The world is mourning the loss of some huge characters this year.
From Michael Winner in January to Margaret Thatcher in April and Sir David Frost in August, people who made a big mark in their chosen fields have left us for ever.
Overshadowing them all was the figure of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, who upon his death at 95 in December was hailed as the greatest leader the world had ever seen.
Today we pay tribute to the famous or influential faces who went in 2013.
David Coleman, 87
The broadcasting legend was widely regarded as the voice of British sport and was famous for his hilarious on-air gaffes.
He covered a staggering 11 Olympic games and six World Cups in his career before his death on December 21.
Ronnie Biggs, 84
Probably the most famous of the Great Train Robbers who got away with £2.6million from the Glasgow to London mail train in 1963.
He was given a 30-year sentence but escaped in 1965 and went on the run in Brazil until he returned to the UK in 2001 and was sent back to prison. He was released on compassionate grounds in 2009 suffering from pneumonia and died in a nursing home on December 18.
Peter O’Toole, 81
The Lawrence of Arabia actor’s wild lifestyle and prolific boozing were legendary, until the 70s when he developed pancreatitis and doctors warned him he could never drink another drop.
Brought up in Leeds, he turned to acting after working at the Yorkshire Evening News for five years when the editor told him: “You’ll never make a reporter, try something else.”
He was nominated for an Oscar eight times, but never won one. He passed away in hospital in London on December 14.
Nelson Mandela, 95
South Africa’s first black president, anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who changed the face of his country for ever.
In 1962 he was convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the state and was jailed for 27 years before an international campaign helped to secure his release. He received more than 250 honours, including the Nobel peace prize.
In South Africa he was known as the father of the nation and was laid to rest in his home village after his death on December 5.
Paul Walker, 40
The Fast and the Furious star died after he lost control of his Porsche which crashed into a telegraph pole and burst into flames.
He starred in all but one of The Fast and the Furious films and his latest movie Hours was released just before his death on November 30.
Lewis Collins, 67
The actor played tough-guy Bodie alongside Martin Shaw’s Doyle in cult 1970s TV show The Professionals known for its Ford Capris, tight trousers and rule-free approach to policing.
The married father-of-three, who died after a five year battle with cancer on November 28, was born in Merseyside and was a hairdresser, then played drums and guitar in various bands before deciding to become an actor.
Sir John Tavener, 69
One of Britain’s most famous composers, his Song for Athene was played at Princess Diana’s funeral.
Sir John, who was knighted for his services to music had suffered from ill-health for much of his life and in 1990 was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a hereditary condition which can cause heart attacks. He died peacefully at his Dorset home on November 12.
John Cole, 85
The former BBC political editor was their chief reporter during the Thatcher era and covered major stories including the Brighton bombing and the miners’ strike.
He began his career in journalism at 17 at the Belfast Telegraph before going on to work for The Guardian and The Observer. He died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Surrey on November 7
Lou Reed, 71
The singer who walked on the wild side with the Velvet Underground is credited with inspiring everyone from David Bowie and U2 to REM. Bisexual Reed, born in Brooklyn, always played down his musical talents. He once joked: “One chord is fine. Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz.”
He passed away on October 27.
Nigel Davenport, 85
During an acting career spanning more than 50 years, he appeared in Chariots of Fire, A Man for All Season’s and the TV series Howard’s Way.
Before his death on October 25 he saw his son Jack follow in his footsteps, appearing in The Pirates of the Caribbean and the BBC series This Life.
Sean Edwards, 26
The top British racing driver was leading this season’s Porshce Supercup championship when he was killed instantly after his car hit a barrier and burst into flames in Queensland, Australia on October 15.
London-born Sean was the son of former Formula One driver Guy Edwards and came to the attention of millions playing his father in the Hollywood film Rush.
Tom Clancy, 66
The best-selling author wrote a string of thrillers including Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger and said his dream had been simply to publish a book that would be in America’s Library of Congress catalogue.
He sold his debut novel, The Hunt for Red October, to the Naval Institute Press for only £3,000 before it went on to sell more than five million copies. He died on October 1.
Ken Norton, 70
The world heavyweight boxing champion famously broke the jaw of Muhammed Ali in the first of their three fights but lost the next two – though many believed he should have been awarded the decision in all three.
