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They lived by the sword, both inspiring fear and acts of bloodshed around the world. And in the end, they both suffered violent deaths befitting their fearsome reputations. Perhaps no two deaths in 2011 transfixed the world more than those of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.
If relief and even celebration by many greeted their demise, the deaths of other notables in 2011 brought reflection on lives of achievement.
On Oct. 5, the world of science and innovation lost Steve Jobs, the Apple founder who invented and marketed sleek gadgets that transformed everyday technology from the personal computer to the iPod, iPhone and iPad.
In entertainment, the world lost Elizabeth Taylor on March 23 at age 79. Taylor's sultry screen persona, stormy personal life and enduring fame made her one of the last of the classic movie stars. The year also saw the passing of soul singer Amy Winehouse, whose death on July 23 at age 27 left many wondering what works of musical brilliance the world might have seen from the troubled, young star.
Others in the arts and entertainment field who died include: Peter Falk, Jane Russell, Clarence Clemons, Pinetop Perkins, Annie Girardot, Harry Morgan, Ferlin Husky, Susannah York, Randy "Macho Man" Savage, David Nelson, Sidney Lumet, Richard Hamilton, Bil Keane, Poly Styrene, M.F. Husain, Heavy D and Jackie Cooper.
Here is a roll call of some of the people in the arts and entertainment world who died in 2011. The cause of death is cited for younger people if available.
Peter Yates, 81. A British film maker who sent actor Steve McQueen screeching through the streets of San Francisco in a Ford Mustang in "Bullitt." Jan. 9.
David Nelson, 74. He starred on his parents' popular American television show "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet." Jan. 11. Colon cancer.
Susannah York, 72. One of the leading stars of British and Hollywood films in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Jan. 15. Cancer.
Don Kirshner, 76. A rock promoter who helped launch performers such as Prince, the Eagles, Lionel Ritchie and Ozzy Osbourne. Jan. 17.
Jack LaLanne, 96. The fitness guru who inspired U.S. television viewers to trim down, eat well and pump iron for decades before diet and exercise became an American obsession. Jan. 23. Respiratory failure due to pneumonia.
Maria Schneider, 58. A French actress who was Marlon Brando's young co-star in Bernardo Bertolucci's steamy "Last Tango in Paris." Feb. 3.
Betty Garrett, 91. The vivacious Broadway star who played singer Frank Sinatra's sweetheart in two MGM musicals before her career was hampered by Hollywood's blacklist in the 1950s. Feb. 12.
Suze Rotolo, 67. Artist and girlfriend of singer Bob Dylan, who was his lyrical muse when he came to prominence in the early 1960s. Feb. 25.
Owsley "Bear" Stanley, 76. A 1960s counterculture figure who worked with the Grateful Dead and was a prolific LSD producer. March 12. Injuries suffered in a car crash.
Joe Morello, 82. A legendary American jazz drummer whose virtuosity and odd time signatures made him an integral part of the Dave Brubeck Quartet on such recordings as "Take Five." March 12.
Michael Gough, 94. The British actor best known for playing Bruce Wayne's butler in a series of Batman movies. March 17.
Pinetop Perkins, 97. Grammy-winning bluesman, who for years played the rickety bars of the Mississippi Delta and performed with musicians such as Ike Turner, Sonny Boy Williamson and slide guitarist Robert Nighthawk. March 21.
Sidney Lumet, 86. The award-winning director of such American film classics as "Network," "Serpico," "Dog Day Afternoon" and "12 Angry Men." April 9.
Tim Hetherington, 49. A British-born, Oscar-nominated film director and photojournalist. April 20. Killed while covering fighting between rebels and government forces in Libya.
Poly Styrene, 53. The braces-wearing British singer who belted out the punk anthem "Oh Bondage, Up Yours" with the band X-Ray Spex. April 25.
Jackie Cooper, 88. One of the most popular child movie stars of the 1930s who later had a successful career as a television director and still appeared in films. May 3.
Arthur Laurents, 93. The director, playwright and screenwriter who wrote such enduring productions as "West Side Story" and "Gypsy" as well as the film classics "Rope" and "The Way We Were." May 5.
Burt Reinhardt, 91. One of CNN's first presidents and an American television pioneer who is credited with helping to build the global news network in its formative years. May 10.
Gil Scott-Heron, 62. Widely considered one of the godfathers of rap music with his piercing social and political prose laid against the backdrop of minimalist percussion, flute and other instrumentation. May 27.
James Arness, 88. An actor who towered over the American television landscape for two decades as righteous Dodge City lawman Matt Dillon in "Gunsmoke." June 3.
Clarence Clemons, 69. The saxophone player for the E Street Band who was one of the key influences in Bruce Springsteen's life and music. June 18. Complications from a stroke.
Peter Falk, 83. The American stage and screen actor who became identified as the rumpled detective title character on "Colombo," which spanned 30 years in primetime U.S. television. June 23.
Manuel Galban, 80. An award-winning Cuban guitarist who rose to international fame as a member of the Buena Vista Social Club musical collective. July 7.
Lucien Freud, 88. A towering and uncompromising figure in the art world for more than 50 years known for his intense realist portraits, particularly of nudes. July 20.
Bubba Smith, 66. Former NFL star and actor best known for playing Moses Hightower, the soft-spoken officer in the "Police Academy" films. Aug. 3.
Marshall Grant, 83. The last surviving member of Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two who helped change the future of American music and popular culture with their boom-chicka-boom beat. Aug. 7.
David "Honey Boy" Edwards, 96. An award-winning American musician believed to be the oldest surviving Delta bluesman, in Chicago. Aug. 28.
Salvatore Licitra, 43. A tenor known in his Italian homeland as the "new Pavarotti." Sept. 5. Motorcycle accident.
Cliff Robertson, 88. Actor who portrayed President John F. Kennedy in the film "PT-109" and won an Oscar for playing a mentally disabled man in "Charly." Sept. 10.
Robert Whitaker, 71. A photographer who shot some of the most famous images of The Beatles. Sept. 20. Cancer.
Arthur C. Nielsen Jr., 92. He led the company that grew into an international firm that produces the TV ratings known as "The Nielsens." Oct. 3.
Jimmy Savile, 84. A veteran British broadcaster and famously eccentric culture figure. Oct. 29.
Andy Rooney, 92. The curmudgeonly commentator who spent 30 years talking about the oddities of life on American television. Nov. 4.
Bil Keane, 89. Creator of the comic strip "Family Circus," which entertained readers with a mix of humor and traditional family values for more than a half century. Nov. 8.
Heavy D, 44. He became one of rap's top hit makers in the late 1980s and early 1990s with his charming combination of humor and positivity. Nov. 8. Died after collapsing outside his home.
Ken Russell, 84. An iconoclastic British director whose daring films blended music, sex and violence in a potent brew seemingly drawn from his subconscious. Nov. 27.
Anne McCaffrey, 85. Her vision of an interstellar alliance between humans and dragons spawned the science fiction "Dragonriders of Pern" novels. Nov. 21. Stroke.
Harry Morgan, 96. An actor best known for playing the fatherly Col. Sherman Potter on the TV show "M-A-S-H." Dec. 7.
Jerry Robinson, 89. A comic book industry pioneer who helped create Batman sidekick Robin the Boy Wonder and their arch-nemesis The Joker. Dec. 7.
Joe Simon, 98. He co-created Captain America along with Jack Kirby and was one of the comic book industry's most revered writers, artists and editors. Dec. 14.
Christopher Hitchens, 62. An author, essayist and polemicist who waged verbal and occasional physical battle on behalf of causes left and right. Dec. 15. Complications from esophageal cancer.