After several years of tough restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, many entered 2022 with a more positive outlook as rules relaxed.
There was plenty to smile about over the summer as the country came together to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. However, just weeks later the country - and the world - was rocked by the news that Queen Elizabeth had died aged 96.
Her death came during an ever-changing landscape in the UK, with three prime ministers and two monarchs in just 12 months. Meanwhile, Russia declared war with Ukraine and invaded, causing a global financial and energy crisis.
READ MORE: The biggest breaking news stories from Greater Manchester in 2022
But as we lived through another extraordinary year, 2022 has also dealt many other sad blows as many famous faces from stage, screen and sport - including a number of Greater Manchester's own - have all tragically died.
US comedian Bob Saget, known for starring in US sitcoms including Full House, died at the age of 65.
After it was announced he had been found dead in a Florida hotel room, celebrities including Steve Martin and Jim Carrey expressed their shock and sadness over his sudden death.
Best known for his role as beloved single dad Danny Tanner on the sitcom Full House and as the wisecracking host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, Saget was married to Kelly Rizzo Saget and had three daughters from a previous marriage.
American singer Meat Loaf , known for hits such as Bat Out Of Hell, died at the age of 74 with his wife Deborah at his side.
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. His long music career saw him release more than 10 albums, with his final studio album, Braver Than We Are, released in 2012. The hit single I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) reached number one in 28 countries and earned him a Grammy award.
Veteran comedy writer and performer Barry Cryer died aged 86 following a seven-decade career across 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.
Ronnie Spector, the rock ‘n’ roll siren who sang Be My Baby, Baby I Love You and Walking In The Rain, died at the age of 78 after a brief battle with cancer.
Spector, born Veronica Bennett, scored hits with pop masterpieces like Baby, I Love You, Walking In The Rain, I Can Hear Music and Be My Baby, alongside her sister Estelle Bennett and cousin Nedra Talley. She is survived her husband, Jonathan Greenfield, and two sons, Jason and Austin.
Vicar Of Dibley star Gary Waldhorn died 'peacefully' at the age of 78. He was best known for playing councillor David Horton in every episode of the comedy sitcom which debuted in 1994, famously locking horns with the vicar played by Dawn French.
Emmerdale star Andy Devine, who played Shadrach Dingle in the soap for 10 years, died after a fall. The 79-year-old actor, whose real name was Peter Devine, appeared to have "lost his balance resulting in a fall" and died in Southport Hospital in Merseyside, a coroner said.
The coroner added that the medical cause of death was determined as "hospital acquired pneumonia" and the cause of his death was concluded as "accident".
Devine made his Emmerdale debut as Shadrach Dingle, father of Chas and husband of Faith, in 2000. He left the ITV soap in dramatic fashion in 2010, after his character was killed off as a part of an alcohol abuse storyline. He also played Bernard Thomas in Channel 4's Queer As Folk, a Draconian Guard in Doctor Who and photographer Jason Ross in Coronation Street in the 1960s.
Grange Hill actor Nicholas Donnelly died at the age of 83. The actor, who played teacher Mr MacKenzie in the series for around eight years, died in his sleep and had not been ill.
A statement from his family said: “He was a gracious, kind and lovely man, a wonderful father and grandfather. He was also very funny and brilliant at telling stories, acting out all the characters, marvellous company and a privilege to know. He loved nothing more than offering hospitality and making people feel welcome."
Donnelly also appeared in BBC police series Dixon Of Dock Green as Sergeant Johnny Wills in around 200 episodes of the programme, which featured Jack Warner in the title role as George Dixon. Donnelly met his wife Alrun during his National Service in Germany in the late 1950s, and the couple were married for more than 60 years. They had two sons, twin daughters and five grandchildren.
Ivan Reitman, the i nfluential 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.
British entrepreneur Jamal Edwards died at the age of 31. Edwards gained fame from setting up new music platform SBTV – helping to launch a string of UK music careers including Dave and Jessie J.
