The Celebrity Death Pool 2010

Here we go for 2010. The rules are as before, but with one change to eligibility of picks - people famous solely for being ill or for actions associated with their illness (e.g. charity walks) are not permitted. See next post for more details as to how this will be administered.

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 2010. 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, 2009. (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.
g. famous solely as a result of their illness or associated actions/events.

  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 2009, or submit an alternate after the death of the original pick, as long as this is posted by Dec 31, 2009. 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 2010.

The “Final Hours” Award: to be awarded to the poster or posters who pick the last listed celebrity to die in 2010.
List Format

I have a spreadsheet that allows 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. If anyone is known by initials, include a period and a space after each. Soas an example, it would be:

O. J. Simpson
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, 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.

Here are further details on the rule change to not allow people who would be unknown but for their illness/injury. For someone to be valid, there needs to be online evidence of their celebrity status separate from (and preferably before) their illness.

Any poster nominating a person about whom they have doubts should also submit alternates, and request a ruling by January 7. I will make a decision, possibly including throwing it open for vote. If the nominee is vetoed, the first alternate is used.

You can ask for a ruling before December 31, but note that I am a player too, so you may be giving me information about a good pick.

After January 7, a nominee can be challenged by any other player (including me), and if s/he is vetoed, is not replaced by an alternate. I want to minimize the chances that the decision could be colored by a change of “status” of the alternate.

I do realize that this process requires me to take exactly the sort of decision that I am avoiding for candidates in general, i.e. determining whether someone is a celebrity. However, I think it is worth it. Otherwise, we get a bunch of entries like this, which hardly fits the definition of a Celebrity Death Pool.

It’s time to do the Death Pool.
It’s the Straight Dope’s sickest thread.
If you’re a drama queen
Make a list of the thirteen
Folks that you wish dead.

It’s time to do the Death Pool,
And if you think it’s grim.
When you hear someone’s dead
First thought in your head:
Well, who had her or him?

And though you wish them dead
Killing them is lame.
You’ll be disqualified
Folks, it’s just a game.

And if everyone on your list dies,
You’ll say with a grin:
I’ve defeated the odds,
I deserve a few nods.
And furthermore–I WIN!
Alan Alda
Barbara Bush (the elder)
Courtney Cox
Donna Dixon
Emilo Estavez
Fannie Flagg
Gloria Gaynor
Helen Hunt
Joe Jonas
Kristin Kreuk
Lyndsey Lohan
Marilyn Manson
Nick Nolte

Surely you could find an “I”? I offer you Ivana Trump. Or Ivanka.

Nice poem!

Thank you… I’ve always thought that rule #7 was hysterically funny, and I was glad I could work it in.

You didn’t notice the matching initials? I couldn’t find an “I.I.” and Google was no help.

And I am honored to be first in the Death Pool.

Ah - the fact that both initials were the same went over my head.

I’m in!

  1. Muhammed Ali (boxer)
  2. Art Donovan (former NFL player, Baltimore Colts)
  3. Brooks Robinson (Baltimore Oriole)
  4. Merle Haggard (country singer)
  5. Pat Robertson (of the 700 Club)
  6. Nancy Reagan (former First Lady)
  7. Nick Carter (of The Backstreet Boys)
  8. Paul Michael Glaser (actor, Starsky & Hutch)
  9. Jerry Lewis (actor, telethon guy)
  10. David Hasselhoff (actor, Baywatch)
  11. Bob Barker (The Price Is Right)
  12. Kirk Douglas (actor)
  13. Elizabeth Taylor (actress)


  1. Maura Tierney (actress, ER)
  2. Jimmy Carter (former President)
  3. Queen Elizabeth of England

Plain List:

Muhammed Ali
Art Donovan
Brooks Robinson
Merle Haggard
Pat Robertson
Nancy Reagan
Nick Carter
Paul Michael Glaser
Jerry Lewis
David Hasselhoff
Bob Barker
Kirk Douglas
Elizabeth Taylor

Good whoosh. And I’m glad, cause it got me to name Nick Nolte, who looks half-dead anyways.

Ha! Pretty slick, Annie!

Per usual I expect to be busy around the holidays and since I just organized my notes whatnot, I might as well post now:

  1. Russell Johnson, b. November 10, 1924. Actor.
  2. Jack Kevorkian, b. May 26, 1928. Doctor.
  3. George Steinbrenner, b. July 4, 1930. Businessman.
  4. Elizabeth Taylor, b. February 27, 1932. Actress.
  5. Garrick Utley, b. November 19, 1939. Journalist.
  6. Stephen Hawking, b. January 8, 1942. Physicist.
  7. Muhammad Ali, b. January 17, 1942. Boxer.
  8. Aretha Franklin, b. March 25, 1942. Musician.
  9. Roger Ebert, b. June 18, 1942. Film Critic.
  10. Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, b. April 1, 1952. Convicted terrorist.
  11. Steve Jobs, b. February 24, 1955. Businessman.
  12. Orlando Thomas, b. October 21, 1972. Football player.
  13. Amy Winehouse, b. September 14, 1983. Musician.

