Celebrities Who've Died in 2021

Gone, but never forgotten 

01 of 99

Betty White

betty white
Betty White. getty

TV's perennial Golden Girl died on Dec. 31, just two weeks before she would have celebrated her 100th birthday.

"Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever," her agent and close friend Jeff Witjas told PEOPLE in a statement. "I will miss her terribly and so will the animal world that she loved so much. I don't think Betty ever feared passing because she always wanted to be with her most beloved husband Allen Ludden. She believed she would be with him again."

Following the news of her death, Hollywood's biggest stars shared tributes to the beloved actress.

"The world looks different now," wrote Ryan Reynolds, who had fostered a loving relationship with White over the years. "She was great at defying expectation. She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We'll miss you, Betty."

Fellow comedian Ellen DeGeneres called White's life "exceptional."

"I'm grateful for every second I got to spend with Betty White," DeGeneres wrote on Twitter. "Sending love to her family, friends and all of us."

White's Hot in Cleveland costar Valerie Bertinelli also shared her condolences on social media.

"Rest in peace, sweet Betty," Bertinelli wrote. "My God, how bright heaven must be right now."

02 of 99

Sam Jones

Sam Jones
Sam Jones. Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty

The legendary Boston Celtics player, who won 10 NBA championships with the franchise, died on Dec. 30 at the age of 88.

Jones died in Florida after he was hospitalized for his failing health, according to Celtics spokesperson Jeff Twiss, ESPN reports.

"Sam Jones was one of the most talented, versatile, and clutch shooters for the most successful and dominant teams in NBA history," the Celtics wrote in a statement. "His scoring ability was so prolific, and his form so pure, that he earned the simple nickname, 'The Shooter.' He was also known as 'Mr. Clutch.'"

"​​The Jones family is in our thoughts as we mourn his loss and fondly remember the life and career of one of the greatest champions in American sports," it concluded.

03 of 99

John Madden

john madden
John Madden. Raiders poses for a photo circa 1970s. (Photo by Sporting News/Getty)

The legendary football coach and sports broadcaster died "unexpectedly" the morning of Dec. 28, the National Football League announced. His cause of death was not immediately available. He was 85.

"On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Virginia, Mike, Joe and their families," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "We all know him as the Hall of Fame coach of the Oakland Raiders and broadcaster who worked for every major network, but more than anything, he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather."

The statement continued, "Nobody loved football more than Coach. He was football. He was an incredible sounding board to me and so many others. There will never be another John Madden, and we will forever be indebted to him for all he did to make football and the NFL what it is today."

Madden was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 5, 2006. He is also the name behind the widely popular "Madden" video games.

04 of 99

Wayne Thiebaud

Wayne Thiebaud
Wayne Thiebaud. Getty Images

The acclaimed painter, best known for his decorative pieces that brought commonplace objects and landscapes to life, died at 101.

The University of California, Davis, where Thiebaud taught for more than 40 years, announced his death in a news release on Dec. 26.

"Wayne Thiebaud had a profound and lasting influence on our university, but his legacy transcends UC Davis. He was beloved as an artist, professor, mentor, father, grandfather, philanthropist and community leader," UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May said in the news release.

"He was a brilliant artist, and his work will forever encourage us to see our world in a more textural light, where common objects can ascend to profound and iconic heights."

05 of 99

Sarah Weddington

Sarah Weddington
Sarah Weddington. Cindy Ord/Getty Images

The Texas lawyer, who successfully argued the 1973 landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade, has died. She was 76.

Weddington's former student and colleague, Susan Hays, announced on Twitter that the attorney died on the morning of Dec. 26 in her Austin home "after a series of health issues."

"Sarah Weddington was a Texas giant," Texas state Rep. John Bucy tweeted. "From litigating Roe v. Wade, to serving in the Texas House, to supporting countless women in politics, she has left a legacy of fighting for progress that is nearly unmatched."

06 of 99

Jean-Marc Vallée

Jean-Marc Vallée. Rich Polk/Getty Images

At just 58 years old, the award-winning Canadian director of acclaimed projects, such as Dallas Buyers Club, Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects, has died.

The Oscar-nominated filmmaker passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Dec. 26 at his cabin outside Quebec City, PEOPLE confirmed at the time. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Vallée's producing partner, Nathan Ross, said in a statement, "Jean-Marc stood for creativity, authenticity and trying things differently. He was a true artist and a generous, loving guy. Everyone who worked with him couldn't help but see the talent and vision he possessed. He was a friend, creative partner and an older brother to me. The maestro will sorely be missed but it comforts knowing his beautiful style and impactful work he shared with the world will live on."

Vallée is survived by his sons, Alex and Émile, and siblings Marie-Josée Vallée, Stéphanie Tousignant and Gérald Vallée.

07 of 99

Desmond Tutu

South African Archbishop and Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu poses as he arrives for a photocall for the documentary "Children of the Light" as part of the 54st Monte-Carlo Television Festival on June 8, 2014 in Monaco.
Desmond Tutu. Valery Hache/AFP via Getty

The human rights activist and anti-apartheid hero died on Dec. 26 at 90 years old. The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation confirmed the South African civil rights icon's death, noting the Nobel Peace Prize winner passed away in Cape Town.

"Tutu was a living embodiment of faith in action, speaking boldly against racism, injustice, corruption, and oppression, not just in apartheid South Africa but wherever in the world he saw wrongdoing, especially when it impacted the most vulnerable and voiceless in society," his foundation wrote.

"Officially 'retiring' from public life on his 79th birthday, Tutu continued to speak out on a range of ethical and moral issues: illegal arms deals, xenophobia, oppressed people in Palestine, respect for the rule of law, HIV/Aids, Tibet, China, Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, and LGBTQI+ rights," the notice continued. "He also vociferously campaigned for gentler stewardship of the Earth, and against the coming ravages of climate change, a very real example of how human survival rests on our ubuntu-spirited ability to cooperate and work together."

Tutu was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 after being nominated thrice prior in '81, '82, and '83 for his non-violent tactics in dismantling apartheid. He is survived by wife Nomalizo Leah Tutu and four children, Trevor Thamsanqa Tutu, Naomi Nontombi Tutu, Theresa Thandeka Tutu and Mpho Tutu van Furth as well as their families.

08 of 99

Virgil Abloh

Virgil Abloh poses after the Louis Vuitton Menswear Spring/Summer 2019 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on June 21, 2018 in Paris, France.
Virgil Abloh. Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty

The groundbreaking designer died at age 41 after a private two-year battle with cancer, PEOPLE confirmed on Nov. 28.

"We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend," the Off-White designer's family said Sunday in a statement shared on Abloh's Instagram page.

The designer had been diagnosed with "a rare, aggressive form of cancer" called cardiac angiosarcoma, his family revealed.

Born on Sept. 30, 1980, Abloh made his mark on the fashion world through his work as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collection and as founder of Off-White.

09 of 99

Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim. Michael Stewart/Getty

The legendary Broadway composer died at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, on Nov. 26. He was 91.

Born in 1930 in New York, Sondheim grew up next to famous lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, who encouraged his budding passion for music and theater.

From West Side Story to Into the Woods, the songwriter, lyricist and composer's career was unparalleled.

He was the recipient of eight Tony Awards, including a special lifetime achievement Tony Award. In 2010, New York City's Henry Miller's Theatre was renamed the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in his honor.

10 of 99

James Michael Tyler

FRIENDS, James Michael Tyler
James Michael Tyler. Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

The Friends alum died following a battle with stage 4 prostate cancer, PEOPLE confirmed on Oct. 24. He was 59.

Tyler, who played Central Perk barista Gunther on the hit show, revealed his diagnosis for the first time in mid-June, about three years after his treatment began in 2018.

"I've been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years. ... It's stage 4 [now], late-stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it's gonna probably get me," Tyler shared on Today in June, noting at the time that he was undergoing chemotherapy.

Per his official obituary, Tyler is survived by the love of his life, wife Jennifer Carno, "ever united in good times, in sickness, and for eternity."

11 of 99

Peter Scolari

Peter Scolari
Peter Scolari. Michael Tran/FilmMagic

The actor, known for his roles in Bosom Buddies, Newhart and Girls, has died at 66.

Scolari died of cancer the morning of Oct. 22, following a two-year illness, his manager Ellen Lubin Sanitsky at Wright Entertainment told Variety and Deadline.

The star's breakout role came alongside Tom Hanks in the beloved sitcom Bosom Buddies, which ran for two seasons from 1980 to 1982 on NBC. He also appeared in Hanks' 1996 directorial debut That Thing You Do!, as well as his 1998 HBO limited series From the Earth to the Moon and 2004's The Polar Express. He later appeared in Lena Dunham's hit HBO series Girls as her character Hannah Horvath's father Tad, who comes out as gay while married to her mother Loreen (Becky Ann Baker). The role earned Scolari an Emmy Award in 2016 for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series.

He is survived by his wife Tracy Shayne, whom he married in 2013, as well as his children Nicholas, Joseph, Keaton and Cali.

12 of 99

Michael K. Williams

Michael Kenneth Williams
Michael Kenneth Williams. Rodrigo Varela/Getty

The actor, best known for his roles in The Wire, Boardwalk Empire and Lovecraft Country, was found dead on Sept. 6. He was 54.

The five-time Emmy Award nominee was found at around 2 p.m. in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, a source from the NYPD told PEOPLE. The actor's nephew discovered his body in the living room.

"It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams," a rep for Williams told PEOPLE. "They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss."

While the cause of death has not yet been announced, drug paraphernalia was found in the apartment, according to the New York Post. A separate law enforcement source told PEOPLE that Williams died of a suspected overdose of heroin laced with fentanyl.

13 of 99

Suzzanne Douglas

Suzzanne Douglas
Suzzanne Douglas. John Lamparski/Getty Images

Douglas, best known for her starring role on The Parent 'Hood has died. She was 64.

Douglas' cousin, Angie Tee, announced the actress' death Tuesday with an emotional tribute on Facebook.

"Suzzanne Douglas a beautiful and talented actress made her transition today. She warmed our hearts on movie screens and television sets all over the world. This beautiful soul was my cousin," she wrote, posting three photos of her cousin.

She began her acting career in the early 1980s by appearing in the soap opera Guiding Light. After that stint, she appeared in several shows including Sondheim's Into the Woods, Tap, School of Rock, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, The Good Wife, Bones and more.

For her contributions to 1989's Tap, Douglas won the NAACP Image Award for outstanding supporting actress in a film.

She is survived by her husband of 32 years, Dr. Roy Jonathan Cobb and their daughter Jordan.

14 of 99

Richard Donner

Richard Donner
Richard Donner. Peter Kramer/Getty

The filmmaker best known for creating The Goonies, Superman and all four movies in the Lethal Weapon franchise died at 91.

Donner started as an actor but quickly made the pivot to directing. Throughout the 60s he helmed a number of commercials and shows including Wanted: Dead or Alive, The Loretta Young Show, Route 66, The Rifleman, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Gilligan's Island, Perry Mason, The Wild Wild West, Get Smart, The Fugitive and The Twilight Zone (including "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," one of the series' most revered episodes).

In 1986, Donner opened his own production studio with his wife and fellow producer Lauren Schuler entitled, Donner/Shuler-Donner Productions before it made the name switch to just The Donner's Company in 1999.

Some of Donner's other credits include Scrooged (1988), Maverick (1994), Assassins (1995), Conspiracy Theory (1997), Timeline (2003) and most recently, 2006's 16 Blocks.

15 of 99

Alison Greenspan

Alison Greenspan
Alison Greenspan. Arturo Holmes/ABC via Getty

Greenspan, the executive producer of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants died after a long battle with cancer. She was 48.

She has produced several films and tv shows during her career including the ABC drama series For Life and What A Girl Wants starring Amanda Bynes.

Greenspan's career also consisted of adapting movies from popular books. In 2014, three films Greenspan produced were released: The Best of Me, a Sparks book adaptation starring James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan; You're Not You, based on the novel by Michelle Wildgen and starring Hilary Swank, Emmy Rossum and Josh Duhamel; and the Chloë Grace Moretz film If I Stay, based on the book by Gayle Forman.

16 of 99

Ray MacDonnell

Ray MacDonnell
Ray MacDonnell. Robin Platzer/FilmMagic

MacDonnell, best known for his 40-year portrayal of Dr. Joe Martin on All My Children, died on June 10 of natural causes. He was 93.

His All My Children co-star, Susan Lucci, wrote a tribute to the actor on Instagram.

"He was truly our AMC patriarch — and filled our studio with warmth and professionalism — and his delicious sense of humor — there were times during scenes that I couldn't dare make eye contact with him — just a look from his eyes with that ever-present gleam — would dissolve us into peals of laughter," Lucci continued. "Thank you so much, Ray, for gracing our show on-screen and off — with your great presence! My heartfelt sympathy to beautiful Pat and your family — RIP, RAY."

MacDonnell played the patriarchy of the Martin family until his retirement from the show in 2009. His contributions to the soap opera garnered him a Daytime Emmy Award for lifetime achievement in 2004.

He previously played Philip Capice on the black-and-white CBS soap The Edge of the Night from 1961 to 1969. His other credits include an episode of The Jack Benny Program and an unsold pilot for a 1967 TV adaptation of Dick Tracy, in which he played the eponymous detective.

17 of 99

Johnny Solinger

Skid Row Johnny Solinger
Johnny Solinger. Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns/Getty

Solinger, best known for his contributions to the band Skid Row, died on June 26, one month after it was realized that the singer was suffering from liver failure.

Skid Row announced the rocker's death in a social media statement on June 26. "We are saddened to hear the news of our brother Johnny Solinger," the group wrote. "Our thoughts are with his family, friends and fans."

Solinger joined Skid Row in 1999 and replaced Sebastian Bach as the lead singer. Solinger stayed with the group until 2015 when he was replaced by the former TNT singer Tony Harnell.

He sang on four Skid Row albums during his tenure with the group.

18 of 99

John Langley

John Langley
John Langley. Todd Oren/Getty

Langley, best known for his creation of the hit series Cops, died on June 26 due to a heart attack. He was 78 years old.

TMZ confirmed that Langley was competing in the Coast to Coast Ensenada-San Felipe 250 off-road race and that his son, Zak, was with him at the time of his death.

The producer's first debut came in 1986 with his first special American Vice: The Doping of a Nation. This project showed live drug arrests on primetime television. He then went on to produce series like Inside American Jail, Las Vegas Jailhouse, Street Patrol and Undercover Stings.

In 1989, Cops debuted and since, the show has garnered four Emmy nominations in the outstanding informational series category. The was canceled in May 2013, originally, and again indefinitely in May 2020 following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

19 of 99

Bryan St. Pere

Bryan St Pere
Bryan St. Pere. hum/instagram

St. Pere, the drummer of Illinois-originated alternative rock band Hum, has died. He was 52.

St. Pere's bandmates Matt Talbott, Tim Lash, and Jeff Dimpsey announced his death in a statement shared on social media on July 1.

"It is with very heavy hearts and tear-filled eyes that we share the news that our beloved friend and bandmate, Bryan St. Pere, has passed away." the statement began.

"We are devastated and deeply saddened by his sudden, and unexpected passing. Bryan was a dear friend, a loving father, brother, and was an incredible person and musician," the band continued. "We all feel extremely lucky to have shared time and space with him."

"Peace and love to all who knew Bryan, and those he touched," they concluded. "We will miss him dearly."

Hum was founded in 1989 and a year later after the band's original drummer, Jeff Kropp, left the group.

The band found commercial success with their second single, "Stars," from their third album, You'd Prefer an Astronaut. The group disbanded and in recent years, St. Pere was pursuing a career in healthcare, according to Stereogum. Although he didn't take part in Hum's 2015 reunion tour, he did contribute to the group's latest project, Inlet, released in 2020.

20 of 99

Sanford Clark

Sanford Clark
Sanford Clark. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Clark, best known for being a rockability artist and his 1956 top 10 hit "The Fool" died on the Fourth of July due to COVID. He was 85.

The singer/guitarist died at Mercy Hospital in Joplin, Missouri. He was receiving cancer treatment before he caught the coronavirus.

Clark has been cited as an influence on artists like Elvis Presley and Keith Richards.

His other songs include "Calling All Hearts," which has been featured in episodes of Nashville and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and "Bad Case of You," which appeared in two episodes of Transparent.

After releasing several other songs in the '50s and '60s, he left the music business to work in construction.

Clark is survived by his wife and several kids.

21 of 99

Janet Malcolm

janet malcom
Janet Malcolm. George Nikitin/AP/Shutterstock

The essayist and journalist, best known for her work in The New Yorker, died on June 16. She was 86.

The writer died in a hospital in New York City as a result of cancer, her daughter Anne confirmed to The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Malcolm, who was born in Prague, was revered for her essays examining psychoanalysis and her critique of her own profession as a journalist.

Her debut work was 1981's Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession. That book was followed by a number of others, including In the Freud Archives, The Journalist and the Murderer, The Silent Woman, Two Lives and Iphigenia in Forest Hills.

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Richard B. "Dick" Stolley

Richard Stolley
Richard "Dick" Stolley. Robin Platzer/FilmMagic

The founding editor of PEOPLE, whose belief in highlighting stories of ordinary people doing the extraordinary transformed the magazine industry, died on June 16. He was 92.

Stolley, who was PEOPLE's Managing Editor when the magazine first launched in 1974, died of heart complications while surrounded by family in Evanston, Illinois, PEOPLE confirmed.

"Dick Stolley was a legendary editor whose vision and execution established the most successful magazine of all time that America fell in love with. He was an amazing journalist whose work and magazine craft we still refer to every day at PEOPLE as it's still so relevant," Dan Wakeford, editor in chief for PEOPLE, said in a statement.

Stolley was also known for his reporting work at Life magazine, where he focused on the civil rights movement in the South and famously secured the Zapruder footage of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 1963.

"Our motto was, 'extraordinary people doing ordinary things, and ordinary people doing extraordinary things.' And the formula worked then and still does," Stolley said of the idea behind PEOPLE.

23 of 99

Lisa Banes

Lisa Banes
Lisa Banes. Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Banes, known for her work on Broadway and in films such as Gone Girl and Pumpkin, died following a hit-and-run accident that took place on June 4 while she was visiting New York City from Los Angeles. She was 65.

Banes' manager, David Williams, confirmed the news of her death to PEOPLE, sharing, "We are heartsick over Lisa's tragic and senseless passing."

Banes obtained "a traumatic brain injury and was unable to recover," Williams said.

The Julliard alum was perhaps best known for her roles on Broadway in Neil Simon's Rumors, High Society, Accent on Youth and Present Laughter.

Her acting career also included films such as Freedom Writers, A Cure for Wellness, Young Guns, and as well as roles in TV shows like Roseanne, Six Feet Under, Desperate Housewives and Nashville.

24 of 99

John Gabriel

John Gabriel. Walt Disney Television via Getty

The actor, best known for his role on the ABC soap opera Ryan's Hope, has died. He was 90.

His daughter, Andrea Gabriel, shared the news of his death on June 13 on Instagram.

"It is with an unspeakably heavy heart that I share the news of my father's passing," the Lost alum, 42, captioned her tribute. "John Gabriel was my hero, my role model, and my champion, but above all, my daddy...I will love you forever."

Gabriel earned a Daytime Emmy nomination in 1980 for his turn as Dr. Seneca Beaulac on Ryan's Hope, which he starred in for more than 700 episodes from 1975 to 1989.

The actor additionally landed roles in other prominent shows, including Days of Our Lives, Generations, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Seinfeld, and appeared in films such as The Hiding Place (1975) and The Return of Superfly (1990).

25 of 99

Ernie Lively

Blake Lively's Dad Ernie
Ernie and Blake Lively. Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

The longtime Hollywood actor and the father of actress Blake Lively died on June 3. He was 74.

The star, who was born on Jan. 29, 1947, died of cardiac complications in Los Angeles, his rep confirmed to PEOPLE. Ernie underwent heart surgery in Utah in 2013, PEOPLE previously reported.

Ernie's career, which began with 1975's The Waltons, spanned five decades and included a number of television show appearances, including The Dukes of Hazzard, The X-Files, The West Wing, That '70s Show and more.

On the big screen, his credits included turns in Mulholland Falls, The Beverly Hillbillies, Passenger 57, The Man in the Moon, Showdown in Little Tokyo, Air America and Shocker.

He also famously played Blake's father in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and its sequel.

Before his time in Hollywood, Ernie was an English professor and a captain in the U.S. Marine Corp, having served in the Vietnam War, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

26 of 99

Clarence Williams III

Clarence Williams III
David Livingston/Getty

The actor, best known for his role on The Mod Squad, died on June 4 after a battle with colon cancer. He was 81.

Williams' manager, Peg Donegan, confirmed to PEOPLE that the actor died at his home in Los Angeles.

The actor's big break came in 1968 when he took on the role of Lincoln "Linc" Hayes on the crime drama series The Mod Squad until 1973. His other TV credits include appearances on Mystery Woman, American Dragon: Jake Long, Judging Amy, Empire and Everybody Hates Chris. He also landed roles in several movies, including Purple Rain (he played Prince's father), The Butler and Reindeer Games.

Williams' final on-screen role was in the 2018 movie American Nightmares, starring Danny Trejo.

27 of 99

Robert Hogan

Robert Hogan
Robert Hogan. Walter McBride/Corbis via Getty Images

Hogan, a longtime television actor who was best known for his roles in hit shows including Law & Order and The Wire, died of complications from pneumonia on May 27. He was 87.

Hogan died at his home in Maine, his family announced in The New York Times. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's back in 2013.

The Jamaica, Queens native's acting career began in the early 1960s and spanned six decades. His acting credits span over 100 primetime shows and an abundance of daytime soap dramas based in both California and New York, per the Times.

28 of 99

Eric Carle

Eric Carle
Eric Carle. Jonathan Wiggs/getty

The author and illustrator of the beloved children's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar died on May 23. He was 91.

Publisher Penguin Kids announced Carle's death on Twitter.

Carle's son Rolf told The New York Times that his father died at his summer studio in Northampton, Massachusetts, of kidney failure.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, first published in 1969, has gone on to sell more than 55 million copies and has been translated into more than 70 languages.

Other of Carle's most notable works include The Very Busy Spider, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse.

His works have earned him a variety of awards over the decades, including the Children's Literature Legacy Award in 2003, the 1999 Regina Medal, the 2007 NEA Foundation Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education and the 2010 Original Art Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Illustrators.

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Samuel E. Wright

Samuel E. Wright
Samuel E. Wright. Jim Spellman/WireImage

Wright, who was known for voicing Sebastian the crab in The Little Mermaid, died on May 25. He was 74.

The two-time Tony Award nominee's death was announced by the town of Montgomery, New York, where Wright resided with his family.

"Today, the Town of Montgomery mourns the loss of Sam Wright," a post on the town's Facebook page read, noting that Wright and his family founded the Hudson Valley Conservatory and referring to the late star as "a pillar in our community."

In addition to voicing Sebastian, the South Carolina native starred as Mufasa in the original Broadway cast of The Lion King. The role earned him his second Tony Award nomination in 1998. His first nomination was in 1984 for playing William in The Tap Dance Kid.

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Pervis Staples

Pervis Staples
Pervis Staples. Albert Ferreira/AP/Shutterstock

Staples, one of the founding members of the legendary gospel group the Staple Singers, died on May 6. He was 85.

The singer died at his home in Dolton, Illinois, Adam Ayers, a spokesperson for his sister Mavis Staples, told the Associated Press. A cause of death was not given.

Born on November 18, 1935, in Drew, Mississippi, Pervis and his family soon moved to Chicago, where he grew up and went on to perform alongside his sisters Cleotha, Mavis and Yvonne as the Staple Singers in local churches during the late 1940s, according to The Guardian.

Pervis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his family in 1999 and received a lifetime achievement award from the Grammys in 2005 as part of the Staple Singers.

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Jerry Burns

Head coach Jerry Burns of the Minnesota Vikings
Jerry Burns. George Rose/Getty

The former Minnesota Vikings coach died on May 12. He was 94.

The Vikings announced the news, mourning Burns, who was the team's head coach from 1986 to 1991 and worked with them for 24 seasons.

Owners of the team, the Wilf family, said in a statement that Burns was "one of the most important people we met when we came to Minnesota, and he was a foundation of this franchise."

Burns helped bring the team to four Super Bowls during his time as offensive coordinator, according to the team, and he became part of the Viking's Ring of Honor.

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Lloyd Price

Lloyd Price
Lloyd Price. Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

On May 3, the singer-songwriter and rock 'n' roll pioneer, died at an extended-care center due to complications of diabetes in New Rochelle, New York, The New York Times reported. He was 88.

A Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Price was best known for his hit "Personality," which reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts in 1959. The hit song earned him the nickname Mr. Personality.

Price's career took off when he recorded "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" at 19. The song topped the Billboard R&B chart, according to the Times. Musicians including Elvis Presley and Paul McCartney would go on to cover the song, which is considered by many as the first rock hit.

Price was later drafted and sent to Korea in 1953. When he returned, he founded his own record labels, per EW.

He released his last album This Is Rock and Roll in 2017.

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Eric McClure

Eric McClure
Eric McClure. Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

On May 2, the former NASCAR driver, who made nearly 300 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, died. He was 42.

His death was confirmed by NASCAR as well as his family.

"The family of Eric Wayne McClure, former NASCAR driver, announces with great sorrow his passing on Sunday," his family said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. "They would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support during this very difficult time."

McClure, whose last race was in 2016, spent the majority of his career in the Xfinity Series.

A cause of death has not been given. In 2013, McClure revealed that he had been diagnosed with acute renal failure and in 2019, he said that he was being treated for kidney failure, according to the Associated Press. He also suffered multiple concussions throughout his professional career.

34 of 99

Olympia Dukakis

Olympia Dukakis
Olympia Dukakis. Theo Wargo/Getty Images

The actress, who was perhaps best known for her role in the 1987 film Moonstruck, died on May 1. She was 89.

Her brother, Apollo, announced the news in a Facebook post. He did not share Dukakis' cause of death.

"My beloved sister, Olympia Dukakis, passed away this morning in New York City. After many months of failing health she is finally at peace and with her Louis," Apollo wrote, citing Dukakis' late husband, Louis Zorich.

Born in 1931 in Lowell, Massachusetts, Dukakis was the daughter of Greek immigrants and began her career in the theater before entering the world of Hollywood with her role in Moonstruck, which earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as well as a Golden Globe and a BAFTA nomination.

Dukakis also starred as Clairee Belcher in 1989's Steel Magnolias. In addition to her work in film, she also starred in a number of TV shows, earning three Emmy nominations for Lucky Day (1991), More Tales of the City (1998) and Joan of Arc (1999).

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Eli Broad

eli board
Eli Broad. Getty

The billionaire developer and philanthropist died on April 30. He was 87.

The entrepreneur died at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center "after a long illness," Suzi Emmerling, a spokeswoman for the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, confirmed to the Associated Press.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti shared a touching tribute on Twitter, calling Broad "L.A.'s most influential private citizen of his generation."

Broad co-founded homebuilding pioneer Kaufman and Broad Inc. and launched financial services giant SunAmerica Inc., both of which became Fortune 500 companies and led to his Forbes estimated $6.9 billion net worth. He also financed the Broad Museum in downtown L.A., which opened in 2015 and includes 2,000 artworks from the Broads' collection, worth $1.6 billion, according to NBC News.

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Tavita Karika

Tavita Karika
Tavita Karika. GIVEALITTLE

The former Bachelorette New Zealand contestant died on April 29 at the age of 31.

Fellow former contestant Marc Johnson confirmed the news of Karika's death, telling New Zealand news outlet Stuff that he was with him when the reality star died in Wellington.

"I can confirm that Tavita did pass last night around midnight," Johnson said. "I can't tell you if it was before or after because it was just too emotional, and before I knew it four or five hours had passed."

"I was with him in his final moments. There was a lot of family and friends," he said.

A cause of death has not been released for the Christchurch native.

Karika — who went on to star on the dating show Heartbreak Island in 2018 — had just finished his barber's apprenticeship, according to Stuff.

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Johnny Crawford

Johnny Crawford
Johnny Crawford. Tasia Wells/Getty

The actor, who was an original Mouseketeer, died on April 29. He was 75.

His family revealed the news of his death in a statement shared on his website. The actor had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and had contracted COVID-19 and pneumonia, but his cause of death was not specified.

"It is with great sadness that we share the news of Johnny Crawford's passing," the family's statement said. "He slipped away peacefully on Thursday, April 29, 2021, with Charlotte, his wife, by his side."

Crawford, whose acting career kicked off on The Mickey Mouse Club, was nominated for an Emmy at age 13 for his role in The Rifleman. He most recently appeared in 2019's The Marshal.

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Jason Matthews

Jason Matthews
Jason Matthews. Michael Loccisano/WireImage

The award-winning author of the Red Sparrow series died on April 28 at the age of 69.

The author died from corticobasal degeneration, a rare and untreatable disease that affects the brain and causes cells to degenerate over time, according to his publisher Scribner.

