POLLY ANDERSONIt was only a rehearsal, and he was twice the age of the dancers accompanying him. But the video doesn't lie: Michael Jackson was looking ahead to a smash opening in London ¿ and giving it his all. And then he was gone. With his thrilling music and dance, enigmatic personality and worldwide reach, Jackson led the list of notables in the worlds of art, entertainment and popular culture who died in 2009. Some, like Jackson, departed without warning. Some, like actor Patrick Swayze, waged a very public struggle with illness. But others were still active in their 80s and 90s. The great choreographer Merce Cunningham spent his last months on a work about his own aging, "Nearly Ninety." Andrew Wyeth called his last work "Goodbye." Television journalism lost two founding fathers who remained at the top decades later: Walter Cronkite and Don Hewitt. Musician-inventor Les Paul and radio broadcaster Paul Harvey both continued on the job past their 90th birthday. We also said goodbye to writers John Updike, Horton Foote, John Hope Franklin, Marilyn French, Budd Schulberg, Larry Gelbart and Hortense Calisher. The visual arts lost photographer Irving Penn, cinematographer Jack Cardiff, and two women who collaborated with their husbands on famous public art projects, Coosje van Bruggen and Jeanne-Claude.
TV fans mourned Ed McMahon, the ultimate talk show sidekick; Bea Arthur, who created delightful sharp-tongued characters; "Kung Fu" star David Carradine; and the decorative Farrah Fawcett, who, when given the chance, showed she could act, too. The film world lost Oscar-winners Karl Malden and Jennifer Jones, as well as Brittany Murphy, who was only 32. Jade Goody represented a 21st century celebrity, making a name for herself on British reality TV, then garnering sympathy around the world as she battled cancer. Billy Mays was known for his boisterous TV commercials. We also lost the scholar who helped make sense of all this when he coined the term "popular culture." Here, a roll call of some of the notable people in art, entertainment and popular culture who died in 2009. (Cause of death cited for younger people if available.) JANUARY: Johannes Mario Simmel, 84. Austrian-born author; topped German-language best-seller lists. Jan. 1. Jett Travolta, 16. John Travolta's son. Jan. 2. Seizure. Betty Freeman, 87. Modern art collector, music patron. Jan. 3. Olga San Juan, 81. Actress, dancer known as "Puerto Rican Pepperpot." Jan. 3.
Pat Hingle, 84. Tony-nominated stage actor; Commissioner Gordon in "Batman" movies. Jan. 3. Ned Tanen, 77. As Paramount and Universal chairman, he greenlighted a string of hits ("Top Gun," ''E.T"). Jan. 5. Ron Asheton, 60. Guitarist for the Stooges, whose raw sound helped inspire punk rock. Jan. 6. Cheryl Holdridge, 64. Mouseketeer on "The Mickey Mouse Club." Jan. 6. Jon Hager, 67. Half of Hager Twins on TV's "Hee-Haw." Jan. 9. Coosje van Bruggen, 66. Artist; collaborated with husband Claes Oldenburg on his giant sculptures. Jan. 10. Tom O'Horgan, 84. Directed "Hair," ''Jesus Christ Superstar" on Broadway. Jan. 11. Claude Berri, 74. French actor, director ("Manon of the Spring"). Jan. 12. W.D. Snodgrass, 83. Pulitzer-winning poet ("Heart's Needle"). Jan. 13. Pedro "Cuban Pete" Aguilar, 81. Star mambo dancer in 1950s. Jan. 13. Patrick McGoohan, 80. Emmy-winning actor; star of TV classic "The Prisoner." Jan. 13. Hortense Calisher, 97. Fiction writer known for dense prose ("False Entry"). Jan. 13.
Ricardo Montalban, 88. Actor in splashy MGM musicals; Mr. Roarke on "Fantasy Island." Jan. 14. Andrew Wyeth, 91. Acclaimed artist whose portraits and landscapes combined traditional realism, modern melancholy. Jan. 16. John Mortimer, 85. British writer; created curmudgeonly lawyer Rumpole of the Bailey. Jan. 16. Grigore Vieru, 73. Poet who courageously promoted Romanian language in Soviet republic of Moldova. Jan. 18. David "Fathead" Newman, 75. Jazz saxophonist; played with wide range of luminaries. Jan. 20. James Brady, 80. Author, Parade magazine celebrity columnist. Jan. 26. John Updike, 76. Pulitzer-winning novelist, essayist. Jan. 27. Billy Powell, 56. Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboard player ("Sweet Home Alabama," ''Free Bird"). Jan. 28. John Martyn, 60. British singer-songwriter ("May You Never"). Jan. 29. Hans Beck, 79. Created colorful Playmobil toy figures. Jan. 30. Milton Parker, 90. Owned NYC's Carnegie Deli, known for gargantuan sandwiches. Jan. 30. FEBRUARY: Lukas Foss, 86. Avant garde composer. Feb. 1.
