Notable Deaths 2011

Pete Postlethwaithe
Actor Pete Postlethwaite died at the age of 64 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was best known for roles in movies such as "In The Name Of The Father," "The Usual Suspects," "Lost World: Jurassic Park," and "Inception." He was once called "the best actor in the world" by Steven Spielberg. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
Anne Francis
Actress Anne Francis died at the age of 80 after battling lung cancer. She was best known for her role in the movie "Forbidden Planet" and for her work in television. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
(1947 - 2011)
Gerry Rafferty
Gerry Rafferty died at the age of 63 after a long illness. He was best known for his hit single "Stuck in the Middle With You" that was used by director Quentin Tarantino for an iconic scene in "Reservoir Dogs." (credit: Universal Music Publishing Group)
(1947 - 2011)
Peter Yates
Director of 'Bullitt' (Photo by AP Images)
Celebrity Deaths 2011
John Dye
Actor John Dye, who played 'Andrew' with Valerie Bertinelli and Della Reese on CBS' long-running drama series "Touched By An Angel," was found dead on January 10th at his home in San Francisco. He was 47 (Photo credit by River City Entertainment/Catchlight Films)
David Nelson
David Nelson was born October 24, 1936, New York City to celebrities Ozzie Nelson and Harriet Hilliard. He attended Hollywood High School.
Susannah York
Susannah York is seen at the private view for "Off Stage: The RADA Centenary Portraits", photographer Cambridge Jones's photographs of 100 Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art-trained stars marking the acting school's centenary, at the Getty Images Gallery on August 10, 2005 in London, England (Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images)
Celebrity Deaths 2011
R. Sargent Shriver
The exuberant public servant and Kennedy in-law whose career included directing the Peace Corps, fighting the "War on Poverty" and, less successfully, running for office, died Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011. He was 95. (Photo credit by John F. Kennedy Library)
Jack Lalanne
Hailed as the father of the fitness movement, Jack LaLanne died at the age of 96 at his home in Morro Bay, Calif. LaLanne is best known for his television program "The Jack LaLanne Show" that debuted nationally in 1959 and for his line of home juicers. (Photo by Toby Canham/Getty Images)
John Barry
Five-time Oscar-winning composer John Barry, who wrote music for a dozen James Bond films, including "You Only Live Twice" and "Goldfinger" but couldn't persuade a jury that he composed the suave spy's theme music, has died. He was 77.

Barry died in New York, where he had lived for some time, on Sunday, his family said. The family did not release the cause of death.

Though his work on the Bond films is among his most famous, the English-born composer wrote a long list of scores, including for "Midnight Cowboy," ''Dances with Wolves" and "Body Heat." He was proud of writing both for big action blockbusters and smaller films.

(Photo by Getty Images)
Betty Garrett
Betty Garrett was an actress, comedienne, singer and dancer who originally performed on Broadway before being signed to a film contract with MGM. Later, she became known for the roles she played in two prominent 1970s sitcoms: Archie Bunker's liberal neighbor Irene Lorenzo in All in the Family and landlady Edna Babish in Laverne & Shirley. In later years, Garrett appeared in television series such as Grey's Anatomy, Boston Public and Becker as well as in several Broadway plays and revivals. Betty Garrett died of an aortic aneurysm in Los Angeles on February 12, 2011, at the age of 91. (Photo by John Li/Getty Images)
(1922 - 2011)
Len Lesser
Len Lesser died from pneumonia at the age of 88. He was best known for his role as Uncle Leo on the popular 90s sitcom "Seinfeld". However, he had roles in TV shows such as "Gunsmoke," "Have Gun Will Travel," and "Dragnet." (Photo credit by Meaghan Murphy / Getty Images)
(1922 - 2011)
(1926 –  2011)
Duke Snider
Brooklyn Dodgers’ Duke Snider was considered one of the best centerfielders of his time, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1980. He was in declining health in recent years because of diabetes. He was 84. (Photo credit by Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty Images)
(1926 – 2011)
Jane Russell
Legendary sex symbol and actress Jane Russell played opposite Marilyn Monroe in the classic "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." She starred in over 20 movies in her career and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was 89. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
Nate Dogg
Born Nathaniel Hale, he became known as one of the smoothest R&B and rap vocalists of his generation. He came to national attention after he was featured in Dr. Dre’s album "The Chronic". Nate Dogg long suffered from ill health and had two strokes in 2007 and 2008 and died at the age of 41. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Michael Gough
Michael Gough or--as most people know him--Batman's butler Alfred Pennyworth in the Batman films died March 17th at the age of 94. In addition to having played Alfred in both of Tim Burton's Batman films, he also worked with Burton on several other films: Sleepy Hollow (1999), Corpse Bride (2005), and Alice in Wonderland (2010). In this regard he is not unlike his successor, Michael Caine, who worked with Christopher Nolan on both the Batman films and The Prestige (2006) and Inception (2010). (Source: (Photo by AP Images)
Celebrity Deaths 2011
Mike Starr
Starr was the original bassist for Alice in Chains, an iconic Seattle-based band that made its mark on the grunge scene of the early 1990s. He left the group in 1993. Police say officers have found former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr dead in a home near Salt Lake City's downtown area on March 8th. He was 44. (Photo credit by CBS/VH1)
(1925 - 2011)
Warren Christopher
Warren Christopher was best known as President Clinton’s secretary of state and as a diplomat who secured the release of U.S. hostages from Iran for President Carter. He died due to complications from kidney and bladder cancer at the age of 85. (Photo credit by Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)
(1925 - 2011)
Celebrity Deaths 2011
Loleatta Holloway
Disco singer Loleatta Holloway, known for the 1980 hit "Love Sensation," has died. Her manager, Ron Richardson, says Holloway died of heart failure Monday night, March 21st at a suburban Chicago hospital. She was 64. (Photo credit by Last.FM)
(1937 - 2011)
Lanford Wilson
Lanford Wilson was a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright whose work brought attention to Off-Off-Broadway. His works were often considered to be earthy and realist and are still performed in regional theaters across the country. He died at the age of 73 from pneumonia. (Photo credit by Smith & Kraus Pub Inc./Getty Images)
(1937 - 2011)
(1935 – 2011)
Geraldine Ferraro
Geraldine Ferraro, the former New York Representative who became the first woman to run on a major party's presidential ticket, died Saturday, March 26, 2011.
Ferraro suffered complications from multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that she had battled for twelve years. She passed away just before 10 a.m. Saturday morning at Massachusetts General Hospital, surrounded by her family, said Amanda Fuchs Miller, a friend acting as a spokeswoman for the family.

She was 75.

(Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
(1935 – 2011)
Elizabeth Taylor
A photograph signed by Elizabeth Taylor is seen at Bonhams and Butterfields on April 14, 2011 in Los Angeles, California, during a preview before the upcoming April 20th auction. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Sidney Lumet
Director Sidney Lumet started his career in Off-Broadway productions before going to television. He then moved on to movies where he directed well known flicks like "12 Angry Men" and "Dog Day Afternoon." He was 87. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
(AP Photo/Interscope Records, Michael Lavine)
Gerard Smith
In this 2008 photo released by Interscope Records, Gerard Smith bassist for the band TV on the Radio. Smith died Wednesday, April 20, 2011, of lung cancer.
(AP Photo/Interscope Records, Michael Lavine)
(1970 - 2011)
Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros
Tim Hetherington, 40, and Chris Hondros, 40, were award winning photojournalists that were killed by mortar shells while covering the Libyan civil war. (Photo credit by Katie Orlinsky via Getty Images)
(1970 - 2011)
Celebrity Deaths
Phoebe Snow
Phoebe Snow, an eclectic singer-songwriter who gained instant fame with her hit single "Poetry Man" back in 1975, died on Tuesday, April 26th 2011. She had suffered a brain hemorrhage last year. (Photo by Matthew Peyton/Getty Images)
(1950 - 2011)
Osama Bin Laden
Bin Laden, the man behind the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York, was pronounced dead on Sunday, May 1st, 2011 by President Obama in a late-night speech delivered from the White House’s East Room.

Read more…

(Photo credit by CNN/AFP/Getty Images)
Celebrity Deaths 2011
Jackie Cooper
In this Oct. 20, 1978 file photo, actor Jackie Cooper, is shown in Los Angeles. Cooper, the child movie star who won a best actor Oscar nomination at 9 for "Skippy" and grew up to play Daily Planet editor, Perry White 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. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Celebrity Deaths 2011
Sada Thompson
The durable matriarch of stage and screen who won a Tony Award for her portraits of three sisters and their mother in the 1971 comedy "Twigs" and an Emmy Award for playing the eternally understanding mother in the television series "Family," has died at age 81. Thompson died Wednesday, May 4, 2011 of a lung disease at a hospital, agent David Shaul said Sunday from Los Angeles. (Photo by AP Images)
Arthur Laurents
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 Thursday, May 5, 2011. He was 93.

Arthur Laurents celebrate at the opening night party for the revival of "Gypsy" at Gustavino's May 1, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Getty Images)
Celebrity Deaths 2011
John Walker
John Walker of The Walker Brothers. John Walker, the American-born musician who was the frontman for the Walker Brothers, one of the most successful bands of Britain's Golden Age of rock `n' roll, has died at age 67. Walker died Saturday of liver cancer, his personal assistant, Polly Klemmer, told The Associated Press. He had continued to work until just a few weeks ago, making his last concert appearance in Los Angeles in March, Klemmer said Sunday. While the British were invading the United States during the late '60s, John Walker went the other way. The American-born musician, frontman for the Walker Brothers, one of the most successful bands of Britain's Golden Age of rock 'n' roll, has died on Saturday, May 7, 2011 at age 67. (AP Photo/Tony Clayman Promotions, File)
Celebrity Deaths 2011
Norma "The Champagne Lady" Zimmer
This undated image provided by The Lawrence Welk Show shows Lawrence Welk embracing Norma Zimmer, who was known as "The Champagne Lady," who died May 10, 2011 at her home in Brea, Calif. (Photo by AP Images)
(1923- 2011)
Celebrity Deaths 2011
Mia Amber Davis
After experiencing long-term issues with her knee, Mia underwent surgery Monday, May 16th in LA to remove small tumors from her left knee. Hours immediately following her surgery, Mia felt sore, but was hopeful about her recovery. However, the next day she experienced a stint of dizziness and was rushed to the emergency room. Upon reaching the emergency room, the unimaginable happened when Mia lost consciousness and the doctors were not able to revive her. Mia died at the young age of 36. (

Scene from 'Road Trip' with (L-R) Mia Amber Davis & D.J.Qualls (Photo credit: © Road Trip: DreamWorks, SKG)
Celebrity Deaths 2011
M-Bone of 'Cali Swag District'
M-Bone of the rap group Cali Swag District - the group that had a hit song "Teach Me How to Dougie." The 22-year-old rapper, born Montae Talbert, was killed in a drive-by shooting as he sat in a car outside a liquor store in Inglewood, Calif., near Los Angeles. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Chrysler)
(1936 - 2011)
Harmon Killebrew
Harmon Killebrew enjoyed a long 22-year Hall of Fame career for the Minnesota Twins, belting 573 home runs. He was a tremendous hitter and he earned the nicknames "Killer" and "Hammerin’ Harmon." He died at the age of 74 after a battle with esophageal cancer. (Photo credit by A. Messerschmidt / Getty Images)
(1936 - 2011)
Celebrity Deaths 2011
Randy "Macho Man" Savage
The wrestling legend died in a car accident on Friday, May 20th in Tampa, Florida. His brother, Lanny Poffo, told TMZ that Savage suffered a heart attack while driving and lost control of his car. The wrestler was transported to Largo Medical Center, where he died from his injuries, according to the report. He was 58. Above, the professional wrestler poses in a 1997 photo. (Photo credit: AP)
Celebrity Deaths 2011
Jeff Conaway
Spokeswoman Kathryn Boole said the Conaway died Friday morning, May 27th at the Encino Tarzana Medical Center, where he had been hospitalized in a coma since May 11th. His manager, Phil Brock, has said Conaway had tried to treat himself with pain pills and cold medicine while in weakened health and suffered an apparent overdose.

The actor had long battled drug and alcohol addiction, which he blamed in part on back problems and repeated surgeries. He battled those addictions publicly when he appeared on the VH1 reality series "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" in 2008.

Conaway played high school bad-boy Kenickie in the 1978 movie "Grease" and appeared in the Broadway version of the musical. He also played struggling actor Bobby in the sitcom "Taxi" from 1978 to 1981. He was 60 years old.

UPDATE: On September 30th, an autopsy has ruled that "Taxi" and "Grease" star actor Jeff Conaway's May 27th death was accidental and caused by major internal infection.

(Photo credit by Mark Mainz/ Getty Images)
Celebrity Deaths 2011
Gil Scott-Heron
He was known as "the godfather of rap" within the music industry, most notably for composing the 1974 compilation album, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". The poet, musician and author Gil Scott-Heron died Fri. at 62, according to his U.K. book publisher, Jamie Byng, who made the announcement via Twitter. Lisa Gottheil, a publicist for Scott-Heron's label, XL Recordings, confirmed via email that he died Friday, May 27th at a New York City hospital.

A friend who answered the telephone listed for his Manhattan recording company confirms he died Friday afternoon at a hospital. Doris C. Nolan says he died after becoming sick upon returning from a European trip.

(Photo credit by Anna Webber/Getty Images)
Celebrity Deaths 2011
Clarice Taylor
Clarice Taylor, the Emmy-nominated actress who played Bill Cosby's mother on TV, died Monday at age 93. She succumbed to heart failure and was surrounded by family when she died, her rep told People magazine.

Taylor earned an Emmy nomination in 1986 for her recurring role as Dr. Cliff Huxtable's mother, Anna Huxtable, on "The Cosby Show," which aired from 1984 to 1992. On the stage, Taylor was a member of the Negro Ensemble Company and helped to pave the way for African-American actors in the early 1960s. She played the Good Witch of the North in the stage musical "The Wiz" and reprised the role in the film version starring Diana Ross.

On TV, Taylor also played played Grady's Cousin Emma on "Sanford and Son" and David's grandmother Harriet on "Sesame Street." She also starred alongside Liza Minnelli in 1970's "Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon." Taylor is survived by her two sons, William and James, and her five grandchildren.
Celebrity Deaths 2011
Jack Kevorkian
Jack Kevorkian, the audacious, fearless doctor who spurred on the national right-to-die debate with a homemade suicide machine that helped end the lives of dozens of ailing people, died Friday, June 3rd at a Detroit-area hospital after a brief illness. He was 83. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Celebrity Deaths 2011
James Arness
James Arness, the tall, iconic actor best known for playing Marshal Matt Dillon on the long-running television series "Gunsmoke," has died. The Los Angeles Times reports the actor died Friday of natural causes. He was 88. He is survived by his wife, Janet, two sons and six grandchildren. His younger brother was actor Peter Graves (their family name is Aurness), who died in March 2010. (Photo credit by AP Photo/CBS)
Notable Deaths
Carl Gardner
Carl Gardner, original lead singer of the R&B group the Coasters of "Poison Ivy" and Yakety Yak" fame, has died Tuesday, June 14th in Florida after along battle with congestive heart failure and vascular dementia. He was 83. (Photo by Marc Squire/Getty Images)
(1930 - 2011)
Lawrence Eagleburger
Lawrence Eagleburger, former secretary of state for President George H.W. Bush, had a distinguished political career earning the Presidential Citizens medal and the Department of States’ Distinguished Service award. He was also given an honorary knighthood from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. He died from a heart attack at the age of 80. (Photo credit by Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images)
(1930 - 2011)
Notable Deaths 2011
Clarence Clemons
Clarence Clemons, Bruce Springsteen's longtime saxophone player and a legend in the music industry, died Saturday, June 18th from complications following a stroke he suffered about a week ago.

