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See the stars we lost this year

Shaun Harrison
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1 of 80 Mirrorpix/Courtesy Everett Collection

Gerry Anderson

The creator of the 1960s British sci-fi series Thunderbirds died in his sleep on Dec. 26 at the age of 83. He had suffered from mixed dementia for several years. Much of Anderson's work featured the use of modified puppets known "supermarionation." His other credits included The Adventures of Twizzle, Stingray, and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. He also launched the live-action series Space: 1999 in 1975.
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Charles Durning

The veteran character actor died of natural causes in his Manhattan home on Dec. 24 at the age of 89. He was best known for his Oscar-nominated roles as the Governor in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and as an idiotic officer in To Be Or Not to Be, along with his portrayals of Dustin Hoffman's would-be suitor in Tootsie and Warren Beatty's boss in Dick Tracy. On the small screen, he recurred on such shows as Evening Shade and Rescue Me, both of which earned him Emmy nominations.
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Jack Klugman

The Odd Couple and Quincy, M.E. star died in Los Angeles on Dec. 24 at the age of 90. He scored his first film role in 1957 as Juror No. 5 in the seminal Sidney Lumet film 12 Angry Men. From there, Klugman went on to make hundreds of appearances on live television anthology series. Klugman's most famous role was as Oscar Madison, the sloppy roommate of Tony Randall's uptight Felix Unger on the ABC sitcom The Odd Couple. Klugman won two Emmys and a Golden Globe for his performance. A year after The Odd Couple ended, Klugman starred on the NBC forensic drama Quincy, M.E. as the title character, a tough medical examiner who solved crimes. Diagnosed with throat cancer in 1974, Klugman lost his voice in 1989, but learned to talk again. He continued acting until 2010, making guest appearances on numerous TV shows, including The Love Boat and Third Watch.
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Lee Dorman

The Iron Butterfly bassist died of natural causes at 70 on Dec. 21. The group rose to fame in the late 1960s with its second album, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, which sold more than 30 million copies. The memorable notes from the title track have remained popular in pop culture, having been featured on The Simpsons, That '70s Show and Rescue Me, among others. The band broke up in the 1970s, at which point Dorman formed a new band, Captain Beyond, with Iron Butterfly guitarist Larry Reinhardt.
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Jenni Rivera

The singer and reality star died Dec. 9 at 43 after her private plane was discovered wrecked in Mexico with no survivors. The plane, which carried two pilots and four other passengers, lost contact with air-traffic controllers shortly after its 3:15 a.m.takeoff from Monterrey, Mexico, where Rivera had given a concert. A Long Beach, Calif., native, Rivera released her debut album in 1999 and has since sold 20 million albums worldwide. The singer-songwriter, also known as Diva of the Banda, began starring in her own reality show, I Love Jenni, in 2011 on Telemundo's mun2 network. She signed a deal with ABC shortly before her death to star in her own multi-camera family comedy pilot called Jenni.
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Reinhold Weege

The Night Court creator died Dec. 1 at 63 of natural causes. Weege got his start as a staff writer on Barney Miller and left the show in 1984 to launch Night Court, which ran until 1992. Known as "Reiny" on set, Weege retired from the show after six seasons, having received several Emmy and Writers Guild Association award nominations. His other writing credits include M*A*S*H, Semi-Tough and the Barney Miller spin-off Fish.
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Jovan Belcher

The 25-year-old Kansas City Chiefs linebacker shot himself in the head in front of his coaches at Arrowhead Stadium on Dec. 1 minutes after fatally shooting his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, multiple times at their home. The couple, who leave behind an infant daughter, had gotten into an argument that morning. A University of Maine alum and an undrafted free agent, Belcher signed with the Chiefs in 2009 and started in 44 out of 59 games with them. He amassed a career-high 61 tackles last season and had recorded 33 thus far this season.
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Larry Hagman

The Dallas star died Nov. 23 at 81 after a one-year battle with throat cancer. The son of Broadway legend Mary Martin, Hagman got his breakthrough on I Dream of Jeannie in 1965 and became a TV icon 13 years later with his portrayal of the nefarious but beloved villain J.R. Ewing on Dallas. His character was at the center of one of television's biggest cliff-hangers after being shot by an unknown assailant, leading viewers to spend the summer of 1980 pondering, "Who shot J.R.?" The episode that revealed J.R.'s shooter is still among the highest-rated TV programs ever. Hagman reprised J.R. Ewing for TNT's reboot of Dallas and had completed six episodes of Season 2 at the time of his death.
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Deborah Raffin

