As 2011 comes to a end, we say our good byes to those who’ve made an impact on so many lives.
American Film Institute “Female Legend” and three-time Academy Award-winning actress Elizabeth Taylor died March 23. She was 79.
Nick Ashford and wife Valerie were the Motown hit sensation Ashford & Simpson
Mikey Welsh, the former Weezer bass player who died Saturday (Oct. 8) of an apparent drug overdose, seemingly predicted his death on Twitter.
On Sept. 26, Welsh Tweeted, “dreamt i died in chicago next weekend (heart attack in my sleep). need to write my will today.” He then amended his post to say “correction – the weekend after next.”
The 40-year-old Welsh was found unresponsive at his Raffaello Hotel room on Saturday the Chicago Tribune reports. Police then discovered prescription drugs in Welsh’s hotel room along with what they suspect to be heroin. He was in the Windy City to see his former band mates play at RiotFest.
Annette Charles (Cha Cha DiGrigorio) and Jeff Conaway (Keniki) from the box office smash movie Grease both passed away this year. Annette Charles (63) lost her struggled with cancer. Jeff Conaway died on May 27 in Encino, California. He was 60.
Bubba Smith, the former NFL star and “Police Academy” movie actor, appears to have died of natural causes, but authorities said an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. He was 66.
British singer Amy Winehouse was found dead at her home in north London on July 23, 2011. She was 27 years old.
Television genius, Sherwood Schwartz, the man who created “The Brady Bunch” and “Gilligan’s Island”, died at the age of 94.
‘Jackass’ star Ryan Dunn died June 20, 2011, following a fiery car crash. He was 34.
Clarence Clemons, saxophonist most famous for playing in Bruce Springsteen ‘s E Street Band, died June 18th following complications from a stroke suffered the previous week. He was 69.
Carl Gardner, the lead singer of the vocal group The Coasters, died on June 12 at age 83. Gardner was the lead singer and longest-serving member of the group, which was the first vocal group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Coasters’ hits included “Yakety Yak,” “Poison Ivy” and “Charlie Brown.”
Winnipeg Jets center Rick Rypien was found dead at his Alberta home on Monday, with the police telling local media there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the 27-year-old’s death. Rypien had signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Jets as a free agent last month after six seasons with the Vancouver Canucks.
Jani Lane, former lead singer of the 1980s glam-band Warrant, was found dead in a hotel room in California.
Laura Ziskin, executive producer for hit movies such as “Pretty Woman” and the Spiderman series, died June 13 after a public battle with breast cancer. She was 61. Ziskin co-founded Stand Up To Cancer, and organization that raises and donates money for cancer research.
Margo Dydek, a 7-foot-2-inch Polish-born former NBA player, died May 27, eight days after suffering a heart attack. Dydek is the tallest woman ever to play in the WNBA, and is the league’s all-time blocks leader with 877 in 323 games. She was 37.
Former professional wrestler ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage died after losing control of his car due to a heart attack on May 20. He was 58.
Minnesota Twins great Harmon Killebrew died May 17 following a long battle with cancer. The hall of famer played for three teams over 22 seasons and is regarded by many as one of the best to ever play the game. Killebrew was 74.
Sol Saks, a comedy writer who created the classic sitcom “Bewitched,” died in Los Angeles on April 16. He was 100.
Movie producer Parry Moore died Feb. 17 after being found unconscious in his bathroom. Police say no foul play was suspected. Moore was the executive producer of “The Chronicles of Narnia” film series and also an award-winning novelist. He was 39.
Betty Garrett, a comedic actress who was a fixture in such MGM musicals as “On The Town” and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” a regular on the television series “All in the Family” and “Laverne & Shirley” and a star on Broadway and in Los Angeles theater productions died on February 13. She was 91.
Gladys Horton, co-founder of The Marvelettes, died on Jan. 26 of a stroke. Horton sang lead on the ’60s girl group’s first hit single, “Please Mr. Postman.” She was 66.
Bernd Eichinger, who produced films such as “Downfall, the “Resident Evil” series and “The Neverending Story,” died of a heart attack on Jan. 24. He was 61.
John Dye, most famous for his role as Andrew, the Angel of Death, on “Touched by an Angel,” died of heart failure on Jan. 11. He was 47.
Federal Judge John Roll died Jan. 8. He was gunned down during the Tucson shooting rampage that also claimed the lives of five others. Roll was 63.
Two-time Indianapolis 500 winnerDan Wheldon died after his car became ensnared in a fiery 15-car pileup, flew over another vehicle and hit the catch fence just outside turn 2 in a season-ending race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The green flag wasn’t even done waving when the accident happened. The night before him and his wife got matching tattoos. Dan was 33.
Comedian Patrice O’Neal passed away on Nov. 28, 2011 at the age of 41. He struggled with diabetes and suffered a stroke in Oct. 2011. O’Neal was known for several appearances on “The Office” and “Chapelle’s Show,” as well as an appearance on “Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen.”
Former heavyweight World boxing champion Joe Frazier died in Philadelphia a month after being diagnosed with liver cancer. He died at the age of 67 years old on Monday, Nov. 7.
Dorothy Rodham, Hilary Clinton’s mother, died this morning at age 92.
Evelyn Lauder, a member of the Estee Lauder cosmetic company who helped create the pink ribbon symbol for breast cancer awareness, died Saturday in New York City at age 75.