Celebrity deaths in 2023: Remembering the stars we lost this year

28 November 2023, 17:16 | Updated: 30 November 2023, 15:16

Celebrities who died in 2023
Celebrities who died in 2023. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

In memoriam: Looking back at the famous faces we've sadly said goodbye to in 2023.

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From actors to musicians to athletes, here are some of the most high-profile and inspirational stars who have passed away this year.

  1. Jeff Beck

    Jeff Beck
    Jeff Beck. Picture: Getty

    Jeff Beck died on January 10, 2023, after contracting bacterial meningitis, aged 78.

    He was one of the most influential rock guitarists of all time, who played with the Yardbirds, the Jeff Beck Group, and Beck, Bogert & Appice. He also pioneered the use of feedback, distortion, and other effects in his guitar playing, and explored various genres and styles, such as blues rock, jazz fusion, and instrumental rock.

    He won several Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.

  2. Tatjana Patitz

    Tatjana Patitz
    Tatjana Patitz. Picture: Getty

    Tatjana Patitz was a German supermodel who died of breast cancer on January 11, 2023, at the age of 56.

    She was famous for being one of the original “supermodels” in the late 1980s and early 1990s, appearing on the iconic British Vogue cover with Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington, and starring in George Michael’s 'Freedom '90' music video. She was also an avid advocate of animal rights and conservation.

  3. Lisa Marie Presley

    Lisa Marie Presley
    Lisa Marie Presley. Picture: Getty

    Lisa Marie Presley was the only child of Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley, and a singer and songwriter in her own right.

    She died on January 12, 2023, at the age of 54, from complications of a small bowel obstruction caused by scar tissue from a previous weight-loss surgery.

    She was known for her three studio albums: To Whom It May Concern (2003), Now What (2005) and Storm & Grace (2012), as well as her duets with her father using his recordings.

    She was also famous for her four marriages to Danny Keough, Michael Jackson, Nicolas Cage and Michael Lockwood. She is survived by her four children, including actress Riley Keough.

  4. David Crosby

    David Crosby
    David Crosby. Picture: Getty

    David Crosby was a legendary singer-songwriter and a founding member of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

    He died on January 18, 2023, after a long illness. He had contracted COVID-19 twice.

    He was known for his folk rock and psychedelia music and his outspoken personality.

  5. Burt Bacharach

    Burt Bacharach
    Burt Bacharach. Picture: Getty

    Burt Bacharach was a renowned American composer, songwriter, and pianist who wrote hundreds of pop songs, many in collaboration with lyricist Hal David.

    He died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, at the age of 94.

    He was known for his orchestral pop style and his hits such as 'I Say a Little Prayer', 'Walk On By', and 'Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head'. He won six Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards, and one Emmy Award for his music.

  6. Racquel Welch

    Racquel Welch in 2008
    Racquel Welch in 2008. Picture: Getty

    Raquel Welch died on February 15, 2023, at the age of 82, of cardiac arrest. She also had Alzheimer’s disease.

    She was most famous for being an actress and model who became an international sex symbol in the 1960s and 1970s. She starred in films such as One Million Years B.C., Bedazzled, and The Three Musketeers, and won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in the latter.

  7. John Motson

    John Motson
    John Motson. Picture: Getty

    John Motson was a legendary football commentator who worked for the BBC for 50 years. He died on February 23, 2023, at the age of 77, in his sleep.

    He was famous for his distinctive voice, his sheepskin coat, and his encyclopaedic knowledge of the game. He commentated on over 2,000 games on television and radio, including 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships, and 29 FA Cup finals. He was widely regarded as one of the best and most influential commentators of all time.

  8. Chaim Topol

    Chaim Topol
    Chaim Topol. Picture: Getty

    Chaim Topol was an Israeli actor, singer, and illustrator who died on March 8, 2023, at the age of 87 in Tel Aviv, after a multi-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

    He was best known for his portrayal of Tevye, the lead role in the stage musical Fiddler on the Roof and the 1971 film adaptation, for which he won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar.

    He also appeared in films such as Flash Gordon and For Your Eyes Only.

