George Michael's passing on Christmas Day was the latest in a bleak year for high-profile deaths.

Famous faces from all spheres of the celebrity world have been lost.

David Bowie, Muhammad Ali and Harper Lee are among the star names as "the curse of 2016" struck.

Of the celebrities who died in 2016, some will always be remembered as giants of their generation.


David Bowie, 69.

The musician, actor, artist and all-round genius was the first high-profile entertainment death of the year. He had kept his battle with cancer private.

(by Rosana Prada)

(by Rosana Prada)

Alan Rickman, 69.

Much-loved actor Rickman starred in a variety of popular films, including Harry Potter, Die Hard and Love Actually. He too died of cancer.

Sir Terry Wogan, 77.

Broadcaster Sir Terry died after a "short, brave battle with cancer".


Harper Lee, 89.

The author of the seminal book To Kill A Mockingbird died in her home in Alabama, US. She had released a follow-up book, Go Set A Watchman, in 2015.


Ronnie Corbett, 85.

The British comedy star was best know for being one half of The Two Ronnies. He died in hospital after battling motor neurone disease.

Paul Daniels, 77.

The renowned magician had been diagnosed with a brain tumour the previous month.


Prince, 57.

Another musical great, Prince died at his home and recording studios in Minneapolis. Days earlier, it had been reported the singer - whose full name was Prince Rogers Nelson - had been rushed to hospital after falling ill during a flight.

(by Peter Tea)

(by Peter Tea)

Victoria Wood, 62.

The comedian, singer and actress died after a six-month battle with cancer that she kept secret from many.

David Gest, 62.

Music producer and reality TV star Gest was found dead in his hotel room in London.


Muhammad Ali, 73.

The former heavyweight champions of the world and iconic cultural figure died after fighting Parkinson's disease for more than three decades.


Caroline Aherne, 52.

The comedy actress and writer died after suffering from cancer. Her most famous roles came in the Royle Family, The Fast Show and the Mrs Merton Show.


Kenny Baker, 81.

The actor, most famous for playing R2-D2 in the Star Wars saga, died after suffering with breathing problems for a number of years.

He also featured in Flash Gordon and Time Bandits.

Kenny Baker signs autographs for fans (by Pop Culture Geek)

Kenny Baker signs autographs for fans (by Pop Culture Geek)

Gene Wilder, 83.

The much-loved comedy actor died after suffering with Alzheimer's disease. Wilder featured in films including See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Blazing Saddles and Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.


Bobby Vee, 73.

The 1960s pop icon, who had hits including Take Good Care Of My Baby, after being diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer's disease.

Pete Burns, 57.

The Dead Or Alive frontman died after a heart attack. The singer famously underwent a series of cosmetic surgery operations to alter his appearance.


Leonard Cohen on stage (by Jon Lean)

Leonard Cohen on stage (by Jon Lean)

Leonard Cohen, 82.

The songwriter, singer, poet and author died after a long period of poor health. His most famous song, Hallelujah has been covered by many artists, including Jeff Buckley and Leona Lewis.


Andrew Sachs, 86.

The actor, most famous for his role as waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers, died after suffering with dementia for several years.

Greg Lake, 69.

The singer and musician was part of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. One of his most famous solo works was I Believe In Father Christmas.

He died after suffering from cancer.

AA Gill, 62.

Writer and restaurant critic died after announcing his had being diagnosed with severe form of cancer, related to smoking.

Rick Parfitt, 68.

The Status Quo founder, singer and guitarist died in a Spanish hospital on Christmas Eve.

George Michael, 53.

George Michael at Wembley (by MandyJC72)

George Michael at Wembley (by MandyJC72)

Singer and songwriter, who found fame in the 1980s with Wham! died at his home on Christmas Day.

He was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in east London and wold more than 100 million records worldwide.