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Celebrities who died in 2023: All the stars we lost this year

May they live on in our memories.
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Every year comes with its own set of possibilities, unknowns, and challenges.

It’s the human condition to want to know what jewels and trials will be in store for us. However, in reality, we are mere passengers on a voyage into the unknown.

Whilst there will be many moments that will bring us joy, like a celebrity wedding or baby, there are always some heartbreaking breaking news stories like a beloved star passing away.

Whether they entertained us through song, acting, or merely their personality, saying goodbye to these stars can feel similar to farewelling family.

We are paying tribute to every star that passed away in 2023.

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Bill Granger

Bill Granger

Chef, restauranteur and writer Bill Granger passed away on 25 December 2023 aged 54, in a London hospital.

Bill is credited for raising the profile of Australian informal dining, he wrote 14 cookbooks, made 5 TV series, and ran a successful global restaurant business. Most recently he was honoured with the Medal of the Order of Australia in January 2023.

James McCaffrey

James McCaffrey

James McCaffrey passed away on 17 December 2023 aged 65, following a battle with cancer.

He was an actor best known for his work in Rescue Me and Viper.

(Image: Getty)

Colin Burgess

Colin Burgess

The AC/DC drummer passed away on 16 December 2023, aged 77.

Colin Burgess was the original drummer in AC/DC, and the news came via a statement from the Australian band which stated, “Very sad to hear of the passing of Colin Burgess. He was our first drummer and a very respected musician. Happy memories, rock in peace Colin.”

(Image: Herald Sun)

Shirley Barber

Shirley Barber

The British-Australian children’s book author died on 12 December 2023, aged 88.

Shirley was best known for her picture books about fairies and mermaids, namely Tooth Fairy, The Mermaid Princess and The Enchanted Woods, among others.

(Image: Getty)

Jeffrey Foskett

Jeffrey Foskett

The Beach Boys musician passed away on 11 December 2023, aged 67, due to anaplastic thyroid cancer.

Jeff joined The Beach Boys in the early ’80s and toured and recorded with the group many times.

(Image: Getty)

Andre Braugher

Andre Braugher

The beloved Brooklyn Nine-Nine star passed away on December 11th at the age of 61. It was revealed by Andre’s publicist that the actor had been recently diagnosed with lung cancer.

Also known for his roles on Homicide: Life on the Street, Men of a Certain Again, Thief and Law and Order: SVU, the Emmy award winning actor is survived by his wife Ami Brabson whom he married in 1991 and sons Michael, Isaiah, and John Wesley.

(Image: Getty)

Shane MacGowan

Shane MacGowan

London-Irish punk singer, Shane MacGowan sadly passed away aged 65.

He was considered a legend after transforming traditional Irish music with The Pogues, with some of the most beautiful ballards in the late 1980s. His wife, Victoria Mary Clarke announced the sad news to Instagram.

“Thank you for your presence in this world, you made it so very bright and you gave so much joy to so many people with your heart and soul and your music,” she wrote.

(Image: Getty)

Frances Sternhagen

Frances Sternhagen

Acclaimed stage and film actress, Frances Sternhagen has sadly passed away aged 93 on November 27, 2023.

Her son, John confirmed her death on Instagram: “Mom. Frances Sternhagen. On Monday night, Nov 27, she died peacefully at her home, a month and a half shy of her 94th birthday … Fly on, Frannie. The curtain goes down on a life so richly, passionately, humbly and generously lived,” he wrote.

Frances was a Tony award-winning actress known for Cheers, Misery, Sex and the City and the stage show Driving Miss Daisy.

(Image: Getty)

Suzanne Shepherd

Suzanne Shepherd

Suzanne passed away on November 17, aged 89. She was best known for her roles in The Sopranos and Goodfellas.

The announcement of her passing was shared via Facebook by actor and real estate agent Tom Titone, who revealed she “passed away peacefully.”

(Image: Getty)

Evan Ellingson

Evan Ellingson

Former child actor, Evan Ellingson passed away on November 5, aged 35.

At the time of his passing, Evan had been living in a sober living facility in Southern California. His father confirmed his passing to TMZ.

Evan was best known for his roles in My Sister’s Keeper and CSI: Miami.

(Image: Facebook)

Leslie Dayman

Leslie Dayman

Leslie sadly passed away aged 85, in October 2023.

He was one of Australia’s longest-working actors, more recognised for his role on E Street and Prisoner. His former co-star Mex Howard confirmed his passing on Facebook.

“Rest in Peace beautiful Les Dayman. Couldn’t have wished for a better on-screen dad in my E- Street days. Your gorgeous eyes always reminded me of my dads eyes so it was so lovely to play your daughter.”

“PS. Interesting fun fact- we shared the same birthday!”

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Cal Wilson

Cal Wilson

Cal Wilson has sadly passed away in hospital, aged 53.

Her agency released a statement on October 11 to say, “We are devastated to share the news that Cal Wilson, the much-loved stand-up comedian, writer and actor died today, surrounded by family and friends after a short illness at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. She was 53 years old.”

Cal Wilson was an extremely talented stand-up comedian, actress and writer originally from Christchurch, New Zealand.

(Image: Getty)

Sir Michael Gambon

Sir Michael Gambon

Sir Michael Gambon sadly passed away peacefully in the hospital, aged 82.

Michael’s publicist released a statement on behalf of his wife, Lady Gambon and son, Fergus.

“We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon. Beloved husband and father, Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia. Michael was 82,” it read.

“We ask that you respect our privacy at this painful time and thank you for your messages of support and love.”

Michael was known for his role as Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series.

(Image: Instagram)

Trisha Stratford

Trisha Stratford (left)

Former relationship expert on Married At First Sight Australia, Dr Trisha Stratford (left) has sadly passed away aged 72.

“We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Dr Trisha Stratford,” Channel 9 wrote in a statement following her death on September 18, 2023.

“Our sincerest condolences and heartfelt sympathies go out to her family and those closest during this difficult time.”

Upon the news of her passing, John Aiken (right) shared a tribute to Instagram, writing: “We shared an amazing seven seasons of MAFS together. She loved everything New Zealand, relationships, the All Blacks, the Black Caps, French wine and travelling the world. I’ll miss you Tish.”

(Image: Getty)

**Joy Chambers-Grundy**

Joy Chambers-Grundy

Former Neighbours star and TV WEEK Logie-award winning actress, Joy Chambers-Grundy has passed away aged 76.

Her family confirmed her passing on September 16, 2023 with the statement revealing:

“Joy has passed away in her sleep early this morning surrounded by loved ones,” it read.

“Joy will be remembered as a Logie award-winning actress, a best-selling author, a poet, a philanthropist and an exceptional businesswoman who worked alongside her husband to build one of the largest independent production companies in the world.”

She was known for playing Rosemary Daniels in the Australian soap and won Logies for Most Popular Female in 1969 and 1970.

(Image: Ten)

Charlie Newling

Charlie Newling

Former 2018 Bachelorette star Charlie Newling passed away in September, 2023 aged 36.

The reality star sadly passed away in a tragic car accident in Sydney’s Dover Heights on September 9. A police spokesman has confirmed to the Daily Mail that the crash was not being treated as suspicious.

(Image: Getty)

Steve Harwell

Steve Harwell

Former lead singer of Smash Mouth, Steve Harwell sadly passed away aged 56 in September 2023.

The rock group was known for their hit songs, All Star, I’m a Believer and Walkin’ on the Sun. Steve’s manager, Robert Hayes confirmed his passing in his Idaho home surrounded by friends and family.

His cause of death remains unknown but in the days prior to his death, Steve was receiving hospice car.

(Image: Getty)

Arleen Sorkin

Arleen Sorkin

Days of Our Lives star Arleen Sorkin who played Calliope Jones, has sadly passed away on August 24th aged 67.

Not only was Arleen in the iconic daytime TV show, but she also inspired and voiced the original Harley Quinn from Batman: The Animated Series.

Even though she may have lost her battle with multiple sclerosis, Arleen’s husband and two sons ask that any donations be made to the National MS Society.

(Image: Getty)

Michael Parkinson

Michael Parkinson

Popular British broadcaster, Michael Parkinson sadly passed away “peacefully” in his home, aged 88. The announcement of his passing was shared by his family via the BBC on August 17, 2023.

“After a brief illness Sir Michael Parkinson passed away peacefully at home last night in the company of his family,” the statement said.

“The family request that they are given privacy and time to grieve.”

(Image: Getty)

Bryan Randall

Bryan Randall

Sandra Bullock’s longtime partner Bryan Randall has sadly passed away on August 5, 2023.

A statement released by the family to People shared that the 57-year-old passed peacefully following a three-year battle with ALS.

“Bryan chose early to keep his journey with ALS private and those of us who cared for him did our best to honor his request,” read the statement.

(Image: Getty)

Angus Cloud

Angus Cloud

Trigger Warning: This article mentions mental health.

Angus Cloud, who became well known for his portrayal as Fezco in HBO’s Euphoria, sadly passed away at just 25 years old.

The news of his passing was shared on August 1, 2023 (in Australia) by his brother who shared a statement with The Times.

