Celebrity Deaths

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Peter Green, blues guitarist and Fleetwood Mac co-founder, dies at age 73
Peter Green with Fleetwood Mac in 1970
Peter Green with Fleetwood Mac in 1970 Credit: W.W.Thaler - H. Weber, Hildesheim / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Peter Green has died "peacefully in his sleep" at age 73. Green, who was an English blues rock singer-songwriter and guitarist, co-founded Fleetwood Mac with drummer Mick Fleetwood in 1967. He left the band four years later, though Mick Fleetwood told the Associated Press in 2017, that Green deserved the "lion’s share of the credit for the band’s success."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Andrew Mlangeni, anti-apartheid icon and convicted co-defendant with Nelson Mandela, passed away at age 95
Andrew Mlangeni
Andrew Mlangeni Credit: GovernmentZA (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Andrew Mlangeni passed away on June 6th in Pretoria, the office of President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed on Wednesday. Mlangeni was the last surviving Rivonia trialists, a trial which brought to light the segregationist policies of apartheid in South Africa. He died in a military hospital after being committed with abdominal complaints.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said: "The passing of Andrew Mekete Mlangeni signifies the end of a generational history and places our future squarely in our hands. Until recently, we were able to sit at Bab’ Mlangeni’s feet and draw on his wealth of wisdom and his unfailing commitment – even at his very advanced age – to a better life for all South Africans. With his passing as the last remaining Rivonia Trialist, Bab’ Mlangeni has indeed passed the baton to his compatriots to build the South Africa he fought to liberate and to reconstruct during our democratic dispensation."

Regional News • Americas • United States
John Lewis, US civil rights hero and congressman, dies at 80
Representative John Lewis
Representative John Lewis Credit: Susan Melkisethian (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

John Lewis, the US civil rights hero and US Democratic congressman has died at the age of 80 after a six-month battle with cancer.

Lewis, a son of sharecroppers, was the last survivor of the “Big Six” civil rights activists, a group led by Martin Luther King. He was best known for leading some 600 protesters in the Bloody Sunday march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma in 1965.

Lewis was elected as the congressman for Georgia’s 5th district in 1987 and held the office until his death.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Zindzi Mandela: Tested positive for Coronavirus before her death
Zindzi Mandela meeting President Barack Obama, 2 November 2013
Zindzi Mandela meeting President Barack Obama, 2 November 2013 Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

Her family disclosed that Zindzi Mandela was diagnosed with the Coronavirus before her death. The daughter of Nelson Mandela was laid to rest next to her mother Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Johannesburg on July 17th.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Civil rights leader C.T. Vivian dies at age 95
President Barack Obama delivers awards the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom to Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 20, 2013.
President Barack Obama delivers awards the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom to Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 20, 2013. Credit: Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson / Public domain

C.T. Vivian has died of natural causes in his Atlanta home at age 95. Vivian was a civil rights veteran and a close associate of Dr Martin Luther King Jr., who he met in 1955. He helped organise the Freedom Rides and was an advocate for non-violent protest, racial justice and equality.

In 2013, President Barack Obama awarded Vivan with the presidential medal of freedom.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
MythBusters' host Grant Imahara dies at 49 of a brain aneurysm
Grant Imahara
Grant Imahara Credit: Genevieve (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Grant Imahara, the former co-host of Discovery Channel's "MythBusters" and Netflix's "White Rabbit Project", has died suddenly at the age of 49 of a brain aneurysm.

Born in Los Angeles, Imahara joined Lucasfilm’s THX and later moved to its VFX unit ILM. During his tenure, he worked on films in such blockbuster movies as Jurassic Park, The Matrix, The Terminator, xXx, Galaxy Quest, Van Helsing and Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence.

Adam Savage, co-host of MythBusters, tweeted: "I’m at a loss. No words. I’ve been part of two big families with Grant Imahara over the last 22 years. Grant was a truly brilliant engineer, artist and performer, but also just such a generous, easygoing, and gentle PERSON. Working with Grant was so much fun. I’ll miss my friend."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Naya Rivera's body found at Lake Piru
Naya Rivera
Naya Rivera Credit: Lloyd Klein (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Ventura County Sheriff's Office confirmed that the body found earlier today in Lake Piru, California, belongs to actress Naya Rivera, who has been missing since last Wednesday.

