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Famous People Who Died In 2021

Updated September 23, 2021 72.2k views135 items
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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. 

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  • Director Roger Michell died on September 22, 2021, his publicist announced. No cause of death was given. He was 65.

    Michell studied at Cambridge University, where he began directing and acting in plays. He started as an assistant director at the Royal Court Theatre, then became resident director at the Royal Shakespeare Company for six years. His direction of Jane Austen's Persuasion in 1995 led to Richard Curtis approaching him to direct Notting Hill, starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. He also directed Changing Lanes, The Mother, Enduring Love, Venus, My Cousin Rachel, and Blackbird.

    Read more:

    Deadline, The New York Times

  • Melvin Van Peebles died on September 21, 2021, his family confirmed. No cause of death was revealed. He was 89.

    His son, Mario Van Peebles, said in a statement: “Dad knew that Black images matter. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what was a movie worth? We want to be the success we see, thus we need to see ourselves being free. True liberation did not mean imitating the colonizer’s mentality. It meant appreciating the power, beauty and interconnectivity of all people."

    Van Peebles started with short films, directing and writing the 1967 short The Story of a Three-Day Pass. He directed Watermelon Man in 1970, a film about a racist white man who looks in the mirror one day and realizes his pigment has changed. He may have been most known for the 1971 blaxploitation movie Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, a landmark film that was selected for the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 2020. 

    Read more: 

    Deadline, The New York Times

  • Photo: Eugene Powers / Shutterstock.com

    Sex and the City actor Willie Garson passed away on September 21, 2021, due to cancer. He was 57. 

    HBO and HBO Max released a statement about his passing: "Willie Garson was in life, as on screen, a devoted friend and a bright light for everyone in his universe. He created one of the most beloved characters from the HBO pantheon, and was a member of our family for nearly 25 years. We are deeply saddened to learn of his passing and extend our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones."

    Throughout the '80s and '90s, Garson appeared in projects such as NYPD Blue, Mr. Belvedere, Family Ties, Coach, Quantum Leap, Monk, Ally McBeal,  Party of Five, and Friends. He was, however, perhaps most known for playing Carrie Bradshaw's gay best friend Stanford on HBO's Sex and the City, as well as in two films. Sarah Jessica Parker, Garson, and Marion Cantone (who played Stanford's husband), had recently reunited for the HBO Max limited series And Just Like That... Garson joined the cast of White Collar in 2009. 

    He also starred in a satirical web series called Whole Day Down. Garson appeared in many films, such as Troop Beverly Hills, Soapdish, Groundhog Day, Kingpin, Being John Malkovich, There's Something About Mary, Freaky Friday, and The Polka King

    Read more:

    Deadline, People

  • Musician Richard H. Kirk passed away at age 65, according to a statement from his record label. No cause of death was shared.

    Kirk formed electronic and industrial music group Cabaret Voltaire in 1973, with Stephen Mallinder and Chris Watson. They gained traction with albums such as 1980's The Voice of America, 1981's Red Mecca, and 1983's The Crackdown. 808 State dubbed Kirk "one of the UK daddies of electronica." 

    Read more:

    BBC, Pitchfork