Neil Armstrong would always be taking that first step onto the moon, and Dick Clark was forever the world's oldest teenager. Some of the notables who died in 2012 created images in our minds that remained unchanged over decades.
Here is a roll call of some of the people who died in 2012. (Cause of death cited for younger people if available.)
Bob Anderson, 89. Olympic fencer and movie sword master, he donned Darth Vader's black helmet and fought light saber battles in two Star Wars films. Jan. 1.
Jessica Joy Rees, 12. She became a nationally recognized face of child cancer with a blog that chronicled her fight against brain tumors. Jan. 5. Brain cancer.
Don Carter, 85. Bowling great who flourished as a genuine sports celebrity during the game's golden age on TV. Jan. 5.
Etta James, 73. Blues singer best known for her performance of the enduring classic At Last. Jan. 20. Complications from leukemia.
Joe Paterno, 85. Longtime Penn State coach who won more games than anyone in major college football but was fired amid a child sex abuse scandal that scarred his reputation for winning with integrity. Jan. 22.
Robert Hegyes, 60. Actor best known for playing Jewish Puerto Rican student Juan Epstein on the 1970s TV show Welcome Back Kotter. Jan. 26.
Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, 88. Retired head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and an uncharged figure in a child sex-abuse case that involves the alleged shuffling of predator priests to unwitting parishes. Jan. 31.
Don Cornelius, 75. As host of Soul Train, he helped break down racial barriers and broaden the reach of black culture with funky music, groovy dance steps and cutting-edge style. Feb. 1. Self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Angelo Dundee, 90. Trainer who helped groom Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard into world champions. Feb. 1.
Ben Gazzara, 81. Actor who brought intensity to roles in such iconic productions as the original Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway and the film The Big Lebowski. Feb. 3.
Florence Green, 110. Last known veteran of World War I. Feb. 4.
Whitney Houston, 48. She ruled as pop music's queen until her majestic voice was ravaged by drug use and her regal image ruined by erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown. Feb. 11. Accidentally drowned in a bathtub.
Gary Carter, 57. Star catcher whose single for the New York Mets in the 1986 World Series touched off one of the most improbable rallies in baseball. Feb. 16.
Jan Berenstain, 88. With her husband, Stan, she wrote and illustrated the Berenstain Bears books that have charmed preschoolers for 50 years. Feb. 24.
Davy Jones, 66. Actor turned singer who helped propel the TV rock band The Monkees to the top of the charts. Feb. 29. Heart attack.
Andrew Breitbart, 43. Conservative media publisher and activist who was behind investigations that led to the resignation of former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y. March 1.
Ralph McQuarrie, 82. Artist who developed the look of the first Star Wars trilogy's signature characters, sets and spaceships. March 3.
James T. Jimmy Ellis, 74. As frontman for The Trammps, he belted out the refrain Burn, baby burn! in the 1970s-era disco hit Disco Inferno. March 8.
Harry Wendelstedt, 73. Longtime umpire who worked five World Series and made a call involving Don Drysdale that became one of baseball's most disputed plays in the late 1960s. March 9.
Michael Hossack, 65. Longtime Doobie Brothers drummer whose work is heard on the hits Listen To The Music and China Grove. March 12. Cancer.
John Demjanjuk, 91. He was convicted of being a low-ranking guard at the Sobibor death camp, but his 35-year fight to clear his name made him one of the best-known faces of Nazi prosecutions. March 17.
Pope Shenouda III, 88. Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church who led Egypt's Christian minority for 40 years during a time of increasing tensions with Muslims. March 17.
Bert Sugar, 75. Iconic boxing writer and sports historian who was known for his trademark fedora and ever-present cigar. March 25.
Earl Scruggs, 88. Bluegrass legend and banjo pioneer who profoundly influenced country music with Bill Monroe in the 1940s and later with guitarist Lester Flatt. March 28.
Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, 76. He designed Porsche's classic 911 sports car, the sleek model that evokes power, wealth and envy among aficionados. April 5.
Thomas Kinkade, 54. Artist whose paintings of idyllic landscapes, cottages and churches have been big sellers for dealers across the United States. April 6.
Mike Wallace, 93. Dogged CBS reporter who took on politicians and celebrities in a 60-year career highlighted by on-air confrontations that helped make 60 Minutes the most successful prime-time television news program ever. April 7.
Dick Clark, 82. Ever-youthful television entrepreneur who helped bring rock ‘n' roll into the mainstream on American Bandstand, and later produced and hosted game shows and the year-end countdown from Times Square. April 19.
Levon Helm, 71. Key member of the rock group The Band who lent his voice to classics like The Weight and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. April 19.
Charles Chuck Colson, 80. Special counsel to President Richard Nixon who went to prison for his role in a Watergate-related case and became a Christian evangelical helping inmates. April 21.
George Vujnovich, 96. Intelligence agent who organized a World War II mission to rescue more than 500 U.S. bomber crew members shot down over Nazi-occupied Serbia. April 24.
Junior Seau, 43. Homegrown superstar who was the fist-pumping, emotional leader of the San Diego Chargers for 13 years. May 2. Apparent suicide.
Adam Yauch, 47. Also known as MCA, the gravelly voiced rapper helped make the Beastie Boys one of the seminal groups in hip-hop. May 4. Cancer.
George Lindsey, 83. He made a TV career as a grinning service station attendant named Goober on The Andy Griffith Show and Hee Haw. May 6.
Dennis Fitch, 69. Airline pilot who helped save 184 people during a plane crash in Sioux City, Iowa. May 7. Brain cancer.
Maurice Sendak, 83. Children's book author and illustrator who saw the sometimes-dark side of childhood in books such as Where the Wild Things Are. May 8.
Vidal Sassoon, 84. Celebrity hairstylist whose 1960s wash-and-wear cuts freed women from endless teasing and hairspray. May 9.
Carroll Shelby, 89. Legendary car designer and champion auto racer who built the Shelby Cobra sports car. May 10.
Mary Richardson Kennedy, 52. Estranged wife of Robert Kennedy Jr.; her life's highlights and troubled moments played out publicly because of the famous political family she married into. May 16. Apparent suicide.
Donna Summer, 63. Disco queen whose pulsing anthems such as Last Dance, Love to Love You Baby and Bad Girls became the soundtrack for a glittery age of drugs, dance and flashy clothes. May 17.
Frank Edward Ed Ray, 91. California school bus driver who was hailed as a hero for helping 26 students escape after three kidnappers buried them underground in 1976. May 17.
Robin Gibb, 62. One of the three Bee Gees whose falsetto harmonies powered such hits as Stayin' Alive and Night Fever and defined the flashy disco era. May 20.
Eddie Blazonczyk, 70. Grammy Award-winning polka great who earned the nickname Polka King after starting his own band and label. May 21.
Doc Watson, 89. Grammy-award winning folk musician whose lightning-fast style of flatpicking influenced guitarists around the world. May 29.
Kathryn Joosten, 72. Character actress best known as Karen McCluskey on Desperate Housewives and the president's secretary on The West Wing. June 2.
Richard Dawson, 79. Wisecracking British entertainer who was among the schemers in the 1960s TV comedy Hogan's Heroes and later the contestant-kissing host of the game show Family Feud. June 2.
Herb Reed, 83. Last surviving original member of 1950s vocal group the Platters who sang on hits such as Only You and The Great Pretender. June 4.
Ray Bradbury, 91. Science fiction-fantasy master who transformed his childhood dreams and Cold War fears into telepathic Martians, lovesick sea monsters and the high-tech, book-burning future of Fahrenheit 451. May 5.
Bob Welch, 65. Former member of Fleetwood Mac who went on to write songs and record several hits during a solo career. June 7. Self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Ann Rutherford, 94. Actress who played the sweetheart in the long-running Andy Hardy series and Scarlett O'Hara's youngest sister in Gone With the Wind. June 11.
Henry Hill, 69. Associate in New York's Lucchese crime family, a mobster and FBI informant whose life was the basis for the Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas. June 12.
Rodney King, 47. Black motorist whose 1991 videotaped beating by Los Angeles police officers was the spark for one of the most destructive U.S. race riots. June 17. Accidentally drowned.
Richard Adler, 90. Composer-lyricist who won Tony Awards for such Broadway musicals as The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees and who produced President John F. Kennedy's birthday celebration featuring a breathy Marilyn Monroe. June 21.
Nora Ephron, 71. Essayist, author and filmmaker who thrived in the male-dominated worlds of movies and journalism and was loved, respected and feared for her wit. June 26. Leukemia
Doris Singleton, 92. Actress who played Lucy and Ricky Ricardo's neighbor on I Love Lucy. June 26.
Don Grady, 68. One of television's most beloved big brothers as Robbie Douglas on the 1960s hit My Three Sons. June 27.
Norman Sas, 87. Mechanical engineer who created electric football, a tabletop game with a vibrating metal field and unpredictable plastic players that captivated children and grownups. June 28.
Doris Sams, 85. Pitcher and outfielder from Knoxville who helped inspire the movie A League of Their Own. June 28.
Yitzhak Shamir, 96. Former Israeli prime minister who maintained that Israel should hold on to territory and never trust an Arab regime. June 30.
Andy Griffith, 86. He made homespun Southern wisdom his trademark as a wise sheriff in The Andy Griffith Show and a rumpled defense lawyer in Matlock. July 3.
Ernest Borgnine, 95. Beefy screen star known for blustery, often villainous roles, but who won the best-actor Oscar for playing against type as a lovesick butcher in Marty in 1955. July 8.
Donald J. Sobol, 87. Author of the popular Encyclopedia Brown series of children's mysteries. July 11.
Celeste Holm, 95. Versatile actress who soared to Broadway fame in Oklahoma! and won an Oscar for her portrayal of a lonely secretary in Gentleman's Agreement. July 15.
Kitty Wells, 92. Singer whose hits such as Making Believe and It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels made her the first female superstar of country music. July 16.
Sally Ride, 61. She blazed trails into orbit as the first American woman in space. July 23. Pancreatic cancer.
Sherman Hemsley, 74. Actor who made the irascible, bigoted George Jefferson of The Jeffersons one of TV's most memorable characters and a symbol for urban upward mobility. July 24.
Chad Everett, 75. Star of the 1970s TV series Medical Center who went on to appear in such films and TV shows as Mulholland Drive and Melrose Place. July 24.
Gore Vidal, 86. Author, playwright, politician and commentator whose novels, essays, plays and opinions were stamped by his immodest wit and unconventional wisdom. July 31.
Bernard Lovell, 98. Pioneering British physicist and astronomer who developed one of the world's largest radio telescopes exploring particles in the universe. Aug. 6.
Judith Crist, 90. Blunt, popular film critic for the Today show, TV Guide and the New York Herald Tribune whose reviews were at times so harsh that director Otto Preminger labeled her Judas Crist. Aug. 7.
Carlo Rambaldi, 86. Special-effects master and three-time Oscar winner known as the father of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Aug. 10.
Joe Kubert, 85. Groundbreaking comic artist and educator best known for co-creating DC Comics' iconic Sgt. Rock character. Aug. 12.
Johnny Pesky, 92. Player who spent most of his 60-plus years in pro baseball with the Boston Red Sox and was beloved by the team's fans. Aug. 13.
Ron Palillo, 63. Actor best known as the nerdy high school student Arnold Horshack on the 1970s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter. Aug. 14.
Tony Scott, 68. Director of such Hollywood blockbusters as Top Gun, Days of Thunder and Beverly Hills Cop II. Aug. 19. Died after jumping from a bridge.
Phyllis Diller, 95. Housewife-turned-humorist who aimed some of her sharpest barbs at herself, punctuating her jokes with her trademark cackle. Aug. 20.
Jerry Nelson, 78. Puppeteer behind a delightful menagerie of characters including Count von Count on Sesame Street and Gobo Fraggle on Fraggle Rock. Aug. 23.
Neil Armstrong, 82. He became a global hero when as a steely-nerved astronaut he made one giant leap for mankind with a small step onto the moon. Aug. 25.
Hal David, 91. Stylish, heartfelt lyricist who teamed with Burt Bacharach on dozens of songs for movies, television and a variety of recording artists in the 1960s and beyond. Sept. 1.
Rev. Sun Myung Moon, 92. Self-proclaimed messiah who turned his Unification Church into a worldwide religious movement and befriended North Korean leaders as well as U.S. presidents. Sept. 3.
Michael Clarke Duncan, 54. Hulking character actor whose dozens of films included an Oscar-nominated performance as a death row inmate in The Green Mile and such other box office hits as Armageddon, Planet of the Apes and Kung Fu Panda. Sept. 3. Heart attack.
Art Modell, 87. Former owner of the Baltimore Ravens and longtime NFL stalwart who incurred the wrath of Cleveland fans when he moved the team from Ohio. Sept. 6.
Chris Stevens, 52. U.S. ambassador to Libya and a career diplomat. Sept. 11. Killed during an attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya.