Sheriff Bill Ayub said: "We are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera, there is no indication of foul play or that this was a suicide.".

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Zindzi Mandela, daugther of Nelson Mandela, dies aged 59
Zindzi Mandela meeting President Barack Obama, 2 November 2013
Zindzi Mandela meeting President Barack Obama, 2 November 2013 Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

Zindzi Mandela, the youngest daughter of Nelson Mandela, has died at the age of 59 in a hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. The cause of her death has not been revealed yet.

Zindzi Mandela had been serving as South Africa's ambassador to Denmark since 2014. She was married twice and had four children.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Actress Kelly Preston dies at age 57
John Travolta and Kelly Preston at the Cannes film festival, for the 20th anniversary of "Pulp fiction"
John Travolta and Kelly Preston at the Cannes film festival, for the 20th anniversary of "Pulp fiction" Credit: Georges Biard / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Kelly Preston, actress and wife of John Travolta, has died of breast cancer at the age of 57. She appeared in movies such as "Jerry Maguire", "Space Camp" and "Twins". After meeting John Travolta in 1987 on the set of "The Experts", the two got married in 1991 and had three children together.

"It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my beautiful wife Kelly has lost her two-year battle with breast cancer. She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many," Travolta wrote in a post to Instagram on Monday.

Sports • Soccer
World Cup winner and former Ireland manager Jack Charlton died
Jack Charlton in 1970
Jack Charlton in 1970 Credit: Panini (Public Domain)

Jack Charlton, a 1966 World Cup winner with England and former Republic of Ireland's national team, has died aged 85. The former defender had been diagnosed with lymphoma in the last year and also had dementia.

Gary Lineker said on Twitter: "Saddened to hear that Jack Charlton has passed away. World Cup winner with England, manager of probably the best ever Ireland side and a wonderfully infectious personality to boot. RIP Jack,".

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Broadway actor Nick Cordero dies aged 41 from Covid-19
Photograph of Nick Cordero shared by his wife Amanda Kloots on Instagram
Photograph of Nick Cordero shared by his wife Amanda Kloots on Instagram Credit: via Instagram @amandakloots

Nick Cordero has died at age 41 after a month-long battle with Covid-19. The Broadway actor had tested positive for the novel Coronavirus in March and was hospitalised shortly after. He spent over 90 days in the intensive care unit at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where he received a temporary pacemaker, had one of his legs amputated and was put into a medically induced coma.

His wife, Amanda Kloots, confirmed his passing on Instagram, writing: "God has another angel in heaven now. My heart is broken as I cannot imagine our lives without him. Nick was such a bright light. He was everyone’s friend, loved to listen, help and especially talk. He was an incredible actor and musician. I will love you forever and always my sweet man."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Italian composer Ennio Morricone dies aged 91
Ennio Morricone at the Festhalle Frankfurt in 2015
Ennio Morricone at the Festhalle Frankfurt in 2015 Credit: Sven-Sebastian Sajak / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Ennio Morricone has died at age 91. The Italian composer composed over 400 scores for television and cinema, including a score for the 1966 movie The Good, The Bad and The Ugly which is considered one of the most influential soundtracks in movie history. Morricone was nominated for 6 Academy Awards and received an Oscar for his score to Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight. His work influenced many artists, including Hans Zimmer, Dire Straits and Metallica.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
British actor Earl Cameron dies aged 102
British actor Earl Cameron dies aged 102
Credit: Peter J Dunn- in my role as Director of Press and Media at the University of Warwick / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Earl Cameron has died at the age of 102 on Friday. His death was confirmed by his agent who said that Cameron "passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his wife and family."

Cameron was one of the first Black actors who achieved a prominent role in British film. After working in theatre, he made his film debut in Pool of London, a 1951 crime drama. He later appeared in movies such as Safari and Thunderball. Cameron also played the first black astronaut on screen in an episode of Doctor Who.

"When I arrived in London, I had no qualifications for anything. It was a period when it was almost impossible for a black person to get any kind of job," so Cameron in a 2018 interview.

Regional News • Africa
Ethiopia: Murder of musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa followed by deadly protests
Music Video Screenshot of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa
Music Video Screenshot of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa Credit: Screenshot via YouTube

Famous Oromo singer Haacaaluu Hundeessaa was shot while driving on 29 June 2020. He died at the hospital later. The singer's music helped promote freedom and rights for the Oromo ethnic group and led to the resignation of the former government. The Oromo uprising played a huge role in the coming to office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2018.

Hundeessaa death was followed by massive protests in Adama, Addis Ababa and other Ethiopian cities. At least eight people were killed and dozens injured so far. Reports say that the internet and phone service were shutdown.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Comedy legend Carl Reiner dies at 98
Actor Carl Reiner, June 26, 2012
Actor Carl Reiner, June 26, 2012 Credit: Louise Palanker (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Carl Reiner, director, producer, writer and actor who was part of Sid Caesar's team and went on to create "The Dick Van Dyke Show", direct several hit films, and star on the "Ocean's" franchise has died of natural causes. He was 98.

Filmmaker Rob Reiner, Carl's son, confirmed his father's death in a tweet Tuesday: "Last night my dad passed away. As I write this, my heart is hurting. He was my guiding light.".

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Director Joel Schumacher dies aged 80
Director Joel Schumacher at Taormina Film Fest 2003
Director Joel Schumacher at Taormina Film Fest 2003 Credit: Kasper2006

American director and filmmaker Joel Schumacher has died at age 80. According to his publicist, Schumacher lost his year-long battle with cancer early Monday morning. Schumacher directed almost two dozen movies, including The Lost Boys, St. Elmo’s Fire and two Batman movies, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Sir Ian Holm has died aged 88
Sir Ian Holm has died aged 88
Credit: CossieMoJo at English Wikipedia / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Sir Ian Holm has died aged 88 in London. The actor had starred in movies such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Alien and King Lear. In a statement, his agent said that Holm had suffered from Parkinson and that "he died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer".

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Literature
Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafón passed away aged 55
Carlos Ruiz Zafón at a book signing
Carlos Ruiz Zafón at a book signing Credit: Mutari / Public domain

Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafón has died at age 55 in his Los Angeles home. According to La Vanguardia, the bestselling novelist was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2018. Zafón wrote eight novels that were translated into over 40 languages and sold more than 38 million copies.

"We have lost one of the world’s most read and most admired Spanish writers. Carlos Ruiz Zafón, a key novelist of our epoch, made a significant contribution to modern literature," so Spanish prime minister Predo Sánchez on Twitter.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Forces' Sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn dies at age 103
Vera Lynn in 1972
Vera Lynn in 1972 Credit: Punt / Anefo / CC0 (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

Dame Vera Lynn, whose live performances of her hit songs including We'll Meet Again and The White Cliffs of Dover entertained front-line troops during the Second World War, has died at age 103.

Dame Vera, affectionately known as a Forces' Sweetheart, became the oldest artist to top the UK album chart in 2020 when We'll Meet Again was referenced by the Queen during a speech to the British public who were struggling with being separated from friends and loved ones during the lockdown imposed as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leading the tributes, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Dame Vera's "charm and magical voice entranced and uplifted our country in some of our darkest hours". Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer added that "her songs still speak to the nation in 2020 as they did in 1940".

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Art & Design
Bulgarian artist Christo has died at age 84
Wrapped Reichstag, 1995
Wrapped Reichstag, 1995 Credit: Oscar Wagenmans / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, commonly known as Christo, has died at the age of 84 of natural causes. Christo, and his partner Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, are known for massive, short-lived public artworks, such as Wrapped Reichstag, Oil Barrels and The Umbrellas.