Celebration of the famous faces we lost in 2020

Celebration of the famous faces we lost in 2020

2020 has seen the passing of some famous faces, with the worlds of entertainment, sport, music and literature losing some shining stars.

As we celebrate another festive period and say goodbye to an unprecedented year, we thought it would be nice to look back and celebrate the lives of some of those who inspired so many.


  • Christopher Beeney, 78, Actor
    Mr Beeney is famously known for playing the main character in the BBC show Morton Beamish. He also played Edward in Upstairs Downstairs. It is reported that Mr Beeney passed away peacefully in his sleep.
  • Derek Acorah, 69, TV Psychic
    Mr Acorah’s cause of death was cited as sepsis and pneumonia. He was most well known for his appearance on TV show Most Haunted where he was guided by ‘Sam’, who he used to help him contact those on the other side. Later on in his career he also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother.
  • Silvio Horta, 45, Director
    The Director was most widely known for creating the TV show Ugly Betty. He was found dead in a Miami motel room. It is reported that he took his own life.
  • Stephen Clements, 47, Radio Personality
    The BBC Ulster Radio presenter passed away suddenly at the beginning of the year.
  • Derek Fowlds, 82, Actor
    The actor took on many roles during his career, including parts in Heartbeat, Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister. Although he’s best known as Mr Derek off The Basil Brush Show. Mr Fowlds suffered from pneumonia, which led him to pass away from heart failure caused by sepsis.
  • Terry Jones, 77, Actor
    The actor succumbed to his battle with dementia in January, and later donated his brain to science, enabling scientists to study the effects the disease had on his brain. Mr Jones rose to fame as part of the Monty Python Group.
  • Kobe and Gianna Bryant, 41 & 13, NBA Legend
    The basketball player and his daughter died following a tragic helicopter crash on the way to basketball practice.
    Kobe – nicknamed Black Mamba – played for the LA Lakers for 20 years, winning five NBA Championships. Gianna was a budding basketball player and hoped to follow in her father’s footsteps.
  • Nicholas Parsons, 96, TV Personality
    It was reported that Mr Parsons died following a short illness. He hosted the comedy radio game show Just A Minute, and the TV programme Sale of the Century, setting a record of 21millipon viewers during the time the program was aired between 1971-1983.


  • Kirk Douglas, 103, Actor
    The Golden Age of movies actor and star of the silver screen, who was most famous for playing Spartacus passed away at the beginning of the month. Leading the tributes was movie star son Michael Douglas and his two brothers.
  • Raphael Coleman, 25, Actor/Conservationist
    Best known for playing Eric in children’s film Nanny McPhee. The actor who was passionate about animal conservation and saving the planet became a conservationist, spreading positive messages far and wide.
  • John Shrapnel, 77, Actor
    The actor passed away following a battle with cancer. Mr Shrapnel was known for starring on both the stage and screen, most commonly in Notting Hill and Bodyguards.
  • Caroline Flack, 40, TV Personality
    The TV personality, who’d also dabbled in acting, would have been seen across a number of TV shows including the X Factor. However, most will say she rose to fame as the face of ITV 2’s reality TV show Love Island. It is believed a battle with mental health resulted in the star taking her own life at her London flat. The star was set to head to trial following allegations of domestic abuse, which she vehemently denied. A global movement was set up on social media, encouraging those to ‘Be Kind’ following the portrayal of the case in the media.
  • Harry Gregg MBE, 87, Sports Personality
    The former Manchester United Goalkeeper and Munich Air disaster hero passed away aged 87 in February. Mr Gregg, helped rescue some of his team mates and other passengers following the plane disaster. Bobby Charlton hailed Harry for saving his life.
  • Andrew Weatherall, 56, DJ & Music Producer
    Most commonly known for World in Motion for New Order, Loaded and the remix of Primal Scream’s track I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have. He first found fame with the club remix of Hallelujah for the Happy Monday’s. He passed away from a pulmonary embolism.


  • Dave Rainford, 49, Quiz master
    The quizzer was one of the stars of BBC program Eggheads and first achieved fame by winning £250,000 on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
  • Kenny Rogers, 81, Country music legend
    The country music icon who worked for over 60 years in the music industry earned numerous awards including two Grammys. He also acted in a number of movies and TV shows.
  • Mark Blum, 69, Actor
    It is reported that the Crocodile Dundee and Desperately Seeking Susan actor died as a result of coronavirus complications. He also appeared in a number of TV shows including Law and Order.


  • Eddie Large, 78, Comedian
    One half of Little and Large passed away after contracting coronavirus.
  • Honor Blackman, 94, Actress
    Most famously known as Pussy Galore in the James Bond film Goldfinger, she also starred in The Avengers and A Night to Remember.
  • Sir Stirling Moss, 90, Motor-racing legend
    The Formula 1 legend raced 529 times and won 212 of them. Sadly, he never won a Formula 1 title.
  • Sean Arnold, 79, Actor
    The former Grange Hill and Bergerac actor lost his battle with a long-term illness.
  • Norman Hunter, 76, Footballer
    Mr Hunter was a member of the 1966 World Cup Winning Squad. He also became a legend at Leeds United FC where he stayed for 17 years and made 726 appearances. Mr Hunter tested positive for coronavirus.
  • Lynn Faulds Wood, 72, Broadcaster
    Ms Faulds Wood was the face of the TV program Watchdog during the mid 80s through to the early 90s. She passed away from a stroke
  • Jill Gascoine, 83, Actress
    Ms Gascoine lost her battle with Alzheimer’s disease and passed away in April. She was most famous for playing Maggie Forbes in A Gentle Touch.
  • Irrfan Khan, 53, Actor
    Mr Khan passed away after battling a colon infection. He was a star in Bollywood and later in Hollywood and appeared in Slumdog Millionaire, Jurassic World and Life of Pi.


  • Richard Penniman, 87, Music legend
    The Rock and Roll legend, known as Little Richard was faced for his song Tutti Frutti.
  • Fred Willard, 87, Actor
    Mr Willard, a Hollywood actor appeared in numerous movies over a 70 year career, as well as being an award winning talk show host.
  • Tony Scannell, 74, Actor
    Famous for playing The Bill’s DS Ted Roach, Mr Scannell also appeared in Waking the Dead and the 1980 Flash Gordon movie.
  • Michael Angelis, 68, Actor
    Mr Angelis had a varied TV career, featuring on programmes including The Liver Birds and Auf Wiedersehen Pet. He also took over from Ringo Star at the narrator of Thomas the Tank Engine (1991-2012).


  • Willie Thorn, 66, Snooker legend
    Mr Thorn sadly passed away following a short battle with leukemia. He won 14 world titles and holds the record for the most maximum breaks (147), earning him the nickname Mr Maximum.
  • Dame Vera Lynn, 103, Singer
    The singer and Forces Sweetheart is remembered for her songs We’ll Meet Again, The White Cliffs of Dover.
  • Ian Holm, 88, Actor
    Mr Holm was a star of stage and screen and appeared in a number of roles. He starred in Chariots of Fire and won a BAFTA, Aliens and Lord of the Rings as Bilbo Baggins.
  • Louis Mahoney, 81, Actor
    Mr Mahoney worked hard to combat racism, and appeared in Doctor Who and Fawlty Towers.


  • Jack Charlton OBE, 85, Footballer
    Mr Charlton was a member of the 1966 World Cup Winning Squad and spent his career at Leeds United. After his playing career finished he turned to management and managed Middlesborough, Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United.
  • Peter Green, 73, Musician
    Mr Green co-founded Fleetwood Mac, but left the band in 1970.
  • Denise Johnson, 53, Musician
    The Primal Scream singer was best known for her performance in the 1991 album Screammadelica.


  • Tony Morris, 57, TV Broadcaster
    The ITV Granada Reports presented lost his battle with kidney cancer. Mr Morris began his career in journalism after serving in the RAF.
  • John Hume, 83, Politician
    Mr Hume won the Nobel Peace Price in 1998 for his role in the Northern Ireland peace process. He sadly lost his battle with dementia.
  • Trini Lopez, 83, Musician
    Mr Lopez was best known for starring in the film The Dirty Dozen and for hit songs like This Land Is Your Land. He passed away due to complications linked to coronavirus.
  • Jack Sherman, 64, Musician
    Mr Sherman became famous in the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. He joined the band in 1983.
  • Chadwick Boseman, 43, Actor
    The Black Panther star sadly lost his battle with colon cancer. Mr Boseman starred in American Soap All My Children.
  • Steve Lee, 68, Broadcaster
    Mr Lee’s broadcasting career spanned three decades and he specialised in reporting sports. He covered football and cricket for Sky and BBC Midlands.


