Monday, January 1, 2024


I thought yesterday that it would be unlikely that there would be any further celebrity deaths in 2023 and that I could reasonably safely post my final instalment. John Lennon once said that the way to make God laugh is to let Him know your plans, and so it proved to be.

Yesterday it was reported that Brit actor Tom Wilkinson had passed away:


Date of death: 30 December, 2023

Age at death: 75

  • Wilkinson was an English actor.
  • Known for his role on stage and screen, he received numerous accolades including a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award as well as nominations for two Academy Awards and two Laurence Olivier Awards.
  • In 2005, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
  • Wilkinson received the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for The Full Monty (1997) as well as two Academy Award nominations, one for Best Actor for In the Bedroom (2001) and Best Supporting Actor for Michael Clayton (2007).
  • He became known as a character actor, acting in numerous films such as In the Name of the Father (1993), Sense and Sensibility (1995), Shakespeare in Love (1998), The Patriot (2000), Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Batman Begins (2005), Valkyrie (2008), The Ghost Writer (2010), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011), Belle (2013), Selma (2014), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and Denial (2016).
  • In 2009, he won a Golden Globe Award and a Primetime Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for playing Benjamin Franklin in the HBO limited series John Adams (2008).
By the way:
  • Was offered a role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but didn't like the prospect of a year long production keeping him away from his family.
  • Has played both British and American leaders involved in the American Revolution: General Lord Charles Cornwallis in The Patriot (2000) and Benjamin Franklin in John Adams (2008).
  • If you get the chance, watch him in the 2016 Brit film The Beautiful Fantastic.
Cause of death: Not disclosed

Just as I was about to post this, I read of another celebrity death, who also died on 30 December but whose death has only just been revealed . . .


Date of death: 30 December, 2023

Age at death: 84

  • Pilger was an Australian journalist, writer, scholar, and documentary filmmaker.
  • He had mainly been based in Britain since 1962.
  • He had also been a visiting professor at Cornell University in New York.
  • Pilger was a strong critic of American, Australian, and British foreign policy, which he considered to be driven by an imperialist and colonialist agenda. Pilger had also criticised his native country's treatment of Indigenous Australians. He first drew international attention for his reports on the Cambodian genocide.
  • Pilger won Britain's Journalist of the Year Award in 1967 and 1979.
  • His documentaries have gained awards in Britain and worldwide, including multiple BAFTA honours. What he saw as the deceitful practices of the mainstream media were a regular subject in Pilger's writing.
By the way:
Pilger was a staunch supporter of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Cause of death: Not disclosed but he had been battling a long illness.

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