From dealing with personal losses to coming to terms with a ‘new normal’, 2020 was a difficult year for all of us. It was also the year where the Indian entertainment industry lost many of its talented artists and stars, who left behind an irreplaceable void:

1. Irrfan Khan

Undoubtedly one of the finest actors the world has seen, Irrfan Khan was also an equally inspiring personality. The impact he left on the world of cinema can be neither forgotten, nor replaced. 

NBC News

2. Rishi Kapoor

A veteran of the Hindi film industry, Rishi Kapoor was one of the most natural performers who made each role his own. Truly a bonafide superstar. 

Dhaka Tribune

3. Sushant Singh Rajput

A talented actor, Sushant gifted the audience some truly brilliant and memorable characters in an unfortunately, short-lived career. 


4. S. P. Balasubrahmanyam

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam’s soulful voice was an intrinsic part of our childhood. One of the most gifted singers we had the fortune to listen to, his death was like losing our childhood all over again. 

Indian Express

5. Saroj Khan

The choreographer who gave us timeless dance moves, Saroj Khan’s passing away was an incomparable loss to the world of dance and movies. 

Indian Express

6. Wajid Khan

Part of the music director duo Sajid-Wajid, Wajid Khan debuted with Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya in 1998 and went on to co-compose soundtracks for movies like Partner, Jai Ho, Wanted, etc. His untimely demise was a real loss to the world of music. 

The Print

7. Basu Chatterjee

Veteran film director Basu Chatterjee passed away at the age of 93, leaving behind an incomparable body of work (Rajnigandha, Kamla Ki Maut, Baaton Baaton Mein, etc.) that continues to inspire budding filmmakers and impress movie lovers. 

Outlook India

8. Jagdeep (Syed Ishtiaq Jafri)

Veteran actor Jagdeep (Syed Ishtiaq Jafri) was known for his flawless comic timing. The characters he brought to life, like Soorma Bhopali, have today become an intrinsic part of Bollywood’s rich legacy. 

Wion News

9. Rahat Indori

The lyricist whose words became our anthem of love, friendship, and in recent years, even our protests (Sabhi ka khun shamil hai yahan ki mitti mein, Kisi ke baap ka Hindustan thodi hai), Rahat Indori will forever live on through his songs and poetry. 

India Today

10. Nishikant Kamat

Actor and director Nishikant Kamat, best known for his movies like Drishyam, Madaari, Rocky Handsome, etc., passed away due to chronic liver disease at the age of 50. 

Indian Express

11. Pandit Jasraj

Music legend Pandit Jasraj, the recipient of Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan, was one of India’s most renowned classical vocalist, unparalleled in his talent. 

Telegraph India

12. Bhanu Athaiya

The first Indian artist to win an Oscar, Bhanu Athaiya was a skillful costume designer who worked in over 100 movies in her career, such as Gandhi, Teesri Manzil, Karz, Ek Duuje Ke Liye, 1942 – A Love Story, etc. 

Indian Express

13. Soumitra Chatterjee

An acting titan, Soumitra Chatterjee donned many hats, like that of director, writer, and poet. A gifted artist, he was best known for his work with Satyajit Ray in the Apu trilogy. A recipient of two National Awards and the Padma Bhushan, he was the first Indian to be conferred by Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France’s highest award for artists. 


14. Tapas Paul

Actor-turned-politician, Tapas Paul was one of Bengali cinema’s most legendary actors who starred in blockbuster hits like Bhalobasa Bhalobasa, Chokher Aloy, Arpan, etc. 


15. Astad Deboo

A revolutionary when it came to experimenting with dance forms, Padma Shri recipient dancer and choreographer Astad Deboo was an internationally renowned artist, who collaborated with Pink Floyd, Maya Plisetskaya, the prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theater ballet, painter M.F. Husain (for his film Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities), and others.


Here’s to the stars who continue to live on through their works.