Ever since that year we lost what seemed like all of the greats – David Bowie, Alan Rickman AND George Michael in one year – we’ve kept close track of the saddest and most shocking celebrity deaths.
And this year, we’ve lost some incredible actors and musicians, as well as some much loved faces from the world of reality TV.
Freddie Starr, 76
Freddie Starr sadly died of a heart attack in May.
Annalise Braakensiek, 46
Former Play Your Cards Right model Annalise Braakensiek, who worked with TV legend Bruce Forsythe on the show, passed away in January.
‘Everything seems to feel twisted and upside down at the moment'” she wrote on social media, shortly before her death. ‘Life’s challenges have been deep, dark, difficult, demanding and down right scary lately.’
Martha Ross, 79
Jonathan Ross paid tribute to his mum Martha in January 2019 after she died aged 79, She played a stall-holder at Bridge Street Market in EastEnders.
Karl Lagerfeld, 85
Fashion powerhouse and Creative Director of Chanel since 1983 and Fendi since 1965, Karl died in Paris in February following a brief period of ill health. He continued to work right up until his death.
One of the most prolific and controversial figures in fashion, tributes have poured in for Karl following the tragic news.
“Fashion show after fashion show, collection after collection, Karl Lagerfeld left his mark on the legend of Gabrielle Chanel and the history of the House of Chanel,” Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion at Chanel, said today. “He steadfastly promoted the talent and expertise of Chanel’s ateliers and Métiers d’Art, allowing this exceptional know-how to shine throughout the world. The greatest tribute we can pay today is to continue to follow the path he traced by – to quote Karl – ‘continuing to embrace the present and invent the future’.”
Peter Tork, 77
The bassist of 70’s pop group the Monkees passed away peacefully at his home in February, aged 77.
A statement from his family on his Facebook page said,
“Peter succumbed to a 10 year bout with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer of the salivary glands. Peter’s energy, intelligence, silliness, and curiosity were traits that for decades brought laughter and enjoyment to millions, including those of us closest to him. Those traits also equipped him well to take on cancer, a condition he met with unwavering humor and courage.”
Albert Finney, 82
Legendary actor Albert Finney, who played Daddy Warbucks in Annie, died in February after “a short illness”,
Mark Hollis, 64
Founder and front-man of 80’s synthpop band Mark Hollis died aged 64 in February from unspecified causes, with tributes to musician pouring in on Twitter.
“RIP Mark Hollis. Cousin-in-law,” wrote Anthony Costelloe. “Wonderful husband and father. Fascinating and principled man. Retired from the music business 20 years ago but an indefinable musical icon.”
And a former band mate said, “Musically he was a genius and it was a honour and a privilege to have been in a band with him.
“I have not seen Mark for many years, but like many musicians of our generation I have been profoundly influenced by his trailblazing musical ideas.”
Lisa Sheridan, 44
Actress Lisa Sheridan, best known for her roles in CSI: Miami and other US TV series’, was found dead in her home aged just 44 in February.
Janice Freeman, 33
Janice Freeman, of The Voice fame, died in March age 33. Her cause of death is thought to be a fatal blood clot caused by an extreme case of pneumonia. “A survivor and fighter, and a beautiful force in this world, Janice gained notoriety through her success on NBC’s ‘The Voice’ as a member of Miley Cyrus’ team,” a statement said. “Her story inspired fans nationwide, having successfully battled cervical cancer and living her life to the fullest while fighting lupus.”
Luke Perry, 52
Actor Luke Perry, who starred in Beverly Hills 90210 and Netflix hit Riverdale, died from a stroke age 52 in March.
Keith Flint, 49
Tributes from across the world of music and dance poured in for The Prodigy frontman Keith Flint, after he was found dead in his Essex property on Monday 4th March. His death was not treated as suspicious.
Mike Thalassitis, 26
Love Island 2017 cast member Mike Thalassitis was found dead in woodland near his home in Essex in March 2019.