Dewey Martin, 68. Drummer with influential band Buffalo Springfield ("For What It's Worth"). Feb. 1. Lux Interior, 62. Lead singer of horror-punk band the Cramps. Feb. 4. James Whitmore, 87. Many-faceted actor; did one-man shows on Harry Truman, Will Rogers. Feb. 6. Philip Carey, 83. Played tycoon Asa Buchanan in "One Life to Live." Feb. 6. Molly Bee, 69. Country singer; teamed with Tennessee Ernie Ford ("Don't Go Courtin' in a Hot Rod Ford"). Feb. 7. Blossom Dearie, 84. Jazz singer with unique baby-doll voice. Feb. 7. Robert Anderson, 91. Broadway playwright ("Tea and Sympathy"). Feb. 9. Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez, 76. Bassist for Cuba's Buena Vista Social Club. Feb. 9. Estelle Bennett, 67. One of Ronnettes, '60s girl group ("Be My Baby"). Feb. 11. Hugh Leonard, 82. Irish playwright; won Tony for father-son drama "Da." Feb. 12. Gerry Niewood, 64, and Coleman Mellett, 34. Members of Chuck Mangione's band. Feb. 12. Buffalo, N.Y., plane crash. Alfred A. Knopf Jr., 90. Influential publisher; son of publishing legends. Feb. 14.
Louie Bellson, 84. Jazz drummer; performed with Duke Ellington, wife Pearl Bailey. Feb. 14. Al-Tayeb Saleh, 80. One of Arab world's top novelists. Feb. 18. Snooks Eaglin, 72. New Orleans R&B singer, guitarist; top rockers among his fans. Feb. 18. Kelly Groucutt, 63. Bass player with Electric Light Orchestra ("Don't Bring Me Down"). Feb. 19. Howard Zieff, 81. Directed films ("Private Benjamin"), TV ads (Alka-Seltzer's "Spicy Meatballs." ) Feb. 22. Sverre Fehn, 84. Norwegian architect; won prestigious Pritzker award. Feb. 23. Philip Jose Farmer, 91. Celebrated science fiction and fantasy writer. Feb. 25. Wendy Richard, 65. British actress; working-class matriarch of "EastEnders." Feb. 26. Paul Harvey, 90. Radio news and talk pioneer; one of nation's most familiar voices. Feb. 28. MARCH: Ernie Ashworth, 80. Grand Ole Opry singer ("Talk Back Trembling Lips"). March 2. Sydney Chaplin, 82. Tony-winning actor; son of Charlie Chaplin ("Bells Are Ringing"). March 3.
Horton Foote, 92. Playwright ("The Trip to Bountiful") and screenwriter ("To Kill a Mockingbird"). March 4. Schuyler Chapin, 86. Arts champion; was Metropolitan Opera general manager. March 7. Jimmy Boyd, 70. Child actor, singer ("I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"). March 7. Ernest Trova, 82. Artist known for "Falling Man" series. March 8. Hank Locklin, 91. Smooth-voiced country singer ("Send Me the Pillow You Dream On"). March 8. James Purdy, 94. Author of underground classics ("Cabot Wright Begins"). March 13. Anne Wiggins Brown, 96. Soprano; the original Bess in Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess." March 13. Betsy Blair, 85. Actress, Oscar-nominated for role as shy woman courted by homely Ernest Borgnine in "Marty." March 13. Millard Kaufman, 92. Oscar-nominated screenwriter ("Bad Day at Black Rock"). March 14. Ron Silver, 62. Won Tony as tough Hollywood producer in David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow." March 15. Jack Lawrence, 96. Lyricist for Frank Sinatra's first hit, "All or Nothing at All." March 15. Natasha Richardson, 45. Gifted heiress to British acting royalty ("Patty Hearst"). March 18. Skiing accident.
