Death took the lives of many beloved celebrities in May. In this video, we’re honoring the memories of the celebrities who died in May 2021.
00:00 – Johnny Crawford
0:54 – Olympia Dukakis
1:47 – Billie Hayes
2:37 – Tawny Kitaen
3:35 – Norman Lloyd
4:24 – Charles Grodin
5:10 – Paul Mooney
5:59 – Mark York
6:30 – Samuel E. Wright
7:22 – Lois De Banzie
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John Crawford was an American actor, singer, and musician. He first performed before a national audience as a Mouseketeer. At age 12, Crawford rose to prominence playing Mark McCain in the series The Rifleman, for which he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Emmy Award at age 13.
Olympia Dukakis was an American actress, director, producer, teacher and activist. She performed in more than 130 stage productions, more than 60 films and in 50 television series. Best known as a screen actress, she started her career in theater. She later moved to film acting and won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, among other accolades, for her performance in Moonstruck (1987). After a period of ill health, Dukakis died under hospice care at her home in Manhattan on May 1, 2021, at the age of 89.
Billie Hayes was an American television, film, and stage actress, best known for her comic portrayals of Witchiepoo and Lil’ Abner’s Mammy Yokum. She died of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, on April 29, 2021 at the age of 96.
Julie Ellen “Tawny” Kitaen was an American actress, model, and media personality. She began her career as a television actress, appearing in the television films Malibu (1983) and California Girls (1985). She also starred in the comedies The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak and Bachelor Party (both 1984), and the horror film Witchboard (1986). On May 7, 2021, Kitaen died at her Newport Beach home at the age of 59. She had been working with author and historian Colin Heaton on her memoir for the past year.
Norman Lloyd was an American actor, producer and director with a career in entertainment spanning nearly a century. He worked in every major facet of the industry including theatre, radio, television, and film, with a career that started in 1923. His last film, Trainwreck, was released in 2015, after Lloyd had attained 100 years of age. Lloyd died in his sleep at the age of 106 on the morning of May 11, 2021, at his home in Los Angeles.
Charles Grodin was an American actor, comedian, author, and television talk show host. Grodin began his acting career in the 1960s appearing in TV serials including The Virginian. After a small part in Rosemary’s Baby in 1968, he played the lead in Elaine May’s The Heartbreak Kid (1972) and supporting roles in Mike Nichols’s Catch-22 (1970) and Warren Beatty’s Heaven Can Wait (1978). Grodin died from bone marrow cancer at his home in Wilton, Connecticut, on May 18, 2021. He was 86.
Paul Gladney, better known by the stage name Paul Mooney, was an American comedian, writer, social critic, and actor, best known as a writer for comedian Richard Pryor and for his collaborations with Redd Foxx, Eddie Murphy, and Dave Chappelle. On May 19, 2021, Mooney died of a heart attack at his home in Oakland, California, at the age of 79.
Mark York, also known as Marcus A. York, was an American actor best known for his role as Billy Merchant in NBC’s The Office. He died on May 19, 2021, aged 55, at Miami Valley Hospital, Ohio, due to “a brief and unexpected illness”. Montgomery County coroner’s office said he died of natural causes. Fellow The Office actors Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson, and Angela Kinsey, paid tribute. He is survived by his mother, father, and his three brothers.
Samuel Edward Wright was an American actor and singer. He was best known as the voice of Sebastian in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, for which he provided the lead vocals to “Under the Sea”, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Wright died in his sleep at his home in Walden, New York, on May 24, 2021, at the age of 74. The cause of death was revealed to be prostate cancer.
Lois de Banzie was a Scottish-born United States-based stage, film, and television actress. She died on April 3 in Greenbrae, California. She was 90.
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