The Lives & Contributions Of Celebrities The World Lost In 2021

Sadly, in 2021, prominent actors, athletes, and musicians who contributed their lives to the entertainment industry passed away. Now, their legacy lives on in the work they’ve shared with the world.

From Saved by the Bell actor Dustin Diamond to baseball legend Hank Aaron, here are some celebrities who passed away in 2021.

Barbara Shelley

The Gorgon
LMPC via Getty Images
LMPC via Getty Images

Barbara Shelley appeared in over 100 films and television series during her career, predominantly in the horror genre. Some of her more iconic work includes Dracula, Prince of Darkness, The Mad Monk, and Rasputin.

Sadly, the horror film actress had an underlying illness that caught up with her. Shelley passed away on January 3, 2021.

Cicely Tyson

5th Annual TV Land Awards - Red Carpet
Lester Cohen/WireImage
Lester Cohen/WireImage

Cicely Tyson had a career in the entertainment industry that lasted over seven decades. During that time, she brought powerful characters to both the big and small screens. Some of her more iconic roles include Constantine Jefferson in The Help, Ophelia Harkness in How to Get Away with Murder, and the title role in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.

Tyson passed away on January 28, 2021, at the age of 96.

Cloris Leachman

44th AFI Life Achievement Awards Gala Tribute
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

With a career spanning more than seven decades, Cloris Leachman was awarded many honors during her time in the entertainment industry. Some of her more prominent honors include eight Primetime Emmy Awards, an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and a Golden Globe.

Her role as Frau Blücher in Young Frankenstein is not going to be soon forgotten. Leachman passed away on January 27, 2021.

Christopher Plummer

Closeup Of Actor Christopher Plummer
20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

Christopher Plummer had a seven-decade-long career that had him portraying some iconic characters, including Captain Georg von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Commodus in The Fall of the Roman Empire, and even Hal Fields in Beginners.

He even won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the latter film! Sadly, the entertainment lost a great talent when Plummer passed away on February 5, 2021.

Siegfried Fischbacher

Academy Of Magical Arts & The Magic Castle 50th Anniversary Gala
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Siegfried Fischbacher was one half of the German-American magician and entertainer duo Siegfried & Roy. He and his partner were best known for their appearance with white lions and tigers, a very exotic scene that helped make their Las Vegas show so popular.

On January 13, 2021, Fischbacher lost his battle with cancer and passed away.

Mira Furlan

The Official
Michael Schwartz/WireImage
Michael Schwartz/WireImage

An actress and singer, Mira Furlan was best known for her role as Minbari Ambassador Delenn in the television series Babylon 5. She played the role from 1993-1998 before moving on to portray Danielle Rousseau in Lost.

Sadly, the Croatian actress suffered from complications with West Nile virus and passed away on January 20, 2021.

Marion Ramsey

Multicultural Motion Picture Association's The Night Before The Oscars
James Lemke Jr/WireImage
James Lemke Jr/WireImage

Marion Ramsey began her acting career in 1975 when she landed a spot on the variety series Keep on Truckin’. From there, she appeared on popular series such as The Jeffersons, Beverly Hills, 90210, and Modern Family.

But Ramsey is arguably best known for her performance as Sgt. Laverne Hooks in the Police Academy franchise. Her final acting role was in 2018, and she passed away on January 7, 2021.

Tanya Roberts

Tanya Roberts, 1984
Sobli/RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Sobli/RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Tanya Roberts was a force in the ’80s and ’90s, landing roles such as Julie Rogers on the last season of Charlie’s Angels, Midge Pinciotti on That ’70s Show, and Stacy Sutton in the James Bond film A View to a Kill.

Roberts passed away on the evening of January 4, 2021.

Dustin Diamond

Dustin Diamond On
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Actor Dustin Diamond was arguably best known during his child actor days, when he played the role of the loveable character Samuel “Screech” Powers on the teen sitcom Saved by the Bell.

After the show, fans saw him performing in the professional wrestling circuit, including Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling. Sadly, the actor lost a quick three-week battle with cancer, passing away on February 1, 2021.

Larry King

Nation Awaits Election Results
Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images
Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images

Talk show host Larry King became a prominent force in the entertainment industry after his first call-in radio show in 1975, The Larry King Show. From there, he hosted multiple shows, including Larry King Now, Larry King Live, and Politicking with Larry King.

King passed away on January 23, 2021, at the age of 87.

Hal Holbrook

Premiere Of Disney's
Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Academy Award-winning actor Hal Holbrook passed away on January 23, 2021, at the age of 95. Starting his career in the 1950s, Holbrook moved from the stage to the silver screen, performing in movies such as The Group, Into the Wild, and Men of Honor.

Arguably, his most famous portrayal was as Mark Twain. He played the stage character for 60 years and won a Tony Award for Best Actor.

Hank Aaron

MLB Photos Archive
Louis Requena/MLB via Getty Images
Louis Requena/MLB via Getty Images

Hank Aaron was a baseball star who played right fielder for 23 seasons in the MLB, primarily with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves. He ended his career setting a solid 755 home run record which stood for the next 33 years.

Aaron passed away on January 22, 2021, at his home in Atlanta.

Ed Asner

7th Annual Ed Asner And Friends Poker Tournament Celebrity Night
JC Olivera/Getty Images
JC Olivera/Getty Images

Ed Asner was iconic, no matter the generation. He touched the older generation when he played Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and younger ones when he appeared as Santa Claus in Elf and voiced Carl Fredricksen in the Pixar animated film Up.

He passed away on August 29, 2021, at the age of 91.

Phil Spector

USA - Ike Turner Memorial Service
Axel Koester/Corbis via Getty Images
Axel Koester/Corbis via Getty Images

Every since the 1960s, Phil Spector has been a huge name in the music industry. As a producer who brought together records such as the Beatles’ 1970 album Let It Be, he was awarded many honors during his life. Some include a Grammy for Album of the Year and induction into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Spector passed away on January 16, 2021, at the age of 81.

Jahmil French

Celebrities Visit Build - December 18, 2019
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Actor Jahmil French was best known for his role as Dave Turner in Degrassi: The Next Generation. Sadly, French passed away very young, at the age of 29, on March 1, 2021.

In a statement, his agent wrote, “He will be remembered by many for his passion for the arts, his commitment to his craft, and his vibrant personality.”

George Segal

the-southern-star_hiKdO3
MovieStillsDB
MovieStillsDB

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, actor George Segal graced the silver screen in both dramatic and comedic roles, iconic, no matter the genre. Some of his more popular performances include Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Blume in Love, and A Touch of Class.

Most recently, he played Albert “Pops” Solomon on The Goldbergs, his final on-screen performance before passing away on March 23, 2021.

Joseph Siravo

Ben Gabbe/Getty Images
Ben Gabbe/Getty Images

A stage and screen actor, Joseph Siravo gave numerous iconic performances during his life. On Broadway, he appeared in Oslo, The Light in the Pizza, and The Boys from Syracuse.

On-screen, he gave memorable performances as Johnny Soprano in The Sopranos, John Gotti in the film The Wannabe, and Fred Goldman in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Siravo lost his battle with cancer and passed away on April 11, 2021.

Randy Parton

RandyDolly-Feature
Cindy Hale/Pinterest
Cindy Hale/Pinterest

The younger brother of Dolly Parton, Randy Parton, passed away on January 21, 2021, after losing his battle with cancer. A musician, Randy is known for playing the bass for his famous sister and for being the first person to record the 1982 song “Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler).”

He also sang a song on the soundtrack for Rhinestone, a film Dolly starred in.

Tawny Kitaen

810-EvuLfrL._AC_SL1500_
ubugly/Amazon.com
ubugly/Amazon.com

Tawny Kitaen got her start in Hollywood as a television actress, appearing in numerous TV films throughout the ’80s. Some of the more iconic films include Bachelor Party, Malibu, and California Girls.

During that time, Kitaen also starred in multiple heavy metal music videos, such as Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again.” Sadly, the 80s star passed away on May 7, 2021.

