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Actors We Lost In 2020

There were some huge deaths in Hollywood this past decade, from legends of the silver screen to actors so young their careers had barely had time to bloom. Star Trek veteran Leonard Nimoy bid us farewell, as did Lauren Bacall, Doris Day and Burt Reynolds. Fast & Furious star Paul Walker left far too early, as did '90s heartthrob Luke Perry, comedic genius Robin Williams, and adored Star Wars legend Carrie Fisher. The loss of so many iconic names serves as a stark reminder that while they might portray superheroes and all manner of fantastical characters, actors are, like us, mere mortals.

Sadly, 2020 is proving to be another busy year for the Tinsel Town obituaries. We've already parted ways with a number of actors, and we're paying tribute to them all. From founding fathers of comedy and veteran character actors, to up-and-coming stars that never got a chance to truly shine, here are the actors we lost in 2020.

Harry Hains

Australian actor Harry Hains, who appeared in the hit anthology series American Horror Story and the canceled Netflix show The OA, passed away in January 2020 at the ominous age of 27. His mother confirmed his death in an Instagram post. "[He] had the world at his feet, but sadly he struggled with mental illness and addiction," wrote Jane Badler, an actress best known for her role in ABC sci-fi series V. "A brilliant spark shone bright too short a time... I will miss you Harry, every day of my life." The cause of death was confirmed in March to be fentanyl intoxication.

Hains was gender-fluid and he spoke openly about his desire to become the first gender-fluid icon. When he sat down with Close-Up Culture to talk about his musical project Antiboy, he said that he'd always disliked the idea of labels. "It's like feeling like something is wrong with you because society has told you that you need to behave and act a certain way and you see a professional and they diagnose you with a mental disorder," he said. "I would rather look at the environment and see what is causing these feelings of negativity and discomfort to solve the issue, rather than put a band-aid over it by what doctors do."

Both Hains and Badler's Instagram pages were inundated with well wishes and tributes after she revealed that she had lost her son, whose other credits include the Amazon show Sneaky Pete and horror sequel A Haunting at Silver Falls: The Return.

Terry Jones

Terry Jones, best known for his work with the groundbreaking British comedy troupe Monty Python, passed away in January 2020 after battling a rare form of dementia, London's Evening Standard confirmed. "We have all lost a kind, funny, warm, creative and truly loving man whose uncompromising individuality, relentless intellect and extraordinary humor has given pleasure to countless millions across six decades," his family said in a statement. He was 77.

Jones was instrumental in developing the unique stream-of-consciousness style that made Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969-1974) such a game-changing TV show, and he would go on to spearhead three of the group's original feature films. 1975's Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which he co-directed with Terry Gilliam, is regularly ranked among the funniest films ever made. Jones went on to helm 1979's Monty Python's Life of Brian, in which he played the titular character's cantankerous mother and delivered the film's most iconic line, and 1983's Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, the last movie to feature all six pythons.

The remaining members of the influential troupe paid tribute to Jones following his passing. "He was far more than one of the funniest writer-performers of his generation, he was the complete Renaissance comedian — writer, director, presenter, historian, brilliant children's author, and the warmest, most wonderful company you could wish to have," Michael Palin said. Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker and Simon Pegg (who starred in Jones' final feature film, 2015's Absolutely Anything) were among the many mourners.

Stan Kirsch

New York actor Stan Kirsch, best known for playing Richie Ryan in the Highlander spin-off series and one memorable appearance on the iconic sitcom Friends, tragically took his own life in January 2020. He was 51. A law enforcement official confirmed to TMZ that Kirsch's wife (actress Kristyn Green) found Kirsch after he'd died. "I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support," Green said after sharing the news on Facebook (via BBC).

Kirsch began his TV career with bit parts in a variety of shows, appearing on General HospitalRiders in the Sky, and True Colors in the early '90s. He made his debut as streetwise punk-turned-immortal Richard H. Ryan in 1992, and would go on to appear in over a hundred episodes of Highlander over the next six years. "Without Stan Kirsch, Highlander: The Series would have been far less," a statement posted to the official Highlander Facebook page read. "He brought a sense of humor, kindness and youthful enthusiasm to the character of Richie Ryan."

In the middle of his run on Highlander, Kirsch landed a spot on Friends. The episode "The One with the Ick Factor" probably wouldn't get the green light today — Kirsch's character Ethan sleeps with Monica (Courteney Cox), and then reveals that he's actually still in high school. Kirsch was also a well known acting coach.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Norma Michaels

Character actor Norma Michaels, who was best known for playing Josephine opposite Jerry Stiller in the CBS sitcom King of Queens, died in January 2020. Her obituary, published in The Desert Sunconfirmed that she passed away peacefully at her Palm Springs home. She was 95.

Michaels worked on seven episodes of King of Queens, one of the many comedies she popped up in over the course of a career that began back in the mid-50s when she played a patron on the half-hour variety series The George Gobel Show. In later years she appeared on Malcolm in the MiddleAlly McBeal, Gilmore Girls, Everybody Loves Raymond, Modern Family, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine to name just a few. She was in a handful of feature-length comedies, too, including Wedding Crashers, You Don't Mess with the Zohan, and Easy A. She wasn't a one-trick pony, however. In fact, she had some acting chops.

Paying tribute to Michaels, screenwriter Christopher Kubasik recalled being blown away by her ability when he worked with her on the fantasy drama series The Booth at the End. She portrayed an elderly woman named Mrs. Tyler, who is building a bomb in an effort to save her husband. "It was so committed and sensitive a performance," Kubasik tweeted. "I could feel an unexpected energy spread across the crew as everyone got the show... In that moment I was so grateful to Norma."

William Bogert

William Bogert, who was best known for his role as Brandon Brindle in the '80s sci-fi sitcom Small Wonder, died in January 2020. The actor passed away in his home state of New York, Variety confirmed. He was 83.

Bogert made his debut starring in a 1964 political ad called "Confessions of a Republican," in which he delivers a monologue about the dangers of trusting Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater. The ad went viral in 2016 when people started to notice "eerie similarities" between Goldwater and then-Republican candidate Donald Trump. Bogert was a staunch Republican when he filmed the ad, but his loyalties changed over the years — he reprised the character in a Hillary Clinton campaign video.

He started landing regular TV roles after the ad and went on to appear in 28 episodes of Small Wonder (1985-1989), which followed a family of robotics engineers. Bogert played the backstabbing neighbor of patriarch Ted Lawson (Dick Christie), an inventor who creates an android modeled after a ten-year-old girl. He and his wife attempt to pass "Vicki" (Tiffany Brissette) off as their adopted daughter, but the meddling Brindles are always throwing a spanner in the works.

Bogert was also seen on the big screen, most notably in 1983's WarGames, playing Matthew Broderick's father in the Cold War sci-fi classic. Other notable appearances include 1975's Dog Day Afternoon and 1998's A Perfect Murder. Bogert's wife (puppeteer Eren Ozker, known for her work on The Muppet Show) passed in 1993.

Marsha Kramer

TV and theater actress Marsha Kramer, best known for her role as Ed O'Neill's long time assistant Margaret on Modern Family, passed away in January 2020. Her death was confirmed by director Jeff Greenberg, who worked with her on the ABC sitcom. "So sad to hear that my long time friend, Marsha Kramer, passed away yesterday at the age of 74," Greenberg tweeted. "She was so delightful in the 14 episodes she shot as Margaret on Modern Family over the last 7 years, but I'll always remember her soaring aloft as Wendy."

Greenberg was referring to the 1979 Broadway revival of Peter Pan, in which Kramer played Wendy Darling opposite Sandy Duncan in the title role. She appeared in productions of Stepping Out, The Secret Garden, and Showboat, among many others, successfully balancing a career on the stage with supporting roles on the small screen. Kramer popped up in everything from medical dramas (General Hospital) and soaps (Days of Our Lives) to police procedurals (NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service), but sitcoms were her bread and butter.

Modern Family was her most notable screen role, but Kramer also has credits for Malcolm in the Middle, Ally McBeal, and Cheers She also played a talk radio host named Tooty on Frasier. She only physically appeared on screen in two episodes ("Good Grief" and "Sweet Dreams"), but her character was mentioned on several occasions. She is survived by her husband, Jim Keller, and numerous pet cats, including her pride and joy, Dylann. 

John Karlen

Brooklyn native John Karlen, best knowing for playing Willie Loomis in the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows and Tyne Daly's husband in the classic cop show Cagney & Lacey, passed away in January 2020. "John died on January 22 in hospice care in Burbank, California," the Dark Shadows News Twitter page confirmed, adding that he had "suffered a number of health setbacks over the past decade." A family spokesman later confirmed the cause of death as congestive heat failure. He was 86.

Karlen, a Korean War vet, made his acting debut in 1960, replacing Rip Torn (who we lost in 2019) in a Broadway production of the Tennessee Williams classic Sweet Bird of Youth. Six years later he won the part of Willie Loomis, the con artist who unwittingly frees vampire Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows. He remained a fan favorite when the show ended, attending events and conventions. "I'm 40 pounds heavier and I have a mustache, but people still recognize me," he told the Chicago Tribune in 1987, shortly after winning a Primetime Emmy for his work on Cagney & Lacey.

The actor appeared in 124 episodes of Cagney & Lacey, playing the latter's dependable husband, Harvey. It wasn't the meatiest of roles, but it was one that Karlen relished all the same. "The secret of Harvey Lacey is that he's liked," he said. "Harvey being shuffled into the background doesn't bother me." He reprised the role for 1996's Cagney & Lacey: True Convictions, his last feature-length performance.

Jack Kehoe

Described as a "brilliant character actor who appeared in significant Oscar-winning movies" in his Los Angeles Times obituary, New Yorker Jack Kehoe passed away in January 2020. The Queens-born actor lived in the Hollywood Hills, but had been out of the spotlight since suffering a stroke in 2015. He was 85.

Kehoe joined the Army straight out of high school and served three years with 101st Airborne Division. He trained under Stella Adler (whose NYC acting school produced the likes of Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro, and Marlon Brando) after leaving the military and started hitting the stage, putting in an acclaimed performance in the late Eugene O'Neill play A Moon for the Misbegotten. This opened the door to Hollywood, where Kehoe would establish himself as a capable foil for some of the biggest stars of the time.

He appeared alongside Al Pacino in Serpico, Paul Newman and Robert Redford in The Sting, and Warren Beatty in his historical drama, Reds. Other notable movie appearances include Midnight Run, The Untouchables, and Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory. In terms of television, Kehoe worked on episodes of The Twilight ZoneFame, and Miami Vice.

Sally Kirkland, who co-starred with Kehoe in The Sting, paid tribute to her late colleague on Twitter. "He was a wonderful character actor who was unforgettable in Serpico and The Untouchables," she said. "God bless his beautiful soul, journey home to the heart of God." Kehoe is survived by his companion of four decades, Sherry Smith.

Kirk Douglas

Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas, the patriarch of the Douglas dynasty, died in February 2020 at the age of 103. His son, actor Michael Douglas, confirmed his death via Instagram. "He leaves a legacy in film that will endure for generations to come," he said.

Born in New York as Issur Danielovitch, Douglas made his Broadway debut in 1941. His career was interrupted by WWII, but he returned to the stage after being honorably discharged from the Navy in 1944, and before long Hollywood beckoned. 1949's Champion made him a star (he earned his first of three Oscar nominations for the noir boxing drama), but his most famous picture is Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus (1960). Douglas famously spoke out in favor of blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, insisting that he was properly credited for his work on Spartacus.

"I think one of the most important things in my career was the breaking of the blacklist," Douglas later said in his autobiography (via Variety), in which he also talked about regret. After starring in a stage adaptation of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, he tried for year to get a film version made. By the time it happened, Douglas was too old to reprise the role of McMurphy, which went to Jack Nicholson. "I made more money from that film than any I acted in," he revealed. "And I would gladly give back every cent, if I could have played that role." 

Survivors include his wife, Anne, and his three sons.

Kevin Conway

Raspy-voiced actor Kevin Conway, known for his explosive performances on the stage and screen, passed away in February 2020. His long-time partner Geraldine Newman told The New York Times that the Harlem native died of a heart attack. He was 77.

Conway joined the Navy after graduating from Brooklyn's Bishop Loughlin High School in 1959. When he left the military he secured a mail room job at IBM and was actively working his way up the company ladder when he decided he wanted a change of direction. He enrolled in acting classes and began landing stage roles, first in Off-Broadway productions (he starred as McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) and later on Broadway proper — Conway played Doctor Treves in Bernard Pomerance's The Elephant Man, a role he reprised for a televised performance of the play.

Hollywood saw Conway as a tough guy when he first went west. The New Yorker threw his weight about in late-'70s Sylvester Stallone flicks F.I.S.T. and Paradise Alley (he stood his ground when Sly reportedly suggested he get a real face tattoo for the part), but as he got older the offers became more varied. He turned down the chance to play King Theoden in The Lord of the Rings ("I really suffered about it," he admitted) and he would never get an opportunity that big again. Still, Conway worked steadily as a voice actor and narrator in the last few years of his life.

Jason Davis

Former child actor Jason Davis, best known for providing the voice of Mikey Blumberg in the classic Disney Channel animated series Recess, died in February 2020. "I am so heartbroken to share the saddest news of my life that my son Jason Davis passed away this morning in Los Angeles," his mother, Nancy Davis, told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. "Jason had a true heart of gold with such a zest for life." He was 35.

Jason always seemed destined for a career in Hollywood. His late grandfather Marvin Davis, the famous American industrialist behind Davis Petroleum, used some of his considerable oil fortune to purchase 20th Century Fox in 1981. He sold the studio to Rupert Murdoch a short four years later for a reported profit of $300 million, but his family remained in Los Angeles. Jason made his debut in the CBS sitcom Dave's World at age 10 and would go on to appear in the Chris Farley flop Beverly Hills Ninja as well as the Jackie Chan-Chris Tucker smash hit Rush Hour while he was still a child. But his biggest role by far was Mikey Blumberg — Jason voiced Recess' gentle giant hundreds of times between 1997 and 2003.

Shortly after being arrested for possession in 2011, Jason appeared on VH1's Celebrity Rehab and opened up about his "scary" battle with heroin addiction. His cause of death has not been confirmed. He's survived by his brothers, Brandon and Alexander, and two half-sisters, Isabella and Mariella Rickel.

Lynn Cohen

Missouri born actress Lynn Cohen, who appeared in dozens of big films and TV shows but was perhaps best known for her role as hilariously frank housekeeper Magda in Sex and the City, passed away in February 2020. She was 86.

Described as "a staple in the New York Theater community" by Deadline, Cohen earned several awards for her work on the stage. Her film debut came in 1983 when she played a minor part in mystery drama Without a Trace, but her career on the screen wouldn't start to pick up steam until the late '90s. She appeared in ten feature films between 1996 and 2000, when she made her debut on Sex and the City. Cohen had done TV before (she started playing Judge Elizabeth Mizener on Law & Order in 1993, a character she would play a dozen times between then and 2006), but portraying Cynthia Nixon's Ukrainian maid/nanny on the smash hit HBO show exposed her to new levels of fame. She reprised the role of Magda in the 2008 Sex and the City movie, as well as its 2010 sequel.

