As we prepare to welcome a New Year, it’s a chance to look back and reflect on those we have lost in 2018 – and there have been some shocking and heartbreaking deaths in the celebrity world over the past 12 months.
From top celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, to superstar singer Aretha Franklin and high profile politicians including George H.W. Bush and John McCain, the world has come together to mourn some huge names.
Here, we celebrate their career and personal highlights:
Just days into 2018 the world was faced with the devastating news that The Moody Blues star Ray Thomas, 76, had passed away. The band found success in the 1960s and were often credited for introducing the masses to a new era of rock music.
Elsewhere, Neighbours legend Moya O’Sullivan died at the age of 91 on January 16. The veteran actress was best known for her role as Marlene Kratz in the long-running soap opera, having played the grandmother for three years from 1984.
Just one day later there was more devastating news as another soap star passed away following several weeks fighting for her life in hospital. Home and Away actress Jessica Falkholt died just days after her sister, and weeks after both of her parents, after they were involved in a horror car crash on Boxing Day 2017.
There was some very sad news for Frasier fans on February 4 as actor John Mahoney, who played father Martin Crane, died aged 77. Mahoney appeared alongside his on-screen sons Kelsey Grammar, who played Frasier, and David Hyde Pierce, who played Niles.
Later that month Prince Henrik of Denmark sadly died just months after he was diagnosed with dementia, on February 13. The prince passed quietly in his sleep with Queen Margrethe and his sons Princes Frederik and Joachim by his side, a statement from the family said at the time.
One of the biggest shocks of the year came on February 21 when Vicar of Dibley star Emma Chambers died at the age of 53 from natural causes. Chambers rose to fame on the outlandish British comedy alongside Dawn French as the loveable Alice Tinker.
Meanwhile, bestselling author Penny Vincenzi passed away aged 78 on February 25, just two days before NRL superstar Steve Folkes was found dead at the age of 59 in his Sydney home.
He was well known for his role in M*A*S*H as Major Charles Winchester and fans were forced to mourn the sad passing of Emmy Award nominated actor David Ogden Stiers on March 3. The star died peacefully in his home aged 75 following a battle with bladder cancer.
The same day Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile in under four minutes, died aged 88. His family said in a statement: “He banked his treasure in the hearts of his friends.”
On March 8, there was sad news for Aussie book fans as crime author Peter Temple died at the age of 71 following a six-month battle with cancer.
And leaving a lasting and incredible legacy around the world, Professor Stephen Hawking died at the age of 76 on March 14. The world famous physicist had bravely battled motor neurone disease since 1963, and he tragically passed away at his home in Cambridge.
Prominent anti-apartheid activist and the ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, died aged 81 on April 2 following a long illness that had kept her in and out of hospital since the start of the year.
Meanwhile, the silver screen’s most iconic army sergeant left the building on April 15 as R. Lee Ermey, best known for his role as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s iconic Full Metal Jacket, died aged 74.
And two days later beloved former US first lady Barbara Bush died at the age of 92, shortly after declining further treatment for her medical conditions. She left behind George H.W. Bush, who was her husband of 73 years, before he passed away in November this year.
There was more heartbreaking news for Home and Away fans on May 4 as actress Catherine Godbold died at the age of 43, just months after her famous mum Rosemary Margan’s tragic death. Cathy, who famously starred as Meg Bowman on the Aussie TV show, as well as Deborah Hale on The Saddle Club from 2001-03, passed away in hospital, a family friend confirmed to Nine News.
Later that month, on May 13, Superman‘s original golden girl, Margot Kidder, died aged 69 in her sleep at her home in Livingston, Montana. Her sad death was followed by that of Patricia Morison, one of the last surviving stars of Broadway’s post-World War II ‘golden age’, who died at the age of 103 on May 20.
A day later, western movie fans were in mourning following the death of Hollywood legend Clint Walker. The actor was most famous for playing a cowboy on the hit western TV series Cheyenne and died at the age of 90, TMZ reported at the time.
There was more sadness for Home and Away fans later that month as legendary actress and star of Weakest Link, Cornelia Frances, died at the age of 77 following a battle with cancer. The actress, who played Morag Bellingham on the hit Aussie soap, passed away just weeks after celebrating her 77th birthday with loved ones in hospital.