Eddie Bo, 79. New Orleans blues singer-pianist; worked with greats such as Irma Thomas. March 18. Jade Goody, 27. British reality TV star, hailed in final months for her courage. March 22. Cancer. Uriel Jones, 74. Drummer whose passionate beat fueled Motown hits. March 24. Dan Seals, 61. Half of duo England Dan and John Ford Coley, later top country singer ("You Still Move Me"). March 25. John Hope Franklin, 94. Towering scholar of African-American studies. March 25. Steven Bach, 70. Movie executive who oversaw the debacle "Heaven's Gate"; later wrote memoir about it. March 25. Irving R. Levine, 86. Bow-tied NBC newsman who explained the fine points of economics. March 27. Helen Levitt, 95. Photographer famed for scenes of New York street life. March 29. Maurice Jarre, 84. Oscar-winning film composer ("Lawrence of Arabia," ''Doctor Zhivago"). March 28. Andy Hallett, 33. Good-guy demon Lorne in TV series "Angel." March 29. Heart disease. APRIL: Bud Shank, 82. Jazz saxophonist, flutist ("California Dreamin'''). April 2.
Tom Braden, 92. Helped launch CNN's "Crossfire"; wrote memoir "Eight is Enough" that inspired a TV show. April 3. Dave Arneson, 61. Co-creator of groundbreaking Dungeons & Dragons fantasy game. April 7. David "Pop" Winans Sr., 76. Grammy-nominated patriarch of gospel music family. April 8. Randy Cain, 63. Member of "Philadelphia sound" soul group the Delfonics ("Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time"). April 9. Marilyn Chambers, 56. She helped bring adult films into mainstream with "Behind the Green Door." April 12. Heart disease. Jack D. Hunter, 87. Wrote novel "The Blue Max," made into 1966 film. April 13. Peter Rogers, 95. Produced British "Carry On" films, hallmarks of lowbrow comedy. April 14. J.G. Ballard, 78. British author known for dark vision ("Empire of the Sun"). April 19. Tharon Musser, 84. Tony-winning lighting designer ("A Chorus Line," ''Follies"). April 19. Jack Cardiff, 94. Oscar-winning cinematographer famed for innovative use of Technicolor ("The Red Shoes"). April 22. Ken Annakin, 94. Directed World War II epics "Battle of the Bulge," ''The Longest Day." April 22.
The Rev. Timothy Wright, 61. Grammy-nominated gospel singer, and composer ("Jesus, Jesus, Jesus"). April 23. Bea Arthur, 86. Her sharp delivery propelled "Maude," ''The Golden Girls"; won Tony for "Mame." April 25. Salamo Arouch, 86. Jewish boxer whose Auschwitz experiences inspired movie "Triumph of the Spirit." April 26. Vern Gosdin, 74. Country singer ("Chiseled in Stone"). April 28. MAY: Danny Gans, 52. Singer-actor-impressionist; one of Las Vegas' most popular entertainers. May 1. Complications of medication use. Marilyn French, 79. Feminist writer; her 1977 novel "The Women's Room" sold millions. May 2. Dom DeLuise, 75. Portly actor with offbeat style ("The Cannonball Run"). May 4. Sam Cohn, 79. Powerful agent for top actors (Paul Newman, Meryl Streep), directors and writers. May 6. Mickey Carroll, 89. One of last surviving Munchkins from "The Wizard of Oz." May 7. Bud Shrake, 77. Co-author of golf best-seller "Harvey Penick's Little Red Book." May 8. John Furia Jr., 79. Prolific film, television writer ("Bonanza," ''The Waltons"). Announced May 8.
Stephen Bruton, 60. Guitarist, songwriter; worked with Kris Kristofferson. May 9. Throat cancer. Wayman Tisdale, 44. Accomplished jazzman; earlier, a college, NBA basketball star. May 15. Cancer. David Herbert Donald, 88. Pulitzer-winning Civil War historian; expert on Lincoln. May 17. Mario Benedetti, 88. Renowned Uruguayan author ("The Truce"). May 17. Lee Solters, 89. Hollywood publicist; clients included Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand. May 18. Jay Bennett, 45. Ex-member of rock band Wilco ("Yankee Hotel Foxtrot"). May 24. Painkiller overdose. Amos Elon, 82. Israeli author ("The Israelis: Founders and Sons"). May 25. JUNE: Koko Taylor, 80. Regal, powerful singer known as "Queen of the Blues." June 3. Sam Butera, 81. Las Vegas saxophonist; teamed with Louis Prima, Keely Smith. June 3. Shih Kien, 96. Veteran Hong Kong actor; Bruce Lee's archrival in 1973's "Enter the Dragon." June 3. David Carradine, 72. Actor ("Kung Fu," ''Kill Bill"). June 4.
Fleur Cowles, 101. Author, founded legendary magazine "Flair." June 5. Kenny Rankin, 69. Pop vocalist, musician, songwriter. June 7 Norman Brinker, 78. Casual restaurant mogul (Chili's Grill & Bar.) June 9. Christian Albin, 61. He fed luminaries for decades as executive chef of NY's Four Seasons. June 13. Cancer. Bob Bogle, 75. Guitarist, co-founded instrumental band The Ventures ("Walk, Don't Run"). June 14. Ed McMahon, 86. Ebullient "Tonight" show sidekick who bolstered Johnny Carson. June 23. Farrah Fawcett, 62. 1970s sex symbol, star of "Charlie's Angels." June 25. Michael Jackson, 50. The "King of Pop." June 25. Gale Storm, 87. Perky actress; one of early television's biggest stars ("My Little Margie"). June 27. Billy Mays, 50. Burly, bearded television pitchman. June 28. Heart disease. Fred Travalena, 66. Las Vegas impressionist. June 28. Pina Bausch, 68. German choreographer known for her pioneering work. June 30. Harve Presnell, 75. His booming baritone graced Broadway musicals ("The Unsinkable Molly Brown"). June 30.
JULY: Karl Malden, 97. Oscar-winning actor; a star despite his plain looks ("A Streetcar Named Desire"). July 1. Allen Klein, 77. No-holds-barred music manager; worked with the Beatles, Rolling Stones. July 4. Vasily Aksyonov, 76. Prolific Russian writer ("Generations of Winter"); one of last dissidents exiled from Soviet Union. July 6. Sir Edward Downes, 85. One of Britain's most renowned conductors; longtime head of the BBC Philharmonic. July 10. Julius Shulman, 98. His photos of Modernist buildings were hailed as works of art. July 15. Walter Cronkite, 92. Premier TV anchorman of the networks' golden age. July 17. Gordon Waller, 64. Half of the British Invasion pop duo Peter and Gordon ("A World Without Love"). July 17. Frank McCourt, 78. Former schoolteacher who enjoyed post-retirement fame, and a Pulitzer, for memoir "Angela's Ashes." July 19. Heinz Edelmann, 75. Graphic designer; art director of the 1968 Beatles film "Yellow Submarine." July 21. John "Marmaduke" Dawson, 64. Co-founded psychedelic country band New Riders of the Purple Sage. July 21.
E. Lynn Harris, 54. Best-selling author who pioneered gay black fiction ("Love of My Own"). July 23. Heart disease. Merce Cunningham, 90. The avant-garde dancer and choreographer who revolutionized modern dance. July 26. George Russell, 86. Jazz composer; theories influenced greats like Miles Davis. July 27. AUGUST: Naomi Sims, 61. Pioneering black model of the 1960s. Aug. 1. Billy Lee Riley, 75. Rambunctious early rock performer ("Flyin' Saucers Rock & Roll"). Aug. 2. Charles Gwathmey, 71. New York architect known for influential modernist home designs, famous clients. Aug. 3. Amos Kenan, 82. Israeli writer who helped modernize the Hebrew language. Aug. 4. Budd Schulberg, 95. Novelist ("What Makes Sammy Run?") and Oscar-winning screenwriter ("On the Waterfront"). Aug. 5. John Hughes, 59. Writer-director of smash youth-oriented comedies ("Ferris Bueller's Day Off," ''Home Alone"). Aug. 6. Heart attack. Willy DeVille, 58. Singer, songwriter; founded punk group Mink DeVille. Aug. 6. Pancreatic cancer. Mike Seeger, 75. Co-founded traditional folk group The New Lost City Ramblers. Aug. 7.
