Passing away in 2015: Some notable deaths

PHOTO: The Straits Times

Paris - From legendary Egyptian actor Omar Sharif to Germany's ex-Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and Nobel-winning author Gunter Grass, here are some of the notable figures who died in 2015:

Jan 3: Edward Brooke, the first popularly elected black US senator, aged 95.

Jan 11: Swedish "Dolce Vita" actress Anita Ekberg in hospital outside Rome aged 83.

Jan 23: Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz aged around 90 after suffering from pneumonia.

Jan 25: Greek larger-than-life singer Demis Roussos, in Athens aged 68.

Jan 29: Australian "Thorn Birds" author, Colleen McCullough aged 77 in hospital off Australia's eastern coast.

Jan 31: Former German president Richard von Weizsaecker, a member of the Christian Democrat party, aged 94.

Feb 6: Algerian feminist novelist Assia Djebar, aged 78 in a hospital in Paris.

Feb 6: South African writer and outspoken critic of apartheid Andre Brink aged 79, on board a flight home from Belgium.

Feb 14: Italian Nutella owner and billionaire Michele Ferrero, aged 89.

Feb 14: Veteran French actor Louis Jourdan, star of "Gigi" at his Beverly Hills home in Los Angeles aged 93.

Feb 21: US jazz trumpeter Clark Terry, aged 94, in an Istanbul hospital.

Feb 27: "Star Trek's" Mr Spock, US actor Leonard Nimoy, aged 83 at his home in Los Angeles.

Feb 28: Yasar Kemal, one of Turkey's most celebrated writers, aged 92, in an Istanbul hospital.

Mar 12: British science-fantasy "Discworld" author Terry Pratchett aged 66 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Mar 20: Australia's former conservative prime minister Malcolm Fraser, after a short illness at the age of 84.

Mar 22: Singapore's first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, aged 91 in hospital after suffering from pneumonia.

Mar 26: Swedish poet Tomas Transtroemer, who won the 2011 Nobel Prize for Literature, aged 83.

Apr 2: Portuguese cinema legend Manoel de Oliveira, aged 106.

Apr 10: Former Australian cricket captain and commentator Richie Benaud, aged 84 in hospital after suffering from skin cancer.

Apr 13: Germany's Nobel-winning author, Gunter Grass aged 87, in hospital in the northern city of Luebeck.

Apr 13: Uruguayan leftist writer Eduardo Galeano, aged 74 in a Montevideo hospital after suffering from lung cancer.

Apr 14: American soul icon Percy Sledge aged 74 in the American state of Louisiana, of liver cancer.

May 2: British crime writer Ruth Rendell, of "Chief Inspector Wexford" fame, aged 85 in hospital after suffering a stroke.

May 14: B.B. King, the face of American blues worldwide, aged 89 in Las Vegas.

May 30: Beau Biden, the eldest son of US Vice President Joe Biden and the former attorney general of Delaware, of brain cancer aged 46.

Jun 5: Iraq's Tareq Aziz, the voice of Saddam Hussein's regime, in an Iraqi hospital aged 79 after many years of poor health as a convicted prisoner.

Jun 7: British Dracula actor Christopher Lee, aged 93, in hospital in London.

Jun 11: US saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman in New York aged 85.

Jun 17: Turkey's former president and prime minister Suleyman Demirel, in an Ankara hospital aged 90 of heart failure.

Jun 22: American "Titanic" music composer James Horner in a plane crash in California aged 61.

Jun 25: British actor Patrick Macnee, star of 1960s British spy series "The Avengers" at his home in California, aged 93.

Jun 26: Russia's former prime minister, foreign minister and master spy Yevgeny Primakov aged 85.

Jul 1: Nicholas Winton, known as the English Schindler for saving hundreds of Jewish children from the Nazis before World War II, aged 106, near London.

Jul 9: Saudi Arabia's Prince Saud al-Faisal, born in 1940 and the world's longest serving foreign minister, in the United States.

Jul 10: Egyptian-born "Doctor Zhivago" film legend Omar Sharif, of a heart attack in a Cairo hospital aged 83.

Jul 11: Japan's Nintendo's chief executive Satoru Iwata of cancer aged 55.

Jul 26: Bobbi Kristina Brown, the only child of US pop legend Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, aged 22, six months after she was found unconscious in a bathtub in her Atlanta, Georgia, home.

Aug 15: Pioneering US civil rights activist Julian Bond, aged 75 in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Aug 19: Senegal's master drummer Doudou Ndiaye Rose aged 85 in a Dakar hospital.

Aug 22: The former "first lady" of Cambodia's murderous Khmer Rouge regime Ieng Thirith aged 83 in a former Khmer stronghold on the border with Thailand - 30: Renowned British neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks aged 82 in New York of cancer.

Aug 30: American horror film master Wes Craven aged 76 at his Los Angeles home of brain cancer.

Sep 19: Best-selling British-American romance novelist Jackie Collins of breast cancer in California aged 77.

Sep 22: New York Yankees baseball icon Yogi Berra aged 90.

Sep 29: Phil Woods, a prolific US saxophonist aged 83.

Oct 5: Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell, 67, of detective Kurt Wallander fame, in Gothenburg of cancer.

Oct 14: Benin's former military ruler and civilian president Mathieu Kerekou, aged 82.

Oct 24: "How Green Was My Valley" Irish actress Maureen O'Hara, aged 95, at home in Boise, Idaho.

Nov 3: Iraqi Ahmed Chalabi, a key lobbyist for the US-led invasion of Iraq who was blamed for providing false intelligence on weapons of mass destruction, of a heart attack aged 71.

Nov 10: Former West German chancellor, master of "realpolitik" Helmut Schmidt, aged 96.

Nov 18: New Zealand's rugby legend Jonah Lomu, aged 40, after suffering from kidney disease.

Dec 15: Licio Gelli, a masonic grand master implicated in some of the darkest chapters of Italy's post-war history aged 96.

Dec 19: Kurt Masur, the conductor who used music to ease German reunification and comfort New York after September 11, aged 88.

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