Absolutely no one would describe 2020 as a picnic year, but 2021 did not do much to improve the situation. The COVID-19 pandemic still dictated how we spent our lives, even with the arrival of vaccines in the first three months. In addition to mask mandates and social distancing, we lost some amazing talents in 2021.
Baseball legend Hank Aaron died in January 2021, briefly followed by talk show icon Larry King, groundbreaking comedian Cloris Leachman and barrier-breaking actress Cicely Tyson in the first months of the year. Christopher Plummers and Arrested development star Jessica Walter this spring was also extremely heartbreaking.
There were also some unexpected tragedies. Rapper DMX and actor Michael K. Williams both died of accidental overdoses, and “The Clown Prince of Hip-Hop” Biz Markie died of complications related to his type-2 diabetes at the age of 57. The literary world also said goodbye to children author Beverly Cleary and New Journalism poster woman Joan Didion in the year 2021. In yet another heartbreaking twist, the news broke on New Year’s Eve that comedy legend Betty White had died at the age of 99, just a few weeks before her 100th birthday.
In the gallery below, we remember all the stars we lost in 2021 and their contribution to the pop culture landscape.
PICTURES: The stars we lost in 2021