The music entrepreneur, who is the son of Loose Women and West End theatre star Brenda Edwards, was an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, a charity headed by the Prince of Wales, and in 2014 he was awarded an MBE for his services to music. A coroner ruled his cause of death as a cardiac arrest after taking cocaine.
Anna Karen, the last surviving star of the hit ITV sitcom On The Buses, died in a house fire at the age of 85. The actress, who played Olive Rudge in the programme from 1969 to 1973, was also known for her role as Aunt Sal in Eastenders and appeared in some of the Carry On films.
Love Thy Neighbour star Jack Smethurst died aged 89. The actor was best known for playing bigoted factory worker Eddie Booth in the 1970s sitcom.
Smethurst’s son Adam announced his death on Twitter and shared a series of photos from his personal life and career. Born in Manchester, Smethurst made his film debut in the 1958 farce Carry On Sergeant and secured roles throughout the 60s in productions such as the kitchen sink dramas A Kind Of Loving and Saturday Night And Sunday Morning.
It was in 1972 that he landed his best known role playing Booth in Love Thy Neighbour, a white socialist who is shocked when a black couple move in next door. The series, which has since attracted controversy over its handling of issues of race, ran for eight series between 1972 and 1976 on ITV.
Hawkins, who 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.
The Wanted star Tom Parker died at the age of 33 after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. The singer, from Bolton, revealed in October 2020 that he had been diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma and had begun radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
The singer died surrounded by his wife, Kelsey, family and bandmates 17 months after his diagnosis. He is survived by his widow Kelsey, who Tom married in July 2018, and their two young children, daughter Aurelia and son Bodhi, who was born shortly before Tom discovered he had cancer.
Actress Lynda Baron, best known for the BBC sitcom Open All Hours, died at the age of 82. Baron starred opposite Sir David Jason and Ronnie Barker as Nurse Gladys Emmanuel in the hit BBC sitcom, which ran for four series starting in 1976.
She also appeared in the sequel Still Open All Hours when it returned in 2013, and played Auntie Mabel in the 1990s BBC children’s programme Come Outside which saw her and her dog Pippin take adventures in a small multi-coloured polka dot plane. Her film credits also included 2020’s sports movie Dream Horse which starred Damian Lewis and Joanna Page, Woody Allen’s 2006 romantic crime Scoop and 2005’s Colour Me Kubrick.
Record-breaking Australian bowler Shane Warne was remembered as a "true cricket legend" by his friends following the announcement of his death, aged 52.
Elizabeth Hurley, who was engaged to the cricketer from September 2011 until they split in December 2013, paid tribute to her "beloved lionheart" following the news.
EastEnders icon June Brown, best known for her role as chain-smoking Dot Cotton, died at the age of 95. She passed away at home in Surrey with her family by her side.
An EastEnders spokeswoman said at the time: "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.
"We send all our love and deepest sympathies to June’s family and friends. A very bright light has gone out at EastEnders today but we shall all be raising a sweet sherry in June’s memory. Rest in peace, our dearest June. You will never be forgotten."
Actor Dennis Waterman, who starred in TV shows Minder, The Sweeney and New Tricks, died at the age of 74. He starred as bodyguard Terry McCann in Minder and he first found fame as tough nut cop George Carter in The Sweeney opposite John Thaw.
Actor Ray Liotta, 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.
Former Dragons’ Den star Hilary Devey died aged 65 after a long illness. She joined BBC Two programme Dragons' Den in 2011 and left in 2012, going on to present Channel 4's The Intern.
Devey also founded the multimillion-pound freight distribution business Pall-Ex, after selling her home and car in the 1990s to finance it.
Depeche Mode’s keyboardist Any Fletcher died at the age of 60. Fletcher, nicknamed “Fletch”, founded the group in Basildon in 1980 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two years ago.
In a statement following the news of his passing, Depeche Mode said: "We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness with the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member and bandmate."
Kay Mellor, who wrote hit series including ITV’s Girlfriends, Band Of Gold and The Syndicate as well as also being best known for penning hits including Fat Friend - died aged 71.
