The Celebrity Death Pool 2009

Here we go for 2009. The rules are exactly as before, but with one change to the awards: the “Inside Track with the Grim Reaper” Award now goes to the person with the most unique picks, not shared by everyone who had a unique pick. 17 of 41 deceased celebrities in 2008 were unique, so too many people were sharing this award.

**Please note my request at the bottom of the post that you submit your list in a specific format. **
The Rules:

  1. You pick 13 celebrities (that’s thirteen, not ten) whom you predict will die within the calendar year 2009. If any of your celebrities dies, you score 100 points minus their age at death. Whoever has the most points at the end of the year wins the undying snort admiration of the SDMB.

  2. All picks must be time- and date-stamped by midnight Chicago time, Dec. 31st, 2008. (That’s U.S. Central time, which is six hours behind Greenwich.)

  3. Valid picks are not:

a. already dead
b. a fictional character
c. non-human
d. under age 18 at death
e. a registered member of the SDMB, 'cause that would be weird
f. political prisoners, 'cause we’re macabre but not THAT macabre. Please see Rule 7 regarding the likes of Saddam Hussein.

  1. You can pick people who are 100 or more years old but you won’t score points for them. See the “Quantity Not Quality” award, below.

  2. If we are uncertain about the celebrity’s age at death, we will go by the higher age (lower score).

  3. Your picks must specify a name: listing “anybody from [the cast of your most hated TV show or boy band]” as a pick will be ignored.

  4. Persons under sentence of death will be valid for scoring points only if they die by means other than official execution.

  5. Any poster who kills or otherwise contributes to the death of any celebrity mentioned in this thread is disqualified. It’s just a game, people. The only exceptions to this rule would be deaths caused by those posters serving as members of the police or armed forces of any country, in the line of duty.

  6. Editing your choices: be careful! You can make changes to your list before the end of the year, but it has to be clear which names are your final choices. You may submit one or more “alternates” with your list in the event that one of your picks dies during December 2008, or submit an alternate after the death of the original pick, as long as this is posted by Dec 31, 2008. If you do not submit a name, I will submit the rest. You can have no more than 13 picks. If you pick more than 13, or if any of your picks is otherwise invalid, I may ask for clarification. Otherwise, I will submit the first 13 names on your list. Do me a favor: check twice, post once.

We have no rule about submissions having to be unique, despite claims of “copying” anyone else’s list. We will just turn up our noses at you if you do this. Sharing news of celebrities in ill health and whatnot is up to individual posters.

We have no rule about valid SDMB memberships (disqualifying members who have been banned). If you submit a list and then change your username at some point, please post this news on the thread so I know who you are.

We have no rule about what constitutes “celebrity,” because it makes our heads hurt to think about this.

Spelling counts! Please try to spell celebrities’ names correctly.

Some celebrities have common, identical or similar names. It is helpful to be specific.

Additional awards:

The “Quantity Not Quality” Award: to be awarded to the poster or posters who pick the greatest number of celebrities who died, regardless of their actual point value.

The “Inside Track With the Grim Reaper” Award: to be awarded to the poster or posters who had the most unique picks that died.

The “Opening Kickoff” Award: to be awarded to the poster or posters who pick the first listed celebrity to die in 2009.

The “Final Hours” Award: to be awarded to the poster or posters who pick the last listed celebrity to die in 2009.

List Format

I have a spreadsheet that will allow me to post updated standings quickly and produce various other statistics. The pain is “loading” the data into the sheet. I can do each list in a single cut and paste if you use the following format and guidelines: present a plain, unnumbered list that contains just the celebrities’ most commonly used names (e.g. use “Al Gore”, not “Albert Gore”), correctly spelled. So, to use my 2007 list as an example, it would be:

Garry Betty
Ronnie Biggs
Fidel Castro
Farrah Fawcett
Dan Fogelberg
Jane McGrath
Magnus Magnusson
Tammy Faye Messner
Benny Parsons
Suzanne Pleshette
Ariel Sharon
Yuri Shtern
Chuck Strahl
However, I know that many of you like to include commentary within your lists, such as:

George “the younger” Bush
Yogi Berra, baseballer/malaproper, age 81 (82 in May 2007)- because it ain’t over till it’s over.

That is fine - it adds to the entertainment. But if you do that, please also include the list again in plain format for me to copy & paste.

Have fun, you bunch of fellow sickos.

  1. Fidel Castro
  2. Clint Eastwood
  3. Patrick Swayze
  4. Jimmy Carter
  5. Lindsay Lohan
  6. Vince Neil
  7. Ted Kennedy
  8. Nancy Reagan
  9. Walter Cronkite
  10. Chuck Berry
  11. Keith Richards
  12. Ann Wilson
  13. Quentin Tarantino

Alternate: Queen Elizabeth II

Hey, did we ever get a ruling on the Steve Fossett situation where someone probably died in one year but their death is officially announced in a subsequent year?

Since we all know it’s impossible to beat Rachm Qoch on points, I’m going to try to grab the Quantity Not Quality award from him. I present one bandwagon cancer patient and twelve centenarians:

  1. Patrick Swayze (Aug. 18, 1952), ‘Road House’ star
  2. Maria de Jesus (Sept. 10, 1893), current oldest living person
  3. Doris Eaton Travis (March 14, 1904), last surviving Ziegfeld girl
  4. Oscar Niemeyer (Dec. 15, 1907), architect, designed Brasilia
  5. Run Run Shaw (Oct. 4, 1907), Hong Kong media mogul, half of the Shaw Brothers
  6. Jacques Barzun (Nov. 30, 1907), French-American historian and author
  7. Claude Levi-Strauss (Nov. 28, 1908), French philosopher/anthropologist
  8. Leila Denmark (Feb. 1, 1898), pediatrician, co-developed the vaccine for pertussis (whooping cough)
  9. Emilio Navarro (Sept. 6, 1905), oldest living player from the Negro Leagues
  10. Leopold Engleitner (July 23, 1905), oldest survivor of the Buchenwald concentration camp
  11. Johannes Heesters (Dec. 5, 1903), Dutch-German actor-singer
  12. Roy Neuberger (July 21, 1903), financier/art patron
  13. Hugues Cuenod (June 26, 1902), Swiss opera singer


  1. Wallace ‘Bucky’ Williams (Dec. 15, 1906), second-oldest living player from the Negro Leagues
  2. Muriel Duckworth (Oct. 31, 1908), Canadian activist/pacifist
  3. Maria Semonyova (June 12, 1908), Russian prima ballerina

Plain Jane list:

Patrick Swayze
Maria de Jesus
Doris Eaton Travis
Oscar Niemeyer
Run Run Shaw
Jacques Barzun
Claude Levi-Strauss
Leila Denmark
Emilio Navarro
Leopold Engleitner
Johannes Heesters
Roy Neuberger
Hugues Cuenod

Wallace ‘Bucky’ Williams
Muriel Duckworth
Maria Semonyova

Don’t forget the plain format list please.

I don’t know that we have any official rules body to make a ruling. But if it were up to me, I would have accepted Fossett’s death as being when he was legally declared dead, then changed it when evidence showed that he clearly died last year.

There are other scenarios. What if someone is suspected to have died this year, but the announcement is not made until 2009 and the death is announced to have been in 2009? In the absence of clear evidence to the contrary, I would have to go with 2009.

How about the winner of last year is disqualified this year?

I thought that was a plain format? Do you mean you want a list without the numbers? Ok. Here it is.

Fidel Castro
Clint Eastwood
Patrick Swayze
Jimmy Carter
Lindsay Lohan
Vince Neil
Ted Kennedy
Nancy Reagan
Walter Cronkite
Chuck Berry
Keith Richards
Ann Wilson
Quentin Tarantino

Alternate: Queen Elizabeth II

  1. Paul Willson He’s quite overweight, so it’s quite possible.

  2. Billy Graham - Sad to seem him go, but he’s 87 already.

  3. Harry Morgan - I love Col. Potter and will really feel bad about this one.

  4. ??? Unlikely, but it could happen and is worth 20-21 points.

  5. Jack LaLane - Push up! Push up! Push up to the sky!

  6. Paul Wight - Big Man = Big Points. By the way, I’m referring to some wrestler called “The Big Show”.

  7. Eli Wallach - Had him 4 years ago. I figure he’s got to go.

  8. Peter Falk - He smokes like a fish. Whatever that means.

  9. W. Mark Felt - Deepthroat = Deep in the ground.

  10. Les Paul - Time to switch to electric harp, Les.

  11. C. Everett Koop Hey, had you smoked, you would not have made it this far.

  12. Glen Benton I thought you were going to off yourself at age 33?

And finally, my annual pick that I go with every single year for big points.

  1. Michelle Trachtenberg - I don’t want her dead. I just like the idea of getting big points off a random pick

Paul Willson
Billy Graham
Harry Morgan
Jiang Zemin
Jack Lalane
Paul Wight
Eli Wallach
Peter Falk
W. Mark Felt
Les Paul
C. Everett Koop
Glen Benton
Michelle Trachtenberg

I’ll repost if any of these die this month.

Two more quick things. I keep most of my list the same every year. I only change those who die(obviously). Anyway, does anyone know from a quick glance at my list if anyone on my list is terminal? I haven’t heard anything on any of them, but they aren’t all that famous.

Secondly, may we have a separate post for final 2008 results? Now that we have a game room, a separate post containing results and for congrats would be nice.

Thanks and “good” luck! I feel bad saying good luck in this game.




Karl Malden
Rex Reason
Rip Taylor
Charlie Callas
Kirk Douglas
Ernest Borgnine
Julie Andrews
G. Gordon Liddy
Harry Morgan
Jack LaLanne
Neil Armstrong
Mel Brooks
Mark Hamill

Andy Griffith
Betty White
Nichelle Nichols

Are we not doing “Robbing the Cradle” this year?

Amy Winehouse
Nancy Reagan
Queen Elizabeth II
Lindsey Lohan
Ozzie Osbourne
Billy Graham
Fidel Castro
Patrick Swayze
Farrah Fawcett
Nick Nolte
Mary-Kate Olsen
Elizabeth Taylor
Andy Dick

Alternate: Winona Ryder

I’m a first time participant. We’ll see how I do :wink:

Yes - thank you for doing so.

While the award name sounds familiar, I went back through 2006, 2007 and 2008 and that award never existed in any of those years either. I created the opening post by copying from last year, and last year I copied from A35362’s 2007 opener.

I can certainly (re)introduce it, though. It will not take me long to block copy “the winner is Rachm Qoch” one more time.

I can also add the award to the 2008 contest. The current leader is, er, Rachm Qoch with 35-year old Yo-sam Choi, who also happens to be the winner of the Opening Kickoff award.

  1. Merle Haggard
  2. Patrick Swayze
  3. Nancy Reagan
  4. Kirk Douglas
  5. Queen Elizabeth
  6. Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky)
  7. Jerry Lewis
  8. Bob Barker
  9. Eunice Kennedy Shriver
  10. Ted Kennedy
  11. The Reverend Billy Graham
  12. Muhammed Ali
  13. Art Donovan (NFL Hall of Famer, 60s Baltimore Colt)

Amy Winehouse
Margaret Thatcher

Plain format:

Merle Haggard
Patrick Swayze
Nancy Reagan
Kirk Douglas
Queen Elizabeth
Paul Michael Glaser
Jerry Lewis
Bob Barker
Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Ted Kennedy
The Reverend Billy Graham
Muhammed Ali
Art Donovan

First time for me:

Lauren Bacall
Ozzy Osborne
Ariel Sharon
Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh
Nelson Mandela
Steve Jobs
Alan Greenspan
James Randi
Mike Wallace
Hugh Hefner
Rip Torn
Johnny Depp
Robert Redford

Subscribing. I’ll be back later to post my picks.

I can’t believe that not only am I involved with this for a third year, but that I am actually somewhat disappointed when I log in and find the current death pool thread has no new posts. What the hell is wrong with me? Anyway, big thanks to amarone for an absolutely superb job in 2008 and for taking on the task again in 2009. Here we go:

  1. Russell Johnson, b. November 10, 1924. Actor, Purple Heart recipient, and coconut enthusiast.
  2. Fidel Castro, b. August 13, 1926. Former Cuban president, widely known for day-long speeches. And his beard.
  3. Tom Lehrer, b. April 9, 1928. Beloved mathematician and musician. Will hopefully produce zero points.
  4. James Hong, b. February 22, 1929. Actor, instantly recognizable for his maître d’ role in Seinfeld.
  5. George Steinbrenner, b. July 4, 1930. Billionaire businessman and owner of the New York Yankees. His name often precedes the word “sucks”.
  6. Robert Novak, b. February 26, 1931. Columnist and hit-and-run driver.
  7. Ted Kennedy, b. February 22, 1932. Philanderer and politician known as “The Lion of the Senate”.
  8. Kim Jong-il, b. February 16, 1941. North Korean dictator, or more formally: the Chairman of the National Defense Commission, Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army, and General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea. (whew!)
  9. Roger Ebert, b. June 18, 1942. Film critic and possessor of thumbs.
  10. John Major, b. March 29, 1943. Former British prime minister, known to have at least 101 uses.
  11. Farrah Fawcett, b. February 2, 1947. Actress and '70s sex symbol.
  12. Tom Arnold, b. March 6, 1959. Actor at one time surgically attached to Roseanne Barr.
  13. Suge Knight, b. April 19, 1965. Rap mogul, surprisingly still alive as of this post.

alt1. Mark Russell, b. August 23, 1932. Pianist and political satirist, best-known for his PBS specials.
alt2. Burt Bacharach, b. May 12, 1928. Composer and pianist, recently of Geico commercial fame.
alt3. Dennis Franz, b. October 28, 1944. Sultry actor, famous for his shower scene with Sharon Lawrence.

Grim news, I’m afraid, for retired football player and recent dancer Warren Sapp: something of a random-young-person pick on my 2007 and 2008 lists, he’s nowhere to be found above and will therefore be in imminent danger as of January 1. On the other hand, much-considered former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was ultimately left off, so if he can hang on for another 4 weeks or so, he’s golden for the next year. That should cheer him up.

Plain list:

Russell Johnson
Fidel Castro
Tom Lehrer
James Hong
George Steinbrenner
Robert Novak
Ted Kennedy
Kim Jong-il
Roger Ebert
John Major
Farrah Fawcett
Tom Arnold
Suge Knight

Mark Russell
Burt Bacharach
Dennis Franz

In four or so years of doing, this, I’ve had exactly ONE celebrity knock off. Here’s hoping 2009 is my breakout year.

WITH COMMENT (Plain-text list to follow):

There’s a bullet (or bomb or shiv or whatever) with their name on it:

  1. Osama bin Laden, b. 1957.
  2. Scott Peterson, b. 1972. *NOTE: This pick assumes death through “extra-judicial” means.
  3. Bilawal Bhutto, b. 1988.

Age and/or illness is bound to catch up with them sooner or later:

  1. Kim Jong-Il, b. 1941.
  2. Woody Allen, b. 1935.
  3. Bob Barker, b. 1923.
  4. Roger Ebert, b. 1942.
  5. Jerry Lewis, b. 1926.

May soon hasten the Sweet Release of Death, by their own hand:

  1. Dustin Diamond, b. 1977.
  2. Jose Canseco, b. 1964.

The Grim Reaper comes to collect after years of drugs, partying, and living life on the edge:

  1. Lindsey Lohan, b. 1986.
  2. Boy George, b. 1961.
  3. Pete Doherty, b. 1979.


Osama bin Laden
Scott Peterson
Bilawal Bhutto
Kim Jong-Il
Woody Allen
Bob Barker
Roger Ebert
Jerry Lewis
Dustin Diamond
Jose Canseco
Lindsey Lohan
Boy George
Pete Doherty


Robert Downey, Jr.
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Barack Obama

ETA: I’d like to second the suggestion that the winner of the previous year be disqualified. That way, Rochm Qoch can win only every other year. :stuck_out_tongue: