Celebrity Deaths overshadowed by other Celebrity Deaths

The responses to The news of whose death shocked you most? have included a few that made me wonder about this thread’s issue.

I mentioned Robert Mitchum among the ones whose death was at least startling to me, even though I knew he was in poor health. But I feel that the death the next day of James Stewart took the public’s eye off Mitchum’s passing more than would have been the case if the deaths weren’t so close together in time. I can accept that Stewart’s popularity was most likely greater (in terms of numbers) than Mitchum’s, but it’s hard to deny the magnitude of Mitchum’s stardom and longevity in the movies.

I’ll mention only one other pair, to indicate the theme I hope we can explore:

Princess Diana and Mother Teresa, even though their deaths were closer to a week apart. The public’s (or at least the media’s) round-the-clock attention to Di helped (at least in my opinion) to overshadow the significance of Mother Teresa’s passing.

I’m hoping this thread can serve as a gathering place for details on at least two celebrities’ passing within fairly rapid succession – say within 10 days – regardless of the real shock associated with either celebrity. If neither was all that shocking, then the notion of “overshadowing” probably doesn’t apply. If only one was “shocking” to you and you haven’t already mentioned her or him in the other thread, maybe you could do a post in both places?

Anyway, just a spin-off idea from the notion so many seem interested in.

Sammy Davis Jr.'s death on the same day as Jim Henson dying totally unexpectedly.

Ditto with Johnny Cash and John Ritter.

Of course, first prize goes to Alois Huxley and C.S. Lewis, both died November 23, 1963, the same day as John F. Kennedy

Actually, Zeldar, I was shocked to learn of Jimmy Stewart’s death well after the fact, I suppose because it had been so close to Mitchum’s.

“Stewart died? But… but… when?”

For a comedian Groucho Marx had bad timing.

Just for those who may have already thought of this related issue, the old superstition about celebrity deaths coming in groups of three might have a place here. I seem to recall some other threads that went at the issue from various angles, but if you have some threesomes where one of the three was so much better known than the others that the others passed with little fanfare, that would make good inclusion within this main theme.

I do recall as a teenager reading in the fan mags of the day that James Dean had made the comment, after hearing of the deaths of Robert Francis and Suzan Ball (both of whom were young, but far from what could be considered celebrities), something to the effect of, “I’ll be next.” This added to the mystique and cult status that Dean is still carrying today.

Of course, looking over the list at Died in the year 1955 might make this “prophecy” seem a little less potent.

Similar IMDB pages may help to jog your memory of other “overshadowings.”

I can accept that, lieu, but my memory of that period is that the news and movie channels began running testimonials and memorials for Stewart that moved Mitchum’s eulogies and remembrances to the background somewhat.

Of course, both of them had the requisite replay of old movies they had made in the months to come, and Mitchum’s “marathons” still crop up occasionally as well as Stewarts’s on TCM and Retro and other “oldies” channels. But within the weeks after their deaths, Stewart got much more play, as best I can recall. Maybe my memory is tainted by the fact that Mitchum was one of my heroes and I regard Stewart as “just another great actor.” :slight_smile:

Seconded for Groucho. 3 days after Elvis died. Dang!

Sergei Prokofiev and Joseph Stalin died on the same day (March 5th, 1953), which kept Prokofiev off the front pages of the Soviet newspapers of the day.

And two former US presidents died on the same day – the 50th anniversary of the Delaration of Independence, July 4th, 1826 – John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Of course, news travelled slowly in those days, so many American would not have heard about either death for several days, and neither overshadowed the other.

To shamelessly steal harajio’s contribution to the celebrity suicide thread: Germs frontman Darby Crash and John Lennon. It’s debatable how much of a celebrity Crash was, and how much news his death would have generated regardless, but man, what a story.

As Robert Trebor’s character lamented in THE DEVIL’S REJECTS.

Mother Theresa died just days after Princess Diana. Princess Di’s funeral totally knocked that out of the news.

EDIT: Doh! That’s in the OP. Well, it’s almost midnight here, and my bleary old eyes can’t focus. :frowning:

In the pro wrestling world, the death of Ernie Ladd overshadowed the recent deaths of Mike Awesome, Bad News Allen, and Bam Bam Bigelow. Then again, Ladd meant much more to the business than the other guys did, and also had a legit claim to fame in football as well.

Glad you caught that. I didn’t want to complain as it’s likely to be one of the best examples of what the thread is about.

Come to think of it, they were a week after losing both Brian Keith and Jacques Cousteau and followed a day or so later by Charles Kuralt. Them’s some heavy hitters.

How true. There have been weeks like that, but I can’t think of another where so many big names left all at once.

Aldous Huxley & C.S. Lewis both died the same day JFK was assassinated.