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Notable deaths of 2013

Andy Granatelli
The auto-racing legend and businessman designed and owned cutting-edge cars raced at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He became a household name with TV commercials for his STP fuel and oil additives. He was 90. (Associated Press)
John Cornforth
The Australian chemist overcame deafness to become one of the first scientists to demonstrate how biological molecules are synthesized, providing a blueprint for future researchers. He was 96.  (Associated Press)
Mikhail Kalashnikov
Kalashnikov created the AK-47, a cheap, simple, rugged assault rifle that became the weapon of choice for more than 50 standing armies as well as drug lords, street gangs, revolutionaries, terrorists, pirates and thugs the world over. He was 94. (Pat Sullivan / Associated Press)
Ray Price
Not satisfied to be merely a standard-bearer of honky tonk, Price began to experiment by tinkering with rhythm and later even adding lush strings. He reshaped country music with a vibrant new energy that continued long after the 1950s and ‘60s. He was 87. (Associated Press)
Harold Camping
The Oakland-based radio preacher predicted, several times, exact dates for the end of the world. His Rapture forecasts fizzled, providing fodder for comedians and TV talk show hosts but disappointing his small band of followers. He was 92. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
Peter O’Toole
Best known for starring in 1962’s epic “Lawrence of Arabia,” O’Toole had a stage and film career that spanned 50-plus years. He was nominated eight times for best actor Oscar and received an honorary Oscar in 2003. He was 81. (Associated Press)
Joan Fontaine
The coolly beautiful 1940s actress won an Academy Award for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Suspicion.” She also became almost as well-known for her lifelong feud with her famous older sister, Olivia de Havilland. Fontaine was 96. (RKO Radio)
Tom Laughlin
Laughlin drew a huge following for his four movies of the 1960s and ‘70s showcasing Billy Jack, a troubled Vietnam veteran who quietly promotes a message of peace when he’s not throwing bad guys through plate-glass windows. He was 82. (Warner Bros.)
Nelson Mandela
Jailed for 27 years by a white-minority government as a terrorist, he walked free as a septuagenarian to lead South Africa to its first multiracial democracy. He was 95. (Jurgen Schadeberg / Getty Images)
Paul Crouch
A pioneer of televangelism, Crouch founded the Trinity Broadcast Network, a broadcast empire that reached a global audience of millions. But his lavish lifestyle sparked controversy. He was 79.  (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Paul Walker
An actor who gained fame playing an undercover detective in the hugely successful “Fast & Furious” movie franchise, Walker was killed in a car accident in Santa Clarita. He was 40. (Will Oliver / European Pressphoto Agency)
Jazz Drummer Chico Hamilton Portrait Session
The L.A.-born drummer helped forge the California sound dubbed “cool jazz” in the 1950s and launched the careers of a wealth of jazz artists, both as bandleader and educator. His landmark mid-'50s quintet consisted of Jim Hall, Carson Smith, Buddy Collette and Fred Katz. Hamilton was 92.  (Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)
Wanda Coleman
A native of Watts who long was regarded as L.A.'s unofficial poet laureate, Coleman produced works that compelled attention to racism and hatred. During four decades as a force on the L.A. poetry scene, she wrote more than 20 books, including novels and collections of short stories and essays. She was 67. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Los Angeles Times)
Fred Kavli
A Norwegian immigrant who got rich from a business he founded in Van Nuys that makes electronic sensors used in aviation and other fields, Kavli gave millions of dollars to scientific institutions and researchers in addition to several nonprofits in the Moorpark area. He was 86. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Frederick Sanger
The British biochemist revolutionized DNA sequencing. He was the first person to win two Nobel Prizes in chemistry, and only the fourth ever to win two. He was 95. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Keystone / Getty Images)
Diane Disney Miller
Walt Disney’s elder daughter fought L.A. officials to ensure that architect Frank Gehry’s cutting-edge design for Disney Hall was realized. She also developed a strong relationship with the L.A. Philharmonic, becoming an honorary life director of the orchestra. She was 79. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Randi Lynn Beach / For the Times)
