Both were 69. And since their deaths the word 'secret' has cropped up a lot in media coverage:
'Battling cancer in secret'
But isn't there something a little troubling about the word 'secret'?
What's the difference between keeping a secret and having the right to live a private life?
Rickman’s “secret” battle with cancer and Bowie’s “secret” cremation. Word is “private”, newspapers. You have no automatic right to know.— Andy Lewis (@lecanardnoir) January 15, 2016