The former US marine went on to become an actor, starring in Mandingo and Drum before his death on September 18.
Ray Dolby, 80
The US engineer’s name became synonymous with cinema and home sound systems, and he won many awards after founding Dolby Laboratories.
He had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for several years and was diagnosed with leukaemia in the summer. He died on September 12.
David Jacobs, 87
The television and radio veteran had a career spanning seven decades, was one of the first ever Top of the Pops presenters and the face of Juke Box Jury from 1959, hosting the famous episode featuring The Beatles.
The star only stepped down from his Radio 2 show weeks before his death from liver cancer on September 2.
Sir David Frost, 74
He started out in the 60s satire boom and went on to find worldwide recognition with his interviews, most famously when President Nixon was forced to admit he had taken part in the Watergate scandal.
He interviewed everyone from Royalty, politics, showbusiness, sport and the church, and won virtually all the TV awards available.
He died of a heart attack on a cruise ship on August 31, where he had been due to give a talk on his illustrious career.
Seamus Heaney, 74
The Irish poet and playwright was born in Derry, Northern Ireland and won a scholarship to the city’s St Columb’s College. While studying there his four-year-old brother Christopher was killed in a road accident.
Heaney’s poems Mid-Term Break and The Blackbird of Glanmore focus on his brother’s death.
He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 and died on August 30.
Cliff Morgan, 83
The brilliant Welsh rugby fly-half went on to have a successful TV career, commentating and being one of the founding team captains on A Question of Sport.
Morgan played for Cardiff and the Barbarians and won 29 caps for Wales before he retired in 1958, aged 28
He died on August 29.
Mike Winters, 82
With his brother Bernie, he was part of a double act who pioneered television comedy, travelling the world during their 20-year career. They made their first TV appearance on Variety Parade in 1955 and later starred on Sunday Night at the London Palladium.
Mike, who died on August 26, went on to write five books while Bernie continued his TV career with a new partner – a St Bernard dog call Schnorbit
Elmore Leonard, 87
The American crime writer was behind novels including Get Shorty, Out of Sight and Rum Punch and began his career writing Westerns before switching to crime stories in the 1960s.
He died after suffering a stroke at his home in Detroit on August 20.
Betty Maxwell, 92
The widow of publisher Robert Maxwell remained publicly loyal to her husband up until his death when his body was found floating in the Atlantic after he had been sailing his yacht near the Canaries. Within months it emerged he had plundered the Mirror group pension fund to the tune of £600million.
It is believed French-born Mrs Maxwell, who died on August 10, knew nothing of her husband’s fraud.
Christian Benitez, 27
The former Birmingham City striker died from heart failure on July 29 shortly after making his debut for Qatari club El Jaish, following his admission to hospital with severe stomach pains.
He was capped 58 times for his country and after his death the Ecuadorian team retired his number 11 jersey.
Barbara Clough, 75
Legendary football manager Brian Clough once said of his wife: “Meeting Barbara was the best thing I ever did.”
Barbara, who died on July 19, was widely known as the rock behind her husband as his career soared.
Mel Smith, 60
The comic actor and writer was best known for his double act with Griff Rhys Jones on Alas Smith and Jones, and Not the Nine O’Clock News.
They also created Talkback Productions, which made Da Ali G Show, I’m Alan Partridge and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. They sold the company for £62m in 2000.
He died of a heart attack at his home on July 19.
Bert Trautmann, 89
The German goalkeeper won the FA Cup with Manchester City in 1956 and is best remembered for playing the final 17 minutes of the Cup final win against Birmingham City with a broken neck.
Trautmann, who died on July 19, played more than 500 times for City between 1949-64, having first arrived in England as a prisoner of war.
Cory Monteith, 31
The Glee star died alone in a Canadian hotel room on July 13 after a booze and heroin binge. He had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, but had been clean in the months before his death.
His devastated girlfriend and Glee co-star Lea Michele led a tribute episode of the show in his honour just three weeks after his death.
Alan Whicker, 87
The broadcaster who passed away on July 12 had travelled the globe reporting on the rich and famous.
In a 50-year career he went from being a war correspondent to unearthing the bizarre on Whicker’s World.
At one point he was travelling 100,000 miles a year interviewing everyone from cowboys to monks to millionaires, and even the Haitian dictator Papa Doc Duvalier.
Louis the chimpanzee, 37
Known to millions as Brooke Bond, the suave face of the PG Tips adverts which parodied James Bond, he died on July 11.
Despite his fame in the TV ads, his zookeepers at Twycross Zoo in Warwickshire said he was very relaxed and never let his celebrity status go to his head.
Anna Wing, 98
Best known for her role as Eastenders matriach Lou Beale, she appeared in the BBC soap from its start in 1985 until her character was killed off.
After she died on July 7 she left a £5 tip in her will to the owner of her favourite restaurants Efes and Efes 2 in the West End.
Bernie Nolan, 52
The singer and TV star lost her 10-month battle with breast cancer on July 4 after being diagnosed with the disease for the second time. As one of the Nolan Sisters she went from singing in the pubs and clubs of their hometown Blackpool to a worldwide career which saw them supporting Frank Sinatra and Engelbert Humperdinck.
Bernie, who left behind her husband Steve Donneally and 14-year-old daughter Erin, also became an actress starring on both stage and screen.
Professor Mick Aston, 66
The resident academic on the BBC archaeological show Time Team passed away on June 24.
Slim Whitman, 90
The American country singer, who passed away on June 19, sold more than 120 million records and toured with Elvis Presley.
His song Rose Marie held the Guinness World Record for the longest time at number one in the UK singles chart for 36 years until Bryan Adams in 1991.
James Gandolfini, 51
The actor was best known for his role as mobster Tony Soprano for which he won three Emmy awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Golden Globe.
He died of a heart attack while on holiday in Rome on June 19 and has just received a posthumous nomination for a Screen Actors Guild Award for his role in Enough Said.
Jiroemon Kimura, 116
The retired postal worker was the world’s oldest person until his death on June 11 of natural causes in hospital in Kyoto, Japan.
He was born in 1897, the year of Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee, had seven children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 13 great-great-grandchildren.
Sir Henry Cecil, 70
One of racing’s greatest ever trainers, Sir Henry produced 25 British Classic winners, perhaps his greatest success was Frankel, the colt who won 14 out of 14 races before retiring unbeaten.
He died on June 11 after a seven-year battle with stomach cancer.
Donna Hartley-Wass, 58
The golden girl of Britain’s track team in the 1970s, Donna won two gold medals in the Commonwealth Games in Canada in 1978 and a bronze in the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
The 400m runner became a champion bodybuilder after retiring from running. She died on June 9 while sunbathing in her garden.
Iain Banks, 59
The Scottish author was best-known for his novels The Wasp Factory, The Crow Road and Complicity.
He died on June 9 just two months after announcing he had terminal cancer and asking his publishers to bring forward the release date of his latest book The Quarry so he could see it on the shelves. Sadly he died 11 days beforehand.
Tom Sharpe, 85
The satirical novelist who died on June 6, was best-known for his series Wilt as well as Porterhouse Blue.
He didn’t start writing comic novels until he was in his 40s, but he soon gained a huge following.
Bill Pertwee, 86
The Dad’s Army actor who passed away on May 27 was best known as grumpy air raid warden Hodges in the hit TV show.
He appeared in 60 episodes, regularly coming to blows with Captain Mainwaring shouting: “Put that light out!”.
He was a staple of the British comedy scene in the 1970s appearing in Love Thy Neighbour, The Dick Emery Show, Man About the House and three Carry On films.
Brian Greenhoff, 60
The former Manchester United and England defender made 271 appearances for the Old Trafford Club, scoring 17 goals and winning 18 England caps.
He died suddenly at his Rochdale home on May 22.
Richard Thorp, 81
The soap stalwart was best-known for playing pub landlord Alan Turner in Emmerdale.
He was in the rural soap for more than 30 years, and the show marked his passing on May 22 with a memorial episode where the cast members gathered for his character’s funeral.
He also starred in several films including The Dam Busters and The Barretts of Wimpole Street.
Mick McManus, 93
He was one of the big-name wrestlers of the 60s and 70s to find TV fame. He went by the nickname “the man you love to hate” and was forever the pantomime villain of the sport.
The star, who died on May 22, was so popular that his bouts with his biggest rival, Jackie “Mr TV” Pallo, pulled in up to 20 million viewers.
Paul Shane, 72
The actor made the leap from provincial stand-up comic to TV stardom by playing low-brow holiday camp compere Ted Bovis in the sitcom Hi-De-Hi.
He got his big break when one of the show’s writers was watching Coronation Street and spotted Shane in a two-minute scene playing postal worker Frank Roper.
He passed away on May 16 and at his funeral a floral tribute spelled out the words “Bye-de-Bye”.
Andrew Simpson, 36
The British Olympic sailor drowned on May 9 after his catamaran capsized during a training exercise. He suffered head injuries and was trapped inside the boat for 10 minutes.
The father of two, nicknamed Bart, won Olympic gold at Beijing in 2008 and silver at London 2012.
Bryan Forbes, 86
The film director and scriptwriter who passed away on May 8 was one of the most important figures in the British film industry.
His work included the original 1970s thriller Stepford Wives and Whistle Down the Wind.
Forbes was married to actress Nanette Newman and had two daughters, TV presenter Emma Forbes and journalist Sarah Standing.
Mike Denness, 72
The former England batsman played 28 Tests between 1969 and 1975, 19 of them as captain, and was awarded an OBE in this year’s New Years Honours for services to sport.
He was the only Scotsman ever to captain England. He passed away on April 19 after a long battle with cancer
Anne Williams, 62
The Hillsborough campaigner never gave up her fight for the truth about the disaster that claimed the life of her 15-year-old son Kevin.
She refused to accept the findings of the original inquests into the deaths of the 96 Liverpool fans, and brought about the Hillsborough Independent Panel which led to the original verdicts being quashed by the High Court and new hearings next year.
She died from cancer on April 18 and was posthumously given the Helen Rollason Award at this month’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year for her tireless campaigning.
Sir Robert Edwards, 87
The work of the IVF pioneer, who died on April 10, led to the birth of the world’s first test-tube baby Louise Brown in 1978.
He was knighted in 2011 more than five decades after he began experimenting with IVF and the treatments he started have now resulted in the birth of more than five million babies worldwide.
Margaret Thatcher, 87
Hated by her many critics and adored by the Tory faithful, she was the grocer’s daughter who divided a nation.
Britain’s only female Prime Minister will be remembered for smashing the miners, leading Britain to victory in the Falklands War… and trying to dismantle the welfare state.
Some praised her as a fearless stateswoman while many condemned her ruthless, divisive policies that wrecked lives and devastated communities.
She served as PM from 1979 to 1990 and was the first to win three successive General Elections.
Lady Thatcher had been battling dementia and died on April 8 at The Ritz where she had been staying since Christmas.
Even her funeral caused controversy when it was revealed it cost £1.2million, paid for partly out of Lady Thatcher’s estate and partly by the taxpayer.
Richard Griffiths, 65
One of Britain’s most celebrated character actors, he is best remembered for his role as Uncle Monty in cult classic Withnail and I but had scores of roles on both stage and screen, including with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and TV shows Pie in the Sky, the Vicar of Dibley and Lovejoy and as Uncle Vernon in the Harry Potter movies.
He passed away on March 29 after complications during heart surgery.
James Herbert, 69
One of Britain’s best-selling horror writers, his first novel The Rats sold 100,000 copies within two weeks of being published in 1974.
He published 23 novels and sold 54 million copies worldwide before his death on March 20.
Frank Thornton, 92
He was best-known as pompous Captain Peacock in sitcom Are You Being Served? But also appeared in Steptoe and Son, The Goodies, Hancock’s Half Hour and starred as Truly in Last of the Summer Wine.
He died peacefully in his sleep at his London home on March 16.
Norman Collier, 87
The comedian made his name on the club circuit and was best-known for his faulty microphone routine.
He got his big break on the Royal Variety Show and often worked with comedians Little and Large.
Later in life he suffered from Parkinson’s Disease and died on March 14 in a nursing home in his hometown of Hull.
Tony Gubba, 69
One of the most recognisable voices of BBC sports, he was an all-rounder who commentated on table tennis, golf, tennis, bobsleigh, ski-jumping, darts and ice skating.
Gubba also covered every Olympic games, both summer and winter, from 1972 to 2012, as well as every World Cup from 1974 to 2006.
More recently he lent his voice and expertise to ITV’s Dancing on Ice before his death on March 11.