Celebrity deaths 2023: Stars and public figures we've sadly lost this year – Radio X

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31 December 2023, 15:30
Radio X remembers the musicians, celebrities and other notable people that have passed away in 2023.
By Radio X
Please note: this is not an exhaustive list
The star of The Full Monty, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, In The Name Of The Father, Batman Begins and many, many more films over a 50 year career died on 30th December, aged 75.
The acclaimed Australian documentary maker, who was best known for his film Year Zero, about the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia, died on 30th December aged 84.
The South Korean actor, best known for his role in the Oscar winning film Parasite, died on 27th December aged 48.
The American comedian – best known for his duo with brother Dick – died on 26th December aged 86. A hugely popular star in the 60s, Smothers was one of the crowd that appeared on John Lennon's song Give Peace A Chance.
The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed Lynch died, aged 65, after being involved in a collision between two vehicles near the city of El Paso on Friday 22nd December.
A founding member, bassist and later singer of the Dixie Chicks released three albums with the band; Thank Heavens for Dale Evans, Little Ol' Cowgirl and Shouldn't a Told You That before deciding to leave in 1995.
Reacting to the news, the current band members said in a post on Instagram that they were "shocked and saddened". The band changed their name to The Chicks three years ago after criticism about the word Dixie and its links to the Confederate US states that upheld slavery.
The actor, who played the much-loved role of Zak Dingle in British soap Emmerdale, died this month, ITV and his family confirmed. A statement which came from the programme, read: "It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that Emmerdale can confirm that Steve Halliwell, our beloved Zak Dingle, has peacefully passed away. 
"All our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones through this very difficult time, and we’d request that their privacy is respected as they grieve for his loss. 
"Steve will forever be synonymous with Emmerdale. The proud defender and head of the Dingle family. Heart and humour in all he did, it has been and always will be impossible not to smile when you think of him."
The Emmy award-winning actor, who was best known for playing Captain Raymond Holt on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Detective Frank Pembleton on Homicide: Life on the Street, died on 11th December following a brief illness. He is survived by his wife, Ami Brabson, and their three sons.
O'Neal, the Oscar-nominated actor, was known for his work in 1970s hits Love Sory and Paper Moon. He had been diagnosed with chronic Leukemia in 2001 and with prostate cancer in 2012, three years before he lost his longtime love and Charlies Angels star Farrah Fawcett. O'Neal died on 8th December, aged 82.
Benjamin Zephaniah died on 7th December at the aged of 65. The passing of the poet and actor was announced by his family in a statement, who revealed was diagnosed with a brain tumour just eight weeks before his death. Birmingham-born Zephaniah – who was often referred to as 'The People's Poet'- was best known for his performance poetry as well as his animal rights, veganism, activism and turning down an OBE. He undertook a number of small roles for British TV, most recently featured in the acclaimed British crime series Peaky Blinders, starring Cillian Murphy.
Born Brian Hines, Laine was the frontman for Birmingham band The Moody Blues and sang their 1964 hit Go Now. In the 70s, he collaborated with Paul McCartney on the Beatle's project Wings, appearing on all their studio albums from Wild Life in 1971 through to Back To The Egg in 1979. Laine also co-wrote one of the biggest-selling singles in British chart history, 1977's Mull Of Kintyre. He died on 5th December aged 79, which was coincidentally the 50th anniversary of the US release of Wings' masterpiece, Band On The Run.
Born in North Riding of Yorkshire in 1940, Forsyth was best known for her role as "the dreaded" Thelma in the BBC sitcom Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? She died on died on 1st December 2023, at the age of 83.
The co-founder of The Pogues, best known for his Christmas duet with Kirsty MacColl, Fairytale Of New York, died on 30th November aged 65 from pneumonia and encephalitis. A figure on the London punk scene, MacGowan formed The Nipple Erectors (later known as The Nips), before drawing on his Irish folk music roots to front The Pogues between 1982 and 1991. In the 90s, he created a new band, The Popes, before briefly returning to the Pogues line-up in the early 00s.
Sullivan was famous for playing the character Jimmy Corkhill in the Channel 4 soap Brookside between 1986 and its final episode in 2003. A primary school teacher before becoming an actor, he died on 29th November aged 68.
Hugely controversial, Kissinger served as United States secretary of state and national security advisor under the Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford administrations in the 60s and 70s. He died on 29th November aged 100.
The guitarist of Killing Joke died in Prague on Sunday 26th November, aged 64, surrounded by family, after suffering from a stroke.
The late musician, who was from Chester-le-Street in Durham, joined Killing Joke in 1979 after seeing an advert in the Melody Maker magazine.
The English footballer and manager, who was best known for being at the helm for the helm for England's unforgettable run to the semi-finals of Euro 96, died on 25th November, aged 80, after a long illness.
The GRAMMY-nominated American singer behind the 1971 hit Mr. Big Stuff, died on 22nd November of natural causes at 80.
Her family confirmed the news in a statement.
The Welsh television and radio presenter died on 20th November aged 64.
The saxophonist for the Psychedelic Furs and the Waitresses, died on 20th November at 68 following a battle with ampullary cancer.
The British actor died on 19th November aged 95. He's best known to music fans for appearing in the Pet Shop Boys film It Couldn't Happen Here (and the video for Always On My Mind which features extracts), and his long career included the film and TV productions White Mischief, Tales Of The Unexpected and Lethal Weapon 2.
The Canadian-American actor, who was best known for playing the role of Chandler Bing in US sitcom Friends, was sadly found dead in his home on 28th October 2023, aged 54.
The New York actor, best known for his role as the title character in the 1971 film Shaft, died on 24th October, aged 81.
A former member of The Blue Aeroplanes, Bruschini toured and recorded with Massive Attack. He died on 23rd October from lung cancer, aged 62.
RIP Angelo 🤍
A singularly brilliant & eccentric talent. Impossible to quantify your contribution to the Massive Attack canon.
How lucky we were to share such a life together. pic.twitter.com/btSqYQnOoM
Kenwright started his career as an actor (Coronation Street, Carry On Matron), was pop star for a brief period and then made his name as a theatre and film producer (Blood Brothers, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat). He was chairman of Everton FC from 2004 until his death. He died on 23rd October, aged 78.
The self-proclaimed gangster, who had a second career as a writer and actor, died on 22nd October, aged 64.
The legendary footballer played for Manchester United, survived the terrible air crash in 1958 and was part of the winning England squad in 1966. He died on 21st October, aged 86.
The New York-born producer, known for his 1987 mash-up The 900 Number, died on 16th October, aged 62.
The 900 Number – The 45 King
The British humorist and artist died on 18th October, aged 73. His work appeared regularly in Private Eye and Husband was also co-writer of the TV show Round The Bend.
RIP cartoonist Tony Husband – prolific, funny and inventive contributor to Private Eye since 1985. pic.twitter.com/7rqegM9bLV
Somers was best known in the US for her role in the sitcom Three's Company. She died on 15th October, aged 76.
Detroit-born Laurie appeared in The Hustler and Children Of A Lesser God, but she's best known for her role as the mother of the title character in the 1976 horror Carrie. She died on 14th October, aged 91.
The singer, who was one of The Isley Brothers, best known for their hits Shout, Twist & Shout and This Old Heart Of Mine, died on 11th October, aged 84.
The American actor, best known for his role as the brother-in-law and best friend Paulie in the Rocky film series, died on 8th October, aged 83.
The Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers player died on 2nd October, aged 79.
The Irish-English actor, who was known for playing the part of Hogwarts headmaster Dumbledore in part of the Harry Potter series, was one of the original members of the Royal National Theatre. He was also known for his roles in Minder, Gosford Park, The King's Speech, Paddington and King of Thieves.
A statement issued on behalf of his wife Lady Gambon and son Fergus Gambon said: "We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon."Beloved husband and father, Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia." Gambon died on 27th September, aged 82.
The Scottish actor made it big in the US thanks to his starring role as Illya Kuryakin in the spy series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. He also made memorable appearances in The Great Escape on film and The Outer Limits, NCIS and Sapphire And Steel (alongside Joanna Lumley) on TV. McCallum was also an accomplished musician, working with producer David Axelrod. He died on 25th September 2023, aged 90.
The British singer-songwriter, known for his hit Durham Town and his whistling collaboration with Des O'Connor on The Skye Boat Song. He died on 13th September aged 87.
The British actress – best known for her role as mother Nellie Boswell in the 80s sitcom Bread – died on 12th September, aged 91.
The British comedian and impressionist was a huge TV star in the 1970s, becoming famous for his impersonation of the then-Prime Minister Harold Wilson. His 1977 Christmas Day show attracted over 21 million viewers. He died on 8th September aged 82.
The Smashmouth frontman died on 4th September, aged 56.
The musician, best known for the hits Walkin' On The Sun and All Star, had been reported to have suffered from liver failur and died at home in Boise, Idaho. Harwell had battled alcohol addiction over the years and had retired from performing in 2021.
In a statement, Harwell's manager Robert Hayes said that Harwell had "one of the most recognizable voices from his generation".He went on: "He loved the fans and loved to perform. Steve Harwell was a true American Original. A larger than life character who shot up into the sky like a Roman candle.
The owner of Harrods and Fulham FC died on 30th August 2023 aged 94. His son Dodi died in 1997 alongside Princess Diana.
"Parky" was Britain's most-respected talk show host, with his series Parkinson running from 1971 to 1982 and from 1998 to 2007. He died on 16th August aged 88.
The "M" in A&M died on 16th August, aged 88. Moss and musician Herb Alpert founded the A&M label in 1962, which released records by Cat Stevens, Joe Cocker, Procol Harum, Supertramp, Joan Armatrading, Bryan Adams, Suzanne Vega and many more.
The Oscar-winning US director behind The Exorcist, The French Connection and To Live and Die in L.A. died on 7th August, aged 87.
Gosling was the keyboard player with The Kinks between 1970 and 1978, playing on the hits Apeman and Lola. He died on 4th August, aged 75.
The composer behind the scores for films such as The French Lieutenant's Woman and Pride and Prejudice died on 3rd August aged 86. Davis also worked with Sir Paul McCartney on the Liverpool Oratorio in 1991.
The Californian actor, best known for his role as Fezco in the show Euphoria, died from an overdose on 31st July aged 25.
Reubens was better know under his alias Pee-wee Herman, died on 30th July aged 70. He became a star via his TV show Pee-wee's Playhouse and the Tim Burton-directed Pee-wee's Big Adventure. He also appeared in the films Blow, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Batman Returns.
The Irish singer, best known for her 1990 No 1 Nothing Compares 2 U, died on 26th July, aged 56.
The Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest player also had a spell as Sheffield Wednesday's manager died on 24th July, aged 69.
The BBC newsreader died on 24th July aged 67 after a long battle with cancer.
The Manchester City winger died on 22nd July, aged 78. He also played for Charlton Athletic, Bury and Crewe Alexandra.
The New York-born singer died on 21st July aged 96. Bennett was best known for songs like I Left My Heart in San Francisco, Rags to Riches and Because of You, winning 20 Grammy awards.
Best known for her collaborations with her partner Serge Gainsbourg, including the controversial single Je t'aime moi non plus, Birkin died on 16th July aged 76.
Armstrong was best known for his role as Alan Humphries, the best friend of Tucker Jenkins in the original series of Grange Hill. He also had parts in the Grange Hill spin-off, Tucker's Luck, Just William and The Bill. He died on 11th July after a long battle with leukaemia, aged 60.
The English actress, best known for her roles in Elizabeth R and Women In Love, and who later became an MP in Hampstead, died on 15th June, aged 87.
The controversial Prime Minister of Italy died on 12th June 2023, aged 86.
The American actor, known for his roles in 1941, Once Upon A Time In America and the TV series Everwood, died in a motorcycle crash on 12th June 2023. He was 71.
The American comic artist, who worked on The Amazing Spider-Man and Captain America and co-created Wolverine, died on 12th June, aged 93.
The Brazilian bossa nova singer, best known for her hit The Girl From Ipanema, died on 5th June aged 83.
The American songwriter – who worked with her husband Barry Mann – penned some of the most memorable tunes of the 60s and 70s, including You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', Saturday Night At The Movies, We Gotta Get Out of This Place, I Just Can't Help Believing and many more. She died on 1st June, aged 82.
The legendary singer died on 24th May, aged 83. Turner was best known for the hits River Deep, Mountain High, The Best, Private Dancer, What's Love Got to Do with It and many more. She was also an accomplished actress, appearing in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome and the film version of The Who's Tommy.
The hugely talented bassist with The Smiths died from pancreatic cancer on 19th May aged just 59.
The British novelist, known for the influential books London Fields, Money and Time's Arrow, die on 19th May, aged 73.
The Australian musician was a fixture of British TV from the 1960s through to the 90s on series such as Rolf's Cartoon Club and Animal Hospital. His career ended in 2014 when he was convicted of sexual assault on four underage girls and served three years in prison.
The British singer died on 3rd May, aged 72. She was best known for her singles Rock-a-Doodle-Doo (1973) and The Shoop Shoop Song (1975), as well as working with Cat Stevens, David Bowie and appearing at the very first Glastonbury Festival in 1970.
A family spokesperson told TMZ that the television star died this morning at his home in the Chicago area on the morning of 27th April after battling a "brief illness".
The presenter was most famous for his eponymously titled raucous tabloid talk show, in which he always ended with the catchphrase: "Take care of yourself and each other".
The acclaimed singer, screen and stage actor and the civil rights activist was known for popularising Calypso music and for his tireless fight against racism.
His longtime spokesman Ken Sunshine confirmed that Belafonte died on 25th April, aged 96, from congestive heart failure.
The professional ballroom dancer, who was most known in recent years as a Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing With The Stars judge, sadly passed away on 22nd April 2023, aged 78.
The star, who was affectionally known for his famous catchphrase "It's a 10 from Len" died following a short illness after being diagnosed with bone cancer.
The Australian comedian, known for his beloved alter ego Dame Edna Everage, died on 22nd April, aged 89.
K-Pop star, who was part of South Korean boy band Astro, was found dead in his apartment on 19th April at the age of 25.
The British fashion designer, who created the look of the "Swinging Sixties", died on 13th April, aged 93.
The guitarist of Irish band The Script sadly died in hospital on 13th April. The Dublin-based rock group confirmed that the musician had passed away after a short illness.
The S Club 7 star sadly died on 7th April at the age of 46 from natural causes (heart failure). The band was planning a reunion tour later in the year, of which Cattermole was a part.
The German promotor, publishing heiress and actress was also married to former Sex Pistol John Lydon from 1979 to her death on 6th April aged 80. Forster had suffered from Alzheimer's disease in her later years and her husband wrote a song about her struggle, Hawaii, which was entered into the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.
The MP, Chancellor Of The Exchequer and father of Nigella died on 3rd April aged 91.
The co-founder of Sire Records died on 2nd April, aged 80. Stein was behind the careers of Talking Heads, the Ramones and Madonna, to name just a few.
The comedian, broadcaster, animal-lover and writer, who became notable for his draf act Lily savage – died on 29th March, aged 67.
The much-loved star's husband Andre Portasio said: "He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion."I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years."
The American actor and star of The Wire and John Wick died on 17th March 2023, aged 60.
The Ann Summers founder sadly died on 16th March, aged 62, just weeks after the death of her father and West Ham United chairman David Gold, who passed away in January 2023.
The Israeli actor, known simply as "Topol" was most famous for his star turn in the musical Fiddler On The Roof, but also appeared in the Bond film For Your Eyes Only and the 1980 version of Flash Gordon. He died on 8th March, aged 87.
Born Margaret Lake in Accrington, Meg had a regular astrology column in the News Of The World and The Sun, before becoming a TV star during the BBC's National Lottery programmes between 1994 and 2000. She died on 9th March, aged 80.
One of the founding members of the US rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rossington survived the 1977 plane crash that took the lives of three bandmates. The guitarist died on 5th March, aged 71.
Baroness Boothroyd, MP and the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House Of Commons, died on 26th February aged 93.
The Pulp bassist died at age 56, after an illness on 2nd March 2023.
The sad news of his passing was shared on Instagram on Thursday 2nd March from his official account, with a message from his wife Katie Grand, which read: "After three months in hospital, fighting with all his strength and determination, we are shocked and devastated to have said goodbye my brilliant, beautiful husband, Steve Mackey. Steve died today, a loss which has left myself, his son Marley, parents Kath and Paul, sister Michelle and many friends all heartbroken. Steve was the most talented man I knew, an exceptional musician, producer, photographer and filmmaker. As in life, he was adored by everyone whose paths he crossed in the multiple creative disciplines he conquered. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the NHS staff who worked tirelessly for Steve. He will be missed beyond words.”
The famous pundit, known affectionately as "Motty" died peacefully in his sleep aged 77 on 23rd February 2023.
The British TV presenter, best known for hosting ITV's World Of Sport in the 1970s and 80s, died on 19th February, aged 94.
Stevens appeared alongside Elvis Presley (in Girls! Girls! Girls!, 1962), Jerry Lewis (in The Nutty Professor, 1964), The Secret Of My Success (1965) and The Poseidon Adventure (1972). She died on 17th February aged 84, of complications from Alzheimer's disease.
The star was best known for appearing in the TV series Shine On Harvey Moon, but also appeared in Grange Hill, Harry Enfield's Television Programme, A Touch Of Frost and even the video to Flowered Up's Weekender track. He died on 17th February, aged 54.
Flowered Up – Weekender (15 Cert Version)
The American actress famous for the films One Million Years BC and Fantastic Voyage died on 15th February, aged 82.
David Jolicoeur aka Trygoy, Dave or Plug Two of De La Soul, died on 12th February 2023, aged just 54. He'd been diagnosed with congestive heart failure several years ago.
The man behind the classic British films Chariots Of Fire and Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes died on 10th February, aged 86.
The composer behind such hits as Walk On By, Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head, (They Long To Be) Close To You, I Say A Little Prayer and many, many more, died on 8th February aged 94.
The Spanish fashion designer died on 3rd February, aged 88.
The British actor, best known for roles in A Room With A View, Leaving Las Vegas and Arachnophobia, went missing while hiking in Mount San Antonio, California in January 2023. It would later be established that he died on the trip, aged 65.
The American singer – best known for his hit Money (That's What I Want) – died on 29th January, aged 81. Strong went on to a hugely successful career as a songwriter for Motown and penned I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Papa Was A Rollin' Stone and many more.
The US star of 24 and The Last Of Us died of cancer on 29th January, aged 45.
The original Wednesday from The Addams Family died from a stroke on 28th January aged 64.
The frontman of the New York band Television died on 28th January, aged 73. They were best known for their album Marquee Moon.
The British actress who appeared in Ice Cold In Alex, Victim, The Tamarind Seed, The Queen and At Home With The Braithwaites died on 27th January, aged 89.
The American actress, best known for her long-running role in the sitcom Laverne And Shirley, died on 25th January aged 75.
The Californian musician was a founding member of The Byrds and the supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash (and later, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young). He died on 18th January 2023, aged 81.
The Italian star of 1950s classics like The Hunchback Of Notre Dame and Solomon And Sheba, died on 16th January, aged 95. After she retired from acting, Lollobrigida had a successful career as a photojournalist.
Gowers was responsible for Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody promo clip in 1975, which changed the way people thought about music videos. In long TV and film career, Gowers also worked on videos for The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Genesis, 10cc, The Bee Gees, Journey and Sparks. He died on 15th January, aged 82.
Lisa Marie Presley was the only daughter of Elvis Presley.
Her mother, Priscilla Presley, said: "It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us.
"She was the most passionate, strong and loving woman I have ever known."
She died on 12th January 2023 aged 54, after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Jeff Beck rose to fame as part of the Yardbirds, where he replaced Eric Clapton, before forming the Jeff Beck group with Rod Stewart.
The legendary guitarist died on 11th January 2023, aged 78, after contracting bacterial meningitis.
After playing for the likes of Chelsea and Italy's Juventus and Sampadoria, Gianluca Vialli managed Chelsea and Watford and worked with the national Italy team.
Gianluca – whose death was announced on 6th January – died after losing his battle with pancreatic cancer.
The prolific author and playwright was best known for writing The Life And Loves Of A She Devil, which was turned into a TV series in 1986. Her body of work includes over 30 novels, short stories and plays written for radio, television and the theatre.
Fay Weldon CBE died peacefully on 4th January, aged 91.
The accomplished drummer backed up his brothers Maurice and Verdine White in Earth, Wind & Fire.
The band won six GRAMMYs, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and played the Super Bowl in halftime show in 2005.
Fred White died on 1st January 2023, at 67.
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