Nollywood is the Nigerian film industry that has gained worldwide recognition over the past few decades. The industry has produced a large number of actors and actresses, some of whom have become legendary for their contributions to Nigerian cinema.
Unfortunately, some of these legends have passed away, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire new generations of actors and actresses. In this article, we will be discussing the top ten most popular Nollywood legends who have passed away.
Top 10 Most Popular Nollywood Legends Who are Late
- Sam Loco Efe
- Amaka Igwe
- Enebeli Elebuwa
- Justus Esiri
- Francis Agu
- Funmi Martins
- Ashley Nwosu
- Muna Obiekwe
- Clem Onyeka
- Pete Eneh
These ten Nollywood legends are remembered for their outstanding performances in various Nigerian movies.
Sam Loco Efe
Sam Loco Efe was a Nigerian actor and comedian, born on December 25, 1945, in Enugu State, Nigeria. He began his acting career in the late 1970s and went on to appear in over 200 Nollywood movies. He was known for his hilarious and satirical roles, often portraying the typical Nigerian village man.
Throughout his career, Sam Loco Efe won several awards, including the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 2008. He was also a respected theater practitioner and director, having directed numerous stage plays and drama productions in Nigeria.
Sadly, Sam Loco Efe died on August 7, 2011, while on location in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria, filming a movie. He reportedly died of natural causes, with initial reports indicating that he died in his sleep. His death was a shock to the Nigerian movie industry and the country as a whole, as he was a beloved figure and one of the most recognizable faces in Nollywood.
Amaka Igwe (nee Isaac-Ene) was a renowned Nigerian filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, and director. She was born on the 2nd of January in 1963. She grew up in Enugu State, where she attended secondary school at Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Onitsha.
Igwe began her career as a television presenter and newscaster in Nigeria in the 1980s, and later ventured into filmmaking. She produced and directed several critically acclaimed Nigerian films, including Rattlesnake, Violated, Checkmate, Forever, and Solitaire, among others.
In 1992, Igwe founded Amaka Igwe Studios, which became one of the leading film and television production companies in Nigeria. She also founded the BOBTV Film and Television Academy, which aimed to train and develop young Nigerian filmmakers and actors.
Unfortunately, on April 28, 2014, Igwe passed away at the age of 51 after suffering an asthma attack while on location in Enugu State. Her death was a significant loss to the Nigerian film industry, and her legacy continues to inspire many young filmmakers in Nigeria and beyond.
Enebeli Elebuwa was a Nigerian veteran actor who was born on February 14, 1947, in Delta State, Nigeria. He started his acting career in the 1960s as a stage actor, performing in various theater productions before making his way to the Nigerian movie industry, also known as Nollywood, in the 1980s.
Elebuwa became a household name in Nigeria for his outstanding performances in movies and TV series, particularly for his role in the popular TV series “Village Headmaster,” which aired from 1970 to 1984. He went on to feature in over 200 Nollywood movies, showcasing his versatility as an actor, and earning him several awards and nominations.
Sadly, Elebuwa suffered from a stroke in 2012, which left him bedridden and unable to work. Despite receiving medical treatment in Nigeria, he was later flown to India for further treatment, where he spent several months before returning to Nigeria.
Enebeli Elebuwa died on December 4, 2012, at the age of 66, at a hospital in Lagos, Nigeria. His death was attributed to complications from the stroke he had suffered earlier. His passing was mourned by his fans, colleagues, and the Nigerian entertainment industry as a whole, with many paying tribute to his contributions to the industry and his exceptional talent as an actor.
Justus Esiri was a renowned Nollywood actor who was born on November 20, 1942, in Delta State, Nigeria. He began his acting career in the 1960s, but it was not until the 1980s that he became popular in Nollywood. Esiri was known for his exceptional acting skills and featured in several Nollywood movies like “The Village Headmaster,” “Forever,” and “Coronation.” He won several awards during his career, including the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Unfortunately, Justus Esiri passed away on February 19, 2013, at the age of 70. His death was a great loss to the Nigerian film industry, and his contributions to Nollywood will never be forgotten.
Francis Agu was a popular Nollywood actor who was born on February 18, 1965, in Lagos State, Nigeria. He began his acting career in the 1990s and featured in several Nollywood movies like “Living in Bondage,” “Rituals,” and “Checkmate.” Agu was known for his exceptional acting skills and his ability to play diverse roles.
Sadly, Francis Agu passed away on March 20, 2007, at the age of 42. He died due to a heart-related illness, which had plagued him for some time. His death was a great loss to the Nigerian film industry, and his contributions to Nollywood will always be remembered.
Funmi Martins was a talented Nigerian actress who was born on October 5, 1963, in Lagos State, Nigeria. She began her acting career in the early 1990s and featured in several Yoruba and English movies, including “Eto Mi,” “Ija Omode,” and “Eru Eleru.” Martins was known for her exceptional acting skills and her ability to portray different roles convincingly.
Tragically, Funmi Martins passed away on May 6, 2002, at the age of 38. She died due to cardiac arrest, which was caused by complications from childbirth. Her death was a great loss to the Nigerian film industry, and her contributions to Nollywood will never be forgotten.
Ashley Nwosu was a popular Nigerian actor who was born on November 21, 1954, in Abia State, Nigeria. He began his acting career in the late 1980s and featured in several Nollywood movies like “Glamour Girls,” “Battle of Indemnity,” and “The Mayors.” Nwosu was known for his exceptional acting skills and his ability to play diverse roles.
Sadly, Ashley Nwosu passed away on April 21, 2011, at the age of 56. He died due to liver complications, which had plagued him for some time. His death was a great loss to the Nigerian film industry, and his contributions to Nollywood will always be remembered.
Muna Obiekwe was a Nigerian actor who was born on July 16, 1979, in Anambra State, Nigeria. He began his acting career in the early 2000s and went on to feature in several Nollywood movies, including “The Pharaoh,” “Bitter Blessing,” “Secret Act,” and “The Wolves.” He was known for his talent and versatility as an actor, and he was widely regarded as one of the most promising actors in Nollywood.
Tragically, Muna Obiekwe passed away on January 18, 2015, at the age of 36, due to kidney failure. His death shocked and saddened the Nigerian movie industry and his fans around the world. It was later revealed that Muna had been battling with a kidney-related illness for a while but had kept it private from the public and even his colleagues.
After his death, there was an outpouring of grief from his colleagues and fans. Many people praised his talent and the contributions he made to the Nigerian movie industry during his lifetime. His legacy lives on through his movies, which continue to be watched and enjoyed by audiences across Africa and beyond.
Clem Onyeka was a Nigerian actor, singer, and songwriter born on February 17, 1974, in Mbaise, Imo State, Nigeria. He was known for his roles in popular Nigerian movies such as “Emergency Wedding,” “Wasted Effort,” and “Burning Desire.”
Clem Onyeka began his career as a musician before he ventured into acting. He later joined the Nigerian movie industry, popularly known as Nollywood, and made his debut in the movie “Love Crime” in 2004.
On October 14, 2014, Clem Onyeka was tragically shot dead by armed robbers in Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria. According to reports, he was on his way to a movie set when he was caught in the crossfire between the police and armed robbers. The robbers were said to have attempted to rob a bank before they were engaged in a gun battle with the police, which resulted in the death of Clem Onyeka.
Clem Onyeka’s death was a huge loss to the Nigerian entertainment industry, and he is remembered for his talent, passion, and dedication to his craft.
Pete Eneh was a Nigerian actor and broadcaster born on September 23, 1947, in Udi, Enugu State, Nigeria. He was known for his roles in popular Nigerian movies such as “Glamour Girls,” “Nneka the Pretty Serpent,” and “Evil Men.”
Pete Eneh began his career as a broadcaster before he ventured into acting. He worked with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) for many years and became a household name in Nigeria. He later joined the Nigerian movie industry, popularly known as Nollywood, and made his debut in the movie “Things Fall Apart” in 1987.
Throughout his career, Pete Eneh won several awards for his outstanding performances in movies. He was known for his ability to interpret roles and bring them to life with his unique acting skills.
On November 15, 2012, Pete Eneh passed away at the age of 65 after battling with a leg infection for many months. His leg had to be amputated to save his life, but he later developed complications, which led to his death. His death was a huge loss to the Nigerian entertainment industry, and he was mourned by many of his colleagues, fans, and admirers.
Pete Eneh’s legacy lives on through his numerous contributions to the Nigerian entertainment industry, and he is remembered as a talented actor, broadcaster, and icon in Nigeria.
Although these Nigerian entertainment legends may no longer be with us, their contributions to the industry will always be remembered and celebrated. Their legacy till date, continues to inspire and of course influence the next generation of Nigerian artists and entertainers.
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