Year in Review: Celebrities who left us in 2023 – GMA News Online

The year 2023 saw us saying goodbye to many celebrities who touched our lives in more ways than one. Veteran actors who were pillars of the showbiz industry. Young talents gone too soon. Singers who blessed the world with the gift of their voice. Authors whose words will remain in our hearts forever. Broadcast journalists who spoke truth to power.
Before we say farewell to the year that was, let us take a moment to reflect on the legacy left behind by these inspiring personalities.
Ronaldo Valdez
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The death of veteran actor Ronaldo Valdez a few days before Christmas cast a pall on the holiday celebrations for many of his fans, who fondly called him “Lolo Sir.” He was 76 years old.
The father of singer Janno Gibbs and actress Melissa Gibbs, Valdez had a long-career in film and television. He is best remembered for his role as Earl of Dorincourt in the 1996 film “Cedie.” 
His final film, “Ikaw at Ako,” premiered earlier this December.
Valdez also starred in several GMA series, such as “Meant to Be,” “Healing Hearts,” “Full House,” “Asian Treasures,” “Sugo,” and “Marinara.”
Matthew Perry
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Matthew Perry’s death sent “Friends” fans all over the world grieving the loss of their beloved Chandler Bing. The American actor was 54 years old.
Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, and Lisa Kudrow, his co-stars in the iconic ’90s sitcom, honored Perry with emotional tributes on social media after his passing.
Aside from “Friends,” Perry’s other works include “The West Wing,” “The Odd Couple,” “Go On,” “Mr. Sunshine,” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” He also wrote a book, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir,” where he opened up about his long battle against addiction.
Andre Braugher
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Andre Braugher, the beloved Captain Raymond Holt of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” passed away at 61 years old earlier in December.
The American actor had a long career in film, television, and theater, winning many awards for his acting performances.
Braughter appeared in “Homicide: Life on the Street,” “The Good Fight,” “Law and Order,” and “House.” He also acted in several Shakespeare plays and did voice work for some films.
Mike Enriquez
Mike Enriquez passed away on August 29. He was 71 years old. His death was emotionally announced by fellow “24 Oras” anchor Mel Tiangco on GMA’s flagship evening newscast, sending the Philippine media into mourning.
A long-time anchor of “24 Oras” and host of GMA Public Affairs program “Imbestigador,” Enriquez was known as “Booma” by his colleagues in the industry. He won many awards during his 54-year career in broadcasting.
He served as President of  RGMA Network, Inc. and GMA Network’s Senior Vice President and Consultant for Radio Operations. He also anchored DZBB’s “Super Balita sa Umaga” and “Saksi sa Dobol B.”
Mario Dumaual
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Veteran journalist Mario Dumaual passed away in July. He was 64 years old.
The long-time showbiz reporter earned a star in the Eastwood Walk of Fame back in January and is remembered fondly by the many celebrities he reported on throughout his career of over 40 years.
Michael Gambon
“Harry Potter” fans worldwide mourned the passing of Michael Gambon, who played Albus Dumbledore, in September. He was 88 years old. The Irish-English actor took over the role from Richard Harris, who played the Hogwarts headmaster in the first two films of the series. 
Gambon had a long career in theater, television, and film. Aside from “Harry Potter,” his body of work includes “The King’s Speech,” “Layer Cake,” “Judy,” “Quartet,” “Being Julia,” “Amazing Grace.”
He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998 for his services to drama.
Lance Reddick
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Fans of the “John Wick” franchise would know Lance Reddick as the hotel concierge Charon. The 60-year-old American actor died in March.
Reddick is also known for playing Lt. Cedric Daniels in the 2002 HBO crime drama “The Wire.” He also appeared in several series such as “Fringe,” “Bosch,” and “Resident Evil,” as well as films “Angel Has Fallen” and “White House Down.”
Anna Shay
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“Bling Empire” star Anna Shay passed away in June due to stroke. She was 62 years old.
The actress, who made her television debut in the 2021 Netflix series, was a fan-favorite and her castmates paid tributes shortly after her passing.
Lualhati Bautista
Lualhati Bautista, renowned Filipina novelist, writer, political critic, and activist, passed away in February at the age of 77.
She was author of novels “Bata, Bata, Pa’no Ka Ginawa?” and “Dekada 70,” which were both adapted into iconic films starring Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos.
Bautista’s other works include “GAPO,”  “In Sisterhood,” “Sixty in the City,” as well as award-winning short stories and critically acclaimed screenplays.
Milan Kundera
Milan Kundera, the author of “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” died at 94 years old in July.
The Czech-French writer wrote several novels throughout his career: “The Joke,” “Life is Elsewhere,” “The Book of Laughter and Forgetting,” “Ignorance,” and “The Festival of Insignificance.”
Also a political activist, Kundera was twice expelled by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, which also banned his works. He went into exile in France after his Czech citizenship was revoked in 1979, but it was restored 40 years later.
Lee Sun Kyun
Lee Sun Kyun died on Wednesday at age 48. The South Korean actor was best known for his role as a rich family’s father in 2019 Oscar-winning film “Parasite.”
He also starred in films “Helpless,” “Paju,” “All About My Wife,” “A Hard Day.”
Park Soo Ryun
South Korean actress Park Soo Ryun tragically died at 29 years old after falling down the stairs on her way home.
She debuted in the 2018 creative musical “Il Tenore” and appeared in the K-drama “Snowdrop,” which starred Blackpink member Jisoo and Jung Hae In.
Her family donated her organs following her passing.
Moonbin
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South Korean idol Moonbin was only 25 years old when he died in April. He is a member of the K-pop group Astro and formed a subunit with fellow member Sanha.
A few weeks before his passing, Moonbin came to the Philippines together with Sanha for a fan concert. The duo had three EPs to their name: “In-Out,” “Refuge,” and “Incense.”
Alongside Cha Eun Woo, MJ, Jinjin, and former member Rocky, Moonbin and Sanha debuted with Astro in 2016. Some of the group’s songs are “All Night,” “Blue Flame,” and “Candy Sugar Pop.”
Na Chul
South Korean actor Na Chul, who is known for his role in “Vincenzo,” passed away in January after reportedly undergoing health treatments. He was 36 years old.
He also appeared in “Hospital Playlist 2,” “Once Upon a Small Town,” “Little Women,” “Jirisan,” “Touch Your Heart,” and “Happiness.”
Haesoo
K-pop singer Haesoo was found dead in her residence back in May. She was 29 years old. Before her passing, she was one of the faces of K-pop sub-genre called trot.
Haesoo debuted in 2019 with the mini-album “My Life, Me.” She also appeared on the shows “Immortal Songs” and “Boss in the Mirror.”
Coco Lee
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Hong Kong’s celebrated singer-songwriter Coco Lee passed away in July. She was 48 years old. She was known for voicing Mulan in the Mandarin-language version of the popular Disney film.
Lee also sang the Oscar-nominated song “A Love Before Time” from the 2000 film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Throughout her career, she recorded 18 albums and became popular both in Asia and the United States.
Tina Turner
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The Queen of Rock ‘n Roll took her final bow in May. She was 83 years old. One of the top recording artists of all time, the American singer-songwriter won eight Grammy awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Turner released nine studio albums, staged several tours, and sold more than 200 million records in her career. Her track “What’s Love Got to Do with It” from her 1984 album “Private Dancer” became her first song to top the Billboard Hot 100.
She also ventured into acting, appearing in “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” “Last Action Hero,” and “Tommy.”
Sinead O’Connor
Irish singer Sinead O’Connor died at the age of 56 in July. The Grammy Award-winning artist rose to fame in the 1990s both for her music, her shaved head, and her outspoken views on issues such as abuse of children by the church, which saw her tearing up a photo of Pope John Paul II in “Satuday Night Live.”
Among her most popular songs include “Nothing Compares 2 U,” “Mandinka,” “All Apologies,” and “Drink Before the War.”
Mark Sheehan
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Mark Sheehan, the guitarist of Irish pop-rock band The Script, also passed away in April. The band is popular for their songs “Breakeven,” “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved,” “Superheroes,” and “For the First Time.”
