Celebrity Obituaries

Review this week's trending celebrity news stories

2012 Year In Review

Featured Tributes commemorating the lives of the most notable personalities lost in 2012.
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  • Jessica Joy Rees, the 12-year-old Southern California girl who started a blog and a Facebook page to raise awareness about child cancer, has died of a brain tumor.
  • Johnny Otis, the "godfather of rhythm and blues" who wrote and recorded the R&B classic "Willie and the Hand Jive" and for decades evangelized black music to white audiences as a bandleader and radio host, has died. He was 90.
  • In this Jan. 23, 2009 file photo, Sarah Burke, of Canada, holds her gold metal after winning the Women's Superpipe event at Winter X Games 13 at Buttermilk Ski Area, near Aspen, Colo.
  • This Nov. 24, 2008 file photo shows Etta James arriving at the premiere of "Cadillac Records" in Los Angeles.
  • Penn State coach Joe Paterno watches the college football game against Youngstown State from the side lines Saturday, Sept. 16, 2006, in State College, Pa.
  • A family spokesman says actor James Farentino, who appeared in dozens of movies and television shows, has died in a Los Angeles hospital. He was 73.
  • Robert Hegyes, the actor best known for playing Jewish Puerto Rican student Juan Epstein on the 1970s TV show "Welcome Back Kotter" has died. He was 60.
  • In a Thursday, Feb. 27, 1997 file photo, television producer Don Cornelius holds a plaque on the Hollywood Walk of Fame after the unveiling of his star in Los Angeles. Cornelius, creator of the long-running TV dance show "Soul Train," shot himself to death Wednesday morning, Feb. 1,2012 at his home.
  • U.S. actor Ben Gazzara holds up his trophy after he was given the Donostia prize for lifetime achievement in the San Sebastian film festival in San Sebastian, Spain, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2005.
  • In this Oct. 28, 2006, file photo, singer Whitney Houston arrives at the 17th Carousel of Hope Ball benefiting the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Beverly Hills, Calif. Houston died Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, she was 48.
  • In this July 9, 2006, file photo, Hall of Famer New York Mets catcher Gary Carter is greeted after hitting a three-run homer during the All Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
  • Musician Davy Jones attends the 43rd Annual Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tenn. Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009.
  • In a Tuesday, June 7, 2011 file photo, conservative activist and blogger Andrew Breitbart, who runs the websites BigGovernement.com and BigJournalism.com, answers questions during an interview at the Associated Press in New York.
  • In this Nov. 15, 2006 file photo, poet Adrienne Rich addresses dinner guests after receiving the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 2006 National Book Awards sponsored by The National Book Foundation in New York.
  • Bluegrass giant Earl Scruggs is shown at his home in Nashville, Tenn., March 10, 2004. Scruggs played on two of bluegrass music's most recognizable songs, "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" and "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"
  • Thomas Kinkade died at his home in Los Gatos in the San Francisco Bay Area of what appeared to be natural causes, said family spokesman David Satterfield.
  • This Jan. 15, 2008, file photo shows television news journalist Mike Wallace at the 2007 National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Awards Gala in New York. Wallace, famed for his tough interviews on "60 Minutes," has died, Saturday, April 7, 2012. He was 93.
  • This March 8, 1982 file photo shows Dick Clark. Clark, the television host who helped bring rock `n' roll into the mainstream on "American Bandstand," died Wednesday, April 18, 2012 of a heart attack. He was 82.
  • In this Dec. 3, 2007 file photo, musician Levon Helm appears on the new "Imus in the Morning" program at New York. Helm, who was in the final stages of his battle with cancer, died Thursday, April 19, 2012 in New York.
  • In this July 28, 2007 file photo, New England Patriots linebacker Junior Seau smiles during training camp in Foxborough, Mass. Seau was signed Friday, Dec. 5, 2008, by the Patriots. Seau is a 19-year veteran and 12-time Pro Bowl player.
  • Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys poses for a portrait Thursday, June 19, 2008, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
  • In this Sept. 6 2011 file photo, children's book author Maurice Sendak is photographed doing an interview at his home in Ridgefield, Conn. Sendak, author of the popular children's book "Where the Wild Things Are," died, Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Conn. He was 83. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, file)
  • Vidal Sassoon is seen here in his Beverly Hills, Calif., home Wednesday, April 23, 2003.  Sassoon died May 9th at the age of 84. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, file)
  • In this Feb. 13, 2011 file photo, Chuck Brown arrives at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Brown, who styled a unique brand of funk music as a singer, guitarist and songwriter known as the "godfather of go-go," died Wednesday, May 16, 2012 after suffering from pneumonia. He was 75.
  • Donna Summer performs at the conclusion of the Nobel Peace concert in Oslo, Norway Friday, Dec. 11, 2009. (AP Photo/John McConnico)
  • This Saturday, Sept. 25, 2004, file photo shows former Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb, performing a song at the beginning of a show match between former German tennis star Steffi Graf and Argentina's Gabriela Sabatini at the Max-Schmeling-Halle hall on in Berlin.
  •  In this March 15, 2000 file photo, master flatpicker Doc Watson talks about his long and successful musical career at his home in Deep Gap, N.C. (AP Photo/Karen Tam, File)
  • This May 1, 1989 file photo shows Los Angeles Lakers' Orlando Woolridge dunking over Portland's Kevin Duckworth during an NBA game in Inglewood, Calif. Former NBA standout Orlando Woolridge has died at his parents' home in Mansfield, La. He was 52.
  • In this Sept. 19, 2008 file photo, Kathryn Joosten arrives at the 2008 Primetime Emmy Awards Nominees for Outstanding Performance reception in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, file)
  • This June 1978 file photo shows Richard Dawson, host of "Family Feud" in character. Dawson, the wisecracking British entertainer who was among the schemers in the 1960s sitcom "Hogan's Heroes" and a decade later began kissing thousands of female contestants as host of the game show "Family Feud" died Saturday, June 2, 2012. He was 79.
  • This undated image released by Balboni Communications Group LLC shows Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend, founder and naming member of The Platters Herb Reed at his home in Arlington, Mass. Reed, the last surviving original member of the 1950s vocal group the Platters, died Monday, June 4, 2012, in a Boston area hospice after a period of declining health. He was 83.
  • This Dec. 8, 1966 file photo shows science fiction writer Ray Bradbury looks at a picture that was part of a school project to illustrate characters in one of his dramas in Los Angeles. Bradbury, who wrote everything from science-fiction and mystery to humor, died Tuesday, June 5, 2012 in Southern California. He was 91.
  • On April 13, 2012, Rodney King poses for a portrait in Los Angeles. The acquittal of four police officers in the videotaped beating of King sparked rioting that spread across the city and into neighboring suburbs. Cars were demolished and homes and businesses were burned.
  • This Nov. 3, 2010 file photo shows author, screenwriter and director Nora Ephron at her home in New York.
  • Don Grady, who was one of television's most beloved big brothers as Robbie Douglas on the long-running 1960s hit "My Three Sons," died Wednesday. He was 68.
  • Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, shown in this May, 1991 file photo, a staunch opponent of land-for-peace agreements with the Arabs, announced ,Tuesday, Dec, 26, 1995 that he will not run for parliament in the 1996 general elections.
  • Actor Andy Griffith is all smiles following his being named top male perfomer in a new TV program "Matlock" at the 13th Annual People's Choice Awards in Santa Monica, Calif, March 13, 1987.
  • In this Jan. 16, 2005, file photo, actor Ernest Borgnine arrives for the 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards, in Beverly Hills, Calif. A spokesman said Sunday, July 8, 2012, that Borgnine has died at the age of 95.
  • Actress Celeste Holm poses at a friends' home in Santa Monica, Calif., March 12, 1997. The Academy Award winner talked about the rigors of starring in the new CBS series "Promised Land", a spinoff from the hit "Touched by an Angel."
  • This May 1986 file photo shows country music singer Kitty Wells in Nashville, Tenn. Wells, the first female superstar of country music, has died at the age of 92.
  • A man at a prayer vigil for victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. pauses after placing items at a memorial display, Sunday, July 22, 2012.
  • This undated photo released by NASA shows astronaut Sally Ride. Ride, the first American woman in space, died Monday, July 23, 2012 after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 61.
  • An August 11,1986 photo of Sherman Hemsley.
  • Maeve Binchy was considered one Ireland's most popular writers.'
  • In this 1992 file photo, author Gore Vidal is shown. Vidal will receive a lifetime achievement award at the 2009 National Book Awards on Nov. 18, 2009.
  • This Sept. 15, 2009 file photo shows composer Marvin Hamlisch attending the premiere of "The Informant" at The Ziegfeld Theatre in New York. Hamlisch, a conductor and award-winning composer best known for the torch song "The Way We Were," died Monday, Aug. 6, 2012 in Los Angeles.
  • Long-time Cosmopolitan Editor-In-Chief Helen Gurley Brown poses on her desk during an interview in her New York office Monday, Jan. 20, 1997.
  • This June 8, 2008 file photo shows actor Ron Palillo at the TV Land Awards in Santa Monica, Calif. Palillo, best known as the nerdy high schooler Arnold Horshack on "Welcome Back, Kotter," died Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., of an apparent heart attack. He was 63.
  • Comedian Phyllis Diller poses in her home in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles on April 19, 2002. For 47 years, the housewife-turned-comedian has delighted audiences with her frizzled hair, outrageous costumes and an explosive laugh. She also set the stage for a new generation of women comedians.
  • In undated photo provided by NASA shows Neil Armstrong. The family of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, says he has died at age 82. A statement from the family says he died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures. It doesn't say where he died. Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969. He radioed back to Earth the historic news of "one giant leap for mankind." Armstrong and fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin spent nearly three hours walking on the moon, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs. In all, 12 Americans walked on the moon from 1969 to 1972.
  • In this Saturday, June 25, 2005 file photo, Unification Church leader Rev. Sun Myung Moon speaks during his "Now is God's Time" rally in New York. Moon, self-proclaimed messiah who founded Unification Church, has died at age 92 church officials said Monday, Sept. 3, 2012.
  • In this Sunday, Jan. 7, 2001 file photo, actor Michael Clarke Duncan accepts two awards for the film "The Green Mile" at the 27th Annual People's Choice Awards in Pasadena, Calif. Duncan has died at the age of 54 on Monday, Sept. 3, 2012 in a Los Angeles hospital after nearly two months of treatment following a July 13, 2012 heart attack, his fiancee, the Rev. Omarosa Manigault, said.
  • This Dec. 28, 1998 file photo shows Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell listening to a reporters question during a news conference at the Ravens training facility in Owings Mills, Md. Former Ravens owner Modell has died. He was 87. The team said Modell died of natural causes early Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he had been admitted Wednesday. (AP Photo/John Gillis, File)
  •  This undated photo released by the U.S. State Department shows U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens in an official portrait. Libyan officials say the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans have been killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi by protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
  • Singer Andy Williams performs at the 93rd birthday and 88th year in show business gala salute to Milton Berle Sunday, July 22, 2001, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
  • This 1971 file photo shows Detroit Lions' Alex Karras. The former All-Pro defensive lineman and actor died October 10, 2012.   (AP Photo/File)
  • This Aug. 1982 file photo shows Gary Collins. Gary Collins, an actor, television show host and former master of ceremonies for the Miss America Pageant, died Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 in Biloxi, Miss. He was 74. During the 1980s, Collins hosted the Miss America pageant and the television shows "Hour Magazine" — for which he won a Daytime Emmy in 1983 — and "The Home Show."
  • In this May 17, 2010 file photo Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., arrives at Citizens Bank Park, in Philadelphia, as he campaigns across Pennsylvania for the Democratic nomination to run for re-election. Former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, longtime Senate moderate and architect of one-bullet theory in JFK death, died Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012. He was 82.
  • Sen. George McGovern speaks at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans on Saturday, April 18, 2009. McGovern spoke about his experiences in World War II and about his new book on Abraham Lincoln. McGovern is a decorated World War II pilot.
  • In a Jan. 31, 1989 file photo, Russell Means, who heads the American Indian Movement, (AIM) testifies before a special investigative committee of the Senate Select Committee on Capitol Hill, in Washington. Means, a former American Indian Movement activist who helped lead the 1973 uprising at Wounded Knee, reveled in stirring up attention and appeared in several Hollywood films, died early Monday, Oct. 22, 2012 at his ranch Zzxin Porcupine, S.D., Oglala Sioux Tribe spokeswoman Donna Solomon said. He was 72. (AP Photo/Marcy Nighswander, File)
  • Former U.S. Sen. Warren Rudman throws his hands up May 13, 1993 describing President Bill Clinton's deficit reducing plan during and address to the New England Broadcaster's Association in Boston. He declared the president's trust fund plan would "not reduce the deficit by one thin dime."
  • A donor liver has been found for actor Larry Hagman, shown in this 1989 file photo, whose own liver is decaying from cancer and the effects of years of heavy drinking, several television stations reported Wednesday, Aug. 23, 1995. There was no immediate word when surgery would be performed.
  • In this Dec. 14, 2006, file photo, Hector "Macho" Camacho arrives for an event in Miami Beach, Fla. Police in Puerto Rico say former boxing champion Camacho has been shot and critically wounded. Camacho was shot in the face while in a car outside a bar in Bayamon, one of the cities that make up the San Juan metropolitan area. A statement from police in Bayamon said he was shot Tuesday night, Nov. 20, 2012.
  • This April 3, 1972 file photo shows Marvin Miller, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, talking to reporters in New York. Miller, the union leader who created free agency for baseball players and revolutionized professional sports with multimillion dollar contracts, died Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 in New York. He was 95.
  • In this Dec. 6, 2009 file photo, Kennedy Center honoree Dave Brubeck stands for the National Anthem at the Kennedy Center Honors gala in Washington.
  • In this March 8, 2012, file photo, Mexican-American singer and reality TV star Jenni Rivera poses during an interview in Los Angeles. Mexican authorities confirmed that the plane in which Rivera was traveling disappeared early Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, after leaving the Mexican northern city of Monterrey where she performed in concert on Saturday night.
  •  In this Feb. 7, 2012 file photo, Indian musician and sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, 92, performs during a concert in Bangalore, India. Shankar, the sitar virtuoso who became a hippie musical icon of the 1960s after hobnobbing with the Beatles and who introduced traditional Indian ragas to Western audiences over an eight-decade career, died Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. He was 92.
  • A Newtown resident who identified himself only as Andrew, holds roses as he visits a memorial for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, in Newtown, Conn.
  • In this Sept. 15, 1987 file photo, Judge Robert Bork, nominated by President Reagan to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, is sworn before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill at his confirmation hearing. Robert Bork, whose failed Supreme Court nomination made history, has died.
  • Actor Charles Durning rehearses on the set of CBS drama "First Monday," Dec. 11, 2001, at the Sunset Gower Studios in Los Angeles.
  • In this June 15, 2008 file photo, Jack Klugman arrives at the 62nd annual Tony Awards in New York. Klugman, who made an art of gruffness in TV's "The Odd Couple" and "Quincy, M.E.," has died at the age of 90.
  • This 1991 file photos shows Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf. Schwarzkopf died Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012 in Tampa, Fla. He was 78.

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