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In memory of cultural figures the U.S. lost to COVID-19

Playwright Terrence McNally pictured at a Tony Awards function in 2019.
Ilya S. Savenok
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Getty Images for Tony Awards Pro
Playwright Terrence McNally pictured at a Tony Awards function in 2019.

Updated May 13, 2022 at 9:08 AM ET

Here are just some of the many cultural figures, trailblazers and creative forces the U.S. lost to COVID-19.

Mike Longo, 83 - The distinguished jazz pianist and longtime musical director for Dizzy Gillespie died March 22, 2020.

Nashom Wooden, 50 - A force of New York City nightlife, the glittering performance artist and drag legend died March 23, 2020.

Terrence McNally, 81 - The Tony Award-winning playwright and true gentleman of the theater died March 24, 2020.

Chef Floyd Cardoz in the kitchen.
Kris Connor / Getty Images for NYCWFF
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Getty Images for NYCWFF

Floyd Cardoz, 59 - The chef, who married regional Indian cuisine with French and new American flavors, died March 25, 2020.

Orlando McDaniel, 59 - The track star, whose speed got him drafted to the Denver Broncos, died March 27, 2020.

Joe Diffie, 61 - The wry country traditionalist died March 29, 2020.

Alby Kass, 89 - The Yiddish folk singer and California resort operator died March 31, 2020.

Jennifer Arnold, 67 - The Broadway costume dresser with a profound sense of humor died April 1, 2020.

Musician Adam Schlesinger  at the ASCAP / Tribeca Music Lounge at The 2007 Tribeca Film Festival
Scott Gries / Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival
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Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Adam Schlesinger, 52 - The prolific songwriter and co-founder of Fountains of Wayne died April 1, 2020.

Jazz Legend Ellis Marsalis performs at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
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Ellis Marsalis, 85 - The jazz pianist, educator and patriarch of New Orleans' most famous musical family, died April 1, 2021.

Patricia Bosworth, 86 - Known for her intense energy and biographies of Hollywood stars, the actor turned author died April 2, 2020.

Lee Fierro, 91 - The actor, best known for her role as Mrs. Kintner in Jaws, died April 5, 2020.

Helène Aylon, 89 - The ground-breaking artist brought a feminist inclination to her work on gender, eco-activism and G-d. She died April 6, 2020.

John Prine performs at John Anson Ford Amphitheatre
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John Prine, 73 - One of the country's great lyricists, the mailman turned bard died April 7, 2020.

Charles Gregory Ross, 68 - The Emmy-nominated hairstylist, who frequently collaborated with Tyler Perry on his films and TV shows, died April 8, 2020.

Theresa M. Korn, 93 - The first woman accepted into the Engineering program at Carnegie Tech and author of books on computers and mathematics died April 9, 2020.

Helen Damico, 89 - The Beowulf scholar, who changed how historical and fictional women in her field were studied, died April 14, 2020.

Margit Feldman, 90 - The Holocaust survivor recounted her experiences in Margit: A Teenager's Journey Through the Holocaust and Beyond. She died April 14, 2020.

Ella King Russell Torrey, 94 - The newspaper editor, human rights activist and public information officer for Eleanor Roosevelt died April 14, 2020.

Iris Love, 86 - The dynamic archaeologist, best known for her rediscovery of the Temple of Aphrodite, died April 17, 2020.

Bernice Silver, 106 - The puppeteering "Queen of Potpourri'' died April 18, 2020.

Madeline Kripke, 76 - With some 20,000 editions in her West Village apartment, she held one of the world's largest private collections of dictionaries. The book collector died April 25, 2020.

Rana Zoe Mungin, 30 - A Brooklyn teacher and aspiring author who was denied testing and treatment twice before her condition worsened, she died April 27, 2020.

Alyce Gullattee, 91 - One of the nation's leading voices on substance abuse and a D.C. legend, she died April 30, 2020.

Motoko Fujishiro Huthwaite, 92 - The last living Monuments Woman helped save cultural treasures during the Second World War. She died May 4, 2020.

Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, 91 - The former White House butler, who served 11 presidential administrations, died May 16, 2020.

John H. Glenn Jr., a senator from Ohio and one of the original seven Project Mercury astronauts, poses with his wife Annie before their return flight to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. (photo by NASA)
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Annie Glenn, 100 - The speech disorder advocate and wife of astronaut and senator John Glenn died May 19, 2020.

Mary J. Wilson, 83 - The first Black senior zookeeper at the Maryland Zoo died May 21, 2020.

Pat Dye, 80 - The Auburn football coach died June 1, 2020.

Marlene Sekaquaptewa, 79 - The gifted quiltmaker and Hopi political leader died June 24, 2020.

Nick Cordero and Amanda Kloots and the cast 'Bullets Over Broadway' perform onstage during the 68th Annual Tony Awards
Theo Wargo / Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions
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Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

Nick Cordero, 41 - The Broadway actor and Tony nominee died July 5, 2020.

Helen Jones Woods, 96 - The groundbreaking trombonist of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm — one of the United States' first integrated female big bands — died July 25, 2020.

American singer, guitarist and actor Trini Lopez
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Getty Images

Trini Lopez, 83 - Best known for his upbeat cover of "If I Had a Hammer," the musician and actor died August 11, 2020.

Tom Seaver, 75 - The N.Y. Mets pitcher and Hall of Famer died August 31, 2020.

Arnie Robinson Jr., 72 - The two-time Olympic long-jump medalist died December 1, 2020.

Phyllis Eisenstein, 74 - The Hugo Award-nominated author died December 7, 2020.

Harold Budd, 84 - The composer, whose music floated between ambient, minimalist composition, and dream-pop, died December 8, 2020.

Carol Sutton, 76 - The New Orleans star appeared in more than 100 movies, plays and television shows. She died December 10, 2020.

Charley Pride performs onstage during the 2018 CMA Music festival
Jason Kempin / Getty Images
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Getty Images

Charley Pride, 86 - Country music's first Black superstar died December 12, 2020.

Kim Chernin, 80 - The feminist writer who explored body dysmorphia and the modern woman's search for self-identity died December 17, 2020.

Pang Xiong Sirirathasuk Sikoun, 76 - Known for her intricate paj ntaub quilts, the Hmong artist celebrated the rich history and spirit of her culture. She died December 22, 2020.

Actress Dawn Wells and producer Sherwood Schwartz attend a ceremony honoring him with a star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame
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Getty Images

Dawn Wells, 82 - Best remembered for her role as Mary Ann Summers in the sitcom Gilligan's Island, the actress died December 30, 2020.

Phil Spector, 81 - The groundbreaking producer and convicted murderer, responsible for pop music's "wall of sound" and the death of Lana Clarkson, died January 16, 2021.

Sekou Smith, 48 - The NBA reporter and analyst died January 26, 2021.

Actor Cloris Leachman signs an autograph for a fan during the film premiere of "Spanglish"
Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images
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Getty Images

Cloris Leachman, 94 - One of Hollywood's most decorated and versatile performers, the actress died January 27, 2021.

Carmen Vázquez, 72 - The writer and champion of LGBTQ+ causes died January 27, 2021.

Anne Feeney, 69 - The lawyer, activist and folk singer embraced music's power to make the world a better place. She died February 3, 2021.

Judy Irola, 77 - The pioneering filmmaker, documentarian, and educator was the third woman accepted into the American Society of Cinematographers. She died February 21, 2021.

Mo Pinel, 80 - Known for his innovative, and occasionally controversial, bowling ball designs, the mechanical engineer died March 5, 2021.

John Davis, 66 - One of the real vocalists behind Milli Vanilli, he died May 24, 2021.

J. R. Richard, 71 - The Houston Astros pitcher died August 4, 2021.

Carol Fran, 87 - The Louisiana blues vocalist died September 1, 2021.

Andre Leon Talley backstage at the Carolina Herrera Spring 2013 fashion show
Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
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Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

André Leon Talley, 73 - The glamorous fashion journalist and former editor-at-large of Vogue died January 18, 2022.

Meat Loaf, 74 - The singer and actor, best known for his 1977 album Bat Out Of Hell, died January 20, 2022.

DJ Kay Slay, 55 - The celebrated hip-hop artist with a flair for drama died April 17, 2022.

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