The year 2020 is one most of us want to forget – for lots of different reasons. And because we were busy dealing with the terrifying global news, many high-profile celebrities passed away without fans even realizing. This includes the deaths of box-office titans, celebrated sportsmen and musicians. Do you remember that both Eddie Van Halen and Sean Connery passed in October 2020? They’re not even the biggest names on this list, either. So let’s take a moment to appreciate the trailblazers who’ll be greatly missed. We’ll then spare a thought for past celebs – such as Michelle Thomas – who died without fanfare.
Little Richard really was one of a kind. The rock ’n’ roll pioneer was publicly noted as an influence on future icons such as Elton John, Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Flamboyant and exuberant, the singer had a string of hits in the 1950s – including “Good Golly Miss Molly” and “Tutti Frutti.” Unfortunately, though, the 87-year-old legend died at his home in Tennessee over complications brought on by bone cancer.
Fred Willard’s death was first announced on social media in May by actress Jamie Lee Curtis – the wife of Willard’s long-time creative partner Christopher Guest. Of the Modern Family and Best In Show star, Curtis wrote, “How lucky that we all got to enjoy Fred Willard’s gifts.” His daughter, Hope, tweeted, “He kept moving, working, and making us happy until the very end. We loved him so very much!”
Jerry Stiller was a comedy giant and best known as the eccentric-yet-loveable Arthur Spooner in The King of Queens and Frank Costanza in Seinfeld. The 92-year-old’s death was announced by his son, Ben, on Twitter. The actor, who appeared alongside his father in the Zoolander franchise, wrote, “He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years. He will be greatly missed.”
“It’s with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Honor Blackman, aged 94,” read a statement given to The Guardian. “She died peacefully of natural causes at her home in Lewes, Sussex, surrounded by her family.” Blackman was fondly remembered for her trailblazing roles as Bond girl Pussy Galore in Goldfinger and Cathy Gale in the 1960s TV series The Avengers.