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2012 Necrology
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Neil Armstrong (1930 - 2012)
American Astronaut. He was the mission commander of the Apollo 11 manned space flight to the Moon. On July 20, 1969, he became the first person in recorded human history to walk on the moon, before being joined on the lunar surface by fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. Viewed by a global audience...
 
Andy Griffith (1926 - 2012)
Actor. He is best remembered for his portrayal as 'Sheriff Andy Taylor' in the 1960s television series "The Andy Griffith Show" and Attorney 'Ben Matlock' in the 1980s series "Matlock." He began his career as a stand up comedian before landing a starring role in the Broadway production of "No Time f...
 
Dick Clark (1929 - 2012)
Entertainer. Dick Clark was an American game-show host, radio and television personality, and businessman. He served as chairman and chief executive officer of Dick Clark Productions, which he sold part of in recent years. Clark is best known for hosting long-running television shows such as America...
 
Norman Schwarzkopf (1934 - 2012)
US Army General. A highly decorated US Army officer, he is best remembered as the Commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM), and was commanded the coalition forces in the Persian Gulf War, from which he received the nickname "Stormin' Norman." Born Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., his father was a 1...
 
Larry Hagman (1931 - 2012)
Actor, Producer, and Director. He will be remembered for two iconic television roles: As the comical Major Anthony Nelson in the sitcom I Dream of Jeannie, and for the villainous Texas oil tycoon, J.R. Ewing on the prime-time hit Dallas. Hagman was born in Weatherford, Texas, near Fort Worth. His p...
 
Ernest Borgnine (1917 - 2012)
Actor. He received an Oscar for his portrayal of the title role in "Marty" (1955) and is best known to television audiences for playing Lt. Commander Quinton McHale in the comedy series "McHale's Navy" (1962 to 1966). Born Ermes Effron Borgnino, the son of Italian parentage, he spent part of his you...
 
Andy Williams (1927 - 2012)
Singer. He is best known for the popular songs "Moon River" and "The Days of Wine and Roses". Additionally, he is known for his Christmas television specials, his rendition of the holiday song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year", and for hosting his own variety series from 1962 to 1971. His c...
 
Whitney Houston (1963 - 2012)
Recording Artist, Actress, Entertainer. Regarded as one of the finest female vocalists of her generation, she began her musical career singing as a member of the New Hope Baptist Church junior gospel choir. She is credited with inspiring the successful musical careers of Mariah Carey, Beyoncé and Je...
 
Donna Summer (1948 - 2012)
Vocalist. Nicknamed the "Queen of Disco", she was a major figure of the genre's popularity as her songs echoed throughout nightclubs during the mid 1970s to early 1980s earning her multiple Grammy Awards and nominations. Born LaDonna Adrian Gaines, in Boston on New Year's Eve 1948, her father was a ...
 
Phyllis Diller (1917 - 2012)
Comedienne, Actress. She created a stage persona of a wild-haired, eccentrically dressed housewife who makes self-deprecating jokes about her age and appearance, her terrible cooking, and a husband named "Fang". She began her career at a radio station in Oakland, California, in 1952. In November of ...
 
Davy Jones (1945 - 2012)
Entertainer. Famed as the heartthrob from the music group "The Monkees". Born David Thomas Jones, he began in the entertainment industry at the age of eleven with a role in the popular British serial "Coronation Street". Jones would have a strong desire to become a jockey and at the age of fourteen ...
 
Robin Gibb (1949 - 2012)
Vocalist. Member of the seminal music trio the Bee Gees. Best known for their contributions to the platinum soundtrack of the motion picture "Saturday Night Fever" (1977). They played a significant role in popularizing the Disco genre of the mid to late 1970s. Born a twin of his brother Maurice in D...
 
Jack Klugman (1922 - 2012)
Actor. Best remembered for his TV roles as Oscar Madison in "The Odd Couple" (1970 to 1975) and as Dr. Quincy in "Quincy, M.E." (1976 to 1983). Born Jacob Joachim Klugman into a Jewish family, he was raised in South Philadelphia. After coming to the realization that he wanted to pursue a career as a...
 
Kitty Wells (1919 - 2012)
Singer, Songwriter. Born Ellen Muriel Deason, her 1952 hit recording, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels", made her the first female country singer to top the U.S. country charts. She recorded the song just as she was intending to retire from the business to devote herself to her family full ...
 
George Lindsey (1928 - 2012)
Actor. Fondly remembered for playing Goober Pyle in the TV series "The Andy Griffith Show" (1964 to 1968) and "Mayberry R.F.D." (1968 to 1971). Raised in the small town of Jasper, Alabama, he became captivated by movies at an early age and spent a great deal of time at the neighborhood theater. He h...
 
