The DeathList 2017

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The DeathList 2017

16 / 50 dead

This is a record breaking year with 16 deaths

Below you will find DeathList 2017, a list of 50 celebrities selected by an expert committee for their likelihood to die during 2017. There are a few rules to DeathList summarised as follows: Candidates must be famous enough such that their death is expected to be reported by the UK media; Candidates cannot be famous solely for the fact they are likely to die in the near future and only 25 candidates can reappear from the previous year’s list. 2016 was billed as the year of the celebrity death by some and, although DeathList 2016 started strongly, it hit a very lean period from June to November and ended with a final score of 12, two below the all time record of 14. Has the big celebrity clear-out of 2016 made the task more challenging for 2017 or will the rate of celebrity deaths continue apace? Only time will tell...

The 2017 List

Rank Name Age Description
1 Kirk Douglas 101 Actor
2 Vera Lynn 100 Singer
3 Billy Graham 99 Evangelist
4 Lord (Peter) Carrington 98 UK Politician
5 Peter Sallis 96 Last of the Summer Winer
6 Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh 96 Casual rascist
7 Denis Norden 95 Comic / TV Presenter
8 Pierre Cardin 95 Fashion Designer
9 Stan Lee 95 Marvel comics
10 Olivia De Havilland 101 Actress
11 Herman Wouk 102 Author
12 Tony Booth 86 Actor
13 Bob Dole 94 Politican
14 Leah Bracknell 53 Actress
15 Jimmy Carter 93 Ex US President
16 Gord Downie 53 Tragically Hip Singer
17 Leslie Phillips 93 Comedy Actor
18 Robert Mugabe 93 Dictator
19 Javier Perez de Cuellar 97 Ex UN Secretary General
20 Jake LaMotta 96 Boxer
21 King Michael of Romania 96 King of Romania
22 Betty White 95 Golden Girl
23 Nobby Stiles 75 Footballer
24 Queen Elizabeth II 91 Queen
25 Jill Gascoine 80 Actress
26 Bob Barker 94 The Price is Right
27 Doug Ellis 93 Ex-Aston Villa Chairman
28 George Bush Senior 93 Former President of USA
29 Honor Blackman 92 Actress
30 Ian St John 79 Footballer
31 Hugh Hefner 91 Playboy
32 David Prowse 82 Darth Vader
33 Jerry Lewis 91 Comedian
34 David Rockefeller 102 Billionaire
35 Sandy Gall 90 TV news reporter
36 Pope Benedict XVI 90 Former Pope
37 Bruce Forsyth 89 Entertainer
38 Fats Domino 89 Singer
39 Hosni Mubarak 89 Former Egyptian President
40 Desmond Tutu 85 Archbishop
41 Emperor Akihito 84 Japanese Emperor
42 Gay Byrne 83 Broadcaster
43 Glen Campbell 81 Country Singer
44 Liz Dawn 78 Vera Duckworth
45 John Noakes 83 Blue Peter Presenter
46 Valerie Harper 78 Rhoda
47 Joost van der Westhuizen 46 Rugby player
48 Mary Tyler Moore 81 Actress
49 Errol Christie 54 Boxer
50 Ian Brady 79 All round Mr Nice Guy

Latest News

  • 25th October 2017

    Domino's Toppled

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    Legendary rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, Fats Domino, has boogie woogied for the final time to move DeathList 2017 up to a total of 16 successes and counting. Domino released his first record, “The Fat Man”, in 1949, which has subsequently been named by some as the first successful rock ‘n’ roll record. Domino released nearly 100 singles and some 50 albums over the 30 years of his recording career, selling more that 65 million records in the process. His most famous records included Blueberry Hill, Ain’t that Shame and I Hear You Knocking. Fats was 89 years old when he died and had been a regular on DeathList for many years, this year finding 38th spot.

    9 appearances: 2017 (38), 2016 (32), 2014 (47), 2013 (47), 2012 (46), 2010 (47), 2008 (18), 1997 (30), 1996 (33)
    16th Death
    Age: 89, Singer, Cause of death: Natural causes
  • 18th October 2017

    Tragically RIP

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    The Tragically Hip lead singer, Gord Downie, has, as expected, succumbed to brain cancer to deliver a death that pushes DeathList 2017 into being the most successful DeathList ever. The Tragically Hip formed in 1984 in Ontario, Canada and became one of Canada’s best-known bands. Downie announced in May 2016 that he had terminal brain cancer, but the band continued to tour in the summer of 2016. The band performed their final concert in August 2016, which was broadcast live on Canadian TV and watched by one third of the Canadian population. 53 year old Downie was making his first appearance on DeathList, jumping straight into 16th position.

    1 appearance: 2017 (16)
    15th Death
    Age: 53, Tragically Hip Singer, Cause of death: Brain Cancer
  • 28th September 2017

    Hef in Hell?!

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    Hugh Hefner, legendary Playboy founder, has departed the Playboy Mansion for pastures new to provide DeathList 2017 with a record equalling 14 deaths. Hefner started Playboy magazine in 1953. The first issue included a nude centrefold of Marilyn Monroe which Hefner had managed to acquire for $500 and the rest is history. Playboy magazine managed to blend a combination of soft pornography with celebrity interviews and achieved huge success. In 1965, the brand started to expand creating a series of Playboy Clubs, which operated until 1991. Despite changing cultural tastes and a weakening of the Playboy brand, Hefner himself maintained legendary status right up until his death. Hefner had numerous “girlfriends” and married three times, although only one of his wives was within 36 years of his own age. The long running debate as to whether Hefner was a hero or a villain rages on, but three things are for sure: this year he was making his first appearance on DeathList, he was selected in 31st place and he has taken DeathList 2017 to the brink of a new DeathList record.

    1 appearance: 2017 (31)
    14th Death
    Age: 91, Playboy, Cause of death: Natural causes
  • 26th September 2017

    Boothanasia!

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    British TV actor, Tony Booth, has provided DeathList with a quick follow up to record the 13th success of the year. Booth was best known for his role as Mike Rawlins in the shockingly racist 1960s/70s BBC sitcom, Till Death US Do Part. Booth also starred in the infamous series of “Confessions of…” British sex comedy movies of the 1970s. In recent years, perhaps Booth’s biggest claim to fame was being father to Cherie Blair, wife of British war criminal, Tony Blair. Booth was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2004 and was making his debut on DeathList, jumping straight in at the fancied number 12 slot. Booth’s passing sees DeathList 2017 in a red hot streak of form and just one death away from equalling the all-time record of 14 successes in one year.

    1 appearance: 2017 (12)
    13th Death
    Age: 86, Actor, Cause of death: TBC
  • 26th September 2017

    From Dawn to Dust

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    Liz Dawn, Coronation Street’s Vera Duckworth, has finally succumbed to emphysema to provide DeathList 2017 with its 12th success. Dawn first appeared in the UK TV soap opera, Coronation Street, in 1964 and began appearing regularly in 1976. She left the show after 32 years in 2008 when her health started to deteriorate. Dawn was making her debut on DeathList this year and was selected in 44th place.

    1 appearance: 2017 (44)
    12th Death
    Age: 78, Vera Duckworth, Cause of death: Emphysema
  • 20th September 2017

    Clock runs out for LaMotta

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    Legendary boxer, Jake LaMotta, has finally climbed through the ropes of the boxing ring in the sky to record the 11th death for DeathList 2017. LaMotta was a middleweight who gained a reputation for being one of the toughest ever boxers. He fought 106 times between 1941 and 1954 and had six fights with one of the greatest ever boxers, Sugar Ray Robinson. LaMotta only won one of those fights but was never put on the canvas, a fact from which he took great pride. After his boxing career, LaMotta became a stand-up comedian and actor. LaMotta’s fame was significantly enhanced with the release of the highly successful 1980 Robert De Niro movie about his life, Raging Bull. As a final record of his toughness, despite his hard life, LaMotta did not throw in the towel until he had reached the grand old age of 95. He appeared on DeathList 13 times, this year in 20th place.

    13 appearances: 2017 (20), 2016 (39), 2015 (35), 2014 (28), 2013 (37), 2012 (35), 2011 (15), 2010 (35), 2009 (32), 2008 (31), 2007 (38), 2006 (40), 2005 (34)
    11th Death
    Age: 96, Boxer, Cause of death: Pneumonia
  • 20th August 2017

    Reign ends for King of Comedy

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    Jerry Lewis, the legendary American comedian, has passed away to provide DeathList 2017 with yet another success. Lewis had a long and successful career starting in the mid-1940s when he teamed up with Dean Martin, appearing in many movies as a double act. In the mid1950s, Lewis set out on his own and continued to be successful. Probably his most famous movie was (the original version of) The Nutty Professor in 1963 which he wrote, directed and produced. After a break in his movie career, he returned and made The King of Comedy alongside Robert De Niro in 1982. Lewis also became famous for his annual telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association which started in the 1950s and ran until 2010, raising more than $2.6 billion. Lewis was making his sixth appearance on DeathList, this year at number 33. After a lifetime of raising money for good causes, Lewis’ final generous contribution has been that of the tenth death for the 2017 list.

    6 appearances: 2017 (33), 2014 (45), 2011 (19), 2010 (45), 2007 (46), 2005 (50)
    10th Death
    Age: 91, Comedian, Cause of death: Natural Causes
  • 18th August 2017

    Didn't he do well!

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    Legendary British TV entertainer, Bruce Forsyth, has put another point on the old DeathList scoreboard in passing away aged 89. Forsyth was the king of catchphrases, producing numerous lines from a string of successful British TV shows including The Generation Game, The Price is Right, Play Your Cards Right, You Bet and, finally, Strictly Come Dancing. Forsyth retired in 2015 after suffering a fall at his home. His health reportedly deteriorated in early 2017 when he suffered from chest infection and he was not seen in public subsequently up to his death. Forsyth was making his third appearance on DeathList, having been very prematurely first selected in 1995. This year Brucie was chosen at number 37. It seems a good bet that St. Peter will be greet him at the Pearly Gates with a shout of “Nice to see you, to see you nice!”.

    3 appearances: 2017 (37), 2016 (50), 1995 (48)
    9th Death
    Age: 89, Entertainer, Cause of death: Pneumonia
  • 8th August 2017

    Tombstone Cowboy

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    Country music legend, Glen Campbell, has succumbed to Alzheimer's disease to score another top 50 hit for DeathList 2017. Campbell’s career spanned more than 50 years, included more than 70 albums, more than 50 Top 40 country hits, 10 Grammys and four wives. Campbell started his career as a session musician in 1960 and made steady progress until an extended period of success in the late 1960s to mid-1970s. His most famous song, Rhinestone Cowboy was released in 1975 and became a international hit. Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011 and was making his second appearance on DeathList this year, selected at number 43. He is the eighth success of the year.

    2 appearances: 2017 (43), 2016 (36)
    8th Death
    Age: 81, Country Singer, Cause of death: Alzheimer's disease
  • 11th June 2017

    Christie Out For The Count

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    British boxer, Errol Christie, has been stopped by the referee for the last time to give DeathList 2017 another quick win on its record. Christie had a very successful amateur career but, when he turned professional in 1983, he became a bit of a knockout specialist - in that he always seemed to get badly knocked out crucial points in his career. Despite being a very well-known boxer in the UK with his fights regularly televised, Christie never won a professional title. After his boxing career, Christie hit some hard times but got things more on track in recent years, until he was diagnosed, in 2015, with the lung cancer that would ultimately take his life. Christie was making his first appearance on DeathList, taking the number 49 position. He was 53 when he died. Rest in peace, Champ.

    1 appearance: 2017 (49)
    7th Death
    Age: 54, Boxer, Cause of death: Lung Cancer
  • 5th June 2017

    Summer Wine Corked

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    Peter Sallis, British actor of Wallace and Gromit and Last of the Summer Wine fame, has passed on at the ripe old age of 96 to provide DeathList 2017 with another success. Sallis worked in theatre and movies during the 1960s, but his major break came with the start of BBC TV sitcom, Last of the Summer Wine, in 1973 where he played Cleggy. The show went on to run until 2010. In 1990, the first Wallace and Gromit movie established Sallis as the voice of Wallace, a role for which he would become more famous. Sallis was making his fifth appearance on DeathList, rising to number 5 this year.

    5 appearances: 2017 (5), 2016 (15), 2015 (32), 2014 (30), 2013 (39)
    6th Death
    Age: 96, Last of the Summer Winer, Cause of death: Old age
  • 29th May 2017

    Gone with Noakes

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    John Noakes, Blue Peter TV show presenter, has passed away to provide DeathList 2017 with its fifth success. Noakes was the most famous presenter of the BBC Children’s show which started in 1958 and still runs today. Noakes presented the show from 1965 to 1978 and often took on dangerous stunts in the name or entertaining or educating children, such as going down the Cresta Run in a bobsleigh (although ejected from the sleigh in an accident halfway down) and climbing Nelson’s Column without safety equipment. He was also the main star when Lulu the baby elephant visited the Blue Peter studios, which urinated, defecated, pulled his minder all around the studio and then make Noakes squeal by standing on his foot all on live TV. Noakes’ canine companion on the show was Shep, an excitable border collie, who was the focus of his catchphrase, “Get Down, Shep”. Noakes also has a spin-off show Go with Noakes with ran from 1976 to 1980. Noakes had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for several years and was 83 when he died. He was making his second appearance on DeathList this years, selected at number 45 this year.

    2 appearances: 2017 (45), 2016 (49)
    5th Death
    Age: 83, Blue Peter Presenter, Cause of death: Alzheimer's disease
  • 15th May 2017

    No Moors Mr Nice Guy

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    It’s been said many times that the purpose of DeathList is not to wish for the demise of well known figures for the purpose of entertainment. Indeed, more often than not, it is sad to see the passing of a celebrity from the list that has made a positive contribution to the human race. None of this, however, applies to Ian Brady, the Moors Murderer, who may have just made his first positive contribution to society in finally passing at the age of 79. Between 1963 and 1965, Brady, along with partner Myra Hindley, sexually assaulted and slayed 5 children and disposed of the remains of some of their victims on Saddleworth Moor, near Manchester, England. Brady and Hindley were caught and convicted in 1966 and both would spend the rest of their lives in prison. Brady never showed any remorse for his crimes and, over many years, appeared to toy with police attempting to locate the remains of his victims. He had reportedly been on hunger strike (and at times force fed) since 1999 in a, possibly half-hearted, attempt to kill himself. Hindley died in 2002, which caused Brady to sulk that he was not allowed to die. At least the world is a slightly better place now that he has gone and DeathList 2017 has its fourth hit.

    6 appearances: 2017 (50), 2014 (50), 2013 (50), 2011 (38), 2004 (31), 2002 (21)
    4th Death
    Age: 79, All round Mr Nice Guy, Cause of death: Heart failure
  • 20th March 2017

    Rockefeller has given his all

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    Billionaire philanthropist, David Rockefeller, has made his last donation by contributing a hit for DeathList 2017. David Rockefeller was the grandson of the wealthiest American ever, John D. Rockefeller Sr, who made a vast fortune in the oil industry. Rockefeller had a long career at Chase Manhattan bank between the 1946 and 1981. In his later years, he become known as a generous philanthropist, giving away more than $2 billion during his lifetime. Despite this, his net worth was still estimated to be in excess of £3 billion. He was 101 years old when he died and was making his first appearance on DeathList, claiming 34th place.

    1 appearance: 2017 (34)
    3rd Death
    Age: 102, Billionaire, Cause of death: Congestive heart failure
  • 6th February 2017

    Joost Over The Line

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    South African Rugby icon, Joost Van der Westhuizen, has succumbed to motor neuron disease to provide DeathList 2017 with its second success. Van der Westhuizen got his first South African cap in 1993 and, in 1995, was a key part of the South African team that defeated the All Blacks in the final to win the Rugby World Cup. By the time of his retirement in 2003 he held the record for most capped player for South Africa with 111 appearances. After being diagnosed with the disease in 2011, Van der Westhuizen went on to chalk up four appearances on DeathList, although this year was only selected in 47th position.

    4 appearances: 2017 (47), 2016 (21), 2015 (28), 2014 (20)
    2nd Death
    Age: 46, Rugby player, Cause of death: Motor Neurone Disease
  • 25th January 2017

    Mary Tyler No Moore

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    Sitcom legend, Mary Tyler Moore, has passed away to provide DeathList 2017 with its inaugural success. Moore is most famous for her US Sitcom, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which ran for seven years in the early 1970s. The show was a huge success and produced several spin off shows including Rhoda and Lou Grant, both of which were also very successful and all of which were produced by the production company she set up with her husband. Prior to this, Moore had played Laura Petrie in another hit show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, for five seasons in the 1960s. In addition to her TV work, Moore also had some success in movies, most significantly in the 1980 movie, Ordinary People, for which she received an Oscar nomination. Moore had faced a number of health problems in recent times and was 80 years old when she died. She was making her second appearance on DeathList but only just snuck into 48th place on this year’s list.

    2 appearances: 2017 (48), 2016 (13)
    1st Death
    Age: 81, Actress, Cause of death: Pneumonia