As the year comes to a close it is natural to reflect and think about what has happened over the last 12 months.
While there have been many moments of community spirit, friendship and tenacity as the world battles the pandemic, there has also been loss.
As 2020 comes to an end we look back at well-known personalities who are no longer with us.
From sporting champions to silver screen stars and politicians, let’s take a look at the legacy they leave behind and celebrate their achievements.
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Derek Acorah, 69, January 3
TV mystic Derek Acorah died aged 69 after a short illness.
The self-styled spiritual medium, whose real name is Derek Johnson, is best known for hosting paranormal reality TV series Most Haunted and for appearing on Celebrity Big Brother in 2017.
His wife Gwen Acorah shared the news in a statement on his official Facebook page, adding that the psychic had been in intensive care after falling into a coma.
“Farewell my love! I will miss you forever! I’m devastated to announce that my beloved husband Derek has passed away after a very brief illness,” she wrote.
“Thank you so much to everybody who has supported me – I can never thank you enough.”
Kobe Bryant, 41, January 26
Kobe Bryant was one of the most decorated players in basketball history who transcended the sport and became a successful businessman and Oscar winner.
Bryant, who was 41, was killed in a helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in Calabasas, California, on January 26.
He spent his entire 20 year NBA career at the Los Angeles Lakers and became one of the most recognisable figures in the United States.
The double Olympic champion – who was an 18 time NBA All-Star – retired from basketball in 2016, but that was far from the end of the Kobe Bryant story.
He launched a multimedia original content company and in 2018 won an Academy Award for best short animated film entitled ‘Dear Basketball’.
Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa and their three others daughters Natalia, Bianca and Capri.
He was posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
A statement on the hall of fame’s Twitter account read: “He was one of the greatest competitors who stepped on the court and made sure his impact was felt on both sides of the ball. He is ranked 4th on the NBA’s career points list (33,643). We congratulate posthumously 5x NBA Champion Kobe Bryant.”
Nicolas Parsons, 96, January 28
Broadcasting legend Nicholas Parsons passed away after a short illness.
Tributes poured in for the Just a Minute host who entertained millions on the radio.
Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan tweeted: “RIP Nicholas Parsons, 96. A wonderful man who brought so much fun, charm, wit & pleasure to so many millions of people over so many decades. What a life.”
Actor Stephen Fry tweeted: “Oh no. Nicholas Parsons gone? He ruled Just a Minute for Just a Lifetime. A stunning achievement: never scripted, always immaculate.”
Kirk Douglas, 103, February 5
One of the last remaining stars of Hollywood’s golden age, American actor Kirk Douglas died aged 103.
Best known for films including Spartacus and Ace In The Hole, his son Michael announced the news in a statement and said he was proud to be his son and his legacy will endure for generations to come.
“To the world he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to,” he said.
Douglas was first called Issur Danielovitch and he endured an impoverished childhood.
He legally changed his name to Kirk Douglas before joining the US Navy during World War II.
He made his film debut in 1946 noir The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers, opposite Barbara Stanwyck.
Douglas, with his explosive acting style and masculine persona, soon established himself as a Hollywood leading man and throughout the 1950s starred in serious dramas, westerns and war movies.
His first best actor Oscar nomination came for his role in 1949 boxing drama Champion, while his second was in recognition of his part in 1952’s The Bad And The Beautiful, in which he starred opposite Lana Turner.
His third followed for the 1956 biopic Lust For Life, in which he portrayed Vincent Van Gogh.
But it is for 1960 historical epic Spartacus for which Douglas is best known.
He partnered with the then relatively unknown director Stanley Kubrick to play the leader of a slave revolt in ancient Rome.
Spartacus features one of the most quoted scenes in cinema. Towards the end of the film the captured slaves are told to identify Spartacus in exchange for leniency – they respond by all claiming to be Spartacus, sealing their own fate.
Spartacus also marked Douglas’s rebellion against the Hollywood blacklist during the early Cold War era.
When the film was released, he gave full credit to the screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, effectively ending the blacklist and becoming a hero those ostracised by it.
Reflecting on it years later, Douglas said: “I’ve made over 85 pictures, but the thing I’m most proud of is breaking the blacklist.”
Douglas was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1996 while the American Film Institute placed him number 17 on their list of the greatest male screen legends of classic Hollywood cinema.
He narrowly survived a helicopter crash in 1991 and suffered a stroke in 1996, following which he lived with a renewed focused on spirituality and religion.
Douglas, a father of four, is survived by his second wife, Anne Buydens, who he married in 1954.
Caroline Flack, 40, February 15
The former Love Island host took her own life at the age of 40.
The presented who fronted one of the biggest TV hits of recent years, was found dead at her London flat.
Her family said in a statement at the time: “We can confirm that our Caroline passed away today, the 15th of February.
“We would ask that the press respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time and we would ask they make no attempt to contact us and/or photograph us.”
The shock news prompted a flood of tributes from celebrities but also questions about the pressures faced by TV celebrities and about the decision to press ahead with her prosecution for an alleged assault on her boyfriend.
Flack stepped down from presenting Love Island after she was alleged to have assaulted Lewis Burton 27, at her then flat in Islington, North London, in December 2019.
She entered a not guilty plea to the assault charge at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court and she was released on bail, with conditions that stopped her having any contact with Burton ahead of a trial in March.
Flack is the fourth person linked to Love Island to have killed themselves.
Pop Smoke, 20, February 19
The US rapper was shot dead at his home in Los Angeles at age of 20.
His posthumous debut album Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon later topped the UK album chart and reached the number one slot.
His label, Republic Records, said at the time of his death: “We are devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of @POPSMOKE10.
“Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together.”
Michel Roux, 78, March 11
Chef and restaurateur Michel Roux died after a long battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
The founder of Le Gavroche and part of the Roux culinary dynasty died surrounded by his family at home in Bray-on-Thames, Berkshire.
A statement from his son Alain and daughters Francine and Christine on behalf of the family said: “We are grateful to have shared our lives with this extraordinary man and we’re so proud of all he’s achieved.
“A humble genius, legendary chef, popular author and charismatic teacher, Michel leaves the world reeling in his wake.”
Kenny Rogers, 81, March 20
Know for hits including “Islands in the Stream” and “Lucille”, the award-winning singer and songwriter died at his home in Sandy Springs, Georgia.
The husky-voiced singer, who also had hits such as Coward Of The County and The Gambler, was under hospice care and surrounded by his family at the time of his passing.
Long-standing collaborator Dolly Parton, whose duet Islands In The Stream with Rogers topped the charts in the US, shared a video in which she paid tribute to the singer while sitting at her piano.
She said: “I couldn’t believe it when I got up this morning and turned on the TV, checking to see what the coronavirus was doing, and they told me that my friend and singing partner Kenny Rogers had passed away.
“I know that we all know Kenny’s in a better place than we are today but I’m pretty sure he’s going to be talking to God sometime today – if he ain’t already – and he’s gonna be asking him to spread some light on the darkness going on here.
“But I loved Kenny with all my heart. And my heart’s broken. A big old chunk of it has gone with him today.
“And I think that I can speak for all his family, his friends and fans when I say that I will always love you.”
Bill Withers, 81, March 30
US soul singer Bill Withers, who was behind a string of hits in the 1970s including Lean On Me, Lovely Day and Ain’t No Sunshine, died from heart complications aged 81.
The three-time Grammy Award winner, who withdrew from making music in the mid-1980s, died in Los Angeles.
His death came as the public drew inspiration from his music during the coronavirus pandemic, with healthcare workers, choirs, artists and more posting their own renditions of Lean On Me to help get through the difficult times.
A family statement said: “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father. Heart-driven man with a heart driven to connect to the world at large, with his poetry and music, he spoke honestly to people and connected them to each other.
“As private a life as he lived close to intimate family and friends, his music forever belongs to the world. In this difficult time, we pray his music offers comfort and entertainment as fans hold tight to loved ones.”
Withers’ songs during his brief career have become the soundtracks of countless engagements, weddings and parties.
Honor Blackman, 94, April 5
Honor Blackman, known for playing Bond girl Pussy Galore, died aged 94 of natural causes.
The Avengers actress passed away surrounded by her family at her home in Lewes, Sussex.
Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said in a statement on Twitter: “Today we mark the passing of a film icon, Honor Blackman who shall forever be remembered as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger.
“She was an extraordinary talent and a beloved member of the Bond family. Our thoughts are with her family at this time.”
Irrfan Khan, 53, April 29
Slumdog Millionaire actor Irrfan Khan, died aged 53.
A veteran character actor in Bollywood movies and one of India’s most well-known exports to Hollywood, passed on after a colon infection, his spokesman said.
“Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him,” a statement released by the actor’s team read.
