Celebrity deaths in 2020: Paying tribute to the stars we've lost this year
22 December 2020, 15:51 | Updated: 22 December 2020, 19:10
We look back at the famous faces we've sadly said goodbye to in 2020.
From actors to musicians to athletes, here are some of the most high-profile and inspirational stars who have passed away this year so far.
Medium Derek Acorah died on January 3, aged 69, after falling into a septic coma.
The self-styled spiritual medium found fame on the the TV show Most Haunted, and continued to appear on TV ever since, including when he finished fourth in 2017's Celebrity Big Brother.
Actor Edd Byrnes died on January 8 from natural causes, aged 87.
He famously appeared in the 1979 musical Grease as Vince Fontaine, and also played Kookie on TV series 77 Sunset Strip.
Monty Python star Terry Jones died on January 21, aged 77. He had been battling a rare form of dementia for a number of years.
He was an original member of the legendary comedy group, and was also in the director's chair for their films Life Of Brian and The Holy Grail.
Retired LA Lakers basketball legend Kobe Bryant passed away on February 26, aged 41.
The five-time NBA Champion was tragically killed alongside his daughter and several others following a helicopter crash.
Just a Minute host Nicholas Parsons died on January 28, aged 96.
He had hosted the famous radio comedy show since its inception in 1967. He also was known for his many years of TV work, including shows such as Sale of the Century.
Hollywood icon Kirk Douglas died on February 5, aged 103.
One of the last surviving legends of classic Hollywood, he was known for many films including Spartacus.
His actor son Michael said: "To the world, he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to.”
TV presenter Caroline Flack died on February 15 aged 40, after taking her own life.
A lawyer for the Flack family confirmed that Caroline was found in her east London flat.
Caroline hosted a number of shows including Love Island, The X Factor, and I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here Now. She also won Strictly Come Dancing.
Max von Sydow
Actor Max von Sydow passed away on March 8, aged 90.
His career spanned many decades, and he appeared in many cult films and TV shows, including Star Wars, Game of Thrones, The Exorcist, Dune and Flash Gordon.
Comedian Roy Hudd died on March 16, aged 83.
The entertainer starred in Coronation Street, and was known for his many TV and film roles for decades.
His agent added: "The family would ask you to respect their privacy at this very sad time."
Kenny Rogers died on March 20, aged 81.
The country music legend was one of the biggest music stars of the 1970s and '80s, and was known for hits like 'The Gambler' and 'Islands in the Stream'.
Comedian Eddie Large died on April 2, after contracting coronavirus.
Alongside Syd Little, Eddie Large made up one of Britain's most beloved comedy duos in the '70s and '80s, and were known as Little And Large.
Singer Bill Withers died on April 3, aged 81. The American soul icon was battling a heart condition.
He was most famous for his hits 'Ain't No Sunshine', 'Lean on Me' and 'Lovely Day'.
Actor Honor Blackman died aged 94, on April 6.
The actress was best known for her role as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, as well as starring in The Avengers.
Her family said: "She died peacefully of natural causes at her home in Lewes, Sussex, surrounded by her family."
Country and folk singer John Prine died on April 8, after contracting coronavirus.
Prine was an American country and folk singer-songwriter, who was recognised as one of the most influential songwriters of his generation.
Sir Stirling Moss died on April 12, at the age of 90.
The motor-racing legend won 212 of his 529 races, and came ever so close to being Britain's first Formula One champion in 1958, when he lost to Mike Hawthorn by one point.
Comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor died on April 12, aged 79.
The Goodies and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue star died after contracting coronavirus.
Actor Irrfan Khan died on April 29 aged 53, after battling a colon infection.
He was best known for his many Bollywood movies, and for his success in Hollywood films Jurassic World, Life of Pi and The Amazing Spider-Man.
Gogglebox star June Bernicoff died on May 5, aged 82 after a short illness.
June and her late husband Leon were among the first people to join the show when it started back in 2013. She left the show when Leon passed away in December 2017.
Musician Florian Schneider died on May 6, aged 73.
Schneider was a founding member of legendary electronic group Kraftwerk. He launched the German band alongisde Ralf Hutter in 1970, and they inspired countless artists such as David Bowie.
'My Boy Lollipop' singer Millie Small died on May 5, after a stroke.
The Jamaican star was one of the first singers to score an international hit from the Caribbean, but largely stayed out of the limelight since the 1970s.
Rock and roll pioneer Little Richard passed away on May 9, aged 87.
He was one of the best known stars of the 1950s, inspiring many artists with his brand of fast-paced rock music, and hits such as 'Tutti Frutti' and 'Good Golly Miss Molly'.
Snooker legend Willie Thorne died on June 17, aged 66, after a short battle with leukaemia.
Known as Mr Maximum, he became known as one of the best snooker commentators in his later career.
Singer Bonnie Pointer died on June 8, aged 69, after a heart attack.
She was one of the members of famous group The Pointer Sisters alongside her siblings, and also scored solo success after leaving the band.
Dame Vera Lynn
Forces' sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn died on June 18, aged 103.
She was best remembered for her songs 'We'll Meet Again' and 'The White Cliffs of Dover', and entertained the nation during its toughest period.
Actor Ian Holm died on June 19, aged 88.
