Friday, 29 December 2017

RIP, 2017

'Tis that time of year again, folks - as we open the "Book of the Dead" for 2017. It's been a year that has not, perhaps, seen so many world-famous and shock deaths as 2016 (Roger Moore, John Hurt, Mary Tyler-Moore, Jerry Lewis and David Cassidy aside), but nonetheless for me personally (and for many of our generation) this was a year when whole swathes of familiar and beloved faces from our childhoods went off to the great Rediffusion box in the sky: Brucie, Barry Norman, "Catweazle", "René", Noaksie, "Shelley", William G Stewart, "Clegg", Likely Lad "Bob", Cheggers, "Siegfried Farnon", "Benson", Brian Cant, "Oscar Goldstein", Heinz Wolff, "Batman" and all...

William Christopher (US actor, "Father Mulcahy" in M*A*S*H)
Om Puri (Indian actor, East is East, Gandhi)
Peter Sarstedt (US singer-songwriter, Where Do You Go To, My Lovely?)
Buddy Bregman (US arranger, producer and composer, Verve Records)
Victor Lownes (US businessman, executive for Playboy Enterprises UK and originator of the idea of "Playboy bunnies")
Graham Taylor (British football pundit, former England manager)
Larry Steinbachek (British pop keyboardist, Bronski Beat)
Lord Snowdon, Anthony Armstrong-Jones (British photographer, ex-husband of Princess Margaret)
William Peter Blatty (US author and filmmaker, The Exorcist)
Buddy Greco (US swing singer and member of the "Rat Pack", The Lady is a Tramp)
Eugene Cernan (US astronaut, last man on the Moon)
Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint (British cricketer, former England women's team captain)
Gorden Kaye (British comedy actor, René in Allo, Allo!)
Mary Tyler Moore (US television actress, comedienne and entertainer)
Tam Dalyell (British (Scottish) former MP, famously a "thorn in Maggie Thatcher's side")
Alexander Chancellor (British journalist, former editor of The Spectator)
Emmanuelle Riva (French actress)
Barbara Hale (US actress, "Della Street" in Perry Mason)
Sir John Hurt (British actor, I Claudius, Naked Civil Servant, Alien)
Sir Christopher Bland (British businessman, former chair of the BBC board of governors and chairman of the Royal Shakespeare Company)
Desmond Carrington (British broadcaster, DJ and "national treasure", Radio 2)
Alec McCowen (British actor, Travels With My Aunt, Personal Services)
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson (British model, socialite and friend of Prince Charles)
Alan Simpson (British comedy writer, Hancock’s Half Hour, Steptoe and Son)
Nicolai Gedda (Swedish operatic tenor)
Richard Hatch (US actor, Battlestar Galactica)
Damian Davey (British Hi-NRG singer, The Timewarp)
Al Jarreau (US jazz-soul singer, theme from Moonlighting)
Peter Skellern (British singer-songwriter, You're A Lady)
Lord (David) Waddington (British politician, former Home Secretary)
Bill Paxton (US actor, Aliens)
Neil Fingleton (Britain’s Tallest Man and actor, Game of Thrones)
Sir Gerald Kaufman (British MP, longest-serving member ("Father of the House") of the Commons)
Ann Beach (British character actress, Fresh Fields, Notting Hill)
Joni Sledge (US singer, Sister Sledge)
Tony Haygarth (British character actor, Rosie, Emmerdale)
Chuck Berry (US rock'n'roll singer and guitarist: No Particular Place to Go, Roll Over Beethoven, My Ding-a-Ling)
Martin McGuinness (British (Northern Irish) politician, leader of the murderous IRA terrorist organisation during the 1970s and 80s)