Jessica Walter

2015 Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Arrivals
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

For those who watched Arrested Development, Jessica Walter stole the screen whenever she walked into a scene as Lucille Bluth. Of course, the dry humor of the Bluth family matron wasn’t her only role. Walter is also known for her voice acting work as Malory Archer in Archer.

Walter passed away on March 24, 2021, at the age of 80.

Richard Gilliland

operation-petticoat_OexRab
MovieStillsDB
MovieStillsDB

Starting his entertainment career in the 1970s, Richard Gilliland passed away on March 18, 2021, with a long resume filled with television performances and film appearances.

Some of his more notable work includes a recurring role on Designing Women, Captain Stan Cotter on 24, and serial killer Jeffrey Speidel on Matlock.

Michael Constantine

Actor Michael Constantine at his sister's home in Reading. Michael Constantine Photo by Harold Hoch 3/18/16
Harold Hoch/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images
Harold Hoch/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Even though Michael Constantine began his career in the 1950s as a stage actor, he is arguably best known as the crazy and loving Greek father Kostas “Gus” Portokalos in the My Big Fat Greek Wedding films.

Earlier, Constantine gained recognition for her work in television, primarily on the series Room 222, for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award. He passed away on August 31, 2021.

Prince Philip

The Duke Of Edinburgh Opens New Facilities At The Richmond Adult Community College
Matt Dunham – WPA Pool / Getty Images
Matt Dunham – WPA Pool / Getty Images

Husband of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, passed away on April 9, 2021, two months before his 100th birthday.

Loved by the people, Prince Philip was a part of 780 organizations, including the World Wide Fund for Nature, that helped reduce human impact on the environment.

Helen McCrory

Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

During her entertainment career, Helen McCrory was a forceful presence on both the stage and film. She portrayed some iconic characters, such as Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise, Lady Macbeth in the stage play Macbeth, and Clair Dowar in Skyfall.

McCrory passed away on April 16, 2021, at her home in London, England.

Michael K. Williams

Celebrities Get Ready For The 27th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images
Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images

Michael K. Williams appeared in numerous popular HBO series during his career, including The Wire, Lovecraft Country, and Boardwalk Empire. He also had supporting roles in critically acclaimed films, such as 12 Years Slave, The Road, and Gone Baby Gone.

On September 6, 2021, the award-winning actor passed away in his Brooklyn, New York, apartment.

Dearon “Deezer D” Thompson

Deezer D Portrait Session
Harry Langdon/Getty Images
Harry Langdon/Getty Images

Known professionally as Deezer D, Dearon Thompson passed away on January 7, 2021, after years in the entertainment industry. As an actor, he is best known for his role as Nurse Malik McGrath in the drama series ER and as Otis/Stab Master Arson in the parody film CB4.

Thompson was also an accomplished rapper, releasing three albums during his life, Delayed, But Not Denied, Living Up in a Down World, and Unpredictable.

Paul Ritter

Dave J Hogan/Getty Images
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Actor Paul Ritter found himself in a slew of different genres across television and film during his career. He went from playing wizard Eldred Worple in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to Martin Goodman in the comedy series Friday Night Dinner and Guy Haines in Quantum of Solace.

Ritter passed away on April 5, 2021, and his long-time friend Stephen Mangan wrote, “I was so lucky to know him and lucky too to work with him many times over the years. Wonderful man.”

Angie Jakusz

Angie-Jakusz
Monty Brinton/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images
Monty Brinton/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

While she wasn’t an actor in the typical sense, Angie Jakusz was a fierce competitor on the popular reality series Survivor. Competing on the tenth season of Survivor: Palau, Jakusz was known for her strong personality and ability to integrate herself with her TV tribe.

Sadly, after battling cancer for a few years, the reality star passed away on January 8, 2021.

DMX

2002 MTV Movie Awards - Arrivals
SGranitz/WireImage
SGranitz/WireImage

Earl Simmons, better known by his stage name DMX, was a rapped who got his start in the 1990s when he released his first album, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot.

His most popular album, …And Then There Was X, was released in 1999 with tracks such as “Party Up (Up in Here).” The legendary rapper passed away on April 9, 2021.

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