Which celebrity death really affected you when you first heard about it?

Lennon. None of the rest named so far got even a raised eyebrow from me, but John’s death hurt.

Eric Morecambe. In '70s Britain, Morecambe & Wise were about as big as you could get and a Christmas special was event telly. His death was like losing a favourite uncle.

River Phoenix and Kurt Cobain. Both were still so young and their deaths were so tragic and unexpected.

This thread didn’t get much action at the time, but maybe a new one on a similar topic could expand on this current thread’s theme. Maybe not.

Old performers you’ll be sorry to see go
Cafe Society
02-19-2007, 10:53 AM

The only other one that comes to mind right now is Ernie Harwell.

Completely expected…but, still.

Michael got to me, too. I remember distinctly your reaction to it…I know you are a huge fan.

The only other celeb death that really got me was Marvin Gaye. I was about 9 or so, and my dad was taking me to his concert. I was so excited. And there was contraversy, because my grandma and other family members were upset with my dad for taking me because the songs were inappropriate for me. But even in the face of songs so brazen as to be titled ‘Sexual Healing’, I never really associated the music with sex, per se. And my dad realized that and was planning to damn well take me to that concert. Marvin was murdered and we never did get to go. My dad seemed to take the death personally, getting all angry like he really knew the man. I had sure never seen him react to a celebrity like that before. Sigh. I miss Marvin. And my dad.

I think I may be a sociopath, because I can’t recall any celebrity’s death affected me more than the general shock that everyone experiences when someone famous dies.

About the closest I think I can come is maybe Lennon. I was 15 at the time and I was just getting into The Beatles. I wasn’t up late when the news flowed in and the first thing my mother said to me when I got up in the morning was, “Did you hear? John Lennon is dead.”

His death hit me more profoundly in the ensuing years, the more I thought about what an asshole Chapman was for shooting him.

The other close one I suppose would be Cobain. He was my contemporary. A couple years younger than I, but Nirvana saved music from the evil clutches of Madonna and Phil Collins, so I was pretty bummed when he blew his head off.

Kurt Cobain. I think it upset me because my brother is a huge fan and emotionally troubled so I was worried if he’d follow Kurt.

Heath Ledger. For some reason his death felt like I lost an old high school friend. I was a fan and had seen most of his movies. Plus, my heart hurt for poor Matilda.

Phil Hartman. It was complete disbelief and shock then I stopped watching Newsradio. If I want a good cry, I just watch their Bill Moves On episode. I agree with Dave Foley, it should have been Andy Dick.

Marilyn Monroe (yeah, I’m that old).

She was so full of life and beauty, and much of the public had no idea about her dark side. Shocking if it was a suicide, and equally shocking if it wasn’t.

Jim Henson, easily.

Selena Quintanilla was a big deal when she died. I was living in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley at the time and she was VERY popular. Her murder was a shock to everyone and very upsetting to many. I still get misty at the scene at the end of the movie Selena when they pan around the empty AlamoDome Stadium. It reminds me of a famous picture of Austin’s Palmer Auditorium that was set up for a presidential reception that never happened.

Jim Henson’s death was a total punch in the gut.

Charles Schulz’s death wasn’t nearly so much of a surprise, but it was just a few days before my younger son was born and I was hormonally unbalanced and enormous and sick and miserable, and I cried like a baby.

Dale Earnhardt got me. I wasn’t even a fan, I actaully couldn’t stand him, still can’t. It took me by surprise though, especially since the wreck didn’t look that bad.

None of the others mention in the thread really got me. But this did. It was an actual loss to me.

Another vote for Jim Henson. The world has a little less laughter in it.

Lennon, Henson and Hartman.

Christopher Reeve. Loved the Superman movies when I was a kid. I was also one of those people who was hopeful that he would one day be able to walk again. Having seen all that he had gone through in the past ten years and his optimism through it all, that was probably the closest I came to crying over a celebrity death.

I was moving my parents across the state when I heard this on the radio. I had to stop and pull over for a minute just to absorb what I’d heard. To this day I tear up when I think about it. It really was like losing someone I’d known my whole life.

ETA: And Steve Irwin. I stopped what I was doing, went to the zoo–which had an interactive “kangaroo walk”–and told the 'roos that they’d just lost the best friend they’d ever have.

John Belushi. I was pretty stunned and depressed about that one.

And also Joe Strummer. That was a vary bright light flickering out.

Billy Mays. He was just starting to get very successful with his TV and everything. And his untimely death cut short his promising career. He never even got to be the Taco Bell spokesman

Roy Orbison. I had been a fan of his since I first really started listening to music. There’s never been a voice in rock music like his. Part of the tragedy of his sudden death was that he had just recorded some of his best music in many years, and was on the cusp of a career resurgence.

The other one that affected me strongly was Johnny Cash – though, his passing was not a surprise. He’d been ill for a long time, and, when June died, I knew he wouldn’t be around for much longer.