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  #1  
Old 09-02-2010, 04:52 AM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
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Which celebrity death really affected you when you first heard about it?

I was watching Monday Night Football the night John Lennon was killed, and I remember hearing Howard Cosell announce it like it was yesterday. I stumbled across a YouTube video of this and it brought it all back again.

So, Lennon is the easy answer for me.

I would also add George Carlin. I've been a long-time fan of his, and his death caught me completely off guard.

A couple others come to mind, but I'll save them for now, awaiting Doper input.


mmm
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2010, 06:30 AM
multimediac17 multimediac17 is offline
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Michael Jackson. I'll wait until I see some other stories before I tell you what my exact reaction was, but let's say for now that I was very, very upset.
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  #3  
Old 09-02-2010, 06:37 AM
Crotalus Crotalus is online now
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Jimi Hendrix. I still feel a sense of loss when I think about him. At the time, I was 16 and a guitar player, and I felt like we had all been robbed of his potential creative output.
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  #4  
Old 09-02-2010, 06:40 AM
Hippy Hollow Hippy Hollow is offline
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Originally Posted by multimediac17 View Post
Michael Jackson. I'll wait until I see some other stories before I tell you what my exact reaction was, but let's say for now that I was very, very upset.
Same here. True disbelief, and I had even participated in a SDMB thread about his failing health months before. Had to sneak out the back door in tears that day... and I saw a number of people clearly affected by the news on the street.

I remember Lennon's murder but I didn't really know who he was.

Michael Hutchence was another big one for me. I was a massive INXS fan and had no idea the guy was so troubled.

Princess Di was another. I watched the news unfold and when they announced that she was dead, it didn't seem real or possible.

Versace as well. Not a fashionista, but he seemed such an unlikely target. Nutjobs can get anyone, I suppose. For that matter, I'd also put Phil Hartman there too. That's a guy that everyone seemed to love and his violent demise didn't seem likely
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  #5  
Old 09-02-2010, 06:41 AM
Pai325 Pai325 is online now
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I remember hearing about Buddy Holly when I was eating breakfast, and my mother was so shocked. Seeing her so surprised over something she heard on the radio made a big impact on me ( I was young). It was really the Big Bopper than really upset her; she loved Chantilly Lace. Marilyn Monroe's death affected me as a young teenager, and John Lennon's death as a young adult.
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  #6  
Old 09-02-2010, 06:44 AM
DrFidelius DrFidelius is online now
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Harry Chapin. That was unexpected, and I really liked the guy's stage persona. He seemed to be one of the nicest, most real performers I had ever seen, matched for audience connection only by George Burns.
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  #7  
Old 09-02-2010, 06:55 AM
Eutychus Eutychus is offline
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Frank Zappa. I'd known he'd been sick for a while, but it still hit me when he finally succumbed.
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  #8  
Old 09-02-2010, 07:07 AM
An Gadaí An Gadaí is offline
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Ronnie Drew. He was elderly and in ill health but it seemed like the passing of an era. The night he died we were in the pub and I put on "The Parting Glass" as sung by him on the stereo there, the whole pub raised a glass.
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  #9  
Old 09-02-2010, 07:07 AM
ErinPuff ErinPuff is offline
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Humphrey Lyttelton and Clement Freud.
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  #10  
Old 09-02-2010, 07:14 AM
EinsteinsHund EinsteinsHund is online now
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Joe Strummer, because it was totally unexpected, and he was one of the few artists I adored for both his art and his personality. It was a little as if a friend had died.
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  #11  
Old 09-02-2010, 07:16 AM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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Dr. Seuss, a little. I suspect that in many ways I was really mourning the loss of my youth.

Mostly though, I don't feel too differently when a celebrity dies than I do when any other stranger dies.
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  #12  
Old 09-02-2010, 07:22 AM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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Jim Henson, it was so unexpected.

Fred Rogers, which wasn't, but it was sort of like losing someone I really KNEW from my childhood - like a great uncle who always had candy in his pockets.
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  #13  
Old 09-02-2010, 07:23 AM
Zeldar Zeldar is online now
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I wasn't surprised when they died since their lifestyles were not conducive to long lives, but I really felt the loss when I learned of the deaths of:

Paul Desmond (Brubeck's alto sax man)
Chet Baker (trumpet)
Robert Mitchum (somehow I thought he would live forever)
Kenny Rankin (singer -- he was a stickler for people not smoking at his gigs)
Frank Sinatra (although he had been ailing for some time, he left a big hole)
Ray Charles (like Frank)
Dizzy Gillespie & Miles Davis (not as much so as with Chet, but still)

There are others I'm just not able to think of offhand.
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  #14  
Old 09-02-2010, 07:28 AM
Yllaria Yllaria is online now
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I'll ditto Jim Henson and add Isaac Asimov. It's sad to think that both deaths were of the preventable-if-only-it-had-been-known variety. I followed the work of both avidly.
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  #15  
Old 09-02-2010, 07:28 AM
Koxinga Koxinga is offline
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Phil Hartman - I couldn't believe it, as it seemed so senseless.
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  #16  
Old 09-02-2010, 07:34 AM
Girl From Mars Girl From Mars is offline
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Jim Henson - I was 13, and I think my childhood really ended that day.

Heath Ledger - despite not being a huge fan, I was really affected by his death. Put off seeing his movies for a year or two afterwards.
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  #17  
Old 09-02-2010, 07:39 AM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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These kind of threads are a common recurrence here. Sometimes I post: sometimes not. I'm not one to be affected by the death of a stranger, but John Lennon's murder gave me a real sinking feeling in my gut. I was, and still am, a huge Beatles fan. I had a lot of John's solo stuff and had just bought his new "Double Fantasy" album. Actually, come to think of it, my sister gave it to me for my birthday!

Anyway, I didn't hear the news till the following morning when I was getting ready for school. Fuck. It still bums me out.

Last edited by Leaffan; 09-02-2010 at 07:39 AM..
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  #18  
Old 09-02-2010, 07:43 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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I've mentioned this on the boards before.

John Peel.

I actually cried when I heard. It was so unexpected; he was such a huge part of my childhood and adolescence; he felt like a friend on the radio.

I also know it profoundly affected many other Brits too.
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  #19  
Old 09-02-2010, 07:44 AM
corkboard corkboard is offline
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Princess Diana. I'm not much of a follower of celebrities but her death was just so shocking and sad.
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  #20  
Old 09-02-2010, 07:45 AM
joebuck20 joebuck20 is offline
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Originally Posted by Koxinga View Post
Phil Hartman - I couldn't believe it, as it seemed so senseless.
Same here. I was driving home from school that day when I heard the news over the radio.
Another one that hit me like a sack of bricks was Chris Farley's death. I was a pretty big fan of his work on SNL. I was getting ready for work that evening when the radio DJ came on and said, "Well, the rumors are true, Chris Farley was found dead in his apartment today." Made all the more devastating when I realized that he was about the same age as Belushi when he died, and was pretty much done in by the same thing.

Last edited by joebuck20; 09-02-2010 at 07:46 AM..
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  #21  
Old 09-02-2010, 07:50 AM
silenus silenus is online now
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Lennon. None of the rest named so far got even a raised eyebrow from me, but John's death hurt.
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  #22  
Old 09-02-2010, 07:55 AM
Kal Kal is offline
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Eric Morecambe. In '70s Britain, Morecambe & Wise were about as big as you could get and a Christmas special was event telly. His death was like losing a favourite uncle.
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  #23  
Old 09-02-2010, 08:20 AM
Kolak of Twilo Kolak of Twilo is offline
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River Phoenix and Kurt Cobain. Both were still so young and their deaths were so tragic and unexpected.
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  #24  
Old 09-02-2010, 08:31 AM
Zeldar Zeldar is online now
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This thread didn't get much action at the time, but maybe a new one on a similar topic could expand on this current thread's theme. Maybe not.

