Notable 2011 Deaths

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Kim Jong-Il
The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il was announced by state television two days after he died. North Korea's news agency reported that he had died at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 17 after having a heart attack on a train, adding that he had been treated for cardiac and cerebrovascular diseases for a long time. He was 69.
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Vaclav Havel
In this photo dated on October 28, 2011 former Czech President Vaclav Havel and his wife Dagmar Havlova leave the Spanish Hall during the Independance Day ceremony on October 28, 2011 at the Prague Castle marking the 93rd anniversary of the creation of the independent Czechoslovak state in 1918. Freedom icon and former Czech president Vaclav Havel, hero of the Velvet Revolution that won independence from Soviet rule in 1989, died on December 18, 2011 at the age of 75, his office said.
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Cesaria Evora
Cesaria Evora, who started singing as a teenager in the bayside bars of Cape Verde in the 1950s and won a Grammy in 2003 after she took her African islands' music to stages across the world, died Dec. 17. She was 70.
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Christopher Hitchens
British-American writer Christopher Hitchens, a combative and caustic critic, intellectual, atheist and self-defined "conservative Marxist," died Dec. 16 at the age of 62. He was suffering oesophageal cancer.
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Bert Schneider
Oscar-winning producer Bert Schneider, credited for inspiring a "New Hollywood" band of independent filmmakers, died Dec. 12 in Los Angeles at 78. With producer-director Bob Rafelson, Schneider also created the Monkees pop band.
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Dobie Gray
Singer Dobie Gray died at the age of 71 on Dec. 7, 2011. Gray's famous songs included "Drift Away" and "The In Crowd."
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Harry Morgan
Harry Morgan, 96, died on Dec. 7, 2011. He was best known for playing Colonel Potter on the TV show MASH, a role which he won an Emmy.
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Patrice O'Neal
Comedian Patrice O'Neal speaks onstage at Comedy Central's Roast of Charlie Sheen held at Sony Studios on September 10, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. According to reports on November 29, 2011, O'Neil has died from complications of a stroke he suffered last month. He was 41.
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Ken Russell
Ken Russell, the British director whose daring and sometimes outrageous films often tested the patience of audiences and critics, died Nov. 27 at age 84. He was nominated for an Oscar for directing 1970's "Women in Love." His other most famous films include "The Devils," "Tommy" and "Altered States."
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Jeno Paulucci
Jeno Paulucci, a Minnesota entrepreneur who changed Duluth, died Nov. 24 at the age of 93, just four days after his wife passed away. Paulucci was the man behind Chun King brand Chinese food and Jeno's Pizza Rolls.
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Greg Halman
Dutch police said Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman, 24, was stabbed to death in Rotterdam, Netherlands on Nov. 21. Police said his brother was arrested as a suspect.
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Family Circus
Bil Keane, creator of the comic strip "Family Circus," died Nov. 8 at age 89. Keane began drawing the one panel cartoon featuring Billy, Jeffy, Dolly, P.J. and their parents in February 1960 and it is now featured in nearly 1,500 newspapers.
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Heavy D
Heavy D died on Nov. 8, 2011 at the age of 44.
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Joe Frazier
Joe Frazier, the former Heavyweight Champion of the World died on Nov. 7, 2011 at age 67.
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Andy Rooney
Writer, humorist and television personality Andy Rooney died on Nov. 4, 2011. He was 92.
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Pianist Roger Williams
Pianist Roger Williams died of complications from pancreatic cancer on Oct. 8, 2011.
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Steve Jobs
Apple founder and visionary Steve Jobs died from cancer on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, at age 56, a premature end for a man who revolutionized modern culture and changed forever the world's relationship to technology through inventions such as the iPad and iPhone.
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Charles Napier
Actor Charles Napier, known for his hard-boiled roles in The Blues Brothers, Rambo, and Silence of the Lambs, passed away Oct. 5. He was 75.
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Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth
The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, civil rights leader, died on Oct. 5 in Birmingham at the age of 89.
