Actresses who died in 2023

Actresses-who-died-in-2023

2023 marked the devastating loss of gifted actresses representing remarkable careers and personal journeys. From musical icons like Lisa Marie Presley to beloved comedy stars and pioneering talents who broke barriers, these women made enduring impacts across creative mediums and generations. A few battled quietly declining health in final years while others met abrupt, shocking ends far too soon.

But whether concluding multi-decade journeys or leaving promising careers unfulfilled, each performer demonstrated immense emotive range and authentic personality through iconic roles delighting fans worldwide. As we mourn 2023’s profound losses, their groundbreaking roles and courageous life stories will continue inspiring the talents of tomorrow while their unforgettable performances live onscreen forever.

Lisa Marie Presley

Lisa Marie Presley, born on February 1, 1968, was an American singer and songwriter, known as the only child of Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley. She inherited her father’s estate, becoming the sole heir after the passing of her grandfather and great-grandmother. Lisa Marie’s musical career included three studio albums, with “To Whom It May Concern” achieving gold certification. Her life involved early exposure to the music scene, including attending concerts and even giving Freddie Mercury a scarf of her father’s. Lisa Marie collaborated with her father posthumously, creating a duet of “Don’t Cry Daddy.”

Lisa Marie Presley

Her musical journey continued with albums like “Now What” and “Storm & Grace.” Apart from music, Lisa Marie engaged in charitable work, notably founding the Presley Charitable Foundation. Tragically, she passed away on January 12, 2023, at the age of 54, due to a cardiac arrest at her home in Calabasas, California. The autopsy revealed a small bowel obstruction resulting from bariatric surgery, with opioids not contributing to her death. A public memorial service was held at Graceland, where she was interred alongside her father and son Benjamin.

Raquel Welch

Born Jo Raquel Tejada on September 5, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois, Raquel Welch, the American actress, carved an indelible mark in the entertainment industry. From a young age, her desire for performance led to beauty titles and early attempts at ballet. Transitioning from small roles, Welch gained fame with Fantastic Voyage (1966) and became an international sex symbol with One Million Years B.C. (1966). Her filmography included diverse roles in The Three Musketeers (1974) and The Last of Sheila (1973), challenging the traditional sex symbol image.

RAQUEL WELCH

Maintaining a private life distinct from her on-screen persona, Welch posed for Playboy in 1979 without full nudity, standing firm on personal values. In 2014, she identified as conservative, influenced by her mother’s values. Raquel Welch passed away at 82 on February 15, 2023, succumbing to cardiac arrest while battling Alzheimer’s disease at her Los Angeles home, leaving an enduring legacy in American culture.

Lisa Montell

Lisa Montell, born Irena Ludmilla Vladimirovna Augustinovich on July 5, 1933, was a versatile American actress, author, and activist. Beginning her Hollywood career in the 1950s, she later embraced advocacy and service, particularly for disadvantaged groups and her adopted religion, the Baháʼí Faith. Born in Warsaw, Poland, as Irena Augustynowic, she moved to the U.S., where her family adopted the name Montwill. Initially recognized for her diverse roles, Montell later shifted to a life of social development advocacy after joining the Baháʼí Faith in 1956.

LISA MONTELL

Montell’s transition from acting to social development was influenced by her diverse religious background and a profound personal experience affirming Baháʼu’lláh. She married in 1957, embracing public talks for the Baháʼí Faith while gradually distancing herself from acting. Over the years, she engaged in advocacy, serving as chair of the Los Angeles Baháʼí Spiritual Assembly and contributing to various social programs.

Lisa Montell passed away on March 7, 2023, in Van Nuys, California, at the age of 89, succumbing to heart failure and sepsis.

Carol Locatell

Born on December 13, 1940, in Atlanta, Georgia, Carol Locatell, the accomplished American actress, marked her acting debut in 1973 with “Coffy” and later showcased her versatility in Burt Reynolds films like “Paternity,” “Best Friends,” and “Sharky’s Machine.” Her television journey featured memorable roles on shows like Bonanza, MAS*H, and ER, alongside impactful contributions to theater, including “The Gin Game” and Broadway productions like “Broadway Bound,” “The Shadow Box,” and “The Rose Tattoo.”

Carol Locatell

Hailing from Atlanta and raised in San Mateo, California, Locatell’s acting journey began after leaving San Francisco State University to join a touring production of “The Odd Couple.” Married to musician Gregory Prestopino, they divided their time between New York City and Thousand Oaks, California.

Carol Locatell’s illustrious career, spanning 1967 to 2019, concluded with her passing on April 11, 2023, at her Sherman Oaks residence at the age of 82. Despite her battle with cancer, her legacy endures through significant contributions to film, television, and theater, leaving an indelible mark on the entertainment landscape.

Tina Turner

Tina Turner, born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, Tennessee, is an iconic American-born Swiss singer, songwriter, and actress. Renowned as the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Turner gained fame as the lead singer of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue during the 1960s. Her powerful voice, electrifying stage presence, and hits like “Proud Mary” propelled her to global stardom. In the 1980s, Turner experienced a solo career resurgence with the album “Private Dancer,” earning numerous Grammy Awards.

TINA TURNER

Beyond music, she ventured into acting with notable roles in films like “Tommy” (1975) and “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” (1985). Turner became a Swiss citizen in 2013, solidifying her international influence.

In her later years, Turner battled severe health issues, including high blood pressure, kidney failure, a stroke in 2013, and a 2016 diagnosis of intestinal cancer. Her husband, Erwin Bach, donated a kidney for her transplant in 2017. Tina Turner passed away on May 24, 2023, at her home in Küsnacht, Switzerland, at the age of 83, after years of illness. Her legacy endures as a pioneering figure in the music industry. Turner’s body was cremated following a private funeral.

Betta St. John

Betta St. John, born Betty Jean Striegler on November 26, 1929, in Hawthorne, California, was an accomplished American actress, singer, and dancer with a career spanning Broadway, the West End, and Hollywood. Beginning as a child actress at 10, she rose to prominence in her first starring role in MGM’s Dream Wife alongside Cary Grant in 1953. Relocating to England, she featured in British films such as High Tide at Noon, two Tarzan films, and horror classics like Corridors of Blood and Horror Hotel.

BETTA ST. JOHN

A part of the Meglin Kiddies troupe with Shirley Temple, St. John’s early roles included uncredited appearances in Destry Rides Again (1939) and Jane Eyre (1943). Notably, she portrayed Liat in the original South Pacific musical on Broadway and in London. St. John starred in two Tarzan films, the first in 1957 and the second in 1960. Married to English actor Peter Grant from 1952 until his death in 1992, they had three children. Betta St. John passed away at an assisted living facility in Brighton, England, on June 23, 2023, at the age of 93.

Inga Swenson

Inga Swenson, born on December 29, 1932, in Omaha, Nebraska, was a highly acclaimed American actress and singer known for her versatile performances on Broadway and in Hollywood. Notable for her Tony Award-nominated roles as Lizzie Curry in “110 in the Shade” and Irene Adler in “Baker Street,” Swenson also gained popularity for her portrayal of Gretchen Kraus in the ABC comedy series “Benson.”

INGA SWENSON

Beginning her career with supporting roles in films like “Advise and Consent” (1962) and “The Miracle Worker” (1962), Swenson showcased her trained lyric soprano on Broadway, earning Tony nominations. Her impressive stage credits include roles in “Carousel,” “The Country Girl,” and “Mary Stuart.” Swenson’s television career flourished with appearances in series like “Bonanza” and her Emmy-nominated role in “Benson.”

Inga Swenson, who faced personal tragedy with the loss of her son James in 1987, retired from acting in 1998. She passed away on July 23, 2023, in Los Angeles at the age of 90.

Arleen Sorkin

Arleen Frances Sorkin, born on October 14, 1955, in Washington, D.C., was a multifaceted American actress, screenwriter, TV presenter, and comedian. Renowned for her portrayal of Calliope Jones on “Days of Our Lives” and as the inspiration and voice behind DC Comics character Harley Quinn, Sorkin left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry.

Arleen Sorkin

Beginning her career in cabaret in the late 1970s, Sorkin later achieved prominence as Calliope Jones on “Days of Our Lives,” a role she played from 1984 to 1990 and revisited in subsequent years. She also contributed to the hit series “America’s Funniest People” and had notable writing credits for “Tiny Toon Adventures” and the film “Picture Perfect.”

Sorkin’s legacy extends to her iconic portrayal of Harley Quinn, a character she inspired and voiced across various DC Animated Universe series and video games. In her personal life, she married television writer-producer Christopher Lloyd in 1995 and had two sons, Eli and Owen.

Arleen Sorkin passed away on August 24, 2023, in Los Angeles at the age of 67, succumbing to complications from pneumonia and multiple sclerosis.

Joy Chambers

Joy Chambers-Grundy, born as Carolyn Joy Chambers in 1947, was a versatile Australian actress, author, poet, and businesswoman. Recognized as the wife of television tycoon Reg Grundy, she actively participated in his productions, served on the board of Grundys Worldwide, and co-founded “RG Capital Holdings.” Beyond her involvement in the media industry, she ventured into historical novel writing.