Jack Saunders, 25
Britain’s Got Talent finalist Jack Saunders died in March 2019. He was part of the dance troupe Green Force Five, and had also performed at the Olympics, 2012, as well as on X Factor and Sky’s Got To Dance. His girlfriend Frankie has since spoken out about men’s mental health, and the importance of seeking help.
Sandy Ratcliff, 70
EastEnders star Sandy Ratcliff, who played cafe owner Sue Osman, sadly passed away at the age of 70.
Mya-Lecia Naylor, 16
CBBC fans were left devastated following the news that TV star Mya-Lecia Naylor had died. The 16-year-old star, who appeared in TV shows Millie Inbetween and Almost Never, passed away on April 7th after collapsing.
Elsa Patton, 84
Real Housewives of Miami star Elsa Patton passed away in May aged 84. She rose to fame after her daughter, Marysol Patton was cast in the Miami version of the Real Housewives franchise.
“Our beloved Elsa Patton (AKA Mama Elsa) passed away over Mother’s Day weekend after a long illness,” the family said in a statement. “She was surrounded by her family and close friends. Elsa was predeceased by her husband of 50 years Donald Patton who passed away last February of 2018.”
Doris Day, 97
Hollywood icon Doris Day died aged 97. Her roles in some of the biggest films from Hollywood’s golden era, including Calamity Jane, Pillow Talk and her hit 1956 record Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be), made into one of the most celebrated film stars of all time.
Philippe Zdar, one half of French house duo Cassius, tragically passed away after falling from a building in Paris.
The music star’s agent announced that the 52-year-old fell to his death from a “high floor of an old building in Paris”.
The house music star’s real name is Philippe Cerboneschi and he starred in Cassius alongside Hubert Blanc-Francard aka Boom Bass.
In June, Dog The Bounty Hunter’s wife Beth Chapman passed away.
Beth died in hospital following an 18-month battle with cancer. Confirming the sad news, Dog (whose real name is Duane Chapman) wrote on Twitter, ‘It’s 5:32 in Hawaii, this is the time she would wake up to go hike Koko Head mountain. Only today, she hiked the stairway to heaven. We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side.’
Heartbeat actor William Simons sadly died aged 79. His agent confirmed his death in a statement, saying: “He was a wonderful, kind, warm, witty, lovely human being and anyone who ever worked with him or knew him will be devastated.”
Simon also appeared in Coronation Street and Emmerdale during the 70s.
ALF star Max Wright died aged 75 following a long battle with cancer. A source close to his family confirmed the news to TMZ and according to the publication, the American actor was first diagnosed with Lymphoma in 1995 but had been in remission for a long time.
Douglas Fielding, who played Sergeant Alec Quilley in Z Cars in the 80s, died in June aged 73. He also starred in EastEnders as DC Roy Quick from 1985 until 1986 and appeared in a total of 51 episodes.
The racing pundit and journalist died in July aged 79, after making the prediction in 2018 that he had just months to live following his recent weight loss. “Sad to report that legendary racing broadcaster John McCririck has died at the age of 79,” said the Racing Post in a statement.
Kerry Katona’s ex-husband George Kay was found dead in his home following a suspected drug overdose in July.
Disney star Cameron Boyce died in July at age 20, following long term health complications.
“It is with a profoundly heavy heart that we report that this morning we lost Cameron,” a spokesperson said on behalf of his family.
“He passed away in his sleep due to a seizure which was a result of an ongoing medical condition for which he was being treated.”
Wife of Vinnie Jones, Tanya Jones, died at her LA home in July following a “long illness”. “At 8.46am local time in Los Angeles on Saturday July 6, Vinnie Jones’s wife, Tanya Jones, passed away after a long illness. Tanya passed peacefully at the Jones family home surrounded by Vinnie, their daughter and other family members.”
Emmerdale star Freddie Jones, who played Sandy Thomas from 2005 to 2018, passed away in July age 91. The veteran actor was already a revered star of stage and screen before he made his Emmerdale debut, having worked on everything from 1980s The Elephant Man to Wild at Heart a decade later, and film credits from as early as 1967.
YouTube star and TV Presenter Emily Hartridge died in a tragic electric scooter accident. Her e-scooter collided with a lorry at a roundabout in Battersea, south-west London. It was the first fatal collision involving an e-scooter to take place in Britain.
Karl Shiels, 47
Irish actor Karl Shiels, who starred in Peaky Blinders as well as some of the Batman films, died aged 47 after “repeatedly nodding off during filming”. According to sources he was on crutches and “in a lot of pain” before his death.
Peter Fonda, 79
Peter Fonda – the brother of Jane who became a household name for his part in 70s smash Easy Rider – died aged 79 from lung cancer in August.
“I am very sad. He was my sweet-hearted baby brother. The talker of the family,” said Jane. “I have had beautiful alone time with him these last days. He went out laughing.”
Ben Unwin, 41
Home and Away actor Ben Unwin, who played Jesse McGregor on and off for a decade, died aged 41 from unknown causes.
A police report said, “Police attended Minyon Falls, Whian Whian, responding to a concern for welfare. The body of a 41-year-old man was located. The death has not been treated as suspicious.”
Brian Turk, 49
Beverly Hills 90210 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer actor Brian Turk died in September, aged 49, following a battle with cancer.
“Brian has impacted so many of us in a positive way whether it be on the football field, at Mater Dei or USC, on stage or in our personal lives. He has always been there for us in our times of need and celebration…”, said a friend.
Aron Eisenberg, 50
Star Trek legend Aron Eisenberg, who was best known for playing the character of Nog in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, died aged 50.
His wife released a statement confirming the death, saying, “It is with extreme regret and sadness to announce that my love and best friend, Aron Eisenberg, passed away earlier today.
“He was an intelligent, humble, funny, emphatic soul. He sought to live his life with integrity and truth.”
Grange Hill star Anna Quayle, who played Ms Monroe, passed away aged 86 after battling Lewy body dementia. Anna’s family confirmed the heartbreaking news. She was first diagnosed with the condition in 2012.
Last of the Summer Wine star Juliette Kaplan lost her battled to cancer in October. The actress is well known as Pearl Sibshaw in the BBC comedy and played the role from 1985 to 2010.
Juliette’s agent confirmed the sad news on Twitter, “Juliette Kaplan, ‘Our Pearl’, has finally succumbed to the cancer she has bravely battled for so long.
“Thank you everyone who sent their love and support to this fearless and supremely gifted actress. As she said, ‘Ta-ta and it’s been fun’. #LastOfTheSummerWine #RIP #Pearl.”
Emmerdale star Leah Bracknell, who played Zoe Tate for 16 years in the Dales, passed away following a three year battle with cancer.
EastEnders actor Nicky Henson, who played Jack Mitchell on the soap died in December after a 20-year cancer battle.
“I’ve been fighting cancer for 18 years now so it’s just part of my life. Whatever happens, happens,” he said last year.
“It’s not so much fighting it, it’s keeping a sense of humour.”
Veteran Emmerdale actress Sheila Mercier – who played Annie Sugden in the first ever episode in 1972, died aged 100.
Current star Claire King, who played Kim Tate, said, “It’s always sad to hear of the death of an actor who played a significant part in Emmerdale’s success.
“Even more so when that actor was in the very first episode and around whose family the show was built.”
It was also the year we lost Hollywood legend Doris Day, who was at her most famous during the golden era of Hollywood, starring in films such as Pillow Talk, Calamity Jane and Young At Heart.
We also said goodbye to some of Britain’s most loved soap stars.
EastEnders stars Sandy Ratcliff, Douglas Fielding and Nicky Henson all passed away this year, and Emmerdale veterans Sheila Mercier, who played Annie Sugden in the very first episode back in 1972, and Freddie Jones, who played Sandy Thomas from 2005 to 2018 also died at ripe old ages.
Zoe Tate actress Leah Bracknell died in October aged 55.
RIP to those we lost.