The actress and audiobook entrepreneur died Nov. 21 at 59 of leukemia. In 1985, she and her husband, Michael Viner, launched Dove Books-on-Tape, which beaome one of the premier companies in the audiobook industry. The title of the company was inspired by Raffin's second film, The Dove. In 1981, Raffin had the dubious honor of being nominated for both a Golden Globe and a Razzie Award for her performance in Touched by Love. She also had recurring roles on 7th Heaven and The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
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Billy Scott

The R&B and beach music singer died Nov. 17 at 70 after battling pancreatic and liver cancer. Scott was born in West Virginia, where he had an early R&B career with a group called The Prophets. Their first gold record was in 1968 for "I Got the Fever." Soon they moved to North Carolina, where they changed their named to the Georgia Prophets and began to sing beach music. Some of the band's beach hits included "California" and "Seaside Love." In 1999, Scott was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.
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Lucille Bliss

Bliss, the voice of The Smurfs's Smurfette died Nov. 8 at 96 of natural causes. The actress, who voiced Smurfette from 1981-1990, provided the voices for a variety of cartoon characters, including Crusader Rabbit, the first star of an animated series produced for TV. Bliss was also the original voice of Elroy Jetson, but the actress lost The Jetsons job after she refused to change her name to cover up that she was an adult woman voicing a young boy.
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Henry Colman

The producer of The Love Boat, The Beverly Hillbillies and the original Hawaii Five-O died Nov. 7 at 89. Colman got his start as an associate producer on Dr. Kildare and Peyton Place. From the 1970s to the 1990s, Colman produced a number of TV movies, including two Love Boat films. After helping to develop the Love Boat series, which debuted in 1977, Colman was a producer of the show for its first seven seasons, and also wrote full or partial scripts for 12 of its episodes. In 1984, he began producing the ABC drama series Hotel.
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Bob Brunner

The Happy Days writer and producer died of a heart attack on Oct. 28 at 78. Brunner nicknamed Henry Winkler's character Fonzie on Happy Days and was showrunner at the time of the sitcom's now infamous "jump the shark" episode, in which Fonzie travels to Hollywood and engages in a water-skiing challenge. Since then, the phrase "jump the shark" became known as the point where a TV show begins its decline. His other credits include Diff'rent Strokes and Webster.
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Elliott Carter

The Pulitzer Prize-winning composer died Nov. 5 at 103. A master of modern music, Carter experimented greatly with rhythm, and his pieces were often described as difficult to both play and listen to. The iconic composer earned Pulitzer Prizes for his string quartets in 1960 and 1973. Carter didn't hit his stride musically until he was 40 years old, but he continued composing until just before his death. He debuted his first opera, "What Next?," at the age of 90 and premiered "Interventions" during a 100th birthday celebration at New York's Carnegie Hall.
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Jim Durham

The ESPN announcer died Nov. 4 at 65. Durham commentated NBC games on ESPN radio since the station's launch in 1996. He was well-known for calling the Chicago Bulls games during Michael Jordan's first seven seasons. In 2011, Durham received the Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
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Pascual Perez

The 55-year-old former Major League Baseball pitcher was killed at his home in the Dominican Republic in an apparent robbery on Nov. 1. Perez played 11 seasons in the major leagues, beginning with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1980 and ending with The New York Yankees in 1991. During his time on the mound, Perez also played for the Atlanta Braves and the Montreal Expos and was named an All-Star in 1983. During his career, Perez amassed a 67-68 record and 822 strikeouts. However, during his career he was also suspended twice for drug use — once in 1984 and again in 1992, after which he never returned to baseball.
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Alex Karras

The football star-turned-actor died on Oct. 10 at 77 from kidney failure. Nicknamed "The Mad Duck," Karras spent 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions as a defensive tackle before seguing into acting. Some of his more memorable roles included Mongo in Blazing Saddles, who punches a horse; the sheriff in Porky's and a closeted bodyguard in Victor/Victoria. In the 1980s, Karras starred as George Papadapolis, the adoptive father of the titular boy in Webster (Emmanuel Lewis). Karras and his wife in real life, Susan Clark, played a couple on the series, which they also produced. In recent years, Karras had battled heart disease, kidney disease, stomach cancer and dementia.
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Sahara Davenport

The RuPaul's Drag Race star died Oct. 1 at 27 of heart failure. Born Antoine Ashley, the singer and dancer appeared on the second season of the Logo reality series. Davenport started performing in drag while attending Southern Methodist University, where he earned a degree in dance. Earlier in 2012, Davenport released a single, "Go Off," which peaked at No. 35 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.
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Michael O'Hare

