Stars We've Sadly Lost So Far In 2023

The following article contains references to suicide.

Well-loved pop culture icons entertain and inspire us, and sometimes they seem so familiar that when one of them passes, it feels like losing an old friend. The pandemic was a bit easier to get through because of our favorite celebs, as we escaped reality by switching off and enjoying a classic television show, listening to our favorite songs, or reading about the fascinating lives of screen stars. For this reason, a celebrity's death creates a collective sadness for all those who appreciated their professional talent or were touched by their personal stories.

Although 2023 began with a sense of post-pandemic hope, by mid-January, we'd already lost a handful of beloved celebs. Some entertainment industry legends may no longer be with us, but each has left an indelible mark on the world. Let us take a look back and honor the lives and works of the stars we have lost.

King Constantine II

King Constantine II, Greece's last king, died at a private hospital in Athens on January 10. He was 82. Constantine left behind his wife, the former Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, and five children, Alexia, Pavlos, Nikolaos, Theodora, and Philippos, according to AP News.

King Constantine II was Prince William's godfather and the late Prince Philip's nephew (via US Weekly). He ascended to the throne at 23 years old and was an Olympic gold medalist in sailing before becoming king. His reign lasted less than a decade and was during Greece's most challenging political times in Greece's history, according to The Guardian. In 1967, a military coup forced Constantine into exile. In 1973, the Greek monarchy was abolished by the military and later upheld by a referendum. While King Constantine II accepted the end of his reign, he continued to style himself King of Greece (via AP News).

Carole Cook

On January 11, 98-year-old actor and broadway star Carole Cook died from heart failure, the entertainment industry veteran's agent, Robert Malcolm, told CNN. Cook's nephew, Mark Cocanougher, also announced the sad news on Facebook, writing that his aunt had died in her home with both him and her husband, Tom Troupe, by her side, each holding her hand. "Carole departed in peace and comfort, having lived a long and wonderful life doing the work that she loved," wrote Cocanougher. "She made many friends, and I know they will all miss her spirit, humor, and talent on the stage and for life in general."

Cook got her big break after starring with Lucille Ball in the classic television show "I Love Lucy." She went on to star in other small-screen hit shows like "Starsky & Hutch," "Charlie's Angels," "Kojak," and "Maude." Her biggest film credits include "Sixteen Candles" and "The Incredible Mr. Limpet" (via Los Angeles Times). 

Tatjana Patitz

Supermodel Tatjana Patitz died at age of 56 on January 11 in Santa Barbara, California. Her agent, Corinne Nicolas, said her cause of death was illness but did not provide specific details, according to AP News. The German-born beauty was raised in Sweden and moved to California, where her career took off in the '80s and '90s. She was famously part of a small select group of what was called the "original supermodels." She appeared in George Michael's famous "Freedom! '90" music video alongside other big names supermodels of the 1990s, including Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, and Cindy Crawford (via AP News).

Although Patitz had a successful modeling career, she never really cemented her place with the other supermodels and was more reserved, according to Vogue. "Tatjana was always the European symbol of chic, like Romy Schneider-meets-Monica Vitti," said Anna Wintour, the global editorial director of Vogue. "She was far less visible than her peers — more mysterious, more grown-up, more unattainable – and that had its own appeal."

Lisa Marie Presley

Music legend Elvis Presley was so well-loved that when he died and left his only child Lisa Marie Presley behind, the world embraced her with open arms. Lisa Marie was just 9 years old at the time of her father's death and grew up to be a talented musician in her own right. Sadly and unexpectedly, on January 12, Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie's mom, took to Twitter to share that her daughter had gone into cardiac arrest. "My beloved daughter Lisa Marie was rushed to the hospital," wrote Priscilla Presley. "She is now receiving the best care. Please keep her and our family in your prayers."

Hours later, the world received the tragic news of Lisa Marie's death at the age of 54."It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us," Priscilla wrote in a statement provided to the Associated Press. "She was the most passionate, strong, and loving woman I have ever known."

Lisa Marie left behind three children — daughter Riley, whom she shared with her first husband, Danny Keough, and twin daughters Harper and Finley, whom she shared with ex-husband Michael Lockwood. Lisa Marie also had a son, Benjamin, from her marriage to Keough. However, Benjamin died by suicide in 2020, leaving Lisa Marie heartbroken (via People).

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Lisa Loring

Lisa Loring, the first actor to play the iconic Wednesday Addams in the original "The Addams Family" sitcom, died at age 64. Her daughter, Vanessa Foumberg, told The Hollywood Reporter that her mom died on Saturday, January 28, at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, after experiencing complications from a stroke caused by high blood pressure. "She went peacefully with both her daughters [Vanessa and Marianne] holding her hands," Foumberg said.

Loring was born in the Marshall Islands on Febuary 16, 1958, and moved to Los Angeles with her mother when her parents divorced. She started modeling when she was 3 years old and landed her first television role in 1964 on an episode of the NBC medical drama "Dr. Kildare," which kicked off her acting career (via The Hollywood Reporter). That same year, she secured the role of Wednesday in "The Addams Family," whom she played for two seasons. Jenna Ortega, who reprised the role of Wednesday Addams in the Netflix series "Wednesday," took to Twitter prior to Loring's death to thank the actor for being one of the inspirations for her performance in the role.

In addition to her famous role as Wednesday, Loring had other notable television appearances in popular sitcoms, like "The Pruitts of Southampton" and "The Girl From U.N.C.L.E."