  9. Mystic Meg

    Mystic Meg
    Mystic Meg. Picture: Alamy

    Mystic Meg was a famous astrologer who wrote horoscopes for The Sun and appeared on the National Lottery TV show.

    She died on March 9, 2023 at the age of 80, after being admitted to hospital with flu.

  10. Lance Reddick

    Lance Reddick
    Lance Reddick. Picture: Getty

    Lance Reddick was an American actor and musician who died of natural causes on March 17, 2023, at the age of 60.

    He was best known for his roles as Charon in the John Wick movie franchise and as Cedric Daniels in the HBO series The Wire.

    He was a talented artist who studied classical music and earned a SAG Award nomination in 20212. He is survived by his wife and two children.

  11. Paul O'Grady

    Paul O'Grady
    Paul O'Grady. Picture: Getty

    Paul O’Grady was a British TV presenter and comedian who died on March 28, 2023, aged 67.

    He died from sudden cardiac arrhythmia, a condition that causes the heart to beat irregularly and stop pumping blood.

    He was most famous for his drag queen persona Lily Savage, which he performed on stage and TV shows such as Blankety Blank and The Paul O’Grady Show. He was also a passionate animal lover and hosted For the Love of Dogs, a documentary series about Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

  12. Paul Cattermole

    Paul Cattermole
    Paul Cattermole. Picture: Getty

    Paul Cattermole was a member of the pop band S Club 7, which had many hits in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

    He died on April 6, 2023, at the age of 46, from natural causes related to heart problems.

    He had been planning to join his former bandmates for a reunion tour later that year. He was remembered as a beloved son, brother and friend by his family and fans.

  13. Mark Sheehan

    Mark Sheehan
    Mark Sheehan. Picture: Getty

    Mark Sheehan was a guitarist and co-founder of the Irish rock band The Script.

    He died on April 14, 2023 at the age of 46, after a brief, undisclosed illness.

    He was known for his musical talent and his heartfelt songs, such as 'If You Could See Me Now', which addressed the death of his parents and bandmate’s father.

    He had a successful career with The Script, who had six number one albums in the UK and a number three album in the US.

  14. Len Goodman

    Len Goodman
    Len Goodman. Picture: Getty

    Len Goodman was a former judge on Dancing with the Stars and Strictly Come Dancing, who died on April 22, 2023, at the age of 78.

    He had been diagnosed with bone cancer. He passed away peacefully in a hospice in Kent, surrounded by his family.

    He was known for his dance expertise, humour, and catchphrases on the popular dance shows.

  15. Barry Humphries

    Barry Humphries
    Barry Humphries. Picture: Getty

    Barry Humphries was an Australian comedian, actor, author and satirist who died on April 22, 2023 at the age of 89.

    He was best known for creating and playing his stage and television characters Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson, who were outrageous caricatures of Australian suburban and political culture.

    He also performed in many stage productions, films and television shows, and wrote several books. He was a master of disguise and provocation, and a pioneer of the one-man show.

  16. Harry Belafonte

    Harry Belafonte
    Harry Belafonte. Picture: Getty

    Harry Belafonte was a famous American singer, actor and activist who popularized calypso music and fought for various causes such as civil rights, anti-apartheid and AIDS awareness.

    He died on April 25, 2023, at the age of 96, of congestive heart failure at his New York home.

    He was known for his songs like 'Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)' and 'Mary's Boy Child' and his films like Carmen Jones.

    He was a mentor and friend of Martin Luther King Jr and supported many other social movements around the world.

  17. Jerry Springer

    Jerry Springer
    Jerry Springer. Picture: Getty

    Jerry Springer was a TV presenter and former mayor of Cincinnati who died of pancreatic cancer on April 27, 2023, aged 79.

    He was most famous for his controversial talk show, The Jerry Springer Show, which featured outrageous guests and topics, often involving fights, infidelity and profanity.

    He also hosted other shows such as America’s Got Talent and Judge Jerry. He was born in London during World War II and moved to the US as a child. He had a long career in politics and journalism before becoming a TV icon and a cultural phenomenon.

  18. Gordon Lightfoot

    Gordon Lightfoot
    Gordon Lightfoot. Picture: Getty

    Gordon Lightfoot was a Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist who died on May 1, 2023, of natural causes at the age of 84.

