As we bid farewell to 2023, let’s take a moment to remember those we lost this year. Among them are some incredibly talented individuals whose influence shaped our society in profound ways. We recognise and pay our respect to all those who have passed during the year 2023.
Lisa Marie Presley, 54
On January 12, Lisa Marie Presley suffered a cardiac arrest at her home. She was an American singer and songwriter and the only child of singer and actor Elvis Presley and actress Priscilla Presley.
Gina Lollobrigida, 95
Luigia “Gina” Lollobrigida was an Italian actress, model, photojournalist, artist and politician. She was one of the most prominent European actresses of the 1950s and 1960s. Lollobrigida passed away at a clinic in Rome and was laid to rest in her birthplace of Subiaco, Lazio.
Rachel Welch, 82
Jo Raquel Welch, an American actress and model, was a mother to two children. She passed away due to cardiac arrest on 15 February at her Los Angeles residence at the age of 82. At the time of her death, Welch had been battling Alzheimer’s disease.
Burt Bacharach, 94
Burt Freeman Bacharach, an American composer, songwriter, record producer, and pianist, is celebrated as one of the most significant and influential figures in 20th-century popular music. He passed away on February 8 at his home in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 94 due to natural causes.
Doug Mulray, 71
Douglas John Mulray was an Australian comedian, radio, and television presenter. Nicknamed Uncle Doug, he grew up in the Sydney Northern Beaches suburb of Dee Why. Mulray was well-known for his bawdy humour. Mulray passed away from liver cancer in Sydney. He is survived by his wife Lizzie Muir.
Robert Blake, 89
Robert Blake was an American actor who was best known for starring in the 1967 film In Cold Blood and playing the title role in the late 1970s television series Baretta. In 2002, Blake was arrested for the 2001 murder of his second wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. Blake was acquitted of the murder in criminal court in 2005, but he was found liable in a civil court for her wrongful death. Blake passed away from heart disease in Los Angeles and is survived by his three children.
Peter Hardy, 66
Peter Hardy was an Australian actor, theatre performer, and musician. Hardy is best known for his roles in the television series McLeod’s Daughters and the stage show Mamma Mia! Hardy suddenly passed away from drowning while snorkelling at South Beach in Fremantle, Western Australia, he was 66.
Barry ‘Jock’ Zonfrillo, 46
Barry ‘Jock’ Zonfrillo, a Scottish chef, television presenter, and restaurateur established multiple restaurants in Adelaide, notably Restaurant Orana, Street ADL, Bistro Blackwood, and Nonna Mallozzi. Jock passed away in Melbourne; his body was discovered after police conducted a welfare check at his hotel. He is survived by his third wife and four children.
Barry Humphries, 89
John Barry Humphries AO CBE was an actor, author, artist, and satirist. However, as a comedian, he is best known for his alter ego Dame Edna Everage. His family said Barry held onto his ‘unique wit’ until the very end. Barry passed away following complications from hip surgery.
Anthony Staley 83
Anthony Allan Staley AO was an Australian politician who served as the Minister for the Capital Territory from February 1976 to December 1977 in the Fraser Government. Later, he held the position of Minister for Post and Telecommunications until he retired from Parliament. In 1990, Staley was involved in a car accident which left him partially paralysed and unable to walk without calipers. He passed away peacefully with his family by his side in Melbourne on 3 May. Staley is survived by his three sons and two daughters.
Tina Turner 83
Tina Turner was an American-born singer known as “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll” who achieved immense success across rhythm-and-blues, soul, and rock genres throughout her illustrious five-decade-long career. She passed away in Switzerland after enduring a prolonged battle with high blood pressure, kidney disease, and intestinal cancer.
Simon Crean, 74
Simon Findlay Crean, an Australian politician and trade unionist, served as the leader of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and as the opposition leader from 2001 to 2003. Throughout his life, he was married to Carole for over 50 years and was a devoted father to two children. Crean passed away in Berlin, Germany due to a pulmonary embolism. He was honoured with a state funeral held at St Paul’s Cathedral on Flinders Street in Melbourne.
Sinéad O’Connor, 56
Sinéad Marie Bernadette O’Connor was an Irish singer, songwriter, and activist. Sinead O’Connor was married four times and had four children, unresponsive at her residence in South London. Her final resting place is at Dean’s Grange Cemetery in Dublin, Ireland.
Tony Bennett, 96
Anthony Dominick Benedetto was an American jazz and traditional pop singer. He received many accolades, including 20 Grammy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award, and two Primetime Emmy Awards. Bennett passed away at his home in New York, following a seven-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. His family said he kept singing to the end. Tony Bennett was laid to rest alongside his parents at Calvary Cemetery in Queens.
Sir Michael Parkinson, 88
Sir Michael Parkinson CBE was an English television presenter, broadcaster, journalist and author. He presented his television talk show Parkinson from 1971 to 1982 and from 1998 to 2007. In 2013, Michael announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, however, in 2015 he was given the all-clear from the disease. Michael passed away at his home following a brief illness, aged 88.
David McCallum, 90
David Keith McCallum was was a Scottish actor and musician. He gained wide recognition in the 1960s for playing secret agent Illya Kuryakin in the television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. David passed away in New York City aged 90 from natural causes, six days after his 90th birthday. He is survived by his five children.
Sir Michael John Gambon CBE, 82
Michael Gambon was an Irish-English actor. Michael started his acting career with Laurence Olivier as one of the original members of the Royal National Theatre. Over his six-decade-long career, he received three Olivier Awards and four BAFTA TV Awards. Michael also played the wise Professor Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movie franchise. Michael passed away with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia.
Matthew Perry, 54
Matthew Perry was an American and Canadian actor most famous for playing the role of sarcastic but lovable Chandler Bing on all 10 seasons of Friends. Matthew also appeared on Ally McBeal and received Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his performances in The West Wing and The Ron Clark Story. He passed away from drowning at his Los Angeles home.
Richard Roundtree, 81
Richard Arnold Roundtree was an American actor and model who was best known for his portrayal of private detective John Shaft in the 1971 blaxploitation film Shaft and four of its sequels. In 1993, Roundtree was diagnosed with breast cancer, and later underwent a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. Roundtree passed away of pancreatic cancer at his Los Angeles home, at the age of 81.
Suzanne Somers, 76
Suzanne Marie Somers was an American actress, author, and businesswoman in the health and wellness industry. In April 2000, Somers was diagnosed with breast cancer. Somers passed away at her home in Palm Springs, California, on October 15, 2023, one day before her 77th birthday.
Conny Van Dyke, 78
Conny Van Dyke was an American actress and singer-songwriter. Conny signed to Motown Records and starred in films including W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings and Framed. She was a longtime colon cancer and stroke survivor. Conny passed away on 11 November from complications due to vascular dementia. She was 78.
Johnny Patrick Ruffo, 35
John Patrick Ruffo was an Australian singer, songwriter, musician, dancer, actor, and television presenter. He gained widespread recognition following his impressive third-place finish on the third season of The X Factor Australia. In 2017, Ruffo faced his initial diagnosis of brain cancer, which temporarily went into remission after treatment. However, in 2020, he shared on his social media platforms that his battle with cancer had resurged. Ruffo passed away in Sydney at the age of 35, leaving behind a legacy cherished by many.
Sandra Day O’Connor, 93
Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice. Sandra was appointed to the court in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan and served until her retirement in 2006. Sandra passed away at age 93 of complications related to advanced dementia and a respiratory illness.