Who Died in 2011?
Steve Jobs. Amy Winehouse. Jack LaLanne. Liz Taylor. A lot of people died in 2011, some deserving, some not, and we have nearly a month still to go. There were a lot of suicides -- as ever. There seemed to have been a spate of pancreatic cancer, too, most notably of Steve Jobs, and even a death from complications following breast implant surgery.
Some people on the list were in the "I didn't know they were still alive" category, while others died heartbreakingly young. And too many others took themselves out for reasons often known only to themselves. And of course there were drug overdoses and liver disease among the celebrities. Not surprisingly to anyone who watches "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew," Jeff Conaway and Mike Starr both climbed the stairway to heaven in 2011.
The following list is impeccably scientific in its selection -- "scientific" meaning "I've heard of them." And, often but certainly not always, meaning "because I liked them."
Which would exclude Moammar Gadhafi and Osama bin Laden, both of whom happily made the list. Happily for the rest of us, anyway.
Mark Ryan, 51, British musician (Adam and the Ants).
-- John Barry, 77, British film score composer (From Russia with Love).
-- Megan McNeil, 20, Canadian singer, adrenal cancer.
-- Charlie Callas, 83, American comedian and actor (Silent Movie, Switch).
-- Charlie Louvin, 83, American country music singer (The Louvin Brothers.
-- Jack LaLanne, 96, American fitness and nutritional expert.
-- Sexy Cora, 23, German pornographic actress, complications from breast enlargement surgery.
-- Sargent Shriver, 95, American diplomat and politician.
-- Don Kirshner, 76, American record producer and songwriter, host of "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert."
-- Milton Levine, 97, inventor of Uncle Milton's Ant Farm.
-- Steve Prestwich, 56, British-born Australian drummer (Little River Band) and songwriter.
-- Susannah York, 72, English actress (Tom Jones, Superman), bone marrow cancer.
-- Susana Chávez, 36, Mexican poet and human rights activist, strangled. (death confirmed on this date)
-- Bill Bower, 93, American aviator, last surviving pilot of Doolittle Raid, complications from a fall.
-- Gerry Rafferty, 63, Scottish singer-songwriter (Stealers Wheel), liver failure.
-- Pete Postlethwaite, 64, British actor (In the Name of the Father, The Usual Suspects), pancreatic cancer.
-- Richard Winters, 92, American army officer and World War II veteran, basis of book and miniseries Band of Brothers, Parkinson's disease.
Jane Russell, 89, American actress (The Outlaw, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), respiratory illness.
-- Frank Buckles, 110, American supercentenarian soldier, last living U.S. World War I veteran, natural causes.
-- Duke Snider, 84, American Baseball Hall of Famer (New York Mets, San Francisco Giants).
-- Gary Moore, 58, Irish rock guitarist and singer (Thin Lizzy), heart attack.
-- John Paul Getty III, 54, American heir and kidnapping victim, grandson of J. Paul Getty, after long illness.
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