John Ingle, 84. Actor who for two decades played a scheming patriarch on the daytime drama General Hospital. Sept. 16.
Andy Williams, 84. Silky-voiced, clean-cut crooner whose hit recording Moon River and years of popular Christmas TV shows brought him fans the world over. Sept. 25.
Avalanna Routh, 6. Her love for Justin Bieber – she called herself Mrs. Bieber – encouraged physicians and nurses at a Boston hospital to organize a pretend wedding to the pop star as she battled a rare brain cancer. Sept. 26.
Herbert Lom, 95. Czech-born actor best known as Inspector Clouseau's long-suffering boss in the Pink Panther movies. Sept. 27.
Alex Karras, 77. Feared NFL defensive tackle who went into acting, playing the dad in the 1980s sitcom Webster and the cowboy who punched a horse in Blazing Saddles. Oct. 10.
Arlen Specter, 82. Outspoken ex-U.S. senator from Pennsylvania whose switch from Republican to Democrat ended a 30-year career in which he played a pivotal role in several Supreme Court nominations. Oct. 14. Complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
E. Donnall Thomas, 92. Physician who pioneered bone marrow transplants and won the 1990 Nobel Prize in medicine. Oct. 20.
George McGovern, 90. Former U.S. senator and a Democrat who lost to President Richard Nixon in 1972 in a landslide. Oct. 21.
Russell Means, 72. Former American Indian Movement activist who helped lead the 1973 uprising at Wounded Knee and also appeared in Hollywood films. Oct. 22.
Letitia Baldrige, 86. The White House social secretary during the Kennedy administration, an authority on etiquette. Oct. 29.
Teri Shields, 79. She launched daughter Brooke's on-camera career when she was a baby and managed the young star into her 20s, sometimes with controversy. Oct. 31.
Milt Campbell, 78. First African-American to win the Olympic decathlon in 1956, he went on to play professional football and become a motivational speaker. Nov. 2.
Bernard Lansky, 85. Memphis retailer who helped a young Elvis Presley establish his flashy, signature clothing style in the 1950s. Nov. 15.
Warren B. Rudman, 82. Former U.S. senator who co-authored a budget-balancing law and led a commission that predicted the danger of terrorist attacks years before 9/11. Nov. 19. Complications of lymphoma.
Art Ginsburg, 81. Delightfully dorky television chef known as Mr. Food. Nov. 21.
Larry Hagman, 81. Actor whose predatory oil baron J.R. Ewing on television's nighttime soap opera Dallas became a symbol for 1980s greed. Nov. 23.
Hector Macho Camacho, 50. Puerto Rican boxer known for skill and flamboyance in the ring as well as for a messy personal life and run-ins with the police. Nov. 24. Gunshot.
Marvin Miller, 95. Soft-spoken union head who led baseball players in strikes and legal battles that won free agency, revolutionized sports and turned athletes into multimillionaires. Nov. 27.
Jack Brooks, 89. Longtime Texas congressman who was in the Dallas motorcade in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Dec. 4.
Dave Brubeck, 91. Jazz composer and pianist whose pioneering style in pieces such as Take Five caught listeners' ears with exotic, challenging rhythms. Dec. 5.
Mary Ann Darling Fischer, 79. She gave birth to the United States' first known surviving quintuplets in 1963 in an event that brought intense media interest in her family life. Dec. 9.
Norman Joseph Woodland, 91. He was the co-inventor of the bar code that labels nearly every product in stores and has boosted productivity in nearly every sector of commerce worldwide. Dec. 9.
Ravi Shankar, 92. The sitar virtuoso who became a hippie musical icon of the 1960s after hobnobbing with the Beatles and who introduced traditional Indian ragas to Western audiences over an eight-decade career. Dec. 11.
Jack Hanlon, 96. He had roles in the 1926 silent classic The General and in two 1927 Our Gang comedies. Dec. 13.
Charles Durning, 89. Twice nominated for an Oscar, he was dubbed the king of character actors. Dec. 24.
Jack Klugman, 90. Actor who made an art of gruffness in 1970s and '80s TV in The Odd Couple and Quincy, M.E. Dec. 24.
Fontella Bass, 72. The St. Louis-born soul singer hit the top of the R&B charts with Rescue Me in 1965. Dec. 26.
H. Norman Schwarzkopf, 78. General who commanded the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in 1991. Dec. 27.