WRAP: Clegg, Lagerfeld, Morrison, Mugabe - 2019's notable deaths

2019-12-22 06:56
South Africans this week are united in their loss for musician and activist Johnny Clegg.

South Africans this week are united in their loss for musician and activist Johnny Clegg.

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From Nobel-winning novelist Toni Morrison to iconic fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld and Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe, here are some of the notable deaths of 2019.

On January 21, Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala, 28, was killed when the plane he was in crashed into the English Channel. Five days later on January 26 and three-time French film composer Michel Legrand died, aged 86.

Veteran British actor Albert Finney, winner of three Golden Globes, passed away aged 82 on February 7.

February also saw death of Swiss actor Bruno Ganz – known for his role as Adolf Hitler in the 2004 film Downfall - from cancer aged 77; long running artistic director of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld.

US director Stanley Donen as well as US-German composer and conductor Andre Previn were the other notable deaths in February.

A stroke claimed the life of US actor Luke Perry at the age of 52 at the beginning of March. On the same day – March 4 - frontman of British rave band ‘The Prodigy’, Keith Flint was found dead, aged 49.

At the end of March, pioneering French film director Agnes Varda passed away aged 90.

Ex-Peruvian president Alan Garcia, 69, killed himself on April 17 as the police were about to arrest him on bribery charges that he denied.

On May 13, Hollywood legend Doris Day died aged 97. Ieoh Ming Pei, Chinese-American architect of iconic modern structures such as the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, was 102 years old when he passed away on May 16.

May 20, and Austria's three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda died aged 70, eight months after a lung transplant.

WATCH: Author Judith Kerr dies aged 95

British children's author and illustrator Judith Kerr died aged 95 on May 22.

June saw the death of Star Spanish football striker Jose Antonio Reyes, 35, who was killed in a car crash; Italian film-maker and opera director Franco Zeffirelli aged 96; Islamist Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, ousted in 2013 after one year of divise rule, who  died in prison aged 67 and American heiress and socialite Gloria Vanderbilt.

Brazilian musician and songwriter Joao Gilberto, a pioneer of bossa nova, died aged 88 on July 6. Ten days later and in South Africa on July 16, South African singer Johnny Clegg died from cancer aged 66.

Also in July, Andrea Camilleri, the Italian novelist who created Sicilian detective Montalbano, passed away aged 93; Former Chinese prime minister Li Peng, a hardliner in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, died aged 90 and the world's oldest president, Tunisian Beji Caid Essebsi, died aged 92, just ahead of the end of his first mandate.

On August 5, author Toni Morrison, the first African-American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, died aged 88. On the 10th, US financier Jeffrey Epstein, 66, was found dead in jail from an apparent suicide while awaiting trial on charges of trafficking girls for sex.

ALSO READ: Egypt accuses UN of seeking to 'politicise Morsi's natural death'

In the same month Ivory Coast singer DJ Arafat died in a motorbike crash aged 33 and US actor Peter Fonda, best known for Easy Rider died from lung cancer.

September 3, and German photographer Peter Lindbergh, credited with launching careers of supermodels like Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford, died aged 74.

Zimbabwe's autocratic leader Robert Mugabe, ousted by the military in 2017 after 37 years in power, died in the same month, together with Swiss-born documentary photographer Robert Frank; the first leader to be toppled in the 2011 Arab Spring Zine El Abidine Ben Ali; French president from 1995 to 2007 Jacques Chirac and American opera singer Jessye Norman.

mugabe burial

Former first lady Grace Mugabe walks past a portrait of Robert Mugabe during the burial of the former Zimbabwe leader at his home village in Kutama, on September 28, 2019. (Jekesai Njikizana, AFP).

October 17, Alicia Alonso, Cuban ballet legend who taught well into her 90s as well as US Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings died.

Belgian Paralympic champion Marieke Vervoort, suffering from a degenerative muscle disease, ended her life through euthanasia aged 40 on October 22 and on October 26 Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in his late 40s, blew himself up during a raid by US special forces in Syria.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

An image grab taken from a video released on July 5, 2014 by Al-Furqan Media shows alleged Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi preaching during Friday prayer at a mosque in Mosul.(Photo by Al-Furqan Media/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Australian broadcaster, writer, critic and poet Clive James, died aged 80 after a long battle with leukaemia on November 24, and at the end of the month, one of the leading conductors to emerge from the former Soviet Union, Latvian Mariss Jansons, 76, died of cardiac arrest at his home in Saint Petersburg.



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