He was a prolific actor on stage and screen, appearing in many films such as Chariots of Fire, Brazil, The Fifth Element, Aliens and the Lord of the Rings series.
Italian composer Ennio Morricone died aged 91 on July 6, due to injuries sustained during a fall.
Morricone composed over 400 scores for film and TV, as well as over 100 classical works. His score to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is considered one of the most influential soundtracks in history.
Glee star Naya Rivera died aged 33 on July 8, after accidentally drowning during a swim with her son in California.
The singer and actress was best known for playing cheerleader Santana in the popular musical TV show.
England's World Cup winner Jack Charlton died aged 85 on July 11.
The Leeds United legend had been diagnosed with lymphoma and was also battling dementia. Bobby Charlton's older brother, he was part of the 1966 England World Cup winning squad.
Kelly Preston passed away on June 12, aged 57, two years after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
She was married to John Travolta, and appeared in various films including Twins and Jerry Maguire.
Singer Wayne Fontana died on August 6, aged 74.
He was the frontman with The Mindbenders, scoring a hit with 'Game of Love' in the 1960s.
Actor Chadwick Boseman died on August 28, aged 43, following a secret battle with colon cancer.
He appeared in many TV show and films, most famously as Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Bay City Rollers star Ian Mitchell died on September 2, aged 62.
He was just 17 when he replaced bassist Alan Longmuir in the band.
Singer Ronald Bell died on September 9, aged 68.
He co-founded funk legends Kool & The Gang in 1964, scoring massive hits including 'Celebration', 'Jungle Boogie' and 'Cherish'.
Dame Diana Rigg died on September 10, aged 82 after a short battle with cancer.
The legendary British actress was best known for playing Emma Peel in The Avengers, Tracy in Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones.
Singer Pamela Hutchinson from the vocal group The Emotions died on September 18 aged 61, after battling several health issues.
The group had big hits with 'The Best Of My Love' and 'So I Can Love You'.
Singer Tommy DeVito died on September 21, aged 92 after contracting coronavirus.
DeVito was one of the founding members of The Four Seasons, the legendary doo-wop group with hits including 'Big Girls Don't Cry' and 'Walk Like A Man'.
Actor Archie Lyndhurst died in September, aged 19.
He was son of Only Fools and Horses star Nicholas Lyndhurst, and became a successful actor in his own right, best kn own for the CBBC show So Awkward.
Singer Helen Reddy died on September 29, aged 78 after a battle with dementia.
The Australian star became a feminist icon thanks to her massive hit single 'I Am Woman'.
Eddie Van Halen
Rock icon Eddie Van Halen died on October 6, aged 65, from a stroke after battling cancer for a number of years.
He was known as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, famously playing with his namesake band Van Halen for decades.
Singer Johnny Nash died on October 6, aged 80.
The American reggae star helped bring the genre to wider audiences, mainly thanks to his 1972 hit 'I Can See Clearly Now'.
Musician Gordon Haskell died on October 15, aged 74, from cancer.
He had been a singer and bassist with King Crimson before a successful solo career. He just missed out on the Christmas number one in 2001 with his track 'How Wonderful You Are'.
Musician Spencer Davis died on October 19, aged 81, after a heart attack.
Davis founded the famous 1960s beat band The Spencer Davis Group in 1963, scoring hits including 'Keep on Running', and 'Gimme Some Lovin''.
Comedian Bobby Ball died on October 28, aged 76, after testing positive for coronavirus.
Real name Robert Harper, Bobby was one half of legendary comedy double act Cannon and Ball alongside best friend Tommy Cannon.
England World Cup-winner Nobby Stiles died on October 30, aged 78.
He played a big role in the Three Lions side which won the tournament in 1966, and also made 311 appearances for Manchester United.
Sir Sean Connery
Sir Sean Connery died on October 31, aged 90.
The Scottish acting legend was best known for playing James Bond, alongside many other famous movie roles, winning an Oscar and two Baftas.
Comedian John Sessions died on November 2, aged 67, after a heart attack.
He was best known for his voice work on Spitting Image, as well as his appearances on Have I Got News For You and Whose Line Is It Anyway? He also co-created and starred in Stella Street.
Actor Geoffrey Palmer died on November 5, aged 93.
Palmer starred in various TV shows and films over the decades, perhaps most famously the sitcom As Time Goes By alongside Dame Judi Dench.
TV icon Des O’Connor died on November 14, aged 88.
The all-round entertainer was a comedian, singer and TV presenter, and hosted shows such as Take Your Pick, Countdown, The Des O'Connor Show and Today with Des and Mel. He also scored a number one single with 'I Pretend'.
Football icon Diego Maradona died on November 25, aged 60, after a cardiac arrest.
The Argentinian legend is often considered to be one of the greatest football players of all time. He famously captained his national team to victory in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, which included his infamous 'Hand of God' goal against England.
Actor Dave Prowse died on November 28, aged 85.
He was most famous for playing Star Wars villain Darth Vader in the original trilogy. He also played the Green Cross Code Man in the 1970s, and trained Christopher Reeve for his role as Superman.
Dame Barbara Windsor died aged 83 on December 10.
Actor and singer Barbara was best known for her roles in EastEnders and the Carry On movies, having made a name for herself in the West End in the 1960s.