Winner Declaration & Review of 2021
Well, what an end to the year!!! With Betty White popping off very late in the day, she totally upset everything! With rewritten lists for 2022, and most of all, toppling Laura from the top of the league table in what looked to be a sure thing! I literally had the trophy in the back of the car to drive over!!
So to declare the winner! Well done Ceri, with an amazing 580 points!! Including both Cert and Woman and the first death of the year, you can’t do better than that! Commiserations to Laura, nipped at the post at the last minute with 574 points!!! An honourable mention to Paul C for coming third with 453 points and a whopping 8 deaths out of 13!!!
Just above we have a St Pepper’s of all of those who have died during 2021, shared with us by Nickie on the Telegram group. If you click on the image you will get the full size picture, likewise with the answers below; see if you can name them all.
Right, let’s have a quick look at who we lost in 2021.
- Larry King had a career spanning more than six decades and thousands of interviews, quizzing world leaders and entertainers. His broadcasting fame began in the 1970s with his radio programme The Larry King Show and he went on to have his own television show, Larry King Live on CNN. He died in hospital in Los Angeles, aged 87, a few weeks after contracting coronavirus. Later US media reports said his immediate cause of death was sepsis and not the virus.
- Gerry Marsden of Gerry And The Pacemakers, was perhaps best known for covering the Rogers And Hammerstein song You’ll Never Walk Alone with his band – leading Liverpool Football Club to adopt it as their official motto and anthem. Born in the Toxteth area of Liverpool in 1942, Marsden also penned the ’60s hits Ferry Cross the Mersey and Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying. He died in hospital at the age of 78, with his agent paying tribute to a musical “legend”.
- Siegfried Fischbacher was world renowned for his Las Vegas magic shows involving white lions and tigers, with his illusionist partner Roy Horn. Both born in Germany, and co-founded their stage act after meeting on a cruise ship in the late 1950s. They took the show to Las Vegas in 1967 and went on to perform for the next four decades, becoming a Vegas institution. The illusionist died at his home in the Nevada city at the age of 81, after suffering with pancreatic cancer.
- Marion Ramsey The actress and singer was best known for her role as squeaky-voiced Officer Laverne Hooks in the Police Academy films. She got her big screen break in the first Police Academy film in 1984, a comedy franchise about a group of misfit police recruits causing havoc on the streets of America. The films became cult classics, with Ramsey starring in six of the seven films. She died at her Los Angeles home aged 73.
- Phil Spector, known for his Wall of Sound production method, Spector worked with a number of stars in the 1960/70s. In 2009, he was jailed for a minimum sentence of 19 years for murdering actress Lana Clarkson. He always maintained his innocence and claimed Clarkson died from accidental suicide. He died in prison at the age of 81 after being diagnosed with the coronavirus.
- Pierre Cardin The legendary designer Pierre Cardin, whose futuristic and stylish designs helped revolutionise fashion in the 1950s and 60s. The French fashion giant, whose career spanned more than 70 years, helped usher in the post-war “golden age” of couture with his modern style. He broke ground by bringing designer styles to the masses with some of the first ready-to-wear collections. He died in hospital at the age of 98.
- Captain Sir Tom Moore After inspiring the nation during lockdown by raising tens of millions of pounds for the NHS in 2020. He had become a national treasure and a household name after raising more than £32m for the health service by walking 100 laps of his garden with his Zimmer frame – and was knighted for his efforts by the Queen at Windsor Castle. He died at the age of 100 after contracting COVID-19.
- Christopher Plummer was best known for playing Captain von Trapp in The Sound Of Music, but had more recently starred in Knives Out, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and A Beautiful Mind. Amongst the most decorated in his field, he won an Oscar, two Primetime Emmys, two Tony Awards, a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a BAFTA during his career. He died at home in the US, aged 91.
