2019 brought us a lot of things, some good, some bad – and some we would rather just forget.
We have had to say goodbye to some very well-known and much-loved figures in 2019.
From Hull’s very own Joe Longthorne, to music star Doris Day, here are some of the famous faces who have died over the past 12 months.
Actor Dick Miller died on January 30 at the age of 90.
He was well-known for his role in Gremlins, The Terminator, The Burbs and Fame. His career spanned more than 60 years and more than 100 screen appearances.
The French composer died on January 26 at the age of 86.
Over the course of his 50-year career, he won three Oscars. His first was in 1969 for The Windmills of Your Mind, which featured on the soundtrack to The Thomas Crown Affair. In 1971 he won Best Original Score for Summer of ’42, and again in 1983 for Yentl.
Comedy actor Windsor Davies died on January 17 aged 88.
The star was most famous for his role in BBC sitcom It Aint Half Hot Mum as Battery Sergeant Major Williams and he also spent a decade playing Olier Smallbridge in ITV comedy Never the Twain.
He also appeared in a number of films including Carry On Behind and Carry On England.
Neighbours star Darius Perkins died from cancer on January 2, aged 54.
The Australian actor played the original Scott Robinson in the long running soap when it launched in 1985, before being replaced by Jason Donovan.
He appeared in numerous Australian dramas including Home and Away, A Country Practice and The Sullivans.
WWE Hall of Famer “Mean” Gene Okerlund passed away at the age of 76 on January 2.
Described by WWE as “the most recognizable interviewer in sports-entertainment history”, the legendary microphone king appeared alongside the industry’s greatest stars in career-spanning decades.
“He was forever immortalised by his work with Hulk Hogan, who would often begin interviews by saying: “Well let me tell you something Mean Gene…”
He even wrestled on the odd occasion and famously pinned Mr. Fuji in a tag team match with former world champion Hogan in 1984 – and The Hulkster himself had the honour of inducting “Mean Gene” into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.
The comedian – best known for his roles in The Blackadder Goes Forth and Mock The Week – died aged 57 after battling cancer.
He won the coveted Perrier Award in 1988 and Best Live Act at the ITV Comedy Awards in 1991.
Keeping Up Appearances star Clive died in February at 82.
He was best known for playing the long suffering Richard Bucket in the BBC series, he appeared on our screens from 1990 to 1995.
He also appeared in the BBC adaptation of The Barchester Chronicles and in December 2007 starred in a Doctor Who Christmas special as Mr Copper.
The British star was nominated for five Academy Awards during a career that spanned nearly 50 years.
Finney had notable roles in Erin Brockovich, Murder on the Orient Express, Annie and Scrooge, as well as appearing in spy thrillers The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Legacy and Skayfall.
He was 82 when he died on February 7.
The World Cup winning goalkeeper died at the age of 81.
Regarded as one of the game’s greatest in his position, Banks was named Fifa goalkeeper of the year six times and earned 73 caps for England.
He is perhaps best known for his wonder save from Pele during the 1970 World Cup against Brazil.
The German fashion designer died in February after a period of ill health.
He was known as the creative direction for Chanel, a position he held from 1983 until his death in February.
He was also creative director of Italian fur and leather goods house Fendi.
Upon his death, an outpouring and grief and love poured in from the fashion world.
Peter was best known as the keyboardist and bassist in the popular American TV pop quartet The Monkees.
The band achieved widespread fame in the 1960s and had hits including I’m A Believer and Daydream Believer.
He passed peacefully this year at the age of 77.
The Firestarter singer was found dead at his home in Essex in March this year.
His band, The Prodigy, were one of the UK’s biggest bands in the 1990s with top-selling records including Firestarter and Breathe.
His appearance in the video, dancing aggressively in a disused railway tunnel, made him a household name.
Luke Perry – synonymous with Beverley Hills 90210 – died in March days after suffering a massive stroke.
The 52-year-old actor shot to fame in the 90s with the hit series in which he played bad boy Dylan McKay.
He was starring in Riverdale at the time of his death.
The TV presenter died aged 61 after a short illness.
She was born Kim Taylor in 1957 and became a star on youth work Network 7.
She then went on to host the BBC’s innovative factual show Reportage and the Rough Guides travel series.
The 18-year-old sister of One Direction star Louis Tomlinson died from a suspected heart attack.
Felicite, who was a fashion designer and popular Instagram influencer, died two years after their mother Johannah Deakin died from leukaemia at the age of 43.
The Love Island and Celebs Go Dating star was found dead in a north London park in early 2019.
Mike, 26 – who was known as “Muggy Mike” during his Love Island stint in 2017 – was said to have been in a “dark place” in the months before his death.
The former semi-professional footballer was said to have been grieving for his 94-year-old nan who had passed away.
He had been living with her as she needed a full-time carer.
The singer-songwriter had hits like The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore and Make It Easy on Yourself in the 1960s.
As part of The Beat, he spearheaded the two-tone movement with a distinctive vocal style influenced by the Jamaican rap technique of “toasting”.
Walker, who was born in the US, began his career as a session bassist, changing his name when he joined the Walker Brothers.
He later shunned the limelight but still released solo albums.
Former Eastenders star Sandy Ratcliff died on April 7 at the age of 70.
She was one of the original cast members on the BBC 1 soap, playing Sue Osman from 1985 until 1989. She passed away in a care home in Stamford Hill in north London.
The former Liverpool captain died on April 11 at the age of 74.
Affectionately known as “The Anfield Iron”, club legend Smith, who had been battling dementia, spent 18 years as a player with the Reds and is one of the most influential figures in the club’s history.
The tough fallback captained his boyhood club and made 638 appearances in total – the eighth in the all-time list at Anfield.
The popular CCBC actress, who was known for appearing in shows including Millie Inbetween and Almost Never, was just 16 when she died.
She also starred in Absolutely Fabulous when she was a baby.
Alice Webb, director of BBC Children’s, said: “She has shone so brightly on our screens, both in Millie Inbetween and Almost Never, and it’s unthinkable that she won’t be part of our journey going forward.
“She was hugely popular with our audience, a very talented actress, dancer and singer, and a real role model for her young fans.”
The Trainspotting 2 actor died after being shot on an Edinburgh street.
The actor, who also appeared on an episode of Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men, played gangland figure, Mr Doyle in the film.
Writer Irvine Welsh said his heart was “broken” following the death of his “amazing and beautiful” friend.
The original Chewbacca actor died in May this year at the age of 74.
The British-born actor – who stood at 7ft 3ins – was surrounded by family when he died at his home in north Texas.
His family described him as a “real gentle giant and a very quiet, shy and beautiful person”.
The comedian, who rose to fame in the 1970s, was found dead at his home in Spain.
The star was the lead singer of the Merseybeat group the Midniters during the 1960s and rose to national prominence in the early 1970s after appearing on Opportunity Knocks.
He was known by fans for his eccentric and often unpredictable behaviour.
The actress – best known for starring in films such as Pillow Talk and Calamity Jane – was 97 when she died this year.
Her wholesome screen presence stood for a time of innocence in films in the 1960s, and was one of the most popular actresses at the time.
Day’s lilting voice and beauty brought her a string of hits.
Three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda will be remembered for one of the most courageous combacks.
He was trapped in a fireball infrerno at the 1976 German Grand Prix after his car hit the wall and caught on fire.
Just 40 days after he almost burnt to death at the wheel of his Ferrari and being read his last rites in hospital, he returned to the wheel.
He was 70 when he died at home in May.
The Tiger Who Came To Tea writer and illustrator died earlier this year at the age of 95.
The book has never been out of print and sold more than five million copies since it was first published in 1968. It has been a staple of many children’s lives since it first published.
She also wrote When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and the Mog The Cat series.
Reality TV star Beth Chapman died on June 26 at the age of 51 after a battle against throat cancer.
She appeared alongside husband Duane Chapman AKA Dog the Bounty Hunter on their TV show from the early 2000s which saw them track down lawbreakers. A spin-off was broadcast soon after.
James Bond and Neighbours star Bryan Marshall died on June 26 at the age of 81.
He was most well known for his role as Commander Talbot in James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.
An agent at ECA, Esta Charkham, confirmed the news Bryan had passed away.
She tweeted: “So sad that my dear old chum Bryan Marshall has gone on ahead.
“A wonderful actor – he was so good you never noticed how good he was.
“He was a valued chum. His credits are a catalogue of classic British and Australian TV.
“Fare Forward Dearest Bryan.”
Actor Douglas Fielding died aged 73. He starred as police officer Roy Quick in Eastenders between 1985 and 1986.
He also portrayed Alec Quilley in cop drama Z Cars from 1969 until 1978.
The actor died on June 21, aged 78. He was most famous for playing PC Alf Ventress on ITV show Heartbeat throughout its entire 18-year run.
He also had numerous other small screen roles on programmes including Lovejoy, Bergerac, Coronation Street and The Sweeney.
Paul Darrow – most known for his roles in Blake’s 7, Emmerdale and Doctor Who – died in June this year.
His representative confirmed he had died, saying the world would be a “darker place” without him.
He told the Daily Express: “Over three decades I have been Paul’s confidante and have had the immense privilege of being part of his life.
“A star has gone out today; the world will be a darker place without him.”
Jose Antonio Reyes
Former Arsenal star Jose Antonio Reyes died on June 1 at 35.
The footballer, who spent three seasons at the London club as well as Spain’s Sevilla, was involved in a serious car accident in his hometown of Utera, in Spain.
