In a year dominated by heartbreaking news, the showbiz world lost a host of its most celebrated stars. Some were tragically young, others had lived a full, rewarding life – but all those who died left behind a legacy that will ensure they’re never forgotten.
The year ended on a particularly sad note with the loss of Dame Barbara Windsor, who passed away on 10 December, aged 83, after battling dementia. But prior to that, 2020 was filled with tragic tales of celebrity death – the most shocking of all being that of Caroline Flack, the host of Love Island, who died by suicide in February, aged 40.
The Enfield-born presenter had an infectious giggle and radiated a warmth that viewers loved. It was her instinctive empathy that she showed towards the Love Island contestants that made her perfect for the job. She said of the show in 2017, “It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, where you’re from, how old you are, it doesn’t matter how much experience you’ve got in life, how educated you are – emotions are all the same.”
Another unexpected loss was actor Chadwick Boseman, best known for his starring role as T’Challa/Black Panther, which made him as a role model to millions worldwide. The actor passed away at 43 after succumbing to colon cancer on 28 August. Fans were shocked to know that, incredibly, he’d filmed movies Marshall, Da Five Bloods and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom in between chemotherapy and various surgeries. Actor Denzel Washington had championed Chadwick from early in his career. He said of his friend, “He was a gentle soul and a brilliant artist, who will stay with us for eternity through his iconic performances over his short yet illustrious career.”
This was also the year that the world lost two Bond girls, Dame Diana Rigg and Honor Blackman. Dame Diana died on 10 September, aged 82, after a short battle with cancer. She played Tracy, James Bond’s wife in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service but had become popular more recently with younger fans playing Game Of Thrones’ strict matriarch Olenna Tyrell. Others will remember her as leather-clad Emma Peel in 60s TV show, The Avengers.
Classic beauty Honor Blackman died aged 94 on 5 April, and was most famous for her sultry role as Pussy Galore in the 1964 Bond film Goldfinger. And then, of course, there was the original James Bond himself, Sean Connery, who died at home in the Bahamas on 31 October, aged 90.
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