Those who said it wouldn't last were right. But we don't remember anyone predicting that Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher would collapse so spectacularly. Their six-year marriage, while it survived a few pockets of turbulence along the way, ended up sailing into the perfect storm of a cheating scandal, TMI via Twitter and A Star Is Born-style role reversal. That and, what was it again—oh, right, the 16-year age difference—ultimately proved too much for the once hot-and-heavy couple to handle.
Doug Hutchison, a 51-year-old character actor perhaps best known for The Green Mile and a recurring Dharma Initiative role on Lost, invented a whole new character for himself by marrying 16-year-old aspiring singer Courtney Stodden. The teen has since become a one-woman photo agency, providing us with a mesmerizing array of bikini shots, cupcake canoodling and pumpkin entendres. To be honest, we're going to have to claim the shots of Courtney sans makeup, all covered up and looking like a teenager, as our favorites.
Amy Winehouse, brilliantly talented yet so tragically troubled, lost her battle with alcoholism on July 23 at the notorious-among-music-legends age of 27. She was found dead in bed in her London flat. Lioness: Hidden Treasures, an album of new material, is scheduled for posthumous release on Tuesday, the last full dose we'll ever get of all that promise.
Cluck if you will, but there's no arguing that the arc of the E! star's love life—from engagement to wedding planning to televised engagement to wedding to wedding special to the divorce filing to the premiere of the show that will chronicle the downfall of her marriage to Kris Humphries—was pure catnip for the masses. And we can't wait to see what the Kardashians are going to do for an encore in 2012. (Aside from celebrate the arrival of Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick's second child—congrats, guys!)
Scarlett Johansson admitted to taking naughty cell phone pics of herself—"It's not like I was shooting a porno," she told Vanity Fair. But she certainly wasn't cool with admitted privacy-invader Christopher Chaney hacking her database and exposing her mainframe. Chaney's alleged crimes also included the tappity-tap-tapping of email accounts and phones belonging to Mila Kunis, Christina Aguilera and others—highlighting the sudden onslaught of extra-technological ways to screw wtih people. But British celebs and royalty (and, ugh, murder victims' families) appear to have had it far worse—the entire News of the World was brought down after 168 years by a hacking scandal.
Whether the King of Pop was addicted to painkillers and sedatives or not, a jury of Dr. Conrad Murray's peers found the soon-to-be former cardiologist guilty of involuntary manslaughter for aiding in Jackson's demise via an overdose of propofol, a potent anesthetic that he was unconscionably using to treat the singer's insomnia. Murray was sentenced to four years in prison, and though he won't be behind bars for that long, the remainder of his life will be forever marked by Jackson's death.
Can you believe this guy was the governor of California for seven years? And that all the time he was governor he was also the father of his maid's son, born five days after Christopher Schwarzenegger, his youngest son with wife Maria Shriver? Who isn't his wife anymore, of course. And yet, now that the only news we're hearing of Ahnuld is about him banging his bean on the set of The Last Stand, it's as if everything has returned to normal after a brief trip to Bizarro California.
The epic eight-part movie franchise adapted from J.K. Rowling's bestselling novels came to a close this summer with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, which smashed the opening-weekend box office record previously held by The Dark Knight. One billion dollars later, the sendoff continued with a big DVD release party at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but…it's not the same. At least it's not as if we've seen the last of Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson—both have movies coming out next year (and if you go to England, you'll probably find Rupert Grint in an art house theatre somewhere). Plus, next year isn't going to be any cinematic slouch with the close of the Twilight Saga and the commencement of The Hunger Games, so stay tuned!
He had already trashed his marriage two years ago and it was last year that he trashed a room at the Plaza. But the epic trashing of his career belonged to 2011, which kicked off with Two and a Half Men on hiatus so that it's star could figure himself out. You know what Sheen figured out? That he didn't want to be constrained by niceties, platitudes and sanity any longer. So he got fired. Not long afterward, he went on tour, banked about $25 million from his former bosses in a settlement, presented at the Emmys and sold a new sitcom to FX. Let's say it all together, folks: "Winning!"
For one blessed Friday this spring, there was no such thing as creepy journalists, rioting, economic unrest or daffy parliament (minus Sherry Blair going hatless) in the United Kingdom. Prince William married his princess in a sedate yet beyond-glamorous ceremony at Westminster Abbey and Duchess Catherine (née Kate Middleton) has been captivating the world ever since. Our wish for next year's list? The arrival of a royal heir, of course!
NEXT GALLERY: Best of 2011: Who Is Celeb of the Year?