SSR, Irrfan Khan, Soumitra, Sean Connery & Chadwick Boseman: Celebrities We Lost In 2020
The Final Adieu
2020 was also a year of loss as we lost many talented personalities from the world of showbiz across the world.
From Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput's shocking suicide to Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor both succumbing to cancer and passing away within hours of each other, this year of the pandemic has snatched many icons.
It was also the year when the deadly novel coronavirus claimed the lives of singer SP Balasubramaniam, Bengali thespian Soumitra Chatterjee, and music composer Wajid Khan among others.
The world mourned collectively as international personalities including Kobe Bryant, Diego Maradona, Kirk Douglas and Sean Connery passed away.
Here is a look at all the influential figures we lost this year.
After announcing his neuroendocrine tumour diagnosis in March 2018, Khan sought treatment abroad and returned to India in February 2019. He died due to colon infection in Mumbai after a two-year-long battle.
Tributes poured in on social media for the character-actor who had established his presence internationally as well with some fine acting. Khan was known for bringing to life his roles in 'Hindi Medium', 'Life In A Metro', 'Maqbool', 'Life Of Pi', among others.
Three months after her demise, 67-year-old Rishi Kapoor succumbed to cancer on April 30. The actor had been diagnosed with cancer for the first time in 2018.A year of treatment followed in New York where his wife Neetu Singh kept him company. Many friends from the film industry including the Ambanis inquired after the actor’s health when they visited the US.
Kapoor, who shot to fame with his debut film 'Bobby' opposite Dimple Kapadia, went on to star in many romantic films for three decades till the ‘90s.
Sushant Singh Rajput
Before the Narcotics Control Bureau's arrest in procuring drugs for the late actor, girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty had confirmed to the police and the Central Bureau of Investigation - which was probing the case as well - that the two were planning to tie the knot in November this year.
The late actor had become a household name after his debut in Ekta Kapoor's TV show, 'Pavitra Rishta', in 2009. In 2013, he made his big screen debut with 'Kai Po Che!'. He was later seen in 'Shuddh Desi Romance', 'M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story', 'Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!', 'Drive', 'Kedarnath', and 'Chhichhore'. A month after his death, his last film 'Dil Bechara' made a digital debut on Disney+ Hotstar on July 24.
Boseman was well-known for his powerful performance in Marvel's blockbuster movie franchise 'Black Panther' as the lead character, King T'Challa. He filmed for several films like 'Marshall', 'Da 5 Bloods', 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom', among many others, during and between surgeries and chemotherapy sessions. His final film based on August Wilson's play is available on Netflix.
SP Balasubramaniam and Soumitra Chatterjee
The famous playback singer, fondly known as SPB or Balu in the industry, died on September 25 in Chennai. He was put on life support after contracting severe Covid-19 pneumonia on August 14. The Padma awardee had recorded over 40,000 songs in 16 languages over a period of five decades.
Chatterjee, a legend in Bengali cinema, died at the age of 85 on November 15 after battling Covid-19 encephalopathy. The ‘Apur Sansar’ actor had tested corona-positive on October 5, and tested negative on October 14. The Dadasaheb Phalke winner was in the ICU for almost 40 days, and his health continued to be a matter of concern due to his co-morbidities and advanced age. With more than 200 movies to his name, he was known for being a constant in many Satyajit Ray films.
Kirk Douglas, Sean Connery, Diana Rigg and Dave Prowse
At 103, Douglas passed away on February 5 due to natural causes at his California home. He starred in about 90 films and TV series over 60 years. He was known for his marvellous performances of a sword-swinging gladiator in 'Spartacus', a tortured artist Vincent van Gogh in 'Lust for Life', a pugilist Midge Kelly in 'Champion', and many other characters in various films.
Connery died at 90 on October 31 in his sleep from heart failure, pneumonia and other age-related ailments. With an acting career spanning nearly five decades, the charismatic actor rose to global stardom with his memorable performance of the secret agent, James Bond, in 1962 with 'Dr. No'. He also played the lead in the 007 series - 'From Russia With Love' (1963), 'Goldfinger' (1964), 'Thunderball' (1965), 'You Only Live Twice' (1967), 'Diamonds Are Forever' (1971) and 'Never Say Never Again' (1983).
Diana Rigg, 82, known for her role of Olenna Tyrell in the 'Game of Thrones' died in September after a brief battle with lung cancer. Dave Prowse, known for his remarkable role as Darth Vader from the 'Star Wars' trilogy, passed away on November 28 after a short illness. He was 85.
Pandit Jasraj and Wajid Khan
Legendary classical vocalist Pandit Jasraj passed away in the US at the age of 90 on August 17 due to cardiac arrest. With a career spanning 80 years, the Padma Vibhushan awardee's oeuvre ranged from the world stage to Indian film music. Born in 1930 in Haryana, the celebrated classical singer presented the Mewati Gharana to the global music connoisseur.
Wajid Khan of the popular composer duo Sajid-Wajid died on June 1 at the age of 42. The composer died due to coronavirus complications that led to kidney issues. The sibling duo are best known for their songs in the Salman Khan-starrer 'Dabangg' films.
Nishikant Kamat and Basu Chatterjee
Nishikant Kamat lost his two-year-long battle with liver cirrhosis on August 17 at 50 in Hyderabad. The film-maker had directed Bollywood films like the Ajay Devgn-Tabu-starrer 'Drishyam', 'Madaari' featuring Irrfan Khan, and the John Abraham movies 'Force' and 'Rocky Handsome', among others. His Marathi directorials - 'Dombivali Fast' and 'Lai Bhaari' - won critical and commercial success breaching language barriers.
Legendary film-maker Basu Chatterjee passed away at 93 owing to age-related ailments on June 4. He is among those who made the common man a hero in Hindi commercial cinema. He is best known for films like 'Rajnigandha', 'Chitchor', 'Khatta Meetha', 'Priyatama', 'Shaukeen' and 'Chameli Ki Shaadi' that highlighted the middle-class existence. His last directorial was the 1997 film, 'Gudgudee'.
Alison Lurie and John le Carré
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alison Lurie passed away on December 3 at the age of 94, leaving behind a rich legacy. The professor emerita at Cornell University died of natural causes. Her satirical take on love, relationships and academia include 'The War Between the Tates' and 'Foreign Affairs'.
British author John le Carré, who gave a new meaning to the world of spies, passed away at the age of 89 on December 12 following a short illness. The master spy novelist's real name was David Cornwell, and he brought to life fascinating tales of espionage and intrigue.
(Image: Cornell University & Getty Images)
Wendell Rodricks and Kenzo Takada
On October 4 after the pandemic hit the world, another international fashion designer Kenzo Takada passed away due to coronavirus complications. The iconic French-Japanese designer was known for his jungle-themed designs and free-spirited aesthetic, channelling global travel.
(Image: BCCL & Getty Images)
PK Banerjee and Diego Maradona
Banerjee, who passed away on March 20, was one of the first players to receive the Arjuna Award in 1961 for football. He had played for India in 45 matches. He also captained the national team and later on became the coach of the national team.
The 60-year-old Maradona died on November 25 due to a heart attack a few days after being hospitalised for depression. The soccer great scored the 'Hand of God' goal in 1986 and led Argentina to that year's World Cup title. He also had a history of struggling with cocaine use and obesity.
Akbar Padamsee and Mohan Sona
Few months later, another noted artist, Mohan Sona, also passed away at 64 after prolonged liver ailment. The dramatist, who became popular after opening an open art gallery 'Bayalu Chitralaya' at Sonangeri in Sullia, had been ill for some time.
Asif Basra, Sejal Sharma and Sameer Sharma
Another suicide news that rocked the TV industry was the death of actor Sameer Sharma of 'Kahani Ghar Ghar Kii'. The actor was found hanging at his Mumbai home in early-August. While no suicide note was recovered from his apartment, it was suspected that he was going through mental health-related problems.
TV actress Sejal Sharma of 'Dil Toh Happy Hai Ji' fame was also found hanging at her Mira Road apartment on January 25. The late 28-year-old actress had left behind a suicide note, in which she had said, "I can’t take pressure of this hard life". Later various reports suggested that she wasn't suffering from depression and the letter, written in a hurry, wasn't legible.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ashiesh Roy, Faraaz Khan and Sachin Kumar
Almost a month after his hospitalisation due to chest infection and multiple seizures, actor Faraaz Khan passed away on Nov 4 in Mumbai at the age of 46. He was diagnosed with herpes infection in his brain that had spread from his chest.
TV actor Sachin Kumar, of 'Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii' fame, passed away after suffering a heart attack on May 15. He was a maternal cousin of Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar.