In memoriam: TND pays tribute to the beautiful, brave and the brightest celebrities we lost in 2022

Bob Saget, Meatloaf, Judith Durham, the Queen, Shane Warne, Uncle Jack Charles, Archie Roach, Coolio and Olivia Newton-John.

Bob Saget, Meatloaf, Judith Durham, the Queen, Shane Warne, Uncle Jack Charles, Archie Roach, Coolio and Olivia Newton-John. Photo: TND

The entertainment industry mourned the loss of some legends in 2022, but the world stopped for weeks to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen had suffered mobility issues for the last year of her life, her frailty most apparent at her last public engagement greeting then-British Prime Minister Liz Truss at Balmoral Castle.

Two days later in early September, the longest-serving British monarch died aged 96.

Her death certificate listed her cause of death as old age, but it was later revealed she was reportedly suffering a form of bone marrow cancer, myeloma.

She was formally farewelled in a state funeral on September 19, with a procession through the streets of London as loyal subjects wept, donned British costumes and tributes, and waved flags.

As the world praised the late monarch of 70 years for her dedication to the throne, commentators also acknowledged the tumultuous decades of family controversies.

Olivia Newton John

Olivia Newton-John was a darling of the nation. Photo: The New Daily

Australians farewelled in style

In Australia, tributes flowed following the loss of singers Olivia Newton-John, Judith Durham and also cricket legend Shane Warne.

Warne’s sudden death rocked the world.

He was remembered as a cricket magician, loveable larrikin and devoted dad at a state memorial in Melbourne on March 30, and honoured again this week on the first day of the Boxing Day Test.

The spin king died at age 52, from a suspected heart attack in Thailand on March 4.

Newton-John, best known for playing Sandy in the 1978 hit Grease opposite John Travolta, died on August 8 aged 73.

She battled breast cancer three times after first being diagnosed in 1992, leading her to create the Olivia Newton-John Foundation to fund cancer research.

She also founded a cancer wellness and research centre in Melbourne.

In the months since Newton-John died, other singers paid tribute to her music and life with versions of her signature hit Hopelessly Devoted to You, including Pink and Harry Styles.

“National treasure” Judith Durham – the Aussie secretary-turned-pop star who outsold The Beatles in the swinging ’60s – was farewelled with a state funeral in September.

She died in palliative care, aged 79, on August 5, after complications from a long-standing lung disease.

The Seekers lead singer was remembered by her bandmates as the group’s “shining star” and they said losing their “treasured life-long friend” would change their lives forever.

On October 18, a crowd waving Aboriginal flags lined St Kilda Road in Melbourne to send off Indigenous elder and storyteller Uncle Jack Charles after his state funeral.

The actor, musician, activist and member of the Stolen Generations died at Royal Melbourne Hospital on September 13 after suffering a stroke. He was 79.

Celebrated Aboriginal musician Archie Roach died in Warrnambool Base Hospital aged 66 after a long battle with illness.

The Gunditjmara-Bundjalung elder was a “healer and a unifying force” whose music brought people together, said his sons Amos and Eban.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Australia had “lost a brilliant talent, a powerful and prolific national truth teller”.

Australia’s favourite Play School presenter, English-born John Hamblin, died on September 21 after 30 years on the classic kids’ program.

Melbourne fashion icon Lillian Frank, who died on August 13, was remembered for her style throughout decades of Spring Racing Carnival fashion.

Warne wasn’t the only cricketer to lose his life this year. Former Test wicketkeeper Rod Marsh died of a heart attack on March 4, and Andrew Symonds on May 4 after a car accident.

Glenn Wheatley, Margaret Urlich, Sister Janet Mead and Chris Bailey also passed away in 2022.

Aaron Carter, Louise Fletcher, John Hamblin, Betty White, Anne Heche, Ray Liotta and Jerry Lee Lewis. Photo: TND

Hollywood mourned its TV and screen legends

Betty White, who capped a career of more than 80 years by becoming America’s geriatric sweetheart after Emmy-winning roles on television sitcoms The Golden Girls and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, died on December 31, less than three weeks shy of her 100th birthday.

