Photo: Jeopardy! / ABC

Famous People Who Died In 2020

UPDATED: Check out the famous people who died in 2021

Recent celebrity deaths can be quite the macabre Google search. So this list will serve as your reference for celebrities who died in 2020. If you’re wondering about that famous actor who just died, or what famous person died this year, you’ll certainly get the full story on recent Hollywood deaths here. 

This list will cover actors who recently passed away, as well as other celebrity deaths, such as that of legendary New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen. Larsen is one of the first celebrities who died in 2020. 

However, this list of recent deaths will continue throughout the year, like an ongoing written version of an award show's "In Memoriam" video, featuring what famous people died this year. You may be surprised by the celebs who died, and perhaps even a little broken-hearted. 

Check back for most recent famous deaths, and all of the other celebrity deaths of 2020. 

Photo: Jeopardy! / ABC

  • Jessica Campbell
    Photo: Election / Paramount Pictures

    Jessica Campbell passed away on December 29, 2020, in Portland, OR. The former actress turned naturopathic physician collapsed after seeing patients at her practice. No cause of death was given. She was 38.

    Campbell was probably best known for appearing as Amy Andrews in Freaks and Geeks, and as Tammy Metzler in the 1999 comedy Election, alongside Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick. The role earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for best debut performance. She also appeared alongside Sarah Jessica Parker in the 1992 TV movie In the Best Interest of the Children, with Glenn Close and Dermot Mulroney in The Safety of Objects, and in Junk and Dad's Day.

    Read more:

    Variety, People

    • Birthplace: Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States of America
  • Joan Micklin Silver
    Photo: Wiki4All / YouTube

    Groundbreaking director Joan Micklin Silver passed away on December 31, due to vascular dementia. She was 85. Her daughter, Marisa Silver, confirmed the sad news. 

    Silver was known for forging ahead in a time when women directors were not welcome, making her feature film debut with Hester Street in 1975. The film was about Jewish immigrants in Manhattan and much of the dialogue was in Yiddish. Distributors wrote it off as an "ethnic oddity," but it was selected for the Cannes Film Festival and earned actress Carol Kane an Oscar nomination. 

    Silver was known for focusing on women's stories and on the Jewish immigrant experience. She is also known for films such as Crossing Delancey, Loverboy, and Big Girls Don't Cry... They Get Even.  

    Read more:

    NY Times, The Washington Post

    • Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska
  • Dawn Wells, most known for playing Mary Ann Summers on Gilligan's Island, passed away on December 30, 2020, due to complications regarding COVID-19. She was 82. 

    Wells represented Nevada in the Miss America pageant in 1959, which paved the way for her Hollywood career. She also appeared in 77 Sunset StripMaverickBonanzaThe Joey Bishop Show, and Hawaiian Eye. 

    Read more:

    CNN, TMZ

    • Birthplace: Reno, Nevada, USA
  • Pierre Cardin

    French designer Pierre Cardin passed away on December 29, 2020, in France. He was 98. 

    France's Fine Arts Academy announced the sad news on Twitter, writing, "The Perpetual Secretary, Laurent Petitgirard, and the members of the Academy of Fine Arts are deeply saddened to announce the death of their colleague Pierre Cardin. He had been elected on 12 February 1992 to the chair of Pierre Dux."

    Cardin dressed stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Barbra Streisand, and Jackie Kennedy. He famously became a household name, thanks to his powerful branding. Cardin produced unisex and ready-to-wear lines when that kind of thing was unheard of. Cardin's "bubble dress" was likely his breakout in 1954. In 1959, he then launched his first ready-to-wear collection at the Printemps department store in Paris.

    Read more:

    CNN, NY Times

    • Birthplace: San Biagio di Callalta, Italy
  • Leslie West
    Photo: user uploaded image / user uploaded image / user uploaded image

    Guitarist Leslie West, a founding member of the band Mountain, died on December 23, 2020, due to cardiac arrest. He was 75. 

    West had been rushed to the hospital in Daytona, Florida, after suffering cardiac arrest. His brother, Larry West Weinstein, confirmed the news to Rolling Stone

    West is probably most known for the hard-rock single, "Mississippi Queen," with Mountain. 

    Read more:

    Rolling Stone, Washington Post

    • Birthplace: Forest Hills, New York City, New York, United States of America
  • Jeremy Bulloch, best known for playing Mandalorian warrior and bounty hunter Boba Fett, from the original Star Wars trilogy, passed away on December 17, 2020. His fan page confirmed the sad news, revealing that he had passed due to health complications, including those having to do with Parkinson's disease. 

    The fan page also read, "He spent his final weeks in the wonderful care of staff at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, close to the house where he and his wife Maureen had lived together for more than fifty years. Maureen and two of his sons, Jamie and Robbie, were with him during his final days. Jeremy had a long and happy life as an actor and was best known for his roles in the films Summer Holiday, Star Wars and James Bond; TV series the Newcomers, Doctor Who, Agony and Robin of Sherwood, and several West End theatre productions. Away from the screen Jeremy was a talented footballer and cricketer. He also supported a number of charities including Great Ormond Street Hospital who saved his granddaughter’s life. He was devoted to his wife, three sons and ten grandchildren, who all love him dearly and will miss him terribly."

    Read more:

    DeadlineThe Guardian

    • Birthplace: Market Harborough, United Kingdom