Remembering the entertainment and arts figures we lost in 2019
Broadway star Carol Channing died at the age of 97 of natural causes. The actress and singer was best known for starring in the musicals Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Hello, Dolly! Channing also had significant Hollywood success, earning a supporting actress Golden Globe for the 1967 film Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Windsor Davies, actor and star of It Ain't Half Hot Mum, died aged 88. Davies was best known as the sergeant major in the TV series. Born in Canning Town, London, he returned to his father's home village, Nantymoel in Bridgend county, when World War Two broke out.
The writer and editor Diana Athill died at the age of 101. Athill was best known for working with authors including Margaret Atwood, Philip Roth and VS Naipaul. She was also an author in her own right, releasing accounts of her childhood in Norfolk and life in publishing. Athill won the Costa biography award at the age of 91, making her the oldest-ever winner in the awards' history.
French Oscar-winning composer and jazz pianist Michel Legrand died in Paris aged 86. During a career spanning more than 50 years, Legrand wrote over 200 film and TV scores, as well as songs. In 1968, he won his first Oscar for the song The Windmills of Your Mind from The Thomas Crown Affair film.
Dick Miller, the veteran character actor best known for his role as Murray Futterman in the 1984 film Gremlins, died at the age of 90. Miller made hundreds of screen appearances during a career that spanned six decades. His first role was in Roger Corman's 1955 western Apache Woman. The US actor went on to appear in films like The Terminator, Piranha and the original 1960 version of The Little Shop of Horrors.
Oscar-nominated British actor Albert Finney died aged 82 after a short illness. He was a five-time Oscar nominee who began his career at the Royal Shakespeare Company before making his mark in film. His big film break came as "angry young man" Arthur Seaton in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. He went on to star in Tom Jones, as Hercule Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express, Erin Brockovich and Skyfall.
Comedian Jeremy Hardy died of cancer aged 57. Hardy made his name on the comedy circuit in the 1980s, winning the prestigious Perrier Award in 1988 and best live act at the ITV Comedy Awards in 1991.
The Prodigy singer Keith Flint died aged 49. Instantly recognisable by his fluorescent spiked hair and known for high-octane performances, Flint sang lead vocals on both the band's number one singles, Breathe and Firestarter. He was found dead at his home in Dunmow, Essex.
US actor Luke Perry died in California at the age of 52. Perry rose to fame on Beverly Hills, 90210 and had been starring as Fred Andrews on the CW show Riverdale.
Scott Walker, one of the most enigmatic and influential figures in rock history, died at the age of 76. The US star found fame as a teen idol in The Walker Brothers, scoring hits with The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore and Make It Easy On Yourself.
Star Wars actor Peter Mayhew died aged 74. The British-US actor played the giant Wookiee warrior in several Star Wars films from 1977 until 2015.
British actress Sandy Ratcliff, who played cafe owner Sue Osman in EastEnders, died at the age of 70. Her character, the tragic wife of taxi driver and gambling addict Ali Osman, appeared in the show's opening episode and she starred in the soap until 1989.
Actress Nadja Regin, who appeared in two James Bond movies, died at the age of 87. In 1963, she was cast as the mistress of MI6 station boss Ali Kerim Bey in From Russia With Love. She also filmed a short pre-credits role opposite Connery in Goldfinger, released a year later. In that film, she was seen as nightclub dancer Bonita when a honey-trap attempt to seduce Bond goes awry.
Hollywood legend Doris Day, whose films made her one of the biggest stars of all time, died aged 97. The singer turned actress starred in films such as Calamity Jane and Pillow Talk and had a hit in 1956 with Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be). Her screen partnership with Rock Hudson is one of the best-known in the history of romantic movies.
Comedian Freddie Starr died aged 76. The Merseyside-born comic, singer, impressionist and actor was found dead in his home in the Costa Del Sol region of Spain. Starr rose to prominence in the early 1970s after appearing on the TV talent show Opportunity Knocks. He starred in several other TV programmes in the 90s and famously featured in the Sun's "Freddie Starr ate my hamster" headline in 1986.
The first woman to read the news on BBC television died at the age of 93. Nancy Wigginton, who was better known as Nan Winton, became the first female TV newsreader at the corporation on 20 June 1960. Winton was an experienced journalist who had worked on Panorama and Town and Around before she joined the television news reading team.
