Celebrity deaths in 2021: The famous people who passed away this year from Prince Philip to Helen McCrory

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·3-min read
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  • Sarah Harding
    Sarah Harding
    British singer and actress (1981-2021)
  • Helen McCrory
    Helen McCrory
    English actress
  • Sean Lock
    British comedian (1963-2021)
  • Michael K. Williams
    Michael K. Williams
    American actor (1966-2021)
Prince Philip (Getty Images)
Prince Philip (Getty Images)

The past year has seen a number of celebrities and famous figures lose their lives.

Comedian Sean Lock, actress Helen McCrory and singer Sarah Harding were among the notable stars who died in 2021.

As the year draws to a close, the Standard looks back at some of the famous faces who have died this year.

Prince Philip

The Duke of Edinburgh passed away in April at Windsor Castle, just months before his 100th birthday.

He had been married to the Queen for over 70 years and is the longest serving royal consort.

His funeral at St George’s Chapel, Windsor on April 17 was watched across the world.

Helen McCrory

News of the death of the “beautiful and mighty” actress from cancer aged 52 was shared by her heartbroken husband Damian Lewis.

McCrory, who starred in hit crime drama Peaky Blinders, James Bond film Skyfall and as Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise, died peacefully at home.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Michael K Williams

The Wire actor was found dead aged 54 at his home in Brooklyn, New York.

Williams, who had a distinctive facial scar from a bar fight on his 25th birthday, was best known for playing the charismatic Omar Little in the acclaimed HBO crime drama, as well as for his role in gangster series Boardwalk Empire.

Joan Didion

The author and journalist, known for her provocative social commentary, died aged 87 on December 23.

She died from complications from Parkinson’s disease, according to her publisher Penguin Random House, which announced her death.

Joan Didion (Kathy Willens/AP) (AP)
Joan Didion (Kathy Willens/AP) (AP)

Sarah Harding

The Girls Aloud singer died in September aged 39 after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Many famous names from the worlds of music and television paid tribute to Ms Harding following her death.

Larry King

Veteran US talk show host King died in January at the age of 87 after he was admitted to hospital with Covid-19.

The news was shared on his Twitter page by Ora Media, the studio and network he co-founded in 2012.

 (AP)
(AP)

Sean Lock

When the comedian died of cancer at the age of 58 in August he received a mountain of tributes from other comedy greats such as Lee Mack, Bill Bailey and Eddie Izzard.

Lock was known for his surreal content and deadpan style, and was a team captain on Jimmy Carr’s Channel 4 comedy panel show 8 Out Of 10 Cats and the spin-off, 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

Charlie Watts

The Rolling Stones star was hailed as “one of the greatest drummers of his generation” following his death at the age of 80.

He had been a member of the rock group since 1963 and played on classic tracks including (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Paint It Black, Jumpin’ Jack Flash and Brown Sugar.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Virgil Abloh

Louis Vuitton designer Abloh died aged 41 after a private cancer battle.

A host of celebrities including Hailey Beiber, Kanye West and Drake all paid tribute to the pioneering designer after the news was announced.

 (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for Ketel One)
(Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for Ketel One)

Lionel Blair

The showbusiness veteran died aged 92 in October following a seven-decade career.

The actor, tap dancer, presenter and choreographer was declared a “showbiz trooper” and received tributes from members of the industry such as Bonnie Langford and Julian Clary.

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