May 26, 2024

Jerry Springer has died aged 79 just months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, his family revealed on Thursday.

They asked fans to make charitable donations in his name after the TV host passed away ‘peacefully’ at his home in Chicago after his health took a turn for the worse.

Tributes have flooded in for the ‘irreplaceable’ talent, with his family adding: ‘As he always said, take care of yourself, and each other’.

Appearing to hint at his illness, Springer said during an interview last year he wanted to retire while he was ‘still healthy’, following NBCUniversal canceling his latest show Judge Jerry. He added: ‘I don’t have to make a living. I want to enjoy life.’

Springer was known for hosting the smash hit ‘The Jerry Springer Show’ for 27 years, becoming America’s guilty pleasure for wild and raucous TV moments.

He also had a wide-ranging political career, even becoming the mayor of Cincinnati in 1977 – and even considered a run for Ohio state governor. 

The legendary TV host passed away ‘peacefully’ at his home in Chicago after his health took a turn for the worse, a spokesman for his relatives said

Family spokesman Jene Galvin said: ‘Jerry’s ability to connect with people was at the heart of his success in everything he tried whether that was politics, broadcasting or just joking with people on the street who wanted a photo or a word.

‘He’s irreplaceable and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart and humor will live on.’

On his Twitter profile, Springer jokingly declared himself as ‘Talk show host, ringmaster of civilization’s end.’

He also contended that the people on his show volunteered to be subjected to whatever ridicule or humiliation awaited them.

His audience would cheer his name, as his outrageous guests would get into crazy fights – with many expletive-filled rants being bleeped out. 

Springer called it ‘escapist entertainment,’ while others saw the show as contributing to a dumbing-down decline in American social values.

He often told people, tongue in cheek, that his wish for them was ‘may you never be on my show.’

His show was so popular in the 90’s that he even managed to top Oprah Winfrey’s program in several cities.

Springer hosted the smash hit ‘The Jerry Springer Show’ for 27 years, becoming America’s guilty pleasure for wild and raucous TV moments

His audience would cheer his name, as his outrageous guests would get into crazy fights – with many expletive-filled rants being bleeped out

He posted a TikTok to his channel in March, dancing and mimicking lyrics 

Springer’s son-in-law posted a touching picture of the two of them together smoking cigars 

The show went off the air in 2018, but Springer then created his courtroom show, ‘Judge Jerry,’ which ran for three seasons.

After more than 4,000 episodes, the show never strayed from its core salaciousness – with some of the last episodes titled: ‘Stripper Sex Turned Me Straight,’ ‘Stop Pimpin´ My Twin Sister,’ and ‘Hooking Up With My Therapist.’

In a ‘Too Hot For TV’ video released as his daily show neared 7 million viewers in the late 1990s, Springer offered a defense against disgust.

Springer said: ‘Look, television does not and must not create values. It´s merely a picture of all that’s out there – the good, the bad, the ugly.

 ‘Believe this: The politicians and companies that seek to control what each of us may watch are a far greater danger to America and our treasured freedom than any of our guests ever were or could be.’

His final TV appearance came on last season’s The Masked Singer, performing as ‘The Beetle’ to sing a Frank Sinatra Classic. 

Springer is survived by his daughter Katie, who is deaf and blind, and sister Evelyn. 

David Hasselhoff paid tribute to Springer, whom he described as a ‘great friend’ in a tweet on Thursday.

He said: ‘I never thought I would lose a special friend who actually subbed for me as Captain Hook in the Wimbledon pantomime.

‘He was a terrific, terrific person and I am saddened by his passing. What becomes of a broken heart?’

Springer called it ‘escapist entertainment,’ while others saw the show as contributing to a dumbing-down decline in American social values

The TV star spent time at his $2million home in Florida but passed away at his family home in Chicago 

He often told people, tongue in cheek, that his wish for them was ‘may you never be on my show’

Springer first entered the political arena as an aide in Robert F. Kennedy´s ill-fated 1968 presidential campaign

His final TV appearance came on last season’s The Masked Singer, performing as ‘The Beetle’ to sing a Frank Sinatra Classic

TV show host Montel Williams reacted to the news of Jerry Springer’s death saying: ‘My thoughts and prayers go out to Jerry Springer’s family.’

In another tribute, Piers Morgan said he loved working and joking with Jerry Springer, writing: ‘Jeez, this sucks. TV icon & such an intelligent, warm, funny man.

‘Loved working with him (on America’s Got Talent), loved hanging out with him (we lived in same hotel for 2yrs), loved arguing with him (he loved his politics), loved everything about him. Gutting.’

Former FOX host turned podcaster Megyn Kelly added: ‘So sad to hear this.

‘He came on my show shortly after we launched and told the best stories about his fascinating life and his deep love for America.’

The star was born in February 1944, in Highgate tube station, London, which his parents were using as a bomb shelter.

His parents, Richard and Margot, were German Jews who fled to England during the Holocaust, in which other relatives were killed in Nazi gas chambers.

They arrived in the United States when he was five and settled in the Queens borough of New York City, where Springer got his first Yankees baseball gear on his way to becoming a lifelong fan.

Springer was born in February 1944, in Highgate tube station which his parents were using as a bomb shelter

His parents, who were German-Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany, moved to East Finchley in North London in 1939. In 1943, they fell pregnant

Before becoming an iconic TV personality, the worldwide sensation ran a failed campaign for US Congress in 1970

Springer married Micki Velton in 1973 and the couple had a daughter together before splitting in 1994

He studied political science at Tulane University and got a law degree from Northwestern University.

Before becoming an iconic TV personality, the worldwide sensation ran a failed campaign for US Congress in 1970.

Springer first entered the political arena as an aide in Robert F. Kennedy´s ill-fated 1968 presidential campaign. 

He was then elected to Cincinnati’s City Council in 1971, but resigned in an ‘abrupt move that shook’ the city’s political community.

Springer said the cause was ‘very personal family considerations’, but it was later revealed that he was paying prostitutes with personal checks – which was investigated by cops. 

The presenter reportedly had an interview with federal investigators over the prostitution operation, which saw him use the brothel, which was presented as a health club.

He married Micki Velton the previous year. The couple had a daughter, Katie, and divorced in 1994.

Springer quickly bounced back politically, winning a council seat in 1975 and serving as mayor in 1977. 

He became a news anchor and commentator at WLWT  before taking on a new role as a talk show host in 1991 when he launched his iconic series.

Springer reportedly had an interview with federal investigators over the prostitution operation, which saw him use the brothel, which was presented as a health club

He became a news anchor and commentator at WLWT before taking on a new role as a talk show host in 1991 when he launched his iconic series

Some of the last episodes of the show were titled: ‘Stripper Sex Turned Me Straight,’ ‘Stop Pimpin´ My Twin Sister,’ and ‘Hooking Up With My Therapist’

He studied political science at Tulane University and got a law degree from Northwestern University. Pictured: On the Paul O’Grady show in 2007

Springer made his  stage debut as Billy Flynn in the musical Chicago, at the Cambridge Theatre in London in 2009

Springer began his talk show in 1991 with more of a traditional format, but after he left WLWT in 1993, it got a sleazy makeover. Pictured: In New York in 2020

Along with co-anchor Norma Rashid eventually helped build NBC affiliate WLWT-TV´s broadcast into the Cincinnati market´s top-rated news show. 

Springer began his talk show in 1991 with more of a traditional format, but after he left WLWT in 1993, it got a sleazy makeover.

TV Guide ranked it No. 1 on a list of ‘Worst Shows in the History of Television,’ but it was ratings gold. 

It made Springer a celebrity who would go on to host a liberal radio talk show and ‘America´s Got Talent,’ star in a movie called ‘Ringmaster,’ and compete on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’

‘With all the joking I do with the show, I´m fully aware and thank God every day that my life has taken this incredible turn because of this silly show,’ Springer said in 2011.

He even mulled running for Ohio governor in 2003, saying he thought he could draw on ‘non-traditional’ voters.

Springer said: ‘I connect with a whole bunch of people who probably connect more to me right now than to a traditional politician.’

He opposed the war on Iraq and favored expanding public healthcare, but ultimately did not run.

Celebrity deaths 2023: All the stars who have sadly died this year including Jerry Springer, Harry Belafonte, Len Goodman, Barry Humphries, Paul Cattermole, Paul O’Grady and Lisa Marie Presley

By Elizabeth Haigh 

Legendary TV host Jerry Springer died aged 79, just months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. 

Springer passed away ‘peacefully’ at his home in Chicago after his health took a turn for the worse, a spokesman for his family said on Thursday morning. 

Springer hosted the smash hit ‘The Jerry Springer Show’ for 27 years, becoming America’s guilty pleasure for wild and raucous TV moments. 

He also had a wide-ranging political career, even becoming the mayor of Cincinnati in 1977 – and even considered a run for Ohio state governor. 

On Tuesday, American singer and civil rights icon Harry Belafonte died of congestive heart failure at the age of 96. 

He was pronounced dead at his home in the Upper West Side of Manhattan with his wife Pamela by his side on Tuesday. 

The tragic news came just days after the death of former Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman was announced. 

The much-loved head judge had been in a hospice in Tunbridge Wells in Kent following a short illness with bone cancer and died at the age of 78. 

They are the latest celebrities to have passed away in 2023, as well as Barry Humphries, Paul Cattermole, Paul O’Grady, Lisa Marie Presley, Jeff Beck, Mystic Meg and Burt Bacharach.

Here is the full list of celebrities who have died this year:

Jerry Springer, 79 – April 27

Legendary TV host Jerry Springer died at the age of 79 at his home in Chicago, his family confirmed on Thursday. 

His death came after his health took a turn for the worse just months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. 

Springer hosted the smash hit ‘The Jerry Springer Show’ for 27 years, becoming America’s guilty pleasure for wild and raucous TV moments. 

He also had a wide-ranging political career, even becoming the mayor of Cincinnati in 1977 – and even considered a run for Ohio state governor. 

The show went off the air in 2018, but Springer then created his courtroom show, ‘Judge Jerry,’ which ran for three seasons. 

TV Guide ranked it No. 1 on a list of ‘Worst Shows in the History of Television,’ but it was ratings gold. 

His final TV appearance came on last season’s The Masked Singer, performing as ‘The Beetle’ to sing a Frank Sinatra Classic. 

Springer is survived by his daughter Katie, who is deaf and blind, and sister Evelyn. 

Legendary TV host Jerry Springer died at the age of 79 at his home in Chicago, his family confirmed on Thursday 

Springer hosted the smash hit ‘The Jerry Springer Show’ for 27 years, becoming America’s guilty pleasure for wild and raucous TV moments

Harry Belafonte, 96 – April 25

American singer Harry Belafonte died of congestive heart failure at the age of 96. The civil rights icon was pronounced deceased at his home in the Upper West Side of Manhattan with his wife Pamela by his side on Tuesday. 

Belafonte made a splash in Hollywood in the 1950s, becoming a star with his hit songs Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) and Jump in the Line.

That success ultimately led to leading roles in films like Carmen Jones and Island in the Sun.

American folk singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, pictured in 1956, has died of congestive heart failure

Barry Humphries, 89 – April 22

Barry Humphries – comedian, stage actor, film producer, screenwriter, novelist, landscape painter and father-of four – was much more than the creator of Dame Edna Everage. 

Barry Humphries, who has died in a Sydney hospital after suffering complications from hip surgery, has been entertaining Australians for seven decades and has performed on the international stage since the 1960s. He created Edna Everage in 1955 

Humphries, who has died in a Sydney hospital aged 89 after suffering complications from hip surgery, was a giant of the entertainment industry whose career spanned 70 years. 

?’?He was completely himself until the very end, never losing his brilliant mind, his unique wit and generosity of spirit,’ his family said in a statement.? 

The statement continued: ‘?With over ?70 years on the stage, he was an entertainer to his core, touring up until the last year of his life and planning more shows that will sadly never be.

?’?His audiences were precious to him, and he never took them for granted. Although he may be best remembered for his work in theatre, he was a painter, author, poet, and a collector and lover of ?a????rt in all its forms.?

‘He was also a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and a friend and confidant to many. His passing leaves a void in so many lives.

‘The characters he created, which brought laughter to millions, will live on.’

Lance Reddick, 60 – March 17

Lance Reddick famously played Cedric Daniels in HBO series The Wire

The Wire star Lance Reddick died aged 60 on March 17 – just days after failing to turn up to a premiere in New York.

Reddick – who played Cedric Daniels in the hit crime series – died ‘suddenly’ from ‘natural causes,’ his agent Mia Hansen said.

Days before his death he was due to attend a premiere for Wick 4 alongside co-star Keanu Reaves but failed to turn up. Reddick did not explain his absence. 

Reddick will be best remembered for his role as Daniels on the hit HBO crime series, appearing in all 60 episodes alongside stars including Dominic West and Idris Elba.

He also had recurring roles in hit TV shows Fringe, Oz, Bosch, and Lost and was the voice of Commander Zavala in the Destiny video games. 

