Celebration Of Those We Lost

2019 has seen the passing of some famous faces, with the worlds of entertainment, sport, music and literature losing some shining stars.

As we celebrate another festive period, we thought it would be nice to look back and celebrate the lives of some of those who touched so many.

January

  • Gene Okerlund, aged 76.
    The WWE presenter passed away on 2nd January. He was also a radio DJ.
  • Dianne Oxberry, aged 51.
    The BBC TV and Radio presenter passed away on 10th January following a short illness. She was a regular on North West Tonight for over two decades.

February

  • Clive Swift, aged 82.
    The actor, known as playing Richard Bucket, in the 90s show Keeping Up Appearances., died aged 82.
  • Albert Finney, aged 82.
    The actor passed away on 7th February. The was nominated for Five Academy Awards during his career. He starred in roles in films such as Erin Brockovich, Murder on the Orient Express, Annie and Scrooge and Skyfall.
  • Gordon Banks, aged 81.
    The England World Cup winning goalkeeper passed away on 12th February.
  • Eric Harrison, aged 81.
    The former Manchester United youth coach died on February 13th following a a battle with dementia. His greatest success came following the arrival of Sir Alex Ferguson in 1986, after the scouting network was revamped.
  • Karl Largerfeld, aged 85.
    The iconic designer, passed away on 19th February after a battle with cancer. He is the creative director of Chanel.
  • Vinny Vella, aged 72.
    The Sopranos actor passed away in February following a battle with liver cancer.

March

  • Keith Flint, aged 49.
    The Prodigy star, passed away on 4th March, after taking his own life. Mr Flint shot to fame in the 90s with the band and is well known for the song Firestarter.
  • Charlie Whiting, aged 66.
    The Formula 1 Race Director passed away on 14th March from a pulmonary embolism. He has played a vital role in the sport and played a key role in improving the sport’s safety.
  • Peter Laffan, aged 79.
    The Irish actor passed away on 14th March. he is most known for his role as the Milkman Pat Mustard in Father Ted.
  • Mike Thalassitis, aged 26.
    The reality TV star took his own life on 16th March.

April

  • John Quarmby, aged 89.
    The Fawlty Tower actor, passed away on 5th April.
  • Tommy Smith, aged 74.
    The former Liverpool captain died on 11th April following a battle with dementia. A boyhood red, he made 638 appearances for the club, the eighth highest in the history of Anfield.
  • Barry McNeill, aged 79.
    The football star was the first British man to lift the European Cup as he captained Celtic against Internazionale. He passed away on 2nd April following a long battle with dementia.
  • Cliff Barnes, aged 83.
    The Dallas actor passed away on 21st April.
  • Peter Mayhew, aged 74.
    The actor, most famous for his role as Chewbacca in the Star Wars movies passed away on 30th April.

May

  • Freddie Starr, aged 76.
    The comedian passed away on the 9th May. Mr Starr had a varied career in the entertainment industry, starring in TV shows as well as being the lead singer of the Midniters.
  • Brian Walden, aged 86.
    The former broadcaster and Labour politician died on 9th May following implications from emphysema.
  • Nan Winton, aged 93.
    The first female newsreader, born Nancy Wigginton, passed away on 11th May.
  • Doris Day, aged 97.
    The golden girl passed away on 13th May following a battle with pneumonia.
  • Niki Lauder, aged 70.
    The Formula 1 legend passed away on 20th May. The three-times World Champion continued to work tirelessly in Formula 1 after retiring from the sport.
  • Judith Kerr, aged 95.
    The author, much loved for The Tiger Who Came To Tea, passed away on 22nd May following a short illness.
  • Carmine Caridi, aged 85
    The Godfather actor passed away on 29th May after calling into a coma. He also appeared in TV shows including; Taxi, Starksy and Hutch, Fame and NYPD Blue.

