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Celebrities we lost in 2021

CLEVELAND (WJW)– As 2021 comes to an end, we’re looking back on the actors, athletes and artists who passed away this year.

Hank Aaron

The baseball great and one-time home run king died on Jan. 22, 2021 at the age of 86. “Hammerin’ Hank” set a wide array of career hitting records during his 23-year career spent mostly with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves.

Milwaukee Braves outfielder Hank Aaron (44) poses during spring training in March 1965. ( – Photo)

Virgil Abloh

Designer Virgil Abloh, a leading fashion executive hailed as the Karl Lagerfeld of his generation, died after a private battle with cancer on Nov. 28, 2021. He was 41.

Designer Virgil Abloh walks backstage prior to his Off-White ready to wear Fall-Winter 2019-2020 collection, that was presented in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. Abloh, a leading fashion executive hailed as the Karl Lagerfeld of his generation, has died after a private battle with cancer. He was 41. Abloh’s death was announced Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021 by LVMH Louis Vuitton and the Off White label, the brand he founded. ( – Photo/Thibault Camus, File )

Ed Asner

Ed Asner died on Aug. 29, 2021 at the age of 91. He won three Emmys as Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” He had more than 300 acting credits and remained active throughout his 70s and 80s in a variety of film and TV roles.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – MAY 04: Presenter and Actor Ed Asner speaks on stage at the 17th Annual Golden Trailer Awards on May 04, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for The Golden Trailer Awards)

Ned Beatty

Ned Beatty died peacefully in his Los Angeles home on June 13, 2021 at 83. Beatty acted in several feature films and hit TV shows. However, he was most known for his roles in the films “Superman” (1978) and “Network” (1976).

In this Thursday, March 8, 2007, file photo, actor Ned Beatty arrives at the premiere of the movie “Shooter,” in Los Angeles. Beatty, the indelible character actor whose first film role, as a genial vacationer brutally r -ed by a backwoodsman in 1972′s “Deliverance,” launched him on a long, prolific and accomplished career, died Sunday, June 13, 2021. He was 83. ( – Photo/Gus Ruelas, File)

Sonny Chiba

J -anese actor Sonny Chiba, who wowed the world with his martial arts skills in more than 100 films, including “Kill Bill,” died on Aug. 19, 2021. He was 82. Chiba rose to stardom in J -an in the 1960s, portraying samurai, fighters and police detectives, the anguished so-called “anti-heroes” trying to survive in a violent world. He did many of the stunt scenes himself.

FILE – In this Sept. 29, 2003, file photo, J -anese actor Sonny Chiba arrives for the premiere of the film “Kill Bill: Volume 1” at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Chiba, known in J -an as Shinichi Chiba, who wowed the world with his martial arts skills, acting in more than 100 films, including “Kill Bill,” has died late Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. He was 82. ( – Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)

Kevin Clark

Kevin Clark, who played drummer Freddy Jones in the 2003 film “School of Rock,” was struck by a car and killed while riding his bike on May 26, 2021. He was 32.

TORONTO – SEPTEMBER 10: Actor Kevin Clark attends the gala screening for “School of Rock” during the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2003 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Donald Weber/Getty Images)

Beverly Cleary

Children’s book author Beverly Cleary passed away at 104 on March 25, 2021. Cleary’s first book, “Henry Huggins,” was published in 1950. Since then she wrote and published more than forty books. The publisher says Cleary’s books have sold more than 85 million copies and have been translated into 29 languages.

In this  -ril 19, 1998 file photo, Beverly Cleary signs books at the Monterey Bay Book Festival in Monterey, Calif. The beloved children’s author, whose characters Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins enthralled generations of youngsters, has died. She was 104. Cleary’s publisher, HarperCollins, announced her death Friday, March 26, 2021. In a statement, the company said Cleary died in Carmel, California, her home since the 1960s, on Thursday. No cause of death was given. (Vern Fisher/The Monterey County Herald via  -, File)

Dustin Diamond

Dustin Diamond on Feb. 1, 2021. The 44-year-old had just recently been diagnosed with stage 4 small cell carcinoma and was undergoing chemother -y. Diamond played Samuel “Screech” Powers on “Saved by the Bell,” which aired from 1989 to 1993, and its spinoffs included “Saved by the Bell: The College Years,” “Good Morning, Miss Bliss” and “Saved by the Bell: The New Class,”

Actor Dustin Diamond joins the cast of “The Awesome 80’s Prom at Webster Hall on May 21, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)


DMX, the raspy-voiced hip-hop artist who produced the songs “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” and “Party Up (Up in Here)” died at 50 on  -ril 9, 2021. The Grammy-nominated performer died after suffering “catastrophic cardiac arrest,” according to the hospital in White Plains, New York.

In this Sept. 23, 2009, file photo, DMX arrives at the 2009 VH1 Hip Hop Honors at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, in New York. DMX’s longtime New York-based lawyer, Murray Richman, said the r -per was on life support Saturday,  -ril 3, 2021 at White Plains Hospital. “He had a heart attack. He’s quite ill,” Richman said. ( – Photo/Peter Kramer, File)

Graeme Edge

Graeme Edge, drummer and co-founding member of the Moody Blues died at 80 on Nov. 11, 2021. The English musician was a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his 50 years of work with the rock band, providing their imaginative rhythms and memorable spoken word.

Inductee Graeme Edge of The Moody Blues attends the 33rd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Public Auditorium on  -ril 14, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images For The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Don Everly

Don Everly, one-half of the pioneering Everly Brothers whose harmonizing country rock hits impacted a generation of rock ‘n’ roll music, died on Jan. 3, 2021. He was 84. His brother, Phil Everly, died in January 2014 at age 74.

In this July 31, 1964 file photo The Everly Brothers, Phil, left, and Don, perform on stage. Don Everly, one-half of the pioneering rock ‘n’ roll Everly Brothers whose harmonizing country rock hits impacted a generation of rock music, has died. Don Everly was 84. A family spokesperson said Everly died at his home in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021. ( – Photo, File)

Siegfried Fischbacher

Siegfried Fischbacher, of the duo Siegfried and Roy, died in Las Vegas at age 81 on Jan. 13, 2021. Fischbacher’s long-time show business partner, Roy Horn, died in May 2020. The duo astonished millions with their extraordinary magic tricks until Horn was critically injured in 2003 by one of the act’s famed white tigers.

FILE – In this Thursday, July 17, 2014, file photo, Siegfried Fischbacher, left, holds up a white lion cub as Roy Horn holds up a microphone during an event to welcome three white lion cubs to Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, in Las Vegas. German news agency dpa is reporting that illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher, the surviving member of duo Siegfried & Roy has died in Las Vegas at age 81. The news agency said Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021 that Fischbacher’s sister, a nun who lives in Munich, confirmed his death of cancer. ( – Photo/John Locher, File)

Larry Flynt

Larry Flynt, founder of “Hustler” magazine, died of heart failure at age 78 on Feb. 10, 2021.

In this  -ril 30, 2011 file photo, Larry Flynt speaks in Los Angeles, Calif. Flynt is offering “up to $10 million” to anyone who produces information that leads to President Donald Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. He lays out the offer in a full-page ad in the Sunday edition of The Washington Post. ( – Photo/Katy Winn, file)

Willie Garson

Willie Garson died on Sept. 21, 2021 after a short illness at age 57. He was best known for his roles as Stanford Blatch on “Sex and the City” and Mozzie on the USA Network series “White Collar.”

Willie Garson attends Neuro Brands Presenting Sponsor At The Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Academy Awards Viewing Party on February 09, 2020 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Neuro Brands)

Charles Grodin

The actor, who played the dad in the ““Beethoven” movies, died on May 18, 2021 at the age of 86. Grodin  -peared in a string of notable films from the 1970s onward, including “Midnight Run,” “The Woman in Red” and “Heaven Can Wait.” On Broadway, he starred with Ellen Burstyn in the long-running 1970s comedy “Same Time, Next Year.”

Actor Charles Grodin attends the opening night gala world premiere of “C -tain Phillips” during the 51st New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on September 27, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Dusty Hill

The bass player and founding member of the Texas band ZZ Top died at 72 on July 28, 2021.

Dusty Hill of ZZ Top performs on the Pyramid Stage during the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 24, 2016 in Glastonbury, England. Now its 46th year the festival is one largest music festivals in the world and this year features headline acts Muse, Adele and Coldplay. The Festival, which Michael Eavis started in 1970 when several hundred hippies paid just £1, now attracts more than 175,000 people. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

Greg “Shock G” Jacobs

Greg “Shock G” Jacobs died at 57 on  -ril 22, 2021. He was the leader of the Bay Area hip hop ground Digital Underground, of “Humpty Dance” fame.

Greg “Shock G” Jacobs, singer for the Digital Underground, performs The Humpty Dance during a halftime  -pearance in the Detroit Pistons’ 98-93 victory over the Denver Nuggets in an NBA basketball game in Denver on Monday, Feb. 25, 2008. ( – Photo/David Zalubowski)

Larry King

Former CNN talk show host Larry King died following a battle with COVID-19 on Jan. 23, 2021. He was 87. “Larry King Live” ran in prime time on CNN from 1985 to 2010.

Larry king attends The Paley Center For Media Presents: A Special Evening With Dionne Warwick: Then Came You at The Paley Center for Media on August 1, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Tawny Kitaen

Julie E. “Tawny” Kitaen, whose  -pearance in numerous Whitesnake videos made her a sex symbol in the 1980s, died at 59 on May 7, 2021.

Julie E. “Tawny” Kitaen, seen here in 2011, has died at 59. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Tommy Lasorda

Tommy Lasorda, the fiery Hall of Fame manager who guided the Los Angeles Dodgers to two World Series titles and later became an ambassador for the sport he loved during his 71 years with the franchise, died on Jan. 7, 2021. He was 93.

Los Angeles Dodgers former manager and Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda attends a news conference where Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that Dodger Stadium will host the All-Star Game in 2020, in Los Angeles, in this Wednesday,  -ril 11, 2018, file photo. The Dodgers said Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, that their 93-year-old former manager was in intensive care and resting comfortably at a hospital in Orange County, Calif. ( – Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Cloris Leachman

Legendary actress and comedian Cloris Leachman died of natural causes on Jan. 27, 2021. She was 94. Leachman won an Academy Award and eight Primetime Emmys during her decades-long career that spanned stage and screen. She  -peared on the Mary Tyler Moore Show as Phyllis Lindstrom and was in three Mel Brooks movies.

Cloris Leachman arrives at the 2016 American Film Institute Life Achievement Awards Honoring John Williams, in Hollywood, California, on June 9, 2016. / AFP / ANGELA WEISS (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Rush Limbaugh

Conservative talk show radio host and Republican party icon Rush Limbaugh died Feb. 17, 2021 at age 70. He had been battling advanced lung cancer since February 2020. Former President Donald Trump awarded Limbaugh the Medal of Freedom during his State of the Union address.

Rush Limbaugh speaks before US President Donald Trump takes the stage during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida on December 21, 2019. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

Norm Macdonald

Comic and former “Saturday Night Live” star Norm Macdonald died at 61 on Sept. 14, 2021. He went on to star in his own comedy series, “The Norm Show,” after leaving SNL. Macdonald also  -peared in a several movies, including “Billy Madison,” “Dirty Work” and “Doctor Dolittle.” He was battling cancer privately for nine years.

Norm Macdonald, seen here in 2017, passed at the age of 61 after a private battle with cancer. (Amy Harris/Invision/ -, File)

Biz Markie

Biz Markie, a hip-hop st -le known for his beatboxing prowess, turntable mastery and the 1989 classic “Just a Friend,” died on July 16, 2021. He was 57.

Biz Markie performs onstage during #TBT Night Presented By BuzzFeed at Mastercard House on January 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Mastercard)

Eddie Mekka

Eddie Mekka died on Nov. 27, 2021 at 69. He  -peared as Carmine in “Laverne and Shirley” from 1976 through 1983. He later  -peared on shows including “Fantasy Island,” “The Love Boat,” “Moonlighting,” and “Family Matters.”

UNITED STATES – JULY 01: LAVERNE & SHIRLEY – “We’re in the Army, Now 1” 11/15/79 Cindy Williams, Eddie Mekka, Penny Marshall (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

Jay Pickett

Jay Pickett, 60, passed away while filming a movie on July 30, 2021. He was 60. Pickett  -peared on so – operas including “Port Charles,” “Days of Our Lives” and “General Hospital.” He also  -peared on TV shows like “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “The Mentalist” and “Rosewood.”

Jay Pickett (Photo Credit: Getty)

Christopher Plummer

Christopher Plummer, the actor who played C -tain von Tr -p in the film “The Sound of Music” and at 82 became the oldest Academy Award acting winner in history, died on Feb. 5, 2021. He was 91. Over more than 50 years in the industry, Plummer enjoyed varied roles ranging from the film “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” to the voice of the villain in 2009′s “Up” and as a canny lawyer in Broadway’s “Inherit the Wind.”

Actor Christopher Plummer, winner of the Best Supporting Actor Award for ‘Beginners,’ poses in the press room at the 84th Annual Academy Awards held at the Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Markie Post

Markie Post, who played the public defender in the 1980s sitcom “Night Court” and was a regular presence on television for four decades, died on Aug. 7, 2021 after a years-long battle with cancer. She was 70.

