Dead Pool 2022 in Review

The past year saw a number of unexpected deaths of much-loved celebrities, along with the loss of veterans from the entertainment industry.

Here are some of those who were mourned during the past 12 months.


Sidney Poitier: The Bahamian-American Hollywood star, known for films including In the Heat of the Night, Blackboard Jungle and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, died aged 94. He was the first Black man to win the Oscar for best actor and US president Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey were among those who paid tribute to the “trailblazing” actor.

Meat Loaf: The American singer, known for hits such as “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” died at the age of 74. Meat Loaf, who was born Marvin Lee Aday but was also known as Michael, sold more than 100 million albums worldwide and starred in more than 65 movies during his career which spanned six decades. 

Barry Cryer: The veteran comedy writer and performer died aged 86 following a seven-decade career which saw him appear on stage, screen and radio. He penned jokes for legends of British comedy including Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett, Sir Billy Connolly and Tommy Cooper and had a long-running partnership with Sir David Frost, with their collaborations including BBC’s The Frost Report. 


Ivan Reitman: The influential filmmaker and producer behind beloved comedies from Animal House to Ghostbusters died aged 75. He also directed the 1979 summer camp flick Meatballs and a number of films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger including Twins, Kindergarten Cop and Junior.  

William Hurt: The actor, who starred as General Thaddeus Ross in several instalments of the Marvel Comic Universe, died aged 71. He also won the best actor Oscar and Bafta for Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1985 and was nominated for the Oscar for his roles in 1986’s Children of a Lesser God and 1987’s Broadcast News.

Anna Karen: Actor best known for playing the put-upon wife, Olive, in the 1970s sitcom On the Buses and its three spin-off feature films. Sadly she died in a house fire aged 85. 

Bamber Gascoigne: Writer, documentary-maker and broadcaster who was the popular quizmaster of University Challenge for 25 years. The polymath was ever irked by the fact that he was best known to the British public for the phrase: “Fingers on buzzers … your starter for 10,” although he never showed it. 


Taylor Hawkins: Hawkins, who had played in Foo Fighters, the band fronted by former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, for more than two decades, died aged 50. Musical stars from around the world paid tribute and a special concert featuring a star-studded line-up was held at Wembley Stadium and the Kia Forum in Los Angeles in his memory.  

Tom Parker: The Wanted star died at the age of 33 after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. The singer died surrounded by his family and bandmates – 17 months after being diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma.

Shane Warne: The legendary Australian spin bowler, considered one of the greatest cricketers of all time, died aged 52 of a suspected heart attack while in Thailand. England Cricket paid tribute to Warne on Twitter, writing: “One of the greatest of all-time. A legend. A genius. You changed Cricket. RIP Shane Warne.” 

Peter Bowles: Veteran stage and screen actor who starred in the popular BBC TV sitcom To the Manor Born. Bowles died aged 85 of cancer, ruefully admitted that he wasn’t a “star” until, aged 43, he played Richard DeVere in the hit series. 

Dai Jones: Welsh broadcasting legend Dai Jones ‘Llanilar’ died at the age of 78. Jones was a TV favourite on S4C and hosted popular farming show Cefn Gwlad for more than 35 years, as well as other Welsh language shows including Noson Lwen, Rasus, and Sion a Sian.  Despite being one of the faces of Welsh television for a generation, Jones was actually born in London in 1943. 


June Brown: The EastEnders star, best known for her role as chain-smoking Dot Cotton, died at the age of 95. A spokeswoman for the soap said: “There are not enough words to describe how much June was loved and adored by everyone at EastEnders, her loving warmth, wit and great humour will never be forgotten.”

Cynthia Plaster Caster: Cynthia Albritton was a pop artist known for her casts of rock stars’ penises. She was a young art student at the University of Illinois Chicago when she got the idea for her lifelong art project. Her dream was to meet rock musicians and hoped to lose her virginity to one. Jimi Hendrix agreed to be her first celebrity client! 


Dennis Waterman: The actor, who starred in TV shows Minder, The Sweeney and New Tricks, died at the age of 74. Waterman starred as bodyguard Terry McCann in Minder and he first found fame as tough nut cop George Carter in The Sweeney opposite John Thaw. 