    He was famous for his folk, folk-rock, and country music that helped define the sound of the 1960s and 1970s. Some of his most popular songs include 'If You Could Read My Mind', 'Sundown', and 'The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald'.

  19. Tina Turner

    Tina Turner
    Tina Turner. Picture: Getty

    Tina Turner was a legendary singer and actress who died on May 24, 2023, at the age of 83.

    She had battled cancer, a stroke, and kidney failure in the previous years.

    She was known as the 'Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll' and had a successful career as both a member of the duo Ike & Tina Turner and a solo artist. She had many hits such as 'What’s Love Got to Do with It', 'Proud Mary', and 'The Best'.

    She also acted in films such as Tommy and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. She was one of the best-selling recording artists of all time and won eight Grammy Awards.

  20. Glenda Jackson

    Glenda Jackson, 1990
    Glenda Jackson, 1990. Picture: Getty

    Glenda Jackson was a British actress and politician who died on June 15, 2023 at the age of 87 after a short illness.

    She won two Oscars for her roles in Women in Love and A Touch of Class. She also served as a Labour MP for 23 years and later returned to acting, winning a Bafta for Elizabeth Is Missing. She was known for her fearless and versatile performances on stage and screen.

  21. Alan Arkin

    Alan Arkin
    Alan Arkin. Picture: Getty

    Alan Arkin was a versatile and acclaimed actor and filmmaker who died on June 29, 2023 at the age of 89.

    He won an Oscar for his role as the foul-mouthed grandfather in Little Miss Sunshine and was nominated for three other Academy Awards. He also starred in films such as The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, Wait Until Dark, Argo, and The Kominsky Method.

  22. Jane Birkin

    Jane Birkin
    Jane Birkin. Picture: Getty

    Jane Birkin was a British-French singer, actress and fashion icon who died on July 16, 2023 at the age of 76.

    She was most famous for her musical and romantic partnership with Serge Gainsbourg, with whom she recorded the controversial song 'Je t’aime… moi non plus' in 1968.

    She also inspired the Hermès Birkin handbag, which is popular around the world.

  23. Tony Bennett

    Tony Bennett
    Tony Bennett. Picture: Getty

    Tony Bennett was an American jazz and traditional pop singer who died on July 21, 2023, in New York.

    He had Alzheimer’s disease since 2016.

    He was famous for songs like 'I Left My Heart in San Francisco' and won 20 Grammys. He also collaborated with stars like Lady Gaga and Frank Sinatra.

  24. George Alagiah

    George Alagiah
    George Alagiah. Picture: Getty

    George Alagiah was a British newsreader, journalist and TV presenter who died from cancer on July 24, 2023, aged 67.

    He was one of the BBC’s longest-serving and most respected journalists, presenting the BBC News at Six for 20 years.

    He was awarded an OBE in 2008 for his services to journalism. He was known for his kindness, empathy and humanity.

  25. Paul Reubens

    Paul Reubens
    Paul Reubens. Picture: Getty

    Paul Reubens was an American actor and comedian who created and played the character Pee-wee Herman.

    He died on July 30, 2023, at the age of 70, from acute hypoxic respiratory failure, having battled two forms of cancer.

    He was best known for his Pee-wee Herman stage show, movies, and TV series, which were popular with both children and adults.

  26. Sinead O'Connor

    Sinead O'Connor
    Sinead O'Connor. Picture: Getty

    Sinéad O’Connor was an Irish singer and activist who died on July 26, 2023 at the age of 56.

    She was most famous for her single 'Nothing Compares 2 U', written by Prince, which reached number one in many countries in 1990.

    She was also known for her controversial protest against child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, when she tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II on live TV in 1992.

  27. Michael Parkinson

    Michael Parkinson
    Michael Parkinson. Picture: Getty

    Sir Michael Parkinson was a renowned broadcaster and chat show host who died on 16 August 2023 from a short illness. He was 88 years old.

    He was famous for his long-running TV programme Parkinson, where he interviewed some of the most influential and celebrated figures in the world, such as Muhammad Ali, Fred Astaire, David Attenborough, and Elton John.

