Celebrity deaths in the last decade from David Bowie and Amy Winehouse to Nelson Mandela – The Sun

OVER the past decade, we've said goodbye to many famous faces – from David Bowie and Nelson Mandela to the tragically young Amy Winehouse.

Here, we look back at some of the beloved stars, world leaders and notorious figures who died during the 2010s, as we prepare to mark the start of a new decade.

Deaths in 2010

Alexander McQueen, 40

One of Britain’s most influential fashion designers, McQueen was found dead at his London home in February 2010. It was later revealed he had died from asphyxiation due to hanging.

Pals claimed he was "doing a lot of drugs and was very unhappy".

Victoria Beckham was among the stars who paid tribute to the so-called "hooligan of English fashion", describing him as a "master of fashion, creative genius and an inspiration".

Corey Haim, 38

The Canadian actor died from pneumonia in a Los Angeles hospital in March 2010.

He shot to fame in the 1987 movie The Lost Boys with Keifer Sutherland, and starred in a number of other films, including Lucas, Silver Bullet, Murphy's Romance, and Snowboard Academy.

But the teen idol later battled drug addiction.

In 2007, he starred in the reality TV show The Two Coreys with best pal Corey Feldman, but the programme was cancelled a year later after two series.

Gary Coleman, 42

He was the child actor who coined the phrase, 'What you talking 'bout, Willis?'

But Diff’rent Strokes actor Gary Coleman had a string of financial and personal problems after the show ended, including several arrests for assault and a divorce from Shannon Price, in 2008, which was aired on the reality show Divorce Court.

He died in May 2010 after suffering a head injury when he fell at his home in Utah.

In his will, Coleman requested that he had no funeral service.

Instead, he stipulated he should have a wake conducted by people who had no financial ties to him and "can look each other in the eyes and say they really cared personally" for him.

Malcolm McLaren, 64

Known as the ‘Daddy of Punk’, McLaren found fame as the manager of the Sex Pistols, who soared to No 1 in the charts with their 1977 hit God Save The Queen.

The band met in his Old Kent Road shop, named Sex, which he ran with his then-girlfriend Vivienne Westwood in the 1970s.

The couple had a son Joseph Corre – the co-founder of Agent Provocateur – born in 1967.

McLaren died in New York in April 2010 from lung cancer, thought to have been caused by asbestos from the shop.

Deaths in 2011

Elizabeth Taylor, 79

The London-born screen legend took her final bow on March 23, 2011.

Taylor first found fame as the child star of Lassie Come Home and National Velvet before moving on to adult roles in Cleopatra and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

She was known as much for her private life as her screen roles – she married eight times, including twice to Welsh star Richard Burton.

The double-Oscar winner, with startling violet eyes, was worth an estimated £375 million when she died from congestive heart failure.

Severiano Ballesteros, 54

The Spanish golfer died on May 7, 2011, aged 54, three years after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

The former World No 1, Ballesteros dominated the sport from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990, winning five major championships, the Open Championship three times, and the Masters Tournament twice.

Before his death, he set up the Seve Ballesteros Foundation, which aimed to financially support young golfers on their way to success.

Amy Winehouse, 27

The death of the Back To Black singer sent shockwaves around the world, despite her history of drug and drink addiction.

The troubled star, who had been off drugs for months, was found dead in her Camden house on July 23, 2011, after a drinking binge.

She was five times over the legal drink-drive limit when she died, an inquest later heard.

Winehouse’s 2003 debut album, Frank, was nominated for the Mercury Prize and her second, Back to Black, made her the first British female to win five Grammys.

Steve Jobs, 56

Apple founder Jobs changed the world with his visionary inventions, including the iPhone, iPod and iPad.

He died at his California home on October 5, 2011, after a long battle against pancreatic cancer.

Jimmy Savile, 84

Disgraced TV star Jimmy Savile was still a popular figure when he died of pneumonia in October 2011, two days before his 85th birthday.

His hit family programme Jim’ll Fix It drew huge audiences for two decades, from the 1970s.

But after his death, it emerged that he had raped and sexually assaulted hundreds of children throughout his five-decade career.

Deaths in 2012

Whitney Houston, 48

Pop diva Whitney was found dead in a bathtub in the Beverly Hills Hilton on February 11, 2012, hours before she was due to sing at a pre-Grammys party.

Star Tony Bennett, who called her the “greatest singer I’ve ever heard in my life”, led tributes to her at the party.

An inquest found the American star, who was suffering from heart problems caused by years of drug abuse, had drowned in the bath after taking cocaine.

Houston, who sold more than 55 million records and starred in the films The Bodyguard and Waiting to Exhale, spiralled into drug addiction during her volatile marriage to fellow musician Bobby Brown.

Robin Gibb, 62

The British singer, who founded the Bee Gees with brothers Barry and Maurice, died from colon cancer on May 20, 2012.

Bruno Mars and Duran Duran paid tribute to the star, while Bryan Adams tweeted "another great singer dying too young".

Robin’s twin brother Maurice had died in 2003 from a twisted bowel and their younger brother, solo artist Andy Gibb, died aged 30 from a heart infection.

The Bee Gees, who were born on the Isle of Man and raised in Manchester and Australia, had a string of massive hits including Saturday Night Fever and How Deep is Your Love?

Neil Armstrong, 82

Legendary astronaut Armstrong died aged 82 from blocked coronary arteries in Cincinnati on August 25, 2012.

The aerospace engineer had become an international hero on July 20, 1969, as the first man to step foot on the Moon.

Donna Summer, 63

The queen of disco, who got generations on the dance floor with hits like I Feel Love, Bad Girls and Hot Stuff, died of cancer on May 17, 2012.

Sir Elton John and Mary J Blige led the tributes, and Kylie Minogue described her as "one of my earliest musical inspirations".

Deaths in 2013

Baroness Thatcher, 87

The former Prime Minister passed away at the Ritz Hotel, where she'd been staying for a year, after suffering a stroke on April 8, 2013.

The death of the divisive politician was met with mixed reaction, with some lauding her as the most effective PM the UK has ever had and others celebrating her death with expressions of hatred.

Thatcher was the UK's first female Prime Minister, serving from 1979 to 1990, and was buried with full military honours after a church service at St Paul's Cathedral on April 17.

Paul Walker, 40

The Fast and the Furious star was in the passenger seat of a Porsche when his friend, driver Roger Rodas, lost control and ploughed into a telegraph pole, causing the car to burst into flames.

Walker died from the combined effects of trauma and burns, leaving his loved ones bereft.

A screen heartthrob, he had starred in all but one of The Fast and the Furious films and his latest movie, Hours, was released just before his death on November 30, 2o13.

He left behind a daughter, Meadow Rain, who was 15 at the time.

Nelson Mandela, 95

South Africa’s first black president passed away peacefully on December 5, and was mourned around the world.

The lawyer and anti-apartheid revolutionary had spent 27 years in jail after being convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the state in 1962.

Known as the father of the nation, he received more than 250 honours, including the Nobel peace prize, and was president of the country from 1994 to 1999.

Cory Monteith, 31

Glee fans were distraught when Cory, who played jock Finn in the show, was found dead in a hotel room in Canada on July 13, 2013.

The star, who had a history of addiction, was found to have died of an overdose after a booze and heroin binge.

His heartbroken girlfriend and Glee co-star Lea Michele starred in a tribute episode of the show just three weeks after his death.

Christian Benitez, 27

The former Birmingham City striker died from heart failure on July 29, 2013, after being admitted to hospital in Ecuador with severe stomach pains.

The Ecuadorian forward was capped 58 times for his national team and had recently made his debut for Qatari club El Jaish, who retired his number 11 jersey after his death.

James Gandolfini, 51

The Sopranos star died of a heart attack while on holiday in Rome on June 19 the same year.

