Celebs Who Died In 2021

The world saw an unprecedented amount of loss in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with celebrities including music legends Charley Pride and John Prine and stage and screen star Nick Cordero falling victim to the deadly illness, in addition to tragic losses of the likes of Kobe Bryant and Naya Rivera in horrific accidents. While we all wished 2021 would be different, the coronavirus rages on, adding to what would already have been an inevitably tragic death toll on names we know and love.

From broadcast news icons to sports legends to groundbreaking creators in music, magic moguls, and beloved character actors and actresses, here are the stars we said goodbye to for the last time in 2021. Even for stars who are up there in age, it's always too soon. We'll miss all of these bold-faced names, but their respective legacies are sure to live on forever.

Tanya Roberts

Tanya Roberts died on Jan. 4, 2021, TMZ reported. She was 65 years old.

Born Victoria Leigh Blum in the Bronx, Roberts began her career as a successful model after running away from home at 15. She transitioned into acting, with roles in the final season of Charlie's Angels and Bond Girl Stacey Sutton in A View to Kill alongside Roger Moore. Roberts went on to star in a series of B-movies, including Sheena and The Beastmaster but is likely most known for her role as Midge Pinciotti, Donna Pinciotti's mother, on That '70s Show starting in 1998.

Roberts exited That '70s Show in its third season in 2001 to care for her husband, Barry Roberts, who was terminally ill, returning to the series as a recurring character beginning in Season 6; her husband died in 2006.

Roberts' death was initially reported incorrectly, as her representative released a statement announcing her death prematurely. Roberts collapsed on Christmas Eve and never fully recovered, reportedly succumbing to sepsis following a urinary tract infection. She is survived by longtime partner Lance O'Brien and sister Barbara Chase.

Marion Ramsey

Actress and singer Marion Ramsey, best known for her role of Officer Laverne Hooks in the Police Academy film franchise, died on Jan. 7, 2021, at age 73. At the time of this writing, no cause of death has been reported, but her management team told Variety that she had "fallen ill" before her death.

The Philadelphia native's career began in the 1960s on stage with Hello, Dolly! and expanded into television and film in the following decade with productions of Little Shop of Horrors and Miss Moffatt, as well as guest roles in The Jeffersons, Cos, and ABC's Keep On Truckin' variety show. Her stage work and music were so iconic at the time, Entertainment Weekly reported, that she actually inspired the role of Lorell in the Broadway production of Dreamgirls.

In 1984, Ramsey appeared as Hooks in the first Police Academy franchise installment and was famous for her catchphrase: "Don't move, dirtbag!" She reprised her role in every sequel except 1994's Police Academy: Mission to Moscow. Following Police Academy 6: City Under Siege in 1989, Ramsey appeared in guest-starring roles and bit parts in shows including MacGyver, Beverly Hills, 90210, and Johnny Bago, as well as voicing D.I. Holler in the animated Addams Family series from 1992 through 1993. Ramsey continued acting through 2018, including two films with her Police Academy co-star Steve Guttenberg, Lavalantula and 2 Lava 2 Lantula.

Tommy Lasorda

Tommy Lasorda, the iconic former pitcher and manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, died on Jan. 7, 2021, at age 93 from cardiac arrest.

Lasorda, born in Norristown, Pa., was a Major League Baseball pitcher in the 1940s and 1950s, starting on the Philadelphia Phillies in 1945. Per the National Baseball Hall of Fame, after missing the 1946 and 1947 seasons for a stint in the United States Army, Lasorda made a major comeback in 1948 that garnered attention from the then-Brooklyn Dodgers, who drafted him from the Phillies in 1954. He then played for the Kansas City Athletics, New York Yankees, and Denver Bears.

He worked as a scout for the Dodgers, then a third base coach, working his way up to manager in 1977, followed by a brief stint as general manager in 1998 when Fred Claire was let go in the middle of the season, then senior vice president, followed by special adviser in 2004. While Lasorda was beloved by his teams, his penchant for colorful language rendered him a bit of a frenemy of the press, who often couldn't use his quotes because of his frequent and prolific cursing.

One of Lasorda's most famous quotes was, "If you don't love the Dodgers, there's a good chance you may not get into heaven." If he's right, it's a safe bet the pearly gates were wide open and welcoming of his arrival.

