On This Day

Famous People Who Died in January 2021

  • Jan 1 Floyd Little, American Pro/College Football Hall of Fame halfback (Syracuse University; 5 x Pro Bowl; First-team All-Pro 1969; Denver Broncos), dies from cancer at 78
  • Jan 1 Misty Morgan, American country keyboardist (duo with Jack Blanchard - "Tennessee Bird Walk"), dies of cancer at 75
  • Jan 2 Don Salls, American football linebacker (Alabama) and coach (Jacksonville State University 1946-52, 1954-64), dies at 101
  • Jan 2 Paul Westphal, American Basketball Hall of Fame guard (NBA C'ship 1974; NBA All-Star 1977–81; Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns) and coach (NBA: Phoenix, Seattle, Sacramento), dies from glioblastoma at 70
  • Jan 3 Roger Hassenforder, French racing cyclist (8 stage wins Tour de France 1955-59), dies at 90
  • Jan 3 Gerry Marsden, British rock vocalist and TV personality (Gerry & Pacemakers - Ferry Cross The Mersey), dies at 78 [1] [2]
  • Jan 4 [Victoria] Tanya Roberts, American actress (Charlie's Angels, 1980-81; A View To A Kill; That 70's Show), dies of sepsis at 65 [1]
  • Jan 4 John Muckler, Canadian ice hockey coach (Stanley Cup Edmonton Oilers 1990; Buffalo Sabres, NY Rangers) and executive (GM Ottawa Senators), dies at 86
  • Jan 4 Albert Roux, French chef and restaurateur (Le Gavroche, 1st Michelin three-starred restaurant in Britain), dies at 85 [1]
  • Jan 4 Gregory Sierra, American stage and screen actor (Barney Miller - "Chano"), dies of cancer at 83
  • Jan 5 Colin Bell, English soccer midfielder (48 caps; Manchester City 394 games), dies at 74
  • Jan 5 Bob Brett, Australian tennis coach (Boris Becker, Goran Ivanišević, Marin Čilić), dies from cancer at 67
  • Jan 5 Pat Patrick, American auto racing team owner (Patrick Racing; Indianapolis 500, 1973, 1982, 1989; Emerson Fittipaldi IndyCar title, 1989), dies at 91
  • Jan 6 Satya Paul, Indian fashion designer and entrepreneur who invented the modern sari, dies of a stroke at 79 [1]
  • Jan 6 Bobby Few, American jazz pianist and vocalist, dies at 85
  • Jan 7 Vladimir Kiselyov, Russian athlete (Olympic gold, Soviet Union, shot put 1980), dies at 64

Tommy Lasorda

Jan 7 Tommy Lasorda, American Baseball Hall of Fame manager (World Series 1981, 88; NL Manager of the Year 1983, 88; LA Dodgers 1976-96), dies of a heart attack at 93 [1]

  • Jan 7 Michael Apted, English director and producer (7 Up, The World is Not Enough), dies at 79 [1]
  • Jan 8 Shirley Wilson, American football coach (Elon University 1967-76; Duke University 1979-82; 88–61–3), dies at 95
  • Jan 8 [William Edwin] Ed Bruce, American country singer ("Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys"), dies at 81
  • Jan 9 Isaak Markovich Khalatnikov, Russian physicist, dies at 101
  • Jan 9 Vivalyn Latty-Scott, West Indian women's cricket all-rounder (10 Tests, 25 wickets; Jamaica), dies at 82
  • Jan 10 Hubert Auriol, French off-road motorcyclist and auto racer (Dakar Rally 1981, 83, 92), dies from COVID-19 at 68
  • Jan 10 Dee Rowe, American college basketball coach (UConn Huskies men's team 1969-76; 103–78 [.569]), dies at 91
  • Jan 10 Donald Smith, English cricket batsman (3 Tests; Sussex), dies at 97
  • Jan 10 David Barclay, British hotel magnate (The Ritz) and multi-billionaire, dies at 86
  • Jan 11 Colin McDonald, Australian cricket batsman (47 Tests, 5 x 100s; Victoria), dies at 92
  • Jan 11 Wálter Taibo, Uruguayan soccer goalkeeper (30 caps; Huracán, C.A. Peñarol), dies at 89

