Celebrity Deaths: 2012 Famous Deaths List

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The Official 2012 Celebrity Deaths list. What famous stars died in 2012? These are the famous deaths in 2012. These famous people who died in 2012 are actors, musicians and notable world leaders who we now mourn their passing. This list of dead celebrities was updated with all notable deaths in 2012 along with a brief obituary for each. Which stars died in 2012? The more recent famous celebrity deaths are listed at the top, though you are also able to sort by the notable stars names as well. The stars that died in 2012 will be missed and all the famous dead celebrities of 2012 have been listed. If we have missed anyone though, please let us know if the comments below.

Also look at Celebrity Deaths 2011 for last years list as well as dead celebrities 2013 for last year and famous dead celebs 2014 for the current year.


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  1. 96
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    Charles Durning
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    12/24/12: Award winning actor, Charles Durning, died of unknown causes in his home in New York. Durning was known as one of the kings of character acting. He had roles in such films as "The Sting", "Tootsie" and "The Best Little Whore House in Texas". Most recently he starred in the hit TV show "Rescue Me". He was 89.

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    • Age: Died at 89 (1923-2012)
    • Birthplace: USA, New York, Highland Falls
    • Profession: Soldier, Actor, Voice acting, Dancer, Teacher
    • Credits: Scarface, The Sting, Tootsie, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, + more
  2. 95
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    Jack Klugman
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA

    12/24/12: Television and movie actor, Jack Klugman, passed away from natural causes. Klugman was best known for his roles in "The Odd Couple", "Quincy, ME" and "12 Angry Men". He was 90.

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    • Age: Died at 90 (1922-2012)
    • Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
    • Profession: Television director, Comedian, Screenwriter, Actor
    • Credits: 12 Angry Men, The Odd Couple, Days of Wine and Roses, Quincy, M.E., + more
  3. 94
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    Ravi Shankar
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    12/11/12: Ravi Shankar, the world renowned sitarist, passed away from natural causes. Shankar is best known as the man who brought Indian music to the foreground in the West by being the sitar teacher of former Beatles member George Harrison. Ravi Shankar played throughout the world including his famous set at Woodstock in 1969. He was 92.

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    • Age: Died at 92 (1920-2012)
    • Birthplace: Varanasi, India
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Musician, Composer
    • Credits: Gandhi, The World of Apu, Aparajito, Pather Panchali, Charly, + more
  4. 93
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    Jenni Rivera
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    12/9/12: Mexican singer and TV personality, Jenni Rivera, was killed in a plane crash. Rivera, producer of such hit records as "I Love Jenni" and host on shows like "Jenni Rivera Presents:" died after the small jet she was travelling on crashed in Mexico. She was 43.

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    • Age: Died at 43 (1969-2012)
    • Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Television producer, Entrepreneur, Singer-songwriter, Actor
    • Credits: Filly Brown, Al otro lado, El show de Cristina, I Love Jenni, Jenni Rivera: En Vivo Desde Hollywood, + more
  5. 92
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    Dave Brubeck
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    12/5/12: Acclaimed jazz pianist, Dave Brubeck, died of heart failure. Brubeck was best known for his experimental jazz compositions and his work on soundtracks for shows like "This is America, Charlie Brown". He was 92.

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    • Age: Died at 92 (1920-2012)
    • Birthplace: Concord, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Jazz Pianist, Musician, Bandleader, Composer
    • Credits: Not My Life, Ordeal by Innocence, All Night Long, The Timex All-star Swing Festival, Jazz Icons: Dave Brubeck: Live in '64 & '66, + more
  6. 91

    11/28/12: Motivational speaker and author, Zig Ziglar, passed away from pneumonia. He was 86. 

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    • Age: Died at 86 (1926-2012)
    • Birthplace: Alabama, United States of America
    • Profession: Author, Writer, Motivational speaker
  7. 90

    11/23/2012: Actor of TV and film, Larry Hagman, died from complications due to throat cancer. Hagman was best known for his roles as J.R. Ewing on the hit TV Show "Dallas" and Tony Nelson on "I Dream of Jeanie". He was 81.

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    • Age: Died at 81 (1931-2012)
    • Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, United States of America
    • Profession: Television director, Television producer, Film Producer, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: Dallas, I Dream of Jeannie, Fail Safe, Nixon, Primary Colors, + more
  8. 89
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    Arlen Specter
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    10/14/12: Former U.S. Senator, Arlen Specter, died after a long battle with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Specter was known for his multiple party switches, changing party lines three times in his career. He also played a large part in the election of many Supreme Court Justices. He was 82.

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    • Age: Died at 82 (1930-2012)
    • Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas, United States of America
    • Profession: Politician, Lawyer
  9. 88
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    George McGovern
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    10/21/12: Former U.S. Rep, Senator and the 1972 Democratic Presidental Nominee, George McGovern, died of natural causes surrounded by friends and family. He was 90.

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    • Age: Died at 90 (1922-2012)
    • Birthplace: Avon, South Dakota, United States of America
    • Profession: Politician, Soldier, Historian, Author, Teacher
    • Credits: One Bright Shining Moment: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern, Anthem, Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride, Rush to War
  10. 87

    10/10/12: Former NFL player turned actor, Alex Karras, passed away from kidney disease. He played for the Detroit Lions until 1971. Karras than went on to star in the hit TV series "Webster". He was 77.

