Friday, February 29, 2008

Dead Pool February Update

Another month has passed, and no-one is yet to score in the competition. Here we are, one-sixth of the way through the year and all those nominated are still hanging on.

But over in the realms of the un-nominated, we've seen a few well-known souls drop off the perch this month.

On the 2nd actor Barry Morse passed away. He was best known for playing Lt. Phillip Gerard in the 1960s TV show The Fugitive, a role later made famous by Tommy Lee Jones in the 1993 movie (albeit with the name changed to Marshall Samuel Gerard).

On the 5th Maharishi Yogi, the father of transcendental meditation and spiritual adviser to The Beatles, died at the ripe old age of 91.

This was the very same day that the Beatles song Across the Universe (supposedly influenced by John Lennon's interest in transcendental meditation) was beamed into space to celebrate NASA's 50th anniversary.


Two days later Ray Martin's career, which had been on life support for some time, finally gave up the ghost with his sacking from Channel Nine.
And not a moment too soon.

The 10th brought the death of US actor Roy Scheider, famous for the line "You're gonna need a bigger boat" in Jaws, and for playing Heywood Floyd in 2010: The Year We Make Contact, the not-too-bad sequel to Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

On the 13th Smoky Dawson, Australian Musician/Radio Star/Armchair Salesman/Legend died at the age of 94 after a short illness.

On the 19th it was announced that Fidel Castro had resigned as President of Cuba. This, of course, does nothing to address the conspiracy theory that he actually croaked a full 18 months ago.

Then at the Oscars ceremony on the 24th Brad Renfro (whose death last month shocked the entertainment world, until Heath Ledger's death a week later rendered it instantaneously forgotten) was mysteriously and controversially omitted from the Oscars "In Memoriam" montage.

No good reason was given by the Academy, apart from some lame excuses about "not being able to fit everybody in". One can only assume his death, from an overdose of heroin and morphine, was considered too sordid.

At the same ceremony, Owen Wilson looked healthy and well presenting the Oscar for Best Short Film. This maybe puts predictions of an untimely death for the actor into the long-odds category. But then again, maybe it doesn't.

Our interest was piqued on the 18th when Nancy Reagan was admitted to hospital with a suspected broken hip. But she was released two days later. Close, but no cigar.

And finally, the 19th brought the sad death at age 100 of Emily Perry, the British actress famed for her role as Madge Allsop, Dame Edna's long-suffering bridesmaid. May she rest in peace. She certainly deserves it after all that.

And that's it for February, folks. Another month down and ten more to go.

Our eyes are scanning the magazines for that magic headline. Our ears are attuned to the sound of the death knell. Our minds, which could be otherwise productively occupied, are constantly considering the implications of the tiniest events.

As soon as anything happens, we'll let you know.