With 2021 making its way to our rearview mirrors, we take a look back at some of the actors we lost this year.
From Helen McCrory, the matriarch of the hit-series Peaky Blinders, to Dilip Kumar, the veritable Bollywood actor, Film and TV suffered massive losses in 2021 with the passing of many remarkable actors.
Jessica Walter, prominently known for her role of “Lucille Bluth” in the cult classic sitcom ‘Arrested Development’, passed away in her sleep at her home in New York City on March 24. The EMMY award-winner actor had a flamboyant acting career spanning over 60 years. Some of her most notable works include Play Misty for Me, Grand Prix, The Flamingo Kid, 90210, and Jennifer Falls. Most recently, she lent her voice on ‘Archer’ to play Malory Archer. The actress was 80 at the time of her passing.
Born Victoria Leigh Blum, Tanya Roberts was an actor, model, and producer who rose to fame after starring as a Bond girl in the James Bond Film – A View to a Kill alongside Roger Moore and later joined the cast of the detective series Charlie’s Angels. She instantly became a fan favorite through the sensational 1998 sitcom ‘The 70s Show’ playing the lovable character of Midge Pinciotti. After a premature false death announcement by her publicist, they later confirmed the death of the 65-year-old actress on January 4 due to complications of a urinary tract infection.
Michael K. Williams
TV’s iconic crime-drama show “The Wire” was graced with the presence of Emmy-nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams. His character portrayal of Omar Little in the series will go down in history books! He earned his Emmy nomination for his performance on ‘Lovecraft Country’, ‘Bessie‘, ‘The Night Of‘ and ‘When They See Us’. Michael, 54, was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment due to heroin and cocaine overdose.
The legendary Indian TV, film, and theatre actor – Surekha Sikri dies of cardiac arrest at the age of 75 on July 16. She became a household name following the massive success of the Hindi soap opera, ‘Balika Vadhu’ where she played the role of Dadi Sa aka Kalyani Devi. The three-time National Award-winning actress has also worked in films like Badhaai Ho, Netflix’s Ghost Stories, Tamas, Mammo, Sardari Begum, Kirdaar, and Banegi Apni Baat.
The three-time Emmy-winning actor Cicely Tyson was a pioneer for black actors since the 1970s. She was also the recipient of an Oscar nomination, Tony, and SAG award, as well as an honorary Oscar in 2018, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016. She was seen in Sounder, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, The Help, How To Get Away With Murder, among others. She was 96 at the time of her passing on 28 January.
Tamil film veteran actor Vivek passed away on April 17 following a cardiac arrest. The comic actor had been struggling with heart-related issues before his unfortunate demise. Vivek made a name for himself since the 1980s and continued to be a fan favorite. His work repertoire includes Sivaji, Anniyan, Padikkathavan, Meesaya Murukku. The news poured in condolences from fans and colleagues across India, mourning the loss of one of the Tamil film industry’s greatest actors.
You may also read: In Memoriam – 2020
Legendary Bollywood film actor Dilip Kumar was a trendsetter and pioneer in acting in the Indian film industry. His career spanned over 50 years with nearly 60 films under his belt. He was best known for his remarkable roles in Mughal-e-Azam, Devdas, Kranti, Aan, and Ram Aur Shyam. Dilip Kumar died on July 7 in Mumbai aged 98 after battling prolonged age-related illness for a couple of years. Proclaimed as the “Tragedy King”, fans and fellow actors assert his demise as the year of an era.
TV, film, and Broadway actress Lisa Banes had quite the repository of roles in over 80 screens and stages. Best known for her part in the 2014 murder-mystery film ‘Gone Girl‘, Banes met an unfortunate death falling victim to a hit-and-run case. She passed away on June 4, ten days after being hospitalized. The 65-year-old actress has worked in movies and TV series such as Cocktail, Young Guns, Six Feet Under, Masters of Sex, and in plays including High Society, Arcadia, Rumors, Isn’t It Romantic? and Look Back in Anger.
A national award-winning and Kerala State Film Awards actor with over 500 films, Nedumudi Venu was a trailblazer for Malayalam films to youngsters and elderlies alike. The actor, 75, has left some memorable characters in a variety of hit Malayalam movies such as Themavin Kombath, Manichitrathazhu, North 24 Kaatham, Chithram, Vandanam, and so much more! The proficient actor breathed his last on October 11 due to stomach-related ailments.
Helen McCrory was a prestigious, BAFTA award-winning British actress who had a multi-decade career in TV, film, and theatre. She was best known for her most recent role of playing Aunt Polly, the no-bullshit matriarch of the popular series Peaky Blinders. Helen was privately battling cancer until she succumbed to the disease at the age of 52. She has worked in notable movies and series such as Harry Potter, Skyfall, Penny Dreadful, The Queen, and more! Anna Karenina, Macbeth, Pride and Prejudice, As You Like It are some of her theatric works.
Kannada movie star, playback singer, and producer Puneeth Rajkumar (more commonly recognized simply as ‘Puneeth’ and endearingly called ‘Appu’), entered the world of cinema at a young age. He earned the National Film Award for Best Child Artist and Karnataka State Award Best Child artist during his formidable days as a child artist. Puneeth’s first lead movie “Appu” was an instant hit amongst Kannadigas, followed by which he acted in 28 more hit movies such as Abhi, Veera Kannadiga, Jackie, Raajakumara, and Anjani Putra. He, unfortunately, passed away on October 29 due to a sudden cardiac arrest.