All the Celebrities We've Said Farewell to in 2020
In 2020, we sadly said goodbye to many notable celebrities. In January, we lost NBA star Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash alongside eight other people, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. In July, Glee stars and fans alike shared heartfelt tributes to Naya Rivera. More recently, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at age 87, beloved Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman died at age 43, and Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek died at age 80. Read ahead as we pay our respects to the stars who passed away in 2020.
The actress, who was well known for her role as Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island, died on Dec. 30 as a result of COVID-19 complications. She was 82.
Charley Pride, a trailblazing country musician, died on Dec. 12 at the age of 86 due to COVID-19 complications. The news was shared in a statement on his official Facebook page, which read: "It is with great sadness that we confirm that Charley Pride passed away this morning, Saturday, December 12, 2020, in Dallas, Texas of complications from Covid-19 at age 86. He was admitted to the hospital in late November with Covid-19 type symptoms and despite the incredible efforts, skill and care of his medical team over the past several weeks, he was unable to overcome the virus." Pride leaves behind wife Ebby Rozene Cohran and their children, Carlton Kraig Pride, Charles Dion Pride, and Angela Rozene Pride.
Dame Barbara Windsor
Dame Barbara Windsor died on 11, Dec. at the age of 83. She was best known for her roles in the Carry On film series, and playing Peggy Mitchell in BBC's East Enders. An LGBT+ ally and camp style icon, Windsor's death was as a result of Alzheimer's disease. Upon hearing the news of her death, prime minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, said that Dame Barbara had "campaigned for the lonely and the vulnerable — and cheered the world up with her own British brand of harmless sauciness and innocent scandal."
The actress, who was well known for her role in B.A.P.S., died on Dec. 7 at age 53. Her manager, Dolores Robinson, confirmed the news on Twitter writing, "Natalie Desselle the beautiful talented actress passed away this morning. Natalie was a bright light. She was an amazing actress and comedienne but also an awesome mother & wife. Sending prayers to her family. I had the pleasure of managing her career."
The actor behind the Darth Vader mask in the original Star Wars trilogy died on Nov. 28. Bowington Management, which represented David, confirmed the news on Twitter, writing: "It's with great regret and heart-wrenching sadness for us and million of fans around the world, to announce that our client DAVE PROWSE M.B.E. has passed away at the age of 85. #DaveProwse @starwars #DarthVader #GreenCrossCodeMan #iconic #actor #bodybuilder #MBE."
The Jeopardy! host died at age 80 after a battle with stage four pancreatic cancer. "Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends," the show's official account tweeted on Nov. 8. "Thank you, Alex."
The country music star died on Nov. 13 after battling lung and bladder cancer. He was 60.
The rapper, born Dayvon Bennett, was shot and killed during an altercation at an Atlanta hookah bar on Nov. 6. He was 26.
The American Idol season one finalist died at age 42. She suffered an aneurysm on Oct. 28 and was taken off life support four days later. "The love of my life Nikki Sadler suffered an aneurysm on Wednesday," her husband, Craig Sadler, wrote on Facebook on Oct. 31. "She would already be gone, but she's an organ donor and has been kept on life support to make that possible. That shouldn't be a surprise to us. Even at the end she is still giving."
Elsa Raven died on Nov. 3, at the age of 91. Best known for her roles in Titanic and Back to the Future, Raven's agent confirmed the news to Deadline, saying she passed away at her home in Los Angeles.
The actor, best known for playing James Bond, died at age 90 on Oct. 31. James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said in a statement: "He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words — 'The name's Bond... James Bond' — he revolutionised the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent. He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him."
The Spellbound actress, known as the "Queen of Technicolor," died at age 97 in October.
The Tony-nominated actor, who appeared in plays such as Two Trains Running and Jitney, as well as Spike Lee film Chi-Raq, died in October. He was 77.
Eddie Van Halen
The Van Halen guitarist died of cancer in October. He was 65.
Chadwick Boseman, best known for his role as T'Challa/Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, died at age 43 in August after a four-year battle with colon cancer.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The Supreme Court justice and women's rights pioneer died at age 87 on Sept. 18 after battling metastatic pancreatic cancer.
The legendary "Tutti Frutti" singer died from bone cancer on May 9. He was 87.
The congressman and civil rights icon died at age 80 in July after battling stage four pancreatic cancer.
The famed television host died of natural causes at age 88 on July 24.
The civil rights leader and field general for Martin Luther King Jr. died at age 95 on July 17. Two of his daughters, Kira Vivian and Denise Morse, confirmed his death to The New York Times, saying he had been in hospice care.
