Gulf War Hero, First Man on Moon Among 2012 Deaths


Tonight marks only the second time since the mid-'70s that the new year won't be ushered in by TV icon Dick Clark.

"America's Oldest Teenager" died of a heart attack in April.

This past year, we also lost a local Gulf War hero, a pop diva and the first man to walk on the moon.

So, before the ball drops on another year in New York City's Time Square, we remember Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, Whitney Houston, Neil Armstrong and others from entertainment, politics, sports and the U.S. military we lost in 2012.


Johnny Otis, 90, known as the "Godfather of Rhythm and Blues," the songwriter, musician and producer discovered and produced for Etta James and wrote the hit song "Every Beat of My Heart."

Joe Paterno, 85, former Penn State football coach whose legacy was shattered when he was fired in the fallout from a child sex abuse scandal involving a longtime assistant.

Etta James, 73, singing legend whose hits include "Something's Got a Hold on Me," and the wedding favorite "At Last."

John F. Baker Jr.,66, hero of Vietnam War and Medal of Honor recipient.

Roger Boisjoly,73, a mechanical engineer who voiced concerns about launching the space shuttle Challenger in cold weather.

Robert Hegyes,60, who played Juan Epstein on "Welcome Back, Kotter," of a heart attack.

Sarah Burke, 29, freestyle skier and X-Games winner, of injuries sustained in a crash at the bottom of a superpipe.


Whitney Houston, 48, legendary pop singer who sold more than 170 million albums and whose rendition of the national anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl in Tampa cemented her place in America's musical landscape.

Angelo Dundee, 90, celebrated boxing trainer and corner man, best known for his work with Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard.

Freddie Solomon, 59, Tampa philanthropist and former University of Tampa and NFL football player who participated in two Super Bowl championships.

Maria Osterhoudt, 65, beloved longtime St. Petersburg teacher.

Davy Jones, 66, teen idol and lead singer of The Monkees, known for the hits "Daydream Believer" and "Last Train to Clarksville" as well as a TV show by the same name.

Gary Carter, 57, National Baseball Hall of Famer and MLB catcher who won three Gold Glove awards primarily playing for the Montreal Expos and New York Mets.

David Kelly, 82, Irish actor known for his roles in "Waking Ned Devine" and Tim Burton's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

Ben Gazzara, 81, actor who starred in TV's "Run For Your Life" and in films such as "Husbands," "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie" and "Summer of Sam."

Bill Hinzman, 75, actor best known as the first zombie onscreen in the film "Night of the Living Dead."

Marcelo Maseda, 92, Ybor City's two-time honorary mayor, local baseball legend and civic leader.

Earl Mathews, 88, longtime owner of Earl's Garden Shop in Tampa.

Don Cornelius, 75, creator, producer and host of the popular Saturday television show "Soul Train," which showcased black musicians and dancers and holds the record as the longest-running nationally syndicated TV show.


Philip Rosete, 89, longtime physics teacher at Jefferson High School and World War II veteran.

Robert B. Sherman, 86, songwriter and one half of the Sherman Brothers who wrote songs for films, including "Mary Poppins" and "The Jungle Book."

Jimmy Ellis, 74, frontman of "The Trammps" best known for their hit "Disco Inferno" from "Saturday Night Fever."

George Firestone, 80, former secretary of state for Florida.

James Q. Wilson, 80, political scientist known for creating the "Broken Windows" theory that if a neighborhood doesn't fix "broken windows," it will continue to descend into crime and chaos.

Joe Vila, 88, former Marine and Purple Heart recipient from West Tampa.

Murray Lender, 81, businessman, baker and founder of Lender's Bagels.

Earl Scruggs, 88, bluegrass pioneer and Country Music Hall of Famer who popularized a complex three-fingered picking style that transformed the banjo and bluegrass music.


Joe Scarpa, 83, known as Chief Jay Strongbow in the ring, he was a 2009 Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee.

Dick Clark, 82, pioneering TV producer and host of the long-running music series "American Bandstand," he created "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve," which ushered in the New Year with the Times Square ball drop. He was known as "America's Oldest Teenager."

Bill Krusen, 91, Hall of Fame pilot, volunteer and longtime South Tampa resident.

Dwayne Schintzius, 43, former Brandon High School standout, NBA player and University of Florida player, who lead the Gators to its first three NCAA men's basketball tournament appearances.

Jason Shoulta, 43, Pinellas Country Sheriff's deputy killed in a motorcycle crash.

Mike Wallace, 93, longtime news correspondent known for his tenacious reporting on the popular CBS news program "60 Minutes."

Levon Helm, 71, drummer and lead singer of one of the most critically acclaimed rock groups of all time, "The Band."

Charles Colson,80, President Richard Nixon's "hatchet man," who went to prison during the Watergate-era and founded a worldwide prison fellowship ministry.

Thomas Kinkade, 54, popular American artist and self-described "Painter of Light," his work depicted warm, serene images of idyllic cottages, lighthouses and colorful gardens, died of a drug overdose.

Polly Murray, 79, Monsignor Laurence Higgins' right-hand woman who helped build the foundation for St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Tampa.

Alexander L. Paskay, 89, a long-serving Tampa federal bankruptcy judge.

Jonathan Frid, 87, played Barnabas Collins on the gothic soap opera "Dark Shadows."

Bill Sharpe, 59, Tampa publisher and civic activist who created Epoch, a newspaper covering homeless issues sold by the homeless, from an apparent suicide


Bill Ratliff, 63, veteran journalist who spent 27 years with WFLA, Channel 8.

Alvin Lee Magnon, 84, owner of longtime Tampa jewelry business Alvin Magnon Jewelers.

Maurice Sendak, 83, beloved children's book author known for "Where the Wild Things Are" and "The Sign on Rosie's Door."

Robin Gibb, 62, member of the popular '70s mega disco group "The Bee Gees" with brothers Maurice and Barry. Their soundtrack album to "Saturday Night Fever" yielded such hits as "You Should Be Dancing," "Stayin' Alive" and "How Deep in Your Love."

Tiaina Baul "Junior" Seau Jr.,43, All-Pro linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, of suicide.

Donna Summer, 63, legendary disco queen and five-time Grammy winner whose hits include "Last Dance" and "Love to Love You Baby."

Adam "MCA" Yauch, 47,co-founder of the pioneering hip-hop trio the Beastie Boys, of cancer.

Chuck Brown, 75, guitarist and musician considered the "Godfather of Go-Go" music for his hit "Bustin' Loose."

Vidal Sassoon, 84, popular British hairdresser known for creating simple geometric hairstyles.

Michael Carmody, 73, FBI special agent and former Marine who was part of the FBI team that arrested three Hillsborough County commissioners and nearly a dozen other Tampa businessmen on corruption charges in the 1980s.

George Lindsey,83, actor known for his work as Goober Pyle on "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Mayberry R.F.D."


Cecile Essrig, 89, first woman elected to the Hillsborough School Board, she served 21 years.

Nora Ephron, 71, author and screenwriter of beloved romantic comedies, including "Sleepless in Seattle" and "When Harry Met Sally."

Rodney King, 47, his brutal beating by four Los Angeles police officers, captured on video, sparked the 1992 Los Angeles riots, died of accidental drowning.

Andrew Sarris, 83, film critic known for his work in "The Village Voice" and the "New York Observer."

Kathryn Joosten, 72, Emmy Award-winning actress who appeared on the television series "Desperate Housewives" and the "The West Wing."

Henry Hill, 69, gangster-turned-informant whose life was the basis for the popular Martin Scorsese film "Goodfellas."

LeRoy Neiman,91,artist famous for his bold, colorful portraits of athletes.

Yvette Wilson, 48, actress and comedian who starred in the TV series "Moesha" and later "The Parkers," of cancer.

Ray Bradbury, 91, legendary science fiction writer who authored more than 25 novels including "Fahrenheit 451" and "The Martian Chronicles."

Bob Welch, 65, former member of the popular singing group Fleetwood Mac.

Dudley Clendinen, 67, Tampa-born author and writer who chronicled his struggles with ALS.

Ann Rutherford, 94, played Mickey Rooney's teen girlfriend in the "Andy Hardy" movies and was Scarlett's younger sister in "Gone with the Wind."

Richard Dawson, 79, longtime "Family Feud" game show host and actor who starred in the popular television series "Hogan's Heroes."

Frank Cady, 96, character actor who portrayed general store owner Sam Drucker on TV's "Green Acres."


Andy Griffith, 86, actor and American icon best known for his portrayal of a small town sheriff on "The Andy Griffith Show" and later a venerable lawyer in "Matlock."

Gore Vidal, 86, novelist, essayist, playwright and screenwriter who wrote the popular novel "Myra Breckenridge" and the historical novel "Burr," and worked on screenplays for "Caligula" and "Ben-Hur."

O.J. Murdock, 25, former Middleton High School star wide receiver who signed an NFL contract with the Tennessee Titans, of an apparent suicide

Chad Everett, 75, actor who played Dr. Joe Gannon on the 1970s series "Medical Center."

Sherman Hemsley, 74, actor and comedian best known for his role as George Jefferson in "The Jefferson's," a spin-off from "All in the Family."

Sally Ride, 61, physicist and the first American woman to travel to space.

Tom Davis, 59, comedy writer and "Saturday Night Live" veteran and part of a comedy team with Al Franken.

Dr. Stephen Covey, 79, author of the best-selling self-improvement book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People."

Celeste Holm, 95, Academy Award-winning actress who appeared in classic films including "All About Eve," "Gentleman's Agreement" and "The Snake Pit."

Richard D. Zanuck, 77, film producer and head of 20th Century Fox who oversaw productions including "The Sound of Music," and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and later produced "Jaws" and "Cocoon."

Ernest Borgnine, 95, actor who starred in the TV series "McHale's Navy" and won an Academy Award for the title role in 1955's "Marty."

Frank Harvey, 81, civic activist and longtime leader of Maas Bros. department store

Frank Pierson, 87, Oscar-winning screenwriter for "Dog Day Afternoon" and former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Kitty Wells, 92, Country Music Hall of Famer and the first woman to hit No. 1 on the country music charts with her 1952 hit "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels."


Helen Gurley Brown, 90, editor in chief for Cosmopolitan magazine for more than 30 years and author of the popular book "Sex and the Single Girl."

Johnny Pesky, 92, former Major League Baseball player who played for the Boston Red Sox with teammates Ted Williams and Dom DiMaggio.

Phyllis Diller, 95, famed comedian known for her outlandish wardrobe and hairdos, self-depricating humor and husband "Fang."

Joey Kovar, 29, starred in "Real World: Hollywood," of an apparent drug overdose.

Joe Kubert, 85, comic book forefather known for his creation of "Tor" and "Sgt. Rock."

Neil Armstrong,82, American astronaut who took "one giant leap for mankind" when he became the first person to walk on the moon.

Carlo Rambaldi, 86, visual effects pioneer who designed "E.T.," the beloved movie alien and the terrorizing creature in "Alien," both earning him Academy Awards.

David Rakoff, 47, writer and award-winning humorist known for his contributions to "This American Life" and short stories, from complications due to cancer.

Mel Stuart, 83, director of the movie "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

Marvin Hamlisch, 68, stage and film composer who worked on "A Chorus Line," "The Sting," "The Way We Were" and "Sophie's Choice," and won three Oscars, four Emmys, a Tony and the Pulitizer Prize.

Judith Crist,90, self-described "movie nut" was the first woman to become a full-time film critic for a major newspaper.

Tony Scott, 68, British film director of films including "Top Gun" and "Crimson Tide," of an apparent suicide.

Leslie C. Morris, 69, longtime Plant City educator and advocate for special needs students.

Barbara Callahan, 62, local veteran journalist who worked at News Channel 8 and WTOG, Channel 44.

Glen Cross, 72, developer who helped develop FishHawk Ranch and Town 'N Country.

Ron Palillo, 63, actor best known for his role as Arnold Horshack on the sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter."

Jerry Nelson, 78, puppeteer who was the voice of Count von Count on "Sesame Street" and dozens of other characters on "Fraggle Rock" and "The Muppet Show."


Christopher Stevens, 52, U.S. Ambassador to Libya, was among four Americans killed in an attack by Muslim protesters on the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi, Libya.

Andy Williams, 84, performer and star of his own Emmy-winning television show, the silky-voiced crooner recorded the Oscar-winning song "Moon River" from the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

Johnny Lewis, 28, actor best known for his role in "Sons of Anarchy," found dead in a driveway.

Michael Clarke Duncan, 54, actor and Oscar nominee for his portrayal of a hulking but gentle death row inmate in the 1999 drama "The Green Mile," after suffering a heart attack.

Sun Myung Moon, 92, founder of the Unification Church and The Washington Times.

Art Modell, 87, former National Football League team owner who moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore.

Rev. Felix Sanchez, 73, priest of Tampa's St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

Perry Harvey Jr., 81, community activist and first African-American elected to the Tampa City Council.

Ron Whaley, 71, longtime owner of Tampa's Whaley's Market.

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, 86, former New York Times publisher and First Amendment icon who oversaw the newspaper during its controversial publishing in 1971 of the classified Pentagon Papers, documenting U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

Steve Sabol,69, filmmaker and creative force of NFL Films, of brain cancer.

Dorothy McGuire, 84, part of the singing sister trio known as "The McQuire Sisters" who recorded dozens of hit records in the '60s and '70s, including "Sincerely" and "Something's Gotta Give"

Hal David, 91, Oscar-winning lyrcist whose hits with writing partner Burt Bacharach include "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on my Head" and "Walk On By."


Sam Gibbons, 92, who served in the Florida House of Representatives, Florida State Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. The decorated World War II hero championed health care, free trade and the University of South Florida.

Alex Karras,77, former Detroit Lions lineman turned actor known for TV's "Webster" and playing Mongo in "Blazing Saddles."

George McGovern, 90, former U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative from South Dakota and 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee, losing to incumbent Richard Nixon.

Russell Means, 72, American Indian rights activist and actor.

Lou Russo Sr., 84, Tampa's former finance director, he helped finance some of the city's most notable projects, including the Straz Center, the Florida Aquarium and the Tampa Convention Center.

George Gage, 87, helped transform Tampa's sleepy downtown core in the 1970s into a thriving commercial center when he decided to keep the GTE offices downtown.

William Curtis Larmon, 83, former owner of Larmons Furniture in Ybor City.

Mike Graham, 61, former professional wrestling star for Championship Wrestling from Florida during the 1970s and '80s.

Arlen Specter, 82, former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania and was assistant counsel to the Warren Commission, which developed the single-bullet theory in the Kennedy assassination.

Gary Collins, 74, longtime TV host and popular host of the "Miss America" pageant.


Hal Brewer, 85, Plant City physician and philanthropist

Heather Hall, 28, Brandon High School cheerleading coach and math teacher, died of cancer.

Herbert Carter, 95, flew 77 missions as a member of the original Tuskegee Airmen.

Zig Ziglar, 86, motivational guru and author known for his seminars and books on positive attitude, motivation and success.

Larry Hagman, 81, actor who won international fame for portraying the villainous J.R. Ewing in the popular television series "Dallas."

Robert Samuels, 74, cancer activist and founder of the National Prostate Cancer Coalition and the Florida Prostate Cancer Network.

Michael Valentin, 38, security guard and father killed on duty while patrolling the Grande Oak Apartments.

Warren Rudman, 82, former U.S. Senator who in 2001, before the 9/11 attacks, co-authored a report on national security that said a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil was likely to happen within 25 years.

Elliott Carter, 103, avant-garde American composer twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

Bryce Courtenay, 79, best-selling Australian author known for his first novel, "The Power of One."

Deborah Raffin, 59, actress and audio book publisher who starred in "Once is Not Enough," from leukemia.

Hector "Macho Man" Camacho, 50, former Puerto Rican welterweight boxing champion, gunshot wound.

Art Ginsburg, 81, TV chef known to millions as Mr. Food.

David Oliver Relin, 49, journalist and co-author of the controversial best-selling book "Three Cups of Tea," of an apparent suicide.

Joseph E. Murray, 93, Nobel Prize winner for medicine, he performed the first successful human kidney transplant.


Sammy Arena, 81, legendary Tampa performer and half of the popular singing brothers known as the "Arena Twins."

Joe Roman, 84,known as "The Singing Waiter" at Ybor City's Columbia Restaurant.

N. Joseph Woodland, 91, inventor and co-creator of the bar code.

Charlie Robins, 79, longtime journalist best known for columns in The Tampa Times.

Jenni Rivera, 43, popular Spanish TV personality and top-selling regional Mexican singer, died in a plane crash.

Ravi Shankar,92, famed sitarist who introduced Indian music to the West and influenced the Beatles.

Robert Bork, 85, conservative legal scholar and former federal judge, who lost a contentious fight to become a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Dave Brubeck, 91, pioneering jazz composer and pianist known for "Take Five."

Daniel Inouye, 88, U.S. Senator from Hawaii and decorated hero of World War II.

Bill McBride, 67, former Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate who built Holland and Knight into one of the largest law firms in the country.

Charles Durning, 89, the two-time Oscar nominee dubbed "the king of character actors" for his memorable roles, including the corrupt governor in 1982's "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."

Jack Klugman, 90, best known for playing sloppy sportswriter Oscar Madison on the TV series "The Odd Couple," he also starred as a crime-solving medical examiner in "Quincy, M.E."

Besse Cooper, 116, American supercentenarian and world's oldest person.

Gerry Anderson,83, creator of popular TV shows with puppets, including "Thunderbirds," a sci-fi fantasy.

Houston McCoy, 72,police officer who in 1966 killed Charles Whitman, the University of Texas tower sniper.

H. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., 78, U.S. Army general, who as head of U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, drove Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in 1991.

Fontella Bass, 72, soul singer who topped the charts in 1965 with "Rescue Me."

Harry Carey Jr., 91, character actor whose 50-year film career included "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon," "Wagon Master" and "Gremlins."

Tampa Bay area military who died in 2012 in Afghanistan

U.S. Army Spc. Clarence Williams III, 23, of Brooksville

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ricardo Seija, 31, of Tampa

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Sitton, 26, of Largo

U.S. Army Spc. Brittany Gordon, 24, of St. Petersburg

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