Celebrity deaths 2022: The famous faces and notable figures we said goodbye to this year | Ents & Arts News

From one of Hollywood’s last Golden Age stars and the first black man to win the Oscar for best actor, to a cricketing legend, an EastEnders icon and the incomparable singer who would do Anything For Love – it’s time to commemorate the stars and notable faces we have said goodbye to in 2022. 

Among those who passed away in the last 12 months was of course the Queen, who died peacefully at Balmoral, in Scotland, on 8 September, aged 96 – ending the longest reign in British history.

We have also said farewell to the likes of Robbie Coltrane, Olivia Newton-John, Ray Liotta, Coolio, Taylor Hawkins, Dame Deborah James, The Specials frontman Terry Hall, Faithless star Maxi Jazz, and many more.

As another year draws to a close, here’s a look back at the life and careers of the famous faces from the worlds of music, film, TV, fashion, sport, royalty and politics who sadly died in the last 12 months.


Pic: AP President Barack Obama presents the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom to Sidney Poitier during ceremonies in the East Room at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Pic: AP/J Scott Applewhite

Actor and diplomat Sidney Poiter was the first black man to win the Oscar for best actor, taking home the famous statuette in 1964 for his performance in Lilies Of The Field.

Known for highlighting issues faced by black people at the time, the Hollywood star appeared in dozens of films and TV shows throughout his career, including In The Heat Of The Night, To Sir, With Love, and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner. He also directed a number of projects, including Stir Crazy, Hanky Panky, and Ghost Dad.

As well as being a decorated actor, he was also an international diplomat, serving as the Bahamian ambassador to Japan between 1997 and 2007, and to UNESCO between 2002 and 2007. Knighted in 1974, in 2009 he was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US, by Barack Obama.

Poitier died aged 94, primarily of heart failure after also suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and prostate cancer, according to his death certificate. Mr Obama led the tributes to a star who “epitomised dignity and grace, revealing the power of movies to bring us closer together”.

Read more:
Changing Hollywood – who was Sidney Poitier?

Pic: Richard Young/Shutterstock 

MEAT LOAF - 1982
Pic: Richard Young/Shutterstock

Real name, Michael Lee Aday, the performer known to the world as Meat Loaf sold more than 100 million albums worldwide throughout his career.

He also starred in dozens of films, including Fight Club, Focus, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Spiceworld, Wayne’s World and The 51st State.

Meat Loaf’s hits included Dead Ringer For Love, Paradise By The Dashboard Lights, Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad and I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That), but it was his debut album and its titular song, Bat Out Of Hell, released in 1977, that made him a household name.

The album remains one of the biggest-selling records of all time (alongside the likes of Michael Jackson, AC/DC and Whitney Houston), despite never reaching number one in the US or UK.

The star died aged 74 after speaking openly of struggles with health issues including asthma in recent years.

Read more:
Meat Loaf’s incredible career in pictures

Barry Cryer attending the The Oldie of the Year award, at Simpsons-in-the-Strand, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday February 2, 2016. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Comedy great Barry Cryer started out as a variety performer before going on to write for and with some of the biggest names in the industry in the UK.

During a career that spanned seven decades, he was a presence on many much-loved TV series, a long-serving panellist on radio show I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, and wrote for a generation of British comedians such as Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett, and Tommy Cooper, as well as US stars including Bob Hope and Richard Prior.

Born in Leeds in 1935, he received an OBE in 2001 and in 2018 was given a lifetime achievement award for his comedy career by the British Music Hall Society.

Stars including Stephen Fry, Gyles Brandreth and David Baddiel were among those paying tribute after he died in hospital, aged 86, surrounded by his family.

Read more:
The comedy star whose innate sense of humour kept us laughing for decades

Other stars and notable figures who died in January 2021 include:

Singer Ronnie Spector
Director Peter Bogdanovich
Conservationist and fossil hunter Richard Leakey
Fashion designer Thierry Mugler
Oscar-winning lyricist Marilyn Bergman
Comedian Bob Saget
Rapper Wavy Navy Pooh
EastEnders’ Dr Legg
Former Vogue creative director Andre Leon Talley
French actor Gaspard Ulliel
Actor and comedian Louie Anderson
Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst
French TV star Igor Bogdanoff
Grange Hill’s Mr MacKenzie
Neighbours child actor Miranda Fryer
Vicar Of Dibley star Gary Waldhorn
Seinfeld and Orange Is The New Black star Kathryn Kates
Emmerdale star Andy Devine
Woodstock co-creator Michael Lang
Broadway and film star Joan Copeland
Parliament-Funkadelic musician Calvin Simon
Bachelorette reality TV star Clint Arlis
The Dixie Cups singer Rosa Lee Hawkins
US actress Yvette Mimieux
Reality TV star Jordan Cashmyer
German actor Hardy Kruger
Charlie Brown voice actor Peter Robbins


Jamal Edwards MBE (24 August 1990 – 20 February 2022) is to be honoured with this year’s prestigious Music Industry Trusts Award (MITS), in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the music industry as a music entrepreneur, DJ and founder of the multifaceted music platform SB.TV.

While Jamal Edwards‘ name was not widely known outside the music industry before his death, the outpouring of love for the entrepreneur demonstrated just how instrumental he was in the careers of some of the UK’s biggest stars.

Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora, Dave and Dua Lipa were among those who paid tribute to the YouTuber, who founded the online urban music platform SBTV which helped dozens of artists rise to prominence over the years.

