55ºF

Gone too soon: Celebrities who died in 2020

We’re taking a moment to reflect on some of the celebrities that we’ve lost this year

LEFT: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers smiles in the fourth quarter during the game against the Chicago Bulls on November 19, 2009. MIDDLE: Kelly Preston attends the welcome party in Cannes, France on May 21, 2014. RIGHT: Chadwick Boseman attends the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018. (Getty Images)

Saying goodbye to those we love is never easy, even when it comes to icons and celebrities.

Although we may not know these individuals on a personal level, it’s still an adjustment to not see them grace the red carpet or the big screen again.

However, that doesn’t mean their memory won’t live on. Whether we’re watching the works they’ve already brought to life, or are reading their autobiographies, or even just reminiscing in our favorite photos of them on social media, the memories of these stars will live on for many decades to come.

We’re taking a moment to reflect on some of the celebrities that we’ve lost this year. Below is our recap, in no particular order.

Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant

Longtime Lakers star Kobe Bryant, 41, his daughter Gianna, 13, and six others died Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash near his home in Calabasas, California. All of the helicopter occupants were on their way to basketball games at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks at the time of the crash. You can read the full story here.

Alex Trebek

This image released by Jeopardy! shows Alex Trebek, host of the game show "Jeopardy!" Trebek's memoir, "The Answer Is: Reflections on My Life," will be released on Tuesday, July 21. Trebek made no secret of the fight with pancreatic cancer that claimed his life on Nov. 8. If there was any good to come of it, he inspired others and learned how much he was appreciated and loved. (Jeopardy! via AP) (© 2017 Califon Productions, Inc.)

Famed host of Jeopardy! Alex Trebek lost his battle with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer on Nov. 8 at the age of 80. He was the host of the gameshow for over 30 years and first announced his diagnosis in March of 2019. Read more about his legacy here.

David Prowse

(Courtesy: CNN/David Prowse dies at 85) (Copyright 2020 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

The British weightlifter-turned-actor who was the body behind Darth Vader, not the voice, in the original Star Wars trilogy, died at the age of 85 on Nov. 28. His agent, Thomas Bowington, said Prowse’s passing came after a short illness. You can read more about Prowse here.

Natalie Desselle Reid

This photo provided by JeCaryous Entertainment shows Natalie Desselle Reid. Reid, who starred alongside Halle Berry in the 1997 film B.A.P.S. and on the sitcom Eve, died Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. She was 53. (Leonard Reid/Courtesy of JeCaryous Entertainment via AP) (Je’Caryous Entertainment)

Natalie Desselle Reid, known for her role alongside Halle Berry in the 1997 film “B.A.P.S.” and on the sitcom “Eve,” died at the age of 53. A representative for her family said she died after a battle with colon cancer. To learn more about Reid, click here.

Nikki McKibbin

FILE - Nikki McKibbin celebrates during the final episode of Fox's television competition "American Idol," in Los Angeles, in this Sept. 4, 2002, file photo. McKibbin, a singer from Texas best known for her third place finish in the first season of "American Idol," died Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. She was 42. (AP Photo/Lucy Nicholson, File) (AP2002)

Texas native Nikki McKibbin, best known for her third-place finish in American Idol’s first season, died Nov. 1 at the age of 42. Her husband Craig Sadler confirmed her passing on social media after she suffered a brain aneurysm. Read more on McKibbin here.

Sean Connery

FILE - This March 4, 1992 file photo shows actor Sean Connery during a news conference in Hamburg, Germany. Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family.(AP Photo/Christian Eggers, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Scottish actor Sean Connery, best known for his role as secret agent James Bond, died Oct. 31 at the age of 90. He leaves behind a wife and two sons, but his success with the James Bond movies will continue to live on. To read more about Connery, click here.

Billy Joe Shaver

FILE - Artist Billy Joe Shaver poses backstage following his concert "Billy Joe Shaver presented by WMOT/Roots Radio" at City Winery Nashville in Nashville, Tenn. on April 1, 2017. Shaver, who penned songs for Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Bobby Bare, has died. His friend Connie Nelson said he died Wednesday in Texas following a stroke. He was 81. (Photo by Laura Roberts/Invision/AP, File) (2017 Invision)

Texas native and outlaw country singer Billy Joe Shaver died Oct. 28 at the age of 81 following a stroke. Shaver is best known for his songs, “Honky Tonk Heroes,” “I Been To Georgia on a Fast Train,” and “Old Five and Dimers Like Me.” Read more about Shaver’s career here.

Jerry Jeff Walker

INDIO, CA - APRIL 26: Musician Jerry Jeff Walker poses backstage during day two of California's Stagecoach Country Music Festival held at the Empire Polo Club on April 26, 2009 in Indio, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) (2009 Getty Images)

Texas outlaw music legend Jerry Jeff Walker died Oct. 23 at the age of 78 after a lengthy battle with throat cancer. Walker was first diagnosed in 2017. He’s widely known for his 1968 song, “Mr. Bojangles.” To read more about Walker, click here.

Eddie Van Halen

FILE - David Lee Roth, left, and Eddie Van Halen of Van Halen perform on Aug. 13, 2015, in Wantagh, N.Y. Van Halen, who had battled cancer, died Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. He was 65. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP, File)

Guitar rock icon Eddie Van Halen passed away Oct. 6 at the age of 65. The musician’s family says he died after a battle of cancer. Van Halen is most known for his blockbuster record, “1984,” which includes his classic hits, “Jump,” “Panama” and “Hot for Teacher.” You can read more about Van Halen here.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

FILE - In this Aug. 19, 2016, file photo, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is introduced during the keynote address for the State Bar of New Mexico's annual meeting in Pojoaque, N.M. The Supreme Court says Ginsburg has died of metastatic pancreatic cancer at age 87. (AP Photo/Craig Fritz, File)

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a women’s rights champion and the court’s second female justice, died Sept. 18 due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was 87. Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, according to the Associated Press. You can read more about Ginsburg here.

