Celebrities, like all of us, aren’t invincible. Throughout 2019, we lost Hollywood legends, sporting heroes and cultural prodigies. Here are some of the world’s icons who passed away this year.
Died: 14 March, 2019
Formula 1 icon Charlie Whiting died at the age of 66 less than 24 hours after the 2019 Formula 1 season was launched in Melbourne.
The veteran racing steward and FIA race director died after suffering a pulmonary embolism.
Widely regarded as one of the most influential people in the history of Formula 1, Whiting died just one day before he was scheduled to officiate the first practice session of the Formula 1 season.
Whiting began his F1 career in 1977 working for the Hesketh team, before joining Brahbam in the 1980s. He served as F1’s race director from 1997.
READ MORE: Formula 1 one in shock of sudden death of FIA legend Charlie Whiting
Died: March 9, 2019
Jed Allan, who acted in numerous daytime soaps, including Beverly Hills 90210, Days of Our Lives and Santa Barbara died at the age of 84.
Born on March 1, 1935, Allan’s first soap roles came in 1964 as Ace Hubbard and Paul Britton, respectively, on Roy Winsor’s CBS series Love of Life and Secret Storm.
In 1971, he joined Days of Our Lives as lawyer Don Craig, a role that ended in 1985 as the series’ creators wanted to turn over the cast of characters to focus on younger roles.
Allan’s work on Days of Our Lives earned him a daytime Emmy nod for outstanding actor in 1979.
READ MORE: Beverly Hills, 90210 actor and veteran soap opera star Jed Allan dead at 84
Died: March 8, 2019
American Olympic cycling champion Kelly Caitlin died aged 23. Her father said she died by suicide.
Caitlin won gold at the 2016, 2017 and 2018 cycling world championships as a member of the US women’s pursuit team. She also competed in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, winning a silver medal in the same event.
Upon hearing of her passing, the USA Cycling President issued a statement mourning the loss of an elite athlete.
KING KONG BUNDY
Died: March 4, 2019
Professional wrestler King Kong Bundy died at age 61.
Bundy, whose real name was Christopher Pallies, was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The 1.93m, 208kg wrestler made his World Wrestling Federation debut in 1981.
He was best known for facing Hulk Hogan in 1986 in a steel cage match at WrestleMania 2, which Hogan won.
READ MORE: Wrestling icon King Kong Bundy dead at 61
Died: March 4, 2019
Luke Perry, star of Beverly Hills, 90210 and Riverdale, died at 52, after he suffered a massive stroke and was hospitalised.
The star was surrounded by his family when he died at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Burbank, California.
Prior to his stroke Perry was said to be experiencing “bad back problems”, which had to be surgically fixed, according to the actor’s neighbour.
Perry’s previous major health scare was in 2015, when precancerous growths were found in his body following a colonoscopy, prompting the actor to speak out about checking for colorectal cancer.
READ MORE: Actor Luke Perry of Beverly Hills, Riverdale fame dies age 52
Died March 4, 2019
Kate Cook, who rose to prominence on the series Australian Idol in 2009, was discovered in bushland near her Lowood home after police were notified of her disappearance by concerned friends on Sunday night
After appearing on Idol, Cook pursued a career in music, touring pubs and clubs across Australia.
“Music has helped heal me during difficult times, so I hope that my music helps do the same for others,” she said.
READ MORE: Australian Idol contestant Kate Cook dead at 36
Died: March 4, 2019
Keith Flint, the iconic singer in the British band The Prodigy, died by suicide at the age of 49.
The fiery frontman was found dead at his home in Dunmow, Essex, on Monday.
Prodigy co-founder Liam Howlett said in an Instagram post that Flint took his own life over the weekend.
In one of his final interviews Flint described himself as a “kind of court jester meets asylum escapee” and discussed his troubled childhood and “dark periods”.
READ MORE: Prodigy singer Keith Flint dies aged 49
Died: February 27, 2019
John Kennerley, husband to TV presenter Kerri-Anne Kennerley, died aged 78.
The TV host made the announcement on Instagram where she shared a photo from their wedding day.
“It’s with a heavy heart and awful sadness that I let you know that my beautiful husband John passed away last night,” Kerri-Anne wrote.
John had been in hospital for a few days leading up to his death and a friend of the couple told news.com.au he was susceptible to severe chest infections and pneumonia due to his condition.
“John, you were the love of my life,” she wrote.
READ MORE: Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s husband John has died
Died: February 22, 2019
Comedian Brody Stevens died in what appeared to have been a suicide.
The LAPD confirmed on Friday that the funnyman was found in his home around 1pm local time (8am AEDT), and the death was investigated as a suicide.
Stevens, 48, was a regular around the local comedy scene in Los Angeles as well as Montreal and Vancouver Comedy Festivals.
He also earned acting credits in The Hangover, Due Date and The Hangover Part II.
READ MORE: Comedian Brody Stevens has been found dead in his Los Angeles home
Died: February 21, 2019
Peter Tork, the offbeat folk artist who found fame with 1960s pop band the Monkees, died aged 77.
“It is with beyond-heavy and broken hearts that we share the devastating news that our friend, mentor, teacher, and amazing soul, Peter Tork, has passed from this world,” the team posted on his official Facebook page, without specifying a cause.
In 2009, the musician in was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare form of cancer impacting the tongue.
READ MORE: Monkees star Peter Tork dies aged 77
Died: February 19, 2019
Legendary Chanel fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has died at the age of 85 after weeks of ill health.
The German-born designer, who was the creative director of Chanel, was one of fashion’s most iconic and influential figures.
Lagerfeld was artistic director of three brands at the same time right up to his death: France’s Chanel — the world’s richest label — as well as Italy’s Fendi, and his eponymous line.
It is reported that Lagerfeld had battled pancreatic cancer and died on February 19, according to French magazine Closer.
READ MORE: Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld dies
Died: February 10, 2019
Actor Jan-Michael Vincent, the Airwolf television star whose sleek good looks belied a troubled personal life, died aged 73 after a heart attack.
Born in 1945 in Denver, Colorado, Vincent starred in such films as 1972’s The Mechanic and 1978’s Hooper, in which he played a stuntman opposite Burt Reynolds.
Off-screen, his handsomeness earned him a spot on a cosmetic surgeon’s Ten Best Noses list in the late 1970s.
READ MORE: Airwolf star Jan-Michael Vincent dead at 73
Died: February 8, 2019
Sydney chef Justin Bull was found dead on Friday in his restaurant.
Bull, 46, had worked as a personal chef to film star Russell Crowe, billionaire James Packer and had cooked for the NSW Blues State of Origin side last year under Brad Fittler.
Mr Bull was described as an “energetic, passionate, talented charismatic, funny, hardworking and generous man”.
READ MORE: Widow of chef Justin Bull posts heartbreaking Instagram message
Died: February 3, 2019
Australian actor Carmen Duncan died after a battle with cancer.
The 76-year-old was best known for her roles in films Harlequin and Don’t Let It Get To You. Duncan also appeared in many Australian TV shows including Number 96, Homicide, Cop Shop, Skyways, A Country Practice, The Flying Doctors, and Winners and Losers.
Australian singer and TV presenter, David Campbell tweeted: “So sad to hear of the lovely Carmen Duncan passing. She indeed was a beautiful soul. RIP.”
Died: February 1, 2019
Clive Swift, who played the long-suffering husband of Hyacinth Bucket in the British comedy Keeping up Appearances died at age 82.
He graced TV screens from 1990 to 1995 alongside Patricia Routledge and also had a role in a Doctor Who Christmas special as Mr Copper.
His agent confirmed he died “peacefully at home” this morning surrounded by his family.
Clive was married to novelist Margaret Drabble between 1960 and 1975 and the couple had two sons, Joe and Adam, and a daughter Rebecca, who sadly died in April 2017.
READ MORE: Keeping up Appearances star Clive Swift dead at 82
Died: February 1, 2019
British comedian Jeremy Hardy died on Friday, February 1, 2019 after battling cancer.
Hardy began his stand-up career in the 1980s and featured regularly on BBC Radio on shows including The News Quiz and I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue.