Matthews studied journalism before working in the CIA for 33 years as a diplomat in Europe, Asia and the Caribbean, according to a New York Times profile on the author.

He later used his experiences to write his first novel, Red Sparrow, which was published in 2013. The spy thriller was later adapted into a movie of the same name starring Jennifer Lawrence.

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Shock G

Shock G
Shock G. Leon Bennett/WireImage

The co-founder of the iconic hip-hop group Digital Underground died on April 22 from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, ethanol and methamphetamine. He was 57.

The rapper, born Gregory Jacobs, was found dead in a hotel room.

Jacobs started Digital Underground with Chopmaster J and the late Kenny-K in 1987 after moving from the East Coast to Oakland, California.

Jacobs was also a talented music producer, who worked on Tupac Shakur's breakthrough single "I Get Around," on which he also appears as a featured artist.

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Joe Long

Joe Long the Four Seasons
Joe Long. Hulton Archive/Getty

The former bassist of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons died of COVID-19 on April 21. He was 79.

Long's former bandmates Valli, 86, and Bob Gaudio, 78, confirmed the news in a statement they jointly shared on Facebook.

"It is with great sadness that we learned that our dear bandmate, Joe Long, has passed away. We send our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fans."

Born Joseph Louis LaBracio in Elizabeth, New Jersey in 1941, Long was trained in classical music but transitioned to the Fender bass guitar after he reportedly suffered a hand injury.

He joined The Four Seasons in 1965 and remained with the band until the mid-'70s. He went on to form his own rock group, LaBracio.

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Tempest Storm

Tempest Storm
Tempest Storm. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The burlesque legend, who was known for appearing in several Russ Meyer films, died on April 20 at age 93.

The veteran exotic dancer (née Annie Banks) died in her Las Vegas apartment, surrounded by fellow burlesque performers and friends.

Storm had been previously diagnosed with dementia.

Born in Eastman, Georgia, in 1928, she moved to Hollywood at age 17 and began dancing as Tempest Storm. There, she befriended her neighbor Marilyn Monroe.

She soon became the highest-paid burlesque performer in history, signing a 10-year contract for $100,000 a year with the Bryan-Engels burlesque chain. Lloyd's of London insured her breasts for $1 million.

Storm was the subject of the 2016 Nimisha Mukerji documentary Tempest Storm: Burlesque Queen.

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Jim Steinman

Jim Steinman
Jim Steinman. Larry Busacca/Getty

The songwriter and producer for musicians including Meat Loaf, Céline Dion and Air Supply, died on April 19. He was 73.

The Grammy winner died in Connecticut, according to TMZ. A medical emergency call was reportedly made from his home at about 3:30 a.m. The cause of his death is unclear.

In 2004, Steinman previously suffered a stroke, which caused him to temporarily lose his ability to speak.

Steinman, who worked with a number of famous artists over the years, was best known for his work with Meat Loaf. He composed the musician's 1977 debut album Bat Out of Hell, which remains one of the best-selling albums of all time. He later wrote and produced the artist's hit, "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)."

The native New Yorker was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in June 2012.

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Lee Aaker

Lee Aaker and Rin Tin Tin
Lee Aaker as Rusty on The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin. Bettmann Archive

The actor, best known for his role as Rusty on the 1950s TV series The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin as a child actor, died on April 1. He was 77.

Paul Petersen, another former child actor, announced the news of Aaker's passing on Facebook.

"Saying Goodbye to Lee Aaker. You have to be a certain age to remember Rin Tin Tin," wrote Petersen, 75.

Petersen shared that Aaker died "alone and unclaimed ... listed as an 'indigent decedent.'"

Aaker earned a number of other acting credits before his big break in 1954, both on television and the big screen.

The actor eventually left Hollywood behind, working as a carpenter for 20 years, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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Gerren Taylor

Gerren Taylor
Gerren Taylor. Tibrina Hobson/WireImage

The reality star, known for her appearance on BET's Baldwin Hills, died on April 11. She was 30.

No details were immediately available about her cause of death.

"The entire BET family mourns the passing of one of our own, Ms. Ashley Gerren Taylor, beloved star of BET's Baldwin Hills," BET announced in a statement. "The untimely passing of such a young, bright light is difficult to process. BET's thoughts and prayers go out to Ashley's friends and family during this time."

Baldwin Hills, which aired from 2007–09, was a reality series that followed the lives of a group of wealthy Black teenagers from the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles.

Taylor also worked as a model and was featured in the 2007 documentary America the Beautiful, which explored self-image and beauty standards.

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Nikki Grahame

Nikki Grahame
Nikki Grahame. Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

The Big Brother UK alum died on April 9, according to Deadline. She was 38.

The cause of the reality star's death is currently unknown. "Please respect the privacy of Nikki's friends and family at this tragic and difficult time," her representative said in a statement.

Grahame, who opened up about her struggles with anorexia nervosa in her autobiographical books Dying to Be Thin (2009) and Fragile (2012), was recently in treatment for an eating disorder, and friends started a GoFundMe for her the month before her death.

Grahame came in fifth place during season seven of Big Brother UK in 2006 and went on to star in her own reality series Princess Nikki. She later became the first runner-up on Ultimate Big Brother in 2010.

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Gloria Henry

gloria Henry
Gloria Henry. CBS via Getty

The actress, perhaps best known for her role as family matriarch Alice Mitchell in the hit '50s and '60s sitcom Dennis the Menace, died on April 3. She was 98.

Henry's daughter, Erin Ellwood, confirmed the death to The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

"She's flying now, free of her body," Ellwood announced on Instagram, sharing a photo of Henry standing in front of a mural featuring outspread angel wings in Los Angeles. "She left on a countdown 4 3 2 1 @ 3:40pm. She was such an incredible woman in so many ways. This last year with her has been beautiful and heartbreaking."

Born in New Orleans in 1923, Henry's acting career took off when she landed the lead female role in the 1947 horse racing film Sport of Kings. She went on to appear in films like Rancho Notorious, Triple Threat and Miss Grant Takes Richmond, in which she starred opposite Lucille Ball.

In 1959, Henry got her big break playing Alice Mitchell in the CBS sitcom Dennis the Menace.

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Carla Zampatti

carla zampatti
Carla Zampatti. Mike Flokis/Getty Images

The Australian fashion designer died on March 27 following a fall at an opera opening the week before, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. She was 78.

Zampatti died at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney. The outlet reported that she fell down the last two steps of a staircase the week prior.

The designer's family confirmed her death on her website.

Born in Italy in 1942, Zampatti moved to Australia with her family in 1950 and then later moved to Sydney in her twenties, where she went on to launch her first collection in 1965. Five years later, she established Carla Zampatti Pty Ltd.

The designer dressed a number of prominent women, including former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard, Denmark's Princess Mary, New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian and Nicole Kidman, according to The Guardian.

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Linda Torres

Big Ang star Linda Torres
Linda Torres and Angela "Big Ang" Raiola. Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

Big Ang star Linda Torres died on April 2 after testing positive for COVID-19. She was 67.

Torres was a friend of Angela "Big Ang" Raiola and appeared on her VH1 reality show in addition to making cameos on Mob Wives.

She died at Staten Island University Hospital after contracting COVID and being placed on a ventilator for nine weeks, Big Ang's sister Janine Detore told PEOPLE.

"Linda was the life of the party — like my sister. Very fun to be around, not negative, just wanted to have a fun time," Detore shared. "I get so sad to know that she's gone now."

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Prince Philip

Prince Philip In Military Uniform As Admiral Of The Fleet In The Royal Navy For A Service Of Remembrance For The Iraq War
Prince Philip. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and the love of Queen Elizabeth's life, died on April 9. He was 99.

"It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

"His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

Prince Philip — who retired from his public duties in August 2017 — is survived by his wife of 73 years, Queen Elizabeth, their daughter Princess Anne and their three sons: next-in-line-to-the-throne Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

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DMX. Shareif Ziyadat/FilmMagic

DMX died at White Plains Hospital in New York on April 9, one week after suffering a heart attack. He was 50.

"We are deeply saddened to announce today that our loved one, DMX, birth name of Earl Simmons, passed away at 50 years old at White Plains Hospital with his family by his side after being placed on life support for the past few days," his family wrote in a statement.

"Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl's music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized."

Over the course of his career, the Baltimore, Maryland native released 15 Billboard Hot 100 megahit songs, including "Party Up (Up In Here)" and his collaboration "Money, Power, Respect" with The Lox and Lil' Kim. In addition to his music, DMX also appeared in 15 films and several TV appearances.

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Malcolm Cecil

Malcolm Cecil
Malcolm Cecil. Alicia Funderburk/Getty

On March 28, the Bob Moog Foundation announced that the music producer, best known for co-creating the TONTO — the largest analog synth in the world — died earlier that morning after facing "a long illness." He was 84.

"It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share the passing of the legendary creative genius, musician, engineer, producer, & synthesizer pioneer, Malcolm Cecil, show here w his creation TONTO," the foundation tweeted. "He passed away today at 1:17am after a long illness."

His cause of death was not revealed.

The London-born producer's creation was relied upon in the production of several iconic artists' albums, including Diana Ross, Quincy Jones, the Isley Brothers, Bobby Womack and Joan Baez.

Cecil earned a Grammy for best-engineered recording for his work on Innervisions.

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Larry McMurtry

Larry McMurtry
Larry McMurty. Leslie Nestor Miranda/FilmMagic

The novelist and Oscar-winning screenwriter died on March 25 of heart failure, PEOPLE confirmed. He was 84.

McMurtry was surrounded by his loved ones — including his wife Norma Faye and his longtime writing partner Diana Ossana — at the time of his death, his publicist told PEOPLE in a statement.

McMurtry's career spanned more than 50 years, during which time he wrote more than 30 novels, including Lonesome Dove, which earned him a Pulitzer Prize in 1986, as well as Terms of Endearment and The Evening Star.

