This year has brought us more than we could’ve anticipated. DONALD TRUMP has been elected as the next US President… BREXIT happened and of course, something that has crossed many of our minds is the 2016 curse. We have an endless list of the greats we saw rise and pass this year and from all of us at Chuckie Vision, we would like to send our deepest condolences to all their loved ones and fans worldwide. God seems to be lacking on the angel front so he took ours away from us this year… We commemorate each great as an individual for leaving their lasting legacy on this world and we will forever cherish them in our hearts and memories.
2016 started off as a instantaneous shock as we said farewell to the phenomenal DAVID BOWIE, 10th January. He had been fighting a losing 18-month battle with cancer that he kept so private that even his close friends were unaware of his struggle. He passed away just 3 days before the release of his 25th studio album at the age of 69. Keep rocking the Heavens out!
Just four days after coming to terms with the tragic news of DAVID BOWIE, we were stunned with more news that our much loved PROFESSOR SNAPE had been wishfully snapped up from us into the unknown abyss. On 14th January, ALAN RICKMAN left a mark on the film industry and in our hearts that could never be filled by another. Coincidentally he died at 69 as another star to have lost the fight to cancer.
As the passing of time went, January stole another legend, Oscar-nominated FRANK FINLAY who died at 89 from heart failure after a short illness. The star, who was famous for his role in The Three Musketeers in 1973 was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Oscars for his portrayal of Iago in Othello.
Without giving us any warning, the 2016 curse struck again and took our renowned SIR TERRY WOGAN on 31st January. He will always be an iconic hero in our Britain and has left his mark not only as a a great radio and TV broadcaster, and also as the philanthropist we all admired. Comic Relief saw it’s first year without it’s lead presenter, however, SIR TERRY WOGAN’s spirit with always vibrate in the air of Comic Relief.
EARTH, WIND & FIRE created this man and just as he was created, the elements drew him back. MAURICE WHITE passed away on 4th February after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. His brother, VERDINE WHITE, who was also a member of the band, said: “My brother, hero and best friend MAURICE WHITE passed away peacefully last night in his sleep. While the world has lost another great musician and legend, our family asks that our privacy is respected as we start what will be a very difficult and life changing transition in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes.”
To Kill a Mockingbird is to kill an illustrious lady, HARPER LEE. She passed away on 19th February at her hometown and will always resonate in the filed of literary arts! Harp now hear the angels sing as our beloved HARPER LEE rests in peace.
With our first Irish superstar, we had to let go of one more on 28th February. FRANK KELLY, better known for his notorious role as FATHER JACK in the comedy FATHER TED. He had been diagnosed in October 2015 with Parkinson’s disease and left us at the age of 77. His work will forever illuminate the ways of comedy. One last driiiink on us old chap. You keep our hearts warm and spirits bright.
The list doesn’t stop there as we approach March and more news of the 2016 curse strikes the nations loved Coronation Street actor, TONY WARREN. He passed away March 1st at the age of 79 after a short-term illness. He was considered one of the television industry’s greatest minds as he devised the idea for the Weatherfield soap at the age of 24 at the very beginning of his acclaimed writing career.
The former first lady of NANCY REAGAN left her duties and bid farewell to us all. The charismatic much-loved wife of 1980s US President Ronald Reagan had been suffering from ill health for some time, and died as a result of congestive heart failure, her family said. One of the most famous First Ladies of all time, she was best known for her ‘Just Say No’ campaign to combat drug abuse. Her legacy will continue to thrive in our modern society and God took another acclaimed great from our clutches.
Once again, the 2016 curse had an urge to feast once again as on March 8th saw SIR GEORGE MARTIN being taken away from us. Renowned for his producer work with THE BEATLES, he died peacefully at his home at 90, his manager ADAM SHARP confirmed, describing him as “a true gentleman to the end”.
Veteran broadcaster CLIFF MICHELMORE died 16th March in hospital at the age of 96. He flourished in his career spanning more than four decades in which he interviewed the likes of PRINCE CHARLES and a 17-year-old DAVID BOWIE.
Striking where it hits home, PAUL DANIELS left us with a final disappearing act. English-born magician and TV presenter died March 17th as he lost to fight to a brain tumour after recently being diagnosed in February 2016.
Our first footballer of the year, JOHAN CRUYFF, died March 24th at the age of 68. The Dutch icon, an icon at both Barcelona and Ajax, passed away following a battle with cancer. A statement on his official website confirmed his passing: “On March 24 2016 Johan Cruyff (68) died peacefully in Barcelona, surrounded by his family after a hard fought battle with cancer.”
