2020 needs to go away. Now. It just needs to stop. From the potential of World War III breaking out in January to the 2020 Presidential Election to, well, the global pandemic that’s still going on, it’s enough to make you want to crawl in a hole and stay there. On top of everything else, there have been celebrity deaths as well. Oh boy, some of these are brutal to fans and the industry alike.
As 2020 continues to just be the worst, here are some of the celebrity deaths that have hit the hardest over the year. Every death is a tragedy, of course. Every life should be celebrated and honored.
Something about these deaths though? It just seemed to hit the entertainment world like a wrecking ball.
The most recent celebrity death of 2020, Chadwick Boseman’s death hits particularly hard because no one saw it coming. Boseman died on Friday, Aug. 28 at the age of 43 after a years-long battle with advanced-stage colon cancer. The thing is? No one even knew that he was ill. He filmed all of his Marvel roles while fighting for his life on top of the other work he was doing as well.
Even though his death is nothing short of a tragedy, Boseman did so much good on his short time on Earth. Under his nuanced work for the role as T’Challa in Black Panther, Boseman proved to Hollywood and the world that diversity in films is so important.
In the end, Boseman left a Hollywood legacy to truly be proud of. Even if it hurts knowing that he could have also done so much more.
Naya Rivera, best known for her role as Santana Lopez on Glee, was another shocking and senseless celebrity death that took place in 2020. While out on Lake Piru with her young son, Rivera tragically drowned in what authorities have called an accident. With the last of her strength, she was able to get her son onto their rented boat, where he was found hours later.
The cast of Glee along with Rivera’s family continue to mourn the sudden and tragic loss of the actress. Recently, Amber Riley performed a tribute in honor of her fallen friend and co-star. Others remember Rivera as a genuine talent and warm person who they will miss.
Regis Philbin died from natural causes at the age of 88. Most of his best-known work comes from his years as a talk show host on shows like Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee and Live! With Regis and Kelly along with his hosting duties on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Philbin was known for being a good friend, father, and worker along with being a really great interviewer.
Philbin’s family released a statement after his death: “His family and friends are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with him – for his warmth, his legendary sense of humor, and his singular ability to make every day into something worth talking about.”
Grant Imahara, best known for his work on Mythbusters and The White Rabbit Project, died at the age of 49 from a brain aneurysm. Imahara was a roboticist and electrical engineer that had also worked for Lucasfilm’s THX and Industrial Light and Magic divisions in addition to his television work.
Imahara worked closely with Tory Belleci and Kari Byron over the course of his television career. The three of them composed the “Build Team” during the original Mythbusters run. Belleci wrote in Variety about Imhara “was generous with his time, knowledge and skills and because of that he has left a huge void in this world both to his friends and family and to his fans.”
Broadway was rocked by the death of Nick Cordero in July following a months long battle with COVID-19. Cordero, best-known for his work in Bullets Over Broadway and Waitress, succumbed to complications from COVID-19 after 95 days. During his time battling the disease, Cordero’s right leg had to be amputated amongst other issues that arose.
Currently, there’s an effort to rename the Longacre Theatre in Manhattan after the diseased Broadway star. His wife, Amanda Kloots wrote on her Instagram: “My darling husband passed away this morning. He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth.”
In Jan. 2020, Bryant along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others died in a tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, CA. The cause of the crash remains unclear due to the lack of a cockpit voice recorder or a flight data recorder. Conditions, however, were described as “foggy”, but no clear cause has been officially named.
Bryant, known for prodigious basketball talent throughout the world, was heavily mourned with memorials across other sports and industries arising in the aftermath of his death. Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, wrote on what would have been his 42nd birthday: “I wish you and Gigi were here to celebrate YOU! I wish I could make you your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi.”