John Reilly

Actor John Reilly died on Jan. 9, 2021, at 86 years old, his daughter, influencer Caitlin Reilly, confirmed to CNN. Reilly, a Chicago native, began his acting career in the 1960s with guest-starring roles in series including Gunsmoke, as well as a six-episode stint as Roy Ralston on Dallas, marking his first official foray into the soap opera genre that would come to define his long career.

Following Dallas, Reilly had guest roles in series including Newhart and Three's Company before a brief recurring role in Dynasty followed by a decade long stint on General Hospital as Sean Donely, the role that made him a household name. He remained in the role of Donely until 1995, reprising the part briefly in 2008 and for the show's 50th anniversary in 2013.

Though General Hospital was Donely's bread and butter, he took other roles as well, including Alistair Crane on Passions, Del Douglas in Sunset Beach, Mike Armstrong in Arli$$, and voicing Hawkeye in the animated Iron Man series.

"John Henry Matthew Reilly AKA Jack. The brightest light in the world has gone out," Caitlin wrote of her father on Instagram. "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."

Siegfried Fischbacher

Siegfried Fischbacher, the last living half of Siegfried & Roy, died on Jan. 13, 2021, following complications with pancreatic cancer, AP reported. He was 81 years old.

Born in Rosenheim, Bavaria, Germany, Fischbacher developed a fascination with magic tricks as a child. He and Roy Horn began working together in 1957 after meeting on a cruise ship, where Horn first served as Siegfried's assistant, then upgraded their performances with animals. Fischbacher and Horn polished their act for several years in their native Germany, as well as in Switzerland, before taking their talents to the United States.

They began their Las Vegas performances a decade later. The duo became sensations, not just for their illusions but also for their work with big cats, including tigers and lions. In 1990, Siegfried & Roy began their residency at The Mirage and extended their contract to a lifetime deal in 2001, with their performances reportedly raking in more than $1 billion.

After a tiger injured Horn during a performance, Fischbacher was asked if he'd ever perform alone. His answer to Larry King could not have been more clear: "It's not in my makeup because this is Siegfried and Roy. Roy gave me always the strength, you know. Like I always say, Siegfried would be not enough and Roy is too much. He pulls me up. He is bigger than life. And that [is] what it means."

Phil Spector

Music producer and murderer Phil Spector died on Jan. 16, 2021, from COVID-19 complications, TMZ reported. He was 81 years old and contracted the disease in prison, where he was serving a sentence of 19 years to life for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson. Clarkson was found dead in his home with a bullet in her head. Spector was convicted of murder and began serving his sentence in 2009.

Aside from his criminal record and questionable hair choices, Spector is best known for creating some of the greatest pop songs in history using his signature "Wall of Sound" production style. His first hit, "To Know Him Is To Love Him" by the Teddy Bears, put him on the map to create aural masterpieces from the likes of the Ronettes (whose frontwoman, Veronica "Ronnie Spector" Bennett, would become his wife), the Righteous Brothers, the Beatles, and the Ramones, to name merely a few. According to the New York Times, John Lennon called Spector "the greatest record producer ever," and the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson said Spector was "everything." Outside of his career, however, Spector was largely described by those closest to him as a monster.

Perhaps Bennett, who accused Spector of spousal abuse, said it best: "As I said many times while he was alive, he was a brilliant producer, but a lousy husband. Unfortunately Phil was not able to live and function outside of the recording studio. Darkness set in, many lives were damaged."

Harry Brant

Harry Brant, the influencer son of supermodel Stephanie Seymour and mogul Peter Brant, died on Jan. 17, 2021, from a drug overdose. He was 24 years old.

Harry became a fashion scene fixture since he and his older brother, Peter Brant II, were teens, and often pushed the envelope with his styling. The duo had their own cosmetics line for MAC, and both worked modeled for the likes of Balmain and Vogue Italia. A living portrait of nepotism, Harry also worked as a journalist for his father's Interview magazine.

At the time of Harry's death, the Brant family said in a statement to People that he was merely days away from going to rehab, adding, "Harry was not just our son. He was also a wonderful brother, loving grandson, favorite uncle and a caring friend. He was a creative, loving and powerful soul that brought light into so many people's hearts. He was truly a beautiful person inside and out. He achieved a lot in his 24 years, but we will never get the chance to see how much more Harry could have done."

Mira Furlan

Actress Mira Furlan died at home, surrounded by family, on Jan. 20, 2021, at age 65. According to BBC News, Furlan suffered from complications connected to the West Nile virus and had been ill for some time.

Furlan was born and raised in Yugoslavia (now Croatia), where she was an acclaimed stage and screen actress before moving to the United States with her husband, Serbian actor Goran Gajic, in 1991. Within three years, Furlan starred as Satai Delenn in Babylon 5, though she is likely best known for her role as scientist Danielle Rousseau on Lost from 2004 to 2010.

Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski recalled that Furlan spoke defiantly of death threats she received for leaving former Yugoslavia, claiming she told him, "What's the worst that could have happened? Yes, they could have killed me. So what? Art should have no borders."

Furlan's Twitter account posted a line from her autobiography when she died: "I look at the stars. It's a clear night and the Milky Way seems so near. That's where I'll be going soon."

Larry King

Legendary broadcaster Larry King died from COVID-19 complications on Jan. 23, 2021. He was 87 years old.

Born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger in Brooklyn, New York, King's career spanned six decades, and the suspender-clad star was famous for not necessarily asking the hard questions, but for his easygoing nature that allowed his subjects to reveal their true personalities in other ways — as his infamous interview with Jerry Seinfeld showed.

King's career began in Miami, and he became the marquee name for CNN in 1985 with Larry King Live. Throughout the years, King interviewed everyone from the Dalai Lama to Frank Sinatra, Vladimir Putin, Lady Gaga and LeBron James. In 2012, he co-founded the Ora Network and hosted his own online interview series. King's colorful personal life made him as much of a celebrity as his subjects, as the Peabody Award winner was married a whopping eight times (twice to Alene Akins), most recently to Shawn Southwick King, from whom he was reportedly separated but never officially divorced. He had five children, two of whom died within a month of one another in summer 2020.

Since the 1980s, King faced several health struggles, including a heart attack and stroke, but nothing slowed him down. In 2020, King told People, "I have less of a fear of dying now. I'm 86 and it is what it is. I just want to keep working until the end. I'd like to die at work — I'll retire right there!"

Cloris Leachman

Actress Cloris Leachman died on Jan. 27, 2021, at age 94, her manager Juliet Green confirmed to Variety.

Leachman began her seven-decade career as a Miss America contestant in 1946 followed by roles on shows including The Twilight Zone; Lassie; Charlie Wild; Private Detective and Suspense. However, it wasn't until her 40s that she achieved widespread recognition as an actress with her breakout role of Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, winning two Emmys for the part and a Golden Globe for her work in her spinoff, Phyllis. She had a total of 19 Emmy nominations, the most ever for any actress, and is tied with Julia Louis-Dreyfus with eight wins. She also won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Last Picture Show in 1972.

Leachman appeared in numerous movies, including Mel Brooks classics History of the World: Part 1 and Young Frankenstein, and kept working well into her 70s, 80s, and 90s with roles in The Office, The Longest Yard, Spanglish, Scary Movie 4 and New York, I Love You, and voiced characters in Bob's Burgers, Beavis and Butthead Do America and The Croods.

"There was no one like Cloris," Green said. "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."

Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson died on Jan. 28, 2021, at 96 years old, Variety reported. Tyson started as a model before getting her big movie break in 1959 with Odds Against Tomorrow alongside Harry Belafonte. Following a string of TV gigs, she was later nominated for an Oscar for her work in 1972's Sounder.

Tyson wasn't just an acclaimed movie star, as her small screen work was both prolific and critically lauded. Her titular role in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman won her two Emmys, her performance as Binta in Roots was iconic, and her part in East Side/West Side in 1963 was the first-ever recurring part for a Black actress. Tyson was also a stage staple, starring in multiple productions and winning a Tony Award for The Bountiful in 2013 (via Broadway.com). She continued working through 2020 on Cherish The Day and How To Get Away With Murder. Multiple celebrities have mourned Tyson's death on social media.

Throughout her six-decade career, Tyson vehemently refused to play anyone she deemed detrimental to the image of Black women. While promoting her memoir, Just as I Am, in her final interview just one day before her death, she told Live! With Kelly and Ryan (via the Daily Mail), "I never thought that I would be nominated for an Oscar. Never. But I used to view the event every year and one night I watched it and I said, 'I'm going to sit in that front row one day.' And ... I ended up doing that for the role of Rebecca in Sounder."

Dustin Diamond

Saved By The Bell alum Dustin Diamond, who rose to fame for his portrayal of Samuel "Screech" Powers, died on Feb. 1, 2021, from stage IV lung cancer, TMZ reports. He was 44 years old. The former child star's condition was only diagnosed in mid-January, but quickly worsened as he underwent chemotherapy treatments. "In that time, it managed to spread rapidly throughout his system," his rep stated to The Hollywood Reporter. "... Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful." Per TMZ, Diamond's girlfriend was with him at the time of his death.

Diamond had a complicated relationship with his former co-stars after penning the 2009 tell-all book, Behind The Bell, in which he alleged that his castmates — including Mario Lopez, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Elizabeth Berkley, Lark Voorhies, and Tiffani Thiessen — hooked up on set and used drugs. He later apologized and pinned the claims on a ghostwriter. Diamond was missing from several Saved By The Bell reunions, including one on The Tonight Show in 2015, as well as from the 2020 Peacock reboot. While Diamond spoke frequently with Lopez and Dennis Haskins (Principal Belding), Gosselaar revealed in 2019 that he hadn't spoken to Diamond in 25 years.

Diamond's Saved By The Bell co-stars were among the celebs who honored him following his death, including Lopez, who noted on Instagram, "Dustin, you will be missed my man. The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted. Prayers for your family will continue on."

Hal Holbrook

Actor, director, and writer Hal Holbrook died on Jan. 23, 2021, at age 95, The New York Times reported. Holbrook was most famous for portraying Mark Twain in a series of one-man shows spanning a whopping six decades, winning a Tony Award for his role in Mark Twain Tonight! in 1966.

Holbrook turned to drama in boarding and military schools in his youth and majored in the subject at Denison University. He performed in productions while serving in World War II, and upon returning home was cast in the soap opera The Brighter Day. By the mid-1950s, Holbrook performed as Twain on The Ed Sullivan Show and made his Broadway debut in 1961 with Do You Know The Milky Way?. He was a stage and screen fixture, especially in television, winning an Emmy for miniseries Lincoln and playing Deep Throat in All The President's Men in 1976. In 2008, Holbrook, then 82, became the oldest actor ever to be nominated for an Academy Award for his role in Into The Wild. His final roles came in guest appearances on Grey's Anatomy and Hawaii Five-O in 2017.

Holbrook, who was married three times (his last to Dixie Carter from 1984 until her death in 2010), said playing Twain was therapeutic, telling SFGate, "Mark Twain's opinions let me express my reactions to the way we behave, the ways we think and don't think and the crazy mistakes we keep making."

Sophie

British music producer Sophie died on Jan. 30, 2021, their rep confirmed to Pitchfork. Their labels, Transgressive and Future Classic, said in a statement, "True to her spirituality she had climbed up to watch the full moon and accidentally slipped and fell. She will always be here with us."

Sophie rose to fame in the 2010s in the EDM, house, dance, and electronic genres. In 2015, Sophie released the compilation Product, which featured their vocals as well as collaborations with other artists. Three years later, Sophie released their first full album, Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides, which was nominated for a Best Dance/Electronic Album Grammy in 2019. It was around this time that Sophie came out as trans. Sophie frequently collaborated with Charli XCX and also worked with artists including Vince Staples and Madonna.

Charli XCX paid tribute to Sophie in an Instagram post, writing in part, "She taught me so much about myself without even realizing. I wish I had told her more how special she was, not just her music, but her as a person. I love you and I will never forget you Sophie.

Christopher Plummer

Christopher Plummer died on Feb. 5, 2021 at age 91, Deadline confirmed. Though perhaps best known for his role of Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, his career extended far beyond the immortal musical.

On Broadway, Plummer appeared alongside fellow greats, including James Earl Jones, and earned two Tony Awards for his stage work (including one for playing the titular John Barrymore). Plummer won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2012 for The Beginners, making him the oldest star to ever take home an Academy Award. He won two Emmys throughout his illustrious career, once for The Moneychangers and a second for narrating a kids' Madeline special.

Plummer was born Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer in Toronto and grew up in Montreal, moving to New York City in the 1950s to pursue acting. He got his start on stage and became a critical darling for his Shakespeare roles, then in live television specials. Plummer has over 200 movie and television credits, including The Man Who Would Be King, Waterloo, Fall of The Roman Empire, Star Trek VI, Twelve Monkeys, The Insider, A Beautiful Mind, Must Love Dogs, National Treasure, Syriana, Inside Man, and Knives Out.

Plummer's third wife, Elaine Taylor, was by his side when he died. His longtime manager said of Plummer, in part, "Through his art and humanity, he touched all of our hearts and his legendary life will endure for all generations to come. He will forever be with us."

Billy Brown

Alaskan Bush People patriarch Billy Brown died on Feb. 7, 2021 following a seizure, TMZ reported. He was 68 years old. Billy's son, Bear Brown, confirmed the news on his private Instagram account, writing, "He was our best friend — a wonderful and loving dad, granddad and husband and he will be dearly missed. He lived his life on his terms, off the grid and off the land and taught us to live like that as well."

Billy, a Texas native, was a commercial fisherman and hunter. After losing his parents and sister in a plane crash when he was 16 years old, he eventually met wife Ami and moved with her from Texas to Alaska, where they raised their seven children and became reality TV staples on Discovery. In 2017, Ami was diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer, but she was declared cancer-free following chemotherapy and radiation treatments the following year. Billy's own health struggles were chronicled on the family's reality show. He was shown having a seizure and being rushed to the hospital, and revealing a heart issue after another hospitalization. In 2018, Billy was hospitalized again for an upper respiratory infection. 

Discovery said in a statement to People, "We are devastated to hear of Billy Brown's sudden passing. He has been part of the Discovery family for years — a trailblazer, a lovely man and most definitely one of a kind. Our heart is with his family and those that knew him and loved him as they deal with this devastating loss." 

Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson, co-founding member of The Supremes, died on Feb. 8, 2021. She was 76 years old. No cause of death was revealed; Variety reported that Wilson died "suddenly."

Wilson was featured on all of The Supremes' No. 1 songs from 1964 through 1969. She remained in the group after Diana Ross' exit in 1970, and was the only charter member when the group split for good in 1977, per The New York Times. Wilson documented the fraught relationship between Ross and the rest of the Supremes in her memoir, Dreamgirl: My Life As A Supreme and said the Broadway production Dreamgirls was an apt retelling of the group's history. "My main thing is that when I was in the group I maintained my position and I didn't step into Diane's position," she told Jet (via Variety), adding, "I'm no longer in the group now. I have my own position to uphold and it's not in the background."

Ross tweeted her "condolences" to Wilson's family, adding that the news of her death "reminded [her] that each day is a gift." Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records, said in a statement, "I was always proud of Mary. She was quite a star in her own right and over the years continued to work hard to boost the legacy of the Supremes. Mary Wilson was extremely special to me. She was a trailblazer, a diva and will be deeply missed."  Wilson is survived by her daughter, two sons, a sister, brother, 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. 

Larry Flynt

Hustler founder and free speech advocate Larry Flynt died from heart failure on Feb. 10, 2021 at 78 years old, The New York Times reported.

Flynt amassed a $400 million fortune and, for better or worse, personified the American dream for many: Born in 1942, Flynt dropped out of school at 15 and enlisted in the Army, then sold bootleg booze before joining the Navy. Upon discharge, he bought some bars and founded his signature Hustler Club strip joints in the 1960s, and in 1974, created what would become Hustler magazine to advertise the establishments. Hustler launched to infamy a year after its inception when the magazine published nude photos of a sunbathing Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. He drew the ire of many, getting shot in 1978 and being relegated to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Rev. Jerry Falwell sued Flynt for "for $45 million for libel and emotional distress in 1983" after Hustler published a parody story about the Moral Majority televangelist. After a dramatic trial and appeals, the Supreme Court eventually dismissed all charges against Flynt, noting that the article was satire protected by the Constitution. Flynt, who also infamously wore a diaper made from the American flag to court, said of his self-professed "smut peddler" legacy, "If the First Amendment will protect a scumbag like me, then it will protect all of you. Because I'm the worst."

Rush Limbaugh

Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh died on Feb. 17, 2021 following a lung cancer diagnosis. He was 70 years old.

Born in 1951 to a family of Republicans, Limbaugh took advantage of Ronald Reagan's shelving of the Fairness Doctrine to launch his right-wing radio empire in the '80s in California before moving to the New York market. According to The New York Times, Limbaugh peddled what was often misinformation, including lies about "death panels" being a component of the Affordable Care Act, alleging that Barack Obama wasn't an American citizen, and "likening the coronavirus to the common cold," among others. He coined the term "FemiNazis" and was particularly truculent towards women, minorities, the LGBTQ community and victims of HIV and AIDS.

In 2001, Limbaugh revealed he was nearly deaf and underwent cochlear implants and learned to read lips. Five years later, he was arrested for prescription fraud for allegedly doctor shopping for painkillers.

Then-President Donald Trump awarded Limbaugh, a supporter of charities for fallen military and police families, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2020.

