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 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 recent famous deaths, and all of the other celebrity deaths of 2020.
Mad Max actor Hugh Keays-Byrne passed away on December 1, 2020. He was 73.
Filmmaker and collaborator Brian Trenchard-Smith shared the sad news on Facebook. "I am sad to report that our friend Hugh Keays-Byrne passed away in hospital yesterday. A former Royal Shakespeare Company actor who settled in Australia, co-starred in my Man From Hong Kong, and achieved world wide recognition as the Toecutter in Mad Max, and Immortan Joe in Mad Max: Fury Road... He was a fine actor and a good friend to Margaret and myself for 46 years. We spent many happy Sunday mornings with him, his partner Christina, and a group of fellow actors and artists (the Macao Light Company) at the house they shared in Centennial Park. Christina, Jack, Shawn, Tim , Ralph, Robina, our hearts go out to you. Hugh had a generous heart, offering a helping hand to people in need, or a place to stay to a homeless teenager. He cared about social justice and preserving the environment long before these issues became fashionable. His life was governed by his sense of the oneness of humanity. We will miss his example and his friendship. Vale, Hugh.”
As mentioned above, Keays-Byrne was known for his roles in the 1979 Mad Max and in 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road. However, he was also a classically-trained actor. Between 1968 and 1972, he had parts in Royal Shakespeare Company productions including As You Like It, The Balcony, Doctor Faustus, Hamlet, and King Lear.
- Age: Dec. at 73 (1947-2020)
- Birthplace: Srinagar, India
Dave Prowse, known for playing Darth Vader in the original Star Wars films, passed away on November 28, 2020, due to complications from COVID-19. His daughter, Rachel, told reporters that Prowse had been hospitalized for two weeks before he passed. He also suffered from Alzheimer's. He was 85 years old.
Before landing the role of Darth Vader, he was a bodybuilder who competed in Mr. Universe competitions. His stage name was "Jack the Ripper," and he would tear a phonebook in half to show off his strength. Prowse even trained Christopher Reeve for the role of Superman.
Prowse was recruited by George Lucas after he saw him in A Clockwork Orange, offering him the choice between the roles of Chewbacca and Darth Vader. Prowse chose Vader because, "Everyone remembers the villain." They had to use James Earl Jones as the voice to dub over Prowse's British accent. He also appeared in The Saint, Doctor Who, and The Beverly Hillbillies.
- Age: Dec. at 85 (1935-2020)
- Birthplace: London, England
Former Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh passed away on November 27, 2020, due to injuries suffered from a fire on November 18, 2020. He was 46.
Hsieh had recently retired from Zappos, where he had been CEO for 20 years. The company shared a tribute for Hsieh on social media, writing: "The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being. His spirit will forever be a part of Zappos."
The Harvard alum was also known for all of the restorative work he did in downtown Las Vegas. He had pledged $350 million in 2013 for redevelopment, and he even moved the Zappos headquarters into the former Las Vegas City Hall building. The governor of Nevada tweeted a tribute praising the work Hsieh did for Las Vegas, writing, "Tony Hsieh played a pivotal role in helping transform Downtown Las Vegas. Kathy and I send our love and condolences to Tony’s family and friends during this difficult time."
- Age: Dec. at 46 (1973-2020)
- Birthplace: Illinois
Diego Maradona passed away on November 25, 2020, after suffering a heart attack at his Buenos Aires home. He was 60 years old.
Earlier that month, Maradona had surgery on a brain blood clot. It seemed to go well, and he was then being treated for alcohol dependency.
Maradona is widely known as one of the greatest soccer players of all time. He was captain when Argentina won the World Cup in 1986. He was one of two joint winners of hte FIFA Player of the 20th Century Award, and he was the first player in history to set the world record transfer fee twice. He ended his career with 259 goals in 491 appearances. He became the coach of the national team in November 2008.
Despite his talent, Maradona suffered hardships due to his issues with substance abuse, which led to a number of health scares. He has been featured in handful of documentaries in recent years, such as Diego Maradona by Asif Kapadia in 2019.
- Age: Dec. at 60 (1960-2020)
- Birthplace: Lanús, Argentina