Clemons' sax has been one of the most defining elements of the E Street Band's sound. He has suffered from numerous ailments over the last few years. He had double knee surgery and even had to perform from a wheelchair at one point.

Clemons was 69 years old.

(Photo credit by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Notable Deaths 2011
Ryan Dunn
Ryan Dunn, one of the stars of "Jackass," died in a car accident early Monday morning, June 20th, reports TMZ. Dunn and another passenger were killed at around 3:00 a.m. in West Goshen Township near Philadelphia. TMZ reports it's unclear who was driving. The 34-year-old may be most famous for doing a gag that Steve-O wouldn't in the first "Jackass" film: He inserted a toy car into his rectum for a stunt called "Butt X-Ray." (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Notable Deaths 2011
Peter Falk
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Actor Peter Falk, best know for his role as “Lt. Columbo” has died. A family spokesperson confirmed to KNX 1070 that Falk, 83, died Thursday night at his Beverly Hills home. Falk was born on Sept. 16, 1927 in New York City. Falk won four Emmys and one Golden Globe for ‘Columbo.” The actor also won an additional Emmy for his role in an episode of “The Dick Powell Theatre.” Falk was nominated for an Academy Award twice, once in 1960 for ’Murder, Inc.’ and again in 1961 for ’Pocketful of Miracles.’ The late actor is survived by his wife, actress Shera Danese, and two daughters from a previous marriage. (Photo credit by: AP Photo)
Former First Lady, Betty Ford
Former first lady Betty Ford, who shaped Americans' views of social issues - and shared her own struggles with breast cancer and alcoholism - died Friday, July 8th at 93, her office has confirmed to CBS News. . (AP Photo/The Grand Rapids Press, Anna Moore Butzner, File)
Notable Deaths 2011
Sherwood Schwartz
The creator of the classic TV shows "Gilligan's Island" and "The Brady Bunch", Sherwood Schwartz has died. The writer-producer died at 4am on Tuesday morning, July 12th. He was 94. Schwartz was a veteran comedy writer when he created two of TV's best-remembered sitcoms in the 1960s. Over the years, they have inspired parodies, spinoffs and countless stand-up comedy jokes. Schwartz was hospitalized at Cedars Sinai Medical Center about a week ago with an intestinal infection and underwent several surgeries. His wife, Mildred, and children have been at his side, said his nephew, Douglas Schwartz. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse, the beehived soul-jazz diva whose self-destructive habits overshadowed a distinctive musical talent, was found dead Saturday in her London home, police said. She was 27.

Winehouse shot to fame with the album "Back to Black," whose blend of jazz, soul, rock and classic pop was a global hit. It won five Grammys and made Winehouse — with her black beehive hairdo and old-fashioned sailor tattoos — one of music's most recognizable stars.

Police confirmed that a 27-year-old female was pronounced dead at the home in Camden Square northern London; the cause of death was not immediately known. London Ambulance Services said Winehouse had died before the two ambulance crews it sent arrived at the scene.

"I didn't go out looking to be famous," Winehouse told the Associated Press when "Back to Black" was released. "I'm just a musician."

But in the end, the music was overshadowed by fame, and by Winehouse's demons. Tabloids lapped up the erratic stage appearances, drunken fights, stints in hospital and rehab clinics. Performances became shambling, stumbling train wrecks, watched around the world on the Internet.

(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
(1969 - 2011)
Hideki Irabu
Hideki Irabu is best known for his time with the New York Yankees. He was plagued by personal issues in his last few years, and died of an apparent suicide near his home in Los Angeles at the age of 42. (Photo credit by Stan Honda / AFP / Getty Images)
(1969 - 2011)
Bubba Smith
The one-time Oakland Raider has died in Los Angeles at age 66. Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman Ed Winter says Smith was found dead Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011, at his Baldwin Hills home. Winter says he didn't know the circumstances or cause of death.(Photo credit by CNN/Walter Iooss JR/SI)
Annette Charles
Actress Annette Charles, who played Cha Cha DiGregorio and famously danced with John Travolta in the iconic film, died Wednesday, August 3rd in Los Angeles, according to reports. She was 63. Charles had been battling cancer, her mother tells Access Hollywood, and died from complications related to the disease. She is the second "Grease" star that has passed away. Jeff Conaway who played high school bad-boy Kenickie in the 1978 movie along with Annette Charles, died on May 2011. (Photo credit by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)
(1919 - 2011)
Gov. Hugh L. Carey
Hugh L. Carey was the former governor of New York who navigated New York City and the state through the treacherous financial climate of the 1970s. He was 92. (Photo credit by George De Sota / Newsmakers)
(1919 - 2011)
Notable Deaths 2011
Francesco Quinn
MALIBU (CBS SF/AP) - A heart attack is suspected as the cause of actor Francesco Quinn's death Friday while walking on a street in Malibu. He was 48 and the son of Academy Award-winner Anthony Quinn.

Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. James Royal says Quinn was walking home from a store with his son when he collapsed on the Malibu street where he lived.

The Rome-born actor had appeared on screen several times with his famous father, including a TV movie based on Hemingway's best-selling novel "The Old Man and the Sea," in which he played a younger version of Anthony's character.

One of Quinn's most memorable roles was as a raspy-voiced soldier named Rhah in the Oscar-winning Vietnam War drama "Platoon." He also appeared in the television shows "JAG," "24" and "The Shield."

His agent, Arlene Thornton, tells the Los Angeles Times ( ) that Quinn apparently died of a heart attack but the cause of death hasn't been officially determined.

One of a reported 13 of Anthony Quinn's children, Francesco was born in 1963 to Iolanda Addolori, who also was involved in the movie business as a wardrobe assistant.

Francesco was married to Valentina Castellani-Quinn, and had three children.

His father, who died in 2001, won two Academy Awards and starred in "Zorba the Greek" and "Lawrence of Arabia." (Photo credit by AP Photo)
Jani Lane
LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) - Jani Lane, the former lead singer of the metal rock band Warrant, has died in Los Angeles. He was 47.

Officer Sara Faden says Lane's body was found Thursday, August 11th in a Woodland Hills hotel. She had no immediate information on the cause or circumstances of his death.

With his long blond hair and tight leather outfits, Lane embodied the excess of 1980s metal rock bands. He joined Warrant in 1984 and wrote such hits as "Heaven," "Down Boys" and "Cherry Pie."

He had an on-and-off relationship with the band, leaving it in 1992 before returning and quitting again several times.

In recent years, he appeared in VH1's "Celebrity Fit Club" and made news for a drunken driving arrest.

He is survived by two daughters from two previous marriages.

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Russell Armstrong
Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Taylor Armstrong, was found dead in his Los Angeles home on Monday, August 15th from an apparent suicide.

Russell was an investment banker and venture capitalist but also appeared on "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" as their on again off again marriage unfold in front of cameras. He was 47.

Pictured, TV personality Taylor Armstrong (L) and husband Russell Armstrong attend Esquire House LA's "Songs Of Hope VI" at Esquire House LA on November 4, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Nick Ashford
Nick Ashford, one-half of the legendary Motown songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson that penned elegant, soulful classics for the likes of Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye and funk hits for Chaka Khan and others, died Monday August 22nd, 2011 at age 70, his former publicist said.

Ashford, who along with wife Valerie Simpson wrote some of Motown's biggest hits, died in a New York City hospital, said Liz Rosenberg, who also was Ashford's longtime friend. He had been suffering from throat cancer and had undergone radiation treatment, she said.

Their first major success occurred when they came up with "Let's Go Get Stoned" for Ray Charles. That song became a huge hit, and soon, they came to the attention of Motown Records and began penning hits for their artists. The started out writing for Gaye and Terrell; in fact, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" was originally their hit, until Ross later rerecorded it and made it her signature song.

The duo, who were married for 38 years, helped sell millions of records for several artists. They also had success as their own entity, but despite "Solid As a Rock," their hits dwarfed those that they penned for others.

In recent years, the pair continued to perform. They also were owners of the New York City restaurant Sugar Bar, where many top names and emerging talents would put on showcases. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
Jerry Leiber
Jerry Leiber, the rock `n' roll songwriter who crafted lyrics for such hits as "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock," has died. Publicist Bobbi Marcus says Leiber died Monday. He was 78. Entertainment Weekly reports that the songwriter died of cardiopulmonary failure.

With Leiber as lyricist and partner Mike Stoller as composer, the team channeled their blues and jazz backgrounds into pop songs performed by such artists as Elvis Presley, the Coasters and Ben E. King.

Their breakout hit was blues great Big Mama Thornton's 1953 rendition of "Hound Dog." Presley's version hit No. 1 in 1956.

Their songwriting took a more serious turn in 1969 with Peggy Lee's hit "Is That All There Is?"

They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

(Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
(1933 - 2011)
Frank Potenza
Frank Potenza worked as a beat cop in Manhattan for 20 years before joining his nephew Jimmy Kimmel’s late night talk show. With his comedic timing and genuine personality, "Uncle Frank" gained his own following. He died from cancer at 77. (Photo credit by Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images)
(1933 - 2011)
(1928 - 2011)
Mary Fickett
For decades, actress Mary Fickett played Ruth Martin in the popular daytime drama "All My Children." During one 1973 episode, she made an impassioned speech against the war in Vietnam that she won an Emmy Award for. It was the first Emmy given to a daytime drama actress. She was 83. (Photo credit by American Broadcasting Company (ABC) / Creative Horizons)
(1928 - 2011)
Notable Deaths 2011
Cliff Robertson
The handsome movie actor who played John F. Kennedy in "PT-109," won an Oscar for "Charly" and was famously victimized in a 1977 Hollywood forgery scandal, died Saturday, September 10, 2011. Cliff Robertson was 88.

Robertson never elevated into the top ranks of leading men, but he remained a popular actor from the mid-1950s into the following century. His later roles included kindly Uncle Ben in the "Spider-Man" movies.

(Photo by Matthew Peyton/Getty Images)
Notable Deaths 2011
Andy Whitfield
Andy Whitfield, who played the title role in the hit cable series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," has died at age 39, according to representatives and family. Whitfield died Sunday, September 11th in Sydney, Australia, 18 months after he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, manager Sam Maydew told the Associated Press. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images for Starz Entertainment)
Notable Deaths 2011
Frances Bay
Frances Bay, famous for playing Adam Sandler's grandma in "Happy Gilmore," passed away Thursday, September 15, 2011 at the age of 92 ... her agent confirms.

