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  #1  
Old 12-13-2000, 05:45 PM
Dignan Dignan is offline
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In Forrest Gump, what disease did Jenny have?

When Jenny gets sick and eventually dies at the end, what did she have? I had guessed AIDS, but then how come Forrest, Jr. didn't get it, I don't think it would have surfaced and ran its course in 4 years. Anyone, anyone?
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2000, 05:48 PM
Scylla Scylla is offline
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Aids
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  #3  
Old 12-13-2000, 05:48 PM
caircair caircair is offline
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Actually, it IS possible that Forrest Jr. has it, but hasn't been diagnosed yet.

Meanwhile, Jenny could not have died of AIDS, exactly, since AIDS has never killed anyone. What is does is weaken the immune system until some other horrible disease can take over and kill you. Most people die either from pneumonia or a form of cancer, but AIDS is a major contributing factor.

As for the actual cause of Jenny's death, I don't think they ever came and and confirmed it was AIDS. We'll have to wait for the sequel.
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  #4  
Old 12-13-2000, 05:51 PM
stargazer stargazer is offline
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yeah, it was implied that it was AIDS. She presumably got it after she had Forrest Jr., or it didn't develop into AIDS until after she had him, or something like that. And she got it, IIRC, before much was known about it (so there was little information that could have helped her), so it could easily have run its course in 4 years.
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  #5  
Old 12-13-2000, 05:55 PM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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I always got the idea that it was AIDS. Why? Well, it was a slow-acting progressive chronic disease. That describes a range, from leukemia to brain cancer to all the other diseases people lose sleep over. But it was hinted that her lifestyle (being a slut in the 60s-70s) contributed to it, which narrows the range. Finally, it was diagnosed in the 80s-early 90s, when AIDS was the known 'big bad bug' going around. Not very convincing, I know, but you work with the information you're given.
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2000, 06:03 PM
Selmer Selmer is offline
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Jenny actually died of a rare modern case of "old movie disease." It was very common in the 30s and 40s. One of the most famous cases of it was Greta Garbo's in "Camille." The disese caused the actress to get weaker and weaker and more and more beautiful the sicker she got. One sure way way to know if it's a case of old movie disease is the presence of swelling strings on the sountrack. Ali McGraw had a really bad case of it in "Love Story."
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2000, 06:06 PM
dougie_monty dougie_monty is offline
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There are two other things to consider. One, Jenny was sexually abused by her own father--who may have been a really sick man in more ways than one. He could have had herpes or God knows what. Two, she took drugs in the 60s; she seems to have been a full-fleged hippie while Forrest was in Vietnam getting shot in his seater. It's possible that one, or the other, or both, of these factors could have made poor Jenny a pushover for diseases more fortunate people would be fully immune to.
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  #8  
Old 12-13-2000, 06:18 PM
lissener lissener is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Selmer
Jenny actually died of a rare modern case of "old movie disease." . . .
Close; it was a very common variant called Stuck-in-a-Sucky-Movie disease (Cinema horribilis), which unfortunately doesn't kill as many people as it should.
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  #9  
Old 12-13-2000, 06:36 PM
Dr. Lao Dr. Lao is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dignan
I had guessed AIDS, but then how come Forrest, Jr. didn't get it.
Maternal to fetus trasmition rates for HIV are only about 25 to 30% for live births. There is good evidence, however, that mother to child transmition earily during pregnancy can induce miscarriges, so likely the figure is higher. Since Forrest Jr. is alive the figure of 25 to 30% still applies.
Quote:
...I don't think it would have surfaced and ran its course in 4 years.
We have no idea how long she had been infected. It was four years between diagnosis and death, but she may have been infected long before.

caircair-
Quote:
Originally posted by caircair
Meanwhile, Jenny could not have died of AIDS, exactly, since AIDS has never killed anyone.
This is not true. Cecil Adams on the subject:
Quote:
From Could AIDS be treated by putting the person in a "bubble" to prevent infection?
...AIDS is quite capable of killing you all by itself, without any help from opportunistic infections. It can directly infect the brain and the gut, producing such syndromes as HIV encephalopathy, also knowns as AIDS dementia (symptoms: loss of memory, alertness, balance, and vision; weakness) and HIV wasting syndrome, where you simply waste away. (Opportunistic infections may also contribute to this.)
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  #10  
Old 12-13-2000, 06:47 PM
Scylla Scylla is offline
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Didn't Yul Brynner(sp?) die of Old Movie Disease both on and offscreen?
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  #11  
Old 12-14-2000, 07:27 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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There's a Significant Moment in the film when you see Jenny inject herself with heroin (or some needle drug) after someone else has used the same needle. It's made clear that that's the moment when she's infected with the HIV virus, although no one says that. In the same way, it's made clear that she dies of AIDS, even though the name of the disease is never used.

Selmer writes:

> Jenny actually died of a rare modern case of "old movie
> disease." It was very common in the 30s and 40s. One of
> the most famous cases of it was Greta Garbo's
> in "Camille." The disese caused the actress to get weaker
> and weaker and more and more beautiful the sicker she
> got. One sure way way to know if it's a case of old movie
> disease is the presence of swelling strings on the
> sountrack. Ali McGraw had a really bad case of it
> in "Love Story."

Yeah, Selmer, I remember reading the Mad parody of _Love Story_ too. That is where your taking this idea of "old movie disease" from, right?
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  #12  
Old 12-14-2000, 07:34 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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I wrote:

> That is where your taking this idea of "old movie
> disease" from, right?

Before someone else gets the chance to make fun of me, I will make fun of myself for using "your" instead of "you're."
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  #13  
Old 12-14-2000, 07:36 AM
Tansu Tansu is offline
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Is "Old movie disease" a variant of Opera TB?
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  #14  
Old 12-14-2000, 08:45 AM
missbunny missbunny is offline
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I could be mistaken, but I thought I read several articles at the time the movie came out saying that while it was implied that she died of AIDS, that couldn't have been the case since, based on the years in which the movie took place, AIDS hadn't emerged or come into existence or whatever the term is. Or, she would have been the absolute first case, long before any doctor had any idea whatsoever that such a disease even existed. Or maybe it was just that for a woman (even a needle-using one) to have the disease would have been so incredibly unusual during the very early AIDS outbreak that it was kind of far-fetched for the movie to imply it.

I am just going by memory - haven't checked IMDB or anything - so I might be wrong.
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  #15  
Old 12-14-2000, 09:10 AM
John Corrado John Corrado is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by missbunny
I could be mistaken, but I thought I read several articles at the time the movie came out saying that while it was implied that she died of AIDS, that couldn't have been the case since, based on the years in which the movie took place, AIDS hadn't emerged or come into existence or whatever the term is. Or, she would have been the absolute first case, long before any doctor had any idea whatsoever that such a disease even existed.
Which- I think- was part of the point; the way the movie is set up, Gump is supposed to be marginally involved in some of the most amazing and defining events of the 60's-80's (met JFK, Nixon, made the call that started Watergate, went to China on the ping-pong team, showed LBJ his butt, started the national jogging craze, etc.), so having his "girlfriend" be one of the first to die of AIDS seems appropriate given the movie's theme.
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  #16  
Old 12-14-2000, 09:16 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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You're right that it's very unlikely that a person could have contracted the HIV virus at the time the film suggests that Jenny did. It's clear though that the film is saying that Jenny did die of AIDS, so one of the ways that the film is anachronistic is by having Jenny get the HIV virus too early.
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  #17  
Old 12-14-2000, 09:33 AM
missbunny missbunny is offline
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Good point, John - I hadn't thought about it that way. I suppose the filmmakers (hey, does she die in the book too?) could have made it AIDS in keeping with all the other "firsts," even if it likely wouldn't have happened that way in real life.
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  #18  
Old 12-14-2000, 09:49 AM
Phobos Phobos is offline
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I think the movie implied that it was AIDS. Examples...(1) she had lots of sex partners, (2) she shared needles (remember that one scene), (3) she was deteriorating overall from an unknown disease (and AIDS was not really known back then), (4) it's the most obvious thing for the audience to guess, and (5) it fits the overall theme of big things happening to ordinary people.
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  #19  
Old 12-14-2000, 10:01 AM
AWB AWB is offline
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IIRC, gays in the late 70's recognized the symptoms of AIDS (wasting, Karposi's (sp?) Sarcoma, etc. But they just attributed it to associated things: IV drug use, STDs, poor nutrition.

AIDS has probably been around for a long time. It was just its introduction into a couple of fluid-sharing groups (IV drug users, male homosexuals) that caused the epidemic
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  #20  
Old 12-14-2000, 10:05 AM
Montfort Montfort is offline
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My very-pointed-and-jaded summary of Forrest Gump, a film that I hated:

"If you're a moron and do what your mother tells you to do, you'll end up fine, but if you live your life the way you want to, you'll die of AIDS."

Anyway, the disease Jenny passed on to Forrest Jr. was the ability to see dead people.
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  #21  
Old 12-14-2000, 10:12 AM
Dignan Dignan is offline
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Montfort

Really, I didn't think Jenny lived her life the way she wanted to at all (ex. the near suicide attempt).
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  #22  
Old 12-14-2000, 10:20 AM
Dolores Reborn Dolores Reborn is offline
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Am I the only one who vaguely remembers Jenny telling Forrest that she had a "virus"? Or maybe she just said she was sick...
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  #23  
Old 12-14-2000, 10:44 AM
Uniball Uniball is offline
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Ask the dust.

http://members.tripod.lycos.nl/Reinf...rrestgump.html
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  #24  
Old 12-14-2000, 11:18 AM
Jeep's Phoenix Jeep's Phoenix is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dolores Claiborne
Am I the only one who vaguely remembers Jenny telling Forrest that she had a "virus"? Or maybe she just said she was sick...
I remember her telling Forrest that she was very sick with some disease, and that the doctors didn't know what it was.
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  #25  
Old 12-14-2000, 02:48 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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I, too, remember her specifically saying it was a virus, and I saw it a good while after it came out after people had been talking about it, so I was specifically looking for an indication that it was or was not AIDS.

Chronic, deadly virus, in the early 80s, in a promiscuous drug user... I think that AIDS is probably a safe bet.
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  #26  
Old 12-14-2000, 03:48 PM
SuaSponte SuaSponte is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chronos
I, too, remember her specifically saying it was a virus, and I saw it a good while after it came out after people had been talking about it, so I was specifically looking for an indication that it was or was not AIDS.

Chronic, deadly virus, in the early 80s, in a promiscuous drug user... I think that AIDS is probably a safe bet.
Yeah, she did say "virus", and this was the real anachronism of the movie. At the time she told Forrest, AIDS was around, but the vector hadn't been identified yet. So her doctors wouldn't have been able to tell her it was a virus. I believe they tossed in the "virus" line to specifically identify the disease as AIDS.

Sua
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  #27  
Old 12-14-2000, 06:11 PM
popokis5 popokis5 is offline
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Along these lines, I always wondered what Tiny Tim from "A Chrismas Carol" et al. had. What would have been wrong with his leg, that he was going to die from by (presumably) next Christmas, that a good diet and improved conditions would improve? That really drives me crazy. Also, do you think that the boys who play him get beat up at school?
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  #28  
Old 12-14-2000, 08:12 PM
labdude labdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dignan
I had guessed AIDS, but then how come Forrest, Jr. didn't get it, I don't think it would have surfaced and ran its course in 4 years. Anyone, anyone?
Of course, it is possible to have unsafe sex with an HIV positive person and not develop HIV yourself. I'm sure there are some stastics somewhere, but I'm to busy to go look for them.
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  #29  
Old 07-04-2013, 12:15 PM
Movielover85 Movielover85 is offline
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I think it's highly likely that she died of AIDS related complications (pneumonia or some other opportunistic infection) since this is the early 80s before they even had a name for the virus let alone a treatment. Many people are saying she couldn't have gotten the virus and died from it in only 4 years. Yes she could have if her immune system was weak enough. Some are even saying that she couldn't have gotten HIV since it didn't exist at that time. The first confirmed AIDS death us in fact a boy from 1969. So in fact she could easily have had the virus long before she had sex with Forrest.
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  #30  
Old 07-04-2013, 12:31 PM
hajario hajario is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Movielover85 View Post
I think it's highly likely that she died of AIDS related complications (pneumonia or some other opportunistic infection) since this is the early 80s before they even had a name for the virus let alone a treatment. Many people are saying she couldn't have gotten the virus and died from it in only 4 years. Yes she could have if her immune system was weak enough. Some are even saying that she couldn't have gotten HIV since it didn't exist at that time. The first confirmed AIDS death us in fact a boy from 1969. So in fact she could easily have had the virus long before she had sex with Forrest.
Thanks and welcome to the boards but the post previous to yours was made thirteen years ago.
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  #31  
Old 07-04-2013, 12:39 PM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Scarily, if you go back in time from the OP by the same length of time as has elapsed since it was posted, you end up in... 1988
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  #32  
Old 07-04-2013, 12:48 PM
beowulff beowulff is offline
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Wow.
This must be some kind of record.
A thirteen year old thread, and no banned posters!
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  #33  
Old 07-04-2013, 12:49 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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She died from a rare brain-eating disease.
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  #34  
Old 07-04-2013, 03:41 PM
Lasciel Lasciel is offline
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Originally Posted by popokis5 View Post
Along these lines, I always wondered what Tiny Tim from "A Chrismas Carol" et al. had. What would have been wrong with his leg, that he was going to die from by (presumably) next Christmas, that a good diet and improved conditions would improve? That really drives me crazy. Also, do you think that the boys who play him get beat up at school?
I KNOW this is a zombie, but I've heard several good arguments for him having rickets and TB.

Neither are pleasant, and both could be mostly remedied by throwing lots of money at them for the "cures" of the time: good food, rest, and lots of fresh air and sunlight.

Rickets is really severe vitamin D deficiency, and TB is .. well, TB.

What's really funny is that with the rise of helicopter parenting, all-indoor activities, the focus on skin-cancer, and spf everything, rich kids are starting to get it again in record numbers. Supplements usually fix that easily.

What's less funny is that TB is starting to be a killer plague again, because so many strains are drug resistant now. So Tim might start being a bit more timely than he knows.
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  #35  
Old 07-04-2013, 03:43 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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IIRC wasn't AIDS brught to the public attention about the early 80's? According to Wiki it was first mentioned in 1981 and the term was in use by 1982. Of course, this was due to an unusual number of young gay men getting sick and dying (Frisco and NYC?). Presumably, the epidemic had been building and spreading for years before that; it was the distinctive means of transmission that made it epidemic and obvious in the gay community. IV drug users sickening and dying probably would not have been as noticeable.

I agree, the whole premise of the movie was that everything historic and notable of the era involved Forrest - so Jenny dying of AIDS would be an obvious piece of the story.

Also, IIRC, the disease was more rampant and destructive than today, and there were no treatments. So it was not unusual for people to kick off a year or two later, if I recall from stories of the time. It was not expected that people who tested positive would survive for decades (It's Magic?).
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  #36  
Old 07-04-2013, 04:17 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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Originally Posted by Lasciel View Post
I KNOW this is a zombie, but I've heard several good arguments for him having rickets and TB.

Neither are pleasant, and both could be mostly remedied by throwing lots of money at them for the "cures" of the time: good food, rest, and lots of fresh air and sunlight.

Rickets is really severe vitamin D deficiency, and TB is .. well, TB.

What's really funny is that with the rise of helicopter parenting, all-indoor activities, the focus on skin-cancer, and spf everything, rich kids are starting to get it again in record numbers. Supplements usually fix that easily.

What's less funny is that TB is starting to be a killer plague again, because so many strains are drug resistant now. So Tim might start being a bit more timely than he knows.
Maybe renal tubular acidosis.
Quote:
Such treatments with vitamin D and alkalinization with sodium bicarbonate and sodium citrate suggest the plausible speculation that Tiny Tim had renal tubular acidosis (type I), a disorder that is characterized by growth failure and, if left untreated, complicated by osteomalacia with pathologic fractures, hypokalemic muscle weakness and periodic paralysis, nephrocalcinosis leading to renal failure, and death. I propose that Tiny Tim had distal renal tubular acidosis (type I).
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  #37  
Old 07-04-2013, 07:13 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Originally Posted by beowulff View Post
Wow.
This must be some kind of record.
A thirteen year old thread, and no banned posters!
I believe all they all died from AIDS.
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  #38  
Old 07-04-2013, 08:41 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missbunny View Post
I could be mistaken, but I thought I read several articles at the time the movie came out saying that while it was implied that she died of AIDS, that couldn't have been the case since, based on the years in which the movie took place, AIDS hadn't emerged or come into existence or whatever the term is. Or, she would have been the absolute first case, long before any doctor had any idea whatsoever that such a disease even existed. Or maybe it was just that for a woman (even a needle-using one) to have the disease would have been so incredibly unusual during the very early AIDS outbreak that it was kind of far-fetched for the movie to imply it.

I am just going by memory - haven't checked IMDB or anything - so I might be wrong.
Jenny dies in the 1980s, so it is quite certainly the case that AIDS was a going concern at some point before she dies. It wasn't well understood - as in fact she says in the movie.

Jenny pretty much HAS to be dying of AIDS; it is the only thematically consistent possibility. The entire point of the movie is to tell the story of post-war America with the characters representing the personifications of parts of America's character.
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  #39  
Old 07-04-2013, 08:47 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Everybody has AIDS.

ETA: to msmith537.

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 07-04-2013 at 08:49 PM..
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  #40  
Old 07-04-2013, 10:19 PM
Mr. Slant Mr.  Slant is offline
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Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
She died from a rare brain-eating disease.
What's funny is that nowadays, you can live for decades with it...
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  #41  
Old 07-05-2013, 09:11 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Oh, and to a long-ago comment:

Quote:
Quoth dougie_montie:

There are two other things to consider. One, Jenny was sexually abused by her own father--who may have been a really sick man in more ways than one. He could have had herpes or God knows what.
Jenny almost certainly had herpes, though that wouldn't have been what killed her. It's a lot more common than most people realize. Something like a quarter of the sexually-active population has it, and the figure would be much higher for someone as sexually active as she was depicted.

Also, since this thread was last active, we've gotten a new forum for discussion of the arts, Cafe Society. I'll let the mods know so they can move it.
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  #42  
Old 07-05-2013, 09:18 AM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
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Anyway, the disease Jenny passed on to Forrest Jr. was the ability to see dead people.
A truly prescient remark.
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  #43  
Old 07-05-2013, 10:53 AM
Cowboy8467 Cowboy8467 is offline
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A truly prescient remark.
Nah, The Sixth Sense came out in 1999 and he made his comment in 2000.
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  #44  
Old 07-05-2013, 12:06 PM
EdwardLost EdwardLost is offline
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chick cancer
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  #45  
Old 07-05-2013, 12:49 PM
Gary "Wombat" Robson Gary "Wombat" Robson is offline
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Moderating: Moved thread GQ->CS

[moderating]
Twelve years ago when this thread started, we didn't have a Cafe Society forum, so it was fine in General Questions. Now that it's been resurrected, I moved it to its appropriate (current) home.
[/moderating]
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  #46  
Old 07-05-2013, 01:09 PM
teela brown teela brown is offline
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Originally Posted by Scylla View Post
Didn't Yul Brynner(sp?) die of Old Movie Disease both on and offscreen?
Here's the man himself, telling you from the grave what killed him:

Yul Brynner
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  #47  
Old 07-08-2013, 01:20 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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I just happen to be reading And the Band Played On and although this is a zombie thread I thought it would be worthwhile to cite it (and this is an 80's book so there are surely more known cases now) that by April of 1982 AIDS was known to have struck 300 Americans and killed 119, 10 of them heterosexual women.
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  #48  
Old 07-08-2013, 01:24 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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I believe all they all died from AIDS.
Some are still around but can't get to the computer anymore due to rickets.
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  #49  
Old 07-08-2013, 01:36 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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Rickets... that's what I hear when I tell jokes.





I'm hearing it now.
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  #50  
Old 08-03-2013, 11:01 PM
sarabeth162 sarabeth162 is offline
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has anyone even.....

So has anyone even thought that it could have been hepatitis C? I mean obviously it was to soon for her to catch AIDS OR HIV. But hepatitis had been around just not know much. Just a thought.
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