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Arthur C. Nielsen
Arthur C. Nielsen Jr., who led the company that grew into an international market research firm known for producing the TV ratings known as "the Nielsens," died Oct. 3 at the age of 92.
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Roger Kennedy
Former National Parks Director Roger Kennedy died Sept. 30 of melanoma at his home in Rockville, Md. He was 85.
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Eleanor Mondale Poling
Eleanor Mondale Poling
Eleanor Mondale Poling, the vivacious daughter of former Vice President Walter Mondale who carved out her own reputation as an entertainment reporter, radio show host and gossip magnet, died Sept. 17 after a long battle with brain cancer. She was 51.
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Kara Kennedy
Kara Kennedy, the oldest child of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, died of a heart attack Sept. 16 at a Washington-area health club. She was 51. Her brother Patrick Kennedy said that his sister loved to exercise, but that he thought her cancer treatment "took quite a toll on her and weakened her physically."
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DJ Mehdi
Electro producer DJ Mehdi, the nom de plume of Mehdi Favéris-Essadi, died Sept. 13 after falling off of a roof. He was reportedly celebrating a friend's birthday. He was 34 years old.
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Andy Whitfield
Actor and model Andy Whitfield, who most recently starred in the show "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," died after a battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He was 39 years old.
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Cliff Robertson
Actor Cliff Robertson, who won an Oscar for playing the lead role in "Charly," an adaptation of Daniel Keyes' novel "Flowers for Algernon," died Sept. 10, one day after his 88th birthday.
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Pavol Demitra
Former Minnesota Wild player Pavol Demitra was among the people killed in a plane crash on Sept. 7. A Russian jet carrying Kontinental Hockey League team Lokomotiv crashed while taking off, killing at least 43 people and leaving two others critically injured. Demitra was 36.
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George Kuchar
George Kuchar -- who, along with his brother Mike, was one of the leading experimental American filmmakers throughout the 1960s and 1970s -- died Sept. 6 at age 69. His deliciously-titled films like "I Was a Teenage Rumpot" and "Hold Me While I'm Naked" influenced the likes of Andy Warhol and John Waters. He was battling prostate cancer.
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Nick Ashford
Nick Ashford, who with wife Valerie Simpson became a legendary Motown songwriting duo who penned elegant, soulful classics for the likes of Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and Chaka Khan, died August 22 at age 70. Among their hit songs: "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Found a Cure" and "I'm Every Woman."
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Jerry Leiber
Songwriter Jerry Leiber (pictured left, with Mike Stoller), who co-wrote "Hound Dog," "Jailhouse Rock," "Yakety Yak" and other hit songs that came to define early rock 'n' roll, died August 22 at age 78. One of his other masterpieces was Peggy Lee's "Is That All There Is?"
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Raul Ruiz
Raul Ruiz, a French-Chilean filmmaker who directed John Malkovich in a role as Austrian artist Gustav Klimt and worked to put cinema on an artistic par with literature, died August 19 from a pulmonary infection. He was 70 years old.
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Rick Rypien
Winnipeg Jets center Rick Rypien was found dead in his home Monday, August 15, nine months after he took a leave of absence to deal with an undisclosed personal matter. He was 27. Rypien received a six-game suspension from the NHL in October 2010 after grabbing a fan on his way to the dressing room in Minnesota.
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Jani Lane
Jani Lane, front man for the heavy metal band Warrant and author of the band's 1990 hit “Cherry Pie," was found dead in a hotel room near his home in Los Angeles on August 11. He was 47.
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John Shalikashvili
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General (Ret.) John Shalikashvili died on July 23, 2011, at the age of 75.
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Amy Winehouse
British singer Amy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011, at the age of 27. She won five Grammys, and lived a rock n' roll lifestyle, which eventually got the best of her.
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Sherwood Schwartz
TV mogul Sherwood Schwartz, who created '60s cult favorites “The Brady Bunch" and “Gilligan’s Island,” died on July 12 in Los Angeles at age 94.