- Johnny Briggs played Coronation Street’s Mike Baldwin for 30 years, an often unscrupulous character known for his affair with Deirdre Barlow and his long-running feud with her husband, Ken. Briggs starred in 2,349 episodes of the successful ITV soap. Briggs died at the age of 85, following a long illness, rumoured to have been cancer.
- Rush Limbaugh was a US radio host known for his controversial views on climate change, feminism and homosexuality. Limbaugh was a staunch supporter of Donald Trump during his time in office, which probably tells you all you need to know about him. He died of advanced lung cancer aged 70.
- Larry Flynt the founder of porn magazine Hustler and campaigner for the First Amendment in the US. Flynt was one of the biggest names in pornography, founding Hustler magazine in 1974. From there, he built a portfolio of clubs, publications, adult films and casinos – but attracted a number of lawsuits involving the right to free speech. He died from heart failure at the age of 78.
- Murray Walker‘s The legendary Formula One commentators voice provided the backing track to some of the sport’s most iconic moments, from James Hunt’s 1976 championship win over Niki Lauda, to Nigel Mansell’s 1992 title triumph. His career in broadcasting spanned more than 50 years, for the BBC and ITV, before he retired from commentating in 2001. Sadly he died at the age of 97 after being diagnosed with he blood cancer lymphoma.
- Yaphet Kotto, best known for his turn as a James Bond villain in Live And Let Die. He was the franchise’s first black antagonist, playing Dr Kananga and his alter-ego Mr Big in the 1973 film opposite the late Sir Roger Moore as 007. He also starred as technician Dennis Parker in Alien in 1979 and opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987 action film The Running Man. He died at the age of 81 near Manila, his wife declined to reveal his cause of death.
- Sabine Schmitz the Queen of the Nürburgring and occasional Top Gear star was probably best known for beating Jeremy Clarkson whilst driving a white van. Schmitz had previously revealed that she had been suffering with cancer since 2017. She died at the age of 51.
- Ian St John the Scottish professional football player, coach and broadcaster. St John played as a forward for Liverpool throughout most of the 1960s. He later became media pundit and co-presented the topical football show Saint and Greavsie with Jimmy Greaves from 1985 to 1992. He died after a long battle against bladder cancer at the age of 82.
- Prince Philip died just two months before his 100th birthday. He had been married to Queen Elizabeth II for more than 70 years and was the longest-serving consort in British history, carrying out more than 22,000 solo engagements by the time he stepped back from public life in 2017. Known for his mischievous sense of humour – as well as the occasional gaffe – he once jokingly referred to himself as “the world’s most experienced plaque unveiler”.
- Helen McCrory died at the age of 52 after being diagnosed with cancer. She was best known as crime family matriarch Polly from Peaky Blinders, appearing in the show from 2013 to 2019. She was a versatile actress with a career on stage and screen spanning almost 30 years.
- Nikki Grahame shot to fame in Big Brother in 2006, entering the famous house dressed as a Playboy bunny and going on to become one of the series’ most memorable contestants. While in the house, she became well known for her tantrums, including the infamous “who is she?!” rant in the diary room chair. She died after a long-running battle against eating disorders, aged 38.
- DMX died one week after suffering a “catastrophic cardiac arrest”. The 50-year-old, whose real name was Earl Simmons, had been admitted to intensive care in New York. DMX was signed by Columbia Records in 1992 and released his first album, It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot, in 1998. In all, he released seven albums and received three Grammy nominations throughout his career. Known for repeatedly being arrested and jailed, he suffered with a drug addiction and numerous trips to rehab.
- Paul Ritter was an actor was widely loved for his portrayal of dad Martin Goodman in the successful Channel 4 TV show Friday Night Dinner. The actor, also starred in Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, the acclaimed TV series Chernobyl and the James Bond film Quantum Of Solace. He died of a brain tumour with his family by his side at the age of 54.
- Bernie Madoff the fraudster and financier who ran the largest Ponzi scheme in history, worth about $64.8 billion!! For his crimes he was sentenced to 150 years in prison. He died in prison of kidney failure at the age of 82.
