Celebrities Who Died In 2018: From Stephen Hawking To Aretha Franklin

21 December 2018, 12:52 | Updated: 27 December 2018, 08:17

Stephen Hawking, George HW Bush, and Aretha Franklin
Stephen Hawking, George HW Bush, and Aretha Franklin. Picture: PA

We pay tribute to the household names which are sadly no longer with us.

Paddy Ashdown

Paddy Ashdown
Picture: PA

The former Liberal Democrat leader and Royal Marine officer passed away in December following a short illness aged 77.

Sir Ken Dodd

Sir Ken Dodd
Sir Ken Dodd was described as "the last great music hall entertainer". Picture: PA

Sir Ken was an English comedian and singer, best known for his live stand-up performances. He was knighted in the 2017 New Year Honours list for services to entertainment and charity.

His stage career lasted for over 60 years and, where his health permitted it, he continued to perform right until his death on the 11th March 2018, at age 90.

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking's early life was made into an Oscar-winning film, 'The Theory of Everything'. Picture: PA

World famous scientist and author Stephen Hawking passed away on the 14th March, aged 76. Heralded as one of the smartest minds to grace the world, his book 'A Brief History Of Time' became one of the best-selling books in the field of astrophysics.

Hawking had a rare early-onset, slow-progressing form of motor neurone disease that gradually paralysed him over the decades. Even after the loss of his speech, he was able to communicate through a speech-generating device.

Winnie Mandela

Nelson Mandela and Winnie Mandela
Nelson and Winnie Mandela at a London hotel, shortly after their arrival in the UK in 1990. Picture: PA

Nelson Mandela's ex-wife Winnie Mandela died at the age of 81. Married to former South African President Nelson for 38 years, Winnie campaigned tirelessly for his release from prison and for the rights of black South Africans.

She was blamed for the killing of activist Stompie Seipei, eventually being convicted in 1991 of kidnapping and assaulting the 14-year-old.

Eric Bristow

Eric Bristow
British darts star Eric Bristow was awarded an MBE in April 1998. Picture: PA

The darts legend died at the age of 60 on 5th April 2018. Known as the Crafty Cockney, Bristow was a five-time BDO (British Darts Organisation) world champion, a five-time World Masters Champion and a four-time World Cup singles champion.

He died after a heart attack while attending a Premier League Darts event at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush
Barbara Bush was honored at the First Ladies Reception prior to her husband George H.W. Bush's Inauguration in 1989. Picture: PA

The former US first lady died on the 17th April this year, aged 92. As the wife of a Congressman, Barbara immersed herself in projects and groups that piqued her interest including various charities and Republican women's groups in Washington, D.C.

The wife of former president George HW Bush, and mother of ex-president George W Bush, died from heart failure, surrounded by her family.

George HW Bush

The 41st President of the United States George HW Bush
The 41st President of the United States George HW Bush. Picture: Getty

Former US President George HW Bush died aged 94 at his home on the 30th November.

Bush Sr served a single term as the 41st President between 1989 and 1993, after serving two terms as Vice-President to Ronald Reagan.

His famous 1988 campaign promise "read my lips, no new taxes" came back to haunt him when he felt compelled to reverse the policy.

In his early life, Bush was an aviator during World War Two until he was shot down by the Japanese. Following honourable discharge, he married Barbara Pierce. Their marriage lasted 73 years and they had six children together, including George W Bush - the 43rd President of the United States.

Dale Winton

Dale Winton
Dale Winton surrounded by contestants as part of a TV game show held in 2001. Picture: PA

Radio DJ and TV Presenter Dale Winton died aged 62 on 18th April 2018. He was perhaps best known for presenting the show Dale's Supermarket Sweep from 1993 until 2001 and again in 2007.

His long-term agent Jan Kennedy said in a statement: "It is with great sadness that we can confirm the passing of Dale Winton who died at home earlier today. While we know many will share this terrible loss, we ask that you respect the family's privacy at this time of grief."

Avicii

Avicii
Avicii attending the Capital FM Summertime Ball in the summer of 2015. Picture: PA

Tim Bergling better known by his stage name Avicii, was a Swedish musician, DJ, remixer and record producer whose music blended electronic music with elements of multiple genres. He rose to prominence in 2011 with his single "Levels". In 2013, his single "Wake Me Up" topped most music markets in Europe.

