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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Kate Lally

Celebrity deaths in 2023: All the stars we've lost so far this year

We have sadly lost some of our most beloved famous faces already this year.

People across the country have been left devastated to find out stars from the stage, screen, music, sport and more had passed away in recent months. Hopefully, fans can take some comfort in their idols' lasting legacies and great achievements.

The ECHO has taken a look back at some of those we have lost and the legacy they will leave.

READ MORE: Jerry Springer dies aged 79 as devastated family pay tribute

This list will be updated throughout 2023.


Fay Weldon

The author, known for works including The Life And Loves Of A She-Devil and Praxis, died aged 91 on January 4. The novelist, playwright and screenwriter's body of work includes more than 30 novels - as well as short stories and plays written for television, radio and the stage.

Born in September 1931, she was brought up in New Zealand and returned to the UK as a child.

She went on to read economics and psychology at the University of St Andrews in Scotland and later received an honorary doctorate from the institution in 1990. Weldon worked briefly for the Foreign Office in London and as a journalist before moving to work as an advertising copywriter.

She left this career to focus on her writing and published her first novel, The Fat Woman's Joke, in 1967. Alongside her prolific novel career, she also wrote children's books, non-fiction books and newspaper articles.

Gianluca Vialli

Gianluca Vialli (Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

The Italian football icon sadly died on January 6, aged 58, after a long battle with cancer.

Vialli spent the majority of his playing career in his home country at Cremonese, Sampdoria and Juventus before enjoying three years at Chelsea between 1996 and 1999, scoring over 250 goals in total across the four clubs he represented. He later managed the Londoners and Watford.

Deeply respected for his contributions within football, the former striker was loved by those in Italy especially and played for his country at two World Cups and one European Championship before taking on a role within the national team as delegation chief in October 2019.

Jeff Beck

Rock veteran Jeff Beck died on January 10, aged 78.

The rock guitarist's family say he passed away after "suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis". The Grammy-winning guitarist rose to prominence with rock band The Yardbirds and went on to have a successful solo career and fronted the Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogert & Appice.

A statement posted to Twitter and Instagram read: “On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing. After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday. His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”

Lisa Marie Presley

Lisa Marie Presley (Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Wonderwall)

Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis Presley, died on January 12 at the age of 54 after being transported to hospital earlier that day, her mother said in a statement at the time.

Priscilla Presley said: “It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us. She was the most passionate, strong and loving woman I have ever known.”


Hilary Alexander

Fashion journalist Hilary Alexander died on her 77th birthday.

The Daily Telegraph’s former fashion editor was described as “one of the brightest and kindest people in the business” and “always on top of her game”.

Born in New Zealand, Alexander moved to the UK in 1982, writing for the Telegraph’s woman’s page. She would stay at the publication for 26 years, becoming fashion editor in 1985 and fashion director in 2003.

Burt Bacharach

The composer of classic pop songs including I Say A Little Prayer and Walk On By, died at the age of 94 on February 8, Wales Online reports.

He was a composer, songwriter, record producer, and pianist. He composed hundreds of pop songs, beginning in the 1950s, and collaborated on many of them with lyricist Hal David, who died in 2012 aged 91.

He won six Grammys and three Oscars during his career and his songs were said to have been recorded by more than 1,000 artists. Songs that he co-wrote included This Guy's in Love with You, Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head and (They Long to Be) Close to You.

Dickie Davies

The former World of Sport presenter died at the age of 94. Davies was best known for anchoring the ITV sports show from 1968 until it came to an end in 1985.

He also covered the Seoul Olympics for ITV in 1988 before leaving to join Eurosport. The news of Davies’ death was announced on behalf of his family by his former colleague Jim Rosenthal, who wrote on Twitter: “With huge sadness we announce Dickie Davies passed away this morning. So proud of his 20 years of World of Sport, 3 Olympic Games and a brilliant career on the telly. He is survived by a loving wife, two adoring sons, four grandkids and two beloved dogs."

John Motson

Former BBC commentator John Motson (Michael Regan - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

John Motson died aged 77 on February 23.

The legendary commentator started his illustrious career at the BBC in 1958. The broadcaster, known as Motty, went on to cover 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships and 29 FA Cup finals before he retired from the BBC in 2018.

