notable deaths 2023
From Italy’s ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi to rock queen Tina Turner and Wagner warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin: Some of 2023’s most notable deaths. Photo: AFP

Home » The year in review: Notable deaths in 2023

The year in review: Notable deaths in 2023

From Italy’s ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi to rock queen Tina Turner and Wagner warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin: Some of 2023’s most notable deaths.

28-11-23 15:40
notable deaths 2023
From Italy’s ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi to rock queen Tina Turner and Wagner warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin: Some of 2023’s most notable deaths. Photo: AFP

From Italy’s ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi to rock queen Tina Turner and Wagner warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin, here are some of 2023’s most notable deaths.

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– 7: RUSSELL BANKS, 82, prolific and acclaimed US novelist whose work charted the interior lives of marginalised people

– 10: JEFF BECK, 78, British guitar virtuoso and innovator who rose to rock and roll fame with 1960s group the Yardbirds

– 10: CARDINAL GEORGE PELL, 81, Australian archbishop, giant of the Catholic Church, who was jailed for child sexual abuse but later cleared

– 12: LISA MARIE PRESLEY, 54, singer-songwriter and only child of Elvis Presley, dies of a bowel condition caused by weight loss surgery

– 16: GINA LOLLOBRIGIDA, 95, Italian film diva, one of the last icons of Golden Age Hollywood

– 17: LUCILE RANDON, 118, French nun, who was world’s oldest known person

– 18: DAVID CROSBY, 81, American folk-rock pioneer

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– 3: PACO RABANNE, 88, Spanish fashion designer famed for his eccentric designs and  fragrances

– 5: PERVEZ MUSHARAFF, 79, Pakistan’s former military ruler

– 8: BURT BACHARACH, 94, legendary pop composer of hits including “Walk on By” and “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”

– 10: CARLOS SAURA, 91, acclaimed Spanish director who critiqued Franco’s dictatorship

– 15: RAQUEL WELCH, 82, US actress and global sex symbol who famously donned a fur bikini in a 1960s caveman epic

– 15: PAUL BERG, 96, Nobel-winning biochemist, key figure in genetic engineering


– 3: KENZABURO OE, 88, Nobel-winning Japanese novelist

– 9: CHAIM TOPOL, 87, Israeli actor best-known for his role as milkman Tevye in 1971 classic “Fiddler on the Roof”

– 12: DICK FOSBURY, 76, athlete who revolutionised the high jump with a leap backwards over the bar, known as the “Fosbury flop”, that replaced the scissor kick approach

– 21: CLAUDE LORIUS, 91, French glaciologist and climate science pioneer whose 1980s Antarctica discoveries helped prove humanity’s role in global warming

– 28: RYUICHI SAKAMOTO, 71, Japan’s most important post-war composer who pioneered electronic music


– 13: MARY QUANT, 93, rule-breaking British fashion designer and pioneer of the miniskirt

– 16: AHMAD JAMAL, 92, towering and influential US pianist, composer and band leader who released some 80 albums and helped transform jazz, pop and hip-hop

– 19: MOONBIN, 25, K-Pop megastar and member of boy band Astro, found dead at his home in apparent suicide

– 22: BARRY HUMPHRIES, aka DAME EDNA EVERAGE, 89, Australian comedian who invented the iconic lilac-haired parody of a suburban housewife

– 25: CAROLYN BRYANT, 88, US woman whose claim of unwanted attention from Black teenager Emmett Till led to his lynching in 1955

– 25: HARRY BELAFONTE, 96, superstar American music performer and activist

– 27: JERRY SPRINGER, 79, popular US talk show host, whose rowdy programme symbolised low-brow TV


– 19: MARTIN AMIS, 73:  leading voice in modern British fiction

– 24: TINA TURNER, 83, US rock icon famed for her electrifying stage presence


– 5: ASTRUD GILBERTO, 83, “Girl from Ipanema” Brazilian singer

– 6: FRANCOISE GILOT, 101, French artist and a longtime lover of Pablo Picasso, they had two children together, but then she left him

– 6: ROBERT HANSSEN, 79, US double agent who fed Russia some of America’s deepest secrets, dies while serving a life sentence

– 10: TED KACZYNSKI, 81, “Unabomber” who terrorised America with a two-decade bombing campaign aimed at halting the advance of modern technology and society

– 12: SILVIO BERLUSCONI, 86, larger-than-life scandal-tainted former Italian premier and billionaire media mogul

– 13: CORMAC McCARTHY, 89, titan of American fiction with novels including “The Road” and “No Country for Old Men”

– 15: GLENDA JACKSON, 87, British Oscar-winning actress and politician


– 1: VICTORIA AMELINA, 37, rising star of Ukrainian literature, who died from injuries sustained in a Russian missile attack

– 11: MILAN KUNDERA, 94, Czech-French novelist best-known for “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”

– 16: JANE BIRKIN, 76, British-born singer and actress famous for her creative and romantic relationship with French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg

– 21: TONY BENNETT, 96, last of the classic American crooners

– 26: SINEAD O’CONNOR, 56, iconoclastic Irish pop singer, best-known for her 1990 global hit “Nothing Compares 2 U”

– 30: PAUL REUBENS, 70, US comic famed for his beloved man-child “Pee-wee Herman” character


– 7: WILLIAM FRIEDKIN, 87, US director of “The Exorcist” and “The French Connection”

– 9: SIXTO RODRIGUEZ, 81, cult American singer-songwriter who was the subject of the Oscar-winning documentary “Searching for Sugar Man”

– 15: BINDESHWAR PATHAK, 80, Indian social reformer and revolutioniser of national sanitation, known as “toilet man”

– 23: YEVGENY PRIGOZHIN, 62, head of Russian para-military group Wagner, killed in a plane crash after leading a mutiny against Moscow’s military leadership

– 30: MOHAMED AL-FAYED, 92, Egyptian ex-owner of Harrods department store and the Ritz in Paris, whose son Dodi died alongside Princess Diana in a car crash in 1997


– 2: SALIF KEITA, 76, Mali, Marseille and Saint-Etienne footballer

– 9: MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI, 95, Zulu prince and veteran South African politician

– 11: IAN WILMUT, 79, pioneering British embryologist who led team that in 1996 created Dolly, the cloned sheep

– 15: FERNANDO BOTERO, 91, Colombian sculptor famous for his voluptuous forms

– 27: MICHAEL GAMBON, 82, British actor, played Albus Dumbledore in many “Harry Potter” films

– 25: MATTEO MESSINA DENARO, 61, one of the most ruthless Sicilian mafia bosses dies in prison

– 29: DIANNE FEINSTEIN, 90, trailblazing politician dubbed the “Lioness of the US Senate”


– 13: HUBERT REEVES, 91, Canadian-French astrophysicist, renowned for popularising space science

– 13: LOUISE GLUCK, 80, American poet, winner of Nobel and Pulitzer prizes

– 21: BOBBY CHARLTON, 86, English football hero, World Cup winner, Manchester United legend

– 21: GISELLE KHOURY, 67, grande dame of Arab journalism

– 27: LI KEQIANG, 68, Chinese premier during the first two five-year terms of President Xi Jinping

– 28: MATTHEW PERRY, 54, US star who played Chandler Bing in hit sitcom “Friends” dies after a long battle with addiction


– 19: ROSALYNN CARTER, 96, former US first lady who championed human rights, democracy and public health

Correct and updated at time of publishing on Tuesday, 28 November 2023

By Garrin Lambley © Agence France-Presse

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