Blake's 7 actor Paul Darrow died at the age of 78. While best-known for his Blake's 7 role, he appeared in more than 200 television shows, including Doctor Who, The Saint, Z Cars, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and Little Britain.
US artist and fashion icon Gloria Vanderbilt died aged 95. Vanderbilt, known as the "poor little rich girl", was the great-great-granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt, a 19th Century tycoon. The socialite, who was married several times, made her name in the 1970s and '80s as a designer jeans pioneer.
Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli has died aged 96. He is perhaps best known to many as the director of the 1968 adaptation of Romeo and Juliet - starring a then-unknown Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey.
Disney star Cameron Boyce died at the age of 20. He made his acting debut in the horror film Mirrors but is best known for roles in Disney's Descendants and the TV show Jessie.
Actor Rutger Hauer, who starred in 1982's Blade Runner, died at the age of 75. Hauer played the murderous replicant Roy Batty in Blade Runner, which was directed by Ridley Scott and also starred Harrison Ford.
Russi Taylor, the voice of Disney's Minnie Mouse for more than 30 years, died aged 75. Since 1986, Taylor provided voice-overs for animated TV series, films and theme parks featuring Mickey Mouse's high-pitched and giggly partner Minnie. She also played characters in The Simpsons, including Bart's dorky classmate Martin.
Peter Fonda, the star, co-writer and producer of the 1969 cult classic Easy Rider, died at the age of 79. Peter Fonda was part of a veteran Hollywood family. As well as being the brother of Jane Fonda, he was also the son of actor Henry Fonda, and father to Bridget, also an actor.
Nobel Prize-winning US author Toni Morrison has died at the age of 88. Author of 11 novels, she won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993, having published her first novel, The Bluest Eye, in 1970.
The British playwright Peter Nichols has died at the age of 92. The Bristol-born writer was best known for plays like A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg and Privates On Parade.
US opera singer Jessye Norman, one of the most renowned sopranos of the 20th Century, died at the age of 74. She established herself in Europe in the 1970s and made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1983.
Ric Ocasek, lead singer of 1980s US band The Cars, died aged 75. The Cars helped kick-start the new wave movement. The band was formed in Boston in the mid-1970s by Ocasek and band-mate Benjamin Orr after they met at high school. Merging guitar rock with synthesizer-based pop, their early hits included Just What I Needed, My Best Friend's Girl and Good Times Roll.
BBC journalist Hanna Yusuf, whose recent work included an investigation into working conditions at Costa Coffee stores, died aged 27. She wrote for the BBC News website, and had also worked as a TV news producer.
Former Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell died at the age of 55. Bracknell, who played Zoe Tate in the soap for 16 years, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2016.
Robert Evans, the larger-than-life producer and studio executive whose films included Chinatown and The Cotton Club, died at the age of 89. The former actor, whose seven wives included actress Ali McGraw, authored an autobiography, The Kid Stays in the Picture, that itself inspired a film. As head of production of Paramount, he was key to the making of the first two films in the Godfather series.
Clive James, the Australian writer and broadcaster known around the world for his dry wit, died at the age of 80. Born Vivian James in 1939, he moved to England in 1961 and rose to prominence as a literary critic and TV columnist.
Sir Jonathan Miller, the distinguished theatre and opera director who famously starred in the Beyond the Fringe satirical revue, died aged 85. A man of many parts, Miller was also an author, a photographer, a sculptor, a broadcaster and a qualified doctor.
Gary Rhodes, the celebrity chef known for his spiky hair and passion for British cuisine, died aged 59. His first professional job was at the Amsterdam Hilton, where he began to experiment with nouvelle cuisine. He opened his first restaurant in 1997 and was made an OBE in 2006. His TV work included appearances on MasterChef, Hell's Kitchen and his own series Rhodes Around Britain.
Actor Tony Britton died aged 95. Britton was best known for starring in BBC sitcom Don't Wait Up alongside Nigel Havers in the 1980s, as well as many British films including The Day of the Jackal.
Kenny Lynch, the British singer and entertainer, died at the age of 81. Lynch had two Top 10 hits in the 1960s, toured with the Beatles, wrote songs for the Small Faces and appeared on Celebrity Squares and other TV shows. —BBC