Nollywood actors and actresses are icons we love and adore. Asides being celebrities and role models, they are humans too. All human beings will die one day as it is inevitable but a list of late Nollywood actors and actresses will always have you in shock. Sometimes you wonder why your favourite act hasn’t been in recent films for a while and other times some faces just fizzle out and you don’t know what happened to them. Over the years Nollywood has mourned the loss of some of its finest, some which shook the nation and others you didn’t even know died.
Here are 15 Nollywood actors and actresses you did and didn’t know passed away.
Enebeli Elebuwa was a Nigerian actor born in 1946 in the northern part of Delta state, Nigeria. He rose to fame after featuring in a commercial as ‘Andrew’. This fine veteran thrilled Nollywood with his roles in numerous films. From protagonist to antagonist, Enebeli Elebuwa did it all. In 2012 he suffered a stroke a major stroke and was flown overseas for treatment. On the 5th of December 2012, he succumbed to his ailment. The news of his death broke the nation’s heart and thousands turned up for his lying-in-state. He was laid to rest in Victoria Courts Cemetery, Ajah, Lagos.
Justus Esiri was a Nollywood favourite in his time. He is described as a veteran award-winning Nigerian actor, generally considered to be one of the pillars of Nollywood with an acting career that goes way back to the 1960s. Justus Esiri is the father of prominent musician Sidney Esiri, popularly called Dr. Sid. Justus was born 20th of November 1942 in Oria-Abraka, Delta State. He came into prominence after starring in the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, TV series, Village Headmaster. He died in a hospital in Lagos due to complications as a result of diabetes. A candle night was organised by the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN and he rests in his hometown Abraka.
JT Tom West
JT Tom West was Nigeria’s number one, action movie star. He was consistent in his roles and always delivered art. His performance in Nollywood hit, State of Emergency, blew the audience away. He was born in on the 9th of July 1965 and died due to a car accident which occurred on his way back from a late-night shoot in 2006. His demise left his colleagues heartbroken.
Sam Loco Efe
Sam Loco Efe was one of Nollywood’s best comedic actors. He cracked ribs in every film he starred in. Sam Loco Efe was born on December 25th, 1945 in Enugu and wasn’t just an actor, he was also a director. Some of his best performances are visible in various films like ‘I Want to Harvest You’, ‘Tom and Jerry’, ‘Final World Cup’ and ‘Osuofia in London’. On the 7th of August 2011, news of his death shocked the nation. He was found dead in his hotel room however, nobody knows the actual cause of death.
Muna Obiekwe was a young and bright actor. He was undoubtedly one of the most popular actors in West Africa and a favourite amongst female fans. The news of his death came as a shock because many were unaware of his ailments. In his time, Muna Obiekwe gave us the good boy, bad boy, a handsome prince and many more characters. On January 18th, 2015, he died of kidney disease.
Ashley Nwosu was one of the Nollywood elders. He was a popular face and household name. the veteran was born November 21st, 1954 and died on the 11th of April, 2011.
Bukky Ajayi outlived many eras in Nollywood. She was born February 2nd, 1934 and she was a star. Bukky Ajayi was born and bred in Nigeria but completed her higher education in England, United Kingdom on a federal government scholarship. She made her film debut in hit TV Series, ‘Village Head Master’. Since then, she became a household name starring in numerous films including ‘Diamond Ring’. The Nollywood veteran passed away on the 6th of July 2016.
Moji Olaiya was a favourite in Yoruba movies. Most people do not know, but she was the daughter of legendary highlife musician, Victor Olaiya. She began her acting career on Wale Adenuga’s Production, Super Story. She died on May 17th, 2017 after suffering a cardiac arrest in Canada where she gave birth to her second child two months prior.
Festus Aguebor was a Nigerian actor famous for his role in 2003 hit movie ‘Society Lady’ and 2004 release ’A Kiss from a Rose 2’. He died in 2016, days after a fellow actor, Mike Odiachi.
Henrietta Kosoko was a Nollywood actress who came to limelight after starring in mainstream productions ‘Onome’ and ‘Omolade’. The actress before her death was married to star actor Jide Kosoko. Henrietta Kosoko is a Delta native, who thrilled our screens. After surviving a motor accident which almost took her life, her son dedicated a song to her. A year later she died after she slumped in her home.
Martins Njubuigbo popularly known as Elder Maya was a Nollywood actor and household face. The star often played the role of an elder or red cap chief and starred in many hit movies alongside other stars. In 2016 Elder Maya died after months of battle with a liver-related disease.
Abdul- Lateef Titilope
Abdul– Lateef Titilope popularly called Alfa Lateef’s demise came as a shock to the Nigerian film industry, especially the Yoruba film industry. He was popular for his roles as an Islamic cleric and his death came after a brief illness. He was laid to rest on Sunday, June 19, 2016, with his final resting being his family house in Agunpopo, Oyo State.
Olumide Bakare was a popular Nollywood actor in the Yoruba film industry. He featured in numerous films and was recognised nation wise. Before his death, he battled a heart and lung-related disease for which he had undergone surgery. A long time after, he passed on his way to the hospital in Ibadan.
Pete Eneh was a popular Nollywood actor and favourite red cap chief. He was one of the pioneers of the video era of Nollywood and starred in over 50 films before his death. The calm actor was born in Enugu State, south-eastern, Nigeria and died on the 12 of November 2012 due to the pain from living with an amputated leg.
Peter Bunor was a Nollywood actor and veteran, he was a pioneer in various eras of Nollywood. Pete Bunor starred in numerous films before his death, playing different roles in different genres. Before his death, he battled with a stroke for five years. He was 60 years old at the time of his passing and the news shocked the industry.