To say 2020 was a difficult year is an understatement. Aside from taking a heavy toll on various industries, thousands of lives were lost and forever changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The entertainment industry also suffered great losses. Movie and TV productions have been halted, and some major film releases have also been postponed. Sadly, we also had to bid farewell to many celebrities that made their mark in Hollywood and touched our lives.
Saying goodbye is never easy. But while life is uncertain, death, as we all know, is inevitable. And as the coronavirus pandemic continues this year, let us remember the notable celebrities and Hollywood icons that we have lost so far in 2021.
24. Ernie Lively (January 29, 1947 – June 3, 2021)
With his wife, Elaine Lively, and his five children by his side, Ernie Lively passed away from cardiac complications in Los Angeles.
Blake Lively‘s father appeared in Passenger 57, The Dukes of Hazzard, and Turner & Hooch. He also played the father of a character played by his own real-life daughter, Blake, in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants films.
Ernie Lively and his daughter Blake Lively at the premiere of “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” at the Ziegfeld Theatre on July 28, 2008, in New York City (Credit: Patricia Schlein / WENN)
Suffering a heart attack in November 2013, he was being treated with experimental stem-cell therapy to repair his heart.
Born Ernest Wilson Brown Jr. in Baltimore, Maryland, he married Elaine in 1979 and adopted her three children from her previous marriage to Ronnie Lively: Lori Lynn, Robyn Elaine, and Ronald Jason Lively.
Blake Lively with her mother Elaine (née McAlpin) and her father, Ernie Lively (né Ernest Wilson Brown Jr.) at the ceremony in honor of Blake’s husband, Ryan Reynolds, when he received the 2,596th Walk of Fame star on December 15, 2016, in Hollywood, California (Credit: FayesVision / WENN)
When marrying Elaine, he took her last name Lively, which was actually Elaine’s married surname from her first marriage.
Ernie and Elaine welcomed two children, Eric Lawrence and Blake Ellender, in July 1981 and August 1987.
23. Samuel Edward Wright (November 20, 1946 – May 24, 2021)
Known for voicing Sebastian the crab in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, he received a Tony Award nomination for his performance as the ill-fated Mufasa in the original Broadway production of The Lion King. Just 72 years old, he died from prostate cancer at his home in Walden, New York.
American actor and singer Samuel Edward Wright voiced Sebastian the crab in Disney’s animated classic The Little Mermaid (Credit: Joseph Marzullo / WENN)
He also portrayed as jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie in the 1988 American biographical film Bird about jazz saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker (played by Forest Whitaker).
22. Mark York (November 27, 1965 – May 19, 2021)
Confined to a wheelchair due to an automobile accident in 1988, he is best known for his role as Billy Merchant in NBC’s The Office.
Making his first appearance in “The Injury,” the twelfth episode of the second season of the American comedy television series, the paraplegic actor did not allow his disability to prevent him from having “an outgoing, uplifting, positive attitude and personality.”
Mark York as property manager Billy Merchant in NBC’s The Office (Credit: NBC)
“He always tried to look at what he could accomplish and do, not what he couldn’t do,” his obituary said. “He had experienced many travel opportunities and many dreams for the future.”
The American actor, who died of natural causes, also had roles in CSI: NY, 8 Simple Rules, and the 2001 American science fiction drama film A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
21. Charles Sidney Grodin (April 21, 1935 – May 18, 2021)
Fondly remembered for his role as a short-tempered dad in the 1992 American family comedy film Beethoven, Charles Grodin also played Lenny Cantrow in Elaine May’s The Heartbreak Kid (1972) and supporting roles in the 1970 American black comedy war film Catch-22 and the 1978 American fantasy-comedy film Heaven Can Wait.
“A brilliant comedy actor,” tweeted Albert Brooks. “I had the wonderful experience of working with him in my first feature ‘Real Life’ and he was amazing. Rest In Peace, Chuck.”
Naomi Watts and Charles Grodin attend the opening night gala world premiere of “Captain Phillips” during the 51st New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on September 27, 2013, in New York City Credit: PNP / WENN
“Chuck was as good a person as he was an actor,” Robert De Niro said in a statement. “‘Midnight Run’ was a great project to work on, and Chuck made it an even better one. He will be missed. I am very very sad to hear of his passing.”
With an estimated net worth of $12 million at the time of his death, he died at the age of 86 of bone marrow cancer at his home in Connecticut.
20. Alber Elbaz (June 12, 1961 – April 24, 2021)
“It was with shock and enormous sadness that I heard of Alber’s sudden passing. Alber had a richly deserved reputation as one of the industry’s brightest and most beloved figures,” Richemont chairman Johann Rupert said in a statement.