“it is with the heaviest heart that we had to say goodbye to an incredible human today,” it read.

“As an artist, a friend, a brother and a son, Angus was special to all of us in so many ways. Last week he buried his father and intensely struggled with this loss.

“The only comfort we have is knowing Angus is now reunited with his dad, who was his best friend. Angus was open about his battle with mental health and we hope that his passing can be a reminder to others that they are not alone and should not fight this on their own in silence.”

If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

(Image: Getty)

Sinead O’Connor

Irish singer Sinead O’Connor sadly passed away on July 26, aged 56.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad. Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time,” her family said in a statement via the BBC.

Best known for her 1990 single Nothing Compares 2 U, O’Connor continued to have a thriving music career that spanned almost four decades.

O’Connor’s cause of death is currently unknown.

(Image: Getty)

Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett sadly passed away on July 21, aged 96.

Anthony Dominick Benedetto, known professionally as Tony Bennett, was a renowned and awarded American singer of traditional pop standards, big band and jazz, with 20 Grammy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award and two Primetime Emmy Awards to his name.

A timeless crooner and musical icon, Tony Bennett’s velvety voice enchanted generations, transcending eras and genres. His jazz-inspired ballads and vivacious stage presence earned him adoration worldwide. Most recently, his work with Lady Gaga introduced him to a new generation of fans. In 2016 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and performed his last shows in August 2021.

(Image: Getty)

Jane Birkin

Jane Birkin sadly passed away on July 16, aged 76.

Jane had a prolific career as both an actress and singer, even earning ‘icon’ status in France simply because of the sheer number of French films she starred in.

She also became an influential figure in the fashion industry, thanks to her effortless beauty and unique style.

(Image: Getty)

Ray Stevenson

Ray Stevenson

Actor, Ray Stevenson has sadly passed away in Italy aged 58, just days before his 59th birthday.

His representative confirmed to Variety of his passing. However, there are no details regarding the cause of his death.

Ray was known for his roles in films including Punisher: War Zone, King Arthur, Thor and Divergent.

(Image: Instagram)

Monica Sirianni

Italian Big Brother contestant Monica Sirianni tragically died during a night out at a bar in Italy.

Originally from Sydney, the Australian former reality star reportedly collapsed in a nightclub in the Calabria region of southern Italy on May 5th before being rushed to hospital.

Siriani’s cause of death is currently unknown. She was 37 years old.

(Image: Facebook)

Tim Bachman

Tim Bachman

Co-founding guitarist and vocalist of Bachman-Turner Overdrive has died at age 71.

The news of his passing was shared to Facebook by Tim’s son, Paxton and had died following complications with cancer in his brain.

“My Dad passed this afternoon. Thank You Everyone for the kind words,” he wrote. “Grateful I got to spend some time with him at the end. Grab yer loved ones and hug em close, ya never know how long you have.”

(Image: Instagram)

Jock Zonrillo

New Masterchef Australia judge and chef, Jock Zonfrillo has sadly passed away aged 46.

The news of his passing was shared to Instagram on May 1, 2023. The post read: “With completely shattered hearts and without knowing how we can possibly move through life without him, we are devastated to share that Jock passed away yesterday.”

“So many words can describe him, so many stories can be told, but at this time we’re too overwhelmed to put them into words. For those who crossed his path, became his mate, or were lucky enough to be his family, keep this proud Scot in your hearts when you have your next whisky.”

“We implore you to please let us grieve privately as we find a way to navigate through this, and find space on the other side to celebrate our irreplaceable husband, father, brother, son and friend.”

The cause of Jock’s sudden passing remains unknown however a Victorian Police spokesperson has confirmed his death is not being treated as suspicious.

(Image: Getty)

Jerry Springer

Jerry Springer

Television host Jerry Springer passed away aged 79 following a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

The Springer family have encouraged fans to make a charitable donation in Jerry’s name in order to honour his legacy.

(Image: Getty)

Harry Belafonte

Singer, songwriter and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte has sadly passed at age 96.

His spokesperson revealed to the New York Times Harry’s cause of death was congestive heart failure. He was most known in his entertainment career for belting out Day O in his 1950s hit song Banana Boat.

(Image: Getty)

Barry Humphries

Barry Humphries

Barry Humphries, best known for his character of Dame Edna Everage, sadly passed away on April 22, 2023 at age 89.

Humphries had recently undergone a hip replacement surgery following a fall in his Sydney apartment in February.

‘It was the most ridiculous thing, like all domestic incidents are. I was reaching for a book, my foot got caught on a rug or something, and down I went’, Humphries told The Herald in March.

Humphries had been re-admitted to hospital on April 19 as a result of surgery complications, with his condition sadly deteriorating over the coming days.

(Image: Facebook)

Maxine Klibingaitis

Australian actress, Maxine Klibingaitis sadly passed away on April 18,2023. The news of her death was announced to Facebook by the TV series account, Partners In Crime where she played Bobbie Mitchell.

“We regrettably announce that actress Maxine Klibingaitis has passed away today…Maxine was only 58. We send our sincere condolences to her son, Zane and Maxine’s family & friends,” it read.

Maxine was also known for her role in Aussie soap series Neighbours, as Terri Inglis.

IMAGE: Getty

Mark Sheehan

Mark Sheehan

The Script co founder and guitarist Mark Sheehan died at the tender age of 46 on April 14th following a short illness.

A statement on the band’s official social media pages said that the powerhouse performer was a ”much loved husband, father, brother band mate and friend.”

(Images: Getty)

Dame Mary Quant

Dame Mary Quant

The acclaimed fashion designer passed peacefully at her home in Surrey on April 13th.

The entrepreneur revolutionised fashion in the late 50s and 60s, becoming particularly famous for her creation of the mini skirt.

(Images: Getty)

Lasse Wellander

Lasse Wellander

The long serving guitarist of ABBA passed away from cancer at the age of 70, ”surrounded by his loved ones,” his family said in a statement.

His former band mates paid tribute to his ”musical brilliance” in a statement shared to their social media account: ”Lasse was a dear friend, a fun guy and a superb guitarist. The importance of his creative input in the recording studio as well as his rock solid guitar work on stage was immense.”

”We mourn his tragic and premature death and remember the kind words, the sense of humour, the smiling face, the musical brilliance of the man who played such an integral role in the ABBA story. He will be deeply missed.”

Lasse played on the band’s biggest albums, also touring with ABBA between 1975 and 1980.

Most recently he played guitar on ABBA’s 2021 comeback album Voyage.

(Image: Art Gallery of New South Wales)

John Olson

John Olson

The acclaimed Australian artist died on Tuesday April 11th surrounded by family and friends.

He was best known for his distinctive depictions of landscapes and nature, with a career spanning more than 60 years.

His work was exhibition in galleries across the nation and internationally and was the winner of the Archibalf, Wynne and Sulman prizes.

John was also the recipient of an Order of Australia in 2001 (as well as an OBE in 1977), given in thanks to his contribution to the Australian art scene.

(Images: Getty)

Paul Cattermole

Paul Cattermole

S Club 7 band member Paul Cattermole died “unexpectedly” at the age of 46 on April 6th.

The singer, who weeks ago was confirmed to be part of an upcoming 25th anniversary tour, was found dead at his home in Dorset.

After four years with the seven-piece pop group, Paul left in 2002 to embark on a solo career, but later became a member of the spin-off group S Club Allstars.

(Image: Ten)

Doug Mulray

Doug Mulray

Iconic Australian comedian, television and radio presenter Doug Mulray died on March 30th at the age of 71.

Close friend and media commentator Peter Switzer confirmed that Doug passed away peacefully from liver cancer.

Affectionately known as ”Uncle Doug” nationwide, the radio juggernaut spent the majority of his career on Triple M.

Fellow radio personality Ben Fordham said that Doug was ”adored, outrageous and witty.”

”He was one of a kind, he was outrageous, he was politically incorrect, he was Doug Mulray,” Fordham said.

(Images: Seven/IMBD)

Peter Hardy

Peter Hardy

At just 66-years of age, actor Peter Hardy drowned whilst swimming at a Perth beach.

Hardy, who was based in London, was back visiting Australia when he was retrieved from the water unconscious at Fremantle’s South Beach on March 16.

The actor was best known for playing Phil Rakich in McLeod’s Daughters, and starred in a number of Australian television shows and movies in the 2000’s, including Chopper and Neighbours.

(Image: Getty)

Bobby Caldwell

Bobby Caldwell

Best known for hits such as Open Your Eyes and What You Won’t Do for Love, the R&B singer and songwriter passed away aged 71 after a length battle with an undisclosed illness.

His wife Mary was the first to confirm his passing, sharing the following statement to Twitter: ”Bobby passed away here at home. I held him tight in my arms as he left us. I am forever heartbroken. Thanks to all of you for your many prayers over the years.”

(Images: Nine/ABC)

Jeff Watson

Jeff Watson

Journalist and TV presenter Jeff Watson died aged 80 on February 22.

Best known for hosting shows Beyond 2000 and Getaway, he first became a familiar face in the 1970s as a reporter for ABC’s original current affairs program This Day Tonight.

He opened the first episode of Getaway in 1992, hosting the travel show until 1998.

(Images: Getty)

Raquel Welch

Raquel Welch

Golden Globe award winning actress Raquel Welch died aged 82 on February 16.

Welch’s manager said she died peacefully after “a brief illness”. However, a death certificate obtained by TMZ showed the official cause of death was cardiac arrest and also listed Alzheimer’s disease as a contributing condition to her tragic passing.

Welch shot to international fame when she played a sexy cavewoman in a fur bikini in 1966 hit One Million Years BC, despite only having three lines in the film.

Following her 1966 breakout, Raquel went on to star in more than 30 films over her career, as well as 50 television series, with her biggest accolade – a Golden Globe – being awarded for best actress in a comedy or musical for The Three Musketeers, in which she played the queen’s dressmaker.

(Image: Getty)

Annie Wersching

Annie Wersching

Annie passed away on January 29 from an undisclosed cancer at the age of 45.

She was best known for her roles in Star Trek: Enterprise, Supernatural, Angel, Charmed, Cold Case, CSI, Rizzoli & Isles, Hawai Five-O, The Vampire Diaries and performed the voice and motion capture for video game character Tess in The Last of Us.

(Image: Getty)

Tom Verlaine

Tom Verlaine

Best known as a singer, guitarist and songwriter for rock band Television, Tom passed away at the age of 73 after a brief illness.

(Images: Getty)

Burt Bacharach

Burt Bacharach

Legendary pop song writer and composer Burt Bacharach passed at the age of 94.

Bacharach hits included Say a Little Prayer and Walk on By and over his lifetime he won six Grammys and three Oscars and recorded 73 top 40 hits in the US and 52 in the UK.

He will be remembered as a genius in the creation of pop and easy listening music.

(Images: Getty)

Richard Belzer

Richard Belzer

Richard Belzer died at the age of 78 years old on February 19th.

He was best known for his role as BPD Detective, NYPD Detective/Sergeant, and DA Investigator John Munch, who he portrayed on Homicide: Life on the Street and more notably Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as well as guest appearances on other series.

He portrayed the character for an impressive 23 years, from 1993 until his retirement from acting in 2016.

(Images: Getty)

Renée Geyer

Renée Geyer

Australian soul singer Renée Geyer passed on January 17, aged 69.

Her death was due to complications following hip surgery.

Geyer had a successful music career, with her talents leading her to become a a sought-after vocalist and working with notable names including Sting, Joe Cocker and Chaka Khan. She was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2005.

(Images: Getty)

Gina Lollobrigida

Gina Lollobrigida

This Italian starlet was one of the last surviving actresses of the ‘Golden Age’ of cinema. She died in Rome, Italy on January 16th at the age of 95.

As one of the highest profile European actresses of the 1950s and 1960s, Gina was an international sex symbol and often described as ”the most beautiful woman in the world”.

Italy’s Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano wrote on Twitter: ”Farewell to a diva of the silver screen, protagonist of more than half a century of Italian cinema history. Her charm shall remain eternal.”

Gina is most known for her roles in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Trapeze and Never So Few opposite blues singer Frank Sinatra.

(Images: Getty)

Lisa Marie Presley

Lisa Marie Presley

The only child of Elvis Presley died after suffering a cardiac arrest at her home in California on January 12th. She was 54.

She was found unresponsive in her home by a housekeeper, with reports that her ex husband Danny Keough performed CPR until paramedics arrived.

She was taken to Southern California’s West Hills hospital, with medical professionals declaring she had gone into ”full arrest,” according to TMZ.

Despite being known as the only child of the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ Elvis Presley and actress Priscilla Presley, Lisa was also a singer, songwriter and philanthropist.

Elvis died when Lisa Marie was just nine years old, but Lisa Marie didn’t inherit the estate until she turned 25. She was Owner and Chairman of the Board of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. until she sold most of the estate in 2005.

She is survived by mother Priscilla, daughters Riley, Finley and Harper, and a grandchild through Riley – whose existence was only confirmed in a moving eulogy by Lisa’s son-in-law Ben Smith-Petersen.

At a funeral service held at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, more than a thousand mourners arrived in their mourning blacks. At its conclusion, Lisa was laid to rest in an above ground grave next to her son Benjamin Keough, who died by suicide in 2020, and alongside her grandparents and great grandmother.

”Our hearts are broken. Lisa, we all love you,” Priscilla said.

Daughter Riley thanked her mother for the fond memories they had shared: ”Thank you for showing me that love is the only thing that matters in this world.”

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