Inspired (sort of) by the thread about Tom Lehrer.
Are there any celebs that shock you by tenaciously clinging to life?
“Extra points” for learning of a living celeb who you long thought had shuffled off the mortal coil. I was surprised yesterday to see the George Kennedy still lives when I would have sworn on the proverbial stack of bibles that I’d read his obit many years ago.
Oh, and I’ll get Abe Vigoda out of the way right now.
There’s absolutely no reason for me to have believed her dead, considering that she was a child actor in her most famous role back in the 50s, but I was shocked when a horror-fan friend of mine posted a pic of him with Patty McCormack at a recent con. For some reason I had assumed she was gone.
In the recent thread about the death of actor Dean Jones, someone mistook him for Dean Stockwell, which reminded me not only of Stockwell’s longevity, but also of his incredible career, which began in 1945 when he appeared with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra in Anchors Aweigh. It’s amazing to me that seventy years later he is still regularly appearing in film and on television at age 79.
I’m reading rock journalist Lisa Robinson’s memoir There Goes Gravity, and was surprised to realize during the chapter about Led Zeppelin that Jimmy Page is still alive.
I’m (obviously) not a Zeppelin fan and the band’s heyday was before I was born, but I knew that John Bonham had been dead for a long time and that Robert Plant was still alive. I would not have been certain about John Paul Jones (also still alive), but my best guess would have been that Page was dead. I vaguely remember that he’d recorded and toured with Plant as “Page and Plant” in the 1990s, but I don’t think I’ve heard much if anything about Page since then.
As a teenager in the 1990s I had the vague impression that Bob Dylan was not only dead, but had been dead for years. I realized my mistake when his 1997 album Time Out of Mind was released and have been aware of his continuing not-deadness since then, though.
Dennis Norden: wrote the hugely popular (at the time) BBC radio show Take It From Here from 1948, but better known for younger views as being the elder statesman of ITV from the seventies to the mid-naughties and particularly for his outtake show It’ll be Alright on the Night.
June Whitfield: Career started in the 1940s and first found fame in 1953 on Take It From Here and then on Tony Hancock’s radio and TV shows. Had a long career which saw her star in sitcom Terry and June, appear in several of the Carry-On films. In the nineties played Edwina’s Mother in Absolutely Fabulous. She is still active and has appeared on many famous TV shows such as Dr Who, Last of the Summer Wine, Friends, Coronation Street and too many others to fully list.
Galton and Simpson: the writers of Hancock’s Half Hour, Steptoe and Son (which was re-imagined as Sanford and Son in the US) and Dad’s Army are both still alive.
Jimmy Page actually had his first TV appearance as a musician in 1957 aged 13 with his skiffle group (The teen-aged Beatles also started out as a skiffle group at about this time under the name The Quarrymen).
I am shocked by the percentage of cast members from the Dick Van Dyke Show & Mary Tyler Moore show that are still alive. The Dick Van Dyke Show (TV Series 1961–1966)
Dick Van Dyke … Rob Petrie / … (158 episodes, 1961-1966) Alive and working born 1925
Rose Marie … Sally Rogers (158 episodes, 1961-1966) alive, born 1923
Morey Amsterdam … Buddy Sorrell (158 episodes, 1961-1966) died in 1996 but age 87
Larry Mathews … Ritchie Petrie (158 episodes, 1961-1966) Still Alive
Mary Tyler Moore … Laura Petrie / … (158 episodes, 1961-1966) Still Alive
Richard Deacon … Mel Cooley (82 episodes, 1961-1966) only one to die young at age 63.
Ann Morgan Guilbert … Millie Helper / … (61 episodes, 1961-1966) alive and working born in 1928
Carl Reiner … Alan Brady / … (32 episodes, 1961-1966) alive and working born in 1922
so 75% of this cast is still alive.
For the Mary Tyler Moore Show 10 of the top 11 actors are still alive. This includes Ed Asner , Cloris Leachman & the unstoppable Betty White that are all still working in their 90s.
Hugh Hefner. I believe he’s at least seven years older than the age currently cited by different sources, which would put him well into his 90s. (No, I don’t consider Wikipedia a 100% reliable source of information.)