His publicist issued a statement announcing the comic’s passing.
“He was with his wife and daughter as he died. He retained to the end the principles that guided his life, trying to make the world more humane, and to be wonderfully funny. He will be enormously missed by so many, who were inspired by him and who laughed with him. A fitting memorial will take place, details to be announced soon.”
Died: January 29, 2019
James Ingram, an American singer, songwriter and music producer, died aged 66.
Ingram first rose to fame for his Billboard chart-topping song I Don’t Have the Heart in 1990. He was credited with co-writing PYT (Pretty Young Thing) for Michael Jackson and his career resulted in 14 Grammy nominations.
Died: January 24, 2019
Singaporean actor Aloysius Pang died following an accident during a military training exercise in New Zealand, the Singaporean Ministry of Defence said.
The 28-year-old actor, also known as Pang Wei Chong, was taking part in the exercise at the Waiouru training area, south of Taupo on the North Island.
He was carrying out repair work inside a self-propelled Howitzer, a small tank, with two other Singapore Armed Forces personnel on January 19 when the accident occurred, the Ministry said today.
He sustained injuries to his abdomen when the gun barrel was lowered.
After the accident he was rushed to Waikato Hospital and underwent a number of surgeries.
READ MORE: Shocked fans mourn after Singaporean actor Aloysius Pang dies in NZ
Died: January 17, 2019
Mary Oliver was a award-winning poet who won both the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize. She died aged 83.
Oliver was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2015 and received ongoing treatment.
As a writer, she was credited with over 20 volumes of verse. Her work appeared in The New Yorker and often made the bestseller list.
Died: January 15, 2019
Carol Channing, the legendary Broadway actor who portrayed Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly! died in her LA home aged 97.
Her gravelly voice and big, bright smile became the trademarks of a performer who originated some of Broadway’s most iconic roles throughout the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s.
Her big break came in 1949 when she was cast as the diamond-obsessed showgirl Lorelei Lee in the Broadway musical Gentleman Prefer Blondes, in which she performed the now classic song Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.
READ MORE: Broadway legend Carol Channing from Hello Dolly dead at 97
Died: January 6, 2019
Actor Steve Buscemi’s wife of more than 30 years, Jo Andres, died aged 65.
The filmmaker, choreographer and artist died in New York City surrounded by friends and family. Her cause of death is unknown.
READ MORE: Steve Buscemi’s wife, filmmaker and choreographer Jo Andres, dead at 65
Died: January 6, 2019
Australian model Annalise Braakensiek was found dead in her Sydney home.
Police and ambulance crews attended Ms Braakensiek’s Potts Point apartment about 3.30pm after friends and family became concerned about her whereabouts.
Close friends told news.com.au the jewellery creator, lingerie designer and health guru had not been heard from for a few days.
Ms Braakensiek often posted to her 39,000 Instagram followers and was very honest about her dark days. She admitted last year was “challenging”, particularly not having her own home.
READ MORE: Annalise Braakensiek found dead in Potts Point apartment
Died: January 2, 2019
Former Neighbours star Darius Perkins died after a fight with cancer, aged 54.
Mr Perkins appeared as the original Scott Robinson in Neighbours in 1985 and starred in more than 50 episodes before Jason Donovan took over the part.
Mr Perkins went on to play Gary Samuels in Home And Away and also appeared in The Sullivans, Prisoner, A Country Practice and The Flying Doctors.
READ MORE: Beloved ex-Neighbours star dies after cancer battle
‘MEAN’ GENE OKERLUND
Died: January 2, 2019
Legendary professional wrestling ringside interviewer “Mean” Gene Okerlund died aged 76.
Okerlund was a familiar face and voice for generations of wrestling fanatics, chronicling the exploits of larger-than-life figures including Hulk Hogan and “Macho Man” Randy Savage over his nearly half-century career.
According to a report, Okerlund died weeks after taking a nasty tumble at his Florida home that left him with several broken ribs. The pro-wrestling Hall of Famer was already in poor health but he drastically declined following the fall in December
READ MORE: WWE mourns after death of legendary announcer ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund