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2020 has been an interesting, unprecedented year. From the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic to the multitude of social justice issues, it seems as though every week, the headlines featured new and outrageous stories.

Also in 2020, the world lost many of its brightest stars, from actors who had been in the business for decades to renowned musicians. Here are five of the most devastating and shocking celebrity deaths of 2020. 

David Prowse passed away in November

David Prowse was an English bodybuilder and weightlifter, who became an entertainment icon when he provided the imposing physicality of Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy.

Although James Earl Jones lent his booming voice to Darth Vader, there’s no doubt that the character would not have been nearly as intimidating without Prowse as the actor who filled the villainous costume.

After decades as a cultural icon and advocate for various charitable organizations, Prowse died in November 2020. According to the New York Post, Prowse died from complications relating to Coronavirus. 

Bobby Brown lost another child

The controversial singer Bobby Brown has lost many people during the course of his lifetime, including his longtime partner Whitney Houston, and the couple’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown.

2020 brought another tough loss for Brown, when it was revealed that his son, Bobby Brown Jr., was found unresponsive in his Los Angeles home in mid-November. The exact cause of death for the 28-year old has not been revealed, but CNN reported that no foul play is suspected. 

Alex Trebek lost his battle with pancreatic cancer

Alex Trebek stands at his podium during a taping of 'Jeopardy!'
Alex Trebek speaks during a rehearsal before a taping of Jeopardy! | Kris Connor/Getty Images

On November 8th, Alex Trebek, the longtime host of Jeopardy! died due to complications relating to pancreatic cancer. Trebek, who had first been diagnosed with the devastating disease in March 2019, had fought a very public battle with the disease, keeping his fans apprised of every step of his fight. 

Up until the end, Trebek worked on the beloved game show that he was so closely associated. Fans and celebrities alike were saddened by the news of Trebek’s death, taking to social media to share memories of the TV host, praising him for his class, work ethic, and unique ability to make guests on the show always feel at home. 

Sean Connery passed away in October

Sean Connery might have been out of the acting game for over a decade, but that doesn’t mean that his death in October was any less poignant. For many fans, Connery was the best James Bond in the history of the franchise, and the most memorable.

Connery also worked alongside Hollywood heavy hitters such as Harrison Ford, and although he had been tempted to come out of retirement many times of the years, by all accounts, the 90-year-old actor was greatly enjoying his time off.

Connery reportedly died as a result of respiratory failure, and rather than passing away after a lengthy illness, is said to have died peacefully in his sleep. 

Eddie Van Halen’s death rocked the world


Late ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek’s Shared His Fear for American Society

Few rock stars were as influential and popular as Eddie Van Halen. The lead guitarist and co-founder of the rock group Van Halen, the musician passed away in early October after a long, difficult battle with throat cancer.

Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, and although he was less active in the music industry in recent years, his influence is certainly one that will never be forgotten.

In a year that saw so many tough losses, these celebrity deaths hit fans particularly hard. Still, these shining stars will always live on, both in the memories of their family members and in the work that they have done over the years.