Death is, for all of us, imminent. A lot of us never know when, and rightly so, but some of our family and friends are gone too soon. We are still linked to the lost celebrities who, although they may not be our friends, have entertained us for years or decades. These lost celebrities are sorely missed, whether they come from the world of sports, red Hollywood carpets, behind the glass in the recording studio, or on TV and film screens. Some of these celebrities have existed since our parents were kids, others have arisen in recent years, but all made important contributions to our entertainment and influence. Remember all those lost celebrities for their selfless contributions to their fields. Their work still inspires us every day.
Kobe Bryant, best known on the court as the ‘Black Mamba, was one of the greatest basketball players ever to play the game, playing throughout his 20-season career with the Los Angeles Lakers as a shooting guard. His experience, leadership, and competitive personality were the culmination of five NBA championships, 18 All-Star awards, and two-time NBA Finals MVP status. On retirement, he received the 2017 film’s Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, Dear Basketball. Traveling to a touring basketball match with his daughter, Gianna, their private helicopter fell fatally at the beginning of 2020.
Jarad Anthony Higgins was a former American rapper and singer out of Chicago, known worldwide as Juice Wrld. On Spotify, his hit ‘Lucid Dreams’ has been played over a billion times. Lucid Dreams allowed Juice Wrld, in addition to an earlier hit, to obtain contracts with Lil Bibby’s Grade A Productions and Interscope Productions, and All Girls Are the Same. During a flight from Van Nuys, California, to Chicago, Illinois, Higgins passed away after ingesting some unknown pills.
As one of the Eagle Eye plot pieces starring Shia Lebouf, and as the son of Adam Sandler in Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2, Boyce may look familiar to the older audience. He was a mainstay on the Disney Channel, starring Jessie, Pretty Much Everything’s Gamer Guide as well as his work as a voice actor in Jake and the Never Land Pirates. At the young age of 20, Boyce died of complications from his epilepsy.
Although his son, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, leapfrogged him in the Fame Department, Rocky Johnson was the family’s original professional wrestler. Rocky, born in Canada, began his wrestling career in 1964, winning multiple titles for the National Wrestling Alliance. The pair won the 1983 World Tag Team Championship in 1983, alongside tag team partner Tony Atlas, and became the first black champions in World Wrestling Entertainment. Johnson died of pulmonary embolism, claiming in early January 2020 that he had thg a prospectivdoctor’s visit’s visitor’s appointment.
Rip Torn was a noted performer and voice actor, with a career that spanned over 60 years. He’s immortalized in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, as Patches O’houlihan, Zed in the Men in Black Franchise, and Arties on The Larry Sanders Show. Torn passed away from Alzheimer’s and its symptoms at the age of 88.
Neil Peart, known for being the youngest person to be inducted into the 1983 Modern Drummer Readers Poll Hall of Fame, was the principal lyricist and drummer of the band Rush. While incorporating fantasy, philosophy, and humanitarian themes into his lyrics, a noted poet, Canadian songwriter, and musician created several memoirs during his travels. Neil passed away from his glioblastoma fight at age 67 following a three-plus-year illness.
The popular Mexican-American actor, Chuy Bravo, born as Jesus Melgoza, was the sidekick of Chelsea Handler on her talk show, Chelsea Lately. During the early 90s, Bravo, who had immigrated to the California San Fernando Valley with his family at the age of 15, began acting. He also appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean 2007: At the End of the World. Chuy founded the Bravo Academy in Los Angeles as one of his enduring decisions to help his Latin community talents find work in various entertainment projects.
Stephanie Sherk, who was born in Ontario, Canada, relocated to the US to further her career as a model, producer, and actress. You may recognize the actress from CSI: Cyber and for her role on #Hashtag: The Series. Writing credits include Valentine’s Day, Big Date, and Crash Landing.
Beth Chapman, the wife of the famous Dog the Bounty Hunter, co-starred with husband Duane “Dog” Chapman in the reality television series Dog the Bounty Hunter, Dog, and Beth: On the Most Wanted of the Hunt Dog with husband Duane “Dog” Chapman. Nevertheless, two years after the shooting of Dog’s show began, the two married in 2006. In 2019, at the end of June, she was put in a medical coma, passing away days later from cancer complications.
Former WWE wrestler, radio, TV host, glamorous model, Survivor: China contestant, Massaro. Massaro was best known for her career as a wrestler and joined WWE in 2005. She was first seen changing to SmackDown on the Raw brand! The WWE Tag Team champions are Paul London and Brian Kendrick. She quit and appeared in TV and music videos in July 2008 and also worked as a DJ for 94.3 The Shark.
Danny Aiello was a great Italian-descended American actor. His credits include Once Upon a Time in America, Cairo’s The Purpose Rose, Moonstruck, Harlem Nights, and, of course, Part II, The Godfather. Aiello was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Doing the Right Thing to portray Salvator ‘Sal’ Frangione.
John Weatherspoon (AKA Witherspoon) appeared in Hollywood Shuffle, The Five Heartbeats, Brooklyn Vampire, TV shows such as The Boondocks and Wayans Bros. began his career in Hollywood in 1965 with The Tracy Morgan Show. In Jay-“I Z’s Just Wanna Love U,” LL Cool J’s “Ain’t Nobody,” and Goodie Mob’s “They Don’t Dance No Mo” music videos, the Detroit-born actors also appeared.
This official statement was released after Regis ‘passing – “His family and friends are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with him – for his warmth, his legendary sense of humor, and his singular ability to make every day into something worth talking about,” the statement read. “We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career…”
On July 13th, 2020, MythBusters’ star Grant Imahara passed away from a brain aneurysm at 49. In season 3, the engineer entered the Discovery Channel project, quickly becoming a fan-favorite team member. His work in the show will never be forgotten by the fans.
The survivor of a horrific accident while spending the day on Lake Piru with her four-year-old son was Naya Rivera, best known for her time on ‘Glee.’ After they went swimming together, the young boy was found alone on the rental pontoon. Never again did she return to the boat.
Actress Kelly Preston battled cancer for two years before succumbing to it on July 12, 2020, at the age of 57. John Travolta’s late wife was best known for her roles in “Jerry Maguire,” “For Love of the Game,” and “What A Girl Wants.”
As a comedy writer, producer, and performer, Carl Reiner had over six decades of a long and illustrious career. On June 29th, 2020, at the age of 98, Reiner died of natural causes. His TV, film, and stage work contributed to nine American Humor Emmy Awards, a Grammy Award, and the Mark Twain Prize.
The Duke of Edinburgh was known as one of the busiest and most involved royals even up until his latter years. Prince Philip has an interesting life story having given up his family name and history in Greece and Denmark in order to marry the Queen. Prince Philip is a major influence that prompted the Queen into a more modern outlook and to transition in multiple ways. At the age of 99-years old his health had been a bit rocky, having been in and out of the hospital with an infection and undergoing heart surgery he passed on April 9th, 2021.
DMX’s real name is Earl Simmons is one of the fathers of hardcore hip hop, his career blowing up after the passing of Tupac and Biggie. He released his first album in 1998 and has been a household name since, signing with Ruffhouse Records label. DMX has made headlines over the years for a variety of reasons but his music has managed to be as authentic as it was back then. The rapper suffered a heart attack at the age of 50 which unfortunately led to him being placed on life support and his passing. He was 50-years old and passed at a hospital in White Plains, New York City.
Mary Pat Gleason
At 70, Mary Pat Gleason passed away on June 2nd, 2020. You may not be familiar with her name, but you know her face and her famous personality. Her list of acting credits continues, but French teacher Madame Oeuf on Saved by the Bell, dressing room attendant Lucille on Sex and City, elementary school teacher Mrs. Butters on Desperate Housewives, and homeless woman Sally on Will & Grace were the most memorable television roles. Her best-known film appearances were in A Cinderella Story, Intolerable Cruelty, The Crucible, and I Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.
Fred Willard was a legend of comedy and has been included in your long list of TV shows and favorite movies. He died of natural causes on 15 May 2020 and left behind a legacy that influenced both comedy and the genre of Hollywood greatly.
Actor and director Ben Stiller’s father, Jerry Stiller, died of natural causes on May 11, 2020. He tweeted, “He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years. He will be greatly missed. Love you, Dad.” Jerry Stiller was known for his role in the show “Seinfeld” as Frank Costanza and about a decade later in the sitcom, “The King of Queens,” as Arthur Spooner.
On May 9, 2020, at the age of 87, Little Richard, the wild man of early rock ‘n’ roll, died following his bone cancer battle. He was responsible for such hits as “Tutti Frutti” and “Long Tall Sally.”
Comedy actor Sam Lloyd lost his battle with lung cancer on 30th April 2020. If you were a fan of ‘Scrubs’ and ‘Seinfeld,’ then certainly you know his face, and without his participation, what the shows would have been. Tweeted by actor Zach Braff, “Rest In peace to one of the funniest actors I’ve ever had the joy of working with.” “Sam Lloyd made me crack up and break character every single time we did a scene together. He could not have been a kinder man. I will forever cherish the time I had with you, Sammy.”
For the World Wrestling Federation, now known as WWE, the legendary Hall of Fame ring announcer was Howard Finkel. Finkel reportedly suffered a major stroke in 2018 and has been in poor health since then. Iconic is his deep, booming voice, bringing to the ring the likes of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and Ric Flair. On April 16th, 2020, he passed away.
