Rest in peace
Abu Abbas (55), Palestinian leader and brains behind the 1985 hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro, apparently of natural causes while in United States custody.
Lionel Abrahams (76), novelist, poet and editor.
PaulÂ ‘Redâ€™ Adair (89), American fireman who tackled more than 2 000 fires on land and oil rigs.
Rachel Alexandrowitch (91), better known as Ray Alexander, an anti-apartheid activist and trade unionist.
Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester (102), Queen Elizabethâ€™s aunt.
Yasser Arafat (75), leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
Gito Baloi (39), celebrated bassist, arranger, composer and singer, shot dead in the streets of Johannesburg.
Elmer Bernstein (82), influential film composer.
Derek Birnage (90), founder and editor of Tiger comic, in which he created Roy of the Rovers.
Marlon Brando (80), film star who won Oscars for On the Waterfront and The Godfather.
Laura Branigan (47), singer of 1983 pop-disco anthem Gloria, of a brain aneurysm.
Peter Brown (79), co-founder and national chairperson of the Liberal Party that was disbanded in 1968 due to the prohibition of racially mixed political parties.
Richard Butler (86), founder of the American white supremacist group Aryan Nations.
Joe Cahill (84), founder of the Provisional Irish Republican Army.
Henri Cartier-Bresson (95), legendary French photographer.
Monty Charles (84), director of De Beers and its subsidiary, the Diamond Trading Company.
Ray Charles (73), singer, pianist and songwriter.
Julia Child (91), television cook.
Brian Clough (69), controversial football manager.
Alistair Cooke (95), broadcaster and journalist who kept up a weekly radio dispatch, Letter from America, for 56 years.
Francis Crick (88) and Maurice Wilkins (87), two of the three Nobel Prize-winning scientists who, with James Watson, discovered the double helix structure of DNA.
Jacques Derrida (74), French philosopher who was regarded as the father of deconstruction.
Sacha Distel (71), suave French pop singer and 1960s heart-throb.
Dumisani Dlamini (31), gifted and much-loved filmmaker, killed during a robbery at his Kensington, Johannesburg home.
Clement ‘Sir Coxsoneâ€™ Dodd (72), Jamaican record producer who launched the career of Bob Marley.
Tiny Doll (90), the last survivor of the Doll family, the midgets who were the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz.
Brenda ‘Ma Brrrâ€™ Fassie (40), South African pop diva, of drug-related problems.
Revel Fox (80), architect, town planner and urban activist.
Jesus Gil (71), controversial president of Atletico Madrid and utterly corrupt mayor of Marbella.
Jerry Goldsmith (75), prolific composer of film and TV scores.
Sipho Gumede (52), South African jazz band guitarist.
Arthur Hailey (84), writer of bestsellers such as Airport and Hotel.
Maamoun Hodeiby (83), leader of Egyptâ€™s Muslim Brotherhood.
Denis Hurley (88), former Roman Catholic archbishop of Durban and an outspoken opponent of apartheid.
Russell Jones, aka Olâ€™ Dirty Bastard (ODB), (35), rapper and founder member of hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, of a drug overdose.
Princess Juliana (94), former queen of The Netherlands, who abdicated in 1980 in favour of her eldest daughter, Queen Beatrix; and, later in the year, her consort, Prince Bernhard (93).
Arthur ‘Killerâ€™ Kane (55), bass guitarist with punk-glam band, the New York Dolls.
Howard Keel (87), baritone star of Hollywood musicals and later TVâ€™s Dallas.
Molly Kelly (thought to be 86), Aborigine whose 2 000km walk home inspired the film Rabbit-Proof Fence.
Dick Kelty (84), who developed the light aluminium frame backpack.
Gibson Kente (72), playwright and director.
Joyce Kgoali (54), chairperson of the National Council of Provinces.
Fana ‘Khabzelaâ€™ Khaba (35), YFM DJ who founded the Positive Youth project in Gauteng in 2000, of an Aids-related illness.
Aggrey Klaaste (63), former editor of Sowetan.Â
Frances Shand Kydd (68), mother of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
Estee Lauder (97), founder of cosmetics empire.
Janet Leigh (77), Hollywood star famous for being murdered in the shower scene in Psycho.
Leonidas (90), Brazilian footballer who invented the bicycle kick.
Evelyn Mandela (82), first wife of Nelson Mandela.
Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara (83), first prime minister of Fiji.
Alicia Markova (94), one of the worldâ€™s greatest ballerinas.
Harrison McCain (76), Canadian founder of the worldâ€™s biggest “oven chip” empire.
Mercedes McCambridge (85), Oscar-winning actress who was the off-screen voice of the devil in The Exorcist.
John McGeoch (48), British guitarist with post-punk bands Siouxsie and The Banshees and Visage.
Norris McWhirter (78), co-founder with identical twin brother, Ross, of the Guinness Book of Records.
Andrew Meintjies (49), inventor, photographer and artist.
Rudolf Miele (74), head of the German domestic appliance company.
Keith Miller (84), spectacular Australian all-round cricketer.
Czeslaw Milosz (93), Polish writer and winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Wilton ‘Bri-briâ€™ Mkwayi (81), former African National Congress leader and member of Umkhonto weSizwe.
Phaswane Mpe (34), academic and author of Welcome to Our Hillbrow.
Mike Mtakati (43), Anglo-Platinum executive and former journalist, in a December car crash, with nine members of his family.
Arne Naess (66), Norwegian shipping magnate and husband of Diana Ross, in a climbing accident in Cape Town.