Celebrities who died in 2023
In memory of the actors, musicians, authors, and other famous faces who have died in 2023, including singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Presley, legendary guitarist Jeff Beck, former child star Adam Rich, and Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White, among others.
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Daredevil Robbie Knievel, the stunt performer famous for record-breaking motorcycle jumps and the son of Evel Knievel, died on Jan. 13 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 60. During his lifetime, “Kaptain Robbie Knievel” set 20 world records and completed hundreds of dangerous jumps, some paying tribute to the feats of his father. In 1989, Knievel successfully jumped the fountains at Caesars Palace in Vegas, two decades after his dad’s failed attempt. In 1999, Knievel cleared a portion of the Grand Canyon, something his father had dreamed of doing. Throughout his career, he jumped over such imposing obstacles as 30 limos, five military planes, and a moving train, as well as the gap between two 13-story buildings. Knievel also headlined the 2005 A&E reality series Knievel’s Wild Ride.
Lisa Marie Presley
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 10: Lisa Marie Presley with Icelandic Glacial at the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton on January 10, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Icelandic Glacial)
Lisa Marie Presley
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Lisa Marie Presley, the singer-songwriter and daughter of Elvis Presley, died on Jan. 12 following a suspected cardiac arrest. She was 54. The only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie proved she was a musician in her own right by releasing her debut album, To Whom It May Concern, on which she wrote or co-wrote every song. The album reached No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart, and would later go on to be certified gold. Her sophomore album Now What, also debuted in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. She was married four times, to Danny Keough, Michael Jackson, Nicolas Cage, and Michael Lockwood, and had four children, including actress Riley Keough.
Drummer Robbie Bachman from Canadian group Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO) performs live on stage at the New Fillmore East in New York in December 1974.
Bachman-Turner Overdrive drummer Robbie Bachman
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Robbie Bachman, the drummer of the legendary ’70s rock band Bachman-Turner Overdrive, died on Jan. 12. He was 69. Born in Winnipeg, Canada in 1953, Robin “Robbie” Peter Kendall Bachman grew up playing drums in a musical family alongside older brothers Randy and Tim. The trio performed together in the band Brave Belt, which later changed its name to Bachman-Turner Overdrive in 1973. As the co-founder and original drummer of BTO, Robbie’s rollicking drumming can heard on eight of the band’s chart-topping records. He also helped co-write some of their biggest hits — including 1973’s “Hold Back the Water” and 1974’s “Roll On Down the Highway” — and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2014.
Ben Masters in 2003
Ben Masters in 2003
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Ben Masters, who starred as billionaire Julian Crane on the soap opera Passions, died Jan. 11 at 75. The actor also appeared on Broadway and had roles on the big screen in All That Jazz, Key Exchange, Dream Lover, and Making Mr. Right. However, he was best known for playing the cheating billionaire in a whopping 772 episodes of Passions, a role for which he received three Soap Opera Digest Awards nominations. Masters had many other roles on TV over the years, however, including in the miniseries Celebrity and Noble House, and on shows such as Kojak, Petrocelli, Touched by an Angel, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Barnaby Jones, Diagnosis Murder, Sisters, and Pensacola: Wings of Gold.
Unspecified – 1975: Carole Cook appearing on the ABC Saturday morning tv series ‘Uncle Croc’s Block’. (Photo by Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)
Carole Cook on ‘Uncle Croc’s Block’
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Carole Cook, the comedic actress who rose to fame with the help and mentorship of Lucille Ball, died Jan.11. She was three days shy of her 99th birthday. Born Mildred Frances Cook in Abilene, Tex. on Jan. 14, 1924, Cook changed her first name to Carole on the suggestion of Ball, after Carole Lombard. Ball, after reading a review of Cook’s performance in Annie Get Your Gun, invited the young actress to audition for her Desilu Workshop. After signing with Ball’s production company, Cook even lived with the legendary comedian after her divorce from Desi Arnaz. Cook went on to appear in a number of films and TV shows, working with Ball on The Lucy Show and Here Comes Lucy, playing Don Knotts’ wife in The Incredible Mr. Limpet, and notching memorable roles in American Gigolo and Sixteen Candles. A prolific guest actress, she made appearances on everything from That Girl and Maude, to Charlie’s Angels and Kojak, Starsky & Hutch and Laverne & Shirley, to Dynasty and, of course, The Love Boat. In 2018, Cook was the subject of some unintended controversy when she suggested the best way to deal with then-President Donald Trump was assassination, asking, “Where’s John Wilkes Booth when you need him?” As a result, Cook was paid a visit by the Secret Service, whom she said “couldn’t have been nicer.” Of the incident she quipped, “I said, ‘I can’t go to prison, the stripes are horizontal, they don’t look good on me.'”
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Legendary guitarist Jeff Beck died on Jan. 10 at age 78 after contracting bacterial meningitis. Once named one of the five greatest guitarists ever by Rolling Stone, Beck’s influence was immense. He is widely credited with expanding the possibilities of blues music and popularized the use of audio feedback and distortion, influencing the sound of heavy metal. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice — once as a member of the Yardbirds and again for his work with the Jeff Beck group. Beck won eight Grammy Awards over the course of his career, the first being Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1986 for “Escape” from the album Flash. In recent years, the rocker had collaborated with embattled actor Johnny Depp. The duo released a cover of John Lennon’s “Isolation” in 2020, playing off the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Depp joined Beck on stage in the U.K. in June 2022 after his victory in the defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard. The pair’s collaborative album, 18, was released in July 2022.
Le top model Tatjana Patitz défile pour Hervé Léger en octobre 1992 à Paris, France.
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Supermodel Tatjana Patitz died on Jan. 11 at age 56. Considered one of the original supermodels, the Germany-born beauty modeled for the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Chanel, and Donna Karan, among others, and appeared on the cover of Vogue six different times. She also famously appeared in George Michael’s “Freedom ’90” music video alongside Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington. Her cause of death was not made public.
UNITED STATES – MARCH 30: EIGHT IS ENOUGH – Adam Rich Portrait – Season Two – 3/30/78, Adam Rich played Nicholas Bradford, the youngest of eight children of a newspaper columnist., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)
Adam Rich in ‘Eight Is Enough’
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Adam Rich, the former child star who played Nicholas Bradford on the sitcom Eight Is Enough, died Jan. 7 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 54. A cause of death was not made public. In addition to the family sitcom, which ran on ABC from 1977 to 1981, Rich also appeared on several shows and TV movies throughout much of the late 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, including CHiPs, Fantasy Island, Small Wonder, Dungeons & Dragons, Code Red, and Baywatch. He briefly returned to acting in 2003 to play himself in the comedy film Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. He also reprised his role as the youngest Bradford son in the TV movies Eight Is Enough: A Family Reunion and An Eight Is Enough Wedding.
Los Angeles, CA – 1980: Earl Boen appearing in the ABC tv series ‘It’s A Living’.
Earl Boen in ‘It’s A Living’
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Earl Boen, a prolific character and voice actor best known as Dr. Peter Silberman in the Terminator films, died on Jan. 5 in Hawaii. He was 81. Boen flexed his acting skills in over 250 different films, television series, and video games throughout his decades-long career in entertainment. He is widely recognized for his performance as the dreaded Dr. Silberman in 1984’s Terminator — a role which he reprised in 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, and via archival footage in 2019’s Terminator: Dark Fate.
EARTH, WIND & FIRE – IN CONCERT – “California Jam” Concert Coverage – Airdate: April 6, 1974
Fred White drumming with Earth, Wind & Fire.
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Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White died on Jan. 1 at age 67. White joined Earth, Wind & Fire as a teenager in 1974, helping them score their first Billboard No. 1 song with “Shining Star,” and providing beats for their other hits like “September” and “Let’s Groove.” His brother, Verdine White, a founding member of the group, announced the death on New Year’s Day, saying he joins their late bandmate siblings, Maurice, Monte, and Ronald. “Child protégé, member of the EWF ORIGINAL 9, with gold records at the young age of 16 years old!” Verdine wrote on Instagram. “He was brother number 4 in the family lineup. But more than that at home and beyond he was the wonderful bro that was always entertaining and delightfully mischievous!”
Gangsta Boo of Three 6 Mafia
Gangsta Boo of Three 6 Mafia
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Lola Chantrelle Mitchell, better known as the rapper Gangsta Boo, was found dead Jan. 1, though no cause of death was determined. She was 43. The Memphis native was a member of Three 6 Mafia and released six albums with them before leaving the group in 2001. She also released three solo albums and a number of mixtapes, in addition to regularly making guest appearances on other artists’ tracks.
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