In 2006, he and Ossana won an Oscar for Best Screenplay for Brokeback Mountain, based on the short story by Annie Proulx.

He was also the owner of Booked Up, a bookstore that he opened in Washington D.C. in 1971 and later opened two more locations before he consolidated them in his hometown of Archer City, Texas.

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Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary
Beverly Cleary. Alan-McEwan

The beloved Ramona Quimby author died on March 25 in Carmel, California, according to a statement from HarperCollins.

"We are saddened by the passing of Beverly Cleary, one of the most beloved children's authors of all time. Looking back, she'd often say, 'I've had a lucky life,' and generations of children count themselves lucky too—lucky to have the very real characters Beverly Cleary created, including Henry Huggins, Ramona and Beezus Quimby, and Ralph S. Mouse, as true friends who helped shape their growing-up years," said Suzanne Murphy, president and publisher of HarperCollins Children's Books.

As a children's librarian, Cleary realized she wanted to write stories that she "longed to read but was unable to find on the library shelves, funny stories about her neighborhood and the sort of children she knew," according to her biography page on her website.

In 2010, Cleary told PEOPLE that all but one of her 32 books were written in longhand and she never had a single rejected manuscript.

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Craig "muMs" Grant

Craig 'muMs' Grant
Craig "muMs" Grant. Gary Gershoff/WireImage

The actor and writer, best known for his role as Arnold "Poet" Jackson on HBO's Oz, died on March 24, his rep confirmed to PEOPLE. He was 52.

"We are heartbroken over the loss of one of the most genuine, caring, loving souls we have ever had the pleasure of representing," they said in a statement. "muMs was more than our client, he was our dear friend. We all just lost a phenomenal man."

According to his rep, Grant was in Wilmington, North Carolina, at the time of his death, where he was filming a recurring role on Starz's Hightown. The cause of death has not been determined.

The New York City native began his career as a part of the critically acclaimed Nuyorican Poetry Slam Team. He went on to star in a number of shows, including Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It, Chapelle's Show, The Sopranos, Luke Cage, Nurse Jackie and High Maintenance. On the big screen, his film credits include the Safdie brothers' Good Time, Alejandro G. Iñárritu's Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) and Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects.

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Jessica Walter

Jessica Walter
Jessica Walter. Jamie McCarthy/Getty

The award-winning Arrested Development star died in her sleep on March 24 at her New York City home. She was 80.

Her daughter, Brooke Bowman, confirmed the news to PEOPLE. "It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica. A working actor for over six decades, her greatest pleasure was bringing joy to others through her storytelling both on screen and off," Bowman said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. "While her legacy will live on through her body of work, she will also be remembered by many for her wit, class and overall joie de vivre."

Deadline was the first to report the news.

Over five decades, Walter took on a variety of different roles, from theatre work to voiceovers to appearances on the big and small screens, including a turn in Clint Eastwood's directorial debut, Play Misty for Me. She also earned Emmy nominations for her work in both Trapper John M..D. and Streets of San Francisco, going on to win for her role in Amy Prentiss.

Walter was most famous for her role as eccentric matriarch Lucille Bluth in the hit comedy series Arrested Development, for which she earned an outstanding supporting actress Emmy nomination as well as two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.

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George Segal

George segal
George Segal. Craig Sjodin /getty Images

The Oscar-nominated actor died on March 23 of complications from bypass surgery. He was 87.

His wife, Sonia Segal, confirmed the news in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

"The family is devastated to announce that this morning George Segal passed away due to complications from bypass surgery," she said.

The actor — best known for his roles in films including Ship of Fools, Where's Poppa?, Blume in Love, For the Boys, King Rat and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (for which he landed an Oscar nomination)landed roles on the big and small screen over the course of his decades-long career, beginning in the 1960s.

He also took home two Golden Globes, once in 1965 for most promising newcomer (a since discontinued award) for the film The New Interns, and once for his performance in 1974's romantic comedy A Touch of Class.

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Richard Gilliland

Richard Gilliland
Richard Gilliland. Amanda Edwards/Getty

The Just Our Luck actor died in March at the age of 71.

Gilliland, who was married to fellow actress and frequent costar Jean Smart for nearly 34 years, suffered from a "brief illness" prior to his death in Los Angeles, according to a press release shared with PEOPLE.

Born in 1950 in Fort Worth, Texas, Gilliland got his career start at the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago. While there, he took on the role of Jesus in Godspell opposite Joe Mantegna's Judas.

Gilliland got his start at the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles, where he landed starring roles in a series of TV shows, including Operation Petticoat, Just Our Luck, McMillan and Heartland, in addition to an array of guest starring appearances and stage roles.

In 1986, he became a series regular on the CBS sitcom Designing Women, where he met Smart. The pair wed the following year.

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Elsa Peretti

Elsa Peretti
Elsa Peretti. Jack Mitchell/Getty Images.

The iconic Italian jewelry designer, famous for her timeless collaborations with Tiffany & Co., has died. She was 80.

Peretti died on March 18 at her home in Spain, the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation announced in a statement shared on social media.

"A woman of extraordinary generosity, philanthropist and world famous designer," the statement read. "A free, strong, courageous visionary. Her example will be remembered forever."

Peretti started out as a model during the 1960s after moving from her native Italy to Barcelona, where she was embraced by a community of artists that included Salvador Dalí. Later she moved to New York City, where she began crafting jewelry that she would eventually design exclusively for Tiffany & Co., according to the Associated Press.

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Kim Tyler

Kim Tyler
Kim Tyler. Getty Images

Tyler, best known for his role in the 1965 sitcom Please Don't Eat the Daisies, died on Feb. 10 after a "long battle with cancer." He was 66.

Tyler was "surrounded by loved ones" when he died in his Hollywood Heights home, his family revealed in a statement to the Los Angeles Times Obituaries.

The child star is survived by his wife Michelle of 42 years. Before his turn on Please Don't Eat the Daisies, he also starred in The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet and made guest appearances on Hazel, The Addams Family, My Favorite Martian, The Andy Griffith Show and My Three Sons.

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Dan Sartain

Dan Sartain
Dan Sartain. Andy Sheppard/Redferns

The garage rock singer died on March 20, his family announced via a GoFundMe page they created to help raise money for his funeral. He was 39. His cause of death has not been revealed at this time.

"Dan Sartain left us many memories and music, but has unfortunately left us way too early," his family wrote on the official fundraiser page. "As wonderful as his legacy is, he had no plans for the unmentionable, and thus, here we are. We aren't trying to do much but have a small service for family and friends, and with Dan's wide range of friends, this should be achievable. From all of his family, we thank you...."

The family set out to raise $15,000 to cover his burial arrangements, but they have surpassed that amount, crowdsourcing over $23,000 as of March 24. All extra funds will be used to provide for Dan's daughter Audrey.

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Sabine Schmitz

Sabine Schmitz
Sabine Schmitz. Mike Marsland/WireImage

The German race car driver has died after a years-long battle with cancer. She was 51.

Schmitz died on March 16, the Frikadelli Racing Team she founded with her husband Klaus Abbelen confirmed. "Abbelen and all relatives and friends are deeply saddened by the immeasurable loss," the racing team said on Twitter.

According to ESPN, Schmitz was first diagnosed with cancer in 2017 but continued racing until 2019 despite her ongoing health issues.

The Top Gear star is perhaps most famous for being the only female race car driver to win the annual 24-hour race at the German race track Nürburgring, which is known for its difficulty. She won the race first in 1996, and again with her BMW team the following year.

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Yaphet Kotto

Yaphet Kotto
Yaphet Kotto. Bobby Bank/WireImage

The actor, famous for his roles in films such as Live and Let Die and Alien, as well as numerous television series including Homicide: Life on the Streethas died. He was 81.

Kotto's wife Tessie Sinahon revealed the sad news on his official Facebook page on March 15. Alongside a throwback photo of him, she wrote, "I'm saddened and still in shocked of the passing of my husband Yaphet of 24 years." She added that he died "around 10:30pm Philippine time."

"This is a very painfall [sic] moment for me to inform you all fans, friends and family of my husband," she continued.

Kotto's career began in the early 1960s, with his role as an extra in 4 for Texas, the Frank Sinatra- and Dean Martin-led comedy Western. He went on to star in movies like The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) and 1972's The Limit — the latter of which he also directed — before landing his breakout role as villain Dr. Kananga/Mr. Big in Live and Let Die.

"You played a villain on some of your movies but for me you're a real hero and to a lot of people also," his wife said in her tribute.

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Henry Darrow

Henry Darrow
Henry Darrow. NBC/Getty

Darrow, best known for his turn as Manolito Montoya on the 1960s Western television series The High Chaparral, died on March 14. He was 87.

The character actor's publicist, Michael B. Druxman, announced the news on his Facebook page, writing, "Rest in peace, my friend. You will be missed."

Born Enrique Tomás Delgado Jr. in 1933, Darrow grew up in New York City until his family moved back to his parents' native Puerto Rico in his teens, where he attended college before moving to Pasadena, California, in 1954, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

After a handful of roles in various TV shows and plays, Darrow found his breakout role in The High Chaparral, which ran on NBC from 1967 through 1971.

Following the news of his death, the Screen Actors Guild called the late actor "the pride of Puerto Rico."

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Roger Mudd

NBC News' Roger Mudd in 1980
Roger Mudd. NBC News/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The longtime television journalist and former CBS and NBC anchor died on March 9 of complications from kidney failure at his home in McLean, Virginia, his son, Jonathan Mudd, told The Washington Post. He was 93.

Mudd's journalism career first took off in the 1950s, according to The Hill, before he went on to make a name for himself at CBS News. He spent two decades covering a range of political stories while also serving as the weekend anchor for CBS Evening News.

In 1980, Mudd left CBS for rival network NBC, where he became co-anchor of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, in addition to American Almanac and 1986. He also served as co-moderator of Meet the Press.

