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Sorely missed: Culture stars who died in 2017


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It's been a long, turbulant year, but 2017 is finally drawing to an end. We take a look at some of the beloved stars of live performance who passed away in 2017.

Peter Hall (1930 - 2017)

Peter Hall, best known for his influence in British theatre, in opera, and as a film director. He died at age 86 from pneumonia. Some of his more well known work includes founding the Royal Shakespeare Company, directing of the National Theatre and the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, as well as being founding director of the Rose Theatre, Kingston and creating a large amount of public funding for the arts. In The Times he was declared as "the most important figure in British theatre for half a century"


Larrington Walker (1947 - 2017)

Larrington Walker, a well known and loved stage and film actor, died at age 70 in the Caribbean when taking a break from filming. Walker emigrated to the UK in 1956 and is well known for being a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and performing  in productions of Julius Caesar, The Winter’s Tale, King Lear, and Antony and Cleopatra, and more stage productions. He was also part of films such as Taboo, Second Coming, and Human Traffic.


David Shepherd (1931 - 2017)

David Shepherd was a wildlife artist and died at age 86 from complications of Parkinson's disease. He was a huge influence in wildlife conservation and was famous for his paintings of wildlife, landscapes, plus aircrafts and steam locomotives. He also published five books on his art and was one of the biggest conservation supporters.


Marjorie Boulton (1924 - 2017)

Marjorie Boulton was a well known author and poet who died at age 93 from natural causes. She is known for her writings and poetry that were frequently written in either English or Esperanto. She also spent her life teaching English, being a college principal, and researching writing full-time. Some of her works include The Anatomy of Poetry, The Anatomy of Drama , Saying What We Mean (1959), Words in Real Life (1965) and Reading in Real Life (1971).


Poet James Berry (1924 - 2017)

James Berry was a poet who wrote popular works such as Bluefoot Traveller and News for Babylon. His poetry often examined the relationship between black and white communities and his writing style was a mix between english and Jamaican Patois. Berry died at age 92 from Alzheimer's disease.


Michael Bond (1926 - 2017)

Michael Bond was the author of Paddington, a beloved children's series whos last book was published in 2017. This book series eventually turned into a movie that did well in theaters. Bond died at age 91 from natural causes.


Helen Dunmore (1952 - 2017)

Helen Dunmore was a british poet and novelist who wrote Birdcage Walk, a poetry collection called Inside the Wave, and other childrens works. She was part of the Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (FRSL) and was a teacher. She died at age 64 from terminal cancer.

Roy Fisher (1930 - 2017)

Roy Fisher was a british jazz pianist and poet who was famous, not only for the beautiful music he created, but also his creative poetry styles that included a mix of modern European and American influences, but still having strong English roots. One of his more famous pieces is A Furnace. He died at age 87 from suicide.


Naseem Khan (1939 - 2017)


Naseem Khan was a journalist, broadcaster and former head of diversity for the Arts Council. She made huge headway when it came to incorporating more minority cultural aspects into art and media. She died at age 77 from cancer.


Sean Hughes (1965 - 2017)

Sean Hughes was an Irish stand-up comedian (born in Britain), writer and actor. Best known for being harious with his stand up acts, he was part of BBC’s TV show, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, he also won the Perrier comedy award in 1990. He died at age 51 from liver cirrhosis.


Dick Gregory (1932 - 2017)

Dick Gregory was many things including primarily an actor, civil rights activist, and writer, while he also acted on occasion. He is well known for both his stand up comedy in which he would mock racism, injustice, and bigotry, and his political activism. Plus he was the first black comedian to perform to a white audience. He died at age 84 from heart failure.


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