Armstrong, Houston among notable deaths of 2012
The first man on the moon and the first U.S. woman in space.
Neil Armstrong, 82, died in August; Sally Ride, 61, in July. Here are some other of the year's notable deaths.
• Etta James, 73. A sassy rhythm and blues singer whose raw vocal style and eroticism influenced Janis Joplin and other vocalists during a six-decade career. Died Jan. 20 in Riverside, Calif., where she lived, from complications of leukemia.
• Don Cornelius, 75. The host of "Soul Train," the first television show that brought soul and rhythm-and-blues music to a mass audience. Died Feb. 1 in his Los Angeles home of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Whitney Houston, 48. The pop singer of hits such as "I Will Always Love You," the biggest-selling single ever, whose career was plagued by drug abuse. Died Feb. 11 of accidental drowning in a Beverly Hills, Calif., hotel bathtub.
Davy Jones, 66. A British-born member of the Monkees, a pop music band created by U.S. television executives to capitalize on the popularity of the Beatles in the mid-1960s. Died Feb. 29 of a heart attack.
• Adrienne Rich, 82. A U.S. poet whose published work showed her commitment to feminism and the gay-rights movement. Died March 27 of complications from rheumatoid arthritis.
• Earl Scruggs, 88. His banjo-picking technique on hits such as "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" won Grammy Awards and helped change the sound of country music. Died March 28 in Nashville, Tenn.
• Mike Wallace, 93. A correspondent for CBS News from 1963-06 who was best known for his tough interviews of powerful figures on the "60 Minutes" TV news program. Died April 7.
• Dick Clark, 82. Known as "the oldest living teenager," he hosted the "American Bandstand" TV music and dance show and New Year's Eve broadcasts. Died April 18 of a heart attack.
• Levon Helm, 71. The drummer for the acclaimed rock group The Band, who sang "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Died April 19 of throat cancer.
• Adam Yauch, 47. A rap singer and founder of the Beastie Boys, a New York-based hip-hop trio known for the hit "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)." Died May 4 of cancer.
• Maurice Sendak, 83. The writer and illustrator of more than 50 children's books, including "Where the Wild Things Are." Died May 8 of complications from a stroke.
• Vidal Sassoon, 84. The British hair stylist whose clients included models and celebrities and who created a line of hair products sold under his name. Died May 9.
• Donna Summer, 63. The Grammy Award-winning queen of 1970s disco music. Died May 17 of cancer at her home in Florida.
• Robin Gibb, 62. Along with his brothers Barry and Maurice, he formed the Bee Gees, one of the most successful pop bands, selling more than 200 million albums. Died May 20 in London from complications of cancer and intestinal surgery.
• Doc Watson, 89. The blind guitarist and folk singer whose innovative flatpicking style transformed the acoustic guitar into a lead instrument in folk, country and bluegrass songs, winning seven Grammy Awards along the way. Died May 29 in Winston-Salem, N.C., following colon surgery.
• Ray Bradbury, 91. The author of more than 500 works of science fiction and fantasy, including the novel "Fahrenheit 451." Died June 5.
• LeRoy Neiman, 91. His vivid portraits of athletes and celebrities made him one of the best-known and commercially successful U.S. artists. Died June 20.
• Andrew Sarris, 83. An influential film critic who wrote for the Village Voice and New York Observer. Died June 20 of complications from an infection.
• Nora Ephron, 71. An essayist, screenwriter and director, she was best known for making romantic comedy films such as "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle." Died June 26 in New York of leukemia.
• Andy Griffith, 86. The actor best known for his TV roles as Sheriff Andy Taylor in "The Andy Griffith Show" in the 1960s and as attorney Ben Matlock two decades later. Died July 3.
• Ernest Borgnine, 95. He appeared in more than 110 films and starred in "McHale's Navy," a 1960s television comedy that lived on in syndication. Died July 8 of kidney failure.
• Richard Zanuck, 77. The Oscar-winning film producer behind "Driving Miss Daisy," who was the son of Twentieth Century Fox founder Darryl F. Zanuck. Died July 14 of a heart attack.
• Celeste Holm, 95. A New York-born actress who starred on Broadway in "Oklahoma!" and won an Oscar for her work in "Gentleman's Agreement." Died July 15.
• Kitty Wells, 92. In 1952, she became the first woman to have a No. 1 country single, breaking down gender barriers for later country stars such as Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton. Died July 16 in Madison, Tenn., of complications from a stroke.
