Thursday, December 28, 2023



Date of death: 4 April, 2023

Age at death: 86

American professional race car driver and a five-time world land speed record holder. 

By the way:
Breedlove was the first person in history to reach 500 mph (800 km/h), and 600 mph (970 km/h), using several turbojet-powered vehicles, all named Spirit of America.

Cause of death: Cancer


Date of death: 10 April, 2023

Age at death: 102

  • Jaffee was an American cartoonist notable for his work in the satirical magazine Mad, including his trademark feature, the Mad Fold-in
  • Jaffee was a regular contributor to the magazine for 65 years and is its longest-running contributor. In a 2010 interview, Jaffee said, "Serious people my age are dead."
By the way:
  • With a career running from 1942 until 2020, Jaffee holds the Guinness World Record for having the longest career as a comic artist.
  • In the half-century between April 1964 and April 2013, only one issue of Mad was published without containing new material by Jaffee.
Cause of death: Organ failure


Date of death: 13 April 2023

Age at death: 93

  • Dame Barbara Mary Quant was a British fashion designer and fashion icon who became an instrumental figure in the 1960s London-based Mod and youth fashion movements. 
  • She played a prominent role in London's Swinging Sixties culture and was one of the designers who took credit for the miniskirt and hotpants. 
  •  She named the skirt after her favourite make of car.
By the way:
Journalist and fashion writer Ernestine Carter wrote: "It is given to a fortunate few to be born at the right time, in the right place, with the right talents. In recent fashion there are three: Chanel, Dior, and Mary Quant."

Cause of death: Not disclosed.


Date of death: 22 April, 2023

Age at death: 89

  • Humphries was an Australian comedian, actor, author and satirist best known for writing and playing his stage and television characters Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson.
  • Originally conceived as a dowdy Moonee Ponds housewife who caricatured Australian suburban complacency and insularity, the Dame Edna Everage character developed into a satire of stardom – a gaudily dressed, acid-tongued, egomaniacal, internationally fêted "housewife gigastar".
  • Humphries' other satirical characters included the inebriated cultural attaché Sir Les Patterson and archetypal Australian "bloke" Barry McKenzie.
By the way:
  • Tributes to Humphries were given by members of the British royal family including Charles III and Sarah, Duchess of York, and by Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese and Western Australian premier, Mark McGowan. Tributes were also given by members of the entertainment industry including Michael Parkinson, Eric Idle and Ricky Gervais.
  • Although Humpries was instrumental in founding the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and was the namesake of the Barry Award for best show from 2000 to 2019. the Barry Award was renamed in 2019 following comments Humphries made about transgender people, which were deemed as "not helpful" by festival organisers. The comments included calling gender-affirmation surgery "self mutilation" and labelling being transgender "a fashion". The name change came after previous winners of the Barry, including Hannah Gadsby and Zoe Coombs Marr, called for the award to be renamed. Entertainer Miriam Margolyes has said her longtime friend Barry Humphries was "very hurt and saddened" after being "cancelled" by the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in his final years.
  • Despite being born and raised in Melbourne, Humphries' family accepted the NSW government’s offer of a state funeral to be held in Sydney instead of in Melbourne.
Cause of death: Complications after hip surgery


Date of death: 25 April, 2023

Age at death: 96

  • Harry Belafonte was an American singer, actor, and civil rights activist, who popularized calypso music with international audiences in the 1950s and 1960s.
  • Belafonte's career breakthrough album Calypso (1956) was the first million-selling LP by a single artist.
By the way:
  • Belafonte was best known for his recordings of "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)", "Jump in the Line (Shake, Senora)", "Jamaica Farewell", and "Mary's Boy Child".
  • He recorded and performed in many genres, including blues, folk, gospel, show tunes, and American standards.
  • He also starred in films such as Carmen Jones (1954), Island in the Sun (1957), Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), Buck and the Preacher (1972), and Uptown Saturday Night (1974). He made his final feature film appearance in Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman (2018).
  • He is one of the few performers to have received an Emmy, Grammy and Oscar (2015, Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award)
Cause of death: Congestive heart failure


