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Famous People Who Died In 2021

Updated September 14, 2021 71k views128 items

Recent celebrity deaths can be a bit dark to search on Google. However, when it comes to pop culture fanatics seeking information about celebrities that died today, inquiring minds want to know! So this list will serve as your reference for celebrities who died in 2021. If you’re wondering about a 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, such as That '70s Show actress Tanya Roberts. She was sadly one of the first celebrities who died in 2021. 

You can continue to check back throughout the year to keep tabs on what famous people died this year. You may be surprised by the celebs who died, and maybe even a little broken-hearted if you were a big fan. 

Check back for most recent famous deaths, and all of the other celebrity deaths of 2021. 

  • Photo: Saturday Night Live / NBC

    Comedian Norm Macdonald passed away after having cancer for nine years. He was 61. 

    Macdonald's management firm Brillstein Entertainment confirmed the news to Deadline on September 14, 2021. 

    "He was most proud of his comedy. He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or any of his loved ones saw him. Norm was a pure comic. He once wrote that ‘a joke should catch someone by surprise, it should never pander.’ He certainly never pandered. Norm will be missed terribly," his longtime producing partner, Lori Jo Hoekstra, said. 

    Macdonald was known for being the host of Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" segment from 1993 to 1998. He famously refused to go easy on O.J. Simpson, despite reported pressure from SNL execs. Macdonald often attributed his controversial departure from SNL to his Simpson coverage.

    He was a contestant on Star Search in 1990, and went on to write for the sitcom Roseanne from 1992-93. He had his own show after leaving SNLThe Norm Show, which ran from 1999 to 2001. He's appeared on a host of other shows since then, including Late Night with David Letterman and sitcom The Middle. He also did a stint as KFC mascot Colonel Sanders in the fast food chain's cheeky commericals. 

    Read more:

    Deadline, Variety

    • Age: Dec. at 61 (1959-2021)
    • Birthplace: Quebec City, Canada

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  • Photo: My Big Fat Greek Wedding / IFC Films

    Michael Constantine died from natural causes on September 8, 2021, his agent Julia Buchwald confirmed. He was 94. 

    Constantine was perhaps best known for his role as patriarch Kostas "Gus" Portokalos in 2002's My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and the 2016 sequel, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. Before those films, he was known for his Emmy-winning role as principal Seymour Kaufman of Walt Whitman High in the ABC series Room 222. 

    He began his career on Broadway in 1955, going on to star in Compulsion and The Miracle Worker. He appeared in films such as The Hustler, Thinner, and Voyage of the Damned, and on TV series including Naked City, The Twilight Zone, Perry Mason, Law & Order, and Murder She Wrote. 

    Read more:

    New York Post, The New York Times

    • Age: Dec. at 94 (1927-2021)
    • Birthplace: Reading, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Carl Bean

    Photo: Unity Church Fellowship / UFC Movement

    Carl Bean passed away on September 7, 2021, after a "lengthy illness," a statement from his Unity Fellowship Church confirmed. He was 77.

    "Archbishop Bean worked tirelessly for the liberation of the underserved, and for LGBTQ people of faith and in doing so, helped many around the world find their way back to spirituality and religion," the statement also read.

    Bean initially rose to fame as a singer, founding the Motown group Carl Bean and Universal Love in the '60s. In 1975, he achieved success with the disco hit "I Was Born This Way," which later inspired Lady Gaga's hit single "Born This Way."

    Lady Gaga saluted Bean in May 2021 on Twitter, writing, "Thank you for decades of relentless love, bravery, and a reason to sing. So we can all feel joy, because we deserve joy. Because we deserve the right to inspire tolerance, acceptance, and freedom for all.”

    Read more: 

    NY Post, The Washington Post

    • Age: Dec. at 77 (1944-2021)
  • Photo: lev radin / Shutterstock.com

    Michael K. Williams died of a suspected drug overdose on September 6, 2021.  He was 54.

    “It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy-nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams. They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss,’’ spokeswoman Marianna Shafran told The Hollywood Reporter.

    Williams started his career as a back-up dancer for the likes of Madonna and George Michael, before being encouraged by Tupac to go into performing. He was perhaps most known for playing Omar Little on The Wire and Albert "Chalky" White on Boardwalk Empire.

    "I use my job to engage empathy and compassion for people society might stereotype or ostracize,” Williams told The Guardian in 2015. He also used his fame to promote social justice, such as when he was an ambassador for ending mass incarceration for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 2015.

    Read more: 

    New York Post, The New York Times

    • Age: Dec. at 54 (1966-2021)
    • Birthplace: Flatbush, New York, USA

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