Remembering the entertainment and arts figures we lost in 2018

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As the year draws to a close, it is time to remember the figures from the worlds of arts and entertainment figures who died in 2018. Here is a look back at some of those we said farewell to.


The year began with the deaths of three musical giants – jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela, Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan and The Fall’s Mark E Smith.

Other notable artists from the world of music to leave us included Motorhead guitarist Eddie Clarke, French singer France Gall and Kinks bassist Jim Rodford.

We also said goodbye to fantasy author Ursula K Le Guin, Maid Marian actor Howard Lew Lewis, author Peter Mayle, Teletubbies actor Simon Shelton, Police Academy director Hugh Wilson, cult TV star Peter Wyngarde and Home and Away actress Jessica Falkholt.


Two faces from the small screen – House of Cards actor Reg E Cathey and Frasier’s John Mahoney – left us in February, as did Lewis Gilbert, the director of Alfie, Educating Rita and three James Bond films.

Others to take their leave this month included The Vicar of Dibley’s Emma Chambers, The Crystals’ Barbara Ann Alston, The Real Thing singer Eddy Amoo, film composer Johann Johannsson, Pixar animator Bud Luckey, Hollywood producer Jill Messick and author Penny Vincenzi.


Three much-loved television stars bowed out in March: long-time Bullseye host Jim Bowen, Eurovision Song Contest host Katie Boyle and tattyfilarious comedian Ken Dodd.

The same month also saw the deaths of French actress Stephane Audran, Heartbeat actor Bill Maynard, rapper Craig Mack and South Korean actor Jo Min-ki.


The deaths of Swedish DJ Avicii (real name Tim Bergling), Austin Powers actor Verne Troyer and TV presenter Dale Winton cast a sombre pall over April.

We also said goodbye to two directors of international repute – double Oscar-winner Milos Forman and Italian film-maker Vittorio Taviani.

April also saw abstract artist Gillian Ayres, W1A actor Alex Beckett, sitcom writer Ronald Chesney, Marine-turned-actor R Lee Ermey, Twin Peaks actress Pamela Gidley and Overtones member Timmy Matley depart.


Superman actress Margot Kidder left us the same month we said goodbye to two American literary greats. Philip Roth was the author of Portnoy’s Complaint, American Pastoral and many other novels, while Tom Wolfe gave us The Right Stuff, The Bonfire of the Vanities and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

British film editor Anne V Coates, Minder star Glynn Edwards, Irish playwright Tom Murphy and US actor Clint Walker also passed away, as did Jerry Maren, one of the original Munchkin actors from The Wizard of Oz.


Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, EastEnders actor Leslie Grantham and fashion designer Kate Spade were among the famous people who left us in June.

Others included Elvis Presley’s drummer DJ Fontana, “Bond girl” Eunice Gayson, former Love Island contestant Sophie Gradon, Twin Town actress Helen Griffin, Jackson family patriarch Joe Jackson, former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan, artist Malcolm Morley and Irish actor Derrick O’Connor.

Fans also paid tribute to US rapper XXXTentacion – real name Jahseh Onfroy – after he was shot and killed in Florida at the age of 20.


Hollywood said goodbye to 1950s idol Tab Hunter, while the theatre world bade farewell to Cats choreographer Gillian Lynne and playwright Hugh Whitemore.

Others to leave us included Colditz actor Bernard Hepton, Crossroads and The Archers actress Carolyn Jones, Stig of the Dump author Clive King, composer Oliver Knussen, French film-maker Claude Lanzmann, cinematographer Robby Muller, Alexander McQueen muse Annabelle Neilson and musician Richard Swift.

There was also radio silence for Adrian Cronauer, the US DJ who inspired Robin Williams’ character in Good Morning, Vietnam.


Laughter turned to tears in August with the death of Barry Chuckle, one half of the comedy duo the Chuckle Brothers. The same month also saw the deaths of novelist VS Naipaul and “queen of soul” Aretha Franklin.

In the month we lost a queen, we also said farewell to a pair of Kings – Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Ed King and jazz singer Morgana King.

Others to depart included US playwright Neil Simon, film actress Barbara Harris, songwriter Tony Hiller, Huntress frontwoman Jill Janus, LazyTown actor Stefan Karl Stefansson and Broadway star Carole Shelley.


Another much-loved duo lost a member in September when Chas Hodges – one half of Chas and Dave – died at 74. The same month also saw the deaths of BBC radio presenter Rachael Bland and ’70s movie heartthrob Burt Reynolds.

We also said goodbye to Heartbeat actor Peter Benson, Carry On actress Liz Fraser, Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz, Morecambe and Wise choreographer Ernest Maxin, US rapper Mac Miller, It’ll Be Alright on the Night host Denis Norden and Blake’s 7 star Jacqueline Pearce.


More musical luminaries left us in October – suave French singing star Charles Aznavour and Jefferson Airplane co-founder Marty Balin – as did much-loved Rainbow presenter Geoffrey Hayes.

Others we lost included Beatles sound engineer Geoff Emerick, Steptoe and Son writer Ray Galton, All That Remains guitarist Oli Herbert, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory actress Diana Sowle, The Walking Dead’s Scott Wilson and rapper Young Greatness.


Newsreader Richard Baker signed off at the age of 93. November also saw the deaths of Italian film director Bernardo Bertolucci and comic book legend Stan Lee.

We also said farewell to Beverley Sisters twin Babs Beverley, Vicar of Dibley actor John Bluthal, Hong Kong film mogul Raymond Chow, screenwriter William Goldman, US magician and actor Ricky Jay, SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg, Love Story composer Francis Lai, boy band member Devin Lima, Electric Light Orchestra cellist Hugh McDowell and stuntwoman Kitty O’Neil.


The end of the year brought the sad news that actress and director Penny Marshall, Buzzcocks lead singer Pete Shelley and jazz star Nancy Wilson had left us.

As 2018 drew to a close, time also caught up with actress Dame June Whitfield, TV art historian Sister Wendy Beckett, US actor Philip Bosco, British-born actor Donald Moffat, Israeli author Amos Oz and Alien’s Bafta-winning production designer Michael Seymour.

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BBC News – Entertainment & Arts

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