Doris Lessing
Best known for “The Golden Notebook,” a chronicle of the multiple and maddeningly contradictory roles women have, Lessing helped define early feminism. At 88, Lessing was the oldest-ever recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature. She was 94. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Shaun Curry / AFP / Getty Images)
Syd Field
His 1979 book “Screenplay” became a bestseller that today remains the bible of scriptwriters. He influenced several generations of writers including Judd Apatow, John Singleton and Alfonso Cuaron. He was 77. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Scott Windus)
Todd Christensen
The record-setting NFL player helped the Los Angeles Raiders win two Super Bowls and was among the tight ends at the cutting edge, those who did some blocking but were more adept as receivers. He is perhaps best remembered in the NFL as the mustachioed and eccentric son of a professor, who read his own poetry at a Super Bowl news conference. He was 57. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Associated Press )
Lou Reed
Anchor of the New York rock band the Velvet Underground, Reed influenced generations of artists and resonated around the world. As a songwriter and then as a solo artist, he became a pioneer of what came to be known as art rock and punk rock. He was 71. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)
Hal Needham
The legendary Hollywood stuntman became the director of frothy, adrenaline-pumped films including “Smokey and the Bandit” and “The Cannonball Run.” The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences cited Needham as “an innovator, mentor and master technician who elevated his craft to an art and made the impossible look easy.” He was 82. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Los Angeles Times)
Scott Carpenter
The former Navy pilot was the second American to orbit the Earth. One of seven original Project Mercury astronauts, he was briefly feared lost after orbiting Earth three times and plunging into the Atlantic far from his target. He was 88. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012  (NASA)
Vo Nguyen Giap
The unpretentious communist general masterminded the defeat of French and American forces and became known as one of the 20th century’s military geniuses. He was 102. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (AFP / Getty Images)
Chuck Smith
The founder of the Calvary Chapel movement brought an old-school Christian message to a generation of youths in the counterculture. The Calvary Chapel phenomenon, which now includes more than 1,000 churches nationwide and hundreds more overseas, began with the 25-member church Smith founded in 1965. Smith was 86. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012  (Los Angeles Times)
Tom Clancy
The author who rocketed to fame after writing the Cold War thriller “The Hunt for Red October” was also well known for “Patriot Games,” “Clear and Present Danger,” “The Sum of All Fears” and others. A master of the techno-thriller, Clancy wrote 17 bestsellers with 100 million copies in print. He was 66. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images)
Marcella Hazan
Revered in the food world and beloved by home cooks who found her recipes to be both doable and delicious, Hazan made it her life’s work to preserve and innovate the best regional cooking in Italy. Julia Child called her “my mentor in all things Italian.” She was 89. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Chicago Tribune / MCT)
A.C. Lyles
The producer of such westerns as “Young Fury” and “Waco” spent decades on the Paramount lot. A walking repository of Hollywood history, he was the last link on the lot to the studio’s golden era and to such stars as Gary Cooper, Bing Crosby, Barbara Stanwyck and Dorothy Lamour. He was 95. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012  (Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)
David H. Hubel
Hubel and his research partner, Torsten N. Wiesel, mapped the neural systems that allow us to see. The insights of the Nobel Prize-winning duo changed the standard treatment of newborns with eye disorders such as cataracts and strabismus. Hubel was 87. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Harvard Medical School )
Hiroshi Yamauchi
The gruff and uncompromising businessman autocratically transformed Nintendo from a purveyor of playing cards to a gaming gargantuan. During his 52 years of leadership at the company, Nintendo produced hits such as “Donkey Kong,” “Super Mario Brothers” and “Legend of Zelda.” Yamauchi was 85. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012  (Katsumi Kasahara / Associated Press)
Ken Norton Sr.
