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In memoriam: The storied names we lost in 2021

Rest in peace to the following people

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 12: Actress Betty White speaks at Paley Honors in Hollywood: A Gala Celebrating Women in Television at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 12, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images) (David Livingston, 2017 David Livingston)

As another year winds down, it feels natural to look back at what transpired, and examine some of the bigger headlines and events of 2021.

The world lost quite a few celebrities, athletes, influencers and political figures this past year, including Prince Philip, Cicely Tyson, Stephen Sondheim, Betty White and Norm Macdonald, just to name a few.

We took a look through the Getty Images archive, to collect the following photos of even more famous faces who died this year. In no way is this a complete list, but you’ll likely recognize the following people.

In no particular order ...


Prince Philip

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, is shown with then-Princess Elizabeth, who is now Queen Elizabeth. (Getty Images)

Betty White

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Betty White speaks onstage during the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) (2018 Getty Images)

Stephen Sondheim

Among the most important figures in 20th-century musical theater, here's Stephen Sondheim in August 1962. (Express/Getty Images)

Hank Aaron

Baseball great Hank Aaron is shown as an Atlanta Braves outfielder during spring training. (Getty Images)

Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson, of the Supremes, is shown at a hotel in Los Angeles in April 1985. The Supremes were an American female singing group and a premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s. (Paul Harris Photography/Getty Images)

Cicely Tyson

Here, actress Cicely Tyson is shown as she was photographed in 1976 in New York City. (Getty Images)

Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu was a South African Anglican bishop and theologian, known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. He was bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986 and then Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996. In this photo, he's taking up his position as Visiting Professor in Post Conflict Societies at Kings College London, in January 2004. (Getty Images)

Christopher Plummer

Actor Christopher Plummer poses in the press room at the 84th Annual Academy Awards in February 2012. Plummer's career spanned seven decades, and he gained recognition for his performances in film, TV and stage. (Getty Images)

Norm Macdonald

Actor and comedian Norm Macdonald is seen in June 2019 in Las Vegas. You may remember him best for his time on "SNL." (Getty Images)

Bob Dole

Then-Sen. Bob Dole is seen giving a thumbs-up sign during a presidential rally. Dole won the Republican nomination for president in 1996, but lost the election to Bill Clinton. (Corbis via Getty Images)

Michael K. Williams

Michael K. Williams is shown in August 2021 in Los Angeles. Williams might be best remembered for his roles on HBO's "The Wire" and "Boardwalk Empire." (FilmMagic/Getty Images)

DMX

Rapper DMX performs in January 2012 in Long Beach, California. (WireImage via Getty Images)

Charlie Watts

Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones performs in November 2012 in London. (Getty Images)

Dustin Diamond

Actor Dustin Diamond, best known for his role on "Saved By the Bell," poses for a portrait during the 2007 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. (Getty Images)

Larry King

Longtime TV host Larry King is shown in 1988. (Getty Images)

Willie Garson

Sarah Jessica Parker, at left, and Willie Garson are seen filming "And Just Like That...", the follow-up series to "Sex and the City" in July 2021. Garson, who played Stanford Blatch, died of pancreatic cancer. (Gotham/GC Images via Getty)

Dusty Hill

Dusty Hill of ZZ Top performs on stage at The Moore Theater in Seattle in March 2014. (Getty Images)

Colin Powell

Here's then-Secretary of State Colin Powell as he listens to the president at the time speak on trade promotion authority. (Corbis via Getty Images)

Donald Rumsfeld

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is seen in May 2012. (Getty Images)

Ed Asner

Actor Ed Asner is seen at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in February 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. Asner played Lou Grant in the 1970s and early 1980s, on both "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its spin-off series. (FilmMagic/Getty Images)

Biz Markie (Marcel Theo Hall)

Here's a 1970s photo of Biz Markie, a rapper, DJ, and record producer perhaps best known for the 1989 single "Just a Friend." (Getty Images)

Peter Scolari

Actor and director Peter Scolari poses at the 2016 Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. (WireImage via Getty Images)

Cloris Leachman

Cloris Leachman is seen at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles in 2004. The actress and comedian in her career won eight Primetime Emmy Awards from 22 nominations. (WireImage via Getty Images)

Siegfried Fischbacher

Siegfried Fischbacher is shown at left, with Roy Horn, at The Mirage Hotel and Casino in June 2006 in Las Vegas. The pair made up the famous magician duo Siegfried & Roy. (Getty Images)

Marvin Hagler

Famed boxer Marvin Hagler is seen at his 1981 Mustafa Hamstro fight in Madison Square Garden in New York. Hagler won with a knockout in the third round. (Getty Images)

James Michael Tyler

"Friends" actor James Michael Tyler (who played the coffee shop worker named Gunther) attends a Central Perk "pop-up"-style event in September 2014. (Getty Images)

Beverly Cleary

Children's book author Beverly Cleary is seen at center. At the time of this photo, she was meeting with then-President George W. Bush as one of the recipients of the 2003 National Endowment for the Arts award, in the Oval Office of the White House. Clearly might be best known for creating the book character Ramona Quimby. (Getty Images)

Walter Mondale

Here's Walter Mondale in 1982. Mondale served as the 42nd vice president of the United States from 1977 to 1981, under then-President Jimmy Carter. (Getty Images)

Eric Carle

Author Eric Carle (of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" fame) draws during a reading to children in October 2007 in New York City. (Getty Images)

Virgil Abloh

Fashion designer Virgil Abloh is seen outside a Louis Vuitton dinner during Paris Fashion Week in July 2021. (Getty Images)

Willard Scott

Here's "Today" show weatherman Willard Scott in 1986. (Getty Images)

Astronaut Michael Collins

Astronaut Michael Collins, a command module pilot of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission, is seen in 1969. (Getty Images)

Sen. Carl Levin

Sen. Carl Levin, from Michigan, questions a witness during a hearing in November 2014 in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images)

Joan Didion

A portrait of American author Joan Didion as she poses outdoors in Berkeley, California in April 1981. (Getty Images)

Jessica McClintock

Designer Jessica McClintock (who's seen in the chair) poses in her San Francisco home. (Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

Sen. John Warner

U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, from Virginia, is shown as he remarks on the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in November 2006. (Getty Images)

Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh is shown in his studio. Limbaugh was a radio personality, conservative political commentator and author. (Corbis via Getty Images)

Bernie Madoff

Bernard Madoff, at center, walks out from federal court after a bail hearing in January 2009 in New York City. The financier ran the largest Ponzi scheme in history. (Getty Images)

Harry Reid

U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) of Nevada listens to a question during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol Nov. 16, 2004 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images) (2004 Getty Images)

John Madden

John Madden, former head coach of the Oakland Raiders, looks on from the sidelines during an NFL football game circa 1977. Madden coached the Raiders from 1969-78. (1977 Focus on Sport)

Is there a celebrity death that touched you especially this past year? Let us know in the comments.


About the Author:

Michelle is the Managing Editor of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which writes for all of the company's news websites.