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Betty Ford
Former First Lady Betty Ford died of natural causes on July 8 at age 93. Ford's husband Gerald Ford took over as U.S. President after Richard Nixon resigned in 1974. Betty Ford's battle with alcoholism led to the creation of the Betty Ford Center, which has helped many deal with addiction since its inception in the early '80s.
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Peter Falk
Peter Falk, the stage and movie actor who became identified as the squinty, rumpled detective in "Columbo," died on June 23. He was 83. Falk also worked closely with renegade director John Cassavetes on films like "A Woman Under the Influence" and "Husbands."
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Ryan Dunn
"Jackass" star Ryan Dunn died in a single-car crash in West Goshen Township, Penn. early Monday morning. He was one of two people killed in the crash. He was 34.
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Elena Bonner
Elena Bonner of Russia, the widow of dissident physicist Andrei Sakharov, died on June 18, 2011. She was 88.
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Clarence Clemons
Clarence Clemons died on June 18, 2011. He was 69.
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James Arness
James Arness
James Arness, the 6-foot-6-inch actor who towered over the television landscape for two decades as righteous Dodge City lawman Matt Dillon in "Gunsmoke," died at age 88 on June 3. He was a Minnesota native, as was his brother Peter Graves.
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Dr. Jack Kevorkian
Dr. Jack Kevorkian, noted assisted suicide advocate, died June 3 at a Detroit-area hospital at the age of 83. Kevorkian had been released from a Michigan prison in 2007 after serving eight years for second-degree murder. He claims to have assisted in at least 130 suicides.
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Jeff Conaway
Actor Jeff Conaway, who starred in "Taxi" and the movie musical "Grease," died Friday, May 27 at age 60. He died at the Encino Tarzana Medical Center, where he had been hospitalized in a coma after he tried to treat himself with pain pills and cold medicine while in weakened health. The actor had long battled drug and alcohol addiction, which he blamed in part on back problems and repeated surgeries.
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Randy 'Macho Man' Savage
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 May 20 in a car crash in Florida. He was 58.
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Harmon Killebrew
Twins legend Harmon Killebrew lost his battle with esophageal cancer on May 17 at the age of 74. Killebrew currently ranks 11th on the all-time homer list, and his eight seasons with 40 or more homers still is tied for second in league history to Babe Ruth.
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Derek Boogaard
Former Wild hockey player Derek Boogaard was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment by family members on May 13. He was 28 years old.
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Arthur Laurents
Arthur Laurents (pictured with actress Chita Rivera) was a famed playwright and screenwriter. His works include the screenplay to Alfred Hitchcock's "Rope" and the books for "West Side Story" and "Gypsy," considered possibly two of the best American musicals ever. He died May 5 at age 93.
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Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden, architect of al Qaeda and mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, was killed on May 2 by a force of U.S. Navy SEALs. He was 54. His death sparked controversy over whether President Obama should release photos proving his death to the public. He didn't.
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Jackie Cooper
Jackie Cooper made Academy Award record books as the youngest-ever nominee for Best Actor, a record that stands to this day. He was 9 when he was honored for his performance in 1931's "Skippy." He died May 3 at age 88.
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Tim Hetherington
Producer/director Tim Hetherington, who won an Academy Award nomination for his work on the documentary "Restrepo," was killed April 20 in a mortar attack while covering the civil war in Libya. He was 40 years old.
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Sidney Lumet
Director Sidney Lumet, whose films included "12 Angry Men" and a trilogy of tough '70s dramas ("Serpico," "Dog Day Afternoon" and "Network"), died April 9 of lymphoma. He was 86.
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Farley Granger
Actor Farley Granger died March 27 at age 85. After getting his break in Nicholas Ray's "They Live By Night," Granger starred in two of Alfred Hitchcock's beloved thrillers -- "Rope" and "Strangers on a Train" -- and later appeared on a number of soap operas. Late in life he wrote "Include Me Out," a book talking about his bisexuality and the affairs he had in Hollywood.
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Geraldine Ferraro
Geraldine Ferraro
Geraldine Ferraro, who in 1984 became the first woman to run for vice president on a major party ticket, only to lose in a landslide, died on March 26, 2011. She was 75.
