Remembering the entertainment and arts figures we lost in 2019

Clockwise from top left: Doris Day, Albert Finney, Keith Flint, Gary Rhodes, Luke Perry and Toni MorrisonImage copyright
BBC/Getty Images/PA Media

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Clockwise from top left: Doris Day, Albert Finney, Keith Flint, Gary Rhodes, Luke Perry and Toni Morrison

As the year draws to a close, it is time to remember the figures from the worlds of arts and entertainment who died in 2019. Here is a look back at some of those to whom we said farewell.


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Getty Images/BBC

The year was still young when we said goodbye to Broadway star Carol Channing, It Ain’t Half Hot Mum actor Windsor Davies and BBC presenter Dianne Oxberry. We also lost:

  • Author and editor Diana Athill
  • Sitcom writer Kevin Barnett
  • Captain Tennille singer Daryl Dragon
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm actor Bob Einstein
  • Marmalade singer Dean Ford
  • Transgender ‘pioneer’ Julia Grant
  • Original Hollies bass player Eric Haydock
  • RB singer James Ingram
  • Composer John Joubert
  • Composer Michel Legrand
  • Actor Dick Miller
  • Wrestling interviewer Gene Okerlund
  • Producer Andrew G Vajna
  • Theatre producer Duncan Weldon


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In February the curtain fell on acclaimed actor Albert Finney, much-loved comedian Jeremy Hardy and fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. We also lost:

  • Creature from the Black Lagoon star Julie Adams
  • British grime rapper Cadet
  • Director Stanley Donen
  • Swiss actor Bruno Ganz
  • Soap star Katherine Helmond
  • Talk Talk singer Mark Hollis
  • Small Island author Andrea Levy
  • Author Rosamunde Pilcher
  • Composer Andre Previn
  • Reality TV star Miriam Rivera
  • Keeping Up Appearances’ Clive Swift
  • Monkees musician Peter Tork
  • Airwolf star Jan-Michael Vincent


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March was the month we bid a sad farewell to Keith Flint of The Prodigy, Beverly Hills 90210 actor Luke Perry and rock enigma Scott Walker. We also lost:

  • Director Larry Cohen
  • Guitarist Dick Dale
  • TV presenter Magenta Devine
  • Rapper Nipsey Hussle
  • Goldfinger actress Tania Mallet
  • The Beat singer Ranking Roger
  • Thunderbirds actor Shane Rimmer
  • Studio executive Sidney Sheinberg
  • Director Agnes Varda


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Star Wars actor Peter Mayhew, EastEnders actress Sandy Ratcliff and film-maker John Singleton were among those who left us in April. We also lost:

  • Swedish actress Bibi Andersson
  • Character actor Seymour Cassel
  • Comedian Ian Cognito
  • Level 42 member Rowland ‘Boon’ Gould
  • Dallas actor Ken Kercheval
  • Actor John McEnery
  • CBBC actress Mya-Lecia Naylor
  • Studio executive David V Picker
  • Bond actress Nadja Regin


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May saw actress and singer Doris Day, comedian Freddie Starr and newsreader Nan Winton depart at the ages of 97, 76 and 93 respectively. We also lost:

  • Actor Tim Conway
  • Online feline Grumpy Cat
  • Coronation Street actor Andrew Hall
  • Author Judith Kerr
  • Twin Peaks actress Peggy Lipton
  • American Gangster inspiration Frank Lucas
  • Spider-Man screenwriter Alvin Sargent
  • Broadcaster Brian Walden
  • Author Herman Wouk


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Blake’s 7 actor Paul Darrow, fashion icon Gloria Vanderbilt and Italian director Franco Zeffirelli were among those who took their leave in June. We also lost:

  • French DJ Philippe Cerboneschi
  • US actor Billy Drago
  • Telenovela actress Edith González
  • Musician Dr John
  • YouTube celebrity Etika
  • Z Cars actor Douglas Fielding
  • Actor Glyn Houston
  • Author Judith Krantz
  • Indian magician Chanchal Lahiri
  • Actor Bryan Marshall
  • US actress Sylvia Miles
  • Heartbeat actor William Simons
  • ALF actor Max Wright


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The sudden death of Disney star Cameron Boyce at the age of 20 was one of a number of sad farewells in a month which also saw Blade Runner actor Rutger Hauer and Broadway producer Hal Prince depart. We also lost:

  • Journalist Christopher Booker
  • Inspector Montalbano author Andrea Camilleri
  • Annie writer Martin Charnin
  • South African musician Johnny Clegg
  • Italian actress Valentina Cortese
  • Irish comedian Brendan Grace
  • TV presenter Emily Hartridge
  • James Bond actor David Hedison
  • Emmerdale actor Freddie Jones
  • British actor Jeremy Kemp
  • Japanese boy band mogul Johnny Kitagawa
  • Racing pundit John McCririck
  • Actress Danika McGuigan
  • Former child actress Denise Nickerson
  • Composer Barrington Pheloung
  • Irish actor Karl Shiels
  • This Country actor Michael Sleggs
  • Minnie Mouse voice actress Russi Taylor
  • Men in Black star Rip Torn


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Easy Rider actor Peter Fonda, author Toni Morrison and Home and Away actor Ben Unwin were among those who departed in August. We also lost:

  • Village People co-creator Henri Belolo
  • Doctor Who writer Terrance Dicks
  • Kinks keyboardist Ian Gibbons
  • Composer Jonathan Goldstein
  • US actress Valerie Harper
  • Australian actress Ningali Lawford-Wolf
  • Entertainer Joe Longthorne
  • Film-maker DA Pennebaker
  • Actress Anna Quayle
  • Actress Sheila Steafel
  • Animator Richard Williams


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September saw the lights go down on playwright Peter Nichols, opera singer Jessye Norman and The Cars’ Ric Ocasek. We also lost:

  • Star Trek actor Aron Eisenberg
  • Songwriter LaShawn Daniels
  • Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter
  • Porn star Jessica Jaymes
  • Cult musician Daniel Johnston
  • Photographer Peter Lindbergh
  • US singer Eddie Money
  • BBC journalist Hanna Yusuf


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Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell, Chinatown producer Robert Evans and newsreader Peter Sissons were among October’s dearly departed. We also lost:

  • Ballet dancer Alicia Alonso
  • Cream drummer Ginger Baker
  • Literary critic Harold Bloom
  • Saved by the Bell creator Sam Bobrick
  • US actress Diahann Carroll
  • Sax player Malcolm ‘Molly’ Duncan
  • Jackie Brown actor Robert Forster
  • Czech singer Karel Gott
  • Last of the Summer Wine actress Juliette Kaplan
  • BBC World Service presenter Julian Keane
  • Eddie and the Hot Rods singer Barrie Masters
  • Hitchhiker’s Guide actor Stephen Moore
  • Journalist Deborah Orr
  • South Korean pop star Sulli
  • Neighbours creator Reg Watson
  • US actor-comedian John Witherspoon


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On a single day in November, it was confirmed that Australian broadcaster Clive James, theatre director Jonathan Miller and celebrity chef Gary Rhodes had died. We also lost:

  • News presenter Tazeen Ahmad
  • US composer Irving Burgie
  • Irish broadcaster Gay Byrne
  • Last of the Summer Wine actress Jean Fergusson
  • Glee actress Jane Galloway Heitz
  • Model and actor Godfrey Gao
  • Child star Laurel Griggs
  • K-Pop artist Goo Hara
  • Gladiator producer Branko Lustig
  • Photographer Terry O’Neill
  • Film producer Nik Powell
  • The Archers actor Colin Skipp
  • Singer-songwriter Iain Sutherland
  • Irish actor Niall Tóibín
  • Hedd Wyn director Paul Turner


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In the last month of 2019, we said goodbye to nature broadcaster David Bellamy, actor Tony Britton and singer Kenny Lynch. We also lost:

  • Do The Right Thing actor Danny Aiello
  • Star Trek actor Rene Auberjonois
  • James Bond actress Claudine Auger
  • Rev David Coles, Rev Richard Coles’s civil partner
  • Star Trek writer DC Fontana
  • Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson
  • Giffords Circus co-founder Nell Gifford
  • Scottish artist Norman Gilbert
  • TV producer Leonard Goldberg
  • TV actor Nicky Henson
  • Composer Jerry Herman
  • South Korean actor Cha In-ha
  • Monty Python songwriter Neil Innes
  • Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons
  • US rapper Juice Wrld
  • French actress Anna Karina
  • Screenwriter Barrie Keeffe
  • Emmerdale actress Sheila Mercier
  • Will and Grace actress Shelley Morrison
  • Singer Andrew ‘Greedy’ Smith
  • Sesame Street puppeteer Caroll Spinney

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