From beloved “Friends” star Matthew Perry to style icon Jane Birkin, Euronews Culture remembers the arts and entertainment stars who died this year.
Join us as we pay homage to some of the most notable figures in the realms of art and entertainment who bid us farewell over the past twelve months.
It’s impossible to do justice to all the people who left an indelible mark on our lives either through their achievements, performances or strength of character but we wanted to celebrate the joy they spread and, the fun, fear, sadness or excitement they made us feel.
For more on the stars from the world of music who passed this year, from Shane MacGowan to Tina Turner, check out our tribute page.
The following names are listed chronologically by the dates of their deaths.
Lisa Loring (1958 – 2023)
Lisa Loring, who was the first actress to play Wednesday, the youngest member of the creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky and ooky Addams Family, died aged 64.
Loring played the princess of all things morbid from 1964 to 1966 in The Addams Family, the first adaptation of Charles Addams’ New Yorker cartoons.
She was just five years old when she was cast.
Paco Rabanne (1934 – 2023)
Renowned designer Paco Rabanne, one of the most seminal fashion figures of the 20th century, died aged 88.
Over decades the Franco-Spanish couturier created memorable designs and developed several enticing scents that brought him success both on the catwalk and on the high streets, making him a household name.
Raquel Welch (1940 – 2023)
Hollywood star Raquel Welch, whose emergence from the sea in a skimpy, furry bikini in the film ‘One Million Years B.C.’ made her an international sex symbol throughout the 1960s and ’70s, died aged 82.
Her curves and beauty also captured pop culture’s attention, with Playboy crowning her the “most desired woman” of the ’70s, despite never being completely naked in the magazine.
In addition to acting, Welch was a singer and dancer.
And she surprised many critics and attracted positive reviews when she starred in the 1981 musical ‘Woman of the Year’ on Broadway, replacing Lauren Bacall.
Lance Reddick (1962 – 2023)
Lance Reddick, the charismatic and prolific actor who appeared in major TV series like ‘The Wire’, ‘Fringe’ and ‘Bosch’, as well as in the John Wick franchise, died of natural causes at the age of 60.
The actor had been in the middle of a press tour for the fourth instalment of the John Wick movies, John Wick: Chapter 4.
He played a recurring character named Charon, the concierge at the Continental Hotel who works alongside Keanu Reeves’ infamous hitman.
Reddick was also slated to appear in the upcoming Ballerina spinoff, starring Ana de Armas.
Michael Lerner (1941 – 2023)
Academy Award-nominated American actor Michael Lerner died at the age of 81.
The late actor was best known for his role as the film producer, Jack Lipnick, in Barton Fink (1991) which earned him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards.
He has also starred and appeared in other films and series: The Warden in No Escape (1994), Mel Horowitz on the television series Clueless (1996-97), Jerry Miller in The Beautician and the Beast(1997), Mayor Ebert in Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla (1998), Mr. Greenway in Elf (2003), and Senator Brickman in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).
Barry Humphries (1934 – 2023)
Barry Humphries, best known for his comic creation Dame Edna Everage, died at the age of 89.
The Australian entertainer, who was particularly popular in the UK, appeared in West End shows including Maggie May and Oliver!.
His star rose further when the character of Dame Edna, a parody of suburban housewives, became a hit in the 1970s, even landing her own TV chat show, the Dame Edna Everage Experience, in the late 1980s.
Known for her flamboyant glasses, wittily condescending attitude, lilac-rinsed hair and catchphrase “Hello possums!”, Humphries even wrote an autobiography called My Gorgeous Life, as the character.
Jerry Springer (1944 – 2023)
Jerry Springer, the onetime mayor of Cincinnati and news anchor turned legendary TV host, died at the age of 79.
The American presenter was famous for his raucous talk show, The Jerry Springer Show, which featured a three-ring circus of dysfunctional families willing to bare all on weekday afternoons including brawls, obscenities, bleep-filled arguments and blurred images of nudity.
At its peak, it was a ratings powerhouse and a US cultural pariah, synonymous with lurid drama.
Well in advance of Donald Trump’s political rise from reality TV stardom, Springer mulled a Senate run in 2003 that he surmised could draw on “non-traditional voters,” people “who believe most politics are bull.”
Martin Amis (1949 – 2023)
Celebrated British author Martin Amis, known for his seminal novels, Money and London Fields, died at 73.
Amis’ works were rebellious, witty and daring and made him one of the most prominent writers of his generation.
Money: A Suicide Note, a satire published in 1984, is considered one of his finest early works. It was included as one of the 100 best novels written in English by the Guardian which described it as a “zeitgeist book that remains one of the dominant novels of the 1980s.”
A film adaptation of Amis’s novel The Zone of Interest directed by Jonathan Glazer premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
Glenda Jackson (1936 – 2023)
Glenda Jackson, the Oscar-winning actress and former MP, died at the age of 87.
The British trailblazer, who won two Academy Awards for Women In Love and A Touch of Class, as well as two more nominations, was an international star in the 1970s.
At the height of her career, she gave it all up for politics, acting as a Labour MP in north London from 1992 until 2015.
Alan Arkin (1934 – 2023)
Oscar-winning actor Alan Arkin, who had a decades-long career and won the Academy Award for best-supporting actor for his role in 2006’s Little Miss Sunshine, died at the age of 89.
In the movie about a dysfunctional family on their way to a beauty pageant, he played a frail, foul-mouthed grandfather who was suffering from years of drug abuse.
Throughout his long career, Arkin was very prolific, appearing in more than 100 films and TV shows, nominated for four Oscars in total, including for his roles The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming and Argo,and was also a renowned director and author.
Jane Birkin (1946 – 2023)
Jane Birkin, the Franco-British actress, singer and style icon died at the age of 76.
She first came to public attention in Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Blow Up, where her nudity caused a scandal.
Birkin achieved international fame through her enduring musical and romantic collaboration with Serge Gainsbourg spanning a decade.
In addition to her musical success, she enjoyed a prolific acting career, predominantly in French cinema, working with some of the world’s finest film-makers, including Jacques Rivette and Agnès Varda.
Angus Cloud (1998 – 2023)
Angus Cloud, the actor who starred as the drug dealer Fezco “Fez” O’Neill on the HBO series “Euphoria” alongside Zendaya, died at the age of 25.
To some, Cloud seemed so natural as Fez that they suspected he was identical to the character – a notion that Cloud pushed back against.
The part made Cloud the breakout star of one the buzziest shows on television. He was also cast to co-star in Scream 6 before his death.
Mark Margolis (1939 – 2023)
Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul actor Mark Margolis, renowned for his portrayal of Hector Salamanca, passed away at the age of 83.
Margolis, a versatile actor with a career spanning over five decades and more than 60 films, achieved widespread recognition for his role as the resentful former drug lord Salamanca.
The role earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2012.
Margolis also had notable roles in Scarface, Ace Ventura, and The Wrestler.
William Friedkin (1935 – 2023)
Oscar-winning director William Friedkin, who shot to global stardom with the release of the 1973 film, The Exorcist, died at the age of 87.
The Exorcist was a Hollywood blockbuster based on William Peter Blatty’s best-selling novel about a 12-year-old girl possessed by the devil.
The harrowing scenes of the girl’s possession and a splendid cast, including Linda Blair as the girl, Ellen Burstyn as her mother and Max Von Sydow and Jason Miller as the priests who try to exorcise the devil, helped make the film a box-office sensation.
The film received 10 Oscar nominations, including one for Friedkin as director, and won two, for Blatty’s script and for sound.
But it was two years prior that he won his first Oscar for ‘The French Connection’.
Friedkin continued working until his death. His latest film, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, starring Kiefer Sutherland premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival.
David McCallum (1933 – 2023)
Renowned actor David McCallum, celebrated for his role as a teenage heartthrob in the iconic 1960s series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and later as the eccentric medical examiner in the immensely popular NCIS four decades later, died at the age of 90.
In NCIS, McCallum played Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard, a bookish pathologist for the Naval Criminal Investigation Service.
Throughout his illustrious career, McCallum also made guest appearances on various TV shows, such as Murder, She Wrote and Sex and the City.
Geneviève de Fontenay (1932 – 2023)
Geneviève de Fontenay, a historic and iconic figure in the Miss France pageant, died aged 90.
She took over sole management of the Miss France Committee in 1981, after the death of Louis de Fontenay.
Known for her strong character, and signature black and white outfits, she boycotted the centenary of beauty pageants in France organised by French channel TF1 at the end of 2020.
Defending a conservative image of femininity, she was gradually ostracised.
Michael Gambon (1940 – 2023)
Veteran actor Sir Michael Gambon, best known for playing Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight Harry Potter films, died aged 82.
He was cast as the much-loved character after the death of his predecessor, Richard Harris, in 2002.
Although the Potter role raised Gambon’s international profile and introduced him to a new generation of fans, he had long been recognised as one of Britain’s leading actors.
His work spanned TV, theatre and radio, and he starred in dozens of films from The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, The Insider, Gosford Park to The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou , Hail, Caesar!, The King’s Speech, and the animated family movie Paddington.
Terence Davies (1945 – 2023)
British screenwriter and director Terence Davies, hailed by critics as one of the greatest filmmakers of his generation, died at the age of 77.
After making several experimental short films in the 70s and 80s, known as the Terence Davies’ trilogy, Davies made his feature debut with 1988’s Distant Voices, Still Lives, a semi-autobiographical film that remains to this day one of his most celebrated works.
The lyrical film, which favoured imagery over dialogue, won the Cannes International Critics Prize in 1988, and in 2002 was voted the ninth-best film of the past 25 years by British film critics.
His final two feature films were centred around influential literary figures, Emily Dickinson in A Quiet Passion and Siegfried Sassoon in Benediction.
Burt Young (1940 – 2023)
Oscar-nominated actor, Burt Young, who played Paulie, the mumbling-and-grumbling best friend, corner man and brother-in-law of Sylvester Stallone in six Rocky films, died aged 83.
Rocky was nominated for ten Oscars, including best supporting actor for Young. It won three, including best picture.
Young also had roles in acclaimed films and television shows including Chinatown, Once Upon a Time in America and The Sopranos, and guest-starring in MASH and Miami Vice.
Richard Roundtree (1942 – 2023)
Richard Roundtree, the trailblazing actor who starred as the ultra-smooth private detective in several Shaft films beginning in the early 1970s, died at the age of 81.
He was considered as the first Black action hero and became one of the leading actors in the Blaxploitation genre through his New York street smart John Shaft character in the Gordon Parks-directed film in 1971.
Roundtree’s character was part of a change in how Black movies were viewed in Hollywood, which failed to consider Black actors – especially for leading roles – in projects at the time.
The Blaxploitation films were primarily aimed at the African American audiences, and later influenced directors such as Quentin Tarantino.
Through his 50-plus year career, Roundtree appeared in a number other notable films including Earthquake, City Heat, Roots, Maniac Cop, Se7en and What Men Want.
Matthew Perry (1969 – 2023)
Friends star Matthew Perry, the Emmy-nominated actor whose sarcastic, but lovable Chandler Bing was among television’s most famous and most quotable characters, died at 54.
Perry’s 10 seasons on Friends made him one of Hollywood’s most recognisable actors, starring opposite Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow and David Schwimmer as a friend group in New York.
As Chandler, he played the quick-witted, insecure and neurotic roommate of LeBlanc’s Joey and a close friend of Schwimmer’s Ross.
The series was one of television’s biggest hits and has taken on a new life – and found surprising popularity with younger fans – in recent years on streaming services.
Perry also had several notable film roles, starring opposite Salma Hayek in the rom-com Fools Rush In and Bruce Willis in the crime comedy The Whole Nine Yards.
Benjamin Zephaniah (1958 – 2023)
Birmingham-born writer and poet Benjamin Zephaniah, known for his poetry, music, acting roles, died aged 65.
Zephaniah moved to London in his 20s, where he published his first poetry collection ‘Pen Rhythm’ in 1980.
Over his life, he went on to publish 14 poetry collections, five novels, a non-fiction biography of Mona Baptiste, five children’s books, seven plays, among many other works.
Alongside his writing work, Zephaniah has recorded extensive music, including seven studio albums. He also acted, most notably as recurring character Jeremiah Jesus in the BBC series Peaky Blinders.
Ryan O’Neal (1941 – 2023)
Hollywood actor Ryan O’Neal, who worked across genres with many of the era’s most celebrated directors, including Peter Bogdanovich on Paper Moon and _What’s Up, Doc?_and Stanley Kubrick on Barry Lyndon, died aged 82.
The heartthrob actor went from a TV soap opera to an Oscar-nominated role in Love Story and delivered a wry performance opposite his charismatic nine-year-old daughter Tatum in Paper Moon.
Ryan O’Neal was nominated for best actor for 1970 tear-jerker drama Love Story, co-starring Ali MacGraw, about a young couple who fall in love, marry and discover she is dying of cancer.
The romantic melodrama was the highest-grossing film of 1970, became one of Paramount Pictures’ biggest hits and collected seven Oscar nominations, including one for best picture. It won for best music.
Andre Braugher (1962 – 2023)
Andre Braugher, the Emmy-winning actor known for his role in the US comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine and the gritty cop drama Homicide, Life on the Streets, died at the age of 61.
Known for his instantly recognisable deep voice, Braugher’s career spanned gritty drama and modern comedy, earning him critical acclaim and accolades, including two Emmys.
He won his first career Emmy for his role as Detective Frank Pembleton in Homicide: Life on the Street, a dark police drama based on a book by David Simon.
He went on to play a very different kind of cop on a very different kind of show, shifting to comedy as Capt. Ray Holt on the beloved Andy Samberg-starring Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
It would run for eight seasons from 2013 to 2021 on Fox and NBC.