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Celebrities We’ve Lost in 2023

Remembering the stars who made a lasting impact

Bobby Hull, Hall of Fame hockey player, 84

Chicago Blackhawks Legend Bobby Hull skates onto the ice during the Blackhawks home opener ceremony against the Colorado Avalanche on October 10, 2009 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

(Jan. 3, 1939 — Jan. 30, 2023) The third player in National Hockey League history to score at least 50 goals in a season, and one of the most popular hockey players of all time, Bobby Hull was an NHL Hall of Famer who played 15 years for the Chicago Black Hawks, now the Blackhawks. He led the league in goal scoring seven times, and he made the then-new slap shot his own offensive weapon. The winger was nicknamed the Golden Jet, referring to his blond locks and lightning fast shots. Hull ruffled a lot of feathers when he defected to the fledgling World Hockey Association in 1972 to be a player-coach for the Winnipeg Jets. He also had a run-in with the Blackhawks when he “retired” in an attempt to get a higher salary. His stunt didn’t work and he ended up returning to the team. While playing with the Jets — for far more money — he sat out a game in protest against the brutality of violence in the sport. He also promoted a merger between the NHL and the new league, which did finally happen in 1979.​ Hull’s on-ice celebrity was tarnished by his multiple assaults on two wives, an arrest for attacking a police officer and his racist views, including in praise of Hitler.

Jeff Beck, musician, 78

Jeff Beck performs at the 02 Arena on February 13, 2010 in London, England.
Samir Hussein/Getty Images

(June 24, 1944 — Jan. 10, 2023) Beck is on a very short list of rock ’n’ roll’s most influential guitarists, but his eclectic, powerful style actually stretched across multiple genres. He first drew attention as a member of the Yardbirds in the 1960s — a band that, at different times, also featured guitar heroes Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. Never a massive commercial star, Beck nonetheless won eight Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as both a solo artist and a Yardbirds member. He could play with lightning speed or pull off slow, emotional passages with equal skill and expression. “Jeff Beck was on another planet,” sometimes-collaborator Rod Stewart tweeted, and Page said Beck “could channel music from the ethereal.” Beck died after suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, his representatives said in a statement.