Bay spent most of her life as a housewife, deciding to pursue a career as an actress in the 1970's, when she was already in her mid-50's. (Source: TMZ)

(Photo by Jag Gundu/Getty Images)
(1960 - 2011)
Kara Kennedy
Kara Kennedy, the eldest daughter of former Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, died from a heart attack at the age of 51. (Photo credit by Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
(1960 - 2011)
Dolores Hope
(L-R) Dolores Hope & Bob Hope (Photo credit by AP Photo)

Dolores Hope, the sultry-voiced songstress who was married to Bob Hope for 69 years and sometimes sang on his shows for U.S. troops and on his television specials, has died at age 102.
Vesta Williams
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (CBS SF) - Big-voiced R&B diva Vesta Williams, perhaps best-known for her 1980s hits "Don't Blow A Good Thing" and "Congratulations," was found dead of a possible drug overdose in a Southern California hotel room. She was 53.

Los Angeles County coroner's Capt. John Kades (KAY'-dihs) says Williams was found dead at 6:15 pm on Thursday, September 23rd in an El Segundo hotel room. An autopsy will determine the cause of death, but Kades says "this could be a drug overdose.

Born Mary Vesta Williams in Coshocton, Ohio, on Dec. 1, 1957, she had hits with "Once Bitten Twice Shy," "Sweet, Sweet Love" and the torch song "Congratulations," where she emotionally bids goodbye to her ex, about to marry someone else, on his wedding day.

Williams also appeared in movies and on television.

(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for NAACP)
Notable Deaths 2011
Steve Jobs
Apple co-founder and Chairman Steve Jobs died Wednesday, October 5, 2011. He was 56. Read more...(Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)
Steve Jobs (1955-2011)
Notable Deaths 2011
Charles Napier
Charles Napier played bad ass 'Tucker McElroy' in 'The Blues Brothers' died Wednesday, October 5th, one day after he collapsed at his California home.

Napier starred in a TON of Hollywood classics, including "Rambo: First Blood II", "Philadelphia" and voiced Dr. Speltz on a recent episode of the F/X show "Archer."

It's unclear what caused Napier to collapse, but he was reportedly hospitalized for blood clots in 2010. Napier was 75. (Source: TMZ) (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Notable Deaths 2011
Al Davis
OAKLAND (CBS SF) - The Oakland Raiders say longtime owner and Hall of Famer Al Davis has died. He was 82.

It was not immediately clear when and where he died.

Davis was one of the most important figures in NFL history. He is best known as a rebel who established a team whose silver-and-black colors and pirate logo symbolized his attitude toward authority, both on the field and off.

It was Davis' rebellious spirit, that willingness to buck the establishment, that helped turn the NFL into the establishment in sports - the most successful sports league in American history.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Notable Deaths 2011
Mikey Welsh
Former "Weezer" bass player Mikey Welsh has been found dead in a Chicago hotel room. Police spokeswoman Laura Kubiak says Welsh was supposed to check out of the Raffaello Hotel at 1 p.m. Saturday, October 8th. When he didn't, hotel staff went to his room and later entered it. Kubiak says Welsh was unconscious and not breathing.

Kubiak said Sunday the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death. She says there's nothing to indicate foul play.

Welsh was 40.

(Photo credit by Getty images)
Notable Deaths 2011
Patricia Modell
Actress Patricia Modell, known for her work on television in soap operas like "People's Choice," "Peyton Place" and "General Hospital" as well as her marriage to former NFL team owner Art Modell, died on October 12th. She was 80

The actress, born Patricia Breslin, made her TV debut as Juliet in the NBC production of "Romeo & Juliet" in 1952, according to IMDB. She co-starred as Amanda "Mandy" Peoples Miller in "People's Choice" with actor Jackie Cooper, and also played the role of nurse Meg Baldwin in the soap opera "General Hospital." Modell was also known for portraying Laura Brooks on the prime time soap opera "Peyton Place."

She also had regular stints on "Twilight Zone," ''Alfred Hitchcock Presents," ''Perry Mason," and "Maverick."

She retired from acting in 1969 when she married noted bachelor and former owner of the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens, Arthur "Art" Modell.

Modell is survived by her husband, two sons, John and David, and six grandchildren.

(Pictured)Actress Patricia Modell in "Alfred Hitchcock Presents The Crooked Road" in 1958. (Photo credit by Shamley Productions)
(1978 - 2011)
Dan Wheldon
Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died in a fiery IndyCar crash in Las Vegas at the age of 33. (Photo credit by Gavin Lawrence / Getty Images)
(1978 - 2011)
Notable Deaths 2011
Muammar Qadaffi
SIRTE, Libya (CBS SF/AP) - Muammar Qadaffi, Libya's dictator for 42 years until he was ousted in an uprising-turned-civil war, was killed October 20th, 2011 as revolutionary fighters overwhelmed his hometown of Sirte and captured the last major bastion of resistance two months after his regime fell.