Alber Elbaz worked at Yves Saint Laurent from 1998 before starting a 14-year tenure as creative director at Lanvin in 2001 (Credit: WENN)
“I was always taken by his intelligence, sensitivity, generosity, and unbridled creativity. He was a man of exceptional warmth and talent, and his singular vision, sense of beauty, and empathy leave an indelible impression,” the head of the luxury fashion company added.
19. Helen Elizabeth McCrory OBE (August 17, 1968 – April 16, 2021)
Best known for her role as Narcissa Malfoy in the final three Harry Potter films and Polly Gray in Peaky Blinders, Damian Lewis’s wife Helen McCrory died at the age of 52 after her battle with cancer.
Helen McCrory and her husband Damian Lewis attend the “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” UK Premiere at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on July 30, 2019, in London, England (Credit: WENN)
Meeting when they were performing in Five Gold Rings at London’s Almeida Theatre, Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory married on July 4, 2007.
They have two children, daughter Manon McCrory-Lewis, 14, and son Gulliver Lewis, 13. The couple had a combined net worth of $25 million at the time of her death.
“I’ve never known anyone so consciously spread happiness,” the Homeland actor wrote about his wife in The Sunday Times, adding that she “made their day better.”
Actor Damian Lewis and his pregnant girlfriend Helen McCrory arrive at the European premiere of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” at Odeon Leicester Square on July 3, 2006, in London, England (Credit: David Mepham / WENN)
“I’ve never known anyone able to enjoy life as much. Her ability to be in the present and enjoy the moment was inspirational. Nor was she interested in navel-gazing. No real self-interest in self-reflection; she believed in looking out, not in. Which is why she was able to turn her light so brightly on others,” Damian added.
18. Earl “DMX” Simmons (December 18, 1970 – April 9, 2021)
Best known for his album “…And Then There Was X,” which was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2001 Grammys, Earl Simmons was pronounced dead on April 9, 2021.
DMX, born Earl Simmons, died at White Plains Hospital in New York on April 9, 2021, after suffering a catastrophic cardiac arrest earlier in the month (Credit: Adam Bielawski / WENN)
Known by his stage name DMX (“Dark Man X”), he suffered a drug overdose earlier in the month. Becoming addicted to crack cocaine when he was 14 years old, DMX had entered drug rehabilitation several times.
17. Paul Ritter (December 20, 1966 – April 5, 2021)
Most recently known for his role as deputy chief engineer Anatoly Dyatlov in the 2019 historical drama television miniseries Chernobyl, British actor Paul Ritter (born Simon Paul Adams) died of a brain tumor in his home, surrounded by his family, at the age of 54.
Also remembered for his role Eldred Worple in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” Guy Haines in the 2008 James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace,” and Martin Goodman in the Channel 4 comedy series “Friday Night Dinner,” he had an estimated net worth of $8 million at the time of his death.
Jessica Hynes and Paul Ritter attend the Broadway opening night of “The Norman Conquests” at Circle In The Square Theatre on April 23, 2009, in New York City (Credit: Joseph Marzullo / WENN)
16. Jessica Walter (January 31, 1941 – March 24, 2021)
Best known for her role as the matriarch of the Bluth family on the sitcom Arrested Development, Emmy-winning actress Jessica Walter died in her sleep at age 80 at her home in Manhattan.
Jessica Walter was married to Tony Award-winning actor Ron Leibman from 1983 until his death in 2019 (Credit: Joseph Marzullo / WENN)
Having an estimated net worth of $4 million at the time of her death, Jessica Walter also provided the voice of Malory Archer on the adult animated sitcom Archer (2009–20).
15. George Segal (February 13, 1934 – March 23, 2021)
Best known for his role as Nick in the 1966 American black comedy-drama film “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, based on Edward Albee’s acclaimed play, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance.
He also starred in films such as Ship of Fools (1965), King Rat (1965), The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (1967), Where’s Poppa? (1970), The Hot Rock (1972), Blume in Love (1973), A Touch of Class (1973), California Split (1974), For the Boys (1991), and Flirting with Disaster (1996).
Having a net worth of $10 million dollars at the time of his death, he’s also remembered for his comic roles as Jack Gallo on the sitcom television series Just Shoot Me! (1997–2003) and as Albert “Pops” Solomon on The Goldbergs (2013–2021).
Actors Wendie Malick, George Segal, Laura San Giacomo, and David Spade attend George Segal being honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 14, 2017, in Hollywood, California (Credit: FayesVision / WENN)
George Segal passed away in Santa Rosa, California, at age 87 following complications from bypass surgery.
14. Jahmil French (July 29, 1991 – March 1, 2021)
Best known for his role as Dave Turner in the Canadian teen drama television series “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” Jahmil French also starred in Netflix’s “Soundtrack,” the Pop series “Let’s Get Physical,” and the film “Boost.”
“It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of a dear friend and client Jahmil French,” his agent Gabrielle Kachman said in a statement. No details on the cause of death were made available.
Jahmil French visits Build to discuss the series “Soundtrack” at Build Studio on December 18, 2019, in New York City (Credit: WENN / Avalon)
“He will be remembered by many for his passion for the arts, his commitment to his craft, and his vibrant personality. I ask that you keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time,” Kachman added.
13. Mary Wilson (March 6, 1944 – February 8, 2021)
Best known as a founding member of The Supremes, the most successful Motown act of the 1960s known for hits such as Baby Love and You Can’t Hurry Love, Mary Wilson remained with the group until the American female singing group disbanded in 1977.
Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard of The Supremes, America’s most successful vocal group with 12 number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 (Credit: WENN)
The other original members were Florence Ballard, Diana Ross, and Betty McGlown. Dying at the age of 76 in her sleep from hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease at her home in Henderson, Nevada, Mary Wilson had a net worth of $8 million at the time of her death.
Mary Wilson attends T.J. Martell Foundation’s 10th Annual LA Family Day at The Grove on October 5, 2019, in Los Angeles, California (Credit: Sheri Determan / WENN)
12. Christopher Plummer (December 13, 1929 – February 5, 2021)
The winner of an Academy Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a British Academy Film Award, the Canadian actor is best known for playing Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music (1965) opposite Julie Andrews.
Christopher Plummer also portrayed Arthur Case in the 2006 American heist thriller film Inside Man.
Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, and producer Brian Grazer on the set of Inside Man on December 6, 2005 (Credit: David Lee / WENN)
Married three times, he had a net worth of $20 million dollars at the time of his death. Some of his other high-profile films are The Man Who Would Be King (1975), David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), and All the Money in the World.
11. Dustin Diamond (January 7, 1977 – February 1, 2021)
Best known for his role as Samuel “Screech” Powers throughout the Saved by the Bell franchise, Dustin Neil Diamond died after a three-week fight with stage 4 small cell carcinoma.
Dustin Diamond as Zack Morris’ (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) nerdy friend Samuel “Screech” Powers on Saved by the Bell (Credit: NBC)
He was 44 and had a net worth of around $300,000 at the time of his death. Not finding success after the end of Saved by the Bell, he filed for bankruptcy in California in 2001 and released a sex tape titled “Screeched – Saved by the Smell” in 2006.
Dustin “Screech” Diamond and Frank Sorrentino attend a celebrity boxing match featuring Michael Lohan and Frank Sorrentino at The Ocean Manor on June 4, 2011, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Credit: Johnny Louis / WENN)
10. Sophie Xeon (September 17, 1986 – January 30, 2021)
Nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronic Album for her debut album Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides in 2018, Scottish musician Sophie Xeon was a record producer, singer, songwriter, and DJ.
Mononymously known as Sophie, she died after falling from the rooftop of a three-story building while attempting to take a photograph of the full moon. No foul play was suspected in her death.
Record producer, DJ and singer Sophie (born Sophie Xeon) slipped and fell from the balcony of an apartment where she was staying (Credit: WENN / Avalon)
“True to her spirituality she had climbed up to watch the full moon and accidentally slipped and fell,” a representative of the transgender musician said about her sudden death in Athens. “She will always be here with us.”
9. Cicely Tyson (December 19, 1924 – January 28, 2021)
The first African American woman to receive an honorary Oscar, she was also Oscar-nominated for her role as a sharecropper’s wife in the 1972 American DeLuxe Color drama film “Sounder.”
She won a Tony Award in 2013 at age 88, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2016, and touched TV viewers’ hearts in the 1974 American television film “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.”
Cicely Tyson (L) and fashion designer B. Michael attend the Television Academy’s 25th Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Saban Media Center on January 28, 2020, in North Hollywood, California (Credit: WENN / Instar)
Also the winner of three Emmy Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award, she had a net worth of $10 million dollars at the time of her death. Cicely Tyson was 96 years old and no cause of the death was given.
8. Cloris Leachman (April 30, 1926 – January 27, 2021)
The winner of an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Daytime Emmy Award, American actress and comedian Cloris Leachman died of natural causes in Encinitas, California. She was 94.
American television sitcom The Facts of Life cast members Lisa Whelchel (as Blair Warner), George Clooney (as George Burnett), MacKenzie Astin (as Andy Moffet), Kim Fields (as Dorothy “Tootie” Ramsey), seated, Mindy Cohn (as Natalie Green), Cloris Leachman (as Beverly Ann Stickle), Nancy McKeon (as Joanne “Jo” Polniaczek) (Credit: NBC)
Born on April 30, 1926, in Des Moines, Iowa, she is best remembered for her roles as lonely housewife Ruth Popper in The Last Picture Show (1971), the delightfully neurotic Phyllis Lindstrom on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, Frau Blücher in Young Frankenstein (1974), and Madame Defarge in History of the World, Part I (1981).
Cloris Leachman with her daughter, actress Dinah Englund, at the 55th Annual ICG Publicists Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 2, 2018, in Beverly Hills, California (Credit: Sheri Determan / WENN)
In the early 2000s, she starred as Lois’s (Jane Kaczmarek) tyrannical mother Ida on Fox’s television sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle.” The multiple Emmy winner had a net worth of $10 million at the time of her death.
7. Mira Furlan (September 7, 1955 – January 20, 2021)
Best known for her roles as Delenn, the Minbari ambassador to Babylon 5, in the science fiction television series Babylon 5 (1993–1998), and as French woman Danielle Rousseau in Lost (2004–2010), Mira Furlan died at the age of 65 due to complications with West Nile Virus.
Pictured at the opening night of the Hollywood Film Festival at ArcLight Hollywood on September 24, 2015, in Hollywood, California, Croatian actress Mira Furlan died at her home in Los Angeles on January 20, 2021, due to complications with West Nile Virus (Credit: Adriana M. Barraza / WENN)
The Croatian actress and singer, who also starred as Ankica Vidmar in When Father Was Away on Business (1985) and as Mirza Alijagić in The Abandoned (2010), had a net worth of $3 million at the time of her death.
6. Joanne Rogers (March 9, 1928 – January 14, 2021)
Joanne Rogers, who was an accomplished pianist, died on January 14 at the age of 92. She was married to Fred Rogers, the creator of the preschool TV series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
She is survived by her sons, James and John, and three grandsons. Her estimated net worth was around $3 million at the time of her death.
5. Angie Jakusz (March 27, 1980 – January 8, 2021)
A contestant on season 10 of CBS Survivor, Angie Jakusz succumbed to a rare form of colorectal cancer on January 8. She was 40.
The tattooed bartender from Survivor Palau, Angie Jakusz, died from squamous cell colorectal cancer (Credit: CBS)
At her death, she left behind her husband of nine years, Steven Calandra.
4. Marion Ramsey (May 10, 1947 – January 7, 2021)
The Police Academy star died on January 7 at the age of 73 after a short illness. She was best known for playing Officer Laverne Hooks in the Police Academy films.
Marion Ramsey is best known for her role as the soft-spoken Officer Laverne Hooks in the Police Academy films (Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)
She had a net worth of approximately $1 million. No cause of death was given.
3. Tanya Roberts (October 15, 1955 – January 4, 2021)
Tanya, who was famous for her roles as a Bond Girl in 1985’s A View to Kill, as Julie Rogers in the Charlie’s Angels TV series, and as Midge in That ‘70s Show, died on January 4 at the age of 65.
Bond Girl Tanya Roberts died at the age of 65 on January 4, 2021 (Credit: Nikki Nelson / WENN)
She was taken to Cedars-Sinai Hospital and had been placed on a ventilator since Christmas Eve after collapsing at her home following a hike.
Tanya had a net worth of $10 million at the time of her death.
2. Barbara Shelley (February 13, 1932 – January 4, 2021)
Nicknamed the Queen of Hammer, Barbara Shelley was best known for appearing in horror movies produced by Hammer Films. She died on January 3 at the age of 88.
Her agent clarified in a statement that she didn’t die of COVID-19. “It wasn’t COVID that took her; she had underlying issues.”
Her estimated net worth was $1.2 million.
1. Kerry Vincent (June 1, 1945 – January 2, 2021)
A specialist cake designer and a judge on Food Network Challenge, Kerry Vincent died on January 2 at the age of 75 after losing her battle with an undisclosed illness. She is survived by her husband, Doug Vincent, founder of Angel Flight of Oklahoma.
Kerry Vincent died on January 2, 2021, after battling an undisclosed illness (Credit: WENN)
Kerry had a net worth of $14 million at the time of her death.