He died at home aged 31 after taking recreational drugs, with his mother Brenda Edwards – a singer and Loose Women panellist – later warning others of their danger.

She also set up the Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust, helping good causes in her son’s memory, and he became the first person to be honoured posthumously at the annual Music Industry Trusts Award ceremony in November 2022.

Read more:
It all started in his bedroom – how Jamal Edwards changed UK music scene

An artist paints a tribute to late Indian singer and music composer Lata Mangeshkar

Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar was one of India’s biggest cultural icons, with a career spanning eight decades – from the era of Frank Sinatra to Adele, having begun singing on stage aged just nine.

At 13 she acted in a Marathi film and had some small roles in Hindi cinema, but singing was her passion. She went on to perform an estimated 15,000 songs in more than a dozen languages and was considered the voice of Bollywood, working with nearly every director, actor and actress in the industry.

Fondly revered as the “Melody Queen” and “Nightingale of India”, a state funeral was held following her death at the age of 92.

Read more:
Bollywood actors, cricketers and politicians pay tribute to ‘Queen of Melody’

Pic: Evening News/Shutterstock

Pop Group Procol Harum L-r: Ray Royer Gary Brooker Dave Knight Bobby Harrison Matthew Fisher.
Pop Group Procul Harum L-r: Ray Royer Gary Brooker Dave Knight Bobby Harrison Matthew Fisher.

1 Jun 1967
Procol Harum L-R: Ray Royer, Gary Brooker, Dave Knight, Bobby Harrison, Matthew Fisher. Pic: Evening News/Shutterstock

Gary Brooker was the frontman of Procol Harum for more than five decades, the lead voice on the group’s 13 albums.

Their biggest hit was the 1967 debut A Whiter Shade Of Pale, which held the number one spot on the UK singles charts for six weeks and was widely regarded as defining “The Summer of Love”.

In 1977, the track was named joint winner alongside Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody as best British pop single 1952-1977 at the Brits and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

The singer, pianist and composer had been having cancer treatment before he died peacefully at home, aged 76, his bandmates said.

Other stars and notable figures who died in February 2022 include:

Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan
Drum and bass MC Skibadee
Italian actress Monica Vitti
Former University Challenge host Bamber Gascoigne
Writer and political satirist PJ O’Rourke
Bollywood ‘disco king’ Bappi Lahiri
On The Buses and EastEnders actress Anna Karen
Love Thy Neighbour star Jack Smethurst
M*A*S*H actress Sally Kellerman


Shane Warne is chaired off the pitch at the Melbourne Cricket Ground by his team mates after victory in the fourth test versus England in 2006

Widely considered one of the greatest bowlers in history, having made his Test debut in 1992 against India in Sydney despite playing only seven first-class games, Shane Warne was a cricketing legend.

He retired from international cricket in 2007, after a stellar career during which he took 708 Test wickets in 145 matches. He won the 1999 50-over World Cup and claimed 293 dismissals in 194 one-day internationals between 1993 and 2004.

Following his international retirement, he continued to play franchise Twenty20 cricket until 2013 and worked as a cricket commentator and in various coaching roles, including with the London Spirit in the inaugural edition of The Hundred in 2021.

“Shane Warne didn’t just inspire a cricket generation – he defined it,” said Daniel Andrews, the premier of the Australian state of Victoria, following his sudden death at the age of 52.

Read more:
Kylie, Elton and Ed Sheeran lead tributes to ‘absolute rockstar’ cricketer

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. Pic: Danny Clinch
Pic: Danny Clinch

Taylor Hawkins joined the Foo Fighters in 1997 after previously touring with singer Alanis Morissette, one of the biggest stars of the ’90s, taking on the rather daunting task of playing drums behind master drummer Dave Grohl.

The Foos were just completing second album The Colour And The Shape, which includes one of their best-loved songs, Everlong, when he joined. With Hawkins on board, the band transitioned from the alternative rock scene to major mainstream success, becoming one of the biggest rock bands in the world.

Hawkins was a huge presence in the band, often coming front of stage at live gigs to sing songs by Queen, one of his favourite acts, while Grohl would return to the sticks.

His sudden death at the age of 50, as the band were touring South America, shocked the world. In September 2022, the Foo Fighters put on two star-studded gigs in London and LA to raise money for charity in memory of their “badass bandmate, our beloved brother”.

Read more:
Foo Fighters say emotional goodbye to Taylor Hawkins at Wembley gig

William Hurt, a cast member in the Amazon series Goliath, pictured during the 2016 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. Pic: Rich Fury/Invision/AP
Pic: Rich Fury/Invision/AP

Oscar-winning actor William Hurt was one of the leading men of film in the 1980s and best known for his roles in Broadcast News, Body Heat and The Big Chill.

He was nominated for an Academy Award three times in a row during his career, winning for 1985’s Kiss Of The Spider Woman, in which he played a gay man who shared a cell with a political prisoner in Brazil.

He also got best actor nominations for 1987’s news industry satire Broadcast News, and a year before for Children Of A Lesser God, a romantic drama set in a school for the deaf; and later received a fourth in 2005 for his supporting role in A History Of Violence, starring Viggo Mortensen.

He died peacefully aged 71 with his family around him, his son said, after previously being diagnosed with cancer.

The Wanted's Tom Parker

Tom Parker was was one of five members of British-Irish boyband The Wanted, known for hits including Glad You Came, All Time Low, and Chasing The Sun.

In October 2020 he revealed he had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour and had gone through chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In later interviews, he told how the growth had shrunk and said he was feeling well – and even reunited with his bandmates on stage for their first show in seven years.

In the last few months of his life, he used his platform to raise funds and call for better treatment for those suffering from brain illnesses, telling an all-parliamentary group that he was “staggered” the COVID vaccine had been developed so quickly “but, for decades on end, they haven’t found better treatments let alone a cure for brain tumours”.

Parker died aged 33, leaving behind his wife Kelsey and their two children, Aurelia Rose, born in 2019, and Bodhi, who born in October 2021, as the star was being treated.

The Brain Tumour Research charity joined his bandmates and other stars who paid tribute following his death, saying he would be remembered for his “passion, intelligence, eloquence and determination in the face of such adversity”.

Read more:
‘True courage’ – the pop star who used his final months to help others

Other stars and notable figures who died in March 2022 include:

Royal and celeb photographer Patrick Demarchelier
Sesame Street star Emilio Delgado
Open All Hours star Lynda Baron
WWE legend Scott Hall
To The Manor Born star Peter Bowles
First female secretary of state Madeleine Albright

Production and costume designer Tony Walton
Sopranos actor Paul Herman


File photo dated 25/02/97 of June Brown, who in character as the long-suffering busy-body Dot Cotton. June Brown, best known for her role as chain-smoking Dot Cotton, has died at the age of 95, the BBC has announced. The actress died at her home in Surrey on Sunday evening with her family by her side.

EastEnders stars led the tributes following the death of soap icon June Brown at the age of 95.

Brown was on our screens as chain-smoking, hypochondriac laundrette worker Dot Cotton, one of Albert Square’s most beloved characters, for 35 years – first joining in 1985, shortly after the series began, after being recommended to producers by actor Leslie Grantham, who played Dirty Den.

Dot famously wed Jim Branning (played by John Bardon) in 2002, but it was her career-criminal son, Nick Cotton – or “Nasty Nick” (played by John Altman) – who really ruled her heart.

The only soap actor to have single-handedly led an entire episode, she was nominated for a BAFTA for her performance in the 2008 half-an-hour special in which her character looked back on her life.

Read more:
Dot Cotton’s most memorable moments

Queen of Punk Rockers, Pamela Rooke aka Jordan at "Sex" shop on the Kings Road. December 1976. - Image ID: 2HXJTXD (RM)

Jordan Mooney, real name Pamela Rooke, was best known for her work with the Sex Pistols, and was hailed as the “Queen of Punk”.

She modelled for fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and was known for her daring outfits which helped shape punk’s aesthetic.

Mooney is played by Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams in Pistol, Danny Boyle’s TV series about the Sex Pistols.

She died aged 66 after a short battle with cancer, her family said.

Art Rupe died at his home in Santa Barbara in California

Art Rupe was the music executive who helped R&B go mainstream, founding Specialty Records in Los Angeles in 1946 and giving an early break to the likes of Sam Cooke, Little Richard and John Lee Hooker.

In a 2011 interview for the Rock Hall archives, Rupe said: “There was something in Little Richard’s voice I liked.” Initial recording sessions were uninspiring – but during a lunch break at a nearby inn, Little Richard sat down at a piano and pounded out a song he had performed during club dates, Tutti Frutti, with its immortal opening shout: “A-wop-bop-a-loo-mop-a-wop-bam-boom!”

Rock-and-roll historian and musician Billy Vera described Rupe as “one of the great men I’ve known” following his death at the age of 104.

Other stars and notable figures who died in April 2022 include:

Bodybuilding champion Cedric McMillan
Seinfeld actress Liz Sheridan
US actor and comedian Gilbert Gottfried
Mr Benn and Elmer author David McKee

The Eagle Has Landed writer Jack Higgins
Die Another Day and Rush Hour 2 actor Kenneth Tsang

Longest-serving Republican senator Orrin Hatch
Earth, Wind & Fire saxophonist Andrew Woolfolk
Doctor Who actress Ann Davies


Pic: Moviestore/Shutterstock

Goodfellas, Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Paul Sorvino, Joe Pesci

Goodfellas: Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Paul Sorvino (who also died later in 2022), Joe Pesci. Pic: Moviestore/Shutterstock

Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Kevin Costner led the tributes to the “uniquely gifted” Ray Liotta following his sudden death while shooting a film in the Caribbean.

Liotta was best known for Scorsese’s Goodfellas, released in 1990, in which he played real-life mobster Henry Hill, and also starred in films including Field Of Dreams with Costner, Blow, Narc, and The Rat Pack – playing Frank Sinatra.

Recent projects included Marriage Story, Sopranos prequel The Many Saints Of Newark, and the Apple series Black Bird, starring Taron Egerton, which was released following his death.

He was shooting a film called Dangerous Waters in the Dominican Republic when he passed away in his sleep, aged 67.

Read more:
Scorsese and De Niro’s tributes to Liotta

Dennis Waterman as Terry McCann in Minder

Veteran British actor Dennis Waterman was best known for TV shows including Minder and The Sweeney.

In Minder, he starred as Terry McCann from the late 1970s, running around the criminal underworld of west London for seven series. He also performed the show’s theme tune, I Could Be So Good For You, which became a hit in the UK and Australia.

Waterman also starred in The Sweeney in the 1970s, and later in New Tricks. He wrapped his final project in 2020, filming Never Too Late, a comedy drama, in Australia.

The actor was also the target of a caricature in TV comedy Little Britain, in which David Walliams impersonated him as a comically small man who would “write the theme tune and sing the theme tune” for new job offers – a joke he accepted with good grace, even joining Walliams and co-star Matt Lucas on stage for a live show.

He died at home in Spain, aged 74, with his wife Pam by his side, his agent said.

Andy Fletcher performs at a Depeche Mode concert in 2018. Pic: Mediapunch/Shutterstock
Pic: Mediapunch/Shutterstock

A founding member of Depeche Mode, keyboardist Andy Fletcher sold more than 100 million records worldwide with the band, and had international chart success with songs such as Personal Jesus and Just Can’t Get Enough.

The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.

He died at the age of 60 after suffering a tear in the main artery from his heart, with his bandmates paying tribute to a man with “a true heart of gold”.

Lester Piggott pictured riding Free Guest in 1985

Legendary jockey Lester Piggott won the Derby nine times during a career lasting almost 50 years; he rode 4,493 winners, the first coming at the age of 12 at Haydock Park in 1948.

His final victory was on the same Merseyside course in 1994, a few weeks before his 59th birthday, before he retired the following year. Piggott was crowned champion jockey 11 times between 1960 and 1982 and was inducted into the British Champions Series Hall of Fame in 2021.

In a low point, he served 366 days of a three-year prison sentence handed down in 1987 for tax evasion and was stripped of his OBE.

He died in hospital in Switzerland, aged 86, a family member confirmed.

Other stars and notable figures who died in May 2022 include:

Rugby player Kelly Meafua
Tremors and The Right Stuff star Fred Ward
Fat Friends writer Kay Mellor
Chariots Of Fire composer Vangelis
Star Wars designer Colin Cantwell
ER, The X-Files and West Wing actor John Aylward

Basketball star Bob Lanier
Rapper Lil Keed
Friends actor Mike Hagerty


Dame Deborah James has written a second book

Podcaster and campaigner Dame Deborah James‘s frank accounts of life with bowel cancer sparked an extraordinary deluge of charity donations in the weeks before and after her death.

The driving force behind the BBC podcast You, Me and The Big C, Dame Deborah broke the news to followers that she had moved into end-of-life hospice care at home in May 2022, and within 24 hours had raised more than £1.6m for research into the disease.

The Bowel Babe fund continued to rise, reaching more than £7.5m following her death.

Her family said the 40-year-old passed away peacefully, saying she had told them: “I am not brave – I am not dignified going towards my death – I am simply a scared girl who is doing something she has no choice in but I know I am grateful for the life that I have had.”

Read more:
‘Check your poo – it could save your life’

Philip Baker Hall attending the premiere of Focus Features' 'Bad Words' at ArcLight Cinemas Cinerama Dome on March 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California. Photo by: Dennis Van Tine/Geisler-Fotopres/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Pic: Dennis Van Tine/Geisler-Fotopres/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

Philip Baker Hall enjoyed a prolific career which spanned more than 40 years in both film and theatre, including playing a library detective on the long-running American comedy Seinfeld.

His film credits included Magnolia, Boogie Nights and The Truman Show, and he was hailed as “one of Hollywood’s top character actors” by Seinfeld producers following his death at the age of 90.

“His talent will be cherished,” the show’s official account tweeted in tribute.

Trouble performs during the V-103 Live Pop Up Concert at Philips Arena on Saturday, March 31, 2018, in Atlanta. (Photo by Robb Cohen/Invision/AP)
Pic: Robb Cohen/Invision/AP

US rapper Trouble, who had collaborated with artists including Drake and The Weeknd, was killed in a shooting just outside the city of Atlanta, Georgia, aged 34.

Real name Mariel Semonte Orr, he was best known for his music showing the grittier side of life in his hometown city.

Def Jam, one of the musician’s record labels, described him as “a true voice for his city and an inspiration to the community he proudly represented”.

Paula Rego pictured in her London studio in 2009

Dame Paula Rego‘s career in the art world spanned more than five decades and she was known for her magical pictures based on her childhood memories and fairy tales.

The Portuguese artist challenged gender stereotypes and denounced abuses of power through her works, some of which sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds and featured in collections owned by famous names such as Charles Saatchi and Madonna.

She described herself as a feminist artist and subjects such as sex trafficking and honour killings also provided inspiration for her work.

Dame Paula died at home in north London at the age of 87. “Portuguese culture has lost one of its most important and irreverent creators,” said Carlos Carreiras, mayor of the town of Cascais, home to a museum dedicated to her work.

Other stars and notable figures who died in June 2022 include:

Bon Jovi founding member Alec John Such
ER and Ray Donovan actress Mary Mara
Former Dragons’ Den star Hilary Devey
Hells Angels founding member Sonny Barger
Big Eyes artist Margaret Keane
TikTok star Cooper Noriega
Minecraft YouTuber Technoblade

Seals And Crofts star Jim Seals
NBA star Caleb Swanigan


James Caan February 22, 2022. Pic: AP
Pic: AP

Actor James Caan‘s big break came in 1972, when he played the hot-headed and turbulent Sonny in The Godfather – a role which saw him nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actor, as well as a Golden Globe. He later reprised the role in Godfather II.

He also played Paul Sheldon, the author held captive by Kathy Bates’ manic Annie Wilkes in Stephen King horror Misery, and found a different generation of fans with his performance in Christmas comedy Elf, playing the strict businessman father of Will Ferrell’s Santa’s helper.