The Babylon 5 star died Sept. 28 at 60 after suffering a heart attack five days earlier. O'Hare played Commander Jeffrey Sinclair for the first three seasons of Babylon 5. He also appeared in the original Broadway production of A Few Good Men, and his other television credits included Law & Order, L.A. Law and One Life to Live.
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Johnny Lewis

The 28-year-old Sons of Anarchy star was fell off a roof Sept. 26 outside the Los Angeles home of his 81-year-old landlady, Catherine Davis, whom he is suspected of killing. Police believe Lewis was under the influence of PCP or meth at the time and that he had also fought two neighbors and dismembered Davis' cat with his bare hands before falling to his death. In addition to his role as Kip "Half-Sack" Epps on Sons of Anarchy, Lewis also had roles on The O.C., Boston Public and The Runaways.
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Andy Williams

The "Moon River" singer and 1960s TV variety show host died Sept. 25 at 84 of bladder cancer. Williams launched his solo career in 1952 when he landed a spot on The Tonight Show and a Columbia Records contract. His rendition of the Breakfast at Tiffany's theme "Moon River" became his signature hit. In 1962, Williams launched The Andy Williams Show, a variety series that aired on NBC until 1971.
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Stephen Dunham

The DAG actor died on his 48th birthday on Sept. 14 after suffering a heart attack. His credits include What I Like About You, The Bill Engvall Show, Just Shoot Me, Hot in Cleveland, The Mummy, Catch Me If You Can, Traffic and most recently Oliver Stone's Savages.
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John Ingle

The General Hospital star died Sept. 16 at 84. After retiring from teaching (his pupils included Nicolas Cage, David Schwimmer and Richard Dreyfuss), Ingle took over the role of Edward Quartermaine, originated by David Lewis, on the ABC soap in 1993. Ingle was fired from the soap in 2003, and Edward was reportedly going to be killed off, but fan support led to Ingle being rehired as the patriarch. In 2004, Ingle left General Hospital to take over the role of Mickey Horton on Days of Our Lives. He returned to GH as Edward in 2006 and made his final appearance a week before his death.
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Michael Clarke Duncan

The Oscar-nominated Green Mile star died Sept. 3 at 54, two months after suffering a heart attack. While looking for acting work in the '90s, Duncan worked as a bodyguard for actors, including Will Smith and LL Cool J, before being cast in Armageddon. He then got his big break when he landed the role of death row inmate John Coffey in The Green Mile, for which he earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. His many other film credits include The Whole Nine Yards, Daredevil, Planet of the Apes and Sin City. He most recently starred on the short-lived Fox drama The Finder. His other TV credits include roles on Chuck, Two and a Half Men and CSI: NY.
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Hal David

The legendary songwriter died Sept. 1 at 91, four days after suffering his second stroke in five months. David was most famous for his collaborations with Burt Bacharach, including the Oscar-winning song "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," as well as songs from the Broadway musical Promises, Promises and "I Say a Little Prayer."
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Chris Lighty

Lighty, a longtime hip-hop manager for artists including P. Diddy, 50 Cent and Mariah Carey, died Aug. 30 at 44 after he shot himself outside of his New York City apartment following an argument with his estranged wife, Veronica. Lighty merged his company, Violator Management, with another company to form Primary Violator around the time Veronica filed for divorce and was reportedly ealing with financial struggles, including owing around $5 million to the IRS.
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Neil Armstrong

Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, died Aug. 25 at 82 following complications from heart surgery. Armstrong turned into an international hero when he commanded the Apollo 11 and became first person to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969. The three hours Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin spent on the moon that day signaled the end of the 12-year Cold War space race against the Soviet Union. His first words upon setting foot on the moon's surface, "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind," have since become immortalized and mark one of the greatest moments in scientific and American history.
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Jerry Nelson

Nelson, the puppeteer best known for playing Count von Count on Sesame Street and Gobo Fraggle on Fraggle Rock, died Aug. 23 at 76. An Oklahoma native, Nelson, who also played Mr. Snuffleupagus and Grover's customer Mr. Johnson, began his career when he started working with puppeteer Bil Baird, best known for creating the marionette sequence for The Sound of the Music. Nelson then worked with Henson first on The Jimmy Dean Show in 1965 and then with The Muppets on and off. On The Muppet Show, Nelson played Sgt. Floyd Pepper, "Pigs in Space" star Dr. Julius Strangepork, Kermit's nephew Robin and Gonzo's girlfriend, Camilla the Chicken.
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Phyllis Diller

