Famous people who died from the coronavirus, COVID-19
While many celebrities have been able to recover from coronavirus infections, many, sadly, haven’t been as lucky. Join Wonderwall.com as we take a look at the stars we’ve lost due to the coronavirus pandemic… Dawn Wells, who was best known for her role as Mary Ann on “Gilligan’s Island,” died in Los Angeles on Dec. 30, 2020, from complications of COVID-19. The actress was 82. Keep reading for more famous people we’ve lost to the virus…
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Tony-nominated Broadway star Nick Cordero died on July 5 in a Los Angeles hospital from complications of COVID-19. He was 41. The singer-actor’s wife, actress-dancer and Rockette-turned-fitness trainer Amanda Kloots, had chronicled his battle with the coronavirus and all the complications that followed — including the amputation of his leg due to clotting issues — over the previous 95 days. “God has another angel in heaven now. My darling husband passed away this morning. He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth,” she wrote on Instagram. “I am in disbelief and hurting everywhere. My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him. Nick was such a bright light. He was everyone’s friend, loved to listen, help and especially talk. He was an incredible actor and musician. He loved his family and loved being a father and husband. [Our 1-year-old son] Elvis and I will miss him in everything we do, everyday.” She also thanked Nick’s doctor as well as all the fans who sent love and support to their family. “I will love you forever and always my sweet man,” Amanda concluded her post.
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Country music legend Charley Pride — a pioneer for Black artists in the genre and the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame — died on Dec. 12 in Dallas from complications of COVID-19. He was 86. The Grammy winner, who was known for hit songs like “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” and “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone,” delivered his final performance at November’s 2020 Country Music Association Awards, where he was given a lifetime achievement award.
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Actress Carol Sutton — who appeared in films and on TV shows including “Steel Magnolias,” “The Pelican Brief,” “Queen Sugar,” “Treme,” “Claws” and “Lovecraft Country” — died on Dec. 10 in New Orleans of COVID-19 complications, the city’s mayor announced. She was 76. Mayor LaToya Cantrell praised Carol as being “practically the Queen of New Orleans theater, having graced the stages across the city for decades.”
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Dave Prowse — the British character actor who physically played Darth Vader (James Earl Jones provided the villain’s voice) in the first “Star Wars” trilogy — died from complications of COVID-19 on Nov. 28. He was 85. Daughter Rachel told The Sun that the 6-foot-6 former bodybuilder had Alzheimer’s and for the last two weeks of his life was battling the coronavirus in a U.K. hospital. “It’s horrible that COVID restrictions meant we did not get to see him and say goodbye,” she said. “But when we went to collect his stuff from the hospital the nurse said what a cool guy he was. He was such a larger-than-life character. He would have loved to see himself trending on Twitter.”
Singer-actress Lynn Kellogg Simpers, best known for her starring role as Sheila in the original 1968 Broadway production of “Hair,” died on Nov. 12 in a St. Louis hospital from COVID-19 complications. She was 77. Husband John Simpers told The New York Times she was infected with the coronavirus at a gathering in a large theater in Branson, Missouri, where most people were not wearing masks. He added that she had a non-life-threatening form of leukemia that compromised her vascular system.
Paris-based Japanese designer Kenzo Takada died from coronavirus-related complications on Oct. 4, a spokesperson for one of the fashion visionary’s brands confirmed in a statement: “It is with immense sadness that the brand K-3 announces the loss of its celebrated artistic director, Kenzo Takada. The world-renowned designer passed away on October 4th, 2020 due to COVID-19 related complications at the age of 81 at the American Hospital, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.”
Musician and singer Tommy DeVito — a founding member of The Four Seasons and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — died in a Las Vegas area hospital on Sept. 21 from complications of the coronavirus, “Casino” actor Alfredo Nittoli confirmed on Facebook. The famed doo-wop star was 92.
Former Temptations lead singer Bruce Williamson died from complications of COVID-19 at his Las Vegas home on Sept. 6, 2020, TMZ reported the following day. Bruce, who became a Temptation in 2006 and performed with the group until 2015, was 49.
Baseball icon Tom Seaver — who’s widely regarded as one of the greatest Mets players of all time — died on Aug. 31 at his home in Calistoga, California, from complications of Lewy body dementia and COVID-19, his family confirmed to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The former pitcher, the galvanizing leader of the Miracle Mets 1969 championship team, was 75. “We are heartbroken to share that our beloved husband and father has passed away,” wife Nancy and daughters Sarah and Anne told the HOF. “We send our love out to his fans, as we mourn his loss with you.”
Trini Lopez, who found fame in the 1960s with his mix of folk, Latin and rockabilly music — his biggest records were “If I Had a Hammer” and “Lemon Tree” — died on Aug. 11 at a hospital in Rancho Mirage, California, from complications of COVID-19. He was 83.
Herman Cain, a former Republican presidential candidate and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, died from complications of COVID-19, his website announced on July 30. The co-chair of Black Voices for Trump and contributor for conservative media outlet Newsmax was 74. “We knew when he was first hospitalized with COVID-19 [in early July] that this was going to be a rough fight. He had trouble breathing and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. We all prayed that the initial meds they gave him would get his breathing back to normal, but it became clear pretty quickly that he was in for a battle,” HermanCain.com editor Dan Calabrese wrote. “There were hopeful indicators, including a mere five days ago when doctors told us they thought he would eventually recover, although it wouldn’t be quick. … I’m sorry I had to bring you bad news this morning. But the good news is that we had a man so good, so solid, so full of love and faith … that his death hits us this hard. Thank God for a man like that.”
German magician and entertainer Roy Horn, who came to fame as half of the duo Siegfried & Roy — and whose career was cut short when he was attacked by one of their famed white tigers on stage in 2003 — died in Las Vegas on May 8 from complications related to COVID-19, his rep confirmed. Roy, who was 75, was diagnosed with the coronavirus in late April. “Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend,” Siegfried Fischbacher said in a statement. “From the moment we met, I knew Roy and I, together, would change the world. There could be no Siegfried without Roy, and no Roy without Siegfried.” He continued, “Roy was a fighter his whole life including during these final days. I give my heartfelt appreciation to the team of doctors, nurses and staff at Mountain View Hospital who worked heroically against this insidious virus that ultimately took Roy’s life.”
On April 7, country-folk singer and songwriter John Prine, who was known for his raspy vocals and plain-spoken style, passed away from complications caused by COVID-19. He was 73. In addition to being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, John — a real songwriter’s songwriter beloved by fans and musicians alike — was the recipient of a Grammy lifetime achievement award in 2020. He also has two other Grammys.
Former Dream Street singer Chris Trousdale died from complications due to the coronavirus in Burbank, California, on June 2. He was 34. After hitting it big musically, the former boy band member went on to star on TV shows like “Days of our Lives” and “Shake it Up.”
On April 8, Emmy-nominated hairstylist Charles Gregory passed away from health complications related to COVID-19. He was best known for working on television shows with famed filmmaker Tyler Perry. He also worked with several other notable Black actors, writers and filmmakers including Ava DuVernay, Lee Daniels and Viola Davis. “Today it’s with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of one of our crew members,” Tyler wrote on Instagram. “Mr. Charles Gregory was a hairstylist that had worked with us for many years. The man was warm, loving and hilarious. We all loved to see him coming and hear his laughter. Charles lost his battle with COVID-19 today. It saddens me to think of him dying this way. My sincerest prayers are with his family.”
Adam Schlesinger, a noted songwriter and co-founder of the pop-rock band Fountains of Wayne, passed away on April 1 from complications related to COVID-19. He was 52. The beloved musician, who released the hit song “Stacy’s Mom” in 2003, was also an Emmy Award-winning songwriter for the musical TV series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” The New York City native also notably penned the title song for the Tom Hanks-directed movie “That Thing You Do!,” which earned him Oscar and Golden Globe Awards in 1997.