The former heavyweight boxing champion, left, beat Muhammad Ali once -- breaking his jaw -- and fought him to two other close decisions. Norton became a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992 by standing as the most complex opponent in Ali’s career. He was 70. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Associated Press)
Eiji Toyoda
Credited with developing the Toyota car company’s efficient, low-defect manufacturing processes, Toyoda, left, also helped spearhead Toyota’s aggressive push into the U.S. auto market. He was 100. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Paul Sakuma / Associated Press)
Ray Dolby
The sound pioneer’s noise-reducing and surround-sound technology made the inventor’s name -- Dolby -- world-famous. His Dolby Sound System was first used commercially in recording studios nearly 50 years ago and then adopted by the film industry. He was 80. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (James Butler )
Cal Worthington
A car salesman who touted deals with his “dog Spot,” Worthington built a cult following along with one of the most successful car dealerships west of the Mississippi. “Go see Cal” became a part of Southern Californians’ vocabulary. He was 92. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Associated Press)
David Frost
A TV talk show host famous on both sides of the Atlantic, Frost’s best known interview was his 1977 one-on-one with Richard Nixon. Under his questioning, Nixon, at times combative and at others almost teary, acknowledged Watergate’s toll. Frost was 74. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Associated Press)
Seamus Heaney
The winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize for literature, he was widely recognized as the greatest Irish poet since William Butler Yeats. In a career that spanned six decades, he published 13 poetry anthologies, two stage plays, essays, criticism, translations and many other works. He was 74. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Iguana Press / Getty Images)
Bruce Murray
The former director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, left, with the late astrophysicist Carl Sagan, was a forceful advocate for studying images of the surfaces of other planets. The procurement of pictures not only began to play a key role in all planetary exploration but helped keep the space exploration program alive when presidential administrations attempted to shut it down. He was 81. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012  (JPL / NASA)
Julie Harris
The veteran stage actress earned a record five Tony Awards. She starred in films such as “The Member of the Wedding,” a role she had created on Broadway, and “East of Eden,” above, with James Deen. She also appeared on TV’s “Knots Landing.” She was 87. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Los Angeles Times File Photo)
Marian McPartland
A pianist, composer and host of “Piano Jazz” on NPR, McPartland was one of the genre’s most visible female instrumentalists. Her highly personal style was rich with colorful harmonies and briskly swinging rhythms. She was 95. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Seth Wenig / Associated Press)
Elmore Leonard
His ear for dialogue and stable of oddball characters made him a bestselling author and one of Hollywood’s favorite storytellers. His work helped raise the genre of crime fiction to a literary level, winning a global audience and inspiring such popular films as “Get Shorty” and “Out of Sight.” He was 87. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Rob Kozloff / Associated Press)
Eydie Gorme
Often with husband Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme sang at clubs and on television, including on Steve Allen’s ‘Tonight’ show. She was 84. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Lennox McLendon / Associated Press)
Karen Black
With a distinctive appearance, Black built a film resume that included prostitutes, murderers, waitresses, transsexuals and thieves. She was 74. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Larry Bessel / Los Angeles Times)
Ruth Asawa
Artist Ruth Asawa, who spent time in a World War II internment camp, was known as San Francisco’s ‘fountain lady.’ She was 87. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Los Angeles Times file photo)
J.J. Cale
A self-taught guitarist from Oklahoma, Cale shunned the spotlight but gained fame by penning such hits as “After Midnight” and “Cocaine.” He was a laid-back pioneer of the down-home, bluesy style that came to be called the Tulsa Sound. He was 74. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)
Eileen Brennan
Best known for her Oscar-nominated turn as Capt. Doreen Lewis in the 1980 comedy “Private Benjamin,” the veteran actress also appeared in “The Last Picture Show” and “The Sting.” The actress was the epitome of the “gruff but lovable” type, playing roles that were tough-talking yet soft-hearted. She was 80. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012  (Associated Press)
Virginia Johnson
In 1957 the divorced mother of two teamed up with middle-aged gynecologist Williams Masters in a research collaboration that would permanently illuminate the taboo subject of sex. Their landmark books include “Human Sexual Response” and “Human Sexual Inadequacy.” She was 88. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Associated Press)
Dennis Farina
The Chicago police officer turned character actor cemented his second career playing gangsters, cops and other tough guys in film and TV. Farina is perhaps best known for his stint on the TV crime drama “Law & Order.” He was 69. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Paul Buck / EPA)
Helen Thomas
Known for her persistent and blunt questioning of 10 presidents, Thomas broke down a succession of barriers to women in the Washington press corps and became a White House fixture. She was 92. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012  (EPA)
Cory Monteith
Best known for his role as Finn Hudson, a kindhearted jock who had a love for singing in the TV series “Glee,” Monteith was a heartthrob for fans known as “Gleeks.” The actor accidentally overdosed on a mix of heroin and alcohol while in Canada, according to the coroner. He was 31. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)
Douglas Engelbart
Envisioning the power of interconnected computers to accelerate the pursuit of knowledge and solve the world’s increasingly complex problems, he co-created the first version of the computer mouse. His work inspired generations of scientists. He was 88. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (EPA)
James Gandolfini
Best known as the murderous, clinically depressed mob boss on HBO’s “The Sopranos,” Gandolfini won three Emmy Awards for the role, now considered one of the landmark characters of television drama. He was 51. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (HBO)
Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland
The blues singer’s hits include “Farther Up the Road” and “Turn On Your Love Light.” A musical influence to Van Morrison and Eric Clapton, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. He was 83. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Los Angeles Times)
Gary David Goldberg
Gary David Goldberg rapidly shot to success in TV, producing the hit sitcom “Family Ties” and other shows colored with his warm brand of New York humor. His film work includes “Dad” with Jack Lemmon and the 2005 romantic comedy “Must Love Dogs.” He was 68. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Michael Buckner / Getty Images)
Kenneth Wilson
Kenneth Wilson earned a Nobel Prize for breakthrough research that explained how factors like temperature and pressure lead to sudden transformations of matter, such as boiling water’s shift from liquid to vapor. He was 77. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012  (Associated Press)
Jerome Karle
Winner of the 1985 Nobel Prize in chemistry, the Brooklyn-born scientist’s molecule-mapping work decades ago is still important to the pharmaceutical industry. Karle, seen here with his wife and lab partner Isabelle, was 94. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Larry Morris / Getty Images)
Michael Hastings
The aggressive and iconoclastic journalist’s reporting exposed the vagaries of the war in Iraq and helped bring down the top U.S. general in Afghanistan. He was 33. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Getty Images)
Richard Ramirez
The serial killer known as the Night Stalker terrorized Los Angeles County with a string of gruesome nighttime killings that generated widespread fear in 1984 and 1985. He was convicted in 1989 of 13 murders and sentenced to death. He was 53. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Associated Press)
Esther Williams
The bathing beauty shot to stardom in the 1940s in the “aqua musical,” an odd sub-genre of films that became an enormous hit with the moviegoing mainstream. Her underwater extravaganzas made her one of the most popular actresses of the era. She was 91. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Associated Press)
David ‘Deacon’ Jones
The Hall of Fame football player was one of the Los Angeles Rams’ heralded Fearsome Foursome whose outspoken persona and relentless pursuit of quarterbacks helped turn defensive linemen into stars. He is credited with coining the term “sack” for how he knocked down quarterbacks. He was 74. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012  (Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times)
Jean Stapleton
An accomplished stage actress but best known for her role as Edith Bunker, the patient yet sometimes rebellious wife of Carroll O’Connor’s loud-mouthed, bigoted Archie Bunker on the television series “All in the Family,” Stapleton became a role model for women. She was 90. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012  (CBS )
Andrew Greeley
The self-described “loud-mouthed Irish priest” was a noted sociologist, prolific writer and vocal critic of the Roman Catholic Church. He was also a bestselling novelist whose works made readers blush and church superiors fume. He was 85. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012  (Chris Walker / Chicago Tribune)
Ed Shaughnessy
One of the most famous drummers in jazz during his nearly three decades with Doc Severinsen’s “Tonight Show” band, he also performed with such artists as Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix and Leonard Bernstein. He was 84. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)
Ray Manzarek
The keyboardist for the Doors was responsible for the piercing electric organ sound on “Light My Fire” and most of the L.A. group’s cornerstone songs. Influenced by John Coltrane, he added a jazz component to the band’s rock sound. Manzarek was 74. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)
Joyce Brothers
The popular TV psychologist publicly addressed what were then borderline taboo subjects, such as sexual fulfillment and infidelity. By the ‘70s, she was a fixture of TV, radio, film and print. She was 85. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012  (NBCU Photo Bank / Getty Images )
Ray Harryhausen
The stop-motion animation legend known for creating special effects for “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms,” “Jason and the Argonauts” and other science fiction film classics became a cult figure who inspired later generations of filmmakers including Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and James Cameron. He was 92. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Hulton Archive / Getty Images)
Deanna Durbin
The singing starlet with the bubbly personality and the jewel-tone voice was a teen sensation at Universal Studios. Her enormously popular movies were widely credited with saving the studio from bankruptcy during the Depression. She was 91. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Universal Pictures)
George Jones
The singer charted dozens of hits over a long career marked by struggles with alcohol and drugs, broken marriages and, finally, redemption. His ‘“He Stopped Loving Her Today” is regarded by many as the greatest country song ever recorded. He was 81. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Mark Humphrey / Associated Press)
Richie Havens
The veteran folk singer’s frenetic guitar strumming and impassioned vocals made him one of the defining voices and faces of Woodstock. His performance of “Freedom/Motherless Child” became a landmark anthem of the 1969 music festival and cultural phenomenon. He was 72. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Neilson Barnard / Getty Images)
Francois Jacob
The French biologist shared the 1965 Nobel prize for medicine with colleagues Jacques Monod and Andre Lwoff. They identified messenger RNA which carries the blueprint for a protein from cellular DNA to the ribosome. Their achievement ushered in the modern age of molecular biology. Jacob was 92. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Keystone / Getty Images)
Al Neuharth
The newspaper mogul was regarded as a latter-day Citizen Kane. In 1982, his $1-billion gamble called USA Today earned derision, but it endured to become the nation’s largest-circulation newspaper. He was 89. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Dave Eggen / Associated Press)
Pat Summerall
Known for his deep, resonant voice, Pat Summerall was half of one of the best known announcing teams in television sportscasting history as John Madden’s broadcasting partner for more than two decades of NFL games. He was 82. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)
Frank Bank
As Clarence “Lumpy” Rutherford, Banks served as the dim-witted foil to “Beaver” Cleaver and brother Wally on the classic TV comedy “Leave It to Beaver.” Bank found himself typecast, so he quit acting and became a successful financial broker. He was 71. Tony Dow, left, Bank and John Close in TV’s “Leave It to Beaver.” Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Getty Images)
Maria Tallchief
One of the first stars of U.S. ballet, Tallchief grew up on an Oklahoma Indian reservation and was married to choreographer George Balanchine. She brought global recognition to American dance when the ballet world was dominated by Russian stars. She was 88. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Associated Press)
Jonathan Winters
Considered one of the most influential comedians of the 20th century, Winters appeared in many films, including “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.” His talent for mimicry, sound effects and improvisation made him a comic original and creative godfather to later generations of comedians. He was 87. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (United Artists)
Robert Edwards
The British biologist, left, helped pioneer in vitro fertilization, eventually giving an infertile British couple their daughter, Louise Brown, and millions more children to parents worldwide. He was 87. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Keystone / Getty Images)
Margaret Thatcher
Regarded by many as the country’s most important peacetime leader of the 20th century, Thatcher transformed Britain with a conservative free-market revolution. The ‘Iron Lady’ was known as much for her formidable persona as her polarizing policies. She was 87. Full obituary
Photos: Margaret Thatcher | 1925 - 2013
Notable deaths of 2012 (Johnny Eggitt / AFP/Getty Images)
Annette Funicello
The most adored of Walt Disney’s original 24 Mouseketeers, Funicello later starred in a series of ‘60s beach movies and was a spokeswoman for treatment of multiple sclerosis. She was 70. [For the record: 10:10 a.m. PST, May 12: A previous version of this caption incorrectly listed Funicello’s age as 77]. Full obituary | Photos
Notable deaths of 2012 (Graham Barclay / Associated Press)
Roger Ebert
Ebert, Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic, gave independent films popular appeal, and his “thumbs-up, thumbs-down” ratings on TV were both coveted and scorned. The prolific critic continued to write reviews while battling cancer in recent years. He was 70.  (Chicago Tribune / MCT)
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Jhabvala was born in the West, but her writing captured the essence of Indian culture. During a long and prolific collaboration with Merchant Ivory Productions, she received Academy Awards for her screenplays of ‘A Room With a View’ and ‘Howards End.’ She was 85. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Fay Godwin / Harper & Row)
William H. Ginsburg
Ginsburg, Monica Lewinsky’s attorney, was a skilled medical malpractice attorney defending unpopular clients before representing the White House intern during the Clinton sex scandal. He was 70. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Rick Meyer / Los Angeles Times)
Jack Pardee
Pardee, an All-Pro linebacker with the L.A. Rams, finished his playing career with the Washington Redskins and then began a coaching odyssey. He held seven head-coaching positions in the pro and college ranks. He was 76. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Vic Stein)
Phil Ramone
Ramone, veteran record producer, was one of the most revered figures in the music business, working closely with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand and Billy Joel among others, shaping their sounds and crafting hits. He won 14 Grammy Awards. He was 79.
Full obituary | An appreciation: Phil Ramone’s golden ear for the hits | Photos
Notable deaths of 2012 (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Fay Kanin
Kanin, who shared a best original screenplay Oscar nomination for 1958’s “Teacher’s Pet,” was the second female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She was 95. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (LACMA)
Richard Griffiths
Griffiths played Harry Potter’s wizard-fearing Uncle Vernon in the films. He won a Tony for his portrayal of an eccentric prep school teacher in the 2006 production of “The History Boys.” He was 65.
Full obituary | Photos
Notable deaths of 2012 (Murray Close / Warner Bros. )
Joe Weider
Weider popularized bodybuilding worldwide, creating a multimillion-dollar empire of magazines such as Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Fitness and Shape, and discovered Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was 93. Full obituary | Photos: Joe Weider | 1919 - 2013
Notable deaths of 2012 (Harry Chase / Los Angeles Times)
Chinua Achebe
Achebe’s 1958 debut novel, “Things Fall Apart,” presented European colonization from an African viewpoint and established him as the patriarch of modern African literature. He was 82.
Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Jerry Bauer / Penguin Press)
Rise Stevens
Rise Stevens was an American mezzo soprano celebrated for her earthy interpretation of “Carmen,” whose career also encompassed television and movie appearances alongside matinee idols Bing Crosby and Nelson Eddy. She was 99. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Raul Fornezza / Associated Press)
Harry Reems
Reems starred with Linda Lovelace in the 1972 pornographic film “Deep Throat” and became a cause celebre in Hollywood after he was convicted on federal obscenity charges related to the movie. He was 65. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Ron Frehm / Associated Press)
Alvin Lee
At the Woodstock music festival in 1969, the British blues-rock band Ten Years After burst onto the U.S. music scene with a searing rendition of “I’m Going Home” featuring the fleet-fingered Alvin Lee on guitar. Lee was 68.
Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012  (Columbia)
Hugo Chavez
The Venezuelan president launched a socialist revolution in his country and galvanized anti-American sentiment in the region. He was 58.
Full obituary | Photos
Notable deaths of 2012 (Jorge Santo / Associated Press)
Bonnie Franklin
Franklin was an accomplished stage performer before being tapped in the mid-1970s to portray Ann Romano, a divorced working mother with two teen daughters, in Norman Lear’s groundbreaking sitcom “One Day at a Time.” She was 69.
Full obituary | Photos
Notable deaths of 2012 (Scott Rathburn)
Van Cliburn
Cliburn, a young Texan, won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958 and was given a hero’s welcome back in the United States. He went on to a long and acclaimed career. He was 78.
Full obituary | Photos
Notable deaths of 2012 (Sergey Ponomarev / Associated Press)
Roy Brown
In the early ‘50s, Brown was picked to design the Ford Edsel, a medium-priced car named for the company founder’s only son. Brown was 96.
Full obituary | Ford Edsel photos
Notable deaths of 2012 (Ralph Fountain / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dr. C. Everett Koop
Using his post of surgeon general as a bully pulpit, Koop had a significant effect on attitudes toward smoking and AIDs, infuriating the conservatives who supported his nomination. He was 96.
Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Joe Marquette / Associated Press)
Robert C. Richardson
Richardson shared a Nobel Prize for a key discovery in experimental physics. He was 75. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Cornell University)
George Aratani
The entrepreneur founded the Mikasa china company and the Kenwood electronics firm. During World War II, he and his future wife were interned along with many relatives in U.S. camps. He was 95. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)
Mindy McCready
The country singer was found dead on her front porch, the victim of a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to officials in Arkansas. She was 37. Full obituary | Photos
Notable deaths of 2012 (Mark Humphrey / Associated Press)
Pat Derby
Derby -- seen here with her then-husband, Ted and their pet jaguar, Clyde -- was a former Hollywood animal trainer and rescuer of exotic and performing animals. She and her partner, Ed Stewart, operated a 2,300-acre sanctuary near Sacramento. She was 70. Full obituary | Photos
Notable deaths of 2012 (Los Angeles Times)
Jerry Buss
The self-made millionaire bought the Lakers in 1979 and brought a sense of showmanship that transformed pro basketball from sport to spectacle. With marquee players such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant, his teams won 10 championships. He was 80. Full obituary | Photos
Notable deaths of 2012 (Courtesy Buss family)
Richard Collins
A screenwriter during the McCarthy era who was blacklisted for several years before he cooperated with the Communist-hunting House Un-American Activities Committee, Collins went on to a three-decade career in television as a writer and producer of shows such as “Bonanza” and “Matlock.” He was 98. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Family Photo)
James DePreist
Artistic advisor to the Pasadena Symphony and Pops and one of the few African American conductors to lead major orchestras in the United States and abroad, DePreist overcame polio in his 20s to pursue a conducting career that took him to stages from Sweden to Japan over four decades. He was 76. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Stuart Freeborn
A legend in moviemaking for his makeup work in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” Freeborn went on to create looks for “Star Wars” characters Yoda, Chewbacca, the Ewoks and Jabba the Hutt. His pioneering career spanned seven decades. He was 98. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Lucasfilm / Los Angeles Times Archives)
Essie Mae Washington-Williams
In 2003 the retired L.A. schoolteacher unburdened herself of a secret: She, a black woman, was the daughter of Sen. Strom Thurmond, the legendary South Carolina politician who had built a career as a champion of segregation. She was 87. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)
Andre Cassagnes
More than a half-century ago, the French electrician created the mechanical drawing toy that would eventually be marketed as “the world’s first laptop.” It became wildly popular soon after an Ohio company introduced it under a new name: Etch A Sketch. Cassagnes was 86. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Associated Press)
Edward Koch
The former New York mayor’s enthusiasm for his hometown and his fiscal conservatism were credited with lifting the city after its near-bankruptcy in the 1970s. A perennial civic combatant, he rallied and riled the city in and out of office with his tenacious style and irrepressible opinions. He was 88. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Associated Press)
Balthazar Korab
The architect-turned-photographer produced moody, polished images that captured the spirit of mid-century modern architecture and celebrated its masters. Like Julius Shulman and Ezra Stoller, he became one of architecture’s most eminent photographers. He was 86. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Christian M. Korab)
Patty Andrews
One of the most successful female recording groups in pop history, the Andrews Sisters -- Maxene, Patty, center, and LaVerne -- became a beloved American institution. Known for such hits as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Rum and Coca Cola,” the group lifted the nation’s spirits during World War II. Patty was 94. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Associated Press)
Stan Musial
Known as ‘Stan the Man,’ the Cardinals’ Hall of Fame hitter won seven National League batting titles and three most valuable player awards. A career .331 hitter, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969, becoming only the fourth player chosen in his first year of eligibility. He was 92. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Associated Press)
Earl Weaver
The winningest manager of the Baltimore Orioles, left, led the team to the 1970 World Series title and four American League pennants. His teams won 1,480 games and lost 1,060, and his winning percentage (.583) ranks ninth all-time and fifth among managers in the modern era who managed 10 years or more. He was 82. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Associated Press)
Gussy Moran
The tennis player gained both international fame and notoriety by wearing a short skirt and lace panties in the 1949 Wimbledon tennis tournament. She left the amateur circuit to turn pro in 1951 and lived a life of celebrity for many years. She was 89. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Associated Press)
Pauline Friedman Phillips
Writing as Abigail Van Buren, Phillips was the original “Dear Abby” whose no-nonsense advice was dispensed to newspaper readers around the world for over 40 years. Her identical twin also wrote an advice column, as Ann Landers. Phillips was 94. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Robert L. Citron
The Orange County treasurer’s bad bets on exotic Wall Street investments resulted in what at the time was the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The county was forced to postpone repayments on bonds it had sold, but eventually repaid its creditors in full. He was 87. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Kevin P. Casey / Los Angeles Times)
Aaron Swartz
The cofounder of Reddit became an Internet folk hero for fighting to make online content free to the public. He was accused of stealing nearly 5 million articles from an MIT archive and was about to go on trial. He was 26. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Evan S. Connell
The iconoclastic novelist and historian won the admiration of critics and a cult-like following of discerning readers with books on subjects as eclectic as Midwestern provincialism, the Crusades and Custer’s last stand. Among his best known works were the novels “Mrs. Bridge” (1959) and “Mr. Bridge” (1969). He won a number of honors for lifetime achievement, including a Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2010. He was 88. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Susan Gilbert)
Jeanne Manford

The elementary school teacher who walked alongside her son in a New York City gay pride parade in 1972 became the cofounder of the support group Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, or PFLAG. President Obama praised Manford in a 2009 speech to the Human Rights Campaign. Her work, he said, was the “story of America.” She was 92. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012

 (PFLAG National)
Ada Louise Huxtable
The renowned New York Times architecture critic became a powerful force in shaping New York City and was more well known than many of the architects she covered, and certainly more feared. She won the first Pulitzer Prize awarded for criticism in 1970. She was 91. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Dorothy Alexander)
Huell Howser
Known for his gee-whiz enthusiasm in interviews, Howser highlighted the familiar and the obscure all around California. His public TV series included “California’s Gold,” “Visiting,” “'Road Trip” and “Downtown.” His aggressively genial approach with people was his trademark. He was 67. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (KCET)
Patti Page
The Oklahoma-born pop singer’s gossamer voice on “The Tennessee Waltz,” "(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window” and other hits offered a soothing counterpart to the revolutionary new sound of rock ‘n’ roll. Page helped bring country music to a broader audience in the late 1940s and early 1950s. She was 85. Full obituary
Notable deaths of 2012 (Associated Press)
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