• Rajesh Khanna, 69. The first superstar of Indian cinema, who appeared in melodramas and action films in the 1960s and 1970s. Died July 18 of cancer.
• Sally Ride, 61. She was the first U.S. woman in space, in June 1983 aboard the shuttle Challenger. Died July 23 of pancreatic cancer.
• Gore Vidal, 86. His novels and commentary challenged conventional ideas about sexuality and chronicled what he saw as America's decline. Died July 31 of pneumonia.
• Marvin Hamlisch, 68. The Pittsburgh Pops conductor composed long-running musicals such as "A Chorus Line" and songs including "'The Way We Were," winning three Oscars and four Grammy Awards. Died Aug. 6.
• Helen Gurley Brown, 90. The author of the 1960s best-seller "Sex and the Single Girl," who as editor-in-chief made Cosmopolitan magazine a success by telling women how to have it all: "love, sex and money." Died Aug. 13.
• Anthony "Tony" Scott, 68. He was the director of "Top Gun" and the brother of film maker Ridley Scott. Died on Aug. 19 after jumping from a bridge into Los Angeles Harbor.
• Phyllis Diller, 95. She was among the first widely popular female stand-up comics, paving the way for performers such as Joan Rivers and Roseanne Barr. Died Aug. 20.
• Neil Armstrong, 82. The U.S. astronaut who landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, saying, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Died Aug. 25 of complications following heart surgery.
• Hal David, 91. An Oscar- and Grammy-winning lyricist who collaborated with composer Burt Bacharach on "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" and dozens of other pop music hits. Died Sept. 1 of complications from a stroke.
• Andy Williams, 84. The pop music singer known for his recording of "Moon River," a TV variety show and Christmas albums. Died Sept. 25 of bladder cancer.
• Herbert Lom, 95. The Czech-born actor known for playing the twitchy Parisian police inspector driven crazy by Peter Sellers' Jacques Clouseau in the "Pink Panther" movies. Died Sept. 27.
• Alex Karras, 77. A defensive lineman for the NFL's Detroit Lions from 1958-70 who later appeared in films such as "Blazing Saddles" and the TV series "Webster." Died Oct. 10 from kidney failure.
• George McGovern, 90. A Democrat who represented South Dakota in the U.S. House and Senate, opposed the Vietnam War and lost to Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential election. Died Oct. 21.
• Yash Chopra, 80. One of India's most successful film directors, who started making movies in the 1950s and was known as the "King of Romance." Died Oct. 21 of dengue fever.
• Letitia Baldrige, 86. An authority on etiquette who served as Jacqueline Kennedy's White House chief of staff. Died Oct. 29.
• Elliott Carter, 103. A U.S. composer whose musical scores for string quartets earned him two Pulitzer Prizes. Died Nov. 5.
• Larry Hagman, 81. The actor best-known for playing J.R. Ewing on the TV show "Dallas," which aired from 1978-91, and its current reboot. Died Nov. 23 of cancer.
• Dave Brubeck, 91. The U.S. jazz pianist and leader of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, whose "Time Out" record was the first jazz album to sell more than 1 million copies. Died Dec. 5 of heart failure.
• Jenni Rivera, 43. The U.S.-born daughter of Mexican immigrants who became a singing star with fans on both sides of the border. Died Dec. 9 in a plane crash in Mexico.
• Ravi Shankar, 92. The sitar player and composer who introduced Indian music to the West. Died Dec. 11 following heart-valve replacement surgery.
• Jean Harris, 89. A private-school headmistress imprisoned for 12 years in the U.S. for the 1980 killing of her lover, "Scarsdale Diet" doctor Herman Tarnower. Died Dec. 23.
• Jack Klugman, 90. The Emmy award-winning actor best known for playing Oscar Madison, the sloppy half of "The Odd Couple," on television and stage. Died Dec. 24.
• Charles Durning, 89. A character actor who won a Tony award for his portrayal of Big Daddy in the stage version of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and appeared in movies such as "The Sting" and "Tootsie." Died Dec. 24 at his home in Manhattan.
• Norman Schwarzkopf, 78. The U.S. Army general who commanded American-led troops to rapid victory in the 1991 Persian Gulf war, earning the nickname "Stormin' Norman." Died Dec. 27 of complications from pneumonia.
First Published January 1, 2013 12:00 am