The legendary comedienne died Aug. 20 at 95. Diller, who's credited for paving the way for female comics, began her career on an Oakland, Calif., radio show in 1952. She went on to film a 15-minute television series called Phyllis Dillis, the Homely Friendmaker before co-starring with Bob Hope on multiple television specials and films in the 1960s. A regular on Laugh-In, Diller starred in her own television series, The Phyllis Diller Show on ABC in 1966, as well as The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show on NBC in 1968. The following year she starred on Broadway in Hello, Dolly!. Most recently, Diller appeared on The Bold and the Beautiful.
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Tony Scott

The Top Gun director died of an apparent suicide at 68 after jumping off a bridge in San Pedro, Calif., on Aug. 19. Scott, the younger brother of Ridley Scott, reportedly had inoperable brain cancer. Known for his blockbuster action flicks, Scott made his feature film directorial debut with 1983's The Hunger and rose to the A-list with 1986's Top Gun, which grossed more than $300 million worldwide. His other credits include Days of Thunder, Beverly Hills Cop II, True Romance, Crimson Tide, Enemy of the State, Man on Fire, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and his final film, 2010's Unstoppable. Scott and his brother also produced CBS' Numb3rs and The Good Wife.
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Joey Kovar

The 29-year-old Real World: Hollywood alum was found dead on Aug. 17. Kovar left The Real World in the middle of the season to enter rehab. He later appeared on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.
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Ron Palillo

The Welcome Back, Kotter star died Aug. 14 at 63 of a heart attack. Palillo, who came up with his Kotter alter ego Arnold Horhack's catchphrase "Oooh! Oooh, Mr. Kotter," was a teacher at G-Star School of the Arts for Motion Pictures and Broadcasting in West Palm Beach, Fla., at the time of his death. His other credits include Laverne & Shirley, CHiPs and Murder, She Wrote.
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Helen Gurley Brown

The former Cosmopolitan editor died Aug. 13 at 90. Brown became the editor-in-chief of the magazine in 1965, three years after publishing her bestselling book Sex and the Single Girl. Under her guidance, Cosmo became the go-to magazine for single women, which helped to turn around the then-fledging magazine. Brown was replaced in 1997, but remained the editor on all 59 international editions until her death.
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Lupe Ontiveros

The Desperate Housewives and Selena star died July 26 at 69 of liver cancer. The Mexican-American actress was considered a pioneer for Latin American actors in Hollywood. In 2009, she told NPR she had appeared as a maid more than 150 times, but wasn't only pigeonholed to such roles. In Selena, she played Yolanda Saldivar, the woman who was convicted of killing the real-life singer who was the subject of the film. She recurred as Juanita Solis, the mother-in-law to Eva Longoria's Gaby, on Desperate Housewives.
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Sherman Hemsley

The All in the Family and Jeffersons star died July 24 at 74 of natural causes. A theater actor in his early years, Hemsley originated the role of George Jefferson on All in the Family in 1973. Less than two years later, George and Louise Jefferson (Isabel Sanford) moved on up with their own spin-off The Jeffersons, which followed the family's exploits in running a dry-cleaning business. The Jeffersons were one of the first affluent African-American families depicted on television. Hemsley's other credits include NBC's Amen, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Dinosaurs. His most recent work was a guest spot on a 2011 episode Tyler Perry's House of Payne, on which he reprised his role as George Jefferson.
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Sally Ride

Ride, the first American woman to fly in space, died July 23 at 61 after battling pancreatic cancer. At the age of 32, Ride rode to orbit aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1983 to become America's first woman to fly in space. A physicist, Ride helped develop the shuttle's robotic arm. After joining NASA in 1978, Ride left nine years later and worked at the Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control. She was also a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego and was the director of the California Space Institute.
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Tom Davis

Davis, one of the original writers for Saturday Night Live and the longtime partner of comic Al Franken, died July 19 at 59 after battling throat and neck cancer. Davis helped mold famous SNL sketches like "The Coneheads" and performer Dan Aykroyd's famous impersonation of chef Julia Child. He and Franken also appeared on-screen as a duo in sketches like "The Brain Tumor Comedian." Davis worked at SNL until 1980 and then returned to the writers room from 1986 to 1994. During this time, he also co-starred with Franken in the 1986 film One More Saturday Night and collaborated on the 1993 big-screen adaptation of The Coneheads. He also won four Emmys, three of which are for his writing on SNL.
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Kitty Wells

Wells died at July 16 at 92 from complications following a stroke. Known as the "Queen of Country Music," she recorded 50 albums in her lifetime and had 25 Top 10 country hits. In 1952, Wells became the first solo female artist to have the No. 1 country hit with her song "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels." Some of her other hits included "The Things I Might Have Been," "Release Me," "Heartbreak USA" and the 1955 song "Making Believe," which landed on the Mississippi Burning soundtrack 33 years later. Wells was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1976.
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Celeste Holm