The Two Ronnies brought laughter and joy to our lives and their legacy will forever live on. RONNIE BARKER left us October 3rd 2005 and 11 years later saw the last of The Two Ronnies leave us. March 31st said a sad goodbye to RONNIE CORBETT, aged 85, as the British comedian passed away in hospital, surrounded by his family.
On the same day, March 31st, DENISE ROBERTSON, British writer and television broadcaster, left with RONNIE CORBETT after losing her battle with pancreatic cancer aged 83. A fantastic agony aunt who is now working her magic in the Heavens.
Did you think 2016 had finished in March? April 10th saw the loss of notorious former drug smuggler and author HOWARD MARKS as his lost his fight to bowel cancer, aged 70. The Oxford graduate, known as ‘Mr Nice’, was diagnosed last year and died at home near Bridgend, South Wales, the Guardian reported.
Who would’ve guessed it as it was DAVID GEST’s turn to leave us. The music producer and former husband of LIZA MINNELI, died at 62 ,March 16th, after being found dead in the Four Seasons Hotel, East London. Tributes from friends and family have been flooding ever since. Close friend IMAD HANDI said: “David was truly larger than life. He was not just a huge talent and a dear friend but a showbiz icon.”
Before her passing on April 20th, VICTORIA WOOD, BAFTA-winning 62-year-old star joked: “Life’s not fair, is it? Some of us drink champagne in the fast lane, and some of us eat our sandwiches by the loose chippings on the A597.”
Secret philanthropist and mega-pop star PRINCE sang his last song and left us at only the age of 57. The musical genius behind Purple Rain and Little Red Corvette was taken to hospital after his plane made an emergency landing, but it was reported he was merely suffering from flu.
May seemed to pass us without too many devastations except for stealing Pink Panther star BURT KWOUK who died 24th May. The actor played Inspector Clouseau’s manservant Cato in the films and his agent confirmed the news to Mirror Online. A statement read: “Beloved actor Burt Kwouk has sadly passed peacefully away 24th May. The family will be having a private funeral but there will be a memorial at a later date.”
Where the sun shines and jazz rhymes, we let go of one of our greatest of the greats on June 3rd; MUHAMMAD ALI. Having suffered for 35 years with Parkinson’s disease, the three-time former world champion passed away after being taken to hospital with respiratory issues.
Tragedy hit Britain when Labour MP JO COX was murdered on 16th June. On a dark day for democracy, JO COX, a 41-year-old mother of two, was shot three times and repeatedly stabbed by the killer screaming “BRITAIN FIRST”. Your tremendous efforts shall forever live on.
The summer went by and not to our surprise by now, the dreaded 2016 curse hit us again claiming CAROLINE AHERNE on July 2 at the age of 52 after a battle with cancer. English comedienne, well-known for her work in The Royle Family, The Mrs Merton Show and The Fast Show. NEIL READING, her publicist, said: “Caroline Aherne has sadly passed away, after a brave battle with cancer.”
On 13 August, actor KENNY BARKER at the age of 81. The 3ft 8in tall performer’s most iconic role was of fan favourite R2-D2 in the Star Wars movie series. Baker appeared in the first six films, playing the role from 1977 to 2005.
Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka will never surpass the legacy GENE WILDER left with us. Growing up as children in a time where imagination could still be fuelled inside of logged into technology, GENE WILDER presented us with the captivating role he ever so brilliantly mastered. It teaches generation after generation the importance of moral code. In the more recent years, his face has been displayed around various memes. Always loved and never forgotten. He died August 29th at 83 and may you eternally rest in sweet paradise GENE WILDER.
Golf’s first superstar, ARNOLD PALMER, died from complications after heart surgery, aged 87 on 25th September. The American won seven Majors and 62 PGA Tour titles but his influence on the sport went beyond his considerable on-field achievements.
The curse manoeuvred it’s way all the way to October where we saw the loss of a few more greats. The HILDA OGDEN star of Coronation Street died on October 14 2016, aged 90 – three days after her birthday and four years after announcing her retirement. JEAN ALEXANDER not only portrayed one of the most-loved British soap opera characters of all time but featured in one of the most popular sitcoms, Last of the Summer Wine, for many years as Auntie Wainwright.
October 21st we had to say a sudden goodbye to DAVE CASH, a member of RADIO ONE’s original DJ line-up after a career spanning 50 years. The DJ collapsed at his home at the age of 74.
Two days later on 23rd October, the Dead or Alive hitmaker – who scored an infectious number one with You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) in 1984 – died of a massive heart attack at aged 57. Spin the heavens with your voice PETE BURNS. We’ll have you on replay in our minds till the end of time.