Limbaugh was married four times, most recently to party planner Kathryn Rogers in 2010. He is survived by Rogers and his brother, David.

Yaphet Kotto

Actor Yaphet Kotto died on March 15, 2021, at 81 years old, Variety reported. Born and raised in NYC, seeing Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront inspired Kotto, who's survived by wife Tessie Sinahon and six children, to pursue acting, per The New York Times. He worked on stage with Judy Holliday as a mentor, then moved to television, earning an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Idi Amin in 1977's Raid On Entebbe.

Kotto's physical size impacted his career. "I'm always called 'powerful,' 'bulky' or 'imposing,' or they say I 'fill up a room,'" he told The Baltimore Sun. "I'm a 200-pound, 6-foot 3-inch Black guy, and I think I have this image of a monster. It's very difficult." His film work placed him alongside heavyweights Robert Redford in Brubaker, Robert De Niro in Midnight Run, Roger Moore in Live and Let Die, Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Running Man, and Sigourney Weaver in Alien. His star turn was Homicide: Life on the Street, premiering in 1993.

However, Kotto rejected major roles because of their portrayal of Black characters. "I was offered a part in Glory, which I refused, because for me it purported to be about a Black experience and was really about the white guy. Do you see me taking orders like that?" he told The Globe and Mail (via the NYT). "I couldn't see myself in Driving Miss Daisy either, playing the chauffeur, taking it from some old lady. Some other actor may be able to put that on and make it look real, but I couldn't do it."

George Segal

On March 23, 2021, actor George Segal died at 87 years old from complications during bypass surgery, per The New York Times. Segal grew up in New York and attended the Actor's Studio, working on Broadway before transitioning to the small and silver screens, refusing to change his name or undergo cosmetic surgery to get ahead and celebrating his Jewish heritage. He explained, "[Segal is] a Jewish name, but not unwieldy. Nor do I think my nose is unwieldy. I think a nose job is unwieldy. I can always spot 'em. Having a nose job says more about a person than not having one."

Segal's most recent role was as Albert "Pops" Solomon in The Goldbergs, but his career spans six decades. In addition to starring in TV adaptations of Of Mice and Men and Death of a Salesman, his film career was stellar, starring in Where's Poppa?, Bye Bye Braverman, Fun With Dick and Jane (alongside Jane Fonda), and The Owl and the Pussycat (with Barbra Streisand). He was nominated for an Oscar for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, in which he commanded the screen with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

He also had small but memorable roles in projects like The Cable Guy, Look Who's Talking, and Entourage. "I'm like a cork in the water, aren't I?" he once told The New York Times of his ubiquity. "I keep bobbing up in all sorts of places, although I never know in advance where or when." Segal is survived by his wife, two daughters, two stepsons, one stepdaughter, and three grandchildren.

Jessica Walter

Comedy icon Jessica Walter died on March 24, 2021, per The New York Times. She was 80 years old. While her career was nearly six decades long, she was most famous for her roles as Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development and Malory Archer in Archer

Her first role was in soap opera Love of Life, which led to parts in the film Bye Bye Braverman, as well as TV series The Fugitive, Mission: Impossible, Mannix, Dinosaurs, Columbo, Wonder Woman, 90210, The Love Boat, and a starring role in Three's a Crowd. She earned Emmy nominations for Trapper John, MD and The Streets of San Francisco, as well as Golden Globe nods for her work in Grand Prix and Play Misty for Me. In 2012, she told the AV Club that playing twisted, troubled characters was her favorite forte: "Lucky me, because those are the fun roles. They're juicy, much better than playing the vanilla ingénues, you know — Miss Vanilla Ice Cream."

Walter was married to Tony Award-winning actor Ron Leibman for 36 years until he died in December 2019. She is survived by her daughter, brother, and grandson. Archer creator Adam Reed said in a statement to Deadline, "The Archer family is heartbroken to lose Jessica Walter, our beloved colleague and friend. Jessica was a consummate professional, an actor's actor, and the exact opposite of Malory Archer — warm, caring, and kind, with an absolutely cracking sense of humor — and it was both a privilege and a true honor to work with her over these many years. She will be greatly missed, but never forgotten."

Craig "muMs" Grant

Actor Craig "muMs" Grant died from "complications of diabetes" on March 24, 2021, The New York Times reported. He was 52 years old. 

