a revival in the 1990s with his hit single I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That), which topped the charts in 28 countries and won him a Grammy.

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On 21 January, US comedian Louis Anderson passed away aged 68.

He featured in numerous films, including Coming To America and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, as well as hosting the popular American game show Family Feud for a number of years.

He also won an Emmy for his role in comedy TV series Baskets, was a guest-star on Big Bang Theory spin-off Young Sheldon and was a recurring character in the TBS dark comedy Search Party.

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Former Celtic manager Wim Jansen died at the age of 75 on 25 January.

Jansen won the Scottish Premiership title on the final day of the season in 1998 to prevent arch-rivals Rangers making it a record-breaking 10 titles in a row, leaving immediately after the end of the campaign.

As a player, he won the European Cup in 1970 with his hometown club Feyenoord – defeating Celtic in the final – and captained the club to Uefa Cup success four years later. 

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Bamber Gascoigne, best known as the first host of BBC’s University Challenge, died at the age of 87 on 8 February.

He took on the role as the first quizmaster of University Challenge in 1962 until the end of its initial run in 1987, and became known for catchphrases such as “your starter for 10”, “fingers on buzzers” and “I’ll have to hurry you”.

Other presenting projects included the documentary series Victorian Values in 1987 and The Great Moghuls in 1992. He also wrote the satirical novel Murgatroyd’s Empire, which was published in 1972, as well as writing and presenting the documentary series The Christians in 1977 which explored the history of Christianity.

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Funk pioneer Betty Davis passed away aged 77 on 9 February.

Sometimes referred to as “Madonna before Madonna”, she was a rare case of a woman making funk albums in the 1970s, and her three albums from that time were showcases for her personality and sexuality and insistence on control of her material and her image.

Her records sold modestly at the time, but their impact has been cited often in the decades following. She released no new music for decades, before breaking her long studio silence in 2019 with A Little Bit Hot Tonight.

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On 12 February, Hollywood director Ivan Reitman died at the age of 75.

Known for bawdy comedies, his big break came with National Lampoon’s Animal House, which he produced. He directed Bill Murray in his first starring role in the summer camp flick Meatballs, and then again in 1981’s Stripes, but his most significant success came with 1984’s Ghostbusters.

Among other notable films he directed are Twins, Kindergarten Cop, Dave, Junior and 1998’s Six Days, Seven Nights. He also produced Beethoven, Old School and EuroTrip, and many others.

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Musician Mark Lanegan passed away on 22 February at the age of 57.

He made a name for himself in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the band Screaming Trees, a forerunner of the grunge movement that would come to define the American northwest.  The band split in 2000, after which Lanegan began a solo career and did vocal features for bands including Queens of the Stone Age.

He was also open about his struggles with drugs and alcohol, which he wrote in his 2020 memoir left him at periods experiencing homelessness. He had moved to Kerry in 2020, and died at his home in Killarney.

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Australian cricket legend Shane Warne died aged 52 on 4 March.

He was credited with reviving the art of the leg-spin, and was part of a dominant Australian team in the 1990s and 2000s and helped his country win the 1999 World Cup. He brought an illustrious 15-year international career to an end in 2007, and his impact was reflected by his inclusion in a list of the Wisden Cricketers of the 20th Century.

He subsequently became a highly regarded television commentator and pundit, renowned for his forthright opinions.

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Oscar-winning actor William Hurt passed away on 13 March aged 71.

He built his reputation on his willingness to play quirky and unusual characters such as a Russian police officer in Gorky Park, a wealthy and aloof husband in Woody Allen’s Alice and a man seeking to build a machine that would benefit blind people in Until the End of the World.

He won the best actor Oscar in 1985 for playing a gay prisoner in Kiss of the Spider Woman, and was also nominated for Oscars as a teacher of deaf students in Children of a Lesser God and as a slow-witted television anchorman in Broadcast News.

He won a second Academy Award for his role as a Philadelphia mobster in David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence, despite appearing in the film for only about 10 minutes.

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Madeline Albright, the first female US secretary of state and one of the most influential stateswomen of her generation, died aged 84 on 23 March.

