From Mike Thalassitis to Leah Bracknell: The famous faces we’ve lost in 2019

TV

Over the past 12 months we have said goodbye to so many stars from the world of showbiz.

As 2019 draws to a close, Daily Star Online remember those who have passed away thus far.

Freddie Starr, 76

Comic Freddie Starr died on May 9

Stand up comedian Freddie Starr died on May 9 at his apartment in Spain.

The Merseyside comic, singer, impressionist and actor shot to fame in the 1970s after appearing on Opportunity Knocks and the Royal Variety Performance.

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.

Euro Weekly News reported the coroner in Malaga confirmed that Starr died of natural causes.

Keith Flint, 49

Keith Flint's The Prodigy bandmates have paid tribute on Twitter

The Prodigy frontman Keith Flint died on March 4

The Prodigy frontman Keith Flint was found dead at his home in Essex on March 4.

The rave giants achieved massive mainstream success with single Firestarter, which featured Keith on lead vocals.

The musician kicked a drug habit before The Prodigy’s comeback in 2009.

Mike Thalassitis, 26

Love Island star Mike Thalassitis died on March 16

Love Island star Mike Thalassitis died on March 16

Love Island star Mike Thalassitis found fame on the ITV2 dating show in 2017.

The former League Two footballer took his own life near his Essex home on March 16, prompting anger over aftercare on TV shows.

Mike was the second person to take their own life after appearing on the reality TV show.

Love Island 2016 star Sophie Gradon took her own life in June 2018.

Peter Mayhew, 74

Star Wars icon Peter Mayhew passed away on April 30

For nearly four decades, actor Peter Mayhew played Chewbacca in Star Wars.

The 7 foot 3 star appeared in five movies as Han Solo’s co-pilot on the Millennium Falcon before dying at his tome in Texas in April 30.

Peter gained his first acting job when the producers of Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger in 1977 discovered him from a photograph in a newspaper article about a man with large feet, and cast him in the role of the minotaur.

John McCririck, 79

Celeb Big Brother and horse pundit John McCririck died on July 5

Outspoken broadcaster John McCririck was the face of Channel 4’s racing coverage for almost 30 years.

The television horse racing pundit, best known for whirling his arms in the betting ring, died on July 5 after battling lung cancer.

He began his career at The Sporting Life, where he twice won at the British Press Awards for his campaigning journalism.

John went on to star on Celebrity Big Brother, Wife Swap and After Dark.

Tanya Jones, 53

Tanya Jones lost her battle to cancer on July 6

Vinnie Jones’ wife Tanya Jones died after a six-year battle with cancer on July 6.

The footballer turned film star’s beloved wife died at the age of 53 at home in Los Angeles surrounded by her loved ones.

Back in 2013, Vinnie revealed that both he and Tanya were suffering from melanoma.

Vinnie recently starred on The X Factor: Celebrity and dedicated his appearance to his late wife.

Leah Bracknell, 55

Emmerdale icon Leah Bracknell died in September

Emmerdale icon Leah Brucknell played Zoe Tate in the ITV soap from 1985 until 2005.

The actress died in September after fighting lung cancer for three years.

Fans raised £50,000 for Leah to undergo pioneering treatment in Germany.

Leah appeared on This Morning and Loose Women to chat about her diagnosis and determination to fight it.

Gary Rhodes, 59

Gary Rhodes died aged 59 on November 26

TV chef Gary Rhodes died of a brain bleed in Dubai, where he ran restaurants.

He won five Michelin stars, hosted BBC’s Masterchef and had his own series, Rhodes Around Britain.

Rock Oyster Media and Goldfinch TV said in a statement to the PA news agency that Rhodes was taken ill very suddenly at home, during a break in filming a new television series, and died a short time afterwards on November 26.

It was later confirmed by Rhodes’s family that his death was as a result of a subdural haematoma, normally associated with a brain injury.

Marie Fredriksson, 61

Singer Marie Frediksson died aged 61 on December 10

Roxanne co-founder and Swedish singer Marie Fredriksson died on December 10.

The singer sold 75million records as part of the pop duo alongside Per Gessle with hits including The Look and It Must Have Been Love.

A statement said the singer had died on Monday, December 9 “following a 17-year long battle with cancer”.

“You were the most wonderful friend for over 40 years,” her bandmate Per Gessle said. “Things will never be the same.”

Sheila Mercier, 100

Emmerdale actress Sheila Mercier died aged 100 on December 13

Emmerdale icon Sheila Mercier died in her sleep aged 100 on December 13.

The actress played farmer’s wife Annie Sugden from the ITV soaps first episode on 1972 until 1994.

Sheila returned to Emmerdale for several cameo appearances after.

The soap star had a long career on stage before her television career.

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