Features

2012 Departures

"2012 Departures" Continued...

Issue: "2012 News of the Year," Dec. 29, 2012

Ben Gazzara

83, Feb. 3 | Brooding tough-guy type in many films (Anatomy of a Murder), television dramas (Run for Your Life), and stage productions (he was Brick in the original Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway).

Eugene Genovese

82, Sept. 26 | Prize-winning historian (Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made) whose journey from Communism to Catholicism and social conservatism led him to cast the South in a new, more positive light.

Robin Gibb

62, May 20 | One of the three brothers who formed the Bee Gees and rocketed to fame in the 1970s with a string of hits (“Stayin’ Alive”) and the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever, which defined the disco era.

Peter Gillquist

73, July 1 | Former Campus Crusade for Christ leader who in 1979 cofounded the Evangelical Orthodox Church, but with a desire to observe apostolic succession in 1987 led 17 EOC churches and some 2,000 members into the Antiochian Orthodox branch of Eastern Orthodoxy, which he served as a North American archpriest. He also was an author (Love Is Now) and former senior editor at the Thomas Nelson publishing firm.

Dorothy Gilman

88, Feb. 2 | Author of popular espionage novels whose main heroine, grandmotherly widow Mrs. Polifax, joined the CIA and became a globe-trotting secret agent during the Cold War.

Peter Goodwin

83, March 11 | A family doctor and medical school professor, considered the father of Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act who, with a fatal brain disease, ended his life under terms of the law.

Don Grady

68, June 27 | Former Mouseketeer, My Three Sons star as Robbie, the elder son of Fred MacMurray’s widower character, and a composer and songwriter who created the theme song for Phil Donahue’s talk show.

Nellie Gray

86, Aug. 13 | Long-time federal employee who left her job to launch the annual March for Life in 1974, following the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that had forced states to legalize abortion in 1973. She took part in every march, which attracts thousands of pro-life advocates to Washington every January.

Andy Griffith

griffith.jpg86, July 3 | America’s favorite sheriff (as widower Andy Taylor in fictional Mayberry, N.C.) on The Andy Griffith Show, a series about family values that became one of the most popular and durable shows in television history. He found later success in playing folksy Atlanta lawyer Ben Matlock—his favorite role. His wife Cindi said Andy “was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called home to his Lord.”

Larry Hagman

81, Nov. 23 | Actor who achieved worldwide fame portraying TV’s most reprehensible scoundrel, J.R. Ewing, in the long-running nighttime CBS soap Dallas.

William Hamilton

87, Feb. 28 | Theologian at Colgate-Rochester who was catapulted to notoriety when Time magazine featured his ideas in a 1966 story with just three words on the cover: “Is God Dead?” 

Marvin Hamlisch

68, Aug. 6 | Former child prodigy who became one of the most award-winningest American stage and film composers, famous for scores such as “The Way We Were,” “The Sting,” and “A Chorus Line,” and for his piano performances, pops orchestra conducting, and winsome joshing as an emcee at public gatherings.

Gerre Hancock

77, Jan. 21 | Internationally acclaimed concert organist who spent more than 30 years as organist and choir master at St. Thomas [Episcopal] Church in Manhattan, where the annual Handel’s Messiah he led each December repeatedly won critical reviews.

B. Sam Hart

80, Jan. 19 | Harlem-born Plymouth Brethren minister, church planter, evangelist, and Philadelphia-based founder of the Grand Old Gospel Hour broadcast.

Robert Hegyes

60, Jan. 26 | Actor who played Juan Epstein, the Brooklyn high-school “Sweathog” voted Most Likely to Take a Life, on the 1970s ABC sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter.

Sherman Hemsley

74, July 24 | Actor best known for his role as George Jefferson on the CBS series All in the Family and The Jeffersons, and as Deacon Ernest Frye on NBC’s Amen series.

Celeste Holm

95, July 15 | Versatile stage, screen, and television actress who starred in the original Broadway production of the musical Oklahoma, won an Academy Award for her role in the 1947 landmark film that explored anti-Semitism, Gentlemen’s Agreement, played beside Bette Davis in Best Picture winner All About Eve, and attracted an Emmy nomination for her role as first lady Florence Harding in the 1979 NBC miniseries Backstairs at the White House.

Whitney Houston

48, Feb. 11 | Pop music mega-star who started out in a famed gospel music family and became one of her generation’s most awesome R&B voices (her albums sold in the tens of millions), only to start falling apart from drug abuse and a troubled marriage. She died from accidental drowning in a Los Angeles hotel bathtub while on cocaine and a mixture of other drugs.

Read more "2012 Departures."

Listen to a report on notable deaths of 2012 on WORLD’s radio news magazine The World and Everything in It.

Photo credits: ARMSTRONG: NASA/Reuters/Landov; CLARK: Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images; GRIFFITH: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; KINKADE: Rick E. Martin/MCT/Landov; PATERNO: Ronald C. Modra /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images; SEAU: Matt A. Brown/Icon SMI/Corbis/AP; WELLS: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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