As the old year winds to a close and a new one just begins, Hollywood looks back on the lives and careers of all the stars we lost. While the Academy will offer a far more extensive list during their retrospective during the Oscar Awards ceremony, we'll just focus on the classic stars who died in 2012.
Some were more recognizable than others, like wild comedienne Phyllis Diller, who starred in a number of films outside her stage career, including Elia Kazan's Splendor in the Grass (1961). Others were lesser known like writer-director Frank Pierson, who wrote Sidney Lumet's classic Dog Day Afternoon (1975) and directed Barbra Streisand in the remake of A Star Is Born (1976), and Ann Rutherford, who reached career heights as Vivien Leigh's younger sister in Gone With the Wind (1939), only to fade after the 1940s.
Of course, we lost two of Hollywood's most beloved character actors, Ernest Borgnine and Charles Durning. Borgnine won the Oscar for Best Actor for Marty (1955) and co-starred with William Holden in Sam Peckinpah's great revisionist Western The Wild Bunch (1969). Durning came to acting later in life, but made the best of it as a corrupt cop opposite Robert Redford and Paul Newman in The Sting (1973) and a hostage negotiator in Dog Day Afternoon.
Another beloved star, Andy Griffith, also died in 2012. Though known primarily for television's The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock, Griffith starred on the silver screen in Kazan's A Face in the Crowd (1957), and comedies like No Time For Sergeants (1958) and Onionhead (1958).
Andy Griffith in 'A Face in the Crowd' (1957)/Warner Bros.; Charles Durning in 'Dog Day Afternoon' (1975)/Warner Bros.; and Ernest Borgnine in 'Marty' (1955)/United Artists