Shirley Douglas, Keifer Sutherland’s mother and actress, died from complications of pneumonia on April 5, 2020. The actress appeared in the TV drama named “Lolita” as Mrs. Starch in director Stanley Kubrick’s “Dead Ringers” (1962) and David Cronenberg’s “Wind at My Back” (1988) and as a widowed mother during the Depression (1996). She received a Gemini Award for her role in the 1999 TV film “Shadow Lake,”
Regardless of the age at which you were born, it would be a sin not to know any of the songs that Bill Withers have written. He was the singer/songwriter for such hits as “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean on Me and “Use Me.” He died from a long battle with cardiovascular disease on March 20th, 2020.
Rogers was one of the real crossover stars in music, scoring both country and pop hits with songs like “Islands in the Stream” and “Lucille.” Rogers’ rep said, “The Rogers family is sad to announce that Kenny Rogers passed away last night at 10:25 p.m. at the age of 81. Rogers passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under hospice care and surrounded by his family. The family is planning a small private service out of concern for the national COVID-19 emergency. They look forward to celebrating Kenny’s life publicly with his friends and fans at a later date.”
Max von Sydow
Max von Sydow passed away in Provence, France on March 8th, 2020. He is most notable for his roles in ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘Game of Thrones.’ He was known for the gravitas he brought to his roles as one of the most efficient Swedish actors ever.
At the old age of 93, James Lipton died after his battle with bladder cancer. He was the producer of ‘Inside the Actors Studio,’ where some of Hollywood’s biggest stars were interviewed about their acting methods and inspirations that made their careers so popular.
At the age of 66 in L.A., Esther Scott suffered a heart attack. She was best known for her works in ‘The Birth of a Nation’ and ‘Boyz n the Hood.’ In over seventy movies and countless TV shows, she made a career of being the caring yet stern maternal figure.
The iconic actor, Kirk Douglas, left the world at the age of 103. On Instagram, Michael wrote, “It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103.” He continued, “To the world, he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in setting a standard for all of us to aspire to.”
The director was the first African American and the youngest person ever nominated for Best Director at the Academy Award when he was 24, and is known for directing Boyz n the Hood in 1991. Singleton has also directed 2 Fast 2 Furious, Shaft, Higher Learning, Poetic Justice and Rosewood, the 1997 drama. In April 2019, days before the stroke, after being taken off life support, Singleton passed away.
Sue Lyon became a model in the entertainment business at the very young age of 13. She would, however, earn a Golden Globe in the 1962 movie for her role as the title character, Lolita. Other credits for Lyon include The Iguana’s Night, Evel Knievel, Tony Rome, and 7 Women.
The Golden Globe was accepted by Silvio Horta for Best Comedy Series-Ugly Betty-mentioning, “Like most of us up here, Betty is an immigrant, and The American Dream is alive and well and in reach of anybody who wants it.” Often mispronounced as a humorous mention of their last name, the first ten Cuban-Americans started their own production company, Silent H Productions.
Elizabeth Wurtzel, best known as the American author/journalist for publishing Prozac Country, also based her reporting on her problems surrounding addiction, depression, and personal/work life. In this very personal writing style, her confessional-style memoirs became a Generation X voice, driving an uptick. At the age of 52, Wurtzel died in 2020 of complications related to metastasized breast cancer.
Known for having co-written What’s Up, Doc? With Henry, an American actor, producer, and screenwriter, Mel Brooks co-created Get Smart, the Graduate. Between 1976 and 1980, he hosted SNL 10 times and starred in Will & Grace, 30 Rock, and Hot in Cleveland as a guest. Henry passed away in 2020 after a heart attack in Los Angeles at 89.
Alexis Eddy was a contestant for MTV reality on Are You the One? Her substance addiction history has been a significant part of her screen identity. She referred to herself as “just a washed-up MTV reality star wondering why people still care what she’s up to….,” She died of cardiac arrest at her home in early 2020.
The American actor best remembered as the lead in 77 Sunset Strip was Edward Byrne Breitenberger, also better known as Eddy Byrnes. In 1978’s Grease, he was also a notable cast member as the teen-dance host Vince Fontaine. His uncle, Logan, an anchor for KUSI-TV News, San Diego, California, continues the Byrnes family television history.
A well-known YouTuber and TV presenter, Emily was from Britain. In 2012, her vlogs started and were released in Ten Reasons Why… series . Modern life, love, sex, relationships, and mental health have also been debated in her videos. She was killed by a vehicle in South West London while riding an e-scooter in July 2019. She is reportedly the first citizen to succumb in the country to accidents involving an e-scooter.
