Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Famous and Infamous…23 People We Lost In 2011

Twenty-three is not a magic number and far from being a total count.  It's simply the number of names I ended up with after I jotted down a cross section of people who died during 2011.

January 2011:
ANNE FRANCIS—actress probably most famous as one of the first female detectives on television with her series Honey West.
DAVID NELSON—oldest son of Ozzie and Harriet and brother to Ricky Nelson who went on to a career in television as a director.
JACK LaLANNE—fitness guru and pioneer of television exercise shows.

February 2011:
JOHN PAUL GETTY III—grandson of oil tycoon John Paul Getty, best known as a kidnapping victim in Italy in the 1970s who had his ear cut off by his abductors to prove they had him when they made their ransom demand.
GEORGE SHEARING—jazz pianist.
JANE RUSSELL—actress who made her film debut in Howard Hughes' film The Outlaw and went on to a successful career including co-starring with Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Bob Hope in The Paleface.

March 2011:
ELIZABETH TAYLOR—legendary screen star and Academy Award winning actress whose career started as a child star and continued for decades with many memorable film roles who was also famous for her many marriages.
GERALDINE FERRARO—first woman to run for Vice President of the United States as the running mate of Walter Mondale in 1984.

April 2011:
BETTY FORD—First Lady of the United States as wife of President Gerald Ford and founder of the Betty Ford Clinic in Palm Springs specializing in rehabilitation for those addicted to drugs and alcohol.

May 2011:
OSAMA BIN LADEN—terrorist and number one on the most wanted list.
JACKIE COOPER—child star in the 1930s who went on to an adult acting career and also a successful career as a director.
JEFF CONAWAY—an actor best known for his role on the television series Taxi.

June 2011:
JAMES ARNESS—actor best known for his role as Marshal Dillon on the long running television series Gunsmoke and was the brother of actor Peter Graves from the television series Mission Impossible and also Fury in addition to many movie roles.
PETER FALK—actor best known for his rumpled detective in the television series Columbo in addition to many movie roles.
JACK KEVORKIAN—the doctor famous for his involvement with assisted suicides.

July 2011:
AMY WINEHOUSE—the British singer who had an on-going battle with drugs.

October 2011:
STEVE JOBS—computer and electronics innovator and co-founder of Apple.
MOAMMAR GADHAFI—long time dictator of Libya.

November 2011:
ANDY ROONEY—long time commentator on CBS' Sixty Minutes.
JOE FRAZIER—heavy weight boxing champ.
KARL SLOVER—1 of the last 3 remaining of the original 124 actors to play the Munchkins in the 1939 classic Wizard Of Oz.

December 2011:
HARRY MORGAN—a long and successful career as an actor in both films and television who was best known for playing Col. Sherman Potter on MASH.
KIM JONG IL—long time dictator of North Korea.

There were certainly many more people well known in many different fields who left us in 2011.  This is just a random cross section.

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