Celebrity deaths in 2016: The famous faces gone too soon – from Leonard Cohen to Prince and David Bowie

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As years go, 2016 has been a bad one as we’ve seen a host of some of our best-loved celebrities pass away.

From actors and comedians to musicians, we want to remember these well-known figures who are no longer with us.

Starting with the sad news of David Bowie’s death in January, we’ve since had a stream of household names who have died including music legend Prince, Harry Potter star Alan Rickman, telly favourite Terry Wogan, This Morning ‘s Denise Robertson and Star Wars favourite Kenny Baker.

Yesterday, we received the sad news that iconic singer songwriter Leonard Cohen had passed away aged 82.

Here’s a look at all of the celebrities we’ve lost in 2016 who have inspired generations.

Leonard Cohen was 82

The Hallelujah star, whose career spanned over five decades, passed away with his death confirmed by his label.

A message posted on the singer’s Facebook page on Thursday night 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."

Pete Burns

Pete Burns of Dead or Alive performs on stage at Hit Factory Live: Christmas Cracker at 02 Arena on December 21, 2012 in London, England.

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 on October 23, aged 57.

The controversial pop star enjoyed a second career in the world of reality TV – notoriously starring in Celebrity Big Brother 2006 where he famously clashed with other housemates.

Beloved Corrie actress Jean Alexander who played Hilda Ogden has died

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 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.

Alexis Arquette

Alexis Arquette in The Wedding Singer

Alexis Arquette died aged 47 on 11 September, as family respected her wishes by cheering her "transition to another dimension".

Her brother confirmed she was surrounded by several loved ones, listening to David Bowie’s Starman.

The transgender actress starred in The Wedding Singer and two episodes of Friends.

She was born Robert Arquette, the sibling of fellow actors Patricia, Rosanna, Richmond and David.

Gene Wilder

American actor Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka in ‘Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory’, 1971

Film star Gene Wilder died on 29 August aged 83 from complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

Wilder had a long and storied movie career but is by far best known for his role as Willy Wonka.

The film adaption of Roald Dahl’s classic childhood book has stood the test of time since it was released in 1971 and continues to touch each generation time and time again.

Kenny Baker, the man behind R2-D2

On 13 August, actor Kenny Baker died 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.

The actor also appeared in other notable films including The Goonies, Time Bandits and Flash Gordon.

Caroline Aherne

Caroline Aherne died on July 2

Actress Caroline Aherne died on July 2 at the age of 52 after a battle with cancer.

The star was best known for her work in The Royle Family, The Mrs Merton Show and The Fast Show.
Neil Reading, her publicist, said on Saturday: "Caroline Aherne has sadly passed away, after a brave battle with cancer."

Anton Yelchin

Anton Yelchin as Chekov in Star Trek in 2009

Actor Anton Yelchin died following a car accident aged 27. The Russian born Star Trek star was found by friends on June 19 at his home in San Fernando Valley. His death comes a month before the release of the third film in the sci-fi franchise, Star Trek Beyond.

His other films include Terminator: Salvation, Alpha Dog and Fright Night.

Muhammad Ali

The former heavyweight champion of the world, Muhammad Ali , died at the age of 74.

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.

Carla Lane

Carla Lane

Writer of The Liver Birds, Carla Lane , passed away aged 87.

Born Romana Barrack, Lane was the brain behind many sitcoms, including Butterflies and Bread. She passed away in a nursing home in Liverpool, her family said.

Prince

Pop megastar Prince passed away at his recording studios in Minneapolis at the age of 57.

The musical genius behind Purple Rain and Little Red Corvette had been taken to hospital recently after his plane made an emergency landing, but it was reported he was merely suffering from flu.

Video loading Victoria Wood at Media City in Salford

BAFTA-winning star Victoria Wood , who passed away surrounded by her family, often demonstrated her attitude to life through her satirical comedy.

Before her passing, the 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."

Read more: Julie Walters heartbroken over death of beloved friend Victoria Wood after cancer battle: ‘the loss is incalculable’

David Gest tributes

The music producer, also 62, was found dead in a London hotel, aged 62, and tributes have been pouring in from friends and family 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."

Video loading Denise Robertson

Denise Robertson lost her battle with pancreatic cancer aged 83.

Best known as the agony aunt on ITV’s This Morning, Denise made her TV debut in 1985 as the presenter of the Junior Advice Line on BBC’s Breakfast Time show.

Ronnie Corbett Guardian Hay Festival, Hay on Wye, Wales, Britain – 2007

Ronnie Corbett was best known for his success his comedy sketch show The Two Ronnies, alongside Ronnie Barker.

Aged 85, the British comedian passed away in hospital, surrounded by his family.

Video loading Paul Daniels

Paul Daniels was an internationally acclaimed magician, who achieved worldwide fame through his BBC series The Paul Daniels Magic Show, which ran from 1979 to 1994.

In February 2016, it was revealed that he had been diagnosed with a brain tumour, and in March, he sadly lost his fight , leaving behind his wife Debbie McGee .

Tony Warren: Creator of Coronation Street: 1985

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.

Frank Kelly as Father Jack in Father Ted

Actor Frank Kelly , best known for his role as Father Jack in comedy Father Ted , died aged 77 . Kelly had an illustrious career which spanned across six decades on stage and screen.

In October 2015, the actor revealed he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease .

Terry Wogan

Veteran broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan passed away at the age of 77 after a battle with cancer.

His family issued a statement, announcing the sad news, which read: "He passed away surrounded by his family. While we understand he will be missed by many, the family ask that their privacy is respected at this time."

Alan Rickman arrives for the "A Little Chaos" gala during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto

Iconic Brit actor also Alan Rickman died at the beginning of the year, at the age of 69.

The star, who was well known and loved for his roles in films including Harry Potter, died in hospita, also after a battle with cancer.

David Bowie’s passing may have inspired an upturn in the sales of vinyl

2016 started badly for many, with the shocking announcement of the death of rock superstar David Bowie , aged just 69.

He passed away just three days after releasing his 25th studio album, keeping his 18-month battle with cancer so private that even close friends weren’t aware of his struggle.