COVID-19 The First Year: Celebrities Who Have Died From The Virus

As the U.S. approaches a year after the first person tested positive for COVID-19 in the country, many are remembering the lives that it’s taken throughout the year, and is still taking. 

As of Feb. 13, there have been over 27 million positive cases and over 473,000 deaths in the U.S. and cases are still rising while the Biden administration tries to find a way to speed up the distribution of the vaccines.

Globally, there have been over 108 million reported cases and 2.3 million deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

People Magazine and Entertainment Weekly have reported lists of celebrities that have died since the beginning of the pandemic. Here are over 50 celebrities who’ve lost their lives within the past year:

  1. Dawn Wells. The actress died at age 82 in December. She was best known for playing Mary Ann Summers on “Gilligan’s Island.”
  2. Charley Pride. The Country Music Hall of Fame member died at age 86 in December. He helped pave the way for Black musicians today, especially those in country music. 
  3. Carol Sutton. The “Steel Magnolias” star died at a New Orleans hospital in December at 76. She also appeared in popular shows like “True Detective,” HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” and “Queen Sugar.” 
  4. Arnie Robinson Jr. He was an Olympic gold medalist for the USA track and field team. He was 72 when he died in December. 
  5. Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister. This actor’s death is thought to be from COVID-19, even though he didn’t test positive, just had all of the symptoms. He died  62 in December. He’s known for his role in “The Dark Knight.” 
  6. Kenzo Takada. The fashion designer died in October in Paris. He was 81 and best known for his fashion lines and homeware brand. 
  7. Jay Johnstone. The Yankees, Padres and Dodgers baseball player had a long career in the sport and went on to do sports commentary once he retired. He died at age 74 in a nursing home in October. 
  8. Tommy DeVito. The 92-year-old was one of the founding members of the band, “The Four Seasons.” He died in Las Vegas in September. 
  9. Bruce Williamson. The R&B singer who was once the lead singer of the group, “The Temptations,” died in September. He was 49.
  10. Tom Seaver. This New York Mets former superstar and MLB Hall of Famer suffered from Lewy Body Dementia and COVID-19, which lead to his death at 75 in August. 
  11. Herman Cain. The 2012 Republican presidential candidate contracted the virus at the end of June and died just a month later at 74. 
  12. Nick Cordero. This broadway superstar fought his battle with COVID-19 from March to July, when he passed away at age 41. 
  13. Brandis Kemp. After suffering from brain cancer and complications with COVID-19, the 76-year-old passed away on July 4. She’s best known for her stint on “AfterMASH.”
  14. Chris Trousdale. While it was announced he passed away from an undisclosed illness at age 34 in June, a bandmate from Dream Street announced it was COVID-19 related. 
  15. Roy Horn. The illusionist who spent most of his time at the Mirage Resort and Casino in Las Vegas died in May at age 75. 
  16. Annie Glenn. The widower of John Glenn, a known astronaut, changed the way the world viewed those with speech impediments. She died in May at age 100.
  17. Ty Chijioke. This rapper from the UK was once nominated for a Mercury Prize. He died in May at the age of 47.
  18. Fredrick Thomas. He was also a rapper who died just 17 days after contracting the virus. He was only 35. 
  19. Tim Brooke-Taylor. Known for his role in “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” and “The Goodies” on BBC, the 79-year-old actor died in April.
  20. John Prine. The 73-year-old country-folk singer started feeling the symptoms of the virus on March 26 and passed away on April 7. He was being treated at Vanderbilt University. 
  21. Jay Benedict. The “Dark Knight Rises” star died in April at 68-years-old. He also is known for his role in “Aliens.”
  22. Lee Fierro. The 91-year-old that is known from “Jaws,” died in April. She also spent much of her time at Martha’s Vineyard while working at the Island Theatre Workshop. 
  23. Tom Dempsey. The New Orleans Saint’s NFL star was living in a retirement community for the last part of his life due to his dementia. He died in April at the age of 73. 
  24. Ellis Marsalis. The Louisana Music Hall of Fame jazz pianist died at the age of 85 on April 1. Many musicians and fans showed their love through social media after his passing. 
  25. Julie Bennett. Otherwise known as Cindy Bear from “The Yogi Bear,” Bennett died in Marge at the age of 88.
  26. Sergio Rossi. Most famous for his shoe brand in Italy, Rossi’s items were worn all over the world by hundreds of celebrities. He died in April at 84.
  27. Bucky Pizzarelli. This jazz musician had a very successful career between touring and being a member of the “Tonight Show’s” orchestra. He died in April at 94. 
  28. Adam Schlesinger. The three Emmy winning, Grammy-winning and songwriter died in April at the age of 52. One of his most successful pieces was his songwriting for “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”
  29. Wallace Roney. Most known for his ability to play the trumpet, the 59-year-old died in March, but it’s unknown if he had any underlying conditions when he contracted COVID-19. 
  30. Andrew Jack. His work includes acting on “Star Wars” and working on the “Lord of the Rings” set. He died at the end of March at 76. 
  31. Maria Mercader. This longtime CNN journalist battled cancer and other illnesses throughout her life. She contracted COVID-19 in March and died that same month at 54.
  32. Orlando McDaniel. The former Denver Bronco NFL player and creator of a North Texas track club died in March at 59-years-old. 
  33. Ken Shimura. He can be seen on the Japanese show, “Hachijidayo Zeninshugo!” that aired in the 70s and was a comedian. He died in March at 70-years-old. 
  34. Alan Merrill. The “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” songwriter passed away at the end of March at 69. He was also considered a pop star in Japan. 
  35. Joe Diffie. The country singer that has hit songs like “Home,” “Honky Tonk Attitude” and “Third Rock from the Sun” died just two days after his diagnosis. He was 61-years-old. 
  36. Terrence McNally. Known for his screenwriting and playwrights, the Tony Award-winning 81-year-old died in Sarasota, Flordia in March. 
  37. Mark Blum. The actor had both leading and supporting roles in popular movies like “Desperately Seeking Susan” and “Crocodile Dundee.”He died in March at the age of 69.
  38. Floyd Cardoz. This American based, Indian born chef-owned many restaurants in New York and even won Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” The 59-year-old died at a New Jersey medical center in March. 
  39. Patricia Bosworth. The 86-year-old went from being an actress to a best-selling author and a journalist throughout her life. She died in April.
  40. Sekou Smith. This sportswriter for the NBA died in January of 2021 at just 48-years-old. 
  41. Triny Lopez. Not only was Lopez a well-known American singer for songs like “Sally Was A Good Old Girl” and “Lemon Tree,” he was also an actor and guitarist. He died in August at 83-years-old. 
  42. Matthew Seligman. While he’s known for his work with David Bowie, he was also a very talented bass guitarist who was based in the U.K. He died in April at 64. 
  43. Hal Willner. This music producer supervised “Saturday Night Live’s” music and performances. He passed away in April at the age of 64. 
  44. Lucia Bosè. Known for her acting work in Italy, she was featured in a few films including “The Lady Without Camelias.” She contracted pneumonia after testing positive for the virus and died at the age of 89 in March. 
  45. Allen Daviau. He worked beside Steven Speilberg for much of his career and the cinematographer worked on “E.T,” “The Color Purple” and “Empire of the Sun.” He died in April at 77-years-old. 
  46. Barbara Shelley. This British actress had many roles in horror films and various television series throughout her career. She died at 88-years-old in January of 2021 and had underlying issues when she contracted the virus. 
  47. Phil Spector. While incarcerated for the murder of Lana Clarkson, the music producer contracted the virus and later died after breathing complications at the age of 81 in January 2021. 
  48. Lynn Kellog Simpers. The broadway musical star of “Hair,” suffered from leukemia, which attacked her immune system. She died at the age of 77 in November. 
  49. Troy Sneed. The Grammy-nominated gospel singer worked on the popular album, “Higher” in 1999. He died in April at 52-years-old.
  50. Manu Dibango. The saxophonist and musician made his mark on the world when he released his single, “Soul Makossa” in the 1970s. He died in March at 84-years-old. 
  51. Lee Konitz. This musician was known for his saxophone playing, had a long career in music, coming in at almost 70 years. He contracted pneumonia and died in April at 92-years-old. 
  52. Allen Garfield. Best known for his roles in “The Stunt Man,” “The Conversation” and “Irreconcilable Differences,” the actor died in April at 80-years-old. 
  53. Maria Teresa. The Princess of Bourbon-Parma was the first royal to die from the virus, according to Wonderwall. She died in March at age 86. 
  54. Wynn Handman. The New York City’s American Palace Theatre co-founder died at the age of 97 in April. He was an influential part of the off-broadway scene. 
  55.  Forrest Compton. The “Edge of the Night” and “The Outsider” actor died at 94-years-old in April.

Nick Cordero Nick Cordero on April 24, 2016, in New York City. Photo: Walter McBride/Getty Images

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