Gospel singer Troy Sneed died at a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, on April 27 from complications of the coronavirus. He was 52. Troy was nominated for a Grammy for his work on the 1999 gospel album “Higher.”
On April 5, actress Lee Fierro — best known as Mrs. Kintner in the “Jaws” film franchise — passed away from complications of the coronavirus. She was 91.
Steve Dalkowski, the wild and hard-throwing left-handed minor league pitcher who inspired the character Nuke LaLoosh in the movie “Bull Durham” — but never pitched in a big league game — died on April 19, 2020, at the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain, Connecticut, due to complications of COVID-19. His sister said he had several pre-existing conditions that led to his death. The former athlete — who was 80 when he passed away — had been in an assisted living facility for 26 years due to alcoholic dementia.
Fred The Godson, a Bronx-based rapper and hip-hop radio fixture, revealed on April 6 that he’d been hospitalized after contracting COVID-19. On April 23, Fred (real name: Frederick Thomas) died from complications of the coronavirus, his rep confirmed. He was 35.
Country singer Joe Diffie died on March 29 from complications caused by the coronavirus. He was 61. His hit songs include “Home,” “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)” and “Bigger Than the Beatles.” At the 1993 Grammy Awards, Joe — a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 25 years — was nominated for best country collaboration with vocals for the song “Not Too Much to Ask” with Mary Chapin Carpenter.
Jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis Jr. died on April 1 from coronavirus-related complications. The legendary musician from New Orleans — whose children include noted musicians Branford Marsalis and Wynton Marsalis — was 85. Said Branford, “My dad was a giant of a musician and teacher, but an even greater father. He poured everything he had into making us the best of what we could be.”
On March 25, actor Mark Blum died after contracting the novel coronavirus. He was 69. Mark rose to fame after landing a starring role in the 1985 film “Desperately Seeking Susan.” The New York City native, a theater veteran, also notably appeared in films including “Crocodile Dundee” and “I Don’t Know How She Does It” and in more recent years was on TV’s “Succession,” “You” and “Mozart in the Jungle.”
Cinematographer Allen Daviau — a five-time Oscar nominee for films including “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial,” “The Color Purple,” “Empire of the Sun” and “Bugsy” — died at a Los Angeles hospital from complications of COVID-19 on April 15 at 77. “E.T.” filmmaker Steven Spielberg was among the stars who mourned, sharing in a statement about Allen, “His warmth and humanity were as powerful as his lens. He was a singular talent and a beautiful human being.”
Italian actress Lucia Bosè died on March 23 from coronavirus-related complications. She was 89. She reached the peak of her fame in the 1950s during the time of Italian Neorealism. Her filmography includes “Three Girls from Rome,” “Concert of Intrigue,” “Nocturne 29” and “The Picasso Summer.”
On March 24, acclaimed playwright Terrence McNally passed away in a Florida hospital from complications caused by COVID-19. He was 81 and had previously survived lung cancer and was living with COPD. In 2018, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in 2019, he was the recipient of a special Tony Award for lifetime achievement. His list of accolades also include four other Tonys (for writing the books for the musicals “Ragtime” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and penning the plays “Love! Valour! Compassion!” and “Master Class”) and an Emmy for writing the TV version of his play “Andre’s Mother” as well as two Guggenheim fellowships.
Singer-songwriter and musician Manu Dibango, who was known for playing the saxophone and vibraphone, passed away on March 24 at 84 from COVID-19 complications. He was best known for his single “Soul Makossa,” which came out in 1972.
Celebrated jazz saxophonist Lee Konitz died from pneumonia related to COVID-19 on April 15. He was 92. The musician, whose career lasted for seven decades, was the last surviving performer on Miles Davis’ landmark “Birth of the Cool” album, Billboard reported.
Musician and lawyer Matthew Seligman died from complications related to COVID-19 on April 17 at 64. In addition to being remembered for his impact on the new wave music scene in the ’80s, Matthew — who was a member of bands The Soft Boys and the Thompson Twins — famously played on stage with David Bowie during his 1985 Live Aid performance.
Japanese comedian Ken Shimura, who co-starred on the Japanese variety show “Shimura Ken no Bakatonosama,” passed away on March 29 from COVID-19 health complications. He was 70. Known for his slapstick comedy, Ken was often referred to as “Japan’s Robin Williams.”
“Top Chef Masters” winner Floyd Cardoz died on March 25 due to complications from the novel coronavirus. The 59-year-old celebrity chef, who cooked on dozens of TV shows, was admitted to a New Jersey hospital after he fell ill upon returning from a trip to Mumbai in March.
Actress-turned-author Patricia Bosworth, who starred alongside Audrey Hepburn in “The Nun’s Story,” died in New York on April 2 from pneumonia brought on by the novel coronavirus. She was 86. Her works include “The Men in My Life: A Memoir of Love and Art in 1950s,” “Anything Your Little Heart Desires: An American Family Story” and “Jane Fonda: The Private Life of a Public Woman.”
Jazz trumpeter Wallace Roney passed away on March 31 from complications of COVID-19. He was 59. The Grammy winner famously studied with Miles Davis from 1985 until the acclaimed musician’s death in 1991. Philadelphia-born Wallace’s albums include “Verses,” “Obsession” and “No Room for Argument.”
Jazz guitarist John “Bucky” Pizzarelli, 94, died on April 1 from COVID-19 at his New Jersey home. Bucky — the father of noted musicians John Pizzarelli and Martin Pizzarelli — collaborated with artists including Benny Goodman, Antônio Carlos Jobim and Stéphane Grappelli during his lengthy career. He was also a staff musician in The Tonight Show Band on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in 1964.
On March 29, singer, songwriter and guitarist Alan Merrill died from complications caused by the novel coronavirus. He was 69. Along with being the writer and lead vocalist of the original version of the track “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll, which was first recorded by the Arrows in 1975 and later made famous by Joan Jett, Alan was known as the first Western musician to reach pop star status in Japan.
English actress Hilary Heath (also known as Hilary Dwyer) passed away on March 30 from complications related to COVID-19. She was 74. Hilary landed roles in films including 1968’s “Witchfinder General” and 1970’s “Wuthering Heights.” The Liverpool native was best known for her many appearances in horror films in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She’s seen here in the 1970 horror movie “Cry of the Banshee.”
Actor Allen Garfield, 80, died on April 7 from COVID-19. His impressive roster of credits include appearances in films like “Irreconcilable Differences,” “Beverly Hills Cop II” and “Diabolique.” He is pictured here on an episode of the series “Sports Night” in 2000.
According to a statement from her brother, Prince Sixto Enrique, Princess Maria Teresa of Bourbon-Parma is the world’s first royal to die from the coronavirus. She passed away in Paris on March 26 at 86. Maria Teresa is a distant cousin of Spain’s King Felipe VI.
English actor Jay Benedict died on April 4 from health complications caused by the coronavirus. He was 68. He appeared in films including “Aliens” and “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Beloved acting teacher Wynn Handman — who co-founded and served as director of New York City’s American Place Theatre, an influential part of the off-Broadway scene following its 1963 opening — died at 97 on April 11 from complications of COVID-19. His theater championed new playwrights like a young Sam Shepard and cast actors like Robert de Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Raul Julia, Faye Dunaway and John Leguizamo early in their careers.
Musician-producer Hal Willner, 64, died at home in New York City on April 7. He had symptoms consistent with those caused COVID-19 though was unable to get tested before his death. The Philadelphia native was famously known for coordinating tribute albums that featured an array of musicians and musical styles including rock, jazz, and classical. He was also a longtime sketch music producer on “Saturday Night Live.”
Actor Forrest Compton, who was best known for his work on the soap opera “Edge of the Night,” died on April 5 from complications related to COVID-19. He was 94. He also appeared in 1961’s “The Outsider” and 1991’s “McBain.”
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