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Famous People Who Died In 2020

Updated January 28, 2021 • 9:30am PST 144.6k views163 items

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. 

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  • 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

    • Age: Dec. at 38 (1982-2020)
    • Birthplace: USA, Oklahoma, Tulsa
  • 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

    • Age: Dec. at 85 (1935-2020)
    • 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

    • Age: Dec. at 82 (1938-2020)
    • Birthplace: Nevada, USA, Reno
  • 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

    • Age: Dec. at 98 (1922-2020)
    • Birthplace: San Biagio di Callalta, Italy