2020 was a grueling year for everyone with the global pandemic and the loss of many famous figures in the entertainment industry. This past year, Hollywood suffered devastating losses from Chadwick Boseman and Sean Connery to Regis Philbin and Naya Rivera. In the new year, we are taking a look back at the stars of 2021, who may be gone but never forgotten.
(January 7, 1977 – February 1, 2021)
Dustin Diamond was mostly known for his role as Samuel “Screech” Powers in Saved By the Bell and his tell-all book titled Behind the Bell. The actor, who was just 44-years-old, was diagnosed with stage 4 lunch cancer just three weeks before he passed earlier this month. Many of Diamond’s former co-stars have expressed their condolences on social media amid his death. Mark-Paul Gosselaar notably tweeted that he was “deeply saddened” after hearing the news of his friend’s passing. “Looking back at our time working together, I will miss those raw, brilliant sparks that only he was able to produce,” Gosselaar said. “A pie in the face, my comrade.”
SOPHIE (Sophie Xeon)
(September 17, 1986 – January 30, 2021)
SOPHIE, or Sophie Xeon, was a grammy-nominated artist and producer who passed away due to an accidental fall. The 34-year-old artist was known for collaborations with her good friend, Charli XCX and Vince Staples. SOPHIE’s representative told USA Today, “True to her spirituality she had climbed up to watch the moon and accidentally slipped and fell.”
(November 19, 1933 – January 23, 2021)
At the age of 87, Larry King, died earlier this year on Jan. 23. The death of this icoic broadcaster was a shock to most as King survived his battles with cancer multiple times. King’s wife, Julia Alexander, told The Post that he died from sepsis shortly after being diagnosed with the corona virus, “it was an infection, it was sepsis.” King was an Emmy-award winner and hosted over 50,000 interviews throughout his career. The late-night legend will be missed.
(September 6, 1996 – February 5, 2021)
Five-time Jeopardy Champion, Brayden Smith, unexpectedly died on Feb. 5. Smith was only 24-years-old when he died from complications of surgery. Many fans knew Smith as “Alex’s Last Great Champion,” as he appeared in some of the last episodes filmed with the late Alex Trebek.
(March 6, 1944 – February 8, 2021)
The co-founding member of the iconic Motown group The Supremes passed away on Feb. 8 at the age of 76. Mary Wilson was a member of The Supremes and an important part of the music industry from the late 1950s until 1977 when the group that also featured Diana Ross, were officially disbanded. Berry Gordy, Motown founder, released a statement regarding her death, “I was extremely shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of a major member of the Motown family, Mary Wilson of the Supremes.”
(March 16, 1964 – February 1, 2021)
On Feb. 1, Jamie Tarses, a television producer and studio executive, passed away due to a stroke in Los Angeles. The 56-year-old was a pioneer in her industry as she became the first woman to hold the position of entertainment president of a broadcast network in 1996. Tarses was the president of ABC Entertainment for three years and most known for her help in developing the hit shows Friends, Frasier, Mad About You, and NewsRadio.
Prince Markie Dee
(February 19, 1968 – February 18, 2021)
Mark Anthony Morales, better known as his stage name Prince Markie Dee, died on Feb. 18 of a suspected heart attack. The former member of the hip-hop trio, The Fat Boys, who later went on to be a successful radio host, died the day before his 53rd birthday. The former manager of the Fat Boys, Louis Gregory, released a statement after Morales’ passing, “Prince Markie Dee was more than a rapper,” Gregory said. “He was one of my very best and closest friends. My heart breaks today because I lost a brother.”