Showbiz and style icons lost to Covid-19 (updated)


  • Entertainment
  • Wednesday, 08 Apr 2020

The Covid-19 coronavirus has taken thousands of lives to date, ranging from frontliners in the medical and essential fields, to politicians and celebrities.

A list of showbiz and style icons we have lost to the pandemic. (Last update: April 8)

John Prine, 73, Grammy-winning country musician (April 8)

Photo: APPhoto: AP

Grammy-winning singer John Prine, who wrote his early songs in his head while delivering mail and later emerged from Chicago's folk revival scene in the 1970s to become one of the most influential songwriters of his generation, died on Tuesday. He was 73.

Prine was hospitalised in Nashville on March 26 suffering from symptoms of Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to his wife, Fiona Whelan Prine, who was also his manager. – Reuters

Full story: Country folk singer John Prine dies at 73 of Covid-19 complications


Sergio Rossi, 85, legendary footwear designer (April 2)

Italian luxury shoemaker Sergio Rossi died aged 85 on April 3 in the small town of Cesena in central Italy, after being hospitalised with the coronavirus.

Rossi was among the founders of the high-end women's footwear district in the area of Forlì and Cesena in the mid-20th century. – Reuters

Full story: Legendary footwear designer Sergio Rossi dies from Covid-19


Ellis Marsalis, 85, legendary jazz pianist (April 1)

Jazz great Ellis Marsalis died April 1 at the age of 85 after contracting the coronavirus, his son Branford said.

The acclaimed American pianist and teacher – who featured on dozens of records over a musical career spanning several decades – was the father of trumpeter Wynton and saxophonist Branford. – AFP


Adam Schlesinger, 52, Fountains Of Wayne co-founder and award-winning songwriter (April 1)

Adam Schlesinger, a musician and songwriter highly regarded for his work as a member of Fountains Of Wayne and an Emmy-winning songwriter for TV's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, died as a result of coronavirus complications. He was 52.

Schlesinger has been nominated for Oscars, Tonys, Grammys and Emmys and won the latter two awards. He is best regarded among rock fans for the five albums he recorded with Fountains of Wayne between 1996 and 2011. – Reuters

Full story: Fountains Of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger dies of coronavirus complications at 52


Andrew Jack, 76, 'Star Wars' actor and renowned dialect coach (March 31)

Star Wars actor Andrew Jack died in Britain as a result of the coronavirus. He was 76.

The actor, who also worked as a dialect coach, died in a hospital in Surrey on March 31, Jack’s agent Jill McCullough said in a statement. "Andrew lived on one of the oldest working houseboats on the Thames, he was fiercely independent but madly in love with his wife, also a dialect coach, ” McCullough said.

Jack appeared in Star Wars: The Last Jedi as General Ematt, as well as Solo: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Jack’s clients for his dialect coaching included Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth. – AP

Full story: 'Star Wars' actor Andrew Jack dies of coronavirus at 76 in Britain


Ken Shimura, 70, Japanese comedian (March 30)

Photo: APPhoto: AP

Japanese comedian Ken Shimura, who had been hospitalised after being infected with the new coronavirus, has died, public broadcaster NHK reported on March 30. He was 70.

Shimura, one of the country's best-known comedians with a career dating back to the early 1970s, had been hospitalised in Tokyo and died on Sunday evening, NHK said. - Reuters


Joe Diffie, 61, Grammy-winning country music star (March 29)

Joe Diffie, a Grammy award-winning country music singer who had several chart-topping hits in the 1990s, died of coronavirus on March 29. He was 61.

Diffie had several hit songs during the 1990s including Pickup Man, Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die) and John Deere Green. His first album, A Thousand Winding Roads, was released in 1990 and including his hit song Home. – AFP

Full story: Grammy-winning country music star Joe Diffie dies of Covid-19


Mark Blum, 69, actor and star of 'Desperately Seeking Susan' (March 25)

Actor Mark Blum, who starred in Desperately Seeking Susan, Crocodile Dundee and the TV series You, died due to complications from coronavirus. He was 69.

Blum played the husband of Rosanna Arquette's character, Roberta Glass, in 1985's Desperately Seeking Susan (which also starred Madonna), and Paul Hogan's rival in 1986's Crocodile Dundee. His other feature credits include Lovesick, Just Between Friends, Blind Date and The Presidio.

Blum had a recurring role on the first season of the Lifetime series You. His other TV credits include Sweet Surrender, Capital News, Frasier, NYPD Blue, Mozart In The Jungle and Coin Heist. – Reuters

Full story: Actor Mark Blum, star of 'Desperately Seeking Susan', dies from Coronavirus


Manu Dibango, African jazz great (March 24)

Manu Dibango, who fused African rhythms with funk to become one of the most influential musicians in world dance music, died on April 24 with the coronavirus, according to his music publisher. He was 86.

Soul Makossa was one of the earliest hits in the nascent world music scene, including a catchy hook copied by some of the world’s biggest pop stars. – AP

Full story: African jazz great Manu Dibango dies of illness linked to Covid-19

Terrence McNally, 81, Tony award-winning playwright (March 24)

Photo: ReutersPhoto: Reuters

Terrence McNally, a revered American playwright, librettist and screenwriter whose long career earned him four Tony awards and an Emmy, died on March 24 following coronavirus complications. He was 81 years old.

A writer whose subject matter included love, homophobia and AIDS, McNally's notable plays included Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class, along with the musicals Kiss Of The Spider Woman and Ragtime.

Full story: Tony-award winning US playwright Terrence McNally dies of Covid-19 complications

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