Celebrity deaths in 2022: The stars we lost over the last 12 months

We've said goodbye to some absolute legends over the last 12 months

June Brown, Tom Parker and Angela Lansbury all passed away in 2022. (PA/Getty)
June Brown, Tom Parker and Angela Lansbury all passed away in 2022. (PA/Getty)

This year has seen the sad loss of many a big name from the worlds of music, acting and entertaining.

EastEnders legend June Brown, The Wanted's Tom Parker, newsreader Bill Turnbull, and screen and stage star Dame Angela Lansbury were amongst the celebrities we said goodbye to in 2022.

Here are some of the biggest stars who died over the last 12 months.

Sidney Poitier

SANTA MONICA, CA - JULY 20:  Actor Sidney Poitier attends the opening night of
Sidney Poitier (FilmMagic)

Date: 6 January

Age: 94

Sidney Poitier was the first Black and Bahamian man to win a best actor Oscar, with his award-winning role in 1963's Lilies of the Field paving the way for generations of Black actors after him.

His other notable roles included earlier film The Defiant Ones, where in 1958 he had become the first Black man to be nominated for a best actor Oscar.

Meat Loaf

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 20: Meat Loaf joins the cast as a special guest as he visits the musical
Meat Loaf (WireImage)

Date: 20 January

Age: 74

Meat Loaf was best known for his album Bat Out of Hell, which is among the top best-selling albums in US history, selling more than 14 million copies, and his career spanning six decades also included a 1993 Grammy Award for his song I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That).

Read more: When Meat Loaf tried to push Prince Andrew into a moat

The singer appeared in 65 films and was well-known for playing the role of Eddie in the 1975 cult-classic Rocky Horror Picture Show, as well as on stage, and for featuring in Wayne's World.

Barry Cryer

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 07: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Barry Cryer attends a Service of Thanksgiving for the Life and Work of comedian Ronnie Corbett at Westminster Abbey on June 7, 2017 in London, England. Ronnie Corbett died in March 2016 aged 85. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Barry Cryer (Getty Images)

Date: 25 January

Age: 86

Writer, comedian and actor Barry Cryer was known for contributing to long-running Radio 4 comedy gameshow I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue.

He worked with and wrote for household names in comedy including Ronnie Corbett, Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise.

Jamal Edwards

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 09:  Jamal Edwards attends the launch of the MR PORTER own label, Mr P, on November 9, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for MR PORTER)
Jamal Edwards attends the launch of the MR PORTER own label, 2017. (Getty Images for MR PORTER)

Date: 20 February

Age: 31

Jamal Edwards was the founder of music platform SBTV that gave a voice to emerging artists and featured some huge names before they were stars, including Stormzy, Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora and Emeli Sande.

He was also the son of Loose Women star and singer Brenda Edwards, who has spoken about the shock of his unexpected death at her house and has vowed to help his work in the music industry and with The Prince's Trust continue.

Shane Warne

Pundit Shane Warne wears red in aid of the Ruth Strauss Foundation during day two of the Ashes Test match at Lord's, London.
Shane Warne (PA)

Date: 4 March

Age: 52

Australian cricketer Shane Warne was regarded as one of the sport's best bowlers in history, and as well as representing his country he played for teams in Australia, England and India.

Warne had been engaged to Elizabeth Hurley but split from her in 2013, and at the time of his death he was on holiday in Ko Samui, Thailand.

Lynda Baron

Television's favourite tight-fisted shopkeeper, A E Arkwright, who is Ronnie Barker, with co-stars Lynda Baron (Nurse Gladys) and David Jason (Arkwright's nephew/assisstant Granville) outside the shop during a break in filming Open All Hours in Doncaster.   (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Lynda Baron (centre) as Nurse Gladys with Ronnie Barker and David Jason during a break in filming Open All Hours. (PA Images via Getty Images)

Date: 5 March

Age: 82

Best known for her roles as Nurse Gladys in Open All Hours and Auntie Mabel in Come Outside, Lynda Baron had a long television career that also included The Two Ronnies, Last of the Summer Wine and EastEnders.

She reprised her role in the later comedy reboot Still Open All Hours, starring alongside David Jason once more.

Taylor Hawkins

Taylor Hawkins
Taylor Hawkins (Getty)

Date: 25 March

Age: 50

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins had joined the band in 1997 and was close friends with frontman Dave Grohl, but his career also included working with Alanis Morissette and Brian May.

