Entertainment and arts figures we lost in 2017

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Not a month went by this year without too many figures from the world of arts and entertainment bidding us farewell.

Here’s an affectionate look back at some of those we lost.

January

The year began with veteran actor John Hurt signing off at the age of 77, TV star Mary Tyler Moore saying goodbye aged 80 and Bollywood actor Om Puri leaving us too soon at the age of 66.

We also bid farewell to the art critic John Berger, ‘Allo ‘Allo star Gorden Kaye, British singer-songwriter Peter Sarstedt, Exorcist author William Peter Blatty and French actress Emmanuelle Riva.

February

The year’s shortest month saw Battlestar Galactica star Richard Hatch die at 71, jazz crooner Al Jarreau silenced at 76 and Titanic star Bill Paxton die suddenly at the age of 61.

We also saw stage actor Alec McCowen and Twin Peaks actor Warren Frost bow out, both at 91, and The Archers’ Sara Coward, Japanese manga artist Jiro Taniguchi and pop star turned priest Peter Skellern all die at 69.

March

The third month of 2017 brought the deaths of rock and roll legend Chuck Berry, Inspector Morse creator Colin Dexter and Caribbean poet Derek Walcott.

Others to leave us included British artist Howard Hodgkin, Sister Sledge singer Joni Sledge, novelist and playwright David Storey and Robert James Waller, the American novelist best known for The Bridges of Madison County.

April

TS Eliot called April the cruellest month, something with which fans of Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme, Happy Days star Erin Moran and British actor Tim Pigott-Smith are sure to agree.

James Bond actor Clifton James, broadcaster Brian Matthew, US comedian Don Rickles and Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko also took their leave in April aged 96, 90 and 84 respectively.

May

Among those who left us in May were imposing US actor Powers Boothe, Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell and Sir Roger Moore, the much-loved star of seven James Bond films.

Rock and roll trailblazer Gregg Allman, Blue Peter presenter John Noakes, Catweazle actor Geoffrey Bayldon, Darling Buds of May star Moray Watson, Italian DJ Roberto Concina – better known as Robert Miles – and actor Michael Parks, a favourite of Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith, also died this month.

June

In the month Britain went to the polls, we sadly lost Paddington creator Michael Bond, US actress Glenne Headly and Last of the Summer Wine actor Peter Sallis.

Others to die in June included Coronation Street’s Roy Barraclough, Rocky director John G Avildsen, film critic Barry Norman, Animal House star Stephen Furst, Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist, model Anita Pallenberg, classical conductor Jeffrey Tate and Adam West of TV Batman fame.

July

The suicide of Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington cast a tragic pall over a month that also saw the deaths of legendary French actress Jeanne Moreau and the American playwright and actor Sam Shepard.

Others to bow out in July included True Blood star Nelsan Ellis, Home Alone actor John Heard, Ed Wood Oscar-winner Martin Landau, children’s TV star Carol Lee Scott, former Doctor Who companion Deborah Watling and zombie maestro George A Romero.

August

Three showbusiness legends left us in August – country singer Glen Campbell, entertainer Bruce Forsyth and comedy star Jerry Lewis – at the ages of 81, 89 and 91 respectively.

We also bid a fond farewell to science-fiction author Brian Aldiss, US comedian Dick Gregory, All Creatures Great and Small actor Robert Hardy and the horror director Tobe Hooper.

September

Coronation Street actress Liz Dawn, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and the actor Harry Dean Stanton, of Alien and Repo Man fame, were among the dearly departed this month.

Others to take their leave included Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker, theatrical giant Peter Hall, quiz show host William G Stewart, The Ginger Man author JP Donleavy, Martin Scorsese regular Frank Vincent and country singer Don Williams.

October

Ain’t That A Shame? That’s what many people thought in October when they learned that rock and roll singer Fats Domino, Benson actor Robert Guillaume and musician Tom Petty had left us.

The Irish comedian Sean Hughes, French screen star Danielle Darrieux , British actress Rosemary Leach, Guernsey-born character actor Roy Dotrice and AC/DC producer George Young were among others to die this month.

November

The music world was hit hard in November by the deaths of Partridge Family star David Cassidy, 21-year-old rapper Lil Peep and AC/DC’s Malcolm Young, who passed away less than a month on from his brother George.

Others to depart included Magnum PI actor John Hillerman, The Likely Lads star Rodney Bewes, Duty Free actor Keith Barron, Scooby-Doo voice performer Heather North and the Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky.

December

As the year drew to a close, we said goodbye to bubbly TV presenter Keith Chegwin, France’s biggest rock star Johnny Hallyday and Bollywood veteran Shashi Kapoor.

We also lost Heather Menzies-Urich, the actress who played Louisa Von Trapp in The Sound of Music; Leon Bernicoff, one of the regulars on Channel 4’s Gogglebox; and British actor Alfie Curtis, whose Dr Evazan character memorably threatened Luke Skywalker in the first Star Wars film. BBC

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