Notable U.S./world deaths in 2011
2011 saw the passing of many notable people across the entertainment, political, athletic, media and literary spheres.
Click here to see the most memorable deaths, from Elizabeth Taylor to Steve Jobs.
Photos were unavailable for sci-fi author Anne McCaffrey, Dorito creator Arch West and "Wheel of Fortune" wheel innovator Ed Flesh.
Theoni V. Aldredge, 88
Costume designer for Broadway and Off-Broadway productions ranging from "Annie" and "A Chorus Line" to "La Cage aux Folles," she won an Oscar for her work on the 1974 movie "The Great Gatsby." Her husband, veteran character actor Tom Aldredge ("The Little Foxes" opposite Elizabeth Taylor and "Into the Woods"), also died this year at age 83.
Milton Babbitt, 94
An important modern-music composer and teacher, he counted Stephen Sondheim among his students and was the recipient of a rare lifetime Pulitzer in 1982.
George Ballas, 85
Created the Weed Wacker landscaping tool, reportedly basing his invention on the whirling brushes he saw at a car wash.
Seve Ballesteros, 54
Ballesteros, who died of brain cancer in May, won five major golf championships and inspired a generation of fellow Spaniards, several of whom have become stars on tour.
John Barry, 77
Oyster Bay resident and enduring musical influence known for his atmospheric '60s scores, 12 "James Bond" films and five Oscars for "Born Free," "Dances With Wolves" and others.
Derrick Bell, 80
The civil rights advocate and legal scholar gave up his professorship at Harvard Law School to protest the school's hiring practices.
Newsday's obituary for Derrick Bell
Frank Buckles, 110
Last of the 2 million American doughboys who served in France in World War I, he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
Clarence Clemons, 69
He was "The Big Man" in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band -- his distinctive saxophone playing raising the emotion in The Boss' songs, while his physical presence onstage boosted the band's energy level.
Jeff Conaway, 60
Known as the slick-talking Kenickie in the movie "Grease," but also for his TV roles on "Happy Days" and "Taxi."
Newsday's obituary for Jeff Conaway
Jackie Cooper, 88
Star of the "Our Gang" shorts and the youngest actor to be Oscar-nominated for a leading role (9 in 1931's "Skippy"). As an adult, he appeared on TV's "The People's Choice" and was Perry White in the 1978 film "Superman."
Newsday's obituary for Jackie Cooper
Harry Coover Jr., 94
Accidentally invented Super Glue while conducting a military experiment during World War II.
Al Davis, 82
Davis, who started in coaching at Adelphi, made his name in California as the bête noire of the NFL, consistently doing his thing and fighting and/or suing for his right to do it. His resumé included a stint as commissioner of the pre-merger AFL. Davis' beloved Oakland / Los Angeles Raiders reflected his persona, renegades concerned only about fulfilling his official mission statement: "Just win, baby."
Read Al Davis' obituary
Ryan Dunn, 34
Wild man star of MTV's "Jackass."
Peter Falk, 83
Character actor who created one of the most beloved roles in TV history, the raincoat-clad Lt. Columbo.
Patrick Leigh Fermor, 96
The dean of modern travel writers; "A Time of Gifts," his account of walking across Europe during the 1930s, is a classic of the genre.
Newsday's obituary for Leigh Fermor
George Gallup Jr., 81
Expanded the political polling firm founded by his father to survey views on religion in America.
Betty Garrett, 91
Comic actress in such MGM musicals as "On the Town" and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," later a regular on TV's "All in the Family" and "Laverne & Shirley."
Dobie Gray, 71
His deep, soulful voice landed him hits like "The 'In' Crowd" in 1965 and "Drift Away" in 1973, followed by a string of songs he wrote for country artists including Ray Charles and George Jones.
Newsday's obituary for Dobie Gray
The Rev. Peter J. Gomes, 68
The Harvard University minister who made news by coming out as gay and writing "The Good Book," a bestseller that championed a liberal reading of the Bible.
Newsday's obituary for Peter Gomes
Heavy D., 44
Known as "The Overweight Lover," he brought a different approach to hip-hop with positive, lighthearted hits like "Now That We've Found Love" and on collaborations like "Jam" with Michael Jackson.
Elliot Handler, 95
A co-founder of Mattel, he helped introduce new toys such as Barbie dolls (named after his daughter) and Hot Wheels cars to generations of children. (Pictured left.)
Newsday's obituary for Elliot Handler
Tim Hetherington, 40
British-American photojournalist and co-director of the Oscar-nominated Afghanistan documentary "Restrepo," he was killed by mortar fire while reporting on Libya's civil war.
Christopher Hitchens, 62
The combative English-born writer was celebrated for his wit and prose style, even as his unpredictable political positions ruffled feathers. In a series of books, as well as columns for The Nation, Vanity Fair and Slate.com, he launched barbed attacks on organized religion, Mother Teresa, Henry Kissinger and Bill Clinton; he supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq and warned of the dangers of "Islamofascism."
Newsday's obituary for Christopher_Hitchens
Loleatta Holloway, 64
After her disco heyday with hits "Hit and Run" and "Love Sensation," Holloway enjoyed a club-happy revival through hits with Black Box and her first No. 1 single "Good Vibrations," with Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch.
Hideki Irabu, 42
An established star pitcher in Japan, Irabu signed with the Yankees amid great fanfare in 1997, early in the wave of Japanese imports to Major League Baseball. He would last three mediocre seasons in pinstripes, his stay recalled most vividly by owner George Steinbrenner calling him a "fat ---- toad" in '99. In later years, he endured assorted off-field troubles, including a DUI arrest in 2010. He was found dead of apparent suicide.
Newsday's obituary for Hideki Irabu.
Franklin Kameny, 86
Became a national gay rights leader and publicly fought discrimination after being fired from a U.S. government job for a 1957 arrest as a so-called "sexual pervert."
Newsday's obituary for Frank Kameny
Bil Keane, 89
Creator of the syndicated comic strip "Family Circus," whose simple artistic style and gentle humor were a hit with readers.
Newsday's obituary for Bil Keane
Kara Kennedy, 51
The oldest of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's three children, she was a filmmaker and helped her father run his 1988 re-election campaign.
Harmon Killebrew, 74
Nicknamed "Killer," he was one of the most prolific power hitters of the '60s during a Hall of Fame career spent primarily with the Twins. The AL MVP in 1969, he was the first man to hit a ball over the leftfield roof at Detroit's Tiger Stadium.
Newsday's obituary for Harmon Killebrew
Jack LaLanne, 96
Fitness guru, bodybuilder and a TV exercise fixture for decades.
Newsday's obituary for Jack LaLanne
Evelyn Lauder, 75
Cosmetics executive and breast cancer advocate, known for creating the pink ribbon that is now universally known as the symbol of the fight against the disease.
Newsday's obituary for Evelyn Lauder
Arthur Laurents, 93
Composer Richard Rodgers, at the piano, Stephen Sondheim, right, and playwright Arthur Laurents working on "Do I Hear a Waltz?" in New York. (Dec. 28, 1964)
A playwright-director, Laurents, who had a home in Quogue, wrote the books for the Broadway musicals "West Side Story" and "Gypsy." His 1972 novel, "The Way We Were," was adapted to the big screen.
Sidney Lumet, 86
Masterful but underappreciated director of trenchant, insightful films such as "12 Angry Men," "Serpico," "Dog Day Afternoon," "Network" and "The Verdict."
Newsday's obituary for Sidney Lumet
John Mackey, 69
Mackey, who grew up in Roosevelt, was an NFL Hall of Famer who redefined the tight end position with the Baltimore Colts. He was the first president of the players' union after the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, and later endured a long battle with dementia that led to the NFL's "88 Plan" (named after his uniform number), which provides care for stricken ex-players.
Manning Marable, 60
The Columbia University professor and scholar of African-American history, whose biography of Malcolm X was published just days after his death.
Kenneth Mars, 75
Character actor best remembered as Franz Liebkind, the crazed German playwright in Mel Brooks' 1968 comedy, "The Producers."
Newsday's obituary for Kenneth Mars
Harry Morgan, 96
Prolific character actor, best known for his roles as Officer Bill Gannon on "Dragnet" and Col. Sherman T. Potter on "M*A*S*H."
Newsday's obituary for Harry Morgan
David Nelson, 74
Elder son of one of TV's best-loved families, the Nelsons of "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet."
Newsday's obituary for David Nelson
Patrice O'Neal, 41
Comedy Central star and regular on the roast circuit.
Willie 'Pinetop' Perkins, 97
One of the last great Mississippi bluesmen, Perkins played piano with B.B. King and Muddy Waters in his own honky-tonk style.
Newsday's obituary for Pinetop Perkins
Pete Postlethwaite, 64
Gritty British character actor who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the 1993 film "In the Name of the Father."
Newsday's obituary for Pete Postlethwaite
Reynolds Price, 77
Southern-fiction writer and memoirist whose book "A Whole New Life" described life as a paraplegic after surgery for a spinal tumor.
Cliff Robertson, 88
Oscar winner for 1968's "Charly" whose career was derailed after he dared to report a powerful studio executive for check-forgery. Robertson died in Stony Brook.
Newsday's obituary for Cliff Robertson
Andy Robustelli, 85
A robust Hall of Fame defensive end for the Rams and Giants who rose from a 19th-round draft pick to a seven-time All-Pro and winner of the Maxwell Club's 1962 Bert Bell Award as NFL MVP. Robustelli returned to the Giants for five seasons in the mid-1970s as director of operations but was unable to lift the team out of its long malaise.
Newsday's obituary for Andy Robustelli
Jane Russell, 89
Sultry screen siren of the World War II era ("The Outlaw") and beyond ("Gentlemen Prefer Blondes") whose famous "haystack" publicity photo brightened the lockers of countless servicemen.
Newsday's obituary for Jane Russell
Maria Schneider, 58
Baby-faced but decidedly adult actress who played opposite Marlon Brando in 1972's X-rated "Last Tango in Paris."
Newsday's obituary for Maria Schneider
Gil Scott-Heron, 62
His influence, especially as a spoken-word artist, continues today in hip-hop, with his piece "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" inspiring the styles of many rappers.
R. Sargent Shriver, 95
The husband of the late Eunice Kennedy and brother-in-law of President John F. Kennedy, he was the founding director of the Peace Corps and the Democratic candidate for vice president in 1972.
Newsday's obituary for Sargent Shriver
The Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, 89
An influential civil rights leader and ally of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., he was a founding minister of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Newsday's obituary for the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth