The COVID-19 pandemic, a global health crisis that affected millions worldwide, sadly claimed the lives of several public figures. It was an unprecedented and challenging period in the history of humankind, as an invisible microorganism ceased countless lives across the globe. From commoners to admired celebrities, the deadly virus infected humans, spreading calamity and devastation. People who left us during the COVID-19 pandemic left an everlasting emptiness in the hearts of their followers, intensifying the agony and wretchedness. In this piece, we want to remember and honor some of those public figures who lost their lives to COVID-19, appreciating the good things they did and the memories they have left for us. Here is a list of prominent personalities who departed from life, losing their precious lives due to the Coronavirus.
- Adam Schlesinger
- Alan Merrill
- Allen Daviau
- Alvin Ing
- Andrew Jack
- Barbara Shelley
- Brad Johnson
- Bruce Williamson
- Charley Pride
- Colin Powell
- Dawn Wells
- Ellis Marsalis
- Hal Willner
- Jay Benedict
- Julie Bennett
- Joe Diffie
- Ken Shimura
- Kenzo Takada
- Lee Fierro
- Trini Lopez
- Matthew Seligman
- Terrence McNally
- Tommy DeVito
- Mark Blum
- Nick Cordero
- Wallace Roney
Adam Schlesinger, an American record producer, songwriter, composer, and founding member of top-notch bands such as Tinted Windows, Fountains of Wayne, and Ivy, died of complications from Corona during the COVID-19 pandemic on April 1, 2020, at the age of 52.
Alan Merrill, an American songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist who successfully received pop star status in Japan in the 1970s, passed away on March 29, 2020, as COVID-19 prevented him from escaping.
Allen Daviau, an American cinematographer who collaborated with Steven Spielberg on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in 1982, The Color Purple in 1985, and The Umpire of the Sun in 1987, is now a part of history. Unfortunately, he passed away on April 15, 2020, due to Coronavirus complications.
Alvin Ing, an American actor and singer whose life revolved around television, movies, musical theater, and cabaret acts, died of COVID-19 on July 31, 2021, at the age of 89.
Andrew Jack, a British actor, dialect coach, and Major Ematt of the Star Wars franchise, passed away due to complications caused by the Coronavirus on March 31, 2020, at 76. He graced our screens, working on over eighty motion pictures.
Barbara Shelley, a versatile British television and film actress who enthralled audiences with her performances in over a hundred television series and movies, passed away on January 3, 2021, after contracting COVID-19 at the age of 88.
Brad Johnson, a heartthrob American model, actor, and realtor, died on February 18, 2022. The 62-year-old superstar, best known as Marlboro Man, surrendered to the Coronavirus, leaving many sorrowful.
Bruce Williamson, an American R&B singer and one-time lead singer of The Temptations, passed away battling COVID-19. He was 49 when the Coronavirus claimed his life on September 6, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Charley Pride, or Charley Frank Pride, an award-winning American guitarist, singer, and professional basketball player, succumbed to COVID-19 on December 12, 2020, at 86. Sadly, his baritone voice will never be heard live again.
Colin Powell, an American diplomat, politician, statesman, and United States Army officer, passed away due to complications of COVID-19 on October 18, 2021, at 84. Hailing from Jamaican lineage, he served as the 65th United States Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005.
Dawn Wells, an American actress who honored our screens by giving the best performance in the sitcom Gilligan’s Island, left her fans mourning on December 30, 2020. Sadly, the Coronavirus claimed the life of a charming artist at the age of 82.
Ellis Marsalis, or Ellis Louis Marsalis Jr., an American educator and jazz pianist, dropped almost twenty albums. His name is also written in history records, encouraging his students to learn from history, as he succumbed to pneumonia brought on by COVID-19 at the age of 85. On April 1, 2020, he found eternal peace when his soul left his body to reside in heaven.
Hal Willner, an American music producer and the supervisor of Saturday Night Live music, could not survive after getting the Coronavirus, and eventually left everyone dejected on April 7, 2020, at the age of 64.
Jay Benedict, an American actor who preferred spending most of his life in the United Kingdom and was a frequent cast member of American characters in British films and television shows, took his last breath in London on April 4, 2020. He got the Coronavirus, which claimed his life at the age of 68.
Julie Bennett, a veteran American voice and character actress, embraced death due to COVID-19 on March 31, 2020, at the age of 88. She is well-known for voicing Cindy Bear on The Yogi Bear Show and Aunt May Parker in the 1995 animated television series Spider-Man.
Joe Diffie, an American songwriter and country singer whose five solos out of 35 secured the number-one position on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, bid a final farewell to all his devotees on March 29, 2020. As COVID claimed the lives of many luminaries, Joe Diffie also became the victim of the deadly virus at the age of 61.
Yasunori Shimura, who is professionally known as Ken Shimura, was a Japanese comedian and expert at making people erupt into laughter. Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he got infected with the Coronavirus and eventually passed away on March 29, 2020, at the age of 70.
Kenzo Takada was a Japanese fashion designer and the founder of the luxury clothing brand “Kenzo.” His brand also has a wide range of skincare products and perfumes. Giving up on the Coronavirus, he took his last breath in France on October 4, 2020, at 81.
Lee Fierro, a legendary American theater promoter and actress who received worldwide recognition for portraying Mrs. Kintner in the classic film Jaws, departed from life on April 5, 2020, after fighting the Coronavirus. She was 91 at the time of her passing in Aurora, Ohio, United States of America.
Trini Lopez, an American actor, guitarist, and singer whose first album was a cover version of Peter Seeger’s “If I Had a Hammer,” embraced death after contracting the Coronavirus on August 11, 2020, at the age of 83.
Matthew Seligman was a renowned English bassist in the music industry. Other than being associated with the 1980s new wave music scene, he was a member of The Thompson Twins and Soft Boys. He died of COVID-19 on April 17, 2020, at the age of 64.
Terrence McNally, an American liberalist, playwright, and screenwriter regarded as one of the greatest contemporary playwrights the theater has ever produced, died from the complications of COVID-19 on March 24, 2020, at 81. He was a bard of American theater who received five Tony Awards along with worldwide acclaim.
Tommy DeVito, an American musician and the key founder of the rock band “The Four Seasons,” passed away during the COVID-19 pandemic on September 21, 2020, at the age of 92.
Mark Blum, an accomplished American film, television, and theater actor who perfectly captivated viewers in the 1985 movie Desperately Seeking Sun, passed away on March 25, 2020, due to complications associated with the Coronavirus at 69.
41-year-old Broadway actor and singer Nicholas Eduardo Alberto Cordero, who goes by the name of Nick Cordero in the entertainment industry, said a final goodbye on July 5, 2020, after being admitted to the hospital for over 90 days. He was initially diagnosed with pneumonia, but later, it was confirmed that he suffered from the Coronavirus.
Wallace Roney, a Grammy-award-winning American jazz trumpeter who was a student of Miles Davis, Clark Terry, and Dizzy Gillespie, died on March 31, 2020. Aggravated complications from COVID-19 took his breath away at the age of 59.