He was also renowned for his work on Match of the Day and provided the voice to some of the most iconic moments in football. Fans have taken to Twitter to issue heartfelt tributes to the commentator.

Baroness Betty Boothroyd

Former Speaker of the House of Commons Betty Boothroyd died at the age of 93 on February 26.

Current house Speaker Lindsay Hoyle led the tributes to Baroness Boothroyd, who was the first woman Speaker, serving in the position from 1992 to 2000. She also served as the Member of Parliament for West Bromwich and West Bromwich West from 1973 to 2000.

Prior to her death, Baroness Boothroyd had sat as a crossbench peer in the House of Lords.


Paul O'Grady

Paul O'Grady (Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

Tributes flooded in from across the country when the death of Paul O'Grady was announced.

The TV star, from Birkenhead, died aged 67 at his home in Kent on March 28. His death certificate reveals that he died from sudden cardiac arrhythmia, which was linked to the entertainer's ischemic heart disease.

Paul, who was also known for his drag queen persona Lily Savage, was laid to rest at a private funeral in Kent. Fans of the animal lover were also invited to join a procession through the streets around Aldington before heading to the church.

In his hometown, those who adored him also lined the streets, accompanied by their four-legged friends.


Paul Cattermole

Paul Cattermole has died aged 46 (Instagram/Paul Cattermole)

S Club 7 member Paul Cattermole died just weeks after the band shared plans for a reunion. He died on April 6, aged 46.

The news was broken on Twitter, in a series of tweets from S Club 7's official account. Sharing a photo of Paul, the band said: "We are truly devastated by the passing of our brother Paul. There are no words to describe the deep sadness and loss we all feel. We were so lucky to have had him in our lives and are thankful for the amazing memories we have.

"He will be so deeply missed by each and every one of us. We ask that you respect the privacy of his family and of the band at this time."

Nicola Heywood Thomas

The former ITV news reader and BBC Radio Wales presenter Nicola Heywood Thomas died on April 6, aged 67, after an illness.

Nicola anchored the Wales at Six news for more than 15 years on ITV and in more recent years she has presented a weekly show on BBC Radio Wales about the arts and was passionate about the topic.

Mark Sheehan

The lead guitarist and co-founder of the Irish rock band the Script, died following a "brief illness" aged 46.

He founded the band with Danny O'Donoghue in 2001. The group, which also included drummer Glen Power, is best known for songs Hall of Fame and Breakeven.

He is survived by his wife, Rina, and three children.

Barry Humphries

Australian entertainer Barry Humphries died at the age of 89, on April 22. During a seven-decade career, the stage and screen veteran entertained generations with satirical characters including Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson.

A spokesman for St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney told the PA news agency: “I can confirm Barry Humphries passed away this evening Sydney time, around 7pm on Saturday evening.”

Humphries had been readmitted to St Vincent’s after suffering complications following hip surgery last month. A family statement issued to the Sydney Morning Herald thanked fans and hospital staff for their “support and good wishes”.

Len Goodman

Len Goodman (Ian West/PA Wire)

The former Strictly died at the age of 78 on April 22.

The much-loved TV star passed away on Saturday (April 22), following a short illness. Len had been in a hospice in Tunbridge Wells after being diagnosed with bone cancer.

Len was the face of Strictly from its launch in 2004 until he left in 2016. He was hugely popular with viewers for his sense of humour, and his sought after score of a "ten from Len".

Peter Martin

Peter Martin in the Royle Family (TV Grab)

The actor, who starred in The Royle Family and Brassed Off, died aged 82. Mr Martin, born in Gainsborough, was also known for his roles in Emmerdale and the original BBC series of All Creatures Great and Small.

Ricky Tomlinson, who appeared with Mr Martin in The Royle Family, paid tribute to the actor. He said Mr Martin was an "absolute joy to work with and a brilliant actor", adding he would be "sadly missed".

Jerry Springer

Jerry Springer (ITV)

American talk-show host Jerry Springer died aged 79 on April 27.

Jerry hosted the show 'The Jerry Springer Show' for 27 years with the audience known for chanting 'Jerry, Jerry, Jerry' as guests broke into arguments.

The star's devastated family confirmed the sad news that he had died at his home in the Chicago area, according to TMZ.

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