Singer and impressionist Joe Longthorne dies aged 65

British singer and impressionist Joe Longthorne has died aged 65. A message on the singer’s website announced his passing.

“It is with the deepest sadness that we have to announce that the nation’s beloved entertainer Joe Longthorne MBE passed away peacefully in the early hours of today at his cherished home in Blackpool.

“Joe died in his bedroom, laying in the arms of his devoted husband of 21 years, Jamie, with his rosary beads clutched tight to his chest. He leaves behind sister Ann and brother John. Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to Jamie and all the family at this sad time.” the message read.

Longthorne found fame in 1981 on the British TV series Search for a Star. He came from a background as a child performers and a singer in Northern England working men’s clubs. Initially he drew attention for his amazing ability to mimic other singers, including Shirley Bassey, Sammy Davis Jr and Frank Sinatra, but in later years was recognised for his own singing ability.

In Australia Longthorne was a popular guest on The Midday Show with Ray Martin, and regualr toured the country to sell-out performances.

In 2012 he was awarded a MBE for his services to charity. Longthorne lived in Blackpool with his husband and manager, the couple had been married for 21 years.

in 1989 Longthorne was diagnosed with chronic lymphatic lymphoma for which he received treatment. He continued to perform in spite of his illness. However, in 2005 the lymphoma degenerated into leukaemia, and he underwent a bone marrow transplant. In 2014, Longthorne was found to have throat cancer. 

OIP Staff