Earl Scruggs (1924 - 2012)
Country and Bluegrass Musician. He is probably best known for his three-finger banjo picking style of bluegrass music. He was born and raised in the Flint Hill community near Shelby, North Carolina, and grew up in a musical family. His father, a farmer and bookkeeper, played the banjo and died when ...
 
Thomas Kinkade (1958 - 2012)
Artist. Called the "Painter of Light", he created a large body of popular and best-selling works that often depicted idyllic pastoral themes. Raised in Placerville, California, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, he studied at the University of California, Berkeley, before transferring to Pa...
 
Sally Ride (1951 - 2012)
American Astronaut. Ride made history in 1983 as a crew member on the space shuttle Challenger, breaking the gender barrier for U.S. spaceflight as the first American woman to go into space. She made a second space shuttle flight in 1984, also aboard Challenger, and was in training for her third m...
 
Charles Durning (1923 - 2012)
American Actor. Durning, who served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was awarded the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts, began his acting career in his late forties when he was cast in guest appearances in early 1960's television shows where he played minor roles over the next decade until ...
 
Ray Bradbury (1920 - 2012)
Author. Born Ray Douglas Bradbury in Waukegan, Illinois, the son of Esther Moberg and Leonard Bradbury. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1934 where he was graduated from Los Angeles High School. He always said the instead of college he attended the library where he furthered his education. His wri...
 
Marvin Hamlisch (1944 - 2012)
Composer, Pianist, Conductor. Considered by many as being one of the most talented and celebrated contributors to music in both motion picture and on stage, he is noted for "The Way We Were" (1973), "The Sting" (1973) and "A Chorus Line" (1976). The son of Austrian-Jewish parents, his father was an ...
 
Michael Duncan (1957 - 2012)
Actor. Born in Chicago in 1957, Michael was raised by a single mother whose resistance to his playing football led to his decision to become an actor. When his mother became ill, he dropped out of Alcorn State University in Mississippi and worked as a ditch digger and bouncer to support her. He even...
 
Mike Wallace (1918 - 2012)
Journalist. Best known for his hardnosed interview style and determination to get to the bottom of stories, he was a fixture on the long-running weekly TV series "60 Minutes" from the inception in 1968 until his retirement in 2008. Myron Leon Wallace was born to Russian-Jewish immigrants in New Engl...
 
Sherman Hemsley (1938 - 2012)
Actor. He is best remembered for his role as George Jefferson on the CBS television comedy series "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons" and as Deacon Ernest Frye on the NBC television comedy series "Amen." Born Sherman Alexander Hemsley, he dropped out of high school and joined the US Air Force, ...
 
Richard Dawson (1932 - 2012)
Entertainer. Fondly remembered for playing the pocket-picking safe-cracker Corporal Peter Newkirk in the TV comedy series "Hogan's Heroes" (1965 to 1971). He became associated with 1970s TV game shows as a regular panelist on "Match Game" and as host of "Family Feud". Born Colin Emm in the Southern ...
 
Harry Carey (1921 - 2012)
Actor. Carey, the son of silent actor Harry Carey and actress Olive Carey, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II before appearing in more than 100 movies and on numerous television shows from the 1940s through the '80s. He was a member of John Ford's stock company of actors and appeared in 11...
 
Jonathan Frid (1924 - 2012)
Actor. Famed for originating the role of the vampire 'Barnabas Collins' in the popular supernaturally-themed serial "Dark Shadows" (1966 to 1971). Born John Herbert Frid, he overcame his timidity while a teenager when he participated in a stage production while attending prep school. He focused full...
 
Carroll Shelby (1923 - 2012)
Champion Auto Racer and Builder. After being confined to bed for much of his early childhood with a heart ailment, Shelby grew strong enough to take an interest in cars and eventually served during World War II as a flying instructor and test pilot. After the war he embarked on a racing career tha...
 
Chris Stevens (1960 - 2012)
American diplomat and lawyer who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Libya from June 2012 to September 2012. Stevens was killed when the U.S. consulate was attacked in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012.
 
Raylene Rankin (1960 - 2012)
Singer. She shall be remembered as a key member of the award winning Celtic ensemble The Rankin Family. The fifth child in a family of 12, she was raised in Mabou, Nova Scotia, and started singing with her siblings during the 1970s. Raylene went on to finish her education, graduating from St. Franci...
 