Date of death: 27 April, 2023

Age at death: 79

  • Springer was an American broadcaster, journalist, actor, producer, lawyer, and politician.
  • Born in London during World War II to German Jewish refugees escaping the Holocaust, Springer was raised in Queens, New York City.
  • He attended Northwestern University School of Law, qualified as a lawyer, and first became actively involved in politics working for the campaign of Robert Kennedy in 1968.
  • A Cincinnati City Council member, Springer served as the 56th Mayor of Cincinnati from 1977 to 1978.
  • He then worked as a local news anchor in Cincinnati where he won several Regional Emmy Awards for commentary.
  • Springer was best known for hosting the sometimes controversial tabloid talk show Jerry Springer from 1991 to 2018.
  • He was also the host of America's Got Talent from 2007 to 2008, and of the courtroom show Judge Jerry from 2019 to 2022.
  • Off television, he also hosted The Jerry Springer Podcast from 2015 to 2022.
  • He was noted as a pioneer in the emergence of "trash TV"; his eponymous show was a "commercial smash and certifiable cultural phenomenon" in the 1990s.
By the way:
  • Jerry Springer debuted on September 30, 1991. It started as a politically oriented talk show, a longer version of Springer's commentaries. Guests on the show included Oliver North and Jesse Jackson, and topics included homelessness and gun politics.
  • In early 1994, Springer and his new producer, Richard Dominick, revamped the show's format to garner higher ratings. The show became more successful as it became targeted toward tabloidish sensationalism. Guests were everyday people confronted on a television stage by a spouse or family member's adultery, homosexuality, transsexuality, prostitution, transvestism, hate group membership, or other controversial situations. These confrontations were often promoted by scripted shouting or violence on stage. The show received substantial ratings and much attention. By 1998, it was beating The Oprah Winfrey Show in many cities, and was reaching around 8 million viewers.
  • On July 10, 2002, the sons of guest Nancy Campbell-Panitz – who was murdered by her ex-husband after they appeared on a May 2000 episode with his girlfriend – filed suit in Sarasota County against Springer, his producers, and his distributor, claiming he created "a mood that led to murder". Ultimately, the estate of Campbell-Panitz dropped all monetary claims against Jerry Springer and the show agreed to waive its claims for malicious prosecution against the personal representative of the estate of Campbell-Panitz and his counsel.
Cause of death: Pancreatic cancer


Date of death: 30 April, 2023

Age at death: 46

Barry "Jock" Zonfrillo was a Scottish chef, television presenter and restaurateur. He was the founder of the Orana Foundation and a judge on MasterChef Australia.

By the way:
In 2016, Zonfrillo started The Orana Foundation, to preserve historical cooking techniques and ingredients of Indigenous Australians. The foundation was awarded The Good Food Guide Food for Good Award in October 2017.[26] One of the foundation's projects was a database of 1,443 Aboriginal food plants created in partnership with the University of Adelaide. Launched in September 2020, the database provided information about the plants' nutritional profile, taste, flavour, and optimal methods of preparation and cooking.

Cause of death: His body was found after police were called to conduct a welfare check at Zagame’s House hotel. There was no immediate confirmation of his cause of death, but the police were not treating the death as suspicious and are preparing a report for the coroner.


Date of death: 1 May 2023

Age at death: 84

  • Lightfoot was a Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist who achieved international success in folk, folk-rock, and country music.
  • He is credited with helping to define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s.
  • He has been referred to as Canada's greatest songwriter and his songs have been recorded by some of the world's most renowned musical artists.
  • Lightfoot's biographer Nicholas Jennings said, "His name is synonymous with timeless songs about trains and shipwrecks, rivers and highways, lovers and loneliness."
  • Lightfoot's songs, including "For Lovin' Me", "Early Morning Rain", "Steel Rail Blues", "Ribbon of Darkness"—a number one hit on the U.S. country chart[5] with Marty Robbins's cover in 1965—and "Black Day in July", about the 1967 Detroit riot, brought him wide recognition in the 1960s. He topped the US Hot 100 or Adult Contemporary (AC) chart with the hits "If You Could Read My Mind" (1970), "Sundown" (1974); "Carefree Highway" (1974), "Rainy Day People" (1975), and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (1976), and had many other hits that appeared in the top 40.
By the way:
Bob Dylan, also a Lightfoot fan, called him one of his favourite songwriters and said, "I can't think of any Gordon Lightfoot song I don't like. Every time I hear a song of his, it's like I wish it would last forever....”

Cause of death:
  • In mid-April 2023, Lightfoot's declining health caused him to cancel the remainder of his 2023 tour. Lightfoot died of natural causes at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.
  • The Mariners' Church in Detroit (the "Maritime Sailors' Cathedral" mentioned in "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald") honored Lightfoot the day after his death by ringing its bell a total of 30 times, 29 for each of the crewmen lost on the Edmund Fitzgerald, and the final time for Lightfoot himself. Additionally, the Split Rock Lighthouse, which overlooks Lake Superior in Minnesota, shone its light in honor of Lightfoot on May 3.


