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Wednesday, 30 December 2009

image for The Year Of The Celebrity Death

Looking back at the past decade, there have been many memorable moments and particular years that stand out. Unfortunately, 2009 is likely to be remembered as the year of the celebrity death.

The last year has seen the death of many of our favourite stars including the sad death of US actress Brittany Murphy, 32.

Tony Hart, the legendary children's TV artist and presenter died at the beginning of 2009, on January 18 when he drew his last breath. The 83-year-old had previously suffered two strokes and, as a result, lost the use of both his hands, rendering him unable to draw.

Hart had been on TV for over 50 years as a presenter and artist, and was often joined by his plasticine sidekick, Morph, who was said to be speechless at the death of his friend, Tony Hart's funeral had been pencilled in for the following Friday.

Wendy Richard, the much-loved actress died on February 26 at the age of 65 after losing her long-term battle with cancer. Richard, who played the role of Pauline Fowler in the BBC soap EastEnders for nearly 22 years, left the show in 2006 after the death of her character, the producers of Eastenders were set to make a one-off special as a tribute during which the cast spend the whole show being sad, miserable and depressed, but they achieved the same effect by showing repeats of the previous 753 episodes.

Jade Goody, was, without a doubt, Britain's most successful reality TV star. Her career in the limelight began when she was a housemate on the third series of Big Brother in 2002. After she was evicted, she fronted her own reality TV shows, launched her own perfume and was constantly featured in celebrity magazines.

After appearing on 2007's Celebrity Big Brother and being caught up in controversy surrounding her apparent racist remarks to Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty, people always knew Jade was a racist but becoming a skinhead was a step too far and things seemed to go downhill for our Jade.

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2008 and swiftly got married and she was looking great on her wedding with not a hair out of place. After a very public battle with the disease, Jade died on March 22.

Natasha Richardson the award winning actress, is often referred to as one of Britain's finest actresses, so when she died suddenly due to a skiing injury on March 18, it came as a shock to the acting world and to her fans. On March 16, while skiing in Quebec, Richardson fell and injured her head. Immediately after the incident she seemed OK and carried on with her day, but three hours later she was taken to hospital.

She died in New York on the 18th, and an autopsy revealed she died due to the blunt impact on her head. It was not all bad news for hubby Liam Neeson as he got £250 off You've Been Framed for the video.

After her death, the lights in Broadway and London's West End were dimmed as a show of respect.

Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, announced his final set of live shows in March this year, and declared that 'this is it' for his performing career. However, his millions of fans across the world never got the chance to see their idol on stage one last time.

Jackson's sudden death on June 25 sent a ripple of shock and sadness across the globe, and millions have since paid tribute at various memorials worldwide. Since his death, a film and accompanying soundtrack has been released, entitled This Is It, and it has been rated as a PG which proves that even after he's gone, he can't be trusted with kids.

June 2009 not only saw the death of Michael Jackson, but America also grieved the loss of Farrah Fawcett. The Charlie's Angels actress died aged just 62 the morning of June 25 in an intensive care unit in California. Fawcett's battle began in 2006 when she was diagnosed with colon cancer.

After months of chemo, she was announced free of the disease, but the cancer returned and eventually cost the star her life, and when you consider the amount of celebrities who have been killed by arseholes, it's ironic that she got killed by her own one in the summer of 2009.

After battling with cancer for nearly two years, heart-throb actor Patrick Swayze died on September 14. In January 2008 the Dirty Dancing star was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a virulent form of the disease with only a 5% survival rate. Swayze tackled his illness head on, undergoing treatment while bravely pressing on with his TV role in The Beast.

In January 2009, however, he conceded he might only have two years left - a prediction, sadly, we now know was too optimistic. He was 57 when he died so it's not too early to ask Whoopi Goldberg if she has heard from him yet.

Another tragic loss on September 14 was Keith Floyd, the chef and TV presenter who had been on our screens for over 20 years. In 2002, Floyd suffered a stroke and in January 2008 he collapsed in a pub and was hospitalised. He made a full recovery after the incident, but his health deteriorated and he died of a heart attack at the age of 65. He also wanted his body left to research to which Sarsons expressed an interest. He was later cremated and most of the mourners took a few steps back when they lit the burners.

On October 10, we heard the news that Stephen Gately, one-fifth of Irish boyband Boyzone, had died while on holiday in Majorca. After a night out with his husband Andrew Cowles and their friend Georgi Dochev, Gately was found dead on the sofa in his apartment as his boyfriend woke up to the biggest stiffy ever that morning. It was later reported the singer died of natural causes due to fluid on the lungs.

Gately, who was openly gay, enjoyed a long and successful career in Boyzone, and he had much more to give professionally, as a writer and performer. After the death of Gately, stars of stage and screen had been paying tribute. Ronan Keating said he was 'gutted', Louis Walsh said he was 'devastated' and Michael Barrymore said he was 'innocent'.

Coronation Street actress Maggie Jones, who played Blanche Hunt, died in December at the age of 75. She first appeared in the soap 35 years ago, and over the years, her portrayal elevated Blanche Hunt to legendary Corrie status, winning her the Best Comedy Performance gong at the British Soap Awards in 2005 and 2008. In October 2009, she was admitted to hospital for minor surgery and although she was said to be doing well, she died in her sleep on the morning of December 2.

Her last appearance on Coronation Street was aired shortly after her death. The football stars of Chelsea even paid tribute to her as they were united in the loss by stating that they will be going to the Rovers again this season were-as she wont be.

Movie actress Brittany Murphy died in Los Angeles of what appeared to be natural causes, a coroner's official has said. The 32-year-old actress, best known for roles in Clueless, 8 Mile and Just Married, passed away at home on December 20, reportedly following a cardiac arrest.

A good friend of Brittany Murphy said "I felt it was only right to spend christmas with the Murphy family. Being in the Murphy household at this sad time was tremendously upsetting. However there was one benefit. I found half an advent calendar". At least she can be reunited with her career now. And what are all these people getting for 2010?, yes, it's John Hartson.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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