Australian and World figures we farewelled in 2019

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Taylor Thompson-Fuller
(Australian Associated Press)

 

AUSTRALIAN FIGURES:

Former prime minister Bob Hawke, culinary icon Margaret Fulton, sporting hero Danny Frawey and indigenous actor Ningali Lawford-Wolf were among the famous Australians who died in 2019.

WALLABIES GREAT JOHN THORNETT (March 30, 1935 – Jan 4, 2019)

John Thornett, who captained 37 tests for the Wallabies between 1955 and 1967, dies aged 83.

MODEL AND ACTRESS ANNALISE BRAAKENSIEK (Dec 9, 1972 – Jan 6, 2019)

Model, actress and TV presenter Annalise Braakensiek is found dead in her apartment in Potts Point, Sydney, aged 46.

TV AND RADIO PERSONALITY AND SINGER JIMMY HANNAN (Aug 25, 1934 – Jan 7, 2019) Jimmy Hannan, who won the Gold Logie in 1965, loses his life to cancer at 81.

ACTOR CARMEN DUNCAN (July 7, 1942 – Feb 3, 2019)

Australian film and TV actor Carmen Duncan appeared in many shows over a 50-year career, including Number 96, Homicide, Skyways, A Country Practice, The Flying Doctors, and Winners and Losers. She dies of breast cancer at 76.

TV JOURNALIST MIKE WILLESEE (June 29, 1942 – March 1, 2019)

Mike Willesee came to prominence in 1967 on the ABC’s This Day Tonight and Four Corners, and was a five-time Walkley-award winner. He dies of throat cancer, aged 76.

CRICKETER BRUCE YARDLEY (Sept 5, 1947 – March 27, 2019)

Bruce Yardley, who played 33 Tests during the 1970s and 80s and won the International Cricketer of the Year award in the 1981- 82 season, dies aged 71.

RUGBY PLAYER LLOYD MCDERMOTT (Nov 11, 1939 – April 6, 2019)

Lloyd McDermott was the second Aboriginal person to represent Australia in rugby union and the first to become a barrister. He dies at his Sydney home, aged 79.

POET AND CULTURAL CRITIC LES MURRAY (Oct 17, 1938 – April 29, 2019)

One of Australia’s great poets Les Murray dies at 80. He published 30 volumes of poetry.

FORMER PRIME MINISTER BOB HAWKE (Dec 9, 1929 – May 16, 2019)

The much beloved Labor leader dies aged 89 the day before his party loses the unlosable election under Bill Shorten. In office he created Medicare, Landcare, established APEC and liberalised Australia’s economy. He served as prime minister from 1983 to 1991.

CULT LEADER ANNE HAMILTON-BYRNE (Dec 30, 1921 – June 13, 2019)

Reviled cult leader Anne Hamilton-Byrne considered herself the re-incarnation of Jesus Christ and stole, drugged and controlled children in her various homes around country Victoria. She dies aged 97.

FILM HISTORIAN BILL COLLINS (Dec 4, 1934 – June 20, 2019)

Bill Collins, a fixture on Australian’s screens as a movie enthusiast and a classic Hollywood fanatic, dies aged 84.

COOKBOOK AUTHOR MARGARET FULTON (Oct 6, 1924 – July 24, 2019)

Margaret Fulton, who inspired Australia to cook and taste the world’s different cuisines over a long career spanning almost 50 years, dies at 94.

ACTOR NINGALI LAWFORD-WOLF (1967 – Aug 11, 2019)

Aboriginal actor Ningali Lawford-Wolf dies aged 52 after spending two decades communicating the experiences and culture of her people through her roles, most notably in Brand Nue Dae and Rabbit Proof Fence.

AFL PLAYER POLLY FARMER (March 10, 1935 – Aug 14, 2019)

Indigenous AFL player Polly Farmer changed the game with his ruckwork and handballing. His contribution to the sport was awarded with a Queen’s Honour. He dies aged 84.

ACTOR BEN UNWIN (Aug 15, 1977 – Aug 14, 2019)

Best known for portraying Jesse McGregor on the TV soap opera Home and Away, Ben Unwin is found dead at the bottom of Minyon Falls, west of Byron Bay, a day before his 42nd birthday.

ACTIVIST JAN RUFF O’HERNE (Jan 18, 1923 – Aug 19, 2019)

Dutch Australian human rights activist Jan Ruff O’Herne was a vocal campaigner against war rape after she was enslaved by the Imperial Japanese Army as a sex slave during WWII. She dies aged 96.

POLITICIAN AND DIPLOMAT TIM FISCHER (May 3, 1946 – Aug 22, 2019)

Much-loved politician Tim Fischer was well known for his support for the reformation of Australia’s gun laws, despite opposition from his rural electorate to the firearms buyback. He dies of leukaemia, aged 73.

AFL PLAYER DANNY FRAWLEY (Sept 8, 1964 – Sept 9, 2019)

Danny Frawley excelled on the AFL field (playing 240 games with St Kilda) as well as in his post-football career as a coach and commentator. He dies in a single-car crash near Ballarat, aged 56.

INDIGENOUS ACTIVIST DOROTHY “DOT” PETERS (1930 – Sept 19, 2019)

A champion for Aboriginal reconciliation, “Auntie Dot” was instrumental in bringing recognition to Australia’s indigenous servicemen and women.

RICHARD TRACEY (Aug 18, 1948 – Oct 11, 2019)

As chair of The Royal Commission into Aged Care, Richard Tracey led a commissioners meeting just moments after he told them he was dying from cancer. The 71-year-old spent his final weeks working on the inquiry’s interim report, while undergoing treatment in the US.

ACTOR ANNE PHELAN (Aug 2, 1978 – Oct 27, 2019)

Anne Phelan was well known for her roles in Prisoner and Bellbird, with her latest role in Ride Like a Girl debuting in Australian cinemas just a few weeks before her death. She dies aged 75.

SERIAL KILLER IVAN MILAT (Dec 27, 1944 – Oct 27, 2019)

Notorious serial killer Ivan Millat dies in prison, aged 74, after a battle with cancer. He was convicted in 1996 for murdering seven backpackers. His body is unceremoniously cremated after his family refuse to pay for his funeral.

BOXER DWIGHT RITCHIE (Feb 29, 1992 – Nov 9, 2019)

Middleweight fighter Dwight Ritchie is killed at 27 by a punch while training for an upcoming fight.

WRITER, POET, BROADCASTER AND CRITIC CLIVE JAMES (Oct 7, 1939 – Nov 24, 2019)

Clive James, renowned Australian writer, poet, broadcaster and critic, dies at his home in Cambridge, England, aged 80 after living with leukaemia and lung disease for a decade.

MUSICIAN GREEDY SMITH (Jan 16, 1956 – Dec 2, 2019)

Andrew McArthur Smith, co-founder of pop/new wave Sydney band Mental As Anything, dies of a heart attack, aged 76.

 

WORLD FIGURES

Actor and singer Doris Day, Zimbabwean strongman Robert Mugabe and Formula One world champion Niki Lauda were among the big names who died in 2019:

SINGER-PIANIST DARYL DRAGON (Aug 27, 1942 – Jan 2, 2019)

Daryl Dragon, best known as “The Captain” of 1970s soft rock duo Captain and Tennille, dies aged 76.

ACTOR ALBERT FINNEY (May 9, 1936 – Feb 7, 2019)

Albert Finney, one of the most respected and versatile actors of his generation and the star of films as diverse as Tom Jones, Skyfall and Annie, dies aged 82.

FASHION DESIGNER KARL LAGERFELD (Sept 10, 1933 – Feb 19, 2019)

Karl Lagerfeld, artistic director at Chanel and an icon of the global fashion industry for over half a century, dies aged 85.

MUSICIAN, ACTOR PETER TORK (Feb 13, 1942 – Feb 21, 2019)

Peter Tork, a singer-songwriter and actor best known as the goofy bass guitarist in the made-for-TV rock band The Monkees, dies aged 77.

CONDUCTOR, COMPOSER, PIANIST ANDRE PREVIN (April 6, 1929 – Feb 28, 2019)

Acclaimed conductor, composer and pianist Andre Previn, who won four Academy Awards for film scores, dies aged 89.

ACTOR LUKE PERRY (Oct 11, 1966 – March 4, 2019)

Luke Perry, who gained heart-throb status as wealthy rebel Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210, dies aged 52 after a stroke.

SINGER KEITH FLINT (Sept 17, 1969 – March 4, 2019)

The Prodigy frontman Keith Flint is found dead in his home in England, aged 49. Bandmate Liam Howlett says Flint ended his own life.

RAPPER NIPSEY HUSSLE (Aug 15, 1985 – March 31, 2019)

Nipsey Hussle, American rapper, entrepreneur and community activist, is fatally shot outside his clothing store in LA over a personal dispute. He was 33.

ACTOR PETER MAYHEW (May 19, 1944 – April 30, 2019)

The British-American actor best known for portraying Chewbacca in the Star Wars film series dies of a heart attack, aged 74.

ACTOR, SINGER DORIS DAY (April 3, 1922 – May 13, 2019)

Doris Day, whose wholesome screen presence stood for a time of innocence in films in the 1960s, dies aged 97.

RACE CAR DRIVER NIKI LAUDA (February 22, 1949 – May 20, 2019)

Austrian three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda, who won two of his titles after a crash that left him with severe burns, dies aged 70.

SINGER, PIANIST DR JOHN (Nov 20, 1941 – June 6, 2019)

Dr John, the flamboyant New Orleans singer-pianist whose hoodoo-drenched music made him the summarising figure of the grand Crescent City R&B/rock ‘n’ roll tradition, dies aged 77.

ACTOR RIP TORN (Feb 6, 1931 – July 9, 2019)

Award-winning actor Rip Torn, known for his roles in Men in Black, Dodgeball and 30 Rock, dies aged 88.

US BILLIONAIRE ROSS PEROT (June 27, 1930 – July 9, 2019)

H Ross Perot, the feisty Texas technology billionaire who rattled US politics with two independent presidential campaigns in the 1990s, dies aged 89.

ACTOR RUTGER HAUER (Jan 23, 1944 – July 19, 2019)

Dutch film actor Rutger Hauer, known for menacing roles, including a memorable turn as a murderous android in Blade Runner, dies aged 75.

FORMER CHINESE PREMIER LI PENG (Oct 20, 1928 – July 22, 2019)

Former Chinese Premier Li Peng, reviled by many as the “Butcher of Beijing” for his role in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, dies aged 90.

VOICE OF MINNIE MOUSE RUSSI TAYLOR (May 4, 1944 – July 26, 2019)

Russi Taylor, the voice actor behind Minnie Mouse and characters on The Simpons, dies aged 75.

KHMER ROUGE IDEOLOGUE NUON CHEA (July 7, 1926 – Aug 4, 2019)

Nuon Chea, the chief ideologue of Cambodia’s murderous Khmer Rouge regime, dies aged 93 in jail where he was serving time for crimes against humanity.

AUTHOR TONI MORRISON (Feb 18, 1931- Aug 5, 2019)

Toni Morrison, author of Beloved and the first black woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, dies aged 88.

FINANCIER AND SEX OFFENDER JEFFREY EPSTEIN (Jan 20, 1953 – August 10, 2019)

US financier Jeffrey Epstein, awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, takes his own life in his jail cell, aged 66.

ACTOR PETER FONDA (Feb 23, 1940 – Aug 16, 2019)

Two-time Oscar nominee Peter Fonda, who became a counterculture icon when he co-wrote, produced and starred in the 1969 movie Easy Rider, dies aged 79.

ZIMBABWE STRONGMAN ROBERT MUGABE (Feb 21, 1924 – Sept 6, 2019)

Robert Mugabe, who led Zimbabwe to independence and crushed his foes during decades of dictatorial rule, dies aged 95.

FORMER INDONESIAN PRESIDENT B J HABIBIE (June 25, 1936 – Sept 11, 2019)

Former Indonesian President Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, who allowed democratic reforms and an independence referendum for East Timor, dies aged 83.

MUSICIAN RIC OCASEK (March 23, 1944 – Sept 15, 2019)

Ric Ocasek, frontman of the popular late 1970s and 1980s band The Cars, is found dead in his New York home. He was 75.

FORMER FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC (Nov 29, 1932 – Sept 26, 2019)

Jacques Chirac, the first French president to acknowledge France’s role in the Holocaust and who defiantly opposed the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, dies aged 86.

ACTOR AND SINGER DIAHANN CARROLL (July 17, 1935 – Oct 4, 2019)

Diahann Carroll, the Oscar-nominated actor and singer who won critical acclaim as the first black woman to star in a non-servant role in a TV series, dies aged 84.

ISLAMIC STATE LEADER ABU BAKR AL-BAGHDADI (July 28, 1971 – Oct 26, 2019)

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi dies aged 48 in a US military raid in Syria.

FORMER JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER YASUHIRO NAKASONE (May 27, 1918 – Nov 29, 2019)

Yasuhiro Nakasone, Japan’s prime minister from 1982 to 1987, dies aged 101.

BIG BIRD PUPPETEER CAROLL SPINNEY (Dec 26, 1933 – Dec 8, 2019)

Puppeteer Caroll Spinney, who played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch during nearly five decades on Sesame Street, dies at 85.

SWEDISH SINGER MARIE FREDRIKSSON (May 30, 1958 – Dec 9, 2019)

Swedish singer Marie Fredriksson, the female half of the top-selling duo Roxette, dies aged 61.

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