Following a private funeral, her husband Anthony and two daughters Yvonne Francas and Gaynor Faye said they were “heartbroken” by their loss but hoped to continue her legacy through her Independent Production Company Rollem.
Dame Deborah James
Podcaster and campaigner Dame Deborah James, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, died aged 40.
In her final weeks, the presenter of the BBC podcast You, Me And The Big C raised millions of pounds for research and was made a dame for her “tireless” work improving awareness of the disease. She was personally awarded the honour by Prince William, now the Prince of Wales, at her parent's home.
Dame Deborah also completed another book in her final weeks, How To Live When You Could Be Dead, co-writing the final chapters with her husband, Sebastien Bowen. She is also survived by her two children, Hugo, 14, and Eloise, 12.
Children’s TV star and entertainer Bernard Cribbins died aged 93. The veteran actor was known for starring in the Carry On films, Doctor Who and the 1970 film The Railway Children.
Dame Olivia Newton-John
Dame Olivia Newton-John died “peacefully” at her ranch in Southern California aged 73, surrounded by family and friends.
The British-born singer, who lived in Melbourne from the age of five, was best known for her starring role as Sandy in the 1978 film Grease, in which she acted opposite John Travolta as Danny.
Aside from her hit role in Grease, Dame Olivia was also a multi-platinum selling artist, with two singles and two albums having earned certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). She is survived by her husband John Easterling and daughter Lattanzi.
Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs , 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 and When The Wind Blows.
Former Pop Idol star Darius Campbell Danesh was found dead in his US apartment, in Rochester, Minnesota, in August at the age of 41.
He died from “inhalation of chloroethane”, the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed, with his death ruled an accident by the medical examiner.
The Scottish singer-songwriter and actor – who was known as Darius Danesh when he made his first bid for fame in ITV show Popstars in 2001 – also appeared on the first Pop Idol, which was won by Will Young.
Star of British television sitcoms Josephine Tewson died aged 91. The actress, best-known for her roles in Keeping Up Appearances and Last Of The Summer Wine, died at Denville Hall, a care home in London for those in the entertainment industry.
After appearing in sketches alongside comedians Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker in Hark At Barker and Frost On Sunday, it was the pragmatic Elizabeth Warden, neighbour and reluctant confidant of social-climbing snob Hyacinth Bucket in the much-loved BBC sitcom Keeping Up Appearances, that Tewson became recognised for.
TV and radio presenter and journalist Bill Turnbull 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.
Turnbull started his broadcast career at Radio Clyde in Scotland in 1978, joining the BBC as a reporter for the Today programme in 1986 before becoming a reporter for BBC’s Breakfast Time two years later, and then a correspondent for BBC News, reporting from more than 30 countries.
After moving back to the UK, he became one of the main presenters on BBC News 24, as it was then called, before joining BBC Breakfast in 2001. He is survived by his wife Sesi, who he married in March 1988, and their three children.
George Ward, known as Cherry Valentine
Drag performer George Ward, known by his stage name Cherry Valentine, died at the age of 28. He appeared on the second series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, before launching a TV career and fronting the BBC documentary Gypsy Queen And Proud.
Ward was raised in Darlington, County Durham as part of the Traveller community and qualified as a mental health nurse in 2015, before starting his career in drag. In December 2020, Ward was announced as one of 12 contestants competing in the second series of the UK version of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
In his introductory video for the show, he described his Cherry Valentine alter-ego as "glamour", "dark" and "gothic" and said said his work as a nurse had "put me in that right position to be able to understand people a bit more. If you are a drag queen you are working with people. And to understand people I think you go the extra mile."
Dame Hilary Mantel
Author Dame Hilary Mantel , 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.
Her publisher HarperCollins said in a statement that she died "suddenly yet peacefully", surrounded by close family and friends. They added: "Hilary Mantel was one of the greatest English novelists of this century and her beloved works are considered modern classics. She will be greatly missed."
