—-Remembering the stars we lost in 2020
2020 was surely a year that will be forever unforgettable due to the famous people that left us this year. This year, we’ve sadly said goodbye to many notable celebrities.
We take a look at top 10 stars whose death was greatly felt around the world due to their great contribution to the world in their various fields. The list cuts across Politics, sports, Movie and music stars. From NBA star Kobe Bryant who died in a helicopter crash alongside eight other people, including his 13-year-old daughter, in January to most recent Football legend Madonna in November. 2010 was a year we lost some of the world’s best. Check our list as we pay our respects to these unique stars who passed away in 2020.
10. Charley Pride, 86 – 12th December, 2020
Charley Pride, regarded as a trailblazing country musician, died on Dec. 12 at the age of 86 due to OVID-19 complications. The news which was shared in a statement on his official Facebook page, read: “It is with great sadness that we confirm that Charley Pride passed away this morning, Saturday, December 12, 2020, in Dallas, Texas of complications from Covid-19 at the age of 86. He was admitted to the hospital in late November with Covid-19 type symptoms were he succumbed to the virus.”
9. Diana Rigg, 82 – 10th September 2020
The British actress, was well known for her roles on Game of Thrones (2013–2017), in Avengers (1965–1968), and in the James Bond franchise (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). She made her professional stage debut in 1957 in The Caucasian Chalk Circle. She was a winner of the Emmy, Tony and BAFTA awards. She was made a CBE in 1988 and a Dame in 1994 for services to drama. She won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for the BBC miniseries Mother Love (1989) and an Emmy Award for her role as Mrs. Danvers in an adaptation of Rebecca (1997).
Rigg also appeared in Game of Thrones as the ruthless Olenna Tyrell to great acclaim between 2013 to 2017. She played secret agent Emma Peel in 51 episodes of the Avengers in the 1960s. She was also the only Bond girl to marry 007 actor George Lazenby in Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The former Bond Girl died at age 82 in September from cancer.
8. Chadwick Boseman 43, – August 2020
Boseman was best known for his role as T’Challa/Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, He played several movie roles – but most notably the lead in the Disney action-hero flick Black Panther. He played King T’Challa in the original 2018 film, and went on to reprise the role in the spinoffs Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.
The BLACK Panther star died at age 43 in August after a four-year battle with colon cancer at his Los Angeles home surrounded by his wife, Taylor Simone, and other family members by his side.
His death was highly felt as many prominent figures including President-elect Joe Biden tweeting at the time: “The true power of @ChadwickBoseman was bigger than anything we saw on screen.
“From the Black Panther to Jackie Robinson, he inspired generations and showed them they can be anything they want — even super heroes.”
7. John Lewis 80 – July 2020
American politician and civil rights activist and leader who served in the United States House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th congressional district from 1987 until his death in 2020. He was the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1963 to 1966. He was first elected to Congress in 1986 and served 17 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Known for his role as one of the “Big Six” leaders of groups who organized the 1963 March on Washington.
A member of the Democratic Party, were he served from 1991 as a Chief Deputy Whip and from 2003 as a Senior Chief Deputy Whip. The famous congressman and civil rights icon died at age 80 in July after battling stage four pancreatic cancer.
6. Ruth Bader Ginsburg 87 – Sep 18th 2020
The Supreme Court justice and women’s rights pioneer who was nominated by President Bill Clinton to replace retiring justice Byron White. Ginsburg was known for spending much of her legal career advocating for gender equality and women’s rights, winning many arguments before the Supreme Court. She was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter for the District of Columbia Circuit, where she served until her appointment to the Supreme Court in 1993.
Ginsburg was very popular in the American popular culture for her passionate dissents in numerous cases. During her tenure, she wrote notable majority opinions. Ginsburg was the
first Jewish woman and the second woman to serve on the Court, after Sandra Day O’Connor. She died at age 87 on Sept. 18 after battling metastatic pancreatic cancer.
5. Kobe Bryant, 41 – 26th January, 2020
NBA legend Kobe Bryant a two-time NBA Finals MVP who has been regarded as one of the greatest NBA players of all time. He came to limelight as an 18-year-old and played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 years, winning five NBA championships in his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nicknamed The Black Mamba.
Bryant won five NBA championships, and was an 18-time All-Star, a 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, a 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team and the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP).
The NBA star died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Californa, in January alongside his oldest daughter, Gianna . Kobe was traveling with eight other people, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna when the aircraft reportedly crashed after a small brush fire erupted. There were no survivors. The death of the player sent shockwaves through the NBA and his fans around the world.
4. Kirk Douglas, 103 – 5th Feb 2020
Regarded as one the last great actor of the Golden Age of cinema. Kirk Douglas was the father of popular actor Michael Douglas. He made his film debut in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) with Barbara Stanwyck. He became an international star for his leading role as an unscrupulous boxing hero in Champion (1949), The movie brought him his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Douglas received three Academy Award nominations, an Academy Honorary Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He is No. 17 on the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest male screen legends of classic Hollywood cinema. He was the highest-ranked living person on the list until his death.
The Spartacus star, who was one of the biggest actors of the silver screen during Hollywood’s heyday, passed away at the age of 103 surrounded by his wife, and three sons. On Feb. 5 His son Michael Douglas announced his death on Facebook, writing “To the world he was a legend . . . But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine, a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband.”
Also worthy of mention are the following:
Honor Blackman, widely known for the roles of Cathy Gale in The Avengers (1962–1964), Bond girl Pussy Galore in Goldfinger (1964) died on the 5th April 2020 at the age of 94.
Zindzi Mandela. Zindzi Mandela, South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark and the youngest daughter of Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandel, died on July 13 at age 59.
Rocky Johnson. Dwayne Johnson’s father died in January.
Johnny Nash, American singer-songwriter Johnny Nash is best known for his US No1 single I Can See Clearly Now. died on the 6th October 2020 at the age of 80.
Kelly Preston. Actress and wife of actor John Travolta who died on July 12 after a two-year battle with breast cancer. She was 57.
Dave Prowse. The actor who played the villain character Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy died on Nov. 28 at the age of 85.
Now to the list 3 famous stars whose deaths sent shock across the world.
3. Kenny Rogers 81, – 20th March, 2020
Famous Country singer Kenny Rogers was specially known for his country songs. He charted more than 120 hit singles across various music genres, and topped the country and pop album charts for more than 200 individual weeks in the United States alone.
He became one of the best-selling music artists of all time after selling more than 100 million records worldwide during his lifetime. Rogers’ albums The Gambler and Kenny were featured in the About.com poll of “The 200 Most Influential Country Albums Ever”. He was voted the “Favorite Singer of All Time” in a 1986 joint poll by readers of both USA Today and People. Kenny Rogers died of natural causes at age 81 on March 20, surrounded by family.
2. Sean Connery 90, – 31st Oct, 2020
The Scottish born actor, best known for been the first actor to portray fictional British secret agent James Bond in film. He was renowned for setting the pace for future bond actors after playing the role in six official roles between 1962 and 1971 and one un-official role in 1983. Other Non James Bond roles he played include The Man Who Would Be King (1975), Highlander (1986), The Name of the Rose (1986), The Untouchables (1987), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), The Hunt for Red October (1990), Dragonheart (1996), The Rock (1996). He retired from acting after his last movie in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
He received several awards such as Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards (including the BAFTA Fellowship), and three Golden Globes, including the Cecil B. DeMille Award and a Henrietta Award. In 1987, he was made a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in France. He went on to receive the highly renowed American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award on 8 June 2006. Also received the US Kennedy Center Honors lifetime achievement award in 1999. He was voted by People magazine as the “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1989 and the “Sexiest Man of the Century” in 1999.
The Bond actor died at age 90 on Oct. 31. James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli released a statement: “He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words — ‘The name’s Bond… James Bond’ — he evolutionised the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent. He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him.”
1. Diego Maradona, 60 – 25th November 2020
The Football legend and Argentina football star Diego Maradona, who became notorious for his infamous “hand of god” goal, is regarded as one of football’s greatest ever players.
He was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award. He started his career with Argentinos Juniors in 1976 and ended his career with Boca Juniors in 1997. He began his international career with Argentina, were he earned 91 caps and scored 34 goals. Maradona played in four FIFA World Cups, including the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, where he captained his country and led them to victory over West Germany in the final.
In November 2008, Maradona became the coach of Argentina’s national football team. He was in charge of the team at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He was also the coach of Argentine Primera División club Gimnasia de La Plata from September 2019 until his death in November 2020.
The infamous “hand of god” which was coined by him following their match with England during the 1986 World Cup match also saw the Argentine forward scoring what is widely considered to be one of the best goals of all time. It eventually became known as the “goal of the century”.
Maradona died of a heart attack at his home on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. His death came two weeks after surgery following a bleed on the brain. Gary Lineker, who played in the England side against him in 1986, tweeted: “By some distance the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time. “After a blessed but troubled life, hopefully he’ll finally find some comfort in the hands of God.”
Do you agree with our list. Thanks to our dear readers for keeping this section of Top 10 list active. We hope to see you in 2021 during our next Saturday edition.