Major Causes of Death: Accidental | Cancer | Drug | Heart Attack | Heart Failure | Lung | Natural Causes | Suicide

2011

Norman Alden, character actor, dies 87

Norman Alden (September 13, 1924 – July 27, 2012) was an American character actor who has performed in television programs and motion pictures since first appearing on The 20th Century Fox Hour in 1957. He provided the voice of Kay in The Sword in the Stone film in 1963 and received Oscar buzz for his role in I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. His acting career began in 1957 and lasted nearly 50 years; he finally retired in 2006 at the age of 82.

He portrayed Coach Leroy Fedder in the 1970s television series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Johnny Ringo in the 1955 western and The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. He also voiced the ringmaster, Hank, on the animated television series, Devlin. He also played the lead in the film Andy.

Other roles that he has portrayed include Major Truman Landon in Tora! Tora! Tora!. He provided the voice of Kranix in the 1986 film Transformers: The Movie. He was in one episode of Dallas as Senator William Orloff. In Season 1 of The Dukes of Hazzard he played the part of Sheriff Lacey of Springville in the episode "Deputy Dukes"; he returned to the role in the second season episode "The Ghost of General Lee". He appeared as Lou Caruthers, the owner of the coffee shop in Back to the Future and the color-blind cameraman Bill in Ed Wood. He could also be seen in the episode of Murder She Wrote "'Keep The Homefries Burning" in 1986. In the 1970 roller derby movie Kansas City Bomber starring Raquel Welch, Kevin McCarthy and Helena Kallianiotes he plays the part of Horrible Hank Hopkins who has an unrequited love interest in K.C. Carr, played by Raquel Welch.

Norman Alden cause of death
Norman Alden died from natural causes in his Los Angeles, California home. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Sharon Hayden.
Norman Alden was 87 years old at the time of his death.

Earl Scruggs, Bluegrass banjo legend, dies 88

*Earl Scruggs created that classic banjo picking style

Earl Eugene Scruggs (January 6, 1924 – March 28, 2012) was an American musician noted for perfecting and popularizing a three-finger banjo-picking style (now called Scruggs style) that is a defining characteristic of bluegrass music. Although other musicians had played in three-finger style before him, Scruggs shot to prominence when he was hired by Bill Monroe to fill the banjo slot in his group, the Blue Grass Boys.

On September 24, 1962, Scruggs recorded "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" for the TV show The Beverly Hillbillies, which became an immediate country music hit. 

Earl Scruggs Cause of Death
Scruggs died from natural causes on March 28, 2012, in a Nashville hospital

Earl Scruggs Breakdown

The Ballad Of Jed Clampett (1962) - Earl Scruggs on banjo

Whitney Houston Dies 48

Breaking news.  Detail may not be accurate.
It may take time (days - weeks) to determine cause of death

Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 — February 11, 2012) was an American singer, actress, producer and a former model. Often referred to as the "Queen of Pop" or simply "the Voice". Houston is the most awarded female act of all time, according to Guinness World Records, and her list of awards include 2 Emmy Awards, 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards as of 2010. Houston is also one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums and singles worldwide.

Whitney Houston cause of death
Whitney Houston was 48 years old at the time of her death.

On March 22, 2012, the Los Angeles County coroner's office reported the cause of Houston's death was drowning and the "effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use" In addition, the office stated the amount of cocaine found in Houston's body indicates she used the substance shortly before her death. Toxicology results also revealed additional drugs in her system: Benadryl, Xanax, marijuana and Flexiril. The manner of death was listed as an "accident".

How the body was found
At Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles, a female hairdresser went to check on Houston and found her lying in the bathtub. Houston's face was underwater.  Beverly Hills paramedics performed CPR for about 20 minutes before declaring her dead at 3:55pm. Authorities speculate that a combination of Xanax and alcohol could have fatally sedated Houston and she may have fallen asleep or lapsed into unconsciousness in the bathtub. But it is too early to tell the actual cause of death.  Police stated that there was no obvious sign of criminal intent, foul play, nor drugs.

National Anthem - Super Bowl XXV - Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You Official Music Video

Ian Abercrombie, Mr. Pitt on 'Seinfeld,' Dies 77

Ian Abercrombie (September 11, 1934 - January 26, 2012) was an English actor, best known for playing Alfred Pennyworth in Birds of Prey. He appeared as Elaine Benes' fastidious boss, Justin Pitt during the sixth season of Seinfeld, and later as an even more fastidious butler on Desperate Housewives.

