Every year, we’re reminded of how vast and varied America’s cultural landscape is, each time we lose another person who help shaped it. From Ray Bradbury and Gore Vidal to Etta James and Whitney Houston, 2012 was no exception.

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  • Ray Bradbury

    The acclaimed author of <em>Fahrenheit 451</em> died on June 5 at 91.

  • Phyllis Diller

    The eccentric American comedian died on Aug. 20 at 95.

  • Neil Armstrong

    The first person to walk on the moon died on Aug. 25 at 82.

  • Maurice Sendak

    The renowned children's book author of <em>Where the Wild Things Are</em> died on May 8 at 83.

  • Helen Gurley Brown

    The author of <em>Sex and the Single Girl </em>and long-standing editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan died on Aug. 13 at 90.

  • Larry Hagman

    The actor known for playing oil baron J. R. Ewing on <em>Dallas</em> died on Nov. 23 at 81.

  • Sally Ride

    The youngest American astronaut to go into space, and possibly the most overachieving, died on July 23 at 61.

  • Etta James

    The iconic American R&B singer died on Jan. 20 at 73.

  • Donna Summer

    The "Queen of Disco" died on May 17 at 63.

  • Andy Williams

    The popular American singer and <em>Andy Williams Show</em> host died Sept. 25 at 84.

  • Davy Jones

    The teen idol and Monkees member died Feb. 29 at 66.

  • Vidal Sassoon

    The revolutionary hairstylist and inventor of the "wedge bob" died on May 9 at 84.

  • Kitty Wells

    The "Queen of Country Music" died on July 16 at 92.

  • Doc Watson

    The blind country guitarist and flatpicking expert died on May 29 at 89.

  • Robin Gibb

    The Bee Gees co-founder died on May 20 at 62.

  • Tony Scott

    The British film director of <em>Top Gun</em> and <em>Enemy of the State</em> died on Aug. 19 at 68.

  • Nora Ephron

    The journalist, playwright and screenwriter of <em>When Harry Met Sally</em> died on June 26 at 71.

  • Richard Dawson

    The game-show host and <em>Hogan's Heroes</em> star died on June 2 at 79.

  • Robert Hegyes

    The <em>Welcome Back, Kotter</em> star died on Jan. 26 at 60.

  • Michael Clarke Duncan

    The actor best known for <em>The Green Mile</em> died on Sept. 3 at 54.

  • Ron Palillo

    Robert Hegyes' co-star on <em>Welcome Back, Kotter</em> also died this year on Aug. 14 at 63.

  • Andy Griffith

    The star of <em>The Andy Griffith Show</em> and <em>Matlock</em> died on July 3 at 86.

  • Alex Karras

    The football player, wrestler and star of <em>Webster</em> died on Oct. 10 at 77.

  • Dick Clark

    The TV icon of <em>American Bandstand</em> and <em>New Year's Rockin' Eve</em> fame died on April 18 at 82.

  • Adam Yauch

    The American rapper and founding member of The Beastie Boys died on May 4 at 47.

  • Lupe Ontiveros

    The prolific actress and <em>Desperate Housewives</em> star died on July 26 at 69.

  • Don Cornelius

    The host and producer of <em>Soul Train</em> died on Feb. 1 at 75.

  • Whitney Houston

    The beloved American singer and actress died on Feb. 11 at 48.

  • Ernest Borgnine

    The perennial character actor and Oscar winner for <em>Marty</em> died on July 8 at 95.

  • Junior Seau

    The NFL player and San Diego sports icon died on May 2 at 43.

  • Sherman Hemsley

    The<em> All in the Family</em> and <em>Jeffersons</em> star died on July 24 at 74.

  • Gore Vidal

    The eloquent man of letters died on July 31 at 86.

  • Jovan Belcher

    The Kansas City Chiefs inside linebacker died on Dec. 1 in a murder-suicide, after killing his girlfriend. He was 25.

  • Rodney King

    The man whose beating by police in 1991 sparked riots in L.A. died on June 17 at 47.

This story appears in the year-end photo issue of our weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, in the iTunes App store, available Friday, Dec. 28.