Rapper Coolio, responsible for 1990s hit song Gangsta’s Paradise, died aged 59. The US rapper, whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr, came third in the sixth series of UK Celebrity Big Brother in 2009, losing out to broadcaster Terry Christian, who was the runner up, and presenter and model Ulrika Jonsson, who won.
But along with Jonsson he went on to join the cast of Ultimate Big Brother the following year in 2010, the last series of the show to air on Channel 4.
Dame Angela Lansbury
Dame Angela Lansbury died in her sleep five days before her 97th birthday. The Irish-British and American actress was best known for her portrayal of Jessica Fletcher in American drama series Murder, She Wrote.
With a career spanning more than eight decades, Dame Angela was a three-time Oscar nominee and five-time Tony Award winner. Dame Angela’s first film role was in George Cukor’s Gaslight as a young maid named Nancy Oliver who worked in the home of the film’s protagonist Paula Alquist, played by Ingrid Bergman.
The then-19-year-old Dame Angela received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress for her role in the 1944 film. She later garnered a great deal of recognition and is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Murder, She Wrote novelist and sleuth Jessica Fletcher.
She played the character in the crime drama TV series for a total of 12 years and nine seasons, after first starring in the role in 1984.
Harry Potter and Cracker actor Robbie Coltrane died aged 72. The Scottish star, whose real name was Anthony Robert McMillan, was best known for playing the beloved Hogwarts gamekeeper Hagrid and starring as criminal psychologist Dr Eddie ‘Fitz’ Fitzgerald in ITV’s crime drama Cracker.
His agent of 40 years, Belinda Wright, announced Coltrane's death and thanked the medical staff at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, near Falkirk in Scotland for their "care and diplomacy”.
Coltrane starred alongside Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry and Dame Emma Thompson in the sketch series Alfresco in 1983 to 1984, and reunited with Dame Emma for the BBC miniseries Tutti Frutti where he played Big Jazza, for which he received his first Bafta nomination.
Coltrane gained further fame starring as criminal psychologist Dr Eddie “Fitz” Fitzgerald in the ITV series Cracker from 1993 to 1995 and in a special return episode in 2006. The role secured him the Bafta award for best actor for three consecutive years from 1994 to 1996. He also featured in another classic British franchise when he played KGB man Valentin Zukovsky in Bond film Goldeneye in 1995 and revised the same character in The World Is Not Enough but his role in all eight of the Harry Potter film series arguably became his best-known work.
Emmy-winning actor Leslie Jordan died aged 67 after a car crash. His wry Southern drawl and versatility made him a comedy and drama standout on TV series including Will & Grace and American Horror Story.
Jordan earned an unexpected new following in 2021 when he spent time during the pandemic lockdown near family in his hometown, posting daily videos of himself on Instagram.
Many of Jordan’s videos included him asking “How ya’ll doin?” and some included stories about Hollywood or his childhood growing up with identical twin sisters and their “mama,” as he called her. Other times he did silly things like complete an indoor obstacle course. By the time of his death, he amassed 5.8 million followers on Instagram and another 2.3 million on TikTok.
Singer Aaron Carter died aged 34. The US musician and brother of Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter found fame as a child star in the 1990s with singles like I Want Candy and opened for the US boy band on a number of tours and concerts.
Carter got his start opening for the Backstreet Boys on a 1997 tour and later that year he released his self-titled debut album. His second studio album, Aaron’s Party (Come And Get It), was released in 2000 and went triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
It featured the singles I Want Candy, Aaron’s Party (Come Get It) and That’s How I Beat Shaq and he supported the album for several concerts by the Backstreet Boys and for Britney Spears on the Oops!… I Did It Again tour. He went on to release three more studio albums, 2001’s Oh Aaron, 2002’s Another Earthquake! and 2018’s Love.
Veteran actor Leslie Phillips, 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, hello” and “I say!”
Fleetwood Mac star Christine McVie 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.
