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Old 09-21-2019, 08:48 AM
Author Balk is offline
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Celebrity Deaths Affecting You the Most


Inspired by the thread about sad/cruel celebrity deaths…
1. What celebrity death affected you the most?
2. What living celebrity’s death would affect you the most?
3. Of these two, which death would affect you the most?

My answers:

I thought of this a couple of weeks ago. Since then my answers changed.
1. Ric Ocasek (was Glenn Frey)
2. Tommy Shaw (was Ric Ocasek)
3. Ric Ocasek (same)
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:23 AM
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John Lennon's death hit me the hardest. I was 19 at the time and attached way too much importance to my heroes, and he was sure one of them.

Living celebrities: Probably Steve Martin or Neil Gaiman. I don't imagine (as I did with Lennon) that they'd be terribly fun to hang around with, but I respect their work immensely.

I think everyone gets one big celebrity death in their lifetime, be it JFK or Elvis or Kurt Cobain. For me it was Lennon, and I just don't have that much emotion invested in celebrities anymore.
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:43 AM
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Jim Henson death's was so unexpected and it hit me so hard. I was in love with Kermit the Frog.

For living celebrities, probably Bob Dylan and/or Bruce Springsteen. Dylan is the best living poet, and I am in New Jersey, so just image how Bruce's death will affect the state.
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:53 AM
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John Denver's death in 1997 hit me hard. He became a big success during my high school years and I still listen to his records today.

Glen Campbell's illness and death in 2017 hit me hard for the same reason.

Linda Ronstadt was a teen crush of mine. It hurts seeing her sick and unable to sing.

Neil Young's death will be very hard to accept. He's 73 and looks a decade older.

Last edited by aceplace57; 09-21-2019 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:57 AM
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Celebrity deaths don't affect me. However the one I initially found most puzzling was the suicide of Robin Williams, as it was so in contrast with my memory of him from the films he was in:
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=730838

It turned out he had a neurological disease, Lewy body disease:
https://n.neurology.org/content/neur.../1308.full.pdf
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:39 AM
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Already gone: Jim Croce, David Bowie, Dolores O'Riordan

Still here (and hopefully a lot longer): Steven Wilson, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush

The ones still alive would hurt even more.

Yes, I love music.

Last edited by Art Rock; 09-21-2019 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:13 AM
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Jim Henson bummed me out, especially with how unnecessary it probably was.

More recently, Anthony Bourdain. I swear, if he offed himself because his girlfriend held hands with somebody else, I'll get really pissed. That's some middle school shit.

Of the living, I think Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor will make me the saddest. He's eighty-five now, and mentions death in interviews quite a bit.
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:14 AM
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1 - Jim Henson because he was far too young and so talented.

2 - Mandy Patinkin, maybe. Hard to say.

3 - Definitely Henson.
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:19 AM
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Very hard to say, but I'd say:

1. Heath Ledger, Anton Yelchin, Robin Williams, and Anthony Bourdain. All too young, all had a lot to offer.

2. Roger Federer

3. Federer would be devastating at this point.
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:31 AM
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1. Chris Cornell
2. Neil Young
3. Neil Young

Last edited by actualliberalnotoneofthose; 09-21-2019 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:35 AM
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I suppose I'm stretching the definition of "celebrity" a little, but Kate Millett, author of Sexual Politics and The Loony Bin Trip. I not only met her but was the host of an activist support group meeting of psychiatric survivors up in Washington Heights, and therefore had her as one of several guests in my apartment.

As many board regulars know, I'm both a fanboy of radical feminism and a psychiatric oppression activist lunatic, and like me she had a foot in both camps. And sure could write.

ETA: oops not following the instrux. That ^^^^ was death that affected me the most.

Of deaths that would affect me powerfully moving forward... Joni Mitchell would tear me up. So would Robin Morgan. Neil Young as others have said. I need to pick one, I'll go with Robin Morgan, and stick with her for the overall "win".

Last edited by AHunter3; 09-21-2019 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:41 PM
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Put me in the John Lennon camp. I was a senior in college and very into the Beatles, especially John.

Nowadays, I don't think there are any pop stars that would effect me very much.
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Old 09-21-2019, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Author Balk View Post
Inspired by the thread about sad/cruel celebrity deaths…
1. What celebrity death affected you the most?
2. What living celebrity’s death would affect you the most?
3. Of these two, which death would affect you the most?

My answers:

I thought of this a couple of weeks ago. Since then my answers changed.
1. Ric Ocasek (was Glenn Frey)
2. Tommy Shaw (was Ric Ocasek)
3. Ric Ocasek (same)
1. John Lennon. I was a Beatle fan since 4th grade, I still remember waking up and my parents telling me the news, I was 11 years old.

2. Barack Obama

3. It’s got to be Lennon.
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Old 09-21-2019, 03:31 PM
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I’m affected whenever one of the Apollo astronauts passes away. Only 12 people have been to the surface of the moon, and it will be sad when we no longer have anyone around who’s had that experience. Even if we go again soon, the Apollo era was unique and I never tire of reading about their recollections. I got to interview one of them, which was wonderful.
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Old 09-21-2019, 03:49 PM
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1. Roger Ebert. As relevant as ever right up until his death.

2. George Carlin. I'd been a huge fan since 1970 or so.

3. John Lennon. Like many of you, I learned about it while watching Monday Night Football. I worked nights at the time, had to work all night after hearing the news. Co-workers were joking about it.

Princess Diana and Michael Jackson. Not particularly a fan of either, but both shocked the hell out of me.


Still alive:

1. Bob Dylan. I may need a few days off work.

2. Neil Young. Ditto.

3. Paul or Ringo. Especially whomever goes last. No work missed.


mmm

Nobody's mentioned Freddie or Prince yet.
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Old 09-21-2019, 04:50 PM
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To date, it was Phil Hartman. Someone today would have to be unexpected. I mean, Harrison Ford is 77. I'd be sad, and affected, but not really all that surprised. I suppose I can't say who would affect me most until it happens.
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:02 PM
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1. Warren Zevon
2. John Prine

Of the two, Zevon will be tougher.
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
1. Warren Zevon
2. John Prine

Of the two, Zevon will be tougher.
Umm...I have some bad news for you...

link


mmm
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:18 PM
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Phil Collins has to take the prize for aging Rock star.

He looks 80. Phil has trouble walking. He's performing now sitting down. Phil is actually only 68.

That's quite a shock because I remember when Genesis hit it big.

Phil's voice is still strong and I'd love to see him in concert.

His death will hit me hard.

Last edited by aceplace57; 09-21-2019 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
Umm...I have some bad news for you...

link


mmm
I wrote Zevon as the one who's death hit me hardest, and Prine as the entertainer who is still alive but will hit me hard when he dies. I remember Zevon's death very well.
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:05 PM
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Karen Carpenter. The most talented female vocalist of the 20th century, died much, much too young.
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:33 PM
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Leonard Nimoy.
I don't know why as I'm not a great fan of his or of Star Trek but for some reason his death really impacted me
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:55 PM
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Jim Henson, definitely. I ugly-cried just watching a snippet of his funeral on the evening news.

I felt bad when author Shel Silverstein died. I told my young daughter why I was so sad, and she said, 'oh, no more poems!' and we both had a short cry together.

I'll feel bad when Martha Stewart goes. I know she is disliked, if not hated, by so many, but she brought such beauty into the world, so many good ideas .
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:15 PM
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For me it's Prince. I never really paid much attention to him. Being a child of the 80's/90's, he was always just that weird guy with the high pitched voice and the strange fashion choices. I've seen Tom Petty 9 times and David Bowie once. Most people that know me would assume one of those two, probably Bowie would have hit me the hardest but for some odd reason Prince's death took a toll on me.
My guess is that after he died, there was suddenly documentaries on him, news stories about him, an XM station dedicated to him (his music, as well as music he wrote and bands he created or spun off from work he'd done). I think the issue for me was that I had no idea how enormously talented he was, how far reaching his influence was and I feel like I really missed out on a lot of amazing music because I wrote him off as just some oddball. Until the concert for George Harrison, I didn't even know he played the guitar, much less that he was an incredibly talented guitarist.