He was on tour with Foo Fighters in South America at the time of his death in his hotel room ahead of a show, and had been due to continue a tour around North America.

Tom Parker

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 21:  Tom Parker of The Wanted performs onstage during the iHeartRadio Music Festival Village on September 21, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Clear Channel)
Tom Parker of The Wanted performs onstage during the iHeartRadio Music Festival Village, 2013. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Clear Channel)

Date: 30 March

Age: 33

The Wanted singer Tom Parker had shared his diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumour with fans in 2020 and went on to raise awareness of his condition through TV appearances and documentaries over the next 18 months.

Read more: Kelsey Parker making documentary about grief

He even managed to join his bandmates on stage for a tour date during the last few weeks of his life, and left behind two young children with wife Kelsey.

June Brown

June Brown
June Brown (Getty)

Date: 3 April

Age: 95

EastEnders icon June Brown first appeared in the BBC soap in 1985 and her character Dot Cotton is remembered as one of the best known residents of Albert Square.

Read more: Dot's most memorable moments

She was fondly remembered by castmates in a special tribute episode featuring Dot's funeral after Brown's death which welcomed back some of her old co-stars from decades past.

Dennis Waterman

Dennis Waterman sitting in pub restaurant wearing blue shirt
Dennis Waterman (Alamy)

Date: 8 May

Age: 74

Actor and singer Dennis Waterman was best known for his role in The Sweeney, and also in Minder and New Tricks which he sang the theme tunes for, too.

He was married four times, including an 11-year marriage to Rula Lenska, and was living in Madrid with fourth wife Pam at the time of his death, having emigrated there after New Tricks ended.

Kay Mellor

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16: Leading TV writer Kay Mellor wears her OBE at Buckingham Palace following the investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on February 16, 2010 in London, England. Mellor, who was behind hit series such as Band Of Gold and Fat Friends, received her award from the Prince of Wales. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool / Getty Images)
Kay Mellor (Getty Images)

Date: 15 May

Age: 71

Screenwriter, producer and director Kay Mellor's best known work was in creating TV dramas Band of Gold, Children's Ward, Playing the Field, The Syndicate and Fat Friends, the series that made a star of James Corden.

Mellor's career began in writing for Coronation Street and Brookside and she also appeared as an actor, including in her own adaptation of Jane Eyre.

Her long marriage began when she was a teenager and they had two daughters, one of which is the actor Gaynor Faye.

Ray Liotta

RELEASE DATE: September 19, 1990  MOVIE TITLE: Goodfellas   STUDIO: CBS   DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese  PLOT: The story of Irish-Italian American, Henry Hill, and how he lives day-to-day life as a member of the Mafia. Based on a true story, the plot revolves around Henry and his two unstable friends Jimmy and Tommy as they gradually climb the ladder from petty crime to violent murders.   PICTURED: RAY LIOTTA as Henry Hill.   (Credit Image: © Warner Bros. Pictures/Entertainment Pictures/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Ray Liotta as Henry Hill in Goodfellas. (Warner Bros.)

Date: 26 May

Age: 67

Ray Liotta was best known for his appearance in Goodfellas, but his other credits included Hannibal, Field of Dreams, Marriage Story, and he is set to star in the forthcoming horror Cocaine Bear.

At the time of his death, Liotta was in the Dominican Republic filming Dangerous Waters, and passed away in his sleep.

Lester Piggott

Lester Piggott riding 'Free Guest', goes to the post for the last time as a jockey before he retires, at Newbury racecourse for the start of the St. Simon Stakes. He finished second.   (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Lester Piggott riding 'Free Guest' post for the last time as a jockey before he retired. (PA Images via Getty Images)

Date: 29 May

Age: 86

Lester Piggott was recognised as one of the best flat racing jockeys of all time, with a record nine Epsom Derby victories under his belt.

He served time in prison for tax fraud in the 80s, but came out of retirement in the 90s to resume his career as a jockey and trainer.

Dame Deborah James

Deborah James
Deborah James (PA)

Date: 28 June

Age: 40

Cancer campaigner Dame Deborah James was working as a teacher until her diagnosis with bowel cancer, when she began writing a column for The Sun about her experiences and co-hosted BBC podcast You, Me and the Big C.

