2016: In Memoriam

I think we all know 2016 was an extraordinary year for losing so many talented individuals.

I’ve seen long lists of departed celebrities, many of which are based on international wires. They might list actors like Bewitched‘s Bernard Fox or Alf‘s diminutive Michu Meszaros (with the wrong date), but they won’t tell you about gifted actors like Ronald Falk, Lois Ramsey, Vivean Gray, Scott Burgess, Lewis Fiander, or those who contributed so much to broadcasting like Norman May, Oscar Whitbread or Don Battye.

At TV Tonight I always look to those who made an active contribution to Television, thus Prince and George Michael (a personal fave) do not make the cut, whilst David Bowie has both film & TV acting credits.

Here’s to those we will remember…

Brian Johns
Natalie Cole
Lionel Williams
David Bowie
Pat Harrington Jr.
Alan Rickman
Dan Haggerty
Glenn Frey
Lois Ramsey
Abe Vigoda

Sir Terry Wogan
Frank Finlay
Joe Alaskey
John Paterson
George Gaynes
Angela “Big Ang” Raiola
Peter Hudson
Ken Delo

George Kennedy
Don Battye
Sonia Borg
Tony Warren
Nancy Reagan
Jon English
Robert Horton
Sylvia Anderson
Larry Drake
Doug Owen
Joe Santos
James Sheldon
Peter Brown
Garry Shandling
David Smyrl
Ross Jennings
Patty Duke
James Noble

Ronnie Corbett
Douglas Wilmer
Bob Ellis
Barbara Jungwirth
Bruce Mansfield
Doris Roberts
Victoria Wood
Madeleine Sherwood
Robert Greenberg

Reg Grundy
Scott Burgess
William Schallert
Oscar Whitbread
Alan Young
Lewis Fiander
Bert Kwouk

Brian Beaton
Theresa Saldana
Mihaly “Michu” Meszaros
Janet Waldo
Ann Morgan Guilbert
Anton Yelchin
Ronald Falk

Caroline Aherne
Noel Neill
John McMartin
Gaurav Tiwari
Garry Marshall
Vivean Gray
Jerry Doyle

David Huddleston
Barry Jenner
Jack Riley
Steven Hill
Marvin Kaplan
Gene Wilder
Darrell Ward

Jon Polito
Richard Neville
Hugh O’Brian
Ian ‘Beat’ Hill
Ken Sparkes
Norman May
Alexis Arquette
Michael Shrimpton
Curtis Hanson
Max Walker
Gary Glasberg
Agnes Nixon

Rebecca Wilson
Ross Higgins
Leslie Nassar
Jimmy Perry

Don Marshall
Robert Vaughn
Russell Kiefel
Peter Sumner
Florence Henderson
Ron Glass
Allan Zavod

Andrew Sachs
Van Williams
Peter Vaughan
Joseph Mascolo
Anne Deveson
Alan Thicke
Bernard Fox
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Liz Smith
Carrie Fisher
Debbie Reynolds
Barbara Tarbuck
William Christopher


  1. Josephine English

    David, thank you for honouring my Dad Jon English. 2016 took so many gifted people from the industry, both here in Australia and internationally, but for us it will always be the year we lost our Father. It is still incredibly surreal for us to see Dad included in articles like these, yet it also makes us feel very proud of the body of work he left behind and the sheer amount of people he made smile. What an incredible legacy to leave behind, and while he had quite small feet for a big bloke, we will never fill those shoes! Vale Dad.

    • I to lost my father in 2016 also, so I can relate to what you’ve been through. I must say I think your father was most definitely deserving of being recognized for his work. All Together Now was one of my favourite shows in its day and your father played his role beautifully! Stay positive and good luck to you and your family.

  2. While it does seem that 2016 was excessive for losses, in reality this will continue happening. The actors and stars who were young in the early years of TV, and in the years when Aussie TV began to find its voice, are now aging. That doesn’t explain those who die young, but the volume of deaths is to be expected.

    • Exactly…..and this is why I have suggested Hall of Fame needs to expand. In recent years we have seen inductions for recently deceased, because Logies has a rule that if someone has died they can only be inducted the next year or not at all. As more ageing stars die it risks becoming a process as we express a belated sentiment. One man, one woman, one show is my suggestion.

  3. David .
    some many names left out
    Carla Lane – created some of the great UK comedies of the 70s- many of them appeared on Australian TV

    Tony Cozier – commentated for Ch 9 cricket for many years when the West Indies toured Australia

    Peter Sumner – Australian actor who appeared on Aussie TV many times and was in Star Wars : A new Hope

    Gareth Thomas – star of Blakes 7 during the 1970s.

    Frank Kelly -star of Father Ted

    • Certainly never claimed my list is perfect and there are those I’ve opted not to include or have missed entirely. But Peter Summer was definitely not one of them. A fine actor I watched many times, including Live. See how easy is it to miss?

  4. jezza the first original one

    George Michael can be included as a TV pioneer… Do we agree that James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke has been one of the most successful TV/online moments of the year? Well 5 years ago for UK Comic Relief George Michael did the very first one with Corden (in character as Smithy out of the Gavin and Stacey show). So you can include him. I have met George, he was a great bloke with some great music and broad widespread appeal…

  5. I didn’t realise Terry Wogan had passed. And poor Caroline Aherne. I’m about to start reading Peter Hook’s book Substance so will be interested to see what Hooky says of their ‘bizarre’ two years together. He seemed fond of her to the last.

  6. My heart breaks as I read all those names. ): Missing is Peter Collingwood who was best known for playing Pippa’s dad Bert in Home and Away. George Michael can be accepted as he appeared on the series Eli Stone.

  7. daveinprogress

    So many greats; from so many fields of excellence. Thank you for the expansive list, David. Many of whom I would not have known passed away without your tireless efforts to report here.

    Here is my personal tribute. youtube.com/watch?v=JE-Q_7HWEEY

    • Maev....Sydney

      Thank you for that..nice to put a face to the name….and you chose well with the stills you used in the video…they are all superb photographs.
      Appreciate David allowing the link.

  8. Some names I didn’t know, though I would probably recognize the face or screen name. Some names whose passing slipped under the radar. The talent pool has diminished quite a lot. Vale to those who left us. Thanks for the memories

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