James Ashworth (1989 - 2012)
Afghanistan Conflict Victoria Cross recipient. Lance Corporal with Reconnaissance Platoon, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, British Army. Aged 23, LCpl Ashworth was raised in Kettering, Northamptonshire and attended school in Corby. He joined the army in 2006 at age 17 and after infantry training, jo...
 
Chad Everett (1936 - 2012)
Actor. Everett, who starred in the 1970s television series 'Medical Center', played Dr. Joe Gannon for seven years which earned him two Golden Globes and an Emmy nomination. His career spanned more than 50 years and included guest starring roles on such TV series as 'The Love Boat', 'Murder, She Wro...
 
Frank Cady (1915 - 2012)
Actor. Fondly remembered for his role as general store owner Sam Drucker in the TV comedy series "Petticoat Junction" (1963 to 1970) and "Green Acres" (1965 to 1971). His initial exposure to performing was during high school as he participated in some plays, however his aspirations were to become a ...
 
Etta James (1938 - 2012)
Singer. She was born Jamesetta Hawkins. Winner of six Grammy awards and the Grammy Lifetime achievement award. She has two songs in the Grammy Hall of Fame, "At Last" and "The Wall Flower." In addition she was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Ot...
 
Dave Brubeck (1920 - 2012)
Composer, Musician, Pianist. Brubeck had a career that spanned almost all American jazz since World War II. He formed The Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1951 and was the first modern jazz musician to be pictured on the cover of Time magazine on Nov. 8, 1954. He helped define the swinging, smoky rhythms of ...
 
Robert Sherman (1925 - 2012)
American Songwriter. He specialized in musical films with his brother Richard Morton Sherman. Some of the Sherman Brothers' best known songs were incorporated into movies and animations like Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Slipper a...
 
Celeste Holm (1917 - 2012)
Actress. Born in New York City, her mother was a portrait artist and her father was a businessman from Norway. She studied acting at the University of Chicago. Her stage debut occurred in 1936. She became a fixture in Broadway plays in the late 1930s, appearing in such classics as "The Women" an...
 
William Momyer (1916 - 2012)
US Air Force General. A decorated combat aviator in World War II, and highly regarded as a true expert in tactical warfare in the Air Force community, he rose to become the Commander-in Chief of Tactical Air Command (now Air Combat command) at Langley Air Force Base (now Joint Base Langley-Eustis), ...
 
Carmen Richardson (1930 - 2012)
Puerto Rican Actress, Comedian. In a career that spanned 57 years, she was considered to be a pioneer of Puerto Rican television. When she was nine years old, she auditoned for, and won, a children's role on a radio soap opera. In high school, she had the lead in the plays in which she participated....
 
Pablo Sanz (1932 - 2012)
Actor. He debuted in 1957 in Televisión Española (TVE) and was one of the most important figures during the 1960's decade in the program "Estudio 1". In film he acted in "Squadron flight" (1953), "Days of fair" (1959), "Vamps 1930" (1961), "Hello, boy" (1961), "Rosa de Lima" (1962), "The grain of mu...
 
Olga Ferri (1928 - 2012)
Dancer. She danced the ballet more than thirty years in the most famous stages of South American and Europe, officially retiring at age 49 after dancing with "Coppelia" in 1977. She joined the Ballet of the Teatro Colón as soloist at eighteen and was prima ballerina from 1949. As such, she starred i...
 
Ferdinand Porsche (1935 - 2012)
German/Austrian Auto Designer. Known mainly for designing the iconic and groundbreaking Porshe 911. The same can be said in his remarkable and personal favorite, the racer type 904 GTS Carrera, an important benchmark in auto racing in the 1960s. Known as being a "Functionalist" in design, he applie...
 
Roy Ayers (1929 - 2012)
Musician. He was a versatile pedal steel guitar player known for his full chords and smooth tone. He began to play steel guitar at age 8, and by age 14, he was performing at local night clubs, concerts and on the weekly radio show in Mobile, Alabama. In 1946, he joined Pee Wee King and the Golden We...
 
Daniel Inouye (1924 - 2012)
U.S. Senator and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. Daniel K. Inouye was Hawaii's longest serving U.S. senator and the senior member of the U.S. Senate at the time of his death. During World War II he served with the famous 442nd Regimental Combat Team, with whom he earned two Purple Hearts, a ...
 
Joe Paterno (1926 - 2012)
Hall of Fame College Football Coach. A veteran of the United States Army, he served during the final year of World War II and then accepted an athletic scholarship to Brown University where he was quarterback of the football team under coach Rip Engle. In 1950 Engle became the head football coach at...
 
