MN Year In Review: Beloved Stars We Lost In 2012
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and families of these and all other stars we’ve lost in 2012.
Actor Larry Hagman lost his battle with throat cancer on November 23. In the years before his death, he hadn’t done much acting, but fans of the hit TV show “Dallas” knew Hagman well; as the villainous JR Ewing, he achieved international fame and lasting recognition. Hagman was 81 years old.
Funny woman Phyllis Diller passed away on August 20 in her Los Angeles home. The comedian began her career in the 1950’sworking in radio and then moved to standup, where her popularity blossomed into TV show appearances. She soon had her own string of self-titled shows: “The Phyllis Diller Show” and “The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show.” Diller has long been praised for paving the way for female comedians. She was 95 years old.
Beastie Boys co-founder Adam Yauch, aka MCA, lost his three year battle with salivary gland cancer on May 4. The rapper, songwriter and film director found fame in 1985 when he and fellow Beastie Boys released their first album. By 2010, the group had sold over 40 million albums and by 2012 – just one month before Yauch’s death – the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Yauch was 47.
On August 19, Tony Scott committed suicide by jumping off the Vincent Thomas Bridge into the Los Angeles Harbor. Scott was the brother of director Ridley Scott, though he himself had directed many movies like “Top Gun”and “The Taking Of Pelham 123.” The reason for Scott’s suicide is unknown.
Joey Kovar of MTV’s “The Real World: Hollywood” and “VH1’s Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew” died on August 17 in what appeared to be an accidental drug overdose. The reality star had publicly battled drug and alcohol addiction for years: he entered rehab while filming “The Real World” in 2008, and attempted to get help in finding sobriety on “Celebrity Rehab…” in 2010. Kovar was just 29 years old.
Author, playwright, journalist and screenwriter Nora Ephron died on June 26 at the age of 71. Her most recognized accomplishments are the writings of romantic comedies like “Sleepless In Seattle”, “When Harry Met Sally” and “You’ve Got Mail”, though she had a very successful career in journalism in the 1960’s. Ephron is survived by her husband, and two sons.
Beloved TV and cultural icon, package Clark died at the age of 82 on April 18. His death is attributed to a massive heart attack suffered just one day after prostate surgery. Clark is best remembered as the host of America’s longest running TV show, American Bandstand; on which he’s credited for introducing America to rock & roll music, as well as new artists at the time like Ike and Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder and Simon & Garfunkel.
Robin Gibb of the musical group the Bee Gees passed away at age 62 on May 20. The unfortunate news came that day when Gibb’s family revealed that the singer had lost his long battle with cancer. The Bee Gees enjoyed international fame and success throughout the 60’s and most of the 70’s. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
On July 3, famed actor, director, producer and singer Andy Griffith died of a heart attack at age 86. The star was best known for his role as Sheriff Andy Taylor on the long running “Andy Griffith Show,” in addition to his role as Ben Matlock on “Matlock.” Griffith is survived by his wife and two children.
On July 13, Sage Stallone, the son of actor Sylvestor Stallone, was found dead in his Hollywood, California apartment. Thirty-six year old Sage was one of five Stallone children. He had acted in a number of his father’s films, including “Rocky V” and “Daylight.”
Richard Dawson passed away on June 2 from esophageal cancer just three weeks after being diagnosed. The British-born actor rose to prominence as Peter Newkirk on the 1960’s TV show “Hogan’s Heroes.” He would later become the original host of “Family Feud” from 1976 to 1985. Dawson passed away at the age of 79.