January 2011 celebrity deaths


The first month of the new year saw the loss of many beloved figures, including a famed director, a classic sitcom star and a football legend. Find out about these famous figures and more in the following roundup of obituaries including:

Jack LaLanne

Jack LaLanne, who was sometimes referred to as the spiritual father of the U.S. fitness movement, opened what may have been the nation's first health club in the 1930s. A fitness guru, nutritional expert and motivational speaker, LaLanne died Jan. 23 at age 96.
Alex Kirst

A longtime drummer for Iggy Pop's Trolls band, Kirst died Jan. 20 following a hit-and-run accident the previous week. His brother, a guitarist for Iggy Pop, said he had been out buying cigarettes.
Mississippi Winn

At 113, Mississippi Winn was believed to be the oldest living African-American and the seventh oldest American. Winn was a cook and a caretaker. Her favorite Bible quote.
Susannah York

British actress Susannah York was one of the leading film stars in the United States and England in the 1960s and 1970s and starred in a landmark 1960s film. Later in her career, she played the mother of a superhero in a classic film series. She died of cancer at age 72.
Trish Keenan

She was the lead singer of a British electronic pop duo. While the band never gained A-list success, it had at least one celebrity fan. Keenan died from complications of pneumonia at age 42. Some reports say she contracted a deadly virus.
John Dye

He was best known as the angel of death in a long-running TV drama series about a celestial medium, but he also appeared in a mystery series. Dye was found dead in his San Francisco home at age 47.
Christina Taylor Green

Nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, whose life began on a day of tragedy, was among those killed in a deadly shooting at a public event in Tucson, Ariz. Green, who was designated to be a "Face of Hope" baby, had recently been elected to a special office.
Margaret Whiting

She was a popular cabaret singer who recorded more than 700 songs, including sentimental ballads like "Moonlight in Vermont". Whiting shocked people when she married a gay porn star in her later years. She was 86 when she died.
David Nelson

He starred on a classic TV show with his parents and brother and later appeared in a show about love on a cruise ship. He died at 74 years old from complications of colon cancer.
Peter Yates

The British filmmaker directed a noted crime thriller credited with having one of the most influential car-chase sequences in movie history. His moviemaking career soared into the late 1990s (what was his last film?). He died after a long illness at age 82.
Carlton Chester 'Cookie' Gilchrist

"Cookie" Gilchrist was an American Football League star player who historically helped lead his team to the championships in 1964. Gilchrist was also noted for standing up to racism in the league. He died of cancer at age 75.
Dave Sisler

Former MLB pitcher. Dave Sisler was the last surviving son of a Baseball Hall of Famer. He died from complications of prostate cancer at age 79.
John Roll

He was a federal judge for Arizona who became the target of death threats two years ago during a controversial case. A gunshot wound ended his life in a mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz. Roll was 63 years old.
Bill 'Tiger' Johnson

Bill "Tiger" Johnson played professional football before he joined another team as its head coach. He died after a long illness at age 84.
Tom Cavanagh

Former Harvard and NHL hockey player Tom Cavanagh held a franchise record. The 28-year-old, who reportedly suffered from an illness, died of apparent self-inflicted wounds.
Ryne Duren

Ryne Duren, an All-Star relief pitcher was known for his impressive fastball and his signature look. He helped his team reach the World Series twice. Duren was 81.
Aron Kincaid

He became a Hollywood legend as the voice of a ruthless villain on an animated superhero show and also voiced characters on other classic animated series. Kincaid died of heart-related complications at age 70.
Gerry Rafferty

He was a Scottish singer and songwriter best known for a 1970s ditty about a sticky situation with his band Stealers Wheel. The song enjoyed a new lease on life when it was used prominently in a cult hit film. He died at age 63 after a long battle with drinking.
Richard 'Dick' Winters

Richard "Dick" Winters was the inspiration for a critically acclaimed HBO miniseries and has been called a World War II hero for his actions. Find out what he did. He had battled Parkinson's disease and died at age 92.
Pete Postlethwaite

He was an English film and TV actor who most recently appeared in a Boston-based crime thriller. He died from cancer at age 63.
Anne Francis

Anne Francis was a sweet-voiced American actress best known for her role in a science-fiction film classic and as a female private detective in a hit television series. She holds a historic distinction. She died at age 80 from complications of pancreatic cancer.
Tommy Crain

He was a guitarist for a 1970s and '80s Southern rock band best known for a Grammy-winning ditty that tells the tale of a boy challenged to a fiddle-playing battle. Crain was 59.
Romulus Linney

He was an American playwright and professor and the father of an Oscar-nominated actress. Linney's most notable work appeared on Broadway. He lost his battle with lung cancer at age 80.
Don Kirshner

He was a legendary music impresario with a fitting moniker. Kirshner hosted a 1970s musical variety TV show and went on to promote some of the top musicians of his time, including this singing duo. He died of heart failure at age 77.
Robert 'Sargent' Shriver

Robert "Sargent" Shriver, the father of a former California first lady, was part of a prominent political family who started an array for programs to help the poor and disadvantaged. He was the first director of a volunteer program he helped to launch under the Kennedy administration and headed the War on Poverty for another president. He died at age 95.