Khan made his screen debut in the Academy Award-nominated 1988 drama Salaam Bombay!, a tale of Mumbai’s street children.
The acclaimed actor was also involved in blockbusters such as Slumdog Millionaire, which was nominated for 10 Academy Awards in 2009.
He portrayed park executive Masrani in Jurassic World and also appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man and the adventure fantasy Life Of Pi.
He worked with directors like Mira Nair, Wes Anderson and Ang Lee.
The actor was diagnosed with a rare neuroendocrine cancer in 2018 and underwent months of treatment in the UK.
“I trust, I have surrendered,” Khan wrote in a heartfelt note after he broke the news of his battle with cancer.
He is survived by his wife, television writer and producer Sutapa Sikdar, and sons Babil and Ayan.
Little Richard, 87, May
The self-proclaimed architect of rock ‘n’ roll, died from bone cancer in Tennessee.
Little Richard, who inspired musicians including The Beatles, David Bowie and Sir Elton John, was a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer and renowned for hits such as Tutti Frutti and Long Tall Sally.
Rolling Stones singer Sir Mick said he had “contributed so much to popular music”, adding that he would “watch his moves” to learn from them while they toured together.
He also said Little Richard was “the biggest inspiration of my early teens” and his music still has “the same raw electric energy when you play it now as when it first shot through the music scene in the mid 50s”.
Sir Elton hailed Little Richard as “without doubt… my biggest influence”, adding: “Seeing him live in my teens was the most exciting event in my life at that point.”
Bob Dylan said that Little Richard was “the original spirit that moved me to do everything I would do”, adding: “Of course he’ll live forever. But it’s like a part of your life has gone.”
Beatles drummer Sir Ringo Starr described Little Richard as one of his “all-time musical heroes”, while Chic star Nile Rodgers said his death represented “the loss of a true giant”.
Paying tribute to the singer, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page said that his songs “pioneered Rock ‘n’ Roll”.
Elvis Costello urged people to play the song Rip It Up “very loud” as a tribute to the singer.
He added: “Then play it again. There’s nothing anyone can say, that says it better.”
Jerry Stiller, 92, May 11
Actor and comedian Jerry Stiller – the father of Ben Stiller – died aged 92.
The comic was known for his role in husband and wife comedy duo Stiller And Meara, as well as Seinfeld and The King Of Queens.
He also co-starred with his Hollywood star son in Zoolander, Hot Pursuit, The Heartbreak Kid and Zoolander 2.
Ben Stiller paid tribute to his father, saying he was a great family man.
He wrote on Twitter: “I’m sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, passed away from natural causes.
“He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years.
“He will be greatly missed. Love you Dad.”.
Fred Willard, 86, May 15
Modern Family star Fred Willard died aged 86.
The comic actor, whose improvisation style kept him relevant for more than 50 years, starred in films including Is Spinal Tap, Best In Show and Anchorman,
Willard’s daughter, Hope Mulbarger, said in a statement that her father died peacefully.
“He kept moving, working and making us happy until the very end,” Ms Mulbarger said.
“We loved him so very much. We will miss him forever.”
Willard was rarely a leading man or even a major supporting character. He specialised in small, scene-stealing appearances.
As an arrogantly clueless sports announcer on Best In Show, his character seemed to clearly know nothing about the dogs he is supposed to talk about, and asks his partner on air: “How much do you think I can bench?”
Willard was a four-time Emmy nominee for his roles in What’s Hot, What’s Not, Everybody Loves Raymond, Modern Family and The Bold and the Beautiful.
Gregory Tyree Boyce, 30, May 13
The Twilight actor died alongside his girlfriend, Natalie Adepoju, 27 at their Las Vegas apartment.
Gregory Tyree Boyce was best known for playing Tyler Crowley in the first Twilight film in 2008.
Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg said the couple died from the effects of cocaine and fentanyl intoxication, and their deaths were accidental.
Boyce leaves behind a 10-year-old daughter and Adepoju had a four-year-old son.
Dame Vera Lynn, 103, June 18
Forces’ Sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn died aged 103.
The singer entertained troops with morale-boosting visits to the front line during the Second World War.
Her family said in a statement at the time that they were “deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers at the age of 103”.
They added: “Dame Vera Lynn, who lived in Ditchling, East Sussex, passed away earlier today, 18 June 2020, surrounded by her close family.”
The Queen referenced the title of one of Dame Vera’s most beloved wartime songs when she told the country, separated from families and friends during the coronavirus lockdown: “We will meet again.”