Ray Liotta: The actor, best known for his portrayal of Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas opposite Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, died at the age of 67. He found fame playing ex-con Ray Sinclair in 1986 black comedy Something Wild and also starred as Shoeless Joe Jackson in the 1989 film Field of Dreams. 

Anne Heche: The Hollywood actor was “peacefully taken off life support” nine days after suffering a “severe anoxic brain injury” in a car crash in which her vehicle hit a building and burst into flames. Heche, 53, was among the biggest film stars of the late 1990s, starring opposite actors including Johnny Depp and Harrison Ford, and was also the former partner of US talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

Lester Pigott: died aged 86, was regarded by many as the finest jockey ever to ride on British turf. His record in major races is unlikely to be surpassed. In all, he rode 4,493 winners in Britain and more than 850 elsewhere during a career that spanned 47 years. 

Vangelis: The Greek composer died aged 79, and always avoided becoming a trained, academic musician. His work ranged from pop, jazz and classical to the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire soundtrack. Equally significant was his score for Ridley Scott’s sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner.


Hilary Devey: The former Dragons’ Den star died aged 65 after a long illness. She joined the BBC Two programme in 2011 and left in 2012, going on to present Channel 4’s The Intern. 

Julee Cruise: Singer, songwriter and actor acclaimed for her work with the film director David Lynch and composer Angelo Badalamenti, took her own life at the age of 65 after a long period of illness and depression. 


James Caan: US actor and star of The Godfather, Stephen King adaptation Misery and Christmas film Elf died aged 82. While the actor was initially cast as Michael Corleone in The Godfather, he had his heart set on Sonny and successfully suggested that Al Pacino play the role of Michael instead. He eventually faced his co-star alongside another Godfather actor, Robert Duvall, in the Best Supporting Actor category at the 1973 Oscars; all three lost to Joel Grey, who won for Cabaret.

Bernard Cribbins: The children’s TV star and entertainer died aged 93. The veteran actor starred in the Carry On films, Doctor Who and the 1970 film The Railway Children.

David Warner: Stage and screen actor hailed for his 1965 Hamlet at the RSC who went on to have a distinguished film and TV career. A highly divers actor who starred in The Omen and the Star Trek franchise. 


Dame Olivia Newton-John: Dame Olivia was best known for her starring role as Sandy in the 1978 film Grease, in which she acted opposite John Travolta as Danny. The British-born singer died “peacefully” at her ranch in Southern California aged 73, surrounded by family and friends. 

Raymond Briggs: The author and illustrator, best known for the 1978 classic The Snowman, died aged 88. The Snowman has sold more than 5.5 million copies around the world, and Briggs also created the beloved children’s books Father Christmas, Fungus the Bogeyman, The Man and When the Wind Blows.

Darius Danesh: The singer and actor who rose to fame on Popstars and Pop Idol died at the age of 41. He was found dead in his US apartment, in Rochester, Minnesota. The death was ruled an accident by the medical examiner.

Nichelle Nichols: The actor who blazed a trail for black women on American TV in the 1960s in the role of Lt Uhura in Star Trek. She was also involved in the US’s first small-screen kiss between a black woman and a white man, Uhura and Captain Kirk (played by William Shatner), in 1968. 


Queen Elizabeth II: Britain’s longest-serving monarch died aged 96, with her son Charles succeeding her as the nation’s new king. The Queen died “peacefully” at Balmoral, having spent 70 years as head of state, outlasting her predecessors and overseeing monumental changes in social and political life. 

Bill Turnbull: The TV presenter and journalist died at the age of 66. The BBC Breakfast presenter died “peacefully” at home in Suffolk after a “challenging and committed fight against prostate cancer” which had been diagnosed in November 2017. 

Dame Hilary Mantel: The author, best known for the Wolf Hall trilogy, died aged 70. The British writer won the Booker Prize twice, first for her 2009 novel Wolf Hall and again for its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, in 2012.  

Coolio: The famed Nineties rapper died aged 59. Real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr, he was best known for his 1995 Grammy Award-winning hit single “Gangsta’s Paradise”, which was released as the soundtrack for the Michelle Pfeiffer film, Dangerous Minds. The song spent three weeks at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 list.