Chadwick Boseman

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2018 photo, actor Chadwick Boseman poses for a portrait in New York to promote his film, "Black Panther." Boseman, who played Black icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown before finding fame as the regal Black Panther in the Marvel cinematic universe, has died of cancer. His representative says Boseman died Friday, Aug. 28, 2020 in Los Angeles after a four-year battle with colon cancer. He was 43. (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP, File) (2018 Invision)

Actor Chadwick Boseman, most known for his role as the Black Panther in the Marvel universe, died Aug. 28 at the age of 43 after a battle with colon cancer. He was first diagnosed four years ago. You can read more about Boseman here.

Jack Sherman

BURBANK, CA - MAY 26: (L-R) Musicians Flea, Anthony Kiedis, Chad Smith and Josh Klinghoffer of Red Hot Chili Peppers perform onstage during their album release party on AT&T LIVE at iHeartRadio Theater on May 26, 2016 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia) (2016 Getty Images)

Early guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers Jack Sherman died Aug. 22 at the age of 64. Sherman performed on the band’s debut album and accompanied them on their first tour in the USA. For more on Sherman, click here.

Regis Philbin

FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2011 file photo, Regis Philbin appears on his farewell episode of "Live! with Regis and Kelly", in New York. Philbin, the genial host who shared his life with television viewers over morning coffee for decades and helped himself and some fans strike it rich with the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, has died on Friday, July 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, File) (AP2011)

Talkshow host Regis Philbin passed away July 24 at the age of 88. He’s most known for hosting “Live! with Regis and Kelly” in New York and the game show, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” Read more about Philbin here.

Naya Rivera

FILE - Naya Rivera, a cast member in the television series "Glee," poses at a screening and Q&A for the show, at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles on May 1, 2012. Authorities say a body has been found at a Southern California lake during the search for Glee star Naya Rivera. The Ventura County Sheriffs Office says in a tweet that the body was found Monday morning, July 13, 2020, in the search of Lake Piru for Rivera, five days after her 4-year-old son was found alone in a boat the two had rented. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

“Glee” star Naya Rivera died after she was found July 13 after accidentally drowning while boating on a California lake, according to a report by The Associated Press. Her son was with her at the time but was found safe by officials. Rivera was known for her role in “Glee,” the FOX TV musical comedy, where she starred from 2009 to 2015. Read more about Rivera here.

Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister

FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 10, 2015 file photo, Tommy 'Tiny' Lister greets fans as he arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Straight Outta Compton" at the Microsoft Theater. Tommy Tiny Lister, a former wrestler who was known for his Deebo character in the Friday films, has died. He was 62. Lister manager, Cindy Cowan, said Lister was found unconscious in his home in Marina Del Rey, California, on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. He was pronounced dead at the scene. (Photo by John Salangsang/Invision/AP, File)

Former professional wrestler and actor Tommy “Tiny” Lister, most known for his Deebo character in the “Friday” films, died Dec. 10 at the age of 62. His manager said he was found unconscious in his California home. Lister was also known for his roles in “The Fifth Element,” “The Dark Knight” and “Austin Powers in Goldmember.” For more on Lister, click here.

Kenny Rogers

Houston-born country music icon Kenny Rogers died at his Georgia home on March 20 at the age of 81. The Grammy-winning musician is most known for his hits “Lucille,” “Lady” and “Islands in the Stream.” Read more about Rogers’ legacy here.

Nick Cordero

FILE - In this April 10, 2014, file photo, actor Nick Cordero attends the after-party for the opening night of "Bullets Over Broadway" in New York. Tony Award-nominated actor Cordero, who specialized in playing tough guys on Broadway in such shows as Waitress, A Bronx Tale and Bullets Over Broadway, has died in Los Angeles after suffering severe medical complications after contracting the coronavirus. He was 41. Cordero died Sunday, July 5, 2020, at Cedars-Sinai hospital after more than 90 days in the hospital, according to his wife, Amanda Kloots. (Photo by Brad Barket/Invision/AP, File)

Actor Nick Cordero, nominated for a Tony Award and most known for his roles in Broadway shows “Waitress,” “A Bronx Tale,” and “Bullets Over Broadway,” died July 5 in Los Angeles from COVID-19 related complications, according to a previous report. He was 41 and he spent more than 90 days in the hospital.

Kelly Preston

Kelly Preston, actor and wife of John Travolta, dies at 57

Kelly Preston, actress and wife of actor John Travolta, died July 12 at the age of 57 after a two-year battle with breast cancer. She was married to Travolta for 28 years and leaves behind three children. Read more on Preston here.

Jerry Stiller

Ben Stiller’s father, Jerry Stiller, died from natural causes on May 11 at the age of 92. Stiller was married to Anne Meara for nearly 62 years and he became an A-list box office star for his roles in “Tropic Thunder,” “Dodgeball” and “There’s Something About Mary,” according to the Associated Press. Read more about Stiller’s life and career here.

Other celebrities we have lost this year include Joe Diffie, Hal Ketchum, Charlie Daniels, Carl Reiner, Bill Withers, John Callahan, James Lipton, Kirk Douglas, Neil Peart, David Lander, Ed Murray, and many others.

Despite the loss of these renowned actors and actresses, political figures, professional athletes, musicians, and more this year, they will never be forgotten.


About the Author: