We cannot leave out those whose lives were cut short in the service of their country; J. Christopher Stevens, US ambassador said that Libya was a place of promise, and also for him and for the staff members who died with him, an example of the dangers of serving the United States abroad. It would not be appropriate to mention service to the United States, and omit the passing of General ‘Stormin’ Norman’ Schwarzkopf on the last Thursday of the year. Finally, too many members of the military have passed in the line of duty to name them all, but we remember them, and we cannot overvalue their sacrifice.
Among the heroes and villains of the screen, Larry Hagman, as JR Ewing, was the most identifiable villains for many years, even reprising the role last year, despite fighting cancer at the same time. Those who are a little older will also remember that he portrayed Major Tony Nelson in ‘I Dream of Jeannie.’ Other instantly recognizable actors, Ernest Borgnine, Sherman Hemsley, and Michael Clarke Duncan, left us last year. The last of those, Michael Clarke Duncan, was just 54 years old when he succumbed to complications of heart disease.
Dick Clark was fittingly celebrated on New Year’s Eve, but Phyllis Diller and Alex Karras were barely mentioned as they left us. It also seemed somehow appropriate that both Andy Griffith and George Lindsey (a.k.a. ‘Goober’) should leave us in the same year, and although the former was the bigger star, perhaps we might do well to remember the good-natured, childlike character portrayed by Lindsay.
It would be impossible to mention all the heroes, villains, and those, like most of us, who fall somewhere in between, that passed away in 2012, and I apologize if I have left out one of your favorite people.