She was also fondly remembered for singing The White Cliffs Of Dover, There’ll Always Be An England, I’ll Be Seeing You, Wishing and If Only I Had Wings, to help raise British spirits during the Blitz.
Earlier this year, ahead of the 75th anniversary of VE Day, Dame Vera spoke of remembering “the brave boys and what they sacrificed for us”.
“My songs reminded the boys of what they were really fighting for,” she once said.
“Precious, personal things, rather than ideologies and theories.”
Dame Vera later had her own television show and toured the world.
She remained an outspoken supporter of military veterans throughout her life.
Ian Holm, 88, June 19
Sir Ian Holm, best known for roles in Chariots Of Fire and The Lord Of The Rings, died at the age of 88.
The actor, who was also an acclaimed theatre star, appeared in films such as Alien and The Madness Of King George.
A statement from his agent Alex Irwin said: “It is with great sadness we can confirm that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE passed away this morning at the age of 88. He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer. His illness was Parkinson’s related.
“An established star of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Harold Pinter’s favourite actor, (he won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor as Lenny in The Homecoming), Sir Ian was globally recognised for his extraordinarily impressive and varied career which included highlights such as Chariots of Fire, The Fifth Element, Alien, The Sweet Hereafter, Time Bandits, The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Madness of King George.
“His portrayal of Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings trilogies ensured the magic of his craft could be shared by all generations.
“He was a genius of stage and screen, winning multiple awards and loved by directors, audiences and his colleagues alike. His sparkling wit always accompanied a mischievous twinkle in his eye.
“Charming, kind and ferociously talented, we will miss him hugely.”
His role as Sam Mussabini in Chariots Of Fire earned him a special award at the Cannes Film Festival, a Bafta award and an Oscar nomination for best-supporting actor.
He also found a new audience in the 1990s in the role of Pod in the TV adaptation of The Borrowers.
Carl Reiner, 98, June 29
Ocean’s Eleven actor Carl Reiner died at his home in Beverly Hills of natural causes.
The prolific performer, who helped create The Dick Van Dyke Show, was honoured by Hollywood stars and politicians.
Russell Crowe called him a “gem”, while Hillary Clinton said: “Carl Reiner was a lovely, hilarious man who knew how to drive home his beliefs with grace and humour.
“Sending my condolences to his family and friends at the conclusion of a life well-lived.”
Naya Rivera, 33, July 8
Glee star Naya Riveria disappeared while on a boating trip with her four-year-old son at Lake Piru, Southern California.
A rescue mission was launched but her body was found five days later in the water.
Police said undergrowth complicated the search and they had scoured the portion of the lake Rivera was later found at.
Investigators said they believe she was concealed by the shrubbery.
Her four-year-old son was found alive in a boat on the lake.
The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office said Rivera’s death was as a result of accidental drowning.
Rivera’s former Glee co-stars paid tribute on social media.
Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel on the show, said Rivera’s “beauty and talent were otherworldly”.
He wrote on Instagram: “How can you convey all your love and respect for someone in one post? How can you summarise a decade of friendship and laughter with words alone? If you were friends with Naya Rivera, you simply can’t.
“Her brilliance and humour were unmatched. Her beauty and talent were otherworldly. She spoke truth to power with poise and fearlessness. She could turn a bad day into a great day with a single remark.
“She inspired and uplifted people without even trying. Being close to her was both a badge of honour and a suit of armour. Naya was truly one of a kind, and she always will be.
“Sending all my love to her wonderful family and her beautiful son.”
Her ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in November and alleged Southern California did not adequately warn swimmers of the risks at the lake where she drowned.
The pair were married from 2014 to 2018.
Kelly Preston, 57, July 12
Kelly Preston, actress and wife of John Travolta, died aged 57.
The Jerry Maguire star died after a two-year battle with breast cancer, her husband said.
Sharing the news on Instagram he wrote: “It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my beautiful wife Kelly has lost her two-year battle with breast cancer. She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many.
“My family and I will forever be grateful to her doctors and nurses at MD Anderson Cancer Centre, all the medical centres that have helped, as well as her many friends and loved ones who have been by her side.
“Kelly’s love and life will always be remembered. I will be taking some time to be there for my children who have lost their mother, so forgive me in advance if you don’t hear from us for a while. But please know that I will feel your outpouring of love in the weeks and months ahead as we heal. All my love, JT”.
