In memoriam: Remembering those who died in 2020

These are the artists, activists, journalists and cultural contributors we lost this year


Alex Trebek, Salome Bey and Neil Peart were among the Canadian icons who passed away this year. Here’s a list of notable people who died in 2020, from authors and artists to musicians and athletes.


John Baldessari, conceptual artist

Ronald Bell, musician, Kool & The Gang

Salome Bey, singer 

Honor Blackman, actor

Christo, artist

Christie Blatchford, journalist 

Chadwick Boseman, actor

Kobe Bryant, professional basketball player

Bonnie Burstow, anti-psychiatry critic, educator

Pete Carmichael, musician, Diableros

David Carter, author, Stonewall historian

Brent Carver, actor

Sean Connery, actor

Nick Cordero, actor

Simeon Coxe, musician, Silver Apples

Spencer Davis, musician

Olivia de Havilland, actor

Brian Dennehy, actor

Chi Chi DeVayne, drag queen 

Manu Dibango, musician

Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, poet laureate priest (2019)

Linda Diebel, journalist

Kirk Douglas, actor 

Shirley Douglas, actor/activist

Saeb Erekat, Palestinian peace negotiator

Tony Fernandez, baseball player

Robert Fisk, journalist

Genesis P-Orridge

Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV musician Genesis P-Orridge passed away at age 70 in March.

Genesis P-Orridge, musician

Andy Gill, musician, Gang of Four

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Buck Henry, actor, screenwriter

Toots Hibbert, musician

Mary Higgins Clark, author

Ian Holm, actor

Houdini, Toronto rapper/songwriter

Rae Johnson, artist

Terry Jones, actor/director

Rishi Kapoor, actor

Irrfan Khan, actor 

Ivan Kral, musician

Larry Kramer, AIDS activist/author

John le Carré, author

Bunny Lee, reggae producer

Amoy Levy, singer

John Lewis, U.S. congressman & civil rights leader 

Little Richard, musician

MF Doom, rapper and producer

Diego Maradona, soccer player

Ellis Marsalis Jr., jazz musician

Howie Meeker, hockey player, commentator, MP

Terrence McNally, playwright

Ennio Morricone, composer 

Daniel David Moses, First Nations playwright/poet

Joanne Nisbet, dancer, senior ballet mistress at National Ballet of Canada

Nobuhiko Obayashi, filmmaker

Neil Peart Rush

Rush drummer Neil Peart died from brain cancer on January 7. He was 67.

Neil Peart, musician, Rush

Regis Philbin, talk show host

Bonnie Pointer, singer

David Prowse, Darth Vader actor

Kelly Preston, actor

Charley Pride, musician

John Prine, musician

Sushant Singh Rajput, actor

Helen Reddy, singer

Carl Reiner, actor

Diana Rigg, actor

Naya Rivera, actor

Kenny Rogers, singer/songwriter, riverboat gambler

Regan Russell,animal rights activist

Adam Schlesinger, songwriter

Joel Schumacher, director

Eddie Shack, hockey player

Lynn Shelton, filmmaker

Jerry Stiller, comedian

Kenzo Takada, fashion designer

Deanne Taylor, performer and playwright

Doug Taylor, local historian

Alex Trebek, game show host

John Turner, Canadian Prime Minister

Eddie Van Halen, musician

RM Vaughan, writer and artist 

Max von Sydow, actor/director

Andrew Weatherall, musician/producer

Charles Webb, author

Bill Withers, musician

Fred Willard, actor

Betty Wright, musician

Elizabeth Wurtzel, journalist and author

A memorial for Regis Korchinski Paquet
Samuel Engelking

A memorial for Regis Korchinski-Paquet outside her High Park apartment. The 29-year-old fell from a balcony while police were in her apartment.

Say their names

A number of tragic deaths in 2020 are a reminder that systemic racism must be dismantled.

Ahmaud Arbery

Rayshard Brooks

D’Andre Campbell

Ejaz Choudry

Joyce Echaquan

George Floyd

Regis Korchinski-Paquet

Rodney Levi

Chantel Moore

Breonna Taylor

Update (January 1, 2021): This article was updated to include the deaths of Canadian singer Amoy Levy and rapper MF Doom.

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