29 celebrities we lost in 2016

The famous faces that were taken too soon this year.

This year has been a year of many highs and many lows.

As we prepare to say goodbye to 2016, we remember the people we had to say goodbye to.

From international boxing star, Muhammed Ali, to our very own 'fastest man' Gugu Zulu.

However, even though these famous figures have died, their legacies live on and continue to inspire and delight us.

Here are celebrities who died in 2016:

S’fiso Ncwane

The award-winning gospel singer who is known for his hit song, Kulungile Baba, died at 37 from kidney failure.


The Nkalakatha singer died at the age of 38 after battling with head and neck cancer. 

David Bowie

The singer/songwriter died (after suffering from liver cancer) at the age of 69 -  just two days after the release of his 25th album  Blackstar.


Prince, famously known for his music, bold fashion statements and hit songs such as Purple Rain died in April.
His death is still unclear, but it is suspected that he died from a drug overdose. He was 57. 

Muhammad Ali

The American professional boxer and social activist was widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures.
He died from Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 74.

Nyembezi Kunene

The South African actor and playwright is most popularly known for his role as everyone’s favourite uncle on Generations. He also starred on Emzini Wezintsizwa.
He died at 57 after suffering from diabetes. 

Greg Melvill-Smith

The actor suffered from pancreatic cancer and died a few months after being diagnosed with the disease.
He was famous for his roles on 7de LaanBinnelanders and Isidingo.

Gugu Zulu

The motor racing driver, who was often referred to as “Africa's fastest man”, died while climbing Mountain Kilimanjaro in support of the Nelson Mandela foundation.
The cause of his death is still unclear, but it is suspected that it could be health complications from the hike. He died at the age of 38.

Alan Rickman

The actor is known for his famous roles in films such as Harry Potter and Die Hard. He died from cancer at the age of 69.

Joseph Mascolo

Joseph was popularly known for his role as Stefano on The Days of Our Lives. He died after suffering from Alzheimer's Disease at the age of 87.

Fidel Castro

Castro was a revolutionary who brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere in 1959 and then defied the United States for nearly half a century as Cuba’s maximum leader. He died at the age of 90 and his cause of death is still unclear.

Koyo Bala

Koyo Bala was member of a band known as 3Sum who he suffered from anal cancer and died at age 37.

Makhenkesi Stofile

The South African politician died at  the age of 71. He served as a Minister of Sport and Recreation from 2004 to 2010. At the time of his death he was serving as Ambassador to Germany.

Abe Segal

The South African tennis legend passed away at the age of 85. He had been suffering from cancer since April.

Hope Zinde

The former SABC board member's body was found in the boot of her car at the Pecanwood Estate in Hartebeespoort Dam. It is suspected that she was killed by her son

Segale Mogotsi

Segale was a radio DJ and program manager for Metro FM. He died in November at the age of 47. His cause of death is still unclear.

Zsa Zsa Gabor

The actress and former Miss Hungary died of a heart attack at the age 99.

Alan Thicke

The TV icon, who was also father to singer, Robin Thicke, died of a heart attack at age 69.

Garry Marshall

Marshall is best known for creating the popular sitcom, Happy Days as well as directing the hit film Pretty Woman
The actor, director, producer, writer, voice artist, and comedian died in hospital at the age of 81 due to complications of pneumonia after suffering a stroke.

Gene Wilder

Gene Wilder, who was born Jerome Silberman, was an American film and theater comic actor, screenwriter, film director and author.
He died at the age of 83 from complications of Alzheimer's disease.

Anton Yelchin

The American film and television actor, known for portraying Pavel Chekov in the Star Trek series, died in a car accident. He was 27. 

Leonard Cohen

The famous Canadian singer, widely known for songs like Hallelujah, died in his sleep at the age of 82. 

Nancy Reagan

Nancy was an American actress and the wife of the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan.
She died of congestive heart failure at the age of 94.

Alexis Arquette

Alexis was a transgender activist, singer and actress. She died from AIDS at the age of 47.

Chyna Laurer

Laurer was a professional wrestler, glamour model and body builder. She had been taking medication for anxiety and insomnia and was found dead at her home. She died at the age of 46.

Doris Roberts

Everybody Loves Raymond star Doris died at the age of 90 after suffering from a stroke.

Harper Lee

The novelist was widely known for the book To Kill A Mocking Bird. She died in her sleep at the age of 89.

George Michael

The singer died "peacefully in his sleep"at age 53 over Christmas.

Carrie Fisher

The woman who came to fame as Princess Leia died at the age of 60 after a heart attack on 23 December.