At the end of every year, we see online or in magazines and newspapers a list of celebrities who have passed away. Some of the deaths we remember. Some we may not have heard about. But for the most part, we stop and think of the works they have done. And maybe look for a favorite movie or television series to watch again.
A few of these actors and actresses I was able to acknowledge soon after their deaths. But I’d like to start this list with a mention of some I should have written about sooner.
Charles Durning  (Tootsie; O Brother, Where Art Thou?) – This character actor had the knack for stealing scenes away from the leading actors in his movies. He could take on anyone, from Kirk Douglas to George Clooney. Even Kermit the Frog! Yep. Just check out The Muppet Movie.
Larry Hagman  (Dallas; I Dream of Jeannie) -- Though he had made a few movies, Hagman became well-known to TV audiences with the comedy I Dream of Jeannie. But he will forever and always be most famous as the notorious, wily, win-at-all-costs J.R. Ewing on Dallas.
Whitney Houston  (The Bodyguard; Sparkle) -- An amazing, talented woman, Whitney Houston conquered the music world then moved on to movies, proving that she was a match for anyone or anything. An incredible voice. A lovely actress.
Jack Klugman  (The Odd Couple; Quincy, M.E.) -- Klugman had the face of a character actor and the charm of a leading man. Known for playing drama, he proved his comedic talent in the TV series The Odd Couple. He even starred in musicals on Broadway. He did it all.
Below are other talented people who passed away in 2012. If you’re unfamiliar with some of the names, I hope you can take a look at the movies and TV shows they left behind.
Actors and Actresses
Ernest Borgnine  (The Wild Bunch; Marty)
Harry Carey, Jr.  (3 Godfathers; The Searchers)
Michael Clarke Duncan  (The Green Mile; Planet of the Apes)
James Farentino  (The Final Countdown; Death of a Salesman)
Ben Gazzara  (Anatomy of a Murder; The Thomas Crown Affair)
Andy Griffith  (The Andy Griffith Show; Waitress)
Sherman Hemsley  (The Jeffersons)
Celeste Holm  (Gentleman’s Agreement; All About Eve)
Davy Jones  (The Monkees)
Alex Karras  (Blazing Saddles; Victor/Victoria)
Russell Means  (The Last of the Mohicans; Pathfinder)
Lupe Ontiveros  (Passionada; Selena)
Ann Rutherford  (Andy Hardy series; Gone with the Wind)
William Windom  (Murder, She Wrote; To Kill a Mockingbird)
Tony Scott  (Top Gun; Crimson Tide)
Mel Stuart  (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory; If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium)
Richard D. Zanuck  (Jaws; Driving Miss Daisy)
Richard Rodney Bennett  (Four Weddings and a Funeral; Murder on the Orient Express)
Marvin Hamlisch  (The Sting; The Way We Were)
Richard Robbins  (Howard’s End; The Remains of the Day)
Robert B. Sherman  (Mary Poppins; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)