A Look Back At The Celebrities Who Died In 2021

Remembering some of the people in the public eye who died this year.

2021 was a mix of ups and downs: leaving the house and then staying inside again, vaccines and variants. The year took a lot from us, as the pandemic continued and the number of people who died from COVID in the US alone surpassed 800,000 in December. Among those who have died in the past 12 months were some well-known figures, including Virgil Abloh and Michael K. Williams.

Here's a look back at just a few of those in the public eye who died this year.

Virgil Abloh, designer and artistic director, 41

Virgil Abloh in a hat and plaid shorts

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, 99

Prince Philip smiling in a suit and tie

Betty White, the actor who rose to fame on the Golden Girls, 99

Willie Garson, actor, 57

Willie Garson in a suit in front of a wall that reads the Elton John AIDS foundation

Norm MacDonald, comedian and actor, 61

Norm Macdonald at a microphone in a leather jacket

Michael K. Williams, actor, 54

Michael K Williams on a plain background looking at the camera in a turtleneck

Christopher Plummer, actor, 91

Christopher Plummer in a tuxedo looking past a mirror backstage at a broadway show

Biz Markie, rapper, actor, and record producer, 57

Biz Markie on a street with two chains making a face for the camera

Robert Downey Sr., actor, 85

Robert Downey Sr in a suit looking at the camera

Clarence Williams III, actor, 81

Clarence Williams, Peggy Lipton, and a third actor on a paisley background

Alber Elbaz, fashion designer, 59

Alber Elbaz walks on a runway under a giant light-up Lanvin sign

Cloris Leachman, actor and comedian, 94

Cloris Leachman in a large necklace on a red carpet

DMX, rapper, 50

DMX performs on stage, crossing his arms over his head and holding a microphone

Jessica Walter, actor, 80

Jessica Walter in a paisley dress leaning out of a bus

Rush Limbaugh, conservative radio talk show host, 70

Rush Limbaugh in front of a photo of himself gesturing and with his mouth open in front of a microphone

Janet Malcolm, writer and journalist, 86

janet malcolm in a suit carrying a scarf on a street

Dustin Diamond, actor, 44

Dustin Diamond in a black suit with a goatee looking past the camera

Sophie, musician and activist, 34

Sophie in a pink haze on stage performing

Cicely Tyson, actor, 96

Cicely Tyson in cornrows and a turtleneck smiling at the camera

Larry King, journalist and television host, 87

Larry King at his desk holding a piece of paper and talking into his microphone

Joan Didion, writer, 87

Joan Didion in a robe sitting at a table with her hands pressed together

Phil Spector, pop producer jailed for murder, 81

Phil Spector in between two lawyers in court looks at the camera

Hank Aaron, professional baseball player and activist, 86

Hank Aaron in his Braves 44 jersey with a glove under one arm

Beverly Cleary, writer, 104

Beverly Cleary on a couch resting her head on her hands

Colin Powell, politician and Army officer, 84

Colin Powell in uniform testifying in congress in front of a microphone

bell hooks, author, professor, and activist, 69

bell hooks seated and looking at the camera

Stephen Sondheim, composer and songwriter, 91

Elizabeth Taylor singing while looking at music with Stephen Sondheim next to her

Eric Carle, children's book author and illustrator, 91

Eric Carle with a paintbrush and paint with someone holding up a framed illustration behind him