Several former Sex and the City cast members took to social media after hearing about Cohen's passing, the leading lady included. "Beautiful Lynn Cohen," Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie Bradshaw) said in an Instagram post. "Miranda's dear and necessary Magda. Our dear SATC colleague. Talent, grace, inspiration. RIP." Elsewhere, Willie Garson (Stanford Blatch) thanked Cohen for her "friendship and amazing talent" in a tweet.

Raphael Coleman

Former child star Raphael Coleman, best known for playing one of the seven Brown children in mid-noughties kids comedy Nanny McPhee, passed away in February 2020. The London born actor-turned-climate change activist collapsed while he was out jogging, according to his stepfather (via The Guardian). He was 25.

Coleman was 11 when he made his acting debut as the crafty and intelligent Eric Brown in 2005's Nanny McPhee, the movie he'll be best remembered for. He didn't return to the screen until 2009, when he starred in a short film called "Edward's Turmoil" and appeared in a pair of feature-length genre pictures: the Milla Jovovich-led sci-fi thriller The Fourth Kind and a remake of Larry Cohen's cult horror It's Alive. He stopped acting altogether after that, choosing to concentrate on saving the planet instead.

After studying wildlife conservation, Coleman joined Extinction Rebellion, the global environmental movement that began in the UK. He took on the pseudonym James "Iggy" Fox and started attending protests, one of which led to his arrest. "My actions aren't about sacrifice, or arrest for the sake of it," he said. "Knowing the science, I have no choice but to tell the truth, and stick to my morals in the face of that truth. I won't stand by and watch the world burn." In a tweet, Coleman's mother said that "he died doing what he loved" and urged people to "celebrate all he achieved in his short life and cherish his legacy."

Nikita Waligwa

Ugandan actress Nikita Waligwa, who starred in the 2016 Disney film Queen of Katwe, died from a brain tumor in February 2020. She was first diagnosed with a tumor in 2016but (thanks to the fundraising efforts of Queen of Katwe director Mira Nair and some contributions from Disney) she was flown to India for treatment and soon got the all-clear. A second tumor developed, however, and this time she couldn't be saved. She was 15.

Queen of Katwe is a biographical drama about real life chess player Phiona Mutesi, a poor Ugandan girl who went from the slums of Katwe to the World Chess Olympiads. Walinga played Mutesi's real-life friend and fellow chess star Gloria Nansubuga, who was shocked when she heard the news. "I couldn't bear to hear that someone who acted as me in a film had died," she told the BBC. "I loved her from my heart."

David Oyelowo and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o, who played Mutesi's parents in the movie, both took to Instagram to pay tribute to the teen. "She played Gloria with such vibrancy," Nyong'o said. "In her real life she had the enormous challenge of battling brain cancer. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and community as they come to terms with having to say goodbye so soon." Oyelowo echoed those sentiments, calling Waligwa's battle "humbling to witness" in his own post. "She was a ball of light," he added. "Her light will live on."

Esther Scott

Esther Scott, who played a meat cleaver-waving grandmother in Boyz n the Hood and more recently appeared in festival favorite The Birth of a Nation, passed away in February 2020. She suffered a suspected heart attack, her family has confirmed. She was 66.

Scott's acting career began in 1986 when she voiced the character Shodu Warrick in the second season of the animated Star Wars series Ewoks. She made her feature film debut in 1991's Boyz n the Hood, chasing Cuba Gooding Jr.'s character from her family home after she hears him fooling around with her granddaughter. The Queens-born character actor went on to appear in numerous notable films in the years that followed; she popped up in California Man, Gangster Squad, Transformers, The Pursuit of Happyness, Dreamgirls, and Austin Powers in Goldmember to name but a few. Her final feature film was 2016's The Birth of a Nation, in which she portrayed the grandmother of Nat Turner, a real life African American slave who led a famous rebellion in 1831.

She was also a veteran of the small screen, plying her trade on E.R., The Help, Melrose Place, the CW's Hart of Dixie, and Sister, Sister, among others. "She loved what she did," Scott's sister, Shaun, told TMZ. "She would get stopped on the street often and people would recognize her — but they didn't know her name. Hopefully now people will remember her name, her work, and the contributions she gave to the entertainment industry."

Kellye Nakahara

Hawaii-born actress Kellye Nakahara, best known for her role as Nurse Kellye Yamato in the classic army hospital dramedy M*A*S*H, died of cancer in February 2020. She passed away surrounded by loved ones at her home in California, her sister Nalani Coleman told CNN. "She was a performer and an artist, and she did her artwork to make people happy, which in turn gave her joy," Coleman said. "People wanted to be near her, she was genuine in her persona." She was 72.

Nakahara was only supposed to be an extra on M*A*S*H, but she had different plans. "I put myself in every scene and nobody told me to get out," she once said (via The New York Times). Her tactic worked perfectly. She ended up featuring in 167 episodes of the Korean War-set show, even playing the lead on occasion. "She began as a background performer and worked her way up to playing the lead in an episode I wrote for her," Alan Alda, who portrayed surgeon (and Nurse Kellye's secret crush) Hawkeye Pierce, told Fox News. "She was adorable and brilliant in the part, but you couldn't beat what she was as a person, funnier and warmer and kinder than most people I've known."

Other notable credits include Little House on the Prairie, Growing PainsNYPD Blue, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and The Wild Thornberrys, her last role. Besides her daughter, Nakahara is survived by her husband, David Wallett, her son, William Wallet, and her four grandchildren.

John Shrapnel

John Shrapnel, best known for playing Julia Roberts' media manager in Notting Hill and Roman senator Gaius in Ridley Scott's Gladiator, passed away in February 2020. The respected British actor died following a battle with cancer, London's Evening Standard confirmed. He was 77.

Shrapnel (whose ancestor Lieutenant General Henry Shrapnel "invented the exploding cannonball and gave his name to the shards of metal produced," The Guardian reports) was born in Birmingham, but his formative years were spent in the capital. He attended the City of London school, where he got his first taste of the theater. Shrapnel played Hamlet in a CLS production, one of many Shakespeare characters he would portray over the course of a distinguished career on the stage.

He made his feature film debut in the Oscar winning biographical drama Nicholas and Alexandra and would go on to appear in a number of other period pieces, including the Brad Pitt-led Troy. In his final role he played the Archbishop of Canterbury in the BBC's King Charles III, a fictional account of Prince Charles' accession to the British throne following the death of his mother, the Queen.

"Sad to learn that John Shrapnel has died," Richard E. Grant said in a tweet, leading the tributes. "I played his patient in How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989). Generous, kind, funny and warm hearted. Privileged to have known and worked with him." Survivors include his three sons, Joe, Lex and Tom, and his wife, landscape designer Francesca Bartley.

Ja'Net DuBois

Actress and musician Ja'Net DuBois, best known for playing fashionable divorcee Willona Woods on the '70s sitcom Good Times, passed away in her California home in February 2020. According to her family she was 74 at the time, however "public records indicate she may have been older," The New York Times reported.

DuBois was born in Philadelphia, but she moved to New York to pursue a career in acting. She appeared in several Broadway productions and ran her own acting workshop for kids at one stage, but by the 1960s Hollywood was calling. The ambitious performer was cast in Good Times in 1974 and she went on to portray Willona Woods until 1979, appearing in 133 episodes of the Norman Lear sitcom.

During her stint on Good Times she told Lear that she wanted to explore new avenues, and he suggested that she create a song for The Jeffersons, one of the prolific producer's many shows. The result was "Movin' On Up", which became a "jubilant, aspirational theme song for black Americans," DuBois' daughter, Kesha Gupta-Fields, said. "It provided a lot of black people with an anthem."

The Philly native went on to appear in a few feature films in the years that followed (most notably 2003's Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle), but she was always more celebrated for her TV work. DuBois won two Primetime Emmys for her work on Eddie Murphy and Larry Wilmore's animated series The PJs, in which she voiced quarrelsome housing project resident Mrs. Avery.

Max von Sydow

Swedish-born actor Max von Sydow, best known to American audiences for playing Father Merrin in The Exorcist and Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon, passed away in March 2020, his agency confirmed. He was 90.

The imposing European landed on Hollywood's radar after appearing in a string of movies by acclaimed Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. Von Sydow initially spurned U.S. advances (he reportedly turned down the role of Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music), but when the chance to play Jesus Christ in The Greatest Story Ever Told came his way 1965, he decided to take his talents Stateside. The Exorcist (1973) and Flash Gordon (1980) further established him in America, though he would go on to be typecast as a suave evil-doer in the years that followed, something that wasn't helped by his turn in 1983's Never Say Never Again — he played classic Bond villain Blofeld in the Sean Connery spy flick.

Von Sydow (who took French citizenship when he married his second wife, producer Catherine Brelet, in 1997) stayed active late into his career, appearing in a number of big Hollywood franchises. He portrayed explorer Lor San Tekka in 2015's Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, and later appeared in three episodes of Game of Thrones, playing the all-knowing Three-Eyed Raven.

Director Edgar Wright led the tributes on Twitter, calling Von Sydow an "iconic presence in cinema for seven decades." He is survived by his wife, Catherine, and four sons.

Mark Blum

Newark native Mark Blum, who starred opposite Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan and played Paul Hogan's love rival in Crocodile Dundee, passed away in March 2020. The stage and screen actor died "as a result of complications from the coronavirus," Rebecca Damon, executive vice-president of Blum's union Sag-Aftra, confirmed in a tweet. He was 69.

Blum was perhaps best known for playing Gary Glass in the 1985 comedy-drama Desperately Seeking Susan, Madonna's first major film role. She took to Instagram when she learned of her co-star's passing, remembering Blum as "funny, warm, loving and professional" in a tribute post. "I want to acknowledge the passing of a remarkable human, fellow actor and friend Mark Blum, who succumbed to coronavirus," the Queen of Pop said. "This is really tragic and my heart goes out to him, his family and his loved ones." Star Wars legend Mark HamillDawson's Creek star James Van Der Beek, and Sex and the City alum Cynthia Nixon (who called Blum "one of the loveliest humans ever") were among the many who paid tribute to the versatile thesp.

Younger viewers are more likely to recognize Blum as either Union Bob (the piccolo player in Amazon's classical music comedy-drama Mozart in the Jungle) or Mr. Mooney (the bookstore owner in Netflix's super popular stalker show, YOU). Blum's final role was Dr. Mark Rutenberg, a one-off character in Showtime's hit legal series, Billions. He is survived by his wife, actress Janet Zarish.

John Callahan

John Callahan, the soap opera star who played Edmund Grey on All My Children from 1992 to 2005, died in March 2020. "We're devastated to share that John Callahan passed away earlier today," a tweet from the official Daytime Emmys Twitter account read. "Sending our deepest condolences to [former co-star and ex-wife] Eva LaRue and all his loved ones." According to People sources, Callahan suffered a massive stroke and did not recover. He was 66.

Callahan married LaRue in 1996, and the All My Children colleagues had a daughter named Kaya together before divorcing in 2004. They were on good terms when he died, and that shone through in LaRue's heartfelt tribute post. "Your bigger than life, gregarious personality will leave a hole in our hearts forever," the actress said on Instagram. "We are devastated. My great friend, co-parent partner, and loving father to Kaya."

LaRue wasn't the only All My Children alum who paid tribute to the Brooklyn born actor. Sarah Michelle Geller, who appeared on All My Children between 1993 and 1995, likened Callahan to a father figure in her own Instagram post, and Kelly Ripa (who played Hayley Vaughan on the ABC soap for over a decade) was also devastated by the sad news. "There are no words," she wrote on Instagram. "All I can muster is rest in peace."

Callahan also appeared in over 100 episodes of Days of Our Lives. Other notable credits include Falcon CrestSanta Barbara, Desperate Housewives and The Bay.

Andrew Jack

English actor Andrew Jack, who played Caluan Ematt in 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens and reprised the role in 2017 sequel Star Wars: The Last Jedi, died of coronavirus in March 2020. The 76-year-old passed away just two days after contracting COVID-19, his wife confirmed. "He was in no pain, and he slipped away peacefully knowing that his family were all 'with' him," Gabrielle Rogers tweeted. Tragically, Rogers wasn't able to be with her husband in person during his final moments as she was quarantined in Australia.

Jack also worked on 2018 spin-off Solo: A Star Wars Story, voicing a Grindalid character named Moloch. In fact, the Brit was actually more famous for his voice in Hollywood circles. He was a sought-after dialect coach who plied his trade on some of the biggest movies of recent years, working closely with Chris Hemsworth on a number of occasions — Jack helped the Australian actor get his accent right in Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Men in Black: International. According to Jack's agent (via the BBC), he was coaching on Robert Pattinson's The Batman when he fell ill.

Tributes from former colleagues began to pour in when news of Jack's death broke. Elijah Wood and Sean Astin worked with him on Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and both actors remember him fondly. "He was a kind and lovely human being," Wood said, while Astin recalled how Jack "made a mean curry."

Honor Blackman

British actress Honor Blackman, who appeared opposite Sean Connery as iconic Bond girl Pussy Galore in 1964's Goldfinger, passed away in April 2020. Her family hailed her as a "hugely prolific creative talent" in a statement released to The Guardian. "She died peacefully of natural causes at her home in Lewes, Sussex, surrounded by her family. She was much loved and will be greatly missed." She was 94.

Blackman rose to prominence in the early 1960s playing leather-clad super spy Cathy Gale in The Avengers, a show that went on to earn cult status (and no, it had nothing to do with Marvel). She had to learn judo for the role, which held her in good stead when Goldfinger came along. Blackman will forever be remembered as the titular villain's suggestively named henchwoman, but she actually had some regrets about dumping The Avengers to star in a James Bond movie. "I walked away at the wrong moment," she told The Guardian in 2007. "They were just going from black and white to colour, they were starting to get real film money."

She carried on acting well into her golden years, but Blackman became better known for her activism and her political career later in life. She was a card-carrying member of the Liberal Democrats, and would often speak at party events. "You could guarantee bums on seats at any Lib Dem event Honor was at," former party leader Tim Farron tweeted. "She was charismatic, principled and kind." William Shatner was among the many actors who paid tribute.

Jay Benedict

California-born actor Jay Benedict, who played Newt's father in the James Cameron classic Aliens and later appeared in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, died in April 2020. His agency confirmed that he passed away after contracting coronavirus. "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear client Jay Benedict, who this afternoon lost his battle with COVID-19," TCG tweeted. "Our thoughts are with his family." He was 68.

Benedict became fluent in French after moving to Europe as a child, and he put that to good use throughout his career, appearing in numerous French productions. In 2013 he played the French Foreign Minister in The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, adapted from the hit novel of the same name. When Benedict spoke in his mother tongue he did so with an English accent, though he was still routinely cast as an American. In fact, the role he was best known for was U.S. Army officer John Kieffer, friend of the eponymous Christopher Foyle in British TV series Foyle's War.

He was also a voice actor, whose pleasant tones were often utilized by movie theater chains. "The irritatingly soothing voice requesting that you take your seat and switch off your mobile phone is quite probably him," the bio on the late actor's website reads. Benedict's voice was also well known to gamers — he voiced characters in dozens of video games, including Miami Vice, Spartan: Total Warrior, and Perfect Dark Zero.

Logan Williams

Teenage actor Logan Williams, who played a young Barry Allen in the CW's The Flash, passed away suddenly in April 2020 at the age of 16. The cause of death has not been revealed. His devastated mother, Marlyse Williams, confirmed the tragic passing to The Tri-City News. "With his talent and gorgeous looks, Logan had the potential to be a huge star," said Williams, who was forced to grieve alone due to coronavirus social distancing restrictions. "I am not able to hug my parents who lost their only grandchild. It's hard."

Williams made his debut in TV movie The Color of Rain (2014) when he was just ten years old. He made his first appearance on The Flash soon after, and he also landed small parts in The Whispers and Supernatural around that time. In 2015 he was nominated as Best Newcomer at the UBCP/ACTRA Awards, and although he didn't win, he picked up a Joey Award for Best TV Ensemble the following year for his work on When Calls the Heart (Williams appeared as Miles Montgomery in 13 episodes of the Canadian frontier drama, his final role).

Friends of Williams called him a "gentle and very loving and very kind soul" on Facebook as tributes poured in. Over on InstagramThe Flash star Grant Gustin praised the young actor's talent and professionalism. "Please keep Logan and his family in your thoughts and prayers during what has been a strange and trying time for us all," he said.

Allen Garfield

Respected character actor Allen Garfield, who made a career out of playing corrupt businessmen and scheming politicians, passed away in April 2020. Garfield's sister told the Press Herald that the Newark-born actor died of complications from COVID-19. He was 80.

Garfield was once an aspiring boxer with a passion for writing. "I thought I was going to be the first boxer-journalist, like a Hemingway character," he once said. "I'd be like the Jewish Hemingway — box, and also write about boxing." He had a change of heart when he saw the 1944 movie adaptation of Broadway play Tomorrow, the World!, a film about a German boy who was raised as a Nazi after his father was executed for speaking out against the Third Reich. Garfield decided to perform a section of the story on stage just to see what it felt like, and he knew right away that he loved acting. He began taking night classes and would eventually end up at New York's famous Actor's Studio, learning from legendary tutor Lee Strasberg.

He went on to appear in a number of '70s classics, playing supporting roles in films like Robert Altman's Nashville, Richard Rush's The Stunt Man, and Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation, Garfield's personal favorite. Other notable credits include Beverly Hills Cop II (he played the foul-mouthed police chief) and Roman Polanski's The Ninth Gate. Garfield was a resident at The Motion Picture Television Fund Home, industry retirement facility, at the time of his death.

Lee Fierro

Lee Fierro, the actress who played anguished mother Mrs. Kintner in Steven Spielberg's classic Jaws, passed away in April 2020. Sources close to Fierro told The Martha's Vineyard Times that she died of complications from coronavirus. She was 91.

Fierro was, for the vast majority of her career, a theater actor. She reprised the role of Mrs. Kintner in the 1987 sequel Jaws: The Revenge, but apart from a surprise appearance in the 2016 drama The Mistover Tale, she didn't act in any more movies. That's not to say she turned her back on acting, however. For 25 years Fierro served as the artistic director of the Island Theatre Workshop, the oldest company on Martha's Vineyard. According to her successor Kevin Ryan, she was "fiercely dedicated" to the theater group. "I've watched her as a performer, director and business woman and then we became friends," the current director said. "She was my teacher and mentor."

Outside of Martha's Vineyard, Fierro was famous for one thing — pulling back her veil and slapping Roy Scheider's Police Chief Brody across the face. Her Jaws scene became iconic, something she was always "tickled by" according to Nicki Galland, a friend of the late actress. According to Galland, Fierro almost stole a second Jaws scene, but Spielberg called cut and asked her to "tone it done" a little. "Lee, you're not on Broadway," the director reportedly said.

Fierro is survived by her five children, her seven grandchildren, and her seven great-grandchildren.

Brian Dennehy

Connecticut-born actor Brian Dennehy, best known for playing dogged small-town sheriff Will Teasle in Sylvester Stallone classic First Blood, died in April 2020. His daughter Elizabeth Dennehy (an actor whose credits include Red Dragon and Hancock) confirmed his passing in a tweet. "It is with heavy hearts we announce that our father, Brian, passed away last night from natural causes, not COVID-related," she said. "Larger than life, generous to a fault, a proud and devoted father and grandfather, he will be missed by his wife Jennifer, family and many friends." He was 81.

Dennehy won a football scholarship to Columbia after leaving the military in 1963 (he spent four years as a Marine, per Variety), and from there he got into Yale, where he studied dramatic arts. He made his debut in 1977, which turned into a very productive year — Dennehy appeared in over a dozen TV shows and movies. He landed a recurring role on Dynasty in 1981, and his career got another boost the following year we he played John Rambo's nemesis. Dennehy had already worked with Stallone on 1978's F.I.S.T, and when they reunited for First Blood in 1982both actors benefited. 

Other notable appearances include Ron Howard sci-fi Cocoon and Lawrence Kasdan western Silverado, both released in 1985. Dennehy made his overdue Broadway debut in the mid-'90s, and he would later voice the character Django in Pixar hit Ratatouille. His final appearance was on a 2019 episode of NBC's The Blacklist.

Tom Lester

Mississippi-born actor Tom Lester, best known for playing farmhand Eb Dawson on '60s sitcom Green Acres, passed away in April 2020. Lester, a born-again Christian who was the last surviving member of the original Green Acres cast, died of complications from Parkinson's disease at the home of his fiancée and long-term caregiver. He was 81.

After graduating from university, Lester began taking acting lessons with Lurene Tuttle. The renowned character actress was working on a show called Petticoat Junction at the time, and she was able to get Lester into a room with creator Paul Henning, who had plans to expand his sitcom universe. Henning was plotting a spin-off of Petticoat Junction (which was itself a spin-off of The Beverly Hillbillies) and he was looking for someone to play a straight-talking farmhand. Lester won the part and would go on to appear in nearly every Green Acres episode from 1965–71. "He was the only connection with youth that the show had," Green Acres director Richard L. Bare told the TV Academy (via Deadline).

Lester appeared in a handful of feature films after Green Acres (the family adventure Benji and the Sam Raimi/Bruce Campbell slasher Intruder being the most notable), but at this stage he was more interested in spreading the good word. "During and after his role as Eb, he became more involved, traveling the nation, preaching a message of Christian faith and obedience," his brother, Michael T. Lester, revealed when he announced the death in a Facebook post.

Hilary Heath

Actor and producer Hilary Heath, best known for starring opposite Vincent Price in a trio of classic horror movies, passed away in April 2020. The Brit died after contracting coronavirus, her godson revealed. "We lost my wonderful godmother Hilary Heath to COVID-19 last week," Alex Williams confirmed in a Facebook post (via The Wrap). "She was a force of nature, and I can't bear it that she is no longer with us." She was 74.

Heath (who was going by maiden name Hilary Dwyer at the time) only had a handful of TV appearances under her belt when she was cast as Vincent Price's quarry Sara in 1968's Witchfinder General, released as The Conqueror Worm in the United States. The following year she appeared in The Oblong Box, the first film to co-star both Price and fellow horror icon Christopher Lee. She reunited with Price once again for Cry of the Banshee in 1970, a fruitful year for the actress — she also appeared in a big screen adaption of Wuthering Heights alongside Timothy Dalton.

She reinvented herself as a producer in the '90s, making films like Nil by Mouth with Gary Oldman and An Awfully Big Adventure, starring Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman. Heath was also an Oxford graduate and an addiction counsellor, her godson revealed. "She worked at clinics all over the world, often for free, often with very deprived and distressed individuals, and she regarded this as her most valuable work by far," Williams said.

Shirley Douglas

Actress and activist Shirley Douglas, whose film credits include Stanley Kubrick's Lolita and David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers, passed away in April 2020. The Canadian, who was once married to Donald Sutherland and was the mother of Hollywood star Kiefer Sutherland, died from complications stemming from pneumonia. She had just turned 86.

Her famous son took to Twitter to share the news, confirming that the death was not related to COVID-19. "My mother was an extraordinary woman who led an extraordinary life," Kiefer Sutherland said. "Sadly she had been battling for her health for quite some time and we, as a family, knew this day was coming." The 24 star returned to Twitter two days after losing his mother to thank his followers for all the "incredibly kind and thoughtful tweets" he had received, adding that he and his family were "genuinely moved" by the outpouring of support.

Douglas had an acting career that spanned six decades, but she always made time for her advocacy. Following in the footsteps of her politician father Tommy Douglas (who brought about universal healthcare in Canada and was named the Greatest Canadian of all time in a 2004 poll), she spoke out whenever she thought something wasn't right. Douglas protested the Vietnam War in Washington, and she spent a week in jail during the height of the civil rights movement, according to the Toronto Sun. "Her passing is a true loss for our country," Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a tweet.

Julie Bennett

Red-headed New Yorker Julie Bennett, best known for providing the distinctly Southern voice of Cindy Bear on The Yogi Bear Showpassed away on March 31, 2020. Her agent and longtime friend Mark Scroggs confirmed that she had succumbed to coronavirus in a statement released to Entertainment Weekly. "She was definitely a personality and a throwback to Hollywood glamour," he said. Scroggs also thanked the "amazing" staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where Bennett died. She was 88.

Bennett bounced between theater productions and radio soaps when she first started acing in the 1950s. Her career received a boost when she returned to California (the Manhattan native had moved there for a spell when she was a child), winning a number of small TV roles, including a part on a 1956 episode of Adventures of Superman. Bennett would actually go on to play famous characters from both the DC and the Marvel universes after she broke into voice acting the following decade. She'll always be best remembered for bringing Yogi Bear's parasol-carrying girlfriend to life, but Bennett also voiced the iconic Lois Lane in The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure (1967-1968) and she provided the worried tones of Aunt May in Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994-1998).

She only appeared on screen a handful of times, but her voice could be heard across five decades. She was divorced, her agent confirmed, but "she leaves behind her mutually adopted family."

Jack Wallace

Chicago native Jack Wallace, best known for his role as Hank in the vigilante thriller Death Wish, passed away in April 2020. The Chicago Tribune confirmed that he had been suffering from "a variety of health woes" for a number of years, including cancer. He was 86.

Wallace played his fair share of tough guys in his youth, something that came naturally to him. He grew up on what the Tribune described as "Chicago's tougher streets." For a while it looked like he would never escape them (he was jailed for three years following an armed robbery), but a chance encounter changed everything. In 1969, Wallace was walking down the street when he came across some actors going over lines for a play. Assuming he was there to audition for said play, they asked Wallace to join in, and the rest is history. "None of us ever knew, met, or saw a better actor," playwright and longtime friend David Mamet said.

Wallace became a valued member of the group, starring as McMurphy in a production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. His performance landed him on late night show couches and led to an encounter with Death Wish producer Dino DeLaurentiis, who offered him a part in the Charles Bronson flick. He would go on to appear in films like Boogie Nights and Nixon, and in later years he became a regular face on American television screens, popping up in comedies like Parks and Recreation and Shameless.

Dimitri Diatchenko

Film and TV actor Dimitri Diatchenko, best known for his turn as reckless tour guide Uri in the nuclear horror Chernobyl Diaries, passed away in April 2020. Diatchenko, who was a first-generation American of Ukrainian, Swedish, and Greek heritage, died suddenly at his home in Florida, his agent confirmed. He was 52.

Roger Paul told Deadline that his client may have suffered a heart attack, though the agent also claimed that an electric shock could have been to blame. According to CNN, Diatchenko had been taking time off work after being electrocuted on the job and was only discovered when a co-worker contacted authorities after they didn't hear from him for a number of days. Police found the actor unresponsive. They couldn't reveal the cause of death (autopsy results are pending), but they confirmed that there were no signs of foul play.

2012's Chernobyl Diaries didn't go over well with the majority of critics, but Diatchenko's performance was considered a highlight of the film. He had made his big screen debut 15 years earlier, playing a Navy SEAL in Ridley Scott's G.I. Jane. He went on to appear as Russian enforcers in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Get Smart, and he played a similar role in Sons of Anarchy. Other notable TV credits include How I Met Your Mother, Bones, and Criminal Minds. Diatchenko was also a prolific voice actor who worked on over 30 video games. He's survived by his siblings, nieces, and nephews.

Gene Dynarski

Brooklyn-born character actor Gene Dynarski, who appeared in Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind and went on to play Izzy Mandelbaum Jr. on Seinfeld, died in February 2020. Playwright Ernest Kearney told The Hollywood Reporter that he passed away at a rehabilitation center in Studio City. He was 86.

Dynarksi arrived in Hollywood after a stint in the U.S. Navy and, with the help of casting director Lynn Stalmaster, started landing TV roles. He made his bow in a 1965 episode of the medical drama Ben Casey, and the following year he appeared in the Adam West-starring Batman series as well as the original Star Trek. He played a trucker in Spielberg's debut Duel (1971), and the director would later cast him as Richard Dreyfuss' supervisor in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which hit cineplexes in 1977. Two years after that, he opened the Gene Dynarski Theatre in Los Angeles, but, while he would remain active in the theater world (he won a Los Angeles Drama Critics' Award for his turn in Among the Vipers), Dynarski became a familiar face on American TV screens in the decades that followed.

The actor appeared in Father Murphy, The A-Team, Hill Street Blues, and Star Trek: The Next Generation during the 1980s, but some of his best work was in the '90s — he became well known to gamers after voicing Josef Stalin in 1996's Command & Conquer: Red Alert, and he memorably put his back out on Seinfeld.

Bruce Allpress

New Zealander Bruce Allpress, who accidentally fired the first arrow during the climactic battle in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, passed away in April 2020. The actor died surrounded by loved ones at his home in Auckland, The New Zealand Herald confirmed. "Dad lived an extremely full life," his son Michael said in a statement. "He was very accepting of the vast diversity that humanity presents and very much an independent thinker." He was 89.

Allpress was in the textiles trade before becoming an actor, and traveled extensively in Asia for work during the 1960s. He made his screen debut in 1977, playing Gordon Hunter in the kids' adventure series Hunter's Gold. Roles in beloved Kiwi soap opera Close to Home and popular cop show Mortimer's Patch followed, and he would go on to star as the titular jack-of-all-trades in the rural drama Jocko. Allpress won the Feltex Actor of the Year award twice for his work on the show.

In terms of feature films, Allpress was best known for playing a blind piano tuner in critically acclaimed romance flick The Piano, and for his turn as Rohan bowman Aldor in The Two Towers. He famously let loose early as Saruman's forces surrounded the stronghold of Helm's Deep in Peter Jackson's second The Lord of the Rings film, killing an unsuspecting Uruk-hai and kickstarting the epic battle.

Apart from acting, Allpress owned an antique store and was a founding shareholder in Allpress Espresso. Survivors include his five children.

Irrfan Khan

Bollywood star Irrfan Khan, best known to western audiences for his turns in Jurassic World, Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire, and The Amazing Spider-Man, died in April 2020. The Indian actor was diagnosed with a rare neuroendocrine tumor in 2018. He appeared to have beaten the cancer, but complications arose after Khan developed a colon infection and was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai, a spokesperson for the actor told The New York Times. "Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him," his family told the Times of India in a statement. "We all pray and hope that he is at peace." He was 53.

Khan was born in the northern state of Rajasthan, but he moved to New Delhi after being offered a place at a prestigious drama school in the capital. He got his start on Indian TV and quickly made the transition to feature length films, flitting between big blockbusters and smaller art-house projects with ease. He played the ill-fated owner of Jurassic World in the 2015 film of the same name, the adult version of Pi in Ang Lee's Life of Pi, and a frustrated police inspector in Danny Boyle's Best Picture winner, Slumdog Millionaire. Khan's health issues appeared to keep him from promoting 2020's Angrezi Medium, in which he gave an acclaimed final performance as a widowed sweet shop owner. He is survived by his wife, Sutapa, and his sons, Babil and Ayan.

Sam Lloyd

Vermont-born actor Sam Lloyd, best known for playing downtrodden lawyer Ted Buckland on the medical comedy-drama Scrubs, passed away in April 2020. He died as "a result of complications from lung cancer," his family confirmed in a statement. Lloyd was informed that he had terminal cancer in 2019, just weeks after his wife gave birth to their first child. "The overwhelming outpouring of love and sharing your stories about working with or knowing Sam keeps his memory alive and our hearts strong," his wife Vanessa told Variety. He was 56.

Lloyd appeared in a few feature films in his career (most notably Robin Williams' Flubber and the sci-fi comedy Galaxy Quest), but he was best known for his TV work. He made his debut in a 1988 episode of the courtroom comedy Night Court, and in the years that followed he became a regular face on the small screen. Lloyd's deadpan delivery and hangdog features made him a go-to character actor in the comedy genre, landing him parts in the likes of Seinfeld, The Drew Carey Show, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Malcolm in the Middle, and Spin City, another show from Scrubs creator, Bill Lawrence.

Lawrence took to Twitter to pay tribute to Lloyd (who was also a talented musician) after news of his death broke, as did former Scrubs star Zach Braff. "Rest In Peace to one of the funniest actors I've ever had the joy of working with," Braff said. "He could not have been a kinder man."

Jerry Stiller

Actor and comedian Jerry Stiller, best known for playing Frank Costanza on Seinfeld and Arthur Spooner on The King of Queens, passed away from natural causes in May 2020. His son, Hollywood star Ben Stiller, confirmed his death in a tweet. "He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years. He will be greatly missed. Love you Dad." He was 92.

According to Variety, Stiller made his Broadway debut in 1954, appearing in the musical comedy The Golden Apple. He would go on to carve out a reputation as a talented comedian, but he was just as comfortable in dramatic roles — he gave a memorable performance as Police Lt. Rico Patrone in 1974's The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. He played the father of Ricki Lake's Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray the following decade, and in the 1990s he began his stint on Seinfeld. Stiller's work on the show earned him an Emmy nomination in 1997, the same year he made his bow on King of Queens. The New York native appeared in the pilot (he moves into his daughter's basement after his house burns down), going on to feature in all but one of the show's 207 episodes.

Stiller also popped up in dozens of his son's movies over the years, most notably 2001's Zoolander. He played the titular model's manager Maury Ballstein, a role he would reprise in 2016's Zoolander 2, his last feature film. 

Fred Willard

Ohio-born actor Fred Willard, best known for his numerous collaborations with actor and filmmaker Christopher Guest, died of natural causes in May 2020. "My father passed away very peacefully last night at the fantastic age of 86 years old," his daughter, Hope Mulbarger, told People. "He kept moving, working and making us happy until the very end."

Willard got started in sketch comedy in 1965 when he was hired by the Second City improv troupe. He made his TV debut in the sitcom Pistols 'n' Petticoats the following year, but wouldn't get his big break until 1977, when he started playing Jerry Hubbard on the parody talk show Fernwood Tonight. His brief but memorable performance in director Rob Reiner's This Is Spinal Tap in 1984 began his fruitful relationship with Tap's Guest, which would truly flourish the following decade when he played travel agent/amateur actor Ron Albertson in 1996's Waiting for Guffman. "That started to change everything," Willard told The Hollywood Reporter in 2019. He worked with Guest again on Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, For Your ConsiderationFamily Tree, and Mascots.

Willard was a four-time Emmy nominee (three for his work on Everybody Loves Raymond, one for Modern Family) who made over 300 screen appearances throughout his career. He passed away just weeks before the premiere of the Steve Carell-led Netflix series Space Force. In his final role, Willard plays Fred Naird, the Secretary of Defense and father of Carell's character. "He was a sweet, wonderful man," Carell tweeted after his co-star's passing.

John Mahon

Pennsylvania-born actor John Mahon, who decoded the demon language in The Exorcist and played a police chief in L.A. Confidential, passed away in May 2020. His son, Jospeh Mahon, confirmed that he died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles (per The Hollywood Reporter). He was 82.

Mahon contracted polio when he was 12 and was paralyzed for months. He recovered, but never regained full use of his left arm. He wrote about his experience in his 2014 memoir A Life of Make Believe: From Paralysis to Hollywood, recounting his career as a disabled character actor. Mahon left for New York days after graduating from the University of Scranton, looking to get involved in the theater scene. The New York Drama Critics would later nominate him in the Best Actor category for his performance in Nobody Hears a Broken Drum, a play by actor/writer Jason Miller. Mahon would act alongside Miller in his feature film debut two years later, portraying the language lab director in 1973's The Exorcist.

In the years that followed, Mahon became typecast as an authority figure. "I always played military guys or cops, [things] I couldn't do in real life," he told CinemaCircus in 2015. "I lived in an imaginative reality. I didn't want to be an actor, it's like I had to be an actor." Other notable movie credits include Bad Influence (1990), Armageddon (1998), and Zodiac (2007). In terms of TV, Mahon appeared in everything from Baywatch and Fraiser to The X-Files.

Gregory Tyree Boyce

Actor Gregory Tyree Boyce, who played Forks High School student Tyler Crowley in 2008's Twilight, passed away in May 2020. The 30-year-old California native was found dead alongside his girlfriend, 27-year-old Natalie Adenike Adepoju, at their condo in Las Vegas. Clark county coroner John Fudenberg confirmed that foul play was not suspected.

According to one source, the actor and his partner of around one year were discovered by a member of Boyce's family. "Greg's cousin woke up and noticed that Greg's car was still at the house," the insider told E! News. "He was worried because Greg was to be in L.A. His cousin went to check on him and found them." The source went on to say that Boyce had moved to Las Vegas to be closer to his mother, but was still visiting Los Angeles on a regular basis to pursue acting jobs and to see his daughter, ten-year-old Alaya. His late partner was also a parent, her family confirmed on a GoFundMe page. "Natalie had so much life to live [and] we are saddened that her life was cut short," they said. "Natalie leaves behind her one and only baby boy, Egypt."

Boyce only had one credit outside of Twilight (he appeared in 2018's Apocalypse)but his role in the teen vampire movie was a crucial one — he's the guy who forces Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) to use his powers when he almost kills Bella Swan (Kirsten Stewart) with his van by mistake.

Hagen Mills

Kentucky native Hagen Mills, who played Clyde Barrow's older brother Buck in the TV movie Bonnie & Clyde: Justified and appeared in comedies like Baskets and Swedish Dicks, took his own life in May 2020 in an apparent murder-suicide attempt. According to Deadline, Erica Price, the mother of Mills' daughter, suffered gunshot wounds but was in a stable condition after being treated at a local hospital.

Police confirmed that Mills' daughter was present at the time of the shooting, as was his mother-in-law. The actor reportedly held them both hostage inside his Mayfield home as he waited for his former partner to return. A police spokesperson confirmed, "Price's mother and daughter were not physically injured during the incident." Price's mother, Tammy Green-Price, later opened up about the ordeal during an interview with the Daily Mail, claiming that Mills had been "obsessed" with her daughter since they had split two years earlier.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Richard Herd

Boston native Richard Herd, who played Mr. Wilhelm on Seinfeld and later appeared in Jordan Peele's horror hit Get Out, died in May 2020. The actor passed away at his home in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer, Variety confirmed. He was 87.

Herd got his start on New York's theater circuit and would make his feature film debut in the same city, landing a role in 1970's Hercules in New York. He went on to become a prolific character actor, making memorable appearances in Sylvester Stallone's F.I.S.T. and the classic '80s comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles. He played the Klingon L'Kor on Star Trek: The Next Generation before returning to the franchise as Admiral Owen Paris in Star Trek: Voyager and the fan film Star Trek: Renegades. He appeared as Mr. Wilhelm in 11 episodes of Seinfeld between 1995 and 1998.

In Get Out, he "nailed" the role of Roman Armitage, the founder of the secretive Order of the Coagula and the patriarch of the Armitage Family. "RIP Richard Herd," director Jordan Peele tweeted. "A wonderful man and a true professional. We hadn't talked much before he arrived on set for Get Out. I asked him to think of the scene as a Viagra ad trying to hide deep rage. He responded 'That sounds like all Viagra ads to me!' Then he absolutely nailed it."

Herd is survived by his daughter Erica, his son Rick, his stepdaughter Alicia, and his wife of 40 years, Patricia Crowder Herd.

Anthony James

South Carolina native Anthony James, best known for his appearances in the Oscar-winning films like In the Heat of the Night and Unforgiven, passed away in May 2020. The actor died in Massachusetts after a fight with cancer, Variety confirmed. He was 77.

The son of Greek immigrants, Jimmy Anthony (he adopted the stage name Anthony James because his real name was already being used by another actor) moved to Los Angeles with his mother to pursue acting at the age of 18. He cleaned bathrooms to pay for acting classes, and his hard work would ultimately pay off. He appeared uncredited in the action drama series T.H.E. Cat in 1967, but his big break would come to following year when he played a vital role in Best Picture winner In the Heat of the NightJames played Ralph in Norman Jewison's critically-acclaimed whodunit, a roadside diner employee who confesses to the film's central murder.

He became typecast as the hard-faced villain in the years that followed, playing the antagonist in movies like Vanishing Point, High Plains Drifter, and Ravagers, as well as a number of TV shows, including Hawaii Five-0, Charlie's AngelsThe A-Team and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Remarkably, his last-ever feature film was also a Best Picture winner — he played brothel owner Skinny Dubois in 1992's Unforgiven. James retired to concentrate on his painting and writing after Clint Eastwood's western, releasing a book of poetry called Language of the Heart in 1994.

Mary Pat Gleason

Beloved character actor Mary Pat Gleason, best known for her small roles in films like The Crucible, Intolerable Cruelty, and A Cinderella Story, died in June 2020. She passed away following a battle with cancer, her manager confirmed to Variety. "She was so much more than a wonderful actress: she was one of a kind," friend and actor Ron Fassler said in a Facebook tribute. "So caring, so funny, and so delicious to be around, that I find it hard to imagine a world without her shining presence and smiling face." She was 70.

The Minnesota native made her screen debut in 1982, appearing in a episode of Another World spin-off Texas. She appeared in comedy film Easy Money the following year, and from that moment onward would bounce between the small screen and the big one. She won a Daytime Emmy for her writing work on the long-running radio and TV drama Guiding Light, which she also starred on for a spell. She played Nurse Sizemore in a 1994 episode of Friends and later featured in Shameless, Will & Grace, The Blacklist. More recently, she recurred on CBS sitcom Mom, appearing in eight episodes between 2014 and 2019.

In terms of movies, Gleason largely featured in comedies later in her career, plying her trade in the likes of the James Franco/Bryan Cranston caper Why Him? and the Netflix teen flick Sierra Burgess Is a Loser. Her final film, a drama entitled Pencil Town, is yet to be released.

Geno Silva

Character actor Geno Silva, best known for playing the silent hitman that kills Al Pacino's Tony Montana in 1983's Scarface, died of complications from frontotemporal degeneration (a form of dementia) in May 2020. The Albuquerque native passed away at his home in Los Angeles, his family confirmed (via The Hollywood Reporter). He was 72.

Polls suggest that Silva's Scarface character (known only as the Skull) is remembered as one of the most iconic movie henchmen ever, but he did so much more than pop Tony Montana during his career. Silva worked with Steven Spielberg on two occasions, appearing as a barge captain in The Lost World: Jurassic Park and later as Spanish navigator Jose Ruiz in the slave ship drama Amistad. Other notable movie credits include the David Lynch classic Mulholland Drive (2001) and F. Gary Gray's vigilante thriller A Man Apart (2003). In terms of television, he worked on well known shows like Miami ViceStar Trek: Enterprise, and Alias, and he also recurred as Hector Allegria in Florida-set drama series Key West.

Silva was also no stranger to the stage. John Ortiz, who appeared alongside him in Peter Sellers' The Merchant of Venice, called Silva a "lover of life" in a lengthy Facebook tribute. "Geno was my friend. A father figure. An artistic warrior brother. A confidante... He was generous, passionate, bold, strong, intelligent, joyful with a regally imposing physical presence." Silva is survived by his wife, Pamela, his daughter, Lucia, and his two grandchildren, Eva and Levon.

Chris Trousdale

Singer and actor Chris Trousdale, who appeared on Broadway as a child and went on to become a pop star before returning to acting, passed away in June 2020. He died of complications from COVID-19, former Dream Street bandmate Jesse McCartney confirmed. "Chris, in my opinion, was the most popular among us, who had a way of drawing every eye to what he was doing on stage," McCartney recalled in a tribute Instagram post. He was 34.

Trousdale was drawn to the stage from a young age and would end up making his debut when he was just eight years old, embarking on a tour of Les Misérables alongside future High School Musical star, Ashley Tisdale. After that he managed to secure a role in the Broadway production of the play, this time featuring alongside Lea Michele of Glee fame. At age 11, he moved to New York City to be closer to the production.

Trousdale fell off the radar for a number of years when Dream Street broke up in 2002, but would later reemerge as a screen actor, making appearances in TV shows like Shake It Up and Austin & Ally. He also appeared in the pilot episode of Lucifer in 2015, and prior to that he had an uncredited role on the long-running soap opera Day of Our Lives. His final performance is yet to be seen — he stars as a wedding singer in the upcoming indie romance flick New York Christmas Wedding.

Ian Holm

British character actor Ian Holm, who played deceitful android Ash in Alien and brought Bilbo Baggins to life in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, passed away from a Parkinson's-related illness in June 2020. "He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer," his agent told The Guardian. He was 88.

Holm was among the first group of actors recruited to the Royal Shakespeare Company upon its founding in 1960. He became well known in London's West End and would go on to make a name for himself on Broadway after crossing the Atlantic with Harold Pinter's The Homecoming, delivering a Tony Award-winning performance. He reprised his role in the 1973 film version of The Homecoming, but was still largely unknown when Ridley Scott cast him as the antagonist in 1979's Alien.

In 1981 he took on the part of track coach Sam Mussabini in Chariots of Fire, a move that paid off big time — the historical drama won Best Picture at the Oscars and Holm was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category. The diminutive thesp played Napoleon Bonaparte in Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits that same yearand would reunite with the director for 1985's Brazil. He appeared in Woody Allen's Another Woman and the sci-fi cult classic The Fifth Element before debuting as adventurous Hobbit Bilbo Bagginshis most iconic role. "I get a lot of fan mail addressed to Bilbo, and sometimes Sir Bilbo," Holm, who was knighted for services to drama, told The Independent in 2004.

Shirley Knight

Two-time Oscar nominee Shirley Knight, who recurred on Desperate Housewives and later played Kevin James' mother in the Paul Blart: Mall Cop movies, died in April 2020. The Kansas native passed away at her daughter's home in Texas at the age of 83, the Associated Press confirmed.

Knight made her TV debut in 1955, and by the early 1960s was a household name in Hollywood. She was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her turn as lovelorn Oklahoman Reenie Flood in the 1960 adaptation of William Inges' play The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, just her second-ever credited appearance on the big screen. She was back at the Academy Awards two years later when she picked up another Best Supporting Actress nod for playing Heavenly Finley (the woman seduced and subsequently abandoned by Paul Newman) in the film version of Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth.

She lived in New York and London for spells during her successful theater phase, but would return to Hollywood in the late '70s. Knight announced her comeback with a role in the Michael Caine-led disaster movie Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, and she would become a regular on American TV screens in the decades that followed, winning three of the eight Emmys she was nominated for. Her final Emmy nod was in 2006, when she was recognized for her work as Phyllis Van de Kamp in Desperate Housewives. Knight was also the proud owner of a Tony Award.

Peggy Pope

New Jersey-born actress Peggy Pope, best known for playing booze-loving secretary Margaret in Dolly Parton's smash hit movie 9 to 5, died in May 2020. She passed away in Colorado according to her family, who did not reveal a cause of death. She was 91.

Pope started out on the stage in the 1950s and would go on to appear in seven Broadway shows over the next few decades, most notably the 1970 revival of Mary Chase's Harvey. She made her big-screen debut in the comedy Made for Each Other the following year, and would later land recurring roles in the short-lived CBS sitcoms Calucci's Department and Billy. She played Mrs. David on ABC's Soap from 1979 until 1980, the same year that her biggest movie hit cineplexes.

Pope put in a memorable performance in 9 to 5, an office-set story of workplace sexism that's still considered a feminist classic to this day. Her character, referred to as "the old lush" by Doralee Rhodes (Dolly Parton), Judy Bernly (Jane Fonda), Violet Newstead (Lily Tomlin) and the other girls in the office, became famous for her "Atta girl" catchphrase. In her 2011 memoir, Pope admitted that she went into the audition with an "exhausted indifference," not expecting much to come of it. "It was just another couple of lines to me," she said (via The Sun). "At the end, my character comes back from rehab, hair combed, looking spiffy and ready for the sequel."

Mel Winkler

Versatile actor Mel Winkler, who played Melvin the mechanic in the Michael J. Fox rom-com Doc Hollywood and voiced numerous beloved animated characters, passed away in June 2020. Winkler died in his sleep at his home in Hollywood, Deadline confirmed. He was 78.

Winkler made his Broadway bow in 1968 and debuted on television the following year when he took on the role of Dr. Simon Harris in the long-running soap opera The Doctors. He played Harris for a total of 68 episodes before he left to work on movies. He played a club manager in his first feature (1972's Across 110th Street) and would appear in a handful of films in the years to come, though he would regularly switch between the big and the small screen. Notable TV credits include The Young Riders, NYPD Blue, The Shield, Star Trek: Voyager and The New Adventures of Superman, one of numerous DC projects that he worked on during the 1990s.

The St. Louis native played Inspector Bill Henderson in The New Adventures of Superman, and he voiced the same character in Superman: The Animated Series a few years later. He's perhaps better known for his work on The New Batman Adventures, however — Winkler provided the voice of Wayne Enterprises big wig Lucius Fox, the guy who takes care of all the actual business stuff while Bruce Wayne is out being Batman. Gamers, meanwhile, will no doubt remember him as the voice of Aku Aku in the Crash Bandicoot series.

Tony Scannell

Irish actor Tony Scannell, who played an officer of Ming the Merciless in the '80s cult classic Flash Gordon and went on to become a television icon in the United Kingdom, passed away in May 2020, the BBC confirmed. "He was a gentle soul who I was lucky to work with on a film a few years ago," friend and former colleague Katy Manning said in a tweet. He was 74.

The son of a professional soccer goalie, Scannell had a career in the U.K.'s Royal Air Force before he became an actor. He only had a handful of minor credits to his name when he landed a part in Mike Hodges' Flash Gordon. The production was a deeply troubled one (there were reports of on-set fighting and star Sam J. Jones allegedly walked away over a pay dispute at one stage), but Flash Gordon would go on to become a cult favorite in the years that followed.

The space opera remains Scannell's most notable credit outside of Britain, where he's much better known for playing the iconic DS Ted Roach on popular police drama The Bill. He portrayed the no-nonsense cop for nine years. "[I] met a number of detectives socially and got to know about characters like Roach," he said during a 1989 appearance on Wogan (via the Irish Examiner). "When I meet police people on the beat, they say, 'There's a Ted Roach in every station.'" Survivors include his partner, Agnes Lillis, and his three grown children.

Jill Gascoine

English actress Jill Gascoine, who became the first woman to headline a British police drama and later moved to the U.S. with her second husband, American actor Alfred Molina, died in April 2020. Molina revealed that his wife was "in a very advanced stage" of Alzheimer's disease when he spoke to The Guardian in 2016, telling the newspaper that Gascoine had already been living in a specialist home for over two years by that stage. She was 83 when she passed away.

Gascoine earned her first real credit in 1970, when she appeared in an episode of medical drama Dr. Finlay's Casebook. She would spend the next ten years chipping away at the male-dominated TV industry, appearing in 45 episodes of the drama Rooms and then playing Letty Onedin in the 1880's-set shipping company drama The Onedin Line. In 1980 all of her hard work paid off — the Londoner was cast as lead character Detective Inspector Maggie Forbes in ITV's The Gentle Touch, a role she would reprise in spin-off series C.A.T.S. Eyes. "My very first TV job was aged 11 in The Gentle Touch," actor Jake Wood (The Illusionist) said in a tribute tweet. "I have never forgotten her generosity and kindness to me."

She moved to Los Angeles with Molina in the 1990s and became a novelist, though she still popped up on-screen every now and again, sometimes where you'd least expect to see her — for instance, Gascoine was the nurse in Trey Parker and Matt Stone's BASEketball.

Carl Reiner

New York-born comedy legend Carl Reiner, creator of The Dick Van Dyke Show, died in his Beverly Hills home surrounded by family in June 2020. "Last night my dad passed away," his son, Hollywood director Rob Reiner, wrote in a tweet. "As I write this my heart is hurting. He was my guiding light." He was 98.

Reiner made his TV bow in 1948 and spent the majority of the '50s bouncing between television and the movies. He wouldn't become a household name until the '60s, the decade of The Dick Van Dyke Show. Reiner played the supporting character of Alan Brady on the show, though he was originally supposed to be the star. CBS decided to rework his idea and brought Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore in to lead the line instead. Reiner didn't seem to mind ⁠— he happily stayed on as a director and producer.

"I'm often asked, 'What is my favorite thing I've ever done creatively,'" he told Entertainment Tonight back in 2014. "I'll say, 'Hands down, The Dick Van Dyke Show.' There's no question about it, best years of my life." He picked up numerous Emmys for his work on the show, but it was far from his only success. Other notable credits include Frasier, House, Seinfeld, Ally McBeal, Mad About You, and the Ocean's Eleven films. Reiner was also a talented voice actor who played characters on Bob's Burgers, Justice League Action, Family Guy, American Dad, and most recently, Toy Story 4.

Nick Cordero

Canadian actor Nick Cordero, who played Victor Lugo in Blue Bloods but was best known for his work on Broadway, died of COVID-19 in July 2020. He fought the virus for 95 days before passing away at hospital in Los Angeles. "God has another angel in heaven now," Cordero's wife Amanda Kloots, who regularly kept fans up to date as the actor fought for his life, said in a heartbreaking Instagram post. "My darling husband passed away this morning. He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth." He was 41.

Cordero got his break in Toronto, starring in a local production of Tony n' Tina's Wedding. He made his Off-Broadway bow in 2009 and went on to join the Rock of Ages touring company, getting his first taste of Broadway proper in 2012. He delivered the most lauded performance of his career two years later when he played Cheech in Bullets Over Broadway, picking up a Tony nomination for his work in the jukebox musical.

The Ontario native worked on a couple of big TV shows (he made an early appearance in Queer as Folk and later popped up in Lilyhammer and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) and he was no stranger to feature films, either. Cordero played Sal in the 2016 comedy A Stand Up Guy and was directed by good friend Zach Braff in 2017's Going in Style. "I have honestly never known a kinder person," Braff said.

Earl Cameron

Bermuda native Earl Cameron, who survived the Second World War and became the first black actor to star in a British feature film, passed away in July 2020. "At a time when the whole world is examining the history of people of color, Earl Cameron's life and legacy makes us pause and remember how he broke barriers and refused to be confined to what his humble beginnings may have dictated as his path," Bermuda's Premier David Burt told the Royal GazetteHe was 102.

Cameron worked on international ocean liners as a young man and would later secure a job with the British Merchant Navy. His new life was immediately thrown into chaos, however — he arrived in London on the eve of World War II and found himself instantly out of work. "I had no qualifications for anything," he once told the Royal Gazette. "It was a period when it was almost impossible for a black person to get any kind of job." He worked as a dishwasher to make ends meet, but then a friend got him a small part on the cast of West End show Chu Chin Chow and the rest is history.

His big breakthrough was in the 1951 thriller Pool of London, a groundbreaking film that featured an interracial relationship. He went on to play Pinder in the fourth James Bond movie, Thunderball, and would later appear in beloved British sci-fi shows Doctor Who and The Prisoner. His final feature film was Christopher Nolan's Inception.

Kelly Preston

Actress and model Kelly Preston, who played Tom Cruise's fiancée in the 1996 rom-com smash Jerry Maguire and starred alongside husband John Travolta in several feature films, died in July 2020. Preston passed away after a two year battle with breast cancer, her family confirmed. "Choosing to keep her fight private, she had been undergoing medical treatment for some time, supported by her closest family and friends," a spokesperson told People. "She was a bright, beautiful and loving soul who cared deeply about others and who brought life to everything she touched." She was 57.

Preston was born Kelly Kamalelehua Smith in Honolulu, Hawaii. She moved to California to study acting at USC and would quickly get a foothold in the industry upon graduating, scoring roles in a handful of TV shows and movies, including a minor part in John Carpenter's 1983 adaptation of Stephen King's Christine. Her big breakthrough came two years later when she played her first major role in the teen comedy Mischief. She would appear in SpaceCamp (1986) and Twins (1988) before starring in the 1989 comedy The Experts, which is where she met Travolta. She married her co-star in 1991, and they would go on to have three children: Ella, Benjamin, and Jett, who sadly passed away in 2009 aged just 16.

Other notable appearances alongside her husband include Battlefield Earth (2000), Old Dogs (2009), From Paris With Love (2010), and Gotti (2018). Preston played mob wife Victoria Gotti in what would become her final film role.

Naya Rivera

California native Naya Rivera, best known for playing cheerleader Santana Lopez on the smash hit musical comedy-drama series Glee, died in July 2020. The singer and actor went boating on Lake Piru with her four-year-old son, Josey, and never returned. A search was initiated when Josey was spotted alone on the boat, and Rivera's body was discovered a few days later. The Ventura County Sheriff's Department called it a "tragic accident" and confirmed that no foul play was involved (via The Hollywood Reporter). She was 33.

Rivera started out as a child actor, making her debut on the CBS sitcom The Royal Family at the age of four. She would pop up in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Family Matters, Baywatch, and CSI: Miami before Glee creator Ryan Murphy cast her in what would become her career-defining role. Rivera's character was a recurring one to begin with, but she was promoted to the main roster after a positive reaction from viewers. Fans were all for the budding relationship between Santana and Brittany (Heather Morris), and Rivera quickly became an icon in the LGBTQ community.

Demi Lovato, who played Rivera's girlfriend in later seasons of the show, called Santana Lopez a "groundbreaking" character in a tribute tweet. "My heart goes out to your loved ones at this time." Numerous other former Glee cast members have taken to social media to express their shock and grief. "Rest, sweet Naya," Jane Lynch, who played coach Sue Sylvester, said. "What a force you were."

Galyn Görg

Los Angeles-born actor Galyn Görg, best known for her turn as the supporting antagonist in RoboCop 2 and a memorable appearance on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, passed away in July 2020. She died a day before her 56th birthday, relatives told Today. "Our beautiful Galyn has crossed over," a family spokesperson said. "She quietly and privately fought a good fight but unfortunately passed away one day before her birthday in Hawaii to cancer. Galyn had been very private about her battle with cancer the last nine months, but remained positive and continued to enjoy life in Hawaii."

Görg made her acting debut in the music video for ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man" in 1983, but her big break came at the end of the decade when she was cast in 1990's RoboCop 2. Her character Angie helped ambush RoboCop in one scene, watching over him as men loyal to Cain (the fanatical leader of the Nuke Cult and Angie's lover) dismantled the cyborg. She appeared in Twin Peaks that same year, and in 1991 she shared the screen with Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze in Point Break. She would pop up in a number of big TV shows during the remainder of the '90s, including Xena: Warrior Princess, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and as the titular love interest in the Fresh Prince episode "Boxing Helena." Later notable credits include Lost, Parks and Recreation, and How to Get Away with Murder.

John Saxon

Italian-American actor John Saxon, who starred alongside Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon and fought Freddy Krueger in Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street films, died in July 2020. The New York native passed away from pneumonia, his wife told The Hollywood Reporter. He was 83.

Saxon's journey to the big screen began when he was spotted by a modeling scout outside of a movie theater. When controversial Hollywood agent Henry Willson saw photos of the then 17-year-old as a "Puerto Rican guy" who had survived a gun fight, he signed him up and put him in acting classes. The Brooklyn-born actor made his feature film debut alongside Mamie Van Doren in 1955's Running Wild, and would become a teen heartthrob soon after. By the end of the decade he was starring in films like The Big Fisherman and Cry Tough.

He became known for his work in Westerns after that (Saxon appeared in 1960's The Unforgiven, 1969's Death of a Gunfighter and 1972's Joe Kidd), but his career path changed when he won the part of gambling addict Roper in 1973's Enter the Dragon, Bruce Lee's first (and last) mainstream Hollywood movie. He followed that up with a memorable turn in Canadian slasher Black Christmas (1974), which would go on to earn cult status and help make Saxon a firm favorite among horror fans — he debuted as patriarch Don Thompson in 1984's A Nightmare on Elm Street and later popped up in 1996's From Dusk Till Dawn.

Survivors include his third wife, cosmetician Gloria Martel, his sister Dolores, and his son Antonio.