The couple had been married for more than 20 years and had three children, Jett who died in 2009 aged 16, daughter Ella Bleu, born 2000, and a second son, Benjamin, born 2010.
Preston remained a Scientologist until her death.
Benjamin Keough, 27, July 12
The grandson of Elvis Presley died at the age of 27.
Presley’s representative Roger Widynowski said in a statement that his mother, Lisa Marie Presley was “heartbroken” after learning about his death.
TMZ reported that Mr Keough died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Calabasas, California.
“She is completely heartbroken, inconsolable and beyond devastated but trying to stay strong for her 11-year-old twins and her oldest daughter Riley,” Mr Widynowski said in the statement.
“She adored that boy.
“He was the love of her life.”
Lisa Marie Presley had Keough and actress Riley Keough, 31, with her former husband Danny Keough.
She also had twins from another marriage.
Peter Green, 73, July 25
Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green died peacefully in his sleep.
The 73-year-old formed the influential group in London in 1967, alongside Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Jeremy Spencer.
He later left the band after struggling with his mental health.
Paying tribute Fleetwood said: “For me, and every past and present member of Fleetwood Mac, losing Peter Green is monumental.
“Peter was the man who started the band Fleetwood Mac along with myself, John McVie, and Jeremy Spencer. No one has ever stepped into the ranks of Fleetwood Mac without a reverence for Peter Green and his talent, and to the fact that music should shine bright and always be delivered with uncompromising passion.”
Chadwick Boseman, 43, August 28
Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman died at the age of 43 following a four-year battle with colon cancer, his family said in a statement.
The Hollywood star died at home with his wife and family by his side.
“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” the statement said.
“From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honour of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
The family added: “The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks you to continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”
Boseman had not spoken publicly about his diagnosis.
The US actor had been known for playing real-life figures, including professional baseball player Jackie Robinson in 2013 biopic 42 and James Brown in 2014’s Get On Up, before he landed the Marvel role which made him a superstar.
He first played Black Panther in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, before the character headlined a hugely successful blockbuster in 2018.
Black Panther was a hit with critics who praised its diversity and it grossed over 1.3 billion dollars at the global box office, as well as earning a best picture nomination at the Academy Awards.
In June he starred in Spike Lee’s searing drama Da 5 Bloods, playing a Vietnam soldier.
The film academy described Boseman’s death as an “immeasurable loss”.
It added: “From Black Panther to Da 5 Bloods, Chadwick Boseman brought strength and light to the screen, every time.”
Diana Rigg, 82, September 10
Dame Diana Rigg, who was best known for her roles in The Avengers, Game Of Thrones and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, died at the age of 82.
She had been diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and died peacefully at home, her daughter said.
A statement from her agent at the time, Simon Beresford said: “It is with tremendous sadness that we announce that Dame Diana Rigg died peacefully early this morning.
“She was at home with her family who have asked for privacy at this difficult time.
“Dame Diana was an icon of theatre, film, and television. She was the recipient of Bafta, Emmy, Tony and Evening Standard Awards for her work on stage and screen.
“Dame Diana was a much-loved and admired member of her profession, a force of nature who loved her work and her fellow actors. She will be greatly missed.”
Her daughter Rachael Stirling said: “My Beloved Ma died peacefully in her sleep early this morning, at home, surrounded by family.
“She died of cancer diagnosed in March, and spent her last months joyfully reflecting on her extraordinary life, full of love, laughter and a deep pride in her profession. I will miss her beyond words.”
Dame Diana was best known for her roles as Emma Peel in the TV series The Avengers, and more recently for playing Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones.
She also played Countess Teresa di Vicenzo, James Bond’s wife, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and was a highly acclaimed theatre actress.
She was named a dame in 1994 for services to drama.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87, September 18
US supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women’s rights champion who became known as the Notorious RBG, died aged 87.
The court’s second female justice died from complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, though she made few concessions to age and recurrent health problems in her latter years.
In 2019, doctors treated Ms Ginsburg with radiation for a tumour on her pancreas. She maintained an active schedule even during the three weeks of radiation therapy.
When she revealed a recurrence of her cancer in July 2020, this time with lesions on her liver that were treated with chemotherapy every two weeks, Ms Ginsburg said she remained “fully able” to continue as a justice.
She is survived by two children, Jane and James, and several grandchildren.
Archie Lyndhurst, 19, September 22
The son of Only Fools And Horses actor Nicholas Lyndhurst died after a short illness, according to the BBC.
Archie was best known for playing Ollie Coulton on comedy show So Awkward, which aired on the broadcaster’s children’s channel.
He followed his father into the profession, appearing in Jack Whitehall’s Bad Education series and voicing a character in the video game Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward.
Nicholas said in a brief statement with his wife of 21 years, former ballet dancer Lucy Smith: “Lucy and I are utterly grief-stricken and respectfully request privacy.”
Helen Reddy, 78, September 29
Helen Reddy, the singer best-known for feminist anthem I Am Woman, died aged 78 in Los Angeles.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother,” the singer’s daughters, Traci and Jordan, said.
“She was a wonderful Mother, Grandmother and a truly formidable woman. Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever.”
Reddy enjoyed a prolific career. She moved to the US and found success with the 1971 song I Don’t Know How to Love Him from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar.
Her other hits include Ain’t No Way To Treat A Lady, Delta Dawn, Angie Baby and You And Me Against The World.
But it was I Am Woman for which Reddy is best known. The song became a feminist anthem and won her the best female vocal pop performance Grammy in 1973.
I Am Woman was also the name of the biopic about Reddy’s life, which was released in Australia last month.
Johny Nash, 80, October 6
Johnny Nash, best known as the singer-songwriter of I Can See Clearly Now died at home in Houston.
The artist, who had been in declining health, died of natural causes his family said.
He was in his early 30s when I Can See Clearly Now topped the charts in 1972 after nearly two decades in the business.
He started out performing covers in the mid-1950s, but a decade later, he was co-running a record company, had become a rare American-born singer of reggae and helped launch the career of his friend Bob Marley.
Nash praised “the vibes of this little island” when speaking of Jamaica, and he was among the first artists to bring reggae to US audiences.
He peaked commercially in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when he had hits with Hold Me Tight, You Got Soul.
Sean Connery, 90, October 31
James Bond star Sir Sean Connery died at the age of 90, surrounded by his family.
The Scottish actor was the first to bring the role of 007 to the big screen and appeared in seven of the spy thrillers between 1962 and 1983.
Sir Sean’s son Jason told the BBC his father died peacefully in his sleep overnight while in Nassau in the Bahamas, where much of Thunderball was filmed, having been “unwell for some time”.
Jason Connery said his father “had many of his family who could be in the Bahamas around him” when he died.
He said: “We are all working at understanding this huge event as it only happened so recently, even though my dad has been unwell for some time.
“A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people around the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor.”
His five-decade career saw him win an Oscar, two Baftas and three Golden Globes.
Sir Sean’s other notable films included Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, Highlander and The Hunt For Red October.
He was on a number of occasions voted by fans as the best actor to have played 007 in the long-running franchise, beating Daniel Craig and Sir Roger Moore.
He was knighted in the 2000 New Year Honours for services to film drama.
Geoffrey Palmer, 93, November 5
The actor died peacefully at home, his agent said.
He was known for his roles in As Time Goes by, The Fall and the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies.
Dame Judi Dench hailed her As Time Goes By co-star as a “master of comedy”.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, the 85-year-old said: “He got me into more trouble. Oh my goodness how we laughed. We did nine (series) of As Time Goes By and it is too numerous to mention how many times.
“I used to stand there before each recording and think, ‘How have I got myself into this?’. I was always so frightened but there was no need. With Geoffrey Palmer there was no need. He was a master of comedy.”
Heavy D, 43, November 25
TV personality Heavy D first rose to fame as one of the buyers on the UK version of Storage Wars and Storage Hunters, picking up the nickname “The Boominator” along the way.
The reality star, real name Colin Newell, then appeared on Celebrity Big Brother alongside stars including actor Christopher Biggins, television presenter Saira Khan and singer Samantha Fox.
A cause of death has not been revealed although his family reportedly feared it could have been down to Covid.
TV channel Dave, which broadcasts Storage Hunters UK, paid tribute to Heavy D on Twitter.
A post from their official page said: “All of the team at Dave are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Heavy D.
“Our thoughts are with his family, friends and the whole Storage Hunters UK family.”
Dave Prowse, 85, November 28
The actor who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy died after a short illness, his agent confirmed.
The Bristolian’s varied life saw him achieve more than 70 acting screen credits and earn an MBE for playing the Green Cross Code Man to promote road safety.
But it was his portrayal of arch-villain Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy that came to define his career.