Sopranos co-star Lorraine Bracco said: "We lost a giant today. I am utterly heartbroken."

Gandolfini won three Emmy awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of mobster Tony Soprano.

He also received a posthumous nomination for a Screen Actors Guild Award for his role in Enough Said.

Deaths in 2014

Peaches Geldof, 25

The TV presenter and model died from a heroin overdose at her Kent home on April 7, 2014.

Peaches, who was 11 when her mum Paula Yates died the same way, left behind two children – Phaedra, 11 months, and Astala, two – with partner Thomas Cohen.

Richard Attenborough, 91

The Oscar-winning director and older brother of naturalist David died in a care home after a series of strokes.

As an actor, he had starred in numerous films, including Jurassic Park and Miracle on 34th Street, as well as directing classics such as Ghandi and Cry Freedom.

Countless stars paid tribute ‘Dickie’, with Steven Spielberg saying: “I’m standing in an endless line of those who completely adored him.”

Rik Mayall, 56

The zany comic – who starred in numerous sitcoms including The Young Ones, Blackadder, The New Statesman and Bottom – died in June 2014 after suffering a heart attack while jogging.

Rik had narrowly escaped death in 1998 when he crashed his quad bike near his home in Devon, causing severe head injuries.

He met make-up artist wife Barbara Barbara while working on a show for BBC Scotland and the couple had three children.

Elena Baltacha, 30

Tennis star Elena Baltacha died from liver cancer on May 4, 2014, less than four months after she was diagnosed with the disease.

The UK’s former No 1 had made the top 50 in the world rankings in 2010 and scooped more than £1 million in prize money, but retired from the sport at the end of 2013.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, 46

The Oscar-winning actor was found dead in the bathroom of his New York apartment on February 2, 2014, after a friend went to check on him.

He had died from a drug overdose.

One of the most respected actors in Hollywood, he had won a Best Actor Oscar for Capote and numerous nominations for The Master, Doubt and Charlie Wilson’s War.

Robin Williams, 63

The Dead Poets Society star took his own life at his home in Los Angeles in August 2014, after a long battle with depression and anxiety.

His wife Susan Schneider later said he had been suffering from a form or dementia, which she called the “terrorist inside my husband’s brain.”

His daughter Zelda said: "The world is forever a little darker, less colourful and less full of laughter in his absence"

Joan Rivers, 81

The acid tongue of America’s top female comedian was tragically silenced when a routine operation on her throat went wrong.

After six days in a medically-induced coma, she died on September 4, 2014, at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Deaths in 2015

Anne Kirkbride, 60

Coronation Street fans went into mourning when the actress who played one of its most enduring characters, Deirdre Barlow, died from breast cancer on January 19, 2015.

During Kirkbride's 42 years on the much-loved soap, Deirdre had multiple marriages, love triangles, a Turkish toyboy and a wrongful imprisonment.

As well as her many screen partners, Kirkbride left behind her real-life husband David Beckett, whom she had met when he played her lover on the show.

Sawyer Sweeten, 19

Tragic star Sawyer Sweet took his own life in a bedroom while visiting family in Texas.

The young actor starred with twin brother Sawyer and sister Madylin in Everybody Loves Raymond.

On hearing the news, co-star Ray Romano said: “'He was a wonderful and sweet kid to be around. Just a great energy whenever he was there. My heart breaks for him, his family, and his friends during this very difficult time."

Bobbi Kristina Brown, 22

In a tragic echo of mum Whitney Houston’s death, Bobbi was found face-down in a bath in her Georgia home, after apparently taking drugs.

She was rushed to hospital and put into an induced coma but died six months later.

Cilla Black, 72

One of the best-loved stars of British TV, ‘Our Cilla’ passed away suddenly in August 2015, after falling and hitting her head in her Spanish villa.

The Blind Date and Surprise Surprise star was honoured with an hour-long tribute that Christmas day, featuring celebrity friends Ringo Starr, Sir Cliff Richard and Paul O'Grady.

Lemmy, 70

Rock fans were heartbroken when Motorhead frontman Lemmy died on December 28 that year, within days of being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.

The rocker – real name Ian Fraser Kilminster – battled alcohol issues and claimed he drank a bottle of Jack Daniel's every day from the age of 30.

Deaths in 2016

David Bowie, 69

The year 2016 saw more than its fair share of celebrity deaths, kicking off in January with one of the UK’s biggest legends.

Starman singer Bowie died after an 18-month battle with cancer, just two days after he released his 25th and final album, Blackstar.

Although he kept his illness a secret in the track, Lazarus, he hinted at his own death, singing: “Look up here, I’m in heaven.”

His death spurred thousands to take to the streets in impromptu street party tributes.

Alan Rickman, 69

Alan Rickman, the celebrated British film and stage actor best known for roles in Harry Potter, Robin Hood and Die Hard, died from cancer on January 14, 2016.

Emma Thompson, a close friend who worked with him on Love Actually and Sense and Sensibility, said she had "kissed him goodbye" and spoke of a "moment of painful leave-taking".

Terry Wogan, 77

The death of the veteran BBC broadcaster was announced on Radio 2, the station where he worked since 1972.

During a long career, the soft-spoken Irish star had fronted game show Blankety Blank, countless TV telethons for Children in Need and hosted his own BBC1 chat show, from 1985 to 1992.

Victoria Wood, 62

After a short battle with cancer, the much-loved comedian died at her Highgate home on April 20, 2016.

Wood, who won five BAFTAS during her career, established herself as one of the UK's most popular comedians, teaming up with Julie Walters in Victoria Wood as Seen on TV.

She also wrote, produced and starred in the award-winning Dinner Ladies in 1998.

Prince, 57

The body of the pop legend was found in a lift at his Paisley Park recording studio in Minnesota on April 21, 2016.

An inquest found he had died of an accidental overdose.

The talented musician – full name Prince Rogers Nelson – was born in Minneapolis and began playing the piano at the age of seven.

He released his debut album, For You, in 1978 and followed it with a  string of hit including 1999, Little Red Corvette and Purple Rain.

Muhammed Ali, 74

The legendary boxer died from septic shock in an Arizona hospital on June 3, 2016.

He had been suffering from a respiratory illness, a condition that was complicated by Parkinson's disease.

The three-time heavyweight champion of the world was renowned for his wit and banter, claiming he could “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee".

He also became a leading figure in the civil rights movement.

Anton Yelchin, 27

Rising star Yelchin was tragically killed in a freak accident, when his Jeep rolled backwards and crushed him against the brick mailbox at his LA home on June 19, 2016.

The actor was best known for playing Chekov in the new Star Trek films, and also starred in the crime thriller Alpha Dog and the teenage comedy Charlie Bartlett.

Caroline Aherne, 52

The Royle Family creator died at her Greater Manchester home on July 2, 2016, after suffering from cancer for a number of years.

Born in Ealing and raised in Manchester, the comedian played Denise Royle in the hit TV series, as well as playing chat show host Mrs Merton and providing the voiceover for Gogglebox.

Aherne was born with a rare type of cancer in her retina which meant she was nearly blind in one eye. She later developed bladder cancer, then was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2014.

Ronnie Corbett, 85

Comic Ronnie Corbett had been suffering from motor neurone disease before he passed away on March 31, 2016, surrounded by his family.

Corbett is best remembered for appearing with Ronnie Barker in the Two Ronnies, the sketch show which ran for 16 years.

George Michael, 53

The year ended with the tragic news that Last Christmas singer George Michael had died at his Goring-on-Thames home on Christmas Day.

The singer-songwriter, real name Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, had battled drug addictions for years but died from liver and heart problems.

He was found by his on-off partner, Fadi Fawaz.

Michael rose to fame as a member of Wham! and went solo in 1987, scoring huge hits including Careless Whisper and Faith.