JOY CHAMBERS

Joy Chambers-Grundy began her career as Miss Surf Girl in 1965 and gained fame as a panelist on “I’ve Got A Secret.” Her soap opera roles, including Rita Merrick in “The Restless Years,” Dr. Robyn Porter in “The Young Doctors,” and Rosemary Daniels in “Neighbours,” solidified her presence in Australian television.

Apart from her contributions to the entertainment world, Joy was an accomplished author and the International Patron of the Ipswich Poetry Feast. She shared a decades-long marriage with Reg Grundy until his death in 2016. Tragically, Joy Chambers-Grundy passed away in Queensland, Australia, on September 17, 2023, at the age of 76.

Suzanne Somers

Suzanne Marie Somers, born on October 16, 1946, was a multifaceted American personality known for her roles as Chrissy Snow in “Three’s Company” (1977–1981) and Carol Foster Lambert in “Step by Step” (1991–1998). Besides acting, she authored over 25 books, delving into autobiographies, diet guides, and poetry. Somers gained fame as the face of the ThighMaster exercise device.

SUZANNE SOMERS

Born as Suzanne Marie Mahoney, she faced a challenging early life marked by her father’s abuse and struggles with dyslexia. Despite obstacles, she pursued acting in the late 1960s, later achieving stardom with “Three’s Company.”

Post the show, Somers faced controversies, including a contractual dispute leading to her departure. She continued her career with projects like “She’s the Sheriff” (1987–1989) and “Step by Step.”

Beyond entertainment, Somers became a health and wellness advocate, supporting bioidentical hormone therapy and alternative cancer treatments. Her personal health journey included a battle with breast cancer in 2000 and later experimental stem-cell therapy. Unfortunately, Suzanne Somers, one of the famous actresses who died of cancer, passed away on October 15, 2023, at her Palm Springs home, one day before her 77th birthday. Her breast cancer had recurred earlier in the year.

Suzanne Shepherd

Suzanne Shepherd, born Sadie Gertrude Stern on October 31, 1934, was a distinguished American actress and theater director. Hailing from Elizabeth, New Jersey, she adopted the name Suzanne at 13. A founding member of the Compass Players in the 1960s, Shepherd, alongside Alan Alda and Alan Arkin, contributed significantly to the theater scene. Known for her roles in Mystic Pizza, Goodfellas, and The Sopranos, she portrayed characters like Aunt Tweedy and Mary DeAngelis.

SUZANNE SHEPHERD

Apart from her acting prowess, Shepherd excelled as a theatre director in both New York and regional settings. In her personal life, she was married twice, first to David Shepherd (1957–1966) and later to Carroll Calkins (1996–2006). She had a son, who passed away in 2011, and a daughter, artist Kate Shepherd.

Tragically, Suzanne Shepherd succumbed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney failure at her Manhattan residence on November 17, 2023, at the age of 89. Her remarkable career in film and theater left an enduring impact on the entertainment industry.

Andrea Fay Friedman

Andrea Fay Friedman, born June 1, 1970, was a talented American actress whose impactful career spanned television and film. Raised in Santa Monica, California, she attended West Los Angeles Baptist High School and Santa Monica College. Best known for her role as Amanda in the TV series “Life Goes On” (1992) and her award-winning performance in the film “Smudge” (1997), Friedman made a mark in the entertainment industry.

ANDREA FAY FRIEDMAN

Friedman’s foray into voice acting, notably as Ellen in the Family Guy episode “Extra Large Medium,” stirred controversy due to a joke referencing Sarah Palin. Despite the backlash, Friedman championed humor in her life. Living with Down syndrome, her inspiring journey was documented in the 2009 film “A Possible Dream: The Andrea Friedman Story.” She worked at a law firm, contributed to UCLA’s Pathway program, and enjoyed global travel, bowling, and skiing.

The world lost one of its talented actresses who died young when Andrea Fay Friedman passed away on December 3, 2023, at 53, succumbing to complications from Alzheimer’s disease at her Santa Monica home. Her legacy as an actress and advocate endures, leaving a lasting impact on the entertainment world and beyond.

Final Verdict

In 2023, we bid farewell to remarkable actresses—Lisa Marie Presley, Raquel Welch, and Andrea Fay Friedman. Their cinematic legacies echo resilience, laughter, and courage. It’s not merely goodbye; their tales persist as timeless inspirations. These women weren’t just performers; they were storytellers who whispered courage, humor, and a touch of magic to our hearts. In a world often too serious, they reminded us to dance, laugh, and face life’s stages unapologetically. As the curtains close on their earthly acts, their stories remain vibrant, inviting us to live with the same gusto that painted their extraordinary lives.


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