- Charles Grodin was best known for his roles in The Heartbreak Kid, Midnight Run and two Beethoven movies. Steve Martin was among those paying tribute following his death, describing Grodin as “one of the funniest people I ever met”. He died at the age of 86 from bone marrow cancer.
- Eric Carle was the man behind children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, published in 1969, which told the story of a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly. The story sold more than 40 million copies around the world, was translated into 60 languages and was turned into everything from cuddly toys to stage shows. He died from kidney failure, a few weeks before his 92nd birthday.
- Nick Kamen was best known for stripping off in a launderette to wash his jeans in the famous 1980s Levi’s advert. In their tribute, Levi’s described the star as “the man who made the 501 even more iconic”. Kamen, whose real name was Ivor Neville Kamen launched a career in pop music in 1986 with the number five hit Each Time You Break My Heart, a collaboration with Madonna from his eponymous debut album. Kamen died at his London home aged 59, following a long battle with bone marrow cancer.
- Max Mosley was a barrister, amateur racing driver and president of the FIA. Mosley was the youngest son of Sir Oswald Mosley, former leader of the British Union of Fascists. In 2008, Mosley won a court case (Mosley v News Group Newspapers) against the News of the World newspaper which had reported his involvement in what they said was a Nazi-themed sex act involving five women, on the grounds that it had breached his privacy. He died on at the age of 81 after suffering from cancer.
- Ned Beatty was an Oscar-nominated character actor who appeared in dozens of films and TV shows throughout his career. Rising to fame with a role in Deliverance in 1972 – which was controversial due to his character’s rape scene – he went on to appear in films including Superman alongside Christopher Reeve, Network, All The President’s Men, and Charlie Wilson’s War. He died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles, aged 83.
- Ben Roberts the Welsh actor most famous for his portrayal of Chief Inspector Derek Conway in the ITV British television series The Bill. Other numerous television appearances include The Professionals and Casualty. He died at the age of 70.
- John McAfee was a British-American computer programmer who wrote the first commercial anti-virus software, founding McAfee Associates to sell his creation. In later years he ran for the presidential office but also had many legal issues, including murder and tax evasion. He was found dead at the age of 75 due to an apparent suicide by hanging in his prison cell near Barcelona shortly after his extradition to the U.S. was authorised.
- Dusty Hill was the bassist and vocalist with US rock band ZZ Top. Born Joe Michael Hill in Dallas, he formed the group in Houston in 1969 with bandmates Frank Beard and guitarist Billy Gibbons, and soon after they recorded their debut album, ZZ Top’s First Album, in 1970. The band had still been performing up until not long before Hill’s death at the age of 72.
- Robert Downey Sr the renowned filmmaker and father to Robert Downey Jr. Born in 1936 in New York City as Robert Elias Jr, he changed his name to Downey so he could enlist in the army. After he left the military, Downey Sr made his name as a radical and anti-establishment filmmaker, and is known for projects such as Putney Swope and Greaser’s Palace. He passed away at the age of 85 after having Parkinson’s disease for over five years.
- Richard Donner the film-maker was behind some of the most popular films of the 1980s, including The Goonies, The Omen, the Lethal Weapon series and the original Superman. The New York-born director started his career in TV in the 1960s, taking charge of episodes of shows such as The Man from UNCLE, The Twilight Zone and Kojak. He died at home at the age of 91 of cardiopulmonary failure with atherosclerosis as an underlying cause.
- Tom O’Connor started out as a teacher, before launching a comedy career in working men’s clubs. The first comedian to win Opportunity Knocks three times running, he established himself as a household name through the 1970s and ’80s and hosted Name That Tune and Crosswits. His brand of humour was 100% clean and always totally family friendly. O’Connor, who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2007, died in hospital aged 81.