In the months after his death, the XM station that was dedicated to him was the only thing I had playing in my car. I wish I had paid more attention to him when he was around.
I suppose that's why it hit me harder than Petty or Bowie, both of whom I listened to, a lot.

As for a living celebrity, that's hard to say, but Roger Waters (or David Gilmour) would hit me pretty hard. Like so many other people, Pink Floyd was part of the soundtrack of my teenage years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
I wrote Zevon as the one who's death hit me hardest, and Prine as the entertainer who is still alive but will hit me hard when he dies. I remember Zevon's death very well.
I've never been big into Warren Zevon, but I like his music and he's always been on my radar. For some strange reason, the person that did my engagement photos had Zevon's felt it was a good idea to play The Wind (aka "I'm about to die, here's one last album") while he was shooting. This was before he died, btw. I wasn't paying too much attention to it until Knockin' On Heaven's Door came on and I realized what it was. Who plays that during a photoshoot where you're supposed to be all happy and smiling?
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:19 PM
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Thurman Munson August 2, 1979, Captain of the NY Yankees, died tragically in a plane crash. my favorite player.

John Lennon December 8, 1980, gunned down by a crazy man. I was stunned and depressed for the following week. My brother was part of the Strawberry Fields candle vigil in Central Park.

Robert Heinlein May 8, 1988, the Dean of Science Fiction. I wore a black arm band for the following week.

Jim Henson May 16, 1990, he was gone so quick. He was sick and he was gone. He was awesome. I'm not sure why Henson hit so hard, but I was 3 when Sesame Street went on so I really grew up with Henson & Kermit.

Leonard Nimoy February 27, 2015, the only recent one. I guess Mr. Spock was my childhood idol and I've always loved his work. As you can see Nimoy was the only recent one.


I don't think I have the same attachment to any celebrity now that I did to these 5.
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:00 PM
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Dead celebrities:
- Alan Rickman - I was stunned by this one. He wasn't even that old, and I had no idea he was sick.
- Gene Wilder - Willy Wonka was my six-year-old self's first love, and I've had a soft spot for him ever since.
- Leonard Nimoy - I've been a Star Trek fan since the Seventies, and Spock was always my favorite.
- Steve Jobs - I'm not even sure why he affected me as much as he did, but yeah. I know he was a dick, but I still admired what he did with Apple. I was actually angry when he died, because he had the rare curable form of pancreatic cancer, and if he'd gotten treatment instead of going for the woowoo hippie solution, he'd still be around.
- Robin Williams - Another one that came completely out of the blue for me.

Living celebrities:
- David Tennant - I would be gutted. I've loved his work since I first discovered him.
- Alan Parsons - I've met him several times. He is a lovely, talented man and a true gentleman.
- Robert Downey Jr. - I love his work and he seems to be a genuinely good guy.
- Any of the members of Rush - Again, been a fan since I was in high school.
- Stephen King - one of my favorite authors.
- Alice Cooper - I don't think he'll ever die, but I'll cry when he does.

Last edited by Infovore; 09-21-2019 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:06 PM
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Jim Henson and Kurt Cobain. Both had enormous influence on my life, in different ways, and they both would have gone on to do a lot more great things.

I was reading the latest Henson biography and I couldn't even finish it, when it got towards when I knew he would die. I couldn't deal.

Living celebs? Hmm...Eddie Vedder maybe. Tom Hamilton, the radio voice of the Cleveland Indians. I've listened to him every day, every summer, since 1990 (oddly enough, since Jim Henson died).

Tom Hamilton would probably affect me the most, as we've "spent the most time together" (even though I've spent a lot of time with the Muppets) and I've met him a couple times.

Last edited by ZipperJJ; 09-21-2019 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:13 PM
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Two lower key celebrities that were a part of my childhood. Their deaths didn't stop me in my tracks, but I did tear up, and miss the good times I had with them.

Frank Wiziarde, aka Whizzo the Clown. If you lived in NE Kansas, or in KCMO, in the 60's and 70's you know the guy. I was even a kid on the show once.

Bob Keeshan. If you didn't live in a time to know his show, I'm sorry for you. Dancing Bear, Mr. Moose, Bunny Rabbit, Bebe the English sheepdog, I miss you all.
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:51 PM
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My lists are too long to edit down. I just realized, all of my musical heroes are now in their 70s. Some of them (like 50% of the Beatles and 75% of Led Zeppelin) still sound great, but man, their days are numbered.

Same with literature (Hmm, wonder what Stephen Fry's last checkup was like?)...

I'm going to need to learn to deal with grief in the net few years.
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Old 09-22-2019, 01:23 AM
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The one that hit me the hardest was John Ritter. Way too young, too talented, and he seemed like such a good, genuinely nice guy.

The one that will affect me the most is probably Billy Joel. I've been a huge fan of his all my life, and much like Counting Crows and Ben Folds, his music has been the soundtrack of my life, and his songs have got me through a lot when life decides to give me a kick in the dick.
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Old 09-22-2019, 01:24 AM
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Adam West and David Bowie both caught me by surprise; I had just never thought of them as being in "about to die" territory. The bigger surprise to me was how much more emotionally vested in Bowie I was than in Adam West.

I guess my Holy Trinity of role models (their public personas, not their actual ones) was Hugh Hefner, Stan Lee and William Shatner. Were I a gambling man, I would not have picked Shatner to be the last man standing.
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Old 09-22-2019, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
I wrote Zevon as the one who's death hit me hardest, and Prine as the entertainer who is still alive but will hit me hard when he dies. I remember Zevon's death very well.
Ah, I see.

In my defense, it sure didn't read like that:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
1. Warren Zevon
2. John Prine

Of the two, Zevon will be tougher.
Anyhoo, anyone who is a fan of Prine and Zevon is all right in my book.


mmm
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Old 09-22-2019, 08:59 AM
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In recent years, Allen Toussaint and Dr. John. Huge blows to the New Orleans music scene.
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Old 09-22-2019, 09:25 AM
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Bob Keeshan. If you didn't live in a time to know his show, I'm sorry for you. Dancing Bear, Mr. Moose, Bunny Rabbit, Bebe the English sheepdog, I miss you all.
I, personally, hit him right square in the head with a ping pong ball.

Quote:
Originally Posted by digs View Post
My lists are too long to edit down. I just realized, all of my musical heroes are now in their 70s. Some of them (like 50% of the Beatles and 75% of Led Zeppelin) still sound great, but man, their days are numbered.
When Tom Petty died, not that long after Prince and David Bowie, my daughter asked me why all the people I listen to keep dying. I (in my mid-30's) had to explain to her that it's because I listen to classic rock because that's what my dad always had on in the car. The musicians my dad listened to are 30+ years older than me and starting to die off. I tried to explain that if, when she gets older, she listens to the music I play in the car from my high school era (ie Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails etc), the same thing will happen to her when she's about my age and they're all in their 70's.
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Old 09-22-2019, 01:36 PM
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1. John Lennon, in a landslide. Still remember my dad trying to break it to me when waking me up for school.

Honorable Mentions: Thurman Munson, Jerry Garcia (not that it was in any way surprising, but it still sucked), Terry Prachett (even though it was in slow motion), Frank Zappa.

2. Margo Timmins, of Cowboy Junkies.

Honorable Mentions: Beck, Warren Haynes, Robyn Hitchcock, Paul McCartney.

3. Definitely Margo. Never knew Lennon, and I was just a kid.
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Old 09-22-2019, 01:41 PM
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I forgot to mention Mister Rogers in my list of those who've passed on.
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Old 09-22-2019, 03:23 PM
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Bobby Kennedy. I was fifteen. My dad was one of his delegates to the convention.
John Lennon, although I had lost interest in his music long before.
Molly Ivins. Damn I still miss Molly Ivins.

Alan Rickman was a sad day.

I can't think of anyone I feel comparably about who is alive at the moment.

