As 2020 fades in the review mirror, it’s important to take a look back at the prominent figures we lost last year. Sadly, many celebrities who died from coronavirus in 2020. These are just some of the incredible lives we lost to COVID-19 in 2020…
You may not know David Prowse’s face or name, but you certainly know the character he portrayed. While actor James Earl Jones provided the voiced of Darth Vader, the iconic Star Wars villain, Prowse filled out the suit! Sadly, the actor passed away from coronavirus complications on November 28, 2020, at the age of 85.
Even worse, coronavirus restrictions made it hard for the body-builder-turned-actor to see his family. “It’s horrible that COVID restrictions meant we did not get to see him and say goodbye,” his daughter Rachel said after his passing. “But when we went to collect his stuff from the hospital the nurse said what a cool guy he was. He was such a larger-than-life character. He would have loved to see himself trending on Twitter.” Prowse filmed his final appearance in the music video for “Shields,” by his longtime friend, and fellow Welshman, musician Jayce Lewis.
Coronavirus also took country music legend Charley Pride, at the age of 86. The first Black artist to become a part of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Pride changed country music forever. Meanwhile, thanks to songs like “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” and “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone,” the singer also took home plenty of Grammys and number one hits. His last public appearance came in 2020, at the Country Music Association Awards in November, where he won a lifetime achievement award.
“I’m so heartbroken that one of my dearest and oldest friends, Charley Pride, has passed away. It’s even worse to know that he passed away from COVID-19. What a horrible, horrible virus. Charley, we will always love you,” Dolly Parton tweeted after his passing.
Even today, most still remember Dawn Wells best for her role as Mary Ann Summers on Gilligan’s Island. However, many people don’t know that the actress started her career after being crowned Miss Nevada in 1959, representing her state in Miss America 1960! While none of her later roles eclipsed her time on Gilligan’s Island, Wells never minded. In fact, most recently, she worked promoting the show on MeTV! The world will truly miss this iconic actress, but perhaps none more than her Island co-star, Tina Louise.
“I was sad to learn of Dawn’s passing, I will always remember her kindness to me. We shared in creating a cultural landmark that has continued to bring comfort and smiles to people during this difficult time,” Louise stated. “I want people to remember her as someone who always had a smile on her face. Nothing is more important than family and she was family. She will always be remembered.”
For decades, Roy Horn (right) was half of the world’s most famous magic duo: Siegfried and Roy. The show ran for years in Las Vegas, until one of the tigers the pair used mauled Horn on stage, leaving him partially paralyzed. However, the magician always maintained that the tiger was actually helping him after he blacked out on stage. In the years after the incident, Horn worked hard to make sure people understood big cats’ true nature.
“Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend,” Horn’s partner, Siegfried Fischbacher, said in a statement. “From the moment we met, I knew Roy and I, together, would change the world. There could be no Siegfried without Roy, and no Roy without Siegfried.”
Without a doubt, Carol Sutton enjoyed one of the most prolific careers in all of Hollywood. While she started with small television roles in the late ’70s, she quickly moved onto roles in hit films like Steel Magnolias and The Pelican Brief. Sutton continued starring in films throughout the ’90s and ’00s, in everything from cult classics like Killer Joe to box office smashes, like Hot Pursuit. Most recently, she had transitioned back to television, thanks to roles in many hit shows, including Claws and Lovecraft Country. Thought it all, Sutton also frequently starred in stage productions in her home town of New Orleans. “Carol Sutton was practically the Queen of New Orleans theater, having graced the stages across the city for decades,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.