Famous People Who Died In 2012

Discover the most famous people died who died in the year 2012. This list includes people like Whitney Houston, Michael Clarke Duncan, Neil Armstrong, Griselda Blanco, Henry Hill and many more. This list of celebrities is loosely sorted by popularity. People featured on this list, include political leaders, artists, composers and journalists who died in 2012. This list includes people from United States, United Kingdom, India & Germany and many more countries.
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 1 
Whitney Houston
(Best-Selling Female R&B Artist of the 20th Century)
Whitney Houston
110
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: August 9, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Died: February 11

Amongst the best-selling recording artists of all time and an inspiration to millions of budding artists, Whitney Houston achieved stardom with her eponymous debut album. The success of her later albums consolidated her position and earned her a spot in the Guinness World Records as the most awarded female artist of all time. She struggled with drug abuse and troubled marriage and died of drowning in her hotel's bathtub. 

 2 
Neil Armstrong
(The First Person to Walk on the Moon)
Neil Armstrong
121
Listed In: Engineers
Birthdate: August 5, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wapakoneta, Ohio, United States
Died: August 25

The first person to walk on the Moon, Neil Armstrong was an astronaut and aeronautical engineer. Prior to his trip to the Moon, he became NASA's first civilian astronaut to fly in space. After resigning from NASA, he taught in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He was a Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee.

Michael Clarke Duncan
34
Birthdate: December 10, 1957
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: September 3

Michael Clarke Duncan was one of the most popular actors best known for his portrayal of John Coffey in the fantasy drama film The Green Mile. Apart from acting in films and TV series, he was also featured in several video games, such as SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs, Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone, and The Suffering: Ties That Bind.

 4 
Andy Griffith
25
Birthdate: June 1, 1926
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mount Airy
Died: July 3
Known for his Southern accent and friendly demeanor, Andy Griffith initially wished to become a preacher. Fans loved him in The Andy Griffith Show, A Face in the Crowd, and Matlock. He won a Grammy for his country album I Love to Tell the Story and was a staunch Democrat
 5 
Donna Summer
(Singer-Songwriter)
Donna Summer
20
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 17
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 6 
Robin Gibb
(Member of the ‘Bee Gees’ Pop Group)
Robin Gibb
18
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 22, 1949
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Douglas, Isle of Man
Died: May 20
Robin Gibb was part of the Bee Gees, an iconic pop/rock/disco band of the 1960s and the 1970s and makers of hits such as Stayin' Alive. Robin, a Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee and a CBE-awardee, also had a successful solo career and was the president of the Heritage Foundation.
 7 
Sally Ride
(The First American Woman and The Third Woman in Space)
Sally Ride
26
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: May 26, 1951
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Encino, Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: July 23
Astronaut and physicist Sally Ride was the first American woman and the youngest American astronaut to enter space. Following her death, it was revealed that she had been in a 27-year lesbian relationship with tennis player and professor Tam O'Shaughnessy. Sally herself was a ranked junior tennis player, too.
 8 
Carroll Shelby
(Automotive Designer & Racing Driver)
Carroll Shelby
24
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 11, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leesburg, Texas, United States
Died: May 10

An automobile designer known for his involvement with the AC Shelby Cobra and Ford Mustang, Carroll Shelby was also a well-known racing driver, and a successful entrepreneur, who established Shelby American after a heart ailment put an end to his racing career.  Meanwhile, he also ran a a high-performance driving school and published a memoir entitled The Carroll Shelby Story.

 9 
Ernest Borgnine
(Actor Best Known for His Gruff Voice and Gap-Toothed Cheshire Cat Grin)
Ernest Borgnine
14
Birthdate: January 24, 1917
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hamden, Connecticut, United States
Died: July 8

Ernest Borgnine was an American actor well-known for his Cheshire cat grin and gruff but calm voice. An Academy Award winner, Borgnine's film career spanned over 60 years. Also known for his work on television, Ernest Borgnine voiced Mermaid Man, an important character in the popular series SpongeBob SquarePants. Ernest Borgnine's hometown Hamden, Connecticut named a street in his honor.

