The entertainment world mourned the loss of numerous titans and dozens of supporting players this year.
Among the notable deaths of 2012 were veteran television personality Dick Clark; broadcast journalist Mike Wallace; actors Andy Griffith, Jack Klugman, Charles Durning, Sherman Hemsley, Michael Clarke Duncan, Ernest Borgnine, Chad Everett, George Lindsey and Larry Hagman; singers Etta James, Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, Adam Yauch, Levon Helm, Davy Jones and Jenni Rivera; and painter Thomas Kinkade.
We also said goodbye to film director Tony Scott; screenwriter Nora Ephron; children's book author Maurice Sendak; science-fiction giant Ray Bradbury; composer Marvin Hamlisch; hairstylist Vidal Sassoon and magazine publisher Helen Gurley Brown.
Among the most highly publicized deaths of 2012 was that of New Jersey-born singer-actress Whitney Houston, who accidentally drowned in a Los Angeles hotel bathtub Feb. 11 after using drugs on the eve of the Grammy Awards ceremony she was in town to attend.
Just 48 when she died, the celebrated recording artist's once-dazzling career was tarnished for years by her addiction to drugs, erratic behavior and stormy marriage to R&B singer Bobby Brown, whom she divorced in 2007. The "Bodyguard" star has been the subject of numerous memorials and tributes in recent months, showing how beloved she was, but while her death was tragic, it was not entirely shocking due to her self-destructive lifestyle. Her final film, the movie musical "Sparkle," was released months after her death.
British singer, songwriter and musician Davy Jones suffered a fatal heart attack in Stuart, Fla., Feb. 29 at the age of 66. Jones is best known for his work with the pop band The Monkees, famous for their hits "Daydream Believer," "I'm a Believer" and "Last Train to Clarksville." The group's eponymous sitcom ran on NBC from 1966 to 1968. Jones also memorably guest starred as himself on a classic episode of "The Brady Bunch" when Marcia, played by Maureen McCormick, persuades her celebrity crush to go to her high-school dance.
Former "American Bandstand" host Dick Clark died April 18 in Los Angeles after a massive heart attack at the age of 82. He had previously suffered complications resulting from Parkinson's disease, diabetes and a series of strokes, the first of which he had in December 2004. In 1972, Clark began his "New Year's Rockin' Eve" program from Times Square. He shared emcee duties with "American Idol" star Ryan Seacrest from 2005 to 2012.
Disco icon Donna Summer died of cancer in Florida May 17. She was 63. At the time of her death, she had been working on a new album.
The five-time Grammy Award winner is known for the 1970s anthems "Last Dance," "Hot Stuff" and "Bad Girls." She is to be posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year.
Writer, director and renowned wit Nora Ephron lost her private fight with leukemia June 26. She was 71.
Ephron was nominated for three screenwriting Oscars, for "Silkwood" with Alice Arlen, and "When Harry Met Sally ..." and "Sleepless in Seattle" with David S. Ward and Jeff Arch. Her screenwriting credits also include "Julie & Julia," "Hanging Up," "Michael," "My Blue Heaven" and "Heartburn" -- based on her novel of the same name. Her film directing credits include "Julie & Julia," "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle."
Television lion Andy Griffith was buried on his family farm in North Carolina hours after he died of a heart attack July 3 at the age of 86. He was best known as the star of the classic sitcom "The Andy Griffith Show" and legal drama "Matlock." His film credits include "A Face in the Crowd," "No Time For Sergeants," "Angel in My Pocket," "Adams of Eagle Lake," "The Treasure Chest Murder," "Hearts of the West," "Spy Hard," "Waitress" and "Playing the Game."
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