Ian Abercrombie Cause of Death
Ian Abercrombie died in Hollywood on 26 January 2012, from undisclosed causes. Ian Abercrombie was 77 years old at the time of his death.

Mr. Pitt

Robert Dickey, a guitarist and singer, “I’m Your Puppet,” died 72

Robert Dickey (Bobby Purify) died December 29, 2011

James & Bobby Purify were an R&B singing duo, whose biggest hits were "I'm Your Puppet" in 1966, which reached #6 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and in a re-recorded version #12 in the UK Singles Chart (in April 1966), and "Let Love Come Between Us" in 1967, which reached #23 in the U.S.

Robert Dickey cause of death
Robert Dickey's Cause of death was not released.
Robert Dickey was 72 uears old at the time of his death.

I'm Your Puppet - James & Bobby Purify

Kaye Stevens, Rat Pack singer and USO performer, dies 79

Catherine Louise "Kaye" Stevens (July 21, 1932 – December 28, 2011) was an American singer and actress.

Stevens's big break in show business came at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, when the headliner for the night, Debbie Reynolds, became ill and Stevens filled in for the night. She then went on to do small shows at the Plaza Hotel's Persian Room, New York's Waldorf Astoria, and Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip near Las Vegas, Nevada. One of these shows includes the Frank Sinatra Spectacular TV Show. She went on to appear on such television game shows as Match Game, Hollywood Squares, Celebrity Sweepstakes, The Price is Right, and Password.

Stevens went on a USO tour with Bob Hope in 1965. She traveled to Vietnam with Hope and a group of fellow entertainers in the hopes of boosting the morale of thousands of American soldiers. She was quoted as saying “I came back in 1965 and my life was in shambles because of what I saw.”

Kaye Stevens cause of death
Kaye Stevens lived in retirement in Summerfield, Florida. She died of breast cancer and blood clots. She left no immediate survivors.
Kaye Stevens was 79 years old at the time of her death

Sammy Davis Jr. hosts Hollywood Palace 2-11-67 with Liberace
Kaye Stevens is the third act.  Kaye Stevens comes after Sammy Davis Jr. and roller skate stunt.

Sam Rivers, pioneering jazz saxophonist, composer, dies 88

Samuel Carthorne Rivers (September 25, 1923 – December 26, 2011), was an American jazz musician and composer. He performed on soprano and tenor saxophones, bass clarinet, flute, harmonica and piano.

Rivers was born in Enid, Oklahoma. Active in jazz since the early 1950s, he earned wider attention during the mid-1960s spread of free jazz. With a thorough command of music theory, orchestration and composition, Rivers was an influential and prominent artist in jazz music.

Sam Rivers cause of death
Sam Rivers died from pneumonia in Orlando, Florida
Sam Rivers was 88 years old at the time of his death.

Sam Rivers Trio 1979 - Sam Rivers on Sax

Cheetah the chimp from 1930s Tarzan movies dies 80

Updated December 29, 2011There is a controversy.  Many people are skeptical.  Experts say Chimpanzees live to early 70's max.  Living 80 years is unheard of.  So, the chimp cannot be authenticated.  And there are people who vouch for Cheetah's identity.

Cheeta (c1931 - December 24, 2011) (sometimes billed as Cheetah, Cheta and Chita) was a chimpanzee character appearing in numerous Hollywood Tarzan movies of the 1930s–1960s as well as the 1966–1968 television series, as the ape sidekick of the title character, Tarzan. Cheeta's role in these films is to provide comic relief, convey messages between Tarzan and his allies, and occasionally lead Tarzan's other animal friends to the ape-man's rescue. Cheeta Chap has usually been characterized as male, but sometimes as female, and has been portrayed by chimpanzees of both sexes.

Cheeta Cause of Death
Cheeta died in Palm Harbor, Florida, of kidney failure.
Cheeta was 80 years old at the time of his death.

Cheetah The Chimp, Drunk

Ralph MacDonald, Grammy-winner, wrote ‘Just the Two of Us’, dies 67


Ralph MacDonald (March 15, 1944 Harlem, New York - December 18, 2011 Stamford, Connecticut) was an American percussionist and song-writer. He joined Harry Belafonte's band at age 17. He wrote the Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway song "Where is the Love" with songwriting partner William Salter. Probably his best-known composition is the Grover Washington, Jr. - Bill Withers hit "Just the Two of Us", which has since been covered by many artists, including Will Smith.

