We look back at those who died in 2011.
Gerald Abramovitz (82), South African-born architect and furniture designer whose work is in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Nick Ashford (70), half of the husband-and-wife Motown songwriting team Ashford & Simpson.
Kader Asmal (76), senior ANC member and former minister of education and of water affairs and forestry.
Seve Ballesteros (54), Spanish golfer who captained Europe’s winning Ryder Cup team in 1997.
Fikile Bam (74), judge president of the Land Claims Court.
John Barry (77), composer best known for the theme songs of many James Bond films.
Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud (85), crown prince of Saudi Arabia.
Osama bin Laden (54), Saudi Arabian-born founder of al-Qaeda.
Baruch Blumberg (85), biochemist whose work on hepatitis B won him a Nobel prize.
Leon Botha (26), DJ and artist who appeared in Die Antwoord’s Enter the Ninja video.
Andrew Zolile T Brook (81), former bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mthatha.
Huyser Burger (39), a founding member of the South African band Battery9.
Radclyffe Cadman (87), former leader of South Africa’s New Republic Party.
Frederick Chiluba (68), Zambia’s first democratically elected president.
Joel Chin (35), director of VP Records, the world’s largest independent reggae label.
Linda Christian (87), Mexican actress who was the first Bond girl, appearing in the 1954 television adaptation of Casino Royale.
Warren Christopher (85), former United States secretary of state.
Dot Cleminshaw (89), long-time anti-apartheid campaigner active in the Black Sash and former Liberal Party.
Clarence Clemons (69), US musician and member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.
Leslie Collier (90), virologist who helped create vaccine for smallpox.
Harry Coover (94), inventor of Super Glue.
Patrick Cullinan (77), South African poet and biographer.
Heavy D (44), US actor, rapper and music producer.
Al Debbo (87), South African comedian, actor and singer.
Basil D’Oliveira (80), South African-born cricketer who played for England after apartheid disqualified his playing for South Africa.
Ryan Dunn (34), US actor daredevil who appeared in the reality show Jackass, in a car crash.
Deon du Plessis (59), South African journalist who founded the Daily Sun newspaper.
Zack du Plessis (61), Afrikaans actor who had roles in Orkney Snork Nie and Vetkoekpaleis.
Robert Ettinger (92), US academic and cryonics pioneer.
Cesária Évora (70), Cape Verdean folk singer affectionately known as the “barefoot diva”.
Peter Falk (83), US actor best known for his lead role in the television series Columbo.
Henry Fazzie (87), apartheid struggle stalwart and former leader of the United Democratic Front.
Betty Ford (93), wife of late US president Gerald Ford whose alcoholism led to her founding a rehab centre in her name.
Malcolm Forsyth (74), South African-born trombonist and composer named Canadian Composer of the Year in 1989.
Joe Frazier (67), heavyweight boxing champion who defeated Muhammad Ali in 1971’s “Fight of the Century”.
Lucian Freud (88), British artist and grandson of Sigmund Freud.
Muammar Gaddafi (69), Libyan leader killed during uprisings.
Gwen Gill (75), former Sunday Times society columnist.
Arthur Goldreich (82), anti-apartheid activist who used South African Communist Party funds to buy Liliesleaf farm where 19 ANC leaders were arrested in 1963.
Marshall Grant (83), bassist for Johnny Cash.
Anton Hammerl (41), South African photographer killed during Libya’s civil war.
Ronald Harrison (71), painter of the 1952 Black Christ, for which he was arrested and tortured by the apartheid security police.
Vaclav Havel (75), dissident playwright who became president of the Czech Republic.
Christopher Hitchens (62), journalist, contrarian and polemicist whose targets included Mother Theresa, Henry Kissinger and all religions.
Steve Jobs (56), co-founder and chief executive of Apple.
William Stetson Kennedy (94), US author who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940s.
Kim Jong-il (69), North Korea’s “Dear Leader” and its reclusive dictator.
Syd Kitchen (60), acclaimed South African guitarist, singer and songwriter.
Patrick Laurence (74), South African journalist who wrote, for the first edition of Mail & Guardian predecessor The Weekly Mail, an analysis of the Kannemeyer inquiry’s report into the 1985 Langa killings by apartheid police.
Braam le Roux (71), longest-serving chief executive of Spoornet, now Transnet Freight Rail.
Sidney Lumet (86), US movie director and producer.
Wangari Maathai (71), Kenyan environmentalist and the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Lwandile Wilson Magadla (77), policeman who uncovered the links between Inkatha and the apartheid security establishment in KwaZulu-Natal.
Mamaroba Johannes Malahlela (38), advocate and former ANC MP.
Charles Malan (66), Afrikaans-speaking scholar and writer.
Magnus Malan (81), apartheid-era defence minister.
Mavis Matladi (53), leader of the United Christian Democratic Party.
Ernest Armstrong McCulloch (84), Canadian pioneer of stem-cell research.
Sion Milosky (35), big wave surfer elected Hawaii’s 2011 North Shore Underground Surfer of the Year.
Johannes “Mzion” Mofokeng (66), known as Orlando Pirates’ “Number One Supporter”.
Jannie Momberg (72), former ANC MP and diplomat.
Herbert Msimang (59), judge who presided over Jacob Zuma’s 2006 corruption trial.
Solomon Mujuru (62), former head of the armed forces in Zimbabwe.
Margaret Nash (82), Human-rights activist and author of a 1980 report on forced removals.
Zim Ngqawana (52), South African jazz legend.
Noxolo Nogwaza (24), sexual-rights activist, raped and murdered in Kwa-Thema, Gauteng.
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (78), Nigerian soldier, politician and former leader of the short-lived breakaway Republic of Biafra.
Lana Peters (85), only daughter of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin who defected from the then USSR to the United States.
April “Styles” Phumo (74), head coach of Bafana Bafana when they were knocked out of the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Tunisia.
Jerry Ragovoy (80), American songwriter and music producer closely linked to South African singer Miriam Makeba’s career.
Cliff Robertson (88), Oscar-winning American actor.
Sylvia Robinson (76), American “mother of hip-hop” who founded the Sugar Hill Records label.
Peter Roebuck (55), former English cricketer and commentator.
Andy Rooney (92), US broadcaster who was a fixture on the CBS current-affairs programme 60 Minutes.
Jane Russell (89), US actress and sex symbol who starred with Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Ken Russell (84), English director of controversial movies such as The Devil, Women in Love and Tommy.
Sathya Sai Baba (84), influential and controversial Indian spiritual teacher.
Lawrence Schlemmer (75), South African political analyst and sociologist.
Sherwood Schwartz (94), American writer and producer who created The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island.
Christina Scott (49), South African science journalist and editor.
Gil Scott-Heron (62), influential American musician and poet dubbed “the godfather of rap”.
George Shearing (91), British-born jazz pianist and composer.
Vimbeni Shembe (77), leader of the Nazareth Baptist Church.
Marco Simoncelli (24), Italian motorcycle racer, in an accident during the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Albertina Sisulu (92), veteran ANC anti-apartheid activist and wife of the late Walter Sisulu.
Elisabeth Sladen (63), English actress best known for her role in the Doctor Who television series.
Karl Slover (93), American actor who starred in the 1939 classic movie The Wizard of Oz.
Donald Sole (93), South Africa diplomat and co-founder of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Gary Andrew Speed (42), former captain of the Welsh football team.
Owsley “Bear” Stanley (76), 1960s LSD underground icon and producer of the Grateful Dead.
Carla Swart (23), South African cyclist, in a collision with a truck while training.
Andries Tatane (33), Ficksburg community activist, of gunshots fired by riot police.
Elizabeth Taylor (79), American actress whose movies include National Velvet, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Cleopatra.
Solly Tyibilika (32), former Springbok rugby player, of gunshot wounds in an apparent gangland-style execution.
Walter Ulz (57), head chef and owner of Linger Longer restaurant in Sandton.
Frederik van Zyl Slabbert (70), academic and former leader of Democratic Alliance forerunner the Progressive Federal Party.
Edoardo Villa (95), South African sculptor renowned for large steel installations such as Reclining Figure in Pieter Roos Park, Johannesburg.
John Waite (81), first South African cricketer to reach the milestone of 50 Test matches.
Nancy Wake (98), World War II heroine who was a British agent in occupied France.
Samuel Wanjiru (24), Kenyan marathon athlete who won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Stephen Watson (56), University of Cape Town academic and poet.
Robert Whitaker (71), British photographer whose subjects included the Beatles, fashion and the Vietnam War.
Amy Winehouse (27), British singer-songwriter who famously wanted “no rehab”, of suspected substance abuse.
Bert Woodhouse (92), author awarded the Order of Ikhamanga for “outstanding achievement in the field of rock art”.
Susannah York (72), British film, stage and television actress who appeared in movies including A Man for All Seasons and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
View more highlights of the year that was in our special report.