Celebrities passed away in 2021. Part One.

Christopher Plummer (1929-2021)

Devoted Shakespearian actor until the late 1950s, Christopher Plummer was a Canadian-born movie actor. When he moved on to movies, he made America dream. In 1965, his performance as anti-Nazi Captain Georg von Trapp in the musical film The Sound of Music (Robert Wise) becomes iconic. Von Trapp is a widow and father of nine in World-War-II Austria who falls in love with his kids’ nanny (Julie Andrews). His magnetic look and elegant gait as much as his structured voice remain unparalleled. He earned an Academy Award as Supporting Actor for Beginners (Mike Mills) in 2011. Plummer died due to a blow to the head as a result of a fall. He was 91.


Dustin Diamond (1977-2021)

Dustin Diamond was an American child actor, whose career skyrocketed when he played the role of goofy kid Samuel “Screech” Powers first in the TV shows Good Morning, Miss Bliss (1988–89), Saved by the Bell: The New Class (1994–2000) and in Saved by the Bell: The College Years (1993-1994). After the last TV show was canceled, he tried out different professional routes as reality tv personality and professional wrestler, but he never retrieved fame. Arrested more than once due to reckless behaviors, Diamond was involved in a sex tape scandal and later on in the publication of an infamous inside story about the Saved by the Bell‘s cast and crew. Diamond died after being diagnosed only three weeks after the diagnosis of stage 4 small-cell lung carcinoma. He was only 44.


Cicely Tyson (1924-2021)

Cicely Tyson was an American Tony and Emmy winner. She debuted as a fashion model, but soon earned a great reputation on and off Broadway stages. She reached stardom in 1972 with the movie Sounder (Martin Ritt). All along her seven-decade career, she played strong African American female roles. More recently, she played Ophelia Harkness in the TV series How to Get Away With Murder (2014-2020), for which she was nominated five times at the Primetime Emmy Awards. In November 2016, Tyson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama. While in 2019, she was awarded an honorary Oscar. Tyson died of natural causes at 96.


Cloris Leachman (1926-2021)

Cloris Leachman was an American TV and movie actress with seven-decade-long career. She became Miss Chicago, title that allowed her to run for Miss America in 1946. She studied acting under Elia Kazan at the Actors Studio in New York City and formally debuted in the film noir Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955). Later on, she appeared in the western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (George Roy Hill, 1969) along with Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Her roles in The Last Picture Show (Peter Bogdanovich, 1971) as neglected wife Ruth Popper, for which she received an Oscar, and as Frau Blücher in Young Frankenstein (Mel Brooks, 1974) remain unforgettable. Yet, she is mostly remembered for her TV role as Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1971-1977) and the spinoff series, Phyllis (1975–1977). Leachman died of natural causes. She was 94.


Hal Holbrook (1925-2021)

Hal Holbrook was an American Tony and Emmy-winning actor, known for playing and celebrating Mark Twain on stage and TV. His film career is rich of key performances in All the President’s Men (Alan J. Pakula, 1976), Wall Street (Oliver Stone, 1987), The Firm (Sydney Pollack, 1993), Men of Honor (George Tillman Jr., 2000), Into the Wild (Sean Penn, 2007), and Lincoln (Steven Spielberg, 2012)– just to mention a few. He alternated his film career to great performances on the most famous American TV series from Designing Women along his wife Dixie Carter (1939-2010) to The Sopranos (-1999), The West Wing (1999-2006), NCIS (2003-), E.R. (1994-2009), Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014), Bones (2005-2017), Grey’s Anatomy up to Hawaii Five-0 (2010-2020) more recently. In 2003, he received the National Humanities Medal from President George Bush. The news of her death came out a week after his passing. Holbrook was 95.


Larry King (1933-2021)

Larry King was an American radio and TV host, who worked for CNN for decades conducting more than 60.000 interviews. He debuted on May 1, 1957 as the morning disc jockey for WMBM, a Miami Beach-based radio. He hosted the radio show The Larry King Show from 1978 to 1994. From 1985 to 2010, he also hosted the television talk show Larry King Live for CNN.  From 2012, he hosted the talk show Larry King Now available on Ora TV (his own television network), Hulu, and RT America. He played himself in many TV shows and movies. King died of sepsis as consequence of COVID-19 infection at age 87.


Song Yoo Jung (1994-2021)

Song Yoo Jung was a South Korean actress and model. She debuted in the MBC series Golden Rainbow (2013), but gained major attention for her performance in the drama series Make a Wish (2014). In 2017, she played in School 2017. She died on January 25, 2021. The cause of her passing at age 26 remains unknown. 


Mira Furlan (1955-2021)

Mira Furlan was a Croatian-born stage and TV actress. She played in the film When Father Was Away on Business (Emir Kusturica), which won the Palme d’Or at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated to the Academy Awards as Best Foreign Language Film that same year. Furlan fled to New York to escape the Croatian War of Independence in 1991 and the threats she received, when she refused to quit performing in a theatre production in Belgrad (Serbia). In the United States, she is mostly known for the roles of the Minbari Ambassador Delenn in the science fiction TV series Babylon 5 (1993–1998) and of Danielle Rousseau in the TV series Lost (2004–2010). Furlan died in Los Angeles due to complications of the West Nile virus at age 65.


John Reilly (1934-2021)

John Reilly “Passions” Set Radford Studios 12/13/04 NBC©Aaron Montgomery/jpistudios.com

John Reilly was an American TV actor. He started playing in soap operas in the 1960s, but earned decisive success in 1974, when he replaced John Colenback as Dr. Dan Stewart in As the World Turns (1956-2010). He played as guest star in the TV show The Bionic Woman between 1977 and 1978. He made recurring appearances in the TV nighttime drama Dallas in 1983. While, in the 1990s, he played WSB agent Sean Donely in the soap opera General Hospital (1963-). He was Kelly Taylor’s oft-absentee father, Bill, in several episodes of the teen drama Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-2000). He also played Alistair Crane on the NBC soap opera Passions (1999-2008). He died of heart attack at age 84.


Marion Ramsey (1947-2021)

Marion Ramsey was an American movie actress, famous for her iconic role as the soft-spoken Officer Laverne Hooks in all Police Academy films. She started her career acting on stage, but was also a singer and songwriter. Ramsey died of a heart disease. She was 73.


Tanya Roberts (1955-2021)

Tanya Roberts was an American TV actress. She began her career as a model. She is famous for playing streetwise fighter Julie Rogers in the fifth and final season of the detective television series Charlie’s Angels (1976-1981), when she replaced Shelley Hack in 1980. The production mistakenly hoped to revitalize the declining ratings of the show after casting Roberts. In the following years, her career suffered a series of setbacks due to her appearance in a number of B-movies and TV pilots, which were not picked up for production. Roberts was Bond girl and geologist Stacey Sutton, in A View to a Kill (John Glen, 1985) with 007 James Bond (Roger Moore). In 1998, she played Midge Pinciotti on TV sitcom That ’70s Show, but had to leave the series in 2001 due to her husband’s terminal illness. She finally retired from acting in 2005 before her husband’s passing in 2006. Roberts was hospitalized on December 24th, 2020 as a consequence of intestinal pain. She died on January 4th, 2021, due to complications of a urinary tract infection. She was only 65.


Gregory Sierra (1937-2021)

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Gregory Sierra was an American TV actor of Puerto Rican descent, famous for his role as Julio Fuentes in Sanford and Son (1972-1977) and Detective Sergeant Chano Amengual in Barney Miller (1975-1982). He briefly played Lieutenant Lou Rodriguez in the TV show Miami Vice (1984-1990). He left the production because he did not like living in Miami where the series was shot. He always played supporting roles reaching success between the 1970s and 1990s. He died of stomach and liver cancer at age 83.

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