Louise Fletcher, who played Nurse Ratched opposite Jack Nicholson in the 1975 horror thriller One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, set a new standard for screen villains. It won her an Academy Award.

She died in her sleep on September 23, aged 88.

Murder She Wrote star Angela Lansbury died five days short of her 97th birthday at her home in Los Angeles on October 11.

The sudden death of Goodfellas gangster Ray Liotta, aged 67, shattered those who worked with him, including Taron Egerton (Black Bird), Seth Rogan (Observe and Report) and his Field of Dreams co-star Kevin Costner.

As did Robbie Coltrane, 72, whose hundreds of roles included a crime-solving psychologist on the TV series Cracker and Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies. He died on October 14.

Fleetwood Mac keyboard player and vocalist Christine McVie, died on November 30, aged 79, in London after a short illness.

The band took to Twitter to express deep sorrow: “She was truly one-of-a-kind, special and talented beyond measure. She was the best musician anyone could have in their band and the best friend anyone could have in their life”.

Founding cast member of Sesame Street, children’s author and musician Bob McGrath died on December 4 aged 90.

He made his final appearance on the show in 2017, marking an almost five decade-long figure in the Sesame Street world.

On December 5, Cheers actor Kirstie Alley lost her short battle with cancer, leaving behind two daughters True and Lillie Parker.

They wrote: “As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.”

The music industry mourned its trailblazers

Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis, the notorious singer behind Great Balls of Fire, died aged 87 on October 29.

Lewis’s publicist Zach Farnum said Lewis “was there at the beginning, with Elvis, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly and the rest, and watched them fade away one by one till it was him alone to bear witness, and sing of the birth of rock ‘n’ roll”.

Feminist country singer and coal miner’s daughter Loretta Lynn died peacefully in her sleep at her Hurricane Mills, Tennessee ranch at the age of 90 on October 4.

Foo Fighters’ drummer Taylor Hawkins lost his life aged 50 in late March, with the band and global fan network shocked at his sudden death in a Four Seasons hotel room in Bogota.

The band announced the cancellation of all tour dates immediately after in light of the “staggering loss” of their brother.

“Let’s take this time to grieve, to heal, to pull our loved ones close, and to appreciate all the music and memories we’ve made together.” the band said.

William Hurt, Sidney Poitier, Sister Janet Mead, Loretta Lynn, Paul Sorvino, Taylor Hawkins, James Caan, Angela Lansbury. Photo: TND

Stars behind some iconic movies

It was also a big year for legendary actors who left enduring legacies, including William Hurt, Sidney Poitier, Paul Sorvino and James Caan.

When news broke that Hurt had died on March 13, movie industry heavyweights and fans alike agreed he could be cast in the lead, or appear for just 10 minutes, and “steal the show”.

From his Oscar-winning performance playing a gay prisoner in Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), playing a troubled friend in the classic ensemble hit that defined a generation in The Big Chill  to the lead role as Detective Arkady Renko in Gorky Park, he was indeed the leading man.

He played a string of award-winning roles in big hits throughout the 1980s, dabbled in TV roles in the 1990s, and found a new legion of fans playing US Army Secretary Thaddeus E ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross in the Avengers classics.

Sidney Poitier was the first Black actor to win an Oscar, was knighted by the Queen, and won a string of international awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

His three outstanding movie roles, in To Sir, with Love (which still creates discussion in education), In the Heat of the Night and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner dealt with the Black and white divide in the 1960s. He died in January aged 94.

Paul Sorvino (who often played a mobster) to James Caan (in westerns, defining gangland movies and Misery) were both born for long careers in Hollywood, with looks and characteristics that made casting easy in any role they wanted.

Others to pass away included Issey Miyake, Ronnie Spector, Monica Vitti, Hilary Mantel, Peter Bogdanovich, Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek) and Jean-Luc Godard.

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