The Oscar winner died July 15 at 95, two weeks after getting hospitalized with dehydration. Holm rose to fame playing Ado Annie in the 1943 Broadway production of Oklahoma! and won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for 1947's Gentleman's Agreement. She earned two more nominations for Come to the Stable and All About Eve. On TV, she guest-starred on Fantasy Island and starred on the short-lived Touched By an Angel spin-off, Promised Land.
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Sage Stallone

Stallone, the son of Sylvester Stallone, was found dead at the age of 36 in his apartment on July 13. He starred alongside his father in Rocky V, playing the son of the titular boxer. He later became a producer and director.
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Anthony Sedlak

Sedlak, a 29-year-old celebrity chef and host of Food Network Canada's The Main, was found dead in his Vancouver apartment on July 6. At 23, Sedlak won the silver medal at the World Junior Chef Challenge. The next year, he won Food Network's Superstar Chef Challenge. Sedlak was also a judge on Food Network Canada's Family Cook Off.
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Ernest Borgnine

The Oscar winner died July 8 at 95 of renal failure. After serving in the Navy, Borgnine found fame playing villainous types in films, including From Here to Eternity. But it was playing against-type, as a single, overweight butcher in 1955's Marty that earned him the Best Actor Oscar. His other credits include The Poseidon Adventure, The Greatest and Escape From New York. On the small screen, he starred on McHale's Navy, Airwolf, The Single Guy and lent his voice to SpongeBob SquarePants as Mermaid Man. His final role was in the drama The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez, which premiered earlier this year.
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Andy Griffith

The The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock star died July 3 at 86. Griffith got his big break in Elia Kazan's 1957 film A Face in the Crowd and became a household name in 1960 when The Andy Griffith Show premiered; the sitcom lasted eight years. In 1986, Griffith enjoyed a career resurgence with Matlock, which lasted nine years.
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Don Grady

The Mickey Mouse Club and My Three Sons star died June 27 at 68 after a battle with cancer. Grady played middle brother Robbie on the sitcom and ventured into music after Sons' run. He composed the music for the film Switch and for The Phil Donahue Show. In 2008, he released an album about the baby boomer generation called Boomer: JazRokPop.
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Nora Ephron

The prolific screenwriter of such hits as When Harry Met Sally..., Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail died June 26 at 71 from pneumonia brought on by acute myeloid leukemia. Ephron, who also penned numerous essays, books and plays, received three screenwriting Oscar nominations for Silkwood, Harry and Sleepless. She became one of Hollywood's few successful female directors when Sleepless brought in more than $200 million at the box office in 1993. Her final film was 2009's Julie & Julia.
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Susan Tyrrell

The Oscar-nominated Fat City actress died June 16 at 67. Tyrrell was diagnosed with thrombocythemia, a rare bone marrow disease, in 2000. Though she had both her legs amputated, Tyrrell continued to act, appearing in Masked and Anonymous and Kid Thing.
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Yvette Wilson

The Moesha star died June 14 at 48 after battling Stage 4 cervical cancer and kidney disease. The comedienne also starred on The Parkers, and in the films House Party 3 and Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood.
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Henry Hill

The former mobster, whose life was immortalized in the movie Goodfellas, died June 12 at 69 after a long battle with an undisclosed illness. From the 1960s to the 1980s, Hill was associated with the Lucchese crime family in New York. Hill later became an informant for the FBI and entered witness protection before testifying against his former organized crime bosses. His life of crime and reform was detailed in Nicholas Pileggi's book Wiseguys, which became the basis for Martin Scorsese's film Goodfellas, starring Ray Liotta as Hill.
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Frank Cady

The Green Acres star died June 8 at 96. Cady started acting in 1946 after serving in the military and landed bit parts, including a non-speaking role in Rear Window. He played Sam Drucker on Green Acres, Petticoat Junction and The Beverly Hillbillies, becoming the only actor to play a recurring character on three sitcoms simultaneously. He reprised the part for the 1990 TV movie Return to Green Acres — his final acting role.
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Bob Welch

Welch, who was a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1971 to 1974, died June 7 at 66 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A guitarist and vocalist, Welch left Fleetwood Mac to form the British rock group Paris in 1976. The group didn't find success until after he left the band, in 1977, but Welch had several hits, including "Ebony Eyes" and "Sentimental Lady," for which Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham did backing vocals.
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Ray Bradbury

The prolific sci-fi author behind Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles and Something Wicked This Way Comes died June 6 at 91. Though most famous for his dystopian tales, Bradbury also wrote for television programs, including The Twilight Zone and The Ray Bradbury Theater, in addition to scripting the 1956 film adaptation of Moby Dick. He used a wheelchair after suffering a stroke in 1999, but continued to write every day from his home office in Los Angeles' Cheviot Hills neighborhood into his 90s.
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Richard Dawson

The original Family Feud host and Hogan's Heroes star died June 2 at 79 from complications related to esophageal cancer. After achieving fame as Cpl. Peter Newkirk on Hogan's Heroes in 1965, Dawson performed on Laugh-In and was also a regular on The New Dick Van Dyke Show from 1973 to 1974. He appeared on game shows including I've Got a Secret, Masquerade Party and Match Game before he was tapped to host Family Feud. Dawson became known for kissing all of the female contestants on Feud and garnered the nickname "The Kissing Bandit." (He later explained he kissed them for love and luck, like his mother used to do.) He won a Daytime Emmy for best game show host in 1978.
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Kathryn Joosten

The Desperate Housewives and The West Wing star died June 2 at 72 of lung cancer. Joosten, who started acting at 42, first rose to fame as President Bartlet's secretary Mrs. Landingham on The West Wing. She won two guest actress Emmy awards for her work as Mrs. McCluskey on Housewives and famously asked creator Marc Cherry not to kill her off during the show's run. Her death came 20 days after Mrs. McCluskeys' death of lung cancer on the Housewives series finale.
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Doc Watson

The folk music icon die May 29 at 89, five days after undergoing colon surgery. Blind since the age of 1, the flat-picker guitarist won seven Grammy awards, along with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. Watson also won the National Medal of the Arts in 1997 and was also inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2010.
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Robin Gibb

Robin Gibb, the co-founder of the Bee Gees, died May 20 at 62 after a long battle with cancer. Gibb was diagnosed with liver and colon cancer two years ago, but despite what he called a "spectacular recovery," his doctor confirmed he was suffering from advanced stage colorectal cancer in April. Gibb also battled pneumonia, earlier this year, which put him into a coma. The Bee Gees became household names across the world thanks to their contributions to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, which included hit songs like "Stayin' Alive" and "You Should Be Dancing."
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Donna Summer

Disco legend Donna Summer died May 17 at the age of 63. The five-time Grammy winner had been battling cancer. She began her career as a backup singer for the trio Three Dog Night. She rose to fame in '70s and defined the sound of the decade after launching her solo career with such hit singles as "Last Dance," "Hot Stuff" and "Bad Girls."
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Mitchell Guist

Mitchell Guist, a cast member of The History Channel's Swamp People, died May 14 at 47. He suffered a fall in a boat shortly after it launched into the Belle River in St. Martin Parish. Witnesses said Guist was having what appeared to be seizures, but attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.
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Vidal Sassoon

Legendary British hair stylist and entrepreneur Vidal Sassoon died May 9 at the age of 84 of an unspecified illness. He was surrounded by his family. Often referred to as the "founder of hairdressing," Sassoon began his career at the age of 14, when his mother shipped him off to serve as an apprentice at a salon in London's East End. Several years later, in 1954, he opened his first salon. Sassoon's star rose when he gave Mia Farrow the severe pixie cut she wore in Rosemary's Baby. He is also credited with creating the "bob" haircut. His successful line of hair products bore the memorable tagline: "If you don't look good, we don't look good."
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George Lindsey

Lindsey died May 6 at 83 after an extended hospitalization. Lindsey got his big break when he was cast on The Andy Griffith Show in 1964 as the slow-witted-but-kind Goober. He became known on the show for his Goober dance and his infamously bad Cary Grant impression. Lindsey continued to portray the character when the show was renamed Mayberry R.F.D. — following Andy Griffith's departure — until the show was axed in 1971. Lindsey was also known for his 20-year role as part of the famous Hee Haw cast from 1972 to 1992. He also appeared on such shows as M*A*S*H, Gunsmoke, Herbie, the Love Bug and CHiPS and lent his voice to several Disney films including The Aristocrats, The Rescuers and Robin Hood.
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Adam "MCA" Yauch

The Beastie Boys co-founder and rapper died May 4 at 47 after a three-year battle with cancer. Yauch co-founded the Beastie Boys in 1979 and the group has gone on to sell more than 40 million records. In April, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but Yauch did not attend. During the ceremony, his bandmates paid tribute to him and a letter from Yauch was read aloud.
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Junior Seau

The 43-year-old NFL legend died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest on May 2. Seau started his career as the first round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers. He went on to play for the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots, totaling 20 seasons in the NFL. In 2010, Seau drove his car off of a cliff in Carlsbad, Calif., just after being arrested for allegedly attacking his then-girlfriend. Despite rumors of an attempted suicide, the football star claimed he had fallen asleep at the wheel.
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Tommy Marth

The Killers saxophonist committed suicide at age 33 on April 23. Marth was never a permanent member of the band, but began touring with the group in 2008. Marth also contributed to the band's second and third studio albums, Sam's Town and Day & Age. Most recently, Marth had been working as the Hard Rock Hotel's nightlife marketing manager.
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Levon Helm

Helm, the drummer and singer for The Band, died April 19 at 71 after a 15-year battle with throat cancer. The Band recorded two well-known albums, 1968's Music From Big Pink and 1969's The Band, which produced hits like "The Weight", "Up on Cripple Creek," "Ophelia" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." After The Band's breakup in 1976, Helm formed Levon Helm and the RCO All Stars before reuniting with three other former Band members in the early '80s, a pairing which produced three studio albums before The Band ended for good in 1999. After being diagnosed with throat cancer, Helm underwent 28 radiation treatments and eventually recovered his voice. He recorded two solo albums, including 2007's Dirt Farmer, a Grammy winner for Best Traditional Folk album.
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Jonathan Frid

The Dark Shadows star died April 13 at 87 of natural causes. Frid joined the gothic soap opera, which ran from 1966 to 1971, in 1967, playing Barnabas Collins, a vampire returning to his family's estate, and quickly became the star of the show. He filmed a cameo in Tim Burton's big-screen remake of Dark Shadows, in which Johnny Depp plays Barnabas. Frid's other credits include the TV movie The Devil's Daughter and the horror film Seizure.
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Dick Clark

The legendary American Bandstand and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve host died April 18 at 82 after suffering a massive heart attack. Known as "America's Oldest Teenager," Clark rose to fame 1956 when he took over Bandstand, which became an after-school must-see for teens. In 1972, he started Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. After suffering a stroke in December 2004, he was unable to host the festivities as he had the previous 32 years (except for 2000 when ABC News took over); he returned as a co-host in 2005, passing the mantle of primary host to Ryan Seacrest. Clark won four Emmys, including one for lifetime achievement, and a Peabody Award in 1999 for his work.
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Mike Wallace

The longtime 60 Minutes correspondent died April 8 at 93. Wallace, Wallace, who underwent triple bypass surgery in 2008, had been ill for several years. One of the original correspondents when 60 Minutes launched in 1968, Wallace became known for his ambush interviews of criminals and liars. During his years with the program, Wallace also interviewed such notable figures as Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Salvador Dali, Malcolm X, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and many others. Wallace semi-retired from 60 Minutes in 2006 after four decades, but contributed several pieces after that. His last piece was an interview with famed baseball pitcher and accused steroid user Roger Clemens in January 2008.
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Earl Scruggs

The bluegrass legend who recorded The Beverly Hillbillies theme song died March 28 at 88 of natural causes. Besides playing "The Ballad of Jed Clampett," the theme for the Hillbillies during its nine-year run on CBS, Scruggs is best known for his three-finger picking style that popularized the banjo as an instrument and the bluegrass genre as a whole. His wife, Anne Louise Certain, who died in 2006, managed his band, The Foggy Mountain Boys, whose 1949 single "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" was featured in the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. Scruggs and his fellow band member Lester Flatt were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985. They were also the first inductees in the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 1991.
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Jimmy Ellis (bottom right)

The Trammps lead singer died March 8 at 74 from complications of Alzheimer's disease. Ellis formed The Trammps in the early 1970s. The band's first recording, a remake of "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart," reached No. 17 on the R&B charts. Their biggest hit came in 1977 when their single "Disco Inferno" was used in the film Saturday Night Fever. The song reached No. 11 on the Billboard pop chart and the movie's soundtrack climbed to No. 1. The album later won the Grammy for album of the year in 1979.
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Davy Jones

The Monkees front-man died Feb. 29 at 66 from a heart attack. Jones, who started acting at 11, became a teen heartthrob in 1965 when he signed on with Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork to form The Monkees, a Beatles-like band for a TV show. The group's hits included "Daydream Believer," "I'm a Believer" and the show's theme song, "Hey Hey We're the Monkees." The Monkees continued to tour over the years, concluding with 2011's An Evening with The Monkees: The 45th Anniversary Tour.
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Gary Carter

The former New York Mets catcher and Hall of Famer died Feb. 16 at 57 from brain cancer. Nicknamed "Kid," Carter played for the Mets for five years and helped lead the team to a World Series Championship in 1986 over the Boston Red Sox. He also played for the Montreal Expos, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers before retiring in 1992 after 19 years in the majors. An 11-time All Star, Carter was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003 with a career average of .262, 324 total home runs and 1,225 total RBIs. He was also a three-time Gold Glove Award winner and a two-time MLB All-Star Game MVP.
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Neil Hope

The former Degrassi star died at 35 on Nov. 25, 2007, but his death wasn't made public until more than four years later on Feb. 16, 2012. His family said Hope died of natural causes. Hope played "Wheels" on Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High and Degrassi: The Next Generation. He also appeared in the 1992 series Degrassi Talks, where he spoke about his struggle with his parents' alcohol addiction. Hope later struggled with alcohol addiction himself following the death of his father.
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Whitney Houston

The six-time Grammy winner and pop icon died Feb. 11 at 48. Known as "The Voice," Houston rose to fame in the mid-'80s, scoring hit after hit with such songs as "Saving All My Love for You," "Greatest Love of All" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody." She scored her biggest hit in 1992 with her cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" from her film The Bodyguard. In recent years, Houston's career was derailed by drug abuse, which she blamed on her tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown. She released her final album, I Look to You, in 2009.
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Don Cornelius

The 75-year-old Soul Train creator and host died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot to the head on Feb. 1. Cornelius started out on radio before creating Soul Train in 1971, on which he ended each show by saying in his distinctive bass-baritone voice: "I'm Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!" He stopped hosting in 1993, and the show ran for another 13 years.
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Leslie Carter

Carter, the sister of Backstreet Boy Nick and singer Aaron, died Jan. 31 at 25. An aspiring singer, Carter perofrmed a song, "Like Wow," on the Shrek soundtrack and appeared on the family's E! reality series House of Carters.
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Ian Abercrombie

The British stage actor, best known as Elaine's boss Mr. Pitt on Seinfeld, died Jan. 26 at 77 from complications of kidney failure. He had recently been diagnosed with lymphoma. After decades performing on stage, TV and in film, Abercrombie found fame during a seven-episode arc on Seinfeld, in which he played the demanding and picky Mr. Pitt. "I mean, I have been around as an actor for 40-odd years, and this show knocked me out of the ballpark," he said in 1998.
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Robert Hegyes

The Welcome Back, Kotter star died Jan. 26 at 60 of an apparent heart attack. Hegyes started out in theater before he got cast on Welcome Back, Kotter as Juan Epstein, one of the Sweathogs, alongside a young John Travolta. After the comedy's four-year run, Hegyes joined the detective series Cagney & Lacey as undercover detective Manny Esposito.
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James Farentino

Farentino, who played George Clooney's estranged dad on ER, died Jan. 24 at 73 of heart failure. The Brooklyn-born actor won a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer in 1967 for his work in The Pad and How to Use It. His credits also include The Final Countdown, Dynasty, Melrose Place and the miniseries Jesus of Nazareth, for which he earned an Emmy nomination in 1978.
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Joe Paterno

Paterno, college football's all-time winningest coach, died Jan. 22 at 85, two months after getting diagnosed with lung cancer. Over his 46-year career as head coach, Penn State's Nittany Lions won two national championships and went undefeated for five different seasons. Paterno — known as "JoePa" to his players and football fans — won the National Coach of the Year Award five times and became the winningest coach in 2011 with 409 wins. He was fired in November 2011 shortly after former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was charged with more than 50 counts involving sex acts with young boys dating back to 1994. He came under fire for not doing enough to alert authorities once he learned of early allegations about Sandusky.
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Etta James

The soul legend died Jan. 20 at 73 — five days before her 74th birthday — after a battle with leukemia. James, whose catalogue of hits include "Something's Got a Hold on Me" and, of course, "At Last," won six Grammys in her career and was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. She scored her first No. 1 hit on the R&B charts in 1955 with "The Wallflower (Roll With Me, Henry)." James released her final album, The Dreamer, in November 2011.
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Sarah Burke

The 29-year-old freestyle halfpipe skier died Jan. 19, nine days after her training run crash that ruptured her vertebral artery and sent her into cardiac arrest. Burke sustained irreversible brain damage because of a lack of oxygen and blood. A pioneer in her sport, the four-time Winter X Games champ was the first female skier to land a 1080 — three revolutions — and had successfully lobbied for halfpipe skiing to be added to the Winter Olympics. The sport will make its debut at the 2014 Sochi Games, where Burke was expected to be a favorite for gold.