Other films included Honeymoon In Vegas, Bulletproof, Mickey Blue Eyes and Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead.

He died at the age of 82, his family confirmed.

shinzo abe

Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe, the country’s longest-serving leader, was assassinated in a close-range shooting at a campaign rally in the city of Nara.

More than 4,300 people attended his state funeral, which sparked protests across the country over its cost and widening economic disparities caused by the former prime minister’s policies. State funerals in Japan have historically been reserved for the emperor.

Mr Abe served two terms as prime minister before stepping down in 2020, saying a chronic health problem had resurfaced. He had suffered from ulcerative colitis since he was a teenager.

Read more: How Shinzo Abe saved Japan from economic decline

Donald Trump and Ivana Trump in 1992. Pic: AP
Pic: AP

The first wife of former US president Donald Trump, Ivana Trump was the mother of his three eldest children, Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric.

Partners in love and business – with her playing roles such as manager of one of his Atlantic City casinos – they were fixtures of New York’s social scene before their divorce in 1992; this came after Mr Trump met Marla Maples, the woman who would become his second wife.

Following the divorce, Ivana Trump went on to become an entrepreneur in her own right, starting a fashion line and writing various books. She married and divorced her third and fourth husbands and even made a movie cameo as America’s most famous ex-wife in The First Wives Club, in which she delivered the line: “Don’t get mad – get everything!”

She died aged 73 after falling down a flight of stairs at her home in New York City, suffering “blunt impact injuries” to her torso.

Bernard Cribbins with his Officer of the British Empire (OBE) medal after receiving it during an Investiture ceremony from the Princess Royal at Windsor Castle.

From Carry On, The Railway Children and Jackanory, to Doctor Who and The Wombles, Bernard Cribbins was a veteran of British film and TV.

The beloved actor had a long and varied CV, including the original Casino Royale, a role in Coronation Street, and playing the grandfather of Catherine Tate’s character in the noughties reboot of Doctor Who – appearing in one of the show’s most watched episodes of all time, Voyage Of The Damned, in 2007, which also starred Kylie Minogue and Russell Tovey.

But it is his role in the film adaptation of The Railway Children from 1970 which he will perhaps best be remembered for, playing station porter Albert Perks.

After working into his 90s, he died at the age of 93, with his agent paying tribute to a “unique” performer who typified “the best of his generation”.

Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Nyota Uhura on the original “Star Trek” TV series. Pic: Paramount Television/Kobal/Shutterstock
Pic: Paramount Television/Kobal/Shutterstock

Actress Nichelle Nichols found worldwide fame in the original Star Trek series and led the way for black women in TV playing Lieutenant Nyota Uhura.

Her scenes during her time on the show included an interracial onscreen kiss with co-star William Shatner, something that was unheard of at the time.

The original Star Trek’s overriding message to viewers was that in the far-off future – the 23rd century – human diversity would be fully accepted. “I think many people took it into their hearts… that what was being said on TV at that time was a reason to celebrate,” Nichols said in 1992.

Like other original cast members, she also appeared in six big-screen spinoffs, starting in 1979 with Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and frequented Star Trek fan conventions.

She also served for many years as a NASA recruiter, helping bring minorities and women into the astronaut corps.

Nichols died aged 89, with her former Star Trek co-star George Takei paying tribute to a “trailblazing, incomparable” woman.

Other stars and notable figures who died in July 2022 include:

EastEnders and Desmonds star Mona Hammond
Theatre and film director Peter Brook
Sopranos star Tony Sirico
Happy Mondays star and Shaun Ryder’s brother Paul Ryder
Tron, Titanic and Omen star David Warner
Goodfellas and Law & Order actor Paul Sorvino
Creator of Gaia hypothesis James Lovelock
Elvis star Shonka Dukureh
Voice of Little Mermaid’s Ursula Pat Carroll


Dame Olivia Newton-John played the role of Sandy in the 1978 hit Grease.

“Tell me about it, stud!” Dame Olivia Newton-John will be best remembered for playing the shy, quiet Sandy in the 1978 film adaptation of the musical Grease, delivering this famous line to John Travolta’s leader of the T-Birds Danny Zuko following her transformation at the end of the film.

Prior to her starring role, she represented the UK at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, finishing fourth, in the year ABBA won with Waterloo.

Also a four-time Grammy Award winner, she featured in five number one hits on America’s Billboard Hot 100, and sold more than 100 million records.

Following the first of three cancer diagnoses in 1992, she became a prominent breast cancer campaigner.

Dame Olivia died aged 73, with Travolta saying in tribute: “Yours from the moment I saw you and forever!”

Pic: AP/Hermann J Knippertz
Pic: AP/Hermann J Knippertz

One of the most significant figures of the 20th century, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was known for ending the Cold War without bloodshed, but failed to prevent the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991.

He forged arms reduction agreements with the US and partnerships with Western powers to remove the Iron Curtain that had divided Europe since the Second World War – leading to the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. His efforts earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.

He died aged 91, with US President Joe Biden leading tributes and calling him “a man of remarkable vision” who helped avert the prospect of nuclear war.

Read more:
The village boy who changed the course of history

'Pop Idol' - Darius Danesh in 2002. Pic: Fremantle Media/Shutterstock
Pic: Fremantle Media/Shutterstock

Darius Danesh rose to fame on the ITV show Popstars – which formed the group Hear’Say – in 2001, becoming known for his audition performance of Britney Spears’s Baby One More Time.

He later came third on the first series of Pop Idol, which was won by Will Young, and his memorable performances included renditions of Tom Jones’s hit It’s Not Unusual and Atomic Kitten’s Whole Again.

His debut single, Colourblind, was released in July 2002 and went straight to number one, and he went on to have a successful theatre career, appearing in West End shows such as Chicago, playing Billy Flynn, Guys And Dolls, Gone With The Wind and Funny Girl.

He died at his home in Rochester, Minnesota, aged 41, with a medical examiner saying he died from “inhalation of chloroethane” and ruling his death as an accident.

Other stars and notable figures who died in August 2022 include:

Actress Anne Heche
Fashion designer Issey Miyake
Pogues bassist Darryl Hunt
Stanley Kubrick collaborator and actor Leon Vitali
Emmerdale actor Sam Gannon
Magnum PI actor Roger E Mosley
Motown songwriter Lamont Dozier
The Snowman author and illustrator Raymond Briggs
Triangle Of Sadness star Charlbi Dean
Country star Luke Bell
Former EastEnders star Ashvin Luximon
Last Of The Summer Wine and Keeping Up Appearances actress Josephine Tewson
Das Boot and Air Force One director Wolfgang Petersen
Coronation Street star and comedian Duggie Brown

Fashion designer Hanae Mori
Actress and director Denise Dowse
Friends actor Richard Roat
Actor Joe E Tata
Actor Robert LuPone


Queen Elizabeth II during a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London.

Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-reigning monarch in British history and the world’s oldest head of state.

Born in London on 21 April 1926, she became Queen in 1952 at the age of 25, following the death of her father, King George VI. She was also head of the Commonwealth, commander-in-chief of the British armed forces, and supreme governor of the Church of England, as well as patron of more than 600 charities and organisations.

Away from her official duties, she was a devoted wife and mother to four children, and dedicated grandmother to eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

She died at the age of 96 on Thursday 8 September, just a few months after celebrating her Platinum Jubilee.

Read more:
Six moments that defined the Queen’s reign

Author Hilary Mantel attends a book signing for her new novel "The Mirror and the Light" at a book store in London, Britain, March 4, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Dame Hilary Mantel won the Booker Prize for Wolf Hall, and for its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies. The conclusion to the trilogy, Mirror And The Light, was published in 2020 and became an instant number one fiction best-seller.

The trilogy, which charts the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell in the court of King Henry VIII, made her an international star. It has been translated into 41 languages, with sales of more than five million worldwide.

The first two books were adapted for the screen and broadcast on BBC Two in January 2015, winning the BAFTA awards for best drama series and best actor for star Mark Rylance the following year.

Dame Hilary’s death at 70 was announced by her publisher 4th Estate books, with a statement expressing gratitude that “she left us with such a magnificent body of work”.

Pic: Damairs Carter/MediaPunch /IPX
Pic: Damairs Carter/MediaPunch /IPX

Actress Michelle Pfeiffer and rappers Snoop Dogg, MC Hammer and LL Cool J led the tributes to rapper Coolio following his death at the age of 59.

Real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr, the star was best known for his 1995 hit Gangsta’s Paradise, recorded for the soundtrack for Pfeiffer’s film Dangerous Minds. Propelling him to international fame, it remained at number one on the US Billboard charts for three weeks and earned him a Grammy for best solo rap performance.

He was nominated for five other Grammys during his career, which began in the late 1980s, and in 2009 came third in the sixth series of Channel 4’s Celebrity Big Brother, behind winner Ulrika Jonsson and runner-up Terry Christian.

In her tribute, Pfeiffer said she though Coolio’s song was the reason Dangerous Minds was so successful.

Other stars and notable figures who died in September 2022 include:

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest actress Louise Fletcher
Grange Hill’s Mrs McClusky
TV presenter and journalist Bill Turnbull
Canadian battle rapper Pat Stay
‘Enfant terrible’ of French cinema Jean-Luc Godard
Prosecutor who led to Bill Clinton’s impeachment
Drag star Cherry Valentine

Jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis
Jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders


Angela Lansbury at the Tony Awards in New York in 2010

Dame Angela Lansbury won five Tony Awards for her Broadway performances throughout her career and was also nominated for three Oscars; and 2013 she received an honorary Academy Award for her lifetime achievement in film.

On the big screen, she was known for her roles in Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Anastasia (1997), and 1991’s Beauty And The Beast, voicing the character of Mrs Potts.

But she was best known for playing writer and amateur sleuth Jessica Fletcher in the TV series Murder, She Wrote, which began in 1984 and ran for 12 years. The role earned her 10 of her 15 Golden Globe nominations, and four of her six wins, for best actress in a television drama series.

She died aged 96, just a few days before her birthday, and is survived by her three children, three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Pic: Lux/The Hollywood Archive/Alamy
Pic: Lux/The Hollywood Archive/Alamy

Best known for playing Hagrid in the Harry Potter film franchise – and for starring as criminal psychologist Dr Eddie “Fitz” Fitzgerald in the 1990s TV crime drama Cracker – Robbie Coltrane was always known as a larger-than-life presence on screen and off.

Other roles included dictionary creator Samuel Johnson in Blackadder The Third in 1987, Big Jazza in Tutti Frutti, and he appeared in eight films alongside former members of Monty Python’s Flying Circus; Eric Idle was his opposite number in Nuns On The Run (1990) and National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985).

Coltrane also played KGB man Valentin Zukovsky in the James Bond film Goldeneye (1995), a role he took on again in The World Is Not Enough.

He won three BAFTA awards for his work on Cracker and also an outstanding achievement award from BAFTA Scotland in 2011. In 2006, he collected an OBE from the Queen for services to drama.

He died aged 72, with his agent describing him as a “wonderful actor” and “forensically intelligent”.

Read more: Robbie Coltrane’s daughter shares tribute photo

Jerry Lee Lewis

Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis was the last survivor of a generation of ground-breaking performers that included Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard.

Best known for his 1957 hit Great Balls Of Fire, he called himself The Killer and was once described as “a one-man stampede”.

Winning three Grammys throughout his career, he reinvented himself as a country performer in the 1960s and recorded with some of the music industry’s greatest stars, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Sheryl Crow and Tim McGraw.

He died at home in Memphis, Tennessee, his representatives said, aged 87.

Other stars and notable figures who died in October 2022 include:

WWE star Sara Lee
Actress Sacheen Littlefeather
Country music star Loretta Lynn
American Idol runner-up Willie Spence
Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz
Will & Grace star Leslie Jordan
Drill rapper Perm
Dragon’s Den businessman Drew Cockton
Cormac Roth, musician and son of Tim Roth
K-Pop star and actor Lee Jihan
Schitt’s Creek executive producer Ben Feigin
Radio DJ Tim Gough

Former EastEnders actress Josephine Melville
Playwright Charles Fuller, 83, Playwright
Comic artist Kim Jung Gi
DJ Art Laboe
Actress Eileen Ryan
Actor Michael Kopsa
Country star Patrick Haggerty


**FILE PHOTO** Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac Has Passed Away at 79. Photo of Christine McVie ( Fleetwood Mac) performing circa 1970 Credit: Ron Wolfson / Rock Negatives / MediaPunch /IPX
Pic: Ron Wolfson/Rock Negatives/MediaPunch/IPX/AP

Founded in London in 1967, British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful groups in history, with hits including Go Your Own Way and Dreams.

Singer-songwriter and keyboardist Christine McVie penned some of the band’s most famous tracks, including Songbird, Everywhere, Little Lies and Don’t Stop.

She was sole writer of four of the tracks on their best selling album Rumours, which was released in 1977 and went on to become one of the most successful albums of all time – selling more than 40 million copies. She also co-wrote the album’s The Chain, which had a second life as the theme to the Formula One BBC TV coverage from the late 1970s, on and off until 2015.

Bandmate Stevie Nicks led the tributes following McVie’s death at the age of 79, saying she had lost her “best friend in the whole world”.

Leslie Phillips

Leslie Phillips made his first film appearances as a boy in the 1930s and went on to have an illustrious career on stage and screen, particularly in the Carry On films – which included Carry On Teacher, Carry On Columbus, Carry On Constable and Carry On Nurse. He became well known for his suggestive catchphrases such as “Ding Dong!”, “Well, he-llo”, and “I Say!”

He appeared in TV series such as Heartbeat, Midsomer Murders, Monarch Of The Glen and Holby City, films including Empire Of The Sun, Scandal, and Out Of Africa, and plays including Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. In 2007, the actor starred in Hanif Kureshi’s film Venus alongside Peter O’Toole, a performance for which he was nominated for a BAFTA for best supporting actor.

And in more recent years, his voice had become instantly recognisable to younger generations as that of the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter films.

“If you are asking when will I retire, then the answer is never. I intend to die on the job,” he once told an interviewer. He died peacefully in his sleep, aged 98, his agent confirmed.

Bill Treacher as Arthur Fowler in EastEnders in 1996

Bill Treacher was one of the original cast members of BBC soap EastEnders, playing Arthur Fowler from 1985 until 1996 – when his character was killed off after getting into a fight in his allotment.

After EastEnders he had roles in The Bill and Casualty, as well as films including George And The Dragon (2004), The Musketeer (2001) and Tale Of The Mummy (1998).

Former EastEnders cast members were among those paying tribute to Treacher following his death at 92, with Gillian Taylforth, who played Kathy Beale, saying she had many happy memories of working with him.

A spokesperson for EastEnders said it was “a true testament” to both the actor and the character that he created in Arthur “that he is still thought of so fondly” more than 25 years after leaving the soap.

The Carter siblings together in LA in 2004. Pic: AP
Pic: AP

Aaron Carter was a child star and younger brother of Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter, who began performing when he was seven and released his self-titled debut album in 1997 when he was nine.

This success led to appearances on Nickelodeon and tours with the Backstreet Boys and on Britney Spears’ Oops!… I Did It Again tour.

He also acted, guest starring on shows including Lizzie McGuire and making his Broadway debut in 2001 as JoJo The Who in Seussical The Musical. He appeared on Dancing With The Stars in 2009 and on the family’s reality series House Of Carters. In later years, he moved into making rap music.

Carter died aged 34, with brother Nick saying in a tribute that while they had a “complicated” relationship, his love for his sibling had “never faded”.

Takeoff of Migos

Takeoff, real name Kirsnick Khari Ball, was best known as a member of Atlanta rap trio Migos along with his uncle, Quavo, and cousin, Offset.

The trio rose to fame with the viral single Versace in 2013 and went on to have a number of hit tracks including the 2016 Grammy-nominated Bad And Boujee, Motorsport (with Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, who is married to Offset) and Stir Fry.

The 28-year-old was shot outside a bowling alley in Houston, Texas, with Migos’s label saying he was killed by a “stray bullet” and condemning “senseless violence”.

Paying tribute, Offset said his heart was “shattered”, while Quavo described his nephew as “our angel”.

Read more: Takeoff fans gather to pay tribute

Other stars and notable figures who died in November 2022 include:

Flashdance and Fame singer Irene Cara
Dr Feelgood star Wilko Johnson
Top Gear presenter Sue Baker
Actor John Aniston, father of Jennifer Aniston
The Clash guitarist and co-founder Keith Levene
Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy
Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the man who inspired The Terminal

Food blogger Julie Powell
Supernatural actress Nicki Aycox
Power Rangers star Jason David Frank

Die Hard and Top Gun actor Clarence Gilyard
Last Of The Summer Wine actor Tom Owen


Maxi Jazz in 2010. Pic: AP/MTI, Balazs Mohai
Pic: AP/MTI, Balazs Mohai

Maxi Jazz was the frontman and face of Faithless, best known for dance hits including Insomnia, God Is A DJ and We Come 1.

With the band he performed at some of the biggest festivals in the world, including Glastonbury, and released seven albums, their most recent being 2020’s All Blessed.

His bandmates paid tribute to a man “who changed our lives in so many ways” following his death at the age of 65.

“He was a brilliant lyricist, a DJ, a Buddhist, a magnificent stage presence, car lover, endless talker, beautiful person, moral compass and genius,” their tribute said.

Kirstie Alley attends the premiere of HBO's "Girls" fourth season at The American Museum of Natural History on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Pic: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Kirstie Alley was a two-time Emmy winner, best known for her role in the long-running 1980s US sitcom Cheers and for starring alongside John Travolta in the hit films Look Who’s Talking (1989) and Look Who’s Talking Too (1990).

The actress earned further Emmy and Golden Globe nominations as the titular star of Veronica’s Closet, which ran from 1997 to 2000, and in 1999, she starred alongside Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards and Ellen Barkin in beauty pageant comedy-thriller Drop Dead Gorgeous. She also played a fictionalised version of herself in Fat Actress, a show that played on the way she was treated in the media over her weight gain and loss.

In 2018, Alley took part in UK Celebrity Big Brother and came second, after sharing the house with British famous faces including Dan Osbourne from The Only Way Is Essex, and Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas.

Her Cheers co-stars Ted Danson and Kelsey Grammer, as well as Travolta, led the tributes following her death at 71, with Danson saying: “I am so sad and so grateful for all the times she made me laugh. I send my love to her children. As they well know, their mother had a heart of gold. I will miss her.”

Read more: Kirstie Alley’s Cheers co-stars pay tribute to ‘unique and wonderful’ friend

A Message to You, Rudy - The Specials

Terry Hall (centre) rose to fame as frontman of ska band The Specials in the late 1970s, with number one hits including A Message To You, Rudy, Rat Race and Ghost Town.

Formed in Hall’s home city of Coventry in 1977, the band became the multiracial flagship of the 2 Tone movement, with songs on racism, unemployment and injustice demonstrating a very clear political stance. They also provided a musical backdrop to economic recession, urban decay and societal fracture in the early 1980s.

The band split in 1981, after which Hall, Lynval Golding and Neville Staple went on to form Fun Boy Three while Jerry Dammers and John Bradbury released an album under the moniker The Special AKA. However, The Specials reformed in 2008 and released Encore, their first album of new material in 37 years, in 2019, followed by Protest Songs in 2021.

Hall died after a short illness at the age of 63, with his bandmates paying tribute to a “beautiful friend” whose “music and his performances encapsulated the very essence of life”.

Hi-de-Hi! stars (L-R): Su Pollard, Simon Cadell, Michael Knowles and Ruth Madoc

Hi-de-Hi! actress Ruth Madoc (above right with co-stars Su Pollard, Simon Cadell and Michael Knowles) was best known for playing Gladys Pugh in the 1980s holiday camp sitcom, but also starred in the film adaptations of Fiddler On The Roof and Under Milk Wood, and played the mother of Matt Lucas’s Daffyd Thomas in the second series of sketch comedy Little Britain.

A star of stage and screen, she performed in an array of roles in theatre and musicals around the world, including Phantom Of The Opera, Gypsy, and Annie. She was also a panto veteran, playing roles including principle boy in Dick Whittington in Edinburgh, the bad fairy in Sleeping Beauty in Rhyl, and the fairy godmother in Cinderella in Mansfield.

In 2018, Madoc performed in the women’s version of The Real Full Monty alongside stars including Coleen Nolan, Victoria Derbyshire and Michelle Heaton, raising awareness about breast cancer.

She died at the age of 79, shortly after pulling out of a performance in the Christmas pantomime Aladdin in Torquay following a fall.

Other stars and notable figures who died in December 2022 include:

Primal Scream keyboard player Martin Duffy
Sesame Street original cast member Bob McGrath
Stranglers drummer Jet Black
Country musician Jake Flint
Orange Is The New Black star Brad William Henke

Cher’s mother, singer and actress Georgia Holt
Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet composer Angelo Badalamenti
DJ Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss
Get Carter and Flash Gordon director Mike Hodges
Golf legend Kathy Whitworth
Stax Records co-founder Jim Stewart

  • This list is extensive but not exhaustive

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK

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