Hollywood has said goodbye to several beloved public figures and influential icons of culture this year due to the coronavirus outbreak. Click through the gallery for more on the lives and legacies of the stars we have recently lost to COVID-19.
The TV writer and producer -- best known for his work on In Living Color, The Simpsons, The PJs and F Is for Family -- died on Jan. 30 due to COVID-19. He was 57. His brother, comedian Larry Wilmore, shared the news in an emotional tribute he posted to social media. "My sweet sweet brother, Marc Edward Wilmore, passed away last night while battling COVID and other conditions that have had him in pain for many years," the Wilmore host wrote. "My brother was the kindest, gentlest, funniest, lion of an angel I’ve ever known. I love you little brother."
The legendary Siegfried & Roy magician died in Las Vegas on Jan. 13, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 81. Siegfried's death comes eight months after his longtime collaborator, Roy Horn, died due to complications from COVID-19. Throughout their 50-year career, Siegfried & Roy became Las Vegas legends, maintaining a four decade-long run of their act, which included both illusions and animals. The pair hit the height of their success with a 14 year-run at The Mirage, which began its $30 million production in 1990. Siegfried & Roy’s legacy lives on at The Secret Garden of Siegfried & Roy at The Mirage.
The legendary country music singer died on Dec. 12, in Dallas, Texas, of complications from COVID-19. He was 86. "He was admitted to the hospital in late November with Covid-19 type symptoms and despite the incredible efforts, skill and care of his medical team over the past several weeks, he was unable to overcome the virus," read a statement on his Facebook page. "Charley felt blessed to have such wonderful fans all over the world. And he would want his fans to take this virus very seriously." Pride emerged from Southern cotton fields to become country music’s first Black superstar and the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Known for his chart-topping hits including “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” and “Mountain of Love,” Pride won the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award in 1971, its top male vocalist prize in 1971 and 1972 and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. Pride was one of only three African Americans to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.
The actress, best known for her roles in Steel Magnolias and Queen Sugar, died on Dec. 10, due to complications from COVID-19. She was 76. Sutton began her acting career in the late 1960s in Dashiki Project Theatre productions. She performed in many New Orleans productions like The Last Madam, A Raisin the Sun and Native Tongues. In 1974, she made her on-screen debut in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and appeared in movies like Ray, The Help, Monster's Ball, The Last Exorcism and as Nurse Pam in Steel Magnolias, among others. Sutton also had roles in TV series like Going to California, Treme, American Horror Story, True Detective, Lovecraft Country, and more.
The former Temptations singer has died, according to a Facebook message shared by his son. He was 49. "There's no words in the world that can express how I feel right now," Bruce Alan Williamson Jr. posted on Sept. 7. "I love you Daddy thank you for being awesome thank you for being loving thank you for being Who You Are." TMZ reported that the singer died on the night of Sept. 6 at his home in Las Vegas after battling the coronavirus. Williamson joined The Temptations in 2006, replacing tenor G.C. Cameron. He left the group in 2015 and was replaced by former Tower of Power vocalist Larry Braggs.
The galvanizing leader of the Miracle Mets 1969 championship team has died. He was 75. The Hall of Fame said that Seaver died on Aug. 31 from complications of Lewy body dementia and COVID-19. Seaver's family announced in March 2019 he had been diagnosed with dementia and had retired from public life. The former MLB pitcher was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 1991, and it reoccurred in 2012 and led to Bell's Palsy and memory loss, the New York Daily News reported in 2013. Supremely confident, Seaver was a 12-time All-Star who led the major leagues with a 25-7 record in 1969 and a 1.76 ERA in 1971. A classic power pitcher with a drop-and-drive delivery that often dirtied the right knee of his uniform pants, he won Cy Young Awards with New York in 1969, 1973 and 1975. The club retired his No. 41 in 1988, the first Mets player given the honor.
The former Republican presidential candidate, right-wing media personality and businessman has died from coronavirus. He was 74. "Herman Cain – our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us – has passed away," Dan Calabrese, the editor for Cain's website, wrote in a post on July 29. Cain was hospitalized with COVID-19 on June 29. Calabrese wrote that Cain knew "that this was going to be a rough fight" when he was first hospitalized, particularly since he had already survived a cancer diagnosis and was in a vulnerable demographic because of his age and health. Perhaps most famous for his 2011 presidential campaign, Cain had a long career as a prominent businessman. He worked as a ballistic analyst for the U.S. Department of the Navy and was a business executive at Burger King before serving as chairman and CEO of Godfather's Pizza from 1986 to 1996. He also served as president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association from 1996 to 1999. Cain is survived by his wife, Gloria, his children, Melanie and Vincent, and several grandchildren.
The celebrated Broadway star died on July 5 following a lengthy hospitalization and numerous health complications due to COVID-19. He was 41. Cordero's wife, Amanda Kloots, shared the heartbreaking news on Instagram. "God has another angel in heaven now," Kloots wrote in part alongside a photo of Cordero. "My darling husband passed away this morning. He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth. I am in disbelief and hurting everywhere. My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him. Nick was such a bright light." The Canadian actor was best known for his celebrated Broadway performances. He appeared in the 2012 production and tour of the musical Rock of Ages and played Earl in the Broadway production of Waitress before leaving the show to take on the role of Sonny in the stage adaptation of A Bronx Tale. In 2014, Cordero also appeared in the Broadway production of Bullets Over Broadway, which earned him a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. It was on the set of Bullets Over Broadway that Cordero met his future wife, a celebrity fitness instructor. Kloots and Cordero welcomed their son, Elvis, in June 2019.
The former member of Dream Street died on June 2, a statement posted to his Twitter account confirmed. He was 34. The singer died in a hospital in Burbank, California, due to complications from the coronavirus, TMZ reported. Jesse McCartney also confirmed the news on his Instagram. Trousdale first appeared on Broadway as a kid, before joining Dream Street in 1999 alongside McCartney, Greg Raposo, Matt Ballinger and Frankie Galasso. The short-lived boy band was known for their hit singles, "It Happens Every Time," "I Say Yeah" and "Sugar Rush." They recorded two studio albums before breaking up in 2002 following legal disputes between the singers' parents and their managers. Trousdale went on to act, appearing on shows like Shake It Up, Austin & Ally and Days of Our Lives. In 2012, he auditioned for The Voice but didn't make it past the blind auditions, but he did continue to release his own music; his last single, "Summer" dropped in 2019.
Roy Uwe Ludwig Horn, one half of the legendary performing duo Siegfried & Roy, died on May 8 in a Las Vegas hospital from complications of COVID-19. He was 75. "Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend," Siegfried Fischbacher said in a statement released to ET. "From the moment we met, I knew Roy and I, together, would change the world. There could be no Siegfried without Roy, and no Roy without Siegfried. Roy was a fighter his whole life including during these final days. I give my heartfelt appreciation to the team doctors, nurses and staff at Mountain View Hospital who worked heroically against this insidious virus that ultimately took Roy's life." In October 2003, Horn was attacked by a white tiger named Mantecore during a performance. He was dragged offstage by the neck and while trainers were able to free him, he suffered a stroke, severed his spine and had massive blood loss. The accident caused him to go into a dramatic five-year rehabilitation and forever canceling the Siegfried & Roy Las Vegas show.
The Mercury Prize-nominated Nigerian British rapper has reportedly died from COVID-19. He was 47. Reps for Ty, whose real name was Ben Chijioke, confirmed his death to The Guardian on May 7. ET has reached out to Ty's reps for comment. Per a GoFundMe page previously set up for the artist, Ty was hospitalized in early April with symptoms related to the coronavirus and "put in a medically induced coma to temporarily sedate" and help his body receive the appropriate treatment. By April 19, the last time the page was updated, Ty appeared to be doing better and was out of the ICU. The rapper gained fame in 2001 after the release of his debut album, The Awkward. His sophomore LP, Upwards, was nominated for the 2004 Mercury Prize. He went on to release three additional albums before forming a new hip-hop group, Kingdem, with rappers Blak Twang and Rodney P in 2019.
Fred the Godson
The rapper died on April 23 of complications from coronavirus, his rep confirmed to ET. He was 35. "New York City, hip-hop and the world lost a really good one. Fred left this world better than he found it," his rep said. Fred first revealed he was battling COVID-19 on April 6 via Instagram. Born Fredrick Thomas, the New York rapper broke out as part of XXL's 2011 Freshman Class, alongside the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller, YG and more, eventually working with everyone from Busta Rhymes to Cam'ron to Diddy. Fred released two mixtapes this year alone: January's Training Day, with Saturday Night Live alum Jay Pharoah and March's Payback. He is survived by his wife, LeeAnn Jemmott, and their two daughters.
Colman Andrews tweeted on April 15 about the death of cinematographer Daviau. The five-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker began his career on 1982's E.T. the Extraterrestrial, which led to his Academy Award nod. He earned two more working with Steven Spielberg again on The Color Purple and Empire of the Sun, with his last two Oscar noms earned for Barry Levinson's Avalon and Bugsy. The last feature film he worked on was 2004's Van Helsing.
The free jazz musician whose career spanned more than 60 years died from complications of COVID-19 on April 15. His wife, Margaret Davis Grimes, confirmed the news to the Jazz Foundation of America, according to WBGO. He was 84.
The British comedian, best known for his work on The Goodies and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, died of complications from coronavirus on April 12, his rep confirmed to ET. He was 79. Brooke-Taylor, whose success spanned more than six decades, built his comedic roots in the Cambridge Footlights Club, which he joined in 1960. He started his broadcasting career on BBC radio before transitioning to television with the BBC Two series, The Goodies, which ran from 1970 to 1982. In 2011, Brooke-Taylor was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) during Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Honors, for his services to entertainment. He is survived by his wife, Christine Weadon, and their two sons, Ben and Edward.
Th Americana and country-folk legend died on April 7 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville of coronavirus-related complications, a rep for the singer confirmed to ET. He was 73. "We join the world in mourning the passing of revered country and folk singer/songwriter John Prine," the Recording Academy said in a statement following the news. "Widely lauded as one of the most influential songwriters of his generation, John’s impact will continue to inspire musicians for years to come."
A staple of Chicago’s rising folk scene in the '60s before being discovered by Kris Kristofferson, Prine released his self-titled debut album, which features one of his more notable records, “Sam Stone,” as well as standards “Angel from Montgomery” and “Paradise.” In total, Prine released 19 studio albums, including 2018’s The Tree of Forgiveness. He has been nominated for 11 GRAMMYs and won two, in 1991 and 2005, for Best Contemporary Folk Album. In 2020, the Recording Academy honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. While the singer ultimately succumbed to complications from COVID-19, Prine was a notorious survivor. In 1998, he was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer on the right side of his neck, and in 2013, he had surgery to remove cancer from his left lung. Six months later, he was back on the road and playing music. In fact, Prine was still touring up until his final months, before the outbreak put an end to his most recent tour.
The character actor who was featured in '70s films like The Conversation, The Candidate and Nashville died on April 7 due to complications from COVID-19, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger. Born Allen Goorwitz in Newark, New Jersey, Garfield was a one-time Golden Gloves boxer and sportswriter and editor in the '50s for the Star-Ledger. He made his big-screen debut in 1969. He worked with some of the major directors of the '70s, including Brian De Palma for Hi, Mom!, Woody Allen for Bananas and Peter Yates for Mother, Jugs and Speed. Garfield has more than 100 film and TV credits to his name, with his final role being in 2002's The Majestic with Jim Carrey. He previously suffered two strokes and was living in Los Angeles at the time of his death.
The record producer and sketch music producer for Saturday Night Live since 1980 died of coronavirus complications, according to Variety. He was 64. Willner produced albums for the likes of Lou Reed, Marianne Faithfull and Lucinda Williams, and he put together renowned compilations, including 1988’s Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films.
The theatre teacher, stage director and actress died on April 5 at an assisted living facility in Aurora, Ohio, due to complications from COVID-19. She was 91. Fierro was perhaps best known for her iconic performance as the grieving mother, Mrs. Kintner, in Steven Spielberg's 1975 classic Jaws. Kevin Ryan, artistic director and board president for Island Theatre Workshop, told ET Fierro spent a great deal of her life in Martha's Vineyard and working with the workshop, during which time she taught over 1000 students and directed over 100 live productions during her time as the group's artistic director. "We will miss her terribly," Ryan shared. "She was a good friend, mentor and a very busy community member when she was in Martha's Vineyard." Fierro is survived by her five children, seven grand-children and seven great-grandchildren.
The legendary New Orleans Saints kicker Tom Dempsey died of complications from COVID-19 on April 4, the team announced. He was 73. Dempsey contracted the disease on March 25, and he has also battled Alzheimer's disease and dementia since 2012. The NFL player was born without toes on his right foot and fingers on his right hand; because of that disability, he wore a flat shoe while kicking (it is currently on display in the Pro Football Hall of Fame). In his rookie season, Dempsey hit a record-setting 63-yard field goal, which remained the longest field goal in NFL history until Matt Prater's 64-yarder in 2013. Inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame in 1989, Dempsey also played for the Eagles, Rams, Oilers and Bills before retiring to New Orleans in 1979.
The actor, who appeared in Aliens and The Dark Knight Rises and on the long-running British TV series Emmerdale, died on April 4 from complications from COVID-19, his management company shared on Twitter.
The actress and author died on April 3 after suffering from pneumonia that was brought on by coronavirus, her stepdaughter, Fia Hatsav, told The New York Times on Friday. Bosworth was 86. Hatsav remembered Bosworth in a heartbreaking post on Facebook, writing in part, "She was a humble, caring and compassionate person. She adopted us and we in return adopted her. She was part of our family, in every way. She loved my children, and treasured being their grandma, it meant everything to her." As an actress, Bosworth starred in The Patty Duke Show, Kraft Theatre, Naked City and The Nun's Story, but she was best known for her biographies of fellow Hollywood stars like Montgomery Clint, Marlon Brando and Jane Fonda.
