Final goodbye: Celebrities who left us in 2021

Dilip Kumar 

Legendary actor Dilip Kumar, credited with bringing method acting to Hindi cinema, passed away at the age of 98. He was admitted to the hospital on June 30 and passed away on July 7.  

He perfected the brooding hero role in movies such as Devdas (1955) and Mughal -E-Azam (1960). The actor, whose original name was Muhammad Yusuf Khan, is also regarded as the first ‘Khan superstar” of Bollywood. He is survived by his wife Saira Banu. 

Bipin Rawat 

India’s first Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat died in a helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on December 8. He was among the 14 people who were on board, including his wife Madhulika Rawat and staff members.  

The first sitting Chief of Army Staff to be appointed as the CDS, Gen Rawat had an illustrious career spanning over four decades during which he served with distinction in several conflict-ridden areas, including Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast. 

As CDS Gen Rawat was tasked to bring in theater command and jointness among the three services, and he was pushing it with a tough approach and specific timelines in the last two years. 

Milkha Singh 

India’s ‘Flying Sikh’ died of Covid-19 related complications on June 18. Aged 91, Milkha Singh is one of India’s greatest athletes. He had won India four Asian gold medals and finished fourth in the 400m final at the 1960 Rome Olympics. The veteran athlete’s track and field conquests are part of India’s urban legend. He won India its first Commonwealth Gold Medal in 1958. Out of the 80 international races that he has participated in, Milkha Singh has won 77. He won five gold medals in the international athletic championships and was awarded the Helms World Trophy in 1959. 

Yashpal Sharma 

Former India batsman Yashpal Sharma, a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning side, passed away on July 13 at his home in Noida. He was 66. 

The right-handed batsman, who was the backbone of India’s middle-order in the 1983 World Cup, played 37 Test matches, scoring 1606 runs, and 42 ODIs scoring 883 runs. He also played 160 first-class matches, representing Punjab, Haryana and Railways, and scored 8933 runs. 

But he was best remembered internationally for his performances in India’s first World Cup win, in 1983. He aggregated 240 runs at an average of 34.28 to return as the second-highest scorer for India behind skipper Kapil Dev in the tournament. 

Rohit Sardana 

Among the top Hindi anchors in India, Rohit Sardana is said to have contracted Covid-19 and it was unclear whether he had fully recovered or not. On April 30, 2021, he succumbed to a heart attack. The journalist was with Zee news for several years, before he joined AajTak in 2017. His popular show ‘Dangal,’ featured debate panels but had also been controversial for its rhetoric. He was awarded the Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Puraskar by the Indian government in 2018. 


Puneeth Rajkumar 

A death that shook the south Indian film fraternity this year was the sudden passing of Kannada star Puneeth Rajkumar on October 29. He was only 46 years old. He suffered a massive heart attack while at the gym and was rushed to a private hospital in Bengaluru after he complained of chest pain. Popularly called Power Star and lovingly called Appu, a name given to him after his debut as a lead actor in a 2002 film, Puneeth was easily the biggest contemporary star in the Kannada film industry.  His body of work included several blockbuster films such as ‘Raajakumara’, ‘Jackie’, ‘Milana’, and ‘Anna Bond’ among others. He was posthumously awarded with Karnataka State’s highest civilian award Karnataka Ratna. 


Sidharth Shukla 

The actor who rose to fame with the television series ‘Balika Vadhu’, passed away following a massive heart attack on the morning of September 2. He won ‘Bigg Boss 13’ and was known for his drop-dead gorgeous looks as well as his sweet chemistry with his ‘Bigg Boss’ contestant Shehnaaz Gill.  


Larry King 

The veteran TV and radio host known for his signature suspenders and legendary interviews, died Jan 13. He was 87. 

“For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry’s many thousands of interviews, awards and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster,” his company Ora Media said in a statement. “Additionally, while it was his name appearing in the shows’ titles, Larry always viewed his interview subjects as the true stars of his programs, and himself as merely an unbiased conduit between the guest and audience.” 

Ken Kragen 

The famed entertainment manager and producer died at his home in Brentwood, California on Dec 14. He was 85. Throughout his long career, Kragen was a personal manager and close friend to some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Olivia Newton-John, Burt Reynolds, The Bee Gees, Trisha Yearwood, The Smothers Brothers and many others. Kragen also worked as a producer on many film and TV projects including the legendary Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, as well as Kenny Rogers’ Gambler films. Kragen was also a devoted humanitarian with ambitious aspirations for helping the world through entertainment. He was responsible for organizing and securing talent for the iconic We Are the World album in 1985, and for organizing the famous Hands Across America charity fundraising event in 1986. For his efforts, Kragen was awarded the United Nations Peace Medal, becoming one of only a select few private individuals to be awarded the prestigious honor. 


Prince Philip 

Prince Philip, the irascible and tough-minded husband of Queen Elizabeth II who spent more than seven decades supporting his wife in a role that both defined and constricted his life, passed away on April 9 in Buckingham Palace. He was 99. 

His life spanned nearly a century of European history, starting with his birth as a member of the Greek royal family and ending as Britain’s longest serving consort during a turbulent reign in which the thousand-year-old monarchy was forced to reinvent itself for the 21st century. 

He was known for his occasionally deeply offensive remarks — and for gamely fulfilling more than 20,000 royal engagements to boost British interests at home and abroad. He headed hundreds of charities, founded programs that helped British schoolchildren participate in challenging outdoor adventures, and played a prominent part in raising his four children, including his eldest son, Prince Charles, the heir to the throne. 

Images courtesy of thesatimes, (Image courtesy: , (Image courtesy: , (Image courtesy: Famous People) , (Image courtesy: , (Image courtesy: , (Image courtesy: , (Image courtesy: , (Image courtesy: , (Image courtesy:  and (Image courtesy: 

Share this post