Journalist and broadcaster John McCririck died aged 79 in July this year.
The horse racing pundit was well-known for his eccentric style at major meets across the country for ITV and Channel 4.
The actor died from heart failure after being diagnosed with cancer.
The 33-year-old was best-known for playing Michael “Slugs” Slugette in the BBC Three comedy This Country alongside actors and show creators Charlie and Daisy May Cooper.
The Emmerdale actor, known for playing Sandy Thomas, died in July this year at the age of 91.
He was also star of Hollywood films such as Dune, The Elephant Man and Firefox.
The Blade Runner star died at the age of 75 at his home in the Netherlands following a short illness, his agent said.
Hauer received cult acclaim for his role as the philosophical replicant Roy Batty in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.
He delivered a fame monologue on memory and death in the film, which became one of its defining moments.
Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, one of the most influential American authors, died on August 6 at the age of 88.
She was the first black woman to receive the Nobel Prize in literature – and won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel, Beloved.
President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
Hull’s own Joe Longthorne died on August 3 at the age of 64.
He came to fame in 1981 as a singer and impressionist.
The former Prime Minister and president of Zimbabwe whose rule was mired in accusations of human rights abuses and corruption, died at the age of 95.
His 40-year leadership of the former British colony was marked with bloodshed, persecution of political opponents an vote-rigging on a large scale.
Current president, Emmerson Mnangagwa called Mr Mugabe a “pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people.”
He added he “was an icon of liberation, a pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people. His contribution to the history of our nation and continent will never be forgotten. May his soul rest in eternal peace”.
The actress, who played Zoe Tate on Emmerdale for 16 years until 2005, died in September at the age of 55, three years after being diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.
Her cancer diagnoses came to light in October 2016 when her husband Jez Hughes launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for her to undergo treatment overseas, due to a lack of options available on the NHS.
After she was diagnosed, fans helped the star raise more than £50,000 to undergo groundbreaking treatment in Germany.
She started taking new medication, but later revealed that it had failed.
The veteran newsreader died at the age of 77 in October this year.
His broadcasting career spanned more than 40 years and he had worked for both the BBC and ITV.
Peter retired from broadcasting in 2009 and was considered at the time to be one of the UK’s longest-serving news presenters.
The drumming legend died in October at the age of 80.
Ginger, who’s real name was Peter Edward Baker, was the co-founder of Cream and played with the likes of Blind Faith, Hawkwind and Fela Kuti in a long career.
The Coronation Street and Last of the Summer Wine actress of the age of 74.
It was only days after telling friends that she didn’t feel well.
With an acting career spanning more than 50 years, she was best known for playing Marina in Last of the Summer Wine from 1985 until it ended in 2010.
The TV chef died in Dubai at the age of 59 last month.
He was best known for appearing on shows such as MasterChef, MasterChef USA, Hell’s Kitchen and hosting his own series, Rhodes Around Britain.
Clive James, poet, critic and broadcaster, passed away at his home in Cambridge at the age of 80 last month.
News of his death came 10 years after he revealed he had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and one month after he laid down his pen for the last time.
United Agents released a statement on behalf of his family, saying: “He endured his ever-multiplying illnesses with patience and good humour, knowing until the last moment that he had experienced more than his fair share of this great, good world.”
Roxette singer Marie died in December after a long illness at the age of 61.
She was best known for the band’s hits including It Must Have Been Love, Joyride, Listen To Your Heart and The Look with co-creator Per Gessie.
The naturalist and broadcaster David Bellamy died at the age of 86.
London-born Bellamy was a household name as TV personality, scientist and conservationist.
Legendary actor Tony Britton died at the age of 95 on Sunday, December 22.
His TV presenter daughter, Fern Britton, announced the news on Twitter: “Our father, Tony Britton, died early this morning. Great actor, director and charmer. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
Tony starred in films Operation Amsterdam, Sunday Bloody Sunday and The Day of the Jackal.
He was also known for playing the famously conservative Doctor dad in BBC sitcom Don’t Wait Up with charmer son Nigel Havers and Dinah Sheridan.
The monty Python star died at the age of 75 in December.
His agent Nigel Morton confirmed the news, telling Sky News it was unexpected and Innes had not been ill.
In a statement, his family said: “It is with deep sorrow and great sadness that we have to announce the death of Neil James Innes on 29th December 2019.
“We have lost a beautiful kind, gentle soul whose music and songs touched the heart of everyone and whose intellect and search for truth inspired us all.
“He died of natural causes quickly without warning and, I think, without pain.
“His wife, Yvonne and their three sons Miles, Luke and Barney and three grandchildren Max, Issy and Zac give thanks for his life, for his music and for the joy he gaves us all.”
During his time with Monty Python, he starred in the Life of Brian and The Holy Grail. He is also said to have provided the famous whistling for Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
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