June

  • Jose Antonio Reyes, aged 35.
    The former Arsenal and Sevilla star, passed away on 1st June following a car accident.
  • Paul Darrow, aged 78.
    The actor passed away on 3rd June. He was well known for his roles in Blake 7, Emmerdale and Doctor Who.
  • Billy Drago, aged 73.
    The actor passed away on 24th June passed away after suffering a stroke. He appeared in The Untouchables and The Hills Have Eyes.
  • Bryan Marshall, aged 81.
    The actor passed away on 26th June. he was well know for his role in the James Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me.
  • Max Wright, aged 75.
    The actor passed away on 26th June following a battle with cancer. He was best known for playing Willie Tanner in the 1980s sitcom ALF.

July

  • John McCririck, aged 79.
    The race horse pundit passed away on the 5th July.
  • Rip Torn, aged 88.
    The oscar nominated actor, passed away on the 9th July. He was best known for playing characters in Men In Black, Dodgeball; A True Underdog Story and TV’s The Larry Sanders Show.
  • Freddie Jones, aged 91.
    The actor, best known for playing Sandy Jones in Emmerdale, passed away on 10th July.
  • Denise Nickerson, aged 62.
    The actor, best known in her role as Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, died after contracting pneumonia.
  • Pernell Whitaker, aged 55.
    The boxing legend, nicknamed ‘Sweet Pea’ passed away on 14th July following a collision with a car. He won Olympic Gold in 1984, and won titles at four different weights.
  • Rutger Hauer, aged 75.
    The actor famed for his role in Blade Runner passed away on 19th July.
  • Paula Williamson, aged 38.
    The actor, who married the notorious prisoner Charles Bronson was found dead at her home on 29th July.
  • Harold ‘Hal’ Prince, aged 91.
    The director and producer, died on 31st July following a short illness. He won 21 Tony Awards for his work in the New York Theatre, and directed The Phantom of the Opera.

August

  • Ian Gibbons, aged 67.
    Member of the rock group The Kinks, died on 1st August.
  • Joe Longthorn, aged 64.
    The entertainer passed away on August 3rd. Mr Longthorn shot to fame in 1981 as a singer and impressionist on the TV show Search for a Star.
  • Toni Morrison, aged 88.
    Called one of ‘the most influential American authors’ died on 6th August. Ms Morrison was the first black woman to receive the Nobel Prize in literature and won a Pulitzer prise for her novel Beloved. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012 by Barack Obama.
  • Peter Fonda, aged 79.
    The actor passed away on 16th August following respiratory failure. He starred, co-wrote and produced the film Easy rider.
  • Anna Quayle, aged 84.
    The former Grange Hill actor passed away on 16th August following a battle with lewy body dementia.
  • Jessi Combs, aged 36.
    Referred as ‘the fastest woman on earth’, Ms Combs passed away on 27th August following an accident which saw her trying to break her land-speed record
  • Terrance Dicks, aged 84.
    The Doctor Who writer (1968-1974) passed away on 29th August.
  • Antoine Hubert, aged 22.
    The rising star in Formula 2 lost his life following a fatal collision at the Belgian Grand Prix on 31st August.

September

  • LaShawn Daniels, aged 41.
    The Grammy Award Winning songwriter, passed away on 3rd September following a car accident. He was responsible for writing well known songs including Say My Name (Destiny’s Child), It’s Not right But It’s Ok (Whitney Houston) and You Rock My World (Michael Jackson)
  • Peter Lindbergh, aged 74.
    The photographer passed away on 3rd September.
  • Chester Williams, aged 49.
    September 6th saw the passing from the former South African star following a suspected heart attack. Mr Williams, most remembered for being the only black player in the Springboks squad that won the World Cup in 1995,  played 27 Tests during his seven-year international career from 1993 to 2000.
  • Brian Barnes, aged 74.
    Golfer Brian Barnes passed away on 9th September following a short illness as a result of his battle with cancer.  Mr Barnes is most known for winning the Senior British Open in 1995 and famously beath jack Nicklaus twice in one day during the 1975 Ryder Cup.
  • Eddie Money, aged 70.
    The singer passed away on 13th September, after finding fame in the 70s and 80s with hits like Two Tickets To Paradise and Take Me Home Tonight.
  • Brian Turk, aged 49.
    The actor passed away on 13th September following a battle with cancer. He held roles in Beverley Hills 90210, HBO’s Carnivale, ER and Boy Meets World. He also starred in films including: American Pie 2, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles and The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
  • Rik Ocasek, aged 75.
    Frontman of the rock band The Cars, passed away on 15th September.
  • Mike Stefanik, aged 61.
    Following a plane cash in Rhode Island, Mr Stefanik was pronounced dead on the 15th  September. The NASCAR legend had a career spanning more than three decades and is a nine time NASCAR winner.
  • Fernando Ricksen, aged 43.
    The Dutch footballer passed away on 18th September following a battle with motor neurone disease. He spent six years playing for the Scottish side Rangers, where in 2014 he was enrolled into their Hall of Fame. Mr Ricksen also played for teams in Holland.
  • Aron Eisenberg, aged 50.
    The actor passed away in September. He was best known for playing Nog in Star trek: Deep Space Nine, but also appeared in other Star Trek programs.
  • Carl Ruiz, aged 44.
    A regular face for the Food Network, Mr Ruiz passed away on 21st September.
  • Sid Haig, aged 80.
    The actor passed away on 21st September. He was best known for playing Captain Spaulding in the horror films House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects and 3 From Hell. However, Mr Haig also had roles in James Bond’s Diamonds Are Forever, Batman, Star Trek, Mission:Impossible, The Rockford Files and MacGyver,
  • J. Michael Mendel, aged 54.
    Mr Mendel, best known for producing The Simpsons, Rick and Morty and The Tracy Ullman Show passed on 22nd September.
  • Katy Collins, aged 32.
    The former MMA fighter passed away on 25th September following complications of a brain aneurysm. She was known in the sport as ‘The Red Dragon’ and exploded onto the mixed martial arts scene winning 6 out of 7 first fights.
  • Jacques Chirac, aged 86.
    The former French president passed away on September 26th. He held the French Presidency from 1995 – 2007. He also held the posts of the French Prime Minister (twice) and the Mayor of  Paris.
  • Robert Garrison, aged 59.
    The actor, best known for his appearance in The Karate Kid (1984), passed away on 27th September suffering from kidney and liver problems.
  • Leah Brackenell, aged 55.
    The actor, best well known for playing Zoe Tate in Emmerdale passed away in September following a battle with lung cancer.

October

  • Hanna Yusef, aged 27.
    The BBC journalist died on 1st October. As well as working for the BBC, Ms Yuself also worked for The Times, ITV and Muslim News.
  • Barrie Masters, aged 63.
    Mr Masters passed away in October. He was the front man of Eddie and the Hot Rods and had a top 10 chart hit with Do Anything You Wanna Do in 1977.
  • Peter Sissons, aged 77.
    The TV legend, most known for being a news reader died on 1st October. He covered the news on all the terrestrial channels, but is most well known for presenting the BBC’s Nine O’Clock and Ten O’Clock News from 1993-2003.
  • Kim Shattuck, aged 56.
    The lead vocalist and bass player in The Muffs, Ms Shattuck passed away on 2nd October following a battle with motor neurone disease.
  • Ginger Baker, aged 80.
    The music legend passed on 6th October. Famous for his drumming ability in the band Cream – which he co-founded with Eric Clapton. He also enjoyed music success with Blind Faih and Hawkwind.
  • Reg Watson, aged 93.
    The television producer and screenwriter, most famous for creating the Australian soap Neighbours died on 12th October. He spent 10 years working in the UK on the British Soap Crossroads before taking his talent back to Australia where he worked on shows including Sons and Daughters, The Young Doctors and Prisoner: Cell Block H.
  • Elijah Cummings, aged 68
    On 17th October, the American congressman passed following on from health complications following a medical procedure in September. He worked as a lawyer for the best part of 20 years before being elected as an congressman.
  • Marieke Vervoot, aged 40
    The Paralympic gold medallist passed away on 22nd October. She had a successful career, which saw her winning 7 medals. However, Ms Vervoot was living with an incurable degenerative muscle disease and took the decision to end her own life legally.
  • Paul Barrere, aged 71
    The musician sadly passed following complications from liver disease on 26th October. He was a member of rock band Little feat as a singer and guitarist from 1972.

November

  • Robert Norris, aged 90
    November 3rd saw the passing of the ‘original Malboro Man’. Mr Norris appeared as the cigarette brand’s main character for their marketing efforts in the 60s. He became a familiar face across magazines in billboards. It was slightly bitter sweet as Mr Norris didn’t actually smoke.
  • Robert Freeman, aged 82
    The photographer passed away on 8th November. Mr Freeman was best known for his collaborations with The Beatles, and was behind the images used for the covers of a number of albums. He also contributed to their two films, Help! and A Hard Day’s Night.
  • Jane Galloway Heitz, aged 78
    The actress passed away on 13th November. She was most famously known for playing Lillian Adler on Glee. She also starred in The Big Bang Theory, Prison Break and Grey’s Anatomy. She also appeared in the film The Straight Story.
  • Terry O’Neill, aged 81
    Following a long battle with prostate cancer, the well-known photographer passed away on 17th November. He was most famous for working with The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Elton John. In 1981 he was an Executive Producer on the film Mommie Dearest.
  • Clive James, aged 80
    The Australian broadcaster and writer passed away on November 24th. Mr James, born Vivian James, was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2010 and wrote a book about the remaining years f his life.
  • Gary Rhodes, aged 59
    The celebrity chef passed away on 26th November. He was well known on the TV circuit and starred in Masterchef and Rhodes Around Britain. One of his biggest achievements was earning five Michelin stars.
  • Jonathan Miller, aged 85
    The theatre star passed away on 27th November. He directed, wrote and acted in a varied career which spanned stage and screen.

December

  • Shelley Morrison, aged 83
    The actor, who was well  known for playing Karen Walker’s maid Rosario in the hit TV show Will and Grace, passed away from heart failure on 1st December. Previously to her role in Will and Grace, she played Sister Sixto on The Flying Nun with Sally Field.
  • Bob Willis, aged 70
    The England Cricket legend passed away on 4th December following a short illness. He played for Surrey and Warwickshire and captained the national team between 1971 and 1984, he was captain of England in 18 tests. In 1985, following his retirement from the sport, Mr Willis became a commentator for Sky.
  • Ron Saunders, aged 87
    The football manager, died on 7th December. He managed Norwich City, Manchester City, Birmingham City and West Bromich Albion. Although he is best well known for holding the top job at Aston Villa (1974-1982) in which he led the team to promotion into the First Division, as well as two League Cup wins and their First Division title win for 71 years.
  • Juice Wrld, aged 21
    Born jarad Anthony Higgins, the rapper passed away on 8th December following a seizure. An up and coming star his tracks included Luci Dream and All Girls Are The Same.
  • Caroll Spinney, aged 85
    The Sesame Street puppeteer died on 8th December.  Mr Spinny provided the voice and movements for much loved characters Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. He only retired from the show in 2018, after starting the journey back in 1969 when the show debuted.
  • Rene Auberjonois, aged 79
    The actor passed away from lung cancer on 8th December. He appeared in a variety of well known roles including, Star Trel: Deep Space Nine, M.A.S.H, The Little Mermaid and Boston Legal. in 1969 he won a Tony Award for his role as Sebastian Baye in the Broadway musical Coco.
  • Marie Fredriksson, aged 61
    The Swedish Rozette popstar passed away on 9th December, following a battle with a long-term illness. Ms Fredriksson was best knows for her Roxette hits, It Must Have Been Love and Listen To Your Heart.
  • David Belleamy, aged 86
    The TV presenter and naturalist passed away on 11th December. He became a household name in the 80’s for his unique presenting style during his nature shows.
  • Kenny Lynch, aged 81
    The actor and well known singer passed away on 18th December.  He was well known for his song ‘Up On The Roof’
  • Martin Peters, aged 76
    The West Ham, Tottenham and England midfielder passed away on 21st December. He scored for England in the 1966 World Cup Final, a great contribution to the legendary win over West Germany to lift the trophy. Mr Peters retired from playing football in 1981 and became the manager of Sheffield United.
  • Tony Britton, aged 95
    The legendary actor and father of Fern Britton passed away on 22nd December. He was well-known for his stints in Don’t Wait Up, Operation Amsterdam, Sunday Bloody Sunday and The Day of the Jackal.
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