2013: In Memoriam

Take a look at the most notable deaths of 2013.

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James Avery, best known for playing Will Smith's uncle on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," passed away on Dec. 31 following complications of open heart surgery, his publicist said. He was 68, she told NBC's Today. Click through to see more of those we lost in 2013.
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Legendary country singer Ray Price passed away Monday Dec. 16, 2013. He was 87.
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In this March 23, 2003 file photo, Actor Peter O'Toole accepts his honorary Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences during the 75th annual Academy Awards telecast in Los Angeles. O'Toole, the charismatic actor who achieved instant stardom as Lawrence of Arabia and was nominated eight times for an Academy Award, has died. He was 81. O'Toole's agent Steve Kenis says the actor died Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 at a hospital following a long illness.
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Eleanor Parker, who played the scheming Baroness in 1965's "The Sound of Music," died in Palm Springs on Dec. 9 at age 91.
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Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s iconic former president whose lifelong struggle against apartheid helped break the country’s system of racial discrimination, died Thursday at the age of 95. South African President Jacob Zuma announced the anti-apartheid crusader's death at a somber press conference Thursday.
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Paul Walker, the star of the "Fast & Furious" movie series, died in a car crash north of Los Angeles on Nov. 30, 2013. He was 40.
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Former Editor of The New York Observer Peter Kaplan Peter Kaplan, who hired a then-unknown Candace Bushnell to write a column called "Sex and the City," has died. He was 59.
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Psychic medium and author Sylvia Browne speaks to the audience during her appearance at Route 66 Casino's Legends Theater on November 13, 2010 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
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Doris Lessing, the Nobel prize-winning author of more than 55 works of fiction, opera, nonfiction and poetry, died on Nov. 17, 2013. She was 94. She remains best known for "The Golden Notebook," in which heroine Anna Wulf uses four notebooks to bring together the separate parts of her disintegrating life.
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Actress Shirley Mitchell, who played Marion Strong, Lucy Ricardo's friend on the TV classic "I Love Lucy," has died. She was 94.
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Renown Chicago chef Charlie Trotter has died at age 54, a fire department source confirmed. He was found unresponsive at a Chicago residence and taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The cause of his death is not yet known.
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In this Sunday, Aug. 9, 2009 file photo, rock legend Lou Reed performs at the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago. Reed has died at the age of 71 of a liver-related ailment, according to his literary agent.
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Actress Marcia Wallace, who played the redheaded receptionist on "The Bob Newhart Show" and also voiced Bart's crabby teacher on "The Simpsons," died Friday, October 25, 2013, in Los Angeles. She was 70.
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Ed Lauter, whose long, angular face and stern bearing made him an instantly recognizable figure in scores of movies and TV shows during a career that stretched across five decades, died Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 of mesothelioma. He was 74.
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Hans Riegel, the longtime boss of German candy maker Haribo who took the gummi bear to international fame, in Cologne, western Germany. Haribo said in a statement that Riegel, the son of the company’s founder, died of heart failure in Bonn on Tuesday. He was 90.
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Oscar Hijuelos, a Cuban-American novelist who won a Pulitzer Prize for his work "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love," died in New York at age 62 on Oct. 13.
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Scott Carpenter, one of America's first group of astronauts, died on Oct. 10 at the age of 88 due to complications from a stroke. Carpenter, the second American to orbit Earth, gave the famous send-off "Godspeed, John Glenn" when Glenn became the first American to circle the Earth in 1962.
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Tom Clancy, the author of best-sellers like "Patriot Games" and "The Hunt for Red October" died in a Baltimore hospital on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, according to his publisher. He was 66 years old.
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Hiroshi Yamauchi, who ran Nintendo for more than 50 years and led the company's transition from traditional playing-card maker to video game giant, has died of pneumonia. He was 85.
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Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney died in Dublin after an illness. He was 74 years old. Fellow poet Robert Lowell described Heaney as the “most important Irish poet since Yeats.”
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Author Elmore Leonard has died at 87 years old after complications from a stroke. Leonard was the writer behind "Get Shorty," "3:10 to Yuma" and "Justified" among other works. His longtime researcher confirmed to Detroit News and broke the news on the author's Facebook page.
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Lisa Robin Kelly, known for her role as Eric Forman's sister on the FOX series "That '70s Show," died Wednesday at the age of 43. Lisa had voluntarily checked herself into a treatment facility early this week where she was battling the addiction problems that have plagued her these past few years.
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Eydie Gorme, a popular nightclub and television singer as a solo act and as a team with her husband, Steve Lawrence, died at 84.
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EMPTY_CAPTION"Cowboy" Jack Clement, a producer, engineer, songwriter and beloved figure who helped birth rock 'n' roll and push country music into modern times, died on August 8. He was 82. Clement passed away just months after learning he would be joining the Country Music Hall of Fame, a fitting tip of the cowboy hat to the man whose personal story is entwined with the roots of rock 'n' roll like few others.
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George Duke, the Grammy-winning jazz keyboardist and producer whose sound infused acoustic jazz, electronic jazz, funk, R&B and soul in a 40-year-plus career, died on August 5 in Los Angeles. He was 67.
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Michael Ansara, the actor who played the original Klingon on TV's "Star Trek" died in his home in Calabasas, Calif. after a long illness, the AP reported. A spokesperson for Ansara said he died Wednesday, July, 31, 2013. He was 91 years old.
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Eileen Brennan, who received an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in the 1980 comedy “Private Benjamin,” died on July 28, 2013. She was 80.
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Former Sen. Harry F. Byrd Jr., the Democrat-turned-independent who began his career as a staunch segregationist and preached fiscal restraint in Washington long before it became fashionable, died on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. He was 98.
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Former Rep. Lindy Boggs of Louisiana, who fought for civil rights during nearly 18 years in Congress after succeeding her late husband in the House, has died at the age of 97.
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Dennis Farina, a former Chicago cop who as a popular actor played Det. Joe Fontana on "Law & Order," has died, after suffering a blood clot in his lung. He was 69. Born in Chicago, he was a city police officer before turning to acting in his late 30s.
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Helen Thomas, a pioneer for women in journalism and an irrepressible White House correspondent, has died. She was 92. Tomas made her name as a bulldog for United Press International in the great wire-service rivalries of old.
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Cory Monteith, who shot to fame in the hit TV series "Glee" but was beset by addiction struggles, was found dead in a hotel room in Vancouver, Canada, police said. He was 31.
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This 1973 photo released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Jim Kelly as Williams in a scene from "Enter the Dragon." Kelly, who played a glib American martial artist in "Enter the Dragon" with Bruce Lee, died Saturday, June 29, 2013 of cancer at his home in San Diego. He was 67. Sporting an Afro hairstyle and sideburns, Kelly made a splash with his one-liners and fight scenes in the 1973 martial arts classic.
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Bobby "Blue" Bland (left) receives his award for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame from B.B. King during induction ceremonies in New York. Bland's son Rodd said his father died Sunday, June 23, 2013, at his Memphis home surrounded by relatives. He was 83.
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Sci-fi author Richard Matheson died in his home in Calabasas, Calif. at 87. He was famous for novels like "I Am Legend" and "What Dreams May Come," both of which were adapted to the big screen.
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Actor James Gandolfini, better known to millions of fans of "The Sopranos" as troubled mob boss Tony Soprano, died June 19 after suffering cardiac arrest while on vacation in Italy. He was 51.
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Country singer Slim Whitman died at the age of 90. Whitman's career began in the late 1940s, and his tenor falsetto and ebony mustache became global trademarks. They were also an inspiration for countless jokes thanks to the ubiquitous 1980s and 1990s TV commercials that pitched his records.
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Esther Williams, the swimming champion turned actress who starred in glittering and aquatic Technicolor musicals of the 1940s and 1950s, has died. She was 91. Williams became one of Hollywood's biggest moneymakers, appearing in spectacular swimsuit numbers that capitalized on her wholesome beauty and perfect figure.
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Democratic New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who at 89 was the oldest member of the Senate, has died. Lautenberg was the last remaining World War II veteran in the Senate. He died at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
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Jean Stapleton, the stage-trained character actress who played Archie Bunker's far better half, the sweetly naive Edith, in TV's groundbreaking 1970s comedy "All in the Family," died on June 1. She was 90.
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Marshall Lytle, the original bass player for Bill Haley & His Comets, passed away on May 25, 2013 in his home in New Port Richey, Fla. of lung cancer. Bill Haley & His Comets' big hit in the 1950's was "Rock Around the Clock"
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Ray Manzarek of The Doors, has died at 74, his business manager confirms. As the founding keyboardist for the legendary rock band Manzarek celebrated the success of more than 100 million albums sold worldwide on the strength of hits like ”Hello, I Love You,” “Riders on the Storm,” and “Light My Fire.”
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Chris Kelly, a member of '90s rap duo Kris Kross, died May 1 at the age of 34. Authorities are investigating his death as a possible drug overdose. Click to see others we've lost.
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George Jones, the peerless, hard-living country singer who recorded dozens of hits about good times and regrets and peaked with the heartbreaking classic "He Stopped Loving Her Today," has died. He was 81. Jones died Friday, April 26, 2013 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
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Richie Havens, who sang and strummed for a sea of people at Woodstock, has died at 72. His family says in a statement that Havens died Monday, April 22, 2013, of a heart attack. For four decades, Havens used his music to convey passionate messages of brotherhood and personal freedom.
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Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today, has died in Cocoa Beach, Florida. He was 89. The news was announced Friday, April 19, 2013 by USA Today and by the Newseum, which he also founded.
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In this Jan. 13, 2009 file photo, George Beverly Shea talks at his home in Montreat, N.C. Shea, the booming baritone who sang to millions of Christians at evangelist Billy Graham's crusades, died Tuesday, April 16, 2013 after a brief illness. He was 104.
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Legendary football commentator Pat Summerall died Tuesday, April 16th, 2013. He worked a record 16 Super Bowls on network television and moved with the NFL from CBS to Fox in 1994.
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Actor Frank Bank, who played Lumpy Rutherford in the classic TV comedy "Leave It to Beaver," passed away on Saturday, April 13 at the age of 71.
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Comedian Jonathan Winters, whose breakneck improvisations inspired Robin Williams, Jim Carrey and many others, has died at age 87. In the mid-1950s, "The Jonathan Winters Show" pioneered the then-new videotape technology to do stunts such as showing up as two characters on screen together.
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Prima ballerina Maria Tallchief of the New York City Ballet died at the age of 88. She joined the company in 1948 and was married for a time to George Balanchine, who founded the School of American Ballet in New York. Tallchief worked with Balanchine on such masterpieces as 1949's "Firebird" and his now-historic version of "The Nutcracker."
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Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died of a stroke at age 87. Thatcher was Britain's first female prime minister. The conservative leader led Britain from 1979 to 1990, and was a close ally of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Here, she is shown laughing during a speech outside the White House, 1985, as President Reagan looks on.
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Singer, actress and prominent "Mousketeer" Annette Funicello died at age 70, confirmed the Walt Disney Company on Monday. Funicello was best known for being a member of Disney's Mickey Mouse Club and her roles in films like "Beach Party" and "Beach Blanket Bingo."
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Chi Cheng, the bassist of the Grammy-winning rock band Deftones died on April 14, 2013 after struggling to recover from serious injuries suffered in a car crash more than four years ago.
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Roger Ebert died on April 4, 2013, a few days after he announced that he would scale back on work to continue his battle with cancer. He was 70 years old.
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Lilly Pulitzer, a socialite turned designer whose tropical print dresses became a sensation in the 1960s and later a fashion classic, died Sunday. She was 81. The line of dresses that bore her name was later expanded to swimsuits, country club attire, children's clothing, a home collection and a limited selection of menswear.
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Roger Ebert was most famous for his movie reviews on "Siskel & Ebert" where he and co-host Gene Siskel could make or break a movie with a simple thumbs up or thumbs down.
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Richard Griffiths, the British actor who starred in the Harry Potter films, has died at the age of 65 after complications following heart surgery. He was best known for playing Uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter movies and Uncle Monty in Withnail and I.
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Phil Ramone, the Grammy Award-winning engineer and producer whose platinum touch included recordings with Ray Charles, Billy Joel and Paul Simon, has died. He was 72. Ramone was among the most honored and successful music producers in history, winning 14 Grammys and working with many of the top artists of his era.
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Jane Henson was the former wife of the late Muppets creator, Jim Henson. She was a vital force behind the development of the show and founded The Jim Henson legacy to help preserve and present the artistic contribution of her late former husband.
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Chinua Achebe an internationally celebrated Nigerian author, statesman and dissident, has died at age 82. Achebe's 1958 novel, "Things Fall Apart," is widely regarded as the first major work of modern African fiction and inspired others to tell the continent's story through the eyes of those who lived there.
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Country star Jack Greene, who recorded such '60s favorites as "There Goes My Everything" and "Statue of a Fool," died March 14 at his Nashville-area home due to complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 82.
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Clive Burr, best known for his years drumming in the heavy metal band Iron Maiden, died at his home on March 12 according to a statement on the band's Facebook page. He was 56.
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Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s fiery president and the most prominent leftist leader in South America, was announced dead on March 5, 2013. The 58-year-old, who rose through his country’s military ranks and led a failed coup before winning the presidency, died after a long battle with cancer.
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Bonnie Franklin, the pert, redheaded actress whom millions came to identify with for her role as divorced mom Ann Romano on the long-running sitcom "One Day at a Time," died at age 69.