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    • Age: Died at 77 (1935-2012)
    • Birthplace: Gary, Indiana, United States of America
    • Profession: Wrestler, Television producer, Actor, Writer, American football player
    • Credits: Blazing Saddles, Porky's, Victor Victoria, Buffalo '66, FM, + more
  11. 86

    9/26/12: Actor, Johnny Lewis, best known for his role in "Sons of Anarchy", was found dead in a driveway after apparently falling or jumping from the roof. He is currently the only suspect in the death of an 81 year-old woman found inside the same residence.

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    • Age: Died at 29 (1983-2012)
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, USA, California
    • Profession: Painter, Poet, Actor, Writer, Philanthropist
    • Credits: Sons of Anarchy, AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem, The Runaways, One Missed Call, Raise Your Voice, + more
  12. 85
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    Andy Williams
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    9/25/12: Singer/Songwriter and TV Personality, Andy Williams passed away from cancer of the bladder. Williams was best known as the singer of the hit song "Moon River", that won an Academy Award after being in the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's". He also had his own theater space in Branson, MO where he performed every night.

    Williams was 84.

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    • Age: Died at 85 (1927-2012)
    • Birthplace: Wall Lake, Iowa, United States of America
    • Profession: Record producer, Actor, Singer
    • Credits: I'd Rather Be Rich, The Andy Williams Show, In Concert Series: Andy Williams, An Evening with Andy Williams: Live from the Royal Albert Hall, Casting Crowns: The Altar and the Door Live, + more
  13. 84
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    Michael Clarke Duncan
    Photo: Freebase

    9/3/12: Actor, Michael Clarke Duncan, passed away in the hospital where he had been since a heart attack in July. Duncan, most known for his roles in "The Green Mile", "Daredevil" and "Armageddon", was notable for his large frame and deep voice. He was 54.

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    • Age: Died at 55 (1957-2012)
    • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
    • Profession: Bodyguard, Model, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: The Green Mile, Sin City, Armageddon, Friday, Planet of the Apes, + more
  14. 83
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    Neil Armstrong
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    8/25/12: Astronaut Neil Armstrong died at 82 due to complications from blocked coronary arteries. In 1969, Armstrong became an international icon and hero as the first man to step foot on the moon. The aerospace engineer was a member of the Apollo 11 spaceflight, which landed on the moon July 20, 1969.

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    • Age: Died at 82 (1930-2012)
    • Birthplace: Ohio, United States of America
    • Profession: Professor, Astronaut, Voice acting, Naval Officer, United States Naval Aviator, + more
    • Credits: Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey, British television Apollo 11 coverage, Kitty Hawk: The Wright Brothers' Journey of Invention
  15. 82

    8/24/12: Voice actor and puppeteer, Jerry Nelson, most known for voicing The Count in "Sesame Street", was died in his home of unspecified causes. Nelson also famously voiced Gobo Fraggle in "Fraggle Rock", Robin (Kermit's Nephew) and Sgt. Floyd Pepper in "The Muppet Show". He was 78.

  16. 81
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    Phyllis Diller
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    8/20/12: Revolutionary comedian, Phyllis Diller, was found dead in her home. Diller was most known for her outlandish sense of humor and verbose laughter. She started her career in standup at the age of 35 in 1952. Diller was considered a leader and paved the way for women in comedy. It was reported that she died peacefully in her sleep with a smile on her face. She was 95.

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    • Age: Died at 95 (1917-2012)
    • Birthplace: USA, Lima, Ohio
    • Profession: Comedian, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: A Bug's Life, The Gong Show, Maniac, Motocross Kids, The Fat Spy, + more
  17. 80
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    Tony Scott
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    8/19/12: Renowned director, Tony Scott, was found dead after committing suicide in San Pedro California. Scott was known for his numerous hit movies like "Top Gun", "True Romance" and "Crimson Tide". He was pulled from the water after jumping off a bridge in San Pedro, a suicide note was found inside his car by the police. Scott is survived by his wife and children along with his brother, director Ridley Scott.

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    • Age: Died at 68 (1944-2012)
    • Birthplace: North Shields, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Television director, Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Cinematographer, + more
    • Credits: Top Gun, Prometheus, True Romance, The Good Wife, Romeo + Juliet, + more
  18. 79

    8/18/12: Singer/songwriter, Scott McKenzie, known for his hit song, "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)". He was also one of the co-writers for the Beach Boys song "Kokomo". He was 73.

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    • Age: Died at 73 (1939-2012)
    • Birthplace: Jacksonville Beach, Jacksonville, Florida, United States of America
    • Profession: Singer
    • Credits: Redneck County
  19. 78

    8/17/12: Star of "Real World: Hollywood", Joey Kovar, was found dead at the age of 29 at a friend's house. Joey was only on the show for a short while before moving himself into rehab to help with his alcoholism. He returned briefly before leaving entirely. In 2010 he appeared on "Celebrity Rehab" to try and kick his drug habit. Kovar died from an apparent drug overdose.

    more ABOUT
    • Age: Died at 29 (1983-2012)
    • Birthplace: Evergreen Park, Illinois, USA
    • Credits: The Real World, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, Alone: Without a Friend in the World
  20. 77

    8/14/12: Actor, Ron Palillo, most known for his role as Horshack in "Welcome Back Kotter", was found dead of an apparent heart attack. He was 63.

    more ABOUT
    • Age: Died at 63 (1949-2012)
    • Birthplace: USA, Connecticut, New Haven
    • Profession: Illustrator, Actor, Playwright, Teacher
    • Credits: Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, Welcome Back, Kotter, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, Skatetown, + more
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