Date of death: 10 May, 2023

Age at death: 93

  • Harris was an Australian musician, television personality, painter, and actor.
  • He often used unusual instruments like the didgeridoo and the Stylophone in his performances, and is credited with the invention of the wobble board.
  • He was convicted in England in 2014 of the sexual assault of four underage girls, which effectively ended his career.
  • Harris began his entertainment career in 1953, releasing several songs, including "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" (a Top 10 hit in Australia, the UK and the United States), "Sun Arise", "Jake the Peg" and "Two Little Boys", which reached number 1 in the UK.
  • From the 1960s, Harris was a successful television personality in the UK, later presenting shows such as Rolf's Cartoon Club and Animal Hospital. In 1985, he hosted the short educational film Kids Can Say No!, which warned children between ages five and eight how to avoid situations where they might be sexually abused, how to escape such situations and how to get help if they are abused.
  • In July 2014, Harris was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison after being convicted on twelve counts of indecent assault on four female victims, who were between the ages of eight and nineteen at the time that the offences took place between the 1960s and 1980s. He was released on licence in 2017 after serving nearly three years at HM Prison Stafford.
By the way:
  • Harris’s 2005 Harris's oil portrait of Her Maj was undertaken as part of a BBC television documentary to mark the Queen's 80th birthday. The monarch sat twice for Harris to paint her over the summer of 2005. After it was unveiled in December that year, the portrait, which took Harris two months to complete, initially went on public display at the Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace.
  • The portrait does not belong to the Palace and it is unknown where it is now.
Cause of death:
In October 2022, it was reported that Harris was suffering with neck cancer, unable to talk, and was being fed via a tube. He also required 24-hour care. His death certificate gave the cause of death as neck cancer and "frailty of old age".


Date of death: 18 May 2023

Age at death: 87

  • Brown (February was an American football fullback, civil rights activist, and actor.
  • He played for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL) from 1957 through 1965.
  • Considered to be one of the greatest running backs of all time, as well as one of the greatest players in NFL history, Brown was a Pro Bowl invitee every season he was in the league, was recognized as the AP NFL Most Valuable Player three times, and won an NFL championship with the Browns in 1964.
  • He led the league in rushing yards in eight out of his nine seasons, and by the time he retired, he held most major rushing records. In 2002, he was named by The Sporting News as the greatest professional football player ever.
  • Brown was one of the few athletes, and among the most prominent African Americans, to speak out on racial issues as the civil rights movement was growing in the 1950s. He participated in the Cleveland Summit after Muhammad Ali faced imprisonment for refusing to enter the draft for the Vietnam War, and he founded the Black Economic Union to help promote economic opportunities for minority-owned businesses. Brown later launched a foundation focused on diverting at-risk youth from violence through teaching them life skills, through which he facilitated the Watts truce between rival street gangs in Los Angeles.
By the way:
Shortly before the end of his football career, Brown became an actor. He retired at the peak of his football career to pursue an acting career. He obtained 53 acting credits and several leading roles throughout the 1970s. He has been described as Hollywood's first black action hero and his role in the 1969 film 100 Rifles made cinematic history for featuring interracial love scenes.

Cause of death: Death reported as due to natural causes


Date of death: 24 May, 2023

Age at death: 83

  • Tina Turner was a singer, songwriter and actress.
  • Known as the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll", she rose to prominence as the lead singer of the husband-wife duo Ike & Tina Turner before launching a successful career as a solo performer.
  • She was recognized for her "swagger, sensuality, powerful gravelly vocals and unstoppable energy."
  • In 1994 she began living in Küsnacht, Switzerland, and relinquished her American citizenship after obtaining Swiss citizenship in 2013.
  • The Ike & Tina Turner Revue became "one of the most formidable live acts in history." The duo released hits such as "It's Gonna Work Out Fine", "River Deep – Mountain High", "Proud Mary", and "Nutbush City Limits" before disbanding in 1976.
  • In the 1980s, Turner launched "one of the greatest comebacks in music history." Her 1984 multi-platinum album Private Dancer contained the hit song "What's Love Got to Do with It", which won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and became her first and only number-one song on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • Turner also acted in the films Tommy (1975) and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985). In 1986, she published her autobiography I, Tina: My Life Story, which was adapted for the 1993 film What's Love Got to Do with It. In 2009, Turner retired after completing her Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour.
By the way:
  • Turner sold more than 100 million records worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling recording artists of all time.
  • She received 12 Grammy Awards, which include eight competitive awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and three Grammy Hall of Fame inductions.
  • She was the first black artist and first woman to be on the cover of Rolling Stone.
Cause of death:
Turner revealed in her 2018 memoir My Love Story that she had multiple life-threatening illnesses. She had high blood pressure since 1978, which remained mostly untreated, and resulted in damage to her kidneys and eventual kidney failure. In 2013, three weeks after her wedding to Erwin Bach, she had a stroke and needed to learn to walk again. In 2016, she was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. She attempted to treat her health problems with homeopathy, and they worsened.


Date of death: 8 June 2023

Age at death: 87

  • The coach who led the Socceroos to their first World Cup appearance almost 50 years ago is being remembered as one of Australia's most important sporting pioneers after his death aged 87.
  • Rasic coached the Socceroos to their inaugural World Cup in 1974
  • Rasic revolutionised the game in Australia, he was appointed coach in 1970 at just 34 years of age, and in 1974, he led the Australia national team to the World Cup as coach.
By the way:
After the World Cup, the Australian Soccer Federation sacked Rasic, replacing him with Englishman Brian Green. Rasic and others believe that he was dumped because he was not seen as being a real "Aussie." He has stated, "They took from me something that I was doing better than anyone else. I was a true-blue Aussie and nobody can deny that. I taught the players how to sing the national anthem."

Cause of death: Not disclosed


Date of death: 12 June, 2023

Age at death: 86

Prime Minister of Italy, 1994-95, 2001-06, 2008-11.

By the way:
  • With a net worth of US$6.8 billion as of June 2023, Berlusconi was the third-wealthiest person in Italy at the time of his death.
  • He was the controlling shareholder of Mediaset and owned the Italian football club AC Milan from 1986 to 2017.
  • On 1 August 2013, Berlusconi was convicted of tax fraud by the Supreme Court of Cassation. His four-year prison sentence was confirmed, and he was banned from holding public office for two years. Aged 76, he was exempted from direct imprisonment, and instead served his sentence by doing unpaid community service. Three years of his sentence was automatically pardoned under Italian law; because he had been sentenced to gross imprisonment for more than two years, he was banned from holding legislative office for six years and expelled from the Senate.
  • After his ban ended, Berlusconi ran for and was elected as an MEP at the 2019 European Parliament election.
  • He returned to the Senate after winning a seat in the 2022 Italian general election,[14] and died the following year from complications of chronic leukaemia, and was given a state funeral.
  • Berlusconi was known for his populist political style and brash personality. In his long tenure, he was often accused of being an authoritarian leader and a strongman.
Cause of death: Complications of chronic leukaemia


Date of death: 15 June, 2023

Age at death: 87

  • Jackson was an English actress and politician.
  • She was one of the few performers to achieve the American Triple Crown of Acting, having won two Academy Awards, three Emmy Awards and a Tony Award.
  • A member of the Labour Party, she served continuously as a Member of Parliament (MP) for 23 years, initially for Hampstead and Highgate from 1992 to 2010, and Hampstead and Kilburn from 2010 to 2015, following boundary changes.
  • Jackson won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice, for the romance films Women in Love (1970) and A Touch of Class (1973), but she did not appear in person to collect either due to work commitments.
  • She also won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971).
  • Her other notable performances include Mary, Queen of Scots (1971), Hedda (1975), The Incredible Sarah (1976), House Calls (1978), Stevie (1978) and Hopscotch (1980).
  • She won two Primetime Emmy Awards for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in the BBC series Elizabeth R (1971).
  • She received both the British Academy Television Award for Best Actress and International Emmy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Elizabeth Is Missing (2019).
By the way:
At the 2010 general election, her majority of 42 votes, confirmed after a recount, was the narrowest margin of victory in Great Britain. Jackson stood down at the 2015 general election and returned to acting.

Cause of death: Not disclosed


Date of death: 29 June, 2023

Age at death: 89

  • Arkin was an American actor and filmmaker.
  • In a career spanning seven decades, he received numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Tony Award as well as nominations for six Emmy Awards.
  • Arkin gained stardom with his roles in the films The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966), Wait Until Dark (1967), The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1968), Popi (1969), Catch-22 (1970), Freebie and the Bean, (1974), and The In-Laws (1979).
  • He later took on supporting roles in Edward Scissorhands (1990), Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), Slums of Beverly Hills (1998), Thirteen Conversations About One Thing (2001), Sunshine Cleaning (2008), Get Smart (2008), and Argo (2012).
  • For his performance as a foul-mouthed grandfather in Little Miss Sunshine (2006), he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
By the way:
A founding member of the folk group The Tarriers, he co-wrote "The Banana Boat Song" (also known as "Day-o"), which later became a mega-hit for Harry Belafonte.

Cause of death: Heart problems

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