Annie Wersching

Annie Wersching, who starred in "24," "Marvel's Runaways," and "Bosch," sadly died of cancer in Los Angeles on January 29. The actor, who was diagnosed in 2020, was 45 at the time of her death, according to Deadline.

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Wersching's big break came after she starred in "Star Trek: Enterprise." The actor later had recurring roles on television hits like "The Rookie" and went on to star in the second season of "Star Trek: Picard" as the Borg Queen following her cancer diagnosis (AP News). The talented starlet was also famous for voicing the character of Tess in the popular video game "The Last of Us." The video game creator, Neil Druckmann, took to Twitter to share his sentiments: "We just lost a beautiful artist and human being. My heart is shattered. Thoughts are with her loved ones."

Wersching is survived by her husband, actor and comedian Stephen Full, and their three sons. Full issued a statement honoring his late wife, writing, "There is a cavernous hole in the soul of this family today. But she left us the tools to fill it" (via Deadline). He continued, "She found wonder in the simplest moment. She didn't require music to dance. She taught us not to wait for adventure to find you. 'Go find it. It's everywhere.' And find it we shall."

Cindy Williams

Actor Cindy Williams died at age 75 on January 25 following a "brief illness," a statement provided to ABC News revealed. Born in the Van Nuys area of Los Angeles in 1947, Williams' career took off when she played Laurie Henderson in George Lucas' 1973 film "American Graffiti." The role earned her a British Academy Film Awards nomination for best supporting actress, which helped her gain recognition. In 1975, Williams was cast in the sitcom "Happy Days," and became best known for playing Shirley in "Laverne & Shirley," (a "Happy Days" spin-off) which aired from 1976 to 1983. In 1982, Williams married singer Bill Hudson, and the two went on to welcome two children, Zak and Emily Hudson, before divorcing in 2000. 

"The passing of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us insurmountable sadness that could never truly be expressed," Zak and Emily Hudson revealed in the statement. "Knowing and loving her has been our joy and privilege. She was one of a kind, beautiful, generous, and possessed a brilliant sense of humor and a glittering spirit that everyone loved."

Actor and film director Ron Howard tweeted a touching tribute to Williams: "Her unpretentious intelligence, talent, wit & humanity impacted every character she created & person she worked with," he wrote. "We were paired as actors on 6 different projects. ... Lucky me. RIP, Cindy."

Raquel Welch

Model and actor Raquel Welch, who got her big break after starring in the hit 1966 films "Fantastic Voyage" and "One Million Years B.C.," died on February 13 at the age of 82 following a "brief illness," her rep confirmed to KABC.

Born in Chicago in 1940, Welch's good looks saw her become a Hollywood sex symbol, with Playboy  ranking her third on its sexiest stars of the 20th-century list, after Marylin Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. However, her sex appeal never overshadowed her acting ability, as she landed leading roles in over two dozen films. In 1975, Welch earned a Golden Globe for the category of best actress in a musical or comedy for her performance in Richard Lester's 1973 adaptation of "The Three Musketeers."

In 2011, Welch returned to the screen to star alongside Reese Witherspoon in "Legally Blonde." Witherspoon took to Twitter to honor her former costar, writing,"So sad to hear about Raquel Welch's passing. ... She was elegant, professional and glamorous beyond belief. Simply stunning. May all her angels carry her home. Sending love to her family and her many fans." Welch is survived by her son Damon Welch and daughter Tahnee Welch.

Tom Sizemore

Tom Sizemore, the actor known for playing Horvath in "Saving Private Ryan" and McKnight in "Black Hawk Down," died at the age of 61. According to TMZ, the actor had been on life support following a brain aneurysm on February 18. His family decided to remove him from life support on March 3. "It is with great sadness and sorrow I have to announce that actor Thomas Edward Sizemore ('Tom Sizemore') aged 61 passed away peacefully in his sleep today at St Joseph's Hospital Burbank," said his representative. "His brother Paul and twin boys Jayden and Jagger (17) were at his side."

Sizemore had a long and illustrious career, which began in the '80s and entailed over 200 credits. Highlights include "Pearl Harbor," "Devil in a Blue Dress," "Bringing Out the Dead," "Heat," and "Paparazzi." In 2007, he also appeared in a six-part reality series called "Shooting Sizemore" about his personal struggle with drug addiction, along with a legal case that saw him convicted of assault. As he once wrote in a letter to a judge, "I have permitted my personal demons to take over my life." Sizemore left behind his two sons from his marriage with ex-wife Janelle McIntire.

Gunter Nezhoda

Gunter Nezhoda was most famous for appearing on several episodes of the reality television competition series "Storage Wars." On March 23, 2023, the Austrian actor, who was also a renowned photographer and bass musician, died of cancer at the age of 67. The news of his death was confirmed via Instagram by his son and fellow "Storage Wars" star, Rene Nezhoda. Rene shared that the singer, who had performed with musical legends like Kevin DuBrow and George Lynch, had been diagnosed with lung cancer back in September 2022. 

"My dad six months ago was diagnosed with lung cancer. He's been smoking for 30 years... And last night, he passed away in his sleep peacefully from complications from lung cancer. He has all kinds of holes in his lungs and there was nothing else the doctors could do," he shared in the video. According to TMZ, Gunter was flown to Utah to perform emergency surgery, but sadly, he could not be saved. The star's family confirmed that his youngest son, Ricky, was with him when he died.