He suffered from numerous health problems over the years including stress and poor mental health. On the 20th April 2018, he was found dead in Muscat, Oman, of an apparent suicide.

Michael Martin

Michael Martin
Speaker Michael Martin updating MPs on security in the House of Commons, a week after Tony Blair was hit by a flour-bomb during Prime Minister's Questions in 2004. Picture: PA

Former House of Commons Speaker Michael Martin died on April 29 after a short illness, aged 72. Michael Martin - latterly Lord Martin of Springburn after the Glasgow constituency he represented from 1979 to 2005 - was Speaker from 2000 to 2009.

Kate Spade

Kate Spade
Kate Spade (right) visiting Halls Plaza in her native Kansas city in 1997. Picture: PA

Iconic handbag designer Kate Spade died on 5th June at the age of 55 in a suspected suicide. Sources said that the mother-of-one left a note but the contents were unknown.

Her tragic death shook the fashion world to the core, as professionally Spade's career was still flourishing. Her handbags were, and still are, a firm favourite among royals and the Hollywood elite.

Peter Stringfellow

Peter Stringfellow
Nightclub owner Peter Stringfellow celebrating after he was granted licence for a new Dublin club in 2006. Picture: PA

Peter Stringfellow died on 7th June after a private battle with cancer. The iconic nightclub owner's name was put on the map after the Beatles played at his venue in April 1963.

Ellie Soutter

Ellie Soutter
Ellie Soutter's father believed that she may have been struggling with the pressures of competing in high-level sport. Picture: Team GB

Team GB snowboarder Ellie Soutter took her own life on July 25th, her 18th birthday near her family home in Les Gets, France. Soutter had claimed Team GB’s only medal at the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival in Erzurum, Turkeyin 2017.

Her father, Tony Soutter, said "This cruel world took my Soul mate and "Bessie" from me yesterday on her 18th birthday. I was so proud of the beautiful young woman she had turned into. Ellie I will miss you more than you could have ever imagined. Rest in peace you little Champion!"

Barry Chuckle

Barry Chuckle
Barry Chuckle, whose real surname was Elliott, came from a family of entertainers and rose to stardom with his brother Paul in the late 1980s. Picture: PA

One half of famous comedy duo the Chuckle Brothers, Barry Chuckle, died on the 5th August at the age of 73.

The duo are known for their BBC children's programme ChuckleVision, in which the comedy was often derived from slapstick, wordplay and other visual gags, and famous catchphrases included "To me, to you" and "Oh dear, oh dear".

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin arriving at the Sony BMG Grammy party in Los Angeles in 2008. . Picture: PA

Aretha Franklin was an American singer, songwriter, civil rights activist and "The Queen of Soul". She had hit songs such as "Respect", "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman" and "I Say a Little Prayer".

Aretha Franklin died at her home on August 16th, 2018, aged 76, without a will. The cause of death was reported to be advanced pancreatic cancer.

John McCain

John McCain
John McCain talks from his office in Washington, D.C. in April 2004. Picture: PA

US Senator and former Presidential candidate John McCain died on the 25th August, aged 81. The Vietnam War veteran had been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in July 2017, and just days before his death had announced that he was ending medical treatment for it.

The widely respected politician, who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, lost to Barack Obama in the Presidential race of 2008.

Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds died on 6th September at a hospital in Jupiter, Florida.

The Oscar-nominated actor who starred in a number of famous films, including Boogie Nights and The Longest Yard, passed away at the age of 82 after going into cardiac arrest.

Burt Reynolds
American actor Burt Reynolds at the premiere of the film "Live and Let Die", held at the Odeon Leicester Square in 1973. Picture: PA

Mac Miller

The rapper, and ex-boyfriend of Ariana Grande, died aged 26 on 7th September of an apparent overdose, having battled with substance abuse.

After his untimely death, Ariana Grande posted a tribute on Instagram, saying that he was "the kindest, sweetest soul with demons he never deserved."

Mac Miller
Mac Miller performs during the Coachella festival in April 2017. Picture: PA

Stan Lee

Comic book legend, Stan Lee passed away on 12th November 12 aged 95. Lee co-created such iconic characters as Spiderman, Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk.

Stan Lee served as an executive producer for Marvel Studio's hit movies such as Iron Man and Guardians Of The Galaxy and he also snuck a cheeky cameo into each of the films.

Stan Lee
Stan Lee speaks during Stan Lee's Comic Con in Los Angeles, in 2016. Picture: PA

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