    He was also a journalist and a cricket enthusiast. He was widely regarded as the king of the chat show and a master of his profession. He received many awards and honours for his work, including a knighthood in 2008.

  28. Mike Yarwood

    Mike Yarwood
    Mike Yarwood. Picture: Getty

    Mike Yarwood was a famous comedian and impressionist who died on September 8, 2023, at the age of 82.

    The exact cause of his death is not known, but he had suffered from alcoholism and depression after his career declined in the 1980s.

    He was best known for his impersonations of political figures such as Harold Wilson and Ted Heath, as well as celebrities like Prince Charles and Frank Spencer. He had a record-breaking TV show that attracted more than 20 million viewers in the 1970s. He was one of the greats of British comedy and entertainment.

  29. David McCallum

    David McCallum
    David McCallum. Picture: Getty

    David McCallum was a Scottish actor and musician who died of natural causes on September 25, 2023 at the age of 90.

    He was most famous for playing secret agent Illya Kuryakin in the 1960s TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and medical examiner Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard in the long-running show NCIS.

    He also appeared in films such as The Great Escape and recorded albums with producer David Axelrod. He was beloved by many fans and colleagues for his warmth and talent.

  30. Michael Gambon

    Michael Gambon
    Michael Gambon. Picture: Getty

    Michael Gambon was a renowned Irish-English actor who died on September 27, 2023 at the age of 82. He had pneumonia and passed away with his wife and son by his side in Essex.

    He was famous for his versatile roles in theatre, film and television, especially as Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series. He won many awards and was knighted for his services to drama.

  31. Richard Roundtree

    Richard Roundtree
    Richard Roundtree. Picture: Getty

    Richard Roundtree was an actor who became the first black action star when he played John Shaft in the film Shaft and its sequels.

    He also appeared in many TV shows, such as Roots and Desperate Housewives.

    He died of pancreatic cancer at his home in Los Angeles on October 24, 2023, at the age of 81.

    He was credited with having an impact on the rise of African American leading actors in Hollywood and influencing cinematic depictions of Black men and masculinity.

  32. Bobby Charlton

    Bobby Charlton
    Bobby Charlton. Picture: Getty

    Bobby Charlton was an English football legend who died on October 21, 2023 at the age of 86. He died after an accidental fall at a care home where he was living with dementia.

    He was famous for being a member of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup and the Ballon d’Or in the same year. He was also a star player for Manchester United, winning three league titles and a European Cup. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.

  33. Haydn Gwynne

    Haydn Gwynne
    Haydn Gwynne. Picture: Getty

    Haydn Gwynne was an English actress who died of cancer on October 20, 2023, aged 66.

    She was known for her roles in TV shows such as Drop the Dead Donkey, Peak Practice, The Windsors, and The Crown, as well as her stage performances in Billy Elliot the Musical and The Audience.

    She was a versatile and talented performer who won several awards and nominations for her work. She was also fluent in French and Italian and taught English in Italy before becoming an actor.

  34. Matthew Perry

    Matthew Perry
    Matthew Perry. Picture: Getty

    Matthew Perry was an American and Canadian actor who died on October 28, 2023 at the age of 54.

    He was best known for playing Chandler Bing on the TV sitcom Friends.

    The cause of his death is still unknown, but he had a history of substance addiction and health issues.

    His co-stars and fans paid tribute to his talent and legacy.

  35. Joss Ackland

    Joss Ackland
    Joss Ackland. Picture: Getty

    Joss Ackland was a British actor who died on November 19, 2023 at the age of 95. He had been suffering from motor neurone disease for several years before his death.

    He was known for his many and varied film, TV and stage roles in a career that spanned more than 70 years. Some of his most famous roles were in White Mischief, Lethal Weapon 2, The Hunt for Red October and Evita.

  36. Shane MacGowan

    Shane MacGowan At His Parents' Home
    Shane MacGowan At His Parents' Home. Picture: Getty

    The Pogues singer Shane MacGowan died on November 30, aged 65.

    The Irish performer had been battling various illnesses. He was best known for songs including 'Fairytale of New York' and 'A Pair of Brown Eyes'.