The Fountains of Wayne co-frontman and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend executive producer died on April 1. He was 52. Schlesinger was being treated for COVID-19 in a hospital in upstate New York, where he had been on a ventilator and sedated, according to a statement from his family given to Billboard on March 31. The prolific songwriter won three Emmys, including one for the song "Antidepressants Are So Not a Big Deal" from Crazy Ex, and was nominated for an Oscar for "That Thing You Do," from the 1996 film of the same name. He scored a top 40 hit with Fountains of Wayne for "Stacy's Mom," and was also a co-founder of the bands Ivy and Tinted Windows. He is survived by two daughters, Sadie and Claire.
The voice actor died from COVID-19 on March 31, Variety confirmed. She was 88. Bennett was best known for playing Cindy Bear on The Yogi Bear Show, and she also voiced characters on Bugs Bunny, The Bullwinkle Show and the animated Spider-Man series and appeared on live-action shows like Dragnet, Leave It to Beaver and Get Smart. In the '90s, she switched careers and became a talent manager for 20 years under the name Marianne Daniels.
Jack, who was known for his role as Resistance Major Caluan Ematt in the Star Wars franchise as well as for being a major Hollywood dialect coach, has died after suffering complications stemming from coronavirus. He was 76. Jack's rep, Jill McCullough, confirmed the news in a statement to Evening Standard, sharing that he died on March 30 at St Peter’s Hospital in the U.K. Sadly, his wife, fellow dialect coach Gabrielle Rogers, was unable to be with him during his final moments. McCullough said Jack was still very much working before his tragic death, most recently on director Matt Reeves' upcoming Batman movie starring Robert Pattinson.
One of the most famous comedians in Japan has died on March 29 after contracting coronavirus, his reps told multiple outlets. He was 70. He reported symptoms on March 17, was hospitalized three days later and tested positive for coronavirus on March 23.
The GRAMMY-winning country music artist announced on March 27 that he tested positive for COVID-19. "I am under the care of medical professionals and currently receiving treatment. My family and I are asking for privacy at this time," he said in a statement. "We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this pandemic." Two days later, his rep confirmed to ET that Diffie died from complications due to coronavirus. He was 61.
The CBS News veteran -- who covered breaking news for nearly three decades and, most recently, helped shape strategy for the network's correspondents and reporters -- died from the COVID-19 coronavirus in a New York hospital on March 29. She was 54. Mercader had been on medical leave for an unrelated matter since the last week in February; she fought cancer and related illnesses for more than 20 years.
The guitarist, vocalist and songwriter -- best known for writing "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" -- died on March 29 from complications due to coronavirus. He was 69. Merrill's daughter, Laura, mourned her father's death on Facebook, writing, "The Coronavirus took my father this morning. I was given 2 minutes to say my goodbyes before I was rushed out. He seemed peaceful and as I left there was still a glimmer of hope that he wouldn’t be a ticker on the right hand side of the CNN/Fox news screen. I walked 50 blocks home still with hope in my heart. The city that I knew was empty. I felt I was the only person here and perhaps in many ways I was. By the time I got in the doors to my apartment I received the news that he was gone." Merrill originally wrote and recorded "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" while he was a member of the band the Arrows, who released the track in 1975. It would later become an iconic song as a huge hit for Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, who topped the charts with it in 1982.
The season three winner of Top Chef Masters, died on March 25 at a hospital in New Jersey due to complications from coronavirus, ET has learned. He was 59. Multiple outlets report that the famed chef was first admitted to the hospital with one week prior, where he then tested positive for COVID-19. Prior to his death, Cardoz revealed via Instagram that he was in the hospital. "Sincere apologies everyone. I am sorry for causing undue panic around my earlier post," he shared in a second post. "I was feeling feverish and hence as a precautionary measure, admitted myself into hospital in New York." Cardoz is survived by his mother, Beryl, his wife and business partner, Barkha, and their two sons, Peter, 27, and Justin, 22.
Mark Blum has died from complications due to coronavirus, multiple outlets reported and SAG-AFTRA confirmed. He was 69. The longtime actor was recently seen in TV shows such as Billions, Almost Family, Succession, The Good Fight, You, Elementary and Mozart in the Jungle, and he starred in movies like Desperately Seeking Susan and Crocodile Dundee. Blum was also a Broadway star, appearing in shows including Lost in Yonkers and The Best Man. He is survived by his wife, Janet Zarish.
The Tony-winning playwright died on March 24 at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Florida due to complications from coronavirus, McNally's rep, Matt Polk, confirmed to ET. He was 81. McNally had battled lung cancer since the late 1990s, with the disease costing him portions of both lungs. He had lived with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease since.
The Cameroonian musician, best known for the 1972 hit "Soul Makossa," died on March 24 of COVID-19. He was. 86. "It is with deep sadness that we announce you the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove,” read a statement on his official Facebook page.