 10 
Etta James
(Singer-Songwriter Know for Hits Such as "The Wallflower", "At Last", "Tell Mama")
Etta James
36
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: January 25, 1938
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: January 20

Etta James was an American singer whose powerful, deep voice bridged the gap between rock and roll and rhythm and blues. Her ability to perform in various genres earned her a spot in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list. Her work has influenced several musicians, including Christina Aguilera, Diana Ross, Janis Joplin, Adele, and Rita Ora.

 11 
Richard Dawson
(Actor, Comedian and Game Show Host)
Richard Dawson
5
Birthdate: November 20, 1932
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gosport, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
Died: June 2

English-American actor and comedian, Richard Dawson, is best known for playing Corporal Peter Newkirk in the TV series Hogan's Heroes. He grew up during World War II and had a difficult childhood. As a young man, he began his career as a stand-up comedian and started getting acting roles as well. He also gained fame as a game show host.

 12 
Ray Bradbury
(One of the Most Celebrated 20th-Century American Writers Known for His Novel 'Fahrenheit 451')
Ray Bradbury
16
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: August 22, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Waukegan, Illinois, United States
Died: June 5
Ray Bradbury is best remembered for his writings in the science-fiction, mystery, and horror genres, the most notable being the short story anthology Martian Chronicles and the novel Fahrenheit 451. He also contributed to the screenplays of various series and films, and won an Emmy for writing The Halloween Tree.
 13 
Davy Jones
(Musician)
Davy Jones
16
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: December 30, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Openshaw, Manchester, England
Died: February 29
Height: 5'3" (160 cm)
 14 
Larry Hagman
(Actor, Director and Producer Known for His Role as ‘J. R. Ewing’ in the TV Soap Opera ‘Dallas’)
Larry Hagman
3
Birthdate: September 21, 1931
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Died: November 23
Larry Hagman, son of actor Mary Martin, is best remembered as astronaut Tony Nelson from the iconic series I Dream of Jeannie and as oil baron J.R. Ewing from the long-running soap Dallas. He had also delivered several guest performances and dabbled in direction and production, before dying of leukemia.
 15 
Jack Klugman
(Stage, Film and Television Actor)
Jack Klugman
10
Birthdate: April 27, 1922
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: December 24

Jack Klugman was an American actor best known for playing Oscar Madison in the popular TV series The Odd Couple, for which he received a Golden Globe Award and two Primetime Emmy Awards. Apart from being an actor, Klugman was also a Thoroughbred racing fan and owned a Thoroughbred racehorse named Jaklin Klugman, which competed in the 1980 Kentucky Derby.

 16 
Andy Williams
(American Singer, Actor and Record producer)
Andy Williams
10
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: December 3, 1927
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wall Lake, Iowa, United States
Died: September 25
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 17 
Sherman Hemsley
(Actor)
Sherman Hemsley
9
Birthdate: February 1, 1938
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 24
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 18 
Dick Clark
(Radio and Television Personality Best Known for Hosting ‘American Bandstand’ and the 'Pyramid' Game Show)
Dick Clark
2
Birthdate: November 30, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mount Vernon
Died: April 18
Emmy-winning radio and TV personality Dick Clark is best remembered as the host of American Bandstand for more than three decades. He had also hosted shows such as The $10,000 Pyramid and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. He also appeared in movies and co-owned theaters and music-themed restaurants.
 19 
Phyllis Diller
(Comedian, Actress)
Phyllis Diller
8
Birthdate: July 17, 1917
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lima, Ohio, United States
Died: August 20
Height: 5'1" (155 cm)
 20 
Levon Helm
(American Musician and Actor Who Achieved Fame as the Drummer)
Levon Helm
9
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: May 26, 1940
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Elaine, Arkansas, United States
Died: April 19
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 21 
Sage Stallone
(Actor, Director and the Elder Son of Sylvester Stallone)
Sage Stallone
23
Birthdate: May 5, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: July 13

The son of popular actor Sylvester Stallone, Sage Stallone was an actor and filmmaker. He played Robert Balboa Jr., appearing alongside Sylvester Stallone, in the popular film Rocky V. His untimely death at the age of 36, caused by a heart attack, was mourned by movie lovers all over the world.