Sheldon Adelson

Jan 11 Sheldon Adelson, American business magnate (CEO of Las Vegas Sands casino company) and major political donor to the GOP and Israel, dies at 87 [1]

  • Jan 11 Kathleen Heddle, Canadian rower (Olympic gold coxless pair, 8's 1992; double sculls 1996), dies from breast and lymph node cancer at 55
  • Jan 11 William Edgar Thornton, American medical doctor, USAF officer, and astronaut (STS-8, STS-51B), dies at 91
  • Jan 12 Frank Arok, Yugoslavian-Australian soccer coach (Australia 1983-89), dies at 88
  • Jan 12 Álvaro Mejía, Colombian athlete (Boston Marathon 1971 2:18:45), dies at 80
  • Jan 12 John Ward, New Zealand cricket wicketkeeper (8 Tests; 17 dismissals), dies at 83
  • Jan 12 Khalid bin Abdullah Al Saud, Saudi thoroughbred racing owner and breeder (Juddmonte Farms; Dancing Brave, Enable, Frankel, Arrogate), dies at 84
  • Jan 13 Tim Bogert, American rock bassist (Vanilla Fudge; Jeff Beck), dies at 76
  • Jan 13 Siegfried Fischbacher, German American entertainer and magician (Siegfried and Roy), dies at 81 [1]
  • Jan 13 Bernd Kannenber, German race walker (Olympic gold FRG 50k 1972), dies at 78
  • Jan 13 Joël Robert, Belgian motocross racer (Motocross World C'ships 250cc 1964, 68–72), dies from COVID-19 at 77
  • Jan 13 Hannes Viljoen, South African rugby union winger (3 caps; Natal), dies at 77
  • Jan 14 Sylvain Sylvain [Mizrahi], Egyptian-American rock guitarist (New York Dolls), dies of cancer at 69
  • Jan 15 Vicente Cantatore, Argentine soccer manager (Chile, Real Valladolid, Colo Colo, Real Betis, Sevilla, Sporting de Gijón), dies at 85
  • Jan 15 Bruce Headley, American thoroughbred horse trainer and owner (Breeders' Cup Sprint 2000 Kona Gold), dies from a stroke at 86

Phil Spector

Jan 16 (Harvey) Phil Spector, American record producer (Wall of Sound), and convicted murderer, dies of Covid-19 complications at 81 [1]

  • Jan 16 Jon Arnett, American College Football Hall of Fame halfback (USC; 5 × Pro Bowl; LA Rams, Chicago Bears), dies from heart failure at 85
  • Jan 17 Julian "Junior" Mance, American jazz pianist (Dinah Washington; Dizzy Gillespie), dies of a brain hemorrhage after a fall at 92
  • Jan 18 Don Sutton, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (MLB All-Star 1972, 73, 75, 77; MLB ERA leader 1980; LA Dodgers), dies from cancer at 75 [1]
  • Jan 18 James Frederick "Jimmie" Rodgers, American pop singer and guitarist ("Honey Comb" ; “Oh-Oh, I’m Falling In Love Again”), dies of kidney disease at 87 [1]
  • Jan 18 Perry Botkin Jr, American arranger, composer ("Nadia's Theme"), and producer (Incredible Bongo Band), dies at 87
  • Jan 20 Peter Swan, English soccer defender (19 caps; Sheffield Wednesday, Bury), dies at 84
  • Jan 20 Ted Thompson, American NFL linebacker (Houston Oilers) and executive (GM Green Bay Packers 2005-17), dies from autonomic disorder at 68
  • Jan 21 David Bolton, English rugby league five eighth (23 caps Great Britain; Wigan, Balmain) and coach (Parramatta), dies at 83

Hank Aaron

Jan 22 Hank Aaron, American Baseball Hall of Fame right fielder (MLB record 755 HRs; NL MVP 1957; 25 × MLB All-Star; Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers), dies at 86 [1]

  • Jan 22 Nick Drake-Lee, English rugby union prop (8 caps; Leicester Tigers), dies at 78
  • Jan 22 Tony Jones, American NFL tackle (Super Bowl 1997, 98; Second-team All-Pro 1994; Pro Bowl 1998; Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos), dies at 54
  • Jan 22 Luton Shelton, Jamaican soccer striker (75 caps; Vålerenga, Karabükspor, Sheffield United), dies from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at 35
  • Jan 22 James Purify, American R&B singer ("I'm Your Puppet"), dies of Covid-19 complications at 76

Larry King

Jan 23 Larry King [Zeiger], American radio/TV host ("Larry King Live", CNN), dies of COVID-19 at 87 [1] [2]

  • Jan 23 Hal Holbrook, American stage and screen Tony and Emmy award-winning actor (All the President's Men; “Mark Twain Tonight!”), dies at 95 [1]
  • Jan 24 George Armstrong, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame centre (Stanley Cup 1961–62, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1966–67 Toronto Maple Leafs; 7 x NHL All Star), dies from heart complications at 90
  • Jan 24 Jóhannes Eðvaldsson, Icelandic soccer defender (34 caps; Celtic, Tulsa Roughnecks, Hannover 96, Motherwell), dies from COVID-19 at 70
  • Jan 24 Gunnel Lindblom, Swedish actress (Hunger, Virgin Spring), dies at 89
  • Jan 25 Maryan Synakowski, French soccer defender (16 caps; UA Sedan Torcy 241 games), dies at 84
  • Jan 25 Barry Heywood, British director of the British Antarctic Survey, dies at 83
  • Jan 26 Alan Ashcroft, English rugby union number 8 (16 caps England, 2 caps British & Irish Lions; Waterloo FC), dies at 90
  • Jan 26 Margitta Gummel-Helmbold, German track & field athlete (Olympic gold GDR women's shot put 1968), dies at 79
  • Jan 26 John Mortimore, English soccer defender (Chelsea 249 games) and manager (Portsmouth, Benfica, Real Betis), dies at 86
  • Jan 26 Sekou Smith, American sportswriter (The Clarion-Ledger, The Indianapolis Star, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; NBA TV), dies from COVID-19 at 48
  • Jan 26 Peter Thorburn, New Zealand rugby union coach (North Harbour, NZ sevens, Bristol RFC, United States), dies at 81
  • Jan 26 Jozef Vengloš, Slovak soccer manager (Australia, Czechoslovakia, Malaysia, Fenerbahçe, Aston Villa, Celtic, Slovakia), dies at 84
  • Jan 27 Cloris Leachman, American Oscar and Emmy Award-winning actress (The Last Picture Show; The Mary Tyler Moore Show - "Phyllis"), dies at 94 [1] [2]
  • Jan 27 Mehrdad Minavand, Iranian soccer midfielder (67 caps; Persepolis, Sturm Graz), dies from COVID-19 at 45
  • Jan 28 Cicely Tyson, American stage and screen actress (Roots; The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman), dies at 96 [1]
  • Jan 28 Eddie Connachan, Scottish soccer goalkeeper (2 caps; Dunfermline Athletic, Middlesbrough, Falkirk), dies at 85
  • Jan 29 Hilton Valentine, British rock guitarist (Animals - "House of the Rising Sun"), dies at 77
  • Jan 29 John Chaney, American Basketball Hall of Fame college coach (Cheyney University, Temple University), dies at 89
  • Jan 29 Yvon Douis, French soccer striker (20 caps; Lille, Le Havre, Monaco, Cannes), dies from COVID-19 at 85