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Bobby Rogers, a founding member of motown group The Miracles and collaborator with Smokey Robinson, died after being ill for several years on Sunday March 3. He was 73. Rogers and The Miracles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 where their legacy will live on.
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World-renowned pianist Van Cliburn died at the age 78. Cliburn was a 23-year-old fresh-faced, wavy-haired kid from Texas when in 1958 -- at the height of the Cold War -- he sealed his spot in history when he won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
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C. Everett Koop, who raised the profile of the surgeon general by riveting America's attention on the then-emerging disease known as AIDS and by railing against smoking, has died at age 96. He's pictured here during a 1988 news conference releasing his controversial report on smoking.
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Country star Mindy McCready died of an apparent suicide on Feb. 17 at the age of 37. McCready rose to fame in the '90s, when hits like "Ten Thousands Angels" and "Guys Do It All the Time" topped the country charts, but in recent years she had struggled with addiction, domestic abuse, depression and the death of her boyfriend.
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Rock star Reg Presley, lead singer of the Troggs on hit songs including "Wild Thing," has died. He was 71. Presley's death after a year-long bout with lung cancer was announced late Monday night Feb. 4, 2013 by friend and publicist Keith Altham on his Facebook page.
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Essie Mae Washington-Williams, the daughter of one-time segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond who kept her parentage secret for more than 70 years to avoid damaging his political career, died Monday, Feb. 4, 2013. She was 87.
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Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died Feb. 1 at the age of 88. The combative and colorful three-term mayor and self-described "liberal with sanity" had become a symbol of the city he loved worldwide, recognized by his trademark inquiry, "How'm I doing?"
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New York Mayor Ed Koch raises his hands with two thumbs up while addressing the opening session of the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco. Koch, who rescued the city from near-financial ruin during three City Hall terms, has died at age 88. Spokesman George Arzt says Koch died on Feb. 1, 2013 of congestive heart failure.
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This 1947 publicity photo shows the pop vocal trio, The Andrews Sisters, from left, Maxine Andrews, Patty Andrews, and LaVerne Andrews. Patty Andrews, the last survivor of the three singing Andrews sisters, died in Los Angeles at age 94 on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, at her home in suburban Northridge of natural causes.
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Pauline Friedman Phillips, who under the name of Abigail Van Buren wrote the long-running "Dear Abby" advice column, died on Jan. 17, 2013. She was 94-years-old.
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Conrad Bain (center), a veteran actor who became a star in middle age as the kindly white adoptive father of two young African-American brothers in the TV sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," died on Jan. 16, 2013 at the age of 89. In this photo, he is flanked by Todd Bridges (L) and Gary Coleman as they pose for a publicity photo in 1978.
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Grammy-winning singer Patti Page may have sold more than 100 million records in her lifetime but to her family, she was simply a loving and caring mother her son told NBC. Page, who left Beverly Hills behind and settled in Rancho Santa Fe in the early 1970s, died on Jan. 1, 2013. The legendary singer was 85 years old.
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Stan Musial, one of baseball's greatest hitters and a Hall of Famer with the St. Louis Cardinals for more than two decades, died on Jan. 19. He was 92.
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Professional snowmobile rider Caleb Moore died on Jan. 31, 2013 from injuries suffered after a crash at the Winter X Games in Aspen. The 25-year-old clipped the top of a jump at flew over the handlebars while performing a flip.
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Chrissy Amphlett, the raunchy lead singer of the Australian rock band Divinyls whose hit "I Touch Myself" brought her international fame in the early 1990s, died at her home in New York city on Sunday. She was 53 years old.
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Julie Harris, one of Broadway's most honored performers, whose roles ranged from the flamboyant Sally Bowles in "I Am a Camera" to the reclusive Emily Dickinson in "The Belle of Amherst," died Saturday. She was 87.
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Beat writer Carolyn Cassady passed away on September 21. She was 90 years old.
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Hal Needham, a top Hollywood stuntman who turned to directing rousing action films including "Smokey and the Bandit" and "The Cannonball Run," died on Oct. 26. He was 82.
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Walt Bellamy, the Hall of Fame center who averaged 20.1 points and 13.7 rebounds in 14 seasons in the NBA, died Saturday Nov. 2. He was 74.
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Paul Crouch Sr parlayed an obscure Orange County television station into the world's largest Christian TV network, died on Nov. 30, 2013. He was 79.
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Academy Award-winning actress Joan Fontaine, who found stardom playing naive wives in Alfred Hitchcock's "Suspicion" and "Rebecca" and also was featured in films by Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang and Nicholas Ray, died Sunday. She was 96.
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