2011: In memoriam
Some of the people we lost in 2011.
December 28th, 2011
05:49 AM ET

2011: In memoriam

As 2011 draws to a close, we’d like to look back at some of the notable people who died this year. These videos highlight their achievements and honor their legacies.

Screen siren – Elizabeth Taylor is remembered not only as a strikingly beautiful Academy Award-winning actress, but also as a compassionate and devoted advocate for HIV/AIDS research.

Soulful songbird – Amy Winehouse enchanted many of us with her sultry voice and modern style of music. The Grammy Award-winning singer had notoriously battled substance abuse issues for years.

The visionary – Pioneer, innovator, creative genius - these are words peers used to describe iconic Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs. Many first got word of his passing on one of the devices he helped create and popularize.

Witty journalist – Legendary commentator Andy Rooney was known for his dry wit and profound intelligence to audiences all over the globe. Rooney’s last televised commentary aired on “60 Minutes” on October 2, 2011.  He died about one month after leaving the show at age 92.

More notable faces – CNN looks back at some of the notable people who died in 2011.

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Filed under: 2011 Year in Review • Amy Winehouse • Apple • Celebrity • Elizabeth Taylor • Gotta Watch • Movies • Music • Steve Jobs • Technology
soundoff (203 Responses)
  1. Simply Amazing

    Let's not forget the other thing we lost again this year.


    thanks to our liberial WH and Senate. Republicans made many attempts to jump start the process, but your faithful liberial leadership stuck their heads in the sand and said NO to all proposals.

    2012 will be a new year and will bring in new leadership.

    December 28, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • palintwit

      You got it completely bass- ackwards. Did you forget? The republicans are the ones called the "party of no".

      December 28, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Simply Amazing


      Your good friends in the Senate hasn't passed a budget in 3 years. Harry has been the manager of the "NO" approach to running government.

      Try again. Or just vote for more NO's and reelect your Dem friends.

      The rest of us plan on giving Harry and his friends a retirement party next Nov.

      December 28, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Jules

      The House of Representatives is actually trying to get work done, but Senate majority leader Reid is refusing to introduce their legislation to the floor. Why? So he can accuse them of doing nothing.He is ridiculous and with Pelosi is the most guilty partisan hack out there. Reid needs to go.

      December 28, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. Carlos Mojica

    I find amazing that you highlighted Amy Winehouse's death and decided against Christopher Hitchens, one the most gifted writers and thinkers of this generation. Awful oversight.

    December 28, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • alanseago

      Carlos: Until reading your comment, I didn't realize Christopher Hitchens had died. You're absolutely right; he should have been remembered in the article to which these comments pertain. His was a toweing intellect. Always a pleasure to listen to the man. I'm terribly sorry he died.

      Although, maybe on second thought it is more fitting that Hitchens wasn't included in the list. I suspect that he would have been disgusted to have been listed along with Elizabeth Taylor.

      Being a celebrity, after all, requires popular recognition of one's great qualities. Mr. Hitchens might have scoffed at the idea of popular recognition.

      He was a smoker. Terrible stuff, tobacco.

      December 28, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ben

    What?! No Lady Gaga or whatever her real name is

    December 28, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Satros

      Seeing as how she's still quite alive...

      December 28, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ben

    John Barry died this year. He composed Oscar award winning musical scores for films and he was also behind the James Bond soundtracks back when James Bond was a credible franchise

    December 28, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. palintwit

    "Sarah Palin announces her candidacy for president of the United States" This is the headline I most wished for in 2011. Palin has the potential to eclipse the golden age of political comedy provided to comedians by George W. Bush. Her gaffes and missteps have secured her a place in the Dan Quayle political comedy museum - which I hope to build one day.

    Who can forget Palin referring to the fighting in Libya as a "squirmish" - a word which sends my spell check into an endless loop. Or Palin sharing her foreign policy prowess with the comment: "But obviously, we've got to stand with our North Korean allies."

    And just a few months ago, she gave us this comedy classic: Paul Revere warned the British during the Revolutionary war.

    Ahh...I get a bit misty thinking about what could have been if Sarah ran for President.

    Don't get me wrong, from a comedic point of view, 2011 was a pretty good year, but I think we all can agree that it could have been funnier.

    December 28, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  6. Brux

    What about Michael Sarrazin?

    December 28, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    WJR states: "Winehouse was a drunken junkie!…….How about the deaths of all the starving pagan babies in Africa!"

    Why are they pagan?

    December 28, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • palintwit

      They're called "pagan" by teabaggers, birthers and other assorted trailer trash.

      December 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • A

      What's wrong with being pagan, anyway?

      December 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Satros

    These are the four you thought were most worth it? Liz Taylor and Steve Jobs are the only ones who should have gotten such specific mention, Winehouse was sad but not that tragic, and Rooney was losing it in his last years, phoning it in and little more than a grumpy old man who shouldn't have been on television. These are usually the best put together articles on news websites and shows at the end of the year, but this one looks like it was tossed together in ten minutes with no real true thought as to the value of the others who left us this year. Fail.

    December 28, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mr. Zippy

    Hey, CNN, 2011 isn't over yet. WHAT ABOUT CHEETAH?

    December 28, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. saltine

    they forgot Herman Cain's pollitical career. 999 No No No!

    December 28, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Benno G

    Why would Christopher Hitchens not be included here?

    December 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    The House of Representatives is doing what they've done since Obama took office; obstruct.

    RIP to cooperation.

    Can we get back to the memorials, now?


    December 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. billgme

    Republicans will take control of Senate and pick up a total of 5 seats, retain control of House and send Obama off to hawaii where he can't do any more damage. Then America will finally be the Home of the brave and we will finally be free of this ridiculous liberal agenda that is destroying initiative!

    December 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • palintwit

      And then you woke up...

      December 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • frank

      That's all fine and good, but this is an article about people who passed in 2011. Does everything have to be about politics?

      December 28, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simply Amazing

      Frank, your good friends started when they attacked Palin and Bush.

      We fight back. So get use to it! We are taking back our country.

      You guys are stuck in la la la Gaga land.

      Time for you to wake up.

      December 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • palintwit

      Simply Amazing... you want to take it back allright. Back to the 13th century. The evangelicals want to bring back witch burning.

      December 28, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • beuschman

      It's amazing how right wingers rewrite history to make it seem as if President Obama was handed a country at peace with a booming economy. FYI – it was conservatives, led by Ronald Reagan, who started America's downslide with supply-side economics - cutting taxes while exploding spending. If any agenda is destroying initiative - and American in general - it's the conservative agenda. Stack the economy lopsidedly in favor of the ultra-rich then, when someone rightfully criticizes that system, accuse that person of being a socialist or a communist. Home of the brave? Uh-huh. Because chickenhawks like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, George Will, Pat Buchanan, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, et al are always willing to fight America's enemies .... as long as they can send someone else's children to fight and die in their place, right?

      December 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Burbank

      Uhhh I think you are in the wrong blog?

      December 28, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • AlphaMe

      I've always wondered what people mean when they say they want their country back. So I ask you, billgme, what do you mean? Where did your country go? Did you lose it on the bus, or did it run away from you because of an apparent lack of parenting skills? As far as I am aware, my country is still here (even during the Bush administration, gulp). To paraphrase John Fugelsang, blaming Obama for the mess we are in is like blaming your hangover on the guy making breakfast.

      December 28, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simply Amazing


      you shouldn't be so surprised they we blame Obama for anything.

      He has done nothing. How true. Been campaign mode sine 2004 and won't have a clue how to make this country great.

      Let's lay the blame where it clearly belongs.

      The kool-aid drinking libs and uneducated college kids and union thugs.

      They clearly wanted this country to fail. So we have exactly what they voted into office.

      Welcome to the real "New World Order". Go back and read your history books. Republicans have only done great things for this country. Fight against tyranny, salvery and dictatorships and pronounced freedom to those hungry enough to work and die for it. No free hand outs. That is what hurts to hear if you are a liberial.

      December 28, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark


      You do realize that President Reagan RAISED taxes 3 times during his presidency, right? He saw that cutting taxes did not work and proceeded to raise them. We then had a booming period in the 90s that started to dip at the end of Clinton's presidency. Most of the issues we have today are do to NOT RAISING taxes to fund two wars.

      December 29, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©


    Nothing at all.
    The wording was just curious to me.

    December 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banasy©

    Obama will win in 2012.
    His home state *is* beatutiful, isn't it?

    December 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simply Amazing

      Yes- he can't. His new motto. No 2012 for King Obama. Sorry, we loan you our country for 4 years and you have ruined it.

      We want it back now.

      Enjoy HI, your will love livng there.

      December 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
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