Here we are once again crossing that old familiar threshold entering into a new year. 2022 was undeniably an eventful year, and there is much speculation about what 2023 will bring to the world table. With the global pandemic seemingly in the rear-view mirror – at least in the Western world – and the war in Ukraine still going strong, it’s safe to say that the following year is going to be, at the very least, a consequential one.
With the 2024 Presidential election just around the corner, 2023 is sure to be a year that will make many headlines, although wouldn’t it be nice if we had some of kind of crystal ball that was capable of giving us at least a glimpse of what to expect? Regardless of what the New Year has in store for us, it’s best to always strive to live our lives to the fullest because you never know when today might be our last.
In the last week of 2022, the world lost an inordinate number of stars and public figures. They say that celebrities usually die in threes, but in this case, at least six famous faces reached the end of their lives in a relatively short time frame.
Join us as we pay our respects to a couple of renowned actors, a sports legend, a journalist, and even a global spiritual leader who passed away in the final week of 2022.
Facts Verse Presents: Celebrities Who Died Last Week | December 24 – 31, 2022
Pele was a Brazilian record-holding soccer legend who held an astonishing three World Cup wins under his belt. He died on December 29, 2022, as result of colon cancer and multiple organ failure. He was 82 at the time of his death.
Pele was widely considered to be one of the greatest soccer players of all time. In fact, he’s credited with helping popularize the sport in the US during his peak years in the 1960s and 1970s. He was known for being the only soccer player to compete in four World Cups, winning three. He helped lead his team to victory in 1958, 1962, and 1970.
Pele went on to become a prominent Brazilian media figure and even channeled some of his athletic prowess into memorable film roles. Notably, he appeared in the 1981 World-War II-era soccer film Escape to Victory, which revolved around a game played between Allied POWs and a German team.
Pele also shared the screen with Sylvester Stallone and Michael Caine and was the subject of several documentaries, including 2016s Pele: Birth of a Legend, which took a look back at his childhood and early career. More recently, Netflix released a documentary simply titled Pele that focused on his life from the late 50s to 1970.
Beyond sports and show business, Pele was additionally an accomplished musician. He composed music, most notably for the 1977 film Pele and he also recorded several albums of Brazilian pop music. In 1977, he penned an autobiography entitled My Life and the Beautiful Game. From that point onward, the phrase ‘the beautiful game’ became an oft-quoted euphemism for the sport.
This revered fashion designer was freqeuntly credited with popularizing and developing the punk styles of the late 1970s. She passed away at 81 on December 29, 2022, at her longtime home in London, England.
Westwood rose to fame in the UK punk rock scene of the 70s. She designed clothes for a King’s Road boutique called SEX that she co-ran with her then-husband Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren. Later Westwood went on to become one of the driving forces in the fashion world, and her clothing designs were worn by famous folks such as Princess Eugenie, Pharrell Williams, and Marion Cotillard.
Arguably her most significant contribution to the realm of pop culture was designing the wedding gown that Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw wore in the 2008 Sex and the City feature film. Westwood is survived by her third husband, Andreas Kronthaler, whom she tied the knot with in 1992. She also has two children, Joseph Corre and Ben Westwood, who will undoubtedly miss her dearly.
This legendary journalist was a fearless trailblazer especially for women in journalism. Walters died at the age of 93 on December 30, 2022. She reportedly died peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones.
Walter’s storied career spanned six decades, from 1951 to 2015. In that time, she accomplished more than virtually anyone else in her field, rivaling iconic journalists like Walter Cronkite and Larry King. She was the first female journalist to cohost the Today show and was the first woman network news co-anchor.
Barbara was also known for producing and presenting countless top-rated specials, hosting 20/20, and helping create The View. She was renowned for interviewing every sitting president and First Lady from Richard Nixon to the Obama era. She likewise sat down with enormously famous and influential public figures such as Colin Powell and Mother Teresa on her annual special Barbara Walters’ 10 Most Fascinating People, which aired from ’93 to 2015.