He sold more than 100 million albums throughout a career which spanned almost four decades.

Deaths in 2017

Hugh Heffner, 91

The Playboy founder went to the boudoir in the sky on September 27, 2017.

He died "peacefully" from natural causes at his home, the Playboy Mansion in Hollywood.

Hefner launched Playboy magazine in 1953 and soon bought the famous mansion where he lived with dozens of his 'Bunnies'.

The dad-of-four had three wives but claimed to have slept with more than 1,000 women in his lifetime.

Keith Chegwin, 60

Keith Chegwin died on December 11, 2017, following a long battle with a progressive lung condition.

The much-loved star was known for presenting classic TV programmes like Cheggers Plays Pop and Multi-Coloured Swap Shop.

David Cassidy, 67

Former teen heartthrob David Cassidy suffered acute liver and kidney failure and died on November 21, 2017, after being placed in a medically-induced coma in a Florida hospital.

The Partridge Family star, who suffered years of alcohol abuse, had also been battling dementia in the final months of his life.

Bruce Forsyth, 89

Showbiz legend Brucie died at his home in Virginia Water, following a bout of pneumonia.

The entertainer had shot to fame in the 1950s on Sunday Night At The London Palladium and presented Strictly Come Dancing from 2004 to 2013.

He is recognised by the Guinness World Records as having had the longest television career for a male entertainer.

Forsyth also hosted shows like The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right, The Price Is Right and You Bet!

Deaths in 2018

Dame June Whitfield, 93

The Terry and June and Absolutely Fabulous actress passed away on December 29, 2018, aged 93.

She was made a dame in the 2017 Birthday Honours for her services to drama and entertainment in a career spanning eight decades.

Aretha Franklin, 76

Soul legend Aretha Franklin died from cancer following an eight-year battle on August 16, 2018.

Dubbed the Queen of Soul and widely considered one of history's greatest voices, Aretha’s dazzling music career included classic songs (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, Respect and I Say A Little Prayer.

Barry Elliott, 73

One half of the much-loved comedy duo The Chuckle Brothers, Barry Elliott passed away on August 4, 2018.

Barry and his brother Paul, originally from Rotherham, had been introduced to the stage at a young age by their father, James Elliott.

They also have two older brothers, Jimmy and Brian, who are known collectively as the Patton Brothers and have starred alongside their siblings in their show ChuckleVision.

Sophie Gradon, 32

Sophie, 32, was famed for starring on the second series of Love Island in 2016.

On June 21, 2018, it was revealed she had been found hanged at her Northumberland home.

This year, on the first anniversary of Sophie's death, fellow Love Islander Zara Holland paid tribute to her on Instagram, writing: "Your always in my thoughts every day gorgeous girl (sic).

"I can’t believe it’s a year since you went to heaven. Love you always.

"Sending all my love to your family and friends."

XXXTentacion, 20

Controversial American rapper XXXTentacion was shot dead in an apparent armed robbery in Miami on June 18, 2018.

The 20-year-old was gunned down as he left a South Florida motorcycle dealership.

Peter Stringfellow, 77

The legendary nightclub owner passed away on June 7, 2018, after a secret battle with cancer.

Yorkshireman Stringfellow started the Stringfellows franchise in the Sixties and was worth £32 million.

Verne Troyer, 49

On April 21, Austin Powers star Verne's family issued a statement which read: "It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today.

"Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh."

Troyer was 49 at the time of his death.

Stephen Hawking, 76

Professor Stephen Hawking died in the early hours of March 14, 2018.

The British physicist, who wrote A Brief History of Time, changed the way we understand the universe.

He was also considered a medical marvel, having lived for more than half a century after being given two years to live when he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1963.

Ken Dodd, 90

Ken Dodd's publicist confirmed in the small hours of March 12, 2018, that the comedian had passed away aged 90.

Emma Chambers, 53

Emma Chambers died on February 24, 2018, of natural causes.

The actress had captured international attention for her role alongside Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in the 1999 comedy Notting Hill, and played Alice Tinker in BBC sitcom The Vicar of Dibley.

In a tribute to Chambers, Jon Plowman – the show’s executive producer and ex-BBC head of comedy – said: "Emma was a gifted comic actress who made any part she played look easy.

"She was adored by the cast and crew."

Mark Salling, 35

Salling was best known for playing Noah Puckerman in Glee.

But the American actor hanged himself on January 30, 2018, weeks before he was due to be jailed after pleading guilty to two child pornography charges.

Dolores O'Riordan, 46

The Cranberries' lead singer Dolores O'Riordan died suddenly in London at the age of 46 on January 15, 2018.

The hugely-popular Irish artist drowned in a bath in London where she was taking part in a short recording session.

Deaths in 2019

Freddie Starr, 76

Starr featured in The Sun’s most popular front page ever when we ran the headline “Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster” in March 1986, after the comic pretended to put a friend’s pet in a sandwich and scoff it.

Once Britain’s highest-paid comedian, Starr died virtually penniless on May 9, 2019, at his apartment in Spain.

Keith Flint, 49

The Prodigy’s dancer-turned-frontman was found hanged at his home in Essex on March 4, 2019.

The rave giants achieved massive mainstream success with single Firestarter, which featured Flint on lead vocals, and the 1997 album The Fat Of The Land.

Keith kicked a drug habit before The Prodigy’s comeback in 2009.

Mike Thalassitis, 26

A former lower league footballer who found fame on ITV2 reality show Love Island in 2017, Mike took his own life near his Essex home on March 16, 2019.

His death sparked anger over aftercare on TV shows.

At his funeral, Mike's older brother Nick paid a heartfelt tribute to his sibling, telling mourners: "He was supposed to be the best man at my wedding and the uncle to my kids.

"And although he can’t be there for those moments now, I know he’ll be watching them from somewhere else with a bright smile on his face.

“Mike was introduced to the public as a Greek god and maybe the heavens needed you more than the Earth.”

Gordon Banks, 81

England’s 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper, Banks earned 73 England caps and made a total of 628 appearances for Chesterfield, Leicester City and Stoke.

He died on February 12, 2019.

Karl Lagerfeld, 85

Karl died of pancreatic cancer in a Paris hospital on February 19, 2019.

The German fashion legend had reinvented Chanel’s classics including the little black dress, quilted handbags and costume jewellery.

Sandy Ratcliff, 70

Sandy starred in the first episode of EastEnders and played cafe owner Ali Osman’s wife Sue for four years.

She quit due to a heroin habit before becoming a counsellor after beating addiction.

She died on April 7, 2019.

Tardar Sauce, 7

Nicknamed Grumpy Cat due to her expression – caused by an underbite and dwarfism – Tardar Sauce was the world’s most famous cat with millions of social media followers.

The beloved feline died at home in Arizona on May 14, 2019, aged seven.

Clive James, 80

James was an Aussie broadcaster, critic and poet who famously compared Arnold Schwarzenegger’s body to “a brown condom full of walnuts”.

He battled leukaemia from 2010 and died on November 24, 2019.

Gary Rhodes, 59

The 59-year-old chef died of a brain bleed in Dubai, where he ran restaurants.

During his impressive career, he won five Michelin stars, hosted TV’s MasterChef and had his own series, Rhodes Around Britain.

He ate a last meal of a ham sandwich before his death on November 26, 2019.

David Bellamy, 86

Legendary nature presenter Bellamy – famed for his wild grey hair and beard – inspired a generation of kids to be excited by nature with his shows in the 1980s.

However, he was dropped by the BBC after branding climate change "poppycock".

His death on December 11, 2019, was confirmed by the Conservation Foundation, of which he was president and co-founder.

Director David Shreeve said Bellamy was "a larger-than-life character who became a very special friend and teacher".

"He inspired a whole generation with his wide range of interests and enthusiasm which knew no bounds," he added.

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