 22 
Mike Wallace
(Journalist, TV Presenter, Host)
Mike Wallace
13
Birthdate: May 9, 1918
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts, United States
Died: April 7

A popular American journalist and media personality, Mike Wallace is credited with bringing important information to the household of several Americans during his illustrious career that spanned nearly 70 years; he interviewed prominent personalities like Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Ayn Rand, and Salvador Dalí among others. His life and career inspired several films and he was portrayed by popular actors.

 23 
Nora Ephron
(Screenwriter, Producer, Director)
Nora Ephron
7
Birthdate: May 19, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: June 26

Nora Ephron was an American writer, filmmaker, and journalist. She is known for writing films like Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally... The Nora Ephron Prize was created by the Tribeca Film Festival in her memory. Her life and work inspired the 2016 documentary film Everything Is Copy, which was directed by her son Jacob Bernstein.

 24 
Adam Yauch
(Founding Member of the Hip Hop Group ‘Beastie Boys’)
Adam Yauch
33
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: August 5, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: May 4

Rapper and bass guitarist Adam Yauch, better known by his pseudonym, “MCA,” was a founding member of the hip-hop and rap rock Beastie Boys. He also owned a film distributing company and was a practicing Buddhist who supported the Tibetan independence movement. He died of parotid cancer.

 25 
Daniel Inouye
(Former United States Senator from Hawaii (1963 - 2012))
Daniel Inouye
8
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 7, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Died: December 17

Daniel Inouye was a US Senator from Hawaii. He was the highest-ranking Asian-American politician until 2021 when Kamala Harris of Indian origin became vice president. Inouye is also known for his participation in World War II where he lost his right arm. For his bravery in World War II, he was honored with the United States’ highest military award, the Medal of Honor.

 26 
Alex Karras
(American Football Player, Sportscaster, and Actor)
Alex Karras
6
Birthdate: July 15, 1935
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gary, Indiana, United States
Died: October 10

Alex Karras was an American footballer, sportscaster, actor, and professional wrestler. A four-time Pro Bowl player, Karras was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame. In 1977, he was also inducted into the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame. As an actor, he is remembered for playing George Papadopolis in the TV series, Webster.

 27 
Gore Vidal
(American Writer Known for His Novels: ‘The City and the Pillar’, ‘Julian’, ‘Myra Breckinridge’ and ‘Burr’)
Gore Vidal
9
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: October 3, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: West Point, New York, United States
Died: July 31

Gore Vidal was an American intellectual and writer. He served as a major inspiration to gays, lesbians, and bisexuals as he was openly bisexual and often incorporated LGBT characters in his novels, which was very unusual at the time. He was also known for his debates with William F. Buckley Jr., which inspired the 2015 documentary film Best of Enemies.

 28 
Ben Gazzara
(Actor, Director)
Ben Gazzara
3
Birthdate: August 28, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: February 3
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 29 
Norman Schwarzkopf Jr.
(United States Army General)
Norman Schwarzkopf Jr.
8
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 22, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Trenton, New Jersey, United States
Died: December 27
 30 
Charles Durning
(Actor)
Charles Durning
3
Birthdate: February 28, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Highland Falls, New York, United States
Died: December 24
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 31 
Don Cornelius
(Television show host)
Don Cornelius
11
Birthdate: September 27, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died: February 1
Height: 6'4" (193 cm)
 32 
Chad Everett
8
Birthdate: June 11, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: South Bend, Indiana, United States
Died: July 24
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 33 
Tony Scott
(Director Known for His Successful Thriller Films: ‘Top Gun’, ‘Beverly Hills Cop II’ and ‘Days of Thunder')
Tony Scott
14
Birthdate: June 21, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tynemouth, England
Died: August 19

Tony Scott was an English actor, film director, and producer. He directed several highly successful action and thriller films including Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop II. He graduated from the Royal College of Art and began his career directing commercials. He soon shifted to films and enjoyed tremendous success. He died by suicide in 2012.  