Later in life, Mudd also became an essayist and correspondent for PBS' The MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour and the host of various programs for The History Channel, per The Hollywood Reporter.

In a written statement to CNN, Mudd's family shared a sweet tribute to him. "Roger loved and collected books, read good, old-fashioned newspapers, front to back, every morning of his life, and watched the evening news as much as he could stand."

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Bunny Wailer

Bunny Wailer
Bunny Wailer. Roy Rochlin/Getty

The Reggae icon died in his native Jamaica at the Andrews Memorial Hospital in the St. Andrew Parish on March 2, his manager Maxine Stowe told reporters. He was 73.

His cause of death is unknown at this time. Local news outlets in the island country reported in August that Wailer was recovering from a stroke.

Born Neville Livingston, the musician was the last surviving member of The Wailers, after bandmate Bob Marley died from cancer in 1981 and Peter Tosh was murdered in 1987.

Wailer first rose to international fame as a founding member of the iconic reggae group, alongside Marley, his childhood friend. The group, founded in 1963, is famous for hit songs like "Simmer Down" and later "Stir It Up," released in '63 and '67 respectively.

Wailer has won the Grammy Award for best reggae album three times for his works Time Will Tell — A Tribute to Bob Marley in '90, Crucial! Roots Classics in '94 and Hall of Fame — A Tribute to Bob Marley's 50th Anniversary in '96.

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Jahmil French

Jahmil French
Jahmil French. Isaiah Trickey/FilmMagic

The Canadian actor, best known for his role as Dave Turner in Degrassi: The Next Generation, has died at age 29.

Screenwriter and producer Joshua Safran confirmed the "devastating news" on Twitter on March 2. A cause of death has not been revealed, and a rep for the actor did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

"I can confirm my good friend, co-worker, and all around inspiration, Jahmil French, passed away yesterday," Safran wrote. "Only posting because I see the story getting out there. I will have more to say about him later. Right now we're all just processing this devastating news."

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Irv Cross

Irv Cross
Irv Cross. George Rose/Getty

The pioneer sportscaster and former professional football cornerback died on Feb. 28. He was 81.

The Philadelphia Eagles announced Cross' death on their website. Cross played for both the Eagles and the Los Angeles Rams during his NFL career spanning the 1960s and was selected twice for the Pro Bowl.

The Eagles did not reveal a cause of death for the former athlete. However, he told the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2018 that he had been diagnosed with mild cognitive dementia, and intended to donate his brain to Boston University after his death so they could test it for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Born in Hammond, Indiana, in 1939, Cross was the eighth of 15 children. After playing football in high school, he went on to play at Northwestern before signing on with the Eagles, then the Rams before returning to the Eagles.

Later in his career, Cross served as Idaho State University's athletic director (from 1996 to 1998) and director of athletics at Malcaster College (1999 to 2005). He was the first Black person to receive the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame's Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award in 2009.

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Fred Segal

Fred Segal
Fred Segal. Angela Weiss/Getty Images

The iconic Los Angeles fashion designer died due to complications from a stroke on Feb. 25, multiple outlets reported. He was 87.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of our founder and original curator of cool, Fred Segal, who created a retail scene that continues to be the heart of LA pop culture. Fred Segal defined LA fashion and sparked a revolutionary shift in style with the first ever denim bar," Jeff Lotman, CEO and Owner of Fred Segal, said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

Segal opened his first store in West Hollywood in 1961, with the Beatles, Diana Ross, Elvis Presley and Farrah Fawcett among its earliest fans, the company website said.

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Louis Nix III

Louis Nix
Louis Nix III. Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Nix, who played football for the New York Giants and the University of Notre Dame, has died. He was 29.

The former defensive end was "located" by police on Feb. 27, three days after the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announced that he was missing. Authorities did not share any additional information at the time.

The update came shortly after police were seen removing a vehicle, which matched a description from a missing person poster as the car Nix was last seen driving, from a Florida pond, according to CBS Sports.

Notre Dame confirmed the news of Nix's death on Sunday morning. A cause of death has yet to be announced.

"We are saddened by the loss of one of our own, Louis Nix III. We send our deepest condolences and love to his family, friends and football brotherhood," the university wrote in a statement. "Forever in our hearts, Big Lou."

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Prince Markie Dee

Prince Markie Dee
Prince Markie Dee. Robin Marchant/Getty Images

The Fat Boys' Dee, né Mark Anthony Morales, has died at age 52. No cause of death has been released.

The band's manager Louis Gregory confirmed Dee's death on Twitter on Feb. 25. The songwriter would have turned 53 the next day. "Forever in my Heart. Prince Markie Dee was more than a rapper; he was one of my very best and closest friends," Gregory wrote.

"My heart breaks today because I lost a brother," he continued, adding, "I'll always love you Mark and I'll cherish everything you taught me. Tomorrow is your birthday, swing my way big bro."

Originally The Disco 3, the trio changed their name to The Fat Boys in 1983, according to Rolling Stone. The group won a contest at Radio City Music Hall that year and would rise to prominence as rappers in the 1980s and '90s.

Dee went on to launch a solo career and a production company called Soul Conventions, through which he produced music for stars like Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, and Mariah Carey, according to USA Today.

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Ronald Pickup

Ronald Pickup
Ronald Pickup. Dave M. Benett/WireImage

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and The Crown actor died on Feb. 24. He was 80 years old.

Pickup "passed away peacefully yesterday after a long illness surrounded by his wife and family," his agent said in a statement obtained by the BBC, adding, "He will be deeply missed."

Pickup decades-long career spanned theater, film, television and radio. In 1964, he landed his first TV role as a physician in Doctor Who, before going on to star in several shows such as Doc Martin, Doctors, Downton Abbey, Young Dracula and other BBC and ITV shows.

More recently, in 2011, he starred as the aging Lothario, Norman Cousins, in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its sequel in 2015. In 2016, he starred as the Archbishop of Canterbury in season 1 of The Crown.

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Chick Corea

Chick Corea
Chick Corea. Frederick M. Brown/Getty

The legendary jazz pianist died on Feb. 9 from a "rare form of cancer which was only discovered recently," according to a post from his official Facebook account and website. He was 79.

In addition to a statement regarding his passing, the musician, born Armando Anthony Corea, left a message of gratitude to his fans.

"I want to thank all of those along my journey who have helped keep the music fires burning bright. It is my hope that those who have an inkling to play, write, perform or otherwise, do so," wrote the composer. "If not for yourself then for the rest of us. It's not only that the world needs more artists, it's also just a lot of fun."

Corea was a 23-time Grammy winner and 67-time nominee. Throughout his career, the "500 Miles High" composer — who also played in Miles Davis' band — released more than 80 studio albums.

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Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson
Mary Wilson.

Wilson, a founding member of The Supremes, died on Feb. 8 at her home in Las Vegas, her publicist Jay Schwartz confirmed to PEOPLE. She was 76.

Wilson's cause of death was not immediately clear but Schwartz said in a statement that she "passed away suddenly."

Supremes co-founder Diana Ross shared a tribute to her former bandmate on Twitter, writing, "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. 'The Supremes' will live on in our hearts."

Wilson appeared on all 12 of The Supremes' No. 1 pop hits from 1964 to 1969, including "Where Did Our Love Go," "Baby Love," "Come See About Me," and "Stop! In the Name of Love," among others.

Just a few days before her death, Wilson shared a video on her YouTube channel announcing new solo material, which she hoped would be available by her birthday on March 6.

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Christopher Plummer

Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer.

The legendary Oscar-winning actor, best known for his role as Baron von Trapp in The Sound of Music, died on Feb. 5 at his home in Connecticut. He was 91.

Plummer, a Toronto native, gave up a career as a concert pianist to join the theater. Starting out with a number of notable Shakespearian productions, he went on to catch his big break with The Sound of Music in 1965.

Several more Shakespearean roles, Broadway plays and Hollywood movies followed, including acclaimed turns in 1999's The Insider, in which he portrayed 60 Minutes reporter Mike Wallace, and 2001's A Beautiful Mind. More recently, he starred in 2019's Knives Out. The actor won two Tonys for his work on the stage, and two Emmys for his roles on television.

In 1968, Queen Elizabeth II made him a Companion of the Order of Canada, then the nation's highest civilian honor. In 2012, he received a long-awaited Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Beginners.

Plummer was married three times, the first to actress Tammy Grimes, the second to journalist Patricia Audrey Lewis and lastly to actress-dancer Elaine Taylor. He is survived by Taylor and his daughter with Grimes, Amanda Plummer.

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Jim Weatherly

Jim Weatherly
Jim Weatherly. Ava Gandy/WireImage

The songwriter behind Gladys Knight's "Midnight Train to Georgia" died on Feb. 3, music publisher and family friend Charlie Monk confirmed to The Tennessean.

"When I inducted Jim into the Songwriters Hall of Fame I said, 'This may be the most honorable human being I've ever known,'" Monk, the "mayor of Music Row," told the outlet. "He never had a cigarette in his mouth, he never had a taste of alcohol, he didn't chew (tobacco), he didn't cuss."

The Mississippi-born country singer-songwriter left college to pursue a music career in Los Angeles, where he became known for writing some of Gladys Knight & the Pips' hits, such as "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me," "Neither One of Us Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye" and the Grammy-winning "Midnight Train to Georgia."

Weatherly, who released a total of 12 albums, was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006.

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Capt. Sir Thomas Moore

Captain Sir Tom Moore
Capt. Sir Thomas Moore. VICKIE FLORES/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The British World War II veteran — who won hearts and inspired hope around the world when he raised millions of dollars for healthcare workers at the start of the coronavirus pandemic — died on Feb. 2. He was 100.

Moore's death shortly after he was hospitalized with pneumonia in Bedford, England on Jan. 31, one week after testing positive for COVID-19, according to his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said, "The Queen is sending a private message of condolence to the family of Captain Sir Tom Moore. Her Majesty very much enjoyed meeting Cpt Sir Tom and his family at Windsor last year. Her thoughts, and those of the Royal Family, are with them, recognising the inspiration he provided for the whole nation and others across the world."

Moore captured the heart of the global public in April 2020, when he set out to walk 100 laps around his garden with the aid of a walker — weeks before his 100th birthday — to raise funds for the U.K.'s National Health Service. While he hoped to raise the equivalent of about $1,400, he ultimately pulled in over $45 million, according to ABC News.

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SOPHIE. Burak Cingi/Redferns

The avant-garde pop producer and musician died on Jan. 30. She was 34.

"It is with profound sadness that I have to inform you that musician and producer SOPHIE passed away this morning around 4am in Athens, where the artist had been living, following a sudden accident," SOPHIE's management began a statement to PEOPLE.

A statement from the Glasgow native's family, which was shared by record labels Transgressive and Future Classic, revealed that, "True to her spirituality she had climbed up to watch the full moon and accidentally slipped and fell."

SOPHIE released her debut single "Nothing More to Say" in 2013, and rose to prominence with her follow-up singles "Bipp" and "Lemonade."

While she remained physically out of the spotlight in her early performances, remaining in a darkened DJ booth, SOPHIE began embracing costumes and wigs onstage after coming out as transgender while on tour in 2018, according to The New York Times.

The musician earned a Grammy nomination for best dance/electronic album for her critically-acclaimed 2018 debut album, Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides.

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Dustin Diamond

Dustin Diamond
Dustin Diamond. Noel Vasquez/Getty

The actor, best known for playing Samuel "Screech" Powers on Saved by the Bell, died on February 1 after a battle with cancer. He was 44 years old.

Diamond's rep confirmed the actor's cancer diagnosis to PEOPLE the month prior, saying the actor had started chemotherapy for stage 4 small cell carcinoma, a cancer that commonly occurs in the lungs, but can also manifest in the prostate or gastrointestinal tract.

"We are saddened to confirm of Dustin Diamond's passing on Monday, February 1st, 2021 due to carcinoma," Diamond's rep said in a second statement. "He was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago. In that time, it managed to spread rapidly throughout his system; the only mercy it exhibited was its sharp and swift execution. Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful."

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Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson
Cicely Tyson.

The trailblazing Tony Award and Emmy-winning actress died on Jan. 28. She was 96.

"I have managed Miss Tyson's career for over 40 years, and each year was a privilege and blessing," her manager, Larry Thompson, said in a statement. "Cicely thought of her new memoir as a Christmas tree decorated with all the ornaments of her personal and professional life. Today she placed the last ornament, a Star, on top of the tree."

Tyson, famous for her choice of roles portraying resilient, uplifting Black women, was active in the entertainment industry since her 1956 debut in Carib Gold.

"It's very exciting to know that you are, hopefully, making a roadway for someone else to follow," she told PEOPLE in an early January interview about her groundbreaking life and career.

Tyson earned a slew of accolades and awards for her starring roles in film and television over the years, including the notable 1972 drama Sounder, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, which earned her two Emmy Awards, as well as Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. In 2018, she became the first Black woman to receive an honorary Oscar. Two years later, she was selected for the Peabody Career Achievement Award for her work on the stage, in film and on television.

She also scored Emmy nods for the miniseries Roots and King. Her memoir, Just As I Am, was released just days before her death.

The history-making actress was married to jazz legend Miles Davis from 1981 to 1988 and has one daughter from a brief early marriage.

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Cloris Leachman

Cloris Leachman TOUT
Cloris Leachman. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The award-winning stage and screen actress, best known for her role as Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, died on Jan. 27 of natural causes, her manager Juliet Green confirmed to PEOPLE. She was 94.

"It's been my privilege to work with Cloris Leachman, one of the most fearless actresses of our time. There was no one like Cloris. With a single look she had the ability to break your heart or make you laugh till the tears ran down your face. You never knew what Cloris was going to say or do and that unpredictable quality was part of her unparalleled magic," said Green.

"She loved her children and her grandchildren ferociously. A lifelong vegetarian, she was a passionate advocate for animal rights. The family requests that any donations in her name be made to PETA or Last Chance for Animals," Green added.

Over her seven decades in the business, the star would go on to win an Oscar, a Golden Globe and over 20 Emmy nominations and nine wins — more trophies than any other television performer in history.

Her breakout role came in 1971, with The Last Picture Show earning her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She went on to find her most iconic role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, for which she earned supporting actress Emmys in 1974 and 1975.

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Corky Lee

Corky Lee
Corky Lee. LegalResearch345 2/Wikimedia

The legendary photojournalist, known as the "unofficial Asian American Photographer Laureate," died on Jan. 27 due to complications from COVID-19, according to Reuters. He was 73.

Lee first began experiencing symptoms of the virus on Jan. 3 and was admitted to the hospital on Jan. 7, the outlet reported. He was then moved to the ICU on Jan. 11, according to CNN.

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Corky (Young Kwok) Lee," his family shared in a statement on Facebook. "Corky, as he was known to the Asian American community, was everywhere. He always had a camera around his neck, documenting a community event, capturing a social injustice for the record and even correcting the social injustice of an historical event that took place well over a century ago. He did what he loved and we loved him for it."

The photo in question is one that commemorated the completion of the transcontinental railroad, in which Lee noticed no Chinese workers appeared. He famously recreated the photo in 2014 with descendants of Chinese railroad workers.

"He has left us with what is likely to be the single largest repository of the photographic history of Asian Americans of the past half century," the family added.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made in Lee's honor to the Asian American Journalist Association (AAJA) Photog Affinity Group.

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Sonny Fox

Sonny Fox
Sonny Fox. Bettmann/ Getty

The beloved host of the 1960s children's show Wonderama died due to complications from the novel coronavirus, according to a statement on his official website. He was 95.

"It is with sadness that we share the news of Sonny's passing in Los Angeles on Sunday January 24th of Covid Related Pneumonia," read the statement. "We will post more as we learn more of where to send your condolences."

Fox rose to fame after he was hired to replace Bill Britten and Doris Faye as the host of Wonderama in 1959. The Sunday morning classic featured a mix of cartoons, celebrity guests, magic tricks and more, and was well-known as a particularly engaging show for kids.

In addition to his time on Wonderama from 1959 through 1967, Fox had hosting gigs on various game shows, including The $64,000 Challenge, The Price Is Right and To Tell the Truth.

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Larry King

larry king
Larry King. Stephen Lovekin/WireImage

The beloved journalist and radio host died in Los Angeles on Jan. 23. He was 87.

Ora Media, which King co-founded, shared the news in a statement on King's Twitter. A cause of death was not given. His passing comes weeks after he was hospitalized with COVID-19 on Jan. 2.

"For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry's many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster. Additionally, while it was his name appearing in the shows' titles, Larry always viewed his interview subjects as the true stars of his programs, and himself as merely an unbiased conduit between the guest and audience," the statement said in part. "Whether he was interviewing a U.S. president, foreign leader, celebrity, scandal-ridden personage, or an everyman, Larry liked to ask short, direct, and uncomplicated questions. He believed considered questions usually provided the best answers and he was not wrong in that belief."

Born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger on Nov. 19, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York, King changed his birth name in the late 1950s as he was beginning his broadcast career in Miami. In 1985, he launched the cable TV show Larry King Live, which became CNN's tent-pole program. The longtime journalist earned a number of accolades throughout his career, including two Peabody Awards and inductions into the National Radio Hall of Fame and Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He was also the author of several books.

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Song Yoo-Jung

song yoo-jung
Song Yoo-Jung.

The South Korean actress died on Jan. 23. She was 26.

The actress' death was announced by Sublime Artist Agency on Instagram on Jan. 25, though Song's cause of death was not released. The Agency did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Song rose to fame for her roles in TV shows including Make a Wish from 2014–2015 and School 2017 in 2017. She also appeared in 2013's Golden Rainbow and the 2019 web series Dear My Name.

The actress was also a model and advocate for people with disabilities.

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Harry Brant

Harry Brant
Harry Brant. Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty

The son of supermodel Stephanie Seymour and magazine publisher Peter Brant died on Jan. 17. He was 24.

The budding socialite died of an accidental overdose, his family said in a statement to The New York Times.

"We will forever be saddened that his life was cut short by this devastating disease," the statement read in part. "He achieved a lot in his 24 years, but we will never get the chance to see how much more Harry could have done."

Harry had reportedly struggled with addiction for several years.

Harry was a model, appearing in Italian Vogue and Balmain campaigns. He and his brother also previously collaborated on a unisex makeup for MAC. As a teenager, he wrote for Interview magazine, which his father Peter owned.

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Joanne Rogers

Joanne Rogers
Joanne Rogers. Fred Rogers Productions

Joanne Rogers, the classical pianist and widow of TV icon Fred Rogers, died on Jan. 14. She was 92.

"Fred Rogers Productions is deeply saddened by the passing of Joanne Rogers," the non-profit organization said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. "The loving partner of Fred Rogers for more than 50 years, she continued their shared commitment to supporting children and families after his death as chair of the board of Fred Rogers Productions."

"Joanne was a brilliant and accomplished musician, a wonderful advocate for the arts, and a dear friend to everyone in our organization," the statement continued. "We extend our heartfelt condolences to Joanne's family and the thousands of people who had the privilege of knowing and loving her."

Joanne and Fred Rogers were married for 50 years before his death in 2003 from stomach cancer at 74.

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Sylvain Sylvain

Sylvain Sylvain
Sylvain Sylvain. Bobby Bank/WireImage

New York Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain died on Jan. 13. He was 69.

Sylvain's wife, Wanda O'Kelley Mizrahi, shared the news of his death in a Facebook post on Jan. 14.

"As most of you know, Sylvain battled cancer for the past two and 1/2 years," Mizrahi wrote. "Though he fought it valiantly, yesterday he passed away from this disease. While we grieve his loss, we know that he is finally at peace and out of pain."

Sylvain will be buried in New York, Mizrahi told Rolling Stone.

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Peter Mark Richman

Peter Mark Richman
Peter Mark Richman. GETTY IMAGES

Peter Mark Richman, an actor with over 130 television credits including his recurring role as Reverend Snow on Three's Company, died on Jan. 14 at the age of 93.

Richman died of natural causes at his home in Woodland Hills, California, his rep confirms to PEOPLE.

"Peter Mark's family would like to thank all those who have been expressing their condolences and admiration for his extraordinary accomplishments," a statement provided to PEOPLE reads. "The love he gave — to everything he did, and everyone he knew — will live forever."

In another statement to PEOPLE, Richman's Three's Company costar Suzanne Somers said, "Comedy is musical. Peter Mark Richman and I understood the music from the very first time we appeared together on Three's Company. He knew his 'stuff.' We lost a good one. Rest In Peace Peter Mark Richman."

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Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson
Sheldon Adelson. Bob Riha, Jr./Getty

The multibillionaire casino owner and prominent donor to the Republican Party died on Jan. 11. He was 87.

His casino and resort destination Las Vegas Sands announced the news, confirming that Adelson died from "complications related to treatment for non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma." There will be a funeral held in Israel, with a Las Vegas memorial service at a later date. According to Forbes, he was worth $35 billion. The outlet added that in 2018 alone, he donated some $123 million to Republican PACs and campaigns.

"He will be missed by people from all parts of the world who were touched by his generosity, kindness, intellect and wonderful sense of humor," the Sands staff said in a press release.

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Pat Loud

Pat Loud
Pat Loud. John Dominis/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty

Loud, the matriarch of one of television's first-ever reality shows — the 1973 PBS docuseries An American Familydied on Jan. 10. She was 94.

Her family announced her passing with a statement on Facebook, disclosing that she died of natural causes.

"With inconsolable sorrow, we are sad to share the news with friends and family that on Sunday, January 10 at 1:55 p.m. PT, Pat Loud passed away peacefully in her sleep of natural causes," the statement read. "She was snuggled up safe in her comfy home, attended by loving children Michele, Delilah, Kevin and Grant."

Born in Eugene, Oregon, Pat studied world history and English literature at Stanford University. After graduating in 1948, she returned to her hometown, where she met and then married William (Bill) Carberry Loud. Their family went on to star in the groundbreaking 1973 docuseries, which followed their everyday lives in Santa Barbara, California.

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John Reilly

John Reilly
John Reilly. ABC/Everett Collection

The actor, who rose to fame in his roles on General Hospital and Beverly Hills, 90210, died on Jan. 10. He was 84.

Reilly's daughter, social media personality Caitlin Reilly, announced the news of her father's death on Instagram. A cause of death was not disclosed.

"John Henry Matthew Reilly AKA Jack. The brightest light in the world has gone out," Caitlin captioned a throwback photo of her and her father. "Imagine the best person in the world. Now imagine that person being your dad. I'm so grateful he was mine. I'm so grateful I got to love him. I'm so grateful I made it in time to hold him and say goodbye."

"I honestly don't know what I'm going to do, but I know he'll be with me," she added. "I love you forever Daddy."

A Chicago native, Reilly started acting in the 1960s with guest-starring roles on Death Valley Days, Apple's Way and Gunsmoke. In 1984, he starred in six episodes of Dallas as Roy Ralston. He then went on to portray WSB agent Sean Donely in General Hospital for 11 years.

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Ed Bruce

Ed Bruce
Ed Bruce. David Redfern/Redferns

The country icon died of natural causes on Jan. 8, PEOPLE confirmed. He was 81.

Bruce had several hit songs over the course of his decades-long career, including the all-time classic "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys," which he co-wrote with his then-wife Patsy Bruce before the pair split in 1987. In 1982, he released "You're the Best Break This Old Heart Ever Had," featuring Lynn Anderson, which charted for 21 weeks and landed at No. 1.

That same year, Bruce co-starred in the TV series Bret Maverick, alongside James Garner. The late icon also appeared in many fan-favorite shows, including Walker, Texas Ranger and The Chisholms. His music has earned him 35 Billboard spots, including six Top 10 hits.

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Dave Creek

Dave Creek
Dave Creek. Dave Creek/Instagram

Creek, the lead character designer on the popular animated comedy series Bob's Burgers, died Jan. 7. He was 42.

According to the website Cartoon Brew, which first reported the news, Creek died following complications from a skydiving incident.

The Fox series issued a statement confirming the news.

"We are heartbroken at the tragic passing of Dave Creek, an extraordinary artist who had been with Bob's Burgers from day one," read the statement, signed by 20th Television, Fox Entertainment and Bento Box Entertainment. "He was not just an incredible talent but a beautiful person as well, and our hearts go out to his family, friends and all his colleagues at the show who loved him and are grieving today."

According to his IMDb page, Creek — a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts — also contributed to the animation for a number of other shows, including Central Park, Brickleberry and Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown.

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Deezer D

Dearon "Deezer D" Thompson
Dearon "Deezer D" Thompson. Barry King/WireImage

The actor, best known for his role as nurse Malik McGrath on the medical drama ER, died on Jan. 7, his brother Emmery Thompson announced on Instagram. He was 55.

"My Big Brother! God is with you. I will miss you. #deezerd," Emmery captioned a series of photos, which featured family snaps and pictures of the late actor and musical performer's career highlights.

Thompson, born Dearon Thompson, was found unresponsive at his Los Angeles home on the morning of Jan. 7, according to TMZ. An official cause of death has not been determined, though another brother of his, Marshawn, told the outlet they suspect he had a heart attack.

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Tommy Lasorda

Tom Lasorda
Tommy Lasorda. MLB Photos/Getty

The beloved former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher and manager died of a sudden cardiopulmonary arrest at his home on Jan. 7 at 10:09 p.m. local time, the Los Angeles Dodgers confirmed on Twitter.

He was transported to the hospital, where he was ultimately pronounced dead at 10:57 p.m. He was 93.

Lasorda, who began as a pitcher before taking on the role of manager of the Dodgers from the 70s to 90s — had just been discharged from the hospital two days prior after being hospitalized in November for an undisclosed medical issue, ESPN reported.

In total, Lasorda was with the Dodgers organization for 71 seasons, including 14 as a special advisor to the chairman.

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Marion Ramsey

Marion Ramsey
Marion Ramsey. James Lemke Jr/WireImage

The Broadway and Police Academy actress died on Jan. 7 at 73.

Ramsey died at her home in Los Angeles, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"Marion carried with her a kindness and permeating light that instantly filled a room upon her arrival," her agency Roger Paul Inc. wrote in a statement obtained by THR. "The dimming of her light is already felt by those who knew her well."

The actress is best known for her performance as Officer Laverne Hooks in the Police Academy film franchise, beginning with the 1984 film Police Academy starring Steve Guttenberg, Kim Cattrall and G.W. Bailey and including several role reprisals.

Ramsey — a long-time advocate for HIV and AIDS awareness, according to Variety — was also known for her Broadway performances in shows like Hello, Dolly and the Los Angeles production of Little Shop of Horrors. She appeared in the production of Miss Moffatt with Bette Davis, as well as Harold Prince's Grind and Eubiel, according to THR.

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Gordon 'Butch' Stewart

Gordon "Butch" Stewart
Gordon "Butch" Stewart. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

The founder of Sandals Resorts International died on Jan. 4, multiple outlets reported. He was 79.

According to The New York Times, his death was confirmed in a statement by his family, who shared that his death was related to a "recent medical diagnosis" that Stewart had kept private. He died in the United States.

A native of Jamaica, Stewart — born Gordon Arthur Cyril Stewart — launched his first resort, Sandals Montego Bay, in 1981. The luxury chain now spans 15 resorts, with six across Jamaica.

A lifelong entrepreneur — he started out selling and installing air-conditioners — Stewart created the Sandals Foundation in 2009, to support local construction of schools and access to health care. Among the numerous awards and distinctions he received over the years was the Order of Jamaica.

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Eric Jerome Dickey

Eric Jerome Dickey
Eric Jerome Dickey. Jemal Countess/Getty Images

The New York Times best-selling author, who rose to prominence for his work about contemporary Black life, died of cancer on Jan. 3. He was 59.

Dickey died in Los Angeles, his publicist at Penguin Random House confirmed to PEOPLE.

Prior to his writing career, Dickey earned a degree in Computer System Technology at the University of Memphis and worked as a software developer in the aerospace industry, according to his website.

He moved to Los Angeles in 1983 to pursue a career in engineering but found himself drawn to writing and comedy. Starting with scripts for his personal comedy act, he went on to write poetry and short stories before releasing his debut novel Sister, Sister in 1996.

His novels Chasing Destiny, Liar's Game, Between Lovers, Thieves' Paradise, The Other Woman, Drive Me Crazy, Genevieve, Naughty or Nice, Sleeping with Strangers, Waking with Enemies and Pleasure all landed spots on The New York Times best-seller list.

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AnnaRose King

Annarose King
AnnaRose King. J.T. WHITE/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The writer and director — who was the daughter of King World Production's Roger King — died following a three-year battle with lung cancer on Jan. 3. She was 35.

King's family announced that she died at Manhattan's Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital.

"AnnaRose had a playful spirit and profound love and caring for others. Her friendships spanned continents and were close and enduring," a statement from her family read. "AnnaRose worked hard, lived fully, loved to travel around the world, and generously hosted friends and family at her beloved home in Sherman, CT."

King directed a total of seven films, per her IMDB page, and was selected as a 2020 Sundance Institute FilmTwo Fellow thanks to her original screenplay about a young woman who participates in an experimental treatment program to treat her incurable cancer.

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