Iconic Comedian Freddie Starr Dies Aged 76

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
May 10, 2019 Updated: May 10, 2019

Celebrity comedian Freddie Starr has died aged 76 at his home in Spain, according to reports.

The body of the British-born funnyman was reportedly discovered by a carer at his apartment in Mijas on the Costa del Sol on May 9, the Mirror reported.

Starr had been ill.

A neighbor, who asked not to be named, told the Mirror: “His carer found him dead in his chair at around 3:30 p.m. Police arrived first and then later an ambulance arrived and he was taken away.

“His next door neighbor, who is a nurse, said he was definitely dead. She said she thinks he may have suffered a heart attack.”

Another neighbor told the publication, “He’s been quite ill ever since he moved in and has barely left his apartment since moving in a couple of years ago.”

Freddie Starr and sophie lea
Freddie Starr (L) and Sophie Lea attend the British Comedy Awards at Fountain Studios in London on Dec. 16, 2011. (Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)

‘Tears of Joy’

A post on a social media page claiming to belong to Starr confirmed the news.

“This is Freddie’s manager. Just to confirm Freddie has passed away. R.i.p to our greatest comedian of all time,” read the statement on the Facebook page Freddie Starr Official.

A follow-up post said the page would become “a tribute page to the greatest comedian ever that’s what he would of [sic] wanted.”

Hundreds of fan tributes have poured in with such heartfelt comments as: “He was the only comedian who actually made me laugh out loud and have tears of joy … Freddie was unique a real original talent.”

Starr’s final post on the page was on May 1, when he wrote that he was “getting tired more now but otherwise I’m doing good.”

“I just have to say thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all the kind comments and messages it really does mean a lot so thank you to each and everyone of you thanks so much. Freddie.”

Celebrity tributes have appeared following Starr’s death.

Comedian Bobby Davro tweeted:

Fellow comedian Jim Davidson also paid tribute:

‘Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster’

Starr was the lead singer of musical troupe the Midnighters in the 1960s. He later appeared on British talent show “Opportunity Knocks,” after which his showbusiness career took off.

The entertainer is perhaps best known for the backstory to an iconic tabloid headline that appeared in the March 13, 1986 issue of the British paper The Sun: “Freddie Starr ate my hamster.”

The story claimed Starr had returned home late after a performance and asked his then-girlfriend Lea La Salle to make him a sandwich. When she refused, he allegedly put her pet hamster between two slices of bread and ate it.

Starr insisted the claims that he had eaten a hamster were false.

In his 2001 autobiography “Unwrapped,” Starr wrote, “I have never eaten or even nibbled a live hamster, gerbil, guinea pig, mouse, shrew, vole, or any other small mammal.”

The story stuck to Starr, however, with him claiming in a later interview that people would come up to him in the street asking whether he had really eaten a hamster.

The hamster story was later found to have been invented by British publicist Max Clifford, who admitted to the ruse as a publicity stunt.

Notable Celebrity Deaths in 2019

Nipsey Hussle

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Nipsey Hussle and Lauren London in Los Angeles, Calif., on Feb. 7, 2019. The rapper was shot dead in late March. (Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)

Luke Perry

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Undated file photo of Luke Perry. (Newsmakers)

John Singleton

Iconic “Boyz N The Hood” director and the youngest ever Oscar nominee for best picture died after spending days in a coma following a stroke.

director John Singleton portrait
John Singleton attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, Calif., on March 4, 2018. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Peter Tork

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Peter Tork of the Monkees passed away at 77 in February 2019. (Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Albert Finney

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British actor Albert Finney died in February 2019 at the age of 82. (Lucy Nicholson/AFP/Getty Images)

James Ingram

Longtime R&B singer James Ingram died in late January. Quincy Jones, a collaborator of his, wrote, “With that soulful, whisky sounding voice, James Ingram was simply magical … every beautiful note that James sang pierced your essence and comfortably made itself at home.”

Epoch Times Photo
Singer James Ingram died at the age of 66 after a battle with brain cancer, according to reports on Jan. 29. (Getty Images)

Kelly Jobanputra

BBC Radio 6 music presenter Kelly Jobanputra, of Swindon in southwest England, died on April 26, according to the Swindon Advertiser. She was tragically struck and killed by a train, according to reports.

The celebrity radio host had just turned 40 in April, The Sun reported, and last year had given birth to her second child.

Kelly Jobanputra
Kelly Jobanputra poses for a photograph she posted on Twitter on March 31, 2019. (@KelJobanputra/Twitter)

Fatima Ali

“Top Chef” alum Fatima Ali died on Jan. 25, after a battle with terminal cancer. She was 29.

Former “Top Chef” contestant Bruce Kalman paid tribute to her: “It’s with a heavy heart we say goodbye to Fatima Ali today, as she has lost her battle with cancer,” he wrote.

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“Top Chef” star Fatima Ali died at the age of 29 after battling a form of bone cancer, said her family. (Instagram)

Carol Channing

broadway 3
Carol Channing, whose career spanned decades on Broadway and on television, died at age 97. Publicist B. Harlan Boll said Channing died of natural causes early in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Jan. 15, 2019. (Jim Cole/AP Photo, File)

Bob Einstein

Premiere Of HBO's "Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind" - Arrivals
Bob Einstein in Hollywood, Calif., on June 27, 2018. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Comedian and actor Bob Einstein died on Jan. 2 after a battle with cancer. He was 76.

Daryl Dragon

Epoch Times Photo
Daryl ‘The Captain’ Dragon beside his ex-wife, Toni Tennille, wearing his signature captain’s hat. (Hillel Italie/AP)

Daryl Dragon, or “Captain,” of pop group Captain and Tennille, died on Jan. 2 of renal failure.

Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this article.

Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'