Olivia de Havilland

Hollywood legend Olivia de Havilland, who was the last surviving star of 1939's Gone with the Wind, passed away in July 2020. The two-time Academy Award winner died of natural causes at her home in Paris, her publicist confirmed to CNN. She was 104.

De Havilland was born in Tokyo to British parents. She and her younger sister (the late Joan Fontaine) were often sick as children, so their mother decided to take them back to the UK. There was a stopover in San Francisco, however, and they never left. The family settled in California, and De Havilland would go on to become one of the biggest names of the classic movie era. She starred opposite Errol Flynn (who she once described as "so naughty and so charming") in no less than eight films, though her most famous role was undoubtedly Melanie Hamilton Wilkes, Scarlett O'Hara's sister-in-law and best friend in Gone with the Wind. The Best Picture winner is still considered the most financially successful film of all time after inflation adjustments.

She would later become famous for taking Warner Bros. to court after the studio attempted to extend her contract beyond the legal term. "I was very proud of that decision, for it corrected a serious abuse of the contract system," she told the Screen Actors Guild in 1994. She won the landmark case and was free to pursue her own roles. She chose those roles wisely — De Havilland went on to win Best Actress statuettes for 1946's To Each His Own and 1949's The Heiress.

Jacqueline Scott

Missouri native Jacqueline Scott, who played the sister of the wrongfully accused Dr. Richard Kimble (David Janssen) in classic '60s drama The Fugitive and made over 100 appearances during a career in showbiz that began in the 1930s, died in July 2020. Scott passed away after a battle with lung cancer, her family told The Hollywood Reporter. She was 89.

Scott began performing at the tender age of 3, becoming a regular at tap-dance competitions. Her acting career took off after she moved to New York and landed a role in the Broadway production of Inherit the Wind. She made the leap to TV in 1956 with an appearance on Armstrong Circle Theatre, and would meet her husband, writer Gene Lesser, on the set of her first feature film, 1958's Macabre (Scott's death came just one month after Lesser passed away at their Los Angeles home aged 98). She went on to form a fruitful professional relationship with Sean Penn's father, director Leo Penn.

One of her most memorable turns on the big screen came in 1973 when she played the wife of Walter Matthau's titular bank robber in the Don Siegel film Charley Varrick. She had previously played the significant other of Dennis Weaver's terrorized salesman in Stephen Spielberg's full-length feature debut, Duel (1971). In terms of TV, she would appear in everything from The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits to The Untouchables and Mission: Impossible. She's survived by her son, her daughter-in-law, and her two granddaughters.

Annie Ross

Singer and actor Annie Ross, who had a long and distinguished career in music and film, passed away in July 2020. The jazz icon died of emphysema and heart disease, her former manager confirmed (via Variety). She was 89.

Ross was born in the United Kingdom, but she didn't stay there very long. Her parents (Vaudeville actors John and Mary Short) decided to relocate to the States, which proved to be good move for their talented daughter. Ross ended up winning a six-month contact with MGM after impressing at a talent show, and would go on to billed as "the Scottish Shirley Temple" in Hollywood, she told the Daily Record in 2012. She would become best known as one third of vocalese trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross in the years that followed, though her name was always well known all over Tinsel Town.

She made her silver screen debut as Judy Garland's little sister in the musical comedy Presenting Lily Mars (1943) and went on to notch dozens of screen credits, balancing her acting career with her music. Ross recurred on The Ghosts of Motley Hall, Send in the Girls, and Charles Endell, Esq in the 1970s, and would pop up in a number of feature films the following decade, including 1983's Superman III and 1987's Throw Momma From the Train. She made her most memorable film appearance in Robert Altman's dramedy Short Cuts (1993), playing the nightclub singer mother of cellist Zoe Trainer (Lori Singer).

Haruma Miura

Japanese film and TV star Haruma Miura, who starred in the live action adaptation of Hajime Isayama's hit manga series Attack on Titan, died in July 2020. Local media outlets revealed that the popular actor's manager found him unresponsive at his Tokyo home. The 30-year-old was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Tokyo Metropolitan Police launched an investigation into the death, which they immediately deemed a "possible suicide," Deadline said.

A native of Tsuchiura (a historic castle town about an hour north of Tokyo), Miura was a former child actor. He made his debut at the age of 7 when he appeared in drama Agri, and continued working in TV during his teens. His career really took off after he turned in a buzzed-about performance in 2008 sports drama Naoko — Miura won best newcomer at the 31st Japan Academy Awards for his role in the film, marking him as an exciting new talent.

He flitted between movies and television in the decade that followed, becoming a star along the way. He received praise for his work in the aviation epic The Eternal Zero (which appeared to benefit from coming out the same year as Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rises, a Studio Ghibli film with very similar themes), but Miura will be best remembered for playing Eren Jaegar in the two Attack on Titan movies.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Royana Black

New York-born actress Royana Black, who made her Broadway debut aged 10 and later played the title role in the 1988 sitcom Raising Miranda, passed away in July 2020. The actress died following a battle with cancer, her family confirmed on a GoFundMe page set up in aid of her late husband, actor J.P. Hubbell. "We lost Royana Black Hubbell to acute myeloid leukemia very suddenly on July 14," a statement read. "Royana's incredible energy and spirit will be a part of our lives forever, and her friends and family want to remember her and assist her husband, J.P., at this most difficult time." She was 47.

The Poughkeepsie native got her big break when she was cast as a replacement in Broadway's Brighton Beach Memoirs aged just 10. Getting the chance to play Laurie (cousin of Matthew Broderick's Eugene) gave her the acting bug, and by age 13 she had successfully transitioned to television. She made her bow in a 1986 episode of Comedy Factory, and would go on to appear in two TV movies (Adam: His Song Continues and Almost Partners) in quick succession. In 1988, she landed the part of Miranda Marshack in the short-lived CBS show Raising Miranda, which followed a girl attempting to cope without her runaway mother.

Black graduated from Yale in 1994 and continued to work in TV, popping up in shows like Touched By An Angel and Medium. She also worked on one of Woody Allen's movies, her obituary confirmed.

Wilford Brimley

Mustachioed character actor Wilford Brimley, who made a career out of playing straight-talking types, passed away in August 2020. Brimley, who was diabetic and had been dealing with kidney problems, died at a Utah hospital. "He had a tough exterior and a tender heart," his manager, Lynda Bensky, told The Hollywood Reporter. He was 85.

The Salt Lake City native joined the U.S. Marine Corps fresh out of high school and worked odd jobs after his military career ended, including rodeo rider, cattle wrangler, blacksmith, and bodyguard for Howard Hughes ("He was a good guy," Brimley said of the millionaire movie mogul in 2014). At one point he decided to take a gig shoeing horses for a stable that worked on Hollywood Westerns, and it changed everything. After a couple of uncredited roles (including one in John Wayne's True Grit), he landed his first speaking part in an episode of the CBS Western Lancer, and the rest is history.

Brimley made his big screen breakthrough as a foreman in 1979's The China Syndrome and went on to work with some of Hollywood's top directors in the years that followed. He impressed as an assistant U.S. attorney general in Sydney Pollack's Absence of Malice (1981), he worked under John Carpenter on his seminal sci-fi horror The Thing (1982), and he starred as rejuvenated geriatric Ben Luckett in Ron Howard's Cocoon (1985). Brimley became a fixture on American television in the '80s and '90s as the no-nonsense Quaker Oats guy.

Reni Santoni

New Yorker Reni Santoni, who played the rookie partner of Clint Eastwood's Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry and later recurred on Seinfeld, passed away in August 2020. He had been "sick for quite a while," producer and friend Tracy Newman revealed in a Facebook post, hailing him as "a terrific actor, improviser [and] performer." Newman later told The Hollywood Reporter that Santoni had died of cancer. He was 82.

Santoni got his start on the stage, earning his stripes in a number of off-Broadway shows before transitioning into film with the 1962 drama Strangers in the City. He followed that up with an uncredited role in Sidney Lumet's The Pawnbroker (1964), playing a desperate junkie attempting to sell a radio. After a handful of TV roles he got what was supposed to be his big break — despite being a relative unknown, he won the lead role of David Kolowitz (an aspiring actor from the Bronx) in the film adaptation of Enter Laughing (1967). Veteran film critic Roger Ebert approved of Santoni's performance, but the film flopped.

He bounced back in 1971 when he appeared as detective Chico Gonzalez in Dirty Harry, which led to roles in Bad Boys (1983), Brewster's Millions (1985), and Cobra (1986), in which he portrayed the partner of Sylvester Stallone's Lieutenant Marion Cobretti. He would make four appearances on Seinfeld between 1994 and 1998, playing Poppie the pizza chef. Santoni is survived by his wife Rae Ann, his son Nick, and his sister Amelia.

Trini Lopez

Recording artist and actor Trini Lopez, who played Pedro Jiminez in Robert Aldrich's Oscar-winning World War II ensemble The Dirty Dozen, passed away in Palm Springs in August 2020. Lopez died of complications from COVID-19, filmmaker P. David Ebersole told the Associated Press. The Dallas native had only just finished recording a song that he hoped would raise money for blood banks during the coronavirus pandemic. "And here he is dying of something he was trying to fight," friend and colleague Joe Chavira said. He was 83.

The son of Mexican immigrants, Lopez was raised in the Little Mexico neighborhood of Dallas, where he learned to take pride in his heritage. The talented guitarist was repeatedly told to adopt a new name if he wanted to be a success, but he would always refuse. "I insisted on keeping my name Lopez," he told The Dallas Morning News in 2017. "I'm proud to be a Mexicano." Staying true to his roots certainly didn't hold him back — Lopez caught the attention of Buddy Holly and Frank Sinatra, both of whom became mentors to him.

Lopez became a star in the early '60s, and by the end of the decade he'd made the transition into Hollywood. He made his debut in the Sinatra-led comedy Marriage on the Rocks (1965), and followed that up with an appearance in crime drama Danger Grows Wild (1966). He portrayed Private Jiminez in The Dirty Dozen in 1967, the role he'll be best remembered for.

Ben Cross

London born actor Ben Cross, best known for his portrayal of real life Jewish athlete Harold Abrahams in Best Picture winner Chariots of Fire, died of an unspecified illness in August 2020. His daughter, Lauren, confirmed that he passed away in Vienna, Austria. "I am utterly heartbroken," she said in a Facebook post. "He had been sick for a while but there was a rapid decline over the past week." The family later released a statement (via the Associated Press), hailing Cross as "a man who taught us to embrace our feelings, whatever they may be." He was 72.

Cross graduated from RADA in 1972 and spent five years on London's theater circuit before making his feature debut with a minor role in Richard Attenborough's A Bridge Too Far. He wouldn't appear in another film until 1981, when Chariots of Fire came along. "In those days when I had a script to read I would lie in bed and see at what point I went to sleep," he told The JC in 2012. "With that, I read it all the way through and ended up crying my eyes out." The Brit's turn as Olympic runner Abrahams led to plenty of offers — he would go on to star alongside Sean Connery and Richard Gere in the Arthurian adventure film First Knight and later played Spock's father Sarek in the Star Trek reboot — but nothing would ever top Chariots for him. "A film like that, it is professionally life-changing," he said.

Ash Christian

Dallas-based actor, producer and filmmaker Ash Christian, best known for his award-winning 2006 breakthrough Fat Girls, passed away in August 2020. The renowned indie filmmaker died in his sleep while on vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. "Ash was a great friend, colleague and partner in crime," said regular collaborator Anne Clements (via Deadline). "He was a champion of indie film and filmmakers and his love of the process of putting movies together was infectious. My heart goes out to his family, especially his mother. The world lost one of the good ones." He was 35.

After getting a taste of community theater, Christian started making his own short films, completing his first one when he was just 14. He knew that he would likely have to head west if he wanted to make it in the industry, so at age 16 he moved to Los Angeles looking for his lucky break. His plan was to pursue acting, but he ended up making his own luck — he wrote, directed and starred in Fat Girls (which won the Outstanding Emerging Talent Award at Outfest 2006) when he was still a teenager.

Christian would have several more success stories in the years that followed, producing well-received films like Hurricane Bianca, 1985, Hello Again, Social Animals, and Coyote Lake through his company, Cranium Entertainment. He also produced the award-winning Broadway musical Next to Normal. In terms of acting, Christian appeared in The Good Fight, The Good Wife, and Law & Order.

Allan Rich

Allan Rich, who made a triumphant comeback in Sidney Lumet's Serpico after being blacklisted in Hollywood, died in August 2020. Rich passed away from progressive dementia at an assisted-living facility in New Jersey. He was 94.

Born Benjamin Norman Schultz, Rich made his Broadway debut in 1943 and would go on to establish himself as a reliable character actor, but his career was derailed a decade later when he was accused of being a communist. His name soon appeared in Red Channels, the infamous industry blacklist. "My agent never sent me out [on another audition]," he said in 2007 (via The Hollywood Reporter). "I would walk into an office, making the rounds, and I'd walk out going 'phhffffft.' It took a year until an actor said to me, 'Hey, we're on Red Channels.' If your name was on that list, goodbye! You never worked."

According to Rich, he was blacklisted because he spoke out in favor of freeing a Black man who had been wrongly convicted of rape. He reinvented himself as a stockbroker and later opened the high-class Allan Rich Art Gallery in Manhattan, but he wasn't quite done with acting. Rich burst back onto the Hollywood scene playing a district attorney in Serpico (1973) and went on to become a regular on American TV screens, appearing in the likes of Hawaii Five-O, Kojak and Happy DaysOther notable film credits include Disclosure (1994), Quiz Show (1994), and Man in the Chair (2007).

Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman, known around the world for his portrayal of African superhero Black Panther, passed away surrounded by his loved ones in August 2020. The actor died after a four-year battle with colon cancer, his family confirmed in a statement. He was 43.

Boseman's journey to movie stardom began with minor parts in TV shows like Law & Order and Cold Case. He secured his first recurring role in Lincoln Heights in 2008 and then scored another in 2010, playing Graham McNair in Persons Unknown. His career would explode three years later when he landed the role of Jackie Robinson (the first Black player in modern Major League Baseball) in the big-screen biopic 42. He played iconic singer James Brown in Get on Up the following year, and before long he'd been cast as Marvel's King T'Challa, a.k.a. Black Panther.

Boseman made his debut as the king of Wakanda in 2016's Captain America: Civil War and led the line in $1.3 billion standalone hit Black Panther, released in 2018. He squeezed in another biopic (2017's Marshall, about lawyer and civil rights activist Thurgood Marshall) between the two Marvel movies. He was in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War, and would make his fourth and, sadly, final appearance as T'Challa in 2019's Avengers: Endgame, battling cancer all the while. Honoring him as "A true fighter," Boseman's family wrote that "Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much."

Diana Rigg

Dame Diana Rigg, who played Bond girl Tracy di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty's Secret Service and later appeared as Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones, passed away in September 2020. Her daughter, actress Rachael Stirling, told the BBC that Rigg died surrounded by family members after a six-month cancer battle. "She spent her last months joyfully reflecting on her extraordinary life, full of love, laughter and a deep pride in her profession," Stirling said. She was 82.