Old performers you'll be sorry to see go
Cafe Society
02-19-2007, 10:53 AM
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  #25  
Old 09-02-2010, 08:42 AM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
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The only other one that comes to mind right now is Ernie Harwell.

Completely expected...but, still.


mmm
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  #26  
Old 09-02-2010, 08:49 AM
Nzinga, Seated Nzinga, Seated is offline
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Originally Posted by multimediac17 View Post
Michael Jackson. I'll wait until I see some other stories before I tell you what my exact reaction was, but let's say for now that I was very, very upset.
Same here. True disbelief, and I had even participated in a SDMB thread about his failing health months before. Had to sneak out the back door in tears that day... and I saw a number of people clearly affected by the news on the street.
Michael got to me, too. I remember distinctly your reaction to it...I know you are a huge fan.

The only other celeb death that really got me was Marvin Gaye. I was about 9 or so, and my dad was taking me to his concert. I was so excited. And there was contraversy, because my grandma and other family members were upset with my dad for taking me because the songs were inappropriate for me. But even in the face of songs so brazen as to be titled 'Sexual Healing', I never really associated the music with sex, per se. And my dad realized that and was planning to damn well take me to that concert. Marvin was murdered and we never did get to go. My dad seemed to take the death personally, getting all angry like he really knew the man. I had sure never seen him react to a celebrity like that before. Sigh. I miss Marvin. And my dad.
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  #27  
Old 09-02-2010, 08:56 AM
Jack Batty Jack Batty is offline
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I think I may be a sociopath, because I can't recall any celebrity's death affected me more than the general shock that everyone experiences when someone famous dies.

About the closest I think I can come is maybe Lennon. I was 15 at the time and I was just getting into The Beatles. I wasn't up late when the news flowed in and the first thing my mother said to me when I got up in the morning was, "Did you hear? John Lennon is dead."

His death hit me more profoundly in the ensuing years, the more I thought about what an asshole Chapman was for shooting him.

The other close one I suppose would be Cobain. He was my contemporary. A couple years younger than I, but Nirvana saved music from the evil clutches of Madonna and Phil Collins, so I was pretty bummed when he blew his head off.
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  #28  
Old 09-02-2010, 09:00 AM
AmericanMaid AmericanMaid is offline
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Kurt Cobain. I think it upset me because my brother is a huge fan and emotionally troubled so I was worried if he'd follow Kurt.

Heath Ledger. For some reason his death felt like I lost an old high school friend. I was a fan and had seen most of his movies. Plus, my heart hurt for poor Matilda.

Phil Hartman. It was complete disbelief and shock then I stopped watching Newsradio. If I want a good cry, I just watch their Bill Moves On episode. I agree with Dave Foley, it should have been Andy Dick.
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  #29  
Old 09-02-2010, 09:03 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Marilyn Monroe (yeah, I'm that old).

She was so full of life and beauty, and much of the public had no idea about her dark side. Shocking if it was a suicide, and equally shocking if it wasn't.
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  #30  
Old 09-02-2010, 09:05 AM
Drum God Drum God is offline
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Jim Henson, easily.

Selena Quintanilla was a big deal when she died. I was living in Texas' Rio Grande Valley at the time and she was VERY popular. Her murder was a shock to everyone and very upsetting to many. I still get misty at the scene at the end of the movie Selena when they pan around the empty AlamoDome Stadium. It reminds me of a famous picture of Austin's Palmer Auditorium that was set up for a presidential reception that never happened.
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  #31  
Old 09-02-2010, 09:10 AM
flodnak flodnak is offline
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Jim Henson's death was a total punch in the gut.

