Remembering the Celebrities We Lost in 2021: Actors, Musicians, Writers and More


Award-winning actress Cicely Tyson accepted an Honorary Oscar in 2018.

Robyn Beck / AFP via Getty Images

Whichever way you look at it, 2021 has been a tough year. And it took with it a number of famous faces that had been a part of our lives for decades, whether known for their musical or acting abilities or their place in history.

Hundreds of famous people died in 2021, and narrowing the list was frustrating work. Dozens of names have been left out, but still deserve to be remembered.

From Ed Asner to Cicely Tyson to Michael K. Williams, here are some of the icons who left the world this year.

Ed asner

Oh, Mr. Grant. The Mary Tyler Moore Show star Lou Grant, the movie Up, and so many other shows and movies passed away on August 29 at the age of 91.

Eric Carle

Carle has written and illustrated beloved children’s books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and illustrated the classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? He died on May 23 at the age of 91.

beverly clear

The author created Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and so many other beloved childhood characters. She died on March 25 at the age of 104, just 18 days before her 105th birthday.

Chick Korea

The jazz composer, conductor and performer was a member of Miles Davis’ group in the 1960s and won 25 Grammy Awards for his work life. He died on February 9 at the age of 79.

Dust Diamond

The actor, best known for his role as Screech on the classic 1990s sitcom Saved by the Bell, was just 44 when he died on February 1.

Jeanne Didion

No one has written about California like her native daughter Joan Didion. The author and journalist died on December 23 at the age of 87.

Joan Didion in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco during the Summer of Love in 1967.

Joan Didion in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco during Summer of Love in 1967. Her famous essay Slouching Towards Bethlehem records her reactions to the scene there.

Ted Streshinsky / Getty Images

Don everly

The eldest of the two Everly Brothers musicals, Don Everly died on August 21 at the age of 84, seven years after the death of his brother Phil at 74. 1950s. “

Siegfried Fischbacher

Fischbacher outlived Roy Horn, his partner in Siegfried and Roy, by eight months. The two performed with white tigers and lions as an act in Las Vegas until Horn was injured by a tiger during a show in 2003. Fischbacher was 81 when he died on January 13.

Tom T. Hall

As a singer, Hall is perhaps most famous for his 1972 country hit (Old Dogs, Children and) Watermelon Wine; as a songwriter he is perhaps best known for writing Harper Valley PTA, a huge success for Jeannie C. Riley in 1968. He died on August 20 at the age of 85.

Dusty hill

Hill played bass and sang with ZZ Top for over 50 years. He died on July 28 at the age of 72.

Larry king

Talk show host Larry King has interviewed over 50,000 people over his 50-year career. He died on January 23 at the age of 87.

Cloris Leachman

The actress played Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, earning a brief spinoff, Phyllis. Other credits include The Last Picture Show, The Facts of Life, Young Frankenstein, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and more. She died on January 27 at the age of 94.

Norm Macdonald

Comedian Macdonald hosted Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live, starred in films, and titled his own sitcom, The Norm Show. He was fired from SNL in 1998, apparently for making fun of OJ Simpson, who was a friend of NBC Entertainment president Don Ohlmeyer. Macdonald died on September 14 at the age of 61.

Gavin MacLeod

Gavin MacLeod was best known to some as Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, but to others he will forever be Captain Merrill Stubing in The Love Boat. He has also appeared in numerous films and starred in McHale’s Navy. MacLeod died on May 29 at the age of 90.

John madden

Madden, the Super Bowl-winning football coach and legendary broadcaster, died on December 28 at 85. An ever-colorful character, Madden has made a name for himself to a new generation thanks to the Madden NFL video game series (and alumni will remember his appearances in the classic Miller Lite beer commercial series.)

Biz Markie

The rapper, nicknamed The Clown Prince of Hip-Hop, was best known for the 1989 hit single Just A Friend. He died on July 16 at the age of 57.

Gerry Marsden

Marsden was the frontman of Merseybeat, Gerry and the Pacemakers, whose hits included Ferry Cross the Mersey, You’ll Never Walk Alone, and Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying. He died on January 3 at the age of 78.

Jackie mason

Comic book Jackie Mason has embodied the borscht belt comedy style for many, with movies, TV shows, Broadway shows, and more on his resume. He died on July 24 at the age of 93.

Larry mcmurty

Author McMurty is best known for his western or Texas-themed books, many of which have been adapted for film. His works include Lonesome Dove, The Last Picture Show, and Terms of Endearment, and he helped adapt the script for Brokeback Mountain. He died on March 25 at the age of 84.

Eddie Mekka

Mekka is best known for playing Carmine “The Big Ragoo” Ragusa, Shirley Feeney’s boyfriend on the hit show Laverne & Shirley. He died on November 27 at the age of 69.

Michael nesmith

Known to some as the Monkee with the Wool Cap, Nesmith was an acclaimed musician despite the Monkees’ reputation as the “Pre-Fab Four”. He was a pioneer in what has become the music video industry, and yes, his mother invented Liquid Paper. Nesmith died on December 10 at 78 years old.

prince philippe

Queen Elizabeth II’s husband had been by her side since she was a young princess. He passed away on April 9 at 99, just two months away from turning 100.

Christophe plummer

The actor may be best known for his iconic role as Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, but his acting resume is varied – he has also played many Shakespearean roles and has previously played the role of a Klingon general in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. He passed away on February 5 at 91 years old.

Anne Rice

Author Anne Rice was best known for her Vampire Chronicles book series, although she also wrote erotic fiction and a series of novels about the life of Jesus. She died on December 11 at the age of 80.

Joanne rogers

Yes, there was a Mrs. Rogers. Joanne Rogers and Fred Rogers married from 1952 until her death in 2003, raising two sons and creating a television legacy. She died on January 14 at the age of 92.

Stephen Sondheim

The songwriter and lyricist has co-created Broadway classics like West Side Story, Company, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Gypsy and Into the Woods. He died on November 26 at the age of 91.

Phil spector

Spector revolutionized rock music with his Wall of Sound style of production, creating hit records for bands such as the Ronettes, Crystals, Darlene Love and the Righteous Brothers. He died on January 16 at the age of 81 in prison, where he was serving his sentence after being convicted of the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson.

Bj thomas

Grammy-winning singer Thomas has had hits with Raindrops Keep Fallin ‘on My Head, (Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song and Hooked on a Feeling, among others. He died at the age of 78 on May 29.

James michael tyler

Tyler is best known for his role as Gunther, a cafe clerk at Central Perk, where friends hung out on the hit sitcom. He passed away on October 24 at 59 years old.

Cicely tyson

Award-winning actress Tyson has refused to star in blaxploitation movies and TV shows, instead taking roles depicting strong black women. Her work includes Sounder, Roots, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, The Help, and more. She passed away January 28 at 96 years old.

Melvin Van Peebles

Filmmaker Van Peebles has been called the godfather of modern noir cinema. His 1971 film, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, is a benchmark in the genre of blaxploitation. He died on September 21 at the age of 89.

Jessica walter

The actress played Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development, voiced Malory Archer in Archer, and starred alongside Clint Eastwood in Play Misty for Me, among other roles. She died on March 24 at the age of 80.

Charlie watts

The legendary Rolling Stones drummer appears on every Stones record and has never missed a gig since joining the band in 1963. He died on August 24 at 80 years old.

Michael k williams

The actor’s distinctive facial scar gave credibility to the sometimes dangerous and always complex characters he played, such as Omar Little on The Wire (President Barack Obama’s favorite character on the show) and Chalky White on Boardwalk. Empire. Williams died on September 6 at the age of 54.

Marie wilson

Wilson, a founding member of The Supremes, one of the best-selling female musical groups of all time, died on February 8 at the age of 76.


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