Steve Mackey, 56 – March 2 

Steve Mackey was Pulp’s bassist and had hidden a three-month battle with his health prior to his death

Pulp bassist Steve Mackey died aged 56 in March after spending the last three months ‘fighting with all his strength and determination’ in hospital.

The musician’s passing was announced by the band as his heartbroken wife Katie Grand revealed he had secretly been battling with his health.

The news came as a shock to fans, five months after Steve revealed he wouldn’t be taking part in Pulp’s reunion.

Steve married his longtime girlfriend, Katie, in 2009 and welcomed son Marley in 1996.

The band shared a touching tribute to the musician, saying: ‘Safe travels, Steve. We hope to catch up with you one day. All our love.’

Raquel Welch, 82 – February 15

Hollywood star Raquel Welch became an international sex symbol after being pictured in a deerskin bikini for the film One Million Years BC

Hollywood star Raquel Welch, who rose to fame in the 60s when she appeared in the sci-fi movie ‘Fantastic Voyage’ and the fantasy film ‘One Million Years BC’, died in February aged 82.

She had a minimal speaking role in One Million Years BC, but thanks to her deerskin bikini in the film she subsequently became one of the most sought-after stars in the movie business and an international sex symbol. 

The actress was particularly well-known for playing strong female characters and in 1974, she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her performance in ‘The Three Musketeers’.

The Hollywood beauty once said, ‘I am living proof that a picture speaks a thousand words.’ 

Burt Bacharach, 94 – February 8

Burt Bacharach composed hits including Say a Little Prayer and Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head

Pop songwriter Burt Bacharach, who composed hits including Say a Little Prayer, died aged 94 at his home in LA.

Oscar-winning Bacharach wrote hits such as Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head and won six Grammy Awards during his career.

His publicist said the songwriter passed away from natural causes.

During his seven-decade career, he won a lifetime achievement award and wrote for stars including Dionne Warwick, Cilla Black, Tom Jones and Dusty Springfield. 

Bacharach vowed never to retire, saying in 2018: ‘Music softens the heart, makes you feel something if it’s good, brings in emotion that you might not have felt before.

‘It’s a very powerful thing if you’re able to do it, if you have it in your heart to do something like that.’

Gina Lollobrigida, 95 – January 16

Gina Lollobrigida was once known as the Mona Lisa of the 20th century

Once known as the Mona Lisa of the 20th century thanks to her beauty, Gina Lollobrigida was a legend of 1950s and 60s cinema, who later moved away from the film world to take up photography and sculpture.

She even made a foray into politics last year, standing in the Italian general election just after her 95th birthday, though she failed to gain election to parliament.

Known as ‘La Lollo’, at the height of her fame in the 1950s and 1960s Miss Lollobrigida was an international sex symbol and one of the leading stars of Italian post-war cinema – rivalled only by Sophia Loren, with whom she had an ongoing feud. 

Miss Lollobrigida died at 95 in January.

Lisa Marie Presley, 54 – January 12

Lisa Marie Presley 

Daughter of Elvis Presley, Lisa Marie Presley died at the age of 54, hours after suffering a cardiac arrest at her home in Calabasas, California.

She had been rushed to a hospital in critical condition and was said to be in a coma following a ‘full cardiac arrest’ shortly after she had been complaining about stomach pains.

Her mother Priscilla, who was at her daughter’s side, said in a statement: ‘It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us.’

Lisa Marie’s life was tumultuous, with five stints in rehab for cocaine and opioid abuse, four failed marriages – including one to Michael Jackson – as well as losing her son to suicide and a fierce custody battle over her twin girls.

Lisa Marie was a singer and songwriter and had four children, including actress Riley Keough, 33. Another child, Benjamin Keough, died by suicide in 2020 aged 27.

Jeff Beck, 78 – January 10

Jeff Beck is generally regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time

Legendary British guitarist Jeff Beck died on January 10, aged 78, after contracting bacterial meningitis.

The rock star, who just weeks previously finished touring with Johnny Depp, passed away ‘peacefully’, his agent said.

His family shared the heartbreaking news on his Twitter page along with a picture of the star on stage with his trademark shades and guitar.

A representative for the man regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, said that Beck had been ill over the holiday period and passed away at a hospital close to his home in Surrey.

He was married six times and was known musically for his improvising, love of harmonics and the whammy bar on his preferred guitar, the Fender Stratocaster.