Grant was born in New York City and worked in the LAByrinth Theater Company with Philip Seymour Hoffman. There, he produced and starred in a hip-hop infused one-man show based on his life called A Sucker Emcee. In his 20s, Grant took on the moniker "muMs," which was shortened from "Mumbles," as was suggested at the time by his fellow rap group members. When his hip-hop career didn't take off, muMs turned to "spoken word poetry," per The Times, which caught the attention of Oz creator Tom Fontana. From there, Grant had a prolific career in television, starring in six seasons of Oz as Poet, as well as appearing on shows including Chappelle's Show, The Sopranos, Luke Cage, and Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It. His film career was also stellar, with credits in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) and Good Time. Prior to his death, Grant was filming the Starz series Hightown and was slated to shoot BET's All the Queen's Men.

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

Beverly Cleary

Beloved children's author Beverly Cleary died on March 25, 2021. She was 104 years old.

Cleary was born Beverly Atlee Bunn in McMinnville, Ore. and raised in Yamhill, Ore. She struggled with reading and failed out of first grade, and as a result didn't learn to love books until her family moved to Portland. She was in her grade's lowest-ability reading group, her website notes, which led her to sympathize with struggling readers and eventually to write books that readers of multiple age levels would be able to embrace. Her third grade teacher suggested she become an author, and the idea clearly stuck.

Cleary attended Chaffey Junior College (now Ontario High School) in Ontario, Calif., where she met Clarence Cleary. They married in 1940 and had two children, Marianne and Malcolm, on whom she eventually based her book Mitch and Amy. Cleary penned a total of 39 books, including two memoirs, throughout her long, illustrious life, winning the 1984 John Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw and Newbery Honors for Ramona and Her Father and Ramona Quimby, Age 8. She maintained that her inspiration for her books, which sold a whopping 91 million copies and counting, came from children she grew up with in Oregon.

Cleary told People in 2010 that out of all of her characters, she identified most with titular Ellen Tebbits, adding, "But inside, I had Ramona-like thoughts."

Paul Ritter

Actor Paul Ritter died at home surrounded by his wife, Polly, and sons Noah and Frank on April 6, 2021. Ritter was 54 years old and had been diagnosed with a brain tumor, his representatives confirmed to People.

"Paul was an exceptionally talented actor playing an enormous variety of roles on stage and screen with extraordinary skill," Ritter's rep said in a statement to the outlet. "He was fiercely intelligent, kind and very funny. We will miss him greatly."

Ritter was a fixture in blockbusters, appearing in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Quantum of Solace, as well as Friday Night Dinner, The Game, Hannibal Rising, The Libertine and TV series Chernobyl. An accomplished stage actor, Ritter won an Olivier Award for Coram Boy in 2006 and a Tony Award in 2009 for The Norman Conquests. According to The Guardian, Ritter will appear posthumously in a 10-year anniversary special for Friday Night Dinner.

Prince Philip

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, died on April 9, 2021 at 99 years old in Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace announced, with the queen expressing her "deep sorrow" over the news. The Duke had previously been hospitalized for nearly a month for a heart condition and went home in March, the BBC reported.

Philip was born in Corfu, Greece in June 2021 to Denmark Greece's Prince Andrew and Princess Alice of Battenberg, a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria and a daughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten. Philip married Queen Elizabeth II, his third cousin, on Nov. 20, 1947. He was the longest-serving British consort in royal history, retiring at 96 with 22,191 official solo events under his belt.

Before becoming a fixture of the British royals, Philip served in the Navy in World War II and was an accomplished carriage driver, helping to actually create and popularize the sport. Philip and Elizabeth shared four children, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

His youngest son, Prince Edward, previously said of Philip, "My father plain and simply is very modest about himself and doesn't believe in talking about himself. One of his best pieces of advice he gives to everybody is talk about everything else, don't talk about yourself — nobody's interested in you." Ever cheeky and outspoken, Philip himself echoed that in an interview with BBC. When asked if he felt he was successful in his royal role, he scoffed, "I couldn't care less. Who cares what I think about it? I mean, it's ridiculous." 

DMX

DMX died on April 9, 2021 following a heart attack and an alleged drug overdose that reportedly left him in a vegetative state. He was 50 years old.

Born Earl Simmons in Mount Vernon, N.Y., DMX rose to fame in 1998 with his debut album It's Dark and Hell Is Hot. His hits included "Get At Me Dog," "Ruff Ryders Anthem," "X Gon' Give It To Ya," "Party Up (Up In Here)," "We Right Here," "Where the Hood At," and "Who We Be." He also appeared in films including Top Five, Belly, Never Die Alone, Romeo Must Die, and Cradle 2 the Grave.