The first openly gay Latin trap singer, Kevin Fret, was another famous Puerto Rican rapper and vocalist. In Springfield, Massachusetts, Fret graduated from Roger L Putnam Vocational-Technical High School. In a country where gay people are still ridiculed, bullied, and murdered, the rapper was known for “breaking gender norms […] and stigma about being gay, gender nonconforming, and expressing gender identity freely – in a country where gay people still get mocked, bullied and killed,” mentioned queer activist and filmmaker, Samy Nemir Olivares. In January 2019, Fret was gunned down while riding his motorcycle.
At 53, Patric, a makeup artist on the Project Runway All-Stars, died from a heart attack in his sleep. Many stars in demand, such as Taylor Swift, Kate Moss, and Madonna, have collaborated with the singer. His friends noticed that, due to his warmth, imagination, and hearty mustache, he will be deeply missed.
Stan Kirsch started his entertainment career at just four years by appearing in many Campbell’s soup advertisements. He starred in the fast-living soap opera Riders at the Sky and General Hospital in 1992. The actor is recognized for his role as Richie Ryan in Highlander: The Series, but he has also starred in Friends, Family Law, and JAG.
Norma Michaels is best known for playing Josephine in The King of Queens, with a Hollywood career spanning 6 decades. Michaels got her to start the Jack Benny Show, but she would end up winning credits for her work in Modern Family, Highway to Heaven, Everybody Loves Raymond, and in the Wedding Crashers and Easy A movies.
The death of Chadwick Boseman was a complete surprise for the fans and costars, as his wife disclosed that for the past four years, he had been fighting colon cancer. All the while, Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and, of course, King T’Challa, in Marvel’s “Black Panther,” were extremely determined to work through the treatment, giving the world performances.
Actress Dame Diana Rigg was most recently known as Olenna Tyrell for her appearance in ‘Game of Thrones’. Her daughter said that after being diagnosed in March 2020, she died of cancer at 84. She added, “She spent her last months joyfully reflecting on her extraordinary life, full of love, laughter, and a great pride in her profession.”
Legendary Jeopardy-host! One year prior to Alex Trebek’s announcement of pancreatic cancer. Luckily, that gave his fans time to appreciate what they had in the host and brace for what would be an unthinkable loss for all of them. During the pandemic, Trebek said, he spent the last year of his life doing small house projects as he was too immune to leave. At the age of 80, he was surrounded by his family and a small crowd of friends as he passed by. Trebek wrote about his expectations for his legacy in memoirs “I’d like to be remembered first of all as a good and loving husband and father, and also as a decent man who did his best to help people perform at their best,” he wrote. “I’ll be perfectly content if that’s how my story ends: sitting on the swing with the woman I love … my wonderful children nearby.”
Known as MF Doom or simply Doom, Daniel Dumile was a British-American rapper and record producer who died at age 49 in October. In the early 2000s, Daniel became famous for his underground hip-hop as well as his clever wordplay, and of course, his metal masks that created his onstage “supervillain” persona everyone knew and loved. After his passing, Variety wrote about him, saying he was one of the scene’s “most celebrated, unpredictable and enigmatic figures.”
Back in 1959, Dawn Wells was officially crowned as Miss Nevada. In 1960, she once again represented her state in the Atlantic City pageant. She debuted at ABC’s The Roaring 20s and The New Interns in Hollywood. On top of that, she appeared in shows like The Joey Bishop Show, the 77 Sunset Strip, Cheyenne, Maverick, and Bonanza. In 1964, she played what would become her most famous role: Mary Ann in Gilligan Islad. On December 30th, 2020, she passed away at age 82 due to complications from COVID-19.
The previous principal of Paterson Eastside High School, Joe Clark was recognized nationally when he made efforts to improve school standards all across the United States. In fact, he was the inspiration for Morgan Freeman’s 1989 film, Lean On Me. On December 29th, 2020, Joe passed away at age 82 after fighting an illness. According to the statement released by his family, Joe passed away in Florida while surrounded by loved ones.
Phil Niekro’s knuckleball is one move that earned him a spot in the MLB Hall of Fame in 1997. For a while now, the MLB player has been battling cancer. However, on December 26th, 2020, the 81-year-old passed away in his sleep. Following his death, the Atlanta Braves released a statement saying they remembered him as “a constant presence over the years, in our clubhouse, our alumni activities, and throughout Braves Country.”
Vea Lynn, a British singer, died at the age of 103. During World War II, Lynn earned the nickname “the Forces’ Sweetheart” after performing for British troops all over the world. Lynn’s best-known songs included “The White Cliffs of Dover” and “We’ll Meet Again,” which she performed in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 black comedy Dr. Strangelove, ironically.
American bluegrass musician and guitarist, Tony Rice was so influential in his field thanks to his angelic acoustic guitar playing. His music spanned over a range of genres, from bluegrass to newgrass and even acoustic jazz. In 2013, he was inducted into the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame. We aren’t surprised that his range impressed so many people both in the industry and out. On December 25th, 2020, the artist passed away in his North Carolina home.
