A plethora of stars and personalities from the worlds of culture, cinema, sport, fashion and politics died out in the course of 2020, including friends of Morocco such as the big screen monster Sean Connery from Scotland, world football legend Diego Armando Maradona from Argentina and the Franco-Swedish actor Max Von Sydow.
On a Saturday (31 October), the world bid farewell to Sean Connery, the first actor to land the role of the British secret agent “James Bond”. The mythical star of the 7th art, who bowed out at 90, was an unconditional lover of Morocco, where he had spent a lot of time and shot several films.
The no less famous Max Van Sydow joined the pantheon, leaving behind a series of masterpieces that propelled him to the top of the film world: “The Exorcist”, “The Three Days of the Condor”, “The Seventh Seal” and “The Lovers of Mogador” shot in the Kingdom under the direction of Moroccan filmmaker Souheil Ben Barka, to name but a few.
The world of sport was also mourning the loss of the football legend, the incomparable Diego Maradona, who walked on the largest lawns in the world including the Sheikh Mohamed Laghdaf stadium in Laayoune, on the occasion of international gala matches organised in commemoration of the Green March.
In politics, the Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation Saeb Erekat remains one of the most prominent political figures who left this world at the age of 65, alongside Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, the third French President of the Fifth Republic, who died at the age of 94.
Several other figures representing different fields and horizons have left us this same year, among others :
– Pierre Cardin, 98 years old, French couturier and last witness of 20th century fashion.
– Hatem Ali, 58, the great Syrian actor and director.
– Armando Manzanero, icon of the Latin American bolero. The Mexican singer-songwriter died at the age of 86 from the aftermath of Covid-19.
– Kobe Bryant, 41, one of the most famous basketball players and NBA star, was killed in a helicopter crash.
– Mary Higgins Clark, 92 years old, the famous storyteller of Irish origin who wrote more than 50 bestsellers during her exceptional career.
– Kirk Douglas, 103 years old, last legend of the golden age of Hollywood cinema, and interprets the famous “Spartacus”.
– Ennio Morricone, the famous Italian composer of 500 film scores, died at the age of 91.
– Little Richard, the rock legend, who was one of the first to enter the “Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame”, died in Los Angeles at the age of 87.
– Albert Uderzo, 92 years old, a great French comic book author, the father of “Asterix”.
– Alan Parker, the British director of great masterpieces such as “Midnight Express” died at the age of 76.
– Michel Piccoli, a great French film and theatre actor, producer and director too, died at the age of 94.
– Jacques Dessange, 94 years old, French star hairdresser and inventor of the hairstyle or the Californian sweep.
– Manu Dibango, 76 years old, an outstanding saxophonist, the Cameroonian star of more than 60 years of career, has left a considerable musical heritage.
– Paolo Rossi, 64, Italy’s hero at the 1982 World Cup.
– Claude Brasseur, 84 years old, an actor who has left his mark on generations through a library of more than a hundred works.
– Kenzo Takada, the internationally renowned Japanese stylist, known for the eponymous “Kenzo” brand and floral prints, died at the age of 81.
– Annie Cordy, 92 years old, Belgian singer and actress.
Egyptian cinema has not been spared with the disappearance of a plethora of stars:
– Hassan Hosni, 89, a leading figure in Arab and Egyptian cinema, has marked Arab cinema history with a career that has lasted more than 50 years.
– Raja Al Jadawi, 82 years old, one of the emblematic faces of Egyptian comedy in the Arab world, a star who combined talent and great class.
– Mahmoud Yassine, 79 years old, has been awarded more than fifty times for his immense talent.
– Shwikar, 85, nicknamed “Goddess of Egyptian Cinema”, had formed, with her ex-husband, the late Fouad El-Mouhandes, one of the mythical couples of the cinematic landscape in the Arab world.
May they rest in peace!