  • Ian Mitchell, 62, Musician
    Mr Mitchell shot to fame in the Bay City Rollers as a bassist.
  • Rodney Litchfield, 81, Actor
    Mr Litchfield starred in Coronation Street, Early Doors and in Phoenix Nights. He  passed away after a long illness.
  • Bruce Williamson, 50, Musician
    It was reported that the Temptations singer passed away after contracting coronavirus. He joined the Temptations in 2006 and performed with them until 2015.
  • Alex Minter, 69, Boxer
    Mr Minter was a former undisputed middleweight champion in 1980. He earned a bronze medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics. He passed away following a lengthy battle with cancer.
  • Ronald Bell, 68, Singer
    Mr Bell co-founded Kool & The Gang and won a Grammy in 1978 for Album of the Year as a result of their Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.
  • Diana Rigg, 82, Actress
    The actress had a number of iconic roles during her acting career. She was Emma Peel in The Avengers, and appeared as 007’s wife Tracy in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. She may be known to some as Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones.
  • Pat Smullen 43, Jockey
    The nine-time Irish champion and 12 time European Classic winner passed away as a result of a battle with pancreatic cancer.
  • Archie Lyndhurst, 22, Actor
    Son of Only Fools and Horses legend Nicholas Lyndhurst appeaed on the CBBC show So Awkward, Bad Education and Casualty.
  • Dean Jones, 59, Cricketer
    The Australian batsman passed away following a heart attack. He played in England for Durham and Derbyshire.


  • Kenzo Takada, 81, Fashion designer
    Founder of the international perfume, clothing and skincare company Kenzo. The Japanese designer passed away after contracting coronavirus.
  • Eddie Van Halen, Musician
    The founder of Van Halen, he sadly lost his battle with throat cancer which sadly spread to other parts of his body.
  • Paul Matthews, Musician
    Mr Matthews was the former AC/DC bass guitarist, but only lasted a few weeks. It is though his rock and roll lifestyle led to health complications in later life which he passed away from.
  • Bobby Ball, 76, Comedian
    Robert Harper aka Bobby Ball was half of the comedy duo Cannon and Ball. Mr Ball sadly passed away after testing positive for coronavirus.
  • Nobby Stiles, 78, Footballer
    Another member of the 1966 World Cup winning team passed away after a long illness.  He made 311 appearances for Manchester United and was part of the first English club to win the European Cup in 1968.
  • Sir Sean Connery, 90, Actor
    The James Bond legend was the first in a long line of actors to take 007 to the big screen. He won an Oscar, two Baftas and three Golden Globes.


  • Geoffrey Palmer, 93, Actor
    The actor has been a star of both stage and screen, and appeared alongside Dame Judi Dench in As Time Goes By and Mrs Brown.
  • Des O’Connor, 88, TV legend
    The TV legend was king of the small screen. He was a comedian, singer and presenter and took the helm of shows such as The Des O’Connor Show and Countdown.
  • Ray Clemence, 72, Footballer
    The Liverpool, Tottenham and England goalkeeper lifted the European Cup three times during his time at Liverpool. He was capped 61 times for England.
  • Diego Maradona, 60, Footballer
    The icon is most remembered for his ‘Hand of God’ moment in the 1986 World Cup when he scored a goal against England. He player for Barcelona and Napoli.
  • Dave Prowse MBE, 85, Actor
    The Star Wars legend was famed for playing Darth Vadar on screen. He also became a cultural icon as the Green Cross Code Man.


  • Dame Barbara Windsor, 83, Actor
    The TV legend will be known by many as Peggy Mitchell off Eastenders, whilst others will look back fondly on her roles in the Carry On films. Sadly, Dame Barbara lost her battle with Alzheimer’s.
  • John Le Carre, 89, Author
    Born David Cornwell, Mr Le Carre was a novelist who specialised in espiondage stories, noteably: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, The Night Manager and The Spy Who Cae In From The Cold. Mr Le Carre died after a short illness.
  • Gerard Houllier, 73, Football legend
    Mr Houllier took charge of Liverpool FC in 1998, and saw the club win 5 cups in 2001. He’s also credited with overhauling the youth system at the club. It is reported that Mr Houllier died of health issues after retiring from football managing a decade ago due to ill health.
  • Jeremy Bulloch, 75, Actor
    Mr Bulloch was the first actor to portray Star Wars baddie Boba Fett. He sadly passed away on 17 December
  • Rosalind Knight, 87, Actress
    The Carry On actress and star of stage and screen passed away this month. She first made her name when she starred in the 1961 Royal Shakespeare Company production As You Like It, opposite Vanessa Redgrave.

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