An American professional wrestler and actor, Jonathan Huber will be well-missed. In his time working for WWE, he was famous for his tenure where he performed as Luke Harper from 2012 to 2019. While at Elite Wrestling, he became known as Brodie Lee in 2020. Amanda Huber, his wife, announced that her husband had passed away on December 26th, 2020. She said he had a tragic “battle with a non-Covid-related lung issue.”
Known for her “crystal clear operatic soprano”, Rebecca Luker had spent a long time in Broadway musicals throughout her three-decade-long career. The American actress and singer was even nominated for 3 Tony Awards, 3 Outer Critics Circle Awards, and 2 Drama Desk Awards. On December 23rd, 2020, Rebecca passed away at age 59. This happened just 10 months after she had announced that she was diagnosed with ALS.
Jeremy Bulloch’s successful acting career spanned over six decades. In fact, the British actor was recognized most for playing Boba Fett in the Star Wars franchise. Of course, he reappeared as his character in the films The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi too. Sadly, on December 17th, 2020, the actor passed away at age 75. He had suffered from health complications after living with Parkinson’s disease for many years.
Ann was an American actress, dancer, and choreographer who worked in musical theater for a long time. She starred in various Broadway productions like Coco, Over Here! Charley, Chicago, Dancin’, and Sweet Charity’s Goodtime. It’s no surprise that she won many awards for all her showstopping performances. On December 12th, 2020, however, the Broadway actress died at age 71. The news was announced by her sister-in-law, Dahrla King. She had confirmed that the actress passed away in her sleep.
John Le Carre
John Le Carre, aka David John Moore Cornwell, died on December 12th from pneumonia at 89 years old. The British author had written novels – many of which have been adapted to movies and television too. Some of his works include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Little Drummer Girl, The Night Manager, The Constant Gardener, and A Most Wanted Man, both for the British Security Service (MI5) and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).
Charley Pride was a man of many talents. An American singer, guitarist, and professional baseball player, he reached musical success in the 1970s when he became a best-selling performer. In fact, he was the best-selling performer since Elvis Presley himself. During the peak of his musical career, Charley had 52 top-10 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. 30 of them made it to number one as well. On December 12th, 2020, Charley passed away as a result of COVID-19 complications.
Known for her roles in movies like Steel Magnolias and Ray as well as TV shows like Queen Sugar, Treme, and True Detective, Carol Sutton won a New Orleans Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 for her work. It’s clear that she will be remembered for years to come. The New Orleans native passed away on December 10th after she battled COVID-19 for a month. She died as a result of complications from the virus.
Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister
The wrestler and actor Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister was famous for his roles in movies like Friday, Next Friday, The Fifth Element, and Hellborn. He spent time wrestling professionally a couple of times. Once with Hulk Hogan on WWF, and a second time in WCW in 1996. On December 10th, 2020, police showed up at his door. His family couldn’t get hold of him for a couple of days so they got worried and called the police. He was found dead after suffering complications from COVID-19. He was only 62 years old.
Jason Slater made a name for himself as an American record producer, songwriter, and musician. He was the bassist and backup vocalist for the American rock band, Third Eye Blind. Just a year after the band formed, he left it despite being the one to record their first demo. He went on to produce multiple projects including four albums for a progressive rock band named Queensrÿche. The producer passed away on December 9th, 2020 as a result of liver failure.
Arnie Robinson Jr.
The former Olympian won a long jump gold medal at the 1976 Olympics for Team USA. That wasn’t the first medal Arnie won at the Olympics, however. He previously won bronze at the 1972 Olympics as well as another gold medal at the 1971 Pan American Games and a silver medal at the 1975 Pan American Games. In mid-November, the former athlete began having trouble breathing and ended up passing away on December 1st, 2020. Just a week earlier, he had tested positive for COVID-19.
Natalie Desselle Reid
Famous for her roles in movies like B.A.P.S and Madea’s Big Happy Family and the TV sitcom Eve, Natalie Desselle Reid had a long battle with colon cancer. She passed away on December 7th, 2020 at age 53. Halle Berry had co-starred with Natalie in B.A.P.S and took to Instagram to share her grief. She posted a video of her hugging her costar and wrote, “I’m in total shock. Completely heartbroken. Gonna need a minute.”
In case you didn’t know, David Prowse is the one who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy. However, before he became an actor, he was a bodybuilder and weightlifter. As an actor, he had a wide range of work. Appearing in movies and TV shows like Doctor Who and A Clockwork Orange, his appearances will never be forgotten. He passed away on November 28th, 2020 after a short unspecified illness.
When Diego Maradona passed away, people all over the world were shocked and upset over the loss of the legendary Argentinean soccer player. He passed away at age 60 on November 25th. The former athlete was the one to famously score the “Hand of God” goal at the 1986 World Cup. He had suffered a heart attack just three weeks after going through surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain.
The 1993 Miss America winner, Leanza Cornett had suffered a head injury before being admitted to the hospital. On October 28th, 2020, she died at age 49. In response, the Miss America Organization took to their Facebook page and expressed their condolences and sorrow. They wrote, “Leanza had a bright and beautiful spirit, and her laugh was infectious. We know that too so many, including all of you, she meant so much”.
A fashion designer, Kenzo Takada founded the now-famous Kenzo brand. He died on October 4th, 2020 at age 81 from COVID-19 complications. His death came about 50 years after he had launched his very first collection in Paris. That was six years after he moved to Paris from his home country, Japan. He was actually one of the first-ever male students in Tokyo’s Bunka Fashion College.
The broadcasting legend, Nicholas Parsons was hailed for his quick wit, professionalism, and kindness. He was most famous for the radio game show, Just a Minute, which he’d hosted since it came to be in 1967. The 96-year-old was a TV veteran, as well as a radio and theater pro. His career in the entertainment industry spanned over 60 years. On January 28th, 2020, the long-time entertainer passed away from a short illness.
Terry Jones was most famous for his role as Brian’s mother in Monty Python’s Life Of Brian. He delivered one of the most famous lines in the 1979 comedy: “He’s not the Messiah – he’s a very naughty boy!”. In this movie, Terry actually played several characters and acted as a director as well. The movie was very controversial at the time since it was religious satire. At age 77, the actor died after fighting “a long, extremely brave but always good-humored battle with a rare form of dementia” according to his family.
Derek Acorah was a self-styled spiritual medium. He presented ‘Predictions with Derek Acorah’ early on in his TV career while also hosting the paranormal reality TV show, Most Haunted in 2001. It ran for six seasons after that. In 2017, he appeared on Celebrity Big Brother and finished fourth. It turns out that the 69-year-old actor died on January 4th, 2020 after a “very brief illness” according to his wife.
Best known for playing private secretary Bernard Woolly in the popular 1980s sitcom, Yes Minister, Derek Fowlds later reprised the same role in the sequel series, Yes, Prime Minister. Additionally, Derek played Oscar Blaketon in the long-running ITV police drama Heartbeat. During his successful TV career, he played the role of Mr. Derek on The Basil Brush Show. The actor died on February 17th, 2020 after suffering from pneumonia.
Harry Hains was an Australian actor, model, and musician. He starred in TV shows like American Horror Story and The OA. He used to perform under the stage name ANTIBOY and was in the midst of working on his debut electronic rock album, A Glitch In Paradise when he died. The 27-year-old had been struggling for some time. His mother, Jane Badler, had confirmed his death and said he had “the world at his feet” but “sadly he struggled with mental illness and addiction”.
Sir Sean Connery was a Scottish actor who played fictional British secret agent James Bond for the first time on film. Between 1962 and 1983, Connery starred in seven incredible Bond films. He won numerous awards throughout his illustrious career, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, and two Golden Globe Awards. At the age of 90, Sean Connery died in October 2020. Connery’s death was announced by his family, and while no cause of death was given, Connery’s son stated that he had been ill for some time.
Dame Barbara Windsor
At the age of 83, Dame Barbara Windsor died on December 11th. She was best known for playing Peggy Mitchell in the Carry On film series and the BBC’s East Enders. Windsor, a camp style icon and outspoken supporter of the LGBT+ community, died of Alzheimer’s disease. Dame Barbara had “campaigned for the lonely and vulnerable — and cheered the world up with her own British brand of harmless sauciness and innocent scandal,” said Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, upon hearing of her death.
Jessica Campbell, who played the lead in the film and later worked as a physician, died on Dec. 29 at the age of 38 of unknown causes. Campbell is best known for her role as Tammy Metzler in the 1999 dark comedy Tammy Metzler, in which she co-starred with Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick and received a nomination for Best Debut Performance.
Phyllis McGuire, the last remaining member of the McGuire Sisters, died of natural causes on December 29. At the time, she was 89 years old. The McGuire Sisters, which included her sisters Dorothy and Christine McGuire, ruled the 1950s until 1968, when Phyllis’ contentious relationship with mobster Sam Giancana forced them to split up. She was featured in Sugartime, an HBO film about the love affair.
Adolfo ‘Shabba-Doo’ Quiñones
Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quiñones, a dance superstar and star of the cult film Breakin’, died of unknown causes at the age of 65. Before moving into film, he choreographed and appeared in the music video for’s “All Night Long.” He is best known for his role as Ozone in the underground film Breakin’, which he reprised in the sequel. His other big-screen appearances include Lambada, Tango & Cash, and Xanadu.
Michael Alig, the infamous leader of the “Club Kids” of the 1990s, died at the age of 54. Alig was a co-founder of the edgy club scene in New York City. He was later found guilty of murdering and dismembering fellow club kid Andre “Angel” Melendez. Party Monster, a feature film starring Alig that was released in 2003, was based on his story.
Leslie West, a 75-year-old rock guitarist who died two days after suffering cardiac arrest, died on December 23. West founded Mountain in 1969, and he performed with them on the second day of Woodstock. Throughout his career, he collaborated with artists such as The Who, Bo Diddley, Ian Gillan of Deep Purple, and others. During one of Mountain’s breakups, West made his big screen debut in Family Honor and The Money Pit.
John ‘Ecstasy’ Fletcher
Ecstasy, a founding member of the pioneering hip-hop group Whodini, died at the age of 56 from unknown causes. Fletcher and fellow rapper Jalil Hutchins formed the group in 1982, and DJ Grandmaster Dee later joined. Whodini is regarded as a pioneer in the hip-hop genre. “Friends” and “Five Minutes of Funk” have been heavily sampled by other artists.
The Grammy-winning country singer died just a week after being diagnosed with pneumonia caused by COVID-19. At the time, she was 78 years old. The legendary singer-songwriter, best known for being the first woman to win song of the year at the in 1988, also appeared on television in the 1990s as a guest star and late-night host, as well as starring opposite Harry Hamlin in Poisoned by Love and in’s 1993 film. She was inducted into the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014, and she was elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018.
According to reports, Lin Qi, a producer on Netflix’s upcoming series, died after being poisoned. At the time, he was 39 years old. Lin worked as an executive producer on the streaming series based on the Liu Cixin novel with Game of Thrones showrunners.
David Lander, who played greaser Squiggy on Laverne & Shirley in the 1970s, died at the age of 73 after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. Lander also appeared in shows like Happy Days, The Love Boat, Highway to Heaven, Married…With Children, Head of the Class, and Twin Peaks, as well as resurrecting his Squiggy character on Saturday Night Live.
Hugh Keays-Byrne, the antihero of Mad Max and Mad Max: Fury Road, died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 73. The Man from Hong Kong, The Blood of Heroes, Moby Dick, and Farscape are among the films and television shows in which Keays-Byrne has appeared. His directorial debut was Resistance, a 1992 Australian film.
Daria Nicolodi, an actress and screenwriter from Italy, died at the age of 70. Her professional career began in television, but she rose to prominence as a result of her work with Dario Argento in films like Deep Red, Inferno, Tenebrae, Phenomena, and Opera. Stefania Casini was supposed to play the lead in Suspiria, which she co-wrote with Dario Argento, but due to a back injury, she was recast. Asia Argento is Nicolodi and Argento’s daughter.
At the age of 67, country singer Hal Ketchum passed away. While he had 17 hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, including “Small Town Saturday Night” and “Hearts Are Gonna Roll,” Ketchum’s most commercially successful release was his 1991 album Past the Point of Rescue, which included the song of the same name. He retired nearly three decades later after being diagnosed with dementia.
Joe Luna, better known by his stage name Joe El Cholo, died of COVID-19 complications at the age of 38. He documented his battle with the novel coronavirus on social media, sharing his struggles as the pandemic spread. Luna has spent the majority of his professional life performing at local Los Angeles comedy clubs such as the Ice House and the Improv Theatre.
Ben Watkins, a season 6 MasterChef Junior contestant, died on November 6 after an 18-month battle with a rare cancer. At the time, he was 14 years old. Watkins, who began cooking when he was three years old, placed in the top 18 of the culinary competition show and quickly became a fan favorite.
Bert Belasco, who starred in the film Let’s Stay Together, died at the age of 38. The BET star was discovered dead in his Virginia hotel room, where he was preparing for a role in an upcoming film. In addition to his role as Charles Whitmore on Let’s Stay Together, Belasco has appeared on Fox’s Pitch and numerous episodes of Showtime’s I’m Dying Up Here. He also made brief appearances on Justified, Superstore, NCIS: New Orleans, Key & Peele, and House.
Ken Spears, the co-creator of the Scooby-Doo franchise for Hanna-Barbera, died of Lewy body dementia on November 6 at the age of 82. He and his business partner Joe Ruby, who died in August, created Dynomutt, Dog Wonder, Captain Caveman, and Jabberjaw. The duo also created Alvin and the Chipmunks, a Saturday morning cartoon.
At the age of 30, Eddie Hassell, an actor best known for his roles in The Kids Are All Right and Surface, was shot out the front of his girlfriend’s apartment. Hassell appeared in Devious Maids, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Bones, and Longmire. He had a small role in the Ashton Kutcher-led film Jobs in 2013.
Carol Arata, professionally known as Carol Arthur, was an American actress best known for supporting roles in Mel Brooks films. She is also the star of Blazing Saddles and the wife of Dom DeLuise. After an 11-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease, she passed away on November 11, 2020. At the time, she was 85 years old.