 34 
Marvin Hamlisch
(Composer, Conductor)
Marvin Hamlisch
6
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: June 2, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: August 6
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
 35 
Norodom Sihanouk
(Former Ruler of Cambodia)
Norodom Sihanouk
8
Birthdate: October 31, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Died: October 15
Apart from taking over as the king of Cambodia at 18, Norodom Sihanouk had also been the country’s prime minister later. A multidimensional personality and a Khmer Rouge supporter, he had also composed a number of patriotic tracks and experimented with filmmaking, infusing Western elements into his work.
 36 
George Lindsey
(Actor)
George Lindsey
6
Birthdate: December 17, 1928
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Fairfield, Alabama, USA
Died: May 6
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 37 
Don Grady
(Actor)
Don Grady
3
Birthdate: June 8, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States
Died: June 27
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 38 
Thomas Kinkade
9
Birthdate: January 19, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States
Died: April 6

Painter Thomas Kinkade is remembered for his realistic and idyllic themes. He gained fame by selling printed copies of his art through the Thomas Kinkade Company. He called himself the "Painter of Light” and copyrighted the phrase, too. The movie Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage was based on his life.

 39 
Ravi Shankar
(Musician, composer)
Ravi Shankar
16
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: April 7, 1920
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Varanasi, United Provinces, British Raj
Died: December 11
Indian sitarist Pandit Ravi Shankar is best remembered for his pathbreaking collaborations with George Harrison and Yehudi Menuhin. The five-time Grammy-winner was trained in the sitar by Allauddin Khan and toured all over the U.S. and Europe, infusing Carnatic elements into Western music. He had also composed for Satyajit Ray.
 40 
Stephen Covey
(Educator, Author)
Stephen Covey
9
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: October 24, 1932
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Died: July 16
 41 
Johnny Lewis
(Actor)
Johnny Lewis
7
Birthdate: October 29, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Died: September 26
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 42 
Zig Ziglar
(Writer)
Zig Ziglar
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: November 6, 1926
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Coffee County, Alabama, United States
Died: November 28
 43 
J. Christopher Stevens
(10th United States Ambassador to Libya)
J. Christopher Stevens
3
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: April 18, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Grass Valley, California, United States
Died: September 11
 44 
Vidal Sassoon
(Businessperson, Autobiographer)
Vidal Sassoon
4
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: January 17, 1928
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London
Died: May 9
 45 
Sergio Oliva
(American Bodybuilder and Three-Time Mr. Olympia)
Sergio Oliva
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 4, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Guanabacoa, Havana, Cuba
Died: November 12
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 46 
Dave Brubeck
(Pianist, Songwriter)
Dave Brubeck
0
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: 1920 AD
Birthplace: Concord
Died: 2012 AD
 47 
Natina Reed
(Singer)
Natina Reed
5
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: October 28, 1980
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Died: November 3
Natina Reed was discovered by rapper Lisa Lopes. Reed began her career writing for TLC and later performed as part of Blaque. She also appeared in the films Bring It On and Honey, and in the series V.I.P. She died at age 31, after being hit by a car.
 48 
Ron Palillo
(Actor)
Ron Palillo
2
Birthdate: April 2, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Died: August 14
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 49 
Sylvia Kristel
(Dutch Actress and Model Best Known for Her Eponymous Role in 'Emmanuelle' Films)
Sylvia Kristel
5
Birthdate: September 28, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Utrecht, Netherlands
Died: October 17

Best known for her title role in the Emmanuelle series of soft-core erotica, Dutch actor Sylvia Kristel ran away from her strict Calvinist home in Utrecht to Amsterdam, where she took up odd jobs. She began modeling at 17 and won a couple of beauty pageants, before stepping into films full-time.

 50 
Celeste Holm
(Actress)
Celeste Holm
6
Birthdate: April 29, 1917
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: July 15
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)