Oscar-nominated British actor Pete Postlethwaite, who has been described by director Steven Spielberg as "the best actor in the world," died after a long battle with cancer on Jan. 2, 2011, at age 64. Postlethwaite was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the 1993 film "In The Name Of The Father."
Anne Francis, the actress who played the love interest in the 1950s science-fiction classic "Forbidden Planet" and later portrayed a sexy private eye in TV's "Honey West" died on Jan. 2, 2011, at age 80 in California. Francis died Sunday of natural causes at a local nursing home, funeral director Bill Guntle said.
David Nelson, who starred on his parents' popular television show, "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," died in Los Angeles on Jan. 10, 2011, after battling complications of colon cancer. He was 74. Nelson is shown here with his grandson and a family friend as he is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1996.
British actress Susannah York, one of the leading stars of British and Hollywood films in the late 1960s and early 1970s and an Academy Award nominee, died on Jan. 15, 2011, at the age of 72. York died of cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. She was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the 1969 classic "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"
Jack LaLanne, the fitness guru who inspired television viewers to trim down and pump iron for decades before exercise became a national obsession, died from respiratory failure on Jan. 23, 2011. He was 96.
Maria Schneider, the French actress who was Marlon Brando's young co-star in 1972's "Last Tango in Paris," died on Feb. 2, 2011, her talent agency said. She was 58. Schneider, seen here in 2003, also starred alongside Jack Nicholson in the 1975 film "The Passenger" and William Hurt and Anna Paquin in the 1996 remake of "Jane Eyre."
Betty Garrett, the vivacious Broadway star who played Frank Sinatra's sweetheart in two MGM musicals before her career was hampered by the Hollywood blacklist, died in Los Angeles on Feb. 12, 2011, her son said. She was 91.
Kenneth Mars, a Mel Brooks collaborator who played a Hitler-worshipping playwright in "The Producers" and an earnest police inspector with a malfunctioning artificial arm in "Young Frankenstein," died on Feb. 12, 2011. He was 75. The actor died of pancreatic cancer at his home in Grenada Hills, Calif., his family said in a statement.
Jane Russell, the voluptuous actress who starred in the controversial film "The Outlaw" and who, as a pin-up girl, set GIs' hearts to pounding during World War II, died of respiratory failure on Feb. 28, 2011. She was 89.
Michael Gough, the British actor best known for playing Bruce Wayne's butler in a series of Batman movies, died on March 17, 2011. He was 94. Gough appeared as Alfred Pennyworth in four Batman films, from Tim Burton's 1989 "Batman" to Joel Schumacher's "Batman and Robin" in 1997.
Farley Granger, best known to film audiences as the man terrorized by a psychotic in Alfred Hitchcock's classic "Strangers on a Train" died on March 20, 2011, at the age of 85. Granger was a 1950s bobby sox screen idol and also starred in Hitchcock's "Rope." He died of natural causes at his home in Manhattan, according to a spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner's office.
Elizabeth Taylor, the violet-eyed screen legend famed for her extraordinary beauty, her tumultuous personal life, including her many marriages, and her work in the fight against HIV/AIDS, died Wednesday, March 23, 2011, in Los Angeles of congestive heart failure. The actress, who won Oscars for her roles in "BUtterfield 8" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," was 79.
Phoebe Snow, a two-time Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and guitarist who is best known for her 1974 hit "Poetry Man," has died. She was 60. Snow died on April 26, 2011, in Edison, N.J., from complications of a brain hemorrhage she suffered in January 2010, said Rick Miramontez, her longtime friend and public relations rep. Her manager, Sue Cameron, said the singer endured bouts of blood clots, pneumonia and congestive heart failure since her stroke.
Sidney Lumet, the award-winning director of such acclaimed films as "Network," "Serpico," "Dog Day Afternoon" and "12 Angry Men," died on April 9, 2011. He was 86. He was nominated four times for directing Academy Awards, and although he never won, he did receive an honorary Oscar in 2005 for lifetime achievement.
Jackie Cooper, the child movie star who won a best actor Oscar nomination at 9 for "Skippy" and grew up to play The Daily Planet editor in Christopher Reeves' four "Superman" movies, died Tuesday, May 3, 2011, from an undisclosed illness at a Los Angeles hospital, said his agent Ronnie Leif. He was 88.
Arthur Laurents, the director, playwright and screenwriter who wrote such enduring stage musicals as "West Side Story" and "Gypsy," as well as the movie classics "Rope" and "The Way We Were," died on May 5, 2011. He was 93. Laurents died at his home in New York City from complications of pneumonia, said his agent, Jonathan Lomma.
Randy "Macho Man" Savage, the professional wrestler known for his raspy voice, the sunglasses and bandanas he wore in the ring and the young woman named Miss Elizabeth who often accompanied him, died in Florida on May 20, 2011. He was 58. According to the Pinellas County Medical Examiner, Savage suffered from cardiovascular disease and died from a "cardiac event" he had moments before crashing his car into a tree.
Jeff Conaway, who starred in the 1970s TV series "Taxi" as Bobby Wheeler and played Danny Zuko's confidant Kenickie in the hit musical "Grease," died in Los Angeles on May 27, 2011, after an apparent drug overdose sent him into a medically-induced coma earlier that month. In October, his death was ruled accidental, with multiple causes including a major internal infection.
Gil Scott-Heron, widely considered one of the godfathers of rap music with his piercing social and political prose laid against the backdrop of minimalist percussion, flute and other instrumentation like in "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," died of undetermined causes on May 27, 2011. He was 62.
James Arness, the tall, iconic actor best known for playing Marshal Matt Dillon on the long-running television series "Gunsmoke," died on June 3, 2011, at the age of 88. The Los Angeles Times reports the actor died of natural causes.
Laura Ziskin, who produced the "Spider-Man" franchise along with among many other films throughout her 35-year Hollywood career, died on June 12, 2011. She was 61. Ziskin, who fought a seven-year battle against breast cancer, died at her home in Santa Monica, Calif., according to a statement from the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
Clarence Clemons, Bruce Springsteen's longtime saxophone player and a legend in the music industry, died on June 18, 2011, from complications following a stroke he suffered about a week earlier. He was 69.
Ryan Dunn, one of the stars of "Jackass," died in a car accident on June 20, 2011. The TV personality had a blood-alcohol content that was more than twice the legal limit when he and a passenger died in a fiery one-car crash, according to a toxicology report. His Porsche may have been traveling as fast as 140 mph in a 55 mph zone when it jumped a guardrail, flew into a wooded ravine, struck a tree and burst into flames, police said. He was 34.
Peter Falk, the American stage and screen actor who became identified as the rumpled detective title character on the long-running series "Colombo," died on June 23, 2011. He was 83 and had suffered from Alzheimer's Disease.
Betty Ford, the former U.S. first lady whose triumph over drug and alcohol addiction became a beacon of hope for addicts and the inspiration for her Betty Ford Center in California, died on July 8, 2011. She was 93.
Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London home on July 23, 2011, at the age of 27. A coroner ruled in October that the "Back to Black" singer died from accidental alcohol poisoning when she resumed drinking after weeks of abstinence.
Nick Ashford, seen here with singer Valerie Simpson in 2007, died on Aug. 22. 2011, at a New York City hospital. Ashford's longtime friend and former publicist told The Associated Press that the legendary Motown songwriter had been suffering from throat cancer and had undergone radiation treatment.
Jerry Leiber, the pop music songwriter famous for his collaborations with composer Mike Stoller including Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock," died on Aug. 22, 2011, in Los Angeles. He was 78.
Actor Cliff Robertson, who played John F. Kennedy in "PT-109," won an Oscar for "Charly" and was famously victimized in a 1977 Hollywood forgery scandal, died on Sept. 10, 2011. His secretary of 53 years, Evelyn Christel, said he died in Stony Brook, N.Y., of natural causes a day after his 88th birthday.
Apple co-founder and chairman Steve Jobs died on Oct. 5, 2011, following complications from a rare form of pancreatic cancer. He was 56. Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976 and is credited, along with Steve Wozniak, with marketing the world's first personal computer, in addition to the popular iPod, iPhone and iPad.
Andy Rooney, the "60 Minutes" commentator known to generations for his wry, humorous and contentious television essays - a unique genre he is credited with inventing - died on Nov. 4, 2011, in a hospital in New York City of complications following minor surgery. He was 92.
Heavy D, the self-proclaimed "overweight lover" of hip-hop who became one of rap's top hit-makers with wit, humor and a positive vibe, died on Nov. 8, 2011, at the age of 44. Lt. Mark Rosen of the Beverly Hills police said Heavy D - whose real name was Dwight Myers - died in a Los Angeles hospital after collapsing outside his home.
Veteran stand-up comic Patrice O'Neal, who gained a wider following through TV and radio and helped roast Charlie Sheen, died on Nov. 29, 2011 from complications of a stroke he suffered in October. The actor, comedian and radio personality was 41.
Emmy-winning character actor Harry Morgan, whose portrayal Col. Potter on television's "M*A*S*H" highlighted a long show-business career, died on Dec. 7, 2011. He was 96. His daughter-in-law, Beth Morgan, says the actor died at his home in Brentwood, Calif., after suffering from pneumonia.