John Quade, 71. Character actor; the heavy in several Clint Eastwood movies. Aug. 9. Andy Kessler, 48. Trailblazer of NYC's skateboarding scene; designed skate parks. Aug. 10. Heart attack after wasp sting. Rashied Ali, 76. Jazz drummer; worked with John Coltrane. Aug. 12. Les Paul, 94. Guitar virtuoso; invented solid-body electric guitar, multitrack recording. Aug. 13. Virginia Davis, 90. As child actress, appeared in Walt Disney's "Alice" films in 1920s. Aug. 15. Robert Novak, 78. Combative TV and newspaper pundit who loved "making life miserable for hypocritical, posturing politicians." Aug. 18. Hildegard Behrens, 72. German-born soprano hailed as one of the finest Wagnerian performers of her generation. Aug. 18. Don Hewitt, 86. TV news pioneer who created "60 Minutes," produced it for 36 years. Aug. 19. Larry Knechtel, 69. Grammy-winning arranger and keyboardist; accompanied Ray Charles, other big names. Aug. 20. Dudu Topaz, 62. Charismatic and handsome Israeli variety show star whose late-career struggles led to criminal charges and suicide. Aug. 20. Elmer Kelton, 83. Acclaimed Western novelist ("The Good Old Boys"). Aug. 22.
Ellie Greenwich, 68. Co-wrote some of 1960s' most enduring songs ("Be My Baby"). Aug. 26. Dominick Dunne, 83. Best-selling author who told stories of shocking crimes among the rich and famous. Aug. 26. Sergei Mikhalkov, 96. Prolific Soviet author, a Stalin favorite but still admired by contemporary Russians. Aug. 27. Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein, 36. Celebrity disc jockey; also a reality TV figure who attempted to help fellow drug addicts. Aug. 28. Overdose. Chris Connor, 81. Smoky-voiced jazz vocalist ("Trust in Me"). Aug. 29. Marie Knight, 84. Gospel music legend ("Beams of Heaven"). Aug. 30. Sheila Lukins, 66. Store owner (The Silver Palate) and cookbook author, helped introduce Americans to new cuisines. Aug. 30. SEPTEMBER: Wycliffe Johnson, 47. Keyboardist and producer; major figure in Jamaica music. Sept. 1. Heart attack. Erich Kunzel, 74. Conductor, longtime head of Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. Sept. 1. Bill Hefner, 79. 12-term North Carolina congressman; also a gospel singer. Sept. 2. Keith Waterhouse, 80. British playwright, novelist ("Billy Liar"). Sept. 4.
Army Archerd, 87. His breezy Daily Variety column kept tabs on Hollywood doings for more than a half-century. Sept. 8. Frank Batten Sr., 82. He built media giant Landmark Communications, created The Weather Channel. Sept. 10. Jim Carroll, 60. Poet, punk rocker; wrote "The Basketball Diaries." Sept. 11. Heart attack. Larry Gelbart, 81. Slyly witty writer for stage and screen ("Tootsie," ''M-A-S-H"). Sept. 11. Pierre Cossette, 85. Record label founder; turned Grammy Awards into a popular televised ceremony. Sept. 11. Zakes Mokae, 75. Tony-winning South African actor (Athol Fugard's "Master Harold ... and the Boys"). Sept. 11. Crystal Lee Sutton, 68. Her fight to unionize Southern textile plants became the film "Norma Rae." Sept. 11. Willy Ronis, 99. Last of France's postwar photography greats; captured everyday life in Paris. Sept. 12. Paul Burke, 83. Two-time Emmy nominee for his role as Detective Adam Flint in the gritty crime drama "Naked City." Sept. 13. Patrick Swayze, 57. Dancer turned movie superstar for "Dirty Dancing," ''Ghost." Sept. 14. Pancreatic cancer. Henry Gibson, 73. Comic character actor; recited offbeat poetry on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In." Sept. 14.
Trevor Rhone, 69. Jamaican playwright; co-wrote the reggae film "The Harder They Come." Sept. 15. Mary Travers, 72. One-third of the hugely popular 1960s folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary ("If I Had a Hammer"). Sept. 16. Linda C. Black, 65. Syndicated columnist and astrologer. Sept. 17. Art Ferrante, 88. Half of the piano duo Ferrante and Teicher ("Exodus"). Sept. 19. Timothy J. Russert, 85. Immortalized by his late son, Tim Russert, in "Big Russ & Me." Sept. 24. Alicia de Larrocha, 86. Spanish pianist who thrilled music listeners for decades. Sept. 25. William Safire, 79. Pulitzer-winning New York Times columnist and word warrior. Sept. 27. OCTOBER: Peg Mullen, 92. Her fight to learn the truth about her son's death in Vietnam inspired book, movie "Friendly Fire." Oct. 2. Mercedes Sosa, 74. Argentine folksinger; the "Voice of Latin America" who inspired pro-democracy activists. Oct. 4. Ben Ali, 82. Founded Ben's Chili Bowl diner, a Washington landmark. Oct. 7.
Irving Penn, 92. Photographer famed for stark simplicity in portraits, fashion shots. Oct. 7. Stephen Gately, 33. Singer with Irish boy band Boyzone ("All That I Need"). Oct. 10. Fluid in the lungs. Al Martino, 82. Singer ("Spanish Eyes"); played the Frank Sinatra-type role in "The Godfather." Oct. 13. Daniel Melnick, 77. Producer of acclaimed films "Straw Dogs," ''Network." Oct. 13. Lou Albano, 76. Pro wrestler; appeared in Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" video. Oct. 14. Collin Wilcox-Paxton, 74. Portrayed the false accuser in "To Kill a Mockingbird." Oct. 14. Vic Mizzy, 93. Songwriter; did catchy sitcom themes ("The Addams Family"). Oct. 17. Joseph Wiseman, 91. Actor; played the sinister Dr. No in James Bond film of that name. Oct. 19. Soupy Sales, 83. Rubber-faced comedian whose anything-for-a-chuckle career was built on thousands of pies to the face. Oct. 22. Ray Browne, 87. Bowling Green State professor credited with coining the phrase "popular culture." Oct. 22. Lou Jacobi, 95. Actor who excelled in comic, dramatic roles ("Arthur"). Oct. 23.
Roy DeCarava, 89. Photographer who captured Harlem's everyday life and its jazz greats. Oct. 27. Claude Levi-Strauss, 100. French intellectual who was considered father of modern anthropology. Oct. 30. Michelle Triola Marvin, 76. She fought a landmark "palimony" case in the 1970s against former lover Lee Marvin. Oct. 30. NOVEMBER: Lou Filippo, 83. World Boxing Hall of Famer; had small roles in "Rocky" movies. Nov. 2. Francisco Ayala, 103. Spanish novelist, sociologist; went into exile during the country's Franco dictatorship. Nov. 3. Sheldon Dorf, 76. Founded Comic-Con International comic book convention that draws more than 100,000. Nov. 3. Carl Ballantine, 92. Actor-comedian ("McHale's Navy"). Nov. 3. Paul Wendkos, 84. TV, film director ("Gidget"). Nov. 12. Ken Ober, 52. Hosted the 1980s MTV game show "Remote Control." Nov. 15. Edward Woodward, 79. British actor ("Breaker Morant"). Nov. 16. Jeanne-Claude, 74. With her husband, Christo, she created large-scale, highly publicized art projects. Nov. 18.
Elisabeth Soderstrom, 82. Swedish soprano who performed on world stages. Nov. 20. Bess Lomax Hawes, 88. Folksinger, songwriter ("M.T.A")., musicologist. Nov. 27. Al Alberts, 87. Member of singing Four Aces ("Love is a Many Splendored Thing"). Nov. 27. DECEMBER: Aaron Schroeder, 84. Songwriter (Elvis Presley's "It's Now or Never"). Dec. 1. Richard Todd, 90. Acclaimed British actor ("The Longest Day"). Dec. 3. Vyacheslav Tikhonov, 81. Popular Russian actor; starred in Oscar-winning Soviet production of "War and Peace." Dec. 4. Liam Clancy, 74. Last of Clancy Brothers Irish folksong troupe whose songs struck sentimental chord worldwide. Dec. 4. Gene Barry, 90. He was TV's well-dressed man of action in "Bat Masterson," ''Burke's Law" and "The Name of the Game." Dec. 9. Thomas Hoving, 78. Former director of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art who championed the "blockbuster" exhibit. Dec. 10. Yvonne King Burch, 89. One of the singing King Sisters; led musical clan's successful transition to the King Family. Dec. 13.
C.D.B. Bryan, 73. Author whose "Friendly Fire" told the story of the accidental death of a soldier in Vietnam. Dec. 15. Roy E. Disney, 79. Nephew of Walt Disney; exerted strong behind-the-scenes influence on The Walt Disney Co. Dec. 16. Jennifer Jones, 90. Oscar-winning actress ("The Song of Bernadette"). Dec. 17. Dan O'Bannon, 63. Screenwriter ("Alien," ''Total Recall"). Dec. 17. Brittany Murphy, 32. Actress ("Clueless"), voice of Luanne Platter on "King of the Hill." Dec. 20. Apparently natural causes.