Jean-Luc Godard: The revered filmmaker, regarded as a giant of the French New Wave movement, died at the age of 91. He was known for directing a run of radical, medium-changing films throughout the 1960s, including Breathless and Alphaville.

Mikhail Gorbachev:  The last leader of the Soviet Union, he was ousted as his reforms pointing to the end of the USSR spiralled out of control. Almost singlehandedly he brought an end to 40 years of east-west confrontation in Europe and liberated the world from the danger of nuclear conflagration. 

Louise Fletcher: American actor who won an Oscar for her role as Nurse Ratched in the 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. As Nurse Ratched, who instils fear into the patients in a mental institution without ever raising her voice, she was calmly terrifying. 


Dame Angela Lansbury: The Irish-British and American actor was best known for her portrayal of Jessica Fletcher in the drama series Murder, She Wrote. A Broadway icon who excelled as Mrs Lovett in Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, she died “peacefully” in her sleep five days before her 97th birthday. 

Robbie Coltrane: The Harry Potter and Cracker actor died aged 72. The Scottish star, whose real name was Anthony Robert McMillan, was best known for playing both McGlone brothers in John Byrne’s Tutti Frutti (1987), beloved Hogwarts gamekeeper Hagrid and for starring as criminal psychologist Dr Eddie “Fitz” Fitzgerald in ITV’s crime drama Cracker. 

Jerry Lee Lewis: Founding father of rock’n’roll who took the world by storm with Great Balls of Fire and Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On. His career was blighted after the press found out he’d married his 13 year old cousin. 

Kitten Natividad: Francesca “Kitten” Natividad, the go-go dancer who became a cult pop culture figure when she was cast by sexploitation film director Russ Meyer in Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens. 


Leslie Phillips: The veteran actor, famed for starring in the Carry On films, died at the age of 98. He spent eight decades in the spotlight and became well known for his suggestive catchphrases, which included “Ding dong”, “Well, hellooo” and “I say!” 

Christine McVie: The Fleetwood Mac star died following a short illness at the age of 79. The British-American rock band, founded in London in 1967, sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful groups ever. 

Wilko Johnson: Musician with Dr Feelgood whose stark chords and pin-sharp riffs made him one of the most distinctive of British rock guitarists.

Irene Cara: American actor and singer best known for her role in the film Fame and co-writing the 1983 hit Flashdance … What a Feeling. Cara died unexpectedly aged 63, topped the British singles chart with Fame, which also went to No 4 in the US. 


Kirstie Alley: The US actor died from cancer at the age of 71. She was best known for her breakout role as Rebecca Howe in the NBC sitcom Cheers from 1987 to 1993 and received both an Emmy award and a Golden Globe for the role in 1991. 

Terry Hall: The lead singer of The Specials and Fun Boy Three died aged 63. The singer-songwriter rose to fame as part of the band, who were pioneers of the ska scene in the UK. 

Pele: The legendary Brazilian footballer passed away aged 82. Widely considered one of the greatest players of all time, Pele is the only man to have won the World Cup on three occasions, as he helped Brazil to success at the 1958, 1962 and 1970 tournaments, also winning the Golden Ball for best player at the latter. During a 21-year playing career, he is said to have scored 1,283 goals in 1,363 senior matches for clubs and country. 

Dame Vivienne Westwood: The iconic British fashion designer died aged 81. Dame Vivienne emerged from the British punk scene of the late 1970s and quickly became known for her androgynous designs, slogan T-shirts and irreverent attitude towards the Establishment, later making waves as an activist on causes close to her heart. The Victoria and Albert Museum described her as a “true revolutionary and rebellious force in fashion”.

Maxi Jazz: Frontman of Faithless whose thoughtful, life-affirming lyrics were in contrast to the usual hedonistic banalities of dance music. Sold an estimated 15 million albums and score a string of Top Five singles including such guaranteed dance floor fillers as Insomnia, God Is a DJ and We Come 1. 

Ruth Madoc: The stage and screen actor died after a fall aged 79. She cemented herself in the memories of TV sitcom viewers as Gladys Pugh, chief yellowcoat and Radio Maplin announcer in Hi-de-Hi! 

Pope Benedict XVI: In the annals of papal history, Joseph Ratzinger, who has died aged 95, will be remembered principally as the first pope in 600 years to retire, rather than to die in office. 

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