Colin Dexter (British crime writer, creator of Inspector Morse)
David Storey (British author, This Sporting Life)
Clem Curtis (British soul singer and founder member of The Foundations, Baby Now That I've Found You)
Gilbert Baker (US artist, created the rainbow flag)
Cuba Gooding (US soul singer, The Main Ingredient)
Darcus Howe (British-Trinidadian controversial black rights activist)
Tim Pigott-Smith (British actor, Jewel in the Crown, The Chief)
Don Rickles (US comedian)
Brian Matthew (British broadcaster, BBC Radio 2)
David Parry-Jones (British (Welsh) BBC TV presenter, newsreader and rugby pundit)
Christopher Morahan (British director and producer, Jewel in the Crown, deputy director of the National Theatre)
John Geils Jr (US musician, founder of The J Geils Band, Centrefold)
Emma Morano (Italian supercentenarian, last surviving person born in the 1800s)
Clifton James (US actor, "Sheriff JW Pepper" in Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun)
Jane Freeman (British actress, "Ivy" in Last of the Summer Wine)
Michael Bogdanov (British theatre director, the controversial Romans In Britain)
Sylvia Moy (US songwriter for Motown: My Cherie Amour, It Takes Two, This Old Heart of Mine)
Erin Moran (US actress, "Joanie" in Happy Days)
Jonathan Demme (US film director: Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia)
Leo Baxendale (British cartoonist, creator of "Minnie the Minx" and the "Bash Street Kids" in legendary kids' comic The Beano)
Daliah Lavi (Israeli actress, Casino Royale)
Robert Miles (Swiss-Italian trance music producer and DJ, Children)
Geoffrey Bayldon (British actor, Catweazle)
Michael Wearing (British TV producer and executive, Boys From The Blackstuff, Edge of Darkness)
Ian Brady (Britain's most notorious child murderer, the Moors Murders)
Rhodri Morgan (British (Welsh) politician, former first minister of the Welsh Assembly)
Powers Boothe (US actor and voiceover artist)
Sir Roger Moore (British actor, James Bond)
Dina Merrill (US heiress, socialite and actress)
Gregg Allman (US musician, Allman Brothers, former "Mr Cher")
John Noakes (British children's TV presenter and "national treasure")
General Manuel Noriega (Panamanian military dictator, convicted drug trafficker)
Roy Barraclough (British comedian and actor, Les Dawson Show, Coronation Street)
Peter Sallis (British comedy actor, Last of the Summer Wine, Wallace and Gromit)
Adnan Khashoggi (Saudi businessman, arms dealer and socialite)
Adam West (US actor, Batman)
Anita Pallenberg (German-Italian model, Rolling Stones groupie and socialite)

Countess Mountbatten of Burma (British aristocracy, cousin of Prince Philip, widow of Lord Louis Mountbatten)
Helmut Kohl (German statesman, Chancellor who presided over the unification of East and West)
Brian Cant (British children's TV presenter, Play School)
Michael Bond (British author, Paddington Bear)
Barry Norman (British broadcaster, presented the Film programme for 20 years on BBC)
Carla Fendi (Italian fashion tycoon)
Paul Hollingdale (British broadcaster, first DJ voice on BBC Radio 2)
George Romero (US-Canadian horror film director, Night of the Living Dead)
Elsa Martinelli (Italian actress)
Martin Landau (US actor, Mission Impossible, Space: 1999)
John Heard (US actor, Home Alone)
Chester Bennington (US rock vocalist, Linkin Park)
Kenneth Jay Lane (US costume jewellery creator)
Deborah Watling (British actress, "Victoria" - companion to the second Doctor Who)
Jeanne Moreau (French actress, Jules et Jim)
Sam Shepard (US actor and playwright)
Robert Hardy (British actor, All Creatures Great and Small)
Hywel Bennett (British (Welsh) actor, Shelley, Malice Aforethought)
Glenn Campbell (US singer, Wichita Linesman, Rhinestone Cowboy)
Barbara Cook (US Broadway singer, Glitter and Be Gay, Mostly Sondheim)
Bruce Forsyth (British entertainer and TV host, Generation Game, Strictly Come Dancing)
Jerry Lewis (US comedian, 10-year comedy partnership with Dean Martin)
Bea Wain (US Big Band era singer)
Richard Anderson (US actor, "Oscar Goldman" in The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman)
Walter Becker (US musician, co-founder of Steely Dan)
Holger Czukay (German experimental music pioneer, co-founder of Can)
Don Williams (US Country singer)
Sir Peter Hall (British theatre impresario, founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company, director of the National Theatre)
JP Donleavy (Irish author, The Ginger Man)
Harry Dean Stanton (US actor)
Jake LaMotta (US boxer, inspiration for the film Raging Bull)
Liliane Bettencourt (French heiress, L'Oreal mogul and World's Richest Woman)
Sir Teddy Taylor (British Tory MP, one of PM John Major's rebels whom he called "the bastards")
William G Stewart (British television producer and presenter, Fifteen to One)
Liz Dawn (British actress, "Vera Duckworth" in Coronation Street)
Tony Booth (British actor, Till Death Us Do Part; and Tony Blair's father-in-law)
Hugh Hefner (US multi-millionaire publisher, founder of Playboy)
Jack Good (British pop music pioneer and producer, Six-Five Special, Shindig, launched the careers of Cliff Richard and PJ Proby)
Benjamin Whitrow (British character actor, Pride & Prejudice, Chancer)
Tom Petty (US rock singer/songwriter)

Bobby Knutt (British comedian and character actor, Benidorm)
Hervé Léger (French fashion designer)
Richard Smith (British gay journalist and blogger, Fagburn)
Sean Hughes (British-Irish stand-up comedian, actor and TV host, Never Mind The Buzzcocks)
Roy Dotrice (British veteran stage and screen actor)
Danielle Darrieux (French actress and centenarian)
Judith McGrath (Australian actress, "'Po-Face' Colleen Powell" in Prisoner Cell Block H)
Rosemary Leach (British actress, The Jewel in the Crown, Jackanory)
Sir Bert Massie (British disability rights campaigner)
Robert Guillaume (US comic actor, Soap, Benson)
Fats Domino (US musician, "founding father" of rock'n'roll)
Nancy Friday (US feminist, pioneering writer on women's sexuality and fantasies)
George Young (British (Scottish)-Australian musician and producer, Easybeats, AC/DC)
Antonio Carluccio (Italian-British TV chef and restaurateur)
John Hillerman (US actor, "Higgins" in Magnum, P.I.)
Dudley Simpson (Australian composer and conductor of TV show themes: The Tomorrow People, Blake's 7)
Keith Barron (British television actor, Duty Free, Telford’s Change)
Liz Smith (US gossip columnist and long-term friend of Elaine Stritch)
Malcolm Young (British (Scottish)-Australian rock guitarist and founder member of AC/DC)
Professor Roger Lockyer (British historian, writer and one half of the very first gay couple who became "civil partners")
Charles Manson (US notorious mass murderer)
Jana Novotna (Czech tennis player, Wimbledon champion 1998)
Rodney Bewes (British actor, The Likely Lads)
David Cassidy (US pop singer and teen idol)
Jim Nabors (US actor and singer)
Della Reese (US jazz, blues and Cha-Cha-Cha singer and actress)
King Michael of Romania
Shashi Kapoor (Indian Bollywood actor, Heat and Dust)
Christine Keeler (British model at the heart of the "Profumo Affair")
Johnny Hallyday (French singer, nicknamed "The French Elvis")
Toni Mascolo (British hairdresser and businessman, founded Toni & Guy)
Max Clifford (British former celebrity publicist, jailed for sex abuse)
Keith Chegwin (British [mainly children's] TV host, Cheggers Plays Pop, Multi-Coloured Swap Shop)
Professor Heinz Wolff (German scientist, inventor and TV presenter, The Great Egg Race)
Keely Smith (US singer, partnered Louis Prima, That Old Black Magic)
Juan Lladró (Spanish porcelain businessman, co-founder of Lladró)
Heather Menzies (British (Scottish)-Canadian actress, "Louisa" in The Sound of Music)
Bronwen, Lady Astor (British aristocrat, hostess at Clivedon, venue for the parties at the heart of the "Profumo Affair")

Farewell, one and all.


  1. Well that was depressing. Surprising how many when you see the whole years list. Tim Pigott-Smith Jewel in the Crown and Jane Freeman were two of my favorites from two of my favorites viewing rituals.

    1. "The Book of the Dead" always makes for depressing (and sometimes surprising, when you'd forgotten someone had died) reading. Trivia: I stood next to Tim Pigott-Smith at a urinal in Kew Gardens once (it was quite a pleasant sight); and I have had sex with one person on this list. Unfortunately it wasn't David Cassidy. RIP, indeed. Jx

    2. No can't leave me pun intended.

    3. Put it this way: I did "a jump to the left, then a step to the ri-i-i-i-ight"... Jx

    4. But it's the pelvic thrust that really drives ...

    5. He had a huge amount to thrust with, my dear! Jx

  2. Cripes ! if it carries on like this we won't have any one worth having left.

    1. I've popped a note through to Sir David Attenborough, Doris Day and Carol Channing to make sure they're keeping warm... Jx


Please leave a message - I value your comments!