The year we said goodbye to Peaches Geldof, Robin Williams and Philip Seymour Hoffman

We remember those we lost during the past 12 months

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The Independent Online

This year we said farewell to famous names from the worlds of film, music, politics, sports and literature.

Some were young, some were older, but all left a legacy within their respective field.

Among the more shocking were the deaths of Robin Williams, Peaches Geldof and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Hoffman and Geldof both died of drug-related causes, while Williams took his own life in August, following a long-term battle with depression. The news left Hollywood reeling and prompted a wider discussion about issues surrounding mental health.

In the literature world, Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend died in April after a short illness, followed by Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who passed away the same month, aged 87. Maya Angelou - who was celebrated for her book I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – died in May, with Barack Obama hailing her as “one of the brightest lights of our time”.

Bob Hoskins, Joan Rivers, Lauren Bacall, Lynda Bellingham and Richard Attenborough were all remembered in the entertainment world, after their passings this year. Rik Mayall’s sudden death in June prompted a slew of tributes, led by David Walliams and Stephen Fry.

In music, we remembered Acker Bilk, Joe Cocker, Rolling Stones guitarist Bobby Keyes, Primal Scream guitarist Robert Young and Tommy Ramone - the last surviving founder and drummer of the seminal punk band.

The death of 25-year-old cricketer Phil Hughes prompted international condolences, after the sportsman died from a serious head injury on 27 November. The sports arena also said goodbye to Argentinian footballer Franco Nieto, who died after being struck on the head with a stone in a hooligan attack in December, aged 33, and South African captain and goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, who was shot dead while trying to protect his pop star girlfriend Kelly Khumalo from intruders at her home. Tennis player Elena Baltacha also passed away, aged 30, after being diagnosed with liver cancer in January.

The political world paid tribute to Lord Barnett, Tony Benn, Ian Paisley and Ariel Sharon, who all died this year. Barack Obama praised Sharon for “dedicating his life to the State of Israel”.

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