Actress Markie Post arrives at the Spike TV “Guys Choice” award show in Los Angeles, Friday, May 30, 2008. Markie Post, who played the public defender in the 1980s sitcom “Night Court” and was a regular presence on television for four decades, has died. She was 70. Post’s manager, Ellen Lubin Sanitsky, said Post died Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021 after a years-long battle with cancer. ( – Photo/Gus Ruelas, file)

Peter Scolari

Peter Scolari, who starred alongside Tom Hanks in the 1980s sitcom “Bosom Buddies,” died at the age of 66 on Oct. 22, 2021. Scolari’s television career spanned nearly four decades with stints on “Newhart” and “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show.” He also did voice work for several animated series and was in Broadway musicals like “Wicked” and “Hairspray.”

Peter Scolari attends the 44th International Emmy Awards on November 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Joseph Siravo

Joseph Siravo died following a battle with colon cancer on  -ril 11, 2021. He was 66. Siravo is best-known for his role as Johnny Soprano, who was featured prominently in flashbacks on HBO’s “Sopranos.” Other recent credits include roles in “New Amsterdam,” “Blue Bloods” and “The Blacklist.”

Actor Joseph Siravo attends the premiere of “The Wannabe” during the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on  -ril 17, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)

Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim died at Nov. 26, 2021 at age 91. Sondheim was a composer and lyricist for Broadway juggernauts like “Into the Woods” and “Company,” and wrote lyrics for “West Side Story.”

Stephen Sondheim speaks during the Dramatists Guild Fifth Annual Benefit Dinner at the Hudson Theater May 10, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)

James Michael Tyler

James Michael Tyler died at his home in Los Angeles on Oct. 24, 2021 at 59 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was best known for his role as Gunther on the hit show “Friends.”

James Michael Tyler seen playing Gunther on “Friends.” The actor reportedly passed away Sunday. — (Photo by: Danny Feld/NBCU Photo Bank)

Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson, the pioneering Black actor who gained an Oscar nomination for her role as the sharecropper’s wife in “Sounder,” a Tony Award in 2013 at age 88 and touched TV viewers’ hearts in “The Autobiogr -hy of Miss Jane Pittman,” died on Jan. 28, 2021. She was 96.

Cicely Tyson arrives at night two of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Sept. 15, 2019, in Los Angeles. Tyson, the pioneering Black actress who gained an Oscar nomination for her role as the sharecropper’s wife in “Sounder,” a Tony Award in 2013 at age 88 and touched TV viewers’ hearts in “The Autobiogr -hy of Miss Jane Pittman,” has died. She was 96. Tyson’s death was announced by her family, via her manager Larry Thompson, who did not immediately provide additional details. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/ -, File)

Jessica Walter

Jessica Walter, who played a scheming matriarch in TV’s “Arrested Development,” died on March 24, 2021 at age 80. One of her best-known roles was the stalker in Clint Eastwood’s 1971 thriller, “Play Misty for Me.”

Jessica Walter attends the LA Premiere of “Arrested Development” Season Five at Raleigh Studios Hollywood on Thursday, May 17, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/ -)

Charlie Watts

Charlie Watts, the drummer for the Rolling Stones, died on Aug. 24, 2021 at the age of 80. The quiet, elegantly dressed Watts was often ranked with Keith Moon, Ginger Baker and a handful of others as a premier rock drummer.

The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts performs on stage during their “No Filter” tour at NRG Stadium on July 27, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP)

Michael K. Williams

Michael K. Williams died on Sept. 6, 2021 of an overdose at the age of 54. Williams played Omar Little in “The Wire” and starred as Albert “Chalky” White on “Boardwalk Empire.” He was also in other works for more than two decades, including “Lovecraft Country,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Assassin’s Creed.”

Michael K. Williams is seen in his award show look for the 27th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on March 31, 2021 in Miami, Florida. Due to COVID-19 restrictions the 2021 SAG Awards will be a one-hour, pre-t -ed event airing  -ril 4 on TNT and TBS. (Photo by Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images)

Samuel E. Wright

Samuel E. Wright, the Tony Award-nominated actor best known for voicing the role of Sebastian in “The Little Mermaid,” died on May 24, 2021. He was 74.

Actor Samuel Wright attends Disney’s The Little Mermaid special screening at Walter Reade Theater on September 21, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

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