Gone Too Soon: Stars We Lost in 2020

10 Min Read

W R A P  U P — Y E A R  E N D

Adrita Zaima, Shammi Syera, Tasnia Shahrin

Then again, that’s the hero gig, part of the journey is the end.”

Iron Man, Avengers: Endgame

Saying goodbye is one of the most painful acts, especially when it comes to popular figures and stars whom we fans have grown to love. While 2020 was all about the pandemic and quarantine, it has also been a year in which we lost many such celebrities across the world.


On 11 January, Mosharraf Karim, a Bangladeshi writer and journalist who also won the Bangla Academy Literary Award in 2003 for his contribution to juvenile literature passed away at a private hospital in Mymensingh at the age of 74.

Some of his popular works were Choraguhar Rohosyo, Voyongkor Chheledhora, Nijhumpurer Porobari, Kokakaka, etc


On 6 February, Arati Das, known professionally as Miss Shefali, passed away.

She was an Indian-Bangali actress and dancer who was recognised for her work in Bangali cinema. She had worked with legendary film director Satyajit Ray in classics like Pratidwandi and Seemabaddha. She is known as the Queen of Cabaret.


On 11 February, the world lost David Clewell. He was an American poet and served as the Poet Laureate of Missouri.

He won the Lavan Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets and a Lifetime Achievement in the Arts from the Webster Groves (MO) Arts Commission in 2017.


M Shamsur Rahman, a Bangladeshi writer and the first vice-chancellor of Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, died at Apollo Hospital in Dhaka on 16 February at the age of 80.

He contributed to the literary world of Bangladesh by writing several books on public administration and political science.


Kobe Bryant, often considered to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time, and his daughter, Giana Bryant, passed away on 26 January in a helicopter crash.

An inspiration to aspiring basketball players all over the world, the 18-time NBA All-star Lakers player left behind a legacy that is likely to live on for generations to come. 


On 20 March, the country singing legend Kenny Rogers passed away at the age of 81.

He enjoyed exceptional success through his six decade-long career and has had 24 No. 1 hits, including the classics The Gambler, Lady, and Lucille.


Albert Udezro, the French cartoonist, best known for the illustrious comic series Asterix, died on 24 March.

Comic characters come and go, but some live for generations. Albert Udezro’s Asterix is among those few.


30 March saw the passing of the American Hall of Fame singer-songwriter Bill Withers.

A heart disease resulted in the passing of this world-renowned artist, perhaps best known for his works on Lean On Me, Ain’t No Sunshine, and Lovely Day. 


On 29 April, the Indian actor Irrfan Khan died after battling a neuroendocrine tumour for two long years.

His awe-inspiring acting in movies such as Life of Pi, Piku, Lunchbox, and Jurassic World have not only succeeded in bringing him international fame and recognition, but have also resulted in him being revered as one of the best Indian actors of all time. 


Well-known and respected Indian actor, Rishi Kapoor, passed away on 30 April.

Films such as Mulk, Do Dooni Char, and Chandi established Rishi Kapoor, in the hearts of millions of Indians and fans all over the world as a timeless star.


Loss marred the anime community as Keiji Fujiwara, one of the best known voice actors in the anime industry, passed away on 12 April.

Otakus are likely to recognise him from his immense repertoire, which includes voicing in Crayon Shin-chan, Fullmetal Alchemist, Kingdom Hearts, Hunter×Hunter, Blue Exorcist, and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures, among countless others.


The whole of South-East Asia mourned the death of Sushant Singh Rajput on 14 June.

Because this Indian actor, who starred in multiple hit films, such as M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, Kedarnath, Chhichhore, and more, was gone too soon in a mysterious suicide case at the age of 34.


The two-time Oscar-winning actress Olivia de Havilland passed away on 25 July. This Gone With the Wind star was not only one of the most glamorous stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, but also happened to be the oldest living Oscar-winning actors to be alive, before her death at the age of 104.

Her death marks the passing of one of the last stars of the classic films that laid the foundation for modern day Hollywood.


American actress, singer, and model, Naya Rivera died on 8 July. An icon who starred in numerous illustrious shows such as Glee and Devious Maids, Naya Rivera also established herself as a successful vocalist and won two Grammy awards.

The song Don’t Stop Believin’ that she did along with the Glee cast is, undoubtedly, going to be remembered fondly for years to come.


The popular American electrical engineer, roboticist, television host, and actor Grant Imahara passed away on 13 July.

Best known for his work on the MythBusters television series, he also had an amazing career working as a technician in films such as Jurassic Park, Terminator, and Star Wars. He also created Baby Yoda for the Star Wars prequel.


The American actor Chadwick Boseman passed away on 28 August from colon cancer. The charismatic actor won all our hearts after playing Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Chadwick Boseman and his portrayal of Black Panther extends far beyond the limits of just a superhero movie franchise. He lives on as an icon of Black pride as the Black community continues to fight against racism and injustice.

“In my culture, death is not the end. It’s more of a stepping off point. You reach out with both hands and Bast and Sekhmet, they lead you into the green veld where… you can run forever.”

– T’Challa, Captain America: Civil War


Shirley Ann Grau, a writer whose atmospheric, richly detailed works explored issues of race, gender, and power died on 3 August.

In six novels and dozens of short stories, Grau examined the racial prejudice of White Southerners and the limited opportunities traditionally afforded to women, most notably in the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Keepers of the House.


Ken Spears, the co-creator of the beloved animated series Scooby Doo, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Superman died on 6 November.

Ken will forever be remembered for his wit, story-telling, and humour, which touched the lives of countless children worldwide.


The Argentine football legend Diego Maradona passed away on 25 November. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, he was dubbed as The Golden Boy throughout his career and even after.

Maradona’s legacy is such that his name is reverently passed around in households all around the globe, even in those that don’t have football fans.


On 27 November, Aly Zaker — a Bangladeshi actor, businessman, director, and writer — died. Zaker served as a freedom fighter during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War and, in 1999, was awarded the prestigious Ekushey Padak award.

Some of the movies that resulted in his nationwide fame include Nodir Naam Modhumoti and Agami, as well as television dramas such as Bohubrihi and Aj Robibar.


The writers belong to TDA Editorial Team. 


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