She regularly appeared on TV raising awareness about bowel cancer symptoms right up until her final weeks and was made a Dame by Prince William who visited her at her parents' home towards the end of her life.

Read more: Lorraine Kelly pays tribute to Deborah James

The mum-of-two's charity Bowelbabe Fund had raised nearly £7m by the time of her death.

James Caan

LOS ANGELES - MARCH 15: James Caan as Santino 'Sonny' Corleone in 'The Godfather, ' the movie based on the novel by Mario Puzo and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Initial theatrical release on March 15, 1972. Screen capture. Paramount Pictures. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
James Caan as Santino 'Sonny' Corleone in The Godfather. (CBS via Getty Images)

Date: 6 July

Age: 82

Tough guy film star James Caan appeared in more than 90 films, including notable roles in The Godfather and Misery.

Caan was Oscar nominated for his Godfather performance, something he was closely associated with for the rest of his career, and is also remembered for his role in Christmas favourite Elf.

Bernard Cribbins

Bernard Cribbins
Bernard Cribbins (PA)

Date: 27 July

Age: 93

Actor and singer Bernard Cribbins was known for starring in the Carry On films, releasing hit novelty singles including Right Said Fred, and playing a Doctor Who companion to Peter Cushing's Time Lord.

His children's TV work included many appearances as a reader for Jackanory, narrating The Wombles, and starring in Old Jack's Boat.

Dame Olivia Newton-John

ÂMELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 16:  Olivia Newton-John during the annual Wellness Walk and Research Runon September 16, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. The annual event, now in it's sixth year, raises vital funds to support cancer research and wellness programs at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in Victoria.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Olivia Newton-John (Getty Images)

Date: 8 August

Age: 73

Although singer and actor Dame Olivia Newton-John emigrated to Australia with her family when she was five, she was born in Cambridge.

Newton-John became best known for her starring role in the musical film Grease alongside John Travolta, enjoying chart success with songs from the film as well as solo hits with Physical, I Honestly Love You, and further music from her 1980 film Xanadu.

Read more: John Travolta pays tribute to Olivia Newton-John

She had breast cancer three times throughout her life and was a tireless campaigner in raising awareness of the disease.

Raymond Briggs

File photo dated 29/05/08 of author Raymond Briggs in Hyde Park, London. Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, who is best known for the 1978 classic The Snowman, has died aged 88, his publisher Penguin Random House said. Issue date: Wednesday August 10, 2022.
Raymond Briggs (PA)

Date: 9 August

Age: 88

Children's author and illustrator Raymond Briggs was behind some of the UK's best loved classic stories, including The Snowman, Father Christmas and Fungus the Bogeyman.

Many of his books have been adapted for TV and theatre, with The Snowman a regular Christmas fixture on stage and screen, and his graphic novel Ethel & Ernest about his parents' lives was also adapted for TV.

Anne Heche

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 12: Anne Heche attends the 74th Annual Directors Guild of America Awards at The Beverly Hilton on March 12, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Anne Heche (FilmMagic)

Date: 11 August

Age: 53

Hollywood star Anne Heche found box office fame in the late 90s with roles in films including Donnie Brasco, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and Six Days, Seven Nights, and was the former partner of Ellen DeGeneres.

Heche had crashed her car in two more minor incidents on the day of her catastrophic accident, and in a third crash drove through a house wall with her car becoming embedded in the wall, trapping her inside.

It took 59 firefighters to put out the blaze caused by the crash, where she suffered serious brain injuries, and nine days later her life support was switched off.

Darius Campbell Danesh

Darius Danesh has died aged 41. (Getty)
Darius Campbell Danesh (Getty)

Date: 11 August

Age: 41

Singer and theatre star Darius Campbell Danesh first found fame auditioning for Popstars in 2001, but was much more successful in Pop Idol the following year when he came third and launched a pop career.

He went on to build a theatre career, starring in the opera Carmen after winning a series of Popstar to Opera Star, as well as a number of stage musicals, and was living in the US at the time of his death.

Bill Turnbull

Bill Turnbull revealed he has prostate cancer. (PA)
Bill Turnbull (PA)

Date: 31 August

Age: 66

Newsreader Bill Turnbull was a favourite with BBC Breakfast viewers, where his co-stars included Sian Williams, Susanna Reid and Louise Minchin.

Read more: Bill Turnbull 'kept my secret for 25 years'

He also presented Songs of Praise and a show on Classic FM, and took part in the third series of Strictly Come Dancing, as well as sharing his experiences of prostate cancer in TV appearances during his final years.


BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24:  Coolio enters the final Ultimate Big Brother 2010 House at Elstree Studios on August 24, 2010 in Borehamwood, England.  (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Coolio enters the final Ultimate Big Brother 2010 House. (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Date: 28 September

Age: 59

Rapper Coolio was best known for his hit Gangsta's Paradise which featured in 1995 film Dangerous Minds.

As well as his music career, he pivoted into a food show and recipe book Cookin' with Coolio, and made two controversial appearances on Celebrity Big Brother UK — the second of which saw his removal from the house after a row with other contestants.

Dame Angela Lansbury

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 05:  Angela Lansbury attends the
Angela Lansbury (Getty Images)

Date: 11 October

Age: 96

Star of stage and screen Dame Angela Lansbury's glittering career included the long-running murder mystery series Murder, She Wrote, film roles in Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Mary Poppins Returns, and Tony Awards for her theatre roles in Blithe Spirit, Gypsy and Sweeney Todd.

Although she was born in London, Lansbury spent much of her life in the US and had a hugely successful career on Broadway as well as in Hollywood.

Her final performance can be seen this December in the cast of Netflix's Glass Onion.

Robbie Coltrane

Robbie Coltrane (Credit: Getty)
Robbie Coltrane (Getty)

Date: 14 October

Age: 72

Robbie Coltrane is loved and remembered by younger fans for playing Hagrid in the Harry Potter films, but his career on screen spans a huge number of roles including the TV crime series Cracker, the comedy film Nuns On The Run, and the Bond films GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough.

Read more: Pierce Brosnan pays tribute to Robbie Coltrane

He last appeared in a major role for the Channel 4 series National Treasure in 2016 but had not worked on screen recently as he had been suffering from osteoarthritis - although he did appear in this year's Harry Potter Reunion.

Bill Treacher

File photo dated 16/08/96 of Bill Treacher as Arthur in Eastenders. Mr Treacher, who played Arthur Fowler in EastEnders, has died aged 92. The veteran actor was one of the BBC soap's original cast members and appeared from 1985 until 1996. He died late on Saturday night after suffering declining health for some time. Issue date: Tuesday November 8, 2022.
Bill Treacher as Arthur in Eastenders. (Alamy)

Date: 5 November

Age: 92

Former EastEnders star Bill Treacher was best known for playing Arthur Fowler in the BBC soap, which he joined for its very first episode and stayed in for 11 years.

His character was loved for his storylines with wife Pauline Fowler (Wendy Richard) but eventually asked to be written out of the show, saying: “By the time I finished, even the sound of the theme music was making me feel ill. I felt depressed."

Leslie Phillips

Leslie Phillips (Getty)
Leslie Phillips (Getty)

Date: 7 November

Age: 98

The Carry On cast lost another of its stars in November with the death of Leslie Phillips.

Well-spoken Phillips was also known for Doctor in the House and for his associated catchphrases, "ding dong" and "hell-llo", as well as in later years for being the voice of the sorting hat in the Harry Potter films.

Kirstie Alley

Kirstie Alley in Cheers. (Alamy)

Date: 6 December

Age: 71

Kirstie Alley, whose role as Rebecca Howe in the US sitcom Cheers propelled her to stardom in the 1980s and 1990s, died from cancer at the age of 71.

A statement from her family, posted on social media through her official accounts, described her as an “amazing mother and grandmother”.

Beyond Cheers, Alley starred in various films across the two decades, including Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Summer School (1987) Sibling Rivalry (1990), It Takes Two (1995), For Richer or Poorer (1997), and Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999).

Alley was also well-known for starring in the Look Who’s Talking series, alongside fellow Church of Scientology member John Travolta.

Ruth Madoc

Ruth Madoc attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall on 12 May, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Ruth Madoc at the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards, 2019. (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Date: 10 December

Age: 79

Ruth Madoc, best known for appearing in BBC sitcom Hi-de-Hi!, died at the age of 79 following a fall.

The actor became a household name playing chief yellowcoat Gladys Pugh in BBC One’s hugely successful TV series about a holiday camp in the late 1950s.

Her career also spanned an array of roles in theatre and musicals, from Fiddler On The Roof to Gypsy.

Her death came following a fall which led her to withdraw from performing in the pantomime Aladdin at the Princess Theatre in Torquay.

