Sir Roger Moore, Chuck Berry, Chester Bennington, Tom Petty and more: Stars we lost in 2017

By Pete Madeley | Entertainment | Published:

Sir Roger Moore and Rodney Bewes, Tom Petty and Chuck Berry, Bruce Forsyth and David Cassidy – we said goodbye to some of the most loved figures in the entertainment world over the past year.

Stars we lost in 2017

James Bond star Sir Roger's death in May led to a major outpouring of grief, with tributes flooding in from across the world.

Sir Roger Moore

He died in Switzerland after a short battle with cancer, at the age of 89.

Another one of Britain's best known actors, Sir John Hurt, died in January, aged 77, following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Sir John Hurt

The hell-raising pal of Oliver Reed was nominated for Oscars for his starring roles in Midnight Express and the Elephant Man.

January also saw 'Allo 'Allo! star Gorden Kaye die in a care home at the age of 75, and we also lost former Black Sabbath keyboardist Geoff Nicholls, who grew up in Birmingham.

Sitcom writing icon Alan Simpson, one half of the much-loved Galton and Simpson duo, died on February 8 at the age of 87.


He penned a string of classics such as Steptoe and Son and Hancock's Half Hour.

Tara Palmer Tomkinson

In February former It-girl Tara Palmer-Tomkinson died at the age of just 45. She had recently appeared on I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, and had revealed a secret year-long battle with a brain tumour.

In the same month the star of Aliens and Titanic, American actor Bill Paxton, died aged 61 due to surgical complications.


Bill Paxton

Sister Sledge singer Joni died in March, aged 60. She was one of four siblings who banded together to create the legendary group in Philadelphia in the early 1970s.

And the father of rock 'n' roll, Chuck Berry, died that same month.

He started producing music in the 1950s and wrote pioneering tracks such as Johnny B Goode.

Chuck Berry

His first chart topper came in 1972 with My Ding-a-Ling.

In May British actor Moray Watson, who played the Brigadier in The Darling Buds of May, died at the age of 88.

The month also saw a major shock in the music world, when it was announced that Soundgarden and Audioslave rocker Chris Cornell had died.

Chris Cornell

He was just 52, and his passing was described as 'sudden and unexpected' by his family.

Cornell was a Grammy award-winning, Golden Globe-nominated singer, songwriter, guitarist, composer and lyricist, who was part of the 90s grunge rock movement that spawned Nirvana.

In the same month the music world also lost Gregg Allman, aged 69, who founded The Allman Brothers Band with his late brother, Duane.

John Noakes

Much-loved Blue Peter presenter John Noakes died on May 28, aged 83.

He was the longest-serving presenter on the popular children's show, having joined in December 1956 and left in June 1978.

Roy Barraclough

At the start of June Coronation Street star Roy Barraclough died, aged 81. He played Eric Gilroy in the ITV series for 22 years.

Another of the soap's favourites – Liz Dawn who played Vera Duckworth – died in September, aged 77.

Liz Dawn

Actor Peter Sallis , who starred in Last of the Summer Wine, died in June at the age of 96.

And Adam West , who played Batman in the iconic 60s TV show, died in the same month, aged 88, after a short battle with leukaemia.

Peter Sallis

At the end of June the revered creator of Paddington Bear, Michael Bond, died at the age of 91.

The following month film critic Barry Norman died at the age of 83.

Barry Norman

In a statement his family called him 'remarkable', adding: "He had a great life, a wonderful marriage and an enviable career."

Norman hosted BBC One's 'Film…' show between 1972 and 1998 – its longest running host.

Chester Bennington

Linkin Park's Chester Bennington died in July, aged just 41. He was found dead at a private residence in Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles.

Star of All Creatures Great and Small and Harry Potter, Robert Hardy, died in August, aged 91.

And in the same month country music legend Glen Campbell died at the age of 81.

On August 18 legendary entertainer Bruce Forsyth died at the age of 89.

Sir Bruce Forsyth

Host of The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right, The Price Is Right, You Bet! and most recently the face of Strictly Come Dancing, he was recognised by the Guinness World Records as having the longest television career for a male entertainer.

In a special Strictly show dedicated to Bruce, his former co-host Tess Daly said: "To put it in his own words, didn’t he do well?”

In the same month American entertainer Jerry Lewis died, aged 91.

Hugh Hefner

September saw the loss of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner at the age of 91, while the following month legendary rocker Tom Petty died, aged 66.

Paying tribute, Bruce Springsteen described Petty as 'a long lost brother' and said he was 'devastated and heartbroken'.

Tom Petty

Rock 'n' roll pioneer Fats Domino died in the same month, aged 89, while in November, AC/DC founder and guitarist Malcolm Young died, aged 64.

Rodney Bewes – star of BBC sitcom The Likely Lads – died aged 79 on November 21.

Rodney Bewes

And the month also saw former teen heartthrob David Cassidy die, aged 67, after suffering acute liver and kidney failure.

This month TV presenter Keith Chegwin died, aged 60, following a long-term battle with a progressive lung condition.

Keith Chegwin

Pete Madeley

By Pete Madeley

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.


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