From Betty White to Angela Lansbury, this was a year we said goodbye to many long-time heroes. We also unexpectedly lost Bob Saget, Kirstie Alley, and Coolio.
That said, the most memorable passing of 2022 will be that of Queen Elizabeth II, who died at age 96 on March 30. As news coverage of her death and its aftermath unfolded in the ensuing weeks and months, the world grew to understand the magnitude of her reign and stature in the eye of the world.
Here, we reflect on the passing of the queen and other well-known individuals this year.
Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II, who was the U.K.’s longest-serving monarch, died at age 96. She reigned for 70 years, first coming to the throne in 1952. Charles, Prince of Wales, the Queen’s eldest son, took over the reins as monarch. Celebrities including Sir Elton John, Mick Jagger, Daniel Craig, and Pierce Brosnan partook in the solemn reflection of Queen Elizabeth II.
Angela Lansbury of Murder, She Wrote and Beauty and the Beast fame, died at age 96 in mid-October. She was 96 years old. Long considered one of the industry’s most versatile actresses, Lansbury also won five Tony Awards for her work on Broadway. She was also inducted into the TV Hall of Fame in 1996.
Bob Saget, 65, was found dead in his Florida hotel room on Jan. 9 after he performed a comedy show in the area the night prior. His friends subsequently mourned and paid tribute to the comedic actor all year long. That includes Jodie Sweetin and John Stamos, who co-starred alongside Saget on Full House. According to Yahoo News, it was the result of blunt head trauma, and his injuries were most likely incurred from an unwitnessed fall.
Naomi Judd, the matriarch singer of the Grammy-winning duo the Judds and mother to both bandmate Wynonna and actress Ashley Judd, died after committing suicide in April. The Judd family sued to block the media from seeing records relating to her death but withdrew the suit recently. The Country Music Hall of Fame inducted the Judds sisters earlier this year.
Ray Liotta, the actor most well-known for his roles in the movies Goodfellas and Field of Dreams, died in his sleep in late May. He was 67. Liotta was going through a bit of a career resurgence in recent years after being one the more prominent actors in Hollywood not long ago. He was also featured in films Hannibal, Narc, Blow and Copland.
Legendary pop singer and Grease actress Olivia Newton-John, who had long battled breast cancer, died in early August. She was 73. John Travolta, Newton-John’s co-star in the 1978 box-office smash Grease, mourned her death on Instagram. “Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer,” her family said in a statement.
Coolio died three months ago, apparently of cardiac arrest. He was 59 years old. After the huge success of “Fantastic Voyage,” Coolio’s song “Gangsta’s Paradise” spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard charts and won the Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance. Additionally, the 1995 hit highlighted the soundtrack for Dangerous Minds, starring Michelle Pfeiffer. “Heartbroken to hear of the passing of the gifted artist @coolio,” Pfeiffer wrote on Instagram. “A life cut entirely too short.”
Leslie Jordan was an American comedian, actor, singer and writer. His most prominent roles included Beverly Leslie on Will and Grace, and he starred on several shows including American Horror Story, Call Me Kat, and Hearts Afire.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the beloved star became instantly viral on Instagram, amassing over 5.8 million followers in 2020 alone. He went on to publish his autobiography How Y’all Doing? Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived in April 2021. On October 24, 2022, the actor tragically passed away while driving to film the series Call Me Kat after hitting the side of a building in Hollywood. Experts believed he was experiencing a medial episode that led to the crash. The actor was 67-year-os.
Kirstie Alley died earlier this month, just a few weeks before her 72nd birthday, after a short battle with cancer. Her In addition to her turn as Rebecca Howe in Cheers, Alley will be remembered for her continuing role throughout the Look Who’s Talking series and her multiple appearances on reality TV.
Two months ago, singer and reality star Aaron Carter died at age 34. The cause of death is still yet to be announced (or determined). Carter rose to fame in the ‘90s as a pop singer. He released a total of six studio albums, starting with his self-titled 1997 debut album when he was only 9-years-old. His most recent release, Blacklisted, came out two days after he died.
Stephen “tWitch” Boss
Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss died by suicide at age 40 earlier this month. In 2014, Boss joined Ellen DeGeneres on her show as a DJ. He went on to become a permanent fixture on the show and was quickly promoted to co-executive producer in 2020. His wife, Allison Holker Boss, said in a statement: “Stephen lit up every room he stepped into. He valued family, friends and community above all else and leading with love and light was everything to him. He was the backbone of our family, the best husband and father, and an inspiration to his fans.”