Charles Schulz's death wasn't nearly so much of a surprise, but it was just a few days before my younger son was born and I was hormonally unbalanced and enormous and sick and miserable, and I cried like a baby.
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  #32  
Old 09-02-2010, 09:28 AM
FordTaurusSHO94 FordTaurusSHO94 is offline
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Dale Earnhardt got me. I wasn't even a fan, I actaully couldn't stand him, still can't. It took me by surprise though, especially since the wreck didn't look that bad.
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  #33  
Old 09-02-2010, 09:38 AM
Hypno-Toad Hypno-Toad is online now
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Originally Posted by flodnak View Post
Jim Henson's death was a total punch in the gut.
None of the others mention in the thread really got me. But this did. It was an actual loss to me.
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  #34  
Old 09-02-2010, 09:41 AM
running coach running coach is online now
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Another vote for Jim Henson. The world has a little less laughter in it.
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  #35  
Old 09-02-2010, 09:43 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Lennon, Henson and Hartman.
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  #36  
Old 09-02-2010, 09:44 AM
joebuck20 joebuck20 is offline
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Christopher Reeve. Loved the Superman movies when I was a kid. I was also one of those people who was hopeful that he would one day be able to walk again. Having seen all that he had gone through in the past ten years and his optimism through it all, that was probably the closest I came to crying over a celebrity death.

Last edited by joebuck20; 09-02-2010 at 09:44 AM..
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  #37  
Old 09-02-2010, 09:54 AM
StusBlues StusBlues is offline
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Originally Posted by flodnak View Post
Jim Henson's death was a total punch in the gut.
None of the others mention in the thread really got me. But this did. It was an actual loss to me.
I was moving my parents across the state when I heard this on the radio. I had to stop and pull over for a minute just to absorb what I'd heard. To this day I tear up when I think about it. It really was like losing someone I'd known my whole life.

ETA: And Steve Irwin. I stopped what I was doing, went to the zoo--which had an interactive "kangaroo walk"--and told the 'roos that they'd just lost the best friend they'd ever have.

Last edited by StusBlues; 09-02-2010 at 09:55 AM..
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  #38  
Old 09-02-2010, 09:56 AM
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John Belushi. I was pretty stunned and depressed about that one.

And also Joe Strummer. That was a vary bright light flickering out.
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  #39  
Old 09-02-2010, 09:57 AM
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Billy Mays. He was just starting to get very successful with his TV and everything. And his untimely death cut short his promising career. He never even got to be the Taco Bell spokesman
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  #40  
Old 09-02-2010, 10:01 AM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is offline
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Roy Orbison. I had been a fan of his since I first really started listening to music. There's never been a voice in rock music like his. Part of the tragedy of his sudden death was that he had just recorded some of his best music in many years, and was on the cusp of a career resurgence.

The other one that affected me strongly was Johnny Cash -- though, his passing was not a surprise. He'd been ill for a long time, and, when June died, I knew he wouldn't be around for much longer.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 09-02-2010 at 10:03 AM..
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  #41  
Old 09-02-2010, 10:02 AM
Nzinga, Seated Nzinga, Seated is offline
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I'm curious about the ages of those who were strongly affected by Henson's death. Sesame Street and the beloved muppets were a staple of my childhood, but I never really associated Henson with them. I know that sounds dumb, but I didn't...they were, just characters of my childhood and I never really thought about the man behind them at all. When he died, it didn't really get to me at all.
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  #42  
Old 09-02-2010, 10:15 AM
Small Clanger Small Clanger is offline
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Originally Posted by jjimm

John Peel.

I actually cried when I heard. It was so unexpected; he was such a huge part of my childhood and adolescence; he felt like a friend on the radio.

I also know it profoundly affected many other Brits too.
Yeah, let's have a minute's noise for John. Damn, got something in my eye.

A couple of others that won't mean anything to non-Brits.

Oliver Postgate (wonder why that might be?)