Prowse’s comment to director George Lucas on why he accepted the famous role rather than that of Han Solo’s furry sidekick Chewbacca has particular resonance following the announcement of his death aged 85.
“Everyone remembers the villain, George”, he reportedly said.
Prowse was born into a working-class family in Bristol in 1935.
As a teenager, he developed an interest in bodybuilding and weightlifting and spent nine years training before entering the 1960 Mr Universe contest.
Prowse took bronze at the British weightlifting heavyweight championships in 1961 before winning gold in the next three years.
He was also selected to represent England at the British Empire & Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia in 1962.
Prowse moved into acting, with one of his first screen credits the role of Frankenstein’s Monster in spy spoof Casino Royale in 1967.
For the next decade, Prowse clocked up TV and film roles playing villains and monsters, including appearing in The Saint, A Clockwork Orange, Up Pompeii and Doctor Who.
From the mid-1970s he became best known as the Green Cross Code Man in a long-running British road safety campaign that lasted until the 1990s.
Prowse once highlighted that road accident figures in Britain for children aged four to 11 fell from 40,000 a year in 1976 to under 20,000 by 1989.
“It’s the best thing I have ever done, I much prefer it to Star Wars,” he said of his safety role.
“I get a lot of enjoyment out of meeting the kids, going around schools. I must have talked to at least half-a-million children.”
Between acting roles, Prowse worked as a personal trainer to celebrities including Christopher Reeves, who he helped build up to play Superman. Fellow former body-builder Arnold Schwarzenegger also pumped iron in his gym.
Prowse’s own impressive 6 foot 6 inch stature and 18-stone weight made him a perfect fit to portray the imposing figure of Darth Vader.
But after winning the role for the first film in 1977 his Bristol accent was judged not to be intimidating enough, with James Earl Jones provided the menacing Vader voice instead.
But it was Prowse’s formidable stature which also gave the character his power in the three-part intergalactic Star Wars saga.
When asked why he felt the films succeeded, Prowse once said: “It’s a classic story of good triumphing over evil.”
Prowse remained loyal to Star Wars fans and would tour conventions with other actors, such as Kenny Baker, who played droid R2-D2.
Later in life the father-of-three ran a gym in South-East London and put his energies into raising money for charitable causes, such as the Royal Marsden Hospital.
Barbara Windsor, 83, December 10
With her irresistible chuckling laugh and signature crop of bright blonde hair, Dame Barbara Windsor was as much as a part of the nation’s landscape as Big Ben and tea and biscuits.
One of Britain’s favourite entertainment stars, cockney heroine Dame Barbara first become famous for her appearances as a buxom blonde in the Carry On films.
Successfully crossing the generational divide, she later became just as revered for her role as Peggy Mitchell, the Queen Vic’s battle-axe landlady in EastEnders who was known for yelling at rogue drinkers to “get outta my pub!”.
She was born Barbara Ann Deeks on August 6, 1937 in Shoreditch to father John, a barrow boy, and her dressmaker mother Rose.
From an early age Dame Barbara was sent to elocution lessons by her mother, who she once described as a “snobby East-Ender”.
At 15, her parents divorced and she was required to give evidence in court, but her testimony caused her father to abandon her. The pair never properly resolved their feud.
She later said that the moment “haunted” her for years, because she was a “daddy’s girl” and she had not been able to share his side of the story.
Dame Barbara’s first film appearance came in 1954’s The Belles Of St Trinians, but it was not until her appearances in the Carry On films that she rose to national prominence.
The star’s debut in the comedy series saw her star alongside Bernard Cribbins in Carry On Spying in 1964.
She appeared in nine of the 31 Carry On films, but was mostly associated with Carry On Camping and the memorable and risque scene in which her bikini top springs off during an exercise routine.
With her blonde hair and infectious giggle, the 4ft 10ins star instantly became popular with audiences, before her final appearance in 1974’s Carry On Dick.
She later said that she was typecast after appearing in the films.
“Years after it ended, no-one would give me a part where I played my age,” she told the Daily Express in 2007.
“People would get tunnel vision and only see the Carry On films.”
Other roles over the years included a small part in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, opposite Dick Van Dyke, Ken Russell’s The Boy Friend and On The Fiddle with Sean Connery.
As well as her screen career, Dame Barbara was known for treading the boards, having made her stage debut at the age of 13, before going on to land her first West End role in the chorus of Love From Judy in 1952.
She also starred on Broadway in a production of Oh, What A Lovely War!, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award.