Last edited by Ulfreida; 09-22-2019 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:21 PM
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1. Stevie Ray Vaughan devastated me. I honestly cried. He was a wonderful musician that spoke to me and his death was so unexpected. Especially since he was sober.
2. Keith Richards will destroy me. I love that guy and I've never known a world without the Rolling Stones and let's face it, he IS the Rolling Stones.
3. As bad as I felt about SRV...Keith will hit me WAY harder.
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Old 09-22-2019, 10:06 PM
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At the risk of repeating some:
1) Robin Williams, Alan Rickman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, David Bowie, Anthony Bourdain, Leonard Cohen, Christopher Hitchens, Tim Russert, Joan Rivers.
2) I don't want to float negative vibes into the universe.
3) Anthony Bourdain's death was the toughest to come to terms with.
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:42 AM
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No longer with us
  • Princess Diana
  • Robin Williams
  • Kurt Cobain
  • Prince
  • Ken Stabler
  • Moses Malone
  • Ric Ocasek

Still kickin'
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Paul McCartney
  #41  
Old 09-24-2019, 08:38 AM
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John F. Kennedy, Jr. I am only a few years older than he was (just about the same age as Caroline), old enough to remember him saluting his father at his funeral. His so pointless death hit me way harder than I expected it to.
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Old 09-24-2019, 08:43 AM
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In my time it seems like it's always been guitar players. In the following order, notably: Randy Rhoads, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jerry Garcia. There are a few more that should be on the horizon, but I'm not going to jinx them, life is short.
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:48 PM
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Celebrity death: Kirsty MacColl - so young, so full of life; it was so unexpected and meaningless and unfair. I still find it hard to take in.
Living celebrity: it will be some similar circumstance to the above, something full of shock

As for which affects me most - I'll know when it happens.

j
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:01 PM
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1. Sir Terry Pratchett, before his time, and to dementia. He had so many more stories to tell. Another sad one was Jim Henson, who died because he didn't want to bother anyone and let an infection go so long it was incurable.
2. I've gotten so used to losing the greats that I don't get too worked up anymore. Maybe someone like Greta Thunberg.
3. Sir Terry
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:47 PM
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John F. Kennedy, Jr. I am only a few years older than he was (just about the same age as Caroline), old enough to remember him saluting his father at his funeral. His so pointless death hit me way harder than I expected it to.
That was a weird one for me. I never thought much of him and rolled my eyes at the attention he got for his looks and because of the accomplishments of his family, but he was the speaker at my then girlfriend's college graduation right before he died. I had a front row seat.

Last edited by actualliberalnotoneofthose; 09-24-2019 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:59 PM
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1. Christopher Reeve
2. William Shatner
3. Christopher Reeve

Shatner has been part of my life longer than Reeve, as I was introduced to Star Trek sometime during or before the second grade, and Reeve's Superman didn't come out until I was in the fifth grade, but the circumstances of his accident and the nobility with which he lived the remainder of his life have placed Reeve into the category of people I admire most. If I were the kind of person who could unironically claim to have heroes, he would be one of them.
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Old 09-24-2019, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
Nobody's mentioned Freddie or Prince yet.
Right Freddie Prinze was a big one at the time.
  #48  
Old 09-24-2019, 05:23 PM
zimaane is offline
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1. Robin Williams was the saddest. He was a big part of my youth (Mrs Doubtfire, Dead Poets Society) and the fact that he was lost to mental illness was just terrible.
Amy Winehouse was a big loss too, given her age.
2. I don't want to jinx anyone, but losing someone young like Adele would be very sad.
3. Hard to say
  #49  
Old 09-24-2019, 06:29 PM
Wheelz is offline
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John Belushi. I was a huge fan, and at 18 it was the first time someone of whom I was a fan died before his time. I remember being sad to an extent, but mostly angry that I'd never get to see him in anything new ever again. That sounds selfish, but it's how I felt at the time. I only learned later how addicted to drugs he really was, and I still sometimes think about what he could have done with his talent if he'd been able to clean up.

There's no telling what current celebrity's death will affect me. It would have to be somebody young who has much more to give to the world to hit me as hard as Belushi did.
  #50  
Old 09-24-2019, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 74westy View Post
Right Freddie Prinze was a big one at the time.
Big plot point of the movie Fame in fact.
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