The world lost Anthony Bourdain, the world renowned American celebrity chef, author and TV star, at the age of 61 on June 8, while he was working in France on a new series of his award-winning travel and food show Parts Unknown.
CNN, which aired his programs, said that he was found unresponsive in his hotel room by his close friend Eric Ripert, another renowned chef. Bourdain had committed suicide.
The same day, Eunice Gayson sadly died aged 90. The actress was most famous for playing the world’s first ever ‘Bond girl’ in the original James Bond film Dr No.
A week later, Joe Jackson, the father of late pop star Michael Jackson, died at the age of 89. A family source confirmed at the time that the music mogul passed away in a Las Vegas hospice, according to TMZ.
The Bay City Rollers were one of the biggest bands of the 1970s and the original line-up came together on July 2 when guitarist Alan Longmuir passed away following a short battle with an illness he contracted while in Mexico.
Elsewhere, on July 13, Nancy Sinatra Sr – the childhood sweetheart of Frank Sinatra, who became the first of his four wives and the mother of his three children – sadly died at the age of 101.
Following an inspirational and brave fight, Australian golfer Jarrod Lyle died at the age of 36 on August 8. The sportsman had decided to end all cancer treatment to spend his final days with his two daughters and wife shortly before his death.
Meanwhile, in one of the biggest blows of the year, the world came together to mourn ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin as she died at 76 on August 16. Franklin’s cause of death was advanced pancreatic cancer, her publicist confirmed to the Associated Press.
On August 21, Barbara Harris – the star well known for her roles in films including Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Peggy Sue Got Married, The War Between Men and Women and Freaky Friday – lost her battle with lung cancer at the age of 83.
Just four days later, US politician and war hero John McCain died at the age of 81 after a brave battle with brain cancer. The US senator and former prisoner of war died with his loving wife Cindy and their family by his bedside.
Tributes poured in from fans of Doctor Who and Blake’s 7 on September 3 following the death of British actress Jacqueline Pearce at the age of 75, after she lost her battle with lung cancer.
And in another giant blow across the world on September 6, legendary Hollywood actor Burt Reynolds, known for classic 1970s films such as Smokey and the Bandit and The Longest Yard, died at the age of 82.
Elsewhere, Charles Hodges, better known as Chas from ‘70s band Chas and Dave, passed away on September 22. He was 74.
Peggy Sue Gerron, better known as the woman who inspired Buddy Holly’s 1957 classic hit ‘Peggy Sue’, sadly passed away on the 1st of the month at the age of 78. That news was followed with more tragedy the next day as Australian TV presenter, sports journalist and radio star Ron Casey died at the age of 89.
On October 6, Quentin Kenihan who become a household name after appearing on TV with Mike Willesee in the 1980s died at the age of 43. According to The Australian at the time, he was attended by ambulance officers after experiencing breathing difficulties but was unable to be revived.
Just one day later, Days of our Lives star Peggy McCay sadly died at the age of 90. The popular actress played Caroline Brady on the show.
Tributes began pouring in on November 12 following the shock death of comic book and movie legend Stan Lee at the age of 95. The co-founder of Marvel Comics was remembered by his daughter as “the greatest, most decent man”.
The following day, actress Katherine MacGregor died at the age of 93. She became one of the most well known faces on TV in the 1970s thanks to her portrayal of villainous character Harriet Oleson on hit TV show Little House on the Prairie.
On November 19, Australian political cartoonist Larry Pickering, 76, died following a long battle with cancer, while prominent indigenous and South Sea Islander activist Bonita Mabo died at the age of 74 on November 26.
The advocacy worker and widow of Eddie Mabo reportedly took her final breath just days after receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from James Cook University for her contribution to social justice and education for indigenous children, the ABC reported at the time.
And November ended with very sad news as former US president George H.W. Bush passed away aged 94. He was later buried at his Texas home alongside his wife, Barbara.
She was best known as one of the stars of hit Aussie TV show Prisoner, and Judy McBurney sadly passed away on December 1 following a four-year battle with cancer.
That news came days before Dolly Parton and her family were forced to mourn the sad death of her younger brother Floyd, who died on December 6 at the age of 61.
Later in the month on December 28 Absolutely Fabulous star Dame June Whitfield died aged 93.