Saying goodbye is never easy, especially when it comes to icons and stars fans have grown to love. A number of such celebrities passed away in 2020 including Kobe Bryant, Chadwick Boseman and Naya Rivera.
Bryant passed away in a helicopter crash on January 26 in Calabasas, California, alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others. He was 41. The aircraft was en route to the former Los Angeles Lakers player’s Mamba Academy for a basketball practice near Thousand Oaks, California. He is survived by his wife, Vanessa Bryant, and their three other daughters, Natalia, Bianka and Capri. Us Weekly confirmed in February that Kobe and Gianna were laid to rest in a private service in Corona Del Mar, California.
Rivera was pronounced dead at age 33 in July after she took her 4-year-old son, Josey — whom she shared with her ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey — out on a boat at Lake Piru in California. The Glee star was at first declared a missing person on July 8 when her son was found alone on the boat. Officials later announced that she was presumed dead, and her body was recovered five days later.
“It is believed that Naya and her son were swimming in the lake near the boat, and as they were getting back into the boat, her son made it into the boat and Naya went underwater and did not resurface,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement to Us at the time.
Later that month, Regis Philbin died on July 24 at the age of 88 of natural causes. “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,” his family said in a statement to Us about the former Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee cohost’s passing. “We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss.”
Boseman, for his part, died on August 28 at age 43 following a secret four-year battle with colon cancer.
“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman,” the Black Panther star’s family wrote in an announcement. “Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016 and battled with it these last four years as it progressed to stage IV. A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson‘s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side.”
Scroll down to see Us Weekly’s tribute to the celebrities who died in 2020.