This is always a bittersweet article to write. There are always big names in film, books, comics, gaming and TV whose deaths hit the headlines throughout the year, generating outpourings of grief and remembrance from the public. Some of these are remembered here but I also like to highlight the lesser known deaths whose work during their lifetime made no less of an impact even though their names go often unremembered. This is by no means an exhaustive list though, there are sadly always too many, it’s just the ones I found interesting or memorable in some way.
Alan Zaslove, 91, American animation director and producer (Darkwing Duck, Aladdin, Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers).
Alasdair Gray, 85, Scottish visual artist and author (Lanark).
Albert Finney, 82, English actor (Tom Jones, The Gathering Storm, Big Fish).
Alex Weil, 67, American filmmaker (One Rat Short).
Alison Prince, 88, British children's writer. (Trumpton).
Alvin Sargent, 92, American screenwriter (Julia, Ordinary People, Spider-Man 2), Oscar winner (1978, 1981).
André Previn, 89, German-born American composer (Gigi, Elmer Gantry) and conductor (My Fair Lady), Oscar winner (1959, 1960, 1964, 1965).
Andrew Hall, 65, English actor (Butterflies, Casualty, Coronation Street).
Anna Quayle, 86, British actress (Grange Hill, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, A Hard Day's Night), Tony winner (1963)
Aron Eisenberg, 50, American actor (Nog in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Horror Show, Prayer of the Rollerboys)
Barbara March, 65, Canadian actress (Lursa in Star Trek)
Barrie Keeffe, 74, English screenwriter (The Long Good Friday).
Barrington Pheloung, 65, Australian composer (Inspector Morse).
Barry Malkin, 80, American film editor (The Godfather Part II, Big, Rumble Fish).
Bill Macy, 97, American actor (Maude, The Producers, The Jerk).
Brad McQuaid, 50, American video game designer (EverQuest, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes).
Branko Lustig, 87, Croatian film producer (Schindler's List, Gladiator, The Peacemaker) and Holocaust survivor, Oscar winner (1994, 2001)
Brendan Grace, 68, Irish comedian (Moondance, Father Ted) and singer
Brian Walden, 86, British broadcaster (Weekend World) and politician, MP (1964–1977)
Bronco McLoughlin, 80, Irish stuntman (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Star Wars, Superman).
Carmen Argenziano, 75, American actor (Stargate SG-1, Booker, Angels & Demons).
Carmine Caridi, 85, American actor (The Godfather Part II, Bugsy, Summer Rental)
Carol Channing, 97, American actress (Hello, Dolly!, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Thoroughly Modern Millie), singer and dancer, Tony winner (1964)
Caroll Spinney, 85, American puppeteer (Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch in Sesame Street, Shalom Sesame, Follow That Bird), cartoonist and author
Chris Reccardi, 54, American animator, storyboard artist, cartoon director (The Ren & Stimpy Show, Samurai Jack, The Powerpuff Girls) and musician
Clive James, 80, Australian author (Cultural Amnesia), broadcaster (Clive James's Postcard from..., Fame in the 20th Century) and critic
Clive Swift, 82, English actor (The National Health, Keeping Up Appearances, A Passage to India) and songwriter.
Colin Skipp, 80, British actor (The Archers).
D. A. Pennebaker, 94, American documentary filmmaker (Dont Look Back, Monterey Pop, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars).
D. C. Fontana, 80, American television writer (Star Trek, The Streets of San Francisco, The Waltons).
Danny Aiello, 86, American actor (Do the Right Thing, The Godfather Part II, Moonstruck).
David Bellamy, 86, English naturalist (Bellamy's Backyard Safari) and author.
David Foster, 90, American film producer (The Thing, Short Circuit, The Getaway).
Denise Nickerson, 62, American actress (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Dark Shadows, Smile)
Diahann Carroll, 84, American actress (Julia, Dynasty, Claudine), Tony winner (1962)
Diarmuid Lawrence, 71, British television director.
Dick Miller, 90, American actor (Gremlins, The Little Shop of Horrors, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm).
Dominick Argento, 91, American composer, Pulitzer Prize winner (1975).
Donald Tosh, 84, British screenwriter (Doctor Who).
Doris Day, 97, American actress (Pillow Talk, Calamity Jane), singer ("Que Sera, Sera") and animal welfare activist, Golden Globe winner (1958, 1960, 1963, 1989)
Eddie Jones, 84, American actor (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, A League of Their Own, The Terminal).
Edward Kelsey, 88, English actor (The Archers, Danger Mouse, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit).
Francis Tresham, 83, British game designer (Civilisation board game, 1822).
Franco Zeffirelli, 96, Italian film and stage director (Romeo and Juliet, Jesus of Nazareth, The Taming of the Shrew)
Frank Biondi, 74, American film and television executive, CEO of HBO (1983), Viacom (1987–1996) and Universal Studios (1996–1998)
Freddie Jones, 91, British actor (Emmerdale, The Ghosts of Motley Hall, Dune).
Gary Rhodes, 59, English chef (Rhodes W1) and television personality (MasterChef, Local Food Hero)
Gay Byrne, 85, Irish broadcaster (The Late Late Show, The Gay Byrne Show, The Meaning of Life).
Georgia Engel, 70, American actress (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Open Season, Everybody Loves Raymond).
Glyn Houston, 93, Welsh actor (Doctor Who, The Sea Wolves
Gordon Bressack, 68, American television writer (Pinky and the Brain, Animaniacs, Bionic Six).
Greg Theakston, 65, American comics artist (Mad).
Gregg Rudloff, 63, American sound mixer (Mad Max: Fury Road, The Matrix, Glory), Oscar winner (1990, 2000, 2016)
Herman Wouk, 103, American author (The Caine Mutiny, The Winds of War, War and Remembrance), Pulitzer Prize winner (1952).
Ian Cullen, 80, British actor (Z-Cars, Family Affairs)
Irving Burgie, 95, American Hall of Fame songwriter ("Day-O (The Banana Boat Song))
J. Michael Mendel, 54, American television producer (The Simpsons, Rick and Morty, The Critic), Emmy Award winner (1995, 1997, 1998, 2018)
James Cellan Jones, 88, Welsh film and television director (The Roads to Freedom, The Forsyte Saga, Fortunes of War), Chairman of BAFTA (1983–1985)
James Frawley, 82, American television and film director (The Monkees, The Muppet Movie), Emmy winner (1967)
James Schmerer, 81, American TV writer and producer (MacGyver, CHiPs, The High Chaparral)
Jan-Michael Vincent, 73, American actor (Airwolf, The Mechanic, Big Wednesday)
Jean Fergusson, 74, English actress (Last of the Summer Wine, Coronation Street)
Jean Heywood, 98, British actress (When the Boat Comes In, Our Day Out, Billy Elliot)
Jeremy Hardy, 57, English comedian, radio host and panelist (The News Quiz, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation)
Jimmy Patton, 87, British comedian (Patton Brothers, the other Chuckle Brother in ChuckleVision)
Joe Longthorne, 64, English singer and impressionist (Live from...)
Joffre Stewart, 93, American beat poet and anarchist
John Briley, 94, American screenwriter (Gandhi, Cry Freedom, Marie), Oscar winner (1983)
John E. Gallagher, 61, American television director (ER, Criminal Minds, The Good Wife)
John Falsey, 67, American writer and producer (St. Elsewhere, I'll Fly Away, Northern Exposure)
John Howlett, 78, English screenwriter (If...) and author.
John Quarmby, 89, English actor (Fawlty Towers, K-9 and Company, A Christmas Carol)
John Singleton, 51, American film director and television producer (Boyz n the Hood, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Snowfall)
John W. Corso, 89, American production designer (Coal Miner's Daughter, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off).
Jonathan Hodge, 78, British composer (Henry's Cat, Fiddley Foodle Bird, Babe)
Judith Kerr, 95, German-born British writer and illustrator (The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Mog)
Judith Krantz, 91, American author (Scruples, Princess Daisy, Till We Meet Again)
Juliette Kaplan, 80, British actress (Last of the Summer Wine, Coronation Street)
Justin Ponsor, 42, American comic book artist (Avengers, Spider-Man, X-Men)
Kaye Ballard, 93, American actress (The Mothers-in-Law, The Doris Day Show) and singer ("Fly Me to the Moon")
Kazuo Koike, 82, Japanese manga artist (Lone Wolf and Cub, Lady Snowblood)
Ken Kercheval, 83, American actor (Dallas, Network, The Seven-Ups)
Kenny Lynch, 81, English singer ("You Can Never Stop Me Loving You"), actor (Carry On Loving, The Playbirds) and entertainer.
Larry "Flash" Jenkins, 63, American actor (Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Fletch, The White Shadow)
Larry DiTillio, 71, American television writer (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Beast Wars: Transformers, Babylon 5).
Lawrence G. Paull, 81, American film production designer (Blade Runner, Back to the Future, City Slickers).
Lee Mendelson, 86, American television producer (A Charlie Brown Christmas, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show)
Leonard Goldberg, 85, American film and television producer (Charlie's Angels, Blue Bloods, WarGames), president of 20th Century Fox (1987–1989)
Lorraine Warren, 92, American paranormal investigator and author, subject of The Conjuring.
Luke Perry, 52, American actor (Beverly Hills, 90210, Riverdale, Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Magenta Devine, 61, British television presenter (Rough Guide, Network 7)
Mark Medoff, 79, American playwright (When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?, Children of a Lesser God) and screenwriter, Tony winner (1980)
Maury Laws, 95, American television and film composer (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, The Little Drummer Boy).
Max Wright, 75, American actor (The Dad in ALF, Reds, All That Jazz)
Michael Thomas, 66, British actor (Life Without George, The Boat That Rocked, Head over Heels)
Michel Legrand, 86, French composer (The Thomas Crown Affair, Summer of '42, Yentl), conductor and jazz pianist, Oscar winner (1968, 1971, 1983)
Milton Quon, 105, American animator (Fantasia, Dumbo) and actor (Speed)
Nan Winton, 93, British broadcaster, first female BBC newsreader
Neil Innes, 75, English comedian (Monty Python), musician (The Rutles, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band) and writer
Nell Gifford, 46, British circus owner (Giffords Circus)
Niall Tóibín, 89, Irish comedian and actor (Ryan's Daughter, Far and Away, Veronica Guerin)
Patricia Louisianna Knop, 78, American screenwriter (Lady Oscar, 9½ Weeks, Siesta).
Patricia Nell Warren, 82, American author (The Front Runner).
Paul Cronin, 81, Australian actor (The Sullivans, Matlock Police, State Coroner)
Paul Darrow, 78, English actor (Blake's 7, Doctor Who)
Paul LeBlanc, 73, Canadian makeup artist (Amadeus, No Country for Old Men, Big Fish), Oscar winner (1985).
Peter Allan Fields, 84, American television writer (Star Trek, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.)
Peter Fonda, 79, American actor and screenwriter (Easy Rider, Ulee's Gold, 3:10 to Yuma)
Peter Hughes, 96, English actor (The Great Muppet Caper, Hope and Glory, Evita)
Peter Mayhew, 74, English-American actor (Star Wars)
Peter Sissons, 77, British journalist and broadcaster (BBC News, ITN, Question Time)
Peter Tork, 77, American musician and actor (The Monkees)
Reg Watson, 93, Australian television producer (Prisoner, Neighbours, Sons and Daughters) and screenwriter.
René Auberjonois, 79, American actor (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, MASH, Benson), Tony winner (1970)
Rex Garrod, 75, British roboteer (Brum, Robot Wars) and television presenter (The Secret Life of Machines)
Richard Williams, 86, Canadian-British animator and director (The Thief and the Cobbler, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, A Christmas Carol), three-time Oscar winner
Rip Torn, 88, American actor (Cross Creek, The Larry Sanders Show, Men in Black), Emmy winner (1996).
Ron Smith, 94, British comic artist (Judge Dredd).
Rosamunde Pilcher, 94, British author (The Shell Seekers)
Ross Lowell, 92, American photographer and inventor of gaffer tape.
Russi Taylor, 75, American voice actress (the voice of Minnie Mouse, The Simpsons, DuckTales)
Rutger Hauer, 75, Dutch actor (Blade Runner, Nighthawks, The Hitcher).
Scott Rubenstein, 71, American television writer and story editor (Star Trek: The Next Generation).
Shane Rimmer, 89, Canadian-born British actor (Thunderbirds, Dr. Strangelove, The Spy Who Loved Me).
Sheila Mercier, 100, English actress (Emmerdale).
Sheila Steafel, 84, South African-born British actress (Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., Quatermass and the Pit, The Ghosts of Motley Hall)
Shelley Morrison, 83, American actress (Rosario in Will & Grace, The Flying Nun, General Hospital)
Sir Jonathan Miller, 85, English humourist (Beyond the Fringe), television presenter, and theatre director
Stanley Donen, 94, American film director (Singin' in the Rain, On the Town, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers)
Stephen Moore, 81, British actor (A Bridge Too Far, The Last Place on Earth, Adrian Mole's dad in the TV series)
Stephen Thorne, 84, British actor (Z-Cars, Crossroads, Doctor Who)
Steven Paul, 64, British fencer and stuntman (Die Another Day)
Syd Mead, 86, American concept artist (Blade Runner, Aliens, Tron)
Terrance Dicks, 84, English screenwriter (Doctor Who, Crossroads, Space: 1999)
Terry Rawlings, 85, British film editor (Alien, Blade Runner, Chariots of Fire)
Tomi Ungerer, 87, French book illustrator (The Three Robbers, Flat Stanley), cartoonist and film poster designer (Dr. Strangelove)
Tony Britton, 95, British actor (Operation Amsterdam, Sunday Bloody Sunday, The Day of the Jackal).
Valerie Harper, 80, American actress (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, Valerie), Emmy Award winner (1971, 1972, 1973, 1975)
Vinny Vella, 72, American actor (Casino, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, The Sopranos) and comedian
Wallace Smith Broecker, 87, American geophysicist, coined the term "global warming".
William D. Wittliff, 79, American screenwriter (Lonesome Dove, Legends of the Fall, The Perfect Storm)
William F. Brown, 91, American playwright (The Wiz).
Windsor Davies, 88, Welsh actor (It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Carry On England, Never the Twain)
Information from Wikipedia and IMDb