2009: The lives that ended – the legacies they left behind

Soldiers, actors, writers, activists and singers – just a few of the public figures who died this year


Alan Walters, 82

Chief economic adviser to Margaret Thatcher

3 January

Patrick McGoohan, 80

Actor from 1960s show The Prisoner

13 January

John Mortimer, 85

Author, playwright, creator of Rumpole of the Bailey

16 January

Tony Hart, 83

Artist and presenter of Take Hart television series

18 January

Reg Gutteridge, 84

Boxing commentator and journalist

24 January

John Martyn, 60

Eclectic singer, songwriter and guitarist

29 January

Wendy Richard, 65

Played Pauline Fowler in EastEnders

26 February

Natasha Richardson, 45

Film and stage actress

18 March

Jade Goody, 27

Jade Goody gained her fame from her appearance on the third series of Big Brother where she was subject to ridicule by the tabloid press. Riding on the back of the publicity, she hosted reality shows and was a recurring appearance on the pages of gossip magazines. Her appearance on Celebrity Big Brother in 2007 created controversy and led to accusations of racism after she made several comments to her housemate Shilpa Shetty.

22 March

Sir Clement Freud, 84

Just a Minute panellist

15 April

J G Ballard, 78

Acclaimed author of novels and short stories

19 April

Anne Scott-James, 96

Groundbreaking columnist

13 May

Danny La Rue, 81

Entertainer and impersonator

31 May

Michael Jackson, 50

Self-styled "King of Pop", Michael Jackson was one of the world's most successful and influential entertainers. Making his debut as the lead singer of The Jackson 5 in 1964, he went solo in 1971 and created the top-selling album of all time, Thriller. He won 15 Grammy awards, had dozens of No 1 singles and is estimated to have sold several hundred million albums

25 June

Farrah Fawcett, 62

Charlie's Angels actress and 1970s sex symbol

25 June

Karl Malden, 97

Oscar-winning actor for A Streetcar Named Desire

1 July

Mollie Sugden, 86

Comedy actress, co-star of Are You Being Served?

1 July

Henry Allingham, 113

Oldest British First World War veteran

18 July

Frank McCourt, 78

Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angela's Ashes

19 July

Harry Patch, 111

Last British soldier to fight in First World War trenches

25 July

Sir Bobby Robson, 76

Footballer and England manager

31 July

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, 78

Founder of the Special Olympics

11 August

Les Paul, 94

Songwriter, inventor and rock music pioneer

12 August

Edward Goldsmith, 80

Environmentalist and campaigner

21 August

Edward Kennedy, 77

Seven-term United States senator

25 August

Ellie Greenwich, 68

Co-wrote 'Be My Baby' and many other hits

26 August

Iain Cuthbertson, 79

Scottish TV, film and stage actor

4 September

Keith Waterhouse, 80

Columnist, author and playwright

4 September

Patrick Swayze, 57

Star of Dirty Dancing, Ghost and many other films

14 September

Keith Floyd, 65

Chef and presenter of TV cookery programmes

14 September

Mary Travers, 72

American folk singer-songwriter, member of Peter, Paul & Mary

16 September

Sula Wolff, 85

One of the founders of modern child psychiatry

21 September

Stephen Gately, 33

Singer-songwriter in Irish boy band Boyzone

10 October

Sir Ludovic Kennedy, 89

Journalist, broadcaster and author

18 October

Norman Painting, 85

Played Phil Archer on Radio 4 from 1951

29 October

Edward Woodward, 79

Stage and screen actor and singer

16 November

Maggie Jones, 75

Played Blanche Hunt in Coronation Street since 1967

2 December

Richard Todd, 90

Stage and film actor, paratrooper and star of The Dam Busters

3 December

Jennifer Jones, 90

Oscar-winning actress and five-time Oscar nominee

17 December

Brittany Murphy, 32

American film actress and singer

20 December

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