Rigg began her career as a stage actor, joining the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1959. She made her screen debut that same year when she appeared in a made-for-TV version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, though she wouldn't become a household name in the U.K. until the mid-1960s, when she debuted as secret agent Emma Peel in the classic spy show The Avengers. She became a fashion icon and sex symbol in Britain, which led to her casting in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Rigg holds a special place in cinema history as the only Bond girl to actually marry 007.

She went on to appear in dozens of movies and TV shows in the decades that followed, but younger viewers will remember her as Lady Olenna, a.k.a. the Queen of Thorns. Rigg loved playing the scheming matriarch of House Tyrell, because it gave her a chance to be bad. "I love to be disliked," she said. "Olenna had the best lines." Her final feature film, Edgar Wright's Last Night in Soho, is set to arrive in 2021.

Sei Ashina

Popular Japanese actress Sei Ashina, best known to western audiences for starring alongside Michael Pitt and Keira Knightley in Francois Girard's historical drama Silk, passed away in September 2020. She was found dead at her apartment in Tokyo, police confirmed. According to Variety, Ashina's brother made the discovery. Her agency HoriPro called the news "sad and unfortunate" in a statement (via People)adding, "We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the kindness of Ashina." She was 36.

The Fukushima native relocated to Tokyo as a teen in search of a career in modeling. Not long after she achieved that goal, she made the transition to TV, becoming a well known star playing the role of Hime in superhero series Kamen Rider Hibiki, the fifth installment in the Kamen Rider series. She reprised the role in the 2005 feature film Kamen Rider Hibiki & The Seven Senki. She went up against 800 other actors for the lead Japanese role in 2007's Silk, playing the concubine who becomes an object of obsession for Pitt's silkworm smuggler.

Silk was largely panned by critics, but Ashina remained a star in Japan and was still very much in the public eye at the time of her death. She had been recurring on long-running show Aibo: Tokyo Detective Duo since 2017, and had just featured in the first season of time travel drama Ship of Theseus.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Michael Lonsdale

Anglo-French actor Michael Lonsdale, who starred as detective Claude Lebel in the political thriller The Day of the Jackal and played Bond villain Hugo Drax opposite Roger Moore in Moonraker, died in September 2020. Lonsdale passed away in Paris, his agent told Deadline. He was 89.

Born in France but raised on British soil (his childhood was split between the island of Guernsey and London), Lonsdale studied painting before becoming an actor. He made his stage debut at the age of 24 and his first screen appearance quickly followed — the bilingual thesp landed a part in 1956's C'est arrivé à Aden (It Happened in Aden), the first of many French genre films he would pop up in throughout the '50s. He worked under some of the most respected directors of the day during the decade that followed, including Orson Welles (The Trial), René Clément (Is Paris Burning?) and French New Wave visionary François Truffaut (The Bride Wore Black, Stolen Kisses).

In 1973 he played the cop trying to stop the assassination of Charles de Gaulle by a British hitman in The Day of the Jackal, and his face became known all over the world as the power mad industrialist attempting to wipe out humanity from space in 1979's Moonraker. He would go on to appear alongside Robert De Niro and Jean Reno in action flick Ronin (1998), and later played the character Papa in Steven Spielberg's historical thriller Munich (2005). Lonsdale's final film was 2016 sci-fi Sculpt.

Yuko Takeuchi

Japanese actress Yuko Takeuchi, who appeared in Hideo Nakata's seminal J-horror Ringu and more recently starred as a gender-swapped version of Sherlock Holmes in the Hulu-HBO Asia series Miss Sherlock, passed away in September 2020. Police in Tokyo immediately began investigating the death as an apparent suicide. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the award winning star was discovered by her husband, fellow actor Taiki Nakabayashi. She was 40.

After making her big screen bow in 1998's Ringu, the teenage Takeuchi landed a part in the Kyoto-set TV drama Asuka (1999), which would lead to wider recognition. The actress and model has been in the public eye ever since. She was nominated as Best Actress in a leading role at the Japanese Academy Awards three years running in the '00s, and secured a Best Supporting Actress nod for her work in Cape Nostalgia in 2015. Her show Miss Sherlock (2018) became so popular with illegal streamers that HBO decided to release it in the United States, where it went down well with critics.

According to those who knew her, Takeuchi was a hardworking professional who always made everyone feel welcome on set. "She was called the 'Queen of Snacks' by the crew," a Sports Nippon reporter said (via Variety). "She would bring foods like hard-to-get treats and seasonal dishes and tell everyone to 'Eat up.' She was very considerate to the staff." Survivors include her husband, their infant son, and a teenage son from a previous marriage.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Helen Reddy

Singer and actress Helen Reddy, who became synonymous with the feminist movement and appeared in the films Airport 1975 and Pete's Dragon, died in September 2020. The Australian Grammy winner passed away in Los Angeles, per CNN. "It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Helen Reddy," her children, Traci and Jordan, said in a statement. "She was a wonderful mother, grandmother and a truly formidable woman." She was 78.

Reddy was born to actor parents in Melbourne and would enter into the family business at the tender age of 4. In 1966, she flew to New York to audition at Mercury Records, but was unsuccessful and ended up taking gigs as a club singer instead. It wasn't until she moved to Los Angeles and tried her luck at Capitol Records that Reddy's career took off. She would go on to record over a dozen top 40 singles, though she will always be remembered for "I Am Woman," her feminist anthem. "I would like to thank God, because she makes everything possible," Reddy said while accepting her Grammy for best female pop vocal in 1973 (via The Guardian).

She played Sister Ruth in airborne thriller Airport 1975 the following year, and in 1977 she took on the role of Nora in Pete's Dragon. Notable TV credits include Fantasy IslandThe Jeffersons, and Diagnosis Murder. I Am Woman, a movie biopic about Reddy's rise to stardom, premiered just a month before her death.

Armelia McQueen

Actress Armelia McQueen, who made a name for herself on Broadway in the late 1970s and later played the sister of Whoopi Goldberg in 1990's box office smash Ghost, died in October 2020. "She leaves us cherishing her memory as she was one of the greatest friends you could ever have," McQueen's friend Dorian Hannaway said in a Facebook post that confirmed her passing. "The only thing bigger than her beautiful soul was her extraordinary talent." She was 68.

McQueen was part of the original cast of Ain't Misbehavin', a tribute to the black musicians of the Harlem Renaissance era. The musical revue debuted on Broadway in 1978, and McQueen made an immediate impression — her performances earned her a Theatre World award that year, per Variety. She didn't pick up any accolades for her on-screen work (although she did get nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy Series at the CableACE Awards for her turn as the Red Queen in Disney's Adventures in Wonderland on two separate occasions), but McQueen made a number of memorable appearances both in TV and film.

She had an early role in the Carl Weathers-led action movie Action Jackson (1988), and two years later she portrayed Clara Brown in Ghost, the highest grossing film of 1990. She played the Red Queen in 100 episodes of Adventures in Wonderland between 1992 and 1994. Other notable small screen credits include The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The CW romantic dramedy Hart of Dixie.

Clark Middleton

Actor Clark Middleton, who worked with some of Hollywood's biggest directors during a career that spanned four decades, passed away in October 2020. He was a "beloved actor, writer, director, teacher, hero, husband, beacon [and] friend," according to his wife, Elissa. "With heavy hearts we announce the passing of a life eminently worthy of celebration: Clark Tinsley Middleton," she said in a statement (via Variety). "Clark transitioned on October 4th as a result of West Nile Virus, for which there is no known cure. Clark was a beautiful soul who spent a lifetime defying limits and advocating for people with disabilities." He was 63.

Middleton lived with Rheumatoid Arthritis for most of his life, but he never let it stop him from pursuing his passion. He made his stage debut in 1983 and would go on to ply his trade alongside some top talent (he was in the Broadway revival of The Iceman Cometh with Denzel Washington), a habit he would continue as he developed into a dependable big screen actor — Middleton worked with Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill Vol. 2), Ang Lee (Taking Woodstock), Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer), and Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Best Picture winner Birdman).

In terms of television, he was best known for his roles in Fringe, The Path, David Lynch's Twin Peaks revival, and The Blacklist, in which he played DMV worker Glen Carter from 2014 to 2020. The show's creator, Jon Bokenkamp, called Middleton a "truly unique and gifted actor" via Twitter.

Conchata Ferrell

Two and a Half Men star Conchata Ferrell, who played housekeeper Berta in over 200 episodes of the CBS sitcom, died in October 2020. The West Virginia native was living in a long-term care facility following a cardiac arrest months earlier. Ferrell passed away "peacefully" with family members by her side, Deadline confirmed. She was 77.

After moving to New York to pursue acting, Ferrell became an original member of the Circle Repertory Theatre. She scooped an Obie Award for Best Actress as well as a Drama Desk Award and a Theatre World Award during her off-Broadway days, and they opened doors for her in Hollywood. She starred as sex worker April Green in Norman Lear sitcom Hot I Baltimore in 1975, and would flit between TV and film in the decades that followed.

Ferrell played Nurse Joan Thor on the '80s series E/R and Susan Bloom on L.A. Law, which earned her the first of her three Emmy nods. She was nominated in 2005 and 2007 for her work on Two and a Half Men, and her former co-stars were quick to pay tribute themselves when they learned of her passing. "An absolute sweetheart, a consummate pro, a genuine friend," said Charlie Sheen, while Jon Cryer called her "a beautiful human."

She also popped up on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Friends and The Ranch, to name a few. In terms of movies, Ferrell plied her trade in the likes of True Romance, Erin Brockovich, Edward Scissorhands and the festive horror flick Krampus.

Marge Champion

Veteran actress and dancer Marge Champion, who starred in a series of musicals opposite her husband in the 1950s, passed away in October 2020 at the age 101, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed.

The California native was the daughter of renowned Tinsel Town dance instructor Ernest Belcher, a friend of Walt Disney. When Disney embarked on his first ever animated feature film in the 1930's (the seminal Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), he needed a model for the titular character, and Belcher's 14-year-old daughter fit the bill. Champion performed in front of Mouse House animators on-and-off for two years as they finetuned the now-iconic princess, and Snow White wouldn't be the last Disney character she inspired — she modeled for the Blue Fairy in Pinocchio (1940), Hyacinth Hippo in Fantasia (1940), and Mr. Stork in Dumbo (1941).

Champion struck up a relationship with Disney animator Art Babbitt and they tied the knot, but the marriage ended in 1940. She made her Broadway debut in 1945, and would become a movie star the following decade with a string of MGM musicals. She and second husband Gower Champion performed memorable numbers in Mr. Music (1950), Lovely to Look At (1952), Give a Girl a Break (1953) and Jupiter's Darling (1955), to name but a few. Champion would later scoop an Emmy Award for her choreography work on the critically acclaimed 1975 telefilm Queen of the Stardust Ballroom. Her third and final husband, filmmaker Boris Sagal, died in 1981.

Margaret Nolan

English model and actress Margaret Nolan, whose body was famously painted gold for the opening sequence of 1964's Goldfinger, in which she also played James Bond's masseuse, died in October 2020. The Somerset native passed away at the age of 76, her son (cinematographer Oscar Deeks) told Variety. Director Edgar Wright was among the first to share the sad news, calling Nolan an "iconic" figure in a touching series of tweets. "I worked with her last year as she plays a small role in Last Night In Soho," Wright said. "She was so funny, sharp and, as you might imagine, full of the most amazing stories. I'm so glad I got to know her."

Nolan turned down the chance to go on tour promoting Goldfinger, fearing that she wouldn't be able to shake the Bond Girl image if she did. She wound up being remembered for Goldfinger regardless, but she also became well known for her work in the Carry On films, a long-running series of wacky British comedies. She made her franchise debut in Carry On Cowboy and would go on to appear in Carry on Henry VIII, Carry On at Your Convenience, Carry On Matron, Carry On Girls, and Carry On Dick. Other notable appearances include Gerry and the Pacemakers' movie Ferry Cross the Mersey and A Hard Day's Night, the best of the Beatles' films. Nolan is survived by her two sons (Oscar Deeks and Luke O'Sullivan) as well as two grandchildren.

Sean Connery

Sean Connery, the Scottish movie icon best known for originating the role of James Bond on the big screen, died in October 2020. Connery passed away peacefully in his sleep after being "unwell for some time," his son, Jason Connery, told the BBC. He was 90.

Filmmakers were unable to look past Connery's good looks to begin with, but that all changed after he turned in a stellar performance as Count Vronsky in the BBC's Anna Karenina, a TV movie that aired in 1961. The former model made his debut as 007 in Dr. No the following year, and, despite the furor over his casting (he was still a relative unknown at the time), the film was a hit. Connery became a globally recognized star, and his influence grew with every installment — he went on to play Bond in From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983).

Post-Bond, Connery appeared in films like Highlander, The Untouchables (he was named Best Supporting Actor for his turn as a Depression-era cop), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October and The Rock. He was knighted in 2000, and would appear in his final film, the widely-panned The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, three years later. The experience soured Connery on the industry and he decided to leave it all behind for the Bahamas, where he would later pass away, surrounded by family.

Eddie Hassell

Actor Eddie Hassell, who played Clay in the Best Picture nominee The Kids Are All Right and longtime Apple employee Chris Espinosa in Jobs, died in November 2020. Hassell was fatally wounded in a "random robbery" that went tragically wrong, police said after arresting an 18-year-old man on capital murder charges (via CNN). His manager broke the news to Variety, revealing that the Texas native was shot in the stomach outside his girlfriend's Dallas apartment in an apparent carjacking incident. The actor died in hospital the same day. He was 30.

Hassell landed his first significant role in 2005, securing the part of Phil Nance in the Lake Bell-led sci-fi series Surface. It was his aptitude for extreme sports that allowed him to transition into film — he made his big screen debut as a surfer in the disaster flick 2012, and his skateboarding skills helped him land his part in The Kids Are All Right. "It also got me cast in commercials," Hassell told Elle in 2013. "I was into horseback riding and rodeos in Texas and when I moved to L.A., I got into skating."

Jobs didn't require much in the way of stunts, but it was still an exciting experience for Hassell, who was a big Ashton Kutcher fan growing up. "A lot of kids in my generation see him as an icon, so I was excited going in," he said. Hassell was also known for Devious Maids, on which he recurred as the wrongfully convicted Eddie Suarez.

Bert Belasco

Bert Belasco, best known for playing Charles Whitmore in the BET sitcom Let's Stay Together, passed away in November 2020. Belasco was pronounced dead at a hotel in Virginia, where he had been quarantining prior to shooting a movie. The circumstances did not appear suspicious, police confirmed. The actor's father told TMZ that he suspects his son died of an aneurysm. He was 38.

According to Variety, Belasco studied theater at Southern Illinois University and later finetuned his craft as a member of renowned Chicago improv school The Second City. He started to branch out in 2007, doing some work on the NBA video game series and securing his first screen role. After making his bow in an episode of House, he went on to become a regular on American TV, recurring on the baseball dramedy Pitch and the Jim Carrey-produced I'm Dying Up Here. Other notable appearances include Justified, Key and Peele, NCIS: New Orleans, and American Princess, though Belasco will undoubtedly be remembered for his 52-episode stint on Let's Stay Together.