DMX had a troubled personal life, suffering abandonment and abuse as a child. He turned to a life of crime, which resulted, according to GQ, in approximately 30 instances of incarceration. DMX also went to rehab several times for his drug addiction. The rapper tearfully told People's Party With Talib Kweli in November 2020 that his mentor laced a marijuana blunt with crack when DMX was 14. "Why would you do that to a child? He was like 30, and he knew I looked up to him."

DMX is survived by fiancee Desiree Lindstrom and 15 children from various relationships. He previously said of his illustrious career, "I want to say what's on my people's minds, soak up all their pain. I've learned that when I take it all in, I can make one brotha's pain be understood by the world."

Helen McCrory

Actor Helen McCrory died on April 16, 2021. She was 52 years old.

"I'm heartbroken to announce that after a heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family," her husband, actor Damian Lewis, tweeted. "She died as she lived. Fearlessly. God we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you."

McCrory told Idler in 2019 that her East African upbringing caused her to "enjoy the minutiae of life." And on the subject of her own personal happiness, she once told Stylist, "I don't know that I've always been confident and self-assured, but I've never been all that self-conscious. I find what's going on around me far more interesting than my own navel."

Best known for playing Polly Gray in Peaky Blinders, the versatile star also portrayed Draco Malfoy's mother in the Harry Potter franchise. Her other big screen credits include Skyfall, The Queen, and Hugo. She voiced a demon in HBO's His Dark Materials and also appeared in Doctor Who. A prolific stage actress as well, McCrory starred in many productions throughout her illustrious career, including Shakespearean works Macbeth and As You Like It, the classic Medea, and Pride and Prejudice.

McCrory is survived by Homeland star Lewis, who she married in 2007, and their two children.

Olympia Dukakis

Olympia Dukakis died at 89 on May 1, 2021, her brother Apollo announced on Facebook following "many months of failing health."

Dukakis was born in Massachusetts to Greek born parents and was the cousin of the state's former governor, Michael Dukakis. Olympia worked in theater for years and had bit parts in film and on television before her breakout role as Rose Castorini in Moonstruck in 1987, winning a best supporting actress Oscar. Olympia followed with blockbusters Working Girl, Look Who's Talking (and its sequels Look Who's Talking Too and Look Who's Talking Now) and Steel Magnolias. In 1993, she starred in Tales of the City, a role she reprised in Further Tales of the City in 2001 and the miniseries' 2019 reboot. She also appeared in Bored to Death, Sex & Violence, Forgive Me, and TripTank. She frequently played characters much older than her actual age, starring as then-32-year-old Dustin Hoffman's mother in John and Mary in 1969 when she was just 38. Olympia told The New York Times of her career, "I always played older. I think it was the voice."

Cher tweeted in tribute to her longtime friend, "Olympia played my mom in Moonstruck, & even though her part was that of a suffering wife, we [laughed] all the time. She would tell me how MUCH she loved Louis, her 'handsome, talented, husband.' I talked to her three weeks ago. RIP dear one."

Tawny Kitaen

Model-actor Tawny Kitaen died at age 59 on May 7, 2021, TMZ reports. The San Diego-born star began modeling as a teen and quickly rose of the ranks of rock n' roll video vixen in the 1980s. Her first dance with hair metal was as cover model for RATT's early records, and starring in their "Back for More" music video. At the time, Kitaen was dating RATT's guitarist, Robbin Crosby

Later starring in Whitesnake's music videos for "Here I Go Again," "Is This Love," "The Deeper the Love," and "Still of the Night," alongside then-real-life beau Dave Coverdale, the couple wed in 1989, but divorced in 1991. Kitaen was later married to baseball player Chuck Finley from 1997 to 2002, when she was arrested for spousal battery (the charges were eventually dismissed). Kitaen also struggled with substance use for years: Arrested for cocaine possession in 2006 and a DUI in 2009, she appeared on "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew" in 2008. She is also known for starring in "Bachelor Party" as Tom Hanks' fiancée, appearing in other movies, like "Witchboard," "White Hot," and "Dead Tides," and guest-starring in the classic "Seinfeld" episode, "The Nose Job."

Kitaen's cause of death wasn't immediately known. She is survived by her and Finley's daughters, Wynter and Raine, who released in a statement to TMZ: "We just want to say thank you for all of you, her fans and her friends, for always showing her such support and love. You gave her life everyday ... We know her legacy will live on forever."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).