(Photo credit by MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images)
(1919 - 2011)
Dorothy Emma Howell Rodham
Dorothy Emma Howell Rodham was the mother to former senator and presidential candidate Hillary Rodham-Clinton. She was 92. (Photo credit by Stan Honda / AFP / Getty Images)
(1919 - 2011)
Notable Deaths 2011
Andy Rooney
NEW YORK (CBS SF) - Andy Rooney so dreaded the day he had to end his signature "60 Minutes" commentaries about life's large and small absurdities that he kept going until he was 92 years old.

Even then, he said he wasn't retiring. Writers never retire. But his life after the end of "A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney" was short: He died Friday night, according to CBS, only a month after delivering his 1,097th and final televised commentary.

Rooney had gone to the hospital for an undisclosed surgery, but major complications developed and he never recovered.

"Andy always said he wanted to work until the day he died, and he managed to do it, save the last few weeks in the hospital," said his "60 Minutes" colleague, correspondent Steve Kroft.

Rooney and his wife, Marguerite, were married for 62 years before she died of heart failure in 2004. They had four children and lived in New York, with homes in Norwalk, Conn., and upstate New York. Daughter Emily Rooney is a former executive producer of ABC's "World News Tonight." Brian was a longtime ABC News correspondent, Ellen a photographer and Martha Fishel is chief of the public service division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Services will be private, and it's anticipated CBS News will hold a public memorial later, Brian Rooney said Saturday.

Read more at CBS

(Photo credit by John Filo/CBS News)
Andy Rooney, 1919-2011. (Photo by John Filo/CBS News)
Notable Deaths 2011
Joe Frazier
PHILADELPHIA (CBS SF) — Joe Frazier, the former heavyweight champion who handed Muhammad Ali his first defeat yet had to live forever in his shadow, died Monday night, November 7, 2011 after a brief final fight with liver cancer. He was 67. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Notable Deaths 2011
"Heavy D" (Dwight Arrington Myers)
LOS ANGELES (CBS SF/TMZ) - Rap legend Heavy D, one of the most influential rappers of the '90s died Tuesday, November 8th...TMZ has learned.

"Heavy D", real name Dwight Arrington Myers was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital around 12 noon, was pronounced dead at 1:00pm. He was 44 years old.

TMZ learned a 911 call was placed from Myer's Beverly Hills home around 11:25am to report an unconscious male on the walkway. When help arrived, Heavy D was conscious and speaking and was transported to a nearby hospital. He died a short time later.

TMZ reports, Heavy D died from a pulmonary embolism caused by deep leg vein thrombosis ... and a long flight back to L.A. from a Michael Jackson memorial concert may have been a contributing factor.

A pulmonary embolism is a blockage of one or more arteries in the lungs, most often caused by blood clots which travel in from other parts of he body. In Heavy's case, the clot was formed in his legs.

Dwight Errington Myers was born in Jamaica. His family moved to Mount Vernon, New York when he was a young child. Heavy D & the Boyz were the first group signed to Uptown Records; their debut, Living Large, was released in 1987. The album was a commercial success.

Heavy D & the Boyz gained even more fame by singing the theme song for the television program In Living Color and also MADtv, and Heavy D performed the rap on Michael Jackson’s hit single “Jam.” Heavy D then began focusing on his acting, appearing in the television shows Roc and Living Single before returning the music charts with Nuttin’ But Love in 1994. After appearing in the off-Broadway play Riff Raff at Circle Repertory Company, Heavy D returned to recording with the hit Waterbed Hev. Read more…

Heavy D. can be seen currently in the movie "Tower Heist" with Ben Stiller & Eddie Murphy.

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Bacardi)
(1936  - 2011)
Evelyn Lauder
Evelyn Lauder was a refugee from Nazi-occupied Europe who married into the Lauder clan and became an executive at Estee Lauder. In 1989, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and soon after started the Pink Ribbon campaign to fight against the disease. She died from ovarian cancer at the age of 75. (Photo credit by Theo Wargo / Getty Images for Estee Lauder)
(1936 - 2011)
(1961 - 2011)
Kurt Budke
Kurt Budke, the head coach of the Oklahoma State women’s basketball team, died in a plane crash along with an assistant coach on a recruiting trip. He was 50. (Photo credit by
(1961 - 2011)
(1987  - 2011)
Greg Halman
Seattle Mariners’ Greg Halman was fatally stabbed in Rotterdam. Halman signed with the Mariners in 2004 at the age of 16 for a seven-year contract. He showed great promise before his career was cut short at the age of 24. (credit: Otto Greule Jr. / Getty Images)
(1987 - 2011)
Notable Deaths 2011
Patrice O'Neal
NEW YORK (CBS SF/AP) - Veteran stand-up comic Patrice O'Neal, who gained a wider following through TV and radio and helped roast Charlie Sheen, died Tuesday from complications of a stroke he suffered last month. He was 41.

O'Neal's manager, Jonathan Brandstein, said he died in a New York-area hospital.

"Many of us have lost a close and loved friend; all of us have lost a true comic genius," Brandstein said in a statement.

O'Neal appeared on Conan O'Brien's and David Letterman's TV shows and was a frequent guest on the "Opie & Anthony" radio show on Sirius XM. His performance was a highlight of the Comedy Central roast of Sheen, who had been fired from the hit CBS comedy "Two and a Half Men," in September.

Sheen said in a tweet Tuesday, "The entertainment world as well as the world at large lost a brilliant man."