Years later, fame came knocking again for Dame Barbara when she made her debut as Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders in 1994, starring alongside Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden as her fictional sons Grant and Phil, and Mike Reid as on-screen husband Frank Butcher.
A beloved member of the cast, she was at the heart of many of the soap’s most famous storylines.
When her character contracted breast cancer, she wrote many letters of advice to viewers who contacted her about their own struggles with the disease.
In 2003, Dame Barbara suffered an attack of the Epstein-Barr virus which forced her to take a break from EastEnders from 2003 to 2005. She returned briefly for two episodes in 2004.
In 2009, Dame Barbara announced she would be leaving the soap for good in order to spend more time with her third husband Scott Mitchell, who she married in 2000 and who was 25 years her junior.
Her performances as Peggy earned her numerous awards including best actress at the 1999 British Soap Awards and best exit at the 2016 Inside Soap Awards.
But her most prestigious accolade came in 2016, when she was made a Dame in for her services to charity and entertainment from The Queen.
At the time, she said: “I am so very honoured, proud and extremely humbled by this honour.
“I feel so lucky to live in a country I love, a job I have always adored which has allowed me to be in a position where I am able to help others.
“For a girl from the East End born into a working-class family and an evacuee during World War Two, this is truly like a dream. I am so happy and blessed to say it’s real.”
As well as her EastEnders role dominating her later years, in 2010 she voiced Mallymkun the Dormouse in Tim Burton’s live action adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland and in 2016’s Alice Through The Looking Glass.
In 2017, the BBC aired a biopic film called Babs, charting her rise to fame, penned by EastEnders scriptwriter Tony Jordan and starring Jaime Winstone and Samantha Spiro as younger versions of the star.
She said watching it back and reliving the biggest moments in her life was a “very emotional experience for me”.
“I managed to get through it without completely breaking down but at the end I stood up and walked out of the room and had a good cry,” she added.
Dame Barbara never had children and spoke openly about having had five abortions, but in 2017 she said that she did not regret not becoming a mother.
“I consider myself to be a warm and lovely person but I never had any maternal feelings,” she told The Sun in 2017.
In May 2018, Mr Mitchell revealed in an interview that Dame Barbara had been living with Alzheimer’s after being diagnosed in April 2014.
In August 2020 Mr Mitchell revealed that Dame Barbara had been moved to a care home as she struggled with her advancing dementia.
A heartbroken Mr Mitchell said the former EastEnders star left the couple’s home in mid-July.
Speaking to The Sun, he said: “I feel I’m on an emotional rollercoaster. I walk around, trying to keep busy, then burst into tears. It feels like a bereavement.
“It’s always been my biggest fear, that one day I would have to take her somewhere and she’d be thinking, ‘Why would he do this to me?’
“That fear has become a reality. It’s something I never wanted.”
Among those supporting her since her diagnosis was her close friend and former EastEnders co-star Ross Kemp.
Kemp, who played Grant Mitchell on Albert Square for more than 25 years alongside Dame Barbara as his on-screen mother, went on to make an ITV programme called Living With Dementia.
In the programme, which aired in June 2020, Kemp, 56, explained that her illness was the reason he decided to explore the disease on screen.
John le Carre, 89, December 12
Cold War espionage author David Cornwell, known by his pen name John le Carre, died aged 89 after a battle with pneumonia.
Among his 25 novels were acclaimed best-sellers including Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, and The Night Manager.
Cornwell drew on his experience working for the British intelligence services including MI6 during the Cold War in his writing, but later in life said he was irked at the extent to which his fiction was portrayed as representing real-world spying.
His most well-known character was the career intelligence officer George Smiley – made even more famous by Alec Guinness in the TV series of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Born in 1931, Cornwell was first educated at the University of Bern, in Switzerland, where he studied German.
He studied further at Oxford before teaching at Eton, then embarking on his undercover intelligence career, in the guise of a junior diplomat at the British embassy at Bonn, in Western Germany.
His first thriller, Call For The Dead, was published pseudonymously in 1961.
Two years later, the publication of The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, a story about an assignment to confront East German Intelligence, brought him world-wide acclaim, and he left the service to pursue writing full time.
Cornwell said his manuscript was approved by the secret service because they “rightly if reluctantly” concluded it was “sheer fiction from start to finish” and posed no security risk.
But he said the world’s press took a different view, deciding the book was “not merely authentic but some kind of revelatory Message From The Other Side”.
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