Gone, but not forgotten, there have been many recent celebrity deaths in 2021. From superstars like DMX and Jessica Walters to legendary talents like Clarence Williams III, we have had to say goodbye to a lot of famous faces this year. We wanted to keep up with all of the recent celebrity deaths this year to make sure we do our part to honor the legacies of some very impactful and beautiful souls.
As we take a look back at some of the famous legends we lost in 2021, we encourage you to revisit the works that made them famous in the first place as many are immortalized in their writing, performances, and other works. Let’s take a moment to memorialize these talented, inspiring, and influential celebrities.
Here Are the Recent Celebrity Deaths of 2021
Broadway star and familiar face in films such as Gone Girl and Pumpkin, Lisa Banes died as a result of a hit-and-run in New York City on June 4. She was 64.
Clarence Williams III
Star of The Mod Squad, Clarence Williams III lost his battle with colon cancer on June 4. He was 81.
Creator of one of the most beloved children’s books in a generation, Eric Carle died at the age of 91 on May 23. The author and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Carle was the recipient of the Children’s Literature Legacy Award among other honors.
According to a press release from NASCAR.com released on May 2, “Former NASCAR driver and team owner Eric McClure, who made nearly 300 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in a career that spanned from 2003-16, died Sunday. He was 42 years old.”
Best known for her role in the 1987 film Moonstruck, Olympia Dukakis was 89 when she died on May 1. Audiences were treated to a treat recently when Netflix released a new installment of Tales of the City in 2019.
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and spouse of Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 99 on April 9. A statement released by the Queen said the Prince died “peacefully.” While he lived a long life, the news of his death was one of the most shocking recent celebrity deaths of 2021.
Earl Simmons, better known as DMX, was a legendary rapper and producer who died in White Plains New York following a heart attack on April 9. He was just 50.
The Ramona Quimby creator, Beverly Cleary, died on March 25 in California. She lived a full life that ended at the age of 104.
Superstar of stage and screen Jessica Walter died on March 24. She was 80. Her performance as Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development earned her an army of fans late in her career.
Oscar-nominated performer George Segal died at age 87 on March 23 following complications from bypass surgery.
Star of Degrassi Jahmil French died on March 2. The young performer was just 29. An actor who had many young fans, French’s passing was definitely one of the most shocking recent celebrity deaths.
Found member of The Supremes, Mary Wilson, died at 76 on February 8. “I just woke up to this news, my condolences to you Mary’s family, I am reminded that each day is a gift, I have so many wonderful memories of our time together,” Diana Ross shared on Twitter following her friend’s death. “‘The Supremes’ will live on in our hearts.”
Oscar-winning actor, best known for his role as Baron von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Christopher Plummer died on February 5 at home in Connecticut. He was 91.
Just a few short years after the release of her critically-acclaimed 2018 debut album, Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides, SOPHIE died in an accident in Athens, Greece on January 30 at the age of 34. The avant-garde producer and electronic musician was particularly loved by members of the LGBTQIA+ community after coming out in 2018. SOPHIE’s was one of the most shocking celebrity deaths of 2021.
Dustin Diamond who made the name “Screech” a household one died on February 1 after a battle with stage four lung cancer. The actor was best known for playing Samuel Powers in the nineties sitcom, Saved by the Bell.
Trailblazing Tony Award and Emmy-winning legend, Cicely Tyson died on January 28. She was 96. The actor found fame by performing in empowering roles that told the stories of Black women. This icon is deeply missed.
Beloved actor Cloris Leachman was best known for portraying Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She won a number of awards for her work on stage and screen through the years. She died of natural causes on January 27 at the age of 94.
Influential photojournalist Corky Lee documented the lives and achievements of Asian Americans to great acclaim. He died of complications from COVID-19 on January 27 at the age of 73.
Radio host Larry King died at the age of 87 on January 23. Though a cause of death was never officially released, his death occurred two weeks after the star was hospitalized with COVID-19.
The son of supermodel Stephanie Seymour and magazine publisher Peter Brant, Harry Brant, died on January 17. He was just 24. His family announced that his death was the result of an accidental overdose.
Classical pianist and widow of children’s TV superstar, Fred Rogers, Joanne Rogers died on January 14 at 92. Joanne and Fred Rogers were married for 50 years until his death in 2003 from stomach cancer.
Peter Mark Richman
Peter Mark Richman was an actor with over 130 television credits including his recurring role as Reverend Snow on Three’s Company. He died on January 14 at 93.
The billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson died on January 11. He was 87. He was one of the most prominent donors to the Republican Party.
Deezer D, best known for his role as nurse Malik McGrath on the medical drama ER, died on January 7, his brother announced on Instagram. He was 55.
There have been many recent celebrity deaths. We remember these stars who will live on forever in our hearts and minds. Each forged a legacy in the perspective fields becoming household names. As we mourn these deaths, take a moment to enjoy some of the amazing things they have created. Listen to an album by DMX, watch one of Cicely Tyson’s amazing films, or read one of Eric Carle’s books to your kids.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 Here Are the Recent Celebrity Deaths of 2021
- 1.1 Lisa Banes
- 1.2 Ernie Lively
- 1.3 Clarence Williams III
- 1.4 Eric Carle
- 1.5 Eric McClure
- 1.6 Olympia Dukakis
- 1.7 Prince Philip
- 1.8 DMX
- 1.9 Beverly Cleary
- 1.10 Jessica Walter
- 1.11 George Segal
- 1.12 Jahmil French
- 1.13 Mary Wilson
- 1.14 Christopher Plummer
- 1.15 SOPHIE
- 1.16 Dustin Diamond
- 1.17 Cicely Tyson
- 1.18 Cloris Leachman
- 1.19 Corky Lee
- 1.20 Larry King
- 1.21 Harry Brant
- 1.22 Joanne Rogers
- 1.23 Peter Mark Richman
- 1.24 Sheldon Adelson
- 1.25 Deezer D
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