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A chronology of those who died in 2011

Dec. 1
/ Source: The Associated Press

Dec. 1

— Christa Wolf, 82, one of the best known writers from the former East Germany whose works described war and politics from a woman's perspective, in Berlin. No cause of death was given.

— Francois Lesage, 82, the heir of the legendary Maison Lesage embroidery atelier which has been long embellishing Paris couture houses' most fantastic creations, in Versailles after a long illness.

Dec. 3

— Dev Anand, 88, a charismatic and flamboyant Indian film star for more than half a century, in London after a heart attack.

Dec. 4

— Socrates, 57, a former Brazilian soccer star known for his elegant style and deep involvement in politics, in Sao Paulo, of septic shock from an intestinal infection.

— Patricia Dunn, 58, the former Hewlett-Packard chairwoman who authorized a board room surveillance probe that ultimately sullied her remarkable rise from investment bank typist to the corporate upper class, in Orinda, California of ovarian cancer.

Dec. 5

— Violetta Villas 73, a Polish coloratura soprano who spurned opera for popular music and became a cabaret star in Los Vegas and then got trapped behind the Iron Curtain when she returned to care for her dying mother, in Lewin Klodzki, Poland. No cause of death was given.

Dec. 6

— Dobie Gray, 69, a smooth balladeer who recorded the timeless hit "Drift Away" in 1973, wrote songs for an array of country and pop performers and was a trailblazing entertainer in South Africa, in Nashville, Tennessee, after battling cancer.

Dec. 7

— Harry Morgan, 96, a veteran character actor whose portrayal of Col. Sherman Potter on "MASH' highlighted a career that included nine other TV series, 50 films and Broadway, in Brentwood, California. He had pneumonia.

— Jerry Robinson, 89, a comic book industry pioneer who helped create Batman sidekick Robin the Boy Wonder and their arch-nemesis The Joker, in New York in his sleep.

Dec. 8

— Hector Silva, 64, a Boston-born Salvadorian physician who helped the Central American nation recover from a 12-year civil war, in San Salvador of a heart attack.

Dec. 9

— Hans Masalek, 97 a Nazi resistor who helped document the history of the former concentration camp at Mauthausen in Austria. No cause of death was given.

Dec. 11

—John Foley, 76, a Roman Catholic cardinal who for 25 years was the voice for American viewers of the Vatican's Christmas Midnight Mass, and who led an ancient Catholic order in the Holy Land, in Darby, Pennsylvania. No cause of death was given.

Dec. 12

—Bert Schneider, 78, a producer credited with inspiring a "New Hollywood" band of independent filmmakers whose works depicted rootlessness and discontent in the 1970s and 1980s, in Los Angeles of natural causes.

Dec. 13

—Russell Hoban, 86, the prolific fantasy and children's author perhaps best known for "Ridley Walker," a post-apocalyptic novel that relied on language he created, in London. No cause of death was given.

Dec. 14

— George Whitman, 98, the American-born founder of the fabled Left Bank Shakespeare and Co. English language bookstore that became a haven for writers and would-be writers, in Paris two months after suffering a stroke.

— Joe Simon, 98 who along with Jack Kirby co-created Captain America and was one of the U.S. comic book industry's most revered writers,artists and editors, in New York after a brief illness.

Dec. 15

— Christopher Hitchens, 62, a British-born author, essayist and polemicist who waged verbal and sometimes physical battle on behalf of causes left and right, in Houston of esophageal cancer.

Dec. 17

— Cesaria Evora, 70, who started singing as a teenager in the bayside bars of Cape Verde in the 1950s and won a Grammy award in 2003 after she took her African islands music to stages across the world, in Mindelo on the island of Sao Vicente. No cause of death was given but she had had open-heart surgery.

— Eva Ekvall, 28, a former Miss Venezuela whose struggle with breast cancer was closely followed by her fellow citizens, in Houston.

Dec. 18

— Vaclav Havel, 75, the dissident playwright who wove theater into politics to peacefully bring down communism in Czechoslovakia and became a hero of the epic struggle that ended the Cold War and swept him into power as his country's first democratically elected president, in northern Bohemia. He had chronic respiratory problems.

Dec. 19

— Kim Jong Il, 69, North Korea's mercurial and enigmatic leader whose iron rule and nuclear ambitions dominated world security fears for more than a decade, on a train trip. He was believed to have had diabetes and heart disease.

Dec. 20

— Yoshimitsu Morita, 61, a director whose films depicted the absurdity and vulnerability of everyday life in Japan, in Tokyo of acute liver failure.

Dec. 21

— John Chamberlain, 84, an artist known for turning automotive scrap metal into sculpture that was exhibited around the world, in New York. No cause of death was given.

Dec. 24

—Johannes Heesters, 108, a Dutch-born-entertainer who made his name performing in Adolf Hitler's Germany and was dogged later in his long career by controversy over his Nazi past, in Starnberg, Germany. No cause of death was given.

Dec. 25

— Khalil Ibrahim, in his 50s, a physician who became Darfur's most powerful and charismatic leader, killed in the North Kordofan region bordering Darfur, in a Sudanese Army military operation.

— Sori Yemagi, 96, whose designs for stools and kitchen pots brought the simplicity and purity of Japanese decor into the everyday, in Tokyo of pneumonia.

Dec. 26

— Pedro Armendariz Jr., 72, a Mexican character actor best known for playing sly and sinister characters he endowed with wit and charisma, in New York, apparently of cancer.

— James Rizzi, 61, a New York-born and based pop artist with an international reputation best known for his playful and childlike three-dimensional sculptures, in New York. No cause of death was given.

— Sam Rivers, 88, an internationally-known jazz musician who played with Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, in Orlando, Florida of pneumonia.

Dec. 27

— Helen Frankenthaler, 83, an abstract painter known for her bold, lyrical use of color that led a postwar art movement that would be called Color Field painting, in Darien, Connecticut after a long illness.

Dec. 29

— Leopold Hawelka, 100, the smiling, bow-tied proprietor of a Viennese cafe frequented for generations by princes, paupers, playwrights, poets and thousands of others, in Vienna. No cause of death was given.

Dec. 30

— Mirko Tremaglia, 85, a right-wing politician who won a decades-long battle for the right of Italian emigres to vote in Italian elections, in Bergamo after a long illness.