William Windom (1923 - 2012)
American Actor. Windom, who served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooprer in World War II, was the great-grandson of the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury of the same name. His first motion picture role was that of Mr. Gilmer, the prosecutor in 1962's Academy Award-winning 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. Other fi...
 
Jon Finch (1941 - 2012)
Actor. Best known for his starring roles as the falsely accused former RAF pilot in Alfred Hitchcock's film "Frenzy", and as the title character in Roman Polanski's cinematic version of Shakespeare's "Macbeth", British classical actor John Finch also notably turned down the opportunity to succeed S...
 
Van Barfoot (1919 - 2012)
World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He served in the United States Army during World War II as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery near Carano, Italy, on May 23, 1944. His citation reads "For...
 
Herbert Lom (1917 - 2012)
Actor. Born Herbert Charles Angelo Kuchacevich ze Schluderpacheru, he enjoyed a successful theatrical career in the country of his birth. He made a couple of motion pictures before emigrating to England in 1938. Lom's real breakthrough role was in the 1946 psychological drama "The Seventh Veil" wher...
 
Alex Karras (1935 - 2012)
Professional Football Player, Actor. For twelve seasons (1958 to 1962 and 1964 to 1970), he played at the defensive-tackle position in the National Football League with the Detroit Lions. He will be best remembered by TV audiences for playing George Papadapolis in the series "Webster" (1983 to 1989)...
 
Hal David (1921 - 2012)
Songwriter. Best known for his collaborations (lyrics) with Burt Bacharach. They are noted for the hits "Walk on By" (1964), "Message to Michael" (1966), "I Say a Little Prayer" (1967) and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" (1968) recorded by Dionne Warwick. Born in Brooklyn to parents of Jewish her...
 
Jim Marshall (1923 - 2012)
Businessman. In early childhood he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, this forced him to spend countless hours and years in the hospital. Due to his diagnoses he was unfit to serve during WWII. At this time he became a drummer and singer, due to the shortage of available musicians. He worked as an ele...
 
Lee MacPhail (1917 - 2012)
Hall of Fame Major League Baseball Executive. Born Leland Stanford McPhail, Jr., his father (Leland Stanford "Larry" MacPhail, Sr.) was a pioneering Major League Baseball executive whose influence shaped the game as we know it today. After graduating from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, he began...
 
Peter Breck (1929 - 2012)
Actor. Born Joseph Peter Breck, he was best remembered for his role as Nick Barkley on the popular ABC-TV Western series, "The Big Valley" (1965-69). After serving in the US Navy, he studied English and drama at the University of Houston, Texas. In addition to performing in college plays, he started...
 
Gore Vidal (1925 - 2012)
Author, Screenwriter and Playwright. Born Eugene Luther Gore Vidal, he is known for writing the screenplays of acclaimed films, including "Suddenly, Last Summer" by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and Ben Hur by William Wyler. After the Second World War, he lived for a long time in Italy, where he also acted i...
 
Clive Dunn (1920 - 2012)
English Actor, Comedian, Artist and Author. Best known for his role as Lance-Corporal Jack Jones in the popular BBC sitcom Dad's Army. Dunn played small film roles from the 1930s onwards, appearing alongside Will Hay in the films Boys Will Be Boys (1935) and Good Morning, Boys (1937). After a break ...
 
Gary Carter (1954 - 2012)
Major League Baseball Player. His major league career spanned 19 seasons, most of those as a catcher for the Montreal Expos and New York Mets. He led the latter team to the 1986 World Series Championship. After being selected as an All-Star in 11 of his 19 playing seasons, he entered the Baseball Ha...
 
Richard Zanuck (1934 - 2012)
Producer, Studio Executive. Zanuck graduated from Stanford University and served in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of lieutenant. Upon his discharge, he went to work at 20th Century Fox as a story and production assistant, working on such films as 'Island in the Sun' (1957) and 'The Sun Also Ris...
 
Jon Lord (1941 - 2012)
Musician, Songwriter. Lord studied classical piano from the age of five and became a fan of piano rockers like Jerry Lee Lewis as well as jazz organists like Jimmy Smith. After moving to London in 1959 to pursue acting, he played in various jazz, blues and pop groups throughout the 1960s, recording ...
 
Ignacy Tokarczuk (1918 - 2012)
Roman Catholic Archbishop. A servant of God during the Polish communist regime, he will be best remembered for his work in the name of Faith and for being succeeded to build more to 430 Catholic churches scattered around on Polish territory despite the resistance and no authorization by the communis...
 
Gary Collins (1938 - 2012)
Actor. Raised by his mother, Collins divided his time as a child traveling between California and Nevada. Educated at Santa Monica College where he studied Accounting, Collins developed an interest in acting and experienced his initial exposure as a performer while he served with the United States A...
 
Vidal Sassoon (1928 - 2012)
Hairstylist, Business Magnate. Sassoon went to work at age 14 as a "shampoo boy" where he was responsible for mixing dyes, bleach powder, peroxide and ammonia. In 1954, he opened his first salon in London and eventually opened shop in New York. He is credited with creating a geometric hairstyle ca...
 
Ben Gazzara (1930 - 2012)
Actor, Director. Born Biagio Anthony Gazzara, the son of a Sicilian immigrant who was a laborer, he was reared in a rough area on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City, New York. His first though of becoming an actor was at the age of eleven, when he watched a production at the Madison Squ...
 
Don Grady (1944 - 2012)
Actor, Musician. Born Don Louis Agrati, he is best remembered both as an original Mouseketeer, and as Robbie Douglas from 'My Three Sons'. After his stint on The Mickey Mouse Club, he appeared on 'The Restless Gun', 'Wagon Train', 'The Eleventh Hour' and 'The Rifleman' before being cast the middle ...
 
Ann Rutherford (1917 - 2012)
Actress. A prolific performer with roughly 60 movies to her credit over a 15 year career, she shall beyond all doubt be remembered for her role in 1939's classic "Gone With the Wind". Born Therese Ann Rutherford, the child of Metropolitan Opera tenor John Rutherford and actress Lucille Mansfield, s...
 
George McGovern (1922 - 2012)
US Senator, US Congressman, US Presidential Candidate, Author. During his lengthy career in public service, he will probably be best remembered for his unsuccessful bid as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States against the incumbent Richard Nixon in 1972. The son of a Methodist mi...
 
Moscelyne Larkin (1925 - 2012)
Ballerina. One of the first American Indians to headline with a major company, she followed her time on stage with a long career as a ballet director and teacher. Born Edna Moscelyne Larkin to a Russian mother and a Shawnee-Peoria father, she received her initial dance training from her mother befor...
 
Don Cornelius (1936 - 2012)
Television Personality. Fondly remembered as the robust-voiced host and creator of the popular dance-oriented program "Soul Train". Cornelius was born in Chicago. After graduating from DuSable High School in 1954, he joined the US Marine Corps and was stationed in Korea for 18 months. He worked as a...
 
William Knowles (1917 - 2012)
Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry. He was honored in 2001 for the development of enanthioselective synthesis, a practical way to manufacture the amino acid Parkinson's Disease drug L-dopa. The child of an upper middle class family, he was educated at the upscale Berkshire School and at Phillips Academ...
 
Ted Luckenbill (1939 - 2012)
Professional Basketball Player. Born Theodore Luckenbill, he was a star basketball player for Elkhart High School, Elkhart Indiana. After graduating from high school, he played collegiate basketball with the University of Houston from 1958 to 1961, where he averaged almost 17 points and 10 rebounds ...
 
Jerry Nelson (1934 - 2012)
Puppeteer, Actor, Musician, and Master of Voices. Nelson, whose first job with was on The Jimmy Dean Show in 1965, was best known for his work with The Muppets on 'Sesame Street'. He was one of the earliest members of Jim Henson's troupe of muppeteers, joining the group in 1965 and started on the te...
 
Dorothy McGuire (1928 - 2012)
Vocalist. She was one-third of the music trio The McGuire Sisters. Dorothy was the middle of three sisters Christine (oldest) and Phyllis (youngest), their mother was an ordained minister, they were born and raised in Middletown, Ohio, a Northern suburb of Cincinnati. Due to their strict upbringing,...
 
Bill Tarmey (1941 - 2012)
Actor. He shall be remembered as the long-suffering Jack Duckworth of ITV's "Coronation Street". Born William Cleworth Piddington, he was raised in Bradford and worked in the building trade before deciding, despite a lack of formal training, to persue his show business ambitions. Tarmey continued hi...
 
Patrick Moore (1923 - 2012)
British astronomer and scientific popularizer. Born Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore, best known for having widespread the interest in the astronomy in United Kingdom and abroad among the people of all ages, he was also a researcher, radio commentator and television presenter, and is considered the pio...
 
Ravi Shankar (1920 - 2012)
Musician. He introduced the mystical music sounds of the East to the West (notably the sitar) during the 1960s and was influential to a host of artists including The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Born into a Bengali family, his older brother moved to Paris to form a dance company when Ravi was ten...
 

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