On the same day, 23rd October, we said goodbye to a genuis, JIMMY PERRY. Dad’s Army creator died following a battle with a short illness at 93. The British comedy genius will be remembered for bringing an array of classics to the small screen including It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, Hi-de-Hi and You Rang M’Lord?.
Remember, remember, 2016 of November where the curse continued to wipe out the stars. Hallelujah star, whose career spanned over five decades, passed away with his death confirmed by his label. LEONARD COHEN died November 7th at aged 82. A message posted on the singer’s Facebook page read: “It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, LEONARD COHEN has passed away. We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries. A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief.”
We saw yet another Veteran broadcaster die “peacefully at home” aged 95, his family revealed. SIR JIMMY YOUNG died on November 7th joining LEONARD COHEN. SIR JIMMY was the original “housewives choice”, but the veteran broadcaster could also count royals and prime ministers amongst his listeners. Sir Jimmy began his showbusiness career as a successful crooner with two number one records to his name.
Brady Bunch actress FLORENCE HENDERSON on November 25, aged 82. She caught her big break on the Dean Martin show, but she became a household name across America as CAROL BRADY in the hit show The Brady Bunch which ran for five years in prime time.
On the same day, we bid farewell to yet another great: RON GLASS. Acclaimed TV actor died at 71. Glass was a well known face amongst some of US TV’s biggest shows including Friends, Star Trek, Barney Miller and CSI. You will be missed!
Now we’re finally approaching the end of year and December doesn’t stop us from losing our most adorned and loved.
On 3rd December, we had to say a solemn goodbye to one of our own, here at Chuckie Vision, MUNEY MUHAMMAD ALI. Beloved father to our editor Mo and inspiration to whoever crossed his path, we thank everyone who has supported us and Mo’s family through this time. Always loved and honoured, you will forever hold a space in our hearts.
Fawlty Towers actor ANDREW SACHS passed away on December 1 2016 aged 86, following a four year battle with dementia. SACHS found fame playing bumbling waiter Manuel in the BBC comedy series alongside JOHN CLEESE.
Game of Thrones and Porridge actor PETER VAUGHAN joined the Heavens 3 days after on December 6th, aged 93. Vaughan was best known for his roles as Maester Aemon Targaryen in the HBO fantasy drama and Harry Grout in the BBC sitcom. Throughout his 75 year career the actor worked alongside Sir Anthony Hopkins, Frank Sinatra and Ronnie Barker.
AGed 99, Hollywood actress and socialite ZSA ZSA GABOR passed away on December 18 following a heart attack. A true beauty until the end!
British astronaut PIERS SELLERS who flew on three space shuttle missions between 2002 and 2010, died in Houston of pancreatic cancer, aged 61.
NASA said: “The Nasa climate scientist, originally from Crowborough in East Sussex, gained American citizenship to fulfil a childhood dream of flying into space.”
Another loss in the The Royle Family as actress LIZ SMITH died on Christmas Eve, aged 95. Smith played Nana in the comedy series and was a much-loved character with fans. As well as playing Nana, she starred in a number of other TV roles including Mrs Cropley in the Vicar of Dibley alongside Dawn French. You’ll always be our Heavenly Nana. She quit acting in 2009, after suffering a stroke.
On Christmas Day, December 25, it was announced that our Wham! superstar, GEORGE MICHAEL passed away peacefully at home. He became famous in his own right with his debut solo single Careless Whisper. His legacy lives on and we hold faith that he has settled in Heavens with all the rest of the greats.
RICHARD ADAMS, author of Watership Down, died on December 27 at the age of 96. The story became one of the best selling children’s books of all time and was made into a cartoon in the 1970s.
To join ADAMS, was the great CARRIE FISHER who died at 60. Her cause of death is still not known and she will always be remembered as the true embodiment of Princess Leia Organa.
Last and certainly not least, DEBBIE REYNOLDS died of a broken heart as her daughter was taken from her own grasp. Aged 84, she suffered a fatal stroke on 28th December. Rising to stardom for her musical talents, REYBOLDS performed on stage and on film with great talents such as FRANK SINATRA and LESLIE NIELSEN . Her most iconic movie role was in 1952’s Singin’ in the Rain as Kathy Selden. One of her last words were, “I want to be with CARRIE now…” May you both be joined in the Heavens and continue to wow the audiences of the skies.
This ripple affect saw our greats fall from the stars and it makes us realise how important it is to live your life to the full. Let 2016 be a reminder that life is precious and we must choose to LIVE rather than to EXIST.
Thank you all for supporting and reading our posts, we love you all and wish you all to have a very Happy New Year!