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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 December 2007, 13:20 GMT
The star names we lost in 2007
A look back at some of the key personalities from the worlds of acting, music and the arts who passed away in 2007.

Click on the links below to read more about them.



Italian film director Michelangelo Antonioni was famed for his iconic films, the most famous of which was 1966's Blow-Up. He was nominated for two Oscars for the English language film, a sexually explicit murder mystery set in London's thriving fashion scene.

The film-maker was also nominated for the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the Palme d'Or, five times between 1960 and 1982. He received an honorary Academy Award in 1995.

His last cinematic release, following a stroke in the 80s, was 2004's The Dangerous Thread of Things, one part of a trilogy of short films released under the title Eros. He died aged 94.


Ingmar Bergman was personally nominated for nine Oscars, while three of his films won Oscars for best foreign film.

The Swedish film-maker's 60-year career spanned intense classics like Cries & Whispers, The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries.

Bergman had five marriages and eight children, and his work often explored the tensions between married couples. He died aged 89.



Writer and journalist Alan Coren was widely regarded as one of the wittiest men in Britain.

He began his career writing for satirical magazine Punch, which he went on to edit for two decades. He also appeared on BBC Radio 4's The News Quiz, which was the inspiration for BBC One's Have I Got News For You.

In the 90s he appeared on BBC TV quiz Call My Bluff and wrote for The Times and Daily Mail. He died aged 69 after suffering from cancer.



Popular Australian TV news presenter Charmaine Dragun was found dead aged 29 at a notorious suicide spot in Sydney.

She had been a rising star on Network Ten, where she was co-anchor of a primetime evening news programme.

Her demise shocked friends and family and prompted many tributes from fans. Police said they were not treating her death as suspicious.


South African reggae star Lucky Dube made unity, peace, freedom and respect his mantras, and his life's mission was to make the world a better place.

He recorded his first album aged 18, playing traditional mbaqanga music, but he changed to the more universal reggae as it was a "vehicle" to take his "message across to people in the world".

He was shot dead by car thieves as he dropped his teenage son and daughter off in a Johannesburg suburb. He was 43.


American singer and songwriter Lee Hazlewood wrote These Boots Are Made For Walkin' with Nancy Sinatra in 1965.

He was a charismatic and influential performer who also produced acts like Duane Eddy and Gram Parsons and latterly became something of a cult figure in the alternative music scene.

In 2005, he was diagnosed with kidney cancer. He died aged 78.


The New Avengers star Gareth Hunt starred in the 70s British TV series with Joanna Lumley for two seasons.

The British actor also appeared in popular drama Upstairs Downstairs, became the face of Nescafe coffee and briefly appeared in BBC One soap EastEnders in 2001.

He died of pancreatic cancer aged 65.


British comic actor John Inman was best known for his camp performance as sales assistant Mr Humphries in 70s BBC sitcom Are You Being Served?

The show attracted up to 22 million viewers and his shrill "I'm free!" became a catchphrase. Inman was part of the cast for its entire 13-year run.

In December 2005 he and his partner of 35 years, Ron Lynch, took part in a civil partnership ceremony at London's Westminster Register Office. Inman died aged 71.



British actress Deborah Kerr appeared in almost 50 films, including Hollywood classics From Here to Eternity, The King and I and Black Narcissus.

She was nominated for the best actress Oscar six times and received an honorary Academy Award in 1994.

She died aged 86 after suffering from Parkinson's disease for a number of years.



US singer Frankie Laine sold more than 100 million records worldwide during a career that spanned seven decades.

His hits include Rawhide, I Believe and Ghost Riders In The Sky.

In 1996 he was presented with a lifetime achievement award at the 27th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame awards ceremony. He died aged 93.



Verity Lambert was the first producer for hit cult TV series Doctor Who and was the BBC's first female TV producer. She was also the youngest to take charge of one of the corporation's TV shows.

She produced dramas including Minder, Quatermass, Rumpole of the Bailey and Jonathan Creek, while her company made 90s BBC soap Eldorado.

Lambert, who died in November aged 71, had been due to receive a lifetime achievement award at December's Women in Film and Television Awards.



Ronald Magill played Amos Brearly in British TV soap Emmerdale over three decades.

His character ran the Woolpack pub and was much loved by the show's fans.

He died aged 87.


Magnus Magnusson was most famous for launching and hosting the stern BBC One quiz show Mastermind, which he fronted for 25 years until 1997.

The Iceland-born broadcaster was also a journalist and author. He presented other TV shows reflecting his interests in history and ornithology.

Magnusson died aged 77.


Norman Mailer

American writer Norman Mailer challenged, tantalised and often outraged readers with reflections on American life, history and morality.

Mailer won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize twice and he wrote dozens of books as well as plays, poems, screenplays and essays. His works were often filled with violence, sexual obsession and views that angered feminists.

He was married six times and was the father of nine children. He died aged 84.


Bernard Manning
Controversial British comic Bernard Manning was a regular face on 70s ITV show The Comedians until the dawn of political correctness meant his material was no longer considered suitable for TV schedules.

He denied being racist, once remarking: "I tell jokes. You never take a joke seriously."

He went on to take over the Embassy Club in Manchester, where he was the chief performer for 40 years, generating most of his multi-million pound fortune. He died aged 76 after being treated in hospital for a kidney condition.


Marcel Marceau

French mime artist Marcel Marceau was best known for the melancholy, engaging clown Bip, who he created 60 years ago.

Brought up in Lille, he and his Jewish family fled to southwest France during World War II and he changed his name, Marcel Mangel, to hide his origins. His father died in Auschwitz and he and his brother joined the French Resistance and later the army.

He died aged 84.


Lois Maxwell

Canadian actress Lois Maxwell starred as Miss Moneypenny in 14 James Bond movies, including Bond's first film outing, 1962's Dr No, starring Sir Sean Connery.

She played the role of secretary to M, the head of the secret service, until 1985's A View To A Kill with Sir Roger Moore.

She died aged 80.



Flamboyant British jazz singer and author George Melly was also a lecturer on art history and a film and television critic.

A fan of Bessie Smith and Fats Waller, he was famous for his routine of singing jazz numbers from the 1920s, interspersed with ribald jokes and saucy asides.

According to his wife, Melly was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005 for which he refused all treatment. He died aged 80.


World-renowned tenor Luciano Pavarotti enjoyed 40 years on the world stage and became one of the world's biggest-selling artists.

His music reached far beyond the usual opera audience, particularly his signature tune Nessun Dorma, from Puccini's Turandot, which became associated with the 1990 football World Cup.

His performances with Domingo and Jose Carerras at this time - in the Three Tenors concerts - were seen around the world. He died aged 71 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year.


British actor Mike Reid was most famous for playing wheeler-dealer Frank Butcher in BBC One soap EastEnders.

Reid joined the show in 1987, quickly turning Frank into one of its most popular characters. He left the soap in 2005.

Reid started out as a stand-up comedian, having worked as a stunt man, and went on to work in TV shows including Runaround, Doctor Who and Minder. He was living in Spain at the time of his death, aged 67.



Scottish actor Ian Richardson was best-known for his Bafta-winning role as scheming chief whip Francis Urquhart in BBC TV's 1990 political drama House of Cards.

Some of his other TV roles included Bleak House, Midsomer Murders, Sherlock Holmes, Gormenghast, Porterhouse Blue and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. His many films included Terry Gilliam's Brazil and Jane Austen biopic Becoming Jane.

Richardson was also an honorary associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He died in his sleep aged 72.


Celebrated Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich spent much of his career abroad, in self-imposed exile from the Soviet Union, over his support for Nobel prize writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

But he returned as communism collapsed. He performed a Bach suite as the Berlin Wall came down in 1989.

A master musician, Rostropovich was regarded as the greatest cellist since Spanish cellist Pablo Casals, who died in 1973. He was given an honorary knighthood in 1987 for his outstanding services to British music. He died aged 80.


A one-time Playmate of the Year, US celebrity Anna Nicole Smith was a model, occasional actress and star of her own reality TV show.

But she was more famous for her personal life - she married octogenarian millionaire J Howard Marshall when she was 26. He died 14 months later and Smith spent several years battling his family over his fortune. It was unresolved at the time of her death.

In September 2006, her 20-year-old son Daniel died just a few days after she gave birth to her daughter, Dannielyn. Smith died aged 39 after an accidental drug overdose, Florida officials said.


von Trapp

Austrian-born Werner von Trapp was a member of the family made famous by the legendary Hollywood film The Sound of Music.

The film was loosely based on a 1949 book by Mr von Trapp's stepmother Maria and he was depicted by the character named Kurt.

Mr von Trapp, who served in Europe with the US Army during World War II, was proficient in playing a number of instruments and as a singer. He died aged 91 in the US.



Writer Kurt Vonnegut was one of the outstanding figures of modern US literature, and became a cult figure among students in the 60s and 70s with his classics of US counterculture.

The pivotal moment of his life was the bombing of Dresden by allied forces in 1945. The experience informed his best-known work, Slaughterhouse Five.

He died aged 84. His wife, photographer and author Jill Krementz, said he had suffered brain injuries after a fall at his Manhattan home.



Tony Wilson was the music mogul behind some of Manchester's most successful bands. He was widely regarded as the man who put the city on the map for its music and vibrant nightlife.

The Salford-born entrepreneur and TV journalist founded Factory records, the label behind New Order and the Happy Mondays.

He was also famous for setting up the Hacienda nightclub. Wilson died aged 57 after suffering from kidney cancer.



US-born Jane Wyman was one of Hollywood's leading actresses in the 40s and 50s and was also the first wife of former US president and actor Ronald Reagan.

She became a household name in Billy Wilder's 1945 feature The Lost Weekend, as Ray Milland's long-suffering girlfriend.

Among her most famous films was the 1948 film Johnny Belinda, where her performance as a deaf mute won her an Oscar. She died aged 90.

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