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Elizabeth Taylor
Oscar-winning Actress Elizabeth Taylor died March 22 at the age of 79. She had recently been hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where was being treated for symptoms of congestive heart failure. The actress won Oscars for "Butterfield 8" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
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Loleatta Holloway
Loleatta Holloway, one of the most celebrated of disco-era vocalists, died March 21 at age 64, according to her manager. Among her most enduring hits was "Love Sensation," which would later provide the vocal hook of Marky Mark's '90s hit "Good Vibrations."
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Murray Warmath
Legendary head coach of the University of Minnesota football team Murray Warmath passed away in Bloomington March 16 at the age of 98. Warmath, who joined the team in 1954, won a national championship and went to two Rose Bowls. He coached the team for 18 years.
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Nate Dogg
MTV reported 1990s hip-hop star Nate Dogg died on Tuesday, March 15. Among his celebrated G-funk hits was the blockbuster "Regulate," a collaboration with Warren G.
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Jane Russell
Hollywood sex symbol Jane Russell, who was born in Bemidji, Minn. before becoming eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes' pet project, died of respiratory failure on Feb. 28 at age 89.
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Len Lesser
Len Lesser, the actor best known for his scene-stealing role as Uncle Leo on "Seinfeld," died on Feb. 16, 2011 at age 88.
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Maria Schneider
Maria Schneider, the French actress who was Marlon Brando's young co-star in the steamy 1972 film "Last Tango in Paris," died Feb. 3 at age 58.
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John Barry
Five-time Oscar-winning composer John Barry died on Jan. 30. He was 77. He is credited with arranging the "James Bond Theme," but whether or not he actually composed it has long been in dispute.
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Jack LaLanne
Jack LaLanne
Fitness guru Jack LaLanne attend the 35th Annual Vision Awards presented by Retinitis Pigmentosa International on June 12, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California. He died Sunday, Jan. 23 at the age of 96. (credit: Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
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Susannah York
British actress Susannah York, one of the leading stars of British and Hollywood films in the late 1960s and early 1970s, died of cancer Jan. 15 in London at the age of 72. York received an Oscar nomination in 1970 for her role in "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"
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John Dye
John Dye John Dye, 47, died of heart failure on Jan. 13, 2011. He was best known as an actor on the CBS series, "Touched by an Angel." (credit: River City Entertainment/Catchlight Films)
David Nelson, known as the older son on 'The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" died on Jan. 11, 2011. He was 74 and died after battling colon cancer. (credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
David Nelson David Nelson, known as the older son on 'The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" died on Jan. 11, 2011. He was 74 and died after battling colon cancer. (credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
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Peter Yates
British filmmaker Peter Yates, whose eclectic output included "Bullitt" and "Breaking Away," died Jan. 9 at the age of 81. Yates was responsible for one of the most famous sequences in cinema — actor Steve McQueen's Ford Mustang car chase through the hilly streets of San Francisco — in the 1968 police thriller "Bullitt."
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John Roll
A portrait of slain federal judge John Roll sits at a makeshift memorial on Jan. 9, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona. Roll and 5 others were killed the day before at a public event entitled "Congress on your Corner" when a gunman opened fire outside a Safeway grocery store in Tucson Saturday. Fourteen people including U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), were wounded.
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Gerry Rafferty
Gerry Rafferty Gerry Rafferty, 63, died after a long illness on Jan. 4, 2011. He was best known as the singer songwriter for such songs as 'Stuck in the Middle With You,' and 'Baker Street.' (credit: Lastfm.com)
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Pete Postlethwaithe
Oscar-nominated British actor Pete Postlethwaite, described by director Steven Spielberg as "the best actor in the world," died on Jan. 2 at age 64 after a long battle with cancer. He was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in 1993's "In the Name of the Father."
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Anne Francis
Anne Francis was immortalized in the 1956 film "Forbidden Planet" and also played the female private detective in the television series "Honey West." She died Jan. 2 at age of 80 of complications of pancreatic cancer.
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