Their best-known songs include Dreams, Go Your Own Way and Everywhere. Perhaps their best known album Rumours, released in 1977, became one of the best-selling albums of all time and included hits such as Second Hand News and You Make Loving Fun. In addition to several multi-platinum tracks, the record sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.
Bill Treacher, who played Arthur Fowler in EastEnders, died aged 92. The veteran actor was one of the BBC soap’s original cast members and appeared from 1985 until 1996.
He died after suffering from declining health for some time. Treacher was married to Australian actress Katherine Kessey, with whom he shared two children, and they were longstanding residents of Suffolk.
Treacher appeared in EastEnders until 1996, when his troubled character was in prison for a crime he did not commit. After receiving a blow to his head during a violent fracas, he was released but later suffered a brain haemorrhage at his beloved allotment. He died in hospital, leaving the Fowler family heartbroken. After his character was killed off, Treacher had roles in The Bill and Casualty, and films such as The Musketeer (2001), Tale Of The Mummy (1998), and George And The Dragon (2004).
Rapper Takeoff died from gunshot wounds to the head and body following a shooting outside a private party at a Houston bowling alley. Takeoff, whose off-stage name was Kirsnick Khari Ball, formed one third of the Grammy Award-nominated rap trio Migos with his uncle Quavo and cousin Offset, from Atlanta.
Migos first broke through with the massive hit Versace in 2013. They had four Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, though Takeoff was not on their multi-week No 1 hit Bad And Boujee, featuring Lil Uzi Vert. They put out a trilogy of albums called Culture, Culture II and Culture III, with the first two hitting No 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Offset, who is married to Cardi B, released a solo album in 2019, while Takeoff and Quavo released the joint album Only Built For Infinity Links last month.
US actress Kirstie Alley 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.
In 2016, she appeared on the Fox comedy horror series Scream Queens, alongside Jamie Lee Curtis and in 2018 she participated in the 22nd series of UK Celebrity Big Brother, in which she finished as runner-up. As well as her starring role in Cheers, Alley appeared in various films throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
These included the 1989 romantic comedy film Look Who’s Talking, which she starred in alongside John Travolta. The pair reprised their roles for the film’s two sequels Look Who’s Talking Too (1990) and and Look Who’s Talking Now (1993).
Star of the screen and stage Ruth Madoc, best known for appearing in BBC sitcom Hi-de-Hi!, died at the age of 79 following a fall.
The actress 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. She is survived by her two children.
Terry Hall, the lead singer of The Specials, died at the age of 63, the band announced. The singer-songwriter rose to fame as part of the band, who were pioneers of the ska scene in the UK.
The Specials were formed in Hall’s home city of Coventry in 1977, by Jerry Dammers, Lynval Golding and Horace Panter – with Hall , Staple, Roddy Byers and John Bradbury joining a year later. The band made a name with their ska and rocksteady style, and for providing a musical backdrop to economic recession, urban decay and societal fracture in the early 1980s.
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
Fun Boy Three achieved four UK top 10 singles during their time together, until Hall left the band in 1983 to form The Colourfield with ex-Swinging Cats members Toby Lyons and Karl Shale.
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.
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.
Brazil great Pele died at the age of 82. The three-time World Cup, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, 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’s daughter Kely Nascimento wrote on Instagram: "We are thanks to you. We love you infinitely. Rest in peace."
Pele, who is credited with 1,281 goals across the length of his career by the official FIFA website, 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.
Dame Vivienne Westwood
Dame Vivienne Westwood died at the age of 81. The pioneering fashion designer died "peacefully, and surrounded by her family in Clapham, south London", her representatives said.
Dame Vivienne 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. The late designer, 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.
In a statement, her husband and creative partner Andreas Kronthaler said: "I will continue with Vivienne in my heart. We have been working until the end and she has given me plenty of things to get on with. Thank you darling."
A statement from her representative also said that The Vivienne Foundation, a not-for-profit company founded by Dame Vivienne, her sons and grand-daughter in late 2022, will launch next year to “honour, protect and continue the legacy of Vivienne’s life, design and activism”.
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