Arts, entertainment industries bid farewell to famous faces

Television wouldn't have been the same without Milton Berle, "Mr. Television" himself; "Today" and "Tonight" creator Sylvester "Pat" Weaver; and TV Guide founder Walter Annenberg. Peggy Lee and Rosemary Clooney showed everyone how the interpretation of popular songs could be an art form. Billy Wilder's films were incomparable, whether comedies ("Some Like It Hot") or dramas ("Witness for the Prosecution.")

Stephen E. Ambrose, the historian whose books about World War II made aging veterans hometown heroes again, died in 2002. So did Lionel Hampton, whose showmanship and skill made him the king of the vibraphone.

Here, a roll call of some of the arts and entertainment figures we lost in 2002.

January

Ted Demme, 38. Director whose credits included the drug drama "Blow." Jan. 13. Heart attack.

Carrie Hamilton, 38. Actress and writer who sometimes collaborated with her mother, Carol Burnett. Jan. 20. Cancer.

Peggy Lee, 81. The sultry singer who could heat up the room with hits like "Fever," and "Is That All There Is?" Jan. 21.

Astrid Lindgren, 94. Swedish writer whose freethinking character Pippi Longstocking is cherished by youngsters around the world. Jan. 28.

Michael Hammond, 69. Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Jan. 29.

February

Waylon Jennings, 64. His rebellious songs and brash attitude defined the outlaw movement in country music. Feb. 13.

Howard K. Smith, 87. Esteemed newscaster; one of "Murrow's Boys" on CBS Radio in World War II, later ABC co-anchor and analyst. Feb. 15.

March

Sylvester "Pat" Weaver, 93. He created NBC's "Today" and "Tonight" shows, brought opera to TV and shaped the way Americans watched the infant medium. March 15.

Billy Wilder, 95. Oscar-winning filmmaker whose gifts for writing and directing led to such classics as "Sunset Boulevard," "Some Like It Hot" and "Double Indemnity." March 27.

Milton Berle, 93. Acerbic, cigar-smoking vaudevillian who eagerly embraced a new medium and became "Mr. Television" when the technology was in its infancy. March 27.

Dudley Moore, 66. The cuddly Englishman who pined for Bo Derek in "10" and portrayed a lovably forlorn drunk in "Arthur." March 27.

April

Robert Urich, 55. Emmy-winning actor best known as the tough-guy sleuths in "Vega$" and "Spenser: For Hire." April 16. Cancer.

Layne Staley, 34. Singer, guitarist for Alice in Chains, one of the most prominent bands of the early '90s Seattle grunge scene. April 19. Drug overdose.

Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, 30. The effervescent, sometimes volatile member of the top-selling, Grammy-winning trio TLC. April 25. Car crash.

May

Stephen Jay Gould, 60. Paleontologist and author who eloquently demystified science for the public and challenged his colleagues with revolutionary ideas about evolution. May 20. Cancer.

Mildred Wirt Benson, 96. The author who created Nancy Drew, girl sleuth, and inspired generations of young women with the teenage heroine's spunk, independence and resourcefulness. May 28.

June

Dee Dee Ramone, 50. Bass player for the pioneer punk band the Ramones. June 5. Heroin overdose.

Bill Blass, 79. American designer who shattered the Paris-centric fashion world with creations that mixed chic with casual. June 12.

Ann Landers, 83. The columnist whose snappy, plainspoken and timely advice helped millions of readers deal with everything from birth to death. June 22.

John Entwistle, 57. The quiet, efficient bass player who helped make The Who one of the most dynamic rock bands in history. June 27. Heart attack caused by cocaine.

Rosemary Clooney, 74. The mellow-voiced singer who co-starred with Bing Crosby in "White Christmas" and staged a dramatic career comeback. June 29.

July

John Frankenheimer, 72. Director of such Hollywood classics as "The Manchurian Candidate" and "Birdman of Alcatraz." July 6.

Rod Steiger, 77. Stocky, intense actor who played Marlon Brando's hoodlum brother in "On the Waterfront" and won an Oscar as a Southern police chief in "In the Heat of the Night." July 9.

Leo McKern, 82. Actor who gained fame as a curmudgeonly British barrister in the television series "Rumpole of the Bailey" and was a foil to the Beatles in "Help!" July 23.

August

Joshua Ryan Evans, 20. The 3-foot-2 actor played Timmy the living doll on the NBC soap "Passions." Aug. 5. Cause not disclosed; he had rare disease that stunted his growth.

Matt Robinson, 65. He played the kindly neighbor Gordon on "Sesame Street." Aug. 5.

Lionel Hampton, 94. The vibraphone virtuoso and standout showman whose six-decade career ranked him with the greatest names in jazz. Aug. 31.

September

Kim Hunter, 79. Won a supporting Oscar in 1951 as the long-suffering Stella in "A Streetcar Named Desire" and appeared in "Planet of the Apes" movies. Sept. 11.

October

Walter H. Annenberg, 94. He parlayed America's love affair with television into a fortune by launching TV Guide magazine and later served as ambassador to Britain. Oct. 1.

Bruce Paltrow, 58. Producer-director of "St. Elsewhere," father of Gwyneth Paltrow. Oct. 3. Cancer.

Teresa Graves, 54. She played the sassy undercover cop in the 1970s television drama "Get Christie Love!" Oct. 10. Fire.

Stephen E. Ambrose, 66. Best-selling historian who made a career of offering a soldier's view of World War II. Oct. 13.

Richard Harris, 72. Irish actor who gained fame as the roistering star of such 1960s films as "This Sporting Life" and "Camelot" and reached a new generation of fans as a wise old wizard in two Harry Potter movies. Oct. 25.

Jam Master Jay (Jason Mizell), 37. Deftly scratching vinyl records in time with a beat, the rap DJ helped make Run-DMC the first hip-hop group to break into mainstream music. Oct. 30. Shot to death.

November

Jonathan Harris, 87. He portrayed the cowardly antagonist Dr. Zachary Smith on the 1960's sci-fi show "Lost in Space." Nov. 3.

James Coburn, 74. He rose to fame in action films ("The Magnificent Seven"), portrayed a tongue-in-cheek secret agent ("In Like Flint") and won an Academy Award decades later as an alcoholic father in "Affliction." Nov. 18.

December

Roone Arledge, 71. Endlessly creative ABC executive who ushered in the era of primetime sports, mentored top broadcasters and developed new ways to present the news. Dec. 5.

Joe Strummer, 50. Lead singer of the legendary band The Clash, whose hits like "Rock the Casbah" electrified punk rock. Dec. 22. Heart attack.

Herb Ritts, 50. Celebrity photographer whose stylish, mostly black-and-white portraits helped define the image-conscious 1980s and '90s. Dec. 26. Pneumonia.

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