Vera Lynn, a British singer, died at the age of 103. During World War II, Lynn earned the nickname “the Forces’ Sweetheart” after performing for British troops all over the world. Lynn’s best-known songs included “The White Cliffs of Dover” and “We’ll Meet Again,” which she performed in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 black comedy Dr. Strangelove, ironically.
Charles Richard Webb was an American novelist who lived from June 9, 1939, to June 16, 2020. His most well-known work is The Graduate, a 1963 novel that was adapted into a 1967 film of the same name.
Armando Manzanero, a Mexican composer, and singer died on December 28 after a long battle with Covid-19. He was 85 years old at the time. According to Mexico’s Society for Authors and Composers, Manzanero was a prolific composer who wrote over 600 songs. Elvis Presley, Dionne Warwick, Perry Como, Spanish singer Raphael, and fellow Mexican star Luis Miguel were among the artists who covered his songs.
The Boston Celtics officially confirmed on December 25 that Hall of Famer K.C. Jones, who managed to win 12 NBA championships as a player and coach, had passed away at the age of 88.
John “Ecstasy” Fletcher
As shown in a statement issued by his family, John “Ecstasy” Fletcher, the founding member of the 1980s hip-hop group Whodini, died on December 23 at the age of 56. At the time, the cause of the death was undetermined.
According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as well as the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kevin Greene, who has had the third most sacks in NFL history, died on December 21. Greene was 58 years old when he died. There was no mention of a cause of death.
Thomas “Tiny” Lister Jr.
Thomas “Tiny” Lister Jr., an entertainer and wrestler, was discovered dead in his home on December 10 after developing Covid-19 symptoms, according to his manager. He was 62 years old at the time. Lister was best known for co-starring with rapper Ice Cube in the “Friday” film franchise as Deebo.
Mountain climber Doug Scott died on December 7 after being part of the first UK team to summit Mount Everest via the southwest face. He was 79 years old at the time. Scott managed to spend his later years of life in the Himalayas, where he formed the charity Community Action Nepal in 1989.
Pat Patterson, a pioneer in professional wrestling, died on December 2 at the age of 79, according to World Wrestling Entertainment. Patterson, who debuted in 1958, was the first openly gay professional wrestler. After having to retire from the ring, he continued working for WWE.
According to UCLA as well as USA Track & Field, Rafer Johnson, who ended his illustrious track and field career with an inspiring win in the 1960 Olympic decathlon, died on December 1. He was 86 years old when he died.
According to his son Neil Sasakamoose, Fred Sasakamoose, the National Hockey League’s first Indigenous player, died on November 24 at the age of 86. Fred Sasakamoose died five days after being admitted to the hospital with Covid-19.
David Dinkins, New York City’s first and only Black mayor, died on November 23 at the age of 93. Dinkins has spent much of his public life aiming to fix racial tensions in the nation’s capital.
According to the ALS Foundation, Pat Quinn, one of the co-founders of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, died on November 22 at the age of 37. In 2014, the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral, with over 17 million people pouring ice water over their heads to raise awareness for Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). The ALS Association received $115 million in donations from 2.5 million people across the country in what the organization called “probably the single largest episode of giving outside of a disaster or emergency” at the time.
Soumitra Chatterjee, a popular protégé of Oscar-winning director Satyajit Ray, died of medical complications directly linked to Covid-19 on November 15th. He was 85 years old at the time.
Tommy Heinsohn, a basketball Hall of Famer, died on November 10 at the age of 86, according to the Boston Celtics. Heinsohn’s place in history will be forever linked to the Celtics, having been a part of all 17 of the team’s championships as a player, coach, and color commentator.
Nikki McKibbin, who rose to fame as a contestant on “American Idol,” died on October 28 after suffering an aneurysm, according to her husband Craig Sadler’s Facebook post. She was 42 years old at the time.
Costume designer Bhanu Athaiya, India’s first-ever Oscar winner, died on October 15 at the age of 91. Athaiya clothed the casts of far more than 100 Bollywood films, and her work on the 1982 film “Gandhi” earned her international acclaim.
According to her manager, Conchata Ferrell, and adored longtime character actress with roles in TV shows like “Two and a Half Men” and films like “Edward Scissorhands” and “Erin Brockovich,” died on October 12. She was 77 years old at the time.
Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen, the legendary lead guitarist of Van Halen, died on October 6 after a “long and arduous battle with cancer,” according to his son. He was 65 years old at the time.
Thomas Jefferson Byrd
According to Atlanta police spokesman Anthony Grant, actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd was shot to death in Georgia on October 3. Byrd was 70 years old when he died. Byrd collaborated on a number of projects with Spike Lee, including “He Got Game,” “Get on the Bus,” and “Clockers.”