- Andy Fordham was an English professional darts player, commonly known as The Viking. He won the 2004 BDO World Darts Championship and the 1999 Winmau World Masters. Fordham died in hospital from organ failure after a long battle with health problems. He was 59.
- Charlie Watts joined The Rolling Stones as their drummer in 1963, playing on legendary rock hits including I Can’t Get No Satisfaction, Paint It Black and Brown Sugar. Originally trained as a graphic artist, Watts developed an interest in music at a young age. He was often regarded as one of the greatest drummers of all time. Watts died at a London hospital, at the age of 80, with his family around him.
- Sean Lock was best known for panel shows 8 Out Of 10 Cats and 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown. His death came as a huge shock in August. Aged 58, the star had been suffering from cancer but kept his diagnosis private.
- Una Stubbs enjoyed a stellar television career which included appearances in numerous shows, but she was best known for her roles in Till Death Us Do Part, Give Us a Clue, Sherlock and Worzel Gummidge. She died after several months of ill health at the age of 84, with her family around her.
- Sarah Harding rose to fame with the girl group Girls Aloud on Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, alongside Cheryl, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh. The band got to Christmas number one that year with their debut single, Sound Of The Underground, and went on to become one of the most successful pop groups in British music history. She died aged 39 after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020.
- Michael K Williams was a multiple Emmy nominee who earned nods for his roles in Bessie, The Night Of, When They See Us and, earlier this year, Lovecraft Country. The Brooklyn-born star also won fans for his role as Chalky White in the period gangster series Boardwalk Empire, but was best known for playing Omar Little in hit crime drama The Wire. He died at the age of 54 from an accidental drug overdose.
- Sir Clive Sinclair, was an English entrepreneur and inventor, best known for being a pioneer in the computing and electronics industries in the 1970s and early 1980s. His most famous inventions included a calculator, the ZX Spectrum and the spectacular commercial failure C5 Battery Vehicle. He died in London following an illness related to cancer that he had for over a decade. He was 81 years old.
- Jimmy Greaves,was an English professional footballer who played as a forward. He is England’s fifth-highest international goalscorer (44 goals), Tottenham Hotspur’s highest ever goalscorer (266 goals), the highest goalscorer in the history of English top-flight football (357 goals), and also scored more hat-tricks (six) for England than anyone else. After retiring as a player Greaves went on to enjoy a successful career in broadcasting, most notably working alongside Ian St John on Saint and Greavsie. He died at his home in Danbury aged 81.
- John Challis,was an English actor who had an extensive theatre and television career but is best known for portraying Terrance Aubrey “Boycie” Boyce in the long-running BBC Television sitcom Only Fools and Horses.Challis died of cancer aged 79
- Halyna Hutchins death shocked the world. On set in New Mexico working on the Western film Rust, the 42-year-old died after a gun held by actor and producer Alec Baldwin went off during a rehearsal. Ms Hutchins had been working as the director of photography on the film, a role she had previously held on the 2020 action film Archenemy.
- James Michael Tyler was undoubtedly best known for playing Gunther in Friends throughout all 10 series of the hit comedy, famously having a crush on Jennifer Aniston’s character, Rachel Green. Tyler died aged 59 after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018.
- Sir David Amess, who died after being stabbed at a constituency surgery. The Southend West MP Sir David, 69, had been an MP for 38 years, having first been elected to parliament in 1983. He never held a ministerial role during his long parliamentary career, he instead focused his efforts from the backbenches of the House of Commons.
- Colin Powell,was the first African-American secretary of state. As secretary of state, Powell gave a speech before the United Nations regarding the rationale for the Iraq War, but he later admitted that the speech contained substantial inaccuracies. He was forced to resign after Bush was re-elected in 2004. Powell, who was being treated for multiple myeloma, died at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center of complications from COVID-19 at the age of 84.
- Lionel Blair‘s entertainment career spanned seven decades, including appearances as an actor, tap dancer, presenter, and choreographer. He was best known as a team captain on the TV game show Give Us A Clue, appeared in the West End as the child catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium, and more recently appeared on reality TV shows such as Celebrity Big Brother and The Real Marigold Hotel. He died at the age of 92.
- Stephen Sondheim was the composer and lyricist behind some of the world’s best-known musicals, including the lyrics for West Side Story and Sweeney Todd, during a 60-year career. His death at the age of 91 was reported to have been sudden, just hours after celebrating Thanksgiving with his family.
- Dean Stockwell best known for playing Admiral “Al” Calavicci in Quantum Leap, the hologram ally to Scott Bakula’s time-travelling physicist Sam Beckett. He also starred in Battlestar Galactica and films including Dune, Married To The Mob and Blue Velvet. He passed away peacefully at his home of natural causes at the age of 85.
- Mei Jones was a Welsh actor and writer. He was best known for his part as Wali Thomas in the Welsh language sitcom C’mon Midffild! which he also co-wrote. Jones and fellow C’Mon Midffild! cast-member, Bryn Fôn were detained in 1990 along with two other people following the investigation into the campaign of holiday home fires set by the Welsh nationalist movement Meibion Glyndŵr. He died at the age of 68.
- Mary Collinson was chosen as Playboy magazine’s Playmate of the Month in October 1970, together with her twin sister Madeleine Collinson. They were the first identical twin Playmate sisters. Both sisters has a brief film career with Hammer Films, notably Twins of Evil. She died from bronchopneumonia in Milan at the age of 69.
- Jethro, real name Geoffrey Rowe rose to fame in the 1980s and was best known for his unique style and observational comedy, including pieces about living in Cornwall. A regular on TV shows hosted by Des O’Connor, his other TV credits included the 2001 Royal Variety Performance and Jim Davidson’s Generation Game. He died aged 72 after contracting COVID-19.
- Michael Nesmith found fame with the 1960s pop group The Monkees, with hits including I’m A Believer, Daydream Believer and Last Train To Clarksville. The group also appeared in a self-titled television series, which first aired between 1966 and 1968. Nesmith died aged 78, just a few weeks after finishing a Monkees farewell tour with drummer Micky Dolenz, now the last surviving member of the group.
- Carlos Marín was part of Il Divo, the classical crossover group conceived by Simon Cowell in 2003. Signed to his label Syco, they went on to release 10 studio albums and sell some 30 million records. He also performed in a number of musicals, including Les Miserables, Grease, and Beauty And The Beast. Marín contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalised in Manchester. He was subsequently put into a medically induced coma, and died at the age of 53.
- Desmond Tutu was an Anti-apartheid veteran and an outspoken critic of the South Africa’s previous brutal system of oppression against the country’s Black majority. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his campaign of non-violent opposition to South Africa’s white minority rule. He died from cancer at the Oasis Frail Care Centre in Cape Town at the age of 90.
- Anne Rice wrote the 1976 novel Interview With The Vampire, which was adapted into a film starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in 1994. The book is also expected to be made into a TV series in 2022.The gothic novelist died due to complications from a stroke at the age of 80.
- Sir Antony Sher a ‘giant of the stage’ and Olivier Award-winning actor starred in a number of Royal Shakespeare Company productions, including a career-defining performance as Richard III. Off-stage he had roles in films including Shakespeare In Love and Mrs Brown. He died from cancer at his home in Stratford-upon-Avon at the age of 72.
- Sir Frank Williams was the founder of the Williams Formula One team. He was the team principal from its foundation in 1977 until 2020. During that period, the team won nine constructors’ championships and seven drivers’ championships. Williams was admitted to hospital in Surrey in late November and died shortly after at the age of 79.
- Betty White a ‘cultural icon’ who died days from 100th birthday. The Golden Girls star, whose career spanned eight decades, reportedly died at her home on New Year’s Eve. She made her TV debut singing on an experimental channel in Los Angeles in 1939.