Ken Campbell
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  #43  
Old 09-02-2010, 10:19 AM
Dunkelheit Dunkelheit is offline
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
I was watching Monday Night Football the night John Lennon was killed, and I remember hearing Howard Cosell announce it like it was yesterday. I stumbled across a YouTube video of this and it brought it all back again.

So, Lennon is the easy answer for me.

I would also add George Carlin. I've been a long-time fan of his, and his death caught me completely off guard.

A couple others come to mind, but I'll save them for now, awaiting Doper input.


mmm
Douglas Adams, because it was so completely unexpected and I'm such a big fan.
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  #44  
Old 09-02-2010, 10:24 AM
Zeldar Zeldar is online now
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In case you need reminders of the ones who have gone on ahead:

http://dpsinfo.com/dps/2010.html
Dead People Server

http://www.fiftiesweb.com/dead/dead-people-2010.htm
Gone But Not Forgotten - 2010

http://www.whosaliveandwhosdead.com/h_links.asp
Who's Alive and Who's Dead
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  #45  
Old 09-02-2010, 10:40 AM
villa villa is offline
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Originally Posted by jjimm View Post
I've mentioned this on the boards before.

John Peel.

I actually cried when I heard. It was so unexpected; he was such a huge part of my childhood and adolescence; he felt like a friend on the radio.

I also know it profoundly affected many other Brits too.
Agree totally. It was like my childhood died. And I was 35 when he shuffled off this mortal coil.
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  #46  
Old 09-02-2010, 10:44 AM
woodstockbirdybird woodstockbirdybird is online now
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Joe Strummer for me, as well. My girlfriend called to tell me when I was at work, and it was the first celebrity death that felt personal (I remember Lennon's death, but I was only 10 at the time). I was in a funk the whole rest of the day, and blasted the first Clash album as soon as I got home.

John Peel was a bummer, too, but not on the level of Strummer for me.
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  #47  
Old 09-02-2010, 10:47 AM
Fried Dough Ho Fried Dough Ho is offline
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Julia Child.

I was a budding food writer when I had lunch with her just nine months before she passed away. I had worked and met with tons of celebrities and meeting her was the only time I became flustered by a person's celebrity. It was the best lunch of my life as she was sharp, engaging, and incredibly witty.

I drank my very first martini on the day she passed away -- in honor of her as it was her favorite cocktail. I drank my second martini a few months later when my mother passed away (also a favorite cocktail for her) and both their passings gave me an appreciation for martinis. I now cannot drink one without thinking of these two women who changed my life.
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  #48  
Old 09-02-2010, 10:48 AM
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Charles Schulz. I wanted to be a comic strip writer as a kid, and I cut out 'Peanuts' from the newspaper every day and kept the strips in albums.

Also, given that the OP says when you first heard about it - Arnold Lobel. I loved the Frog and Toad books as a kid, and when we had kids, I read Frog and Toad to them a lot, and decided to look up the author on the internet. He'd been dead twenty years.
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  #49  
Old 09-02-2010, 10:56 AM
Zeldar Zeldar is online now
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In the sense of "affected" that implies surprise or shock, I was "affected" by the death of Mitch Miller recently. I thought he had been dead for decades.

I've looked over the listings by year at http://www.fiftiesweb.com/dead/dead-people-2010.htm and must admit that I was neither shocked nor unduly saddened by the passing of anybody since 2000. Had Paul Newman not been ill as long as he had, or Brando, they might have grieved me more. But I'm guessing I'd have to go back to the 90's for a really "affecting" death to appear.
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  #50  
Old 09-02-2010, 11:06 AM
Driver8 Driver8 is offline
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I usually don't feel much for celebrity deaths, but recently reading the Stieg Larsson books I felt sad that he had died so early. Partly that was self serving - sad that there would be no more books to read, but partly because he died before his books took off in a big way.

I was saddened by the unexpected departure of Douglas Adams. I was also sad when Paul Newman died. He was pretty old so it wasn't completely unexpected, but I think the world is slightly less cool without him in it.
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