For her years of dedication to her craft, Walters was awarded with both Daytime and Primetime Emmy Awards. In 1989, Barbara was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.
Comedian and actor John Bird died on December 24, 2022, at 86. He was best known for his satirical comedy in the 1960s. He often appeared alongside fellow Brit comic and satirist John Fortune. The duo of English funnymen famously worked with impressionist Rory Bremmer on the Channel 4 television series Bremmer, Bird and Fortune, which aired for 16 seasons and was nominated for several awards, including multiple BAFTAs.
Rita Walter was best known for being a long-running star of the soap As The World Turns.On December 26, 2022, the actress’s brother, David McLaughlin, reported that she had passed away the day prior. The date of her passing happened to be the anniversary of Walter’s exit from the popular daytime soap in 1981 following her 11-year run playing Carol Deming Hughes Stallings Andropoulos Frazier.
Walter, who is survived by her three children, got her first big break in the 60s when she was cast in the uncredited role of serving as Patty Duke’s body double on The Patty Duke Show. Several years later, the budding young actress made her daytime debut as Wendy Phillips on the soap The Secret Storm.
But it wasn’t until she landed her iconic role on As The World Turns that Walter experienced major success. Her character, Carol, was introduced to the Oakdale scene as a plucky young college student working for a married woman named Lisa. Carol ended up marrying her boss’ son, Tom, only to have her second husband, Jay Stallings, cheat on her with a woman named Natalie.
Later in her story, Carol seemed to always find herself at the center of scandal. She ended up adopting Natalie and Jay’s daughter after Jay was killed in a construction accident from which he could have been saved by his colleague Steve Andropoulous. One thing led to another, nad Steve ended up becoming her next husband. After they inevitably ended up splitting, Carol ended up marrying a reverend and split town.
We’re obviously omitting many details of her character’s story arc, but that’s pretty much the gist of it. After retiring from acting, Walter found work as an optician. At the time of her death, she was 71.
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict, born Josephy Aloisius Ratzinger in Bavaria, Germany on April 16, 1927, served as the head of the Catholic Church and the sovereign of the Vatican City State from April 19, 2005 to February 28, 2013. He was the first pontiff in more than 600 years to resign from his post and was considered to be a standard bearer among more conservative Catholics who desired for the church to return to it’s traditional roots.
The former Pope passed away on December 31, 2022, thus ending an unprecedented era in Catholic history in which two men donning the Papal white gown lived together in Vatican City. Benedict was 95 when he died at a former monastery where he had been living since his unexpected and controversial resignation in 2013.
In his first public speech following Benedict’s death, current Pope Francis said that the Catholic Church and the world at large had lost a “noble, gentle person”. When the news of Benedict’s passing was announced, bells could be heard ringing throughout Rome.
The former Pope’s health had been rapidly declining throughout the Christmas season. After the public learned of his condition, countless parishioners went to St. Peter’s Square to pray for the ailing Holy man.
The Vatican has announced that Benedict’s body will lie in state in St. Peter’s Basilica from Monday to Thursday when Pope Francis will preside over his funeral which will be held in the same square where Benedict presided over the funeral mass for his predecessor Pope John Paul II back in 2005.
After the news of his passing broke, world leaders from throughout the globe, including Britain’s King Charles, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, were quick to send their condolences.
It’s astonishing to see just how many well-known figures died in the course of just one week, but it’s even more sobering to look at the long list of famous people who died throughout 2022 as a whole. From Queen Elizabeth II to Loretta Lynn to Kristie Alley and former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, we’ve lost so many shining souls in the last 12 months. It makes you wonder who will pass away in the next 12 months! Once again, it’s always best to cherish every last moment that we have, because, at the end of the day, our candle’s flame can be snuffed out in an instant.
On that note, we’ll go ahead and wrap this video up, but before you move on to watching another one of our facts-packed videos, take a moment to hop down into the comments and drop us a line. Which celebrity deaths from the week of December 24 to 31, 2022, shocked you the most, and can you think of any other stars who have recently passed on that we failed to mention? Let us know, and as always, thanks for watching!