The NBA star died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, CA, in January. Kobe was traveling with eight other people, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. The aircraft reportedly crashed "amid foggy conditions" and a small brush fire erupted. There were no survivors.
The former NBA player and Survivor contestant died at age 53 in August.
The actress, who was well known for her roles on Game of Thrones, in The Avengers, and in the James Bond franchise, died at age 82 in September.
Frederick "Toots" Hibbert
The legendary singer and frontman of the Maytals band died at age 77. His family confirmed the news in a statement on Sept. 11, saying: "It is with the heaviest of hearts to announce that Frederick Nathaniel 'Toots' Hibbert passed away peacefully tonight, surrounded by his family at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. The family and his management team would like to thank the medical teams and professionals for their care and diligence, and ask that you respect their privacy during their time of grief."
The actor and wrestler died at age 54 on Sept. 9. His passing was announced in a GoFundMe fundraiser created to help cover burial costs. "He was beloved by many, has many friends that were family, and a countless number of fans that adored him," the fundraiser post read. "Puppet has put smiles on people's faces across the world with his hardcore attitude and lifestyle."
Olivia de Havilland
The Gone With the Wind star died peacefully in her sleep at age 104 in July.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the MythBusters host died from a brain aneurysm in July. He was 49.
Zindzi Mandela, South Africa's ambassador to Denmark and the youngest daughter of Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandel, died on July 13 at age 59.
The Fleetwood Mac founder and guitarist died at age 73 in July.
The Enter the Dragon actor died of pneumonia on July 25. He was 83.
After a two-year battle with breast cancer, the actress died on July 12. She was 57. Following the news, Kelly's husband John Travolta, posted a heartfelt message on Instagram, writing, "It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my beautiful wife Kelly has lost her two-year battle with breast cancer," he wrote alongside an image of Kelly. "She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many."
The Broadway star died in July after a months-long battle with COVID-19. He was 41.
The Pool of London star, who was one of the first Black actors to break into British cinema, died peacefully in his sleep at age 102 on July 3.
Mary Pat Gleason
The actress, who starred in A Cinderella Story and on Moms, died of cancer on June 2. She was 70.
Gregory Tyree Boyce
The actor, who played Tyler Crowley in Twilight, and his girlfriend, Natalie Adepoju, were found dead in his Las Vegas condo on May 13. The cause of their deaths hasn't been released, but his mother, Lisa Wayne, confirmed Gregory's death in a touching Facebook tribute on May 17.
Sushant Singh Rajput
The Bollywood star was found dead in his Mumbai home on June 14. Police say he took his own life, and an investigation has begun. He was 34.
The actor, whose memorable roles include those on Seinfeld and The King of Queens, died from natural causes in May. His son, Ben Stiller, confirmed the news writing, "I'm sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, passed away from natural causes. 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." He was 92.
The Lord of the Rings actor died from an illness related to Parkinson's disease in June. He was 88.
Max von Sydow
The actor, who was well-known for his roles in Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and countless other films and shows, died on March 8 at age 90.
The former Love Island host died at age 40 on Feb. 15. Caroline's family confirmed her passing in a statement, saying, "We would ask that the press respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time and we would ask they make no attempt to contact us and/or photograph us."
Nikita Pearl Waligwa
The star of Disney's Queen of Katwe died at age 15 in February — over three years after she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. "We mourn the loss of our beautiful Nikita Pearl Waligwa," Queen of Katwe star David Oyelowo wrote on Instagram. "She was a ball of light in @queenofkatwemovie and in life. Her battle with a brain tumor was humbling to witness. Her light will live on."
The So You Think You Can Dance star died in a car crash on March 6. He was 35. "Yesterday I lost a brother. And we all lost a gift," Danny's brother, Travis Wall, wrote on Instagram. "I'm not ready. But I never think I will be. Because I can't believe this is real. I can't believe you're gone. You were more than my brother. You were my inspiration. I idolized you growing up. Wanted to dance just like you. Wanted to be you! I wish I could jump in your arms again like we used to when we were kids and onstage dancing. . . . Please pray for my mom and my family during this difficult time."
The longtime Inside the Actor's Studio host died at age 93 in March after a battle with bladder cancer.
In May, the former sportscaster and Miss America 1971 winner died from a rare blood cancer at age 70.
The actor — known for Fernwood 2 Night, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy — died at age 86 in May.
The model, author, and restaurateur died of early onset Alzheimer's disease at age 70. Her husband, Dan Gasby, announced the news on Facebook, writing, "B. died peacefully Saturday, February 22, 2020 . . . Heaven is shining even brighter now that it is graced with B.'s dazzling and unforgettable smile."
The director — who helmed films such as Humpday and Your Sister's Sister and directed episodes of shows like Mad Men, GLOW, and Little Fires Everywhere — died on May 15 as a result of a blood disorder. She was 54.
The Prozac Nation author died at age 52 after a battle with breast cancer.
The guitarist, who played with Lou Reed, Kiss, and Meat Loaf, died at age 70 in May. His brother, Bruce, confirmed the news in an emotional Facebook post. "I am heartbroken to have to share the news of the passing of my brother Bob Kulick," Bruce wrote. "His love of music, and his talent as a musician and producer should always be celebrated. I know he is at peace now, with my parents, playing his guitar as loud as possible. Please respect the Kulick Family's privacy during this very sad time."
On May 10, the Grammy-winning soul singer died from cancer at age 66. She's known for hits such as "Tonight Is the Night," "No Pain, No Gain," and "Clean Up Woman."
The Munich and Hunger Games: Catching Fire star died at the age of 86 on Feb. 14. Sam Claflin — who played Lynn's onscreen mentee, Finnick, in Catching Fire — offered his condolences in a sweet tribute on Twitter. "I'll carry you everywhere," he wrote. "Always. Lots of love to you Lynn. Bless you. RIP x."
The Uptown Records founder, known for discovering Sean "Diddy" Combs and managing Motown Records, died at age 59 in May. The cause of death has not been revealed.
The rapper, born Bashar Barakah Jackson, was killed by masked gunmen in a Los Angeles home invasion on Feb. 19. He was 20.
On Jan. 18, the folk singer died from a heart attack while performing on stage at the 30A Songwriters Festival in Florida. He was 71.
The former partner of Bobbi Kristina Brown died from a reported drug overdose on New Year's Day. He was 30.
The rapper died at age 21 on New Year's Day.
The former Yankees baseball player, who famously pitched a perfect World Series game in 1956, died from esophageal cancer on Jan. 1. He was 90.
The famous wrestler, whose real name is Jesus Alfonso Huerta Escoboza, died in January of injuries related to an in-ring accident. Reports indicate he was 54 or 55.
The Ugly Betty creator died by suicide in January. He was 45.
The screenwriter and actor, who penned the 1967 film The Graduate, died of a heart attack on Jan. 8. He was 89.
The Australian-born American Horror Story actor died on Jan. 7. His mother confirmed the news via Instagram, writing, "Sadly he struggled with mental illness and addiction. A brilliant spark shone bright too short a time." She also included details of a memorial service to be held in Los Angeles on Jan. 12.
The Rush drummer died from brain cancer in January, a representative for the band confirmed to Rolling Stone. He was 67.
The actor, who was best known for his role in Highlander, died in January. He was 51. "I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support. I haven't been able to respond to all the texts, calls, emails — but have read or listened to every single one of them. I feel surrounded by love and am forever grateful to each and every one of you," his wife, Kristyn Green, said in a Facebook statement.
Dwayne Johnson's father died in January. The former WWE wrestler was 75. "WWE is saddened to learn that Rocky 'Soul Man' Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles), a WWE Hall of Famer, former World Tag Team Champion, and father of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, has passed away," WWE said in a statement on their website.
Kirk Douglas has died at the age of 103. His son Michael Douglas announced his death on Facebook on Feb. 5, writing "To the world he was a legend . . . But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine, a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband."
The actor, known for his roles on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and The Twilight Zone, died at the age of 91 after being hit by a car in Los Angeles.
The Hollywood sex and family therapist and author of The New Sex Bible For Women died on Feb. 15 at the age of 38. Amie, the ex-fiancée of comedian Drew Carey, was found with serious injuries "consistent with a fall," according to People, and later died at the hospital. The LAPD arrested Gareth Pursehouse in connection with Amie's death.
Country singer Kenny Rogers died of natural causes at age 81 on March 20, surrounded by family.
Fred “Curly” Neal
The former Harlem Globetrotters star died at age 77 in March. "We have lost one of the most genuine human beings the world has ever known," Globetrotters general manager Jeff Munn said in a statement on Twitter. "Curly's basketball skill was unrivaled by most, and his warm heart and huge smile brought joy to families worldwide."
The Bollywood actor and Slumdog Millionaire star died on April 29 after being admitted to the hospital with a colon infection. The news came two years after he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. He was 53.
The legendary illusionist, half of Siegfried & Roy, died of complications from COVID-19 in May. He was 75. "Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend," his onstage partner, Siegfried Fischbacher, said in a statement. "From the moment we met, I knew Roy and I, together, would change the world. There could be no Siegfried without Roy, and no Roy without Siegfried."
Benjamin Keough, son of Lisa Marie Presley and brother of Riley Keough, died in July. He was 27.