Billy Crystal stepped in to host the Oscars after Eddie Murphy bowed out last fall. (Murphy quit when his pal, producer Brett Ratner, left the show after controversy over his use of a gay slur.) Crystal then created some brief controversy of his own when a clip of him wearing blackface and portraying Sammy Davis Jr. on an old episode of "Saturday Night Live" was shown in a montage at the Feb. 26 awards. Davis' own daughter spoke out and said the skit was not offensive.
In May, Ashton Kutcher, with a fake accent and his face painted brown, played an Indian man in an ad for Popchips. The ad was pulled and the company apologized.
"Twilight" fans had their hearts broken in July when Kristen Stewart revealed she'd had a fling with married director Rupert Sanders, who directed her in "Snow White and the Huntsman." Stewart, of course, plays Bella alongside Robert Pattinson's Edward in the vampire romance series, and had long been dating Pattinson. She apologized to Pattinson when photos of her kissing Sanders were released.
On July 18, Fred Willard was arrested for "engaging in a lewd act" in an adult movie theater in Hollywood, Calif. Willard publicly said he did nothing wrong and was not charged, but he did lose his job as narrator of the PBS show "Market Warriors."
Katherine Jackson. mother of the late Michael and grandmother to his children Paris, Blanket and Prince, made headlines in July. Paris Jackson tweeted that her 82-year-old grandmother was missing, and even her attorneys admitted they didn't know where she was. The drama unfolded after some of Jackson's other children claimed she was being manipulated by executors of Michael Jackson's estate. Katherine Jackson was later reported to have been staying with relatives in Arizona.
Bristol Palin, daughter of former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, had a very short-lived reality show, "Life's a Tripp," about her life as a single mom. In one July episode, 3-year-old Tripp became angry at his mother and aunt and seemed to deliver an anti-gay slur. Palin denied that the tot said the slur, however, admitting that he did use "a different F-word."
In August, in perhaps the most memorable moment of either political convention, actor Clint Eastwood addressed an empty chair and questioned it as if it were President Barack Obama. Then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney's team was later criticized for not knowing what Eastwood was going to do when he went on stage.
Rocker Ted Nugent is a fan of guns, and not of President Barack Obama, statuses the musician repeatedly made clear in 2012. The Secret Service visited Nugent after he compared the president's administration to coyotes who needed to be shot, and he was not allowed to perform at a concert scheduled at Fort Knox.
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes wed in 2006, seven months after daughter Suri was born. In June, Holmes filed for divorce, and online sources were quick to point out that all three of Cruise's marriages had ended when the wife (first Mimi Rogers, then Nicole Kidman, now Holmes) were 33.
Two powerhouse singers engaged in a feud this year. Elton John called Madonna a "(expletive) fairground stripper and both John and husband David Furnish dissed her song, "Masterpiece," which beat out John's "Hello Hello" for a Golden Globe in January. John was reportedly also angry with Madonna for dissing Lady Gaga, godmother to John and Furnish's son. But in August, Madonna said she forgave the singer and claims to know "he's a big fan of mine."
Amanda Bynes should probably just get a driver. In March, she was stopped for talking on her cell phone while driving. In April, she was charged with DUI after she hit a police car. In September, she was charged with hit-and-run for leaving the scene of two separate accidents. Her driving mishaps became so legendary that a comedy troupe issued a mock driver's ed video featuring Bynes and fellow troubled actress Lindsay Lohan.
In addition to her feud with Elton John, Madonna also made headlines repeatedly this summer for her onstage antics. She pulled a gun on stage, flashed body parts, performed with a swastika superimposed on her face and made fans wait as long as two and a half hours for her to perform.
Former "Partridge Family" star Danny Bonaduce was bitten by a supposed fan at an appearance at a Washington state casino in September. Bonaduce publicly wondered if the woman was on bath salts, the designer drug that was blamed for some horrific biting attacks in 2012.
In October, Hulk Hogan filed two lawsuits relating to a sex tape showing Hogan and Heather Clem, the wife of Hogan's friend, Bubba the Love Sponge. He sued the Clems and also gossip website Gawker, for publishing part of the tape. The lawsuit with the Clems was eventually settled.
Kevin Clash voiced and handled the popular "Sesame Street" puppet Elmo for years, but resigned from the show in November after four men came forward saying Clash had sexual relationships with them when they were underage.
Bobbi Kristina Brown, 19, lost her mother Whitney in February, and was later seen dating Nick Gordon, 22. Controversy ensued because Whitney Houston had informally adopted Gordon when he was 12, and some felt the couple were raised as siblings. They announced their engagement in October, but broke up a month later.
It was another tumultuous year for actress Lindsay Lohan. She began the year still on probation for the theft of a necklace. In June, she crashed her car into a truck and claimed she wasn't driving -- she'll be arraigned for that in early 2013 -- resulting in her probation being revoked. The actress went on to star as Elizabeth Taylor in the TV movie "Liz & Dick," earning mostly negative reviews. And in November, she was arrested for assault after she allegedly punched a woman in the face at a New York nightclub.
Angus T. Jones has starred on the hit sitcom "Two and a Half Men" since 2003, and is considered the highest-paid child star on television, making $350,000 en episode. But in the fall of 2012, he urged viewers not to watch the show and called it "filth."
Halle Berry was involved with model Gabriel Aubry from 2005-2010, and she gave birth to daughter Nahla in 2008. On Nov. 22, Aubry and Berry's current beau, actor Olivier Martinez, engaged in a fight at Berry's California home. Photos of Aubry's bruised face were widely circulated. The fight is believed to have been over Aubry's refusal to let Berry and Martinez take Nahla to live in Martinez's native France.
Canadian singer Justin Bieber was criticized for wearing overalls when he greeted prime minister Stephen Harper in November. Harper was presenting the young singer with a Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Actor Johnny Lewis, who played Kip "Half-Sack" Epps on the first two seasons of "Sons of Anarchy," was found dead in September along with his 81-year-old landlady. Her death is being investigated as a homicide, with Lewis as the suspect. A coroner ruled that the actor died as the result of injuries he sustained in a fall from a roof at the home. He had just been released from jail that month after hitting two men in the head with a bottle in January.
The band No Doubt pulled a music video in November after controversy about scenes in which singer Gwen Stefani and a bandmate dress as Native Americans and fight cowboys.