US President Bill Clinton chose Albright as America’s top diplomat in 1996 and she served in that capacity for the last four years of the Clinton administration At the time, she was the highest-ranking woman in the history of US government.

As America’s top diplomat, she  made limited progress at first in trying to expand the 1993 Oslo Accords that established the principle of self-rule for the Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza, but played a leading role in formulating the Wye Accords that turned over control of about 40% of the West Bank to the Palestinians.

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On 25 March, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins passed away aged 50.

He was playing on the South American leg of the band’s world tour when his sudden death was announced, and had played in the band with former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl on vocal for more than two decades, joining in 1997 following the departure of the band’s previous drummer William Goldsmith.

Prior to joining Foo Fighters he had played drums for Alanis Morissette, and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the band in 2021 by Sir Paul McCartney.

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The Wanted singer Tom Parker died at the age of 33 on 30 March.

The singer, originally from Bolton, disclosed in October 2020 that he had been diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma and had begun radiotherapy and chemotherapy but continued to perform on stage with his bandmates as part of their much-delayed reunion tour in the weeks before his death.

He also used his platform to campaign for better treatments for those suffering brain traumas, and appeared alongside his bandmates at a Stand Up To Cancer gig in December last year, marking the first time they performed together since 2014.

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American actor Estelle Harris passed away aged 93 on 2 April.

With her high-pitched voice and humorously overbearing attitude, she was perhaps best known for her roles as George Costanza’s short-fused mother on Seinfeld and as the voice of Mrs Potato Head in the Toy Story franchise.

She had pursued show business early in her career but stopped when she married in the early 1950s, before resuming acting in amateur groups, dinner theatre and commercials.

Eventually, she began appearing in TV roles and in films including director Sergio Leone’s 1984 gangland epic Once Upon a Time in America, before becoming more widely known in the 1990s.

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Eastenders star June Brown, best known for her role as chain-smoking Dot Cotton, died aged 95 on 3 April.

The veteran actress, who had a long career in television and theatre, arrived on Albert Square shortly after the soap began in 1985, and aside from a break between 1993 and 1997, was a regular for more than three decades.

Before joining EastEnders, she had roles in Coronation Street, Doctor Who, Minder and The Bill, as well as costume dramas The Duchess Of Duke Street and Oliver Twist. After joining Albert Square she also starred in comedy Ain’t Misbehavin in 1997, and played Nanny Slagg in the BBC’s production of Gormenghast in 2000.

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On 12 April, comic and actor Gilbert Gottfried died at the age of 67.

Known for his raw, scorched voice and crude jokes, he was was an independent and intentionally bizarre comedian’s comedian, as likely to clear a room with anti-comedy as he was to kill with his jokes.

He first came to attention with frequent appearances on MTV in its early days and with a brief stint in the cast of Saturday Night Live in the 1980s, but also did frequent voice work for children’s television and films, most famously playing the parrot Iago in Disney’s Aladdin.

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Football ‘super agent’ Mino Raiola passed away aged 54 on 30 April.

One of the game’s most powerful agents, his high-profile clients included Paul Pogba and Erling Haaland, and he built up a glittering portfolio of players, which also included Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, over a long career as both one of the sport’s more controversial characters.

He attracted criticism due to the enormous sums he earned in commissions from his deals and the huge inflation in player salaries, though his players consistently spoke highly of the man who guided their careers and filled their bank accounts with huge sums.

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US country music star Naomi Judd, half of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds, died at the age of 76 on 30 April.

Along with her daughter Wynonna, she formed the group in the late 1970s, although their big break didn’t come until 1983. Over the course of their joint career, they had 14 number-one hits and won multiple music awards, including five Grammys.

Some of the pair’s most popular songs include “Love Can Build A Bridge,” “Mama He’s Crazy” and “Girls’ Night Out.” The Judds officially disbanded in 1991, when Naomi was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, although the two had reunited several times for special tours and performances.

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On 17 May, Greek-born electronic composer Vangelis died aged 79.

He is best known for writing the Academy Award-winning score for the film Chariots Of Fire, with his signature piece for the film one of the most famous movie tunes worldwide – which has also served as the musical background to endless slow-motion parodies.

He also wrote music for dozens of other films, including Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, 1492: Conquest Of Paradise, Missing and Antarctica.

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Andrew Fletcher, a founding member of the British electronic band Depeche Mode, died aged 60 on 26 May.

Born in 1961 in Nottingham, Fletcher was a keyboardist and one of the founders of the electronic pioneers, who triumphed with a string of hits in the 1980s and early 1990s. They were at first synonymous with danceable synthpop, but then gradually adopted a darker sound.

Fletcher was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the other members of Depeche Mode in 2020. The band’s last studio album “Spirit” came out in 2017.

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Lester Piggott, one of the greatest jockeys of all time, passed away at the age of 86 on 29 May. His Classic haul included nine Derby victories, and he rode his first winner, The Chase, at Haydock in 1948 when he was just 12 years of age and he first won the Derby in 1954.

A brief training career saw him saddle Cutting Blade to win the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in 1986, a meeting at which he rode a record 116 winners – with 10 of those coming in the Gold Cup.

His last win came with Palacegate Jack at the same Merseyside track in 1994, a few weeks short of his 59th birthday and he retired for a final time the following year.

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Actor Philip Baker Hall, known for films such as Magnolia and Boogie Nights, died at the age of 90 on 12 June.

He enjoyed a prolific career which spanned over 40 years in both film and theatre, and also starred in Dogville, The Insider, Zodiac, Argo, Bruce Almighty and The Amityville Horror.

On the small screen, he was known for playing librarian Mr Bookman in the sitcom Seinfeld – one of the show’s most popular one-off characters – and also appeared in The Newsroom and Modern Family and had a voice role in Bojack Horseman.

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On 28 June, British podcaster and cancer campaigner Deborah James died at the age of 40. The presenter of the BBC podcast You, Me And The Big C was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 and subsequently kept nearly one million Instagram followers up to date with her treatments.

Her candid posts about her progress and diagnosis, including videos of her dancing her way through treatment, won praise from the public and media alike.

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Actor James Caan died aged 82 on July 6

His career-defining role came in 1972, when he played Sonny in The Godfather, which landed him Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, and he subsequently reprised the role in Godfather II. He also had roles in Misery, Thief and Rollerball.

Caan started working as an actor in 1960s Hollywood, with small roles in films by acclaimed directors including Billy Wilder, Howard Hawks and Coppola, and his career spanned seven decades, during which he was nominated for several awards, including four Golden Globes, an Emmy, and an Academy Award.

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Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead on 8 July.

The country’s longest-serving prime minister, who left the role in 2020, was shot with a home-made gun while delivering a campaign speech by a man who described himself as a former member of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, the country’s navy.

Aa hawkish conservative who pushed for the revision of Japan’s pacifist constitution to recognise the country’s military, Abe stayed a prominent political figure even after his resignation in 2020, when he was forced to step down due to the debilitating bowel condition ulcerative colitis.

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US actor Tony Sirico, best known for portraying Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri in The Sopranos, passed away aged 79 on 8 July.

He played minor mobster roles in television and film for decades before being cast in his fifties as the eccentric and sometimes brutal Paulie on HBO’s hit show – becoming one of the series’ most memorable characters.

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Ivana Trump, the first wife of Donald Trump, died aged 73 on 14 July.

The couple were married from 1977 until their divorce in 1992, and were a power couple in New York during the 1980s. She was born Ivana Zelnickova in 1949 in the Czechoslovak city of Gottwaldov, the former city of Zlin, and the former US president was her second husband. She married twice more in the years since their divorce. 

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Bassist and founding member of the Happy Mondays Paul Ryder died aged 58 on 15 July.

Alongside his frontman brother Shaun, Paul founded the Happy Mondays in 1980 and was credited with giving the band their signature rolling groove, present on hits such as Step On and Kinky Afro.

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German footballer Uwe Seeler passed away at the age of 85 on 21 July.

He played in four World Cups – 1958, 1962, 1966, and 1970 – and became the first player to score in four editions of the competition, beating Pele by only a few minutes. He also scored 43 goals in 72 games to make him Germany’s seventh-greatest goalscorer.

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Shonka Dukureh died at the age of 44 on 21 July.

The Nashville singer played Big Mama Thornton in this year’s movie about Elvis Presley, and also shared the stage at Coachella this year with Doja Cat.

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On 27 July, British children’s TV star and entertainer Bernard Cribbins died aged 93.

The veteran actor starred in the Carry On films, Doctor Who and the 1970 film The Railway Children. He was revered for his versatility and became a favourite with young audiences all over the country as the narrator of The Wombles, as well as for more than 100 appearances on the children’s favourite, Jackanory.

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Actor Nichelle Nichols, who found fame as communications officer Lt Uhura in the original Star Trek television series, passed away aged 89 on 30 July.

Her role in the 1966-69 series earned Nichols a lifelong position of honour with the series’ fans, known as Trekkers and Trekkies.

It also earned her accolades for breaking stereotypes that had limited black women to acting roles as servants and included an inter-racial on-screen kiss with co-star William Shatner that was unheard of at the time. She also served for many years as a Nasa recruiter, helping bring minorities and women into the astronaut corps.

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Australian folk music star Judith Durham, who achieved global fame as the lead singer of The Seekers, died aged 79 on 5 August.

The group of four became the first Australian band to achieve major chart and sales success in the UK and the United States, eventually selling 50 million records. International hits included The Carnival Is Over, I’ll Never Find Another You, A World Of Our Own and Georgy Girl.

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On 5 August, Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake passed away aged 84.

He was part of a wave of young Japanese designers who made their mark in Paris from the mid-1970s and pioneered high-tech, comfortable clothing, side-stepping the grandiosity of haute couture in favour of what he called simply “making things”.

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The Pogues’ bassist Darryl Hunt died at the age of 72 on 8 August.

Before he began playing bass in the group in 1986, he was a part of the pub rock band Plummet Airlines and The Favourites.

He was involved in the band’s subsequent work including their 1988 album If I Should Fall From Grace With God which featured the Christmas hit Fairytale Of New York, and featured in their material until their last album, Pogue Mahone, in 1996.

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Also on 8 August, singer Olivia Newton-John passed away at the age of 73.

Best known for her starring role as Sandy in the 1978 film Grease, in which she appeared opposite John Travolta, her performance saw her nominated for multiple awards including two Golden Globes, and various other film accolades.

She was also a multi-platinum selling artist, and also represented the UK in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Long Live Love.

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Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, best known for the 1978 classic The Snowman, died aged 88 on 9 August.

He also created the beloved children’s books Father Christmas, Fungus the Bogeyman and When the Wind Blows and won numerous prizes across his career, including the Kurt Maschler Award, The Children’s Book of the Year, the Dutch Silver Pen Award. He was made a CBE for services to literature in 2017.

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US actress Anne Heche passed away on 11 August at the age of 53. She died a week after being critically injured in a Los Angeles car crash.

She had starred in a number of movies from the 1990s including Six Days, Seven Nights, Donnie Brasco and I Know What You Did Last Summer, while she was also known for her role on the soap opera Another World, for which she won a Daytime Emmy in 1991.

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Former Pop Idol contestant and theatre star Darius Campbell Danesh died aged 41 on 11 August.

The Scottish singer-songwriter and actor made his first bid for fame in ITV show Popstars in 2001, before appearing on the 2001 series of Pop Idol, which was won by Will Young. He went on to forge a successful stage career before his death.

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On 12 August, German director Wolfgang Petersen died at the age of 81.

During his time in Hollywood, he made films including The Neverending Story, In the Line of Fire, The Perfect Storm and Troy. However, it was his epic Das Boot, the 149-minute film about the intense claustrophobia of life aboard a doomed German U-boat, that propelled him onto the Hollywood stage.

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Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, died aged 91 on 30 August.

He was in power between 1985 and 1991 and helped to bring US-Soviet relations out of a deep freeze. He was championed in the West for leading reforms to achieve transparency and greater public discussion in the Soviet Union that ultimately hastened its collapse.

He spent much of the last two decades on the political periphery in Russia, occasionally calling for the Kremlin and the White House to mend ties amid tensions over the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the beginning of the full Ukraine invasion this year.

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Britain’s Queen Elizabeth died at the age of 96 on 8 September.

The country’s longest-serving monarch reigned for 70 years and was seen as a uniting presence for Britain as it underwent massive social and economic change. Having overseen British rule of the North for over 50 years, in 2011 she became the first British sovereign to visit Ireland since independence in 1922.

She became the world’s longest-reigning monarch in October 2016 following the death of Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej, and was followed in the line of succession by her son, Charles III.

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Pioneering French director Jean-Luc Godard died aged 91 on 13 September.

One of cinema’s most iconic figures, he played an important role in the emergence of the influential and groundbreaking French New Wave film movement in the 1960s. His first film Breathless is considered one of the best films ever made, while other acclaimed works from his early period include Bande a Part and Pierrot le Fou.

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Ken Starr, the former US federal appellate judge and lawyer whose criminal investigation of Bill Clinton led to the president’s impeachment, passed away aged 76 on 13 September.

In a probe that lasted five years, Starr looked into fraudulent real estate deals involving a long-time Clinton associate and assembled evidence of Clinton’s sexual encounters with Monica Lewinsky, a former White House intern.

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George Ward, the drag performer known by his stage name Cherry Valentine, died at the age of 28 on 18 September.

He appeared on the second series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, before launching a TV career and fronting the BBC documentary Gypsy Queen And Proud. In 2022, he joined with the BBC to produce a documentary exploring his Traveller heritage, revisiting the community he left aged 18.

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Author Hilary Mantel, best known for the Wolf Hall trilogy, passed away aged 70 on 22 September.

She became the first British writer to win the Booker Prize twice, first for her 2009 novel Wolf Hall and again in 2021 for its sequel, Bring Up The Bodies. The trilogy charts the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell in the court of King Henry VIII, and has been translated into 41 languages, with sales of more than five million worldwide.

In September 2021, she said she planned to take up Irish citizenship, “to become a European again” after Brexit.

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Grammy-winning musician Coolio died at the age of 59 on 28 September.

He was best known for the chart-topping 1995 song Gangsta’s Paradise and was widely credited with combining the world of mainstream pop music with hip-hop. His other credits included a television cameo on Phat Beach, a role in 1997’s Batman And Robin and providing the theme tune to Nickelodeon teen comedy Kenan And Kel.

In 2019, he collaborated with Dublin rap group Versatile on their song Escape Wagon in which he labeled Ringsend “the Compton of Europe”.

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On 2 OctoberSacheen Littlefeather, the activist and actress who was booed in 1973 as she refused a Best Actor Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando, died aged 75. 

Brando had asked her to decline the award for him in an act of protest against the treatment of Native Americans by the film industry, and she was booed at the 1973 Academy Awards – the first to be broadcast live around the world.

Her death came two weeks after the Academy held a ceremony honouring her and publicly apologising for her treatment.

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Country music singer Loretta Lynn, a groundbreaking artist whose frank lyricism delved into women’s experiences, died at the age of 90 on 4 October.

A number of her edgy tracks were banned by country music stations, but over the course of more than six decades in the business, she became a standard-bearer of the genre and its most decorated female artist ever.

She released hit single after hit single from the 1960s onwards, including Dear Uncle Sam, You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man), Wings Upon Your Horns, Fist City, Rated X and The Pill.

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Murder She Wrote star Angela Lansbury passed away aged 96 on 11 October.

The British-born actor, who found fame and fortune in a variety of memorable roles on television in a career spanning more than seven decades, during which she appeared in about 60 films including Gaslight, The Manchurian Candidate, and Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii. She was also a Broadway star for many years, winning multiple Tony Awards.

However, most people remember her as the down-to-earth, middle-aged widow Jessica Fletcher who ferreted out criminals in Murder, She Wrote, which ran from 1984 to 1996 on US television.

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Actor Robbie Coltrane died aged 72 on 14 October. Best known to a certain generation for playing Hagrid in the Harry Potter films, the Scot first came to prominence for his portrayal of the hard-drinking criminal psychologist Dr Eddie “Fitz” Fitzgerald in the ITV series Cracker.

He also played a former KGB agent-turned-Russian mafia boss in two James Bond films – Goldeneye The World Is Not Enough – with Pierce Brosnan, appeared as Samuel Johnson in sitcom Blackadder the Third, and starred alongside Emma Thompson in the cult BAFTA-winning BBC mini-series Tutti Frutti in 1987.

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Leslie Jordan, the Emmy-winning actor who was well-known for his role in the US sitcom Will & Grace, passed away on 24 October aged 67.

He also appeared on the Mayim Bialik comedy Call Me Kat and co-starred on the sitcom The Cool Kids, before earning an unexpected new following in 2021 when he spent time during the pandemic lockdown near family in his hometown, posting daily videos of himself on Instagram.

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On 28 October, rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis died aged 87.

The American musician, whose hits included Great Balls of Fire and Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On, was one of the last survivors of rock ‘n’ roll’s golden age which included Elvis Presley and Little Richard.

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American singer Aaron Carter passed away at the age of 34 on 5 November.

His sophomore effort Aaron’s Party (Come Get It) sold three million copies stateside, propelling him to teen heartthrob status. He became a regular on preteen Nickelodeon and Disney shows, including an appearance on the popular Lizzie McGuire. However, personal life struggles became tabloid fodder in the years up to his death.

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Leslie Phillips, best known for starring in the Carry On films, died at the age of 98 on 7 November.

His big break came in 1957 when he appeared in the Gene Kelly musical Les Girls as Sir Gerald Wren but it was his appearance in three Carry On films – Carry On Nurse, Carry On Teacher and Carry On Constable – that cemented his reputation for playing incompetent albeit smooth toffs.

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On 12 November, guitarist Keith Levene died at the age of 65.

A founding member of The Clash, he co-wrote multiple tracks on the band’s debut album but left before its release and the group’s success, while also playing a key role in the recruitment of their frontman Joe Strummer. He later joined Public Image Limited with former Sex Pistol John Lydon. 

Oscar-winning singer and actress Irene Cara, died aged 63 on 25 November.

Well-known for singing the title track of the 1980s film Fame, she also played she played Coco Hernandez in the film about students at a performing arts high school in New York. She also cowrote and performed the smash hit ‘Flashdance … What a Feeling’ for the 1983 movie of the same name, earning an Oscar for Best Original Song in the process.

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US actress Kirstie Alley died at the age of 71 on 5 December.

She was well-known as the NBC sitcom Cheers in 1987 as Rebecca Howe, quickly becoming a fan favourite for her role opposite Ted Danson’s womanising bar owner Sam Malone, for which she received an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe in 1991.

She also starred in the 1989 romantic comedy film Look Who’s Talking with John Travolta, reprising the role for two sequels, as well as the sitcom Veronica’s Closet.

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Serbian footballer Sinisa Mihajlovic passed away aged 53 on 16 December.

He had a distinguished playing career in Serie A, winning the title with both Lazio and Inter Milan, and competed in the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championships.

He later became a coach, largely in Serie A and most recently with Bologna.

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On 18 December, The Specials singer Terry Hall died at the age of 63.

The singer-songwriter rose to fame as part of the band, who were pioneers of the ska scene in the UK and were a socially conscious group formed with a multi-racial, anti-racism objective.

They found success on the UK charts, notching seven consecutive top 10 singles, including Ghost Town and Too Much Too Young.

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Maxi Jazz, lead singer of the band Faithless, died aged 65 on 23 December.

The singer, whose real name was Maxwell Fraser, was the band’s lead vocalist for years after its formation in 1995, with the group best known for its club hits Insomnia and God Is a DJ.

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On 29 December, football icon Pele died.

Named athlete of the century by the International Olympic Committee in 1999, Pele is the only footballer in history to win three World Cups — 1958, 1962 and 1970.

Nicknamed “O Rei” (The King), he scored more than 1,000 goals in one of the most storied careers in sport, before retiring in 1977.

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