The Script was formed in 2001 by Sheehan, Danny O’Donoghue and Glen Power. The band performed in Manila several times, most recently in a concert held at Mall of Asia Arena last year.
Andrei Sison
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Andrei Sison passed away at the tender age of 17 in a car accident last March. The Sparkle teen artist is the grandson of singer and actor Marco Sison.
His fellow Sparkle teen artists attended his wake and paid tribute to his short but meaningful life.
JM Canlas
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Another young talent gone too soon is JM Canlas, the young brother of actors Elijah and Jerom Canlas. He was 17 years old.
JM appeared in films “Kiko Boksingero” and “ANi.” He is also among the voice actors who worked on the Tagalog dub of Netflix series “Stranger Things.”
Sammy Manese
Content creator Sammy Manese, who rose to fame with video sketches inspired by the late vlogger Lloyd Cadena, died in November. His family announced his death on social media.
Manese had dwarfism syndrome, but he did not let his condition stop him from bringing joy to many people with his videos. He has over has over 1.9 million subscribers on YouTube and over 284,000 followers on TikTok.
Ricky Rivero
Ricky Rivero, a former member of “That’s Entertainment,” passed away in July. He was 51 years old.
An actor and director, Rivero appeared in “Ninja Kids” and “Samurai Sword” and made his directorial debut in the 2023 film “D’ Aswang Slayerz.”
Robert Arevalo
Veteran Filipino actor Robert Arevalo died in August at the age of 85. He was married to actress Barbara Perez, who was compared to Audrey Hepburn in her youth.
Arevalo had a long career in film and television and won multiple acting awards. He and his wife bagged FAMAS Best Actor and Best Actress awards for their performance in the 1965 film “Ang Daigdig ng mga Api.”
He starred in 1999 action-comedy film “Isusumbong Kita sa Tatay Ko” and 2017 musical “Ang Larawan.” He also appeared in several GMA series, such as “Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real,” “Indio,” “Munting Heredera,” “The Millionaire’s Wife” and “Genesis.”
John Regala
Popular ’90s action star John Regala passed away at 55 years old in June after battling several health issues.
A former member of “That’s Entertainment,” he won Best Supporting Actor at the Metro Manila Film Festival in 2011 for his performance in “Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story.”
Regala often played villain roles in his career. He starred in “Primitivo Ebok Ala: Kalaban Mortal ni Baby Ama” and “The Vizconde Massacre: God, Help Us!”
Patrick Guzman
Former actor Patrick Guzman died in June at the age of 56. He passed away in Canada, where his family is based.
Popular in the ’90s, Guzman appeared in several Sharon Cuneta films including “Una Kang Naging Akin,” “Ikaw,” and “Kung Ako Na Lang Sana.”
Angela Perez
Former actress Angela Perez died in March. She was 55 years old.
She was active in the ’80s and appeared in several films, such as “Laruan,” “Basag ang Pula,” “Take Home Girls,” “Isa Lang Ang Dapat Mabuhay.”
Willie Nepomuceno
Popular impersonator, satirist, and comedian Willie Nepomuceno passed away in July. He was 75 years old.
Nepomuceno is a Philippine entertainment icon. He is known for impersonating political personalities like former Philippine presidents Ferdinand Marcos Sr., Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, and Rodrigo Duterte.
Jograd dela Torre
Singer-comedian Jograd dela Torre, the voice behind the Tagalog version of the song “Price Tag,” passed away in November at the age of 63.
He rose to fame as the co-host of Nora Aunor and Kuya Germs in the ’80s musical-variety show “Superstar.” He also appeared in films “Working Girls,” “Exploitation,” “Kandungan,” “Rambo Tango.”
Jun Urbano
Veteran actor Jun Urbano, who was known as the irreverent social critic “Mr. Shooli,” died in December. He was 84.
Urbano appeared in several films such as “Magic Temple,” “Litsonero,””I Do,” and “Magikland.” He was the recipient of this year’s Gawad Plaridel, an award conferred by the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication to outstanding media practitioners.
—CACM, GMA Integrated News

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