He added, "Patrice had that rare `light' around him and inside of him. I only knew him for the few days leading up the Roast. Yet I will forever be inspired by his nobility, his grace and his epic talent. My tears today are for the tremendous loss to his true friends and loving family."

Other entertainers also mourned O'Neal on Twitter.

"RIP Patrice O'Neal. You made us laugh til we cried," comedian Sarah Silverman said.

Actor Jay Mohr said, "Just heard. Goodnight brother. Damn. Just ridiculous. Terrible. Beyond sad."

O'Neal had half-hour specials on Showtime and HBO and was the host of "Web Junk 20" on VH1. He appeared in numerous television shows including "Arrested Development," "Chappelle's Show" and "The Office."

O'Neal suffered a stroke on Oct. 19 after battling diabetes. He is survived by his wife, Vondecarlo, his stepdaughter, Aymilyon, his sister, Zinder, and his mother, Georgia.

Brandstein, his manager, said the family wished to thank "all of the fans and friends who have expressed an outpouring of love and support for Patrice these past weeks."

O'Neal was scheduled to perform his stand-up at Tommy T’s in Pleasanton on December 15-17.

(Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
Notable Deaths 2011
Chester McGlockton
Chester McGlockton, a four-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman who emerged as a talented assistant coach and mentor at Stanford, died Wednesday, November 30, 2011. He was 42.

Read more…

(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
Notable Deaths 2011
Alan Sues
Alan Sues, who brought his flamboyant and over-the-top comic persona to the hit television show "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" in the 1960s and 1970s, has died…Read more…

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Notable Deaths 2011
Patricia Dunn
Patricia Dunn, the former Hewlett-Packard chairwoman who authorized a boardroom surveillance probe that ultimately sullied her remarkable rise from investment bank typist to the corporate upper class, has died. She was 58.

Dunn had battled cancer.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Harry Morgan
Emmy-winning character actor Harry Morgan, whose portrayal of the fatherly Col. Potter on television's "M*A*S*H" highlighted a long show-business career. The 96-year-old actor died Wednesday, December 7, 2011.

(Photo credit: CBS NYC/IMDB/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)
Notable Deaths 2011
Barbara Orbison
Widow of rock n' roll pioneer Roy Orbison, Barbara Orbison died Tuesday on the 23rd anniversary of her husband's death, a family spokeswoman said. Barbara Orbison died from pancreatic cancer at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center surrounded by her sons, said publicist and family spokeswoman Sarah McMullen. Orbison had been hospitalized since May. She was 60.

Pictured, Barbara Orbison holds a Grammy Award. Orbison was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

(Photo credit by MATT CAMPBELL/AFP/Getty Images)
Notable Deaths
Kim Jong Il
Kim Jong Il, the mercurial and enigmatic North Korean leader whose iron rule and nuclear ambitions dominated world security fears for more than a decade, died Saturday, December 17th, 2011. He was 69.


(Photo credit by DMITRY ASTAKHOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Notable Deaths 2011
Warren Hellman
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – San Francisco financier and philanthropist Warren Hellman died Sunday, December 18, 2011 at the age of 77, his family said.

Hellman, founder of private equity firm Hellman and Friedman LLC, championed a wide variety of ventures and causes. For many, however, he is best known as the founder of the hugely popular Hardly Strictly Bluegrass music festival in Golden Gate Park and more recently as chairman of the board for the Bay Citizen, a nonprofit news organization he helped found in 2010.

San Francisco city officials renamed Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park, the site of Hellman’s free annual bluegrass and music festival, as Hellman Hollow. Hellman was a lifelong music lover who played in the bluegrass group The Wronglers.

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(Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
Categories: Entertainment News

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One Comment

  1. Cathy Woon says:

    To the family Of peter Falk may he rest in peace. My prayers are with you today.
    He was a great actor.

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  3. jeff says:

    RIP to all. I’m compelled to offer special wishes to Jack Kevorkian, a true hero in my lifetime. Standing up for what you believe, especially when it’s demonstrating the ultimate in compassion to those in their most difficult and painful times, and being willing to sacrifice yourself by willingly going to prison – whether you agree with what he was trying to accomplish or not, that is worthy of tremendous respect.

  4. Sharon Allison says:

    Well we sure love Ashford in Simpson in Vallejo, California they sure kept our city rockin! Ms. Sharon Allison (sister of the late DJ Cee)



  6. Robert says:

    I’m suprised that Muammar Qadaffi was included as a notable death but Osama bin Laden was not.

  7. Jonathan Pence says:

    my grandfather–Dr. Richard M. Thatcher–just past away as well. He was an amazing person. I can’t think of anyone who ever disliked him . . . everybody loved him. He died of altzheimer’s disease, yet we were fortunate enough that he never lost his personality or ever forgot the faces of those who loved him. He was diagnosed with the disease over ten years ago, yet he remained pretty-much intact until about a month ago when it began attacking his motor faculties. Suddenly he was unable to walk . . . then unable to feed himself . . . then unable to speak . . . etc. Finally he let go on the 8th at around 5:50 am. To me he was much more than a grandfather. He meant so much to all who were blessed enough to have known him. My heart goes out to the family of Harry Morgan, to those who are affected by the suffering of a loved one with altzheimer’s, and to anyone else who has suffered a loss of this sort.

  8. joe stewart says:

    To me,Ferlin Huskey was a very notable death.I guess only the older country music fans remember him.(aka Simon Crum)

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