When news of his shocking death broke, Belasco's former castmates took to social media to express their shock and grief. "Heartbroken at the passing of Bert Belasco — a talented, kind young man who I had the [pleasure] of working with numerous times on Let's Stay Together," Jackée Harry tweeted. Nadine Ellis called him a "gentle giant" in an Instagram tribute, while Joyful Drake said that Belasco "had a big heart full of love and compassion."

Lawrence Clayton

Star of the stage and screen Lawrence Clayton, who made his Broadway debut as part of the replacement cast of Dreamgirls, died in November 2020. The North Carolina native passed away after a two-year fight against glioblastoma cancer, the Buchwald talent agency confirmed (via Deadline). He was 64.

Clayton moved to New York after leaving North Carolina Central University and became a well-known face in the theater scene. He made his bow as C.C. White (Effie's soft-spoken younger brother in Dreamgirls) in 1981 and went on to appear in a number of other Broadway musicals, including The High Rollers Social and Pleasure Club (1992), Once Upon a Mattress (1996), The Civil War (1999), It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues (1999), Bells Are Ringing (2001), and the 2015 revival of The Color Purple. The Oprah Winfrey-produced show won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. Clayton also toured with productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and Les Miserables during his days on the stage.

He made his screen debut in a 1989 episode of The Equalizer, but his TV career began in earnest at the dawn of the millennium. He plied his trade in shows such as DeadlineLaw & Order: Criminal Intent, As the World Turns, The Big C, Homeland, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and the CBS Sherlock Holmes reimaging Elementary. Clayton made his final appearance in a 2019 episode of Netflix's groundbreaking LGBTQ drama Pose, in which he played Pray Tell's (Billy Porter) stepfather.

Elsa Raven

Character actress Elsa Raven, known for small but memorable roles in films like Back to the Future and The Amityville Horror, passed away in November 2020. The South Carolina native died at her home in Los Angeles, her agent confirmed (via Deadline). She was 91.

Born Elsa Rabinowitz, she adopted the stage name Raven and set about cracking the New York theater circuit. She appeared on New York Television Theatre in the late '60s, and would spend the next several decades establishing herself as a reliable foil in the movies. Horror fans will no doubt remember Raven as Mrs. Townsend, the realtor who offloads the house in 1979's The Amityville Horror. She was the lady campaigning to save the clock tower in 1985's Back to the Future, and she popped up as John Malkovich's landlady in 1993's In the Line of Fire. She would go on to play Ida Straus (the wife of Macy's co-founder Isidor Straus) in James Cameron's Titanic.

Straus and her husband died during the sinking of the RMS Titanic, but we didn't get to see that play out in the movie, as most of Raven's scenes were cut (she did feature in Celine Dion's accompanying music video, however). She went on to play Lucille in 39 episodes of Days of Our Lives during the late '90s, but she remained best-known for Back to the Future. According to star Michael J. Fox, Raven used to walk around conventions urging people to save the clock tower.

Kirby Morrow

Canadian voice actor Kirby Morrow, known for his extensive work on English anime dubs, passed away in November 2020. Morrow, who amassed almost 200 voice and live action credits during a career that dates back to the 1970s, was a "blessed and talented individual who brought joy to so many," his brother Casey told TheWrap. "[He] thrived off all your love and friendship. He lived for it and it fueled him every day." Morrow's cause of death was not immediately revealed. He was 47.

Morrow made his debut as a child, voicing Woody Malden in the English language dub of Mobile Suit Gundam. He would go on to voice 142 different characters in the decades that followed, most famously Goku in Dragon Ball Z, Teru in Death Note, Miroku in Inuyasha, and Trowa in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. Outside of anime, Morrow's best known voice roles include Cyclops in X-Men: Evolution and Cole in the Ninjago series, which he was still working on in 2020.

Other more recent credits include Nickelodeon's LEGO Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar and Supergirl, in which Morrow appeared on camera. His best known live action role was that of Captain Dave Kleinman in Stargate: Atlantis. When he spoke to fan site GateWorld in 2006, Morrow explained exactly what it was that drew him to voice acting. "I get to play a very diverse range of characters, even different sexes," he said. "You can wear what you want, and there's no heavy lifting."

David Prowse

English actor David Prowse, best known as the man beneath Darth Vader's famous black armor in the original Star Wars trilogy, passed away in November 2020. The former bodybuilder died after a short illness, his manager told the BBC. "May the Force be with him, always!" Thomas Bowington said. "Though famous for playing many monsters, for myself and all who knew Dave and worked with him, he was a hero in our lives." He was 85.

Prowse was a successful weightlifter before he started working in film, representing his country at the Commonwealth Games. He got close to fellow bodybuilders Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno during that time, and he would later pave a path to Hollywood for them. Prowse played Frankenstein's monster in three films: the 1967 James Bond spoof Casino Royale (his big screen debut), 1970's Horror Of Frankenstein and 1974's Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell. He also played an imposing bodyguard in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, which was where George Lucas first saw him.

The hulking Brit was invited to audition for the roles of Chewbacca and Darth Vader, and was offered his choice of the two. He opted for the latter because "you always remember the bad guys," he once told the BBC. His lines were ultimately dubbed over by the great James Earl Jones, but Prowse remained a fan favorite up until his death. Mark Hamill led the tributes, calling Prowse "a kind man and much more than Darth Vader" in a tweet.

Hugh Keays-Byrne

English-Australian actor Hugh Keays-Byrne, who played memorable villains in 1979's Mad Max and 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road, passed away in December 2020. Filmmaker and friend Brian Trenchard-Smith confirmed his death in a Facebook post. "He was a fine actor and a good friend," Trenchard-Smith said. "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." He was 76.

Keays-Byrne was born in India to an English mother and father. He began training in theater when his parents moved back to their native Britain, becoming a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 1973, he traveled to Australia to tour A Midsummer Night's Dream and decided to stay behind. He made his film debut in low-budget biker flick Stone the following year and would go on to appear in pictures like The Man From Hong Kong (1975), The Trespassers (1976), Going Down (1982), and Strikebound (1984), but he would remain best-known for his work in George Miller's Mad Max movies.

He played antagonist Toecutter in the original Mad Max, and Miller brought him back as another big bad more than three decades later for Fury Road, Keays-Byrne's final film. The amicable actor was sensational as Immortan Joe, and his co-stars were quick to mourn his loss. "It's amazing you were able to play an evil warlord so well cause you were such a kind, beautiful soul," Charlize Theron tweeted.

Natalie Desselle Reid

Louisiana native Natalie Desselle Reid, best known for playing Halle Berry's sidekick in the '90s comedy B*A*P*S and for her regular role on the early 2000s sitcom Eve, passed away surrounded by family in December 2020. The actress died after a private battle with colon cancer, her family confirmed to TMZ. "It is with extremely heavy hearts that we share the loss of our beautiful Natalie," they said in a statement. "She was a bright light in this world. A queen. An extraordinary mother and wife. Her diverse career touched so many and she will be loved forever." She was 53.

Reid made her debut in 1996 with a one-off appearance on Family Matters. She would go on to land meatier roles in shows like Built to Last, For Your Love, and Eve, the sitcom led by the musician of the same name. Reid played Janie in all 66 episodes of the UPN show, which was canceled after three seasons on air. Eve was among the many former colleagues to pay tribute to the late comedienne, asking her Instagram followers to pray for her family. "Can't believe it," the rapper and TV host said. "Rest in peace Natalie Desselle Reid. Thank you for your light and spirit."

She would later take on the role of Tammy in the Tyler Perry comedy Madea's Big Happy Family, but B*A*P*S was the film that defined her career. Co-star Halle Berry called her "one of the most precious people I've ever known" in a heartfelt post.

Tommy "Tiny" Lister

Compton native Tommy "Tiny" Lister, best known for playing neighborhood bully Deebo in the Friday films, passed away in December 2020. The actor and former wrestler was found unresponsive at his California apartment, Variety confirmed. He had been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. "He was a wonderful guy with a heart of gold," said Lister's manager, Cindy Cowan. "Everyone loved him. A real gentle giant. We're all devastated." He was 62.

Lister was a prolific character actor who had well over 200 credits to his name when he died. He made his debut as a football player in a 1984 episode of ABC sitcom Webster and would have a stint in professional wrestling (he fought under the name Zeus in what was then known as the WWF, going up against Hulk Hogan) before establishing himself as a go-to tough guy in Hollywood. He played a bail agent in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown and a tattooed prisoner in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, but it was the role of Deebo that earned him a place in pop culture history. "America's favorite bully was a born entertainer," Friday star and co-writer Ice Cube tweeted. "Thank you for being a good dude at heart. I miss you already."

Elsewhere, Lister appeared as Adam Sandler's brother in Little Nicky and the Galactic President in Luc Besson's The Fifth Element. Other notable credits include Beverly Hills Cop II, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Star Trek: Enterprise, and Zootopia, in which he voiced the diminutive Finnick.

Barbara Windsor

British icon Barbara Windsor, best known for numerous appearances in the Carry On film franchise and her 22-year stint on the U.K. soap opera EastEnders, passed away in December 2020. The actress died peacefully in a care home after a battle with Alzheimer's, her husband told the BBC. She was 83.

Born in London in 1937, Windsor made her screen debut as a teenager, appearing in several minor and uncredited TV roles throughout the mid- to late-1950s. She signed up for her first Carry On project the following decade (portraying Daphne Honeybutt in 1964's Carry On Spying) and would go on to feature in over a dozen more in the years that followed. Windsor became known for playing chaste and cheeky blondes because of the bawdy franchise, but her Carry On work would ultimately be eclipsed by EastEnders. She debuted as no-nonsense pub landlady Peggy Mitchell in 1994, and would star in over 1,500 episodes of the long-running show, the crew of which was "deeply saddened" by her passing.

Windsor's death was mourned by actors, politicians and even royals. She became Dame Barbara Windsor in 2016 and was known to have been friendly with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, who called her "a great British actor and tireless charity campaigner" in a tweet. Prime Minister Boris Johnson also paid tribute, tweeting that Windsor "cheered the world up with her own British brand of harmless sauciness." Her final feature film was 2016's Alice Through the Looking Glass, in which she voiced Mallymkun.

Carol Sutton

New Orleans native Carol Sutton passed away in December 2020 after complications arising from COVID-19. Her death was confirmed by the mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell. "Carol Sutton was practically the Queen of New Orleans theater, having graced the stages across the city for decades," Cantrell said. "The world may recognize her from her performances in movies and on TV... but we will always remember her commanding stage presence, her richly portrayed characters and the warm heart she shared with her fellow cast and crew." She was 76.

Sutton made her screen debut in the 1974 TV movie The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and would go on to appear in films like Steel Magnolias (1989), the slasher sequel Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995), and the southern gothic hit Eve's Bayou (1997), which starred Samuel L. Jackson and Jurnee Smollett as a troubled father and daughter. Sutton remained a reliable character actor into the new millennium, plying her trade in pictures like Monster's Ball (2001), the Ray Charles biopic Ray (2004), the Denzel Washington actioner Deja Vu (2006), and the found-footage horror The Last Exorcism (2010).

Other notable big screen credits include The Help (2011)21 Jump Street (2012), This is the End (2013), and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014). Sutton also worked on a number of hit TV shows, such as American Horror Story, True Detective, Queen Sugar, and more recently, Lovecraft Country — she played Ms. Osberta in a 2020 episode of the HBO show, her final appearance.

Jeremy Bulloch

Jeremy Bulloch, the actor who played Boba Fett in the original Star Wars trilogy, passed away in December 2020. The Brit "died peacefully in hospital surrounded by his family, from health complications following his many years living with Parkinson's disease," his agency told Variety. "He had a long and happy career spanning more than 45 years. He was devoted to his wife, three sons, and ten grandchildren and they will miss him terribly." He was 75.

The Leicestershire native made his acting debut as a child, appearing in his first commercial in 1958. He was just 17 when he landed a part alongside crooner Cliff Richard in Summer Holiday (1963), and over the next few decades he bounced between film and television. Bulloch appeared in seven episodes of Doctor Who across the 1960s and '70s, and he shared the screen with Roger Moore's James Bond in 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me.

He debuted as Boba Fett in 1980's Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back and played him again in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. While the bounty hunter's dialogue was dubbed over by Jason Wingreen originally and later by Temuera Morrison (who returned to play Fett in The Mandalorian), it was Bulloch inside the iconic armor. He returned to the Star Wars universe to play Captain Jeremoch (an obvious portmanteau of his name) Colton in 2005's Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, his final feature film appearance.

Marcus D'Amico

British-American actor Marcus D'Amico, who played Michael "Mouse" Tolliver in the original Tales of the City miniseries, passed away in December 2020. He died of pneumonia at his home in Oxfordshire, England, his sister told Queerty. "Marcus was warm and funny with a big heart," Melissa D'Amico said. "He was talented and creative, a good singer and dancer as well as actor, writer, and director. He lived in London and LA and has many friends in both countries." He was 55.

D'Amico was born in Germany but raised in Great Britain. He made his West End debut as a child, playing the title role in a production of Oliver! His TV debut came in 1980 when he appeared in the six-episode miniseries The Square Leopold, and he made his big screen bow that same year, playing Willie in Superman II. With the exception of his role in Full Metal Jacket (he played the character Hand Job in Stanley Kubrick's military classic), D'Amico would stick largely to television in the years that followed.

He recurred on the BBC drama Trainer, the long-running police procedural The Bill, and the soap opera Family Affairs, but the gay actor would remain best known for 1993's Tales of the City. Set in San Francisco, the show's portrayal of LGBTQ characters was considered groundbreaking at the time, and D'Amico quickly became a fan favorite. "To watch him searching for love in that role — a gay Everyman — gave me hope," journalist Patrick Strudwick said in a tribute tweet.

Dawn Wells

Dawn Wells, best known for her turn as Kansas farmgirl Mary Ann Summers in the feelgood '60s sitcom Gilligan's Island, passed away in December 2020. The Nevada native died of causes related to COVID-19, her publicist confirmed (via The Hollywood Reporter). She was 82.

Wells was born in Reno to a homemaker mother and a real estate developer father. Her parents split when she was just four, but it didn't stop her from having a happy childhood. "I was raised by a very good mother and a great dad," she wrote in her 2014 memoir What Would Mary Ann Do?: A Guide to Life. She was crowned Miss Nevada in 1959 and competed in the Miss America pageant the following year. Soon after, Wells graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in theater arts and began landing minor roles in TV Westerns like Maverick, Cheyenne and Wagon Train.

The petite starlet was 25 when she debuted as Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island, a character that she built "from scratch." She appeared in 98 episodes of the show, which became a syndication hit after its cancelation. Fan favorite Wells reprised her role in a handful of TV movies in the late '70s and early '80s, and she cameoed as the ever-cheerful Mary Ann on Baywatch and Roseanne in the '90s. "The core of Mary Ann is really me," Wells wrote. "If you play a character long enough on stage or screen, I think your true self shows through."