Terry Hall

LEEDS, ENGLAND - APRIL 30: Terry Hall of The Specials performs on stage at O2 Academy Leeds on April 30, 2019 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Andrew Benge/Redferns)
Terry Hall of The Specials performing on stage in 2019. (Andrew Benge/Redferns)

Date: 19 December

Age: 63

Terry Hall, lead singer of The Specials and Fun Boy Three, died at the age of 63 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

The singer-songwriter rose to fame as part of The Specials, who were pioneers of the ska scene in the UK.

A statement released the band’s official Twitter account said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing, following a brief illness, of Terry, our beautiful friend, brother and one of the most brilliant singers, songwriters and lyricists this country has ever produced."

During their time together, The Specials produced a string of hit records including A Message To You, Rudy, Rat Race and Ghost Town, which reached number one.

The band split in 1981, after which Hall, Golding and Staple went on to form Fun Boy Three, while Dammers and Bradbury released an album under the moniker The Special AKA, which spawned the hit single Free Nelson Mandela in 1984.

Maxi Jazz

NEWPORT, ISLE OF WIGHT - JUNE 10:  Maxi Jazz from Faithless headlines the Isle Of Wight Festival 2016 at Seaclose Park on June 10, 2016 in Newport, Isle of Wight.  (Photo by Rob Ball/WireImage)
Maxi Jazz from Faithless headlines the Isle Of Wight Festival 2016. (Rob Ball/WireImage)

Date: 24 December

Age: 65

Maxi Jazz, the lead singer of electronic band Faithless, died aged 65.

The musician and DJ, whose real name was Maxwell Fraser, was a core member of the dance group alongside Rollo and Sister Bliss – and together released a number of hit tracks including Insomnia, God is a DJ and We Come 1.

Faithless formed in 1995 and produced seven studio albums, with their most recent release being 2020’s All Blessed.

They also released a number of compilation albums and have headlined some of the biggest festivals in the world, including on Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage in 2002.

The group were nominated for the Brit Award for best British dance act in 1999 and 2002.

Born in Brixton, Jazz also fronted a band of musicians named Maxi Jazz & The E-Type Boys and released music with the group Soul Food Cafe.

He also had a successful solo career and collaborated with music stars including Robbie Williams on 1 Giant Leap’s track My Culture.

Dame Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood, portrait, London, 1982. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
Vivienne Westwood, portrait, London, 1982. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

Date: 29 December

Age: 81

Dame Vivienne Westwood died at the age of 81.

The pioneering fashion designer made a name for herself on the fashion scene in the 1970s, with her androgynous designs, slogan t-shirts and irreverent attitude towards the establishment.

Dame Vivienne, who was born in Cheshire in 1941, is largely accepted as being responsible for bringing punk and new wave fashion into the mainstream with her eccentric creations.

Her designs were regularly worn by high-profile individuals including Dita Von Teese who wore a purple Westwood wedding gown to marry Marilyn Manson, and Princess Eugenie who wore three Westwood designs for various elements of the wedding of William and Kate Middleton.

Dame Vivienne’s designs also featured in the 2008 film adaptation of Sex And The City, starring Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw.

In addition to her work as a designer, Dame Vivienne was vocal in her support of a number of social and political initiatives including campaigning for the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is fighting to avoid being sent to the US to face charges under the Espionage Act.


Edson Arantes Do Nascimento Pele of Brazil celebrates the victory after winnings the 1970 World Cup in Mexico match between Brazil and Italy at Estadio Azteca on 21 June in Città del Messico. Mexico (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)
Pele of Brazil celebrates the victory after winning the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. (Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Date: 29 December

Age: 82

Brazil great Pele died at the age of 82.

The three-time World Cup winner had been in hospital in Sao Paulo since late November. A message on Pele’s official social media accounts read: “Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pele, who peacefully passed away today.

“Love, love and love, forever.”

Pele burst on to the global scene as a 17-year-old at the 1958 World Cup, helping Brazil to the first of their record five successes in the competition.

Injury affected his contribution to the finals in 1962, when Brazil retained their title, and 1966, but he returned to lead his country to glory for a third time in Mexico in 1970, as part of what is widely regarded as the greatest line-up of all time.

He has endured a number of health issues in recent years, and in September 2021 underwent surgery to remove a tumour from his colon.

Watch: Tributes for Kirstie Alley