Alt1. Kim Jong-il, b. February 16, 1941. Dictator.
Alt2. Chuck Berry, b. October 18, 1926. Musician.
Alt3. Fidel Castro, b. August 13, 1926. Dictator.

Adding a few death pool staples this year, thus ensuring their continued existence, and bumping down Kim Jong-il and Fidel Castro to alternates, presumably sealing their fates. Thanks so much for running the pool again, amarone.

Plain list:

Russell Johnson
Jack Kevorkian
George Steinbrenner
Elizabeth Taylor
Garrick Utley
Stephen Hawking
Muhammad Ali
Aretha Franklin
Roger Ebert
Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi
Steve Jobs
Orlando Thomas
Amy Winehouse

Kim Jong-il
Chuck Berry
Fidel Castro

Pat Burns
Robert Byrd
Stephen Hawking
Morley Safer
Stan Musial
Duke Snider
Jean Kennedy Smith
Emile Bouchard
Jacques Parizeau
Margaret Thatcher
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Arnold Palmer
George Steinbrenner

Elmer Lach
Grace Slick

Pat Burns–former NHL coach
Robert Byrd–U.S. Senator
Stephen Hawking–physicist
Morley Safer–60 Minutes correspondent
Stan Musial–Baseball HOFer
Duke Snider–Baseball HOFer
Jean Kennedy Smith–former Ambassador, JFK sibling
Emile Bouchard–Hockey HOFer
Jacques Parizeau–former Premier of Quebec
Margaret Thatcher–former British PM
Philip, Duke of Edinburgh–Consort of Queen Elizabeth II
Arnold Palmer–golfer, mixed drink namesake (half ice tea, half lemonade)
George Steinbrenner–New York Yankees owner

Elmer Lach–Hockey HOFer
Grace Slick–Jefferson Airplane/Starship frontwoman

Let us see if I can redeem myself with Google fu: Iain Irwin-Powell.

Excellent! It’s that time of year again! I am suspiciously hoarding my picks until the last moment, or at least a moment that is closer to the last moment than this moment is, but am nonetheless looking forward to the festivities!
God, this is morbid.

I’ll really have to get to work. I am among those who have no points for 2009. It was my first attempt, but still . . . surely somebody could have obliged me? Sharon Stone, no offense, but did you really have to get your swine flu shot?

Kurt Angle
Adam Copeland
Ron Wayne Farris
Oscar Gutierrez
Scott Hall
Booker Huffman
Ed Leslie
Marty Jannetty
Randy Orton
Ken Patera
Roddy Piper
Randy Savage
James Ware

Adam Copeland also known as Edge
Ron Wayne Farris also known as the Honky Tonk Man
Oscar Gutierrez also known as Rey Mysterio
Booker Huffman also known as Booker T.
Ed Leslie also known as Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake
James Ware also known as Koko B. Ware


Shane Helms
Vince McMahon
Ricky Steamboat
Kevin Nash
Bret Hart

Shane Helms also known as The Hurricane

Seve Ballesteros
Roger Ebert
Andrew Lloyd Weber
Barack Obama
Darlene Cates
Ryan Oneil
Steven Hawking
Steve Jobs
Mohammed Ali
David Hasselhoff
Orlando Thomas
Jaoquin Phoenix
Robin Williams

alt. Don Imus
Liz Taylor
Bobby Brown

Dennis Hopper
Amy Winehouse
George Steinbrenner
Fidel Castro
Bob Barker
Elizabeth Taylor
Dick Cheney
Elizabeth Edwards
Sharon Osborne
Jim J Bullock
Owen Wilson
OJ Simpson
Courtney Love

Alt 1.George Wendt
Alt 2.Pope Benedict XVI

Vernon Baker
John W. Finn
Tibor Rubin
Amy Winehouse
Harry Morgan
Kim Jong-Il
Ernest Borgnine
Tim Conway
Kirk Douglas
Olivia de Haviland
Joan Fontaine
Shirley Temple Black
Lindsay Lohan

For alternates, I’ll nominate

Robert E. Simanek
Robert Mugabe
Fidel Castro

As last year, I’m starting with a selection of Medal of Honor honorees, then going mostly to Hollywood/entertainment for the rest. With the exception of Kim Jong-Il, who is worth more points than the former dictator I’d had on the list: Fidel Castro.

Ion Iliescu

Still no love for the Robbing the Cradle Award?

Helen Hunt, Annie? Hugh Hefner’s 83 and is rumored to be in poor health.