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Dead stars 2021: These celebrities have passed away

Sabine Schmitz, Willi Herren and Christopher Plummer passed away in 2021.

Tanya Roberts

Former Bond girl Tanya Roberts made her breakthrough in the 1980s in the series “Three Angels for Charlie” and then also took on the role of Stacey Sutton in “In the Face of Death,” the “James Bond” film with Roger Moore, in 1985. Roberts died Jan. 4, 2021, at the age of 65.

Karl-Heinz Vosgerau

Karl-Heinz Vosgerau was known to many as an actor in German TV series and appeared in classics such as “Derrick” and “Der Alte,” among others. He passed away on January 4, 2021 at the age of 93.

Thomas Gumpert

Thomas Gumpert became known to a large audience in this country as Johannes Graf von Lahnstein in “Forbidden Love.” He played the role on and off for several years and even continuously from 2003 to 2008. The actor died on January 7, 2021, he was 68 years old.

Marion Ramsey

Marion Ramsey is known to a whole generation of movie fans as the shy policewoman with a high-pitched voice Laverne Hooks from the “Police Academy” movies. The acting star died quite suddenly on January 7, 2021 at the age of 73.

Michael Apted

British filmmaker Michael Apted made a name for himself with acclaimed works such as “Gorky Park” and “Gorillas in the Mist” and also directed a Bond film, “The World Is Not Enough.” The director died at the age of 79 on January 7, 2021.

Mike Henry

Mike Henry was a former player of the US professional football league NFL and was also able to make a career as an actor. In the 60s he mimed, among other things, “Tarzan”. On January 8, 2021, Henry died at the age of 84.

Jean-Pierre Bacri

Frenchman Jean-Pierre Bacri made a name for himself in his homeland primarily as a comedian and also as a screenwriter, who has also been awarded a César (the French equivalent of the Oscar) several times. On January 18, 2021, he died at the age of only 69 after suffering from cancer.

Juan Carlos Tabío

Cuban-born filmmaker Juan Carlos Tabío was an internationally respected director who caused a stir especially with the work “Strawberry and Chocolate,” which he co-directed with Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, and for which he was honored with the Silver Bear at the 1994 Berlinale. Tabío died on January 18, 2021, but it is unclear how old he actually lived – only his birth year of 1943 is known.

Mira Furlan

Born in the former Yugoslavia, Mira Furlan was already able to appear in front of the camera in her homeland before she also took off internationally in cult series such as “Lost” and “Babylon 5.” She died on January 20, 2021, at the age of just 65.

Nathalie Delon

The French acting star and ex-wife of Alain Delon Nathalie Delon became famous in her homeland in the late 1960s and was subsequently also active as a director and screenwriter. She died at the age of 79 on January 22, 2021.

Hal Holbrook


Veteran US actor Hal Holbrook enjoyed a long and successful career in film and television, including an Oscar nomination. On January 23, 2021, he passed away at the age of 95.

Bruce Kirby

Bruce Kirby was particularly known for his appearances in numerous successful U.S. series, including classics such as “Columbo,” “Kojak” and “Bonanza.” On January 25, 2021, the veteran actor passed away at the age of 95.

Cloris Leachman

U.S. acting legend Cloris Leachman made her screen debut back in 1955 and won the 1972 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Peter Bogdanovich’s “The Last Performance.” Leachman died of natural causes on January 27, 2021 at the age of 94.

Cicely Tyson

U.S. actress Cicely Tyson was one of the first African-Americans with a leading role in a TV series in the early 1960s, making history. But later in her long career she was also able to celebrate a great deal of success. Tyson died at the age of 96 on January 28, 2021.

Dustin Diamond

TV star Dustin Diamond became a star at the tender age of just eleven and made a name for himself primarily in comedy.He died on February 1, 2021, at the age of only 44, as a result of cancer.

Christopher Plummer

In his long career, Christopher Plummer starred in a variety of great and influential works, leaving his mark on film history. The Oscar winner died on February 5, 2021 at the age of 91.

Ronald Pickup

Veteran British actor Ronald Pickup slipped into many memorable roles in his long career. He made his breakthrough in a supporting role on “Doctor Who” back in 1964, with later highlights including “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and the Netflix series “The Crown.” Pickup died on February 24, 2021, at the age of 80.

Cliff Simon

Actor Cliff Simon was most notable as villain Ba”al in the hit series “Stargate – Command SG-12,” which he played repeatedly over six years. On March 9, 2021, Simon died in a kitesurfing accident. He lived to be only 58 years old.

Peter Patzak

Director Peter Patzak made films, series and was even active as a painter. He became known with the popular series “Kottan ermittelt”, with which he created a milestone of German-language crime fiction. Patzak died on March 11, 2021 at the age of 76.

Henry Darrow

In his long career, Henry Darrow was, among other things, the first Latino to take on the role of “Zorro.” His other well-known projects include titles such as the series “The High Chaparral” and “Bonanza” and films like “Wagon Train”. Darrow died on March 14 at the age of 87.

Yaphet Kotto

After several early roles in film and television, Yaphet Kotto gained attention in 1973 in “James Bond 007 – Live and Let Die” as the villain alongside Roger Moore. Many more projects followed, with his performance as Parker in the horror classic “Alien – The Creepy Creature from an Alien World” still being one of his most famous to this day. On March 15, the New York native passed away at the age of 81.

Sabine Schmitz


Racing driver Sabine Schmitz literally drove to numerous great successes in her career, including at the infamous Nürburgring. But she also shone far away from the cockpit and gas pedal, namely as a longtime presenter of various TV formats. On March 16, 2021, she succumbed to cancer. She was only 51 years old.

George Segal

George Segal was a real Hollywood legend who had his big breakthrough in the 1966 film “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”. Segal also received an Oscar nomination for this. Most recently, he was in front of the camera for the successful series “The Goldbergs”. On March 23, 2021, he passed away at the age of 87 from complications following surgery.

Jessica Walter

Since the 60s Jessica Walter stood in front of the camera, until the end she shot numerous films and series. Among them are roles in such popular titles as “Arrested Development” or “90210” and even as a guest star she stole the show many a time, for example on “The Big Bang Theory”. Walter died in his sleep on March 24 at the age of 80.

Paul Ritter

British actor Paul Ritter starred in major blockbusters including “James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” as well as the hit series “Chernobyl.” Ritter died of a brain tumor on April 5, 2021, at the age of just 54.

Walter Olkewicz

Walter Olkewicz starred in numerous productions from the mid-1970s onward and established himself within the industry as a character actor, shining most notably in “Twin Peaks.” He died on April 8 at the age of 72. The exact cause of his death is not known.



Earl Simmons, better known by his stage name DMX, was one of the most famous and successful rappers in the world in the late 90s and early noughties, but he was also quite busy in front of the camera. So he played leading roles in action films. On April 9, 2021, he died at the age of only 50 years as a result of a heart attack.

Willi Herren


In the famous series “Lindenstraße” Willi Herren once became known to a large audience in the role of “Olli Klatt”. Later, he began a career as a pop singer and then launched a second TV career in reality formats such as “Das Sommerhaus der Stars” or, most recently, “Promis unter Palmen.” Herren was found dead in his Cologne apartment on April 20, 2021. He was only 45 years old.

Thomas Fritsch

As a voice actor for stars such as Jeremy Irons or Russell Crowe, his voice was known to an audience of millions. Thomas Fritsch was also a seasoned acting veteran himself, appearing in “Der Bergdoktor” or “Die Rosenheim-Cops,” among others. He passed away on April 21, 2021, at the age of 77.

Olympia Dukakis

In her long career, which began in the 60s, Olympia Dukakis played numerous roles in film and television and with great success: among other things, she won the Golden Globe and the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1988 for the film “Moonstruck”. Until recently, she was still in front of the camera for the film “Not To Forget”. On May 1, 2021, Dukakis died at the age of 89 for undisclosed reasons.

Frank McRae

Before he began a successful acting career, Frank McRae was a professional football player in the NFL. In any case, the career change was not a bad decision, as Mcrae subsequently appeared in front of the camera in films such as the Bond film “License to Kill” or “Last Action Hero” with Arnold Schwarzenegger. On April 29, 2021, he died of a heart attack at the age of 80.

Jan Hahn

The presenter Jan Hahn was on “Frühstücksfernsehen” on Sat.1 from 2005 to 2016, before then switching to RTL and joining “Guten Morgen Deutschland.” On May 4, 2021, he passed away at the age of just 47 after a short illness.

Norman Lloyd

A proud 106 years old, Norman Lloyd died on May 11, 2021. He was active in the film industry until a ripe old age and shot with such illustrious personalities as Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles during his long career.

Charles Grodin

U.S. acting star Charles Grodin has passed away on May 18, 2021, at the age of 86. Grodin was active since the 60s and was able to collect in his career, among other things, a Golden Globe. He also wrote plays and directed Broadway plays.

Romy Walthall

The U.S. actress Romy Walthall was in front of the camera since the mid-1980s and shot numerous film and TV projects, including titles such as “In the Body of the Enemy (Face/Off)” or “Man of the People”. She died of a sudden cardiac arrest on May 19, 2021, at the age of only 57.

Joe Lara

The US actor Joe Lara was active since the 80s and made numerous films and series. He was particularly prominent on television in the 90s as the title character in “Tarzan – The Return”, which he played for four years and mimed in a separate film. On May 29, 2021, Lara died in a plane crash at the age of only 58.

Robert Hogan

The US actor Robert Hogan stood in front of the camera for more than 60 years and thus took part in many well-known series such as “The Twilight Zone”, “Knight Rider”, “Murder is Her Hobby” or “Law & Order”. He was also very successful as a theater actor. On May 27, 2021, Hogan died at the age of 87.

Horst Pillau

Playwright Horst Pillau was responsible for 40 plays, 180 episodes for television series, as well as novels and short stories. He also gained fame as an author for the popular program “Dalli Dalli.” Pillau died on June 7, 2021, at the age of 88.

Libuše Šafránková

There is no Christmas without Libuše Šafránková on German television. She became famous as the title character in the eternal film classic “Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella” and subsequent generations also got to know her anew during the winter holidays. She died on June 9, 2021, at the age of 68.

Michael Deffert

Michael Deffert stood in his career, among others, for the “Tatort” or “Wolffs Revier” in front of the camera and also dubbed Hollywood stars such as Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp. On June 13, he succumbed to the consequences of a short illness at the age of only 53.

Ned Beatty

Ned Beatty was in front of the camera for more than 150 film projects, including such classics as “Network”, “The Incorruptibles” and “Superman”, but he was also known to a large audience on television thanks to series such as “Roseanne”. He died on June 13, 2021, at the age of 83.

Lisa Banes

The US actress Lisa Banes appeared in numerous films and series, including the thriller “Gone Girl” by David Fincher. On June 14, 2021 she became a victim of a tragic traffic accident and succumbed to her injuries a little later. She lived to the age of 65.

Joanne Linville

In her long career, US actress Joanne Linville made appearances in hits such as “Starship Enterprise,” “Twilight Zone,” “Columbo” and “Three Angels for Charlie.” She passed away on June 20, 2021, at the age of 93.

Vladimir Menshov

Soviet and Russian director Vladimir Menshov once won an Oscar for his film “Moscow Doesn’t Believe Tears” and was also an actor, producer and screenwriter. On July 5, 2021, the veteran died as a result of a corona infection at the age of 81.

Richard Donner

Hollywood directing legend Richard Donner directed numerous classics and today’s cult films during his long career. These include the first “Superman” film with Christopher Reeve, the adventure film “The Goonies,” the horror classic “The Omen” and all four “Lethal Weapon” parts with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. Donner died on July 5, 2021, at the age of 91.

Suzzanne Douglas

US actress Suzzanne Douglas was active in show business since the early 1980s and appeared in several films and series. Her better-known projects include appearances in such series as “Bones: The Bone Huntress,” “Good Wife” and “When They See Us.” On July 6, 2021, Douglas died at the age of only 64.

Charlie Robinson

During his career, Charlie Robinson appeared in many well-known films and series. For example, he played a major role in “Harry Miraculous Penal Court”. In addition, he also made many smaller appearances in hits such as “The Prince of Bel Air”, “Listen to Who’s Hammering”, “Dr. House”, “Navy CIS”, “Grey’s Anatomy” or “How I Met Your Mother”. On July 11, 2021, Robinson succumbed to the effects of cancer. He lived to the age of 75.

Peter Schell

The SWR Black Forest series “Die Fallers” would be nothing without Peter Schell, who has characterized the hit since 1994. But he also appeared in many other films and series. On July 22, 2021, Schell passed away at the age of 64. However, due to the long shooting schedule, he will still be seen on “Die Fallers” for about a year.

Herbert Köfer

For 80 years, Herbert Köfer stood on the theater stage and also excelled as a movie and series actor, as well as a dubbing artist and moderator. Especially with his role in the GDR series “Rentner haben niemals Zeit” he remained in the memory of the audience and still at the age of 99 he turned among other things in “In aller Freundschaft”. On July 24, 2021, he died at the age of 100.

Jackie Mason

The U.S. comedian Jackie Mason was awarded several times and was able to take home, among others, an Emmy and a Tony. Mason felt at home on the theater stage and equally excelled in front of the camera and behind the microphone as a voice actor, voicing, for example, Rabbi Hyman Krustofski, father of Krusty the Clown, in the hit series “The Simpsons” in the original English from 1991 to 2014. Mason died on July 24, 2021, at the age of 93.

Jay Pickett

Actor Jay Pickett was a familiar face, especially on US television, where he appeared in several films and series. Among other things, he was part of the “General Hospital” cast for two years and 61 episodes. On July 30, 2021, Pickett died during the filming of the movie “Treasure Valley.” He was 60 years old.

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