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    SSR, Irrfan Khan, Soumitra, Sean Connery & Chadwick Boseman: Celebrities We Lost In 2020

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    The Final Adieu
    1/22

    The Final Adieu

    The year 2020 has been an unprecedented one. A global pandemic forced humanity into lockdown, bringing in its wake much uncertainty, fear and gloom.


    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.

    Kobe Bryant
    2/22

    Kobe Bryant

    2020 began on a tragic note with the death of 41-year-old Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, after a helicopter crash on January 26. The world mourned the passing of the 18-time NBA All-Star, who had won five championships, and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during his two-decade-long career with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant Jr was following in her father's footsteps and wanted to be in the Women's National Basketball Association.

    Agencies
    Irrfan Khan
    3/22

    Irrfan Khan

    Irrfan Khan's demise on April 29 left cinema fans - across India, Japan, US and other parts of the world - devastated. The ‘Maqbool’ and ‘The Namesake’ actor was 54 years of age at the time of his demise.

    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.

    Rishi Kapoor
    4/22

    Rishi Kapoor

    2020 started on a sad note for the Kapoors. In January, Ritu Nanda, the daughter of Raj Kapoor, and actor Rishi Kapoor's sister, passed away after battling cancer for a long time. She was 71.

    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
    5/22

    Sushant Singh Rajput

    June 14 marked the death of popular Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput. . The 34-year-old actor was found hanging in his Bandra apartment. His unnatural death resulted in a probe which had to be constituted following a legal complaint by his father.

    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.

    Chadwick Boseman
    6/22

    Chadwick Boseman

    Chadwick Boseman, who kept his colon cancer diagnosis a secret from all his fans, passed away at the age of 43 on August 28. The actor was diagnosed with stage-3 colon cancer four years ago, and fought bravely till the very end.

    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.

    Getty Images
    SP Balasubramaniam and Soumitra Chatterjee
    7/22

    SP Balasubramaniam and Soumitra Chatterjee

    Coronavirus claimed two stalwarts of Indian cinema - singer SP Balasubramaniam and actor Soumitra Chatterjee both passed away after a protracted battle with Covid-19..

    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
    8/22

    Kirk Douglas, Sean Connery, Diana Rigg and Dave Prowse

    2020 was also the year when Hollywood lost a few of its legends. (From top left, clockwise) Kirk Douglas, Sean Connery, Dave Prowse and Diana Rigg were some of the stars we lost.

    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.

    Getty Images
    Saroj Khan
    9/22

    Saroj Khan

    Saroj Khan, who won people's hearts with her brilliant dance lessons on TV, passed away on July 2 at the age of 71 after suffering a cardiac arrest. The ace choreographer had difficulty in breathing, following which she was immediately hospitalised in Mumbai. Fondly called Masterji in Bollywood, she had choreographed over 2000 songs spanning over three-and-a-half decades. She started out in the early '70s and went on to direct dance sequences for Sridevi in 'Nagina'. Madhuri Dixit's famous dance numbers in 'Tezaab' and ‘Beta’ were also conceptualised by her..

    Pandit Jasraj and Wajid Khan
    10/22

    Pandit Jasraj and Wajid Khan

    The music world in India lost its rhythm this year with the death of 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.

    Agencies
    Nishikant Kamat and Basu Chatterjee
    11/22

    Nishikant Kamat and Basu Chatterjee

    This year also saw the curtain fall on remarkable movie-makers who have been winning our hearts for years.

    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'.

    Kapil Sekhri
    12/22

    Kapil Sekhri

    Kapil Sekhri, known as one of the greatest Indian winemakers, passed away on October 10 due to a cardiac arrest after a family celebration on his son’s 18th birthday. The Fratelli Wines co-founder and director went for an evening run after the party and was spotted motionless by the house-help.

    Bejan Daruwalla
    13/22

    Bejan Daruwalla

    On May 29, famous astrologer, Bejan Daruwalla, succumbed to lung infection in Ahmedabad. The 89-year-old was hospitalised a week before his demise following complaints of breathlessness. Daruwalla was suffering from pneumonia, and the oxygen level in his body had dipped.

    Alison Lurie and John le Carré
    14/22

    Alison Lurie and John le Carré

    The literary world also experienced great loss.

    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)

    Agencies
    Wendell Rodricks and Kenzo Takada
    15/22

    Wendell Rodricks and Kenzo Takada

    The Indian fashion world plunged into gloom when Wendell Rodricks passed away at his Goa residence on 12 February. A close friend had revealed that the 59-year-old died due to heart failure during an afternoon nap. The Padma Shri awardee was a known author, environmentalist and gay rights activist.

    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)

    Agencies
    PK Banerjee and Diego Maradona
    16/22

    PK Banerjee and Diego Maradona

    It was a depressing year for football lovers as they lost two amazing players 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
    17/22

    Akbar Padamsee and Mohan Sona

    Akbar Padamsee, known as the modernist painter, passed away on January 6 at 91 due to prolonged illness. After years of controversy and maintaining a low-profile, the prices of his artwork in the last 10 years saw a huge spike, and went on to become one of the most-preferred assets among art lovers.

    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
    18/22

    Asif Basra, Sejal Sharma and Sameer Sharma

    Actor Asif Basra, known for his performance in 'Black Friday', 'Jab We Met' and 'Kai Po Che', allegedly died by suicide on November 12 at his rented residence in Dharamsala. The actor had been living in the Himachal Pradesh town for nearly four years.

    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
    19/22

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    The U.S. Supreme Court (SC) justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, succumbed to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer at the age of 87 on September 18. The second woman to serve the U.S. SC and a women's rights advocate, she developed a cult-like following over her more than 27 years on the bench, especially among young women who appreciated her lifelong, fierce defence of women's rights. Many Indian celebrities including Kareena Kapoor-Khan mourned her demise on social media.

    (Image: AP)

    Agencies
    Naya Rivera
    20/22

    Naya Rivera

    In a shocking incident, 'Glee' star Naya Rivera died of accidental drowning at the age of 33 on July 8. The actor was missing for days before her body was found. She died during a boating excursion on Lake Piru near her LA home with her 4-year-old son, who was later spotted sleeping alone on the drifting boat, and rescued.

    Getty Images
    Jagdeep
    21/22

    Jagdeep

    Veteran Bollywood comedian Jagdeep passed away in Mumbai on July 8 due to age-related health problems at the age of 81. He acted in over 400 films, and was best known for his role of Soorma Bhopali in Ramesh Sippy's 1975 blockbuster 'Sholay'. He also played the role of Salman Khan's father in Rajkumar Santoshi's comedy 'Andaaz Apna Apna' (1994). His last-released film was 'Masti Nahi Sasti' in 2017, alongside Kader Khan, Shakti Kapoor, Johnny Lever and Prem Chopra.

    Ashiesh Roy, Faraaz Khan and Sachin Kumar
    22/22

    Ashiesh Roy, Faraaz Khan and Sachin Kumar

    TV actor Ashiesh Roy of 'Sasural Simar Ka' fame passed away of kidney failure at 54 on November 24. The actor faced financial troubles in May and had asked for help on social media to raise money for his dialysis.

    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.

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