His recording credits number in the hundreds and include George Benson, David Bowie, Aretha Franklin, Art Garfunkel, Billy Joel, Quincy Jones, Carole King, Miriam Makeba, David Sanborn, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Luther Vandross, Amy Winehouse, and Jimmy Buffett, whose Coral Reefer Band has featured MacDonald as member since the late 1990s.

Ralph MacDonald cause of death
Ralph MacDonald died after a long illness.
Ralph MacDonald was 67 years old at the time of his death.

Grover Washington Jr. Featuring Bill Withers - Just the Two of Us

Roberta Flack / Donny Hathaway - Where Is The Love (1972)

Kim Jong Il, North Korea's ruler, dies 69

Kim Jong-il (February 16, 1942 - December 17, 2011), was the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea).

Kim's death was reported by North Korean state television on 19 December 2011. The tearful presenter announced that he had died two days earlier of "physical and mental over-work" whilst travelling via train to an area outside Pyongyang.

*Comment disabled for political figure.

Billie Joe Spears, Country Singer, dies 74

Billie Jo Spears (January 14, 1937 – December 14, 2011) was an American country music singer. She reached the top-10 of the Country music charts five times between 1969 and 1977, her biggest hit being "Blanket on the Ground", which, in 1975, became her only number one. She was known for her bluesy voice.

Billie Jo Spears cause of death
Billie Jo Spears died of cancer on December 14, 2011
Billie Jo Spears was 74 years old at the time of her death.

Billie Jo Spears - Blanket On The Ground

Harry Morgan, Colonel Potter on ‘M*A*S*H,’ Dies 96

Harry Morgan (April 10, 1915 – December 7, 2011) was an American actor known for his roles as Colonel Sherman T. Potter in M*A*S*H (1975–1983), Pete Porter in both Pete and Gladys (1960–1962) and December Bride (1954–1959), Detective Bill Gannon on Dragnet (1967–1970), and Amos Coogan on Hec Ramsey (1972–1974). He appeared in more than 100 films.

Harry Morgan Cause of Death
Harry Morgan died after treated for Pneumonia.
Harry Morgan was 96 years old at the time of his death.

Soul singer Dobie Gray, 'Drift Away', dies 71

Dobie Gray (July 26, 1940 – December 6, 2011) was an African American singer and songwriter, whose musical career spanned soul, country, pop and musical theater. His hit records included "The 'In' Crowd" in 1965, and "Drift Away", which was one of the biggest hits of 1973, sold over one million copies, and remains a staple of radio airplay.

Dobie Gray cause of death
Dobie Gray's cause of death is not yet released.
Dobie Gray was 71 years old at the time of his death.

Dobie Gray - Drift away:  He is the original singer, NOT Uncle Kracker

Blues legend Hubert Sumlin dies 80

Hubert Sumlin (November 16, 1931 – December 4, 2011) was an American Chicago blues and electric blues guitarist and singer. He was best known for his celebrated work, from 1955, as guitarist in Howlin' Wolf's band. His singular playing was characterized by "wrenched, shattering bursts of notes, sudden cliff-hanger silences and daring rhythmic suspensions". Sumlin was listed as number 43 in the Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

Hubert Sumlin cause of death
Hubert Sumlin died on December 4, 2011, in a hospital in Wayne, New Jersey, of heart failure
Hubert Sumlin was 80 years old at the time of his death.

Hubert Sumlin & David Johansen - Killing Floor (Hubert Sumlin on guitar)

Alan Sues, 'Laugh-In' regular, dies 85

Alan Grigsby Sues (March 7, 1926 – December 1, 2011) was an American comic actor widely known for his roles on the 1968–1973 television series Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. Sues' on-screen persona was campy, outrageous and contained verbal slapstick; typical of his humor was a skit that found him following a pair of whiskey-drinking cowboys to a Wild West bar and requesting a frozen daiquiri. Sues' recurring characters on the program included Big Al the Sportscaster and Uncle Al the Kiddie's Pal. He also parodied castmate JoAnne Worley when she left the show, appearing in drag.

He was the only known gay man on TV at that time.

Alan Sues cause of death
Alan Sues died of heart attack.
Alan Sues was 85 years old at the time of his death

Laugh-In - Uncle Al, the kiddies Pal

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